We Survived Cancer, Our Story of Love

I met my husband in Botswana on the 7th of October 2008 at 1pm when he came into my salon for a haircut. It was definately love at first sight. After an hour long haircut that normally takes 25 minutes, he finally left with my card, knowing he will call me again soon. Later that day he sent me a text saying, “Thank your for the nice haircut, everyone in the office think I look HOT now!”. My reply, “So do I”. That day I went home and told my mom. “Mommy I have found my husband!”

 The next day on our first date, after we had both put our best foot forward, we went onto the nitty gritty stuff.  He had survived testicular cancer twice, first age 27 then again at age 32. He had an orchidectomy and radiotherapy, lethal treatments that would leave him infertile but thank God he was sensible enough at that time to safe his sperm and Me at the age of 26, weight at 45kg (7stones), I discovered that I have chronic high blood pressure with my first reading at 216/120! CRAZINESS, IMPOSSIBLE!!! A Drs race to basically safe my life from having a stroke, heart attack and the list goes on. I think we are a health insurance nightmare.

This date and its bittersweet memories would  be the beginning of our adventures of survival, unconditional love, hope, tears, laughter and ultimately our boys!

 We got married in Zanzibar, Tanzania on the 16 January 2010. The Island of romance, spice, sea and beautiful friendly people! It was a bliss-full day.  February 2010 threw us a curveball, Graham’s cancer returned for the third time and he needed to start chemotherapy immediately in Edinburgh. Scotland was cold, wet and I felt very lonely away from my family and support.

We called this cancer Reiner after a very unkind asshole! Naming it somehow gave us the power to tell it that; ” this is the last time that it will put us through this terrible way of life! This time you are getting F**KED!!!”  2010 was a very hard year, but we thrived through it, proof that we can overcome anything as long as we had each other and FAITH!! Nine years later and cancer free, we find ourselves here in Hong Kong!

Love

Jacqui 💕

Drowning

Reeking of alcohol from the night before

Memories flooding back

The screaming and words of hurt

Mascara stained eyes.

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How did she get here?

The dream of happily ever after

A distant life once lived

Head in her hands, sobbing.

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Her son the only reminder of love

Getting him ready for school

Does he feel her fear?

Fear of her loosing herself.

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Under appreciated

Resentment

How can she breath in this current?

Threading water.

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Topping up her glass

Just to take the edge off

So that for a moment

Reality leaves.

Butterfly of forgiveness

I forgive you

For everything know or unknown.

I release you from the guild and pain;

I accept you as you are.

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I forgive you

So that you can find peace.

So that, that tightness in your chest can ease.

So that light can lift you!

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I forgive you your shortcomings,

For all, that is what makes you whole.

I embrace your tears,

For strength needs you to be vulnerable.

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I forgive those who caused pain and resentment!

I free them so, I can be free!

I follow the wings of the butterfly,

Free of emotional trauma!

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My Kids Book Launch

So much excitement and I am a bit nervous too. One thing I have decided, I will not to stress about the future. Will it be a successful? Is anyone going to show up?? Very valid points to get stress out about but there is no point for me to use energy to stress about the unknown. So I will allow for whatever happens is meant to be.

The face painter is booked and we have planned a detective scavenger hunt game. This is going to be so much fun. Snacks for the kids and a glass of bubbly for the adults.

In addition to helping our community by donating some of the proceeds.

To think all this started 3 years ago after the birth of the twins. I felt overwhelmed and my thoughts kept me awake at night. I started my little personal blog “Double Trouble Coping With Twins” to help me cope as a new mom.

Now it’s become a brand and I do have such great aspirations for it! It’s just the beginning and the possibilities are endless!

If you are in Hong Kong come over and join in the fun.

Keep well.

Jacqui

Mama’s Boys

Blond little monkeys,

Scattering around the house.

Laughter and swirling,

Delightful in their play!

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I love you, Mama.

My heart overfilled!

I need you, Mama.

My purpose confirmed.

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Energy levels of crazy notes,

Frustrations competing with each other,

Fighting to assert their presence!

Cries of hurt that Mama comfort.

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Double hugs,

Double joys,

Four little arms,

Wrapped around my neck.

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Jacqui

The Pink Lily

Shining bright against the window,

Stealing a glimpse in your direction.

Pink and loud

Peace for my overwhelmed mind.

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Busy bee, working Mama.

Forgot about herself,

Rushing at work for her existence.

Caring of needs for others.

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Pink and dominant!

Holding its ground,

Bringing me back to reality.

