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Gratitude Practice 6 of 12

Grateful – gifts from friends. A friend in a small community helped entertain me with stories of a phantom chook artist in their local area. These chook portraits would appear on the regular throughout covid, and people would share them on their community page and it was a great morale booster. I thought it was delightful and stories of a new chook drop would make my day. My friend is ingenious, and the word gets around in small towns, and the artist left a chook for my friends and one for them to mail to me. Meet Iris.

Gratitude Practice: third (final) week of the second cycle of chemotherapy.

I was incredibly grateful for the friends who would send me memes, vouchers for food delivery, and care packages in the mail. I was pretty miserable by this stage, to be honest. My gratitude practice, daily home physio routine, and cognitive therapy were my absolute focus every day. And that physio and cognitive therapy pretty much took all of what I had in terms of energy. I was very grateful for all the meals in the freezer that we could just take out and heat to eat – many of which were gifts from friends. Now, it became about just getting through.

I had started to embrace the idea of chemotherapy being fire therapy: like back burns and preventive fires, which is something that has been a traditional practice in this country. Shifting the narrative from the idea of poison to the idea of therapy was incredibly powerful for me, and I was doing a lot of meditation on the Four Elements, on Elemental Spirits, as well as my devotional practice: which was often just reciting names and epitaphs, because I was too fatigued to take in much information.

Chemo Round Two of Four, Week Three, Day One (Day 36 of 85).

“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Kindness has been a discipline of mine for about 15 years. During my cancer experience, I really did rely upon the kindness of others.

Chemo Round Two of Four, Week Three, Day Two (Day 37 of 85).

“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.”

Amy Collette

Love sounds an awful lot like this – certainly to me.

Chemo Round Two of Four, Week Three, Day Three (Day 38 of 85).

“Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.”

Robert Braathe

My devotional practice is all about this – I’m not perfect at it by any means. However, in lockdown during chemo, this holding the sacred in daily life was part of what helped me get through it all.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

Thornton Wilder

This really became a bit of a mantra as well. During this time, my Wellness Team initiated discussions around the idea of delaying chemo if my bloods were not ok, or delivering smaller doses over more time if I got too unwell. I was just focused on getting through it.

Chemo Round Two of Four, Week Three, Day Four (Day 39 of 85).

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribable magnificent works in itself.

Henry Miller

Chemo Round Two of Four, Week Three, Day Five (Day 40 of 85).

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”

Karl Barth

12 weeks post surgery, and a FF / G cup down to a D cup.

Chemo Round Two of Four, Week Three, Day Six (Day 41 of 85).

“Rest and be thankful.”

William Wordsworth

Somehow I found this both entertaining and comforting. I definitely had moments of this.

Chemo Round Two of Four, Week Three, Day Seven (Day 42 of 85).

“I’m still thanking all the stars, one by one.”

Marissa Myer

Perspective can sometimes be brutal.


Ensure that you are vigilant around your self-examination. Train yourself to check your breasts/testicles routinely, and monitor your bowel habits and your urine output. These are our body’s early warning signs, and we don’t have a lot of awareness of them.


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