I haven’t posted in almost three years as a lot has happened since then. I went through cancer twice during this time. I had another major life saving (20 hour) surgery in 2021 (as the cancer spread again to my lung and through my spine so had four vertebra removed and replaced with a spinal fusion), chemotherapy, radiation and then more chemotherapy at the end of 2022. During this time I also got diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis (which usually goes hand in hand with my cancer) as I lost the ability to chew and swallow after getting an infection in my spine after the surgery so I needed to be readmitted to hospital again. I still live with Myasthenia Gravis and have monthly IvIg and daily medication but it’s liveable and I continue to have a very full, active life.
Within that time I also continued to balance work and parental responsibilities, and my husband and I finally managed to graduate from our postgraduate degrees we started before we started this whole long cancer journey.
I can say that being busy was an understatement and I thank my wonderful friends and family who were there for us during this incredible and busy time.
On Christmas eve at the end of last year we moved back to Moreton Bay as I missed the community we were part of and of course, I missed all the nature, beaches and sunshine! There are still a whole lot of people I need to catch up with and I promise to do so when we are back.
I celebrated my 36th birthday on May 1 and we had a lovely quick trip to Sydney to go to my best friend’s baby shower (I’ve known her since kindergarten so 31 years!) and then we enjoyed the sights of The Rocks and Circular Quay (my favourite places in Sydney).
Birthday festivities were short lived as I got up to work just before 5am and caught the train early into the office before the sun had risen. Why so early you may ask? I love commuting on the train when there are no crowds (the 6am train was perfect), I am able to stare out the window and contemplate life before getting caught up in the rush that is my job (which I really enjoy). The bonus is I get to leave early to avoid the afternoon rush but am usually confronted with teenagers packing the trains after the school bell rings! It’s nice to see them being so independent though, using public transport to get home.
Anyway, because I leave to get to work so early my husband and daughter are usually still fast asleep so I really only hear from my husband after the craziness of school drop off time. He didn’t want to alarm me but there had been a medical emergency back in Egypt. My father in law was unwell and it turned out that he needed emergency heart surgery and it was without a question that we were going to go there to be with him.
I forgot the important detail that my passport expired and our daughter’s did too so we needed to get that sorted before we could arrange flights and all the other logistics.
Without going into the ins and outs (there were some major hassles that we sorted), I filled out our paperwork and we booked an interview at the passport office in Brisbane CBD that Friday morning at 9am and by 3pm I had our passports in hand and was able to book our flights at Flight Centre. They were expensive! But since it had been over 8 years since myself and our daughter had been to Egypt to see family and 4 years since my husband went (he went at the end of 2019 when his brother had the near fatal motorcycle accident and was in a coma for 5.5 months) there was no doubt in my mind that we should go to be with them.
Since I am in the watch and wait stage of my cancer (I can’t have any more chemotherapy) and the cancer is still there (and I’m unable to have surgery) there is no better time for me to travel as I’m between scans and any other finding will delay a trip to see family.
So here I am, about to embark on a trip overseas so we can see family and my husband can help his mother nurse his brother (who is still rehabilitating from the accident 4 years ago) and his father as he had the surgery. I am so thankful that I have such a wonderful and caring husband who has looked after me these past 5 years and now his family.
I really feel for him, not even 40 and has the burden of such responsibility.