I want to live, not merely survive. And I won’t give up this dream of life that keeps me alive. I’ve gotta be me, I’ve gotta be me. The dream that I see makes me what I am……Sammy Davis Jnr
I started writing this blog back in 2012 because I needed to finally start to speak about the death of my daughter. As it turned out, I started to speak about much more than I ever intended. It has been one of the greatest healers ever. I certainly never imagined so many people would read my ramblings but have been totally humbled by the amount of wonderful people that do. This blog has become like the diary I kept as a teenager, only I’ve left it unlocked for people to read.
So, in keeping with writing my thoughts out for all to see, there is yet another event in my life that I’m now starting to document. I’m calling it just another bleep on the radar.. Why bleep? It’s the noise made by a machine.. It’s also a substitute for a profanity.. And while I could really call this some names that would make a sailor blush, instead, I’ll call it a bleep.. You see, I’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
To top it all off, I was diagnosed on my beautiful Aimee’s birthday. For those who don’t know, Aimee is my precious daughter who was killed on an access visit not long after her 10th birthday. Not the greatest day to be told but at least I know. But there are a few ways in which we can view things. I could be angry and scream why me? I could rail at the universe saying “Haven’t I been through enough?” Or I could be thankful that it was found. I’m choosing to be grateful for this bleeping thing being found so early which will make it so much easier to treat. Anything else is a waste of energy that I’m going to need to fight this bleep.
I’m planning to write about it, not for attention as I’m sure some of the more cynical amongst us will think, but it helps me to get it all straight in my own brain. We each have a way of dealing with things and for me, I find that writing helps me form my thoughts and then file them away instead of them all flying around my head with no real structure. That whirlwind of thoughts is what makes me crazy. If you’re the same sort of thinker, you’ll understand what I mean.
I also refuse to give this bleep too much credit. It’s life as usual with just a few extra doctors visits thrown in. In the spirit of finding the silver lining in every cloud, ideas have already started to form over how I can add this into an art series I’m doing about my life.
I’ve just finished the first part of it. It was about the sexual abuse I went through as a child. The next parts will include domestic violence, grief, mental illness and homelessness. Now I’ve added breast cancer to the equation, making 6 parts of this series. The good part about this, is they ALL have a happy ending. Because I’m here, I’m still standing, I love my life and I’m a better version of me than I ever was.
So in the grand scheme of things, this is a tiny dot on the huge canvas that is my life. I would rather go through this than things I have been through in the past, so I’m choosing to minimise it’s effect on my life. I’m not silly, I know it’s going to be a hard few months, but if you’ve lost a child, you will know that THAT pain is forever. This is temporary. I can deal with it.
I have good friends around who are already being so supportive. I have a few family members who have always been there for me and I have my immediate family: Lachlan, Rachael & Lucy, Stuart, Sarah & Amelia & Kirsty who will be by my side through the whole thing. I am so blessed. I will continue to remind my self of that everyday when I’m feeling sorry for myself, as no doubt I will along the way.
I also live in a country where I can get first class treatment for free. I am extremely grateful for that as well as the free tests that we have access to that found this bleep in the first place. Again, I am blessed.
I see the surgeon next week and it will all start from there. Until then, I’m going to try to finish a sculpture I’ve been working on and I’m going to enjoy family time. The photo I’ve shared with this post is one I did a while ago of my lovely, supportive friend Jennie who has also beaten the bleep. The body art was done by the extremely talented Dean Barford Art. Jennie chose the words. I think it says it all.. The bleep sucks.. (but it can and will be beaten)
Happy being grateful