Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Seven years and life is just so good

 There is five years between these photographs. I wanted to find a photograph taken seven or six years ago, but I was avoiding the camera back then, so the photo with short hair is the first one taken of me after I'd been treated for breast cancer. Last Sunday was the seventh anniversary of first being diagnosed. On last Friday I was dreading hitting the anniversary, worried about falling to pieces on my own. Got phone calls from mates lined up to protect me if needed.

But I shouldn't have worried, cause what I felt was victory of having got here. So much has gone on in the last seven years, some far more traumatic and frightening then I would ever want to deal with again. And some pleasurable,exciting  and challenging.

I've had cancer, had a mastectomy, learnt to love my body as it looks without a breast (still hate the middle age spread though!!!!) Learnt to have a full range of movement in my arm. Learnt to vacum. and  iron with my left hand. To carry my handbag/purse on my left shoulder. Took drugs for five of those years, that have put 14lbs of weight on me. Learnt to walk miles and enjoy it. Learnt how to dance salsa and rock' n'roll and love it.

I've had a blog for five of those seven years and have written in excess of 180,000 words (Gawd, I have so much to say for myself!!!) I've written 15 chapters of a self help book, five chapters of a novel, run a photography blog for a year, that produced work from around the world. I've more or less run out of things to say ( no comments needed here, thank you!!)

I've been sad, lonely frightened,

I've been loved, cherished and cared for

I've had two relationships since cancer and sex with three men.

I've been out of a relationship (and sex!) for four years now.

I've gone through absolute hell with my youngest son.

I've seen the same son grow up and become a man.

I have two wonderful sons, who both have strong relationships with their girlfriends, successful jobs and are an absolute pleasure to know.

I have kept my best girlfirends throughout.Gained and lost  others some along the way.

I have kept my job as a psychotherapist and grown in confidence in my knowledge of human nature.

I have become the chair of governors for three schools, a position I work really hard with to get the best education possible for the children in the town I live in.

I have worked really hard to get my damaged and aggressive rescue dog trained to now be safe with people in my home..... Walking is still work in progress!

I live alone with the same dog and I love it

I am HAPPY, CONTENT, SUCCESSFUL,TALENTED,INTELLIGENT, PHYSICALLY FIT, AND HAVE GOT HERE!!!!! And as my beloved mate in Cornwall said on facebook, I don't look too bad for my age!

And of course all this has come about as a result of life's journey. Which no matter what has happened so far has been dealt with to the best of my ability, and lessons have been learnt from. Who knows where the next seven will go, but frankly my dear, what will be will be. And as long as I keep living in the moment the adventure will  take care of itself. So I can have one or two ambitions, but more importantly, just knowing what's in my diary in the next few weeks is more than enough to live my life with.

Cause as  one of my favourite quotes goes........ Whilst we are remembering yesterday and dreaming about tomorrow, life is happening right now. And I like living with that.


Helen said...

This is one of the most brave, candid, endearing posts I have ever read! You are beautiful, Mandy ..

Lyn said...

Mandy - what a wonderful post! And it would seem that the past 7 years have been "full". You have a fantastic attitude about looking for the gifts in each and every adversity you encountered - conquered. Congratulations sister! Look forward to many more posts.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos and beautiful words. I'm not a Facebook person, so it's wonderful to see you posting here again.
I've witnessed your past years in awe and admiration. Congratulations on your successes Mandy - and they've been many, achieved through adversity oftentimes, and sheer bloody hard work... and always through tenacity,professionalism, talent, perserverance and a big big heart.
As always, big hug from me.

Paula said...

I am so with Helen. Brave and candid. Inspiring, motivating. I am proud to get to know you. I am proud you are my friend. Love from my heart to yours.

Mel said...

Oh geeze......

<-- tears

Good ones, I'm thinkin'.
Proud ones. Proud for you. Proud OF you.

Proud and privileged to have been around for bits and pieces of the journey...... Ty for that.

GaynorB said...


Brave words, behind which lie all of the emotions and events of the past years which make you the person you are today.

You are an inspiration to others, and ahould be as proud of yourself as others are of you.

I shall raise a glass of sparkles to you at the weekend...

Anonymous said...

beautiful and radiant Byrd!
All these things you are, have been will always be,
all the roads that got you here, all the wisdom and love within you..
Grateful to know you!
Congratulations on becoming..
You are the very best!

cheshire wife said...

An inspiring and positive post. Sometimes things need to go wrong to make you appreciate what you have.

Twiglet said...

What an inspirational post. Let's hope the next seven years bring everything you could possibly wish for and more. x Jo

Unknown said...

Kudos, Mandy! What a brilliant, honest and brave post! Here's to years of inspiration, abundance, joy love and laughter!

Fire Byrd said...

Thank you lovely ladies, gorgeous girls, wonderful women for your lovely supportive comments.
Makes me feel humble that you are still bothering to come here when I'm so negligent of our blog world.
Write out 100 times...
I will do better
I will do better.....

Dragonfly Dreams said...

HUGS to a beautiful lady! You are amazing!

Merry ME said...

Congratulations, Mandy on being a survivor. Thank you for sharing your up hill and over dale story so others can face their challenges with the same amount of courage. You are an inspiration. And as always I love your photos.

May your life continue to be full of joy.

Lady in red said...

Hi Mandy It is lovely to see that you are still here now that I have made the decision to get back to blogging after a much too long gap.

The new photo is stunning just as was the first photo. The first one shows the you I remember.

I may not have been very good at communicating in recent years but be sure that you have never been far from my thoughts.


Lyn said...

Checking in to say hi. Hope you are well and off having wonderful adventures and taking lots of pictures. Cheers my friend!

Helen said...

Hello there! I don't know if you still reading comments but wanted to wish you an amazing New Year!

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It is time we started fighting for true equality as opposed to one of the false notions of it put forth by the intellectually dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful woman, full of heart. It's been a few years, checking in to see how you are doing. I hope you are doing well and soaring--actually, I'm sure you are. :)

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LiR said...

Hi Mandy,
It has been a long time but I just decided to revisit blogs I used to read. One of them being yours. I miss the friendship we had and that of the other friends we made. I hope that you are well and happy. I am currently recovering from major life changing surgery brought on by the cancer treatment I had all those years ago. There have been several big changes in my life since we last spoke. Take care. Ellie x

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