The rethink.

The rethink.

I am about to make a small request. I am already uncomfortable about it. But my feisty-writer-self will not let me proceed to other ideas without first getting this off my chest. So here it goes: I do not wish to offend or intrude – but would like to ask that you...

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The elephant.

The elephant.

‘Alright. Deep breath’. So I do. I take a deep breath. In. I forget if I exhale. I steady myself. It’s time. I walk into the room; a room, any room. It’s the same each time. Before the eyes, before the smiles, before the embraces. Before all of that, I wonder: ‘Who is...

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The fight.

The fight.

I’ll admit, I have imagined music playing at the conclusion of my funeral. More than once, actually. Anxiously chewed my cheek and let a series of notes to an unnamed song fill my head. It is not the most inspiring of day dreams. And once a thought like that enters my...

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The bounce.

The bounce.

Tuesdays are probably the nastiest days. Chemo Tuesdays. They are my low point. I am on a fortnightly chemotherapy treatment schedule. This means every second Monday, I have an in-hospital treatment on the Epworth Eastern Day Oncology ward that lasts around six hours....

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The change.

The change.

Last night, my beautiful baby boy feel asleep in my arms. In our dark bedroom, a little after midnight, I felt his head relax into the crook of my elbow, and saw his eyes rest shut. It was a moment of pure perfection. This was the first time I have had a sleeping baby...

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The mind.

The mind.

The tears fell thick and fast. I felt confused. Defeated. It had been a nice morning. I had woken up feeling good, feeling strong. My body ached from yesterday’s workout – and that was a great thing. Joshua was having a morning nap and I had a chance to think about...

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The poison.

The poison.

I know it may seem like a bizarre wish – but I wanted to lose my hair. In my mind, chemotherapy that was killing my abundant head of hair would surely really be giving it to that nasty cancer. So when my first oncologist told me that I would keep my hair, I was...

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The prognosis.

“Would you like to listen to some music while you are lying here, Nicole?”. I was stretched out on a very skinny bed with my arms above my head, waiting to be pushed into my PET scan. Music was the last thing I expected. Well, perhaps a glass of Veuve was the last...

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The diagnosis.

The diagnosis.

I have been beautifully sheltered from the burden of breaking my news. I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to say "I have cancer". My husband, Tim, and my family have taken all of my tough conversations away from me. Social media also protected me,...

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The chart.

The ward doctor entered the room with "I hear you have meds that are uncharted". Um, sorry? I deciphered this statement at the time as follows: it appeared one of my Zarzio immunity injections hadn't been included in the documented medication list when I arrived at...

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