Depression 

Hello world! 

For those of you who were worried – no I didn’t die during surgery. I know I usually post twice a month, but after I came out of the hospital I started dealing with some major mental issues.

I always seem to go into a sort of depressed state during my surgery recoveries, so at first I did not think this one was any different. Now I realize I was wrong. It’s been 6 weeks since my surgery and I still have not come out of my “funk”. I was waiting till I felt a little happier in order to post something uplifting, but the truth is I haven’t felt that way yet. So sorry everyone, but the “bright and happy” posts are not hitting this blog any time soon. 

When you are medically free from cancer, they shake your hand and send you on your way with your next scan appointment. Unfortunately our system is missing the step that should come after that, dealing with your mental state. In the hospital system they are so worried about you physically, that they pay no attention to you mentally. So I’ve been cleared of cancer this time, now what? Just go on with my daily life while I heal from my surgery? Smile and be happy that I yet again am on the road to a clear scan? I wish it was that easy. Maybe for some it is. In my case, since I’ve been told I’m “cancer free” twice in the past already, I now have major hesitations hearing that phrase again. I can put on a show and smile, but it’s not real. Inside I feel as broken as my scars make me look. 

So what do I do? Avoid people. 

Why? Well when people have asked me how I am doing, and I am honest and say something like, “It’s been tough. I’m definitely depressed. I cry a lot, and sometimes I wonder if it would be easier if the cancer had just won.” Their face goes from smiling to just lost for words. Usually an, “oh sorry” comes out after. Then I feel even more like shit because I’ve gone and done it again. All they wanted was a “I’m doing well thanks” type of answer, and now I’ve dragged them into this hole I’m in. No one wants to be around a person like that – who is just on edge and could cry at any moment. So I avoid. 

Is it the healthiest thing to do? Probably not – but for now it is working for me. I have a small cluster of people that I will see when I am feeling up to it, but even those hangouts I try to keep short. Stay around me too long and you will be hearing some really depressing shit that will make you regret ever asking me to hang out in the first place. 

Yes, I plan on going back to my therapist – eventually. Even her right now I just don’t feel like talking to. No one seems to truly understand why I am as messed up as I say I am. The roller coaster ride for me has had many ups and downs, and I’m still stuck on it. 

Chris through all this has been amazing. I’ve cried to him many times telling him that he should just leave me, and he’s laughed it off. It makes my life a lot easier knowing I can be completely open and honest with him, and that he won’t also be sucked into my black hole. He seems to be able to stay off to the side of it and pull me out every time. 

So for those of you expecting some inspirational post talking about how amazing I am that I’ve beaten cancer yet again, and if I can do it so can you! – My bad, you aren’t going to be reading that here just yet. 

Have I beat stage 4 colon cancer? Maybe. (I actually highly doubt it) 

Actually let’s rephrase that – Have I physically beat cancer? Maybe. Have I mentally beat it? Nope. 
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Who Doesn’t Aspire To Have Seven Surgeries? 

I just realized while sitting here during my pre-op, that I haven’t updated the crew! 

Tomorrow I will be going in for my seventh surgery – this one on my right lung. It’s a laparoscopic procedure, and he is also taking out my port at the same time. Might as well get rid of that damn thing since I’m not planning on using it any time soon (and hopefully never again). 

So this summer will be more of a relaxed season. No long walks with the dog, no swimming in the pools, just lots of lemonaide with my feet up. I guess it doesn’t sound so bad when you put it like that? 

The humidity will make it hard to breathe for a while – I’ll be crying over a chest tube again –  I’ll coughing up blood clots that night – I’ll be showering with only my left arm – I’ll be unable to drive – BUT I’ll be cancer free again. That is worth it. All the pain and suffering I will be going through in the next three months is ALWAYS worth the chance to be cancer free. There is a risk to every surgery, but I always feel like the risk is worth the reward. 

Will 2018 finally be the year that I will be ACTUALLY cancer free for an entire date!? That’s the game plan – first step starts tomorrow. 
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I share a lot of my life through Instagram – I welcome you to join it with me! Find me @jamie_phelps ✌️

Acceptance 

Even though it may seem sometimes I am a Debbie Downer, it’s actually not the case. 


