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The night I lived again: part one

Tonight marks seventeen years since I got the call that would change my life. I feel a little odd after realising that the call came on a Friday and today is a Friday. I wrote this piece (and the two that will come after) two years ago. The gravity of this night will never be lost on me.

bruises you can touch

I’m finding it hard to concentrate on my study today. It’s that time of year. It’s Transplanniversary* time. The 22nd will mark fifteen years since I was (at least this is how it felt) thrown back into life after being ripped from the tenuous march to death. This is a photo me on my 21st birthday on New Years Eve (my actual birthday), 1997. Between Christmas and here, I knew I had to put myself on the transplant waiting list. I’d been remarkably unwell at Christmas and the days after, but by some strike of grace, I was pulsed with energy for my twenty-first birthday. Looking at this photograph now, I look so serene and calm. Just like any normal kid. I look at this picture and think, ‘Pretty. Pre-transplant boobs. No scar. BT. Before Transplant.’


But when I peel away the layers of this photo, I was anything but…

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Why I forgive Belle Gibson

Last night saw unprecedented measures of anger, disbelief and absolute exasperation surrounding the 60 Minutes interview with disgraced ‘wellness’ blogger and creator of The Whole Pantry empire, Belle Gibson. For once, I went against my better judgment and watched the interview and as a cancer survivor, I have a few things to say.

Firstly, I forgive you, Belle. I forgive your lies, your shameless attention seeking, your money-grubbing, your terrible attempts at plagiarism, the damage you have caused to countless cancer sufferers and survivors, and the rest.

Over the years, countless people have recoiled at my capacity to forgive, and I’m ok with that. That is their journey and this is mine. But trust me – I’ve had to dig deep within my soul to get to a place where I can give amnesty to a person who has hurt me or the people I love.

Forgiveness can be an acutely terrifying and seemingly impossible process, but I’ve found that it’s requisite to heal and move on. Forgiveness is about you, not the other person. It’s about recognising a person’s humanness. It’s about accepting that vulnerability is a package deal with being human. The only alternative to forgiveness is anger and resentment, and one must forgive in order to strengthen ones spirit. It’s taken some bloody hard work, but it’s been worth it. But there’s one very important aspect of forgiveness that people often consign to the back of their mind, so let me set the record straight: forgiveness does not mean that you have to forget, nor does it mean that you cannot maintain the rage.

As someone who has actually had cancer over a sustained period, just like Belle has claimed to have done, I came away from the interview feeling a little despondent. But after reading the litany of comments following the  dialogue, I peeled away with fury. When people paint Belle Gibson as being ‘mentally ill’, as a woman who has suffered with depression (I use the word ‘suffered’, because I truly did), I find the branding of Belle Gibson as being mentally ill really bloody insulting.

That people are throwing around a diagnosis of Münchausen syndrome (otherwise known as Factitious disorder) has riled me no end. It has rattled my cage of compassion because after hearing her trying (and she tried really hard) to rationalise her catalogue of lies, including her stories of having heart surgery, dying on the operating table (that one actually happened to me), having multiple strokes and an inventory of other self-perpetuated medical myths; lying about her age, telling Tara Brown she has two birth certificates and has had four name changes and other fictitious ammunition, there was a moment when I actually burst out laughing. If I hadn’t have laughed, I would have cried. As Brown said, that’s a hell of a lot of bad luck for such a young girl.

But then I thought about my own (real and lived) catalogue of illness, or as I call it, dis-ease. Cystic Fibrosis, double lung transplant recipient, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, addiction, cancer, dozens of surgeries and more. Now considering I’m writing a book about my life, am I going to be offended should someone ask for direct proof in the form of my medical records? Well, thanks to the virtue of Belle Gibson and other charlatans selling their own brand of snake oil, I would expect a publisher or agent to ask for proof about my medical conditions. Is that right? No. Is it now necessary? Yes. Which appalls me.

Belle Gibson claims she had a traumatic childhood which her mother vehemently denied. Here’s the thing – people survive fucked up childhoods all the time. My own childhood was punctuated by dying and death where I lived in constant fear that my dis-ease would kill me. With C.F having killed over seventy of my friends, through the greatest of odds, I have survived. I’m a compassionate human being who wants to help others, and I’ve never felt a desire to embellish my own suffering, because the thought simply never occurred to me, and to be honest, my own suffering was enough.

