This is real life...


An amazing post by my friend Jamie Tworkowski for TWLOHA:


  • Posted on: 11 August 2014
  • By: Jamie Tworkowski

If you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here.

If you feel too much,…


Ghost World

Aug 3

The total mind fuck that is cancer…..

Posted the following as a comment on a post in a breast cancer support group. Thought it might be pertinent here too….

I hit absolute rockbottom in the emotional/mental health stakes about 3 weeks ago. It was a long time coming. Creeping up on me insidiously. Cancer, fear of recurrence, 8 surgeries in 14 months, resultant & other health issues combined, all caused a major mind fuck. Luckily my sister, a psych nurse and educator, recognised the signs and encouraged me to seek help. I’ve been an inpatient now, at a local private hospital Psych Unit, for 2 weeks. THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST DECISION I HAVE MADE SINCE MY DIAGNOSIS IN APRIL 2013!!! Seek help ladies, please. Look at the options in your area. I didn’t know this kind of help was available. It’s purely voluntary. I can leave when I want. Like today, I’ve spent the day out with my BC support ladies, at the footy for the Cancer Council’s Pink Guard of Honour. Some ppl here go out to work and return here for treatment or rest overnight. It’s an amazing program.
Here I have access to a psychiatrist, psychologists, psych trained nurses, all different types of therapy like art and music, fitness programs, meditation, Pilates, education sessions, group and individual counselling, and most importantly, someone to talk to 24/7. We don’t give a second thought to resting up when we have a physical injury, or illness. The mind requires the same tlc. I can get on with healing while others take care of the mundane everyday stuff like cooking & cleaning etc. For the first time in months I can see through the fog. I needed help to get through this. I tried it on my own and failed. So many people have said to me “You’re so strong. You’re doing so well. I don’t know how you cope.” Blah blah blah. I didn’t feel strong. I wasn’t doing well. I wasn’t coping. It took a lot of courage, and encouragement, to seek help. I was shit scared the first 2 days. Thought I’d made the wrong decision…. I didn’t.

If any of you feel like you need a break from all the crap that this effing cancer brings, then you probably do. It takes much greater strength to ask for help rather than trying to go it alone. Please consider it…. even if it’s a day program, or a visit to a psychologist. Or a music therapy group. Whatever you need.

We all need to look after our mental health. Cancer messes with us physically. We are sliced, diced, sectioned, poisoned, radiated, reconstructed and have our whole outlook on life completely changed. Our self esteem takes a dive as we deal with the changes to our bodies. We live in fear of a recurrence. We make new friendships and form bonds with other Pink Sisters, some of whom we know will lose their battle. Some of us lose our careers, our relationships, our friendships….. It’s a TOTAL MIND FUCK! Reach out. Ask for help. You may be surprised by what you discover.

Oh and as I have private health cover, this program and facility is fully covered. Once I’m discharged, the day patient program is also fully covered. There are many programs like this all over Australia. If anyone wants to find out more please pm me. Love to all who are struggling, and apologies for the length of this.

#DerwentRiver #Hobart #Tasmania #whale #whalebreeches 26/7/14

#DerwentRiver #Hobart #Tasmania #whale #whalebreeches 26/7/14


i’m waiting x your cuddle application!

All applications considered…


i’m waiting x your cuddle application!

All applications considered…

(Source: ohsoprettay)

Jul 1

Searching for Peace

The past 24 hours have been like a roller coaster of emotions. Bittersweet. I’ve felt extreme sadness, and anger, and frustration, and helplessness. I’ve celebrated and felt joyous, and full of happiness and hope and gratitude. I’ve been dumbfounded, shocked, scared, and bewildered. And it’s all due to one thing - fucking cancer.


It takes away health, it takes lives, it breaks up families, it takes away hope. It leaves people broken and shattered as they attempt to pick themselves up and get on with living. It leaves you with the constant fear of a recurrence, of the other cancers you are at risk of due to the very treatment that was meant to save your life. But we all know this.

What is rarely focused on is what cancer can give you. It gives you an appreciation for the most important things in life. It gives you clarity, and the ability to weed out the stuff, or people, that aren’t necessary in your life. The nay sayers. The selfish. It gives you the freedom to no longer be bound by what others think, the courage to speak your mind. It brings you friendships, new and old, from people and places you’d least expect. It gives you the support of the wider cancer community. That moment you meet someone and knowingly nod or hold eye contact is one of the most powerful moments. You know that someone else gets it. The most important thing cancer gives you, however, is strength; strength of mind and spirit. These past 3 weeks I’ve witnessed the most powerful display of strength from a friend who was preparing her family for her passing. It was inspiring and a privilege to witness.

