Thursday, April 5, 2012


As I wade into the Western Medical System every treatment is accompanied by a list of “possible side effects”, often they will make me laugh out loud- wondering- really? this is good for me?

What I’ve been thinking about though are other types of reactions, other side effects. 12 years ago I remember the shock of ‘other peoples’ reactions. Prepared this time I’ve been able to have compassion and patience that I didn’t always feel before.

The word cancer, the thought of a mother dying, and whatever other stories come up for people inherently seem to lead to fear. This fear expresses itself in a few different ways- the fighters and the flighters. Mad at the doctors for not catching it sooner, quick to need to ‘do’ something or suggest something, the fighters want to get right in there. The flighters either shut down, avoid, deflect and feel terrible in the process. Unfortunately, I’m having piles of friends judging themselves as selfish.

The thing is, to me selfish is most helpful. How you react is a goldmine for ‘waking up’. For stopping being in a rut of continuing the same pattern over and over. My Truth is that (and this may be hard to wrap the head around) but that you are not sad/mad/frustrated about me, or this story, these emotions are there just waiting to be expressed. They are attached to a tale, the tale is attached to belief and usually that belief has “unintended side effects”.

I’m inviting everyone to be selfish, take a look at the ‘what is going on here’. Become quiet and follow the emotion back. Looking at the behind the scenes drama going on allows us to bring it to the light, the light takes the power and you can lean into being ‘responsive’ vs. ‘reactive’.

What does this look like in practice? Here’s what has been helpful to me.

As soon as I got my diagnosis my first reaction was tears, I was sad, I felt SO, SO bad. As I looked at it, watched what was going on, I saw the following:

“How could I have done this?”

“How could I do this to my parents, my kids, my friends?”

“It’s all my fault”

“If only I had pushed harder"

So sadness was guilt, guilt had this story of how I have done something wrong. Then I look for the belief- the belief that I saw here was “I am responsible to keep everyone happy”- I’ve seen this one in me before. I sat with it. I applied the work of Byron Katie

Now I make sure that I am gentle and kind with myself, this is not an indictment- but an investigation.

This belief that I am responsible to keep everyone happy has the following side effects:
1. Manipulative behaviour
2. fake happiness
3. emotion stuffing
4. rescuing
5. greasy discharge (just kidding, that one just always makes me laugh)

Okay, now what. After a thorough look it usually has lost a lot of it’s power, I ask the Holy Spirit to look at it with me, forgive myself, and wait, if I’m still I will usually get an answer in terms of a feeling of peace, of calm or words “you are innocent” “happiness comes from the inside”

I will also realize that all fear is in the past or future, I actually think I might feel less afraid now that the diagnosis has been made, I’m not afraid that I might have cancer and have to tell everyone. I have it, everyone’s been great, and I am not entertaining dying at this point.

I’m totally cool with the crying, the anger, the pain that is showing up- all good- I just invite you to join me in ‘erasing’ some of these beliefs and set yourself free.

Freedom from suffering- mmmm- that sounds good to me.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this one, it’s trippy to change the idea that “I am sad because...something outside” to “I am not sad for the reason I think, where is this coming from Truly?”.

Let’s do this together. Minga!!!!

"The concept of Minga has existed since before Incan rule. Minga is the gathering of community members to complete a task that benefits all of the community. It is considered each individuals' obligation to the community.”

Thank You to my Cousin Jodi for introducing me to the concept of Minga after hearing Craig Kielburger(founder of Free the Children).


  1. Fawna, your words over the last week or so have really touched me. I've spent the last few years of my life questioning why is this happening to me? to myself and constantly apologizing to the world for not making things perfect for them, in my job, my family, my friends. My husband and I went thru alot to have our daughter, fertility treatments, miscarriages, stress on our marriage. We decided 17 months ago that we did not want to go through the agony anymore. 2 months later I found out I was pregnant. My husband was laid off from his job of 17 years, had a massive infection that needed treatment by homecare daily, and I was pregnant. What should have been the happiest time in my life, what I had always wanted and I was terrified the whole time. But I couldn't let anybody know could I? After all that fear, we were blessed, Shawn found a new job, we have a beautiful daughter and things have settled down. but still I lived with the fear I don't deserve to be happy and this will not last. I find myself doing small things to keep me reminded that this could all change. Then I began to hear of issues other people are going through that have touched my life in some way, family, schoolmates, friends.... and it has made me want to try to be more positive and change things in my life.. I know you don't me well at all but I want to tell you that I have read your statuses and updates for months before this and they have helped me to focus more on the positive then the negative. To find the sunshine in my life and love the rain storms for the beauty they forth. I wish you much energy for this journey you are starting.

