Monday, January 27, 2014



We've had a fabulous Australia Day Long Weekend.

Family, food, fun in the sun and FIREWORKS!



Really loved having my brother, his family & Shannon's parents down for the weekend. A full house of happy kids and chatty adults.


Last night my nieces got to see live fireworks for the very first time. Australia Day fireworks at Lake Burleigh Griffin are always spectacular but they really outdid themselves this year. MAGIC! The girls LOVED it!


Love long weekends with loved ones in this lucky country of ours!

xxx Em



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Botanical Beautiful

We went for a leisurely stroll through the National Botanic Gardens this morning and happily stumbled upon the new Red Centre Garden. It's been a long time in the making but oh so worth the wait.
Can't help but be spellbound by the intensely rich colours of the red desert sand and wild flowers.
A completely striking AND kid friendly design. The boys ran themselves ragged and spent an age climbing the rocks with some new found friends.
Nothing says FUN like a giant thorny devil and a red sand sandpit!
Reminds me of when we lived in Darwin.
The final frontier...


Canberra really does have the most fantastic family friendly spots.

Wouldn't live anywhere else for quids!

xx Em


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Humf I'd anticipated, our offer on our dream house has been rejected, owner won't budge and all our homework is telling us he's asking 200k more than the property is worth in its very neglected state.

As much as we love it and wish to make it ours, we have to be realistic.

Wish the owner was too.

Time to start a new dream.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

An update on this cancer malarky.

So, thought I'd share where I'm at with my cancer at the moment.

I'll kick it off with some good news...

I went and saw my GP last Thursday to discuss the mammogram & ultrasound reports. To my surprise and absolute delight, the scans showed that not only was I tumour free, but the radiation damage to my reconstructed breast is relatively minor. Win and WIN! It means its unlikely that I'll need to have the implant replaced when I have my second mastectomy in a few months. Really great news!

Post Mastectomy

Twelve months on and I'm still healing from my surgery. I have to remind myself to be patient with my body and allow it time to recover and repair, but sometimes I feel so frustrated with how sore and sensitive my breast, armpit and right arm still feel a whole year later. It's a strange combination of numbness and pain. Bit of a contradiction can you be numb and still feel pain? I can only equate it to when you try to get the circulation back in your foot when it has gone to sleep. Perhaps it's just something I need to get used to. Perhaps the nerve damage from the surgery is irreversible and this is as good as it gets. Who knows.


I'm struggling to keep on top of the lymphoedema in my right arm which is becoming quite a concern. Despite wearing a compression sleeve and weeks of twice daily physio & lymphatic drainage massage, my arm continues to swell and stiffen. I'm quickly losing mobility and it bloody hurts from my hand to my armpit whenever I try to extend my arm. It's all my own fault really. I haven't been to the gym for a month and that lack of daily exercise is invitation enough for lymphoedema to set in again. I have to admit that I'm a little annoyed with myself for becoming complacent over the holidays. Remaining vigilant pays off in the long run. So, I'll be calling the physio dept at the hospital to beg them to squeeze me in this week instead of waiting until late February for my next appointment. Let's see if they end up bandaging my arm like the Michelin Man.

Lymphoedema...a lifelong leftover of cancer that well and truly SUCKS!


Post Chemo

Seven months on (can't believe it's been that long!) and my hair is growing back thick and CURLY. Anyone with curly hair willing to give me some styling tips? It seems to have a mind of its own. I tried straightening it yesterday and to be honest, it looked like I was wearing a very bad wig. Not sure if I want to grow it back to the length it was before. Perhaps I should stick to a pixie cut. It would certainly be the easy option. Anyway, feedback would be much appreciated on products and tricks of the curly trade.

Post Radiation

Five months on and I still bare a distinctive radiation 'tan' that is speckled white with damaged pigmentation. Not sure how long it takes to fade or if indeed the skin tone will ever return to normal. In the scheme of things it doesn't bother me. For the last few weeks I've been getting sharp stabbing pains in my breast and armpit at random intervals. Not pleasant but I was told to expect it as the radiation damage kicked in. I am hoping that over the next few months it will ease up. Fingers crossed.



Hormone therapy

Four months on, my body (touch wood) has adjusted very well to Tamoxifen after some initial weight gain. The godawful hot flushes that incessantly plagued me during chemo & radiation tapered off and disappeared entirely once I started popping a Tamoxifen pill every day. I wasn't expecting that to happen because Tamoxifen is renown for throwing the body into early menopause. Perhaps there was nothing left for it to do seeing that chemo had already flicked the early menopause switch. I am extremely grateful that a little weight gain has been the only adverse side affect I've experienced. I was told not to expect my period to return for at least twelve months after starting hormone therapy but my regular cycle fell back into place several months ago and all seems quite normal on that front. I have my fingers crossed that hormone therapy will continue to be this straightforward and does its job of warding off a secondary cancer.


Emotionally it is still a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I think overall I'm pretty resilient and have a 'keep calm and carry on' attitude which gets me through for the most part...but there are times when I fall in a heap. Up until New Years Day I didn't allow myself to entertain the thought of cancer coming back. Then that red patch appeared on my left breast and it quickly destroyed the notion I'd tried to hold onto of ever being truly cancer free. As a result I have become quite protective of myself and my little family. I don't know how much of a reprieve my treatment will give me, be it two years or twenty...but I will do everything in my power to ensure my boys feel safe and secure and loved. I want them to have a happy childhood, not a tragic one. They've been through enough. I have no hesitation in removing toxic people or situations from our life and I honestly don't care if that seems ruthless or selfish to others. Life is too short.

So...that's where I'm at with this cancer one day at a time, rolling with the punches and seeking the joy.

xx Em


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Fiend

Our beloved girls are gone.
A fiendish fox attacked them before dawn on Monday morning.
It was a truly awful sound to wake up to. Daisy and Marigold were mercifully, killed quite quickly, but poor Rhubarb was left gurgling and crying until Hubby put her out of her misery.
It broke our hearts...our beautiful, friendly little chookens.
The fox escaped over our back fence and the school perimeter fence which was quite a jump.
Nasty, opportunistic villain!


I miss all the girls but I miss Rhubarb the most.



She was one of our first chicks.

A gorgeous Rhode Island Red who gave us beautiful speckled brown eggs.

She outlasted Parsley & Lavendar who both succumbed to an illness.

She outlasted Rosemary & Thyme who became egg bound.


And she outlasted Daisy & Marigold when the fox attacked.

Oh radiant little red hen.

I've found myself taking scraps out to the girls before remembering that I don't need to anymore.

So very, very sad.


We will get some more girls as soon as we've fox proofed the hen house...(we requested a fox proof structure when it was built but it clearly doesn't meet hiss!). Till then we will savour the last of our girls' eggs and remember them fondly.


xx Em