Interview with The Dodo

Dear Critters,

I don’t often talk about cancer anymore. Having been originally diagnosed in 2010, then rediagnosed in both 2013 and 2014 (when I was told I could not be cured and completed palliative radiotherapy), over time this illness has gradually faded far into the background of my thoughts. Most days I barely think of it at all.

The reality is that life is terminal and I am in no way ‘special’ or unique for the realisation that my time on earth will one day end, except that I have not been given the privilege of denial. And in all truth, that acknowledgement that life is finite has been utterly liberating. It was my greatest wake up call that every day is truly a gift and must be lived to the full.

Recently The Dodo (an online animal advocacy platform) requested to do a follow up interview of their excellent coverage of the Project Banjo #RaysAwareness Campaign that I led alongside my good friend Jacqui Younger in 2017 which resulted in better outcomes for the beautiful rays of Victoria. However The Dodo’s interviewer Ryan Barrentine revealed that he was a follower and supporter of the Pink Tank Scuba pages, and he was keen to also talk about my life, my ‘Scuba Vs Tumour’ journey and my obsession with marine life including spider crabs, octopuses and cuttlefish as well.

Despite the fact that I would much rather be behind a camera than in front of it, Ryan did an outstanding job in producing this video which is a really well balanced look at where my life is at today. The video attracted over 1.1 million views in the first 48 hours and some of the feedback has been really encouraging. I would like to especially thank film maker Mark Jones and my other dive buddies across the years whose video footage and photos of me have been featured in this video.

And even since this interview was recorded, I have reached another conclusion about my life and how I see it. I’ve decided that while I will happily acknowledge that my oncologists have told me that they cannot cure me, that is their limitation, not mine. The term ‘terminal’ no longer sits well with me (did it ever?) My time could come from any unforeseen cause at any unforeseen moment, and in all honesty I could reasonably outlive those who have given me their best guess at my inevitable cause of death. And those vultures with monstrous crimson wings that once circled ever closer over my life, shamelessly waiting to pick the meat from my bones? I have banished them forever and am determined to outlive even them.

I have loved reading some of the comments that viewers have left in response to The Dodo Interview and the messages that people have sent through. I guess in summary, what I want to say is this:

Life is short – for all of us. Find what you are meant to do with your life and live every moment fully.

Each day is a gift that should be celebrated.

Live your passion with a sense of purpose, awe and wonder.

Live as though today was your last day on earth – and as if there is literally no end in sight.

Outlive those rotten vultures; all that is good in your life belongs to you, not to them. Don’t let them steal a single thing from you – now or ever.

In four days I will celebrate two significant milestones – another birthday and my Dive 800. My heart is filled with joy and hope of more birthdays and dives to come. Watch out Dive 1000 – you are now officially on my Bucket List. Thank you so much to all who have continued to follow my adventures and who have sent me your words of encouragement both recently and across the years.. You bring incredible joy to my life.

Please feel free to explore some more of my posts, image galleries and videos while you are here (as well as visit Pink Tank Scuba on FB, Instagram and YouTube!) I look forward to sharing more of my adventures with you.

Love and bubbles always,
PT xxx

25 thoughts on “Interview with The Dodo

  1. I’m always delighted to see your posts! Love your approach to the creatures and your attitude to life. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you for your kind words Pradeep. It is always my pleasure to help capture those fun times and awesome memories for the Disabled Diving Association days ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป

  2. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and you never fail to amaze me with your zest for life and, of course, your magnificent mages and videos. Most of all, I admire your positive attitude. May I reblog this post to be enjoyed by my blogger friends in South Africa?

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Hester and for being an awesome supporter of this blog and my journey. Please feel free to realign this post. Love and bubbles, PT ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป

  3. As usual you have a unique way of adding optimism and hope to a journey that occasionally lacks a clear road map. About four years ago those vultures landed on a tree just outside my window. My solace is heading into our mountains and rivers to absorb what its really all about. I keep my eye on those insatiable birds but try not to give them undue attention. I’ll be taking the liberty of sharing your posting a little later today on our new blog “We All Deserve Better” that mainly focuses on our animal pals and how we can honor and proect them all over the world. I look forward to dive #1,000. All the very best. Michael

    • Michael, you have been an amazing co-traveller on this journey. I also appreciate your perspective, your calm energy and your proactivity as you travel. Thank you for sharing my post on your new blog (I love your focus!) Wishing you every peace, joy and clarity on the road ahead. Love and bubbles, PT

  4. Looks like my post did not make it here either. You never cease to amaze me with your posts. They are thoughtful, emotional, yet level-headed and engaging. You are an excellent writer, a great photographer and a passionate person. Headed for 800 with 1000 dives truly visible and achievable on the horizon. And making it better for your dive buddies be they rays, globefish or tassled anglers. You are a model for how to handle oneโ€™s life and all that comes with it. Keep it up!

    • Thank you as always Joseph for your kind words of feedback and encouragement. You genuinely have a gift for kindness and building others up and I have always appreciated your willingness to impart that gift to me. It means so much. My most sincere gratitude now and always.

  5. You really are a great inspiration to everyone. I met you back in 2014 when I was diagnosed with Uterine cancer while you were fighting it yourself and you have continued to inspire me and give me strength since then. I love that you live every day as if it is your last and I share your love of the ocean and all that lives in it. Keep up the with the wonderful pictures you share and keep enjoying every day and every dive. Here is to dive 1000!!!

    • Thank you so much angeltink for your beautiful words of encouragement – they mean so much ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you are doing well on your journey. Sending you all the love and bubbles in the ocean, PT xxx

  6. Love your work PT!
    Iโ€™ve been following the great work you do for a while now and am encouraged by all you do and your approach on life.
    Iโ€™m a big fan! (Who would have thought. Lol).

  7. Life is full of wonders, including some we can never explain, and to be honest, need no explanation of.
    Each day we have a simple choice, to believe or not to believe. A positive outlook can and will make all the difference in how we live and survive. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  8. You are amazing PT! Thank you for the privilege of journeying together with you … think of you often and looking forward to celebrating dive #1,000, until then keep smilng and enjoying life! xxx

  9. PT , my name is Brenda Spake and Iโ€™ll be 69 on February 23, 2019. I just read an article by you and I prayed your dream is fulfilled to the fullest and you get to continue to out run those vultures.
    Right now Iโ€™m laying in a rehabilitation bed because I fell and broke one of four herniated disc in my lower back! I want to say thank you for such beautiful encouraging words that you have written. God bless you.

    • Dear Brenda, thank you so much for your kind words of feedback and encouragement. In my game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, octopus beats vulture every time! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so sorry to learn about your fall and injury. I sincerely hope that your recovery will be a steady and complete one. Sending you every best wish for your journey moving forwards. Love and bubbles, PT xxx

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