Heaven calling – in the best way!

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Life should be lived — especially on Whitehaven Beach

An email hit my inbox in January from a gorgeous friend who was preparing to hit a birthday milestone ( one I reached a few years ago!!).

It contained an invite to spend a week with her and some of her dearest friends in the stunning Whitsunday Islands.

Incredibly my first reaction was “Oh well, it’s a shame I can’t go – they’ll have an amazing time!”

But it just so happened that I was up in Seabird on our family holiday when I got the email. That meant for the rest of the day I didn’t have a lot to think about other than what to include on my sunset platter or, more importantly, why couldn’t I go?

Other than the bleating obvious – a lack of funds, a lack of available holidays (zero days to be exact afterall, I do work for myself) and the fact I’d be away from the kids for a week – I really had no other excuse not to go.

So I went!

And it was bliss. Eight of us were in heaven – literally! The house we stayed in was in a faraway beachside location called Hydeaway Bay.

And hideaway we did – in a rental house aptly called Heaven’s Gate.

I never thought I’d stay anywhere like it. From our own private beach to our tennis court, spa and infinity pool from where we watched some amazing sunsets!

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The sun sets over the infinity pool
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Me, Claire and birthday girl DJ on our private Hydeaway Bay beach

I decided to go for many reasons. The main one being I adore the birthday girl and wanted to share her special day with her. But, post cancer, I have also vowed to try to live life as best I can – for me and everyone around me.

That philosophy has also led to me recently accepting a full-time, five-month work contract.

It has thrown us a bit of a family curve ball but we seem to be coping (although, in all honesty it’s only been three days so far)!!!

This was an opportunity to take on a role that would give me a chance to get back into an office and working away from home where I have spent the past three years working since my last long-term contract role finished.

It was also an opportunity I took on after taking strength from the COSA oncology conference I attended last year as part of the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia’s Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group IMPACT advocacy program.

The women I met at that conference were simply amazing and made me believe that, post breast cancer treatment, I could do anything I wanted to do.

So far this year that’s the attitude I’ve taken.

I wanted to celebrate with my beautiful friend – so I did!

I wanted a new job opportunity – so I went out a got it!

Now I just have some family goals to set. Then I’ll go about doing that as well.

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Is ignorance really bliss?

Is ignorance bliss or is it a way of delaying the inevitable?

Let me explain the reason for the question!

I had the second stage of my breast reconstruction in June last year – when I had my air expanders removed and implants put in.

I knew all along that it would take a few more procedures after that to get to somewhat of a ‘complete’ new set of boobs. But anyone who has been through this knows it’s never completed – there’s always another procedure months or years down the track!

Anyway, a few months after that most recent surgery I had some real discomfort and issues with the nerves around my left implant. My surgeon gave me some medication that did its job on the nerves but sent me quite loopy (loopier than me on a normal day)! Luckily I only had to take a couple of tablets.

He told me to go back and see him a few weeks later – that was seven months ago!

That’s what you call avoidance!

I’ve gone about life, probably ignorantly but I think understandably so, knowing that as soon as I go back to see him he’ll book me in for my next procedure. For me to feel better about myself physically it needs to be done, but I don’t think I’ve been emotionally ready to deal with – until now.

I’ll garner up the courage to call my surgeon’s office this week – I promise!

 

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My hair ‘journey’ over the past 12 months – April 2016-April 2017

 

Physically the most exciting thing about the past seven months has been the rate at which my hair has grown! My ponytail is getting higher and, thanks to the effects chemotherapy had on my hair, I can chose to wear it naturally curly or straight!

You have to keep looking at the bright side don’t you?