Why should I deny Bianca's right to be a child?

Dear Anonymous living in Avon, Ohio, United States (IP address - isn't it funny how you come onto my blog and criticise me but don't even have the guts to put your name. You said "Bianca is too old to believe in the tooth fairy and santa. she needs to be told that they are not real." - well here is my response to you:

First of all - Bianca is 6. She is a little girl. She isn't grown up (even though in some respects cancer made her grow up quicker) and honestly kids her age should still be able to use their imaginations like believing in the tooth fairy and in Santa.

Secondly - she knows the meaning of Christmas. She knows why we celebrate it, but why should we take away "Santa" from her? I have fond memories growing up as a child waking up to find he visited in the night. And I like that she is sharing in this as well. And really kids only start losing their teeth when they are around 5 or 6 years old.

She is a child, a little girl - do you honestly believe that the only things she should be exposed to should be the harsh realities of living in a grown-up world? Well she had more than 2 years of that - dealing with a life-threatening situation, dealing with cancer and treatments and hair loss and much more than many other kids her age (or even adults for that matter) will ever have to deal with. If you don't believe me, go read here. If you had to go through what she did, would you be able to do it with a smile on your face, with the grace that she showed and her excitement for life? Don't you think that after all she's been through she deserves to have a chance just to be a child? Don't you think that kids should be kids just for a little while before they have to step into a world that is often cruel and harsh with little room to escape? Does it honestly matter if for just a little while she believes in the magic of Santa and fairies and reads books about things that aren't all that real, but make for good stories? Tell me? Do you ever read fiction or watch a movie? Well, those aren't exactly real or necessarily based on real life you know.

You must be a very sad individual to want to deny a child a world of imagination and to deny the fact that even though she is 6 years old, she is but a little girl who is growing up so fast that before we know it, she would no longer be a child. I'm sorry if it doesn't suit you, but I like to keep my girls kids for as long as possible because they will have their whole lives ahead of them to be all grown up and deal with reality.

If you don't agree with what I write on my blog, then please feel free to stop visiting.


Busy days

I'm a bit behind in updating and I'm sorry. Things are busy around here, but I'm not complaining because it beats the time when all we ever did was sit around at the hospital waiting for things to happen.

So here is an update:

For a while now Bianca's one tooth has been quite wiggly. And on Friday she had a bit of a mishap, she fell at school and out popped the tooth. At first she was quite upset that she fell, but she left the health room smiling when Mrs Stewart reminded her the tooth fairy would pay her a visit.

Not long to go now - in 4 days time Bianca will be shaving off my hair. Thank you so much to my mom for sponsoring me. My mom has always been so involved in our journey even though she is living so far away from us, she has always supported my participation with Funrazor, she sends weekly emails and so much more. I'm now sitting at $575. If you haven't sponsored me yet, please consider contributing. Every single cent will make a huge difference. And please please spread the word. You can visit my fundraising site here: http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/Lea/.

Yesterday (Saturday) we watched Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs and both kids had the best time ever. Of course their favourite part is getting the snacks for the movie, but watcing the movie is great too. This one was a 3D movie and we were curious to see how Caitlyn managed with the special glasses. She did okay for most of the movie and looked so cute.

This morning Bianca and Caitlyn each received a very special video email message from Santa. It was so cute seeing their faces as he knew their ages and names and they could see their photo in his book and he knew what they wanted. It is the cutest thing watching them watch it. Bianca sat there saying "I knew he is real" (of course some of the kids in her class are starting to question I guess and talking about it). Then when we went to the shopping centre today they got to meet Santa and they sat on his lap and we managed to get a photo done. Terence will be looking to scan our original photo that we bought so we can have more than one. I just love this magical time where kids' faces light up at the thought of Christmas and Santa and lots of surprises. Here is a photo I took of the photo they took.

And so far work is going well. I'm still enjoying it. I am responsible for the admin part of things, but have helped out at some of the events and that is so cool. Here is a photo I took when we went to watch a bit of the Sovereign Harbour Crossing the other day. This is a 2.8km swim. We didn't stay too long because Caitlyn became bored pretty quickly, so unfortunately we couldn't watch for very long.

We also do the Beach Series which is every Tuesday on Takapuna Beach and you can either do a 5km run, a swim, paddle, and so on. There is even a 2.5km run for kids.

All I could do was roll my eyes...

