Start Creating Legacy Now ~ Gypsy Artemis ~ Woman Time Conversations Episode 1.
In today's woman time conversation I'd like to introduce you to Gypsy Artemis from the Central Coast of NSW, Australia.
Gypsy is a single mama of two and in 2019 she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
In this conversation we talk about;
How she came to discover she had breast cancer (although she was going for regular checks it was during an Ayahuasca ceremony that it was revealed to her) and how her cancer journey began.
What it's like to have a terminal diagnosis and how it's changed her life and priorities.
She'd love to encourage women to start checking their breasts monthly.
We talk about Creating Legacy and starting to do that now (she is PASSIONATE about encouraging us all starting to do that NOW cause none of us know how long we really have here) and she gives some simple ideas of HOW you might start doing this.
What to say and what NOT to say with someone with a terminal diagnosis.
And wrapping up how you can support her (and thus her family) so she can be here longer for her kids!
Gypsy is a single mum of two and her main work nowadays is cacao facilitator training retreats, The Deepening mixed gender circle, self pleasure circles for women and men, and medicine drum making. There is more about herself and her colourful life below leading up to the point of her starting this cancer journey. Scroll down to read it!
As part of sharing this interview. As well as spreading her message of checking your breasts, being more present in the moment and with our children and creating legacy. I'd like to help her find her raise money to be here with her children longer. If you'd like to be one of Gypsy's 100 angels see how you can donate below.
You can follow Gypsy on social media @sacredhunger or @gypsywillowartemis.
Born in Sydney in 1973 to "swinging" parents.
Mum eventually left Dad for a woman in about 1975 - a gutsy move given the social climate. ( The film Mllk captures perfectly what my mum must have been going through as she was coming out - a must see to understand how gutsy she was. I was in awe of her strength after watching it.)
I was a sensitive kid and struggled with my mum's sexuality - in primary school I turned up to school and was called a "lesbian"! I knew women kissed women and men kissed men but I had no idea what a lesbian was. This was a REALLY challenging part of my life which continued until late-middle high school.
when I was just 18 I left my family and Australia behind and went to live in London. I was escaping the dysfunctional family dynamics. When I look back I am stunned by my young fearlessness, never having lived out of home but going it in the big city that is London.
1992 I met my first soul mate, James, shortly after arriving in a small village in the West country. As I was driven into the village for the first time, i saw a man standing on a bridge - I couldn't even see his face but my soul said "I need to be with that man'! Such a crazy connection. We lasted 4 years - soul mates, yes, but we were so young, still finding ourselves. He was a professional, "signed" muso but I just didn't dig the whole superficial music scene which pretty much caused our separation in 1996.
I went to London for 6 months and stayed 12 years! Somewhere along the line I picked up a book on "co-dependency" and FINALLY I knew what was wrong with my family and my upbringing. There and then my healing journey began, at 19. I sought counselling, did CODA (codependence anonymous) 12 step programme for a wee while, then just kept at it, reading every self help book I could get my hands on, and saw the occasional psych. I got well!!!
Eventually I wrote my mum a 22 page letter, over about a month, then flew home to give it to her. It basically told her all my woundings from my childhood, inc bulimia, how hard her sexuality hit me and that kind of thing, insisting if she didn't start to heal herself, I was going to disown the family and never come back. Essentially I had gotten myself super healthy mentally and emotionally, and I wasn't going to let anybody change that, including my family!
Long story short, Mum started to heal and we stayed connected, and I eventually moved home in 2003 after finding my career (drug and alcohol worker) and myself in London. Moving home was a huge culture shock and was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
a few years after moving home in 2003, mum got diagnosed with breast cancer. It was shocking, but she kind of treated it like a bad cold so we never really got the severity of it and what it could mean long term. She was stoic and soldiered on and I guess we looked to her for how to behave. We all just got on with it and she got over it.
Years later, in 2007, after her and I had taken a trip to Nepal, we got the shocking news that she had (terminal) stage 4 cancer, and it was advanced. We journeyed with that for 8 months before she died on 1st Jan 2008. It was life changing in ways too many to mention. The experience turned me on to how poorly we do death in our culture. Add to this fact that I had a near death experience in 1997 and it was a recipe for an intense interest in death. Finally in 2012, after my partner's grandma's horrendous death in a nursing home the year prior, I decided to do something about "end of life" and started one of Australia's first end of life business that was NOT funeral home. I was determined to change the face of death, teach death literacy, and turn people on to the benefits of death doula-ing
But I was WAAAAYY ahead of the culture and it was a bit like pushing shit uphill to be honest! So eventually I changed my business from just "death" to "all life phases" including birth, menopause, menarche and death.
