Friday, May 25, 2012


19th to 25th May 2012

With a maximum temperature of just nine degrees that is like 4.5 degrees, I am so grateful to be indoors in the warmth with hot water bottles, a snugly blanket and the heating on.  Today is a reminder that Winter is just around the corner and I am sure that snow will be falling on the mountains at present creating a glistening, white cap on the top. 

Fortunately the weekend was much more pleasant and on Saturday I was outdoors enjoying a clear Autumn day and watching Jarrett and Nalani both run in The Half Marathon Eve 5km Fun Run, it was an all ages event.  The venue for the event was the delightful Lennox Gardens, the race went through the gardens and along the edge of Lake Burley Griffin.  There were many competitors in the event and Kermit the Frog even made an appearance (one of the runners had dressed in a costume).  "On your marks, get set" and the gun went off.  Jarrett had a flying start and Nalani took off quickly also, as we watched them run along the path near the Lake. Then they disappeared into the distance, that is what happens in Cross Country races, you often lose sight of the runners and only see the start and the finish.  We waited anxiously at the finish line in the distance we could see the top three runners coming in and Jarrett was one of them, he was in third place, just behind two older men.  It was a close finish and I was so excited to see Jarrett finish strongly to secure the third place in a time of 16:26, a six second personal best from the year before.  He was the first junior runner in and beat a well know female runner Lisa Corrigan.  We then waited for Nalani, she came flying in, in 40th place and was the fourth junior female, she also got a personal best time over a minute faster than her last 5km race. Jarrett was presented with a bronze medal and a special tee-shirt for the race and he let me wear his medal while he warmed down.

On Sunday morning after another eighty minute run, Jarrett was working on his school Biology assignment which was on cancer, he had chosen to do it on paediatric cancer and he asked me if he could do an interview with me, I agreed and while Nalani filmed, Jarrett asked me some question about my Medulloblastoma and the treatment I had.  I was going to throw shot put at High Noon on Sunday afternoon but I found I was very shaky and could not hold the shot put properly and I was weak in my legs so I had to miss throwing.  It is very upsetting and frustrating to have this occurring especially when I have something that I would love to do.

This week at school has been busy again, with exams coming up the teachers are making sure that we have covered every topic we need to for the exams.  In Maths we are learning about Congruent Triangles, it is a complicated process and there are four ways of testing whether a triangle is congruent.  In Sports Science we are continuing our work on the body systems and nutrition, I really enjoy this, to remember things I practise by naming my muscles and bones and I also have charts on my wardrobe doors.  In English we are working on a persuasive essay about Choice and Sacrifice in relation to The Truman Show, we learnt how to write a good thesis statement. 

Apart from school I have had physiotherapy, Kaitlyn massaged my arms, spine and feet and used heat to assist my pain.  Each week I look forward to my physiotherapy appointment because it does provide some relief for me along with my medication.  I also had a special visit from Stuart this week who came from Sydney just to see me, it was lovely to catch up with him and he gave me a lovely book to read, Anne of Green Gables. 

Then on Thursday, Jarrett was running in the ASC Cross Country, some people from other States may call it Zone Cross Country, it is how you qualify to go to ACT Cross Country to hopefully be selected to represent the ACT at National Cross Country later in the year.  Rain was forecast for the day but fortunately it held off until Jarrett had finished his race.  He had to run 6km and it was held at Weston Park, the course is a very difficult one with lots of undulations, rocks and slippery Autumn leaves on the ground.  He was not only competing against his own age group but also against boys from the next age group up, they decided to combine it, the age group up normally run 8km, so they were lucky.  At the start he was pushed by another runner, but recovered well to be in the lead group of boys, as the race progressed the group broke and Jarrett was in the top four, I was so excited for him and he was running well.  To qualify for ACT's he had to come in the top twenty and I could see he would easily do that.  He finished the race strongly to come second in his age group which was fantastic, he ran it in a time of 20:05 which was great, he is just awesome.  Now he will run at ACT's which are on his 17th Birthday on the 4th of June, I hope that he will do extremely well and qualify for Nationals, that would be the best Birthday present ever.  

I am not very well today, I have a cough and sore throat and with the miserable weather I am feeling quite melancholy.  Keeping warm, having plenty of fluids and rest will hopefully help me to feel much better for the weekend and be ready for another busy week next week, not only do I have School but I also have an appointment with my paediatrician and physiotherapy. 

In Footy Tipping although I got four right last week, Nana is still ahead, Pop and I are trying to think of ways to slow her down.  Pop even suggested her losing points if her team, the Cowboys win, but I guess that is not very fair.  My Tigers are doing well, it is almost like back in 2005 when they came from the bottom of the ladder to win the Grand Final.  They were second last but have now moved up into eighth place with some incredible wins. 