Today I found a news article (thanks to Vickie for sharing the link on Facebook) and I can't remember when last I laughed this much. It is one of those "this is how you should raise your baby" kind of article which clearly wasn't written by somebody with actual experiences of having her own child, or maybe it is somebody who is into Scientology or something. Some of what she mentioned sounded vaguely familiar when I read about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes about raising their daughter the Scientology way. But anyway...

This expert, Polly Elam (I Googled her and found a PDF document listing all her qualifications and work experience, but not a single mention of whether she has kids or actually tried out the advice she is giving and charging lots of money for) recons that "from day one a parent should consult their baby before picking them up, changing their nappy or taking them on outings. That means talking the baby through what you are about to do, before you do it and waiting for their response".

So I guess Baby wakes up screaming and you then sit there and say "Is it okay if I pick you up to check if perhaps your nappy is wet or dirty, would it be okay with you? I'm going to stick my hands into your cot, slide it underneath your head and your back, then I'm going to lift you up, put you on the bed, take off your baby grow, undo the nappy, take a wet wipe, wipe your bottom, put a clean nappy on, put your babygrow back on and lift you back up. Scream!!!! Okay, okay, I hear you are screaming, but can I have your response to whether it is okay for me to do what I just said? You didn't hear me because you were screaming as I explained??? Okay so this is what I want to do..." Right... Problem number 1: from day 1 babies are typically incredibly impatient. They don't like waiting. I remember when Bianca woke up being hungry, I would barely have enough time to run to the kitchen, heat up her bottle, put in the milk powder, shake it all up and stick it in her mouth. If I wasn't quick enough she would scream to the extend where I was worried the neighbours would come knocking on the door and if I wasn't fast enough I'd have to try and calm her down first before she would drink properly. Yeah, not much time for talking her through the process, asking her permission and waiting for her response. I did learn some time-saving strategies, but can honestly not say that she would have given me sufficent time to actually hold a whole discussion around the process.

And then Polly goes on to say that if parents skip the consultation they should then later apologise to the baby and explain why they acted hastily. Polly recons that this strategy leads to confident, happy children with high self-esteem who can solve problems. Well Polly, there is nothing wrong with my girls. Both of them are happy, confident, they have a high self-esteem, they can solve problems and in fact we encourage them ways of learning to solve problems, and what's more they have great manners and show respect to others too, but that wasn't because I followed your phillosophy...

"At other times, babies and toddlers should be allowed to explore at home, rather than being restrained in high chairs..." Right, I wonder if Polly has ever had to run after a 1 year old trying to get supper into them. When Bianca was around that age we haven't yet bought a high chair, and I can't tell you how often I actually had to run after her trying to spoon food into her mouth. She simply didn't like sitting still. Surely in my opinion if you put them into a high chair when they eat supper with the family, surely that also teaches them that we show respect for others too. That as a family we eat together and we wait for everybody to finish eating before running around again. And surely this way they can't just topple off a big chair and fall off or choke on food that they had in their mouth as they ran around. Sure I'm all for exploring in the house, but as a parent you also have to teach your child to show respect to others as well.

Elam says: "We try not to praise the child for things that they would do naturally ... a little bit of struggle is what a child enjoys doing. When they have accomplished something, we want them to have the intrinsic feeling of, `I did it!', rather than looking for the external praise." Really? So the fact that Caitlyn is busy learning to toilet train I should just ignore it each time she actually did it in the toilet instead of in her undies? Really? I'm sorry, but I disagree with that. I think it is important to share in Caitlyn's excitement. I think it is important to recognise that what she is doing is great and amazing even if something like that might not be particularly exciting to Polly.

I can't help wondering if Polly actually have or had her own children and I wonder if she actually tried out her own phillosophies or is this merely just somebody trying to sound all fancy and making money off parents? I vote on the latter...


Monthly hospital visit

Today was Bianca's monthly hospital visit. I'm pleased to report that all her counts are looking good. So the bruises really are just from playing and not because her Platelets were low. She ended up having an IVIG, but it sounds as if this was the last one. She managed to get to school for a little bit before finish time and of course had after-school care afterwards. So all in all things were great!

Tomorrow in one week is the big shave. I hope that if you are in the area you will come past and support us as Bianca shaves my hair. I'm now sitting at $545. Thank you also to Lisa for her generous donation! I really appreciate it!

