Today i would like to share an interview with you all ......
I first met Sherry of Esprit* d Art , at a Halloween Ball i took part in earlier this year . From getting her first comment ( along with many new friends i have found ) . I have felt a little string of attachment to her , as we have something in common -- cancer . Hers being diagnosed back in 2005 , and mine with my sisters cancer . Then finding out she has a breast cancer blog - ABreastintheworld.blogspot.com , i was hooked on reading it .
I am touched deeply that she has the time for me personally , and like so many others of her readers , i felt compelled to ask her if she would do an interview , and she was honoured , as she put it .
So here it is .........
Hello Sherry ! (( hugs )) and ( muah ) to you ! :-) Thanks so much for joining me and to do an interview with you ! I`m so glad you can share your personal world with us ...
Can you tell us , if there are readers out there , that are not familiar with your 3 blogs . Each one is important , but slightly different , with the main stay on your breast cancer one . How did you start and why ?
I resisted doing a blog for a long time. My best friend Lois, who lives in Belfast, suggested at one point at least a year ago, that I might be interested in blogging. She then kept directing me to read blogs that she liked. So in fact, Lois, lit the match but it took awhile for the "spark" to ignite. And then suddenly in August of this year, I just took the plunge. I was ready!! I started with "Sage and Thyme" and was combining everything into the one blog. I then realized that it was "too much" so I branched out with "ABreast in the World" to discuss issues that surround breast cancer, but also to encourage breast cancer survivors to keep living, to remember that the disease doesn't "own" us and we are still part of this world, making the transition back to "every day" life. From there I sequed into the art blog at "Esprit * d'Art" because it is something that is very much "me"..the need to express, not just through words but through visual art.
Despite all the " why me`s " and emotions you had to go through . Has it made you a better person ?
I would have to say "yes" to this question. I was at a difficult point in my life just prior to my diagnosis...confused, upset, questioning so much about my life. I had spent so much "wasted" time on emotions that didn't matter, on issues that were really of no consequence and the cancer centred me. It forced me to focus first and foremost on what matters...my life. That included my physical health, my emotional health and my spiritual health. There was a definite imbalance there and so in the process of realizing what really matters, what we need to do to be the best we can be, it has made me a better person.
How has the giving up of your thoughts / emotions in your need for writing, helped you through the process ?
There is no question that journalling and writing about our experiences, both good and bad is catharctic. Being able to express our innermost feelings and fears helps to put things into perspective. From the day I was told that my mammogram showed suspicious calicifications, I started keeping a gratitude journal. I would list 5 things each night that I was grateful for. Being able to say what I was grateful for, to remind myself of the simple things in life, helped me to keep cancer in the "box" I needed it to be in. It is still in a "box"...yes, it is a deadly disease. I don't take it lightly. But I also don't allow it to override everything else and take control of my life. There is so much more to life than any of the obstacles that we face and in rising above the obstacle we give ourselves the space to breathe.
I know that you have already said so , but do you think into the future or what you want to do , say in a years time ?
I do think about the future, but I do not dwell on the future. To me, the "future" is tomorrow. That said, I do plan ahead, I do think about activities and events that are on the horizon and I do make plans for those. How far ahead do I allow myself to plan? Well..I'm expecting to watch my youngest son graduate from University and that wouldn't be until 2012. I also plan to see both my children married and having children of their own. That's in my mental plan. Within a year's time, I certainly do look that far ahead. At that point I hope to be established as an artist, as a writer and selling both my visual art and my words. I hope to be healthy and more fully back into the mainstream of life on an every day basis ... what I used to call "normal life".
So do you have any more wise words which you can say , which would give some comfort to people who are diagnosed , or have been touched by it`s effects ?
If I could offer one word to anyone who has been newly diagnosed or is still struggling with their diagnosis it would be "hope". We can never abandon hope. It keeps us going day after day. Some diagnoses are very serious and it would seem there is little to hope for. However, hope isn't just saying "I want to beat this and live a long life and die in my old age". Hope is about being able to greet the day with a smile, to see something beautiful in a dull, dreary day. Hope is thinking that perhaps today will be a pain free day or at the very least a day that pain is kept to a minimum. Hope is knowing how much other people care. Hope is seeing a smile on the face of a child or a loved one. Hope comes in many different forms and packages. I offer hope to anyone who is faced with a life threatening disease or obstacle....the loss of a job, the loss of someone they are close to, any other grave illness or disease...life will continue on...our part is to find and keep that hope that tomorrow will arrive and bring with it new treasures and joys.
And lastly ....
Can you give us an " exclusive " on some of your lovelies that are going to be in your new boutique on Etsy ? :o)
An exclusive you say?!? I'm smiling here Carolyn..I need to get back into the studio to give you an exclusive!! :) Tell you what...I will go and make something that is specifically for those who read your blog to see before it is posted on Etsy...and I can tell you that I'm doing some Christmas items now...cards, gift tags, gift bags...I will be doing things for every day such as journals, altered books, cards...whatever whimsies strike my fancy. Most of what I offer will be paper related...aged, vintage, some of it newer and more traditional.
Whooo girl, you made me think!!! :) I'll send you a couple of photos of what I'm working on that won't be on my art blog or in etsy yet, so you'll have first "dibs" on those to share.
Thanks for taking time to do this for me !
Oh Carolyn, this was really my pleasure completely to do this. I told you earlier I am honoured that you would want to...it just makes me feel so loved and cared about that you would want to do this. I hope I didn't go on too long and I hope the answers are what you were looking for. You are truly a doll for doing this. If you need anything else, let me know.
I`m also kindly asking you all , if you could help Sherry raise more money for cancer . All you have to do is get in touch by email to her . In return she will send you a picture , of the one below . She took part in a National Women`s Show , called Rethink Breast Cancer , and she bared all for a " booby Wall " with many other breast cancer survivors ! This was the after photo , AND everyone that she sends the photo , gets just $1 for the cause . It will only take 2 minutes of your time , and you may think , only a dollar , BUT everyone counts ! Thank you so much , if you do decide to help out .....
Sherry also has an Etsy shop opening soon !!! Esprit *dArt Etsy Boutique .
And she kindly sent me this to show as an example , of some of the beautiful handmade things she will be selling ....
I have found Sherry to be a most giving , unselfish woman , with a big heart of gold .
I have called her " my Angel " in so much that she inspires me and has given me hope that i have not had before . Not only that , but i consider her now a very dear friend of mine . I can never repay that to her ..... BUT , i have the honour of giving you this award Sherry . One i did myself , collaged by my own fair hands and named for you and others who deserve it .....
" Angels Speaks " ...........
......... I will post this off to you soon , to keep for yourself , my dear Sherry .
You deserve it !!
The meaning behind it is the first few letters of the word ... Angel
Always , Nuturing , Giving , Endurance and Love ..... And because you " spoke " to me ....
If anyone out there would like to use this award .... Please do so , you are most welcome ! But please respect the fact , that i originally made this please ! And if you remember , let me know who else deserves this award . I would love to know who else gets this !!
Have a happy weekend everyone !!!