My summer of love

Earlier in the week, someone asked me what I've been up to. 'Reading, writing, stuff ...' But mainly reading and writing, hanging out with my sister and my nephews, working, planning, walking and dreaming. It's true - I'm an abject failure of a social butterfly, although I did actually go OUT Friday night to the opening … Continue reading My summer of love

Eight years in remission – viva la vulva!

I never thought I would see another eight years. Really, I didn't. After my cancer surgery in 2007, my oncologist was certain that more cancer would grow, that the surgery I had wouldn't hold, and that I'd die. Thankfully that hasn't happened, and today marks eight years since I underwent the surgery to save my life. … Continue reading Eight years in remission – viva la vulva!

Happy Birthday, M

For M.E.B We became another death (the fulfilment of my internship). Like a false syncope, my grief would not let me claim you. You came to me with bleeding gums and a dent in your jaw, your broken gait like a barber cutting through walls of plasticine with blunt scissors. Bruised pride; your face a field of … Continue reading Happy Birthday, M

The day I met my donor

I never thought I'd do it. It's been seventeen years, after all. And even if I did do it, I never believed it would be this hard. Mum and I had talked for years about going into Births, Deaths and Marriages to see if we could find her, but today on my own, I went into a quiet room … Continue reading The day I met my donor

My night without armour

May-August 1998 I was in the dying room. You know the one. It's quiet. People slip in and out as though they were never there. Festering in a bed for three months, I had grown tired. My arms were the shape of soft baguettes, peppered with freckles like sesame seeds. Lips, a permanent shade of blue. Colourless … Continue reading My night without armour

(dis)connection

Yesterday was all about disconnection. After having another high-ish white cell count and another blood result that can be indicative of infection, rejection (it's not rejection) or inflammation, my IV antibiotics were ceased because I've pretty much had all my body can take. Because it's been two weeks, my CV line also had to be pulled. After … Continue reading (dis)connection

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 … Continue reading Positively spiritual

Tool of my trade #1 – compassionate listening

I wrote this last year sitting in Adelaide airport just after I'd attended the Spiritual Care Australia conference. The next conference is in Tasmania and I'm sad that I'm missing it, but I have a full calendar to tend to. This post concerns the value of compassionate listening and how we can serve the dying … Continue reading Tool of my trade #1 – compassionate listening

The trouble with ‘cures’

My good friend, writing peer and all round genuinely awesome woman, Carly Findlay has today written for Daily Life about her experience with false cures and how, at the end of the day, she doesn't want to be cured of her rare and painful skin condition Ichthyosis. Like Carly, I've never wanted to be cured … Continue reading The trouble with ‘cures’

Autopsy of a marriage

Thrumming away from each other like broken mountains, by your second year, you had been excommunicated. Wrought by the passage of God, your clipped speech and ruddy cheeks made it hurt to be alive.   Her dowry – platelets swimming under skin and a fertile womb. Yours – a cellar of wine and an insistent mother whose teat you … Continue reading Autopsy of a marriage