Death, taxes and uncertainty

Photo courtesy of Mark Higgins and Shutterstock
Photo courtesy of Mark Higgins and Shutterstock

Brené Brown’s seminal work Daring Greatly starts with a recap on her own opening lines to a newly appointed therapist. Dr Brown was at the time doing a PhD in shame and vulnerability, and she started her first session by saying, “I hate uncertainty. I hate not knowing.”

As I listened to the Daring Greatly audiobook these words became imbued with a strange, India rubber ball quality, causing them to bounce about in my stomach for a bit. As regular dear readers already know, I don’t believe in coincidences. Which is why I’m not at all surprised by the sudden appearance-in-my-path of Dr Brown’s reference to uncertainty (and her well-documented aversion to it) when, once again, I find myself straddling the known and the unknown on this continuing Big Breast Adventure.

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Happy Diagnosis Day

The Teardrop rock formation in Monument Valley, Arizona
The Teardrop rock formation in Monument Valley, Arizona

Yes folks, it’s my anniversary. On 17 December three years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  At the time I didn’t dare think too much further ahead than the next treatment hurdle, which in my case was a mastectomy two days after diagnosis. Oddly enough, the 17th December in 2016 falls on a Saturday – Law of Dharma or Purpose in Life Day in Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. A little spiritual tingle is travelling up my spine right now because it was after I came home from the hospital that I started writing my blogpost on that 7th Law, a post I’d been putting off for over a year as I came to terms with my own mid-life crisis, for want of a better description.  That post led to the Big Breast Adventure series and the rest, as they say in the classics, is history. It seems fitting on this day of reflection (for me at least) to reprise my  Law 7 – Purpose in Life post as a reminder to myself (more than anyone else) that time does indeed march on and finding one’s purpose continues to be a ‘work in progress’.

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The new normal

Jacaranda time in Sydney. What's not to like?
Jacaranda time in Sydney. What’s not to like?

Happy anniversary to me!  I’ve just celebrated one year of taking a daily dose of tamoxifen and I can attest (smiling through gritted teeth) that the side effects are well set in and do not appear to be going anywhere any time soon.  Yeah, yeah – I know this drug is protecting me from a relapse in my cancer but as I found with chemo, the side effects of tamoxifen seem to work counter to the whole process of getting well – in psychological terms for me at least.

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Vegetarian Vampires – the book!

VV-FRONT-COVERMy life was very different eight years ago, long before the Big Breast Adventure. I was working 10 to 12 hour days in-house with a huge, complex and demanding client who shall remain nameless (OK, it was Qantas). My mother-in-law had just passed away very suddenly sending shock waves through the family, my daughter was progressing through those challenging pubescent high school years and my son was struggling with an as yet unidentified learning difficulty. To say life was busy and stressed would be the understatement of the millennium.

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