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Views, news and features about the Goulburn Valley. Showcasing a variety of local writers and their views.

How Bitterness Can Haunt!

How Bitterness Can Haunt!

“Walking to the kitchen, I see Angus lurking in the darkness, floating, hovering like a ghost. I feel cold. I open the fridge and stare into the bright light without seeing anything. I’m not hungry. My appetite has been AWOL since Angus left.

I occasionally eat, albeit absently and in mouthfuls rather than meals. Now and then I become ravenous and eat greedily, but it makes me feel sick, and I have often had to vomit up the meal soon after consuming it. I know I’m shedding weight rapidly, but I am afraid to jump on the scales to measure my decline. I don’t need hard evidence.
Angus is a wraith who will haunt me to my grave.”
Lovesick chapter 32
Forgiveness can be difficult, but it is possible. It happens. People let go and free themselves of the burden of bitterness. However, forgetting is virtually impossible. Certain memories of people, places and events do not fade with time, no matter how much we wish they would. Sometimes, we are haunted because we cannot, perhaps do not want to, let go.

On other occasions, we may be victims of those who do not wish to let us go.
The word haunt is also used to refer to a lingering regret which follows us through life. I wish I had have done this or that. I wish I had not done that. If only…
In most cases we cannot change what we have done: the past inscribed in stone, bears witness to history and its offspring. We have to find some way to make peace with ourselves about the wrong things we have done, and the bad choices we have made. For some people this is easy; for others perhaps not so. The latter may be doomed to a stained, spoiled future.
Let go, my friends. Let go, and your ghosts will vanish into the ethereal mist form which they emerged.
Have you ever been haunted? Are you haunted?

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The Tree of Life — How Paw Paw Rescued Me from Stage IV Melanoma

The Tree of Life — How Paw Paw Rescued Me from Stage IV Melanoma

"... Your recovery is nothing short of a miracle"

Prof Bill Adam, University of Melbourne and GV Health

Kenji Miyazawa says "We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey."  These days I live by that saying and it has helped immensely;   It's been cornerstone to me to surviving Stage IV melanoma cancer.

I was too far gone to survive beyond three to six months, according to Dr Damien Kee, of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.  The shock of being told this was earth-shattering.  Devastating.  I'd already been dealing with chronic kidney failure that required dialysis and now this!

Dr Kee told me there was a trial drug called Zelboraf (a Serine-threonine inhibitor) that might help if I had the "right type of mutation of cancer."  Tests came back indicating I was in the right 50 per cent and over the phone Dr Kee told me he believed I could go on the Zelboraf treatment program.  I was still scared but he gave me some hope.

A day later her called to tell me I "could not go on the program" and that was it!  I was so pissed off that he would deliver something so important and devastating by phone.  Totally wrong, totally unprofessional.  I have never been back to Peter Mac and probably never will. I thought of all the time "I had fund raised for Peter Mac, plus all of the donations I had given over the years". I felt terribly let down by an organisation and an individual in Dr Kee that had treated me like a number.  I will think long and hard before donating to them again.

I consciously remember "lining up my ducks".  I was visiting friends to tell them the news and in some of those cases I was "saying goodbye".  It was a horrible, horrible time.  Many didn't know how to react — some cut off contact, preferring to not know about the cancer's progression and my expected decline.  Other friends were amazing.  One in particular upon hearing the news stood, paused to think and then said: "I don't accept this".  "You are going to beat this," he beamed confidently.

Maybe he knew something I didn't but if he did, it had to have come from our creator.  No one could have told me with any confidence I'd still be living some three years later — let alone in complete remission.

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