So, I received a short and sweet message from a person or animal or piece of shit or that fluff you get in your belly button when you wear a jumper, actually all of these things I believe would be much more intelligent than this insignificant thing.
The message you may be wondering? The message reads: "You must be greatful for your're cancer, because it's made you "semi" Facebook famus". Copied and pasted the original for you fabulous rockstars.
I have a few points I wish to make listed below:
1. Grateful, not greatful, your not you're and famous has an o in it, I don't know if your poor grammar was an attempt at disguising your identity, yes I make spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes all the time and I would normally never call out someone else's mistakes on Facebook because we all do it, in fact there will probably be many spelling mistakes in this post, but you said the most stupid and insulting thing anyone has ever said to me since beginning this blog and that is why I am picking out your spelling mistakes.
2. I never knew there was such a thing as "Facebook famous", sorry I must live under a rock, but this blog certainly was not to get Facebook famous, not my intention at all, it was to put my thoughts out there and hope that someone would read them and maybe get a bit of comfort knowing they're not alone in this shitty journey!
3. Am I even classed as "semi Facebook famous"? I hardly think a few thousand followers (whom I am entirely grateful for and love that every single one of you have taken the time out of your shitty day to read about my shitty day) constitutes semi Facebook famous and if there is such a thing, I'm flattered that you think this highly of me.
4. Aren't you either famous or not famous? I never knew there was a semi famous, I mean I've heard of D list celebrities, but semi famous?
5. My biggest gripe of all is seriously, excuse my language "BUT WHO THE FUCK WOULD USE THEIR CANCER TO GET FUCKING FAMOUS AND WHO THE FUCK WOULD BE THANKFUL THAT THEY HAVE A DISEASE THAT IS SLOWLY AND PAINFULLY KILLING THEM?!". Well me obviously, I'm doing this to get a book deal, oh maybe they'll make a movie about me or I'll get to do radio interviews and meet other semi famous people, sorry semi famus Facebook people.
I mean come on idiot, I normally would never give you the oxygen you so desperately wanted when you sent me this email, but I just had to respond to this one, because I've never known of anyone who would use their cancer to get famous, except Belle Gibson and as we all know her cancer was as fake as Michael Jacksons 5 noses were, send her an email, blasting her for wanting game from her fake cancer.
I am not making money from my blog, I am hardly what you would call semi famous anything, I'm lucky to get a few hundred likes at any one time for a post, I am not pimping myself out to radio stations, tv stations, websites or newspapers, oh please do a piece on me I'm 34 and dying, it would make great reading/viewing, everyone wants to hear a sob story.
Fuck off loser 🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼and stay fabulous rockstars❤️🤘🏼
Ps. I would normally apologise for my offensive language, but on this occasion I feel it is warranted and thanks for giving me my next blog topic, I think it's turned out quite nicely, thank-you.
My answer is, a resounding yes. Initially when I was operated on, I wasn't phased by my abdominal scarring, it was only one neat straight line from my belly button to the side and 4 small keyhole scars, but with each surgery that followed the more complex the scarring became, OK, when I say complex, I do mean the more ugly, more obvious, less joaquin phoenix obvious scarring, more Seal the kiss from a rose singer scarring, yes I know he is a fabulous singer with a voice as smooth as silk and he scored a super model for a wife , but the poor guy has got obvious facial scarring and at the end of the day like myself the scarring was completely out of his control. Unlike other idiots that think they're indestructible and their lives are simply games, not real life, you know the ones, the ones who actually believe that life is like a Tom and Jerry cartoon; yeah that's right I am talking about the entire cast of Jackass and Johnny Knoxville, the fact that you have to self catheter twice a day is just a little sweet justice for me, but mate considering the stunts you've pulled over the years, you got off lightly.
Life is so fragile, but some people have the ability to keep treating their bodies like a garbage bin, by continually putting pretend food like McDonalds in their body and have perfect cholesterol, they smoke a pack a day and have lungs like a cheetah (they have a really high lung capacity because of the speed they run), the ones who still have a sunbed in their attic and have never had a questionable mole, the ones who base jump, parkour, bull ride, bull run, Volcano board (yes this is a real thing https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcano_surfing); the list of idiotic life threatening activities that one can risk their lives doing is endless and meanwhile, there is a sterile room full of people somewhere, sitting in recliners, hooked up to IV's having poisonous chemicals pumped into their veins in order to give themselves an extra chance at survival, yes cancer patients craving normality again, craving a future without chemo and with hair, craving a life without fear and there you go again voluntarily sniffing addictive poisonous ice, am I crazy or is there some sort of disconnect between what I believe the value of life is and what the people who do the forenamed activities believe the value of life is.