Tonight I feel quite sad for little Christopher's family. They lost an incredibly brave and amazing son, grandson and brother. Please could you keep them in your prayers - that they will find comfort, strength and courage as they begin this part of their journey. It is so incredibly sad. I so wish with all my heart that things were different. That they didn't have to deal with this heartache.


Nearly another hospital visit...

Just a quick update tonight.

Bianca has another hospital visit tomorrow. Terence will be taking her, which will be quite different to how we usually do it as I would normally take Bianca, but I'm working tomorrow so Terence will do this instead. I'm hopeful it will just be a short visit and that she won't need an IVIG tomorrow. I'm keen to see Bianca's blood tests. She has quite a few bruises on her legs and I know that this is likely just because of playing, but one can't help wondering if it might be that her platelets have come down a bit for some or the other reason. So yes, I'm quite keen to see those results.

Thank you very much Del (SuperRelish) for your very generous donation and for spreading the word about Funrazor next week. I'm now sitting at $515 and every little bit will make a big big difference. So far 39% are saying "size zero" and 32% are saying "size one". 7 More days of voting...

Now I'm off to bed as it is way past my bedtime and now that I'm working again we are waking up pretty early in the mornings. I'll write another update tomorrow after Bianca's hospital visit.


Slowly but surely getting there

So far 45% of the votes are saying size zero. What do you say? Voting on the right...

I want to say a big thank you to Marg, Janet McFadden, Carolyn M, Paul Curtis and Sam Curley-Young for their very generous donations. So far I'm sitting at NZ$485. Thank you so very much. Every little bit will make a very big difference.

I had a comment from Merideth wanting to know how the money exchange part on the donation form works and I thought I'd answer it here. When you click on "Make a donation" on my fundraising site, a form will open up that will allow you to complete your details such as your name, email address, your country and so on. The amount you put in will show up as New Zealand dollars. When you click on the bit that says: "If your home currency is different click here to convert your home currency donation into the equivalent NZD$" it takes you to the XE site. This is just to give you an idea of what the amount you would like to donate would be in New Zealand dollars. For instance:

20.00 NZD


14.4920 USD

New Zealand Dollars United States Dollars
1 NZD = 0.724600 USD 1 USD = 1.38007 NZD

And so this is just to give you an idea what the NZ$ amount would be in your particular currency. So when you have put an amount in NZ$ that you are happy with, and completed the credit card details, you should be able to click on Proceed and voila - it should be done. As simple as that. It is a secure site and all monies raised will go directly to the Child Cancer Foundation.

I want to also say thank you very much to those of you who have spread the word including Sam who shared it on her blog. Please keep spreading the word. I don't have a lot of time to try and reach my goal and in a bit more than a week it will be the big day!

I can't believe that I have completed a whole week of work so far. On Friday night I helped them out at their registration event just prior to their event on Saturday and I must say I really enjoyed it. So it will be interesting to see what this week holds. On Wednesday Bianca will have her monthly hospital visit again and this time Terence will have to take her. Hopefully she won't need to get an IVIG again and that will certainly make the visit much quicker than before. I am keen to see her blood test results. Other than that we are just trotting along with the usual stuff.


Only 2 weeks to go...

$280 raised so far. Please, please if you haven't yet, please consider sponsoring me. It is just 2 weeks until my big shave. Even if you live in a different country. The site is secure and accepts credit cards. And please spread the word. All the money that I manage to raise will go directly to the Child Cancer Foundation. Every single cent. They need so much to do the wonderful work they do and yet, they don't get any government funding. Cancer doesn't discriminate, it is sneaky and it hits when you least expect it. For many kids treatment takes a long long time, some are lucky like Bianca and copes well with their treatment. Others like little Kyah who passed away today exactly a year ago and little Christopher who has just received news that his cancer has spread to his brain and he has just a few days (maybe as much as 2 weeks) left. I have a whole blog filled with links - most of those belong to children and then a site in memory of those who simply didn't stand a chance. So many of us need places like the Child Cancer Foundation to help us and without their support this journey would have been so incredibly incredibly difficult.

I will shave off my hair in honour of my very brave girl - Bianca. And she will get to shave my hair. She will be there wearing her beads with pride. And I'm asking you to sponsor me in honour of Bianca whose story you have been following for so very long. Her ups and downs, the "joys" of things like steroids, her smile, sometimes a few tears and lots and lots of hospital stays. Please help me reach my goal. Last year I managed to raise over $2,000 and I would be so pleased if I could achieve a similar goal.

