I am Not your Inspiration

Someone once rudely accused me of being ‘Inspiring’. Proceeded to tell me off and said she would pray for me.  I was like…WAIT… WHAT??? I kinda got stuck on ‘Inspiring’!

*Hysterical Voice – WHAT does that even MEAN???

As far as I am concerned – “Inspiration –  is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative”

When I think about inspiration, what inspires me most is ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. We appreciate when someone has the ability and willingness to be selfless, creative, innovative, or just dares to be different.

My idea of inspiring would be Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, Mandela etc… All of them were ordinary people who decided that the world needed their help – they were true leaders who believed that they could change the world and who, despite nearly impossible odds and tremendous opposition, weren’t afraid to try.

Maybe my understanding is flawed. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not being rude (well maybe) but I have such issues with this concept. So I sat and thought about it. What doesn’t feel right about this word? I have breast cancer and I write about it. I have never claimed to want to change the world (even though I would love to) or save people (I so wish I could) from their illness/mental issues/debt/divorce/lives. I am not saintly and I choose to show my flaws unflinchingly. I am unapologetic and honest about who I am.

Then I realised that the problem is actually Society. You see we constantly compare our lives to ‘Others’ for validation. And this is problematic in my case because this ‘Other-ness’ of mine is called Cancer and is NOT inspiring…

Let’s be blunt – for example, “Oh my, she has breast cancer and can smile and be happy, I should never, EVER feel bad about my life”… you know what… STOP THAT! This thinking perpetuates the idea that people with cancer are special for living with it or through it and it is preposterous because ultimately those decisions are not made by any of us mere mortals.

In all honesty I don’t think I was made to ‘Inspire You’ by my writing/blogging. I write because it is a huge part of my job and that my dear, doesn’t make me ‘Special’… I will NOT apologise to Anyone about my Rude Behaviour (what she actually means is my inappropriate Language use… oooh shem) and I do not need to explain Anything to Anyone! I am only answerable on the Day of Judgement to my Maker – and in the end your opinion means Nothing!

If I have inspired you, kindly ask yourself what have you done with this inspiration? What have you done to change the world we live in? Dig deep… And once you have answered that question hold onto it tightly because inspiration comes from the Almighty alone!

Do you GET IT? Probably not… Why do I even bother?

***DROPS MIC

Advertisements

This is Tired

I am tired. It’s been so long that I don’t remember being not tired. My brain is tired and forgets everything from which day of the week it is, to birthdays, to playdates and party times… I rely on Facebook to tell me whose birthdays I have forgotten and on Whatsapp to keep track of everything else… Thank goodness for technology!

I am endlessly exhausted… This is not something I am used to because I WAS NOT ALWAYS TIRED!

And no amount of sleeping has made me feel better. I wake up like this every day. Nothing and I mean NOTHING has improved my condition. I tried changing my diet – Low Carb High Fat just made me constipated and Paleo made me feel feral. I obviously crave sugar and because I try real hard to restrict my intake I satisfy my cravings with copious amounts of dates which gets me to midday without shovelling satisfyingly good chocolate down my throat. I tried coffee to kickstart my morning and make me generally sociable – but Haibo! heart palpitations are scary and freak me the hell out.  I also tried supplements… but I am not allowed to mess around with extra supplementation due to current medication interaction – in other words – it could possibly interfere with my Tamoxifen and THAT may just be catastrophic!

How does Chronic Fatigue feel you ask? My throat is always sore. My head hurts. My muscles ache. My bones are icky. My hips are officially retired and my feet feel like bags of concrete. My back and shoulders are trying to assassinate me.

This is Chronic Fatigue… apparently caused by CHEMO (insert swearing screaming emoji)!!!

I unfortunately do not have any special strategies or tips of how to get over this and apparently   there is no quick fix. The last time I spoke to my Oncologist she said it is a lingering effect of chemo and something I have to learn to live with….

I am not complaining because even though I feel shitty now I will still go for a run later today! To show this fatigue that I will not let it rule my life and turn me savage instead I will eat whatever comes my way because how else am I supposed to fuel my running???

