Julie's Story: Diary of a brain tumor

The ever excellent All In The Mind podcast gives a sensitive and poignant insight into Julie Deakin’s experience of a brain tumour. An eight year journey that ended with her death in 1998.

The program is a painfully eloquent collection of readings from Julie Deakins journals of the time, and reflections by her mother who is still clearly devastated by the death of her daughter even after all this time.

At the end there is a peace that caught my attention, it was compiled from the cartoons of an Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig and was read at Julie’s funeral.

From Mr Curly to Vasco Pyjama, circumnavigator ..

Dear Vasco, it’s the shortest day here in Curly Flat ..

The shortest day always reminds me that life is short but no sooner am I concious of that than I’m reminded that life is also very long …

This is a most comforting paradox, for when I know that it is short, life seems more precious and sweet ..

I’m overcome with a great sense of forgiveness and my sufferings seem more bearable and fleeting.

But once again, Vasco, it is not the length of life which is important,it is the shape and roundness of life that matters ..

A round life is surely a happy life and, dare I say, it is a good life …

I just heard that a friend of mine has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. From what I know of her she has had (and is still having) a ’round life’. I hope the roundness of it carries her through the spiky bits that may be to come.

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