Saturday, February 23, 2013


16th to 22nd February 2013

"Do something great - never underestimate your potential, most great achievements are based on perseverance.  Believe in yourself and persist, when others give in, keep going and you will have done something great"

It was a quiet weekend spent watching a DVD, The Lion King 2, that I received as a Birthday present and reading a light novel, The Adventures of the Wishing Chair. School can around again, it almost feels as if we never had a holiday break.

In Sports Science we are looking at skills and the stages of development; cognitive which is the beginner stage, associative which is the progressive stage and autonomous which is the elite stage.  We practised some cricket bowling; a fast bowl, leg spin bowl and off spin bowl, those that could not bowl were able to replicate the style by throwing the ball.  Then we practised the skills involved in a tennis serve, I did both these skills from my wheelchair but could not complete all ten trials as it became too painful and tiring for me. 

Macbeth is our main focus in English, we have been learning more about the themes and most important soliloquy's throughout the play.  We have our first assignment to write a feature article for an underground newspaper called 'The Inverness Informer'.  So we have also been learning about newspapers and how they can influence opinion. 

In Maths we have been continuing working on Algebra, our main area of focus has been completing squares, we will then be looking at algebraic fractions.

Whilst I really love school, I am finding it tiring this year, especially as I am coping with increased pain and nausea, but it is so important for me to be there trying my best. 

My physiotherapy appointment brought a sigh of relief for me, Kaitlyn, my pain angel, helps me through the massages and heat that she uses as part of my treatment.  This week she also used the ultrasound on my right foot which is just not comfortable at all. 

I also had an appointment with my paediatrician, he checked me over, asked some questions and wrote a script for my Ondansetron for nausea.  He also mentioned speaking with the pain team about having a butterfly inserted in my arm and having a continuous infusion of pain relief.  My main concern with this is that it may restrict me with some of the activities I love doing, like my throwing, I don't want to have to give up something I love doing.

This week my CNC Nurse Wendy paid a visit to school to go over some of what she told them last year, then told them that some things had changed and I may look a bit different to them this year as well as have more pain, feel quite tired and nauseous.  It is great that she is able to do this sort of thing because it helps the students in my Grade to understand just a little more what I face each day. 

I was not able to compete at Interclub this week, I had been hoping to throw the javelin and shot put but school had taken its toll on me and I just did not have the strength or feel well enough to go.  In some ways I guess it was lucky as our weather turned rather nasty with gusty winds and erratic showers.

Jarrett's hamstring injury is recovering, probably not as quickly as he would like, he hates not been able to run but well according to his physiotherapist.  He is now able to ride the exercise bike or his bike but not up steep hills, but he is not able to do any explosive movements, so that is running and jumping.

Nalani is now back doing her Remedial Massage Therapy, she loves the course so much and is so knowledgeable.  I am lucky that when she is not busy studying, she has gives me massages to assist with my pain relief. 

Next week is the end of February, this year is really flying by, another season will also end and Autumn will begin.  It is one of my favourite seasons, not only is the weather delightful, we get to experience the kaleidoscopic changes of nature. 

Enjoy your week, always believe in yourself, face challenges with a smile and you will shine inside and out.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