This was taken in Thailand just 30 minutes after I told Chris that I wish that cancer would just kill me so this crapshoot life can be all over with. Can’t you see it in my eyes? I had a LARGE SCALE breakdown. But with a few hugs and some laughter, I was able to pick myself up off the floor and head out for dinner. I thought to myself – I don’t want to feel this was anymore – but then how do I change it? 

I’m not over here though praying to be “cancer free”. I honestly don’t know if that will ever truly happen. What I am trying to do is shift into the world of acceptance.

That is a big world to use. Accepting the fact that I have, and may always have cancer, and that’s ok. This year could be my fourth summer where I have to enjoy it from inside the hospital walls. Learning to walk again in the humid weather. Watching everyone cool off in the swimming pool while I sit on the sidelines. Struggling to find the strength to move from the couch to the kitchen. Maybe that’s ok? If I just learn to accept my disability then it will no longer have power over me. 

So today, that is what I am choosing to do. Remind myself that it is what it is, and I am who I am. And maybe there is nothing wrong with that. 

My reader friends! Make sure to follow my site so you will always be the first to read a new post! Also, if you feel one of my posts will help others, feel free to share it within your own social community!

I share a lot of my life through Instagram – I welcome you to join it with me! Find me @jamie_phelps  ✌️

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Where The Streets Have No Name

No one knows what the future holds – except psychics I guess. So let’s rephrase that.

Practically none of us can predict the future. You may have educated guesses such as marrying the one you love or buying a dog – but even those have a tiny degree of uncertainty. Most of us LOVE planning for the future. We pull out our calendar and think about where we want to travel to this year, or who’s wedding we have coming up, or who is going to host Christmas dinner. We sit online and research houses for sale, or job listings, and think about all of the new and exciting things that come with those big steps. The uncertainty might be there and you may think of the “what ifs”, but then you wave them off and move on. 

For some of us, we live in the “what if” section. We are trapped in a jail full of “what ifs” and just when we think we have found the key to get it, more and more file in. 

Take a new job for example. You are happy with your job but you think – Maybe there is more out there? Maybe I have grown enough with this company that I now seek a new challenge? So you look online, find something that excites you, and decide to jump ship. How fun! 

For some of us lucky people who now live in the “pre-existing condition” category, that decision isn’t so easy. Where before I never blinked at the “benefits don’t start for 3 or 6 months”, now it would keep me up at night. Not only that, but take cancer for an example, you would have to have a years worth of clear scans to even qualify for disability. So the decision making process now turns into rows and rows of questions:

What if my cancer comes back?

What if my scans are clear but my blood work changes? 

What if the stress of this job causes my anxiety to spike?

I could go on and on. 

Technically all of those things were possibilities before. You can’t predict the future, but I mean come on, you feel fine, it’s not like you are going to get cancer within the next 6 months. That risk doesn’t even cross your mind. 

But now, for some of us, these streets on the road to our future are now named. We can see the different ways that our car can go and we have no idea what direction it may take. That’s what scary. Is that now we live in a world where our future is not only unpredictable like everyone else’s, but we actually know some of the paths it could possibly take. 

I might be headed on the road to clear, but I know there is also one called “small tumour”, one called “multiple”, one called “clear this month, some on the next”, one called, “small but could grow”, and so on and so on. 

I’d love to go back to when I didn’t know these roads even existed. 

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I share a lot of my life through Instagram – I welcome you to join it with me! Find me @jamie_phelps ✌️

Believe me, I am 

Recently I decided to start posting more on my Instagram in order to try and gain awareness about this blog. It’s not for the ego reasons of “more likes and followers”, but it’s because every few weeks or so I am reached out to and either asked a question or just to say “thank you”. I started this blog as a therapy for myself, but it slowly started becoming not only an outlet for me, but also a way for others out there to know that they are not alone. The best compliments I have ever received are from people who have read something on my blog and said, “Thank you, this helped me so much.” 

What I began noticing as well though is that with the increase amount of posts, came the increase amount of friends “unfollowing” me. Which is hilarious. There could be over a thousand reasons why they chose to not want to know about my life anymore, but I always seem to think the same thing. I start thinking in my head that they must be mad and say, “Who is this bitch that has been off work for three years and is just travelling the world, while I am stuck behind my desk. She looks perfectly fine to me, maybe ever better, but yet continues to play the sick card.” 

