Thursday, March 23, 2017

Emigration changes everything

I think most of us underestimate the effect a different culture has on the way we perceive things, approach situations and engage socially.  We talk about how being away from our family and friends is hard, we discuss the economy and of course safety. 
So what really happens? Well its simple,  we change.  We change because we have to, we change because we need to and lastly, most importantly, we change because we want to.  But what does that actually mean? It means what used to matter, doesn't matter as much anymore. This could be a food preference, a personal point of view, the things you used to think were important,  like working long hours or other trivia. It also means that the way you live is different,  does the big garden matter so much?

This is a very difficult process, for many reasons.  It makes you feel like a liar,  someone who used to say and do things in a certain way and now you not the same. It makes you feel that you don't care about those you have left behind. This is not totally true, although there is truth to it. Part of the moving and change process is that you have to detach,  in order to survive and prosper in the new culture.  Perhaps the biggest effect is the continuous emotional scar of who you once were and to whom, all blended in with what you want to be and with whom.

I never realised how my identity is so intrinsically tied into my space, how who I am has a lot to do with where I am and what I want to be is more about what should I be here then about which might I be somewhere.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

10 years on... 2016

It seems unreal... my past experiences ... I am quickly approaching my 10 year since diagnosis date. SO much has changed in me over the years. I turned 40 last year (something I don't feel totally thrilled about). I was very worried about my health, but that was entirely based on imaginary fears. I regularly check my brain holes and they definitely there, so its all good hahaha. (A hole is better than a lump type maths). Anastasia and Adam are technically adults now. Leo is 10 ... I am blessed to have survived to be his mom! (As strange a mom can be)

After 6 years I have started painting again. I have found corporate life very stressful and painting is (and has been) an effective way to relieve stress. I think it may be because I am a direct person, say it like it is person. Learning to be politically correct and passive aggressive is just not in my nature. I am having the first real break in 4 years, forcing myself not to jump to the next job, be a bit selfish, look after me. So, again, another change for me is looming,  this time of self awareness, authenticity in my purpose ... Maslow and all.

I am beginning to realise that we are just in a perpetual state of recreating ourselves,  mentally,  physically, spiritually and emotionally. Constantly being upgraded (I hope!) This change is scary and exciting.  It is what it is. I am not sure what it means or what will happen... more to come.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bring on 2014

Hi all ... although some may have thought that I have disappeared off the face of the planet, alas I am alive and well.

Working, taking care of home and kids and general life as we know it. I thought I should explain why I have not blogged for so long ... without all the usual excuses of time. Primarily my lack of blogging was that I became tired of talking about my ex brain tumour. I didn't want to feel like a patient or a survivor,  I wanted to rediscover Deirdre.

Much has changed in my life, but similarly much has remained the same. Getting ill set me off on a wonderful quest to travel, learn, write and experience empathy. I also realised that I am who I always have been,  driven to succeed, love to work and still dont follow all the healthy diet and exercise rules.  I struggled so much to get my honours degree in Philosophy,  but managed to get there in the end, just to realise that is merely the tip of what I still have to learn. I feel a bit more reserved and experience fear more readily but I have realised that this is closely linked to another virtue, wisdom. So I encourage you to also keep pushing forward, test the boundaries, carry the sword of faith,  even when if gets heavy. I have been so incredibly blessed, I don't feel worthy most times.

Anastasia has finished school with excellence in many of her subjects. She is looking gorgeous! She recently got engaged to a wonderful guy, who is in his final year of university. I believe that they will have a good marriage, even though they are young.

Adam is at a new school and doing really well. He has also taken a much deeper look into his faith. I am proud to see his growth into adulthood,  although he is still a child.

Leo really fills our house with jokes and drama. He still reluctantly saunters to bed at night and moans at having to go to school everyday. He is shy, but confident and strong willed. He has also done well at school, scoring above grade in mathematics,  just like his brother.

James is working as usual,  although he does find the complexities of architecture overwhelming at times. He is busy in the garage these weekends enthusiastically (sometimes frustrated) building a designer car.

My family are all fit... So, as you can imagine all is good. I do hope and pray that I will be more inspired at work,  but I am confident that God will continue to lead the way and open opportunities. Like I said ... I have been blessed abundantly.

May your journey be blessed too...


