lifestyle

"Cancer may take my life, but it can't take my friends."

By ANA FERGUSON

Ana Ferguson is 44 years old. She’s got 4 kids. And she’s dying.

She has stage four breast cancer, and she doesn’t know how long she’s got left on this planet.

So, we’re bringing you Diary of the Dying. A place where Ana will share her fears, her days, and her astonishingly candid thoughts on life and death. We’re honoured that she came to us with this idea, and so excited to publish her words.

Here’s Ana, on the women who keep her life together:

I’m part of my own little sisterhood. My friends who lift me up and see right through me. Without them, well… I would still be dying. But my life wouldn’t be the same.

I’m OK to bare my soul through the pounding of the keyboard,  but I am pretty terrible at vocalising it. I am the queen of the “glass half-full” philosophy 99% of the time and more often than not, I’m the one making the jokes (and laughing at them). This is all a very authentic display, as I have trained my mind to be that way and each day I see how incredibly privileged I am to have had the life I have, including my amazing sister and the sisterhood.

I also know… My emotions are one of the few things I do have control of in this disease and I choose to be happy.

But we all need people in our lives who see through that. And my sisterhood can see through my veneer of happiness and whilst not requiring me to ‘talk about it’ they just get it. They gather around me and pull up my pants when they are falling down, they celebrate my ups and commiserate my downs.

They share their own woes with me and grant me normality, by embracing me, in celebrating their ups and downs as well, whilst not looking at me with the “poor Ana eyes”. (Please, if you have a friend who is dying, don’t look at them with the “poor you” eyes). It’s an equal playing field, in which no scores are recorded and the sisterhood is simply formed out of love, laughter, respect and in our case daggy dancing, good wine, good food, and sleepovers.

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In my support group, in my sisterhood, we have no rules or boundaries. We completely accept one another, which you can imagine means so much to me. Sisterhood both in it’s family and friends format, is one of the most special gift we can be given on this earth and I for one am absolutely blessed. 

I have a big sister who is so incredibly different from me, in so many ways, understands me and my over enthusiastic personality, my good, my bad and my darn right crazy. Now if you had asked me that when I was 10 years old I can tell you right now “I hated her” and her clawing nails. Don’t worry the feeling was mutual! Marama was the ‘golden child’ and I the “naughty child” yet 40 years on, we both acknowledge the pressures that went with wearing both of those hats and our family still makes jokes about our respective roles.

I am also blessed to have my other sisterhood, the ones who have come into my life by chance – they are my rock! Our bond is unbreakable. Without them, I would not be here today, writing this post. As collectively, through their fundraising drives, they have enabled me to have the life extending treatments, I have been privileged to have had.

They have literally kept me alive and I can never thank them enough for that.

Ana xx

P.S

The sisterhood has also encouraged me to follow my dream, held my hand and have the courage to develop The Life Room, to help others gain access to the tools, that through their fund raising I have now been blessed to have learnt and incorporate into my healing journey. Without them, this would never have been possible. There are no words of gratitude to say and I know none needed. www.liferoom.com.au

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