Hello and welcome! This is my first post and it's a personal one. I have been extremely shy about the shop, and my experiences, but in an effort to help raise awareness and promote the work that I am proud of, I've decided to open up a little about where it all started.
10 years ago I found out that there was a mass growing in my calf muscle. It was deep in the soleus and for two years we quietly watched and waited, as it continued to spread upward through my soft tissue and muscle. I'll spare you the details because that's a heavy story to begin with. But it was fuel to my fire.
Almost everyone I know has been touched by this type of experience. Either a family member, a partner, a friend, coworker or even a neighbour. One day you wake up and suddenly you're right in the middle of it - listening to the jack-hammer sound that the MRI machine makes and you aren't allowed to even wiggle a toe (for an entire hour!). It's like hitting the pause button on your body while your mind is racing forward.
And sometimes they don't have the cure, but the human spirit somehow prevails. Good people are out there to help you make the right decisions. And you stop asking, 'why me?'.
Why not me? I don't know when it happened, but I realized this is it. This is my weird and wonderful world. Because outside of that machine, I had a classroom filled with amazing students at a school that inspired me each day. A small publishing portfolio. An incredible family that held me in place and didn't let me fall. Great friends who lifted my spirit. A notebook to write in. Music, books and poetry. A small, beautiful garden. Coffee. And chocolate, lots of chocolate.
And here I am, 10 years later, learning to balance and realizing that all of this hospital stuff is just a fraction of my whole. Outside that MRI machine was the rest of my life, and I decided to fill it with constructive work and to donate proceeds back to the hospitals that have helped me so much.
Onward and upward.