Saturday, December 31, 2011


24th to 31st December 2011

I hope that everyone had a splendiferous Christmas and that it was filled with many special memories that your will treasure throughout the coming year.

My Christmas was an extraordinary one because I spent it in Queensland with my Nana and Pop, it is the very first time ever that we have been away from Canberra for Christmas.  We thought we were not going to get there though because on the day we left Canberra we arrived at the airport to be informed that our flight had been delayed due to a mechanical problem, so we waited and waited and finally almost two hours after our flight was orginally supposed to leave, we were on our way.  It was so exciting to be staying with Nana and Pop at their house and seeing their dog Chifley, who was so cute and friendly.  On Christmas Eve we gathered around the television singing Christmas Carols, I think some of us were a little off key but it sounded triumphant, we then shared  some funny memories of past Christmases which made us all laugh.  Then on Christmas morning we all sat in the lounge around the glistering Christmas Tree while Pop enjoyed  handing out the Christmas gifts.

Santa had visited us the week before, he even sent a letter all the way from the North Pole telling us that he makes special trips at this time of year to children who are going away for Christmas and would not be able to carry their gifts back with them, it is a tricky thing to do when you are flying.  This year on Christmas Day as I sat with a smile on my face enjoying seeing the gifts that the rest of the family and I received I thought how very lucky I was to be sharing that moment, at that time with my family.  So much has happened in the past couple of years and I am just so grateful for every day that I have on this earth, I think that many people take life for granted and waste it by not making the most of it or doing things that really are not right or hurt other people.  We should always wake up each day wanting to make it a special day, one where we smile at others, appreciate those people around us, try to help out others in any way and spread happiness and love.

The weather in Queensland was almost perfect, the sun shone radiantly in a crystal clear, sparkling blue sky, a gentle breeze came up to cool the air when it was just a little too warm and light, wispy white clouds floated luxuriously about in the blue sky.  We only had one day of rain but it was still warm and pleasant. 

We spent time at the surf beach and at the calm waters, we were very fortunate because many beaches had to be closed along the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast however at Bribie Island which is near where my Nana and Pop live it remained opened.  The waves were a little rough and unpredictable and piles of sea grass was been tossed up in the waves but it was warm and refreshing and as the waves rolled in over my legs and feet they tickled a little and felt so lovely. 

The sand on Queensland beaches is so soft and white, it is fun to run it through your hands or scrunch your toes up in it although I felt just a little uncomfortable when it stuck between my toes and scratched.  During our time in Queensland we had icecreams by the water front, they were melting as we ate them in the heat, I had a sorbet as icecream is one of the food items that really upsets my stomach.  We watched people fishing, they did not seem to be catching anything but were enjoying themselves, we had fresh fish and chips for dinner one night and found a cane toad in Nana and Pop's backyard which Pop stabbed with his special stick while Jarrett put dettol on it, they are really strange looking animals.   On our last day we saw some tiny clear jelly fish in the water, they were bobbing around near the edge of the water looking ever so graceful and peaceful. 

Our time away was extremely restful and enjoyable, it was so fantastic to be with Nana and Pop at their house and spend Christmas with them.  It is a time that I will treasure and it was so wonderful not to have to have doctors appointments or treatment. 

However now we are back home I have a series of appointments and my growth hormone treatment to contend with.  Having some time away from all of that was such a relief, it was almost like being normal, most people my age don't have to face every day what I have to.  I know I was given my journey for a reason and I will keep fighting to help others each and every day. 

My first week in January, I have a physiotherapy appointment which I am looking forward to, because while I was in Queensland my right foot became extremely sore and swollen on the top, it is so painful to touch and to move.  I am hoping that the rough waves did not do any damage to it, because it is after a day that the waves were really forceful that it became painful.  I also have Interclub again, I will be throwing in javelin and shot put. 

Wishing you all a magnificent last day of 2011 and I hope that 2012 will be a splendiferous year for you all, thank you for all your support and assisting me in raising awareness and funds for brain tumours, I hope that in 2012 we can all continue to make a significant difference and maybe one day my dearest dream of doctors finding a cure for brain tumours will become a reality.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


17th to 23rd December 2011

"Wouldn't it be splendiferous if Christmas was forever, not just for one day.  People would be loving, sharing and giving all year through.  Remember the good you do for others makes you feel good in yourself." 

It is almost Christmas day, such a magical time of year, it always puts a huge smile on my face.  The lead up to Christmas has been filled with events and  special visitors. 

At interclub on Friday, I competed in discus and shot put, I threw 5.41 metres in discus and 2.27 metres in shot put.  Even though these weren't PB's I was ecstatic with them, as it was the first time I have thrown since my last seizure.  Nalani also threw and got a PB in shot put, poor Jarrett still can't race yet.

Monday was Nalani's Year12 Graduation, it was exceptional, she also received two awards, an academic excellence in Maths and an application in PE.  I was so proud of her!

On Tuesday I had my physiotherapy appointment, Kaitlyn worked on my lower back which had been stiff and sore.  Next time she is going to do a pelvic release as my right side of my body is pulled up higher than my left side.  My Year 7 teacher also came and visited me, it was so lovely to see her again.

I have been busily making Christmas cookies and other food ready for a delicious feast.  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a joyous and healthy New Year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Excited and honoured after winning the Pathfinder Award
  10th to 16th December 2011

Only nine days until Christmas, what a special and busy time of the year it is.  We should not forget that Christmas is not just about presents, it is a day to rejoice and celebrate the birth of Jesus.  It is a time to reflect and to think of those we have loved and lost this year and a time to share happy memories with our families. 

Last Friday night was our Middle School Celebration, it was a night to thank our teachers for all the wonderful work they have done in nurturing and educating us this year.  It was also a night where students are rewarded for their efforts.  So you can imagine how surprised and honoured I was when my name was called out for an award.  I had never thought that I would ever receive an award and the reward that I received was such an extraordinary one.  For I was awarded the 'Pathfinder Award', it is an award for a student who has contributed to school life by 'blazing a trail', showing courage and exemplifying both the Middle School core values and the school motto of Grace, Commitment and Wisdom.  Receiving such an award is something that I will treasure always.

On Monday Nalani had her exam for her massage course, I had helped her practise on the weekend and she remembered everything so I knew she would do exceptionally well.  In both her practical and theory she achieved a high distinction, which is the highest mark you can get.  I think that she is going to make an excellent sports/remedial massage therapist in the future. 

This was my last week at school, it was a little emotional to be finishing Middle School, next year is Senior School and there will be many new challenges.  We still were doing work this week however there were no pressures of exams.  In Maths we worked on probability and on our last day of maths we played Black Jack just for fun.  In English we were still looking at Mass Media and learning that many Current Affairs and news programs are quite 'fake'.  We ended English by watching some of a television series called 'Frontline'.  In textiles I made a candy cane fortune cookie using felt and in Integrated Studies we were looking at careers and how to write resumes. 

On Wednesday night it was Jarrett's Year 10 Formal, he looked really splendiferous all dressed up in his black suit, black with white pin striped shirt, Jack Skelington tie and black pointy shoes.  He was only allowed to have two members of the family attend pre-dinner canapes and the Year 10 Certificate presentation and he chose Mum and I.  The evening was rather cold with a chilly southerly breeze, I think the boys were much better attired than the girls who all seemed to have goose bumps because they had really pretty summer dresses on.  When Jarrett received his Year 10 Certificate I was so excited for him, he did stupendously well and looked proud of himself.  We had to leave after the presentation and the Year 10 students and teachers then had dinner and dancing.  He now only has two more years left at school, I know that he will continue to do well in all his studies.

On Thursday I had a special day with my friend Ally, we went out to lunch together, we had American Style pancakes with cream and ice cream, they are really scrumptious but very filling.  We then looked around the shops for a little while.  The shops are so busy and noisy at the moment, but we still managed to have lots of fun. 

