Saturday, July 30, 2011


23rd to 29th July 2011

On the weekend I felt a little anxious about returning to school for term three, so I was pleased to have a few distractions to take my mind off my worries.  We had running training on both Saturday and Sunday, I made the most delectable strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing and sprinkles on top and I had a special visit from Heather and her mum Carole.  Heather had Medulloblastoma when she was six and this year she turns twenty six, so she is a twenty year survivor.  Her Medulloblastoma was very different to mine because it was growing upside down and was slower growing and it had not spread at all.  She had surgery and radiotherapy only as her treatment.  I found her visit to be very inspiring for me as she is one of the longest survivors of the disease. 

With butterflies in my stomach I returned to school on Monday for a brand new term, it felt like we have not had a break because we were back into work.  In Maths our new unit of work is Algebra, I really enjoy Algebra, in English we are continuing looking at Shakespeare works and we are reading through and listening to The Merchant of Venice which is like an olden day Neighbours or Home and Away with the many different story lines.  I have new electives this Semester, they are Textiles and Music, I am very excited about Textiles because I have a flair for arts and crafts.  In Integrated Studies our topic is Human Impact on the Global Environment and Science we are looking at Chemical and Physical Properties.  Something sensational we are doing is our Athletics Carnival in September, I am very eager to participate in at least the field events and because I have the disability classification I hopefully can represent the school as a disabled athlete at Zones.  After a tiring week at school I was euphoric that the first week of school was over! 

This weekend it is only three weeks until Cross Country Nationals, Jarrett has recovered from all his illnesses and has been able to train at full capacity.  Nalani has continued her progress and is increasing the amount of training she is doing, she is hoping to compete at the Athletics Carnival, I think she will be able to achieve that goal.

It was very inspirational to see Cadel Evans win the Tour de France, he has faced much adversity, in the form of injury, mechanical problems and self doubt, his dedication, determination and courage is a superlative example to us all.

Canberra had its coldest overnight temperature for July since 1994, it was minus nine degrees, the ice was thick on the ground and chilled everyone to the bones.  However we have had some delightful days filled with golden sunshine and crystal clear blue skies, there are even some trees beginning to bloom with delicate pink blossoms.  Golden yellow wattle flowers are also starting to bloom ready for Wattle Day on the first of September.

My Tigers had a magnificent game last night, coming from certain defeat against Manly (my Mum's team) to be victorious by two points, I was elated!  Poor Nana and Pop tipped Manly to win so that's one game up to me.

Next week on Wednesday I have to go to Hospital to see my Cardiologist and Endocrinologist then on Sunday Mum and I are off to Sydney for more appointments and tests.  I hope everyone has a splendiferous week filled with many rainbows.

Friday, July 22, 2011


16th to 22nd July 2011

'Those who succeed are not necessarily the most gifted, they are the ones who never give in, no matter what the obstacle, opposition, how long it takes they find the inspiration and perseverance to see things through'

This has been another quiet week with a variety of weather conditions raging from heavy rain, icy gale force winds and some beautiful sunshine.  I have had some obstacles this week with pain and a locking knee, however I always try to look on the bright side each and everyday. 

Some of the activities I have done this week are playing Upwords, doing sudoku puzzles, find a words, decoupage, reading and watching movies.  On Wednesday we went to the hairdressers, as you all know because of the high doses of radiotherapy I had there are many areas of my head that are bald, where hair has grown it is thin, wispy and ratty so the hairdresser and I decided to cut it all very short hoping it will grow back more evenly.  Luckily I have my glamorous collection of wigs, which means that I can have a different style, length and colour everyday, I bet lots of people would love to be able to do that!

On Friday I had my physiotherapy appointment with Rhiannon, she checked my heel and gave me the fantastic news that I can now put more weight on it as it is just about healed.  She also did some work on my right knee that keeps locking up and she taped it for extra support.  The new tape she uses is terrific for my sensitive skin and means I can keep the tape on longer so it helps more.  I see Rhiannon again in two weeks which is just before I have to go to Sydney again.  Everyday I do my physio exercises, ride the exercise bike and do arm weights, these help me to become stronger and will contribute to assist me to reach my goal of being able to run again.

Fran mentioned a little boy her sister teaches who has just been diagnosed with a brain tumour, since I found out I have one I have been passionate about raising awareness and funds for brain tumours.  Every year around 1,400 new cases of primary (malignant) brain tumours occur in Australia , including 100 in children.

This number excludes an estimated 2,000 benign brain tumours that may cause disability or (rarely) death.  Brain tumours are the second highest cause of death for children aged 0 – 14 years from all causes – second only to accidental drowning and  the highest cause of death in this age group from cancer. It is the highest cause of death from cancer in people aged 0-39 and there have been no significant changes in five year survival rates.  It has the largest lifetime financial cost of any cancer type, at $149,000 per person, and highest lifetime economic cost of any cancer type, at 1.89 million dollars per person.  Brain tumour research funding is low in relation to the burden of the disease.

On a lighter note, in the footy tipping I got all of the games right, I now lead both Nana and Pop by six points.  The best thing about last weeks games was the Tigers winning by so much!

Next week is back to school, I am a little bit nervous about returning but I will remain positive to do my best.  Wishing you all a splendiferous week and thank you for your continued words of encouragement.

Friday, July 15, 2011


9th to 15 July 2011

My second week of the School Holidays was a relaxing one, I have spent most of the time reading books, doing some decoupage, knitted a teddy bears cardigan, watching DVD's and playing my favourite game Upwords.  Our weather has improved on last weeks blizzard like conditions and we have actually had some sunshine.