2011 Treya arrived by planned Homebirth, and I had pretty bad PND, re-grieving the death of my mum and nan, and being nutritionally imbalanced. I was then diagnosed with MTHFR gene mutation, blasto hominis (parasite) and was treated for chronic fatigue. Looking back that's probably the time cancer first showed up, which wasn't diagnosed until 2019.
2015 saw me separate from Treya's dad, and make her little brother 2 months later, with said Dad! So in August 2016, "solo mother of 2" I became - Sanaya was born by (necessary) emergency caesarian. Unfortunately, despite "consciously uncoupling", things were really bad between me and her Dad and I lived through years of deep heartbreak, struggling as a single mum with unknown underlying major health issues.
Around the summer of 2014 I began what I thought would end up to be a decade long ayauascha apprenticeship which changed my life. I ended up apprenticing for 5 years, healing so many childhood wounds and unhealthy patterning. Finally in Sept 2019 when at work in ceremony, the medicine showed me telling the kids and their Dad that I had breast cancer - the next week I went for diagnostics and was told I have stage 4 (terminal) cancer which had spread to my bones. The prognosis was 3-5 years.
My world turned upside down - I cried every day for a year, devastated by the fact that I would have to one day in the not too distant future, have to say goodbye to my babies, At the time my son was so young that he would not have even been able to remember me.
I had a mastectomy, started one my first line of treatment which failed, then chemo. This worked and lung mets disappeared. I underwent genetic testing which though expensive, highlighted what treatments would and wouldn't work, including natural treatments such as mistletoe and cannabis. I outlived the 6-12 months prognosis and am still here today.
I've returned to work, but have really refined what I do, doing only that which brings me pure BLISS, being medicine drum making, cacao facilitator training, self pleasure circles and my mixed gender circle The Deepening.
Nowadays my time is spent creating legacy for the kids (I've written a book for them), staying healthy taking a plethora of treatments not covered by medicare, trying to get the word out for women to check their breasts regularly, and for people to start living like they are dying and getting their priorities right! Dying has taught me that the only thing that matters is LOVE and the people you love the most. Work doesn't matter. Money (beyond surviving) doesn't matter. Status doesn't matter.
I feel like it was me who got cancer in my community because my sphere of influence is the greatest - I want my diagnosis and death to change the lives of as many people as possibly, turning parents on to the importance of being present to their kids and prioritising quality time over say having a perfectly tidy house.
My mamma heart is shattered into a trillion pieces, the only thing mattering now is that my kids know how much I love them, and having memories and stories recorded so they can know and remember me long after I am gone.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUPPORT GYPSY TO BE HERE LONGER FOR HER KIDS?
My 100 Angels campaign was a call for 100 people to make a donation of $5 - a cup of coffee a week - for 6 months. Some people paid weekly, some made a one-off payment of $130, each paid directly into a special account set up for all my medical costs. This campaign was borne out of desperation - desperation to be here for my kids for as long as I possibly can, buying me time, I hope, for them to grow up a little before we have to say goodbye. The funds buy the things proven to kill my specific cancer, being mistletoe injections 3 times a week ($225), vitamin B12 injections ($1200 a batch - I'm not yet sure how long that will last, hopefully 2 months), cannabis oil, B17/leatrile/apricot kernels ($100US a bottle), turkey tale & lions mane medicinal mushrooms ($700 a bag), high does vitamin c, B, zinc and magnesium ($220 a pop). Some weeks I also buy organic veg for juicing, when I have the energy. I strongly feel that all the bioceuticals is what is keeping me alive alongside the medically prescribed meds such as hormone blockers etc. so I am eternally grateful for people's support.
Donate direct into her health/medical funds account:
Acct: 156 688 418 (UPDATED: please note the original post last digit was wrong (gahhhh!). This has been fixed now!
Account Name: Gypsy Artemis
Or contact her directly on 0406 502 715.
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