I know I am just making excuses to eat whatever I want and yet I haven’t been more aware of the lifestyle army screaming – watch your weight, eat healthily, increase fruit and vegetables, decrease fat and sugar, drink tons of water and get plenty of sleep and always remember to smile and be friendly and polite! Insert Middle finger emoji! Hahahahahahaha… Right!

I refuse to endanger my volatile mental state by denying myself a samoosa when I feel like it! That is NEVER going to happen, okay? I don’t see how this could possibly affect my Fatigue which is THE issue!

And on a lighter note… A friend sent me this:
(PS: She is a Doctor and is living with Stage 4 Breast Cancer)

THIS is how to Cure Your Cancer:

Take a handful of Kale and add Turmeric to it and put it in Carrot juice and use as an Enema for 15 days then stand in a Yoga pose for another five days then massage Cannabis oil all over and slip an slide for two days followed by organic ground coffee enemas until you successfully shit out all the cancer! There! Just stay in Downward Dog all your life with your head in Coconut and Avocado oil and have someone sprinkle a light dusting of Matcha and Green Tea all over you! Voila!

Bwaahahahahahahaha!!! LAUGHING FOR DAYS!

And Yes, people actually say the DUMBEST CRAZIEST RUBBISH when they hear you have Cancer! I understand that maybe they know EVERYTHING and really want to help us ignorant cancer patients but hey…. if it were SO SIMPLE why are people still dying from Cancer??? nmy opinion I think Maybe they haven’t tried the Cannabis Enemas!

 

Fat Shamed

Last week I was fat shamed by another mom fetching her kid at School.  We had not seen each other in a couple of months and yet she could not wait to tell me how much weight I had gained. I must admit that we are not friends, but we greet each other amicably at all school functions and no we don’t socialise or have any kind of friendship.

At first I laughed it off and responded with “No man, I have not put on weight since you last saw me…” to which she then retorted “I assure you, you have put on a lot of weight since I last saw you…”  I grabbed at my oversized jersey and wrapped it against my body tightly and retorted that she is mistaken… and hurried away from her as quickly as I could despite her argueing vehemently how fat I had become…

I COULD NOT BELIEVE THE NERVE OF THIS WOMAN! I stomped off thinking what a fucking piece of shit! Does she even know how much I struggle with keeping my weight ‘normal’? Did she even consider the fact that she hurt my feelings? Does she even know how much effort it takes to look like this? The hours of training, the blood, sweat and tears??? The courage and heartbreak I carry with me everyday as I try to live in a body that betrays me over and over again????

Noooooo!!!

So before you judge my fat round body… please consider this:

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WE ARE ALL FIGHTING WARS

And in case your small mind cannot comprehend this certainty let me make it simple…

That just because it may not seem that somebody is battling with something on the outside, it does not mean that they are free from any battles. There is no such thing as perfection and every single one of us are fighting personal challenges… mine just happens to be my body!

PS: Before you even puke out the words ‘You are Fat’ to ANYBODY…
consider that you are an A**HOLE that needs to STFU…

 

I am Obviously Still Confused

Yesterday I checked my WordPress account and was pleasantly surprised that my stats were up despite my very ominous silence from social media. I am sorry that I have not written in such a long long time. So much has happened and so much has changed that I decided that a quiet sabbatical was really needed on my part.

You see I am one of THOSE people who gets really affected by social media. To me it has a negative influence on my psychological state and in turn affects me spiritually. I am relieved that I came to this realisation because for the longest time I thought that I was crazy lol! I FEEL QUITE SILLY ABOUT IT ACTUALLY, because, dammit… I am a Comm Science Grad and I know how this shit works…

So anyways, I quickly glanced at my last post and the horror kicked in…
I don’t know how many of you write and then reread what they have written a few months later…

I am so embarrassed to say that my last post dated 26 April 2017 is completely incorrect…
It was my 5 YEAR CANERVERSARY – NOT 4 YEARS!!! I was diagnosed in 2012…
I think I made the mistake because I really did not want to think about it, because you really don’t want to think about Cancerversaries, but you do… not that you have to…

I even attended my bi-annual checkup late in June because of the sheer reluctance of facing reality…
And the first thing my Oncologist says to me? CONGRATULATIONS ON REACHING YOUR 5 YEAR MARK! IT IS A REALLY SPECIAL MILESTONE BECAUSE YOUR TYPE OF CANCER USUALLY RECURS WITHIN THE FIRST 5 YEARS OF DIAGNOSIS! Ended with a big full body hug!

