Not finished yet

I haven’t posted here for a while, so here’s a catch up…

Although I was still affected by my treatment, it was a happy Christmas with all the family, including Mum visiting from Sydney and Helen back from London. Very exciting! Then on day 8 after chemo, I went camping at Woodford. Yes truly! (I am still pinching myself and wondering if it really happened.) I decorated my scars with vines and a gecko (temporary tattoos) and set off to the festival wearing a crop-top, and with my folding 3-legged stool slung on my shoulder. The little seat is a wonderful aid for someone who needs to rest after walking 100m or so. I accepted a lift in the disability buggy for times when I wanted to go all the way to the amphitheatre, but I surprised myself with my energy levels and mobility. The 6-day festival was great, and it really distracted me from chemo recovery. Humarimba workshops went well in the kids’ area, I learned some billum-weaving and how to make undies from scraps of stretch fabric, and I loved seeing dozens of old friends – oh yes and there was beautiful music too! On the last day my right leg ballooned with lymphoedema and some nasty mouth ulcers popped up, therefore recovery from Woodford was significant, but well worth it! DSC01934b_smaller

My second last chemo went well with another long day of desensitising dilutions, then I climbed 300 steep steps at the Kangaroo Point cliffs. I do this for exercise and to make me feel terrific. I also find I can climb the staircase in our house. 15 stairs x 7 gives me 105 steps (so 21 “laps” = 300). The goal is to keep my heart pumping the blood around my body.
The months all feel like half-months because I’m so drowsy. Mornings I sleep in late, I sleep most of the afternoon, then early to bed. No wonder it feels like I never get much done. I’ve had lympoedema again too, but improving quickly after wearing compression stockings and putting my feet up.


Yesterday my chemotherapy was postponed for one week due to low blood count. I have too few white blood cells for immunity, so it would be dangerous to proceed. Naturally I have been looking forward to getting my last treatment over and done, so it was a disappointment. However, there’s nothing I can do except enjoy my bonus week of feeling well.

What an irony that I hung around the hospital yesterday regardless, first to keep my music therapy appointment, then lunch with a friend followed by a nap. I highly recommend the Mater Cancer Care Centre for their extra services and very caring staff!

Music Therapy
I’m composing a song and feeling very shy about it, but receiving strong encouragement from Kylie, the music therapist. In my first session she mentioned the song-writing option and to my surprise an idea popped into my head quite quickly. She said perhaps just compose a jingle – it doesn’t have to be a long piece. Another suggestion was to write my own words to a familiar tune. However, I dreamed up an original jingle, then it developed into the chorus for a whole song with new verses added each week. It has been a very positive diversion from the grueling treatment and I am really happy to have had this experience. Yesterday we did some recording, using the opportunity to sing without accompaniment by the IV drip which beeps and goes tick-tick-tick. Hopefully I can share my song with you soon.

8 thoughts on “Not finished yet”

  1. I think if you every time I climb stairs (100 today) but 300 steep steps sounds amazing. So glad Woodford was so great, music is so good for the soul. Good luck with your final chemo, may it put you in remission for years so you can really get your energy back and enjoy the whole month instead of half of it. Love to hear your updates. How exciting to write your first song. Well done.
    I had good news once again in January so am feeling happy about that.

  2. Lovely to get your update. Your step count definitely puts me to shame – I must try harder! Delay in last chemo disappointing, but hopefully just a temporary blip and you get back on track shortly. Looking forward to hearing your song. xx

  3. Oh, Alison, you are AMAZING.

    Let’s hope that you can have the last treatment next week and then feel very very much better.

    Hope to see you on Sunday at BrisLETS Trading Day anyway. Love from Judith Helen

  4. Hi Alison, You’re amazing! Amazing! Good on your strong heart and mind to keep on encouraging your lovely body to wellness. I like your step challenge. Reminds me how we can always break down big goals into little achievable steps.

    Our life has taken an exciting new turn: my stepdaughter just had a baby so I’m officially a Nana! We’re heading down to Canberra today looking forward to cuddles.

    I hope this reply reaches you, it seems like WordPress doesn’t take comments any more via the link but that’s probably my technological incompetence.

    Big hugs and love to you, hoping the chemo will soon be over and that the days ahead will bring you comfort and moments of joy. Love Jodie


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