I come from a long line of worriers. My predecessors raised this obsessive activity to an art form, even worrying retrospectively when they felt the situation warranted it. My great aunt Gladys was a master at it – worrying aloud that I’d driven through a thunderstorm to visit her when there I was sitting right before her eyes, a little damp maybe, but safe and sound. My own inherited propensity towards worry notwithstanding, even I could see the idiocy. Nevertheless, this insight into the uselessness of retrospective worry did nothing to deter me from going full throttle with prospective worry about pretty much everything – from big stuff like how make a living to insignificant stuff like what I should wear to a party.
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.
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’.
Just over a year ago I posted Loving the Hills intending it to be a full stop to the my blog series on breast cancer which is about to be released as a book – My Big Breast Adventure or How I Found the Dalai Lama in My Letterbox. The over-arching message of this last post is acceptance of everything that life throws at us – not just the good stuff, but the stuff that’s not so pleasant or downright awful as well. In the past few weeks, having launched the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to fund the production of my book while continuing to face the many obstacles that seem to spring up daily when one is trying to run a start up publishing enterprise, I confess that I’d all but forgotten this message. So I repost this blog now, dear readers, mostly for my own benefit but with the ardent hope that the message of acceptance may be just what you need to hear too right about now. There’s nine days left on my crowdfunding campaign to cover the expenses of producing the book. I’d sure appreciate your comments, shares and likes and any other contribution you feel you’d like to make in order to get My Big Breast Adventure out there! Thank you, thank you for being my dear readers and for all of your support on this adventure to date.
About a week before I was diagnosed in December 2013 I had the privilege of seeing Janine Shepherd speak at a SHE Business event in Sydney. You may recall that Janine was a member of the Australian cross-country ski team, training for the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1986, when she was hit from behind by a speeding utility truck while on a bike ride. Janine sustained multiple life-threatening injuries, including but not exclusive to a broken neck, back and massive internal damage.