Monday, March 31, 2014

I am Trouble!

Miss Molly is now nearly 10 weeks old and is so adorable, but trouble with a capital T - she loves chasing Bella and also creeping up behind Abby to jump on her tail.

This morning I caught her digging under my pot plant - the face says it all - "I am Guilty"


Yesterday we celebrated my remission with a party for friends and family that have supported me on this 20 month journey. 

Waiting for our guests
 I made the decision yesterday that I will begin to abandon my turbans - my hair is growing back really strongly and I am loving it.

The many friends and family who have supported me and joined me in our celebration
 It was the most beautiful afternoon of laughter and sharing with this amazing group of people who have loved and supported me through good times and bad.
Another great photo of the group.

Kay, Kevin and me
 Despite me telling everyone not to bring any gifts - I was overwhelmed with flowers, wine, chocolates, a silver necklace from Kevin and Kay and a gift card from Robyn, Allen & Ryan.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Happy Birthday and Congratulations

Yesterday Matthew passed his driver's licence.  It has been a big couple of celebratory days for him.

It was wonderful to see him arrive back from his test and have passed - the tester even wrote on his test sheet - "Good Drive" - so two qualified driver's in the house now - and only Sarah to go.

Matthew's new car with its "P" plate -  Provisional Driver for 2 years.

A very happy boy.
And today it was his 20th birthday. It is wonderful to celebrate his birthday with him - he has brought our family so much joy - I am so proud of you Matthew.

Matt had work today and when we dropped by the Newsagency where he works  - Granny and Grandad sang Happy Birthday to him in front of the whole shop.

After work - we celebrated with a cake and some presents.

Blowing out your candles

Thanks Granny & Grandad for framing my picture

A GPS for your new car - so that you will never be lost and will always find your way home.

Presents for the birthday boy - let's hope those lottery tickets win that $20 million

The kids!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pain Free

This morning I woke up pain free for the first time in weeks, no probably months.  Since my cancer was diagnosed 18 months ago I have lived with a low level of pain. However, the past couple of weeks have seen my pain increase day by day until yesterday I saw our GP. 

A prescription of some strong pain medication has resulted in my first pain free evening and a morning waking up pain-free.  I love modern medicine.  Now I can begin to heal.

Little notes

Yesterday morning I woke to a lovely note on the kitchen bench.  It was from Ivan. 

Ivan gets up at about 5.30am every morning and lets the dogs out, feeds them and gives them fresh water.  He then gives Hazel (the bird) fresh food and water in her outside cage - ready for when she goes out later in the day. He also brushes Cleo (the Persian cat) and gives her a treat and a drink of water from the tap.  All of this before he even has his own breakfast.

Yesterday he left us a note to tell us what he had done and also to send us all a special message for the day.  It was such a lovely thing to wake up to.

So ..... this morning - we left him a note in return - we all wrote him a message.

And then he left us another note!

This has been a great bit of fun between our family.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Another family member

Today we fulfilled Sarah's dream - to finally get another dog.

Now we already own 2 dogs - Abby and Bella; 3 cats - Cleo, Greyson & Mae and a bird - Hazel.

But ever since we had to put little Max to sleep last year - Sarah has wanted and asked for another puppy. 

After getting my good news last week and finally making the decision to take Sarah out of school (she is home schooling) - it seemed the perfect time.

So Little Molly joined our family.  She is a Maltese x Poodle and is just 8 weeks old.

Little Miss Molly

The smile says it all

Introducing Molly to Abby and Bella

I think I will sit next to my Mommy

Abby looks so fierce, but is such a gentle dog and a real mother - she took to Molly straight away

The big and the small of it all
Sarah my love, I hope Molly fills that space in your heart that is missing.  Take good care of her my Angel and she will love you forever.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

25 Years of Wedded Bliss

Today Ivan and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  We are both so very blessed to have found each other and to have developed a friendship that has not only lasted, but grown over the 25 years we have had together.

Twenty-five years ago we were just 25 and 29 years of age - and both felt that we had found our soul-mate.  I think that the years have proved us right.

15th March, 1989

We have had so many ups and downs, from the loss of our first miscarriage and the following two. To the amazing birth of our three healthy children. We have lived in eight different houses in our 25 years and on 3 continents. We have planted a rose garden in every house and seen floods and drought.  We have enjoyed snow and the seasons of North America and sweltered through humidity and heat in Brisbane.








