The other one.

Posted on November 25th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

There may be occasional ramblings from time to time on the other one, Between A Hard Rock And A Place.

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Posted on November 23rd, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

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5 comments.

Gratitude

Posted on November 18th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I am not even going to pretend to know how to convey my thanks to people who have been a great support to Elizabeth and I since this website went up last year. The debriefing has been therapeutic, but the support and love shown by people has been more than overwhelming.

I am incredibly thankful to everyone who has walked beside us and I feel honored that people would share what we have gone through. I am thankful to God, my fam, my friends and people who I have met through this time.

For now, it is time to hang up the boots. There may be an appropriate time to continue journalling here again, or to conclude this chapter in some way, but for now the website will be in remission.

Once again, thank you.

Cam & Elizabeth

15 comments.

Verto positus.

Posted on November 16th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

It has been quite a weekend, and although I won’t write about all that has happened, I am feeling more positive about the future. My health is not really a priority at the moment, which is quite refreshing. Dealing with other life issues has been on the agenda, but I think this weekend has been a turning point.

It will be something that is written in retrospect, but for now, I am looking forward to another week ahead.

0 comments.

Friday night

Posted on November 14th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

It is Friday night. I feel like finding a local pub that plays copious amounts of Van Halen, Dave Matthews, Stevie Ray, Blues Traveler, Sarah McLauchlan, or a vast range of Funk, while enjoying any quantity of low carb beer (you are allowed to drink more because it is good for you). Anyone care to join? (you can call me most nights if tonight doesn’t suit).

4 comments.

When I have nothing to say…

Posted on November 11th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

My good friend Don sent this to me tonight. I think the guy in it is very clever, and will fill in a gap since I have nothing to share with you otherwise.

3 comments.

The Return of Harris & Son

Posted on November 6th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my workshop wondering what to do. I have had a frustrating few weeks just waiting for things I need to be able to launch the silver business properly. So I decided to go for a walk around the jewellery retail stores around Perth city to do some ‘market research’. My Aunty gave me the tip-off the other week that there was a piece of jewellery in one of the antique stores in Perth made by Grandpa, so I thought I would go and have a look.

I wandered into the shop and browsed the silver spoon collection. There were a few Harris & Son items that Grandpa would have made back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. There was a lady behind the counter and a gentleman sitting down next to the counter, and they asked me if I was looking for anything in particular.

“I was just interested in the Harris & Son items” I said. The attendant’s face lit up.
“Really, we were just talking about Harris & Son just before you walked in! I have just wrapped up a Harris & Son brooch that will be sent to the National Gallery in Canberra this week for their collection”, she exclaimed.

I introduced myself and told her that I was the new owner of the business – her jaw dropped, she was very excited. The next half and hour or so we spent talking about the history and what I was planning to do with the business now in the re-launch. She asked me to get as many photos and as much information as I could so that she could send it to the National Gallery with the brooch.

I went straight to the State Library where I knew there was a taped interview with Grandpa from 1985 with a transcript. I found out there were six tapes and a 200 page transcript on the early years of the jewellery trade in Perth. I started to photocopy but then just read through it as I was running out of time. Tales of gold theft, murders, early jewellers and life in the early 1900’s – it made for very interesting reading and I could hear my Grandpa’s voice clearly as I read the transcript.
So in the last 24 hours or so, it has been a mad rush to get as much information to them as possible and my mind has been ticking over with ideas of collecting the history and publishing it.

I have contacted many previous customers to let them know that the initial website is up and running, prior to the official launch in December/January. I am working on some designs for the Fourth Generation Collection but I am still waiting on some casts to come back from Sydney. I will be putting them up over the next month or so. The website is at www.harrisandson.com.au

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Great Grandpa, Del, Grandpa Harris. Central Arcade, Perth. Circa 1930′s

10 comments.

Storytime

Posted on November 2nd, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I had a chat last week with a friend from chemoclub (gym), just on different aspects of our experience with cancer. She mentioned how some people, when they find out you have cancer, tell you cancer stories.

Now I will tell you up front, I am not a fan of some kinds of storytelling anyway, so I guess I was a bit sensitive before the specific stories about cancer started. My friend at the gym and I have similar experiences when first diagnosed in that some people’s response was to just recall stories about other people who had cancer. It was as if the keyword ‘cancer’ just triggered a barrage of stories that contained the same keyword. She remembers that the stories she heard were not necessarily ones with positive endings. So, after holding myself back for many months, let me express what I think about stories, specifically in regards to cancer.

In the first couple of days after the confirmation I had Multiple Myeloma, my mind was processing every conceivable outcome and emotion while coming to terms with the uncertainty of what treatment I was to face. I don’t know how the mind does it, but there is a lot of logistic detail that is being processed while the body is in complete and utter shock – suffering emotionally and physically from the symptoms that have already set in. It is one of the ultimate overloads.

The response of people around me was incredibly important during this time of course, and people wanted to offer anything they could to help me stay positive or encouraged in light of the recent news. I am sure intentions were good, but when people responded by telling me of their ‘friend who had cancer and they are okay now’ stories, I didn’t find it helpful at all.

In the beginning, it seemed as though some people assumed I hadn’t heard of people who had cancer before this time. More and more people know more and more people with cancer these days, and the experiences and outcomes are so incredibly varied. Initially, the recounting of others’ experiences didn’t really faze me because, to be honest, I wasn’t listening to them. It was just too much for my mind to take in at that point. I already knew that some people survive cancer, and some people do not. I knew that I was going to do either one or the other, but I knew enough about cancer’s lack of respect for consistency and predictability to know that everyone’s experience is different. For every cancer story I heard that had a happy ending, I knew of the stories that were kept quiet. It would be naïve to assume that someone would be fine, because someone knows someone else who had cancer, and they were fine.

In saying this, there were some helpful exceptions. I found it very helpful to hear of people who had the exact same cancer, and that they had made it through 10 years, and were still okay. This was fantastic! Hope had testimonials, and these stories were brief, current and appropriate. In the end, I stated, “I don’t want to hear any stories about cancer unless they are about Multiple Myeloma and positive! Don’t tell me anything else!” Anything else, was just too much.

Another danger with this responsive storytelling, is that it can come across as a distraction from what the person who has just been diagnosed may be feeling. The intention may be to ‘protect’ them from feeling the worst they could feel, but it may result in feeling like the severe reality of the situation is being minimized, possibly trivialized. Comments may be made like, “Don’t worry, Jane had breast cancer five years ago and she is fine now!” The reality is that such a diagnosis does make people worry. This feeling should not be discounted.

For some people, this may not be their point of view. They may love hearing story after story about others’ experience of cancer. I am personally, however, far more in favour of listening to how people feel and supporting them than trying to recall every story I have heard with the word ‘cancer’ in it. I don’t want to come across as wanting to shut people down whose intention is to comfort people after diagnosis, but after talking to a few people who have been in this situation, I think it is worth considering.

4 comments.

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