9th to 15th February 2013

‘Nothing is impossible, you should always seek to do your best, challenge yourself and reach for the stars’ 
My weekend of sport continued with Saturday at the Athletics ACT Track and Field Championships, I was throwing javelin.  Again I was lucky enough to be able to throw from my wheelchair, which is definitely no easy task but when you are determined and really want to do something there is no barrier that will stop you.  I had a couple of fouls but I also had some great throws, in the end I threw a distance of 3.05m which I was so pleased with.  Nalani was there throwing with me and she achieved a splendiferous result, a personal best and came second in her age group.
Poor Jarrett was not able to compete in the 1500m as his hamstring was still sore after pulling up with it seemingly tight after the 800m on Friday night.  He was disappointed but as an elite athlete, he knows better than to run on something that is sore and not feeling right rather than pushing yourself and making any possible injury worse. 
Throwing Shot Put from my wheelchair in the Athletics ACT Championships
On Sunday Nalani and I both threw in the shot put, there were some light showers of rain throughout the competition but nothing too drastic.  Again I was throwing from my wheelchair and was so thrilled when each of my throws went a little bit further than the previous one.  My longest throw being my last one, I threw 1.46m, another result that I was so proud of.  Nalani did well also, although she did not achieve a personal best in this event she did again come second in her age group.
To add to the excitement of the weekend I discovered that I had won two silver medals; one for discus and one for javelin and a gold medal in shot put, those medals mean so much to me-winning is not everything, you can come last but you are still a winner because you have actually tried.  The medals represent having a go and achieving a goal despite setbacks.   I was awarded the medals for the AWD category.  Nalani came second in all her events for her age group and she was presented with three silver medals and Jarrett despite his hamstring injury won a silver medal for his performance in the 800m. 
I felt so very fortunate to have not only my wonderful family there cheering me on throughout the events but also Louise, Monique, Annie and Sarah, who encouraged me so enthusiastically and gave me strength and determination.
Throwing had taken its toll a little on me though, by the end of the weekend I felt exceptionally sore and tight as well as that sickening nausea I have been experiencing lately. 
I cheered up a little though because on Sunday night after all the athletic events were over, we had a belated Birthday dinner and cake.  The cake was so scrumptious; it was a sponge cake with a delicious strawberry cream and jam in the centre, iced with gorgeous pink icing and some strawberries on top.  I want to thank you all for your lovely Birthday wishes; they really meant so much to me.
Jarrett found out on Tuesday after a visit to the physiotherapist that he has a minor tear of his hamstring and he will be out of running for anywhere between three and five weeks.  This is rather tragic for him as he was to compete in the 5000m Championships on 22nd February.  He is working extremely hard on his recovery and following his physiotherapist’s instructions because he wants to heal properly.  I feel disappointed for him, his running means so much to him, I know what it is like not to be able to do what you love.
School has been extra busy also this week, working in Maths on Algebra trinomials, in English continuing with Macbeth and in Sports Science working on fundamental movement skills and stages of learning.   School really does fatigue me and I often come home from a lesson and literally fall asleep as soon as we get in the door.  On some days my pain whilst I am sitting in the classroom is not pleasant but I keep trying to concentrate on the lesson to take my mind off it.  I love school though and it is important for me, to keep going and doing as much as I can.
My physiotherapy appointment this week was like a blessing, especially after the huge weekend of throwing.  Again my special angel Kaitlyn worked to help give me some relief, working gently on my tight and sore spine and then using those marvellous heat packs. 
No athletics this weekend, but both Jarrett and I do have some homework to do.  Next week will be our third week back at school, Nalani is just returning to her studies next week; she had a longer holiday break than we did. 
Wishing you all the most rainbowiffic week, remember that you can achieve anything when you really reach for those stars.


Saturday, February 9, 2013


2nd to 8th February 2013

"Unleash the power of a smile, smile at strangers, smile at trees, smile at misfortune, smile at yourself in the mirror in the morning, smile just for the sake of it."  (Taken from the book The Alphabet of the Human Heart by Matthew Johnstone and James Kerr given to me by Dianne).

I truly believe that a smile is magical and can change someones day, I love to smile, despite the fact that I may be in pain or feeling unwell because the power of a smile can make you feel better.

Before returning to School, a special treat was in store; we went to the National Zoo and Aquarium for morning tea and to look at some of the animals.  Finally we had a day where the weather was cooler and I could cope.  I loved watching the monkeys at play, they are so very human like.  I got to see the large brown bear taking a bath in the water and he loved it.  Then I saw the red panda's having a wonderful game of chasing each other all around the ground and then up the tree branches.  I saw a peaceful, sleeping Koala and the towering, yet elegant giraffe.  But I started to feel quite nauseous so we decided it was time to come home.

School went back this week and it almost feels as though I never had a holiday, we are straight back into work.  In English we are studying Macbeth, another of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies but with a bit more bloodshed than Romeo and Juliet which I studied last year.  We have learnt that the most important lines in the play are "Fair is foul, and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air"  It tells us that not everything is as it seems in the play Macbeth. 

In Maths we are doing Algebra, which I really love doing and in Sports Science we are doing performance enhancement but not with drugs which has been in the news so much lately but naturally through training and recovery. 

I had my physiotherapy appointment with the wonderful Kaitlyn again, this time she had to work on my ankle and foot which I had injured practising my discus.  My ankle is sprained, my heel looks like it has another stress fracture and also possible fractures in my ankle.  After a gentle massage and some ultrasound, I then had those amazing heat packs along my back which has been extremely painful some days.

I was supposed to see my Oncologist this week, but unfortunately he could not come to Canberra Clinic because he had the opportunity to go to a conference, which is important for doctors because this this where they can learn more about new treatments and research. 

