All or Nothing Day – July 26, 2016

Listen. are you breathing just a little
and calling it a life,
Mary Oliver

Several days ago I received an email from a young woman whom I didn’t know.  Her name is Heather Von St James and she told me she was a 10-year survivor of a rare cancer called mesothelioma, given just 15 months to live upon diagnosis, then and there she decided it was all or nothing from that day on.

Having read her story I wanted to get involved in Heather’s most recent campaign for All or Nothing Day. She asked if I would help spread the word.   Those of you who have followed me know that this is absolutely what I approve of and so of course I agreed.

I claim to Choose how I will spend the rest of my life and some of you have accompanied me through a few pitfalls followed by picking myself up and starting again.

At the ripe old age of 60, I found myself Suddenly Single after my husband of 41 years died, and had to learn how to live life on my own.  A couple of years later I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but a lumpectomy and some radiation therapy quickly sorted that out.  Then when I was getting used to life on my own, I met and reconnected with an Architect with whom I had worked many years previously.  And yes, we got together and decided to spend the rest of our lives together.

Just over a year ago he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and 8 weeks later he died.  My 2 year Magic Carpet Ride came to a halt and once again I was living life on my own.

Well, you just have to get up and get on with it.  I was doing well on my own when suddenly in April this year I had an accident that resulted in major brain damage.  But hey – I’m alive and things are gradually getting back to normal.  Every day is a bonus and I am so grateful for the medical team and the rehabilitation team who brought me to the stage I am today.

I’m going out walking with my physiotherapist when she visits each week and last week I had a walk on my own and did some Retail Therapy.  I’m lucky and blessed with a supportive family and friends and I will continue to Choose how I spend the rest of my life.  However long that may be.

I shall continue to be the best friend I can be, the most loving sister, mother and grandmother offering and accepting the love showered on me  And because some of my independence is lost until I’m allowed to drive again, I’m working on accepting the help offered graciously.

And also this from Mary Oliver

“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.” ~ Mary Oliver























22 responses to “All or Nothing Day – July 26, 2016

  1. You have been beyond brave in the face of such adversity Judith. You’re as blessed with family and friends as they are blessed with you. Life will go on and living it day by day is the best way forward.
    All or Nothing day sounds great, I can see why you would support it.
    I hope all the trauma in your life is finished now as you’ve certainly had more than your share.
    xxx Massive Hugs from Wales xxx


    • Firstly, apologies for the delay in responding. With nothing much to be busy about the days just slip away. I’m practising what I preach and living each day as it comes. Thanks for the support. It’s greatly appreciated. Hugs from NZ


  2. you are amazing and a model for others. i agree with choosing to live life fully. each and every day.


  3. Wow! Nothing halfway there! I have thought that I wouldn’t want to get involved with anyone after losing my love 3 years ago. Now, I am starting to realize that there is still lots of living left to do. Thank goodness for family and friends, they add spice to the mix for sure. I’m glad you’re doing well and hope for your continuing progress.


    • Hi there Donna and apologies for the delay in responding. I had hoped that you would stay with Chris a little longer and we would get the opportunity to peak via Skype. But your itchy feet took you on, so maybe next time.
      And yes there is lots of living to do for all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. An inspiring message for all of us as you are! May you continue to improve and recover as you are grateful for help when needed. Cheers for life and living!


    • And as in the replies above I am apologising for the delay in responding. I’m taking each day as it comes and getting better and stronger every day. Maybe I should change the name of my blog. Thanks for caring.


  5. I found one of the most difficult things was accepting help gracefully and gratefully when I lost certain aspects of my independence. One of life’s important lessons. You seem to have learnt that pretty quickly! Wishing you a very rapid recovery xx


  6. Go you, Judith.
    Go You!!! 😀


  7. Life is not easy yet it is what we make of it. You are the person needed as a mentor for young women. The best mentor is the one who has learned the lessons from experience. That would be you.


  8. You are incredible and a great role model for all of us. All or nothing is a wonderful mantra!!


  9. You have picked yourself up and moved forward with grace. I admire your spunk! Mary Oliver’s quote fits you well, I think.


  10. I love your attitude, Judith.

    Attitude, not Aptitude = Altitude!


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