Sunday, January 27, 2019

Getting Smart With Breast Cancer

I tried to write this blog post last week but couldn't. It was the week before my yearly checkup for breast cancer and I had writer's block..
Healing Canvas Print featuring the painting The Healing by Winsome Gunning
The Healing Canvas Print from original artwork by Winsome Gunning

That day still brings up so many  emotional memories and I look back and wonder how I did what I had to do.

One of the staff at the medical center said to me as she completed her testing not many people hear good stories like yours they just hear bad breast cancer experiences.

So today I am trying again to give a brief summary of my journey.

In short I have had three separate or concurrent breast cancers the first now twenty seven years ago, the second nineteen years ago and the third eleven years ago., yes finally I am considered stable but not stable enough to skip my yearly checkup.

Bird Canvas Print featuring the painting Waiting by Winsome Gunning
The Waiting Canvas Print from original artwork by Winsome Gunning

Each of these cancers was caught early due to vigilant testing.

It really is tough fronting up to those regular checkups as you will have gathered from the beginning of this post but I know without them I would not be healthy and well today, in fact I have never felt better.

I am as nervous as anyone when going to be tested and each time I have had a positive diagnosis I have been a teary mess but then the let's get well energy has kicked in and I have got on with what I considered the best medical advise.

For me this consisted of three partial mastectomies followed each time by six weeks of radiation treatment and hormone treatments. I reacted to both the first two hormone treatments after approximately two years and came off them but the third treatment really suited my body and I still take it today.

Today with the amazing new technologies and wide choices of drugs for individual breast cancers the diagnosis for cancer is quite a different experience to what it has been in the past.

But even last week as I waited for my results after being called back for extra testing, a technical point, I was surprised at the emotions I experienced and remembered some of the wide variety of feelings and vulnerabilities being a patient  can make you feel.

Anyway I got good news and a renewed passion for the sustainable lifestyle I share here on this blog and which along with excellent medical advances has created for me twenty seven years after my first diagnosis a healthy body and a passion for life.

Garden Canvas Print featuring the painting Garden Of Joy by Winsome Gunning
The Garden of Joy Canvas Print from original artwork by Winsome Gunning

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Getting Smart With the Planet

Earth, Blue Planet, Globe, Planet, World
 Painting - Remembering Joy by Winsome Gunning

Remembering Joy

We only have one planet and we all share it so my new year's resolution is to get smart with the planet.

I have just returned from twelve special days in the South of New Zealand that small unspoiled country at the bottom of the world. At least it was.

Yes there are still areas of wilderness but the water in Christchurch where I was staying is no longer pure water from the ground.

Farmers around the city have gone for the quick money and turned what were mixed farms into cow factories.  The cow poo has got into the rivers and contaminated the water sources.

My memories are of drives in the country where my father who brought and sold crops from the mixed farms would comment on which grain was ready to harvest.

There was such a diversity of crops, we could swim in every river and water was drunk from anything that was running. nature felt balanced.

 Painting - Joy by Winsome Gunning


Now for the first time ever Christchurch water has had to be  chlorinated.

Enough chlorine to give me skin rashes, and it is recommended not to swim in what were three beautiful free flowing rivers surrounding the city.

The joy of a hot summer day in Christchurch was going to swim in the local river now you do so at your own risk as it is contaminated with bacteria found only in cow's intestinal tracts.

As we drove over one of these river beds I saw families were still camping there for their summer break and children were paddling in the water.

But now innocent enjoyable childhood treats come clouded with risks that would not be happening if farmers had not gone for the quick buck rather than honoring the land.

Yet this is what is happening everywhere,  so we all  need to get smart with our planet.
 Painting - Living Water by Winsome Gunning

Living Water

Do we need that extra car, do we need houses full of stuff or do we need a planet where people can run free and trust the land to provide good water and a fair living.

I want a new mindset where we put away the flash and start working together to heal our planet before it is too late.

Our governments do not seem to be doing this but together as individuals we can create change.

I want for everyone in the world to know what I experienced growing up, fresh, pure water you can drink with safety .  

Yes it is a dream but it is possible if  we wake up in time.