This is a strange story for me to write. It will at times be a sad story, in many ways it will be happy and perhaps even funny. It will be an adventure that entails anxiety, flirting with danger, fortitude in the face of adversity and many attempts to look on the bright side. There will also no doubt be moments of anguish and despair, and a lot of uncertainty. It's a story that will hopefully be cathartic for me, but also interesting and perhaps informative or even entertaining for others.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Making choices

If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell.
~Lance Armstrong

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Over the Rainbow

Music is healing. Although not everyone would agree, there is a lot of evidence that this is true. Soothing lullabies help babies sleep and music in nursing homes brings Alzheimer's patients out of their own little world. We've all had sad songs bring a tear to our eyes and upbeat, fun songs make us want to dance.

I've always loved music, particularly as a stress reliever. I love being in the car by myself, turning up the radio and singing at the top of my lungs. It wakes me up in the morning and gets me ready for a day at work, at helps wipe away a bad day on the drive home. Certain lyrics make me laugh or cry, and many force me to examine myself, my life and my relationships.

One of my favourite songs is a medley of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, a Hawaiian musician. Throughout my treatment I would listen to this song and think of the end of my journey, and the place over the rainbow I'd be when I had beaten this thing. Now that it's all over, I can listen to this song and know that I am in this place and it's an amazing feeling!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Footloose and Cancer Free!!!

Calling my oncologist yesterday to find out the results of my scan was the most tense moment of my life. My hands were shaking and I could barely speak. He immediately said, "the scan was perfect, you're fine". I have no idea what else was said by either of for the rest of the conversation. I hung up, immediately called Daniel and burst into tears.

I have to admit that since finishing my treatment, the waiting to find out wether I was ok has been torturous. I haven't wanted to consider that the cancer could still be there, but I also didn't dare trust the fact that I would be ok. Part of me was happy to not get the results and just go on not knowing either way. But, now that I have the news that I wanted I can feel the weight lifting from my shoulders.

I think I spent much of yesterday afternoon in a fog. I couldn't quite process the news properly and I actually thought for a while that I was going to be sick. 24 hours later and I still feel quite strange about it. I feel like I should be shouting and screaming and laughing and jumping for joy, but I still don't think it's really sunk in enough.

Despite whether or not I've processed it properly yet, the fact is I no longer have cancer. I can now call myself a cancer survivor. I kicked cancer's arse and I'm very proud to say that!

Friday, August 6, 2010


This is just a quick post before I go to work. I had my final scan yesterday and will hopefully get the results today, if not, on Monday. Part of me is desperately wanting to know the results, while the rest of me is happy going along thinking that I'm fine. I'm trying to be positive and think that the scans will show that there's no more cancer, but I think it's illogical not to recognise that this may not be the case.

The scan itself was not great! They injected me with radioactive dye (another needle) and gave me three cups of contrast to drink. Then I had to lay still on my back in a quiet, dark room for an hour. During this time the dye will go to any places that are active (eg. cancer cells). I then went into the room with the scanner and had to lie still in the scanner for another 45 minutes. Apparently any radioactive parts in my body will light up on the scan -well for me I'm hoping nothing lights up.

There is nothing I can do to influence the result of the scan. The cancer is either still there or it isn’t. I can’t change it either way.
Hopefully sometime today I will find out my future. Scary.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A great philosphy

Life can be a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.