” When I don’t stay present and I start to feel afraid then the fear chatter starts.”
“How long is now.” in Berlin -photo by (c) howlzap Cologne

„If you’re breathing there’s more right with you than wrong with you“ says Jon Kabat-Zinn in one of his free YouTube „body scan mediations“. He’s the founder of MBSR (Mindfulness based Stressed Reduction). The first time I heard that I thought „Exactly!“ and chastised my inner drama queen for feeling sorry for myself and thinking the worst. Things aren’t so bad especially if I stay present and focus on the blessings. I’m lucky, I’ve got time to recover from operations and chemo. I have the luxury of being able to be selfish and focus on what my body and soul need. I have a comfortable home and no financial worries. My loved ones are near and they attend to me and are well. There’s no immediate stress. That’s when I stay present in the now and block out the fear and the chatter.

When I don’t stay present and I start to feel afraid then the fear chatter starts. What happens if the cancer comes back? It already has three times; this kind tends to. What happens if I have to have BCG?  Those side effects sound really nasty. What happens if I lose my bladder because the cancer is too aggressive? What happens if I lose my job because my employer has enough of all the sick leave? What happens if my partner gets sick? Once the fear starts it feeds on itself and grows ever more outrageous in my head. With the fear my heart starts to race, and my breaths become quicker. Stress hormones start to circulate. The mind and body are intrinsically connected and, this works to deescalate as well as escalate.

Slow the breath and bring the mind back to it and the present.

Then the heart rate slows again.

The stress hormones cease.

Back to how things really are.

Maybe not so bad I’m breathing after all.

Link to Body scan on YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=15q-N-_kkrU