Monday, January 19, 2015

3 years 11 months (continued)

I turned 41 this week. I am not ashamed of it, I am not embarrassed to say it. I am 41. I made it to 41. I don’t quite understand the hang ups people have with the numbers. Why is 40 so different than 40? I feel that birthdays are an important marking of time. I have a birthday in January to celebrate my birth and beginning in this life. I have a brain birthday in February to celebrate the beginning of my new life, to celebrate that miracle of surviving.

For me this is a time of reflection. What have I done, where have I come from, where am I going, who have I helped?

This is my post from 2 years 11 months.- (somewhat trimmed)

December we had the chaos which is Christmas. We spent part of Christmas Day with Kim's Aunty Phoebe and the family (16 in all that day I think), following that we spent some time with the Glissons (My brothers fiancés family) It was a wonderful Jam packed day. Boxing Day we dialled it back a bit and had the "Walker" Christmas at Dads house. It too was a wonderful day spent with my dad, my brothers and their respective other halves, our son and our nephew.

This time Christmas day was spent with Kim and James. In the afternoon, Lynda Kim and I went up to ‘Best of All’ look out in Springbrook. Our family Christmas was held on January 10th. The reason this Christmas was so quiet and then delayed, is that it was very painful to have Christmas without Dad.

I decided to pick a word for 2014. This year will be 'Bloom'! 2003 - 2011 the word was ‘Survive’ 2011 - 2013 the word was ‘heal’.

This year is ‘Keep going’. This last year has been challenging and on occasion made me question my direction and my confidence.

Scrolling forward a bit, we had a BBQ for my 40th at the beautiful Cedar Creek Lodges Sapphire Room on Sunday. It was fantastic having family and friends come for around the country to help celebrate the day. Thank you to +Alison Christensen and +Steve Christensen for coming all the way from Victoria, and thank you for bringing the hugs from our friends there :) Tuesday night we had some of the family over for dinner for my Dads 71st.

This year I went away with +Alison Christensen for a few days in the lead up to ‘our’ birthdays. I was not as devastated as I thought I would be in celebrating my birthday without Dad there to share it. Having shared birthdays for the last 40 years together it was crushing to do this one without him. Instead we had some family over and had pizza.

The amazing news is that after spending last year studying my uni prep course and receiving honours across the board, giving me an OP 6 equivalent, I was accepted into Bachelor of Science (Clinical Science) at Griffith! Another step down the road to researching brain tumours.

This year I finished first semester with good scores, two 5’s (credit) and a 6 (Distinction) I deferred second semester as my father passed away during the mid-year break. When I tried to go back I found I was in too bad a place to manage it. I am still trying to decide if I will go back for first semester this year.

I went to Biomed Link 2013 and saw some very impressive research. It really made me feel that I should continue with my degree. I was still in a really shocking place when I went down there so it was a challenge on a number of levels. I will be going to the Brain Tumour Support Service Consumer Forum on February 7th. I am trying to keep myself going and interested.

A dream made reality. Before I had my tumour removed, I set a goal to climb all three climbable bridges in the southern Hemisphere. The Story Bridge in Brisbane, The Sydney Harbour Bridge (obviously in Sydney) and the Auckland Bridge ( Auckland NZ). Yesterday my wonderful husband gave me a gift to do the dawn Story Bridge climb next weekend!!!

In November I did the night climb of  Sydney harbour bridge! I now have two done and one to go. I will have to start working on a trip to Auckland!

The good/bad news was that the position Kim applied for in WA has fallen through. Bad news obviously as it was a fabulous opportunity for him to gain even more experience in the company he currently works for. Good news, as I don't lose my husband for 2 years while he works 3 on 1 off.

Kim was made redundant last year and has started contracting while he looks for full time work. On the other hand he has completed his Masters degree and graduated in November

2015 holds a lot of opportunities and challenges. We will have to wait and see where this year will take us! Don’t forget to keep going.