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The day my world turned upside down

On April 26th this year my world turned upside down. I had taken some time off from my business to recover my health after having reached close to adrenal burnout at the end of last year. I thought that having to almost shut down my business due to my health was bad, I never imagined what was coming. I now know that I needed that time to recover because what was coming would push me to my limits and beyond.

Back to April 26th, this was the day that my husband (Paul) was diagnosed with a rare form of melanoma. What had started as an ulcer inside his mouth was found out to be mucosal melanoma which had spread up one side of his jaw. We were told that his lower left half of his jaw would need to be removed and rebuilt using a bone from his leg. The Doctors told us that this would be a fairly straight forward operation which would have him in hospital for about 10 days and then another 3 weeks recovering at home. Then after the operation he would need radiation therapy for any cancer cells that remained. While this was a shock, it seemed that it would be a relatively quick process and he would be back to normal life fairly quickly. My husband was a very fit man who rode a bicycle about 200km each week, there wasn’t an ounce of extra fat on him and he had plenty of muscle.

Unfortunately things didn’t go to plan and Paul ended up having 3 major surgeries in 10 days, he had some serious infections, pneumonia and the skin graft inside his mouth failed twice. He has just had his fourth operation for a third skin graft and remains in ICU being very closely monitored. What started out as a 10 day hospital stay is now almost 8 weeks. During this 8 weeks Paul has been tube fed the entire time, he has lost 12kgs and at times has been so sick that he didn’t even know who I was. Every day for 8 weeks (except the 3 days that he had his extra operations) I have travelled across Sydney (50-60mins each way) to visit him and for the past 3 weeks I have also had my 2 children on school holidays.

There have been so many times over the past 8 weeks that I have been tempted to give up, but I can’t. I can’t walk away from this, every day I have to show up. Whether that is showing up at the hospital or showing up for my children, this is something that I can’t give up on.

In this time I have experienced tears, anger, frustration, unbelievable love and now I have a sense of calm. I don’t know why this happened to us but I do know there is a lesson here for me (and probably my husband). The single biggest thing that has helped me through this time is my daily LifeLine Technique (LLT) Practice. In the LLT we see all pain, stress and suffering as a portal to the greatest version of ourselves. I have used the LLT to help me clear the fear, anger and all of the stress around what was happening in my life.

Many of the people around me find it difficult to understand why I seem so calm and accepting of our current situation, my emotions seem to have disappeared. They are expecting me to be a lot more emotional, particularly this last week when Paul went in for his 4th surgery. I know that me breaking down into a crumbling mess helps no one – not me, not my children and not Paul. My role is to be the light and the strength that others require and for me to be this person I need to make sure that I look after myself. I have committed to doing a few small things for myself including eating well, daily body boosts after my shower, yoga at least 3 times a week, my daily LLT practice and a weekly LLT healing circle with my mentor. This is the maximum that I can do for myself at the moment but since making the decision to find time for these things, I have seem to have more time for other things.

I still don’t know what is going to happen in the future, Paul still has cancer cells inside his skull and he needs to recover properly at home. I have shut down my entire business at the moment but I am thinking about what I will be doing in the future and it feels exciting. I do know that whatever happens I will continue to face the portals of pain, fear and stress so that I can grow into the best version my myself.

Infinite Love and Gratitude



20 Responses to The day my world turned upside down

  1. We choose our way through life and this is another learning experience. When there is no answer, sit with yourself and allow the situation to evolve. Doing nothing is still an action, sometimes harder though. You will come out the other end with beautiful new insights about yourself.

    • thank you for your thoughts Maria, I agree that this is a learning experience. When I stopped looking for the reason and the answer, life became a lot easier. I have already learnt a lot about myself and I am grateful every day for the life I have. Infinite Love and Gratitude

  2. Hugs Angela, you dont know me but have probably seen me on the Naturopathic FB pages. I went through 20 months of a cancer journey with my 19yo son up until May last year (he passed then) and wow it was a big, big big journey. We bring everything we have to this sort of thing, and somehow we keep going and going and going. ANd there are many blessings along the way and places we would never choose to grow that we have to. Thinking of you,

    • Susan, yes I do know you and remember your story about your son. I also remember one day suggesting that you had a marvellous gift to share with other carers who were in your position. I know now how special it would have been to have someone with your knowledge and experience by my side. Even though I have a pretty good knowledge of what was happening to my husband’s body and the treatment they were giving him, I often felt very isolated and at times I felt as if I was fighting the Drs when we had differently philosophies around healing. One of my biggest shifts was trusting that the Drs were doing their very best and they wanted him out of hospital as well and my role was to step back and be a wife and not a practitioner. I certainly hope that one day you are able to share your incredible journey and healing gifts with others who are treading a path you knew well. Infinite Love and Gratitude

  3. sending you energy, healing and best wishes for your hubby… I know we dont know each other well, except electronically but I am on th northern beaches too and if you need something PLEASE ask….. I have been in your shoes taking care of a parent ( not a partner) and its is an ‘odd’ roller coaster of a journey to say the least…..

  4. Infinite Love and gratitude- I understand the added stress you have been under and I hope you appreciate the joy your daily visits bring me (even when I’m drowsy I know you are there.)

    Love you with all my heart.
    Paul Smith

  5. Hi Angela, I wish you lots s of strength although you seem to have gained that inner strength which amazingly becomes one’s sanity when these “life curveballs” get thrown at us! Having gone through these kinds of circumstances with my husband last year too, I focused on him and my children, although they are adults, first and foremost! Something like this impacts on an entire family! My business came second and i actually lost interest at the time. However, it does get better if you put your trust in those who can help your husband and as you said stay strong for your family! You guys will get though it!

  6. So sorry to hear about Paul . I really hope this 4th operation works and he is on the mend after all this time.
    I hope your adrenal fatigue is improving. You sure are having a rough time of it.

  7. Angela, Sending you, Paul, your children and extended family and friends healing energy, love and blessings that all will be healed soon. May your guides be there to assist you in any way. Please remember to ask them.

    Great to read you are consciously looking after you.

    With love, Karen

  8. My beautiful friend, I have always admired your strength, transparency and willingness to sit in the well…,the shit. No doubt Paul feels you in the way that supports him well. God knows you were always a huge support, comfort and wake up call for me many times throughout the years and continue to be. I just love you to bits and send you infinite, love and gratitude.

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