We had a house inspection on Friday and we passed with flying colours, I think I have mentioned before that Mum is a cleaning fanatic, our house is always so immaculate.  We also had a special visit from Tess my starlight wish granter and her sister Anna.  They are both such caring and wonderful people, it was lovely to be able to catch up with them before Christmas. 

Our weather is certainly not like Summer at the present time, although the sun is shinning today, the temperatures are well below average, in fact we have had the coldest start to Summer in Canberra in forty seven years! 

Tonight is Interclub, it is the last meet for 2011, I am competing in discus and shot put, I have not competed for a few weeks so I am hoping that I am able to throw somewhere near my personal best.  Next year I will be trying to get a season best, with no school until February I will not be as fatigued so that may help.  Nalani is also throwing tonight, she has been getting some terrific personal bests so she hopes she can get another one tonight.  Poor Jarrett, he is not able to compete until next year, he is running again but has to stay off the hard surface of the track just to make sure he has healed properly.  He is so frustrated when he can not run as it is something he loves so much.  I know exactly how he feels I am often faced with the challenge of not being able to do things that I really love or were able to do prior to having my brain tumour.  You have to set yourself different goals and remain positive and determined.

I wish you safe travel if you are going away for Christmas, take time out to reflect on the year and the many rainbow moments you have experienced  as well as the times that you were challenged.  It is those times that help us become stronger and more determined people.  Remember in life we don't know what may be just around the corner, so make the most of each and every day and be the best person you can be always.

Jarrett and I before his Year 10 Formal

Friday, December 9, 2011


3rd to 9th December 2011

Nalani at her Formal

In our lives we often underestimate the true power of a smile, a touch, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment and the act of just caring.  These all have the potential to turn a life around so in the rush of life as we head towards Christmas take the time to reach out and change a life.

Today I sent off a cheque to the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Fund, from the middle of the year I had been saving five cent coins and was amazed to discover that those coins added up to $72.50.  I know that every little amount of money that I can raise through different ways will go towards one day finding a better treatment for children's brain tumours and hopefully a cure. 

Last Friday night was an extremely special event for Nalani and our family, it was her Year 12 Formal.  During the day she had her hair beautifully done as well as makeup which she hardly ever wears, when she put on her dress and tiara she transformed into a beautiful princess.  Her friends met here and they waited for the arrival of their transport.  As the majestic white stretch Hummer pulled up out I was in awe at how colossal and brilliantly shiny it was.  Photographs were taken and then the group headed off for a tour around town prior to heading to the formal venue.  We headed to the venue so we could see them arrive, then we finally saw the glistening white Hummer pulling in, it was so exciting to see Nalani embarking from it in what would have been like a fairytale for her.  It was a most splendiferous occasion that she will remember for a long time. 

Even though this is my second last week of Year 8 we have still been working at school.  In Maths we are doing probability, in English we are doing Mass Media which is very interesting, we have looked at the beginnings of newspapers through to news on the internet, in Science we are now doing Botany and have been looking at the structure of flowers and in Textiles I completed my felting project and did the evaluation sheet.  I think next week will be a little quieter as we only have four days and there are a few events throughout that week.

I had my first physiotherapy appointment with my new physiotherapist Kaitlyn.  I was a little apprehensive as I had felt so confident with Rhiannon.  We went over some of my history, if we had to do it all, I would have been there all day!  Then Kaitlyn worked on my foot, knee and legs which had all been giving me some trouble.  She is really nice and I think we will build a good relationship, but I do still miss Rhiannon, my physiotherapy guardian angel.

We are so lucky to live here in Australia, in many Countries children are suffering and disadvantaged, one of the people, Gavin who was really involved in making my book a reality is actually doing an 800km bike ride in January, it is called Thailand - Hands Across the Water, it is a Charity Ride to raise money for disadvantaged children in Thailand.  He asked if I could let you all know and put up the web address if any one is interested in supporting it, the address is  Because Gavin worked so tirelessly on my book I wanted to assist him in his fund raising endeavour. 

Tonight is our Middle School Celebration, it is a night to celebrate the successes of students and teachers, I rested today so that I would be able to attend, if I have a big event on then I have to rest during the day otherwise I become too fatigued to enjoy it. 

Nalani has been doing an Introduction to Massage Course and I have been fortunate enough to have her give me some relaxation massages, she is so talented at it, she is hoping to go further and do remedial sports massage as well as fitness in the future. 

Jarrett went back to running and he was doing exceptionally well you could not even tell he had had an injury but last Saturday at the track he felt a twinge in his foot so he pulled up.  So for the rest of the year he is not going to run on any hard surfaces, only grass that will ensure that he experiences no more twinges.  I am looking forward to watching him run again next year in races, I think he is going to run many personal bests. 

Wishing you all a week filled with many rainbow moments and I hope that you are not too stressed and busy as this time of year can be very tiring.  Remember to smile, care, reach out, compliment and listen then you could make a difference to a persons life.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


26th November to 2nd December 2011

Summer commenced this week but our weather was certainly nothing like Summer, on Tuesday night we had a massive storm with fierce, rumbling thunder and jaggered fork lightening that lit the entire darkened night sky, the winds ripped through the air and bent some of the trees almost in half and the rain tumbled down in what seemed like bucket loads.  It was extremely humid and difficult to sleep, the rain and storms continued into Wednesday, then on Thursday and Friday we experienced cool, overcast conditions.

School this week has not involved any exams, we have been finishing off tasks.  In Maths we worked on probability which is quite enjoyable.  In English we worked on different languages used in text; formal, semi-formal, colloquial and slang.  Then we had to do our own dialogue based on the novel Lochie Leonard, the dialogue was a discussion between two of his teachers in the staff room at lunch time.  In Textiles my felt piece was finally finished and then I had to design a pattern and cut the felt out.  We are making a mobile phone/ipod pouch.  We then sewed the two pieces together using blanket stitch, all I have to do now is the finishes touches and write up the assignment sheet.  In Science we were using the microscopes and looking at living creatures from swampy, foul smelling water.  There were various types of worms that you could see their digestive system working, tadpoles and little insects. 

Jarrett went back to running training this week and was running like he had never had an injury, Nalani also is back training again, although she feels a little unfit she is running well.  I did some throwing practise on Thursday, my hand is still a bit weakened from my seizure so I found my throws a little more difficult than I had been. 

Nalani is doing an Introduction to Massage intensive two week course, she loves it and we have been lucky enough to have her practise on us.  One night I fell asleep because it was so relaxing, she is going to make a terrific sports/remedial massage therapist in the future. 

The big event this week for me was my visit to the Hospital for my growth hormone education session.  My growth hormone is called Genotropin.  Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate through your body.  Hormones do many different things, some control how much sugar is in your blood and others control how much calcium is in your bones.  Hormones are made in your body by special glands, these are called endocrine glands.  Endocrine glands are found in different parts of your body and are like hormone factories.  All of your endocrine glands form your endocrine system.  The pituitary gland is the main endocrine gland, as well as producing eight important hormones it also controls many other glands in the endocrine system.  The pituitary gland makes growth hormone and releases it into your blood where it is carried through your body.  Growth hormone helps you grow properly, it tells your liver and kidneys, muscles and bones to produce growth factors and controls how much muscle you have, it also has a lot to do with how much energy you have and how you feel. 

Normal growth stops for girls when the growing ends of the bones close which is usually at the age of fifteen to sixteen and for boys it is seventeen to eighteen.  So Genotrophin is a synthetic version of a growth hormone, it is produced in a laboratory by a process called genetic engineering.  Genotrophin helps to promote the growth of long bones in the body, it affects how your body deals with carbohydrates, fats and proteins, it helps keep the body healthy, it helps grow good strong bones and it helps build muscle.  It can only be given by injection because it is a protein and would be destroyed by the acids in the stomach if it was swallowed.  So every night I have to have the injections because the human body makes growth hormone mainly at night the injection is given then to copy the process.

