One thing I noticed was how offended people are when you tell them you have a tumour. It is almost as though you have slapped their sensibilities and mortality in the face. You don't intend to offend people, actually I am sorry that they are offended. I am offended too come to think about it. Its very personal having someone tell you that this invasive bit of blob could actually determine the quality of your health and the duration of your life.
Once you climb back up after being floored square on your back with your diagnosis you turn around to see the shadow of your life pack their suitcases and walk away. Your so called friends and certain family members - almost as if they have taken their collective cue, retreat into their own sheltered lives, as though you are contagious and limiting contact would mean they would not catch your disease.
While you weren't looking, your life changed in so many ways. Ways that were obvious and ways that were not and still, to this very day continue to suprise you. You have a determination that is steel reinforced and with that comes an almighty intolerance for stupidity and all that is shallow and unjust.
Your fractured life is like a family photo shattered across your soul with shards of glass falling everywhere, but you know, you will be ok. You know it because your soul says so, it is in every fibre of your being, whether you live, or whether you die. You are and you will be ok.
So how do I feel about people? I think we are naked souls in which we wear our bodies like overcoats, exposed underneath, and when we give the occasional flash, sometimes we may be confronted by what is in front of us.
So I may be offensive when I tell you I am a survivor of a rare tumour that even the doctors aren't quite sure what to do about. So you plan with dreams and ambitions in mind, but you take it one day at a time.
Relationships are no longer defined by title or job descriptions, friends, family, colleagues are judged and embraced by the quality of their soul, their connection and their compassion.
So I am walking away, from people, the way I knew them and I am walking into a quality of relationship that is so much better then I could have ever imagined but I am also letting go of the past and forgiving and letting go of people who let me go. I am moving on, most likely offending people with my survivorship, but that's ok - I know what they look like underneath their overcoats.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.