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Just returned from 4 days in Sydney at Stillness in Action – a retreat to build skill in mindfulness. I feel the need to meditate to support my body in this stage of survivorship. I found it tough the first 2 days into the training- on the first sitting of 45 minutes I am sure I could hear  3 inner conversations running parallel with background music! Took me a while to settle in the moment and to understand the concept of ‘self compassion’: where I don’t give myself a hard time for having a mind like a monkey and instead let the thoughts come as welcome guests until I can find my way back to the ‘now’. Have been good at being compassionate for others but managed to be pretty tough on myself over the years. Always found it hard to accept praise or even to let applause in physically as I was too busy thinking how I could do it better next time and what was not perfect in any presentation. The experience has slowed me down. Has to be a good thing. I am appreciating small improvements from the curling of my new hair to the near normal nail growth coming through under the rings of chemo damage  on the shattered old ones. Brad Marsellos of ABC Open interviewed me about the photo of the scars recently and it has gone to air and been picked up by Breast Cancer National so it is out there somewhere doing its thing.


About pipsky

A creative, generous 64 year old with a PhD in Performance Studies trying to grow old disgracefully while working like mad in regional Queensland, squeezing the juice out of every day & still trying to find the balance that will maintain the quiet mind that makes her useful to others and nice to live with.

6 responses »

  1. Judy, I’m pleased to see you’re embracing “Mindfulness” and I think doing a retreat is probably the best way to do it as you don’t have the distractions you have at home. My psychologist introduced me to the concept to help me deal with the loss of my mobility. She’s given me a some written material and I find when I get negative thoughts and use the “Thank you mind” response it blows them away. She’s also given me a CD which I will listen to tomorrow and see if that helps. I need to be able to “switch off”. Most days are positive and I cope well because I keep busy, but I do get down days and must forgive myself for that too. You’ve been through so much, it’s good to see you “entering survivorship”.

    • Have tuned into you and your coping with the loss of mobility. Even my small disability can get me down. I appreciate the mantra ‘thank you mind’ – will play with that too. I have the privilege of working with a psychologist for 6 sessions through my local medical practice. She is right on my wave length and it all helps to stay positive and understand the process. I like the guided meditations on CD as well – as long as I stay awake for them! Jude

  2. Glenda O'Sullivan

    Dearest Judy, You are truly inspiring with your courage and boldness. When the going gets tough, the tough get going!! good on you girl …. well done ……embracing life and mindfulness is definately good medicine….all the very best of everything to your and yours XXXX …… love and adore you glenda o’sullivan

  3. Hi Judy … I got to see your clip and then read your story then get here to your blog through a post on the Breast Cancer Network Australia site on facebook ….. I think you are amazing …. I also am on the breast cancer journey … and am looking forward to reading your blog …. I started a blog too ( chemo-sabe ) thinking it was a great way to keep friends and family updated but got a little too tired and sick to update it …. I regret that now ..
    Anyway I wanted to say I shared that clip of yours with “the scar project” and “fight like a girl club” on facebook … as I know clearly you want the message out there …. so your message is being spread all over the world … how fantastic …
    You are an inspiration and I think that attitude is everything when you are facing cancer ..I never said why me … I always said why not me …. and not that I ever wanted to have a cancer diagnosis … but I am grateful …. grateful for all the experiences it gave me … all the fantastic people I have met and of course grateful to still be here … 2 years down the track.
    It’s wonderful to help others and you have definitely done that Judy …. take care and keep smiling ..Love Virginia xx

    • Addit …. just realised I called you Judy instead of Jude …. Ooooops … sorry about that …I am always one to try to get things like that right .. I didnt know how to edit what I wrote so thought an addit with an apology may suffice ….Sorry Jude 🙂 Virginia x

      • Hi Virginia thanks so much for your comment. I am inspired by the postings of the women on the BCNA website- that photo seems to have given them permission to go straight to the heart of what they are dealing with in decisions about surgery especially. Don’t worry at all about the name thing- it is funny- I am Judith but can only hear my mum calling J-u-d-i-t-h-a from the back verandah after I had done something else dreadful; then I was Judy for years until aged and overweight the diminutive just didn’t feel right and when i listened everyone called me Jude anyway so I started to make it official- but I will answer to any anything!

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