SOMETIMES THE MOST PRODUCTIVE THING WE CAN DO IS REST

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Sometimes the most productive thing we can do is rest.  I cringe just writing those words.  Everything with in my being is  saying , NO! Delete that shit and get to work.  Why? Because today I am exhausted but I also have a lot of things that I want to do. ​ Regardless, I will not delete those words b ecause , I know that they are true. My mind still argues: "But there is an art show to prep for, the gardens need to be planted, there is a break in the rain so you should go for a walk or a bike ride, you need to start packing for your new adventure..."  My mind will just keep going and going so I'll stop boring you with its ramblings here. If you are anything like me, rest is hard.  If you do not suffer with the inability easily rest, I admire, and also kind of envy you. For me, my struggle with resting is multifaceted but stems from such things as my innate desire to alway...
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HOW TO MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY SURVIVE A PANDEMIC: 10 STRATEGIES TO COPE WITH THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF COVID-19

HOW TO MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY SURVIVE A PANDEMIC: 10 STRATEGIES TO COPE WITH THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF COVID-19
Pandemic life is tough, let's just be real about that. Independent of age, occupation, level of health, or financial status, we have all, to some degree,   experienced the mental and psychological effects of Covid-19.  For most of us, quarantines, lockdowns and restrictions have completely flipped our lives upside down. Our plans are continually being modified or halted all together and our access to family, friends, money, healthcare and other resources have become limited or temporarily non-existent. Uncertainty and fear is at an all time high and loneliness is quickly becoming an epidemic all of its own. With all of this being our current reality, it is no wonder that mental health during covid-19 has been rocky for most.  But, there is hope! While there are many things that we may be powerless to change at this time, we are far from helpless. Our minds may want to tell us otherw...
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I DON'T CARE IF NOBODY EVER READS THIS: A BLOG ABOUT GOALS

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There are 33 weeks and 3 days left until the end of 2021. I know that because I asked Google.  Why did I ask Google this question? Well, to answer that, we must take a step back in time.  During the first week of 2021 I created a list of goals for myself for this year. Goals that I developed after much reflection on where I was in my life and where I want to be in the future. Goals that would serve as both motivators and stepping stones to help me achieve what my heart desired. Goals that were written while still maintaining gratitude and appreciation for my current status in life because I believe it's important to always acknowledge how far we've come. As I was creating my list, I decided to choose goals over resolutions because goals are flexible, re-workable and do not have finite boundaries. They can (and in my opinion should) be reflected upon frequently and changed or modified during t...
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Jessi
Hi Cris, Thank you for your response I am so glad you are able to relate to my experience of the pandemic and creative blocks. Al... Read More
Thursday, 27 May 2021 14:30
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HOW TO UNDERSTAND AND WORK THROUGH FEELINGS OF FEAR, SELF DOUBT AND UNWORTHINESS. A PERSONAL REFLECTION.

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It's just one of " those days." I woke up with a knot in my stomach and a tightness in my chest. My brain is scattered and fear underlies every thought that I have. My muscles are tense and my irritation level is at an all time high. I try to do things that make myself feel productive, but I feel stuck, frozen in the anxious cycle of thoughts swirling inside of my head. Fuck. As usual when I feel this way, my first thought goes to some sort of mood altering substance. "A double shot of gin or an anti anxiety med (or both) will fix this in no time" says my mind. But, I know that those are just temporary fixes and that after the booze and/or benzodiazepine wears off, I will be right back where I started. Only I'll be slightly worse off because I'll have achieved nothing but the suppression of my feelings and added a feeling of guilt to the mix. Also fuck. Knowing that my first line of defence will not actually help me in the long run, I wrap myself in the coziest blanket I can find, sit ...
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THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF A POST CANCER CHECK UP AND HOW I FOUND SELF EMPOWERMENT IN THE FACE OF THE UNKNOWN

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This is photo of me, eight months post bowel resection surgery, about to get a colonoscopy to check for the possible return of cancer.  Gulp. Although I was somewhat joking around when I took this photo, it did accurately represent a portion of my feelings at the time. Less so feelings about having a scope shoved up my ass and into my colon (the Fentanyl makes that a breeze), but more about what may or may not be found once we had a visual of my insides. Due to the worldwide Covid 19 pandemic, my original check up appointment had been cancelled leaving me feeling a bit uneasy and wondering about my internal state of health.  "Did the cancer return or not?"  This was my big question. Although I always try to remain on the positive side, the fear of cancer returning (I'm learning), is a normal experience for any cancer survivor.   My fear was exacerbated in part by the ...
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Jessi
Aww, thanks Barb. Your words mean a lot
Tuesday, 16 June 2020 01:41
Jessi
Thank you so much friend, for everything!
Tuesday, 16 June 2020 01:42
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HAPPY CANCERVERSARY TO ME!

