What does M.I.A. mean to me?
Missing in action?
Missing in abundance?
Melanoma Institute of Australia? Hmmmmmm….
Well at this present moment it means all of the above but for now it is my acronym for Melanoma Is Active (unfortunately…). As many of you are aware from my Facebook page, I was slammed with the news earlier in the month that my melanoma had spread to my lungs and only just two days before my 33rd birthday. I walked into the Radio Oncology Department holding my head high, chanting positive affirmations in my head and trying to remain calm as I awaited my meeting with my Radio Oncologist to hear the news of my recent scan results. I was calm, my meditation in the morning was helping…
The news was and is devastating. I think I almost broke my partner’s hand from the sheer terror that rose in me…. The word s*@t followed…. Sorry Mum! For anyone who has been dealt with bad news, you all know that the comprehension speed varies. My mind was like a little Herbie racecar… I didn’t want to hear the news, I sat at the start line revving my engine but not moving forward and then when my engine kicked in, I spluttered forward, headlights flashing and my mind zooming all over the speedway… I was speeding to the finishing line, not wanting to go on the journey but wanting to win the ‘healthy trophy’ with the champagne in it at the end. I wanted the doctor to tell me that this terminal diagnosis that I was just branded with, wasn’t final… cause that’s just the way I wanted to think but there were no reassurances and only sadness in the face that stared back at me. Poor bloke!
I was booked in to see the lovely Jess Ainscough talk live on the release of her new book ‘Make Peace with Your Plate’ at GOMA the evening after my diagnosis. I was desperate to go but I didn’t have the strength to go alone. Jess Ainscough has been my daily sanity savour since May last year. She embodies this positivity that just astounds and amazes me. A role model in every respect! A massive thank you to Yvette Luciano of Earth Events, who made it possible for Anthony to attend, and for allowing us to sit in the front row of all places. I can’t convey my gratitude enough in granting Ant the opportunity to hold my hand and share in the positivity that the evening projected to all those that attended. This event came at the right time!
The days that followed saw my family rally behind me. We shed some tears, we tried to remain strong for each other and then as you do, we got on with things. My birthday rolled in and Anthony whisked me away to a beautiful Gold Coast setting that will forever be ‘our’ place! It was needed, it was peaceful and it was just what we both required to recharge and prepare us for the weeks ahead.
Since then, I have been back and forth to hospitals, doctor visits, testing and as of yesterday began immunotherapy treatment on a drug called Yervoy, which thankfully has just made it to the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme), while I await results from America if I am successful for a clinical trial. I have my research team in place, an amazing support network and a very naughty little puppy that arrived in the middle of all the chaos! Enter Winston the adorable and cheeky French Bulldog pup! He is a massive distraction from the current events!!! I have never said “No” so much in my life! Hahahahaha!
So thank you all for your patience while I have hidden under a rock as I deal with each day as it comes. I admit I have been missing in action; and I have been missing in abundance from work, from social outings and from life in general. And I won’t deny that I am going through one of the hardest challenges life has thrown my way. Time is required, to digest and to set a plan of action in place so that M.I.A. doesn’t always mean Melanoma is Active. My aim is to strive towards N.E.D. No Evidence of Disease but for now, I will make peace with my diagnosis and accept that it is bad, but it doesn’t mean that life from here has to bad. Side effects may knock me, but my spirit and my desire to live a happy and fulfilled life (preferably a long one) will not be broken. I’m more determined than ever to continue on my journey of clean eating and toxic-free living and being gentle and kind to myself.
Now onto Melanoma Institute of Australia as the other M.I.A goes…. I am supporting this wonderful not-for-profit organisation dedicated to preventing and curing melanoma through world-class research, treatment and education programs by participating in the Melanoma March on 23 March 2014 in Manly, Brisbane.
Check it out: http://melanomamarch.org.au/event/mmqld2014
Please join me, my partner Anthony and our gorgeous lil fur baby Winston along with my family and MARCH FOR MELANOMA and fight for a cure!!! If you are unable to come join us on the day, please consider donating to the Melanoma Institute of Australia!
My support page is below:
I am so overwhelmed by the love and kindness of everyone in my life! Words cannot convey just how blessed I am by the generosity and love that I have received. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!
As the days go by, I will try to ensure that any side effects don’t get me down! Life is an amazing gift; we should all take a moment to appreciate every second of it, the good, the bad and I like to think… the AMAZING!!!!!
With love, light and a bundle of gratitude! xxx