  2. I love your awareness Fawna, so powerful. I totally see too that it is our fear that keeps us in these cycles; there can only be fear or love, not both. So the more we love the less we fear. For so many women, its the identifying with a cancer, and yet we are not our bodies, we are not our dis-ease, it's only a symptom and the more we can love ourselves anyway, the more empowered we become. As you learn through your journey and share, you teach many and it's truly awesome to be part of it! Byron Katie is by far the most clear wisdom I've ever heard, hard to take sometimes, but so amazingly powerful once you get it! Sounds like you get it! Cheers to you Fawna, and thank you for sharing the path...

  3. Hey Fawna....I love this!!! I have know you for how long? 25+ years! I feel I have gotten to know you alot better in the last couple of years and I remember how I felt 12 years ago when you got your diagnosis of cancer for the first time. We are the same age, our children are the same age.....I remember how I felt. It was SO unfair. It really is different for me this time. I remember being so angry, sad and full of fear at the thought of losing you, the thought of your parents, husband, children and friends losing you. It was SO unfair that such a beautiful life could be taken at such a young were needed and loved by so many. SO fast forward to here and now......I LOVE what you have eloquently and beautifully pointed out. So yes absolutely I have cried with learning the news that you have cancer again, and I have asked myself why and how and what if......and I have that fear that you are talking about. The fear of losing you.....I love your take on this. Old beliefs and that fear comes from the past or the future.....and that we need to quietly look at what this means for ourselves. We need to live in this moment, these really are the moments of our lives. I love that you are allowing yourself to just feel what comes and really look at it. I love that you are being gentle with yourself. I love that you have realized the side effects of trying to keep everyone else happy....I want you to know that you have helped me to realize this for me. "Freedom from suffering".....I get it more than ever before and YES it does sound pretty amazing. I laughed outloud at the greasy discharge comment with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. That is so Fawna. I hope this makes sense to you....I'm sure you will get it because you get me. Sending all my love.....Jen

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  5. Fawna, thank you so much for sharing this. This really resonates with me...

    "I actually think I might feel less afraid now that the diagnosis has been made, I’m not afraid that I might have cancer and have to tell everyone. I have it.....and I am not entertaining dying at this point."

    For me, the waiting, for the medical team to determine exactly what type of weird rare cancer and how to treat it, was more difficult, I think than actually hearing the diagnosis. I spent the first evening after I heard the diagnosis reviewing my life and thinking about whether I would have changed anything and at that moment, decided "no'.

    "12 years ago I remember the shock of ‘other peoples’ reactions."

    Feeling like I had to be the calm one among those around me flustered and flapping with news of my cancer diagnosis. The word cancer is so frightening for anyone who has not personally faced it I think.

    I remember the first time I met you when I first moved here, you had no hair. I felt an instant connection with you, due I suppose to recognizing you as a sister survivor. I also immediately felt your light, your caring, compassionate, gentle, giving soul. Even though I don't really know you, I always feel that light when I am in your presence. Now I understand that you work at creating that light or maybe you were born with it and in fact work at bringing it out from your soul to create that aura around you.)

    And I must admit, I was shaken to my very core when I saw your message last Saturday on Facebook about your recurrence.
    So I find your blog topic very interesting. I don't have the intuition and clarity that you do, but somehow I guess I worked through those feelings and concluded that as much as I felt sadness and compassion for you and your family, I admitted to myself that a lot of my feelings really related to fear that my cancer might recur. (I was diagnosed in late 1999 and my treatment was in January 2000, and my annual checkups have been clear, so we have similar timelines.)

    "I’m inviting everyone to be selfish, take a look at the ‘what is going on here’. Become quiet and follow the emotion back. Looking at the behind the scenes drama going on allows us to bring it to the light, the light takes the power and you can lean into being ‘responsive’ vs. ‘reactive’.’s trippy to change the idea that “I am sad because...something outside” to “I am not sad for the reason I think, where is this coming from Truly?”.

    Thanks for putting this into perspective for me. As I watched the moon set and the sun rise this morning, I guess I did in fact do exactly that. I have been trying to learn to meditate and have to say that this morning, I started to feel some of that peace and "mind quiet" we all strive for. I also visualized sending some positive healing energy out into the universe for you and another friend currently in treatment. So it was very cool to see this blog now 5 hours later. Karma????

    As Denise so eloquently said above, I too have been following your radio interview, blogs, statuses, updates since you described your first experience. I admire your courage and your ability to process all this and find peace. You also inspire me to focus more on the positive than the negative. I too wish you positive healing energy for your journey.

    Thanks for helping me along my journey of emotional and spiritual growth.

    Take good care and live well.

    Ann Cadrin, Longview, Ab. (ps I am the "unknown" deleted comment above. -apparently Google does not recognize me ;>0