Ps: if you want a book, I am donating them all, you just need to pay shipping.  Send an email if you would like one.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

MRI Clear

Quick update: all clear at last MRI in March 2013!!! Yay

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Unbelievable life... Tornado hits

Well I am feeling a bit better as James and Leo have been able to come and visit me in Jhb. There trip has had its excitements (to prove to me yet again that my life is not normal!) First their flight was delayed so they arrived at 12:30am on Thursday evening. Then on Friday at 1am...You won't believe it but a tornado hit and a MASSIVE tree hit the roof of my little cottage. Remarkably the tree fell in the perfect spot (literally on the cornerstone) not to come through the roof and land on my bed! (once again making believe I am looked after) The noise was so unbelievable that James and I literally jumped out of bed. The hail just fell at such a force that the entire garden had 10cm of ice yet the outside temperature was about 8 degrees! The most amazing thing about this is that Leo slept through the whole thing and only when we carried him out of his bed did he sleepily moan at us for moving him. We were not harmed in anyway although we did have to move out of my flat to the main house till they removed the tree and fixed the leaks.

It doesn't stop there... We then had NO water or electricity for 2 days subsequent to that as the storm took down a substation. So my plans to spend time with my husband and son where serious interrupted... although we did still have a nice time with Leo going to LEGO, on the Gautrain and putt-putt golf.

The journey doesn't stop there... I also got moved to a different area in my project this week - something I am very happy about. James and Leo are staying with me till Easter Monday and the emotional and moral support has been great. That is  probably the only thing that offers some normality! Anastasia and Adam will come stay with me at the end of April so that I can have some mommy time with them.

I am off to give a inspirational talk on 21 April for the "look good feel better" ladies. (Poor James is gonna have to hang out with a couple of women again!) I think that this tornado experience might just be a good topic. But I will have to think it through... I can't say my life is dull.

So now that the emotional and physical storms have somewhat subsided, hopefully a smooth path lies ahead! (I say touching wood!) Although I don't know exactly what my life path is, what I do know is that yet again I feel that I am protected from harm in the storms I face.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Today I am really grumpy, in fact I had a few moments of tears which instantly invoked the need to shop. My attitude has arisen for a few reasons... I have a crap week at work and secondly I can't see my family again this weekend. I really don't want to feel like my life is only about work, because that is what it seems like to me at the moment...

Last weekend was quite a blast... I flew back to PE on Friday to meet Andrea about my philosophy essay (thanks for the feedback via email, fb and blogger! I have taken it all into account) Then we rushed off the the talk where there were definitely over 1000 people in the relay for life event. Then on Saturday we had a function at the grove followed by a braai (BBQ) with friends on Saturday evening. Midday Sunday I was back in JHB. This week I went to Durban for work and back to JHB on Thursday. So I am feeling a bit tired! And also so tired of the petty politics...

Today I am cross with James for not making a plan to see me. (Even though it was unrealistic) I am really not trying to rationalise my feelings. I feel lonely here as I really don't know many people in JHB or want to hit the town with a crime rate second to none. I had every intention on working on my essay, but rather decided to take a risk and personally colour my hair instead! (as any normal woman would!) I am reasonably happy with the outcome, although I am convinced that my hair dresser will not feel the same way. I wanted to add a bit more blond to support my need to exude a persona of dumbness. Unfortunately for me my budget is beyond tight so I had to back away from the clothing store. I have lost a bit of weight in JHB so that is why I want (need) new clothes - just incase you thought I was governed by moods! My mother is always horrified when I lose weight - but as the saying goes... You can never be too rich or too thin!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend... d:)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I need help! Mind / Brain problem...

I am Johannesburg, all alone and feeling incredibly sorry for myself and perhaps a bit angry for becoming a work horse turning a wagon wheel and not spending time with this family this weekend. But I am grateful for getting some free time to pursue my studies and writing. So thats where I will keep my mind...

As some of you who have been following my blog may know that I have embarked on studying philosophy and at this point I am busy with my first honours essay. To say I am feeling insecure is a bit of an understatement. A more realistic word would be ignorant. Just doing philosophy can give you brain fry!

Anyway, as I know more about being a brain tumour patient than most other things, I have decided to do an essay entitled "The Mind / Brain Problem for Brain Tumour Patients" Basically what I am researching is are the mind and the brain the same for brain tumour patients or is the mind able to operate independently of the diseased brain?

So... do you think just the disease takes over the brain and therefore makes it impossible for the patient to express what is in their mind or do you think otherwise?

Obviously I have my own opinion but I would love to know what your thoughts are!!! Please comment...


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