Friday, November 30, 2012


24th to 30th November 2012

All the revising and studying ended this week as it was time to begin exams.  Often no matter how hard you have studied when you see that exam paper in front of you and read the questions you start to panic.  However once you start to answer the questions and all you have learnt, you can picture in your head and transfer onto that paper you grow in confidence.  We were fortunate in Maths to have a formula sheet that we could refer to and in English we could have our novel with us, so we could look through it to back up our analytical essay with quotes.  Sports Science was just remembering but because I really love that subject and always hear Nalani and Jarrett talking about different things they do in their classes I can remember so much.

Jarrett and Nalani have also been studying with dedication as they too have been doing exams. They have both done extremely well in their exams.

Now with exams over we head into the last couple of weeks of the school term.  Although we do have some normal classes we are also doing some exciting events.  We are having a special Medieval Extravaganza, we have a choice of activities to do and it will all culminate in a special assembly presentation and medieval feast.  I have chosen to do Medieval Fashion, I think that I am really going to enjoy doing this.  When I was in hospital having treatment I designed some dresses for my CNC Nurse Liz and she really loved them. 

Other events I have coming up are presenting the Pathfinder Award I won last year to the student who has won it this year.  When I won that award last year, I was so honoured and humbled to receive it.  I have tried to live up to it this year by always trying my very best in all my studies, trying to inspire other students by competing in the Cross Country and Athletics Carnivals, writing and having published another book which had an important message and of course my passion for fundraising for the Brain Tumour Fund, one day maybe what I have done will see a cure found.

I also had physiotherapy this week, the wonderful Kaitlyn worked on my neck and spine, with exams, my pain has increased, but I do try to remain as brave as I can be. 

Yesterday and today have been incredibly hot in Canberra, with temperatures well over thirty degrees.  The heat really knocks you around, but I make sure I am keeping up my fluids and resting.  The unfortunate thing with the hot weather is that I am unable to use my hot water bottles to assist with pain relief. 

There is no Interclub this weekend, which is a good thing because I am just too tired and sore to compete, hopefully I will be feeling a bit better the following week to compete.

Wishing everyone a splendiferous week one that is blessed with every happiness and keeps you smiling because your smile brightens the lives of those around you.


Friday, November 23, 2012


17th to 23rd November 2012

This week I would like to start with a quote by Mother Teresa. "Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”  I love to smile, it keeps me brave, strong, it makes me feel as though I am giving something special to others.

Again my week has been extremely busy and just a little stressful especially at school as we are in the final stages of preparation for our exams which are next week.  There are so many things to remember and if you get a little nervous sometimes no matter how hard you have worked and studied, the nerves can make you forget things.

I had my physiotherapy appointment again this week and Kaitlyn was able to provide me with some relief in my spine and my sore right heel which she used ultrasound on.  Then to finish off my appointment it was time again for those wonderful heat packs, I had three of them and they were so soothing, I often close my eyes and have a snooze whilst I have them on. 

Today I was delighted to see my Occupational Therapist Tom, he always has wonderful ideas and today he had a special magnifier called PageBrite, it means that I can hold it over small print to enlarge it.  I don't have to strain my eyes then to look at small print on sheets and in books.  Tom, like Kaitlyn is like a guardian angel for me and I feel so blessed to have them both helping me to be more comfortable from day to day.

I have been given a very splendiferous task, that is to look after 'Flora' the fund raising bear, she is beautifully hand made and is magnificent to hug.  She was an auction item at a fund raising event for Brain Tumours a few weeks ago.  My wonderful friends Tass and Gloria won her and I am taking extra special care of her, she is going to go to another home when there is another fund raising event. 

Next weekend we enter the month of December and then Christmas will be ever so close, sometimes in the rush of the season people forget the real meaning of Christmas, this may help people remember. 

The green colour of the fir tree  which remains green all year round, depicts the everlasting hope of mankind and all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of people's thoughts turning toward heaven.

The bright shining star reminds us of the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of his promise.

A candle symbolises that Christ is the light of the world.

A wreath symbolises the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.

Santa Claus, symbolises the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.

A holly leaf  represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by Jesus, the red holly berries represent the blood he shed.

A gift represents the gift God gave to the world, his son Jesus. Every child is a gift to their family.

A candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock.

An angel is special as it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men.

Lastly a bell with its soft twinkling sound, symbolises guidance and return when lost.

May you all have a magical week, keep smiling and sharing your gift to others.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


10th to 16th November 2012

The sun is shining brightly in the clear blue crystal sky, the birds are chirping happily and the garden is alive with an array of fragrant blooms.  Each day we should wake and even if we do not feel the best, we should take the time to find something or someone to appreciate. 

My journey with this insidious disease, cancer has made me appreciate all the little things that are around me, to think about and give to others, believe that there are those that are so far worse off than I am and that I am lucky and to never, ever give up hope.

This week school has just been about revision in readiness for exams which commence on 26th November.  To remember what you did way back at the beginning of Term 3 is not always easy but if you take the time to read over all the notes you have taken, through the text books and over assignments it makes it much easier. 

