Monday, August 3, 2015

It has been a while....a lot has happened.

Where do I start?
Firstly I will say that a teacher at our daughters school pulled me aside to say, ‘I have been waiting months for the next blog update……’ Well here it is and sorry for my delay.

Since the blog entry a lot as happened, it has been an interesting few months. I am currently having a well overdue break from teaching…..after 19 years of teaching I have never had a break. Most teachers usually take long service leave at some point in their teaching career……my time is now. I am currently on Long Service Leave from school. It is for Term 3 only….with school holidays book ending the Term, it equates to about 14 weeks leave. I am enjoying my time off, being a dad….doing school and kinder runs. This is so much fun…..spending time with the girls to and from school or kinder. Going to assemblies, speaking with the girls teachers….it is great to be on the other side of the fence. Spending time with Zahlia and her day time activities of gymnastics, swimming and ballet.

Let’s not forget my lovely, amazing wife…..yes I know she’ll be sick of me hanging around for 14 weeks….but we have Friday’s to spend time together having lunch dates and general time without children… is a rarity to have ‘date time’ with Lisa.

Yes, I am getting some riding in also……you could call me a ‘semi procyclist’ I have had some rides that have been during the day…..this is apparently called ‘Pro Cycling Hours’. It hasn’t happened often, as the weather has been very ordinary.

As most of you will know, I love family and celebrating milestones… was Kalita's (our middle) 6th Birthday last month. She has grown up so much and loved her ‘cooking party’… is no surprise that Lisa did an amazing cake and preparation for the event.

A milestone I really wanted to reach in this journey is always to see our girls grow up and move through life with enjoyment and I am not letting Cancer get in the way of this. But a personal goal I wanted to reach was turning 40 and yes this has been ticked off. Most people think turning 40 is a drag and something of a dramatic experience…..for me it was an achievement. I am so happy to have turned 40……knowing that in 2012 I was not that healthy and Cancer had the better of me. It was clear during those months of late 2012 it was going to be a battle to reach Christmas. Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so special....obviously thanks so much to Lisa and the girls for a great day and the cake. 

A month after my birthday, Lisa and I had a reality check once again…..I found a lump in my groin area. When you have Melanoma and a lump appears you freak out and think the worst. I called my oncologist and we met to discuss what it might be….for his reassurance and ours. I had a biopsy that morning and they found a second lump… anxiety was heightened after this.

After the biopsy I had a set of CT scans. The following day I had PET scan just to lay it all out and eliminate/determine what the lumps might be. Our follow up appointment wasn't until the Wednesday, three days from the day of the biopsy. My scanaxiety was at an all time high as was Lisa she was a mess.

All we could think of was that it all was happening again and we were heading down the path of ‘hospitals, tests, scans and surgeries’.

Physically I was feeling great….Riding around 220km a week… night sweats or dropping weight… was all positive from this aspect.

‘C’ Day for results:
Lisa and I headed to the clinic, worried and working out what would be the outcome……this is the thing cancer and Melanoma do to people… takes your ‘Control’ of all things away and makes you realise that the cancer beast ‘Challenges’ you. Well the news was great….the two lumps where cysts that are not related to melanoma…..Disease free and time to keep moving forward… ‘Connecting’ with loved ones and life again.

To hear the words there is nothing wrong or worth worrying about was a relief. It has just reminded us that Cancer/Melanoma still has a hold of us somehow and that being vigilant is very important as well as maintaining your physical health.

During my time off I am planning to do some Professional Learning with Apple and spread my wings and knowledge with integrating Technology into education even more. Taking this back to Term 4 and beyond.

I have also been very happy and impressed with my AFL team the Hawks. They have been playing great footy and sitting in the top 4 of the AFL ladder. Just recently Matty and I headed to the MCG to watch the Hawks V Tigers.....I was confident and Matty being a Tigers supporter was also confident. There can only by one winner and this night was owned by the Tigers. I was not happy.

The next month is looking busy with conferences to attend, family time and training for my next big event….I have entered my first cycling race in a while. I am planning to race in September the 140km Amy Granfondo in Lorne. I am really looking forward to achieving this in all I have done.

It will also be exciting to see the two older girls compete in their gymnastic display events coming up in August. They have been training hard and are very excited. In September Kalita and Zahlia will be performing in their Dancer concerts. Yes very busy times ahead….wouldn’t change this for the world.

I am also talking about my Cancer Journey at two different events… is at my good friends school for a Father’s Day event. The other is in Sydney to at a corporate event hosted by Toyota.

These are the positive aspects that occur from being diagnosed with Melanoma!

This clip below is a snippet of the Tour De Cure documentary that will air in January 2016.


Registrations for 2016’s TDC ride have opened if you are interested in joining the group head to this link Tour De Cure 2016. I am very motivated to ride it again in 2016……time will tell.