My Journey

my journey with cancer
by Natalie Skippers
04 August 2017

It is the feeling of tiredness
That creeps on you even if you havent done anything all day long.
It is the crying spells that overtakes you
when you are finally left all alone after a long day of pretending to be okay.
It is the waking up every 2 am with your thoughts all jumbled up and morose.
It is the desire to sleep all the time, to stubbornly stay on bed,
and be continually lost in dreams that never makes sense.
It is wanting to be somewhere that isnt really here on the here and now.
It is the staring contest at the ceiling, when you finally found a temporary peace
in finding no thoughts, no chaos, no feelings, just a deep hollowed numbness at
the centrer of your being. – Explaining sadness by Cynthia Go

What a perfect description of the Cancer of the soul,
The disease that steals your joy; your peace; your happiness.....

2015
I was diagnosed early January 2015 with Major Depression....finally their is a name for this thing which I carried with me since childhood - Family and friends had to accept when Nathalie is in her ‘space’ – My family always refers to: “Sy is weer nie lus vir mense nie!”
Isolation; loneliness; confusion – darkness that creeps up, when I least expected it; And leaves my mind and body after 2; 3 days or a week.....
I was admitted to Tygervalley Clinic in Feb 2015 for 10 days and here my journey continues...

Here I was amongst people experiencing the same feelings:
• Lost of control
• Lack / void of “something”

Whom I could relate to; without saying a word!
I’ve returned back to work in March.

During my counselling sessions this one statement I will always remember:
‘There is a reason for depression’.......... my response: ‘ What the @#%&* can it be?!’

Today I am standing here, knowing what I know what I know....

I needed this Journey of SELF-DISCOVERY.

I enjoyed my work; it was so rewarding and I have experienced the job satisfaction I longed for....but during this period I discovered more of me; what I stood for. BUT somehow the work space/environment ‘clashed’ with MY reality.....

How do you walk away from something that feel so right? To know you could make a difference in someone’s life- a mother; a father; child; student....

In August my medication has been increased from 10mg to 20mg; on 18 August I could not get out of bed and I had to prepare for a trip to Graaf-Reinet the following day. Just the thought of my hair! – I got up; went straight to the barber and cut it all OFF! What a feeling of relief that was... only to hear from your therapist, at the next counselling session, that it links with self-destructive behaviour...really?

Nevertheless, I enjoyed this... 1 thing less to worry about!

It felt as if I was kept hostage because I could not walk away from my work/job. As a family we would not be able to survive on 1 salary. There is just no way! But on 17 November, I’ve submitted my resignation letter. It was the best day ever... the feeling of relief but moreso.. the PEACE I felt.... My husband was very supportive and this was NOT an easy decision to make. The sad part of course was to tell my students and families. I had to do this in person because I value relationships and this was not only a job for me.
I’m at home since January 2016 and boy, what an experience:

ME FIRST
• I dont like to sweat, but I started to gym 3 x week; like a lady of leisure; spending my pension at the age of 38
• Complete the course of 18 months on anti-depressants – 3 June

FAMILY TIME
• Fetching my children directly after school; make lunch; sit with homework
• Hubby comes from work to the smell of a nice home cook meal

TO GIVE
• Support from family and friends; STAND IN FOR OTHER MOMS; to make new friends

Accepted GOD as my Lord and Saviour
• Growing spiritually
• We are surviving on 1 salary by GOD’S grace

MY ZOE EXPERIENCE– BIBLE STUDY GROUP - 2016

I was introduced to the Zoe group on 28 July 2016

On 4 August I have accepted God as my Lord and Saviour – Annette(Mamma) prayed with me and gave the verse: Romans 8:28

During the Zoe sessions I could celebrate LIFE:
 18 Aug 2016 – a year since Ive cutt of all my hair which was seen as ‘self destructive behaviour; but on this day I could celebrate in God’s presence; Victory; when I look in the mirror now – I see a new me; a new life in Christ
 1 Sept 2016 – I could spent my birthday and celebrate my life in the presence of God, again. There is a perfect reason why HE created me
 17 Nov 2016 – The last day of Zoe; a year after I wrote and submitted my resignation letter.
The fact that I could be at home; I had more time for God – there is a reason for every season. I am so excited for the next season.

2017
Volunteer at church as secretary. I am so grateful to the Almighty God that I just want to give back; my time; my skills.

2018 will be a new season in my life and Im getting excited because I know God has a lot in store for me.

But TODAY
1) God was present; every step of the way – 1 Cor 10v13
2) I can look in the mirror and I can se ME; a Happy me and I know that happiness is within.
3) I can be true to myself;
I am a priority: When you say YES to others; make sure you are not saying no to yourself
4) By trying to keep somebody happy; you can actually block God’s work in their life – LET GO; and LET GOD!
5) The wise words of Maya Angelou:
I can be changed by what happens to me
I can refuse to be redused by it!

Ive learned that no matter what happens to me or how bad it seems today; life does go on and it will be better tomorrow!
3 June 2017 – sharing my story/my journey to 130 ladies at a ladies event “SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND” – Wow Wow Wow

Keep on shining!