At the education appointment Mum and Dad had to practise injecting it into a practise rubber piece of skin.  Mum has done it all before with my GCSF injections that I had to have following my stem cell transplants during chemotherapy so she was really comfortable doing it.  She is the one that will give me my injections every day.  Mum even had to inject an injection without any medication in it into her leg so she could see it was not painful.  She said it did not hurt going in however a little while later the area around the injection site was a little sore.  I am not worried about injections at all, I have been through so much already they are a breeze.  I am on a high dose, surprise, surprise, I also seem to have to be on a high dose treatment, because my growth hormone levels are very low.  As with all medication there are side effects and the higher the dose the greater chance of effects. The effects are headaches, nausea, vomiting, visual problems, limping, swelling of the arms or legs, extremely painful joints or muscles, unusual muscle stiffness, tingling or numbness in the fingers, hands or feet, extreme tiredness, a change in thirst or appetite, curvature of the spine (which I already have due to radiotherapy) and of course there is a high chance that it can stimulate tumour growth.  If I experience headaches then I will have to be checked immediately in case it is the residual tumour growing or new tumours growing, so they would do an MRI quickly to check that possibility.  I also have to have regular check ups to be measured as well as blood tests as part of monitoring whilst I am on the growth hormone injections. 

I was supposed to have a dietitians appointment today but it was cancelled, I now have to wait until January to see her again.  She is going to put me on a different elimination diet then as it could make me not feel well if I am eating mainly the additives and preservatives that are causing me problems. 

Today is also Nalani's Year 12 Formal, she has been busy attending appointments. it is so very exciting, and I know that she is going to look just like a princess out of a fairytale tonight, she and some friends are going to be arriving in style because they are going in a white stretch Hummer.

On a sadder note a couple of people we know of have passed away this week from brain tumours which they have been fighting for quite some time.  Hearing this news makes me more determined to continue to try to raise as much awareness as I possibly can and also those much needed funds.  So many groups of people and charities ask for money but I feel that this cause is one that really needs the support because it is the most devastating cancer, a cure has to be found.

Friday, November 25, 2011


19th to 25th November 2011

As I sit to type this entry large tear drops of rain are falling freely from the overcast skies over Canberra,the envigorating sunshine that put a smile on all our faces has disappeared, to be replaced by bleak cold weather. 

Last Friday it was Interclub again, I threw the discus and shot put, I did not get a personal best in either event throwing 5.68 meters in discus and 2.28 meters in shot put, I had expected that because I had thrown early in the week.  I always enjoy participating at Interclub, being with other athletes of all ages and abilities.  Nalani threw two personal bests though and was really pleased with herself. Jarrett of course was not running due to his injury however he was there calling out splits for members of his running squad, he is like that, he always encourages other people. 

My week at school began with a Maths exam, we had two long test papers one was on catestian planes and the other was on all the work that we have covered throughout the whole of Year 8.  I love Maths and had studied for the tests, however during the test I found that my right hand began tingling and became heavy and painful, then my head was throbbing, it actually felt like a balloon being blown up so large that it was just about to burst.  My eyes were also flickering and making it difficult for me to focus on the words on the paper.  Then it happened I blanked out, everything goes dark for a little while and then I hear my name, it is Mum, she stays calm but is probably extremely worried.  When I can see light again I feel so very tired and my right arm is paralysed, I am not able to move it, it just hangs by my side.  My head still throbbed and I felt very nauseous it was horrible.
I came home and slept, it helps me feel a little better, I had to elevate my arm to give it support and I took pain killers for my head and stomach pain. 

Tuesday I was still not well, my arm was still useless and my head was still throbbing and felt unordinarily large.  Nalani had a farewell to Year 12 assembly in the morning which I went to with Mum.  It was very special as the Year 12 students paraded in to the Green Day song Good Riddance (time of your life), I noticed that Mum had a glistening tear in her eye as Nalani walked in.  After several speeches the students were then congratulated and wished luck for their exams and they each walked up onto the stage with really special comments been made about each of them.  Nalani had some really lovely words said about her including that she was mature and a sincerely empathetic person.  At the end the Kindegarten children sang a song and gave the Year 12 students a flower, it was really magnificent.

I then had physiotherapy which I could hardly wait to have, Rhiannon is always able to help me when I have problems.  She was able to loosen the excessively tight muscles in my neck, shoulders, arm and hand, then while she was working on my calves which were tighter than usual also, Mum did some ultrasound on my right hand and wrist.  Then my physiotherapy session came to an end, it was one of the saddest days of my life because it was Rhiannon's last day, she has been my very wonderful and extraordinary physiotherapy gurardian angel.  She was working with me before I was even diagnosed with my brain tumour, she was there for me when I returned for those few weeks after radiotherapy and then of course when I finished was chemotherapy and was so weakened.  She has a bright light that shines from within her, it is like a magic light that radiates and helps her patients feel so much better.  I will miss her so much and I cried when I gave her a gift and a huge hug.  I hope that all her dreams come true and that she has many, many rainbow moments in her future life. 

I went to school on Wednesday, in Textiles I worked on my felting, I was still wetting it down and gently rubbing it with the bubble wrap, then the teacher said it was ready to roll.  My poor right arm was still useless so I had to use my left, it was a little difficult but I still persevered and did it.  It still needs a little more rolling, you roll it until it shrinks, then you wet it and then it is ready to be cut and sewn.  In Maths we were working on a booklet that had been made up by all the students in the class. 

This week I also had a visit from the parish assistant who gave me communion, I am not always able to make it to church as I am not well enough or too tired so they sometimes come to our home to give me communion and do a reading and a prayer.  I still believe that God has given me this journey for a reason and even though sometimes I feel a little sad that I have to travel this journey I know that through my journey and trying to raise awareness the best I can maybe just maybe one day in the future there will be a cure for brain tumours.

I have still been saving those five cent coins and will be sending them off to the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Fund early in December because they close from 23rd December until 9th January, so anyone else who has been saving them may want to do the same.  Cheques are made out to Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Fund and the address you send them to is Tara Donnelly, Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Locked Bag 5, Randwick NSW 2031.  You can also send a cover letter telling them that you were raising the coins because you had read about it on my Blog. 

Today we had a telephone call from the Canberra Hospital Paediatrics unit to let us know that my growth hormones have been approved, the next step is to meet with the educator to tell us all about them and how Mum has to inject them.  We have an appointment next Tuesday to do that and then we will be given a prescription for the hormones.  I am excited that they are going to help me but are aware that there are side effects which may not be pleasant. 

As the rain still tumbles like large tears from the angels in heaven my left hand has fatigued and I need to rest it.  Wishing you all a wonderful week, never give up on your dreams, look for inspiration in others, don't underestimate your courage and let the light from within your heart shine brightly on the lives of others.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


12th to 18th November 2011

I truly believe that if you are determined enough  and possess enough courage then you can achieve even the  goals that seem almost impossible.  

This week has been extremely hectic and exhausting for me both mentally and physically, firstly with school as we have been working on end of year tasks.  In English we did revision early in the week to prepare for our exam questions on Thursday.  Then of course the exam was Thursday, it was based on the novel Lockie Leonard Human Torpedo and there were two parts to it.  Writing is so difficult for me because my fine motor skills have been affected by my tumour and treatment, it took me fifteen minutes to write one small paragraph.  I did finish the exam eventually with the assistance of a scribe but it had zapped all my energy so on returning home I slept.

In Textiles I began my felting project, you have to lay down your base colour by sandwiching it, that is putting the felt one way and then the opposite way to help it bind.  I then added my polka dots in four different colours and I was then able to put the prepared product onto some bubble wrap and place a piece of material over it, then wet it down with hot water and some lux soap flakes.  Using another piece of bubble wrap I smoothed over the material, this process binds the materials together.  Next week I have to work on the next process of rolling it.  The procedures get repeated until you produce a piece of felt that can be made into a product, we are making mobile phone/ipod cases.

