As cancer thrivers or survivors we are often described as warriors, but it is seldom that we really think of ourselves that way. Today’s post is by Happy Magazine Reader, Claire Shearer.
I am a wellness warrior, I even have a tee shirt which I wear to a ‘yoga for cancer’ class that states I am a cancer warrior. Am I really a warrior though?
I looked up various definitions of a warrior:
In former times it meant being brave, a fighter – going through a cancer diagnosis and treatments definitely meant I had to be brave and fight against the debilitating side effects.
In yoga, a warrior pose is meant to leave you feeling centred and strong – having numb feet, I often wobble too much to feel centred but the sense of camaraderie I get from being with these amazing ladies does make me feel stronger.
An urban definition means being down to earth, having a soft centre and being befriended – I have learnt what true friendship is, being there in sickness and dark times. My friends are amazing people, a phone call or funny WhatsApp message, giving me bulbs to plant that flower at the end of chemo, creams perfect for radiated skin, boxes of little gifts, a lovely blanket to snuggle in, cashmere socks to warm cold toes, a slice of cake arriving in the post, a box of marshmallows printed with faces of work colleagues, little reminders I wasn’t being forgotten. Some friends have fallen away but I understand how hard it is to know what to say or do.
Another definition was a person who beyond all obstacles still manages to be successful. This last sentence I think sums up our type of warrior – no matter what cancer, treatment and side effects are thrown at us, we persevere in or even to the end.
I emailed Holly last year about giving something back after being helped so much by receiving a daily fix of goodness from her Happy Magazine. I found her by chance but pass on her details to anyone interested. The positivity I get from Holly and Happy Magazine is like being wrapped in a feather duvet in those too quiet, scary and lonely times when fear is desperate to take hold. I am not sure if I am meant to have enjoyed writing as much as I have but I can feel my brain cells, if not quite firing on all cylinders, definitely sparking!
Have I rambled on – most probably, but do I feel like a warrior – yes.
2017 was my year of diagnosis and so many tests, also the start of my treatment for breast cancer. 2018 was continuing treatment and setbacks, and learning to cope with debilitating side effects. Now 2019 is my time to take back control, to learn acceptance, maybe not shouting from the rooftops yet but wearing my tee shirt and smiling, because by every definition, I am a wellness warrior.
Thank you so much to Claire for sharing this with us.