Today I lost that friend to breast cancer. A brave and beautiful lady who loved her family with all her heart. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love of her children, her husband and her mum. It wasn’t unexpected. I saw her late last week. I knew her fight was going to be over sooner rather than later. I’m at peace with her death. I’m not at peace with the cancer that stole a mum from her children. I don’t think I’ll ever be.

The second piece of news I had was that my Aunt has had a recurrence of her ovarian cancer. She’s stage 4, which is terminal. She was doing so well. She will fight on, because she loves her family and she doesn’t want to let cancer win. I know she will go out fighting, but she is also at peace with the fact she knows she won’t survive this long term. I’m not at peace with that. Maybe I’ll get there…?

And finally, the good news. I received confirmation I have achieved NEAD (No Evidence of active disease). Not quite the NED (No evidence of disease) I wanted, but it will do. I should be overjoyed. I should be hopeful that I’ll have a long life, free from cancer. I should be at peace with the fact I’ve beaten the beast. But I’m not. I’m trying. I will get there.

It’s been a rough 24 hours. I need time to make my peace.

My idea of heaven….

My idea of heaven….

(Source: aaanxious)


Nietzsche Family Circus


Nietzsche Family Circus

Feeling helpless

Let me preface the following statement by saying I am ok. This is purely a statement expressing my feelings ATM.


I’m fine. Truly. Just hurting. My heart is hurting. After a cancer diagnosis this weird thing happens. It’s incredibly difficult to explain. You form bonds that I cannot begin to describe; an instant recognition, an understanding….. You become part of a community. You share the triumphs, the battles, the love, the laughter, the good times, the bad. And then, when a member of your community, a friend, moves closer to the end of their journey, then I want to scream to whomever is listening, that CANCER SUCKS. ‘Cos it truly does.

Life is fragile, and a gift, people. Appreciate it.

I love my new breasts, but not for the reason you may think.

I love my boobs. Actually they are now affectionately known as the Foobs - fake boobs - and are still under reconstruction. My entire life I hated my real boobs. They were too big, the bounced too much, they gave me a back ache, they decided what clothes I could and couldn’t wear, the attracted the wrong kind of appreciative looks and catcalls. So, in Dec 1999, I decided to bring in the millennium with a new set of much smaller boobies! Yes, I had a breast reduction. No it didn’t solve all my problems. Yes it brought a new set of issues to the table. But, life was easier.

Fast forward to April 2013. A lump was found. Cancer. Lumpectomy. Chemo. Genetic testing. BRCA 2 positive. Bilateral mastectomy. Partial reconstruction. Hysterectomy. A whirlwind of pain, loss, emotions, hateful thoughts about my breasts, any breasts, cancer. Until last Friday. My younger sister (who also tested positive for BRCA 2) called me. She called to thank me for getting breast cancer. Yes. Seriously. You see, she had a preventative hysterectomy on the previous Wednesday. Pathology results showed early stage uterine cancer. Her surgeon told her he’d never seen a case this early before. He also told her she would not have become symptomatic for many months, by which time she’d have required a lot of treatment other than just surgery. Gynae cancers are hard to screen for, and even harder to detect.

But it doesn’t end there. I saw my surgeon for my 6 week post surgery check up. The extra fine biopsy results showed abnormalities in the cell structure of my left ovary. The precursor to ovarian cancer. I would never have known I had ovarian cancer until it had progressed a lot. Only 15% of people survive post 5 years. I cried. Bucket loads. But they were happy tears.

My breast cancer saved my sister’s life.

It also saved my life.

We cried. We celebrated. I thanked my foobs. I told the uneven, rock hard, yet to have soft implants inserted, BOSOM I loved it. Them.

Then my oldest sister called. She too tested positive to BRCA 2 mutation. She’s not taking any chances. Her hysterectomy is next month. One sister left. Plus the next generation.

My breasts have given my family the option to be proactive and to undertake preventative measures. I took one for the family. That sits right with me. Thank you boobs. And foobs, you are symbolic of the choices my family now has. I love you. (.)(.)