For Maths we did revision of all the work that we have done this year, there are so many things to remember, we have our exam next Monday, it will go over a double period and will assist the teaching staff to decide which level classes we are in next year.

Tuesday was the most extraordinary day for the whole week because it was the day that I was competing in the ACT School Track and Field Championships, through being determined and even coping with some pain I was throwing in the discus, shot put and javelin events.  The weather that day could only be described as perfect, the radiant sun was shinning ever so brightly in the crystal clear blue sky and there was only the slightest hint of a breeze which was a gentle, refreshing on.  My first even was the discus, I had those familiar butterflies in my stomach that appear whenever I am a little nervous, but once I had my first throw they began to disappear.  My second and third throws went longer each time and my final distance was 6.02 meters which was a personal best.  The next event was shot put, after doing so well in my discus I felt much more confident in shot put, my legs were a little wobbly but that did not worry me, I looked ahead, cradle the shot put near my neck and threw with all my might, it seemed to go a good distance then my second and third went further again.  Upon measuring I had achieved another personal best, 2.61 meters which was a whole twenty one centimeter personal best.  The final even was the javelin unfortunately I had tired from my huge efforts in discus and shot put but still remained determined.  When I was given a shiny gold 400g javelin to throw I thought it may be lucky.  My throws were good and I was not sure whether I had achieved another personal best, I had not but it was second best distance I have thrown so that was fantastic.  Throughout the day I went to all my events with the other AWD athletes, they were so encouraging and positive it only made me more positive.  I ended up coming first in all my events for my age and category.  As there were not that many athletes with a disability, only twelve, they combined some ages and categories for the ribbons and I ended up with a first in javelin, a third in discus and a third in shot put. I have to say that it is a day that I will treasure.

Apart from that I have not done too much else this week as I was exhausted, I did help Mum to write the Christmas Cards ready to post on 1st December.  I have Interclub on Friday afternoon, I will be competing in discus and shot put, I am hoping that I can equal my performances from Tuesday but won't be too disappointed if I can't.

Nalani finishes school next week and then has her Year 12 exams, it is so exciting for her and I know that she will do extraordinarily well, she studies really hard.  She did a Maths test for the Term and she got top of the class and achieve a 'z' score of 3.31 which is unbelievably good. 

Jarrett went for a jog and found out that he has no pain now, so he can just jog next week and then begin training again the following week, it has been frustrating for him as he loves his running so much, but he is also sensible because you don't want to run on an injury and make it worse.  He has also done well at school achieving top marks in his Sport Science assignments. 

Keep believing in yourselves, don't be afraid to challenge your abilities to reach those goals that you thought may be impossible. 

Friday, November 11, 2011


5th to 11th November 2011

Today is a special day when we remember the soldiers who lost their lives to make our Country the place it is today.  At 11 am on 11th November 1918 the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years continuous warfare. The allied armies had driven the German invaders back, having inflicted heavy defeats upon them over the preceding four months. In November the Germans called for an armistice (suspension of fighting) in order to secure a peace settlement. They accepted the allied terms of unconditional surrender.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month attained a special significance in the post-war years. The moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front became universally associated with the remembrance of those who had died in the war. This first modern world conflict had brought about the mobilisation of over 70 million people and left between 9 and 13 million dead, perhaps as many as one-third of them with no known grave. The allied nations chose this day and time for the commemoration of their war dead.

This week for me was one that was filled with doctors appointments and blood tests.  It all began on Monday with an appointment with my Endocrinologist.  He found out that my growth hormone request was still pending and it would be another six to eight weeks before it is all approved and I can begin daily injections of the growth hormone which will assist me to grow a little, I have not grown for well over a year now and people of my age are usually going through quite a growth spurt.  Even with the growth hormones I will never reach the height that I would have been before my tumour.  I was also told that I am going to experience problems with my spine from the extremely high doses of radiation that I had to have, there is already a curvature and it is likely to worsen.  The thyroid is one of the bodies organs that respond poorly to radiation, my thyroid function has been dropping over my last blood tests and will continue to drop and cause problems.  Often when people have had really high doses of radiation there is a high chance of them developing thyroid cancer.  So the Endocrinologist decided to send me for more blood tests to see what is happening.  He is also organising a bone density test for me as that is another thing that can be affected by the radiation.  I will be seeing him again in February for my regular monitoring however he will see when as soon as the growth hormones are approved.

On Tuesday I had an appointment with the Oncologist from Sydney.  With not being on the study any longer I am only been monitored six monthly rather than three monthly.   My high ferretin levels where mentioned and he told me that they were extremely high because of the many blood transfusions I had to have whilst on chemotherapy, it is been monitored as if it does not drop through natural ways like puberty, which will not occur for a long time, or may not at all because of my treatment and tumour then I will have to have medication for it.  He was amazed that I was competing in throwing events and thought that showed true determination.  With a tumour like mine there is a really high risk of recurrent disease, the team are amazed that I have not had a recurrence as yet as they had expected it to happen.  Some people go five years without a recurrence but then it returns more aggressive than before.  I still have the residual tumour which we do not know what it may do in the future but I feel like my positive attitude and determination to try to beat this disease is helping.  I will be having another MRI in February on both my brain and spine and then going to Sydney after that for more appointments.  He is trying to organise an appointment with a neurologist doing a Canberra Clinic in the New Year also.

I had physiotherapy on Wednesday, it was my second last appointment before Rhiannon leaves, she worked on my shoulders, neck, calves and right heel which is giving me a few problems because of the spur.  I have an appointment with her again on 22nd November and that is the day she leaves.  I will miss her so much, she has been my very special guardian angel and has been such an important part of my rehabilitation and ability to be positive. 

On Thursday I was supposed to be competing in discus, javelin and shot put in the ACT Schools Championships but the weather had other ideas, the rain had been pouring down out of angry, grey skies the night before and then that morning large drops of rain continued to pelt down, forming large puddles on the ground.  The Championships were postponed, they are now going to be on Tuesday next week and the forecast for that day is sunny and twenty nine degrees.

I had a blood test today to test my thyroid function, insulin, growth hormones and a full blood count as well, I now watch my blood tests, it is rather interesting to see the fine butterfly needle enter my skin and go into my vein which is so used to been poked and then the thin blood flows down the fine tube and into the vial.  the needle does not even seem to sting anymore when it goes in.  Today after I had my blood test my vein continued to bleed for a little while afterwards so we had to apply extra pressure to it.  That used to happen when I was having my chemotherapy and my platelets were low but they should not be that low now.

Finally I have completed all the assignments that I needed to finish, my last one was one on Kenya for World Studies.  Next week we have several tests and the week after we have moderating tests to work out what level classes we should be in the following year. 

At Interclub last Friday night I was throwing javelin and shot put.  I was so thrilled to throw a personal best in javelin, my previous result had been 4.81m and I threw 6.06m.  Then in shot put I was only three centimeters off my personal best so I was also happy with that.  There is no Interclub this week but there is one the following Friday and the program will be discus and shot put.  Nalani also threw a personal best in javelin and she was also able to run two laps of the track and did not limp at all.  Jarrett again had to be a spectator but his foot has now healed so he will be able to jog on the weekend and then gradually return to full training and then racing. 

My Nana and Pop's dog, Chifley is recovering well from his second surgery, poor him having to have two lots of surgery in three weeks, I think he is a very brave dog.  It must be hard for animals, they can not talk and tell their owners how they are feeling and it would be so difficult for them to understand that they need to stay still.

For anyone that is going through a difficult journey, always believe that there is a rainbow out there for you that will bring you hope, healing and happiness. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011


28th October to 4th November 2011

I wonder how much of your potential you have reached? 
What has held you back?
What do you fear most?
Your potential will open up if you embrace life with a positive attitude despite the challenges and fears that may cross your path.

