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Episode 10. Begin Your Healing Journey Now: Navigating Health Challenges

Mar 14, 2024




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Hey there, Teisha here. Welcome to Episode 10 of Wellbeing Interrupted. Today, I want to focus on the healing journey. I want to talk about how you can start healing right now.


So, whether you've had an appointment that didn't go so well with a specialist yesterday, whether you're lying in bed over it, so sick and tired of how life is because of your health condition, annoyed about the impact that condition is having on your plans for the coming weeks, months, and years, or whether you're trying to work out how to possibly start living again. You know you're keen, you're positive, you want to embrace life again, but you just don't know where to start.


So, regardless of where you are right now, I know you can start your healing journey now. And I know this to be true, as MS over twenty-five or now twenty-seven years, has shown me the how. And now I'm applying this to stage four breast cancer. But the thing is, I want these insights to be available to you as well because I've gone through so much, and going through that seems a bit pointless if I can't share all the insights, and I want to save you some of the stress, anxiety, and fear I know can be created by having an illness in your life.


So, if you want to start healing right now, listen up because this episode is definitely for you.




Teisha’s Personal Healing Journey


Many years ago, I studied an Arts degree and majored in Psychology. And within that, I still remember the lab tutorials, and I didn't enjoy them. I didn't enjoy the research component of my psych degree. But we did talk about quantitative research and qualitative research. And I was thinking, as I was preparing for this podcast, who would have thought all these years later, these labs would spring back to mind, but I realized that my life has been one massive qualitative research project.


In living with MS, I was diagnosed back in 1997 when I was just twenty-two years of age. So, I just finished this psych degree and my business degree as well. And since that very moment, my life has been such a roller coaster of highs and many, many debilitating lows. So, I went from aggressive relapses, spending weeks, months sometimes in hospital unable to move, going through the really full-on process of rehab and staying in rehab centres and having daily therapy trying to get my legs or arms moving again.


And then I've had some exhilarating highs, some amazing experiences from travelling and living overseas, working in Romania, to moving to a country town, moving down to the beach. And then I've had periods of growth. Where I've decided, yep, let's make some significant changes in my life, but I started opening up to exploring natural therapies, introducing meditation more into my life, just doing things that focused on my personal growth.


And in my book “Life Interrupted, My Journey from Hurdle to Hope”, which was published back in 2015. When I was writing that book, I didn't just want to focus on my story, and I don't want to just focus on my story now. And I think from studying psychology, studying social work, working as a social worker, my mind is very inquisitive. And in my story, I wanted to make sense of why, why I was able to get through these horrendous lows. Why I could then have some of these amazing experiences, but then the roller coaster continued and then even after, for example, living in Scotland for a year, I came back and had a career change, went back to uni, studied social work but then I had a massive relapse. And I couldn't use my arms, couldn't use my legs. It was horrendous. And I kept thinking, why? I've made all of these changes. I've had the career change. I've moved to a country town. I should be feeling great. But I wasn't because I realized I slipped back into old habits, the same habits I used to create stress and anxiety in my life, in my career, it was the same as when I was working in corporate. I still approached my working life the same.


When I stepped back, I realised there were three situations that kept happening. I realized the first was a crisis. And I'm talking about those lows I'm talking about spending time in hospital, rehab, being told there's new significant symptoms, going through new treatment plans, all of those really stressful moments that are part of living with an illness. And then there were the periods of emotional turmoil. Those periods where I kept pushing my body too much, particularly in my work life. Pushing myself, not listening to the cues I should have to slow down, but feeling. So annoyed that MS was stopping me from living the life I wanted to live, at work, at home as well. And it was that period of emotional turmoil that eventually forced me to look at my life differently. It made me realize when I was lying in a hospital bed unable to move that work, not so important, that my health had to be my priority. So eventually, I started letting go of everything that didn't align with good health.


