Friday, March 29, 2013


23rd to 29th March 2013

Today is Good Friday which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and is a day of mourning for Christians.  It is a very important day in church calendars as the sadness of the Crucifixion and the joyous Resurrection of Jesus are central events in Christian beliefs.  I would like to wish everyone many blessings for Easter, may this be a time that you treasure your loved ones and life.

The School Fair was on Saturday, the weather was absolutely perfect, the weather fairies were certainly looking after us!  I had rested up in readiness for the day.  I was so excited as I was having a stall called 'Dainere's Rainbow of Hope for Brain Tumours'.  It is my greatest wish to raise awareness and funds, in the hope of one day a cure being found for this horrendous disease. 

The day was long and tiring, I had to sleep during the Fair but Mum, Nalani, Jarrett and Gail looked after my stall for me.  Through the donations people had given me and my own contributions I was able to raise  a little over $1000 for The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Research Fund.  With many thanks also to those people who made a purchase from my stall, together we can make a difference one day.  Thank you also to Monique who helped with packing up after such a huge day.

The Fair had exhausted me, so Sunday was spent trying to rest and recuperate.  I had to finish working on my Sports Science assignment also, which I wanted to be of the highest quality possible.  Then soreness and nausea made me feel so ill, it is such a dreadful feeling, I try to cope with it by distracting myself but this time I just slept. 

I was unable to attend school on Monday because I was still unwell and needed the extra day of rest before returning to the hectic school routine. 

With Easter, I then only had three days at school this week.  In Maths we worked on our Money Matters Unit, doing work on compound interest and learning how to use Excel Spreadsheet to calculate compound interest.

In English we have begun our work on Money Matters, researching about tax file numbers, opening bank accounts, industry awards and other issues relating to starting a job for the first time.  We have an assignment to work on which we have to present during Week 10 at school.

I did not have Sports Science this week, instead it was our School Cross Country.  I was so fortunate to be able to compete in it, I used my electric wheelchair and was able to do 3km (which is what AWD athletes do for Cross Country) doing laps of the oval.  The course from last year was just too bumpy and my fragile spine would not cope with it.  Even doing the 3km on the oval was not ideal.  I completed the laps with a humongous smile of achievement on my face but behind the smile I was in pain.  My spine, my neck and my foot ached terribly and then I began  to feel so horribly nauseous.  I had to take an ondansetron, but it did not seem to help.  Competing had meant the world to me, I won a 1st place blue ribbon and was able to earn valuable points for my House Guraguma, but the most important thing to me was that despite my situation, I was having a go showing others that there are no obstacles to competing.  Mum was awarded a personal best ribbon for being there supporting me, often having to pick up her pace to jog alongside me and being my lap counter.  The school community were also splendiferous as they cheered me on during each lap and applauded me as I came down the chute to the finish line. 

Jarrett competed in the Cross County also, he was unable to run at his usual super sonic speed, because of his hamstring injury he had to jog on the flat and power walk the hills and bumpy parts.  As he always wins the Cross Country it was difficult for him to do it this way but he also wanted to show others that despite his injury he was still having a go.  The boys in his age group who would normally not run in the long distance race took the opportunity to have a go, they could actually then say they beat Jarrett, the fastest in the School.  Jarrett still holds the school record though for the 4km, I don't think that will ever get broken.

I had a visit to my family doctor for a check up and he looked at my foot to see if he felt I needed to be referred to an orthopaedic specialist.  There are no boots which they often use for stress fractures that would fit my tiny foot and having it plastered would only be detrimental as it would make my muscles much weaker and ultimately cause more problems. Surgery is often used when someone has multiple re-injuries but they said that is out of the question.  So physiotherapy, compression bandage, rest and voltaren gel are the options.  As I am osteopenic that also means that bone injuries take longer to heal than that of a person with normal bones.   I am going to have my flu injection on 17th of April, as it is important for me to have it as I would get extremely ill if I got the flu.

This week I also had my physiotherapy appointment, which I was relieved to have, my right heel has been re-injured, it is so painful and weak. Kaitlyn worked on it, whilst I had heat packs on my spine and neck.  She used the ultrasound with voltaren to try to assist with the inflammation and pain. On days when I feel so awful, Kaitlyn is my extra special guardian angel, caring for and helping me.

In footy tipping I am leading by just one point to Nana and then Pop is a few points behind.  My poor Tigers did not have much luck in their game in terrible, wet conditions last night, I was so disappointed but it is early in the year, they have plenty of time to improve and move up the ladder.

Today was a true Autumn day, sunny but cool, the leaves on the trees are beginning to change to a gorgeous golden colour and it is becoming darker earlier.

'Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today, make yourself a list and start ticking off things that you would love to do or achieve, don't let any challenge stop you for having a go'

Saturday, March 23, 2013


16th to 22nd March 2013
The clouds were grey and dismal, the rain came falling like tears from heaven, the winds ripped and roared, today was such a dreadful day.  Then as if by magic in the afternoon the sun pushed determinedly through the heavy clouds and the skies turned blue.  I breathed a sigh of relief, for tomorrow is our School Fair, I am so looking forward to having my stall and hopefully raising as many funds as I possibly can for The Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Research Fund. 

Last weekend was spent working on assignments, it is important to me to do my very best, I can’t work solid, I do a little then have to have a rest, before I can do anymore, so for me it takes so much longer to complete a task.  So what someone can do in an hour would take me the whole day. 

This week at School for English I got to see Bell Shakespeare – The Players, Macbeth Undone performance.  I thoroughly enjoyed it; there were four actors, two females and two men who were able to portray the story splendiferously. They put a modern day twist on the classic and it made it so much easier to absorb.  I especially loved the characterisation the actor who played Lady Macbeth did, she was so believable and strong, which is exactly how she should be played.  I would highly recommend this group to any school who is studying Shakespeare.

In Sports Science we have been working on components of fitness and investigating different types of training, like continuous training, circuit training, resistance training and plyometric training, just to name a few.  Next week we are doing a circuit training practical lesson and also our school cross country. 

In Maths we have begun our new unit on Money Matters, we are looking at simple and compound interest at the moment, we have worksheets to complete and some work on the computer.  Money Matters is a unit that covers day to day maths that we all really need to understand.

I was so thrilled to have my physiotherapy appointment again this week, Kaitlyn worked on my buttocks and neck.  I did not feel as much relief as I normally would but that is probably because I missed a week.  However those heat packs, they are just wonderful, I wish they never had to be taken off.

I also had a visit from my care team.  I now have my panamax and oxycodone at the same time so I am getting a double hit of pain relief at the same time rather than trying to spread them out.  My oxycodone has also been increased and I can have break through doses when required.  The team were looking at slow release pain relief that lasts longer, but due to my swallowing issues, this was not an option.  My nurse is going to check on me again next week to see how I am going and the doctor has written up morphine on my medication chart, in case my pain is unable to be controlled with the present medication.

I am leading the footy tipping competition, last week I got six correct and it was so exciting that my Tigers won their game, Benji Marshall was just exceptional.

Many thanks to Kay, Anna, Stuart and Monique for their contributions to my Fair Stall, you are all so wonderful and together we will hopefully make that difference through the funds that we can raise to help researchers continue their work. 

Two very special people lost their battles with disease this week, Rodney and Sylvia, my prayers and sympathy goes out to their families during this difficult time, may you be comforted by the special memories that you hold in your heart always. Life is so precious we do not know how long each of us have, so live each and every day to its fullest.

This special quote comes from a little box of beautiful and inspiring quotes given to me this week by Elizabeth; it was extra special meeting you.

‘With each good thought that we offer to mankind, we perform a new miracle’ 


Saturday, March 16, 2013


9th to 15 March 2013

A huge event occurred in Canberra this week, we celebrated our Centenary.  One hundred years ago Lady Denman, the wife of the then Governor General Lord Denman, stood upon the newly laid foundation stones and announced that the name of the new Australian Capital would be Canberra. 

Canberra was not the first choice to be the Capital City of Australia, both Melbourne and Sydney were seen as the preferred cities.  Melbourne was seen as the obvious choice at the time as it was Australia's largest city, however Sydney was older than Melbourne so it was thought to be the better choice.  So because of the constant debating and rivalry between the two, Canberra was the chosen place.

A variety of names were thought of for the new Capital City including: Olympus, Paradise, Captain Cook, Shakespeare, Kangaremu, Sydmeladperho, Eucalypta and Myola.  But on 12th March 1913, at midday Canberra was finally the name chosen.

The Centenary of Canberra celebrates many things but mostly the history and heritage of our bush capital as well as looking to the a bright future.

Gavin and I, after his ride from Sydney to Canberra,  he is extremely inspiring

On Saturday, my family and I went to the lawns of Parliament House to welcome an extraordinary person, Gavin to Canberra after a two day bicycle ride from Sydney raising awareness and funds for Still Birth and SIDS.  He and many other riders who had lost babies and young children to either Still Birth or SIDS were riding for such a special cause, being carried by the wings of their angels as they rode.  He was so surprised and happy to see me there cheering him on, he was exhausted yet he managed to smile and give me a wonderful hug.  I think it was a very proud and special moment, he inspires me and he says I inspire him.  His lovely wife Gill was there also cheering him in, with their absolutely gorgeous baby girl, Adia.  The official amount raised is yet to be announced but it looks like they have raised around $90 000 for the cause, which is a huge effort. 

