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

The Claytons Recovery

CLAYTONS RECOVERYMy parents were teetotallers in the main, that is until we managed to turn my father onto red wine in the latter years of his life – for the health benefits you understand. In my teen years I remember my dad bringing home all manner of non-alcoholic beverages and mixers in an ultimately futile bid to dissuade his daughters from hooking into the hard stuff for as long as possible. Claytons, the faux brown liquor that one could mix with ginger ale and pretend it was a scotch and dry, was one of these. Remember the TV ad with Jack Thompson? ‘Claytons. The drink you’re having when you’re not having a drink’. Four years down the track, it appears my recovery from breast cancer and its treatment is just like that. Continue Reading

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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Writing saved my life – I kid you not!

Writing Saved My Life - shutterstock_108489608Writing is writ large in our family, so to speak. My dad started his career as a finance journalist, one of my sisters is a sports writer while another is the author of several academic works. I married a journalist and together we’ve run a public relations firm for almost thirty years, writing everything from media releases to CEO’s speeches, website content to annual reports for various local and international clients.

One could safely say that I’ve made a career out of writing, but never in my wildest dreams did I think stringing words together would actually save my life.

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