How to thrive when your plans are disrupted by chronic illness.

chronic illness mindset Feb 27, 2023

I’ll let you in on a secret.

This year, 2023 was to be the year I launched the Hurdle2Hope podcast.

I was so excited. This was the perfect platform for me. I completed a creating podcast online course. Equipment purchased, systems setup, episodes planned. I was ready to hit record.


But then I lost my voice. This taught me the power of thriving when plans are disrupted by chronic illness, not just survive.


How many times has your illness ruined your plans?

You try so hard to ignore a new symptom. Hoping and praying that it won’t be significant. That you can push through. But sometimes that’s not possible.

The reality is that no matter how much you push your body to keep going, at times, it won’t.

Then comes the stream of appointments, scans, tests and treatment. Time off work and away from everyday life is inescapable.

You have to cancel meetings and reshuffle your work diary. Call friends to rearrange catch-ups. Reschedule planned holidays.

The bad news, chronic illness is relentless. This means such disruption to your life is not a one-off. The experience keeps happening, adding to the frustration and creating despondency.

You can also start worrying about what others think. Is my manager questioning my work ethic? Do friends know I desperately want to catch up, but my body won’t allow it?




Living with chronic illness is frustrating.

Sometimes words don’t adequately convey how frustrating and deflating having your life disrupted by illness is.

People around me struggled to understand what I was saying as my voice deteriorated.

It became exhausting trying to get words out. Having to repeat myself. Making sure I was breathing correctly and not dropping my pitch too much. Although regular speech therapy was helping. The reality hit hard.  Regaining my voice was going to be a long process.

I was devastated. 2022 had been such an incredibly tough year dominated by breast cancer, then the added pressure of making sure my firstborn illness (multiple sclerosis) was okay. It was a balancing act that was mentally draining.

It didn’t seem fair that I was now confronted with another challenge. Muscle Tension Dysphonia created a trifecta of conditions that I didn’t want.


As I lay awake at night, I kept thinking… “How do I move forward in my life without the full use of my voice?”

My voice has been the foundation of my career. Starting in customer service, then in various roles facilitating training sessions and programs. Even through career changes, my voice was key. Working with clients as a social worker or years later auditing disability services.

All the plans I had for the future relied on my voice. The podcast. Developing online courses. Facilitating workshops. Keynote speaking events. Each was what motivated me to get well through my breast cancer journey.

But now that has been taken away as well. It wasn’t fair. I felt defeated.



How to move beyond the frustration of disrupted plans.

When you feel overwhelmed and frustrated by your illness, you become stagnant. You can’t see past the massive hurdle in front of you. The new challenge that your condition has created in your life. You’re at a loss as to how you can keep moving forward.


When it came to losing my voice, it was time for me to pause. To reflect on the insights gained in living with MS. A constant reminder that when you are stuck, at a complete loss as to what to do next, your mindset is everything.


In this moment it was time for me to use this two-step process. Try it yourself to ensure you thrive when your plans are disrupted.


Be clear on your goal.

I had to remind myself why I had created Hurdle2Hope®.  What was the goal?

I wanted to demonstrate how you can live well with chronic illness—sharing mindset insights to help others embrace their life now and be excited about unimagined possibilities that can still be part of their future.

My illnesses kept stopping me from getting my message out. Last year, an unexpected breast cancer diagnosis disrupted my launch and now my voice.

I was confused as to why I kept being roadblocked. Especially since now more than ever, I know the insights work. All year I had been applying everything MS has taught me to what was my new challenge – advanced breast cancer.

I was more determined than ever to find a way to share my story and insights. To stay true to my goal.


Be open to adjusting your plan.

I realised my absolute frustration at losing my voice was that I assumed my goal of helping others with chronic illnesses could no longer happen.

Wrong! I began to realise that the goal was still relevant. But the plan of a podcast and recording my online course could no longer help me achieve this goal.

Time for a new plan. If I can’t speak, I’ll write. And I love the process of creating the weekly Hurdle2Hope blog. Losing my voice reminded me how much I love to write. Writing my book Life Interrupted energised me, and now that energy returns each week.

I’ve also been reminded that some plans don’t have to be dismissed. They can be put on hold. I’m optimistic that the Hurdle2Hope Podcast will happen in the future. My voice will keep getting stronger, and my passion for having conversations and sharing the insights of others will always be there.


Being open to new approaches will attract unimagined possibilities

I assumed that my plan for launching the online course Chronic Illness Mindset would be delayed for another year. But I was wrong again!

I had an energy healing session for my voice, and this word stuck out. Voiceover. I was asked, “Do you know anyone that could be your voice, so you can still work on your course?”

As I was driving home, the answer was clear. Yes! I know just the person. I’d been a guest on the Reframe of Mind podcast series, 'Who is Teisha Rose?'. I loved the experience. Impressed by the conversation but also the quality of the production.

Our paths had crossed for a reason. As my voice continues to strengthen, I can record some videos.  But to protect my voice, I now have absolute professionals to bring my words to life. I couldn’t be happier, and clients’ experience will be better than ever.



Lesson learnt, again.


It’s a given. In living with chronic illness, your plans will be constantly interrupted. But your response will be the difference between staying stagnant, becoming increasingly frustrated at how life is not going to plan, or moving forward.

Moving forward will be easier if you are:

  • Clear on your goal. What do you want to achieve or experience?
  • Open to adjusting, or even ditching, your plan. Thinking about different approaches you could use to achieve the same goal.

This is when you invite the magic to happen in your life, and you start attracting unimagined possibilities.

Are You Ready to Reclaim Your Life?

If you are living with a health challenge or supporting a loved one who is the good news is...

You can start your own Hurde2Hope® journey today by accessing this FREE on-demand MindsetMasterclass.

In it, you'll discover the exact three mindset shifts that have empowered me in my life with MS and now stage 4 breast cancer.

I'm so excited to share these insights with you! ❤️🧡💚