The rest of my long weekend was spent working on homework, with it been Week 6 at school our workload is quite large and demanding.  So Nalani, Jarrett and I were all working extremely hard on our work. 

At school this week we finished our Algebra unit in Maths and next week we are starting Money Matters which I am looking forward to with great anticipation.  In English we watched the Roman Polanski movie of Macbeth, at times it was a little violent and very dark but that is the story itself, it is not one of hope.  In Sports Science our work has continued on our fitness programs for our chosen sport.  I have been doing heaps of research and finding it so interesting and now I can hardly wait to put my program together. 

Karen, my Canberra care nurse visited this week and we talked about how I have been feeling; my pain, nausea, restricted throat and other things.  Next week I am going to have a visit from the doctor and also my CNC nurse Wendy as well as Karen.  They are going to make sure that I am well looked after and that all my needs are met.

Nana, Pop and I are doing footy tipping again this year, well the first week we all had dismal results.  Pop and I got 2 and Nana is just leading with 3.  So far this week I have not done too well either with losing the Thursday and Friday games.  My Tigers did not have a good start to the season, however Benji said they can only improve from now on. 

It was the final Interclub for the Summer Season of Athletics, there was only one event, Shot put because in Canberra at the AIS this weekend the Relay for Life is taking place and the many tents have been erected in the centre of the the track and that is where the throws areas are. 

Nalani and I both were throwing, Jarrett had given us a distance to aim for, for me it was 1.11m and Nalani had a goal of 5.55m.  We had six throws each as there was only the one event and also not as many competitors as usual.  I ended up throwing 1.24m and Nalani threw 5.96m, both distances over what Jarrett had set us, so we were really excited. 

The final Interclub was also extremely special for me because Louise Ellery was there, she had an official role this week but she still gave me 'high fives' and encouraged me.  Having someone so inspiring there supporting you really makes you try your best.  I was also again told that I had one of the best techniques that the officials had seen, that put a huge smile on my face. 

I have experienced pain, nausea and some other issues this week but I always hold my head high, there are people who are suffering more than I am and I won't give up and let these things stop me from doing what is important to me.

Next weekend is our school fair, I am going to have a stall called 'Dainere's Rainbow of Hope for Brain Tumours', I will be raising funds for The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Research Fund, it is so important to me that one day a cure for this horrendous disease is found and the only way this can happen is through research and without funds there can be no research.  My vision for the future is that no child will have to suffer like I have, that the treatment and its effects will be lesser and perhaps one day a test may available as a early indication of a brain tumour and then a mild treatment can be given before the damage is done.  Ultimately that anyone that is diagnosed with a brain tumour will have a 100% cure rate. 

Any cancer is terrible, it not only affects the person who has it but also those who love them the most, their family and friends.  Congratulations to my friend Ally, who shaved her head this week for The World's Greatest Shave, she is helping to raise funds and awareness for leukemia. 

There is a magic within each of us to achieve the impossible, we only have to bring that magic out through our hearts and thoughts and we can make a difference.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


2nd to 8th March 2013

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all", this is a quote by Dale Carnegie and I think that it is so true.  So many people take the easy road and just give up, I believe in continuing to fight right to the end, it is only then that what seems impossible becomes possible.

Last weekend was spent working dedicatedly on my English assignment, the feature article for Macbeth.  I really wanted to challenge myself and look deeper into the story, so I decided to look at Lady Macbeth as a Merciless Mistress of Manipulation. Macbeth would have done absolutely anything for her, their relationship was actually the most happiest of all Shakespeare's couples.  She was full of ambition and wanted great things for herself and her husband, however she did not think, and the actions that were taken to murder Duncan took a toll on her and the once strong, powerful woman became weak and guilt filled, she went insane and took her life. 

At school this week we got our first assignment for Sports Science, it is to write nine fitness training sessions for a sport, looking at the FITT (frequency, intensity, time and type) principle and the components of fitness.  I am extremely excited about this assignment and I am looking forward to planning my sessions which I am going to do on throwing. 

In English we continued our work on Macbeth, we even watched a documentary about Ethan Hawke and the research he did to play the role of Macbeth in a stage play, I found it very interesting. 

Maths this week was focusing on revision on all our algebra work in readiness for our first test of the Term.  After this unit we will be moving onto a unit called Money Matters. 