I want to say a big thank you to Andrew Taunton, Shelley, Saana, Scott and Tash, Born to Bead, Sabibah and Gawie and family for their generous donations. It will make such a big difference, thank you so very much.

So what will it be this year? Year zero, one or two? Voting on the side!


Here I go again

Remember last year when I shaved off my hair (or rather when Bianca shaved off my hair)? Remember I wrote about it here? Well yesterday when I started my boss chatted to me about Funrazor and said that he would be very happy for me to participate again this year. So I am taking this opportunity to do my bit for the Child Cancer Foundation as a thank you for the wonderful work they do.

Now there is not a whole lot of time left - the event is happening at the Albany Westfield on 3 December 2009 at 4pm. You are welcome to shave off your own hair (just visit this website) - or if you are not quite brave enough, I'm happy to do it in exchange for your sponsorship. Please help me reach my goal. Every contribution will make a big difference - no matter how big or small, so please consider sponsoring me. 100% of the money raised through this event will go to the Child Cancer Foundation. They don't get any government funding and this event is one way they are able to raise the much-needed funds they require to do the work they do.

In 2007 we became one of "those families" when Bianca was diagnosed with leukemia. It wasn't something we ever thought would happen to us, but it did. Without the support from the Child Cancer Foundation, this journey would have been so incredibly hard. But they have been there for us every step of the way. Participating in Funrazor is one way I am able to give a little bit back.

I set up a fundraising site. It is a secure site and accepts credit cards, so it really doesn't matter where you live. Every single contribution will make such a big difference - no matter how big or small. Please could you visit my site and consider sponsoring me?

This year Bianca and her beads will be there once again to shave off my hair. If you are in the area, make sure you join us at Albany Westfield on 3 December 2009 at 4pm and come see Bianca shave off my hair.


Starting my new career

I was meant to blog yesterday about my painting workshop on Saturday, but I haven't even had a chance to download photos yet. So will soon.

Today was my first day at work. Well techinically I've been at work for the past 3 years or so - playing housewife is work, but you just don't get paid for it. Terence keeps saying I just finished my 3 year holiday, but no, I don't agree. Being a housewife is simply not the same as being on holiday - well if it was, where are the palm trees and my suntan? So I should rather say today was the start of my new career. Oh yes, that sounds much better :-).

Anyway, I was meant to be there at 10am (tomorrow will be the normal time of 8:30) and so we still wanted to try and fit in with our normal routine and so by 7:24 we had both kids dropped off and we came back home and wow, it felt so weird sitting and waiting for 9:30 to arrive so I could leave for work.

My day was good. I have quite a few new things to learn and pick up as they are quite a specialised business and they have very specific processes I will need to follow. Of course impatient me just wants to get to the point where it is all very familiar and I won't need to rely on somebody to get things done, but hopefully it won't be too long. I do think I will enjoy it a lot and everybody that I work with seems really nice (even the two people I haven't met yet, but chatted on the email today).

So here goes - my brand new adventure!


My Sister's Keeper

Tonight I went to watch My Sister's Keeper. I'm not going to analyse and describe the movie because I'm sure there are many who have not yet seen it. I heard some people were disappointed because they say the ending in the book was changed for the movie. I haven't read the book so can't comment on that.

I liked the movie. I did not cry even though lots of others in the movie were crying. But I did think parts were really sad, but lots were really beautiful and meaningful too. The only thing I found a bit weird was seeing a cancer patient with a bald head and thick eye lashes. That seemed weird. When Bianca started her chemo that caused hair loss, she lost her eye lashes too (or at least most of them).

But overall, I thought the movie was good and I'm really glad I went to see it.


Now this is just plain scary

Labtests were fairly recently (can't remember exactly when) appointed as the main lab doing blood tests and stuff like that. To date they have not been very popular and many people complain about the service they get - things like slow service, results taking a very long time, incorrect results being sent out, results not forwarded to all the relevant parties and so on. I felt a bit anxious when I recently had to take Caitlyn for a blood test and thought at the time that it wasn't too bad. They were very busy on that day, but our wait wasn't too long and the results were ready pretty quickly. Of course it helps when you say we need the results urgently because your other daughter is immuno-compromised and depending on the results we might find ourselves in a risky situation.