At Interclub on Friday I threw the discus and the shot put. Discus has always been my favourite field event even before I was diagnosed with cancer and shot put was the one that I felt I was not very successful at.  Through my journey I have learnt to face so many new and frightening challenges with courage and determination, so I have taken a positive attitude into my throwing.  To my surprise and delight that attitude has helped me to throw a personal best in shot put, I threw 2.40m! Sometimes when you work hard and push yourself you may then face a slight hurdle, the day after my huge throwing effort I had a very swollen knee and painful foot.   As the week went on and with some care from Mum the swelling went away and the pain in my foot disappeared. 

School has been so tremendously hectic, we have many assignments that have to be completed as well as having to study for exams.  In Maths we are still working on cartesian planes and our test will cover all the work from the year.  In English we have been looking at how to write short answer responses to questions about text.  We have begun to plan our felting project in Textiles and in Science we have been investigating the respiratory system, it is so interesting and miraculous how our body functions. 

Our weather has turned glorious, the sky is such a clear crystal blue and the sun is so luxuriously warm and inviting.  The gardens are abundant with colour and fragrance, our rose bushes are bursting with heavenly scented blooms and there are more buds ready to burst open.  The grass is growing rapidly and the hum of lawnmowers can be heard frequently in the street. 

Next week I will be kept busy with doctors appointments, I see my Endocrinologist and he may be able to shed some light on when the growth hormones may be approved.  My other appointment is with the Oncologist who will be doing his three monthly check up on me. 

I have also been selected to represent my school at the ACT Schools Championships for discus, shot put and javelin as an AWD athlete.  It is such a special honour to have made it through to this level and I am hoping that I will be able to do my best.  Jarrett was also selected to run in the 3000m, 1500m and 800m but won't be able to because of his plantar fascia injury, he is absolutely devastated about it as he was running so phenomenally well, however he has a wonderful attitude and sees this as a challenge that will make him more determined and stronger when he returns from injury.  

Nalani is running again and trying to regain her fitness levels, it has now been eleven months since her major knee surgery.  At Interclub she also threw personal bests in both discus and shot put, it is terrific that we can compete together in the same events. 

So many people we know have been diagnosed with different types of cancer this year, their families have been facing the difficult journey with them.  Cancer entirely changes your life, I think that I have become a better person because my cancer and appreciate life more. 

May you all find many positives in your lives this week and strive to reach your full potential. Good luck also to the many students who are doing exams in the coming weeks.

Friday, October 28, 2011


22nd to 28th October 2011

Today is National Bandanna Day, by purchasing and wearing a colourful Bandanna people are supporting those that are suffering from Cancer.  When you see the television advertisements that tell us that one in three people will have some form of cancer in their life time it is a frightening thought and more research needs to be done to try to prevent this from worsening.

On Friday last week at Interclub I threw javelin and shot put, in javelin I threw 4.81m and in the shot put 2.09m which was not a personal best unfortunately, I was quite tired from a busy week at school so did not have as much energy or strength for my throwing.  Jarrett ran in a 1500m invitational race, he was incredibly fast and ran another personal best, he did a 4:11:12 which was a five second PB from the week before.  He then ran a 200m which is a sprint race and something he normally does not do but he still race fast 27 seconds. 

On the weekend I am proud to say that I walked two laps of the AIS track, that is 800m with my rollator and although my knee swelled up a little I had an enormous smile on my face when I finished.

We had absolutely splendiferous weather for a few days and then it all turned dismal, it was dreadfully cold, almost like the middle of Winter again, it rained and the wind cruelly bent the beautiful Spring plants.  Today however has improved a little and although it has been rather overcast the sun has managed to shine through occasionally and the temperature is significantly warmer than earlier in the week. 

On Monday I had my paediatrician appointment, he was so impressed that I have begun throwing again and my determination to achieve my goals.  He was however concerned about my growth and my blood results from my growth hormone tests showing that my levels are extremely low, the growth hormone injections have not been approved as yet and often endocrine hormone issues can cause other major body systems to shut down and that is likely to occur in my case.  Growth hormone injections will increase my muscle bulk in my body and I will begin to grow however I will not grow in my spine because of the high levels of radiation I had to have.  I still have nystagmus in all directions which worsens when I am tired and that has to be monitored because it can cause vision loss.  The remaining tumour has remained stable although there had been some enlargement reported. 

That night was the presentation night for the Cross Country Club, Jarrett won the Junior Male Distance Runner of the Year, he won a large trophy which he has now won three years in a row and a gift voucher and then he won the Under 19 Male Champion.  Every time he does so well I feel so proud to be his Sister and he is always so modest about winning awards I think that is wonderful.

I have been working on several school assignments, I have to do a little on them and then take a break and then do some more, when I sit for too long, my eyes flicker too much that I am unable to see what I am doing as well as I get a headache.  I have to be careful because in the past when I have put myself under too much stress I have seizure and they are terrible and a little debilitating. 

At school we are going to have a number of tests, firstly to work out what level classes we will be in next year and also to give us practise ready for the exams we will face in Year 9 and 10.  My difficulty is my processing and writing speeds, I can write nine words a minute and most students of my age and grade can write in the high twenties into the thirties words a minute.  When doing tests, I have to do a little, stop, rest and then do more so my ability to complete it in the given time is virtually impossible. 

I had physiotherapy yesterday, the marvellous Rhiannon yet again was able to provide me with some relief from my tight and sore muscles, this time my right hip, knee, ankle and foot were the problem.  My back was extremely tight so she loosened it as well as putting heat on it.  In my right foot I have a  bone spur (osteophyte) it is a bony growth formed on normal bone. Most people think of something sharp when they think of a "spur," but a bone spur is just extra bone. It’s usually smooth, but it can cause wear and tear or pain if it presses or rubs on other bones or soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, or nerves in the body, the feet are a common place for one to occur.  I will have physiotherapy in another two weeks, that is in November, Rhiannon is leaving at the end of November, I will truly miss my physiotherapy guardian angel. 

Poor Jarrett he was running on Monday and injured his foot, he has a plantar fascia injury and is not able to train for a week, he has his foot all taped up with tape that almost resembles a shoe, he has to wear cushioned socks and good shoes.  It is only a minor setback and he will no doubt be back running very quickly as he always heals so well and then he will be breaking personal best times again.  So when Nalani and I compete at Interclub later today he will be a spectator which will be difficult for him. 

At Interclub I am going to be throwing the discus and shot put, I am hoping that I can achieve a personal best this time, if not though I will keep trying and eventually I will do it. 

Nana and Pop's poor little dog, Chifley had his knee surgery and it all went well, however when he went to have his stitches pulled out, the pin the vet inserted has moved and now he has to have surgery again on Tuesday to put it back in the correct position. 

Praying that you and your families are all keeping well and that rainbows shine constantly in your lives bringing you so much joy. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011


15th to 21st October 2011

The sun was shinning ever so brightly for our return to school for Term 4 this week and what a busy week I had, filled with new topics and culminating in four assignments. 

In Maths we are learning about Cartesian Planes, they were developed by Rene Descartes, a French philosopher and mathematician, he created the system of positioning on the number plane with a number pair, which are called coordinates.  I am finding this interesting and not too difficult to do.  

For English we began a new novel called Lockie Leonard - Human Torpedo, it is written by the Australian Author Tim Winton, it is about a boy in Year 8 who has moved to a new town with his family, he loves surfing. He meets a girl that he just can't get off his mind, it is a story about morality, standing on your principles or ignoring them to belong to the group.  It is a very different novel to what I prefer to read but is quite humorous at times.  A television series has also been made about it and we have to do an analysis, comparing the characterisation in the book and the series and differences between the two. 

