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