We’d like to introduce you to someone seriously special.
Ana Ferguson is 44 years old. She’s got 4 kids. And she’s dying.
She wrote to us a little while ago with a beautiful proposal: Ana wants to write about her life as a dying woman. She has stage four breast cancer, and she doesn’t know how long she’s got left on this planet – but lucky for us, she wants to spend some of that precious time writing.
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.
We don’t talk about dying enough as a society. And, sure, we’re all technically dying. But not all of us have a terminal illness trying to rob of us our chance to see our kids have kids and our friends grow old.
Every single person reading this will be touched by cancer, in some way. This series is for them. It’s for everyone who’s lost someone. It’s for those who have gone. And, most of all, it’s for Ana.
This is Ana’s first post for Mamamia.
I wake to another morning on the treadmill of life to the crooning tones of Bobby McFerrin singing “don’t worry be happy now”. The song is installed on my phone in yet another attempt to surround myself with the power of positive thinking, whilst setting myself up for the day. Yup, I’ve done my fair share of Tony Robbins warm fuzzy stuff.
Like every other day, I go straight to my Facebook page because I’m a social media addict. And like every other day, I am greeted by the death of yet another friend. Like every other morning, I feel the loss of my friends to the very core of my being and like every other day, I write to their loved ones sharing their sorrow and trying to pass on some words of comfort.
I scream from my room to the troops (being my 4 teenage daughters) to get their lazy butts out of bed. Then drag my 44-year-old aching bones into the shower to try and ease some of the stiffness and pain. At the same time, I’m listening to the inevitable World War 3 that’s going on outside my bedroom door over stockings, milk, and who gets the last muesli bar for their school lunch.
Guess what? The hot water’s gone, kaput, not working. I’m thinking, ‘Yup okay, Precious. Pull those big girl undies up and keep going, today is another day. Listen to those words and ‘don’t worry be happy now’. You’re only 10 minutes into the day and it’s got to get better.’
The warfare has escalated outside and my four generals — who do give me ‘proud mumma moments’ sometimes — are endeavouring to prove to me that they are still hormonal horrors. The profanities and insults are being thrown left right and centre at each other. Yet again, I scream, rant rave and try to gain some element of control, whilst they look blankly through me like young women can. I feel that wonderful parenting disappointment in myself for not being a better mum, and it’s not even 8am.