In Science we are look at Plant and Animal Energy, we began by talking about systems in the human body, these are the respiratory system, circulatory system, endocrine system, lymphatic system, immune system, nervous system, reproductive system, digestive system, muscular system, urinary system, skeletal system and cardiovascular system.  I really enjoyed looking at this area of Science, I have learnt so much about many of these systems through my illnesses.  We also learnt about how substances get in and out of cells by doing an experiment with potatoes, cutting them in half and then scooping out the middle and putting sugar in one and water in the other then placing them in a dish the one with sugar in it was put in a dish with water in the bottom and the one with the water in the top was put in a sugar solution, we placed them on a shelf in the Science Room and will see what has occurred next week.

In Integrated Studies we are doing a unit on The United Nations and International Parliament, we had to select a Country and learn as much about it as well as looking for news articles.  We have to then represent our Country at our in class International Parliament.  We need to know a lot about our Country and be ready to answer questions from representatives of other countries in regard to issues and events that are occurring there. 

I have now finished my embroidery project, I made it into a cushion, it looks so amazing and I am really proud as it had fine motor skills involved and they were often quite challenging for me.  We will now begin on our felting project and that will take us until the end of Term. 

Last Friday afternoon I competed in the Athletics ACT Interclub Competition, I threw discus first, feeling rather unstable and nervous I found my inner courage and was able to stand to throw the 750gram discus.  My first throw was a foul, but my second and third throws were successful and I threw the furthest I have, 5.92m.  I no longer felt nervous and when my shot put event came up my butterflies had gone.  Shot put is more difficult for me as the weight of the shot put is heavier at 2kg, again I had to get balanced and then I threw, three good throws with my best being 2.19m.  Competing in two events was tiring but I had the hugest smile on my face because I was there with other athletes doing my best , enjoying myself and making new friends.

Jarrett ran in a 1500m, he was awesome, he won and achieved a personal best time of 4:16:29, then in the 400m he also ran a personal best of 57:86.  Nalani did some throwing with me and although not throwing personal bests she threw well considering she has had her knee surgery. 

I saw the Nutritionist today, she was happy that the elimination diet she had placed me on was showing that I was having problems with some of the chemicals in foods, I have to continue on the diet noting down when I am affected.  During the Christmas Holidays she wants me to then just have the foods with the chemicals in from each group for one week at a time, if the affect is too adverse then I have to stop.  This will then pinpoint exactly what is happening and we will be able to then move forward.  The groups of chemicals we are investigating are salicylates, amines and glutamate.  Then we are going to also look at food colourings and preservatives through elimination also.  She is also copying recipes and writing a diet plan to assist with my cholesterol.  She checked my BMI and is happy with it and as I have not grown and with cholesterol and insulin resistance she felt the diet I was on before was damaging rather than assisting me.  

Tonight I am competing at Interclub again, this time in the javelin and shot put, Nalani is throwing with me also and Jarrett is doing an invitational 1500m and a 200m.  The weather is perfect and we are taking a picnic dinner to have, so I am really looking forward to it although I am rather tired from my hectic week at school.

I see my Paediatrician on Monday, I think he will be so impressed that I am doing my athletics and that the Nutritionist is sorting out my stomach problems.  I have to have blood tests, MRI and bone density organised and any other tests he feels that I need to have done.  

As the gentle breeze blows refreshingly through the open sliding door I wish to remind everyone that Bandanna Day is on 28th October, I will be wearing one of mine, in support of those are suffering from Cancer.  I also pray for those whose lives have been affected by this devastating disease and continue to wish that a cure can be found so in the future no one will suffer from Cancer.

Friday, October 14, 2011


8th to 14th October 2011

Here's a happy thought - your happiness can illuminate the happiness of countless others, so let your happy thoughts shine out from within to brighten our world.

Our weather has remained unpredictable like many parts of Australia, with rain, winds, colder daytime and nightime tempertures and overcast skies most days.  However as the school holidays draw to a close the sun has shone through, envoking smiles on our faces. 

I have spent this week again resting and regaining my strength ready to face the busy term that is ahead of me.  Nalani and Jarrett have been working enthusiastically on their assignments and preparing for exams that they both have next Term.

I took the opportunity when the sun was shinning to plant some delicate, colourful flowers in my fairy garden, it looks so beautiful with the colours of bright pinks, purples, apricots and reds.  When the sun has not been out I have spent the time doing some cross stitch, it is a Christmas one, a reindeer.  I have also been working on some more latch hook, playing upwords and watching a couple of DVD's. 

Yesterday I had physiotherapy, Rhiannon worked on my neck which was really stiff and sore on the right side and also my right knee which has been swelling, clicking and painful, it is aggrivated when I am doing my throwing practice but I know that sometimes pain is good because it can be muscles that are strengthening that have not been used for a while.  Rhiannon also taped my knee to give it support for my throwing events today.  Whenever I see Rhiannon she always is able to help me so that I can continue to work on my goals.

Nalani also had physiotherapy on her quadricep which had a Grade 1 strain, it has almost healed, she is not able to run on it yet so she is also going to compete in the throwing events today.

Today is a very special day, it is Tinkerbelle's 2nd Birthday, I made her a wonderful card and gave her a gorgeous new pink collar with eleven little pretend diamonds and a bell on it.  Yesterday I gave her a bath, she loves having a bath, she looks so tiny when she is all wet, Jarrett says she looks like a drowned rat.  After her bath I blow dry her and she becomes a soft ball of lilac fluff again.

Later today I am going to compete at Interclub in the discus and shot put, I am really looking forward to it, I am hoping that I may be able to achieve a personal best and then continue to build on those results each time I compete as I become stronger.  Jarrett is running in the 1500m and then the 400m and as I mentioned earlier Nalani is doing the discus and shot put along with me. 

I can't believe that the school holidays have come to an end, the time flew by so quickly.  Next term is a much shorter term with only nine weeks, then I will finish Middle School which is Years 6 to 8 at our School, next Year I will be in Senior School which is Years 9 to 12.  I have been told what electives I have for next year, I will be doing Visual Arts and Sports Science, I am very excited about both of these electives as I love doing my art and also have a passion for sport and how muscles work in the human body. 

My box of five cent coins is almost filled, I am thrilled and looking forward to just before Christmas making that donation to The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Fund.  Now I will have to think of an activity that I can do next year to continue with my dream of making a difference and assisting as much as I can in raising funds so that a cure can be found for brain tumours and a less devastating treatment that does not leave us with such horrific side effects.

May you all have a splendiferous week, for those who are going through a difficult time may a rainbow appear and brighten your day and don't forget to let your happy thoughts illuminate the lives of those around you. 

Friday, October 7, 2011


1st to 7th October 2011

It is unbelievable that we are in the month of October, only two more months until Christmas and the shops are already beginning to stock their shelves with candy canes, cards, wrapping paper and decorations, this year has gone by so very quickly.

The weather has been so unusual, we had a few days where the sun shone brightly, smiling upon our lives then those clouds came over again turning beautiful blue skies to a dismal grey and then the clouds began to weep rain.  Rain assists our earth and rejuvenates nature but when you are on school holidays it makes it just  a little miserable. 

Poor Nalani and Jarrett have several assignments to complete during the holidays, so they have taken advantage of the miserable weather to work on them so that when the sun is shinning they can enjoy it.  I had to finish off my embroidery for textiles and I am so pleased with the final result. 

I have been resting so that my energy levels increase ready for a hectic term back at school when I return.  I have also done some decoupaging, I found a doorstop in the shape of a cat, decoupaged it with tissue paper with a black background and numerous coloured spots then completed it with a red ribbon with a bell.  I have also been working on some new latch hook designs, I think that latch hook would have to be the most splendiferous craft, as it is something that you can do and stop when you are tired, then pick it up again and there are so many things you can do with the completed project, like rugs, cushions, wall hangings and frame them. 

Next week is the first Interclub competition and I am going to compete in discus and shot put.  I was able to practise my discus this week at running training and threw the longest I have thrown since my cancer first appeared.  Unfortunately I have not been able to practise my shot put because of the dreadful weather, hopefully it will clear and I can practise before the competition.  Nalani is also going to throw at the competition because she has a grade one strain in her quadriceps so does not want to aggravate it running.  Of course Jarrett will be running, he is aiming for the Youth Championships in March next year, he has to gain a certain time in his event to nominate for it. 

