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.