The Importance Of Headspace 

I’ve been finding it very hard to relax over the last few weeks, I seem to be getting more anxious about my treatment as time goes on. Perhaps it’s because the festive season is fast approaching and In previous years I’ve be very unwell around Christmas time. I think it has a lot to do with not knowing how long the treatment will work for, yet again I feel as though I’m living my life in three month cycles, uncertain as to what might lie ahead of me in 2017. I’m also due another PET CT scan at the end of January, which I know will come around quickly.

I worry a lot about the future and the ‘What If’ scenarios, despite knowing that my circumstances are completely out of my control. I wake up from sleeping on a nightly basis, I do my best to focus on work and social activities during the day, so it all seems to come to a head late at night. I worry about bad things happening to my family and friends, which is also irrational, but unsurprising considering the bad luck I’ve had over the past few years.

A few months ago, when I began recieving Pembrolizumab I wrote my will. I’m the sort of person who likes to be in total control so felt like I neeed to write a few things down which would make the whole process easier. I used the discounted will writing service through Macmillan which was really useful. I have very little in terms of assests, but it gave me peace of mind knowing I’d done my bit. At the moment I haven’t given any instructions about my funeral because I don’t want to think about it yet, I’m also not sure what I’d want for my own farewell, is anyone ever sure?  I keep telling myself that despite being only 29 years old it’s a sensible move and realistically everyone should make one. I think since then my situation has really hit home.

I’ve been trying to find ways to relaxing and I’ve been using the Headspace app over the past couple of weeks. I received a subscription when I signed up with Trekstock back in September. There are so many options on the app, they’ve recently added a new 30 session pack for cancer which I’m going to try out, as well as reading before I go to sleep. Usually, I end up spending the last 30 minutes before I go to bed looking at my phone and shopping for things I don’t need online. It’s really important that I make sure I get some headspace and down time so I don’t drive myself crazy overthinking everything and worry about every little ache and pain, so I need to make some adjustments to my routine.

I know I’m strong, I have to be in this game, but daily life is also totally exhausting, its relentless and can be really hard work. I’m very lucky that I’m responding to Pembrolizumab, but it’s more the fear of not knowing what the future holds. Currently there isn’t another treatment I can have on the NHS, so I’m fearful of what happens if the drugs stop working. I don’t know in that’ll be tomorrow or in 5 years. With everything feeling uncertain I’m putting on a brave face 24/7 and it sometimes becomes too much to deal with. Hoping some new relaxation techniques will make me feel better.

10 thoughts on “The Importance Of Headspace 

  1. Hi Jo great blog, I can relate to 99% of it, don’t be too hard on yourself you have a lot to deal with, I totally get the worry about the drugs not working anymore and the living in three month cycles scan to scan, it’s impossibly to be optimistic all the time, you need to work through all your feelings and it’s damn hard. I think the end of the year is particularly difficult for Melanoma patients and Cancer patients in general of course it makes you think of the whole year ahead and will we still be here at the end of it, we can’t go into it with the same head-space as people without cancer. Buy yourself something frivolous on line and have a good xmas what’s in store for 2017 we cannot control any more than anyone we are all living in flux just we are more aware of that than others!!

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  2. Hi Jolene, we’ve never met but I’m Amy Gibson’s step sister and have heard lots about you over the years. This blog is very honest and brave – thanks for sharing your story in such a frank way. Your perspective on life certainly makes me consider my own, and I’m sure you will be helping other young women out there by taking the time to write your feelings and stories down. Keep it up – you’re an inspiration.

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  3. I’ve been following your blog for awhile Jo, and I’m really glad you’re keeping it. Channelling so much into your writing is genuinely a powerful act and one which creates a lot of positivity in its own way. The Headspace app sounds interesting – I use http://www.mynoise.net a lot in the evenings to create relaxing soundscapes – I find that helps to clear my own head and now I can’t sleep without it (much to the confusion of my cat who keeps jumping up to the window to see whether it’s raining). Looking forward to reading more, wishing you a fantastic 2017 and it’s a shame I don’t have you sitting across from me at work any more!

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    • Hi Joe,

      Hope all is good with you, thanks so much for reading, really appreciate it! I’ll have to check out the website you mentioned! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I will keep updating!

      Jo xx

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