My scarring used to be a battle wound, something I would show off proudly when I thought I was cured, then I had 3 more surgeries and the fact that I'm no longer curable, the scars have become more of a constant reminder that I am dying rather than a sign of strength. Every time I take my clothes off in the bathroom, there they are in the mirror, when I lift my top up to let the nurse access my pain med access point, there it is, when I go for a swim, there it is, I see it every day and every day it whispers loudly in my head, oh yeah don't forget you're dying.
Scars are not something to be ashamed of, you might think from what I have said above that they are something to be hidden and not embraced, but that couldn't be farther from my opinion, it's simply that I am having one of those days that I hate everything about my body and because I have a blog, I blog about it. So please don't take this as a hide your scars blog, I say be proud of your scars, it's just that today I am bloated, sore and the more bloated I am the more prominent my scarring, tomorrow I will embrace my scarring again, but the one thing that will never change is the fact that they are unfortunately that daily reminder that you're dying or I could choose to look at them as my daily reminder that I am fighting, maybe that's how I should start to look at it, fighting scars.
Stay fabulous rockstars ❤️🤘🏼
Leg scarring from injections
sorry about this one, but it's a burn in the skin from one of my needles
I take daily
A recent mark left behind from one of my pain meds
So this week I was totally blindsided and dumped by my doctor, I know right, who gets dumped by their doctor? I totally get it if they move practices or quit or retire, but if you move around the corner from your old house and your doctor tells you they can no longer do house visits and give you the care you need or deserve all because you've moved 4 streets across from your old house, well no I don't get it.
What I do get though is that I believe my poor doctor had accepted my case a year ago initially because she was informed that I was terminal and I was always probably a little out of her home visit area, but because she thought I was on my way out, she didn't think she'd still be schlepping her doctors bag that far west for so bloody long! I believe she was just too nice to tell me that I've lasted way longer than she thought I would, so she said that moving to our new house made it that bit more difficult, seriously, we moved 2 minutes around the corner!
I get it, you have a gorgeous family that you have to get home to in the evenings, you don't need to be stopping in to visit me to take my blood pressure, that's eating into your precious time with your kids and family, I totally get it, but you gave me your mobile number, you were always contactable, you were so caring, your service was above reproach and I truly believed we were more than the doctor/patient relationship, I thought we were more like friends.
I feel like I'm going through a divorce and the fact that my current doctor has already recommended a new more local doctor and referred me onto them, like I've signed up to a doctor/patient matching website "Have you recently been dumped by your doctor? Do you feel like your old doctor didn't understand you? Never fear, we here at eharmony doctors will find you the perfect match", this is probably sounding ludicrous to you as you read it, but for those of you who have a chronic illness or health issues that require regular visits to doctors or specialists, you'll get it.
This is not the first time I've confused my doctor/patient relationship for more than that, you see, you spend so much time with these people that sometimes the lines can become a bit blurred, just because your specialist calls you at 10pm with results, ends your text messages with emoji's and hugs you (OK, maybe the hugs more me than them, but they don't have to hug back!) at the end of appointments, does not mean that they think you are or ever will be friends.
I've had a specialist actually say to me once when my cancer had returned, we knew it was terminal and we thought I'd be lucky to have weeks, that this is why he doesn't become close to patients, because it's too difficult when things like this happen and he can't handle it.
I think I've probably secretly fallen in love with most of my medical team at some point in my treatment, Prof Tattersall, don't worry, I'm not talking about you 😜. When you're in hospital for a month at a time and you wake up every morning to your specialist or registrar, who is really lovely, caring, attentive, funny and you know that if you went into cardiac arrest at any moment they could sort that shit out pronto, it's attractive, you can become attracted. I've had more than one or two dreams of one or more of my specialists, registrars, ED doctors, over the years, in fact, one, I still believe if he was single, he would have asked me to marry him years ago.
