The kindness of people

It was two years ago that my cancer diagnosis became public knowledge. I had not kept my cancer diagnosis secret and not hidden the fact that I had rushed home from East Timor to have surgery in August 2013, but I hadn’t openly spoken about my terminal prognosis received in October of that year and my three month prognosis that I was given in January 2014. Beyond my family and closest of friends, I wasn’t ready to talk openly. I wasn’t prepared to be bombarded with a rush of phone calls and texts from acquaintances that wanted to catch up and say their goodbyes.  All I could focus on was making sure that I was well enough for our wedding and to meet my new nephew.

This all changed when my dear friend Rebecca Sparrow who I had only known for a short time asked my permission to write about me in March 2014.

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Through the Looking Glass - the beginning of a very impressive raffle/auction list

Oh my giddy aunt, we only have 4 weeks to dust off our dancing shoes and find a frock for Through the Looking Glass! For those of you that may have been living under a rock, I am hosting a fundraiser, a cocktail event in Brisbane, to raise money for Melanoma Institute Australia.

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Thank you for 6 months of support and love

Last night I was so excited to see that the Dear Melanoma facebook page reached 2000 likes. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone that has followed my journey.


Earlier this year I was going back and forth about whether I wanted to document my life with melanoma. I knew that my friends and family would read it, but never did I expect that I would be opening my life to be scrutinised in the best possible way by the public. Over 65 000 people have read my blog – wow! People know my face and my story and are not afraid to stop me when I am out and about. I knew that if I was to do this, I wanted to write a blog that was 100% honest. This meant that there would be hours spent in front of my laptop with tears running down my face documenting some of my saddest moments and some of my biggest fears I have about dying.

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A dedication to my husband. Serge

In January, I was sitting down with a palliative care team discussing how I wanted to die. I did not ask about what I could expect. I didn’t ask about the pain I would feel. I did not ask about how I will lose my independence. I already knew what to expect from my last months or weeks of my life.

Instead, I told the palliative care team what I wanted. I told them how I wanted to die. I wanted to die in my family home. I did not want to spend my last days in a hospital. I wanted to die in the bed I share with my husband. I did not want to be forced into a single hospital bed away from my husband.

I know that my last weeks aren’t going to be nice and I am either going to be in pain or out to it on painkillers, but all I can wish for is an ounce of control. Control that cancer would slowly take away from me.

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