I get it. In the fabricated world of social media I do look well and fine. The fact of the matter is, I’m not. Every therapist I have says I am not. My scans showing I still have tumours say I am not. My team of surgeons say I’m not. But the public eye who only see 1% of my daily life apparently have the most expert opinion. Maybe it’s my own fault. Maybe I should have posted the photo of me on the back of the boat at the Great Barrier Reef having a melt down because I didn’t have the strength or lung power to swim as far as the others were. Maybe I should have posted a photo of me feeling sick and crying by myself at the Easter Show because I was having an anxiety attack. Maybe I should have posted a photo of the pain I was in after surfing because my abs have not been even slightly used in over 3 years. Would those photos have made these people feel better? 

I don’t know why I feel the need to have to constantly prove to others that I actually am sick. Even though no one has blatantly said it to my face, I can feel the judgemental looks or snide comments. I don’t know why I give a fuck. I know, and my close circle knows the truth. Isn’t that all that should matter? Well yes, of course. I guess it’s easier said than done. 

My reader friends! Make sure to follow my site so you will always be the first to read a new post! Also, if you feel one of my posts will help others, feel free to share it within your own social community!
I share a lot of my life through Instagram – I welcome you to join it with me! Find me @jamie_phelps ✌️

A Year Ago Today 


How beautiful is this? That is the inside of the Sydney Opera House, and that is where I was yesterday evening. Arriving in Australia I met up with my mom’s best friend Barbara who lives here. As she was taking me on a tour of the Sydney Harbour she asked if we shall go see what is playing in the opera house while I am still in Sydney. 

“Oh right!” I admitted. I know the name of this magnificent building, and I love music, but for some reason I never put two and two together that I should actually try and go see something while I am here! There was a symphony playing on the Wednesday night so we bought tickets and I instantly got butterflies. 

Walking up the steps and heading into the theatre I felt like I was in the movie. 

Is this really happening? Am I here in Australia about to go watch a symphony at the Sydney Opera House? 

We sat down and just as the conductor positioned himself, Barbara grabbed my arm and said, “You are inside the Sydney Opera House!” 

I instantly could feel the tears begin to rise. I turned away quickly and watched the first half of the first piece behind a wall of tears. I could not believe I was here. I kept talking myself down so I was sure to not let one fall, as then I would have to wipe it away and explain myself. 

I would have never dreamt I would be sitting here a year ago.

That thought kept playing over and over in my head. 

Arriving back at the apartment I popped onto Facebook at saw this: 


How poetic. A year ago to the day, I had visited with my doctors to discover I was in for a world of shit that upcoming summer. A year ago to the day I thought my future was becoming more of a blur. A year ago to the day I was confused and upset and was probably hiding under a blanket. 

And now I’m here, in Australia, at the Sydney Opera House. Mind blown. 

My reader friends! Make sure to follow my site so you will always be the first to read a new post! Also, if you feel one of my posts will help others, feel free to share it within your own social community!
I share a lot of my life through Instagram – I welcome you to join it with me! Find me @jamie_phelps ✌️

Is This Real Life? 

Seriously though – How beautiful is Thailand? 

I am fortunate enough to call this place home for the next two weeks, then I’m off to Australia for three more. It’s funny how I can be so grateful for this beautiful view and day one minute, and then the next remember that I am still very sick, and really only here because of that. I am lucky to have some amazing people in my life, and one of those amazing couples offered me last year two tickets to anywhere in the world. So here Chris and I are, in THAILAND. 


We couldn’t be happier here, but inside I am still fighting myself to stay happy. It is hard to keep pushing down those thoughts of – “What the fuck is going to happen to me this summer?” – and just take in all the beauty that today brings. So far, I’ve only had one big cry – so I’d say I’m doing fairly well. That cry though was a bad one. It was a deep, deep cry that had me say all of the dark thoughts running through my head… out loud… in front of Chris. Thoughts like, “Maybe it would be easier if cancer just won.” – Those kind of dark thoughts. 

Now don’t go getting your panties in a knot, I’m not suicidal. But when I am so down and upset, that thought pops up in my mind. I don’t enjoy feeling this way. I don’t like to worry about what tomorrow will bring. What if my cancer has spread further? What if it is true and chemo is no longer an option? What will happen then? All these questions are pointless to worry about so I try not to think of them. Keyword there is TRY. 

However sometimes all it takes is my period, being hangry (hungry and angry), and a stub of my toe and BOOM, the perfect combination for sadness to begin and dark thoughts to see their escape and run free!  It takes a patient man with a good sense of humour to snap me out of it. Too bad I only have Chris. Hahahaha BURN. 