What is it about doctors? Is it because we tend to have this God complex thing going on about them, you know like we have about Firemen, Soldiers, Policemen, men in uniforms or positions of power, as soon as we see a man with a helmet, our loins start to ache and who cares what they look like! It's the same for men and their attraction to women in a nightclub, if women are in a group, they automatically become attractive, but begin to remove a woman, one by one and you soon realise that in fact that tall blonde that you thought had a great ass and perfect teeth, on her own, in fact only has 4 teeth in her head and thinks a squat is something you do to kill a fly. These apparitions are not uncommon, so imagine if you were seeing this person day in day out, it's no wonder patients fall in love or get confused and think their professional relationship is a friendship, well I'm here to tell you, it's not and if it is, it's probably committing some sort of illegal act, I have no idea what the rules/laws are when it comes to doctor/patient relationships, but I imagine they are not looked upon favourably.
So my fabulous Rockstars, if you're starting to go all gooey eyed at the thought of seeing your specialist at your next appointment or you're paying more attention to what you're wearing and your makeup before your next appointment, just remember they are your doctor, not your boyfriend and not your best friend, they are there to heal you not hug you and at the end of the day if you take your rose coloured glasses off and take a real good look at them, there's a very high chance that they look more like Dr Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards) from ER than Dr Doug Ross (George Clooney) from ER.
Take it from a patient scorned, keep your patient/doctor relationship professional, I promise, you'll thank me in the long run and please remember to take this blog in the way it was intended, tongue in cheek, stay fabulous Rockstars and remember keep your hands off your doctors stethoscopes 😜❤️🤘🏼
"Is your belly all better now Lisa?", this is a question I am asked daily by my 2 year old niece, turning 3 in August. So how do you explain to a child who is close to you or your own children that you have a disease that will eventually take you away from them? Like me you may not have your own children, but that doesn't mean you aren't important to other people's children, whether they be related to you or a friend's child, if you're involved in a kids life and you suddenly disappear, if they're old enough, they will notice your absence.
My niece Ava was born 8 days before it was confirmed that my cancer had returned and that I was indeed a dead woman walking, now as you will know if you've read my previous blogs and if you haven't and are new to my story, welcome, hello, glad to have you onboard, now sit back and get comfy, because I tend to ramble. I initially returned to my original oncologist at St Vincents in Sydney and it was basically a waste of time visit, he didn't offer me anything really, no real advice, no real treatment options, he was a couple of weeks off retirement and you could tell. I heard more about his impending fishing expeditions on his little tin boat that he would be doing regularly upon his retirement than I heard about options for trying to prolong my life, the only thing he did was refer me onto a radical surgeon (that's putting it politely, he was a bit like a mad scientist, I basically got the feeling that he wanted to do the surgery to prove to people that he was above all an amazing surgeon and he wanted notoriety and fame).
I visited with a couple of different oncologists and the outcome of each visit apart from one specialist was basically the same, that I would be lucky to get weeks if not months, but I certainly wouldn't be here in a years time, I only got hope from one oncologist and he was able to give me the confidence and the positive reinforcement that I needed so that I would persist and get as much life out of this crappy situation as possible, months and weeks just did not sit well with me and I have always said I just want to make it until Ava gets to big school, which would make her five, we are now nearly at three, so we are over halfway there, so stick that on your rod "Dr You've only got a few months at best" and fish with it.
So Ava's entire life I have lived with the knowledge that I am dying, I never thought I would be here a couple of months out of my niece turning 3 years of age, so I didn't think I would have to consider how to broach the subject of firstly my illness and secondly my imminent death with my niece, I just presumed she would be too young to understand what was going on with her Aunty, like where did all her hair go? Why is she always in the hospital and she doesn't come home with us? Why does she give herself needles? Why does Nanna give her needles in the bottom? Why does she go in the ambulance sometimes? Why is your belly so fat now Lisa? (This is now a daily one, as my belly is getting bigger by the week due to drugs). So many questions that I never thought would be asked and need to be answered, but here we are and we are at a point that we really need to explain to her what is going on.
Ava sees a lot of things that no adult should have to witness, never mind a toddler. A palliative care ward is scary enough for an adult to walk into, never mind a young child, a palliative ward is full of terribly sick people that are on the verge of dying, this ward is the last point of call that patients go to before saying goodbye to the world, you are surrounded by mostly elderly people who are in a terrible state, they are usually very weak, bedridden, moaning, crying, yelling out in pain, begging to die, terribly skinny, basically they look like they're on deaths door, this is very confronting for adults, never mind a child, but Ava takes it in her stride.