I found this quote by Buddha and I thought is was a lovely way to end this entry:

'Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.' 

Saturday, May 19, 2012


12th to 18th May 2012

Crispy, white frosts are covering our yards first thing in the morning but once the sun has risen high in the crystal blue Autumn sky, a smile engulfs my face and my heart is filled with joy, I greet each and every day with a positive attitude and wanting to make the most of every minute of it.

Last weekend was Mothers Day, we celebrated quietly with Mum by spoiling her and making her feel special.  I made her a unique vase which I bought but then decorated with gems that were flowers and butterflies, then I put some of our fragrant roses from our own garden in it. 

This week at school was NAPLAN which most students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in on the same days using national tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions which is spelling, grammar and punctuation and Numeracy.  I had an exemption from doing it due to my illness, so I was able to rest during the testing ready for other classes.

In Sports Science this week we watched a DVD called All About Muscles because that is what we are learning about.  We then had to use plasticine to make a model of the circulatory system, the respiratory system and muscular system.  In Maths we have moved on from Area, Volume and Capacity to learning about Congruent Triangles and in English we are finishing off work on The Truman Show ready to write a persuasive essay on it about Choice and Sacrifice. 

I again had my regular physiotherapy appointment with Kaitlyn who released my spine and worked on my ankles which had been painful.  Then I had heat on my spine which always feels so wonderful and gives me some relief from my pain.  

Tom, my Occupational Therapist also paid me a visit this week, the machine that can speed up my wheelchair is in Sydney been fixed but he promised me as soon as it is back, he will speed my wheelchair up for me so it will go Mum speed rather than Granny speed.  He talked to me about conserving energy, things to help when I have problems with my hands and legs shaking like bulking up my pencils and eating utensils.  He has so much knowledge and no question I ask him is too difficult to answer.  I am extremely lucky to have people assisting me like Tom and Kaitlyn without them I would not be able to manage each day.

In the footy tipping Nana has flown ahead, then Pop and I am last but only by one point, the teams have been so unpredictable this year and picking technically does not seem to be working this year. With State of Origin on Wednesday there could be some upset results with many quality players out of several teams.

Nalani and Jarrett are running on the Weekend in The Half Marathon Eve 5km Fun Run, they are both hoping to do well and I will be there cheering them on.  I am hoping that the glorious weather we have had will continue as an afternoon in the sunshine absorbing vitamin D will be good medicine for me. 

On Sunday I am hoping to compete in another High Noon Competition, there is only shot put this week as they are doing repairs to the infield so Javelin can not be held.  I don't mind though because one event is probably just right for me at present. 

My thoughts go out this week to Lachie, he is a friend of ours and last weekend when practising for pole vault, he had a nasty accident landing on his head, it must have been so dreadfully frightening for him.  He did some damage to the front lobe of his brain but fortunately it will heal, but it does mean that he is not able to compete for a little while which is very disappointing for him.  I think though that he will have the determination and courage to make a triumphant comeback when he is able to return to his sport.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


5th to 11th May 2012

'Never give up, believe in yourself,  that belief will see you achieve the most extraordinary things in life'

On a glorious Saturday, I went to watch both Nalani and Jarrett run in a 5km Cross Country Point Score event.  The sky was a brilliant blue and only light wispy clouds floated gently in the breeze, the freshly mown grass at Stromlo filled my nostrils.  There are times that I wish I was there with Nalani and Jarrett running, feeling the wind blow my hair and my arms and legs pumping but as I can not do that watching them run and cheering them on is almost like I am doing it also.

The race was two laps of the 2.5km course, when the started said "go" all the runners took off, Jarrett was towards the front runners and Nalani placed well in the centre of the field.  As the race went on Jarrett was in the top three runners and looking strong and Nalani continued to run well as it was her first Cross Country Race back since her knee surgery.  In the last 800m it was Jarrett in second place but gaining ground on the first runner and in a sensational finish, he almost won.  He was really pleased with his race and he came first in his age group, you see there are various age groups right up to include adults in the race.  Nalani ran valiantly and was 30th overall , the 12th girl and was first in her age group. 

Then on Sunday it was my turn to compete, at a High Noon Competition, I was throwing discus and shot put.  As I stood very unsteadily to throw the discus my hand began to shake, my first throw was definitely not my best, as I threw more I felt I improved but I still had to contend with a shaking hand and legs but I pushed on.  I ended up throwing 5.56m which was not a personal best but one of my better throws ever.  Then it was time for shot put, I throw a 2kg shot put, it may not sound that heavy but when you have a weak, shaking hand it feels like you are throwing a much heavier weight.  As I pushed the shot put in my throw I felt so estactic to just be out there doing it and having my family all cheering me on.  I threw 2.22m which is also not a personal best but one that I was happy with.  After throwing I was extremely tired and a little sore but I had a huge smile on my face, I thought of the Adidas saying of 'Nothing is impossible' and I believe that.

