Support fund for Tom and Rose
The best, most effective and fast acting treatment offered by the deeply concerned hospital staff was to be aggressive chemo to start on that Friday….. blasting into the bone marrow and the rest of the body with the strongest known chemicals to fight cancer.
Lying in a small, grey, box of a room, with sealed windows on the hottest day of the year and being told I would have to stay in there for the next six months with just a small break to go home every month filled me with dread…. I decided rapidly dying was a much better option…..
…..Determined to escape that environment, I begged to be let out of that room and go home to my beautiful pink bedroom before I made the decision to agree to Chemo treatment beginning Monday morning……they cautiously agreed…..
Lying in bed at home that night with Tom discussing plans for what would happen after my imminent death I really felt I could go at any moment, my skin popping inside, I could hardly breathe.
The following morning Saturday, I had a couple of moments that turned it all around…one was a beloved friend who invited me too make two lists… one with what makes me feel alive and on the other what doesn’t make me feel alive…
I knew then that undergoing 6 months of chemo in a hermetically sealed room with no colour, nature or flowers, no fresh air, not even a breeze from outside…..I would not feel alive to make it through, yet right there, lying in my bed looking out at the trees and birds definitely was giving me an intense, real sense of being alive, no matter what my symptoms and body were doing.
A message came though from a friend sitting in a café worrying about me not being able to take the chemo… a woman opposite overheard this and began telling how she had the exact same diagnosis 6 years ago and that she had refused the chemo and done loads of other treatments like misteltoe etc and was completely recovered….. she looked glowing and fully alive…It had taken a lot of serious work and over £80,000… suddenly I had hope, maybe I could do it too..
On Sunday my sister Sarah drove me to Yorkshire… a perilous journey but somehow we made it and we are here in the hands of a very precious woman who is privately treating all aspects of the leukemia, physically, chemically and emotionally
I am here being looked after by my extraordinarily kind, beautiful, angelic sister Sarah and staying in a room looking up over the skies and trees watching swifts and swallows play in the air in the day and bats coming out at night in the gloaming……
I am in the thick of it….I can’t eat because of infection in my mouth and gums and I cant really walk or even talk too much. I am writing this now even though it is taking a huge surge of will power, because I want you to help me recover…I want to live fully.
Please give now, I need help urgently in the next two weeks to get through this critical stage when the extreme symptoms of leukemia are marching through my body.
We have been given the contact details of a top oncologist in Harley street who can steer me through all this and it looks like I will have to have some aggressive treatments like misteltoe to attack the cancer cells. There is a lot to be done, we are in the acute violent stages now and need all the help we can get
This is where we are at
If anyone wants to get in touch, please write a card or note and send it to Cholwell Farm, Darltngton, Devon,
or send supportive messages to Rose and Tom via Facebook… and keep believing…….
Fly with the angels my darling, you are truly safe now.
Now I am a plant, a weed,
Bending and swinging
On a rocky ledge;
And now I am a long brown grass
Fluttering like flame;
I am a reed;
An old shell singing
For ever the same;
A drift of sedge;
A white, white stone;
Until I pass
Into sand again,
And spin and blow
To and fro, to and fro,
On the edge of the sea
In the fading light--
For the light fades.
But if you were to come you would not say:
"She is not waiting here for me;
She has forgotten." Have we not in play
Disguised ourselves as weed and stones and grass
While the strange ships did pass
Gently, gravely, leaving a curl of foam
That uncurled softly about our island home,
Bubbles of foam that glittered on the stone
Like rainbows? Look, darling! No, they are gone.
And the white sails have melted into the sailing sky...
My sojourn on the Torquay Riviera is coming to an end. It has been a beautiful few weeks filled with bliss, delicacy, intimacy and much much love. Ive had the privilege to be care taken by my beloved family and friends which has been so nourishing, heart opening and exquisite. I have learnt daily how to receive more and more and more from everyone around me here whether it's been physically, emotionally or mentally. I've built up a deep bond with the lovely female doctor, George, who very sweetly today gave me the accolade of being the least complaining patient she has ever known. She said to me, I have been an inspiration for her and when she comes into my room she feels my life force and has done all along.
