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Archive for October, 2015

Monday Muse October 12 2015

Posted by jackiepope on October 12, 2015


Monday Muse 12 October 2015
It is nearly lunchtime, and my morning has been quite wonderful, coffee with a friend, and working at a table in a café drinking coffee as I had always dreamed. Except I forgot to take my usb stick with all my work on it. Crazy me.
So here I am a true Wandering Druid. I have been housesitting a week and I absolutely love having a cat sitting on my keyboard, and talking to me. Lily has been an excellent hostess. I was worried when I started this journey, in that I do not have a fixed abode, and how will I feel about that? After a week I am more comfortable than I imagined.

The one difficult thing is not buying anything. I see things, and think yes I’d like that, but of course I have a car, an oak chest at Elaine’s house and that is all. I do not have anywhere to put anything! I packed clothes, but have halved that since being here, and whittled things down to a minimum. But then I do like minimal, I do like purging and culling.

In the old days of course Druids did wander anyway, and they earned their keep in various ways of telling stories, healing, singing whatever their particular gift was. And so I figure I am doing exactly the same, I am wandering and earning my keep. Of course it is temporary until I earn enough for my ‘tiny house’ but I am settling into the groove far more easily than I thought.

So for now, I am doing the right thing, at the right time. And of course the magazine article came out today in NZ Women’s Weekly; it is breast cancer awareness month, and I was more than happy to share my experiences, and the fact that now I am here, in the present, alive and kicking, and being totally in the moment. Which works in well with the ‘no fixed abode’.
And so what does this give me to muse on? Well I could be all fluffy bunny and say how good it is to be alive, and thankful, grateful and all that stuff – and it would be true, I am. And eternally grateful to family and friends for their support with which I would never have gotten through it all.

Or I could be very staunch and pro active and tell you all to get breast checks regularly, and to speak up for yourselves if any health issue comes along. To make sure that we get the best treatment for ourselves, our daughters, Mothers and all women in New Zealand. I was fortunate, the Public System reacted quite quickly, and yes there were some moments (as you would have read in previous Muses) and we will never talk about the Internal ultra sound again! Will we? No… never again.

So how should I be on this day which is in fact the anniversary of one year finishing chemo. Not my last shot, but the 21st day after the shot (cycles are 21 days long). That is when you are deemed finished. So I have had a year and a day of healing, building, recycling myself, identity crises, financial issues and emotional meltdowns, and absolute joy, happiness, ecstasy and loving the world all over again. How should I muse?

I am not sure what to muse…. Because well life is rather fantastic, I am free in the truest sense, for the moment I have no responsibilities other than myself and the animals and houses I care for; I have time to totally indulge my work, and yes Great Aunt Augusta might have a web page soon! What profound things can I say to you to inspire you?

Nothing, because it is not me who inspires you, but you who inspires me.
It is the people I meet, the experiences I have had that have made this life the most extraordinary life ever. I am sure my past lives have never been like this one! And after this one, I am sure it could not be surpassed.
Sure there have been troubled times, and times I got into trouble – we all do it at some stage; but in essence it is a magnificent life.

One thing I will muse on; and thank some people I work for – and that is the team at; before the team came and did the interview and photoshoot I was very much at a loss with my identity. Some of you know that I struggled with the grey hair (although I was told by a fabulous hairdresser on the weekend that he charges women a fortune to go this colour – so suck it up!) and I struggled with the different face in the mirror. When the make up artist did her work, and the photographer worked her magic it was a day where I found myself again; and today now the article is published, I can look at those photographs and see who I am now.

I am not the woman who opened a shop in New Lynn, or who wore cloaks and swords in St Kevin’s Arcade, or who was Queen of the Villa in Dominion Road; nor am I the women who went to Australia and then returned to rebuild. I am not the woman at my 60th birthday with Dr Who gloves and Dr Who Cupcakes; I am not the woman who sat in the clinic being told that I had breast cancer and surgery was in 4 weeks.

I am not the woman who had Mr Sucky the machine, or the woman who told student doctors that I was not an ‘obese 60 year old woman with a mastectomy’, (that is how I was described on a ward round – they remembered my name every time after that!); I am not the woman who made sure I put on lipstick every day, and dressed up for chemotherapy – only once did I not wear heels or makeup; and I am not the woman who lay in the twilight zone thinking – well is this how it all ends? And at that time there was another family in the corridor visiting their mother and grandmother who was failing, and they were playing the guitar. And no, I was not going to die to the strains of ‘How great Thou Art’ – my mother loved New Year at the Napier Sound Shell and I had to hear it every year! No I am not that woman….

The woman is … well a Dr Who fanatic, who works for NZWW, and does readings for fabulous clients, who eats bacon, drinks champagne and adores movies. I know I cannot eat jelly beans (sugar rush) but chocolate cake seems to be ok. The woman is… well me. And I see her clearly through the lens of the photographer, and the work of the make up artist and the writer. Thank you for my identity.

And thank you all for telling me my hair looked great – and for keeping me afloat. I said it was harder to lose my hair than my boob, actually it is harder to lose your identity than a breast. That for me was the challenge.
And no… I am sorry I will not be joining the Pink Ribbon Dragon Boat team anytime soon! I am so sorry, but do I look like a dragon boater? And no I will not train and run in a marathon; but I will join a Pink Ribbon Scrabble Team, or Champagne and Chocolate Cake Challenge. Perhaps I need to start it myself.
Love to you all11887886_897734346930791_7696340993304551821_n