Monday, 1 December 2014

But you look great!

Truthfully, people say this alot and I'm not just saying it.  If you can pull through a very serious illness and inspire others by walking the talk then I am very humbled by the complement.  The life I choose to live is a healthy, proactive, productive and positive one and when I walk out into the world this is the face I would hope most people see.  

However, with every ray of light there is a shadow and that is also what I have had to accept and to learn to live with with eveyday. Having gone through the physical, emotional and financial experience of cancer it is not uncommon for people to come and ask for my help.  I would average at least one person a month either asking me to call their friend or requesting my number "to give to such and such'.  I am a loving, caring person but in all honesty I simply cant. Not just for my own health and well being but I am not a professional counselor.  Don't get me wrong, I do understand the importance of  being able to connect to someone when you are going through a tough emotional time or not coping with prescribed treatment, but there are structures within society that will assist those that need it.

Just like most of us, it takes me all my own energy to get through each and everyday and I would hope people understand that one can only extend themselves so far.  For me life has always got to be about boundaries and balance. It is actually a critical part of my life now and I don't expect people to understand unless they have lived through this surgery and have the looming threat of cancer over their heads.  I discovered through my journey I have a genetic disorder called Lynch Syndrome. In a nutshell I have a faulty cancer protective gene which is in each and every cell of my body. This means I am far more likely to develop one or more cancers throughout my lifetime as this is the more dominant gene in the cell. So, you see I live with the threat of disease everyday of my life. As proactive and as positive as I am nothing helps the anxiety leading up to quarterly blood tests,yearly scans and intrusive procedures. I will never be 'over' cancer, this is something my human side has to deal with for the rest of my life, period

I wanted to give back to society after my illness so I put a structure in place to be able to do that. I created a Support Group on Facebook called https://www.facebook.com/SupportGroupForPartialTotalGastrectomyPatients for people who live with partial or no stomach.  Along with four other administrators (all stomachless) I am able to help people on a daily basis just by living my life and sharing personal experiences and information.  I do not extend myself further than that unless someone locally with stomach cancer comes through the No Stomach for Cancer website (http://www.nostomachforcancer.org) , my GP, my surgeon or my oncologist.  For my own sanity and to stay out of the depths of other peoples despair this is just one boundary I am constantly having to uphold. 


As well as being extremely lucky, I am also not your average type of girl. I am committed to do the work on myself to evolve. I believe anything is possible and I want to express myself and inspire people through my artwork and hopefully light a few internal flames in those who are searching for more than this human experience,  I have committed myself in spiritual meditation classes for over five years and I've had to do alot of self healing and releasing during that time. The more I define myself the clearer the decisions and choices I have to make.  This includes finding that cold compassion with people and being able to detach from those who are no longer a reflection of me, no matter how long they have been a part of my life.  Letting go of the past is incredibly difficult and emotionally hard, but for those committed on this journey of higher consciousness there is no room for illusion just the truth.  It takes a lot of hard work spiritually, emotionally and physically to ' Look Great'. So when someone pays me this complement, I know I've earned it! 





Thursday, 30 October 2014

How much is too much?






Self prescribing vitamins.,  I’ve been doing it for years. After my stomach cancer and subsequent surgery, I was thrown into a world of supplements and nutritional deficiencies that carry lifelong consequences if I don’t keep on top on things.  Fortunately for me I have blood tests every three months so I can see how most levels are going.   To stay at my optimum every day I religiously down at least 20 vitamin tablets, ½ aspirin and an antibiotic and occasionally throw a few other things in depending on my blood test results.  I don’t do this willy nilly, I do a fair bit of  homework on what will work for me, what I’m already taking and speak to professionals in their field to gauge if my homework reflects their professional option.  This helps me make educated choices but even so I still don’t know if I’m getting it right. I can only go on how I look, feel and how my body is responding to life.  People in my situation are left in a very vulnerable position when it comes to wanting to take care of ourselves and we have to be wary of those who seek to take advantage of that. 

I am raising this topic today because I can’t help but feel really upset and angry at myself at a situation that happened to me earlier in the year.  It was recommended to me that I seek out the help of an Integrative Medical Naturopath.  This is a person who understands western medical practices and can incorporate both medical and naturopathic medicine for the best possible outcome.  As I am not about to leave the comfort of my own home to live naked,  eat organic and grow hairy armpits in the rainforests  of Brazil, I thought ‘Perfect  this is exactly what I have been looking for’.  This person was highly recommended to me by a couple of people so I sent an email entailing my situation and made an appointment. 

Let me start by saying, this person is AMAZING. She was extremely professional and certainly knows her stuff.  She was all about what I could do moving forward and being proactive with my health and how we could monitor my funky cancer genes.  She gave me a few things to try and this ended the consultation. I made a follow up appointment, go to pay and OUCH $270.30!!!  First consultation fees and very little back with my private health (not to mention a 35 minute drive from my house) made for a very expensive round trip.  
Second consult, just as good as the first one. I had handed over my supplement sheet, medical records and blood tests in my previous consult and she had gone away to do her analysis.  More encouraging outcomes and a prescription that needed to be filled by a Compounding Pharmacy. (Pharmacy compounding is an established tradition which allows a physician to prescribe a very specific medication, prepared by a pharmacist, for a patient’s individual needs.) End consultation, make follow up appointment, go to pay….still ouch $129.00 but not quite as bad this time.