The other day my SIL (Sister in Law) Marianne was on Skype with her Mum and she happened to mention that we had to wait for an ambulance and the ambulance took so long that if I was having a tumour bleed I would've died, to which Ava then piped up in the background and asked is Lisa dying? Marianne obviously was taken aback because she didn't think firstly that Ava would be listening to a conversation she was having with her mum while she was on Skype, because she was happily playing in the background and secondly she didn't expect her 2 year old child to be asking about her Aunty dying. Marianne responded by saying of course not the doctors fixed her, this is when Marianne realised that we really do need to explain to Ava what is actually going on with auntie Lisa, we can't just keep saying she has a sore belly.
Children are not stupid, they are not oblivious to what is going on around them, they sense distress and when they get to a certain age like Ava is now, they become inquisitive, they may not always understand the answer, but they certainly know how to ask the questions.
Another thing I have realised is that many of the cartoons and movies that children are watching feature death, look at Bambi, Babe, look at the lion king and even toy story three, when they're all in the incinerator facing death and they basically just sit back waiting to die, luckily they're saved, but once again kids are faced with the reality that death is part of life. Books that kids read from a young age, like Harry Potter, he loses his parents and many other pivotal people in his life, so children are exposed to death from a very young age, they just don't understand the reality of it.
Ava has found me writhing in pain on the toilet floor and had to alert my dad that Lisa is crying on the floor, this is no sight any child should have to see, but this is Ava's reality, like it is for so many other children out there. Ava has spent more time in hospital rooms and wards than she has had hot dinners, Ava likes to alcohol wipe my injection site before injections, if I'm not at home she presumes I'm at the doctors or hospital, she asks if my belly is better every day and she dresses up in her Doc McStuffins doctors coat and knows exactly how to listen to my chest and tells me to cough.
So what would my advice be to those out there who have to inform their own child/children or a child in their life that an important person in their life is diying? It is all dependent upon the age of the the child/children, for myself and my family we are faced with explaining the situation to a toddler, although Ava is very perceptive and absorbs information like a sponge (seriously, you drop the s word in front of her, she'll dob on you quicker than a Real Housewife of New Jersey will flip a table, she certainly likes to tell on you, Aunty Lisa gets in trouble a lot!). We have to remember that she is still only a two-year-old little girl, although she behaves and acts like an 8 year old and we sometimes forget that, she is still only a toddler.
Over the past few months to years, Ava and myself have gone out at dusk and watched beautiful sunsets and we have pointed out the moon and the stars to her when it gets dark, so she has developed an affection and interest in the night sky. At some point Ava's Mum and Dad will start to discuss the fact that all the stars in the sky are people who have passed away and are someone's deceased loved ones and their job is to look after their families at night. So when I finally pass, a star will be appointed Aunty Lisa and it will be explained that I am no longer here on earth, but I am up in the sky, looking down every night over Ava and our family and I will keep her (and our family) safe at night time when she is in bed (I love this idea, because so many kids get nightmares and are scared of the dark, but if they think that someone in the sky is protecting them throughout the night, this will help them sleep, well this is what I'm hoping for anyway and I'm sure Ava's parents are hoping for the same result). The next step will be that Ava can then go out and speak to Aunty Lisa (the star in the sky) and tell her any secrets, stories or how school was, anything she wants to talk about, she can talk to me in the sky. This gives me comfort, knowing that my memory will be kept alive.
When it comes to older children, I believe honesty is your best policy, I have witnessed a young family, the Mum would have been in her mid 30's and they spoke openly in front of the kids (probably 8 and 13) about her terminal bowel cancer and her terminal prognosis. Don't treat kids with kid gloves, treat them as they deserve to be treated, young adults, that are entitled to know that their mother or father is not going to be around forever and unfortunately their ending will be sooner than most. You have to allow your children the chance to embrace the fact that they are going to lose a parent and you need to give them the chance to show that parent how much they truly love them and how much they mean to them, because let's face it, kids have a habit of fighting with their parents and how many times do you hear a kid yelling out that they hate their parent? So you need to let them know that you have limited time, so they can enjoy whatever time they have with you, because imagine them going to bed yelling at you because they were in a pivotal moment playing World of Warcraft and you're making them go to bed and they hate you and they wish Taylor's parents were their parents and they hope that you disappear in the middle of the night, because you're simply the worst parents EVER!!!! Then you go to bed and don't wake up, is that fair to your child?