I am grateful Alhamdulillah!
PS: I also got downgraded to once a year checkups woohoo!!!! So at least I will have anxiety about hospital visits only once a year YIPPEE!

Dreamed to Life

I remember so clearly how I sat and literally searched for hours for content that related to my breast cancer. All I wanted was to hear from other local women about their experience with breast cancer. I was really frustrated and dismayed that there was nothing available on social media. I kept wondering where the local content was… I kept asking myself why no one was making this available to others…

Until I decided that I would stop asking and start doing…

I dreamed this project into life in 2012 while sitting in a chair and getting chemo… wondering if and when… pondering my own mortality and sanity…

Until I picked up the camera and was able to record stories from other brave women who have been where I have been! Standing there listening and looking at other women and seeing myself in each and everyone’s stories was utterly heartbreaking and humbling. I am forever grateful for their time, honesty, courage and strength!

Thank you for sharing my vision and allowing me a glimpse of your life!

SAY Channel Introduction
 

PS: This is an ongoing project, if you are willing to share your story please contact me at: sumayyajohaar@gmail.com
PPS: Please LIKE and SHARE and SUBSCRIBE

Shukran! Thank you!

Today Was Rocky

Feeling a bit off today…
Got a call early this morning from a young lady I met only last year when she was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. She informed me that she got sick two weeks ago and that they have rediagnosed her with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, her cancer has spread to her lungs…

Whew!
I was dumbfounded… I mean I never run out of things to say really…
But this morning… I had no words…
My lengthy list of curses and colourful expletives were silenced…

I am still trying to process her grief and anguish. I am utterly broken…

Stage 4 metastatic cancer is tricky and your life expectancy is shortened drastically depending on how your body reacts to treatment. I tried my best to stay positive and told her about many other Stage 4 Thrivers on Social Media and elsewhere. But my heart still feels the traitor…

I turn the mirror inwardly because I know what the nature of this disease is… that you are never really cured… it is part of your body and can return without warning and explanation at any given time…

I always get asked how I cope with this reality…
I don’t…
I don’t think about it…
I fill my head with other things… like music, books, children, family, running, praying, reading, working and creating…
So there’s really no time for the nagging insecurities lurking in my subconscious.

But on a rocky day, like today, I think about it a lot more than necessary…

Bad Bad Days

Ofcourse I still have those days… I am only human… Those horrible days when I just feel depleted. I don’t see the point of doing anything really…

I hang out in the quiet solitude of my bedroom and try to breath through the terribly morose thoughts that accompany this awful dread in the pit of my stomach… Sometimes I am not sure if I used to have these really down in the dumps days BC…

During this time every emotion is amplified and the moods are unstable. Every random ache and pain sends me into ‘has my cancer come back?’ mode. And I am literally an unresponsive unavailable sack of misery lying on my bed trying to scour the internet for some reprieve to my incoherent thoughts…

I think about everything… How Motherhood makes me feel like a failure… my kids usually save their best indespicable behaviour for these precise moments of sheer mental ineptitude. And I tend to detach myself from them cos the only thing my mind can process to say is STFU… 

I think about all the irresponsible and shameful things I have done and cringe at my brilliant idiocy. Nothing like some good old Introspection to kick you further into major depression…

I battle to find calm. It’s a bit like severe PMS with a hint of bipolar… the kind that could be lethal to all involved…

I have tried to suck it up in the past and pretend that my mind is not a warzone… but then it makes the battle so much harder and bloodier and violent… So I have learnt to accept these days…

I say ‘No’to everything. No sweets. No dessert. No lekkergoed. No running. No talking. No moving. No laughing.

No No No! 

Why? Because I am having a Bad Cancer Day and because Shit happens…

But I wont give up because this is just a minor setback on a major finding inner peace project where roadblocks and explosive reconstruction is welcomed!

So allow yourself to have your really bad days and tear yourself to pieces… but remember that tomorrow will be a better day because you probably wont remember what you felt like yesterday!

There are many things to be grateful for on this journey… but my saving grace is short term memory loss!