"Discovering" BLOG

In this blog I will be documenting my experiences of personal growth and struggle as well as experiences that have brought me both joy and sadness in a very raw and authentic way (expect swearing). I invite you to join me on my journey of discovering what’s possible and I hope to inspire you to do the same as we journey through my life experiences together.

THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF A POST CANCER CHECK UP AND HOW I FOUND SELF EMPOWERMENT IN THE FACE OF THE UNKNOWN

Screenshot_20200614-161557_Instagram
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 ...
Continue reading
  725 Hits
  4 Comments
Recent Comments
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
725 Hits
4 Comments

HAPPY CANCERVERSARY TO ME!

Photo-Happy-Birthday-Greeting-Instagram-Post
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...
Continue reading
  411 Hits
  0 Comments
411 Hits
0 Comments

IT'S NORMAL TO FEEL THIS WAY

20191229_103942-01
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...
Continue reading
  502 Hits
  0 Comments
502 Hits
0 Comments

IT IS ONLY WHEN WE EMBRACE THE DARKNESS THAT WE FIND THE LIGHT

IMG_20191101_205004_181
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...
Continue reading
  455 Hits
  1 Comment
455 Hits
1 Comment

THE RESULTS

IMG-20191016-WA0010
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...
Continue reading
  640 Hits
  8 Comments
Recent Comments
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
640 Hits
8 Comments

THE SURGERY

IMG_20190928_081434_52_20191008-023527_1
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...
Continue reading
  499 Hits
  0 Comments
499 Hits
0 Comments

TEARS, FEAR OF THE GREAT UNKNOWN & MORE BIG DECISIONS

IMG_20190919_224010_83_20190921-235938_1
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...
Continue reading
  592 Hits
  5 Comments
592 Hits
5 Comments

Oh Woe Is Me

QuotePhoto8c557b40
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...
Continue reading
  538 Hits
  3 Comments
538 Hits
3 Comments

The Next Steps

IMG-20190728-WA0003
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...
Continue reading
  1405 Hits
  5 Comments
1405 Hits
5 Comments

Washing It All Away at Akaka Falls

IMG_20190703_124232_027
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...
Continue reading
  522 Hits
  1 Comment
522 Hits
1 Comment

Ho'oponopono at Lapakahi State Historical Park

IMG_20190629_133112_394
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...
Continue reading
  581 Hits
  0 Comments
581 Hits
0 Comments

Adjusting

20190622_135351
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 ...
Continue reading
  601 Hits
  5 Comments
601 Hits
5 Comments

Big Decisions

10550049_10152145877326433_4483330950193097962_o
​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 ...
Continue reading
  999 Hits
  1 Comment
999 Hits
1 Comment

"you have cancer. it sucks"

fullsizeoutput_ecc
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...
Continue reading
  868 Hits
  4 Comments
Recent Comments
Jessi
Thank you Paula
Tuesday, 25 June 2019 06:48
Jessi
Thank you Robin
Tuesday, 25 June 2019 06:47
868 Hits
4 Comments

The colonoscopy

fullsizeoutput_ec7
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 ...
Continue reading
  851 Hits
  0 Comments
851 Hits
0 Comments

The cancer chronicles

fullsizeoutput_ec5
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...
Continue reading
  837 Hits
  2 Comments
Recent Comments
Jessi
Thank you Terrilynn!
Tuesday, 25 June 2019 06:49
837 Hits
2 Comments

Join me in discovering what's possible

Vibe with me on Social Media

Instagram    icon facebook