Today was Mum's Birthday, Nalani, Jarrett and I organised breakfast in bed for her, she was really surprised and overjoyed that we did that for her.  Although it has been raining most of the day and too wet to do anything outdoors, she said that we had made the sun shine especially for her through making her day extra special.  I have made a delicious vanilla butter cake with vanilla icing to have after dinner tonight, I think that she will enjoy eating it. 

We have another Birthday to celebrate next Friday, it is Tinkerbelle's 2nd Birthday, she is such a caring cat, she always is near me looking after me, sometimes I think she is trying to talk to me because she meows to tell me things and she brings so much joy into my life.

Poor Nana and Pop's dog Chifley has to have an operation on Monday, he keeps dislocating his knee and it is difficult and painful for him.  It is very similar to what Nalani had done on her knee, but he will not have a knee brace.  It will take about four to six weeks for it to heal, I hope that it will not be too horrible for him, Nana and Pop love him very much.

I have begun my elimination diet, most of the food that I can have has no colours or flavours, I can add some foods on the high list but have found that some of them are causing stomach irritations.  The diet lasts for two weeks and I have to take note of how different foods affect me and then I return to the nutritionist and she will review it. 

Mum was very excited when her team Manly won the Rugby League Grand Final, although she was a little anxious when the Warriors made a comeback in the second half.  I told her that if the Tigers were playing Manly then the Tigers would have won.  I have a feeling that perhaps next year may be the year of the Tigers.

I am hoping that next week we will have some more days filled with sunshine to brighten the last week of the school holidays.   My plants in my fairy garden which were ones for Winter/Spring are dying off and I am hoping that I can replace them with some new vibrantly coloured and fragrant ones.

Wishing everyone a week filled with many rainbows and moments to treasure.

Friday, September 30, 2011


24th to 30th September 2011

All good things come to an end and today on a showery, bleak day Term Three ended, we now have a two week break.  Hopefully the weather will improve and we will be able to spend some time outdoors enjoying the Spring weather as well as daylight savings which begins this weekend. 

Last weekend I was able to use my rollator to walk the track at the AIS, I did 400m although I did have to stop just past the finish line on the way round for a rest break.  I know that I will be able to build up my distance much more quickly than last time when I was recovering from my stress fracture. 

I have commenced work on a decoupage doorstop, it is in the shape of a cat, to finish it off I am going to add a collar and bell, I actually got it off one of my lindt chocolate bunnies I got for Easter.  It will be a project I can work on during the holidays along with my latch hook. 

School this week has been mainly filled with completing tasks, although we did get one new task and that was a Rich Task for Maths which we had the week to work on and complete.  We had to gain as many stars as we could, each task had a different value it was based on ratios and rates.  One of the tasks was to find out what the Golden Ratio was and I learnt that the golden ratio is a special number that is approximately equal to 1.618.  It appears many times in geometry, art, architecture and music.

On Tuesday it was ASC Championships at the AIS. The weather was a perfect day for running, the sky was a crystal clear blue, with only a few fluffy white clouds floating luxuriously across the sky, there was just a hint of a breeze and the sun was warm and bright. Jarrett was running in the 1500m and the 800m, his first race was the 1500m, he made a brilliant start, running like a real professional, he sat right behind the front runner pushing him the entire race. He finished second in a time of 4:19 which was close to his personal best and a terrific time for the start of the season. Then in the 800m which was a congested curved line start of both boys and girls together, Jarrett flew at the start to take the lead, he ran so well, he and another competitor breaking away from the rest of the field. I thought he had the race won but in the last 80m he was out sprinted but he ran a personal best of 2:08. Mum and I were so proud of him and he was really pleased with his results and is looking forward to what he hopes will be a really successful season. He will now compete at ACT Championships in November and I will be there competing also because as an AWDASC that Jarrett was at does not have AWD athletes competing.

I had physiotherapy this week, my knee has been giving me some trouble, it has been quite painful and is swelling. Rhiannon worked on it, as well as my calves, quadriceps, neck and shoulders. She taped my knee for me to take some of the pressure of it. Then she told me some totally devastating news that she is leaving at the end of November. She has been such an extraordinary physiotherapist and I don't know what I am going to do without her, she has made such a difference to my life, in fact when I got home I cried.

Today I was given a special ribbon from the Athletics Carnival, I came fourth in my age group in the Carnival, that is against able bodied athletes, that was a huge achievement and I was so surprised.

School holidays will be a time for me to regain my strength and energy ready for the last term at school which I am sure will be a very busy one. It is Mum's Birthday next Friday, I am hoping to make a special Brithday cake for her. It will also be so wonderful to spend time with Nalani and Jarrett.

'Happiness is a wonderful feeling, it is like a warm, loving embrace from your Mum'

 I wish everyone happiness throughout the coming week.

Friday, September 23, 2011


17th to 23rd September 2011

Many people have said that I am inspirational, which I feel so humbled by, but on the weekend I was fortunate enough to meet a girl who I feel is truly inspirational.  Her name is Mez and she is a gymnast, she has been training since she was five,  in August, 2010,  she received some of the best news she had heard in a long time. Despite having been out of competition due to injuries for most the year, at National Championships she made an incredible comeback and was selected on the Commonwealth Games team. Then tragedy struck in the form of a  freak bad landing during training caused a serious ankle injury which took her out of the sport for months and meant she could not go to the Commonwealth Games.  It would have been so devastating for her but she had a positive attitude and courage and fought back.  Watching her compete at the trials at the AIS for a position on the team to go to World's in Tokyo was so inspiring, to be able to come back from such a terrible injury and perform the jumps, vaults, routines and bars was just incredible.  After the competition I got to spend a short amount of time talking to her and was amazed by the amount of training that she has to do and how dedicated she is.  I have included a photograph of Mez and I on this Blog and would like to share some exciting news with you, to let you know that she made the team to go to Worlds. I know that with her positive attitude, determination and courage she will perform extraordinarily well. 

School this week has been busy, in Maths we are working on rates and ratios, it is very different from Algebra.  In English we have finished off our work on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and are now looking at Empire of the Sun.  In textiles I finished off my design for my embroidery and traced it onto my piece of calico, the next step is to start the embroidery.  Next week is our last week for Term Three and then we will have two weeks holidays.

Wednesday was our Athletics Carnival which had been postponed last Friday because of the chemical fire at Mitchell.  The sun was shining however the winds were rather gusty, I felt rather nervous as I was going to attempt to stand for my throwing events.  My first event was Javelin, I throw a 400g javelin, we were given two throws, my first one was a foul and I toppled as I had not balanced myself properly, however on my second throw I threw 3.88m.  Then it was on to shot put, in this event I had three throws, each time I threw it went further and I ended up throwing the 2kg shot put 2.03m.  My last event was discus, before my tumour I was good at discus and had represented my Little Athletics Club at Regionals.  Again I had three throws, each throw went further and I ended up throwing it 5.11m.  I was so excited with all my results and hope to be able to compete in more athletics field events at Interclub during the summer season.  The day had been terrific but left me extremely exhausted.

Jarrett also did extremely well, in the 1500m he ran like a bolt of lightning, lapping many runners and winning easily.  Then in the 800m he also won breaking the existing school record by fifteen seconds and in the 400m he also won and again broke the school record.  He also ran in the 100m coming 2nd in his heat and 4th in the 200m.  He will now compete at ASC Zone Championships next week, I know that he will do exceedingly well.

Nalani did some running as well as field events, in the 100m she came 7th, in the 200m 4th, 4th in the discus and is not sure where she came in the shot put and javelin.  She was also part of the 100m relay team for our house Guraguma and the team came third.  She was so excited that she had competed and done so well considering last year she could not compete because of her knee injury.

