Real or not real?

20180722 - Real or not real - shutterstock_507022525In Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay the last book in The Hunger Games trilogy there’s a beautiful scene between Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the traumatised District 12 tributes and star-crossed lovers. While they’ve both endured the unspeakable inside and outside of the barbaric Hunger Games arena, Peeta was captured by the evil regime of President Snow and tortured with mind-altering drugs. To put it mildly, his grip on reality is completely shot and he frequently needs Katniss to confirm what real and what’s not.

‘You love me.  Real or not real?’ Peeta asks, and Katniss responds, ‘Real.’

Well folks, the search is on for my inner Katniss as we progress through a fourth round of home-based chemo-hormone inhibitor therapy. Continue Reading

There’s Methodism in my madness

Photo by Barbie Robinson from her beautiful new book of poetry 'That Looks on Tempests'
Photo by Barbie Robinson from her beautiful new book of poetry ‘That Looks on Tempests’

In a comment on my last post, my dear friend and author of the incredible As the Lonely Fly, Sara Dowse, exhorted me to ‘forget the Methodist upbringing’ and rest big. That reference to my distinctly Protestant Christian childhood hit me like a B-Line bus barrelling down Pittwater Road. I’ve never considered myself a blamer but if I had to point the finger at the root cause of my own personal work addiction madness, I’d blame the Methos and the Scots. Allow me to explain.

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I’m still here!

Photo by Ethan Daniels courtesy of Shutterstock
Photo by Ethan Daniels courtesy of Shutterstock

It must be a quirk of my brain that a scene from a movie or lyrics from a song pop into my head when I’m trying to ‘allegorise’ (is that even a word?) a set of circumstances on this Big Breast Adventure.  I’d blame the chemo, as I have for any vagueness, forgetfulness or just plain stupidity in the past four years, but this is something my family will attest has been an annoying fixture of my temperament for ages – long before cancer darkened my door. And I’m about to do it again now, dear readers, this time pointing you in the direction of the indomitable Shirley MacLaine as Doris Mann in the late, great Carrie Fisher’s book and film Postcards from the Edge.

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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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