Today’s Guestpost comes from my buddy Naomi… she is one tough cookie, and we can learn a thing or two, from this resilient woman!
A bad case of the flu, a swollen protruding neck & an ultrasound later, it was determined that I had a tumor on my thyroid gland and it was 6 x 4 cm large.
Excessive sweating that didn’t let up for 2 whole days soon followed.
What.. ?, echoed in my head.
The biopsy results were inconclusive. “Cut it out!” or “Monitor for growth” they said. Another doctor said, “Let it be & it might very well be cancer”. There was no way of being sure, so I opted to have it removed.
My immune system caved, the stress caused recurrent shingles and clusters of boils turned up on my body followed by illness.
I decided to be proactive and keep my spirits up by participating in a half-marathon, training kept me focused and made me realize my profound strength; that I was going to beat it at its game.
This sent me on an introspective journey where I tried to understand what caused this to happen within me. I analyzed past lifestyle choices and looked deeper to unearth the true underlying factors that led to this. With the help of a book entitled A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, I was able to identify the role I played in perpetuating unhealthy choices both mental & physical. I learnt to forgive & recognize my true self.
As it turned out, I didn’t have cancer. Hurray!
However, shortly after the surgery, I gained weight inexplicably and my menses became non-existent. With half of my thyroid removed, it couldn’t produce sufficient hormones and I was prescribed synthetic hormones. Needless to say, finding balance when one’s hormones are all over the place & gaining weight
despite the heavy training can throw anyone into a lonely & confusing abyss. I was utterly lost, I didn’t understand what was wrong with my body or my mind and there were no answers for the myriad of symptoms I experienced.
By elimination, we found out that my hormones had gone haywire and by adjusting the dosage I soon found energy and that elusive balance again.
Balance is crucial; I overcame the illness by seeking that.
My tips for striking a balance begins with the mind – here are my tips on how to strike a balance :
1. Fuel your mind– Use the resources the world has to offer, there are books out there that provide the right support. I chanced upon a book called The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz, it served to enlighten me, and helped me deal with the dissatisfaction I felt with my changing body and erratic hormones. I discovered the art of self-love.
2. Practice Contemplation– I found that harnessing discipline is the best way to bring about awareness. This led to increased mindfulness in regard to consumption and the activities I did or the people I chose to be around. Finally I felt at peace and came to know of a union between mind, body and soul.
3. Keep an Active Lifestyle– I ran and rock climbed, with each day and the increased mastery of these activities. I found strength and renewed resolve. I became highly aware of my mind & body connection.
The nature of equilibrium is elusive, thus the search is a constant challenge but Oh! How sweet is the reward!
About this week’s Guest Writer:
Naomi Pereira teaches English and is a trainee exercise instructor. Special mention goes to her husband Tim who provided incomparable support in her time of need.