One wild and precious life.

Yesterday, as a nominee for Kidspots “Voices of 2015″, I attended an amazing day at Leonda on the Yarra in Melbourne.  It started with an amazing breakfast (I wish someone would fetch it to me now, surely I am not expected to get up this morning and make my own toast..It’s cold!)…goodie bags our chairs, and some really interesting marketing tips, more suitable for those who have a completely different blog to mine, those with home-making, styling, fashion and beauty blogs etc, not for Five Fairies, but very informative.  After breakfast, we headed into a blogging masterclass, which had several sessions, and included guest speakers – some of Australia’s most successful and well known bloggers.

The best thing for me about the day was the people I met!  Here I am with Emma, from “Dear Melanoma”….


Honestly, it was hilarity at first sight, as we seem to share a bend towards black humour and complete frankness when it comes to how epically shit it is to know you are going to have your life cut short by stage 4 cancer.  We sure know how to laugh, and did.  Check this girl out at her blog, she is truly awesome.  I’m nearly twice her age, but didn’t feel it as we chatted like old mates.  Hi Em :)

Then there was the incredible Carly Findlay, who blogs at “Tune into Radio Carly”.  I’ve wanted to meet this woman for a long time.  You can’t put Carly into a box, I wouldn’t even know where to start summing her up here, as she writes and educates on so many different issues, she is AMAZING.  Check her out, you will be glad you did.


After the masterclass came the really fun part.  We all headed back to the garden room, where there was more goody bag goodness,, and a lot of magnificent finger food and champagne goodness, and the announcement of the top 100 finalists.  There were over 3,000 nominees this year (I think 3,317 was the final tally), and staggeringly, my little place on the internet, less than a year old found it’s way into that top 100, a finalist in the “parenting and style” category.  So great to share it with Emma, who was a finalist in the same category.


A lot of you have written to me and said that I have touched your lives, or even just your day in some way.  Made it a better place.  You know, as I have said it before, that I consider this an absolute honour to be able to do this – thrilled.  But my goodness, look what you give back to me.  Words can’t actually describe it, but fuck it, I’ll try 😛

A large part of this blog has been about trying to find meaning in the every day, when a glimpse into the “future” sends absolute shivers down your spine.  How to really live, with the knowledge that you will soon die.  I try to answer questions that I pose to myself….is it worth even trying?  Can I make a difference now?  Can I really, actually be happy with the knowledge that there will be no happy “ending”.

The answer is a resounding yes.  I have to work with the ebb and flow of my energy levels now.  A big day (like yesterday!) can land me on my backside, like one of those cartoon characters that has raced headlong off the side of a cliff and landed flat out on the dirt a few hundred metres down.  But I want each and every one of you to know that beauty can be found in the every day, no matter how that day looks at face value.  Yesterday felt like the blogging worlds equivalent of the Logies, and I loved every minute of it.  Yet, I felt every bit as content this morning when my husband pulled me into his arms for a sleepy snuggle, and then when he reluctantly got out to take the 11 year old to soccer, the 9 year old took his place in the warmth of the family bed.  The simple hum of every day life is beautiful.  If you are reading, I hope you can find it, today.

I was lamenting to a friend the other day the fact that I won’t work again.  My diploma is incomplete and may well remain that way, as it has had to make way for other things that I want to do, that allow me to live more fully in the moment, and don’t drain me of too much of my aforementioned limited energy.  I won’t be a community development worker, out there at the coalface with the asylum seekers, picking up a weekly wage…you know, clocking on for duty and going home to my own life.  A job, in it’s most conventional sense…this is something that is lost to the terminally ill for the most part.  No one is going to take you on if you have to take time off for pain, a hospital stay, an infection when your immune system is so shattered from chemo that it just gives up the ghost.

Not long after this chat, I went in for my first meeting with the beautiful people at Black Inc, and we went over the finer points of the book.  I’ve already told you about that day, so I won’t bore you again.  But I don’t think I have told you about the epiphany that it bought.

WHAT THE FUCK WAS I TALKING ABOUT?  What is this book if it is not a job?  Purpose.  Meaning.  LIVING THE BLOODY DREAM.  Who gets to do a job like this?  Write about what matters to them, connect with a bunch of amazing people, find out that I have touched their lives in some way.  That people want to read about my life, and my thoughts, and an actual publishing company is willing to get behind this and back me?  That I can go hard when I feel well and take a break when chemo slams me into a wall, as it did a mere two days ago – flexibility my friends.  Who gets to have a life like this?  Absolutely bloody magnificent.  Joy has found me at this postcode, and she’s settling in for the long stretch.

Because I feel so strongly that those of you who are reading this have such a big part to play in all that  is happening to me, the utter reclaimation of a life that I thought might be going dark and dim, I am really enjoying taking you along for the ride.  I am desperate not to sound like I am some sort of crazed motivational speaker, but bugger it, I want to tell you that I want this for all of you too.  It doesn’t have to be something massive like a book (though if that’s your dream too, knock yourselves out)… matter what your dream is, you can go after it and you can find meaning in each and every one of your days too.  I can’t tell you how energised I feel being able to chase mine.  Never in a million years did I believe that my life could become better when faced with a death sentence.  But it really a truly has.  I’m gutted by what the outcome will be one day, but honestly, I hardly think of that.  It’s going to be the ultimate outcome for all of us, and none of us know when.  There is a real gift to being able to learn to live in the moment, each day has it’s own momentum, it’s own promise.

