When I first wrote about this journey I've been on I shared this song oceans. Over the past year I've been taken further and deeper than I ever imagined, onto wild and stormy seas where a few times I feared for my life. As I've reflected on this I've been overwhelmed with gratitude. I look back and see ALL the people who played a part in my treatment and recovery. I keep telling everyone that it takes a village to get you through and I wouldn't have made it without your input, support, love and encouragement. You anchored me so I wouldn't blow away in the storm. So I got this tattoo!
A reminder of all I've been through
and all of you who anchored me through it!
Thank you to all the people who showed their love, encouragement and support by sending me cards and messages, by getting in touch on Facebook, for passing messages for me onto my family and friends when I was too sick to get them in person. Every single word boosted my spirits and reminded me that no matter what I was facing there were so many people wanting the best for me. That helped!!
Thank you to all the people who prayed for me and sent me healing, good vibes and thoughts. I faced some pretty dark times when my fears and the physical trauma just about overwhelmed me. They didn't because of you.
Thank you to all the people who sent me flowers. Flowers make me happy and no matter how bad I was feeling when I saw them I always smiled (even when the chemo nausea was too bad to enjoy their scent!).
Thank you to all the people who made meals and baked treats for me. You showed your love for me through your thoughtful, delicious meals. You nourished my body and my soul.
Thank you to all the people who gave me gifts, sent me surprise parcels and left gifts on my doorstep (often anonymously). They always came just at the right time. Your kindness and thoughtfulness touched me deeply.
Thank you to all the people who visited me. I wasn't the best company but you came anyway. That means a lot!
Thank you to all the people who came and put in the hard yards sanding, plastering and painting so Holly had a lovely room to come home to (and I now have a completed nursery for my grandbaby!). Your practical help has made a huge difference to how my home looks and feels.
Thank you to all the people who drove me to appointments and treatments. Your love and support on those journeys made it so much easier to face what was ahead.
Thank you to all the medical professionals involved in my surgery, treatments and care. Our NZ healthcare system is beyond amazing. I have met the most wonderful, supportive, caring medical professionals. The oncology field takes a special kind of person - you have your wins but many losses. I owe them my life!
Thank you to the staff and volunteers at Dove House, the Cancer Society and The NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. Your ongoing support through and after treatment have helped me to keep going and make some sense of everything that I've experienced.
A very special thank you to my dear friends who were part of my post-chemo care team. You provided great comfort, lots of love and laughs when I needed it the most.
An endless, bottomless thank you to my wonderful family for your care, patience, support, long-suffering and love...
Beth and Mikey - you constantly dropped everything to come and care for me. You gave me comfort whenever I needed it and you made my dark places light.
Holly - you made it from the other side of the world (twice) to care for me with that special "Holly" kind of love that only you can bring.
Karen and Mere - who were there with me through all the highs and lows, constantly sitting by my bedside when, as Mere said, "I was one breath away from intensive care" and putting up with my blunt, confused, feverish outbursts!
My brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews - for bringing your special brand of encouragement, love and laughs.
I can never repay you all! I am so grateful. Thank you!!
Thank you to God who continues to make me feel beloved and gives me the strength to keep walking together through whatever life brings.
And just a little update on life in the real world. I got this little bundle of joy three months ago. Billie Jean McIvor - a great source of delight and laughter. I've started back at school part-time in a new role training as a Reading Recovery teacher. It's so nice to be back working with my friends and the children at school. And in about a week we welcome my grand-daughter into this world. So all in all, life is good and I'm thankful!