A Buttered Bum

*I gave a talk yesterday at a Breast Cancer Awareness function in Doha. There were some great speakers from Hamad and the Cancer Centre - lots of great info and a great event to show women in Qatar that they are in good hands. I really want to say thank you to the American Women's Association. Those love heart cushions and drain bags are so … [Read more...]

Something To Be Aware Of During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I began my first round of chemotherapy almost twelve months ago. I had arrived back in Doha to be with my family after having surgery in Australia, knowing that the real fun was about to start. When it comes to cancer people change their language completely, it somehow becomes brutal and harsh. Everyone's fighting a war, referring to themselves as … [Read more...]

Heading Home

If I'm driving to my parents house in the country I often tell people I'm heading "home" for the weekend. While I'm there, in their house, the one I've called my own for years; the one where I celebrated our marriage, and returned with baby, after baby, after baby, after baby. So many babies. While I'm there, in their house, my home, on a lazy … [Read more...]

The Backstabbing World of Working From Home

Working from home means I often walk from room to room while carrying a laptop and wearing noise cancelling headphones. The headphones often feel like I'm entering a vacuum, the modern seashell to an ear. While I sit at my desk in Doha I can immediately be transported to a colleague's inner city Melbourne apartment with the muffled sounds of … [Read more...]

What Would Your Chemo Song Be?

I took the advice of a friend. I grabbed every email, text and offer of support from friends here in Doha and made a little Facebook group. I'd spent a couple of days running into people and repeating the same information again and again and it was bringing me down. Not the catching up with the friends bit, just the constant cancer chat. Where is … [Read more...]

I’d Be Alison

I made one last check of the mailbox, what wasn't discovered today would be left tomorrow when I made my way back to Qatar from Australia. The shoebox came with a note scribbled on the top right hand corner of the lid. The exact words I can't remember but it was something like "Don't get excited it's not a new pair of shoes". I'd began to form a … [Read more...]

Gripping On To The Wreckage

My mind has been completely scrambled for the past two weeks. It wasn't just a matter of cruising down that famous river in Egypt, denial. I was heading Tsunami style, gripping on to the wreckage of life before cancer. Nothing will change. I can work full time. I've got this. This is merely a blip. I'd lose concentration mid sentence, find … [Read more...]

You Deserved To Get Cancer

Arguably the most shameful of cancer on the list of organs and appendages is lung. "Was he/she a smoker?" they ask upon hearing the desperate news. The answer dependant on whether it was just pure bad luck or just desserts. A reader recently told me of her husband who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer of the lung having never had a cigarette in his … [Read more...]

Had I Not Moved

Like many living in the Northern Hemisphere my Facebook feed has been full of recent back to school pictures. The most touching and personal one for me was a friend in Canada who posted two shots side by side. On the left her two girls in Grade 2 and Kindergarten, tiny little people with beaming smiles wearing the cutest blue pinafores with the … [Read more...]

Days Without Yips

Sometimes you just have to lock yourself away for the day. Well I do. Maybe it's not for everyone, but Friday was one of those days. Just a day. I just needed a day to be miserable about this very inconvenient case of breast cancer. I woke up on Saturday with a clearer head, sunshine streaming through the windows, and plans. Plans are good. It was … [Read more...]