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. 

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 ✌️

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.

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. 

Motivational Calendar

My mom gave me a daily motivational calendar for Christmas, and truthfully I was sort of disappointed. Ever year she gives my sister and I a calendar, and I look forward to it because I always hang it up and keep track of my appointments. This year however she said this one spoke more to her. So I put it up in the bathroom to rip off during my morning routine. The strange thing I have been noticing is that most days it eerily speaks to me. 

For example: On the day of my results appointment I forgot to rip it off in the morning. At night I was brushing my teeth and noticed the wrong date, so off it came. The saying for that day was, “Keep on keeping on”. Couldn’t have spoken to me more and it made me feel a little more at peace before heading to bed. Now I’m not sure if daily I am just finding something to relate it to, like when you read your daily horoscopes in the paper, but I am choosing to believe that this calendar is really speaking to me. So today I was coming out of the shower, feeling bloated and with low self esteem while looking in the mirror, and I ripped off the page. To my surprise (but not really anymore) it spoke to me again. 

“You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you’re in.” – Dr. Seuss

That is me to a T. I’m not in the best shape of my life, but for what I have to deal with, I’d say I’m doing just fine. 

So this called for a progress picture since I have not done one in over a year. Well low and behold I am in the best shape I have been in since I gained all of that weight back in 2015. I still haven’t been able to work out (hopefully signing up with a physiotherapist soon), so I owe it all to my diet. Great way to turn a low self esteem day into a high one ☺️. 

It’s Back

Just when I thought I could start planning my life again, it came back.

My latest scan shows a small spot on my lower right lung. I am trying to look at the positives instead of drowning myself everyday in the negatives.


  • It is located on my “good” lung (only one operation)
  • It is not on my liver
  • It is small and easily accessible
  • Surgery is an option


  • I still have cancer


But I guess I’ve always known that. It is the message I have been trying to communicate for months now. To all of the hopefuls who exclaimed, “You beat it!” – this is why I was still sad. With stage four cancer, you never really “beat it”. I knew there was a very high chance it would return, and I was hoping it wouldn’t be this fast. So once again I am putting my future life on hold and go back to living one day at a time. Now, it feels like I am just going through the motions. Living in this purgatory state with no direction, just a “see you in April” from my surgeons. If that scan shows minimal growth and no new friends, then operation number seven will take place this summer. There are a million different scenarios that can come into play, but like I said I am taking it day by day. I can and will drive myself crazy if I constantly think of all of the “what ifs”. I have no control over the scan, what I do have control over is my mind and diet. As long as I stick to a clean diet, and try to keep a healthy mind, I am hopeful that I can prevail.

Let’s Talk

A subject I have never been ashamed to speak about is my mental health. I struggle to try and stay in a positive mood, some days more than others. Instead of reminding you of all the ways I’m fucked up, I will inform you of the ways I am helping to take care of myself.

Eating Right – Keeping a clean diet when I am having a rough day is not easy. Nothing feels better then combining my tears with a tub of ice cream. I find however that afterwards I end up feeling worse. Now not only am I sad about whatever made me cry that day, but also upset at myself for eating all that ice cream. If I stick to healthy alternatives it is one less thing I need to be down on myself for. Also, all of those beautiful nutrients keep your cells happy and healthy which is never a bad thing!

Fresh Air – Seems like an easy fix, but pulling yourself off the couch some days can be tough. Just force yourself to get up and go on a quick walk outside, or go for a drive with the windows down. Removing yourself from your current position and feeling the cool breeze on your face can make a world of a difference.

Therapy, Therapy Therapy – I cannot express enough how much therapy has, and will continue to help me. I have been going to group therapy as well as seeing a therapist one-on-one for a while, but I recently have also begun to see a couples therapist. My relationship with my husband is fantastic, however we do struggle in dealing with the emotional aftermath from everything that has gone in the past couple years. Speaking with someone is helping us communicate better when we are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious. It is so easy when you are sad or angry to take it out on a loved one. I am guilty for that. She is teaching us the dance of how we fight, and ways that we can change it so that we better understand what the other person is going through. I find people are often embarrassed to admit they are attending therapy with their partner. This is the wrong perspective. There is nothing shameful for wanting the best out of your relationship. These jobs exist for a reason, because it is COMMON that couples have issues when communicating. I am very thankful that my husband was open to attending when I first asked him. He saw the improvements I have been having one-on-one, and understood how it could now help us move in a more positive direction. I have said it before and I will continue to preach it – EVERYONE can benefit from therapy.

Pets – The love of an animal is such a beautiful thing. They do not care about any of the baggage you have, and just show you unconditional love. Now, I’m not suggesting in order to achieve happiness everyone must go out and adopt a dog (although that would be amazing). If your life style does not best suit a dog, that is understandable. It takes a lot of time and effort to have a dog and it is not for everyone. If this is you, then try to go for a walk at a dog park on a weekend. Not only will you love the fresh air, but these are the best days for PUPPIES. I find my local dog parks are full of puppies on the weekends, and I just love it. Puppies are so clumsy and dopey they can put a smile on anyone’s face.

Well there you have it, just a few of the things that help me to stay sane. You are also allowed to just stay in all day and binge watch tv. There is nothing wrong with telling the rest of the world to fuck off and just sit around in your track pants. Just do it one day though, the next day you have to get up.