10-14th March 2010
It has been so wonderful to spend some special time together as a family in Sydney not for medical treatment or tests but as a family and for a very exciting event. My brother Jarrett is running in the Australian Youth Championships in the 3000m and 1500m.
We arrived here on Wednesday so that we could have some precious time together before Jarrett had to focus on his running. We drove and had a very leisurely trip because travelling in the car takes a lot out of me and having my leg in one position really effects my knee.
We have a picturesque view from our 14th floor room of Sydney and the Harbour Bridge and it is even more beautiful at night. There are many paths to walk around here and the best part is that it is all extremely wheel chair friendly, which is a welcome change from my last week in Sydney with all the uneven footpaths and bumps everywhere. I have been having a ball wearing my special gloves and wheeling myself around, my arm muscles are definitely benefiting from being here.
Yesterday we took a stroll to DFO and loved looking around the shops which had many bargains and I was delighted to find some really pretty skirts which I bought for myself. I really love beautiful clothes that make you look and feel special like a princess.
There are no major shopping centres here at the park, you have to drive to get any groceries because otherwise there is only a convenience store and they ran out of milk because of the influx of athletes.
Everything is so very lush and green here and is kept very clean and tidy. We saw a grass hill that is shaped like a pyramid and many water fountains that are so relaxing and gorgeous to look at. We also went to the Sports Centre Hall of Fame and saw pictures and read about athletes and their achievements from the 1800's until present. Jarrett was inspired by the long distance runners and their stories especially because they did not have the same technology in gear and shoes and still ran terrific times.
I can't seem to escape the hospital or tests though, we had a telephone call from the Endocrine Team who want me to have a bone scan to find out what the age of my bones are because of some results from Sydney. I do have osteopaenia so my bones could be at an age that is older than what I am. I have to have the test when I return home from our little trip.
Everything is also flying ahead with my book, I am still so amazed by the extraordinary people who have stepped forward to assist with this huge project. To be able to share my journey with the wider community, raise awareness of childhood brain tumours and inspire maybe just a few people is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and as I do not know what lies ahead in my life I wanted to share it sooner rather than later.
We are now waiting to go to the track for Jarrett's 3000m it would be so wonderful for him to come in the top five and achieve a personal best and he still always tells me that every race he dedicates to me. I think Jarrett is courageous, dedicated and the most amazing runner I have ever seen. He loves the Addidas motto of Nothing is impossible and I believe that this can apply to many situations in life.
Wow! It was so amazing at the track watching Jarrett and the other athletes from around Australia run and it was also very special to think that Jarrett was running on the same track that the 2000 Olympics were held and some of our famous athletes run there also. With a slight breeze blowing and an air of tension in the air it was time for Jarrett to run. In his age group there is such a big difference in the sizes of all the boys some are very muscular and tall and others are so much smaller and even look younger. The gun went off and as the smoke lifted into the air they were off. Some of the boys went out very hard and fast but Jarrett had a plan that he and his coach had worked out and he was running his own race, he sat in the pack and waited. The 3000m is seven and a half laps around the track, I wonder if any of them ever get dizzy going around so many times in a circle. Jarrett kept running well and I knew he was not going to be in the top three and get a medal but I knew that he was going to get a personal best. In the last lap he took off like a speeding bullet and while other boys did not have the energy he overtook them and he came 7th in a time of 9:16:87 which is an 8 second Personal Best for him. He is the 7th fastest at that distance in Australia, how cool is that?
We had dinner at an Italian restaurant that night and Jarrett was on a high and still excited from his run. The restaurant was quite noisy and I could not hear in my right ear, it was all muffled and I just couldn't hear, it was actually a little scary for me. When we come home Mum has to get in touch with Hearing Australia because on the day we left we received a letter from the auditory people from Sydney and my right ear hearing has had another significant loss at the high and normal range. Hopefully I can get some assistance to help me hear a bit better.
Today was a beautiful clear, sunny morning and we took Jarrett to physiotherapy to loosen him up ready for his race today. The physiotherapy rooms had a balcony that had views out over Sydney Harbour and it was like looking at a postcard. After physiotherapy we relaxed and packed ready for leaving to go home tomorrow and then it was time to go to the track. It began to cloud over and the wind picked up. The 1500m had twenty four competitors in it and on a crowded start line Jarrett was in the centre. The gun went off and they ran, so many were jostling and pushing and Jarrett sat back keeping himself safe from all that silliness. After the second lap with the runners all running so close a boy fell, some of the runners jumped over him, Jarrett ran around him and asked him if he was okay and he said he was and got up and continued running. The favourite in the race was in the middle of all the jostling and he ended up having his shoe pulled off and had to run the rest of the race with only one shoe, unfortunately his foot was hurting and he did not do very well. As the race progressed Jarrett sat tight on the pack and then in the last 400m he took off and he ran like he had wings on his heels. He finished 12th and once again ran a personal best, his time was 4:19:18. I am so proud of him and I love to watch him run, he loves it so much and knows that as he gets older he can achieve so much. He never goes out there to win, but to challenge himself to do his personal best, his race is against himself.
After he had finished his warm down, we went to the pool and I sat on the edge and let the water lap over my legs, it was actually pretty cool but it felt great. I was also able to do a little walking again today around the motel room, in fact a little more than yesterday but then my knee was painful and swelled, today it swelled underneath my kneecap as well and across the top and it was quite big but at least I did try some walking. For the rest of the day it was too painful to even stand on, so I think I overdid it just a little.
What an wonderful and amazing time we have had this week, it is sad that is has to come to an end. I am looking forward to going home though to see Tinkerbelle and then go to physiotherapy and Hearing Australia.
It is now raining, hopefully it won't be raining when we have to travel as that is not very nice. Every day is now like turning the page of a book with a new and exciting story to read.