I had a visit from Wendy my CNC nurse from Sydney, who was checking to see how I was doing.  She does not just talk about how I am medically, she takes the time to listen to me and look at what I have been doing at school.  She loved looking through my Romeo and Juliet Assignment which she had seen as I was putting it together, she seemed so amazed by what I had achieved and knew just how much work I had put into it. 

A visit to physiotherapy was also part of my week.  Kaitlyn worked on my neck and shoulders, which were extremely painful.  Luckily there are physiotherapists in our society, without them so many people would not be able to function in their day to day lives.  At the end of my session I had those wonderfully warm and soothing heat packs on my neck, back and legs. 

Me throwing the 400g javelin
The most splendiferous day this week though was on Tuesday when I proudly represented my school at the ACT Schools Track and Field Championships.  I competed against other male and female students from all over Canberra who are also classified as athletes with a disability. 

My first event was discus and following my classification review I am now throwing a lighter weight discus, it is now only 350 grams rather than 750 grams which just took too much effort and energy from me.  I was so excited when I threw 6.87m which was a personal best.  It was even more special because I had Mum, Dad, Jarrett, Monique and Anna watching me throw. 

Then it was time for javelin, the weight of the javelin has not changed as 400 grams is the lightest.  I threw 4.12m which I was very pleased with. After the javelin it was shot put, my new weight for that is 1.5 kg, it used to be 2 kg.  It actually did not feel that much different but my best throw was 2.18m, it has been a long time since I have thrown over 2m, so I was ecstatic. 

Standing to throw is ultra difficult for me, my balance is so shocking and having the extra weight of the implement makes it tricky, I have often fallen, been very shakey and had wobbly legs, but you can't give up on what you really love. 

At the end of the competition ribbons were awarded, when you are an AWD athlete you are not in an age group, you are against everyone else who has a disability classification and they vary.  So you can imagine how totally excited and humbled I felt when I received two green third place ribbons for both my discus and javelin. 

Jarrett also competed at the Championships, he was running of course, he was representing the school in the 3000m, as he ran so elegantly and skillfully around the track seven and a half times, I was there cheering him on and so excited for him when he was the first 17 year boy across the line and he also achieved a season personal best.  He received a blue first place ribbon, which was terrific for him after his run of injuries and asthma, he truly deserved it.

For me competing had a downside and that was the excruciating pain and tiredness that I suffered with for the next few days, but to be able to do what I love so much and my fantastic results personally and for my school made up for it.  I want to keep competing for as long as I can, I do not want my cancer to stop me from doing what I love.

Unfortunately when I had my classification review, they could not allow for me to compete in a wheelchair, as there are certain rules they have to follow, so my dream of feeling like running in a race won't happen in competition form, but I am sure I can find another way to feel as though I am running again. 

Jarrett and Nalani both have exams next week they are busily studying, I am sure that they are going to do extraordinarily well as they are dedicated and always work hard. 

At school we had a special fund raising event in memory of Olivia Lambert, who lost her battle with neuroblastoma this year.  It was a silly sock day, I hope that they were able to raise many funds, as neuroblastoma is another childhood cancer that is horrific and so devastating. and

Thank you to the many people who have made donations to The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Research Fund and those who have supported any cancer fundraising, maybe one day all cancers will be able to be cured. 

A special thank you to Vanzwan Accounting for having their very special golf day, the generosity, support and love you have shown towards me and my family are truly and deeply appreciated and so humbling.

Wishing everyone a terrific and magical week, may your days be filled with finding those special little things that make you smile.


Friday, November 9, 2012


3rd to 9th November 2012

Today I found this quote by Henrik Ibsen, I think it is simple but has a powerful message and as we are heading into an extremely busy time of the year, it is a quote that may make us stop and think.  'A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed'.  To add my own little words to the end, I think that the deed would be one of kindness that comes from the heart and is done for someone less fortunate. 

My week has been busy again at School, we are in full preparation mode for exams, it is a stressful time, one where we have so much revision to absorb and remember.  The marks we achieve in our assessments and exams in Year 9 go towards our Year 10 certificates, so it is important to do our very best and it also teaches us good study skills for our future schooling. 

Last Friday I threw the discus and javelin at an Interclub Meet, the weather was rather chilly and a breeze came up during the evening and it made me think we were heading back into Winter.  The combination of the colder weather and being so tired from School, I did not achieve any personal bests, however I still enjoyed myself because I was out there having a go and that is what it is all about.  It is those people who do not get out there and try because they don't think they will do any good, or they just could not be bothered that are missing out and I feel sorry for them.

Nalani threw well achieving a personal best in discus for the season and Jarrett ran a fantastic 1500m also achieving a season personal best.  It is always so special to all be there competing and cheering each other on.

I was so fortunate to have a short visit from Tess, my Starlight wish granter, she was in Canberra and wanted to spend some time with me.  She always lifts my spirits and keeps me positive and again I am grateful that through the misfortune of my disease, I have met some of the most extraordinary people and so I consider myself lucky. 

As always I had my physiotherapy appointment with Kaitlyn who is always there to assist with my pain and discomfort.  This week she worked on my right foot which was just so terribly painful, then she also worked on my lower back.  After my lovely massage and some ultrasound therapy it was then time for those magnificent heat packs which by now you all know how much I appreciate. 

