In 1992, when I got my first cancer diagnosis I was not at the helm of my life. Things ‘happened’ to me because I was a ‘re-actor’ not an ‘actor’ in my own life.
For five years I continued to obediently do what I was told to do by the oncologists while my situation kept deteriorating. In 1998 when I had relapsed less than a year after a Stem Cell Transplant, I discovered that they had already used the legal limit of every chemo drug, except two, that they could give me. When they had used up the balance of those two there was nothing left that they could do for me. In that eventuality, explained my lovely oncologist, the legendary Dr Len Price, he could promise me that he wouldn’t let me suffer. My conviction was that, if I were to go down the road that the experts foresaw for me, that my 13 year old son would be in prison by the time he was 18.
This was what it took for me to finally take the helm and learn how to become Captain Of My Own Ship. (C.O.M.O.S.)
Things were at such a state in my life and my family’s life that, even though in theory I was the weak one, the real weak one was my husband who was bent on a highly self-destructive course of drink, drugs and a very dodgy woman (DW). His refusal to promise me that when I died he would not marry the DW meant to me that my death would condemn my son to a hopelessly ghastly situation.
So I decided that I wanted a miracle. I was under no illusions about how desperate my situation really was and I realised that nothing short of a miracle was going to save me and my son. So I boldly nailed my colours to the mast and declared my intention of securing A Miracle. And my life changed irrevocably in that moment.
In the years that followed I have learned so many incredible lessons and become so definitively C.O.M.O.S. that when I was given two further cancer diagnoses I fought them on my own terms. Those terms tend to be on the unconventional side and I was not privy to the doctors’ private thoughts about them but I am proud to say that I prevailed and managed to flabber some gasts.
My hope is that my stories and insights will amuse, encourage and inspire you to become 100% Captain Of Your Own Ship