The lavender has been clipped in the garden. The leaves are beginning to fall from the trees and yet it's absolutely exquisite still. The last few days everything's changed in my body. A huge weakness has come over me. I no longer have any platelets left, just 2 and my red blood cells are very very low. I'm too weak for any more transfusions so I have agreed with the doctor to call a day on it because if I go to hospital for a transfusion I may not make it back.
So there it is. This beautiful summer of love is coming to a close and I only have a short time to go in this body of mine. I've had an extraordinary life in every way and I want to thank all of you for everything. Everything that you've given, in our relationships, which have always been amazing because I love connecting with each and everyone of you.
Please keep loving and supporting Tom and Rose through this. It's going to be very tough for Tom because we are such soul beloveds. Rose, my amazing daughter, yesterday evening, gave me permission to stop holding on. She is going to be OK but she says she's going to miss my warmth. We had some beautiful cuddles yesterday, I love her so much and I love Tom so much. I'm so gutted for both of them. I really am. And I trust that they'll be OK. So please keep donating. This is now over to them for their support rather than the recovery that we hoped for.
So many blessings and love to you all. Melanie.
Dearest Melanie, this note, beautifully written like all your others, brings huge sadness and shock. I can't believe you are leaving us and I am so sorry not to been able to give you goodbye hugs in person. But know I send them across the vast continent of America and the Atlantic to you in Devon. In the event you never knew, you had a huge impact on my life -- making me do all sorts of things I'd never have done on my own (popping immediately to mind: meditation weekend at the Ashram in Notting Hill at which we had to purify ourselves with enemas, drinks of salt water and dawn omming, two weeks in crazy fun, early-80s Manhattan with dear Lyle; a massage workshop!). Plus you never held back from telling me how I could improve my life and chances at love: do you remember ordering me to cut my very long hair because I was too old for it at mid-30s? And of course you urged me many times to enhance my life by purging clutter, and seeking my bliss. I am so happy you found your soulmate Tom and that you built a remarkable, fruitful life and made a gorgeous girl, Rose, (conceived in my apartment, yes? So your spirit is very strong in our home.) There is so much to recall but just know that I have treasured your friendship so much, as do all of us who've been following your journey with prayers for a recovery. Sending you love and thanks and know that wherever you go next you'll make one hell of an impact. xxxxxx Frances
Dear Melanie, I am so glad you made it back to Devon and your last post was so inspiring and beautiful. I think Katherine your nurse is a friend of ours. She is so lovely and if it is her(Kath Gilbert) we wore your great wigs to her 70's party a few weeks ago. Theo played with the NYO at the RAH on Saturday and we listened to Holsts "The Planets" do you know it? It is such a magical and mystical piece of music with angelic voices... Sending you lots of love and healing beautiful woman, Lucy Peter Theo Tara and my sister Maria( Cornwall one)a fellow artist is also praying for you. xxx
Dearest Dearest Mellie: it is hard to convey just how much the gifts of knowing you through the years have been woven into the fabric of my life. You have been inspiration, support, encouragement, pen-pal, host, travel companion… always forging ahead to more experience, connection, creativity, growth, and healing. I carry you with me always, and when I think of you, it is always with love and appreciation, and often with a silly grin for all the good times. All the letters, cards and pictures — saved from early 80’s onward) — help to chronicle the paths we have travelled and our adventures (and misadventures) as we’ve grown from the pups we were when we first met: you and Leo ending your big American adventure with me and my decrepit Hell’s Kitchen railroad flat; forging and growing a deepening friendship in snail-mail letters; you and Leo greeting me (a bit disheveled and hung-over, if I recall) as I arrived at Gatwick on my first-ever trip across the pond; you showing me Brighton, Bath and London, and Frances hosting us (was it her parents’ holiday flat?) in Paris; you and Frances coming to New York and our first night starting at the top of the Empire State Building and ending with seeing Divine perform at the Limelight… As we matured and grew into our adult selves, the spirit of adventure and discovery matured as well: more travels to share, more challenges, setbacks, successes. And rising above all this was your courage and commitment to healing the past and confronting demons head-on, so that love and creativity can blossom and flourish and sow the seeds of more love and creativity. Such is the ground that brought you and Tom together, and that from your partnership allowed you both to bring beautiful Rose into this world. You will always live on in them, and in the many friends you have touched in so very many ways — and I am forever grateful for the blessing of knowing you.
