When Life is not Fair

In today’s post I’d like to honour the voice of a brave young soul that may have lost her life to cancer in 2009, but left a lasting legacy through the words she penned during her courageous battle.

Julie Forward DeMay was a photographer, writer, mentor, educator, record store owner, daughter, sister, friend, wife and mother. Her mother has just self-published Julie’s words in book form as she recorded them on her blog Cell War Notebooks, under the title Cell War Notebooks: My Journey with Cervical Cancer. The proceeds of the sale of this book will go towards a fund that was set up for her young daughter Luka who is now nine years old.

The following extract is taken from her blog entry under the heading Watch Me Breathe:

At yoga, every time a took a breath, I pictured this cancer popping and disappearing and I breathed as deeply as I could; so deep that it hurt my chest.  I focused on my breath and the oxygen moving into my cells.  Cancer does not like oxygen.  Cancer is not my friend so I will give cancer lots and lots of oxygen.

 The pose of the month is the handstand.  It is a good pose for strengthening shoulder muscles. Since my left shoulder has been aching for about a month- with the tumor in my lung pushing through the ribs in my back- I work extra hard at my handstand.  I want to build my shoulder muscle to push the tumor back.  I refuse to let it win.  

 My favorite pose is the humble warrior.  I held this pose for a long time and kept holding it while everyone else had already moved on to modified cobra and downward dog.

 The other night, while I was on my way home from Scott’s show at the Langano Lounge, I heard a song on public radio that inspired me to pull over and listen more closely.  The music was acoustic, with some guitars and drums, and the lyrics were sung in a perfectly angelic harmony between a man and a woman.  The words I was drawn to were sung over and over.  “Break me open; watch me breathe.” 

 The odds are not really with me.  And I am aware of this.  Tucked back into the little attic in my brain, there lies the notion that this is a very large dragon and I am a humble warrior with a rather small shield.  But I am dedicating this fight to everyone who has ever had to endure the battle with the dragon.  To Eddie and his family.  To Sammy.  To Luka and Scott.  To Myself.  

Break me open.  Watch me breathe.”

Breathing is life, and when you do not have breath, you, simply put, do not have life. Take deep breaths today and celebrate your breath – your life.


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