Monday, January 12, 2015



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! Christmas has past and 2015 has begun.  Christmas this year for Lisa, the girls and I was at home with Lisa’s family coming over to share the day with us.

My parents hosted Boxing Day, unfortunately my mum had to work Christmas Day, therefore the only free day for my family to celebrate Christmas was the day after.

My brother who is 11months younger than me. 

My beautiful family 
I love Christmas time! Being a teacher and in a school environment makes it even more enjoyable….listening to all the rehearsals for Carols and end of year assemblies makes it very exciting and people tend to get in to the spirit of Christmas.

As a family, we hold our traditions of attending Church, Carols and putting up Christmas lights, going to see the Myer windows, putting decorations on the tree, the traditional Christmas family photo with Santa and reading the Christmas story the week leading up to Christmas. The girls obviously write their letters to Santa and browse through endless amounts of catalogues, circling stuff they would like to have.

Myer Windows

Myer Windows

Myer Windows

I enjoy putting up the lights around the house and always say to the girls, ‘we have the best lights in the area.’ This year we received and very kind note in the letterbox saying; ‘Thanks for lighting up our Christmas with your lights.’ Such an unexpected note and one that made all of us feel as if our house has brightened up the street.

Christmas morning was a late start by the girls. Surprisingly they didn’t wake till 8am and rolled into our room excited that Santa had been.

The photos below show how much they loved Christmas. These are the moments that are most precious to me. Watching the girls open presents with the most amazing smiles…..sitting there with my family for another Christmas made me feel very lucky.

Back in 2012 it was a special Christmas for many reasons, but for me it was a significant milestone of success….knowing I was almost dead that year in October from Cancer. Christmas morning 2014 for my third Christmas since the beast of Melanoma strolled into our lives was astounding.  

This Christmas also saddened me this…..I was thinking about those families and loved ones, who I know, celebrated it without a loved one with them as, melanoma had taken them away. My heart broke and I felt guilty that I was here with my family enjoying the moment.

As it is a new year, I have decided to not make New Years Resolutions, strange I know, but instead set some huge goals that I would like to achieve.

In no particular order, these are the goals that I would like to see achieved:
  • -       Further enhance the Melbourne Melanoma Support group. Introduce people attending to meditation, exercise and other forms of therapy
  • -       Train extremely hard for my 1194km Tour De Cure Ride in April
  • -       Complete the Tour with success and reach my $12000 fundraising target
  • -       Recently I found this amazing site and have spoken with Jacob Walker who had Brain Cancer and is now a survivor, and the creator of this site. He and I have a lot in common and have the same drive, passion to support people with cancer and sharing our experiences….anyway my goal is: for he and I to put our brains together to host and create a conference based on Positive Mindset, exercise, health and fitness when you have cancer and share stories of survivorship
  • -       Work closely with Amanda Lucci and MIA to develop a well run Melanoma March which is on 22nd February, to raise awareness of Melanoma and funds for the Melanoma Institute Australia
  • -       Enjoy my family more than 2014
  • -       Less worry about work issues to not over work this year
  • -       Find another way of fundraising for MIA
  • -       Be healthy, super fit and cancer free for the this year and hopefully longer

Small things
Small things in life are the most simple, enjoyable and rewarding……when the family and I went to the park the other day…..the girls ran freely and loved playing around on the equipment…..nothing concerning them and likewise Lisa and I enjoying the environment and the girls fun loving nature…… feeding the ducks off the bridge was something simple that made me feel calm and relaxed. We need moments like these to reassess and remind us of what is valued in life.

Another amazing thing that was well worth enjoying was seeing Ariella and Kalita move further in their schooling. Kalita finishing Kinder and Ariella moving up to Year 2. 

A mate of mine Andrew Rust, who walked from Sydney to Melbourne 900km to raise funds for Melanoma research…..recently had scans that revealed his Melanoma had returned…. 14 years ago he was diagnosed stage 4 and for the past 5 years he was in remission…..unfortunately his melanoma has returned and I am wishing him all the best with his treatment. 

He mentioned to me that he has had another wake up call and is determined to heal and become disease free, but enjoy the simple and small things in life. In fact he's had 50% reduction in tumours (Dabrafenib works).
Andrew Rust on my Right and Jay Allen on my Left.
I am going really well. Health has been good. I did unfortunately manage to pick up a gastro bug after Christmas it knocked me for about seven days, I lost 3kg. 

Under the guidance of my oncologist, I did have to go off my Dabrafenib for three days to ensure I improved in health. I am due for bloods next week. But feel amazing and can't see anything being a surprise from bloods. I am the fittest I have been in a long time. I have been riding, keeping the training going for the TDC ride. Below is an app story of my 2014-year on the bike. I did not create it; it was created by an app called Strava that I upload my rides to for training record.

The bike is a massive release for me and I am riding around 270km a week and climbing some big hills. Love riding with my mates Matthew Collins and Adam Grills....of course there is a coffee at the end.

Feeling Stuffed here.

Grillsy, Matty and I riding Christmas Eve.
On February 21st I will be holding a fund raising event to raise money for my TDC ride. If you are wishing to come along which I would truly love, here is the link to book tickets: Fundraising booking
Thanks to Sandra and Michael Green for all their hard work for this event. 

 Or feel free to donate to my fund raising page:

I do want to leave you with this very interesting quote I found from the Dalai Lama, he was asked what surprised him about Humanity, his response really had me thinking and is very true. 

Life is amazing I am so happy to be this healthy and alive, don't live in the past, or look at the future with negativity, live in the present.