Thank you Melanie for the gift of your sharings these past days, your courage, your light and beauty have been an inspiration. If there is such a thing as a good death you have shown us the way with such grace and grit. Thank you to Tom, Rose and your friends who have shared you with us during these precious days, may your love and light allow their grief to flow gently. Rest in peace in the arms of the Angels dear Melanie as they celebrate you as we do xx
Unlike many others I only knew Melanie for a very short while during her stay in York but she touched me in a remarkable way. She was undoubtedly very special. Travel on safely, travel on well, Melanie and may your beautiful energy continue to touch and be part of the lives of all who knew you and most especially Tom and Rose.
Although I feel great sadness, mostly for Tom and Rose, I know your journey is continuing. After I read Tom's news I went to make a cup of Pukka Tea...and he inside read "This is not the end its just the beginning" That felt like a confirmation. May you continue to spread the beauty you have brought to this world. Love and Blessings Debbie (Turtle Woman)
Thank you so much for including us in your journey. It has been inspiring and heartwarming. I wish you both love and strength in the coming months
Sending love to you Tom, Rose and Sarah. Melanie is truly at peace, cradled in the arms of angels. Xx
Dearest Mel, So much love to you all now and 'even unto the ends of the morning.' Your peaceful acceptance is so beautiful darling Mel and I think it will help to make everything more bearable for your beloveds. Your generosity in sharing your story with us is wonderful and extraordinary - it has brought us all into the circle and now we can all step in to help and share in any way we can. Full of gratitude to you for being my friend. Travel gently dear one. Love Charlotte xxxx
Dearest Melanie Thank you so much for sharing your journey since your diagnosis. Your incredible spirit shines through every word you have written. Your courage is truly inspiring and I hope this personal diary will be made available to the world, to give strength to others who face the same ultimate challenge.....what a remarkable legacy! A state of Grace, is something many, myself included aspire to. To me, you have this in spades. God bless you Melanie , my thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.
I am snuggling in with you right now my love. Soft and sweet, quite and peaceful . . . just breathing and feeling and loving. Journey well my sweet sister. I can feel the deep healing that has washed through you and it is a blessing for all of life. Thank-you. Bless You. I LOVE YOU! I carry your light with me. I feel blessed by grace to have known you in this life.
Dear Melanie, thank you for sharing your journey with such grace & beauty. I met you & your family on a wonderful 'Sun Hive' workshop at your home in the spring of 2013 and later we became Facebook friends. Reading your moving post this evening a Rilke poem came to mind which I wanted to share it with you... "I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not ever complete the last one, but I give myself to it. I circle around God, that primordial tower. I have been circling for thousands of years, and I still don’t know: am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song?" Blessings to you and your family and may the ripples of your life reach far and wide. With love, Camilla X
Dear Melanie your words are so moving sending you love xx and to your family xx karen and thinking fondly of the Camberwell days xx
Dear Melanie, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us over these last few weeks; you are an utter inspiration and even though I never had the luck to meet you, believe me, you have touched my heart with your bravery and beautiful words - thank you. Sarah
My thoughts and love are with you Melanie during this last stage of your journey on Earth. Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring progress with us. With heartfelt love.
Melanie, you are a great soul sister. Thank you for all your words, your pictures, your generous wisdom... I can only wish you --and Tom and Rose-- ALL THE BEST, whatever "the best" mean, you deserve it.
Your story and words have been a complete inspiration to me. You are an extraordinary woman and your family and friends are blessed to have you in their lives. I hope you are held gently until it is time for you to go. Thank you for sharing this part of you with us - xxx
Dear Melanie, what an amazing, holy , divine, inspiring being you are, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful and touching journey. I have been thinking about you a lot lately and making sure i make the most of everyday, my eyes, my hands, my legs, my breath, and to create art everyday, however small, even if only a doodle in my sketch book you have reminded me how quickly this could all be gone. And today I am especially thinking of you as I'm working on a piece that will be part of a larger body of work, and I realised what I'm making wouldn't be out of place in your wonderful Pandora's Box series, i almost felt like I should don my embroidered gown and fern head-dress whilst stitching this new peace and praying for you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful gifts...... much love and light and peace to you and to Tom and Rose and your family xxx
Feeling you deeply today and sending you waves and waves of love and strength! I love you, I celebrate you and I see you whole and healed!
very moved and inspired by you Melanie, thank you for your open-hearted and heart-opening words ... sending you good vibes, songs and prayers