We also had a day off school this week as it was moderation day, on that day our Year 12 students did practise for AST, which is an exam they have to do later in the year.  Jarrett had to do this as he is in Year 12 this year.  They have to write an essay and then later on they do short answer responses.

I had my usual Physiotherapy appointment, Kaitlyn worked on my right side; my leg, buttocks, hip, back and neck.  Then at the end of my appointment, I had three glorious heat packs on me.  Heat helps my muscles and my pain, so I always love having them on.  I don't have physiotherapy next week as Kaitlyn will be away, so I will be really looking forward to my appointment the week after. 

This week I have had a bit of a runny nose and a cough, I think that the changes in weather and being at school where people are coughing, sneezing and also have runny noses, has contributed to this. 

Something that I have found extremely frustrating this week is that my throat has been feeling really restricted, it is as if there is something in it, blocking it, putting pressure on it.  At times it is a bit difficult to swallow and when I am eating it can feel as though the food won't go down.

It was Interclub today, the weather was a pleasant twenty four degrees and although I was tired and sore from school, I really wanted to compete as it is the second last Interclub for the season.  The events were discus and shot put.  I was again throwing from my wheelchair, which is not ideal for a thrower but I just love to compete.  In discus I managed to throw 3.24m, not as good as how I threw at Championships but I was still really happy with it.  Then in Shot put I threw 1.26m, this was also not quite as good as at Championships but I had a huge smile on my face and one of the officials told me that I had one of the best techniques he had seen. 

Next week is the last Interclub, there is only one throwing event on as the center of the AIS field will be closed in preparation for Relay for Life.  I am hoping that I can compete in that and finish off the Summer Season and enjoy myself, the event that is on is shot put. 

Many of my friends are doing wonderful things to help other people this month.  Gavin is doing a special bike ride from Sydney to Canberra to raise awareness and funds for Stillbirth and SIDS, he lost his beautiful little girl Layla in 2011.
Ally is doing World's Greatest Shave to help raise awareness and funds for Leukemia.

I am continuing my efforts to raise desperately needed funds and awareness for Brain Tumours.  I have some copies of the A4 version of my Theodore and Friends - Theodore is Left Out book left to sell and I am going to have a stall at our School Fair as another way to help raise funds, I will sell my book and some other lovely items on the stall. 

A special thank you to Dianne for selling her delicious vegetables from her garden to help me raise funds, I am so appreciative of your help and this will help the researchers maybe one day find a cure for this horrendous disease. 

Have a rainbowiffic week filled with many special rainbow moments in which you find hope.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


23rd February to 1st March 2013

‘When the rain tumbles from the grey skies, I look up rather than down because I know that without the rain there would be no rainbows’

This week the weather has been rather unpredictable, the sun has shone brightly from a crystal clear blue sky, the winds have come whistling and howling making leaves tremble on the trees and glistening rain drops have fallen heavily from the darkened skies. 

I had rested most of the day on Saturday in excited anticipation of going to The Canberra Show on Sunday.  In the afternoon the rain began to fall heavily from the sky and looked like it would last well into the night and perhaps the next day. 

On waking Sunday morning the ground was damp and the skies an ominous grey, however as the morning progressed glimpses of blue began to appear, so we were able to go to the show. 

However the weather decided to take a turn for the worse again and the rain came tumbling down, often heavy then easing off, luckily we were able to look around trade exhibits.   We got try out our detective skills as we looked for clues at the police crime scene, we saw a snake devouring a white rat, which was really quite amazing to witness, the strength of the snakes jaw was incredible, we saw the Isuzu Precision Driving Team who did a number of hair raising stunts as well as entertained us with a car waltz.  There were cats on show, they just so cute and there was one that reminded me of Tinkerbelle.   Many arts and crafts were there to admire, as well as cakes and clothing, flowers and paintings. 

Apart from the dreadful weather I was feeling a little unwell and tired, but before we left, in between the rain, we went to side show alley, I had a go on the clowns and on some lucky envelopes, luck was on my side and I won a large pink elephant.  We also brought home some pink fairy floss to enjoy later in the day.  So despite the awful weather, it was a special day that I will remember.

School this week has again been extremely busy, in Maths we have moved on to Algebraic Fractions, in English we are working on our feature articles for Macbeth and in Sports Science we looked at the way that a coach can enhance the performance of their athletes. We also looked at how many athletes use improvisation in their performance and watched some videos.

Of course I had an appointment with my wonderful physiotherapist, Kaitlyn who this week had to work on my neck which was causing me lots of misery.  She did some massage and traction and then finished off my appointment with those marvellous heat packs. 

During the week if you are feeling down, lonely or disappointed, don’t look down, look up and you might just be surprised to find a rainbow.