I get it, I'm not a parent, so where do I get off giving advice about something I have absolutely no knowledge of? You're right, I don't have the right, but I do have the right to an opinion and this is mine, you don't have to listen to it, you don't have to use it, I'm just putting it out there into the universe, because that's what I do and all I want for those poor kids out there who are going to lose a parent or a person close to them, no matter how old they are, is to have some closure and some level of understanding and acceptance before they go through probably the most horrendous thing a child could ever go through, losing a parent or a loved one to this disease or any other tragedy.
Stay fabulous Rockstars ❤️🤘🏼
Here are just a few websites and links that can help children and adults who are dealing with cancer and bereavement in their lives. I have supplied some web addresses for Australia, the US, and United Kingdom, but if you google you can find many different agencies that can help you and the children in your lives going through this horrible ordeal.
This is a sentence I use numerous times a day, just because I have cancer doesn't mean I've lost my sense of humour, just because I have cancer doesn't mean I no longer have any interest in your life, just because I have cancer doesn't mean I do nothing else in my life other than cancer related activities, just because I have cancer doesn't mean I don't like to look pretty and so on.
I totally get it, especially early on in the piece, if a friend of yours has just been diagnosed with cancer, for most people it's only natural they're going to want to talk about it, but there comes a point when we really need to start to pump the brakes on all the cancer talk, I don't mean you have to stop talking about it completely, just reduce the amount of c word we use in the average conversation.
I love nothing more than good old gossip or chin wag as the more mature of us like to call it, with a girlfriend, the seedier the better, the dirtier the topic of conversation the more interested I am and quite often after you're diagnosed with cancer your friends can feel guilty when they talk about their seemingly minuscule problems compared to yours, no f*****g way, you don't get away with not telling me every last detail about the girl at work who is sleeping with your boss, even though they're both married and play poker tournaments in couple teams with each other's partners every 3rd weekend, I live for that shit, that is the stuff that keeps me going! I love hearing about how shitty your day at work was and then you had to go home to a sink full of dirty dishes and stinking raw chicken that's gone off because your boyfriend left it sitting in direct 35 degree sunlight all day, now not only do you have rotten chicken smell all throughout your house, you also don't have dinner and its 7.30pm at night. That's the stuff that distracts me from the stuff that swirls around my head 24 hours a day, again I live for that shit.
I HATE with every bone in my body the old "Aaw you wouldn't wanna hear about that, you've got more important things to worry about", sentence, so just a pre-warning for all of you out there, you have been forewarned, if you use the aforementioned sentence in my presence and it's directed at me, be prepared to be given the old "just because I have cancer doesn't make me any less of a gossip whore than I was before I had cancer", speech.
People just automatically think that as soon as pathology results come back with the word cancer written on the paperwork, that we become different people, it's bad enough that our own bodies are trying to kill us off, never mind our (as well-meaning, loving and adoring as they are) friends trying to kill our personalities off as well. It's like we become the old boy in the bubble, we can see everything that's going on around us, we just can't quite, smell it, touch it, taste it or hear it properly, we're shielded from the evils of the world and most importantly we're shielded from what our friends believe to be the boring bits of their lives, their boring stories, their good news bits of their lives and the list goes on. People begin to almost walk on eggshells around us, "ssssh, don't tell her that, that could be her breaking point, she has enough problems to deal with". I beg of you, give me the option as to whether your story should be told or binned, that's half the fun, I miss being able to tell you, that story you just told was shit and asking you at the end "is that it? Sorry I thought there'd be more to it?"
Your boring everyday mundane stories about your fight with the woman on the treadmill at the gym today, because she stayed longer than her allotted time, you know the one, the one who wears way too much make up at the gym for anyone who is really there to actually exercise and get fit, she's just there to show off her new Lorna Jane Active Wear, these are the bits of our lives that are so often stolen from us by cancer, that's why we need your stories, we need to live vicariously through you.
