In February 2017 I was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer. I considered myself fit, healthy and very conscious of how diet affects physical and mental wellness. At the age of 44 years, I was not the stereotypical bowel cancer patient. I had ignored early signs and put off going to the GP through fear of having an uncomfortable conversation.
After invasive surgery and subsequent chemotherapy, in August 2017 I was given the “all-clear”, but the overwhelming feeling of not knowing what living a “normal life” meant began to take over. I couldn’t stop crying at the thought of having further scans and knew I had to do something to change how I felt about living.
I wanted to do everything to give myself the best chance at staying alive, so I visited a homeopath, I invested in private acupuncture after chemotherapy sessions, I joined online forums, I read as much about diet and nutrition as possible. I wanted to be active in my recovery, and I am sure this conscious decision enabled me to survive and thrive. I had already found NLP, as my best friend in Australia had asked me to perform her wedding ceremony in the UK.
I invested in an NLP-based session to help improve my confidence whilst speaking in public, and this reinvigorated my curiosity in communication skills. I trained as an NLP Practitioner and recently qualified as a Master Practitioner.
At home, we have five children (between my partner & I) aged from 15 – 8 years, so understanding how we communicate as partners and parents as a blended family continues to help all of us manage behaviours and expectations.
What I’ve learned is that everyone goes through different experiences….it is not the experiences that define us, it is how we choose to respond to them that makes things easier for us to manage.