People survive the unthinkable – genocide, rape, torture, violent relationships – and still, they grow into exceptional human beings with passion and purpose, determined to create change in the world. They don’t feel the need to weave a tapestry of corpulent mistruths for financial gain and communal pity. But Belle Gibson did. The thing is, I picked her as being a charlatan when a friend told me about her book and app last year. For me, her story just didn’t add up. I’ve known people with brain cancer and in most cases, they do not look the picture of health, whereas Belle always looked remarkably well and fresh faced. I also knew that it was next to impossible for brain cancer to spread to your liver, spleen, uterus and blood, and for a woman who suffered a forty minute seizure at her son’s birthday party, after which she did not go to hospital (instead going overseas not long after), my hackles went haywire. But who was I to question Australia’s wellness sweetheart? It was going to be a waiting game until Richard Gulliatt from The Australian cast serious doubts over her cancer claims after donations promised by Gibson to various charities hadn’t materialised.

Gibson manipulated the public with intent and great skill over a sustained period of time. She cultivated an empire that would ultimately be her undoing – one of lies and gross mistruths about her supposed battle with brain cancer and how she cured it by eating whole foods and engaging in alternate therapies such as coffee enemas. As she created this false empire, she made a great deal of money and inadvertently (or perhaps knowingly), lured people who actually had cancer away from evidence-based medicine, instead drawing them into her world of fantasy-based medicine and therefore death.

Perhaps she has complicity lead people to their deaths, just as Jess Ainscough did. We may never know. Ainscough touted herself as being the ‘wellness warrior’, also creating an  empire based on woo (fantasy-based medicine), and while I do not wish to speak ill of the dead, her belief in woo, such as Gerson therapy (which ultimately killed her mother who had a treatable form of breast cancer), ultimately cost Jess her life. Aincough’s fanbase will debate otherwise, but the truth is, this ‘medicine’ has no basis in reality or science. What’s just as disconcerting, is that Belle Gibson attended her funeral as a fellow ‘wellness warrior’. She mourned with Jess’s family. How must they feel?

Healthy eating and Gerson therapy was not going to cure my vulval cancer. Only surgery and the option of chemotherapy was going to save my life. Thankfully, I had world class surgeons who managed to remove all the cancer, so I didn’t need chemotherapy. By excising (cutting) all the skin away from my clitoris to my rectum, extensive skin grafting from my left thigh, as well as redirecting my bowel into an ileostomy (a poo bag), I survived. But only just. The aftermath of the surgery very nearly killed me and my family were told that I may end up in a vegetative state. That aside, I survived to see my 31st birthday. I am now 38, and had I not had the surgery, I would be long dead.

Gibson has fabricated her empire of lies for the sole purpose of gaining attention and garnering money to live an unsustainable lifestyle that she would not have enjoyed unless she had duped people into buying her ‘lifestyle’ app ‘The Whole Pantry’, followed by the publishing deal with Penguin and finally, her app appearing on the Apple watch. For me, this is unmitigated fraud masquerading as mental illness. Belle claims that she ‘cured’ her brain cancer with whole foods and alternative therapies, except that she didn’t. We all now know that she never had cancer, or any other of the medical conditions she lied about on skateboard forums and what not.

I have to ask – at what point are we not responsible for our actions? Many people would say when we no longer have the mental capacity to make safe decisions for ourselves. But does this absolve us of moral and ethical responsibility? It’s a very grey area. Belle has undoubtably harmed others by offering false promises and platitudes to the point where evidence-based therapies are called into question and oncologists are made to look like big Pharma pariahs for their trouble. The thing is, doctors take an oath when they begin practicing medicine, and we can only hope they honour it (primum non nocere, or ‘first, do no harm’). 

While Belle claims to have ‘lost everything’, I remember thinking the same thing after my cancer surgery, but I soon realised that I had come away with my life. If only Belle would come to the same realisation and tell the truth.

I do not know what will become of Belle Gibson. There is a part of me that understands the witch hunt, but I also feel an immense sense of compassion for her. Or perhaps my compassion is just misguided pity. Compassion and pity may be poles apart, but today both burn deep inside me. Does she deserve to be punished? I believe so. There are still so many unanswered questions, and after another soul rummage, I know that we may never know the truth, because Belle certainly doesn’t. Or does she? In a messy little corner of my mind, I can’t help but wonder how many people Belle has literally made sick. And what of the voiceless who can no longer speak their truth because they have died after believing her misguided and inexpert ‘advice’? People may be willing to forgive. Let us ensure they never forget.


