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. 

Friday, September 2, 2011


27th August to 2nd September 2011

'See everything as beautiful, sometimes it shines out at us but other times it is hidden, we may find it in nature, a piece of furniture, an artwork, in friendships or shinning out from a total stranger'

This week has been much quieter and not nearly as exciting as last week.  At school we have continued answering questions on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in English, it is such a powerful and emotional story with such a tragic ending.  In Maths our unit on algebra is coming to an end with a test next Monday, in Textiles I have continued my cross stitch work which we will complete the unit on next week also and in Science we are still looking at the periodic table. 

Jarrett is back at running training again after a short break and it has provided me with the opportunity to practise my throwing.  I am able to stand to throw,  however I have to watch how far apart I have my legs because if they are too far apart then I off balance dreadfully and almost fall.  I think that I will be able to throw the shot put, discus and javelin further than last year when I had to throw from my wheelchair.  Being able to participate in the Athletics Carnival is so important to me, it was something that I loved to do prior to been diagnosed with cancer. 

I had to have an ultrasound, an ultrasound is used to demonstrate internal body structures, ultrasound scans work by sending out high frequency sound waves and recording the reflected sound or 'echoes' to create an image, my ultrasounds were on my pelvis and abdomen this week they are looking for answers from some of the results from other tests that have been abnormal.  For the pelvic ultrasound I had to empty my bladder and then drink 600ml of water in one go and then keep that in, it became quite uncomfortable when they were running the ultrasound scanner over my pelvic area, it also tickled a little and I was relieved when they let me let a little out.  For the abdominal one I had to fast for six hours before the test.  The pelvis ultrasound showed that I have little cysts on my uterus, which often burst and then that is a likely cause of the free fluid that showed in my pelvis in the MRI, these have to be watched in the future.  My abdomen one showed that my right kidney is much smaller than my left and that it has been damaged from the chemotherapy, this is something that I was already aware of and my kidney is only functioning at 75%.  My cholesterol has also gone up, so I have to see a dietician to organise a low fat, low cholesterol diet to see if that makes any difference.  The problem with high cholesterol is that if it is not controlled then it can lead to other serious health issues. 

This week I also had a physiotherapy appointment with Rhiannon, she worked on my right side as I had been having pain in my knee, hip, heel, arm and hand.  My arm was partly due to my throwing and partly due to having a little seizure the day before and my hand was from the seizure, it had tightened as it always does when I have one.  Rhiannon is always able to provide me with relief from my muscular aches and pains, if it wasn't for her I would suffer with pain and tightness that would impede on my daily life. 

In the Footy Tips I am still winning against Nana and Pop and unless I have an absolutely dreadful week and get them all wrong I will win this year.  The Wests Tigers are simply splendiferous, being in fourth place on the ladder now is so wonderful, I truly think that we have a chance of making the Grand Final. 

I wish all the Dad's a very Happy Father's Day for Sunday, Dad's make you laugh, give the most enormous, warm hugs and protect you from harm.   I have written my Dad an extra special poem and framed it as well as making him a card, I hope that he will like them. 

Thank you for the prayers for the people that I mention, good news on Stuart is that he does not have to have surgery just yet as the tumour is small, it will be monitored and may need surgery later.  To any of my followers who are going through a difficult time or have any injuries or illnesses my prayers are with you.