All the winds that we have been experiencing in Canberra have not been favourable for people with allergies with many pollens blowing around menacingly in the air.  I have not escaped getting hayfever with sneezing, watery eyes, snuffly nose and an annoying cough. 

Today I went to the nutritionist who was exceptionally helpful, she was able to put together a diet that is suitable to assist my high cholesterol, I have to cut out full cream dairy products and also cut out food from animals.   She also feels that I may have irritable bowel syndrome, an inflammatory bowel disease or intolerance's or allergies to certain foods, food additives and colourings.  I have to follow a two week elimination diet, then go back to her in four weeks time to discuss what happened with my stomach and bowel whilst I was on it.  She will then decide where to go from there. 

Mum and Dad's teams play in the Rugby League tonight for a place in the Grand Final next weekend.  I still wish that the Tigers had made it and feel they were extremely unlucky to have missed out but as my book title says 'You have to go through a storm to get to a Rainbow' I am hoping that next year the Tigers will see their rainbow. 

Wishing everyone a splendiferous week filled with many joys and inspirations to help you stay positive and reach your goals. 

Friday, September 16, 2011


10th to 16th September 2011

This morning we woke to the news that there had been huge explosions and fireballs from a factory fire in Mitchell in the early hours of the morning.  There were fears that a spread of toxic smoke plumes could cause illness and all residents within a ten kilometer radius were told to remain indoors.  School was cancelled for the day, so that meant that our Athletics Carnival had to be postpone.  As we looked out of our lounge room window we could clearly see the  inferno of thick, black billowing smoke rising from the fire and spreading across the morning sky.  In the early hours of the morning we had heard loud bangs that shook the windows, sirens and then our mobile phones beeped with messages, telling us there was a chemical fire and for people in certain suburbs to stay indoors.  The firefighters are still battling the fire, using lots of foam, they are hoping it will be distinguished by tomorrow however they are warning that there could be further explosions.  I don't think we have ever had anything like this happen in Canberra before and they are still worried about toxic fumes so are monitoring them and still advising residents to remain indoors.

At school this week I had a Maths test, finished off all my work on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas for English, began a new project for Textiles we are doing some hand embroidery, we have to draw a design that is 20cm by 20cm and include at least three different types of stitches, I have done a design with a sun, a rainbow and three butterflies, I was thinking of doing cross stitch, back stitch, running stitch and satin stitch, I think it will terrific when it is finished.  In Science we are continuing with work on chemical equations which can be quite challenging for me. 

Unfortunately I had two minor seizures this week, it happened after my Maths test, my arm felt heavy then I felt strange and next thing I knew my right arm had dropped, was painful and my hand and arm tingled.  The second one occurred when I was at home.  I felt so tired after having them and also had a headache but it disappeared after a couple of hours.  My arm took much longer to come back, two days later my feeling had returned however it was still rather weak.  I was devastated because our Athletics Carnival was supposed to be today and I knew with my hand weakened I would not be able to throw as well and I was so determined to do well and had trained for it.  I guess it was lucky that the Chemical Fire happened because it gives my arm more time to heal. 

I had physiotherapy yesterday and Rhiannon was able to release the tightness that had formed in my arm, hand and neck from the seizures.  Again she was able to provide me with some relief, she truly is my guardian angel. My stress fracture in my heel has now fully healed so I can now begin to put more weight onto it and begin my walking with my rollator again.  It will take a little while to build back up to where I was prior to the stress fracture but I will get there.  I think that challenges are sometimes placed in our way to make us stronger and more determined.

Spring is definitely in the air, so many flowers are starting to bloom and provide a kaleidoscope of colour to the garden.  The roses are now covered with leaves, the grass is starting to grow again, the magpies are swooping and tiny pollens are being carried through the air by the strong, gusty winds we have had.  That is not good for people who suffer from season hayfever, Jarrett is one of them and he has been sneezing and coughing despite taking antihistamines daily, once they pollens decrease so will his hayfever. 

Nalani is continuing to make a comeback with her running and is finding that with her knee in the correct place the muscles are all reacting, so they are sometimes becoming a little sore and tight but it is a good soreness and tightness because everything is working again. 

We only have two more weeks of school and then we will be on school holidays and then only have one more Term at school.  That will be a huge Term for Nalani, it is her last Term at school and then she will graduate from Year 12.  It is also my last Term in Middle School because next year when I am in Year 9 that is the first year of Senior School at our school. 

The Wests Tigers are playing the Warriors tonight, I have my fingers and toes crossed that they will continue their splendiferous form and win. They played so well last week against the Dragons and showed that they are a threat to win the competition this year. 

'Every day brings new possibilities, new challenges and new hope we should always start each day by looking ahead with optimism and a smile on our face.' 

Friday, September 9, 2011


3rd to 9th September 2011

What a glorious weekend it was for all the Dad's for Father's Day, the sun shone brightly in the crystal clear blue sky and only fluffy cotton wool like clouds drifted delicately and lazily through that sky.  Dad was greeted when he awoke to a steaming hot cup of coffee and toast with his favourite jam.  He loved all the gifts that we gave him and adored the poem I wrote for him.  He has taken it to keep with him at work so my words are with him while he is there.  Jarrett had running training so we went for a leisurely stroll around the perimeter of the AIS taking in all the delightful sounds and colours of the bush.  We then took Dad to DFO for lunch, it was a much quieter place to go than to any of the major shopping centres.  He had a splendiferous day and felt very spoilt. 

I was not feeling too well over the weekend, I was very flushed in the cheeks, had headaches, a slight fever and my gums at the top of my mouth were throbbing with pain.  It turned out that I am getting my twelve year old molars, they are a little late arriving because of the treatment I have had for my tumour.  As they came through more throughout the week, my fever rose, I found I was even dribbling at times, my cheeks burnt and I had an upset stomach. My bottom ones came through earlier this year but I did not have any difficulties with them, this is so very painful, now I can understand why babies are so miserable when they are teething it is definitely an extremely painful experience. 

As a consequence of my teeth coming through and the problems they caused I did not go to school this week, however I did continue on some school work that I already had, that is when I felt well enough to.  I finished off all my questions for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas including a creative task and an alternative ending.  I also worked on Maths, we are now moving on to ratios, they are very easy to understand and do and I did my Mathletics activities which were on expanding and factorising algebra. 

Running a temperature made me feel tired, so I also needed to sleep which eased the pain in my mouth and my headaches.  Yesterday I had a rash on my cheeks, they are normally so smooth and soft but they were rough and itchy.  Some eczema cream eased the itchiness and when I woke up this morning the rash had disappeared. 

Great news - I won the footy tips again this year, that is three years in a row.  Nana and Pop will have to study up on the teams for next year and then maybe they may have a chance of winning.  I am looking forward to the Tigers game tonight, I believe that they have the determination, team spirit and skills to beat the Dragons and go on to play again next week.  I was disappointed though that Benji Marshall did not win the Dally M Medal, I truly thought that he was the best player out of all teams this year, he put his heart and soul into each and every game and produced some real Benji magic. 

Next week is the Athletics Carnival on Friday, I am hoping that I will be well and that the weather will be perfect for it.  With my T/F36 classification I will throw a discus that weighs 750g, a shot put that weighs 2kg and a javelin that weighs 400g.  I am hoping that I will throw much further than I did last year.  This year I am also going to compete in some Interclub Competitions, being able to participate in activities that I used to do before my journey with my tumour began is a goal and I am determined to make it happen.  Running is going to be a longer term goal but I hope that that will happen one day also. 

I am still awaiting some of my test results from Sydney, perhaps we will hear something next week.  Some marvellous news that we did receive this week was that my lumbar puncture was clear, there were no cancer cells in my spinal fluid. 

I hope that those who have footy teams in the finals have wins and I wish you all a marvellous week ahead filled with many rainbow moments.