Today is a very special anniversary for my beloved husband Gerald and myself. Many of you who have learnt Reiki or had a session with me may have heard some of this story. 10 years ago today, our whole life was turned upside down.
What was one of the most frightening events in my life, back then turned out to be one of the greatest gifts we could ever have imagined. I thought today I would share with you Gerald’s story and the life changing insights that Leukaemia taught him and us all.
FINDING YOUR PURPOSE AND LIVING FULLY, By Gerald Brandis
10 years ago today I was served one of life’s greatest lemons. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. A blood cancer capable of being terminal within only a matter of weeks. To this day it still rates as one of the best things that has happened to me in my life. No my life wasn’t so crap before this happened that made this such a positive experience. But there was a large part of my life that I wasn’t happy with which was my work. As great as the companies I worked for were, my career in sales was never really aligned to my strengths so every day at work was work. I didn’t go home every night feeling like I had achieved anything.
My journey through leukaemia allowed me the time to reflect on my life’s choices and I realised that if every choice I had made had led me to this point, then what would happen if I started making choices based on the level of happiness it would bring me. I made sure that while the medical staff at Fremantle Hospital looked after my body, I would look after me, my state of mind and my outlook on the whole experience. Over the 6 month journey, there were definitely some rough days. As a whole though, most of my days allowed me to tune in to my body and my thoughts and truly understand what made me tick, what I was really good at and how I wanted to spend my days at work to provide for my family.
Over the last 10 years, I have taken the opportunity to retrain at TAFE studying drafting at night school. This led to an opportunity to change careers and complete my studies as a Trainee Draftee with Summit Projects. Becoming a 30 something trainee while being the main breadwinner was a massive risk to take, but based on the happiness it would bring me rather than the work I was doing, it made perfect sense to take this risk. 5 years after that I was promoted to Drafting Manager leading the Summit Homes New Homes drafting team. Today I go home from work each day feeling that I have made a difference with the knowledge I share with my team and the decisions we make each day that have lasting impacts on the houses we draw.
None of this would have been possible without the support and encouragement of my family. During my treatment, I realised that these are the most important things in my life. It wasn’t the job title or the car I drove or the house we lived in. It was coming home each night to share the tales of the day and discover what the kids had learnt or done each day, supporting Lisa where I can with the housework or her own business, or just being of service to my family first that really makes everything worthwhile.
If you are still reading this, the biggest lesson I got 10 years ago was, don’t wait for life to knock you down to realise what is important to you. Take the time now to reflect on your life and your goals and find out what is truly important to you. I was lucky enough to be diagnosed at an early stage so they could hit the leukaemia with a massive dose of chemo to make sure I’m still here. I was also prepared enough to know that “I am the sum total of the choices I make” (Wayne Dyer) and utilise the journey to change my choices in life to love every day for what it brings. To quote Robert Frost, “That has made all the difference.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article written by my beloved husband. If you have any comments or questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or feel free to share this article if you know someone who would benefit from reading it.
Have a joyful day