Clare Reed CBT Therapist
Three Years in Remission
Updated: Dec 23, 2021
I was reminding myself the other day when talking to a client that I am indeed 3 years on from any sign of cancer tumours in my body. This is quite an achievement. I have chosen to record this here to provide a glimmer of inspiration to you, especially if you have been diagnosed with stage 4.
Now, I know it’s only just over halfway towards the magic five year in remission marker, when the stats with TNBC will return to my favour. But, it is still a big win and milestone to reach.
Life has changed greatly since I exited the hospital in January 2019, after my brain operation. Apart from around the twenty or so, post cancer prescribed, appointment check-ups, scans of all descriptions, blood work, and other tests I attend through the year, I have been getting on with my life.
After my operation I had to relearn how to speak, how to write again, how to dance in time to music and lots of other rehabilitation co-ordination exercises, that improved my sense of self. Four months later, I was back to work as a CBT therapist. My speech was greatly improved by speaking to more people, other than my partner, during the weeks that followed.
In the summer of 2019, I set about recording an online Interview Coaching course for Udemy, which took an incredible amount of mental stamina, focus and determination. Even with a great autocue app on my phone, I recorded and rerecorded, sometimes ten times, to ensure I was fully articulating and annunciating my words and not stammering. This really helped improve my speech too.
I went on a lovely long two-week holiday to reward myself, after completing filming the course, to the coast in France, where I cycled and swam every day.
My stamina and energy slowly increased, enabling me to work with a few clients every day, by the end of that first year.
In January 2020, we moved to a new city I had always wanted experience, with the aim of exploring it over three months. I bought a bicycle, I joined a jive dance club for twice weekly lessons, where I challenged myself to learn the lead steps, as I already knew the follower steps. This really improved my timing and co-ordination. Unfortunately, Covid shut that plan down, swiftly after just eight weeks, and we moved back to the countryside.
Back home, I set up a big vegetable garden, and planted lots of different vegetables to see us through lockdown. It was a great distraction from Covid and our plan of moving to a more rural area in 2016 has really paid off for us during Covid. I walked 90 minutes up and down, our quiet isolated hillside lane, every single day during lock downs different stages. Taking in the changes of the seasons and foraging things to eat, pickle and preserve.
I set about eating out more regularly in the summer, once lockdown restrictions had eased. It was good not to cook for once!
I took myself off on another beach holiday, where I swam in the sea every day at 7am for a whole week, even during the rain.
Every day, I meditate for 15 minutes and listen to various sound frequencies. I really notice an uplift in mood from doing this, as part of my everyday routine. I also listen to singing bowls chakra balancing, every week, for 70 minutes, as this definitely helps with feeling more balanced.
This year, 2021, I got married to my life partner of 18 years, with only two witnesses present. We decided not to wait and of course it’s just for tax purposes really. But, we were chancing our arms during treatment and operations, as we told everyone we were married, so he could be by my side every step that was necessary.
We went on honeymoon for two weeks, back to the coast, which I am starting to contemplate moving to this winter, covid permitting!
I hope you see that I haven’t stopped living and am always planning the next exciting thing to do and see.
That is the most important thing, never stop life just because you a cancer patient. It is very easy to do the opposite, and let fear and nerves take over but, really, what is the point.
I just finished reading a great memoir, by Dame Stephanie Shirley, called ‘Let it Go’. She escaped Nazi Germany at the start of the second world war, as a small child and was fostered, along with hundreds of other children, by kind people in the UK. She went on to become a technology entrepreneur and made a fortune in software, both for herself and her employees, at a time when men dominated the industry. She had nerves of steel. I recommend her book, as it is a very good, and highly motivational, read!
But, it was the last sentence in her book that really hit home. She said,
‘We waste too much time being afraid, when what we should really fear is wasting time.’
So, grab life by the horns! Put some plans in place to look forward to and don’t wait.
If you are struggling to find your feet after treatment ends I love helping people get back to their lives with a spring in their step. Please don’t hesitate to book in for a free 20min pre-therapy call to see how I can help you get back in charge of your life.