Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cancer Journal 11: Still Angry after All These Years

Angry Black Woman
Listen below to hear my latest reflections on how anger and my health issues are connected. There is a direct connection between anger and cancer.  

I could have called this series "The Angry Black Woman's Cancer Journals". 

Click here for more Cancer Journals with Zhana

Click here for Success Strategies for Black People

Audre Lorde:  Your Silence Will Not Protect You 

Click here for Why We Need to Heal.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cancer Journal 10: Gratitude, Our Healing

Listen below to hear how gratitude is transforming my life.  This is attitudinal healing.  Gratitude is an amazingly strong emotion. 

I am an angry Black woman, and I believe there is a link between anger and cancer.  Listen below for more.  
Check Out Books Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Zhana21 on BlogTalkRadio

Click here for more about the link between anger and cancer.  

Click here for more Cancer Jouirnals.  

Click here to order Success Strategies for Black People.  

Please leave your comments below, and please share this with your networks.  Thanks.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cancer Journal 9: Managing the Pain - Or Not

I had a complete hysterectomy at the end of May.  I just could not believe the amount of pain I was in afterwards. 

Listen below for more. 

See also:  Cancer Journal 8:  A Healing Process

Click here for more Cancer Journals.  

Please share this with your networks, and please leave your comments below.  Thanks. 

Check Out Books Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Zhana21 on BlogTalkRadio

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cancer Journal 8: A Healing Process

Angry Black Woman
Is there a link between anger and cancer?  Listen below. 

You can always tell when a Black woman is angry.  And we have plenty of reasons to be angry.  Sometimes we have to fight to get the healthcare we want, need and deserve. 

As I said here, I have experienced a lot of anger in my life

Click here for more Cancer Journals.

Check Out Books Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Zhana21 on BlogTalkRadio


Monday, May 18, 2015

Cancer Journal 7: EFT for Releasing Fear

See below for relaxation audios with effective ways to  release fear and anxiety.  

In addition to anger, I've been experiencing a lot of fear.  Enormous, overwhelming fear.  I am sure this is natural under the circumstances.

I've been doing loads of tapping, but I am not sure how much this has worked.  Then, last week, I did a brilliant tapping session with my EFT practitioner.  She is in South Africa now, so we Skyped.

As I said, it was amazing.  We went back into my childhood to tap on some serious issues including the part of myself that is still damaged from many years of abuse (mainly verbal), and my feelings of unworthiness that stem from the difficulties I experiencedThey still affect me now.

She also had me tap on the fear of fear – maybe I'm scared of being scared.  This really helped.

During the tapping, I let go of a lot of stuff.  I felt so much calmer afterwards. Brilliant.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cancer Journal 6: What Are Angels?

Angels Answers Cards
Continuing this blog series “Cancer Journals”, named after Audre Lorde's classic The Cancer Journals. Please leave your comments below. Thanks. 

I don't know what angels are. That is to say, I don't know what they represent in my belief system. Being a Buddhist, I do not believe in, or worship, a god or a creator of any kind. For many years, even when I was a Christian, I did not believe in the existence of angels, But now, I know that they are real, and I believe they are a beneficial influence. I have experienced profoundly, deeply peaceful mental states when working with angels.

A few months ago, I realised that by my bedside I had several decks of angel cards, two books about angels and an angel diary. I had to concede that I really do believe in their existence.

I remember, many years ago, watching a film in which my teacher Sangharakshita compared angels to Bodhisattvas. At the time, I thought, “why is he talking about angels? Surely he must know they don't exist!” Wow, how wrong can you be?

The angels have guided me (via the cards) to write and publish this blog series. I don't particularly want to do so, but I am always willing to try things and see where they may lead. This could be a healing process for myself and for others. Hence, this series.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cancer Journal 5: An Angry Life

Angry Black Woman
Continuing this blog series “Cancer Journals”, named after Audre Lorde's classic The Cancer Journals.   Please leave your comments below.  Thanks.

