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Even the Phoenix crumbles....

Hello Dear Readers,

This is my first blog post since my family's world got turned upside down just before Christmas, 2023. My husband was diagnosed with AML Leukemia after not recovering from an illness. While the timing of the diagnosis was awful, we were so thankful for the wisdom of our family doctor to order standard blood tests that turned out to be the catalyst

for the quick diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He started treatment at the beginning of 2024, and it is ongoing.

Some people may wonder how I'm doing....and to be honest, the answer is complicated. As a self-care and motherhood coach, I was completely ready to do all the things to take care of myself, and my child, while also supporting my husband in the hospital and now at home as he receives treatment as an outpatient.

I wrangled up my courage and my resources and got my support system going. My neighbour watched my dog while I was at the hospital, my family supported my son and me, friends offered support, and I even hired an awesome house helper, so I didn't have to come home after a long day at the hospital to dirty dishes and laundry. I even started riding my stationary bike and doing the whole "morning routine". I was determined to be the Rising Phoenix in this journey.

Yet, something was missing.

What I realized was that the thing that was missing, was ME and my emotions about this situation. Never in a million years would I have ever thought that my strong, fit, and seemingly invincible husband would ever be diagnosed with blood cancer that caused him to become immunocompromised. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be facing the very possible reality of being a young widow and single parent. Never in a million years would I have thought it would be my husband before me. Never in a million years would I have thought any of this would happen....and yet, I wasn't truly allowing myself to think or feel any of these things.

I went straight from shock to "rising" because I wanted to be strong for my family. Yes, I put my business on hold, but in the back of my mind, I was already planning a new podcast, and working on a journal...I was not going to let myself fall because I needed to be there for my son and husband.

During this time, my son and I were watching the Harry Potter movies, which I had never seen nor had I read the books. In one of the movies, there was a scene about the wise wizard Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes. In the scene, Fawkes burst into flames and became ashes, before rising as a phoenix again.

To crumble is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of courage.

One day, I was having a tough time and realized that to rise like the phoenix, maybe first, I needed to crumble. That to crumble is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of courage. Only once I allow myself to feel the emotions and grief, can I then find the wisdom in this journey. So, this is the space I am in right now. It is not a space without hope and faith, in fact, we are leaning on our faith as a family more than ever. We are praying more, believing more, being present more, and perhaps that is the gift in this unfathomable journey.

Wait for the wisdom

So, if you find yourself feeling as though you need to keep it all together to lead your family and kids during a challenging time and don't know what else to do... please take a moment with a trusted adult friend or counselor to start feeling those crumbling emotions. Then wait for the wisdom to come that will also help you rise to the strong phoenix that is awaiting you in your journey.

Remember Mama, whether you are crumbling, rising or somewhere in between in your journey, I believe in you, I know that you are enough, and I love you.



Gillian Yuan is a Motherhood and Self-Care Coach, wife, mother and dog-mom residing in Calgary, AB, Canada.


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