The magic in the moments

First of all, I have to share my booky excitement.  If you already know it, or you’ve had an absolute gutful of it, please feel free to scroll until you get past the photos :)

Yesterday was the book thing that I was most looking forward to it, since lovely publicist Kelly told me of it.  A chance to go into Penguin books and talk to the sales and marketing team that will market the book to shops.  I was wide eyed and giggly at the time, at the idea of going into Penguin, I mean, it’s PENGUIN – who doesn’t know that little Penguin logo that we have seen on the spine of books we have read since we were children – but yesterday morning, when the day was actually HERE, I was a mixture of excitement and a bit of fear, about how I was going to sit there and believe in my little bloggy book enough to convince them that they could sell it?  Mostly though, I was determined to love every minute of it.   Like my friend Anthony said to me once “you’ve got to ride this like you stole it”, or own it, or something.  He’s gonna kick my arse now because I misquoted him, but you get the drill.

I met Kelly at Black Inc, the publishers of my book, and we got a car into Penguin.  The car itself was kind of grouse, it was a Mercedes and the lovely chap driving it opened the doors for us :)  Kelly and I had a super chat on the way and then, there we were, in Collins St.  We had a drink as we were early, and I enjoyed feeling like I belonged in the city again, that it was my place, as it had been many years ago when I was a city commuter like a few hundred thousand others.  I am not sure I would like to navigate it every day again, but even this was a real treat.

Then, we caught the “great glass elevator” like Charlie, to the mezzanine with the “great glass ceiling”, and there it was before me.  Kelly laughed at the look on my face and wished she had been ready with her camera to catch the look on my face.  I mean, you step out of the elevator, and you see THIS:


Man, it goes on FOREVER.  And full of hundreds of desks of hundreds of people that get to work each day on publishing, marketing, distributing etc BOOKY GOODNESS.  I am, for one moment in time, a part of this.

I went into “frantic paparazzi mode” straight away.  Saw the Penguin logo above the reception desk, and the shelves of books and clicked away, but I didn’t have much time as a lady came out from a great glass office straight away and knew it was me.  I apologised for being so uncool and needing to photograph the experience to within an inch of it’s life, but she just smiled, I think she got it.

Signing in, and lots of bookiness:

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Off we wandered into the great glass room, and there I saw what staggered me the most, and to be honest, damn near sucked the breath right out of me.  There were the sales and marketing team, but up on the electronic whiteboard was THIS:


REALLY?  Serious OMG moment.  Seriously.  So, while still have you and you haven’t yet gone nigh nighs, get a load of the sales and marketing materials:

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That photo on the right?  Well, bugger me if that doesn’t look like a picture of a REAL BLOODY BOOK.  I dropped in a chair and looked around at these folk and wondered how I was going to regain the power of speech.

But this is me, right?  I needn’t have worried, as things tend to go one way when I am excited, enthusiastic and scared (check all three), and I spent the next hour raving on like a lunatic, about starting the blog, about how it came to be a book, about what it meant to me, and what other people had said it meant to them.  They asked lots of questions and were absolutely lovely, and we had some  serious laughs.  I think they are going to work hard on Breakfast, School Run, Chemo, and I think they believed in  it as much as everyone else has done by the end, which is great considering they get marketing materials, but unlike you, my lovely blog readers, they haven’t actually READ it.  Dear me, what a morning?  Who gets this sort of stuff happen to them in real life?  Dudes!

Afterwards Kelly and I got another awesome car to have lunch at a lovely restaurant, in an awesome space which will most likely be the venue for my Melbourne book launch.  Let ya know next week :)  Lunch was delicious and I so enjoy the company of Kelly.  She has been a publicist for the who’s who of the publishing and celebrity world in general, but she seemed quite happy with little old me. She’s all sorts of gorgeous.  This is all sorts of fun.