However I did have a visit from Wendy my lovely CNC nurse and Tom my magnificent OT this week.  They both are so helpful and I am so glad that they are part of the team taking care of me.  Tom has given me an air cushion to try out, you see when I am going over bumps in the wheelchair or car, I am experiencing pain up my spine which really is uncomfortable.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it works.  Wendy talked about all my medications and about visiting the school to talk to the teachers and students again, to help them understand how I am feeling and to ask any questions they have. 

Apart from the pain in my spine and neck, my injured right ankle and heel, I have been experiencing headaches on a daily basis, these headaches are either on the top of my head or in my temples and the intensity of them increases and decreases throughout the whole day, it is so annoying and makes we quite fatigued.  I am grateful for my Ondansetron which is an anti-nausea medication as I have also had nausea virtually on a daily basis.  My way of dealing with all of this is not only through using my medication, but also having relaxation massages from Nalani and smiling through it all, as I said early I think the power of a smile can achieve wonderful things.

Something exceptionally wonderful happened for the beginning of Term, with many, many thanks to Anna and Leanne my book 'Theodore and Friends - Theodore is Left Out' has been put into every Public School in Canberra.  This means that my message of tolerance, inclusion and understanding can be taught to children and hopefully help those that are different.  These copies are A4 paperback size and I have been lucky enough to have been given the spare copies, twenty of them to sell to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Fund for research to find a cure for this horrendous disease.  So they are extremely unique and special books and I am selling them for $20 each.

Today, 8th February was an extra special day, it was my 15th Birthday.  Thank you so much to the people who have left me lovely messages in the comments of my Blog.  For me the most splendiferous part of my Birthday was sharing it with the important people in my life.  My day was really quite magical receiving balloons, flowers, extraordinary cards with the most lovely verses and special gifts.  I felt very humbled and spoilt by many people and I am so touched that so many people care about me.  

A special friend Monique has come up with a new wonderful word 'rainbowiffic', I think it is fantastic and I think it would be the perfect word to describe my wonderful day. 

Tonight I threw at Athletics ACT Track and Field Championships, I threw discus, I was able to throw from my wheelchair which was so fantastic because I was so worried I would not be able to throw with my injury.  Throwing at the Championships is something that I had put on my Special List for this year, it was one of my goals.  I was excited to have Happy Birthday sung to me at the Track and then to throw 3.40m. 

Another highlight of my Birthday at the Track was seeing Louise Ellery, she is someone who I am inspired by, her strength, courage and determination for anyone competing in sport is amazing. 

Jarrett and Nalani also competed, Nalani in the Discus, in which she came second and will get a silver medal and Jarrett in the 800m and he also came second and will be receiving a silver medal.  They were both marvellous and I was so excited for both of them. Poor Jarrett though after he finished his race, his hamstring tightened up and even though Nalani with her fantastic expertise, even though loosening it and treating it with ice, it is still tight and sore so he may not be able to compete in the 1500m tomorrow. 

Tomorrow I am throwing the javelin which I am hoping to do well at also.  Then on Sunday I am throwing Shot put, so you can see it is a busy weekend ahead for me. 

Thank you to those who suggested some fund raising ideas, I really love the one related to athletics, hopefully I can come up with something in that area.  I would deeply appreciate any more ideas any of you have.

Have a rainbowiffic week, may you always keep smiling despite any adversity and enjoy every day to its fullest.

Friday, February 1, 2013


26th January to 1st February 2012

This week we celebrated Australia Day on January 26 and it commemorated the establishment of the first European settlement at Port Jackson, now part of Sydney, in 1788. It is a day when there is an opportunity for Australians to come together to celebrate their country and culture.  We can reflect on the achievements of the nation and explore ways to make the country even better in the future.

With it almost being time to return to school for a new year and because of pain and nausea, I have spent a quiet week at home reading another Secret Seven book, watching some DVD's and playing some of my favourite games.

I had my usual physiotherapy appointment at which the marvellous Kaitlyn worked on my neck and shoulders which were ever so tight and sore.  At the end of the session I had three delightfully warm heat packs, they feel so phenomenal!

Yesterday I went to the oval to practise my discus which I have been having some difficulties with lately, it was a little bit windy and I must not have balanced myself very well and I had a bit of a stumble.  Unfortunately I think I have done some serious damage again to my right heel as it is extremely painful and icing it stung.  This meant that I could not throw at Interclub tonight and I was so downhearted.  Next week is ACT Track and Field Championships and I don't want to miss doing them because competing at that event is on my Special List for this year.

Next week apart from going back to school and Championships, it is a significant week for me because on Friday it will be my 15th Birthday, which is a huge milestone on my journey.

Wishing you all a splendiferous week and thank you for continuing to follow my journey.