Cancer doesn't just steal our health, it completely changes our lifestyle. If you're on active treatment such as chemo, you basically wrap yourself up in cling wrap from the beginning to the end of treatment, because you have no immune system, so that little cold your niece caught at daycare, if the cancer patient catches it, can become a full blown emergency department visit, with IV's and fevers so high you get rigors (uncontrollable shaking and feeling cold caused by a high temperature, believe me they're not pleasant, I've been there, got the t-shirt, twice), followed by a 7 day stay at hotel cancer ward, being loaded up on IV antibiotics and basically being isolated from the outside world, all because your niece licked the same slide the kid with the cold wiped his snotty hand on!
The trials and tribulations for those who are still curative are bad enough, such as the low immunity mentioned before, then there's the mental side of it for them as well, they're going through the scariest scenario imaginable, so they need your mundane stories and your exciting and positive stories, because they are the every day things they are so used to having in their lives, completely stripped away from them and all they're left with is a bald head and what feels like an empty soul, they're just sitting back frozen in this cancer limbo watching the world around them whizz by functioning as normal, while they're going through their own personal hell.
Then there's me, the terminal cancer patient, the one who can't work, because let's face it who's going to want to have an employee who could be serving a customer one minute and convulsing in pain on the shop floor the next, many of us can't exercise and for many people out there exercise is their escape and therapy, some of us can't even meditate, because we can't sit in one position comfortably long enough to get into a meditative state, the drugs we're on as you know not only drastically alter our appearance, but they can also drastically alter our personalities, personality, the one thing you think is uniquely yours and no one can change that but you, well no, you don't even have control over that, as I've mentioned before something as simple as driving, the freedom of that is taken from you, because of the drugs you're on, the ability to simply remain awake and concentrate during a simple conversation, I have micro sleeps aaaaaaaalllzzzzzzzz day long now, I can't drink champagne like its lemonade anymore and subsequently I no longer have those fun random drunk girl pub toilet conversations that I used to relish almost more than the actual night out and then there are the big moments, the more serious ones in life.........No, there's a high likelihood I'm never going to get married, let alone even have another relationship (I mean someone may find an expiry date on a woman a good thing, but somehow I don't think they're the right person for me or any self-respecting person for that matter, subsequently this means no hens party!!!!!!!! Nope, no getting to wear the dicky bride sash and getting my own special lighty up bride dick straw), No, I'm never going to own my own home, no, I'm never going to get to sail the European coast or swim in the warm waters of Bora Bora like I've always dreamt of and probably the biggest kicker of them all (well apart from the fact I'll probably never reach 40)........drum roll please.......number one on the list of the things I get to miss out on because I have terminal cancer, babies, babies of my own.
This is why it is imperative that you don't stop telling me your stories, it's so important that you keep telling me about EVERYTHING in your life, both the good and the bad! STOP censoring your life, because I'm dying, you and your life may be just what's keeping me going, just like my beautiful friend who sent me a series of pictures in chronological order of her baby the other day, such a thoughtful thing to do, especially considering the last one was of her gorgeous baby covered in her own shit, you see what type of boring life would I have, if I didn't have my friends to live through vicariously, if my friend felt guilty because she could squeeze a baby out of her wing wang and I can't, I wouldn't have squirted my drink through my nose in laughter the other day, when I opened that glorious picture message. I would have continued to sit in my bubble, on the lounge, watching the rest of the world living, whilst I'm slowly dying.
Stay fabulous Rockstars ❤️🤘🏼
A question I am often asked is "what advice would you give to people who don't have cancer and how they should live their lives?".
This question always leaves me slightly speechless, because at the end of the day, no one person should ever be telling another person how they should live their life, whether they have terminal cancer or not, just because I'm dying prematurely doesn't mean I have all the answers, once you're diagnosed with a terminal disease, you don't get an email from "God" telling you the elusive answer to that elusive question "what does it all mean? What are we all really here for?" It's as if once we are diagnosed we become the go to person for all things philosophical, much to my own disappointment I don't hold the secret to life.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that people come to me for advice and I'm always happy to give someone my two cents worth, I just hope they understand that I don't hold the panacea to life, I can only give my opinion and my opinion is not necessarily always right or legal for that matter.
