Like a Phoenix Rising
Today’s blog needs very little introduction as it is written with honesty and shows the beauty of the author who has, like a phoenix from the flames, risen from her battles. Not only has she overcome her own adversity, she created a support group, samsspaces, to help others in theirs.
There are some amazing people out there and I honestly think anyone who can overcome personal tragedy and upset and still maintain dignity, compassion and see love, hope and wonders in others well, for me they’re heroes so often unsung. Today’s blog is a celebration of the strength and power in us all. A celebration of humility and compassion; of love and hope. A chance to tell the world how much we love fairies and angels and magic and how we believe there’s a little magic and wonder in all of us. We should all embrace that magic, live to our fullest and inspire others to do the same as and where we can xxx
“Angels and fairies will always have a special place in my life. They are a little sprinkle of magic! To have something to hang a hope on, whether religious, symbolic or otherwise, is imperative to any healing process. Keeping the faith in ourselves, trusting in our bodies amazing ability to recover and knowing that we have so much to live for, as well as being so grateful for what we do have, is not just a state of mind, but everything that a little winged peg doll can remind us of, every day x “
‘She wore her scars as her best attire; a stunning dress made of hellfire’ – Daniel Saint.
Of all the Lotty lollipop dolls, it was the Phoenix fairy peg doll that jumped out at me from the website page, like a jack in the box! I bought one after my double mastectomy because the poem resonated so much. At a time when my vulnerability and femininity were drifting around me like leaves on a breeze, I was led to this winged beauty, who emanated strength, light and warmth. I felt as if someone had managed to create a symbol of solidarity when I needed it the most.
Angels have been a part of my life since I can remember. My maiden name, Engelen, means angels in dutch and I have always been aware of them. There was always one nearby; a figurine, a necklace, a picture. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with my first diagnosis of breast cancer eleven years ago, though, that I realised just how much of a presence they were in my life and how poignant that was for me after an angel reading I had during my treatment.
I couldn’t believe more in guardian angels. My mother, sister and I were in a serious car accident when I was five, my daughter came into the world in a whirlwind and I had to have a c section, I have had three breast cancer diagnosis’s and two weeks ago, I underwent a hysterectomy and had my ovaries removed.
These things have made me who I am and my scars all tell a story, a story that I feel is important to share, not just for my own healing but to support others too. After my second cancer diagnosis I began blogging about my experiences to offer solidarity to other younger patients (I was 26 when I was first diagnosed) I then set up my website Samspaces, to raise awareness for life after cancer and to remind those recovering, of the important of space. It offers an online resource and community to empower recovery and help build survivors own support tribe post cancer, when the safety net can often fall away.
After all three of my diagnosis I have been amazed at the emotional fall out and the impact on my mental health. No one prepares you for the emotional side effects, as well as the long lasting effects of treatment, and it can hit like a brick wall or circle around others like vultures, creating a sense of confusion and distress. The wealth of support during treatment is amazing but once active treatment has finished, it can feel overwhelming as you are left to adjust to life again. It felt like I was falling down the rabbit hole all over again.
In April 2015 Samspaces created an active support group for anyone post cancer treatment, in the Surrey and Hampshire areas. We meet twice a month, once for a walk and a cuppa and then again for a wellbeing workshop, talk or demonstration. We have had crystal workshops, cookery demo’s, dance classes and makeovers among other things. The joy and solidarity that is created in these sessions is so uplifting and the relationships that have developed are testament to the incredible strength, courage and honesty of all the members, whether they come regularly or not.
Samspaces also runs bi monthly parenting workshops offering further support to women who may have families who are dealing directly or indirectly with a cancer diagnosis. We also offer free monthly yoga classes which are always gentle, restorative and relaxing. Some of us have successfully nodded off a few times at the end of a class!
When my wonderful reflexologist told me about Lottylollipop I was so excited. Not only are the dolls perfectly made with such beautiful personal touches but there is one for every occasion. I buy them as thank you gifts as well as thinking of you gifts, for any friends going through challenging times, including cancer. I even had one personalised for myself. Everyone I have given one to has been so touched and loved them.
Angels and fairies will always have a special place in my life. They are a little sprinkle of magic! To have something to hang a hope on, whether religious, symbolic or otherwise, is imperative to any healing process. Keeping the faith in ourselves, trusting in our bodies amazing ability to recover and knowing that we have so much to live for, as well as being so grateful for what we do have, is not just a state of mind, but everything that a little winged peg doll can remind us of, every day x
Facebook – @Samspaces
Instagram – @samspaces_safespaceaftercancer
Twitter – @samspaces
If you would like to send in your story of grief, loss, friendship, mental health or a story of hope please message me: email@example.com
Your story will be published here and on our Lotty Lollipop facebook page. As a thank you we will also send you a Rainbow Wish Fairy free of charge. We would love to hear from you.