Saturday, April 7, 2012

Unbelievable life... Tornado hits

Well I am feeling a bit better as James and Leo have been able to come and visit me in Jhb. There trip has had its excitements (to prove to me yet again that my life is not normal!) First their flight was delayed so they arrived at 12:30am on Thursday evening. Then on Friday at 1am...You won't believe it but a tornado hit and a MASSIVE tree hit the roof of my little cottage. Remarkably the tree fell in the perfect spot (literally on the cornerstone) not to come through the roof and land on my bed! (once again making believe I am looked after) The noise was so unbelievable that James and I literally jumped out of bed. The hail just fell at such a force that the entire garden had 10cm of ice yet the outside temperature was about 8 degrees! The most amazing thing about this is that Leo slept through the whole thing and only when we carried him out of his bed did he sleepily moan at us for moving him. We were not harmed in anyway although we did have to move out of my flat to the main house till they removed the tree and fixed the leaks.

It doesn't stop there... We then had NO water or electricity for 2 days subsequent to that as the storm took down a substation. So my plans to spend time with my husband and son where serious interrupted... although we did still have a nice time with Leo going to LEGO, on the Gautrain and putt-putt golf.

The journey doesn't stop there... I also got moved to a different area in my project this week - something I am very happy about. James and Leo are staying with me till Easter Monday and the emotional and moral support has been great. That is  probably the only thing that offers some normality! Anastasia and Adam will come stay with me at the end of April so that I can have some mommy time with them.

I am off to give a inspirational talk on 21 April for the "look good feel better" ladies. (Poor James is gonna have to hang out with a couple of women again!) I think that this tornado experience might just be a good topic. But I will have to think it through... I can't say my life is dull.

So now that the emotional and physical storms have somewhat subsided, hopefully a smooth path lies ahead! (I say touching wood!) Although I don't know exactly what my life path is, what I do know is that yet again I feel that I am protected from harm in the storms I face.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Today I am really grumpy, in fact I had a few moments of tears which instantly invoked the need to shop. My attitude has arisen for a few reasons... I have a crap week at work and secondly I can't see my family again this weekend. I really don't want to feel like my life is only about work, because that is what it seems like to me at the moment...

Last weekend was quite a blast... I flew back to PE on Friday to meet Andrea about my philosophy essay (thanks for the feedback via email, fb and blogger! I have taken it all into account) Then we rushed off the the talk where there were definitely over 1000 people in the relay for life event. Then on Saturday we had a function at the grove followed by a braai (BBQ) with friends on Saturday evening. Midday Sunday I was back in JHB. This week I went to Durban for work and back to JHB on Thursday. So I am feeling a bit tired! And also so tired of the petty politics...

Today I am cross with James for not making a plan to see me. (Even though it was unrealistic) I am really not trying to rationalise my feelings. I feel lonely here as I really don't know many people in JHB or want to hit the town with a crime rate second to none. I had every intention on working on my essay, but rather decided to take a risk and personally colour my hair instead! (as any normal woman would!) I am reasonably happy with the outcome, although I am convinced that my hair dresser will not feel the same way. I wanted to add a bit more blond to support my need to exude a persona of dumbness. Unfortunately for me my budget is beyond tight so I had to back away from the clothing store. I have lost a bit of weight in JHB so that is why I want (need) new clothes - just incase you thought I was governed by moods! My mother is always horrified when I lose weight - but as the saying goes... You can never be too rich or too thin!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend... d:)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I need help! Mind / Brain problem...

I am Johannesburg, all alone and feeling incredibly sorry for myself and perhaps a bit angry for becoming a work horse turning a wagon wheel and not spending time with this family this weekend. But I am grateful for getting some free time to pursue my studies and writing. So thats where I will keep my mind...

As some of you who have been following my blog may know that I have embarked on studying philosophy and at this point I am busy with my first honours essay. To say I am feeling insecure is a bit of an understatement. A more realistic word would be ignorant. Just doing philosophy can give you brain fry!