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HAPPY CANCERVERSARY TO ME! Yep, that's right! One year ago today, I was given a cancer diagnosis and my life changed forever. Some people celebrate their cancerversary on their cancer free anniversary, but, a good friend of mine celebrates hers on her diagnosis anniversary and that resonated with me. So, today's the day! Sort of like a celebration of the day I got a kick in the ass to make some necessary changes to my life. It's resulted in quite the year… On this day in 2019, "You have cancer" was the last thing I wanted to hear come from the mouth of my proctologist. A slew of colon cancer symptoms had led me to request a colonoscopy at my young-to-be-diagnosed age of 34, but, that still didn't prepare me to hear the words that would turn my suspicions into my conscious reality. Intermixed, however, with the shock, fear and disbelief I felt, was a deep knowing that cancer was happening for me and not to me. While having a diagnosis of cancer was absolutely terrifying; as were th...
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IT'S NORMAL TO FEEL THIS WAY

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Feelings. Oh, feelings...  It's that time of year again when most of us seem to feel a lot of them.  Since receiving a clean bill of health back in October, I have been experiencing a whirlwind of feelings and emotions. At times, I've felt nothing but pure bliss and elation. At other times, feelings of sadness, confusion and despair have consumed me. I've processed and am still processing a lot of stuff! Through the experience of being diagnosed with and overcoming cancer, I was gifted the opportunity to become aware of some self sabotaging patterns and behaviours that I had previously been engaging in. Endurism (apparently this is not a real word??), excessive productivity, and avoiding my feelings by various means to name a few...  The issue is, that these patterns of behaviour are all I have known for years... " Uncomfortable feelings to deal with? No problem, I'll...
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IT IS ONLY WHEN WE EMBRACE THE DARKNESS THAT WE FIND THE LIGHT

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Well, it's been over a month since my last blog post and I am happy to say that my incision is all healed up and I am feeling strong and healthy. In the time since my last post, I did a lot of reflecting, connecting with friends and working away at plans for what I want this website to become.  ​Today has been one of those yuck days where I feel very self conscious and unsure of myself. This past week I've been working on setting up an instagram account for my blog (@discovering.whats.possible) where I will be sharing my journey with "the world" rather than mostly just friends and family like on my personal account.   *Nerves* but also *Excitement* Part of building this website means promoting it and gathering more followers and although that's what I want, that is also the part that gives me waves of uncertainty that sometimes a restless and anxiety filled sleep. I have written stories about farting and pooping after all...
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THE RESULTS

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Well, here's the news… I got the pathology results back from the section of bowel and surrounding tissue that was removed during surgery, and NONE of the 20 lymph nodes OR blood vessels tested positive for cancer. Whoot! The type of cancer that was present in my bowel was adenocarcinoma, poorly differentiated, which means it was an aggressive form of the disease. But, as far as everyone can tell, it looks it was all removed and that I am in the clear! I am being sent to the Cancer Clinic for a second opinion but it looks like no further treatments are likely to be required. So, other than yearly checkups, I should be good. I've been trying to type those words out for over a week now but nothing would come out. Just a blank face staring at a blank screen. I am SUPER happy that I am cancer free and no longer have to deal with the stress associated with a serious illness. At the same time though, I am finding myself in a really weird state. Almost like a sort of shock. Now that the i...
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Jessi
Thank you so much Karin for all you and Lew do. I have the upmost respect for the dedication you two have to helping others heal. ... Read More
Wednesday, 06 November 2019 15:41
Jessi
Love you back!! Thank you for all your support and guidance especially through my temper tantrums lol xo
Wednesday, 06 November 2019 15:35
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THE SURGERY

