'I already know about mindfulness, but I wasn’t doing any of it.' By Melanie Oneill

After a last minute, off the cuff, very eventful holiday in Miami seeing some of my wonderful family and meeting some lovely people, I partied hard for the first 5 days and relaxed and enjoyed my surroundings for the 5 days following. Then I came home and down to earth with an almighty bump. Realising every time, I begin a new phase in having treatment, I become extremely fearful, anxious, and tearful. My family need to tread lightly around me but since I’ve been on a fabulous holiday I returned with a calm and fearless demeanour. The arguments commenced, soon after our return.

Having watched the heartbreakingly sad episodes of Coronation Street about the reality of dying of cancer, I implanted the scenes in my brain that it was soon to be me. Gone was my positive attitude and the serenity overflow from my fantastic holiday only to be replaced with a belief my death was nearby, I didn’t want it to be a painful one as I envisioned. I went to a Psycho oncology appointment at The Christies on Monday where I spilled my emotions. I already know about mindfulness, but I wasn’t doing any of it. I was worrying so much about the future probably from watching TV episodes and the fear of embarking on yet another treatment without an anti-cancer drug to help destroy the cancer cells that I wasn’t fully living in the present moment like I was in Miami. Everyday whilst I was there, I breathed in the warm, fresh air and felt the sun’s rays bronzing my skin feeling so thankful I had this opportunity to be there. I was a 45 year old wife and mum of two being able to enjoy some time off revelling in a life of Mel and do exactly what I wanted even with cancer for a whopping ten days. I pinched myself daily thinking “who really gets to do this?” Being grateful for every moment, I had an amazing time!

Later that day I met up with my friends who I’ve been friends with for almost 20 years, and as I begun the conversation, I couldn’t help but cry at the way I was feeling at that moment. I cried and laughed and we talked about all our lives for a few hours over tea, offering advice when needed and sounding our opinions. From the tragic death of Kath’s horse to the inability to find the perfect outfit for Mandy’s son’s wedding, Colette saw that my problems all came from a lack of control as my life is controlled by cancer, the hospital appointments, my inability to work, and earn money. Cancer and hospital appointments get in the way. I often feel inadequate, yet I know I go above and beyond as a mum. Keeping busy and tidying constantly is my only form of control and I need to let go of that control and choose my battles in order to be more blissful.

I didn’t need any counselling. I need the support and advice from my long term, kind, caring, dear friends. I’ll have no time for work soon, as I’m hoping all my attention will be directed on getting my puppy. He will keep my mind from wandering and becoming rooted in that fearful place. My little Cockalierpoo who we’ve named Stanley already puts a smile on my face. I will put all my worrying thoughts in a box with the lid firmly shut and learn to accept the things I can’t control remembering my life is worth living. Follow Melanie on Instagram @sassy_ibcer

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