Anyway, as I know more about being a brain tumour patient than most other things, I have decided to do an essay entitled "The Mind / Brain Problem for Brain Tumour Patients" Basically what I am researching is are the mind and the brain the same for brain tumour patients or is the mind able to operate independently of the diseased brain?

So... do you think just the disease takes over the brain and therefore makes it impossible for the patient to express what is in their mind or do you think otherwise?

Obviously I have my own opinion but I would love to know what your thoughts are!!! Please comment...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Survivors' Invitation

Wow... me a guest speaker? Last year I spoke to almost 1200 people. This year I am addressing over 1000 in one session. Whoever says life has no purpose or doesn't believe that God turns all things together for good to those who love God needs to open their eyes. I can't tell you how I just feel as though the blessings are literally falling on me! However long our life is, make the most of it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Back to the future

To say that there is "nothing new under the sun" is true. I have literally returned to my life as it was before, and it is the strangest feeling! So let me step back and share with you what has happened since my last blog post...

My friend, Sandra,  came down for a month from Germany with her partner Sven and their two little girls. It was great seeing them again. Sven commented that seeing me was like going back in time to when he first met me and how the whole episode with my tumour was some strange dream. I also beat him in a game of chess (and he did beat be subsequently) but he remarked to Sandra that he doesn't understand how someone with a brain tumour, surgery and radiation can even play chess, let alone beat him! That gave me a great laugh!

Leo lost his first tooth while in the car and just handed it to James and carried on playing on the cell phone. Another laugh...

I am actually in Jhb - Midrand at the moment on a 6 month contract. This has meant that I will only go home on weekends which will be a big adjustment to our family life. I feel for my kids and James.

What was that poem by William Shakespeare?...

"Parting is such bittersweet sorrow that I should say goodnight until it be 'morrow."

As Sven said, being back at work it really does feel that all of the brain tumour stuff was just a strange dream. I have my hair back, I am healthy and mentally alert. The move is primarily a financial decision, considering the economy, I am sure many people have had to make hard decisions. But I have decided to make the most of it and spend the extra time I have doing my various BT blogs and finishing my honours degree.

I have realised that my life journey IS a miracle. I have been restored and given a new chance in my life. I am overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude that I feel a weight from the flood of grace that is pouring on me daily. I can't say I have changed, but certainly my approach to life has. I am much more tolerant and conscious of the value of all things that life encompasses. I know that the hand of God is on me so powerfully that I am being moulded into something beautiful. My experience with the brain tumour has opened the doors of travel, appreciating life, taking the opportunities we are afforded, filling my life journey with value, learning and reflecting on the injustices in the world we live in. How do I thank my God and the people in my life? There is nothing I can say that could possibly meet the enormity of my appreciation. It is like my "PC" has been defragmented and starting a fresh.

Another wonderful thing, tonight as we speak, one of James' beach houses is being featured on the Home Channel on DSTV. I still haven't seen it but I think he managed the interview really well.  I will make sure that I get a copy up on the website shortly. He is really trying to focus a bit more on green architecture... oh for a wonderful world!

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 - the way forward

So we are now in our second week of January 2012. It is crazy how quickly time goes! This year I plan to get back to work and get some routine and stability going.  I will still be attending functions for the Brain Tumour Foundation as a part time contribution to the community. I love writing and painting as a creative outlet - I feel is essential in balancing my work and stress. I still look back at what I have been through and just have to thank God for the new life I have been given. I can honestly say that, not only am I feeling healthy but, I have my strength and drive back.

As part of my studies I have been reading Marcus Aurelius Meditations and have found it inspiring to find a kindred spirit from 2000 years ago: (For those who don't know he was a Roman Emperor and considered one of the "good" rulers.

"No: if you have taken a fall, come back again and be glad if most of your actions are on the right side of humanity. And love what you return to. "

"So there are two reasons why you should be content with your experience. One is that this has happened to you , was prescribed for you, and is related to you, a thread of destiny spun for you from the first of the most ancient causes. The second is that what comes to each individual is determining part of the welfare, perfection and indeed the very coherence of which governs the whole."

So for the New Year of 2012 I wish you all strength, endurance, simplicity, health and reward.

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