Of course I always respond with the generic, live every day as if it's your last, don't sweat the small stuff, hug your kids, tell people you love them, don't put off that trip to that place you've always wanted to go to, the usual stuff, the stuff that you already know, you just don't always get around to doing it, because quite frankly life and living get in the way. These responses are the right ones, the things that we should be doing every day often get pushed aside for the dinging of a phone, it's that email that just can't wait until 9am tomorrow when you get into the office, just like that fax that used to wait in the tray for you until the next business day before email existed. Remember those days? The days before we didn't have a whole office set up in our pants, our phones are exactly that, a portable office. I honestly wonder how kids get any attention from their parents and how parents get any attention from their kids these days?
Go into any household on any given night of the week and you will find an adult replying to an email on their Samsung Galaxy, another adult playing words with friends on their iPhone, a kid feeding their virtual pet on their iPad and another kid upstairs with their headset on communicating in some foreign techno language to a kid on the other side of the world on their Xbox, now this I can honestly say, is not living, it is not using life to its fullest potential, but we are all guilty of it. Put your hand up if you have been to a movie recently and been able to not look at your phone at least once during the duration of the film. I know I can't and I'm bloody well dying!
A year ago I would have said I would be the last person you would ask for advice on how to live your life, I lived someone else's life for over a decade, I put my life on the back burner and this isn't unusual, so many of us get into relationships and lose ourselves to the other person, which is totally acceptable, it's just "how much" of ourselves that we lose to the other person that matters. So what if you used to be a Broncos supporter and when you started dating your new boyfriend you defected to the Cowboys, this is normal and it's a small insignificant life change, it's not like you've disowned your first-born for him, but what's not ok is when your partner starts dictating to you who you can and can't hang out with, when they start to tell you what to wear, now I don't mean if they suggest that you maybe wear the blue top because it brings out your eyes, I'm talking about when they start to tell you that you look like a street-walker in every second outfit that you put on and demand that you change into an outfit of their choice, it's ok when he/she asks you to not go out with your friends tonight because they've had a shit day at work and would just love to have a night in with their partner eating pizza and drinking a nice wine, what's not ok is when he/she starts making excuses for you to stay home every time you are meant to be having a night out without them and it's even ok when your partner gets a bit of the green-eyed monster with your new hot co-worker that keeps asking you to stay back late to do stocktake (I mean there are only so many times you can count your printer cartridge supply), what's not ok is when your partner starts ringing and texting you obsessively throughout the workday and sneakily checking your call register and text messages on your phone and accusing you of sleeping with your co-worker, even though your entire life consists of going to work, going home to him/her and spending every other waking hour with your partner. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and I can now say that I would never put myself in that predicament again. I suppose that's why I am a good person to give advice about how to embrace life, because for so long I didn't have one and now that I do, even though I'm dying, I can say one thing for certain and that's to keep those who build you up around you and get rid of those who knock you down, because at the end of the day, they are like cancers in your life, unless you cut them out, life cannot get better.
So what is the actual advice that I give when I'm asked this question? It's pretty much what I mentioned above, life is to be lived, each day is a gift, not an entitlement, so live it like it's your last, try to laugh at least once a day, hug someone every day, tell someone you love them every day, tell yourself you love yourself every day, blast that idiot who repeatedly leaves the empty milk bottle in the office fridge at work and isn't it funny that it's the same idiot who doesn't refill the paper tray in the photocopier? Make sure you publicly blast them for that one too, get up early one day and watch the sunrise, get home early from work one day and watch the sunset, embrace the amazingness that is the night sky, the twinkling stars, the waning moon, the constellations and the occasional shooting star, don't let that person slide in front of you in the self-serve line at Woolworth's, it's bad enough that you have to serve yourself, nevermind letting some sneaky shithead jump the queue, pull them up on it and make them go to the end of the queue just like the rest of us normal human beings have to, embrace every day like there is no tomorrow, because that is one thing we are never promised, whether you are terminally ill or not, that we will wake up in the morning or make it to bed that night, we will all come to the same end at some point, so make the bits in between worth it x
Stay fabulous rockstars x
My name is Lisa Magill and I have been navigating the minefield that is cancer since just months after turning 30, people have been saying to me for years that I should put my thoughts into writing and as time has progressed I thought I had left it too late, well here we are nearly 4 years in and for some unknown reason I've decided to start to write today.