Twirling. Like many things in my life, I don’t know how it began, but its origins are rooted to some means of escapism. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t twirl. On the New Year’s Eve I was born, I twirled painfully around my mother’s womb, heavy as a medicine ball. My memory and my body indicate to me that I have twirled ever since I could walk; mostly with thumb shoved in gob and always to music.

I still twirl, sans thumb. It gets me to a place of peace. Mostly I twirl in private; turning, turning, turning, never for anyone to see. My cheeks still flush when someone walks in mid-twirl. It’s like I’ve been caught literally with my hand down my pants, but all it is is rotation. I twirl to sound; music mostly. I twirl in silence more than I ever have. It’s safe to say I’ve never been seasick, even when I was on a cruise ship going through a cyclone. While everyone else was throwing up and having maxolon injections, I was on the top deck sinking beers and attempting to be a pool shark with the boys.

The music I twirl to and the speed at which I twirl depends on my mood. Excitement. Anger. Joy. Love. Grief. A chance to get giddy. As much as the mood affects and reflects the music, the music affects the mood. This in turn affects the twirling.

I can twirl into sadness and twirl myself out of it. Twirling solves problems. Twirling exercises my body and stretches my mind. Twirling makes me dream, and dream wildly.

Until about ten years ago, I called it ‘dancing’, but twirling is an art form of its own accord. It is far more complicated than just spinning around on my feet. Like a washing machine spins, squeezing the water out of fabric, I spin to rid myself of pain. I spin myself clean.

But it’s not all dancing and darkness. Spinning into joy is old and familiar. Just as I twirl into sorrow, I twirl into frenzied elation and when I’ve stopped, all that is left are a few dark spots on the floor and very smooth feet.

More often than not, I’ll go beyond a twirl and launch into a full blown dance off. I danced competitively as a young girl and I live for ‘dancing it out’, especially when it’s with my friends. We can be sweet and we can be filthy sexy, and that’s where the best dancing comes from.

That fire. 

It’s a resurfacing of sorts where long lost treasure from deep within is waxes upward. It’s a happy heaviness. It makes me feel alive, free and grounded as my feet claw at the earth because there’s been so many times where I’ve so desperately wanted to be here – on the earth. Here. Alive. People who do not dance are as good as dead. More’s the pity for them. Twirling and dancing have steered me through the blood, guts and muck and through all that is good and delicious and thrilling.

Some people drink, smoke, reflect, get violent, cry, shut down, run or go for a drive. I twirl. It’s helped me sustain good lung function, just as sex did in the nine months leading up to transplant (now that’s an entirely other story).

I don’t know if any of my friends know that I have a compulsion to spin around in the same spot, so while I’m no whirling dervish and don’t care to dishonour the Mevlevi Order, there is always purpose and passion behind a twirl. Some are meditative, others cathartic.

Post-transplant, it took a few months before I could twirl again. My muscles had turned to mush and I had to learn to eat, walk and pee again. My bones chirred and there were times that I was certain my chest was going to cave in, bone by bone. I felt my chest bones shift and scratch against cartilage and muscle as they tried to compete with my new lungs and the breath they afforded. I’d throw back morphine like it was water just so I could twirl. I mourned a trifecta when the breath had gone – twirling, singing and writing – and I never sang again.

* Me, 1991. Photograph by Sharon Danzig.

Positively spiritual

I recently saved someone’s life after intervening in a critical incident through my work as a pastoral carer. While I can’t go into details due to confidentiality reasons, after a triumvirate of serendipitous messages from the universe on this one day, I had to write about what it’s like to be at the coalface of pastoral care.

When I meet patients and introduce myself as being from pastoral care, there is often a degree of confusion. Some older patients have asked me if I’ve come to tell them about how their farm is holding up, and so when I say ‘pastoral’ care, I usually follow it up with the words ‘spiritual care’. The vast majority of my patients are not religious, but all are spiritual. Every single one of them. Many patients I speak with don’t believe they have any spiritual connection in their lives, but when you dig a little deeper and find their passion, that is where their often untapped spiritual potential lies.