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Well folks, I am home from my 7 day stay at the hospital and on the mend from my bowel resection surgery. Ten centimetres of my large intestine and the surrounding lymph nodes has been removed and sent away for pathology, and aside from being tired and unable to fully use my abdominals, I am feeling nearly back to my regular self already. The only outward evidence of surgery that remains are the 13 staples in my abdomen and some bruising from the needles.  Going in to the surgery I was ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED, but more of the recovery than of the actual surgery itself... I trusted I was in good hands. The night and morning pre-surgery, I wound up taking anti-anxiety medication (which I HATE doing because it messes with my memory) because without it I was near positive hospital staff would have been chasing me through the town in a Johnny shirt. All the fear within me was telling me to bolt. Somehow though, I m...
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TEARS, FEAR OF THE GREAT UNKNOWN & MORE BIG DECISIONS

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The past few weeks have been a bit of a transition. I moved out of the friends house I was staying at and took up residence in another good friends "couchsurfers room" while I digested my life and made some decisions around how to move forward. Throughout this process I went through some BIG emotional ups and downs, learned a lot of things, and took a lot of time to nurture myself and reflect (my journal is filling up fast!). The result of my second CT scan (the one where I thought I would be able to see if the tumor had grown or shrunk) was quite confusing. The initial report said absolutely nothing about the tumor or its size at all. I thought perhaps this meant that the cancer was gone but medical staff assured me that no, I definitely still had cancer. Confused, I requested a more detailed report of the scan. It took three weeks and multiple phone calls for that information to get to me and the results were, unfortunately, no more helpful. A CT scan, as it turns out, cannot di...
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Oh Woe Is Me

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Welcome to my pity party! Because, well… it's just one of those days. To be honest, I've been having a bit of a struggle lately… there's something in my subconscious calling for attention to be healed and whatever it is, it is  DAMN UNCOMFORTABLE . I know there is something needing to be healed because lately I've been noticing my brain searching in an auto pilot type fashion for substances to take me outside of myself. I feel like I could punch someone in the face for a coffee and couple of strongbow with a plate of bacon, BBQ pork chops, a Wonderbar and a family sized bag of dill pickle chips right now. Oh buddy… what I wouldn't give.. Back in early May when I got my cancer diagnosis, I made many large changes to my life. For multiple health reasons (that I won't get into now), I decided to go on an anti-inflammatory, low-ish carb, keto-ish, gluten and preservative-free diet. Yup, I'm one of those annoying people right now. I immediately cut out sugar (w...
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The Next Steps

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It's a beautiful warm Nova Scotia morning. A fine fog creates a barrier between the sun and the land preventing the air from being unbearably hot and creating the perfect mosquito free temperature for writing outside. This is good because today I NEED to write. I am in a weird sort of limbo state. I am waiting for the results of my CT scan to see how the work I did in Hawaii affected my tumor. Lots of "what's" are going through my head. What will I do if the tumor is gone? What will I do if the tumor is still there but hasn't grown? What will I do if the tumor is still there but is smaller? What will I do if the tumor has gotten bigger? What are the lessons in all of this? What do I need to do to move forward?  Adjusting to life back home has been well… interesting. The first few days were great, I allowed myself to have no 'to-do's' and went camping in a semi secluded location at the edge of a local lake with a friend. I took lots of time to rest, re...
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Washing It All Away at Akaka Falls

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I'll be honest, I'd been really struggling with treatment this past week. There was so much going on and so many mental and physical changes I can't even begin to condense it all into a blog post. To simplify, I will say that my healing really involves a COMPLETE and utter breaking down and changing of my thought processes and the way I live my life. Through all of this MASSIVE AMOUNTS of mental and physical sludge is erupting from my being causing me to empty box after box of snot rags and to quite literally physically feel like five pounds of shit stuffed into a four pound bag. During the yucky parts I have experienced unbelievably intense bouts of home sickness and would give almost anything for snuggles with my fluffy feline, Sir Prince Charles Radar (Charlie Ray). I do know however, that this is all part of the healing process and I am grateful for the experience. The only way out after all is through and my frig, is the through ever dark and mucky sometimes. I was so damn stuck i...
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Ho'oponopono at Lapakahi State Historical Park

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Well, talk about instant transformations... Ho'oponopono is where it's at! This was a day of beauty and forgiveness. On the morning of the Summer Solstice (June 21st, 2019) Lew, co-owner of Kokolulu Farm & Cancer Retreat taught myself and the interns (Courtney and Anna) about the Ho'oponopono, an ancient traditional healing method that has been used on the Hawaiian Islands for generations. This was not the first time I had heard of Ho'oponopono but I had never been taught its meaning and use in depth before. So what is Ho'oponopono? Essentially it is a method of forgiveness, reconciliation and a way to let go of resentment towards another person that is achieved by using the mantra: "Dear X (persons name), I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you." It is defined in the Hawiian dictionary as a "mental cleansing" or to "put to rights" and is said to release memories that show up as problems in our every day life. So why the heck would you apologize, ask...
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Adjusting