Mama breath and be present.

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The pink lily,

Joy sparked in an instant!

Catching the glare of the sun,

To connect with my heart.

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Be present.

Jacqui

Healing Journey

Every human being is the author of their own health or decease. Budha

I have been suffering from Chronic High Blood Pressure for the last 15 years, a lifetime, RIGHT! All these years I just surrendered to what the Dr’s prescribed or suggested, never taking responsibility for my own health. I can’t change the past now but my future is mine now. My slogan ” I Am Taking Power Back” has been my motivation.

Anxieties and feelings of overwhelm cause by my high blood pressure has been my friends for so long. I finally have these under control through Meditation, Tapping, Reiki and being mindful. It’s a continued journey of learning and adapting. Some days are easier than others but I have taken power back. This in itself is a victory.

I am actively taking care of myself, balancing family, work, social and spiritual foundations in my life. Making sure I am happy, time alone and I try not to overthink. I am still struggling with this, my mind is alway busy. Never resting. Study shows that we have 50 000 – 70 000 thoughts a day. Crazy! I

t has been 4 months of diet change, salt intake management, rest, exercise, homeopathy and consultations with an alternative medicine Dr. It does feel great to be in control. Knowing the plan and my expectations helps me to stay focused.

My biggest supporter is my husband, Graham. Honestly without him I don’t think I would have gone this far. Words of encouragement, praise and my voice of reason when I try to over achieve. I love you babe, for always being there. Looking at my babies is all the motivation I need to preserve their mother till old age.

It is a journey, a lifestyle change to have healthy and long lasting effects. Just live!

Jacqui

Mind Games

Free as the sprayer in the pound.

Thoughts spread across my mind,

Notice them and let it pass,

Calm my mind from it’s chatter.

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Replace the negative with the positive.

You are blessed to be alive.

You are a beautiful soul.

It is possible when the mind believe.

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Reaching the tips of the palm trees;

Soaring high above the clouds!

Still against the chirping of the crickets.

At peace and healing.

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Immerse in the moment,

Appreciate the opportunity.

Let go and surrender

To the tranquility of the mind.

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Jacqui

5 Year Dream

I arrived in Hong Kong on the 3 September 2013. Fresh from African soil. I am from Botswana. The difference was stark: open lands compared to a concrete jungle.

I remember the first day on my arrival, making a promise to myself to one day open my hair salon here. No time limit, no pressure just a silent promise. Hong Kong grows on you. Seems like it’s a general thing with most expatriates, you come for 2 years than you end up staying for 30. Well, we had a 6 months plan and going on to 6 years soon.

I worked in various salons in Sai Kung. I called it my market research and creating a following. The best businesses to start are ones that already exit, copy what they do and do it better by filling a gape in the market. The demand is there and the ground work has been done!

Working but never forgetting my promise. I fell pregnant with the twins in 2015 and gave birth in May 2016. One year later I started doing freelance work. I had a very specific clientele. Remembering my early days with the babies, exhausted, sleep deprived and looking a mess I created a niche market to do house calls for moms that were breastfeeding and those with small kids. They could get their hair done while being home with the kids.

With today’s social media platform, word of month spread across mom pages. Within 3 months I become so busy that doing house call was too demanding and my back breaking from inappropriate chairs and bending over bathtubs. I needed a space where clients could come to me. I found a space in a local Chinese salon, we had an 50/50% commission agreement.

My first salary in July 2017, I made a silent promise again to start saving money so I can prepare to open my salon. I took me one year of hard work and determination, saving every month. As the months passed, I become more busy and my salary increased. The more I earned the more I saved. Honestly where there is a will, there is a way!!

10th September 2018 was such a proud moment, I opened the doors to my little shop Aphrodite Hair and Makeup. A dream 5 years in the making. To eventually achieve a BIG you need to build on small dreams first, make them a reality that build the next stage. Once you are ready for your goal you well be prepared. I have been blessed with a successful business from day one.

As proud and happy as I was with my career and personal life, I become overwhelmed with anxieties of failure, burnout and pressure on myself to do it all. I could not sleep at night. My mind over working itself. My Chronic High Blood pressure raising and getting dangerous.

I broke down one day, realising I needed to change, and I did radically. Diet, exercise, lifestyle and changed it all. I started meditating and practicing mindfulness. I taught myself to run to get outdoors. My life improved so much.

You need to be mentally, physically and socially strong to be able to thrive in all areas of your life. If one these pillars are out of balance you will struggle. Finding inner connection is so important.

Keep thriving

Jacqui