I want you all to have a little think about what brings meaning to your days.  What do you dream about?  Let’s go on a little adventure together, as you readers of Five Fairies, you are my community.  Write me a little comment and tell me about it, or come and have a chat at the Facebook page.  You all make the world a better place for me, and I hope it doesn’t sound too cheesy when I say I want the very same for you.


9 Comments on “One wild and precious life.

  1. I’m torn between the dream of seeing my princess again, even tomorrow is too long to wait. And staying here to absorb these 2 little character’s accomplishments, every day.

  2. Incredibly uplifting and motivational. Even if that wasn’t your intention. Your energy shines through in your writing xxx

  3. Julia as always you take my breathe away. I’ve been following you for a little while now, no not a stalker. Just a big huuuge fan of yours. I think of you so often and wonder how things are going, what you and your lovely family are up to. When l havent seen any updates for a while l start to worry as you would worry for a family member. Boy l wish l could really express to you what your posts and your story mean to me. Like you im lets say in my early forties and l have four gorgeous kids 15,11,7 and 2! I have put myself in your position a million times and l suppose thats why to me you are an absolute inspiration. You are strong, brave, scared, honest and through all of this selfless. You want to inspire us to make a difference in our lives. Well dear friend you have definitely achieved this. Its so easy to get caught up in the struggles of everyday life, and lets face it life is not a bed of roses for many of us, and forget to really appreciate all its gifts and take all its opportunities. From the very first post l read of yours l thought no not anymore. Im not going to let a day go by that l dont spend that real memory making quality time with my family. Im going to make those calls to my dear friends and live courageously like you want us to. Its the only way l know to make sense of such a devastating and totally shitty outcome for you. I need to live my dreams bravely and not meekly allow life to pass thinking that i’ll try that in the future. Who knows what’s in the future right! I’m teaching my kids the lessons that you are teaching me. I’m loving my life more and more and that is a very real and very precious gift that you have given me and l’m sure other readers. For that Julia l thank you with all my heart and wish l could make all your shit go away. Nevertheless as strange as this may sound coming from a relative stranger i’m here for you and your family. You only have to ask. I’m so glad you have that fuck cancer i’m going to live attitude!! Go girl xxx

  4. the last post well that was me. I didnt update my name before posting. Sorry. I want to be truly transparent as you are

  5. It was so lovely to meet you at the Voices event, I knew the moment I saw you and thought that I knew you that it was for a reason!
    I am inspired by and drawn to your honesty, your optimism and your energy in the face of your diagnosis.
    Thank you for shining your light xx
    I hope that we are able to collaborate in my interview series!

  6. Julia, I only spoke to you for a few minutes at the beginning of the day during breakfast at the kidspot event but I’ve actually been thinking of you a lot since then. What an inspiration you are, a reminder to live our lives to the full everyday. I am so glad I came and introduced myself, I’m so glad you found the courage to attend and I’m super glad I found this blog…say hello to your new biggest fan!

  7. Hi Julia,
    I feel compelled to leave a comment !

    We, too are on a T4 journey…second time around. My husband has just been rediagnosed with another T4 tumour 3 years after the last one. We lurch from disbelief to right, let’s get on with this, to tears, to laughter….probably back to tears again and all sorts of other emotions in between.

    I happened upon your blog last week and have been reading your previous posts. I journalled our last trip but have not really written much this time round. We’ve done major , major surgery and are now on recuperation mode…..I have turned back in to nagging wife mode ( probably always was on that mode anyway!) have you done this, have you eaten, have you had a PEG feed, have you done physio, have you you done that? I sobbed last night as he didn’t like the food I’d blitzed into a pulp in the blender….it was gross…I’d tasted it…I didn’t like it but I’d went to so much effort!

    It was our oldest child’s birthday at the weekend , he was 20 ….I sobbed uncontrollably …will his dad be here when he’s 21? Our oldest daughter travels to Europe at end of the year. Will her dad be here to pick her up at the airport ( I really hope so….I don’t like the airport run!) our youngest daughter is 15 , she needs her dad, she’s a daddy’s girl.

    I’m a great believer in life is for living, life is an adventure ( I’m really not very adventurous but moved from UK to Melbourne almost 5 years ago…that could be considered brave!) . Husbandly person is taking part in a rehab research programme…..last week we were asked for some goal setting….short/mid/long term. This absolutely terrified me, we’d just been starting to live life again when cancer struck again….we are just back to one day at a time . As someone who naturally is optimistic and a forward planner this is hard. However….as I always say …onwards and upwards….those one day at a times soon add up to become weeks!

    I love that you have written a book! How fabulous! I wish you well and all your little fairies and of course your fella! Take care x

  8. Very recently, I realised that I’d spent my 43 years so far looking for Happy. I blame Hollywood and our expectations that Happy is something that comes when you get The Right Job, or have The Best Stuff… whatever. My little epiphany was that now, this, is Happy. I love my family, I have close friends who make me laugh, a roof over my head and a full belly at night. Yes, I still have goals, but I’ve ditched the fecking search for the Happy Ever After. It’s every day, I’m already there. I’ve finally learned to soak up the love and happiness from those around me.

    Women like you are a bloody bright light and as sappy as it sounds, you were put here for a fabulous reason.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>