I have learned that there is a price to pay for everything when you have terminal cancer, with it’s constant companion “chemo for life”.  My foot is so chemo ruined that I was bedridden from Monday to Thursday, and I was quite panicked that I would spend Friday in a sea of pain and misery and one of the greatest days so far in all of this would be remembered for just managing to endure it.  However, I woke up Friday and really felt that I had turned the corner, still in heaps of pain, but on the up and up.  As soon as I got home yesterday afternoon though , I realised how sore it had got again, and has been since – back to hanging around at home, and not being able to put my foot on the floor without heaps of sooking and whining.  I actually think now that adrenelin was the gift that took me through yesterday and allowed to enjoy it rather than just endure it.  I spoke to my oncologist briefly about this, as I told him that the biggest problem is the fatigue, and he said that this would always be the case, and that some days I would be able to achieve huge things, thanks to adrenalin,but there would always be a price, which would sometimes mean days spent at rest.  I have very much found this to be true.

As I hobbled straight to bed yesterday afternoon, after telling Gaz of my day, I thought about the polarities that can be found in one day.  In the morning driving into the inner burbs with the radio playing, singing LOUD, loving life, having city coffees and chatting with all my lovely publishing peeps, visiting small and non-descript publishing and distributing companies (lol!), having lunch with my very own book publicist then….home to bed?  I felt a bit sad about it, truth be told.

Later that night though, I learned again that the magic of life is found in the moments.  Gaz went out and got fish and chips and Indi bought some to me in bed.  Then when we had eaten she saw her chance and took it, and slid into her favourite place ever – between the sheets next to me.  We watched some “Border security” type show, which Indi seemed to like, and then “The Vow” was coming on.  She turned and gave me a small smile “can we watch it mama?”  I said yep, why not, and we snuggled up.  She slid herself as close to me as she could, and flung a companionable leg over mine.  Towards the end she started to get sleepy, and I told her she could go to sleep if she wanted to, she didn’t have to wait until the end.  “But I want to be with you mama”….In the end I think I fell asleep a few minutes before her, and when I woke up in the middle of the night, she was still next to me, and next to her, Tana, and on top of all of us, the dog. Poor Gaz came down and found us all like that and took himself off to the couch.  Right there, in the middle of the night, I gave a contented smile and went back to sleep in the certain knowledge that in that moment, I was no different to anyone else.  That no matter if I had 1 year, or  50 left, I would never have that moment, with them, again.  And it was mine to enjoy.

Hope you are all finding joy and love in your moments this weekend :)

7 Comments on “The magic in the moments

  1. You are an inspiration. I too have stage 4 bowel cancer and have been told I am now terminal with only the option of palitive chemo and radiation. It is a horrible thought to one day be leaving my family (Husband and twin 17 year old boys) but I have resigned from my work and preparing to live life to the full. Doing what I want to do with no stress.

    • So sorry to hear this, it really sucks. Good on you for deciding to enjoy the moments, because it IS a decision, it’s so easy to give up, isn’t it? Who knows what will happen, my brother in law has been alive now more than 4.5 years with stage 4 bowel / liver cancer and is still going well and he has only ever had chemo, he was never operable. Find me on facebook if you like, always happy to connect, I find that the easiest and most user friendly way to do so xx

  2. so incredibly pleased for you. You are so honest about everything which is so refreshing. So excited about your book, you more than deserve it xxx.

  3. That companionable leg & a small, warm body cuddling into yours is, hands down, the best feeling in the world

  4. I read somewhere to enjoy the little things in life because they are the big things when you look back.
    You seem to be on a winner, because you’ve learned this and taking it in both hands.
    I hope you do get closer to 50 than 1. Bless, Julie and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

  5. CONGRATULATIONS – so pleased that you got to fulfil this dream of yours and can’t wait to read it. What a lovely way to finish your special day, beautiful family cuddles and surrounded by lots of love

  6. Dear Julie

    I have been avidly reading your blog fr quite awhile now since Nicki R put me onto your amazing writing and life. So glad you are still here, still writing, still savouring life, in moments big and small. As a writer myself I can only thrill to the joys of publication you must feel and will definitely buy your book and hopefully come to the book launch. Keep strong honey xx

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