At around the same time my melanoma was discovered, I had an MRI scan and the results were more detailed than I’d ever read before.
They worried me because they showed a leak on the heart repair. From the beginning of my surgery, I’d been told that my heart repair could need more surgery in 20 years’ time.
They didn’t know.
So, this letter had me worried, and although it was explained that the leaks are normal, and it’s actually the way the repair was designed, I couldn’t get my head round it.
The Somerville Heart Foundation (formally GUCH) were there again for me.
They got me on a daylong mindfulness course, which helped me realise that when I feel stressed and like the world is going to explode, I need to stop and reflect on my life, which takes me back to walking.
I was missing going out and having a bit of me time, on a walk and listening to music.
We got a dog.
He makes sure I’m out having a walk every day, giving me that time to reflect, listen (and often conduct) to awesome music that has impacted my life – some orchestral, pop, hip hop, jazz, a plethora of musical hits.
It was on a dog walk that I was inspired to start my business.
I’m a creative. I walk my own path, and I carry on even if things are against me. My life experience has taught me this, and through my business I am able to express myself in so many ways.
I’m a magpie for shiny silver things, and I create my own silver jewellery. I get inspired by random things I see, textures, ideas and love getting commissions from people who see my work .
I’m a heavy chocolate lover. When they told me I might have to cut down, I was scared – this was one of my biggest fears. No more chocolate!
But as I didn’t need to, my world was safe, and my chocolate obsession has grown over the years. I discovered a way to make chocolate-based fudge using a slow cooker and became hooked on becoming Willy Wonka. I love creating new flavours and designs.
A musician at heart
But throughout everything I’ve been through, music has been at the heart of it.
If I’m not playing it, I’m listening to it or humming away in my head.
And from offering help at a village school, conducting their school band, I’ve developed a passion for sharing my music with others.
I now teach all brass instruments in schools and at home in my purpose built studio.
Bringing it all together
Silver Beats and Treats, my business, brings all my 3 loves and passions together.
It may be quirky that those 3 different things make up a business, but the way I see it is:
- Why should we focus on one thing, when we enjoy doing lots of different things?
- Why should we fit in with the normal that we’re expected to?
My whole life has been a series of ups and downs, but my passions have always been there. So, I focus on them.
So why walking?
My heart surgery was 20 years ago.
I’m raising money for The Somerville Heart Foundation, the organisation that has supported me throughout, and who continue to support me and others.
I’m walking 20 different walks of 20 miles each around Hampshire, Wiltshire and Sussex.
Walking has saved me in so many ways, both physically and mentally. My walks will raise funds for others to have help, go to events, get support and counselling, go on retreats and, fundamentally, help others like me to know they’re not alone.
The Somerville Heart Foundation helped me every step of the way – I am using my steps of my miles to ensure they continue to support others like me.