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Friday, April 26, 2013

Chrissy Amphlett 1959-2013 “I Touch Myself” and Self Examination for Breast Cancer by John Tognolini

 We heard the news Trish and I, in the car radio  coming back from Orange to Wellington in Central West New South Wales on that Monday afternoon of the 22-4-13. When they said that she died of breast cancer and MS it hit me. For a lot of us she had been a big part of our lives. The fact that I'm only eight months older than her says something about the impact she  had on my life. Chrissy was not the bad girl of Australian Music, No she was the Strong Woman of Oz Rock & Roll. So it was not surprising that she wanted her signature song, I Touch Myself to be used to encourage women to self examine themselves for breast cancer.
I looked at her Facebook page and decided to share these words she wrote on 14-3-12:
"Unfortunately the last 18 months have been a real challenge for me having breast cancer and MS and all the new places that will take you.You become sadly a patient in a world of waiting rooms,waiting sometimes hours for a result or an appointment and you spend a lot time in cold machines like MRI,CT machines,hospital beds,on your knees praying for miracles,operating rooms,tests after tests,looking at healthy people skip down the street like you once did and you took it all for granted and now wish you could do that.

 I have not stopped singing throughout all this in my dreams and to be once again performing and doing what I love to do. I have been writing the occassional song with a wonderful collaborator Kraig Jarret and two weeks ago we performed some of those songs in NYC in the West Village.
My illnesses have really exhausted this little body of mine that I have thrown from one end of a stage to another and performed thousands of shows thats sadly some of you missed.With that said I am getting stronger but there is still some fine tuning and work to be done on myself. It's a different self but my voice is strong and not affected by the MS as some reviewers have cruelly reported.
I can walk altho sometimes I wobble but try to wobble with the beat.I look after myself and my husband has been through this with me every part of the way and I cannot imagine what I would have done without him and his kindness.
I did something right.My lttle dog Holiday lays on the end of the bed when I am not feeling great and doesn't leave my side.I don't reach out to people and talk about what I go through as we are all going through something and for someone who once was fancy free I have all of this in my life "So I Know".
I am grateful to have the knowledge that all of this has shown me and I feel privledged that I am strong enough to "know" and share that it's really alright. will sing again,I will perform again but this time "I know" I hope you understand what I mean and if you don't you will one day and be grateful.Yes Lawrence What A Life and this is Life.We must never be afraid.
I Twittered the next night on #AFL360 Be serious about Chrissy Amphlet, her last wish was for her song 'I Touch Myself' to be used to promote breast cancer awareness.

"That Christmas Day in 2011 was a pretty heavy day. It’s when Trish told me that she had noticed for the first time a lump in her breast while looking after me in Randwick. During the next few weeks Trish underwent tests in Dubbo and Sydney, and then travelled back to Sydney in mid-January to have a double mastectomy at the Seven Day Adventist Hospital. She’s clear now, but cancer survivors can develop secondary cancer. Her odds are at sixteen per cent. She’s tired a lot of the time and I’ve been her carer since then, on top of my teaching. Trish’s workplace is supportive and she still works part-time at Dubbo Base Hospital, but she’s very tired when she gets home.  

When we travelled to Melbourne for ten days around the AFL Grand Final, it was the first time in the best part of two years that either of us had left Wellington to do something other than visit medical specialists or have major surgery. We’re a very 21st century couple, with matching surgery scars. Her scars go across and mine goes up and down; together that’s a positive and a plus sign, and we didn’t even plan it. We love each other."
We never going to forget Chrissy and her last request must be honoured.


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