Both Nalani and Jarrett returned to running training this week, Nalani after seven months away following her knee surgery and Jarrett after his virus.  I am waiting for the day that I can return also to my running which I love so much before I found out that I had a Brain Tumour.  I will not run the same as I did before because the tumour, surgery and treatment have left me with several side effects.  I do have a disability classification, it is called T/F36, this means I compete against other athletes with the same classification.

This week I have been able to ride the exercise bike without my heel hurting, I am so pleased because this will help my leg muscles to build back up and strengthen so I will be able to attempt walking again with my rollator.  Having the stress fracture in my heel has been not only painful but also frustrating, it is something that takes time and patience to heal.

Next week is the last week of the School Holidays then it is back to school for term three, during term three I have an appointment with the Cardiologist, Endocrinologist as well as having to go to Sydney for various appointments and procedures.

I have been praying for the families of two precious angels who were taken from the earth this week,  Charlene a young mother and Layla just a baby, God decided to take them to be with him. 

Thank you to everyone who writes lovely comments on my Blog, I wish you many rainbows throughout the coming week.

Friday, July 8, 2011


2nd to 8th July 2011

School Holidays have begun, they are a time to have a well deserved break away from the pressure of school to spend quality time with family and to restore energy and spirits.  However the start of the holidays also was the beginning of horrendous blizzard conditions in Canberra, the winds howled like a wolf crying at the moonlight, tiny pieces of frozen ice fell from the heavy dark clouds and the sun refused to appear.

Jarrett ran in a 4.5km point score Cross Country Race, he started off very quickly but as the race progressed he found his whole body ached and he felt terribly ill, he still managed to come third.  He went to the doctors and found out he had a flu like viral infection with a cross infection also, he has not been able to train for the whole week, which is frustrating for him with Nationals only six weeks away this weekend. 

On Sunday we had a special visit from Michelle, Josiah her little boy and her Mum, it was lovely to catch up with them all.  The rest of the weekend was spent watching DVD's and playing some PlayStation games.

With the disastrous weather and both Mum and Jarrett being ill, we have spent the first week of the School Holidays indoors attempting to keep warm and recover from all our ailments.  I decided to make some scrumptious chocolate chip muffins to cheer everyone up, they put a smile on everyone's face especially when they were heated in the microwave with smooth vanilla custard.

I have been waking with headaches every morning which make me feel quite nauseous, they have often lasted throughout the whole day varying in intensity, panadol and rest seem to offer some relief from them.  I'm not sure why I'm getting them, maybe I am coming down with another infection, perhaps Mum and Jarrett have spread their germs!

Today I had physiotherapy, Rhiannon gave me some magnificent news that my stress fracture in my heel is almost healed, she taped my calf and heel with special tape so that pressure is relieved as I try to put a little bit of weight on it.  She also did some work on my neck and shoulder which have been a bit sore and stiff, I had heat on my neck and it felt sensational.  I think Rhiannon is the best physiotherapist in the world!

You might remember me mentioning to pray for Chris and his family, he has just recently been diagnosed with T-Cell non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, his story is going to be on television tonight on ABC 7.30 ACT (it use to be called Stateline) and Chris is the person who interviewed me to tell my story.  I think you will find that he is another truly inspirational person.

Friday, July 1, 2011


25th June to 1st July 2011

'Never leave it too late, remember how much your parents have given you, be grateful for their sacrifices.  Shower them with love, enjoy their company and enhance their lives'.

Family are really important, we should all treasure each other.  My family have looked after me this week while I have been unwell with yet another viral infection.  I have felt miserable and been unable to go to school at all this week.  Instead I have spent the week taking medication and resting in the hope of recovering from my illness.

I did have one appointment this week and that was with Australian Hearing for an audiology review.  The test was very thorough and went for over an hour.  Initially we discussed any issues I had experienced with my hearing, background noise even when wearing my hearing aid has been a major issue for me with my hearing because when there is background noise I do not hear clearly and it makes it difficult to become involved in conversations.  The audiologist tested my hearing and found that my right and left ears have both had serious deterioration in hearing levels at the middle to high frequency ranges.  It is the type of chemotherapy drugs that I was on, particularly the cisplatin that have caused the hearing loss.  She then checked how I hear sounds and my ability to repeat sentences with background noise with nothing, a hearing aid and an FM transmitter.  The FM transmitter was the test with the more encouraging result as I could hear and repeat most of the sentences I was given without having to strain or try to guess what I had heard.  Once the testing was completed then my hearing aid was recalibrated using the computer results from my tests so that I will be able to hear a little more clearly.  I was then advised that I need to wear my hearing aid all the time and use my FM transmitter all the time in a classroom situation or even when I am out where there is extensive background noise.  If my hearing in my left continues to deteriorate then it is most likely that I will also need a hearing aid for that ear also.  I have to be retested again in twelve months however if I feel that my hearing worsens at all or have any other difficulties then we have to let them know and see them sooner.

Jarrett has recovered from his croup and is racing in a 4.5km Junior Pointscore Cross Country Race tomorrow.  Nalani's knee is becoming stronger everyday and she is looking forward to competing in some races soon.

We are now on School Holidays, we have a three week break, I am hoping to get over my infection so that we can enjoy some activities together.  The weather forecast for next week is not too promising with rain, gusty winds and bitter temperatures, I guess that is what we should expect being the middle of Winter.

In the footy tipping I am still leading by just four points, Pop had an exceptional week last week getting all of the games right and caught up with Nana.

Wishing everyone a splendiferous week and thank you for all your encouraging comments.