Today I read an article in the New Zealand Herald where a patient was referred to Labtests for further tests when the GP saw an irregularity on an x-ray. Their initial feedback - no signs of cancer. When the patient requested that they re-test the sample that was sent, but at another different lab, it turned out that it was cancer and much worse than they initially thought. How on earth can a lab miss vital information like this? Often with cancer, timing is everything. You simply don't have a lot of time to sit and waste.

The scary thing for us is, that if we are ever told to get a blood test for Bianca done outside of Starship Children's Hospital - we'll need to go to Labtests because that is what their contract is all about. What if Bianca's results ate simply not correct because they messed up? Could I truly ever trust that the results are indeed correct? How do you trust somebody who keeps making mistake after mistake after mistake? It is so scary I tell you.



It is that time of the year again, the time to shave off your hair (or support somebody who will be)! But this year unfortunately I won't be participating. It is just not practical with starting a new job. So instead I would like you all to support these 4 amazing ladies.

These four ladies each have their own story, they are child cancer mums. From left to right is Shanell (Kyah's mum), Becs (Liam's mum), Alma (David's mum) and Catherine (Sean's mum). (Alma has grown her hair the past 11 years, so she has lots that will come off...)

In honour of their very brave children, they have teamed together to try and raise NZ$50,000 for the Child Cancer Foundation. Every single cent of the money they raise will go to the Child Cancer Foundation. From personal experience we know that without CCF, people like us would have found it so incredibly hard to cope with our journey. Unfortunately, the sad fact is, that so many families are going through child cancer. And so many more will have to face the road tomorrow and the day after and the day after. Child Cancer is also sneaky, it catches you when you least expect it, when you are not prepared and it usually doesn't give you the luxury of time to make lots of different plans. It is a matter of jump in and swim and it doesn't care if and how well you might be able to swim. The journey is also incredibly exhausting and for many of us the treatment alone takes years and then there are the follow-ups and check-ups going forward. It is truly a journey I wish nobody would have to walk.

So how can you help?

Well, you can sponsor these amazing ladies by visiting their fundraising site here. This is a secure site that enables you to use a credit card. So even if you are located overseas, it is still possible to support them. Remember that 100% of all monies raised will go to the CCF.

If you are reluctant to use a credit card, you can deposit money in this bank account:
Westpac, Newtown Branch 03-0239-0159670-04 ref 1041670 (Pls make sure you add the reference so that it is allocated correctly) (Bank details updated)

Or you can see where they will be doing an actual collection by following their updates on their journal.

Of course if you are brave enough, you are welcome to register here and shave off your own hair to help raise money for the CCF and of course CCF is always looking for volunteers to help out with the event.

So please consider supporting these 4 amazing ladies. Please help brave children like:

Taking a step into our post-chemo routine

Today is exactly 2 months since Bianca finished her chemo treatment. I can hardly believe it. I wasn't actually counting days and weeks and so on, but we do still have our little ticker widget on the side and that shows 2 months. Wow. When we were still on treatment it sometimes felt as if we would never get to the end of treatment. Especially in the beginning when it felt so far away, it was better just to focus on now and putting one foot in front of the other. And here we are, 2 months past end of treatment.

So it is quite fitting that at this time I am taking my first few steps into our real post-chemo routine - I'm going back to work. I received a job offer for an Office Manager position at a company responsible for Wag 'n Walk, Beach Series and the Ocean Swim Series. I won't be responsible for managing the events, but I'll be taking care of the office and offering all the admin support they need to help them put these events together. What I really like is that this job will offer so much variety and potential for growth and I'm really excited about that.

I'm a little scared too. But don't get me wrong. I am super-excited to be able to go back to work and to have this wonderful opportunity. I know that I will be able to do the job. Sure, there will be new things to learn too, but that's all part of growth and development and that's what I need and want. It is just quite a strange feeling to take these steps into our post-chemo routine. For more than 2 years we had to live in the moment. Planning was out of the question because things so often changed at the last minute. For more than 2 years, the knowledge we gained about leukemia, the routines we had to create, became familiar, it felt safe because we knew it, we sort of knew what to expect, it was our comfort zone. And so this new routine is new, it is different, but it is also needed and necessary and important. It is time to get back on track, Bianca's counts are great. It is time to start living like normal people again. And so I feel extremely blessed at having this great opportunity.

So now I'll have to go clothes shopping so that I can be all ready to start on Monday.