And then I realised I often came to this period of new beginnings. And for me, that was really focusing inwardly. And thinking okay, MS is part of my life now. I still want to live a good life. I still want to embrace my life. So how do I do that? And that was the periods of growth. That's when I started challenging my thinking towards what I wanted in life – in my personal life, and at work as well. It led to career changes. I met Andrew during this time, during this time as well. But then I realized this isn't linear. I realized I kept having crises. I kept experiencing emotional turmoil. I kept accepting where I was now. I kept not giving up hope of where I wanted to be in the future, and I kept working on myself. And the good thing was, that the more I worked on myself, even if a crisis happened, even with the next relapse, or even with a diagnosis, of stage four breast cancer, I had built up this resilience. And by resilience, I mean I had all of these insights that enabled me to start healing with my diagnosis of cancer straight away. And that's why I'm so confident that what I'm teaching in the Hurdle2Hope Roadmap works because it's worked on me. So now I live with two significant health challenges in MS and stage four breast cancer, both currently in remission. I certainly don't know what my future holds, but the difference now is I'm not sitting here in absolute fear and worried about the uncertainty of my future. Instead, I'm confident that no matter what happens, I can have an impact every step of the way.



Traffic Light Approach to Navigating Health Challenges.


I want you to imagine a set of traffic lights. Stage one or the first situation I really should say, is a crisis. You're in the red zone. You're stopped at the traffic lights because your life, as you know it, has been interrupted. It may be a new diagnosis, it may be new symptoms, it may be a massive treatment plan. I know with cancer, I've been very fortunate not to have to have chemo. I had that with MS but not with cancer. And chemotherapy is brutal, and that stops your life as you know it in those moments. So, let's imagine we're stopped by the traffic lights, and there is so much we need to do to get through that moment.


And what I talk about is how when you're going through a crisis, what can you do to harness your strength? One tip I share in the actual quiz. So if you're at a crisis stage, I talk about things like, block out external noise. If you're in crisis mode, you know there are certain people within your life that they're good to talk to. They hold space for you but they don't add to your stress and anxiety. That's hard to say when you can't talk. So by blocking out external noise by speaking to people who hold space for you, who uplift you, who give you some confidence, by not reading information that feeds your anxiety, by only referring to trusted information sources. Blocking out that external noise will really create an environment where you can tap into the strengths you have. And if you've been living with your illness for some time, you've got so much strength there, that you just need to create an environment where you can bring that strength to the surface. And if you've just been diagnosed, think of all the strength you've displayed in all other aspects of your life. That strength won't abandon you in this really dark hour of being diagnosed with your condition. So you need to create an environment where you can tap into that strength.


Okay. So back in the car scenario, we're now at the orange light. And this represents emotional turmoil. And why I like this traffic light analogy is that when you see the orange light, you either choose to move forward or you stay stagnant and you hit the brakes and stop. And that's what happens with the stage of emotional turmoil. You're feeling frustrated, agitated, and annoyed at life. It's not fair that this illness is stopping you from living the life you assumed would be yours. It's very important to feel those emotions and be authentic to how you are feeling. That's absolutely okay. In episode three, I talk about the importance of balancing authenticity, having an authentic mindset, and acknowledging the emotions you're experiencing with positivity. We don't have to be positive all the time. For me, I try and hold on to a positive outlook about my future, knowing I can have an impact on it, but that's not at the expense of authenticity. So if you're feeling really scared, and that's where the emotional turmoil happens, that's okay. You're allowed to feel those emotions. But like with the traffic light, either you stay in that energy, or you decide to somehow move forward and pass that.


In the quiz, I talk about one way you can do that is by slowly shifting your focus. This is not through toxic positivity, not through saying, "Yeah, everything's fine. It's going to be great. It's only cancer. It's only MS. Other people have something worse or better." It's about discovering ways to shift this energy.


