2015: my year of living optimistically…

I’ve made a decision!  This is to be my Year of Living Optimistically.  Not that I’m a pessimistic person, but I don’t feel I’ve had much to feel that optimistic about in recent years.  Those of you who know the history of my recent past will know why, and perhaps I’ll get to writing about it here, over time.  And then, on top of that ‘recent past’ (2011 to 2013), this week, a year ago, I found a lump in my left breast.

I was in the shower, and knew immediately something was not right.  I made an appointment to see my GP the following week.  However, three days after finding the lump, my lovely, gentle Dad died.  Inexpressably sad, but at the same time a huge relief washed over me at the thought that he and Mum would be reunited in death – Dad was so lost without her by his side.

Then followed a two or three week hiatus while I joined my sister and family in SA to attend to Dad’s affairs and then back to London and a new appointment with the GP.  Fast forward through April and May, countless visits to doctor, specialist, mammograms, ultrasounds, and, in the midst of the seemingly endless diagnostic process, an appendix that blew up for no good reason and had to be removed.  Mid June, the 16th, to be precise, and I heard the words I really hoped I’d not hear from my consultant: “You have cancer”.  My reaction – a blank stare and a voice in my head going: “really?… I mean, REALLY?”  And then, very quickly, the strong independent woman in me kicked in and I went into pragmatic mode.

Face reality, listen to the experts, put your trust in them, make your own informed decisions, move forward.  That’s how I handled things.  I simply did not allow myself to dwell on questions of “why me?”, or “what if…?”. I set about living through surgery and then six months of treatment with a one-day-at-a-time mantra in my mind and heart.  It worked.  For the first time in years, I was actually living in the present, consistently, every day.  On the bad days, I acknowledged them for just that, and simply went with it, reciting my Dad’s mantra of “go with the flow” and inevitably, the next day was just that little bit better.  On the good days, I used my energy well to look after myself in the best possible way.

And here I am, a year on from finding the offending lump, and tomorrow, it’s a year since Dad died.  Yes, it’s sad and poignant and all that.  But I am feeling so alive to the possibilities that lie ahead. Life is good.  I’m in a good place.  I’m going to be okay.  I am okay.

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10 thoughts on “2015: my year of living optimistically…

  1. Zsa Zsa you are an incredible lady and inspirational, you have throughout you treatment taken each step with that typical Zsa Zsa positivity. May 2015 bring you all that you dream of and so deserve. Xx

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  2. Dear ZsaZsa, it is time to stop hiding your light under a bushel. I’m inspired by your blog to live my life in the present and go boldly into the unknown and face the things that scare the hell out of me head on. Your words resonate with me. Thank you for sharing your experience and thank you for giving me a push in the right direction.
    All my love
    Gillian

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  3. Zsa Zsa … you write beautifully! I am so looking forward to reading more of your posts. From what I’ve perused so far, I think we have lots in common … 🙂 Huge hugs to you, Annabel xo

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  4. Thank you for sharing Zsa Zsa. Reminds me of “Tuesdays with Morrie”. Keep sharing because your words help others stay motivated and positive. I’m sorry i didn’t know that you were going through all this a year ago… I suppose we are all busy with our ‘busy’ lives and forget to stop and breathe..I’d love to continue reading your blog. Take care, God bless xx

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    • Linda, thank you so much for reading my blog and for your kind comments. I deliberately did not publicise my diagnosis on Facebook as I wanted to just get through treatment while maintaining as normal a life as possible. And I did not want to ever come across as a victim. Now that I’m through the worst, it feels right to be reflecting and sharing my retrospective views of a difficult time. Lots of love, ~ZZx

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