How to guides

On Sunday night Terence showed me some links on WikiHow.

I must say there were some fairly interesting "how to" guides, and then a whole range of absolutely hilarious ones. Like this one on how to open a bottle of water. Now hands up how many of you have no idea on how to open a bottle of water and have to consult a step-by-step illustrated guide. And not just 2 steps, but 7 steps with a photo illustrating each step.

Of course maybe you have been wondering how to dunk a teddy bear biscuit in a glass of milk. Well now you can find out how in 5 simple steps (sorry no photos with this how-to guide).

Or maybe you need to herd some cats.

And of course what's Halloween unless you can dress up your cat? Here is a guide on how to make halloween wings for your cat (yeah, I can see that one will end in tears, and I don't think it will be the cat...)


And another one...

What a joke!

If this woman (above) is found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol and then killing a new dad (read article here) - she might get 5 years in prison. 5 Years for taking another life? 5 Years for killing somebody? Is that all Frank van Kampen's life was worth - 5 years in jail? Surely if you kill somebody you should get life, not just 5 years. So for 5 years she'll sit in a prison and pretend to be rehabilitated and pretend to be sorry, and then? Then she'll simply get on with her life and probably do what she did before. What a joke!

See this little baby in this photo?

This little baby will never ever know her dad. Her dad was murdered, killed in an instant because some idiot decided it was okay to drink and then drive. See the family in the photo above? They have been given a life-sentence. For the rest of their lives they have to live with the sadness, the devastation, the heartbreak that this idiot caused. It was no accident, it was deliberate. Did she slip and fall and land with her face into a bottle of alcohol? No, she made the decision to drink. Did she slip and fall and landed in her car and somehow accidentally pushed against the accelerator? No! It was a deliberate decision to get into her car, she put her car keys into the ignition, she closed the door and she drove off, knowing full well that she was under the influence. It was no accident. It was murder. I can't believe that all she might get is a maximum penalty of only 5 years in jail, if she is found guilty - that is just ridiculous!!!

If you drink, then drive, then kill somebody - it is murder - plain and simple.

The face of a murderer

Look at this - this is the face of a murderer. A cold-blooded murderer. A man who made a deliberate decision to drink alcohol. A man who made a deliberate decision to then get into a car and then drive and as a result he killed somebody. He is a murderer - plain and simple.

NZ herald article

When I look at this below photo of him sobbing after being found guilty - I feel nothing but disgust. He showed no compassion for anybody else the day he decided to drink and drive. He didn't care that his actions could hurt another person. He only thought of himself. I can't help wondering if he is crying because he truly feels sorry (although that really doesn't matter anymore and all the crying in the world can't fix what he did wrong, it can't bring back this young lady, he simply took her life) or is it that he is crying because he got caught and because he will have to take responsibility for his actions. Is it that they are taking away his "freedom" and he will hopefully have a very long prison sentence and won't have a chance to drink and drive again.

Katie Powles got married just 4 months prior to being killed by this cold-blooded murderer. She just started a brand new life with her husband. They had dreams, goals, and in an instant this monster (above) took her life and devastated and destroyed the life of Katie and her new husband.

Tony Worrell, I hope they make an example of you. I hope you rot in jail for a very very long time. I hope you will forever regret the day you decided to drink and then get into your car and drive off. I hope that the smiling image of Katie and then her mangled car will haunt you for the rest of your life.


The Choice

I can't remember when last I read a whole book in as short a time as I did with The Choice. I started late yesterday and read a bit and then again after the kids went to bed. I couldn't put it down last night and at one point realised that it was past midnight so time to put it down and I finished it today. Before I found it now recently, I could remember snippets from when I first read it so many years ago. I must say that now that I have read it again, I found it a very well written book. After all, I could hardly put it down. In parts I could relate quite well and certainly some of the medicines mentioned, I was familiar with. I'm really glad I found the book, even though this particular book is a little sad.

There was one part of the book that stood out "...It was a sight she had witnessed many times in her young life. Tonight it seemed quite different. Nothing else had changed, only herself. Yet nothing was the same anymore. Not eating, not sleeping, not going to school, not talking to her friends on the phone for hours one end. Once you've heard that word cancer, that devastating word, nothing can ever be the same again."