While it’s not my role to make people more aware of their spirituality, when I listen to a person, I’m being a sort of healing presence. It’s my role to ensure that the person I am speaking to feels like they’re the most important person in my world at that moment in time. Inadvertently or not, my patients regale me with stories about what they’re most passionate about, and this is where the gold is. This is where the conversation leads to what is most consequential and meaningful in their life and this is where they meet their spiritual self which can be life altering.

Unfortunately, pastoral carers do not play as big a role in the framework of a multi-displinary medical team as many of us would like, in Australia at least. Social workers, dieticians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists all have a role to play in patient care, but pastoral carers are not given equal footing. For example, we  don’t write in patients charts so other members of a patients care team can see how a patient is faring from a spiritual or existential perspective. Yes, we are respected, but I’m of the opinion that it would be in the patients best interest to take our involvement one step further. For example, exploring a patients spiritual history (just as a doctor would take a medical history) would be a good start when they’re admitted to the hospital. Pastoral and spiritual care is a critical adjunct therapy and should be considered as such.

Last week when a nurse asked where I was from, I responded with ‘oh, just pastoral care’, to which another nurse said, ‘just?’ She was right. I’m not just from pastoral care. I am from pastoral care and for that I am both grateful and proud.

I have learned incalculable lessons during this journey and one that I see time and again is that pastoral carers are often the people who ‘pick up the slack’. Long after doctors have given a diagnosis or a prognosis, we are there to help pick up the pieces. As a pastoral carer, I’m there to provide a healing presence, and while doctors are more involved in patient care than ever – including spiritual care – it’s often pastoral carers who enter a patients life when they are at their most vulnerable.

It’s a prodigious feeling to know your purpose and I feel that my life (at least post-transplant) has been leading up to this point. I am many things. I am a woman, a writer, a dreamer and a do-er. I am a person who wants to make a difference and I am a woman who has trials and skirmishes with life like everyone. I am a daughter and a sister; an aunt and a friend. I am also a patient, so I have more in common with my patients than they initially realise. When I introduce myself as being from pastoral care I get a lot of people not wanting to connect because they think I’m at their bedside to convert them. That is not what I do and I tell them as such. I am often asked, ‘what are you here for?’ To listen, I say. A defining moment of learning happened when I was talking to a gentleman who asked me what I was there for. I foolishly said that I was there to help, to which he said brusquely, ‘I don’t need your help’. He was quite right. It is not my role to ‘help’ per se and I’m grateful that he put me firmly in my place. I’m not there to ‘help’. I’m there to serve, listen and be present.

Because hospital is a second home to me and the only protracted period of time I’ve spent away from the place has been post-transplant, while I’ve not forgotten – I seem to have misplaced the feeling of what it’s like to be institutionalised and in a place you don’t want to be. A place far from home. Alone. Unfamiliar and sterile surroundings. No loved ones. Strangers. And more tellingly,  strangers who are making decisions that will affect your life. Hospitals can be emotionally disarming places and while I’d like to say I’m a vision of composure when I return to hospital as an inpatient, I’m always apprehensive about what is happening and what may go wrong. Because health is an unpredictable beast. One minute you’re walking, and the next you’re in a resus bay in emergency. That’s the reality of life – it is so very delicate.

I’ve met people who have been in car crashes on their way to the airport to catch a flight to their dream destination. I’ve seen youth cut down in the prime of their lives and I’ve seen people who have lived hard lives; getting through by the skin of their teeth and who, after everything they’ve endured, including broken homes and relationships, addiction, abuse and homelessness to name a few, are facing a terminal prognosis.

Life moves at speed and horrible things can – and will – happen. But through the veil of catastrophe I see the tenacity of the human spirit. I have seen people in the worst of situations make the best of things. Because that is what humans do. We all have the capacity to turn the worst of hardship into something useful. So for all the suffering I see – and that’s what I have had the most trouble with – I see so much hope, courage and (often quiet) determination. The people I see rarely make a fuss. Like true warriors, they live with grace.

We may not be able to fix people, but each of us can be a compassionate presence. Research has found that a persons spiritual well being can aid in healing and being a patient myself I know this to be true. You can receive all the treatment in the world to ‘get better’, be it chemotherapy, surgery, antibiotics or dialysis, but to stay connected to what you find meaningful is essential to your well-being. And we all have the right to be well.