A few weeks had gone by and I was following up the prescription with the Pharmacy, turns out one of the ingredients was obviously coming from the arse of a Lama which was sitting on the top of Mount Kanchenjunga in Nepal.  So I waited a few more days and then they called to tell me it was ready.  The conversation went something like this…. (names have been changed so I don’t get sued!)
Them - ‘Hello, this is Tina from ABC Pharmacy, I am calling to tell you your prescription is ready’
Me - ‘Oh, great how much is it?’

Them - ‘$379.40’

Me -

Me – ‘Sorry, was that $379.40 cents?’

Them – ‘Yes, extra if you want delivery’

Me – (nervous giggle) ‘Gee I hope that is a month’s supply’

Them – ‘No this is for one week’

Me -

Me – ‘Well I guess I have to pay for that (as you have already sent a small slave child up a big mountain to collect the droppings of a Lama) . I just want to tell you that I am extremely surprised and really disappointed that I have to pay this amount. We are a one income family and this is ridiculous. I should have been warned it was going to cost this much.’

Them – ‘Yes, some of the ingredients (mainly the stuff from the arse of that Lama ) in your prescription were very expensive. Best you speak to your naturopath.’

Me – ‘Yes, thanks I will do that’. (Reluctantly handed over Visa details and address)

END CONVERSATION

I got off the phone and apart from being in absolute shock, I was totally devastated. How was I going to explain to my husband that this magic gold dust was going to do everything that I needed in order for me to stay cancer free and see my little boys turn into men.  I did indeed call and speak to my ‘Integrative Medical Naturopath’ and clearly explained our financial situation.  (Just for the record I already consume approximately $200 worth of vitamin and nutritional supplements a month, just add the gold dust of $379.40 a week, her consultation fee and seriously no one in their right mind could afford this, let alone a one income family) She apologized and said she wasn’t aware that it was going to cost that much.  As much as I wanted to believe her I figured if you do this every day and it is your profession I’m going to have to call ‘Bullshit’.



That night I sat and cried, a lot. There was a massive assumption that we could afford anything that was prescribed to me. There was no upfront explanation that some or all of my medication was extremely expensive. You almost get pushed into a corner and feel obligated that you must follow this path in order to live a healthy life.  Cost seemed to be an afterthought to them. Of course there was no way we could continue to do this and I felt let down, angry and frustrated with the entire situation. Here I am, wanting to take the best possible care of myself and in my opinion I had been manipulated. My question of cost during the consultation was met with ‘I’m not sure about that, but it will be around $150’. I’m not sure who I was more mad at,  me for feeling guilty that I couldn’t afford medication for my health and wellbeing, the government for not supporting and supplementing natural medicine, the naturopath for charging too much and under quoting my costs, the pharmacy for overcharging, or the Lama!   Mostly I was just sad because I felt this avenue was no longer an option for me because we weren’t in a financial position to pay for everything.
  
I continue to search for complementary medicine and do self development and spiritual work on a daily basis.  I understand that this body is my vehicle to get me through this lifetime, I need to take care of it the best way I can.  If there is one thing I have learned through this experience it is not to put all your eggs in one basket. I have a great team of medical and alternate support people around me. Don’t get discouraged by one set back, life is full of other opportunities you just have to make the choice to go out and look for them. I must say Brazil’s looking pretty good!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Miss me?!


Hello readers,  I know I have been quiet for way too long!

I'm sure those that took the time to read my previous blogs have missed my tongue in cheek humor and hysterical content (because I am really am quite funny, just ask me!)  I have missed blogging,  but boy it was getting me into a bit of trouble.  You may have noticed I shut down my blog a while back mainly due to a handful of self important, sociopathic people who shall not be named.  In case you don't know what a sociopath is click here for a bit of educating, number 6 and 8 are my special favorites  http://www.wikihow.com/Spot-a-Sociopath !   Some people certainly didn't like hearing what I had to say, or maybe they just didn't like hearing it from me.   Who cares really, I'm back :)

Writing is another extension of me although I don't write as much as I would like given most of my time is taken juggling being a full time mum,  managing 3 facebook pages and my art work.  When I do get a little down-time or if something really gets up my goat, I like to write it down and usually with a little bit of humor because lets face it, life can be pretty tough sometimes.

I have been on my road to self awareness for a good 5 years now.  This has seen me take up my passion for art and create a very real business dream of doing what I love and creating an income.  Although I have been known to speak to dead people ('mediumship' for a better term), this is not my area of expertise (yet).  I work with spirit guides through art and oracle readings and I hope by sharing my journey I will inspire and encourage others to find their passion and to create something amazing out of it for themselves.  

I have two feet firmly planted on the ground and as much as  I am in touch with all that I am not, I am also very in touch with the reality we call home.  Nothing in my blogs are ever supposed to offend people because its just my experience or opinion on something. So in saying that, don't be hating on me if I don't put the knives and forks in the same draw as you!



I have taken a little time out to regroup my thoughts and realized that no matter what I do, some people are just not going to like it - you know like you believe in God and Angels but I should be burnt at the stake for talking to dead people......that sort of thing! Seriously I can't help being sexy and creative at the same time, it's a burden I know. Oh and did I mention skinny? Well that was the stomach cancer, which BTW I don't recommend in order to loose a few kilos. Nutritional fall out and being fully trained in all aspects of fartology is not only inconvenient but can be downright painful.





I have a HUGE amount of life experience and I know a little bit about alot of things!! If  I can share and if it helps you, makes you laugh or inspires you to be the best person you can be then why wouldn't I.

So a big welcome back to me to the bloggers world! Can't say they will be terribly frequent but they will definitely be worth waiting for.





www.michellepotter.com.au