"Some days I see the 40cm scar across my chest as the most repulsive and saddest line I have ever seen; other days it's like an instant adrenalin and strength reminding me that I am one of many Wonder Women and Men out there who have put up a fight.'
'I AM... I CAN... I WILL - A YOUNG MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER & LIFE' is based on Bianca's journal kept from 2009, just prior to being diagnosed with cancer. It chronologically describes the highs and lows of having a toddler, a newborn and being diagnosed and treated for TNBC. It is a very raw account of her journey through surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, rehabilitation and life in general, up until my 'finally being three years cancer free' milestone.
'I AM... I CAN... I WILL' is about being diagnosed with cancer and then working out the best chance of surviving it. Mixed with humour, compassion, hope and resilience, the author's wish is for her autobiography is to be of support to people who may find themselves on a similar yet unwanted journey, and to know they are not alone.
Here’s where you can buy the book: http://www.vividpublishing.com.au/iamicaniwill/
Just over seven years ago, whilst being on maternity leave, Bianca was diagnosed with an extreme and rare form of breast cancer: Triple Negative. She has always wished to write about the highs and lows of her journey through the disease, especially from a young mother’s perspective. Bianca wished to write her life story (pre and post cancer) for her children to read had she not survived.
When first diagnosed there were not any books written from the perspective of a young person with a young family suffering from TNBC. Bianca's story has ability to help and inspire fellow cancer sufferers and show them the positives as well as the ‘not so good’ times they may face .'I am... I can... I will ' is written in a frank, open and often humorous way.
For further information and to contact the author, please visit her website here.
An interview with Bianca Plunkett Gooley:
How did you come up with the title? Did you have alternative titles?
When I was diagnosed, I covered one of the kitchen walls with family photos and inspirational quotes so I could be encouraged every day if needed. I came up with the quote, ‘I am… I can… I will’ as a mantra for me to use throughout the journey. When I used to send emails to update family and friends of my situation, I would sign off with it.
I did have an alternative title, ‘Bluer Skies and Greener Grass’ because when I left hospital the surrounding colours seemed so much brighter and clearer than ever before, and I think being diagnosed really opened my eyes to seeing the world differently and prioritising as to what is important in life.
Why do you write?
I have always wished to write about the highs and lows of my journey through the disease, especially from a young mother’s perspective. I also wished to write my life story (pre and post cancer) for my children to read had I not survived.
When I was first diagnosed there were not any books written from the perspective of a young person with a young family suffering from TNBC. I believe my story could have the ability to help and inspire fellow cancer sufferers and show them the positives as well as the ‘not so good’ times they may face. I was able to write about the whole journey in quite a frank, open and often humorous way. I like to keep things real and believable (even with my current rom-com writing) so the readers can connect on some level. Just before May last year, I had three women I know be diagnosed within days of each other, and they all asked if I had finished my book. So, I stopped thinking about publishing it and made it a reality to help these ladies and also found it quite therapeutic for myself as well.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently writing a novel titled, ‘I’m Wearing that Smile You Gave Me’. It is a sweet, believable romantic comedy about the lives of a group of friends told through the eyes of the main character, Millicent Jayne. I really like the plan of how this story is taking place and, although I have a definite plot plan of attack, it has deviated a little throughout the writing of the story. I have enjoyed touching on various issues and themes and I like the way the characters are responding to them. I like authors like Alexandra Potter and Lindsey Kelk who write realistic rom-coms, and I have used this inspiration to write my own story and make the audience connect to it. The story is believable and makes you feel like you are reading about some of your own good friends. Side note: Some ‘real life’ people may find themselves being written about or semi quoted! Many of my own (and friends’) embarrassing, lovely etc experiences have snuck into my writing! Ummm, should I say sorry now?!
How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?
Even though I have gone back to work four days a week, I try my hardest to post little snippets of writing on my facebook page, In My Hand – Bianca Plunkett Gooley Writer, and update my Instagram (bellaandreg) and website with happenings of my autobiography when I can. www.biancagpg.wixsite.com/writer
Do you have a day job? What is it?
I have gone back to work at a Learning Support teacher this year. I have been thrown in the deep end but I am absolutely enjoying the experience and I am learning every day. So far this year, there has never been a day that I have not wanted to go to work, and I feel more confident with every week that goes past. I am loving the role, the students and the school!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Apart from hanging out with my little family and watching my two cherubs grow into little people in this big world of ours, I like to be a bit arty and create things. I have a little creative outlet on the side called Bella & Reg (named after my two children), and I hand make fabric button pendants on chains, earrings, brooches, varying sized hair bobbles, hair clips, and bookmarks. I use a variety of unique fabric, including retro, vintage and contemporary Australian Aboriginal fabrics as well. My handmade products are really pretty and sweet, and I have raised a lot of money for various people, animals, events etc who can benefit from my help. It’s my way of paying the kindness forward which was shown to us during my sickness.
www.bellaandreg.wix.com/thecollections (only Aboriginal wares)
Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Ashley Judd. I have always thought she was pretty kick arse, strong, and got things done. Plus, in the 90s she used to have a sweet pixie hair cut and wear an oversized grey jumper really well, and I feel if she could channel this again for when she plays me in the ‘kicking curls post chemo’ part, I think she may be in line for an Oscar. Just saying...
Chocolate or cheese?
Chocolate dipped cheese perhaps? Oh dear. There are equal amounts of love for both of these foods. Sometimes, certain things have to come into play when choosing one or the other: weather, child or spouse love, periods, fireplace, beverages, books etc. I could justify either one 100 percent.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Loving, living, writing and creating. If I am lucky to continue using all my senses, I will be content and happy.