As I have become more involved with From Me to You I have found myself writing more. Not just letters. I have taken up writing a journal again. For some years now I have been writing Morning Pages, which involves filling three sides of paper with words, stream of consciousness-style, first thing every day. "There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages," Cameron writes. (She introduced the practice in 1992, in The Artist's Way.) This means you can write about whatever's on your mind: worries, plans, rants and random thoughts.
When it comes to the how, there are rules.
My feelings are:
Morning Pages are private. I always destroy them after I have finished. Not because I've divulge lots of secrets, but because it's liberating to know I could and when I have I feel safe that they have disappeared so I can't dwell on them. Morning Pages create a private space which i find invaluable. In a way it is my way of writing away my woes if I have any. I always feel so liberated and more productive on the days that I have written my Morning Pages.
I can't believe that its been six months since my last post.
I have been busy getting another project www.frommetoyouletters.co.uk/ up and running.
When I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010, my friend Alison offered to write letters to cheer me up. Over the next two years, as my cancer moved from stage III to IV, Alison’s letters kept on coming. The letters became part of my recovery process, while Alison discovered a passion for writing she never knew existed. Four years on, I am still cancer free, Alison is an author, and we now have a relationship that only the term ‘best friends’ can describe. This has inspired us to set up a charity that inspires and encourages people to write to someone who has cancer.
Something as simple as receiving a letter can make the world of difference to a friend, family member or even someone you don't know suffering from cancer. All too often emotional support disappears as patients embark on surgery and treatment, as those close to them just don’t know what to say or how to communicate.
I have been amazed by the reception that this idea has attracted. We run workshops, speak at events and hold letter writing days. As a result I've been busy. But today I realised that I needed to remind myself to look after myself. It's even more important when I am busy to do this. Something that I think I'm doing but I must remind myself constantly the importance of doing this. So I re-engaged with my website and learnt quite a lot!
Last Friday I had my annual appointment with my consultant at the hospital where I had my initial surgery. It's strange to think that 6 years ago I was in hospital recovering from that surgery. Six years!
I have been immensely fortunate that I have been clear of cancer for the last 4 years.
Chatting to my consultant he said that they would continue to have a CT Scan every year for the next few years. Ordinarily he would discharge me from his clinic but because my cancer spread to my liver and lungs he thought it wise to monitor me for a while. I was so relieved to her this news.
Then he went onto say that given where I had been 4 years ago I had done amazingly well. This was unexpected so i asked him why? Because only 10% of people normally survive for the period of time that you have following your prognosis. I was astounded!
I vowed ages ago that I would pay no attention to statistics for survival as I believed that everyone is different and statistics are just too general. I have never compared my recovery or illness with anyone else. I am so relieved that I did not as imagine how the last 4 years would have been if I had known what my survival percentage was!
So never compare yourself to others as you are you and not that someone else! You have no idea what their life or journey is all about.
Hi I am Bryan, a fifty something man who over the last five years has been on a journey in transforming my diet and lifestyle after a surviving cancer three times. I have been free of cancer for the last two and a half years and I wanted to share things I have learned along the way.