Bravo maestro!

If you’ve never seen the film, ‘The Mission’, do yourself a favour and find it. Moreover, if you’ve never tickled your ears with the soundtrack – go and buy the damn thing. This rendition of Ennio Morricone conjuring and commanding the main theme of ‘The Mission’ never fails to move me to tears. The power in every section of the orchestra is mind-blowing, and it is every shade of majestic and magical.

It never fails to assault every one of my senses, making me hyperaware of taste, smell, sight, sound, touch and memory. Perhaps it’s the brevity of the choir that truly brings me to the edge. But I think it may be everything.

‘The Mission’ is one of my sovereign themes, and being a former cellist, I play Yo-Yo Ma’s renditions of Morricone, like this one of ‘Playing Love’* at least twice a week as well as the video of ‘The Mission’ most days. It may overwhelm my senses, but that’s more reason to make me feel alive. Zoetic and just so here.

* this YouTube link provides the playlist of Yo-Yo Ma playing Morricone in its entirety. You can thank me later 😉 Also, the links can be hard to see, but if you look carefully, they’re in blue.

Summer in the city

As a child, I lived for summer as most children are wont to do. Summer was the season to while away hours on the beach with my bucket and spade, making grand sand castles from my wildest dreams until the tide would knock them down and suck them back out to sea.

I would run and dance and sing in the sun and glide over the waves until a beautiful glow built up on my skin with a million sun kisses spattered across the low bridge of my nose. As an adolescent, summer became all about cold beers on the beach or by the pool, reading, always writing and because we lived on the river, water-skiing (which I dearly miss) and spending all day on the water thanks to Dad’s speedboat.

But as I’ve grown older, and a little more shrewd, I have come to disrelish summer. In fact, the last time I remember going out in the sun and being able to bear it, was about a month before I went on the transplant list. I was in Noosa, was just about to turn 21, and I’d climb breathlessly to the hotel’s rooftop where I’d strip off and bake myself like a Christmas ham. It. Was. Fabulous.

After transplant, parading around the sun with little protection was a no-no. With the medication I was on being cancer causing, I was warned about the heightened risks of skin cancer, though I was more at war with my head about ending up with skin resembling a leather handbag. Suddenly, I was burning through jeans in five minutes and I never wanted to go out into the sun again, and this has – in time – served me well, because I look much younger than my biological age. That, and genetics (thanks Mum).

Not wanting to go out in the sun ended up being a combination of the high risk of skin cancer and after nuclear doses of cortico-steroids, I was FAT. I was fat, and the heat seemed to lash me with an extra sting in its tail. It was a good deterrent and I didn’t need to be told twice.

Maybe I was tougher as a kid; I think we almost always are. Even though the last bell of school would herald the real beginning of summer, I remember wanting to jump and envelope my body in the arms of the coolness the day after winter passed; then I’d dally in the water well into autumn. You have a thicker skin when you’re a kid. You can endure more. You are less afraid. You’re still revelling in the everyday practice of daydreaming, where even though you might be sick and in hospital and your friends are dying, you can dream yourself out of it. At least I could. Dream, read, write. Repeat.

Summer for me now is about mixing litres of glucolyte (sodium replacement therapy) to swig at regular intervals during the day. Or if I forget make it up (which I often do because life simply gets in the way) it’s about gulping down fistfuls of salt tablets and laying in my room with my air conditioning on and then being financially assaulted by my power company in those months where the air conditioner runs most nights.

People who suffer with Cystic Fibrosis lose excessive amounts of salt through their skin. Sodium is the major electrolyte in our body which regulates the amount of water in the blood and tissues, and everyone need sodium for healthy conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction and growth. But the CF sweat gland isn’t able to absorb sodium back into the blood. BIG problem.

Because this leaves behind a tonne of salt in our sweat (I can’t count the number of times I’ve been able to dust salt off my face and limbs and onto my dinner), my body finds it difficult to recognise thirst. It also affects our digestive system, making our secretions thick and sticky which is why it can be near impossible to cough up the gelatinous mucous in our lungs when we get infection after infection. Heavy, thick secretions also put us at a high risk of bowel obstructions which are heinously painful, dangerous and potentially fatal. If I don’t have enough salt replacement therapy, I get dreadful fatigue, shocking headaches, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting. The headaches are the worst. Real head splitters, and that coupled with fatigue can have me laid up in bed for days.