He doesn’t read my blog but if he does he will say, “That’s girl funny, not actually funny.” He likes to think that girls only find girls funny. I beg to differ. 

Moving right along – The truth of the matter is, this is my real life. I’m half way across the world in a beautiful place LITERALLY trying to escape my own reality. It’s almost working….. white wine helps. 

My reader friends! Make sure to follow my site so you will always be the first to read a new post! Also, if you feel one of my posts will help others, feel free to share it within your own social community!
I share a lot of my life through Instagram – I welcome you to join it with me! Find me @jamie_phelps ✌️

Forever Growing 

I have been working hard on my nutrition for quite some time. This has been really helping my internal strength. By adding in therapy, energy healing and guided meditation I am slowly developing my mental strength. Just recently I have decided that it is time to research and discover ways that I can work on the next stage, my physical strength. 

Last week I was at my local cancer support centre and picked up their monthly calendar. These are always readily available but usually it is the same classes so I do not pay much attention. Looking it over I saw it – yoga. Years ago I used to practice yoga and was quite good at it. I was sure the classes offered here would not be as tasking, so I thought it would be a great way to start stretching out my weakened body. 

Walking in the room today I looked around and saw all women 65+. My old self would have past judgements in my head such as, “This class is going to be so brutal and boring”. However the new me was laughing on the inside as I was betting most of these women are in better health and shape than myself. 

I sat on the mat waiting for the class to begin, and did not feel judged. Everyone was chatting with each other and I could tell it was a group of kind and loving women. 

The class began with breathing exercises and some guided imagery. I kept my eyes shut so tight as I could feel the tears building up in them. I felt so safe in a room full of strangers. I really listened to the woman leading the group and tried to stay present without having my mind wander too much. There was some light stretching to follow – which was actually extremely difficult for me – and then we layed back down to continue with some more breathing practices. All the while I felt at peace. At the end she asked us to all come together in a circle and hold hands. Again my past self would have felt uncomfortable and probably would have rolled my eyes and prayed it would be over soon. Instead I got right in there and closed my eyes as we all breathed as one. I could feel everyone’s healing energy surrounding me. 

When the class was done I headed for my car because I needed a good cry to let it all out. What a release. 

It is fascinating how we can grow and learn something new about ourselves when we thought we knew it all. I feel so much lighter. I feel like I did receive positive, healing light that I can carry with me until I am able to attend again. What a blessing. 

Through Sickness and Health

For us it’s more like through sickness and health, and some more sickness, now some health, oh wait don’t forget about the sickness.

When my health is a roller coaster you can’t expect my relationship not to be. Chris and I have to not only deal with our own ever changing emotions, but then also try to tip toe and figure out each other’s. It’s not easy. We decided we needed some navigational help. So we found a couples therapist and have now been seeing her every two weeks for the past three months. What we have discovered is the way we were raised has really impacted the way we communicate and interact as a couple. When I was going through chemotherapy and surgeries it was almost easier for us. Our only focus was my physical health so we had no time to really examine our mental health. Even though I am still physically sick, it is not as noticeable and doesn’t affect our day to day, so now our mental health is disrupting our relationship.

It is a day by day process because our internal issues cannot be resolved overnight. My own mental health changes minute by minute, so if I have a hard time with it how can I expect anything different from him. Going to counselling is not showing weakness in our relationship but it shows strength. The challenges with cancer doesn’t end when you are no longer receiving treatment, in my case it feels like it is just beginning.

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Just Keep Being You 

Last year around this time I had a falling out with a very close friend. It was extremely hard for me – even put me in the hospital from the stress. I internalized it and began to believe that maybe this is how everyone sees me. Maybe people are pretending to be my friends just because they don’t want to be that person to break up with a friend who is suffering from cancer. I started to not trust all those close to me. To this day it saddens me and although I try to push it aside, it still affects my self esteem and self worth. 
Yesterday I came home from dinner and found these beautiful flowers on my kitchen counter. The note from who they were from was surprising and so perfect. No – it is not from that old friend. It is from a mutual one. One who was closer with her than she was with me. One who was there the night everything blew up. One who stood up beside me and said that this wasn’t right. One who still continues to stand beside me. I am forever grateful and this note moved me to tears. When one friendship ends a new one blooms.