An email arrived from Susan Bardy, a fellow PhD friend from Adelaide. It bought back so many memories of an unexpected friendship and an exciting conference in Illinois USA.
Susan Bardy is a palliative nurse devoted to the care of people who are nearing the end of life’s journey. Her thesis, Caring vs Curing is being published by The Australian Theological Forum and is available at a reduced price via the order form below. Knowing Susan it will be an empathetic, thoughtful and excellent book, not only interesting to read but one you will want to keep in a prominent place on your bookshelf .
Caring vs Curing
____________________ Postcode: ______ Country:______________
I would like to order _____ copies (PRE ORDER PRICE AUS $20
until 30 May)
(+AUS $6 Postage and Handling)
TOTAL AMOUNT: _______________
I enclose a cheque/money order made out to ATF Ltd
Or Charge my Master Card Visa
Card Number :
Expiry date: / 3 digit security code:
Return form by fax or post:
PO BOX 504, Hindmarsh SA 5007
Ph: +61 08 8232 2093
Fax: +61 08 8223 5643
When I was studying for my PhD in epistolary fiction at Swinburne University in Melbourne we were expected to attend and present a paper at two overseas and two national conferences. When I heard of an amazing conference to be held in Illinois USA, I knew I had to attend. However, no one else was going and I ‘d never been overseas on my own before. My mind raced through all the ‘what ifs’ until a friend gave me Susan Bardy’s email address saying, ‘She is a wonderful woman, a marathon runner, who is a nurse and is also studying autoethnography’. I contacted her and we hit it off immediately. We agreed to meet for the first time at the conference at the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign.
As per usual I was trying to travel on a shoe string. The fares alone to the USA cost a fortune but because all the USA university students had gone home for the summer break , for a pittance I could stay at the university student village.
The trip to the conference meant I had to travel with only carry on luggage from Melbourne to Los Angeles, catch a domestic flight to Chicago and straight onto a flight to the twin towns of Urbana-Champaign in Illinois. After travelling nonstop for 35 hrs I arrived about 6 pm only to find myself at a tiny airport with no way of getting to my accommodation. The only taxi was quickly grabbed by weary travelers and I was saved by a friendly couple who gave me a lift to the student digs. They even let me use their mobile phone to ring security to come and unlock the front door and let me in.
To say that my room with shared bathroom was sparse was an understatement. There was nothing in the room apart from a bed and mattress. No jug or even a blanket. Later, I managed to borrow a blanket from the security guard. However, I did have the bathroom to myself because the room next door was empty. The view from the window was lovely but I would have killed for a jug to make a cup of coffee, or to pour hot water over two minute noodles.
The next day was free for me and a treasured writing friend and her husband took me out for the day to lunch in a house in an Amish Community.
I knew Susan was arriving later that evening but we hadn’t worked out where or how to catch up with each other. When my friend took me back to where I was staying in Hendrick House we pulled up behind a taxi. I just knew it was Susan as soon as I heard her deep Australian voice. We were inseparable from then on.
The email that arrived said, ‘I must come over to see you sometime in the year. I Imagine we will talk until the cows come home’
Professor Ian Maddocks my palliative care examiner noted that my writing should be widely read as it’s value is in bringing ‘new notice’ to my message that would bring added knowledge for all health professionals and carers. In fact by giving talks to community groups I found that the community at large benefits from knowing what to expect.I stress how quality of life can be enhanced with care that is holistic no matter how close any one is to end of life. My idea in doing the PhD was to share what I learned over 20 years in caring for people with life threatening illnesses. The books are going achieve that I think.
The books are in final print at present and the order forms are the way to get them now. After publication it will be online. I will keep in contact with you and let you know developments.
It has been a long time between drinks. I wonder how you are and what
you are up to these days? I am now a member of Rotary International through my local club and I speak with local clubs about palliative care.
My book is being launched in Adelaide on May 22nd 2016