Anger has always been an issue for me.   And even as a young child, I always believed that anger is connected with cancer – if we don't find ways to process our anger effectively.

As Black people, we cary a lot of anger due to the oppression we face, and we have carried that anger for generations. When we carry negative emotions, they block us from attracting the things we want and deserve.  For more about this, see Achieving Success and Why We Need to Heal.

The negative emotions we carry affect our families as well, and I believe they can not only make us prone to disease, but also block our healing process.  But I have long felt the need to hang onto my anger.  It's as if I think it protects me.  I have thought of anger as a protection, a form of armour.  But really, the opposite is true.

This is why I have decided to record a healing meditation to help me let go of any negative emotions and anything that could be blocking my healing process.  It will not just be for people who have cancer, it will be for anyone who needs physical or emotional healing.

I have carried a lot of intense anger and fear in the past, which stems partly from the abuse I experienced growing up.

I'm a lot less angry than I used to be, but I still experience the full range, from mild irritation to annoyance, to anger, rage and fury.  Even lingering resentment can be destructive, as it alienates us from others, and eats away at us from the inside.

I trust that my new healing meditation will help me, and will be beneficial for you, too.  I shall be posting a link in the next few days.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Cancer Journal 4: Brain Freeze

Brain Freeze
Continuing this blog series “Cancer Journals”, named after Audre Lorde's classic The Cancer Journals.  Please leave your comments below.  Thanks. 
I saw the hospital psychologist on Friday.  She reckons I am still in shock, and I realise now that I am.  I'm very vague a lot of the time, and I'm having trouble making decisions.

Once I was given the cancer diagnosis, I went into brain freeze.  As my flat fills up with packing materials, my head can hold very little apart from clothes, green candles and similar.  I am usually not that into clothes, but I am turning into one of those women who take ages to decide what to wear.

At times like this, it's useful to have friends who tell me what to do, like the one I talked about here.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Cancer Journal 3: Shopping for Green Candles

Green is the colour of life and health.
Continuing this blog series, “Cancer Journals”, named after Audre Lorde's classic The Cancer Journals.  
Please leave your comments below. Thanks.

I've been shopping like crazy.  I recently received a substantial refund on payment protection insurance (PPI).  (Swings and roundabouts.)  So I am spending it.

A spiritual friend whom I trust implicitly suggested that I chant the White Tara mantra.  I am very drawn to Green Tara, who is extremely beautiful - she is the essence of Compassion.  But I have never been particularly interested in White Tara.  I can't get my head around the thought of a Buddha or Boddhisattva being white.  It just makes no sense to me.

However, on his suggestion, I have started chanting the Green Tara mantra.  He says it increases one's life force energy.  I have been doing the Tara puja (ritual) and I chant both the Green Tara and White Tara mantras during it.

I have completely changed my shrine now.  It has been largely pink for several years.  Pink represents unconditional love, and particularly self-love and self-care.

Now, I have changed it to green and white.  Green is the colour of the heart, the colour of unconditional love and compassion.  It also represents growth, health, prosperity and abundance.
So I've been doing lots of shopping for green candles. They are surprisingly hard to find. One shop owner told me someone came in and bought up all the green candles in his shop around St. Patrick's Day.  But that was more than six weeks ago now – come on, man.

So I ended up buying some online.  Big green candles, small green candles, long green candles, short green candles
Yeah, lots of shopping.  Maybe all this shopping is my way of reaffirming life. I seriously updated my wardrobe online the other day.  Yesterday, my doorbell kept ringing. A steady stream of goodies arrived at my door. Brilliant.  Where to put all this stuff? I'm enjoying it, though.

Still, I need to face the fact that I may not be here next year to enjoy this stuff – or even next month.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Cancer Journal 2: My Diagnosis

Continuing this blog series, “Cancer Journals”, named after Audre Lorde's classic The Cancer Journals.

