Saturday, June 29, 2013

Motivation and Sharing with others.

Motivation and Sharing with others. 

I haven’t had the chance to blog lately; very-busy time of the year for teachers.
Not complaining as I am currently on two weeks holiday.

What has happened of late?......Well as I mentioned I have had reports to write. Haven’t had to write reports for a year. As last years end of year reports I wasn’t in a good place to complete them.

Reports done. Next was our Year 5 educational school camp experience to Sovereign Hill. For those who don’t know this place it is a living museum in Ballarat Victoria. When there the students and teachers attend the schools in on the grounds as 1850’s folk. It is essentially stepping back in time. Refer to the images below. It was an amazing experience……bloody freezing see image.

This camp was the first camp for me in 12 months. I went well, but was stuffed when I got home. My colleague and I decided we’d test out the camp experience with the students taking their iPads to explore the grounds of Sovereign Hill. I created an eBook for them to follow and complete tasks in. Ground breaking for education and camps at my school!

Aside from all of this busyness, I am feeling very well. Clearly tired and needing this mid year break. But feeling very good. I had bloods which came back clear….I have scans in two weeks and I am going to admit I am very nervous and anxious about these next scans. The nights here are extremely cold and as a result I should be sleeping very well, however I have had night sweats most of this week. For those who understand and know about cancer…..night sweats are not good signs. I am remaining positive and feel it is possibly my body fighting a cold or another infection. Our girls have been ill and maybe I’ve picked up something they have had.

I don’t feel unwell; I am slightly low on energy levels some days. But nothing like I have been. I rode the bike home from work the other day after working all day and riding to work in the morning and still managed to smash the ride home beating times set some of the climbs home. The total km for the day was 55. This is where I am confident the dabrafenib medication is doing some real good.  Fingers crossed and pray that all is good in two weeks.

On Saturday 29th June I presented my journey and story to my football club I played 160 games at as a senior player about 6 years ago. This presentation will be repeated again on 2nd July to a more ‘high profile’ Sporting team who are struggling at the moment. I will share my experience from this in my next blog entry. Can’t say much at the moment. Refer to the slide show that I presented to the Templestowe Football Club. (There are some graphic images) I obviously talk to the slides and use them as prompts. I think it went well. Unfortunately they didn’t win on this day. But all I hope is that one or more players take something from this presentation and add it to their lives now. I really enjoyed sharing my story and watching the reactions of those listening. My aim is not to stir emotion, but inspire.

I also want to share a TED talk that I watched in the past week that makes a lot of sense to me. It is very interesting and the way this person in the TED talk, saw the cancer she was diagnosed with. See what you think. 

We (Lisa and I) have a lot on this month our middle child turns four and she is very excited about her party and yes Lisa is going to bake again, creating some of her outstanding cakes/desserts. We also plan to do a few activities in these two weeks. Off to the Wiggles this weekend!
I have set some goals for the rest of the year and excited about achieving them:-
I have entered the 10km Melbourne Marathon race. It will be an emotional moment for me……as my aim last year was to finish top 10 in my age and break 37min. Unfortunately on that weekend last year, I was in hospital having three brain tumours removed. The emotion will be in the significance and timing of this event and how far I have come since October 2012.  I am planning to get back into running training again soon and see how I go about setting times I can achieve or beat…. realistically I should just be happy to just run, but that is not in my nature I aim High and always have.

Lisa is also running at the Melbourne Marathon Event and she has set her goal at running the half marathon. I am very proud of her for having a go at this distance. She will do really well. Last year she had entered the half, but due to my illness she withdrew. Between the two of us it will be an emotional experience and now we have to work out our training days, in between work and family.

The other event I really am keen to enter and haven’t as yet is the 120km Granfondo cycle race in Lorne Victoria, in September. This is a more challenging event with some big climbs. I will do some training rides with the Peak Cycle boys and make a decision soon.

I am riding about 140km a week and work is great. August will be a big month with education presentations at various educational conferences. Also getting the all clear to be behind the wheel again and have some of my independence back. The family is really well…. give or take a few sniffles and tiredness.
Lisa is the strength and pillar of our immediate family. I admire her strength and fighting attitude.

Let me finish by saying thank you to all the people who have sent us best wishes and taken an interest in how I am going. Some people ask me how do I do it and not feel sad or angry at the world? My answer is from a quote I love to use in my presentations:

This black beast of a disease that has profoundly changed our life is unfortunately a prick. But it ‘PICKED THE WRONG PERSON TO FIGHT!’

Love to all and hug those you love.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Presenting my Story and Demonstrating Resilience, Determination and Courage.

Lately, I have been presenting at E-Learning Conferences about the iPad in Classrooms and how to better use this device within a classroom environment. It is so exciting to be back presenting on my passion of E-Learning. I am in the coming months presenting as a Keynote presenter at the VITTA E-Learning Conference in Melbourne. Link to my Keynote blurb at the next conference. VITTA CONFERENCE

Since being ill I have presented my melanoma story twice to other schools other than mine. On a brisk, Friday (7th June) I presented my story and journey to another school in Melbourne. This school had been raising money for cancer research and especially Peter Mac Centre. Below is the presentation I did. 
Hope-The Melanoma Journey from Nathan Jones Click right to flip through. 

I am enjoying this new added aspect to my life. Lisa was with my today at this presentation and it is really hard to not become emotional when presenting in front of her and talking about what 'might be' and you have a slide of your family appears. I am getting better at holding my emotions in, but really why should I?! I am keeping positive as always and maintaining my health and fitness. 

My aim for these presentations is to not get sympathy votes or personal gratitude, but share my story and hopefully inspire people at pursuing their Life Goals. What is presented at these presentations is pretty much the information shared in this blog. Please feel free to embed or email the above presentation to whoever. In the next few weeks, I am most likely doing a presentation for a famous sporting club who isn't travelling that well. I'll be sharing my story to them and adding information about building resilience, determination, courage and fight. Hopefully this group can gain something from my presentation. I'll keep you posted in next blog about who and when. 

This week I had my regular blood tests for the usual check up, oncologist next week. I am feeling brilliant and not expecting any negative results. I am training hard as ever and looking at setting some goals to compete or enter events in the future. 

There are a few people I'd like to thank and mention in this blog. 
My colleague and friend Bruce Oakley, who has been driving me to work each day for the past 9 weeks of this term. The other friends are John Stevens and his wife Grace, who have been an awesome support and thanks to John who has kindly picked me up each Friday morning for our indoor spin sessions. 

Last weekend 2nd June, was my younger brothers birthday he turned 37 Happy birthday Leighton. He and I are twins for a month. (See if you can work that out). 

I also had a ride with John and Grace on this weekend. It was through the hills out our way which totalled 55km by the end of the trip. It was a fun/funny ride. It surprised me how well I was doing out in the hills. The entertaining part was when John had two flats 1km of each other. The funny aspect was that he couldn't change a flat. So, his wife stepped up and changed it for him, both times. Photo evidence to prove this are below. These moments make me really appreciate friends, life and being here to enjoy my time. 

John holding the bike while Grace changes the flat. 
Grace's Hands after changing her husband's Flats. 
Our weekends lately have been very much centred around friends and children's parties which are very 'girlie' in theme and at the same time extremely enjoyable catching up with friends/family. 
My Ballet Girls having fun. 
Moments like these are sometimes hard work, but so enjoyable and  are really about seeing our girls grow and develop.....I am just not wearing a tutu, for any reason. 
Spending time at friends children's parties

Spending time at friends children's parties
Blood results next week and this means scans in three weeks after this. Hug your kids and love to all. x