But summer isn’t the only time I have to keep hydrated. I need to replace fluids, though not quite as madly in winter, just as one should wear sunscreen in the cooler months. The thing is, when I get an infection, it’s even more difficult to drink when you’re feeling so poorly that you’re struggling to eat or move. It’s an incessant battle and I have thought about moving to cooler climes. Let’s just say I have a three year plan.

Simply put, if I don’t have enough salt or fluids, I end up with in the Emergency department which sounds relatively simple. Except that it becomes a battle of wills to find a vein for an IV to ‘charge’ me back up. Not so easy. Due to dehydration and my incredibly poor IV access, veins are virtually impossible to find, and this can mean up to eight attempts at an IV. Never less than four or five. When the doctors finally get an IV in, we fist pump and bump (except for me – I have to stay completely still), and all hold our breath to see how long the vein will last. If I’m lucky, it works and I can be resurrected after a few hours or a nights stay in hospital. If not – more IV attempts in my arms and legs. If I’m acutely dehydrated and very unwell, doctors will look at my neck for veins. There’s been more times I care to remember where my head was suggested for an IV, but I think the combination of glares and swear words ensured that the suggestion was never made again.

In summer and winter, I am constantly checking the colour of my urine – and you should too. If my urine is dark yellow or verging on brown, I need to drink at least a litre of water because my kidneys (with the heat and the medication I’m on) are working overtime and the last thing I need is to go into kidney failure. I respect my renal system. My liver and kidneys are the filters of my body that I truly rely on to keep me well, so I don’t drink alcohol. There go the beers by the pool …

And so for me, summer is now about dusk, or at the very earliest, late afternoon when the crow’s nest in the towering fir tree outside my window is empty because it’s cool enough for mum and dad to go hunting for their little darlings. Summer is about the sinking of the sun behind the mountains everyday, shaving off a million degrees from the sky and my skin.

Summer means nights spent naked at my desk and on my balcony as the wind envelopes and whistles around my body after a cool shower. It means night swimming and jazz. Fuck, it’s hot in Queensland today.

Ronn Moss and the launch of my website!

Last week was an incredibly exciting week. I launched my website with no fanfare which you can see here. I am so grateful to my friend Lynn from Lynn Priestley Design. She is a dear friend and an amazing artist, and without her help, as I perhaps said in an earlier post, my website would have looked like an online morgue. Thank you, Lynn!

On Friday night, a loose wild group of women and I went to see Player Ronn Moss and his fellow band members, like legend Peter Beckett, who are über famous for their hit song Baby Come Back. Listen to it and I dare you to not be moved.

I decided to wear a slashed to the navel bodysuit with my thriller from Camilla skirt. It’s always interesting how people look at you and well … judge. All of the men seemed to smile and say g’day (you don’t say!), but most of the women looked at me like I had my tits out was a lepper. I’m of the opinion, if you haven’t got it or even if you have (I haven’t), you may as well flaunt it. So I did, sans Hollywood tape. And it’s a good thing I wore what I did, because when I put my hand up during Ronn’s repartee/question time, he pointed at me and said ‘the girl the in white top’, and I got to stand up in my teetering heels and ask my question!

So don’t be judgy. I’m not judging you if you’re 75+ and wearing a short strapless dress and are trying to pash Ronn – good for you! But back to my question, because I can just feel it that you’re dying to know what I asked Ronn. Que? My question was along the lines of if there was any other television series he could be in, what would it be. He immediately said Game of Thrones. Then I snuck in a cheeky second question about Breaking Bad and we pretty much both agreed that it’s the best ever series EVER.

And so with that, we dashed to the front of the stage not long after the band began to play, where we were given the stink eye and a few harsh words by some vicious grannies in the front row. We were just lucky they didn’t bring their knitting needles or we would have been STABBED. I was waiting for them to throw their dentures at us …

Here are a couple of photos of myself, my gorgeous friend Rebecca and RONN. Notice how she is ‘peacing out’ on our bellies? If I had nails like that, I’d do that too 🙂 I got to give Ronn a hug and I can say he hugs you tight, is devilishly handsome, very calm, gentle and authentic. Bucket list item – CHECK!