This week there is no Interclub competition but I am having my classification reviewed.  you see I am classified as an AWD T/F36 athlete, many cerebral palsy athletes are in that classification.  However, this may be the wrong classification for me now, so you have to be reviewed to see if you need to be classified differently.  One of the officials thought I was more like a 34 or 35, I certainly can not run and if I received on of these classifications I may be able to compete in track events in a special wheelchair and may be able to use a special frame to throw.  Just being able to compete is so important to me and if I am classified differently it could mean that I can also do track events, that would be so splendiferous as I used to love to run before I was diagnosed with my brain tumour. 
Sometimes because of my pain, I feel very nauseous, it is a terrible feeling, but I am fortunate to have medication to assist with it, it is called Ondansetron and it relieves that horrible feeling and stops me from vomiting.  This week I have had to take them a few times, I think it is a combination of my pain and also how tired I am from school.

There are only 45, yes 45 days until Christmas, can you believe it, I think my greatest Christmas wish would be for a cure not only for brain tumours but for all cancers to be found, then no one or their families would have to suffer.  I will continue to raise awareness and funds for brain tumours for as long as I can and maybe one day my wish will come true.

Friday, November 2, 2012


27th October to 2nd November 2012

I found this quote recently and really loved it, so I wanted to share it with you all  - "The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humor and style and generosity and kindness.” This was written by Maya Angelou (1928 - ). I think it sums up what I think about life and what we should do in our lives because none of us know how much time we have on this earth so we must make the most of each and every day.

Well, here we are in November, twenty four days until Year 9 exams and only fifty three days until Christmas.  Where has the year gone? 

This week for me has been so dreadfully hectic, school is just so incredibly intense, we have had so many assignments due in, as well as in class assessments, then we have to begin to study for our exams!  I have to say that any normal healthy person is finding it quite a struggle so for me, who is not well, it is twice as difficult but again I am looking at it as a huge mountain that I intend to successfully conquer. 

In English this week we have been listening to speeches based on the novel 'A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove', it is not easy to get up in front of the entire class and give a speech, I think everyone is extraordinary just for doing it.  I think everyone was really pleased when they had finished, they all seemed to breath a sigh of relief, including me.  I was so pleased to deliver mine, I had taken a different approach and was not sure I could pull it off, but I did.  I was frustrated though because I have been having issues with my ears, you see they keep popping and when that happens I can not hear myself speak, it is awful and then I either become louder, quieter or slur words.  When I was doing my speech my ears popped on my second palm card, I tried to ignore though and managed to finish I just hope it was not too noticeable.

In Maths we are continuing our work on Consumer Maths, we have been looking at gross and nett income, tax, superannuation and deductions and have been working through problems to do with those.  I am absolutely loving this unit, it is so practical in everyday life and I find it very easy to do, I wish our exams could just be on it. 

Sports Science has been interesting because we are focusing on skills development and we have also begun or revision for the exams.  The class had to devise a lesson plan to coach children in Years 3 and 5 on how to strike a ball.  I chose to do mine on striking a soccer ball, because I used to play soccer before my brain tumour put a dramatic stop to me doing that.  We had to come up with unique ways to help them learn and to also make it fun.  This is something that I also enjoy immensely, however I am not able to partake in the coaching as I am unable to demonstrate the skills required. 

I am so fortunate that I have my sport of throwing, on Saturday I competed in another Interclub Meeting, I threw the javelin and then the shot put.  In javelin I achieved a season personal best of 4.76m and then in shot put I threw very close to a season personal best of 1.96m.  When I am throwing, that is a time that I feel almost like everyone else. 

I had my regular physiotherapy appointment with Kaitlyn, as you all know I always look forward to it.  She worked on my neck, we thought that perhaps my ear popping could have been related to nerves pressing there.  Unfortunately though despite Kaitlyn doing a fabulous job of making my neck less tight, my ears were still popping.  I also had those delightful, heavenly heat packs on my neck, spine and legs.  I could have lied there all day enjoying that heat relieving my pain.

We have had some of the most glorious Spring weather this week, apart from yesterday when we experience a cool change with gusty westerly winds and some showers.  Our roses in our garden are now all beginning to bloom, they are just so beautiful and their fragrance fills your nostrils with the most delightful odours.  I have a special rose, it is called Cinderella, it is a pink rose and is extremely fragrant.  I love it when Mum picks roses and puts them in vases in the house they fill the house with such a lovely scent and they look gorgeous.  Tinkerbelle loves them also, she jumps up on the table they are on and sits and sniffs them. 

This week my pain has not been that pleasant but I try to manage it with my medication, massage, heat and trying to take my mind off it by keeping occupied.  So even on some days when I feel really unwell, I still like to go to school to try to take my mind off it. 

I hope that next week it will quieten down just a little at school, however with exams drawing closer, there is the added pressure of those.  I have to study the work we have done over the entire Semester which is Term 3 and 4. 

Wishing you all a wonderful week filled with many rainbow moments that you can treasure, hold in your heart always and grow from.