One way we can do this is to start thinking about little things we're grateful for. So don't worry, I'm not going all woo-woo on you, but just practice doing this. For example, I can think about the absolute stress of hearing my local doctor tell me I had breast cancer. Or what brings a smile to my face is not that horrendous news; it was the fact that Andrew was sitting there beside me, tickling my back. Me thinking, would it be great if you did this at home, but so pleased he's doing it now. Because in that moment, I knew I had his support; we were in this together. So, shifting your focus onto what you're grateful for, or just a few little things that can bring you joy in your life, you'll be surprised that that shift of focus will create the momentum you need to keep moving forward.


And that brings us to the green light. Because if you decide to start moving forward, even if it's very slowly, that's okay. You then hit the green zone. And this is where we want to be. This is new beginnings. New beginnings for me means I'm accepting what I have in MS and the impact it has on my life and the reality that I have stage four breast cancer. It's accepting the reality that is now, but we are now in the growth zone. So here, I've got the right mindset to start exploring new ways of understanding my health condition, exploring natural therapies, to start challenging how I'm living my life.


So this is where I started to be more flexible, and that's the activity if you're in this zone I talk about. Because we can still have dreams for the future, we can still have goals that we want to achieve. But hey, living with MS and cancer means I've got to do those a little bit differently. I've got to be prepared to be flexible. And that's what this zone is about.


If I use me as an example again, I wanted something to change in our life the last couple of years if I was going to heal from cancer, if I was really going to change how we were living. Then I wanted new experiences, and this time I didn't want to pack up and go overseas. That was not what I was after, but we wanted a change in our life. So we started going for drives. We started visualizing and envisioning our life on a block in nature. And over a few months, this actually became a reality for us, and we've purchased, as you'll see on my Instagram account at Hurdle2Hope, that we've bought a hundred acres of land, and this is where we're going to live. And I'm so excited because I know this is where I can really focus inwardly on my healing. I feel the energy as soon as I enter our block. But that would never have happened if I was still stuck on the orange light in emotional turmoil. That only happened when I thought right. I'm living with these two conditions. I accept that. That's okay. But I'm now going to focus on this and change my life so I can heal and hold on to the hope I have for my future.


The Healing Journey Quiz


As you can probably guess, I'm pretty excited about the potential of the Hurdle2Hope roadmap and this healing journey quiz having an impact on the lives of others dealing with the stress, anxiety, and fear of a health condition. Because I know now, more than ever, in living through MS and now stage four breast cancer, that it really can have an impact on your experience. Because I know when you're going through things, in that moment, it's really hard to get perspective and to know what to do, to know how to respond to different situations, to know how to possibly move forward. And that's what this is all about. It's about me sharing my insights to help you keep moving forward.


❤️ So whether you're in the red zone experiencing a crisis, whether it's a new diagnosis, new symptoms, new prognosis, and a really difficult treatment plan, this healing journey quiz will help you because I'll send you different resources to help you keep moving forward.

🧡 If you're in the orange zone, if you're surrounded by emotional turmoil, if you're feeling frustrated, if you're feeling annoyed about how life is so difficult, this is when it's really hard to look ahead clearly, and that's when the resources and activities I can send you will help give you perspective, and will help you to gradually shift your focus.

💚 Then if you're in the green sign, that's fantastic. But there's so much we can do in that sign, in the new beginnings, that will help you to continue on this road of self-discovery. As this zone is so important to help you build resilience, so even if another crisis hits, you'll be more prepared. You'll have that resilience that will help you to harness your strength during the crisis a whole lot more easily.


I'll leave it there. I could talk about this for ages, and I noticed my voice is better today. Maybe it's because I'm meant to be speaking about this. So go to with the number two. On the homepage, there's a link to the quiz. Otherwise, go to It will only take you a few minutes, but in those few minutes, I will be able to see exactly where you are on your journey and what you need to do to keep moving forward.


Thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate the time. I've had great feedback so far, but I guess, it gives me confidence that what I'm doing is worthwhile and it's helping others. Enjoy your week. I'm about to pack up and go away for a long weekend on our beautiful block. It's going to be very hot, so that will be interesting MS-wise but cancer-wise I need it. So we'll see how we go. Enjoy your week, and we'll chat very soon.