And that is so true. Life can never be the way it was before cancer. And even though we have slotted into our new after-chemo routine, things are different to the way they were before. We have different priorities, different goals, perhaps a little less energy and certainly we have come to know the people who would be there for us regardless of the situation and those who would rather choose to fade away in the background, that when we came to the fork in our road, they chose the other road away from the road we had to walk. But we have no regrets. We don't regret that leukemia happened. The whole experience made us stronger. We learned a lot from it. We have no anger or even sadness. I have always refused to let our lives be driven by sadness, because we owed it to ourselves to look for positives and to find happiness despite the cancer, that when we looked back we could remember the happier days also. I look at Bianca and it makes me feel so proud that she is able to live life despite all the challenges she faced. I feel so proud that she does not feel sorry for herself, that she lives her life to the fullest, that she can smile and laugh and dream. She makes us so extremely proud!

Fun with Daddy

I was having a nice afternoon nap (after all that's what Saturday afternoons are there for...) and it was Caitlyn's resting time too. During that time Bianca and Terence amused themselves and this is what they did:

At least this time round she didn't paint Terence's face like a clown, but this time he is a tiger - I think that might become his new Facebook profile photo :-)


Last night we lit some sparklers. Bianca was so excited, but Caitlyn wasn't very interested and so watched a show inside while we were outside. Some of the sparklers were ones we bought this past week and they weren't particularly good. Fair enough they sparkled for a fair amount of time, but had very little sparkle, so wasn't overly impressive. We then discovered some that we bought last year and they were much better. I'm not too sure who enjoyed it the most - Terence or Bianca, but either way, the two of them had lots of fun.

This next photo is one of my favourites. When I look at it, I can't help thinking that even when things might seem very dark, we merely have to hold on to a tiny little bit of hope to light up our lives. So there - that's my philisophical moment of the day...


I found it!!!!

It doesn't feel that long ago that I wondered (and am shocked to find it was way back on the 2nd of February 2009) about a book I read so many years ago. Remember I wrote about it here. And now the past week or two I finally remembered. I don't even know how I stumbled across it on trusty old Google, but there it was - details of the book I read so many years ago, that I've been wanting to read again since Bianca was diagnosed. It was "The Choice" by Henry Denker.

Terence managed to borrow the book for me from the library and I can't wait to start reading it. Of course it has to wait until I'm done with the Twilight book. I'm not sure if I'll ever become a Twilight addict and I guess the book is okay, but I still have around 100 more pages to go so we'll see how it goes.

Movies, goblins, witches and little fairies

Oh my! What a very busy week this past week. But I don't mind. It certainly was more interesting than my usual routines, so I'm most definitely not complaining. One thing that I simply can't believe is that the first week of November is nearly finished and before we know it Christmas will be upon us. But anyway...

Last Friday evening Bianca's school had a pajama movie night. I remember from my school days we saw Annie and I remember how exciting it was to have a movie at school. We decided this time we'll let Caitlyn participate in one of Bianca's school events. Of course that meant we had to go along too to look after Caitlyn, but Bianca went off and sat with her friends. The movie was "Happily (N)ever after" and I must say it is not really one of my favourites (well, Terence was a bit more blunt in sharing his thoughts on the movie and I have to remind him, the movie wasn't chosen for us adults...).

On Saturday it was halloween and Terence first took the girls trick or treating here in our area. Bianca decided to dress up as a witch and Caitlyn wanted to be a fairy.

After that we went to visit friends for the evening and the girls had a second chance at trick or treating. After the kids (and most of the men) left for their trick-or-treating session, I stayed behind with a few of the other parents ready to entertain some of the other kids who might come past. One little boy was dressed up as Ben 10. I couldn't resist and asked him if he was a big scary ghost. Well, he gave me this look almost asking if I was absolutely crazy and insisted "I'm Ben 10".

So here are the girls busy trick-or-treating:

And what happens after a sugar-rush?


Busy days

I was meant to blog about our weekend starting with the movie night Bianca had at school on Friday and then Halloween, but I have not had a chance. Things here are busy, busy, busy - which is really a good thing, but of course meant that I have not had a chance to actually sit down and blog about our weekend. So hopefully tomorrow I can work through the photos we took, resize them and share them here with you.

I will say one thing though I simply can't believe we are in November already and it seems that the closer we get to Christmas the faster time flies (or perhaps it is just that I'm getting older, because I seem to remember when I was a child how long it would take to reach things like Christmas).

Hope you are all having a wonderful start to this week so far.