Below is a letter I sent to my sister, who is a doctor, yesterday.  It is a bit technical, as it gives a few of the details of my diagnosis.

I saw the doctor at the hospital yesterday. I shall be having surgery on ----- and be in hospital for 4-5 days afterwards. The surgeon will be Mr. M----, who was the consultant I was referred to.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions. The cancer is inside a cyst which is either on my right ovary or in the peritoneum next to my uterus and ovary.  They are going to remove everything - my ovaries, womb and cervix, as well as some fat cells and some lymph nodes in the area. The cancer MAY have spread to the lymph nodes, but they are not sure.

They have not found a primary site for the cancer and are not sure whether the cyst is the primary. They expect to know more once the pathologist has examined the tissue.

I think that is pretty much all I know now.... I do find that the more information I get, the more upset I become, so I need to manage this.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Cancer Journals

The Cancer Journals
I have named this blog series “Cancer Journals” after Audre Lorde's classic The Cancer Journals.

It's been three weeks since I found out I had cancer.  My consultant gynaecologist had been trying to phone me and left messages on my voice mail, but as I sometimes don't check it for a couple of days, I didn't realise.  I had emailed his secretary asking if I could have the results of the tests I'd had done.  Then I got the letter telling me of an appointment to see a consultant at the MacMillan Cancer Centre, so I knew.

The first two weeks, I was pretty much in shock. I met with the consultant oncologist, who told me I would have to have a complete hysterectomy.  In between being in shock, I have been going through the first stages of grief:  denial and anger.  I have been angry at pretty much everybody – everybody who doesn't have cancer, everybody who has a partner or children or family around them – so that's pretty much everybody.

Trying to get the support I need, well, that's an ongoing battle.  Or series of battles.  Anyway. I'm strong.  I'm tough, right?  I am a warrior.  I am also vulnerable.  And I certainly was not expecting this.

I don't know how long I can keep up this blog series, because I don't know how I will feel physically or emotionally, or if I will have the courage to say what's really going on for me.  I'll do my best to keep it real, for as long as I can.  But some days, no doubt I will not feel up to posting.  

I trust you will find this series useful and helpful.  Please leave your comments below.  

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Why Are So Many of Our People Dying?

We cannot overstate the effect that centuries of slavery and oppression have had, and still have, on our mental and physical health, our emotional wellbeing, our relationships, and our economic status.

African Americans are dying disproportionately from cancer and other health challenges including, among other things, cardiovascular problems, stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer's.  For more about these and other issues, click here to download Why We Need to Heal.  
Why are so many of our people dying?  Why are our people dying at such higher rates than the rest of the population?

Is this to do with poverty and discrimination?  Is it to do with lack of access to healthcare? Is it to do with racism within healthcare provision?

Is it due to diet and lifestyle?

As suggested by this video from the African American Cultural Center, is it a cultural thing – do we just accept that we will be subject to certain health issues?

For more about health issues and other challenges facing our communities – and what we can do about them - click here to download Why We Need to Heal.

I would love to know your opinion. Please leave your comments below.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Many African Americans Still Can't Access Healthcare

African American Cultural Center

Despite the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare, one group is particularly likely to be without affordable healthcare.  

According to this article, Many African-Americans Fall Into a Health 'Coverage Gap'.  

One more reason Why We Need to Heal

The health 'coverage gap' is partly caused by the fact that 55% of African Americans live in states that have not adopted affordable healthcare via Medicaid.  Added to this, many earn over the Medicaid threshold but do not earn enough to qualify for subsidized health insurance.  

As expanding the eligibility for Medicaid is now optional, many states have chosen not to adopt it, and these states are often those with large African American populations.  More of a quarter of those who are covered are Black.  Some Latinos also miss out, but not in the same proportions.  

So race is still playing a key role in access - or lack of access - to healthcare. 

Click here to read more.