I spent the first half of 2015 having chemotherapy.

My secondaries had returned. It was to be my third terrifying dance with cancer. It left my body and soul aching, but it also gave me time to hatch my plan. I was going to write a guide about what had helped me navigate the treacherous terrain of living with an incurable life-threatening disease. The guide was also going to be a gift, a present for those that had stayed constant and helped me through it all.  So, lying in a darkened room staring at the ceiling fan, too exhausted to move, I conceived of the concept and the title of the book. I had little energy to do much beyond that.

By the end of six long months of chemo, I was physically shattered but emotionally charged. I was ready to write. I wrote for four months off and on. I wrote in the early mornings and between the after school pick ups and making the dinner. I wrote between naps. I wrote on my phone under the covers in the late hours when words buzzed around my head. I was the hare, I decided to self-publish, I wanted to make up for lost time, so I wrote, and self-published by starting my own publishing company, Purple Cords Press.

The turtle is slow and steady; the turtle wins the race. I don’t have all the time in the world, my race might be over too soon. Despite this I wrote the book to slow down my racing mind. I met with my artist cousin. We had the idea of using mindfulness in action by combining my written meditations on life, as a psychologist and as a survivor, with her hand-drawn mandalas. The reader would read a passage then contemplate the meaning while taking time to colour. Mindfulness in action. We called it “This Present Moment: An Art Therapy Journal”. I hope you like it, I hope it quietens your mind too.