Being a woman in today’s society is difficult and can often put us in a position where we feel inadequate. Other people’s opinions of what we should look like, what we should have accomplished by now, what our home should look like, to go grey or dye our hair, loose weight, put on weight, is our children’s behaviour a reflection on our lack of parenting skills, do we work full time or part time, am I letting my kids down if they don’t do every sport their heart desires, am I fulling my partner’s needs, or if I am single why am I single ? The list goes on and on…..listening to these voices in our heads can really be damaging to our self-esteem and the truth is You are doing the best you can. Be present in your life, listen to your body and take it a day at a time. Make time for you, for your health, for your wellbeing.
I have recent first hand experience of this, it was a real wake up call and is why Bird and Earth social media has not been a priority over the last 3 months. I am sharing with my tribe this information not for sympathy or ego, but rather in the hope that it may be of assistance to other women.
Last September I was very busy preparing loads of stock for potential Christmas sales and markets on the NSW Mid North Coast. However these markets never eventuated due to the bushfires in the area. So I decided to venture down the south coast to a holiday house and do markets and events in a new area in January. The bushfires then moved south and again markets were a non-event. Life was out of my control and then of course came the floods.
I had decided to sell my car and purchase a van to travel and do markets in other areas and states. My granddaughter was due to be born early April in Tasmania and I was going to visit and do some touring around the state. Not only did my car not sell and I did not purchase a van, Covid-19 came and I never got to travel to Tasmania for the birth, borders closed and markets shut down. With Covid-19 came a huge adjustment and change in all our lives, no hugs, family gatherings or socialising. Very strange times.
During this stage I went for a skin check up only to discover I had a melanoma. Thank goodness for early detection and after two minor surgeries I had the all clear. However I did have a pain in my breast and armpit so I decided to have it checked out. I also had received my bowel testing kit, so I did that and sent it off. My bowel kit came back positive to traces of blood and my mammogram returned a positive result for early stage breast cancer. Well I melted onto the floor and realised that it was all out of my control and felt my life and business was finished at 53.
I went through the anger and the grief and the fear before realising I needed to stay in the present. I needed to understand that I was OK TODAY, I needed to LIVE TODAY. I needed to LIVE IN THE SOLUTION and NOT THE PROBLEM! If I sat in the fear and allowed it to consume me I could not function. However when I lived in the day, made decisions just for today and had faith then I would get through this.
My colonoscopy showed up polyps which were removed before they became a problem. My pain in my armpit and breast was not related to my breast cancer, but the pain was the catalyst for its early discovery. The very early detection has meant a lumpectomy but no radiation at this stage and no chemo and I am now happy, healthy and well. Not all breast cancer is related to a lump as I had no lump at all.
Last September I was flat out making Christmas stock for markets that never eventuated. Earlier this year I was selling my car, buying a van and going to Tasmania for the birth of my granddaughter and a holiday. None of this happened and it’s all ok because that is life and we need to accept and deal with what is put in front of us and is out of our control, we can only do the best we can just for today. I am not a religious person; I consider myself a spiritual person who believes in a creator whom I choose to call God. During my recovery from breast surgery I was watching a movie and I heard a woman speak and she said….God is not there to make our lives perfect, God is there to give us the strength to get through when it’s not. This resinated with me as I was given so much love and support from friends and family during this time that I wanted for nothing and was provided with everything I needed.
I urge each woman to get regular check-ups when it comes to your skin, bowel and breasts. It is so worth the effort to be in tune with your body and on top of your health. Do not listen to those voices in your head that say ‘it’s nothing’ or ‘I haven’t got time’. Make the time because you are worth it!
Today I am a woman who is very grateful for the early detection equipment and medical staff which is available to us in this amazing country. Please take advantage of it and stay well and healthy.
Bird and Earth