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Well, I did it. I took my first journey outside of Canada and somehow managed to navigate Toronto Pearson International Airport, Customs and LAX Airport solo without a massive anxiety meltdown. I did shed lots and lots of tears though, but not tears of sadness. These tears were tears of awe. Awe that I actually found the "balls" to follow my gut and do something like this. Awe that I allowed myself to be vulnerable enough to ask for help in the form of both moral and financial support from my community to get me on this healing pilgrimage (an absolutely gut wrenching experience in vulnerability). Awe over the amount of love and support I received; and awe that I was finally en route to the place the Universe had been calling me to go to for MONTHS. It didn't take long after arriving for me to realize just  why I was being called to Hawaii. The energy here is POWERFUL, the culture is very chill and ...
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Big Decisions

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​For the few weeks post my diagnosis of colon cancer I took a lot of time to rest, do things that brought me joy, focus on a new diet and figure out how I wanted to proceed forward. Although I was in shock, I felt right from the get go like surgery was not the right first option for me. I have been fascinated with metaphysical anatomy and extensively researching medically documented cases of people curing their own ailments since I discovered Anita Moorjani's book "Dying to be me" in 2012. I also became fascinated with the science of biology of belief which focuses on how our thoughts create our reality as taught by American Biologist Bruce Lipton and others. Through my continued and in depth research over the years I came to believe strongly in the ability of the body to heal itself given the right diet and mindset. Since this time I've always thought to myself that if I ...
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"you have cancer. it sucks"

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May 3rd, 2019 - I was at a followup appointment regarding a biopsy of a polyp that was found in my colon during a recent colonoscopy. I brought my friend Jonathan for a second set of ears as well as support. I had been shitting blood for months. I don't even know how many months... this past 2 years have been a blur of stress and anxiety and inability to cope. I sat down in the proctologists office and was told "You have cancer. It sucks." I was pretty sure I had cancer but I wasn't mentally prepared to be told that; although I appreciated the proctologists realism in her words. Fuck... who the hell wants to have cancer? Like, are you fucking kidding me? Everything got kind of fuzzy after that and I only caught bits and pieces of what she told me. All I remember hearing was that it was uncommon at my age of 34, they already had appointments booked for me to find out if its spread, something about surgery, incisions in my abdomen, cutting my intestines in two, possibility of compli...
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Jessi
Thank you Paula
Tuesday, 25 June 2019 06:48
Jessi
Thank you Robin
Tuesday, 25 June 2019 06:47
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The colonoscopy

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April 11th, 2019 - The day my arse got invaded by a robot.   This whole journey began back in the summer of 2018 with red blood in my crap, copious amounts of it. Initially I wasn't overly worried because I was still recovering from the WORST case of hemorrhoids I had ever experienced. Using the washroom was quite literally excruciating .  After several months of using prescription  cream however, the hemorrhoids did heal but the blood continued and I began to notice blobs of mucous as well. I googled my symptoms and the interwebs told me I had cancer. "Jesus christ man, what??? No... that's just fear, I'm sure if you google any symptoms you have, cancer would be on the list of possibilities" I told myself, but I had a sinking feeling in my gut. I made an appointment with my doctor, told her about my symptoms and asked for a colonoscopy to see what was going on with my insidey parts . An appointment was made for me at the Hospital. I was NOT ...
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The cancer chronicles

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Well this is it, I am FINALLY starting the blog I have been wanting to write for YEARS. It is however, FAR FAR from how I originally envisioned starting things. My original plan for this website was to fill it with blogs about my life experiences of growing and preserving my own food, outdoor adventures, trying new things, and overcoming obstacles. I did NOT envision it starting out with my diagnosis of cancer and stories of my colon. But, life likes to throw little (sometimes big) curve balls and to be honest, if it wasn't for my recent diagnosis of cancer, I probably would have continued to push this website off for another 5 more years. This is, however; just the beginning and in time I do plan on filling this website with all kinds of interesting stories of discovering what's possible in many different avenues of life.  For now though I invite you to follow me on my journey from a diagnosis of cancer to full health because yes, you just read it, that's...
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Jessi
Thank you Terrilynn!
Tuesday, 25 June 2019 06:49
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