These photos are a small snapshot of the wonderful years of fun that we have shared.

And now today we have celebrated together with our beautiful children and my  Mum and Dad.
Thank you everyone for making today so special.

Ivan & me this morning

Feeling fantastic - I am in remission

Looking good

My handsome fella

Cooking together

Yellow roses for friendship

With Mum and Dad


Twenty-five fingers for twenty-five years

A beautiful photo of Mum and me

And my lovely Dad

Turkey is cooked

This is love

Wedding bands of love

Family photo

And another

Messing around  - love Ivan's face!

And our gifts for each other.
And so at the end of a wonderful day - I thank God for my life, for the love of a wonderful man and the blessings of an amazing family.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Yesterday I was booked into hospital for my 3 month PET and CT scan.  Today I was supposed to have treatment number 7 of 12. Today I discovered that there is no active cancer in my body - I am in remission.

Normally, the oncologist would suggest that I have the rest of the 12 treatments, but I told him I had had enough!  I am so tired, my body is so sore and punished from 18 months of surgeries, chemotherapy and just a serious hammering from illness. I wanted to stop! 

So when I spoke to Paul Vasey, my oncologist, this morning, I explained that I no longer wanted to continue the treatment.  I expected him to try to talk me out of my decision and instead he was totally supportive.  His words were "Happy Patient - Happy Doctor"

It is very unlikely that I will ever be cured of cancer, instead I will have times of remission - he explained that once cancer metastasises, it will in all likelihood come back.  The idea is to make the remission periods long and healthy and liveable.

So instead of continuing with the regimen, we are going to take an 8 week break and have another PET scan in 8 weeks.  This will give my body, mind and most importantly Spirit the chance to recover and begin healing.  At that stage we will make some new decisions.  If I am still clear it will be a case of monitoring me regularly. If not, well then we will decide on a new program. 

I am so happy to be able to live again without the 2 week cycle of existing.  I need to take every day and enjoy life.  I have been blessed and I am going to live.

The other amazing 'little' thing is that my hair is growing back.  It has been just less than a month since I shaved it all off and already I have a strong fuzz on my head.  I am a very happy girl today.

I love my Fuzz!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Visitors from afar

Our dear friends Julie and Chevy are visiting.  We have been friends for nearly 15 years and have sustained this friendship over three continents and great distances, but each and every time we get together it feels like we last saw each other just last week.

We met in Melbourne, Australia in 1999 and the four of us just clicked.  Our children connected and the next 3 years we spent some good times together. It was however, in 2002 when we both had moved to Salt Lake City, Utah - for work - that our friendship blossomed.  Both living in a new place and experiencing new things, meant we spent a lot of time together.

Our move back to Australia and Julie and Chevy's subsequent move to Canada and onto Mongolia has meant that our wonderful Friday Pizza nights together have become less frequent, but the friendship more special.

We last saw Julie in November last year, when she was able to fly down to Los Angeles and share a day with us in Disneyland - how fortuitous that she was in Canada when we were in the USA.

Julie and I together in Disneyland

These last few days have been wonderful - we have caught up on heaps of laughs, shared a few tears and caught up on life in general.  Good friends are one of the greatest blessings in life and Julie and Chevy are our very best friends

A few special moments:

Julie brought me this beautiful felt hat to cover my bald head this coming winter.

Chevy and Ivan - toasting with Mongolian Vodka - a special friendship - forged in Copper
My friend - rubbing my fuzzy head for luck !
The birthday girl with Chevy
When Sarah was a little 2 year old - Chevy was her favourite person in the world - now at 16 - she is not so sure!
And this is Chevy's "little lady" - this is what Sarah used to call Julie - my friend
Our bird-life is the dream of every photographer - so Julie had fun with her zoom lens.
And our tropical setting swimming pool - proved a delight for them both - a change from -30 degrees to +30 degrees.
And to salute a long friendship - an evening of whiskey tasting by the boys - they both love whiskey and Ivan decided to try out a number of different bottles with Chevy.  It was amazing in a blind taste test that they both ranked and rated the whiskeys in the same order. 
So here is to friendship - the trials and tribulations of life and the joy of having people in your life who will stand by you and share your troubles, but more importantly your successes.