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Monday, March 25, 2013

The End

A hot and humid Monday follows a night of lightning and thunder.

The wind howled.  The rain lashed the sea.  The electricity went out.

I went out on the deck with my IPad, unsuccessfully trying to capture the sight of forks of light, splaying the sky.

We all went to bed early.

It was a dramatic end to a really great weekend.

I spent most of Saturday at my very first double tennis tournament - where I and my partner, Sue, were roundly thrashed by some dwarves masquerading as twelve year olds,  and a couple of sweet little white haired grannies, amongst others.

Yesterday, Sunday,  I took my hiking group out to Mt Coot-tha where we ranged through some fantastic Australian bushland.  

But it was a big weekend in one important way.

On Saturday, I celebrated the 18-month anniversary since my cancer diagnosis.

This represents an important milestone in more ways than one.

It's 18 months since I first heard those words.  "You. Have. Cancer" and in my mind, it is the perfect moment in time to bring this blog to a close.

The fact is, I am so at home with pontificating and posturing, I may be tempted to sentence my readers to a lifetime of regular missives from the blogosphere.

Come on, you know I do love talking... and talking.

So this kind of deadline is just what I need to realise that well, 100,000 plus words since this diary began, the time is right for endings.

In this blog I have tried to share with you the events that follow a cancer diagnosis, as they have happened, along with the thoughts that flow from those events as I have thought, if not thunked, them.

What you have read here is not a work that has been honed and brightened.

It has been full of errors, typographical and others - pretty shoddy if you ask me.

Its imperfections have been on full display, along with my own.

I have tried to be honest and open with you, not shirking from my duty to be accurate and, if possible, entertaining.

For those who have bravely persisted - and many have not (unreliable bastards!) - I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

There have been many dark days where it has only been the image of you that has motivated me to get out of bed and report to you the passings of that week or day.

While many have referred to me as an 'inspiration' (cringe, cringe), the reverse has been true.

My friends and family caring enough to read and share these ramblings have in turn provided an inspiration to ME.

Now, some 557 days since receiving that great smack in the head by that rogue curve ball, courtesy of the Universe, I know that this is a good time for a closure of sorts.

Because, after cancer, life goes on.  It really does.  Halle-bloody-lujah.


Next week my mum will celebrate her 75th birthday.

In a fortnight, Al and I will celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary.

That week I will commence a Certificate I am doing with my sister, Nicky.

In three weeks,  Al and I will be moving out of the home we have held for the past five years.

I will play my first ever game of hockey.

My sister, Fiona, may have commenced her radiation treatment.

In late June, Al, me, Harry, Ben and Ethel are off on our last big holiday adventure together.

In September, I celebrate my 50th birthday.

Beyond that, I cannot say what is in store.

Will either I or Fiona have a recurrence?

Will I ever run a sub-60 10 clicker again?  The way my knees are playing, up will I run, full stop?

Will I decide to have reconstruction?

Will Ben flunk Year 12 and really end up as a ditch digger?

Will my foray into the world of hockey be a disaster of epic proportions?

Will I ever master Sudoku (Japanese for 'Get a Life' I' told).

Who the fuck knows?

Cancer has, more than anything, taught me how fragile it all is, the whole system that holds us together.

We are, all or us, constructed from the most unreliable of material: flesh and bone that may fail at any time; circumstances that may alter with a change in the wind.

There are Lego sets that are more reliable than we are.  If humans were cars, we would, most of us be lemons!

The only thing we can rely on is right now, right here.  You and me.  This.  The only thing that really holds fast and true is this moment.

Cancer has taught me this, and more.

Even as little as 18 months after a cancer diagnosis, cancer has given me a level of wisdom, knowing, faith, and fearlessness I don't believe I had before - or maybe I didnt really know I had it.

Cancer has been an incredible teacher whose lessons will continue into my dotage, should I be fortunate enough to have one.

It's no wonder it's been described as the "Emperor of Maladies".

This powerful illness has strengthened my relationships - with my husband, my children, my family and friends, and with my God.

It has expanded my world in ways I could not have imagined.   It has allowed me to look more deeply into my heart, and into the hearts of others.

This 'Emperor' has challenged me to question everything I know.  It has comprehensively altered me.

It has asked me to dig deep.  It has demanded my all.

Meanwhile it has constantly told me - sometime shouted at me:  Shit Happens.  Deal with it.  Move on.

You think Cancer is the end of the world?  It's not.  The End of the World is the End of the World.  As long as you are alive and kicking, wherever you are is not the end.  Unless that is what you want.

The Emperor of Maladies has taught me that humans are amazing.  Because with the right attitude, and with enough help and support, you can turn any situation into something that serves you and your interests.

If you are submerged and overwhelmed by a circumstance, then I believe that is a choice you make.

Yes, truly, thanks to cancer,  I know absolutely that happiness is a choice.   Recovery is a choice.  Dealing with it and moving on is a choice.

Everything in your life is a choice:  love; friendship; freedom - it has always been your choice.

True, there are many circumstances that cannot be changed.  But you can always, always change your relationship to those circumstances and your perspective.

You can't change luck.  You can't change fate.  You can't change chance.

What you can change is your attitude to what your luck or fate or chance delivers to you.

Fate has delivered to me the following situation:


I hope I have not disgusted you by flaunting this scar.  Because that is really all it is.  

There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss Paris and Nicky.  But they are gone.  They ain't coming back.  This is what is left.

This is how I've dealt with what life has served up to me.

I am not angry or depressed or saddened by what cancer has taken away from me.  I am instead, empowered and strengthened by what it has give me:  lessons that are priceless.

How you deal with adversity in your life is up to you.

Is there adversity in your life?  A void?  A need?  A problem? A despair?

Will you let it give you a reason to be angry, to wallow in your despond, to bring you down and colour your life that loveless shade of grey? (You know, the 51st one?)

Or will you dust yourself off, stand up to it, and give fate the finger?

It's your choice.  Your life and how you live it has always been your choice.

Don't let anyone or anything take that power away from you.

Plant your feet.  Take a stand.

And choose.
















1 comment:

  1. Aw, Bron =) Thanks for sharing this. Your blog, as well your FB page is a tremendously inspiring to read everyday. You don't just make lemonade with the lemons, you make a cocktail with it, garnish and all. And you put pour it into a tall crystal glass with ice <3

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