I had big plans for Dear Melanoma in the lead up to Christmas! I was going to write a blog for the ’12 days of Christmas’, but I continually put off writing and here we are today, Christmas Eve, finally posting something.
For those of you that follow the Dear Melanoma Facebook page, you would know that I have a slight (raging) obsession for Christmas. It has always been this way. From December 1 October-ish (lets be honest) Michael Buble Christmas Carols are on repeat, the plans for the Christmas tree are underway, shopping has began, I drool at all the Christmas decorations in the shopping centre, and I fantasise about what Christmas day will be like. Read More
This week marks a year since leaving East Timor. To celebrate this, I am going to write without mentioning melanoma (phew! no tears!). And to be honest, although the majority of my time spent in East Timor was spent as a Stage 1 melanoma patient, little time was spent thinking about melanoma. I followed the rules of returning to Australia for frequent skin checks and would always slip, slop and slap. I was a patient with a 95% chance of survival. There was only a 5% chance that this cancer would spread. Nothing to waste precious time worrying about!
I left for East Timor at the end of July 2012. I had just finished university, graduating from a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future. So like many young people, I was tossing up between travelling and studying more… anything that meant I did not have to enter the grown up world of a 9 to 5 job. I decided that I would seek out the opportunity to travel and volunteer in East Timor for 3 months, leaving the opportunity open for me to begin study the following December. I ended up continuing for 12 months and putting post-graduate study off for another 12 months. Read More
As many people would know I have a slight (raging) obsession for the show Offspring (Yes, I had to make sure that you didn’t think I was talking about the band)!
One of the hardest part of living in East Timor was missing out on watching Offspring. East Timor failed me on two levels. Firstly, I couldn’t rely on the local, not so legal, DVD shop to be up-to-date with the most recent episodes. And, secondly, my internet connection couldn’t refresh Facebook, let alone watch TV online. So, what does a girl do…I would rely on my trusty mother to record all the episodes and I would have an Offspring marathon when I came home for a holiday (skin checks) every three months. She is a good woman! Read More
One of my biggest internal struggles on my cancer journey has been with the sometimes exciting, but largely depressing, notion of a bucket list.
My choosing to have, or not to have, a bucket list would change every few weeks. But I realise now, the weeks when I was pro-bucket list I was convincing myself that ‘living in the moment’ and ‘making the most of life’ were phrases that instilled purpose and happiness in a time of uncertainty and sadness. However, when thinking about what I would write on my bucket list, I did not feel like I had purpose and I definitely did not feel happy. Instead, I felt defeated, upset, and I felt like I was dying.
For me, a bucket list was a reminder of what I could not have. Read More