Time to Reflect – Cancerversary And a Year of Covid

I think the fact we entered the first lockdown a year ago this week has prompted many people to take time to reflect. Who could have predicted what was ahead and that we would still be in yet another lockdown a year later?

For me, this time of the year also marks another ‘anniversary’. I mentioned in an earlier post that I couldn’t remember the date when I found out I had womb cancer. I believe I now have the date, thanks to my sister.

She flew over a few days after my diagnosis and recollects booking the flights on the day I found out. So based on that, I got my diagnosis on the 21st March 2019. It’s no wonder I only have blurred memories of those days as everything happened so quickly. By the 29th, I already had the surgery to remove my womb and the tumour.

Cancer gave me scars and time to reflect
Cancer gave me scars and time to reflect

My cancer diagnosis was a catalyst for change

I was listening to a free meditation by Deepak Chopra this morning, and something he said really resonated with me.

He talked about how our perceptions colour how we see things. How one person might wallow in self-pity after unwelcome medical news while another will use it as an opportunity to become a better version of themselves.

Of course, there were moments when I felt sorry for myself. However, those have been far outweighed by the sense that cancer happened for a reason. It happened so that I would change my life and habits.

Looking back now, I’m definitely a much better version of myself than I was before cancer. I no longer take my body and health for granted and take time to look after myself. And that includes looking after the mental side of things as well as physical.

Running, cycling and more recently being back on Callanetics take care of the physical side. Yoga is great for both mental and physical wellbeing, and I top up the mental side with meditation. Eating and sleeping better are good for both mental and physical health, too.

Cancer gave me time to reflect

It’s surreal to look back on pictures like this, especially with one eye with makeup, the other without 😂

If you are a regular reader, apologies for repeating myself. I just want to mention for the benefit of new readers that I had seven months off work when I had my cancer treatments. I had the hysterectomy first, then six three-weekly chemotherapy sessions and then five weeks of radiotherapy followed by a few weeks to recover from it all before returning to work.

Seven months is a long time to reflect on life and what you want from it. My biggest realisation was that I couldn’t postpone my writing dream any longer. It is something I have always wanted to do, and for too long I let life get in the way. It is so easy to push what you really want to do onto the backseat when you have to pay rent and bills, maybe bring up a couple of children, too.

In those seven months, I rediscovered my love for writing and realised I could not let it go again. I don’t want to have anything to regret when my time finally comes. Not taking a chance on becoming a writer would definitely be something I would regret.

Moving on to Covid…

Bloody hell, has it really been a year?

Another confession time. I was happy when I could get out of the classroom again. I had only been back working four days a week since the beginning of January when schools closed. But it was long enough to realise I didn’t want to get sucked into the world of full-time teaching again.

A little digression… I still enjoy the teaching itself, but the rest of it is bullshit. There is so much paperwork, so many targets, so many lesson observations that it takes the joy out of teaching. It’s not surprising why so many teachers are leaving the profession. It’s sad, because so many amazing teachers I know have left or are thinking of leaving. Digression over 😁.

Covent Garden in lockdown

I don’t think I’m alone when I say I was happy when the lockdown happened. Or feeling guilty because I felt happy I didn’t have to go to work while the NHS workers were facing their toughest challenge in decades and while people were dying. Or feeling like it was an extra holiday especially as the weather was stunning when the lockdown began.

But it gave us time to reflect

Seriously, when we went into lockdown and the weather was so gorgeous, we spent the days on the balcony, drinking and listening to music. It was like Ibiza without the sand and the sea and the crowds.

And we talked. A lot. About where we’re at, where we want to be and traveling. Those days saw the birth of a crazy but inspired idea to raise money and awareness by cycling across Europe. Lockdown times have also spawned another idea, but that I can’t reveal yet. You just have to stay tuned to find out more 😉.

The last year has also confirmed that I can’t let go of my passion for writing. I have been getting my stories out there and getting some great feedback. I have even begun to make money from it. Not enough to quit teaching for good yet, but that time will come.

Time to reflect on writing and potential book covers
Potential book cover picture courtesy of my sister

My first book has been to the beta readers, and they all enjoyed it. But there are some final edits that I need to do based on their feedback before I sent the manuscript to agents. The next few months are going to see some exciting developments regarding the book.

What have you reflected on during these times? 

We’d love to hear how lockdown has been to you. Has it made you change things in your life? Perhaps it has given you the time to rediscover past pleasures or discover something completely new?

Share your experiences in the comments below 😊.

Thank you for being here and reading the post.


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3 thoughts on “Time to Reflect – Cancerversary And a Year of Covid

  1. It’s been incredible watching your journey and so inspiring seeing you finally decided to follow your dreams. About lockdown, it’s been tough, can’t deny it, but surely has been giving me time to think which direction I want to give to my life. Can’t wait to see your book published 🤗

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