Then it was back to school for what was an incredibly hectic week: in English we are working on Essays and what is essential to get an 'A'; in Maths we have continued to work on Surface Area, Volume and Capacity, we have a test next week and will then move on to a new topic and in Sports Science we looked at both the Circulatory and Respiratory Systems, it is so interesting.

I had physiotherapy and Kaitlyn worked on my knee which was irritated by my throwing on the weekend and then she did a gentle release on my spine which was sore , she also release the small muscles in my neck which often becomes quite stiff and lacks movement and then she put heat packs on my back which feel so wonderful and relieving.

In my life I feel so very fortunate to have so many people who care about me, I often receive lovely emails, cards and visits from these special people and just knowing how much they care really amazes me and brightens my days. 

In footy tipping last week Nana got all the games correct, so she has now taken the lead with me one point behind her and then Pop one point behind me.  It is very close and unlike previous years no one has taken a huge lead yet. 

There are no races or competition this weekend only training, then of course on Sunday it is Mothers Day.  So I would like to wish all Mothers a very Happy Mothers Day, I found this lovely verse in a card and wanted to share it with you.

God made a wonderful mother
A mother who is so full of love
He made her smile of sunshine,
And her heart of pure gold,
In her cheeks he placed fair roses,
In her eyes, stars that shine
God made a wonderful mother,
And that wonderful mother is mine

Friday, May 4, 2012


28th April to 4th May 2012

With temperatures plummeting down to an icy zero degrees in Canberra and in my new Senior School Winter uniform I returned to School this week for Term 2.  It will be a busy Term as we only have nine weeks and have to also fit in NAPLAN and Semester Exams.  In Mathematics we are working on area, surface area and volume, in English we are watching and doing a critical analysis on 'The Truman Show' and in Sports Science we are continuing to do work on the body systems, moving on from the Skeletal and Muscular Systems to the Circulatory and Respiratory systems.  This Term I am also going to take on doing PDH, just to add a little extra variety to my days.

I got to use my electric wheelchair, it gives me independence, but I think it needs some speeding up because even Mum's power walking pace that I used to experience when she pushed me in the manual wheelchair is so much quicker!

Before returning to School though I had a very special weekend, not only did I get to watch Jarrett race in a 3.1km Cross Country Race, he ran with determination and watching him run, was almost like seeing a leopard running after its prey, his style is so sleek and smooth, and I was even more excited and proud because he won by over a minute.  Nalani was still recovering from a minor foot injury so she was unable to run which was disappointing for her.  I also got to spend some special time with my guardian angel physiotherapist, Rhiannon.  It was splendiferous to see her smiling face again, to hear all her news and see how happy she is.

On Tuesday I got to see Kaitlyn my other wonderful physiotherapist, she did a release on my spine as it was twisted to the right and left again, she also did some work on my neck which has been hurting me to turn and bend.  After the release I was lucky enough to have lovely warm heat packs placed on my back for ten minutes, they feel so good and give me relief. 

I had an appointment on Thursday with my Oncologist, it was an early morning appointment, so I had to wake up early.  My Oncologist has increased my pain medication to try to assist with some nerve pain that I have been experiencing.  It is a strange type of pain, I getting a dreadful stinging sensation followed by pain.  I also get shaking of my hands and legs, it just comes on randomly, it is rather frustrating when it happens as I never know when it will happen.  Holding a cup, using a pen or even typing becomes difficult, however I always find a new way of doing things, that is what you have to do when faced with a new challenge, you have to rise above it, climb that mountain, jump that hurdle and move ahead. 

I watched the Tigers play the Eels last weekend and I was on the edge of my seat and biting my fingernails towards the end of the match, those Eels came back, when it looked like that the Tigers had the game easily won.  That field goal that Benji Marshall kicked in the first half is what won it for them.  In footy tipping I am equal first with Pop now on 35 and Nana is now on 34.

On Monday it is Dad's Birthday, so I have been working on something special for him, I have made him a unique card especially from me and a coaster done with decoupage that he can put his mug at work on instead of leaving cup marks on his desk. 

Tomorrow both Nalani and Jarrett are racing in a 5km Cross Country Race, I know that they will both do their best and I am looking forward to being there cheering them on.  Then on Sunday it is the first High Noon Meet and I am determined to compete in shot put and discus.  It is also World Athletics Day that day, celebrating one hundred years of athletics. 

As the colder weather approaches may you all keep warm and healthy.