A couple of months had passed since the first Parfait Party and I had been thinking deeply about life, what it meant to me and other navel gazing issues. I knew I didn’t want to sit around simply accepting treatment and waiting for this insidious disease to completely invade my body. It’s made some substantial moves in already. Some research tells me the average life span is 30 months, others say 3 to 5 years, the official stance of most advanced breast cancer sites is that some sufferers live for many years. I hunted and found some stories of people who lived 17 and 20 years. Great news, but these are the minority only about 1-2%.
Wow! That’s a small number of long time survivors. Then and there I decided I was going to be in that 1-2%.
“I want to join that elite club of long term survivors. I’m going to do whatever it takes to beat these odds.” my alto ego Fighter Vanessa exclaimed.
“Yeah, but 1-2%? And by the way, it’s not like we have only one or two metestatic sites to deal with here.” Frightened Vanessa reminded me. She was right – they both were.
One thing that both Fighter and Frightened agreed on was if I had three months or three decades the time for self-indulged navel gazing was over! I was going to spend whatever time I had left doing something I loved.
I thought back on the things I truely enjoyed doing. Spending time with family and friends scattered around Australia was number one, followed by a close number two: travel. Hmm, what else? I love hearing inspiring stories or people doing something unique or defying odds. And I have a great deal of publishing experience.
I let these priorities fester and ferment, all the while focued on these awfully large, awfully out-of-character parfait glasses.
“I’ve bought Parfait glasses.” I told my daughter Mel on skype one day.
“What?” She said surprised. I wasn’t known for my elaborate entertaining or love of deserts.
Buying the parfait glasses seemed symbolic of the moment I chose living over dying, and it was such a random act of defiance that everyone gets a giggle when I tell the tale of how a terminal diagnosis thrust me into collecting cutlery, holding parfait parties and one last awesome adventure.
And that is how the Parfait Party was born.