Waiting

January the 18th was an awesome day for so many reasons. Twelve months on (and ten months of breast cancer treatment between), I went back and completed my second sprint distance triathlon.  The first was done a week after diagnosis and marked the beginnings of me entering the fray of the disease blog genre when I published this post.

Three hundred and sixty five days ago I was filled with the terror of cancer and what was to lay ahead for me.  When I made my way into the river for the triathlon start, all of the cancer related anxiety disappeared.  I checked out of Cancerland and tuned into the sights and sounds around me in the immediate moment.  It was sunset, there were hundreds of heads and arms thrashing about ahead of me so I waited at the back of the swim pack to compose myself. There were large rivergums on the banks and the sun dappled through their branches, there were sulphur crested cockatoos and galahs screeching at each from the treetops.  Through my goggles I could just make out the Port of Echuca Wharf in the distance.

I recall the exhilaration of commencing movement through the tea coloured water, of seeing air bubbles emerge from my mouth, stick to my face and be pushed away with the momentum of swimming.  Of seeing arms and legs thrashing and churning through the water.  The thrill of turning the large meander bend in the river and swimming within metres of paddles steamers.  Of being pushed along by the current of the ancient river towards something great.  The sensation of fine river sediments squishing between toes as I stood to make my way up the hill to the bike transition.  I was alive and the Dread Dragon from the previous week had finally taken a nap and didn’t return for a couple of days. My family and friends were there to encourage and support me.  I wondered if I would ever do anything like it ever again.   I would have to wait a long time to see.

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Photo from echucatriclub.com

Two days later, the Dread Dragon returned and breathed fireballs at everything that mattered to me in my life. Struggling to sleep and eat from the fear of the unknown, the long road ahead of cancer treatment ate away at me.   Mr Cool took me off to my local hospital, anorexic from my short dalliance with the anti-depressant medication my doctor had tried to help me with a week earlier, nauseated and with heart palpitations from the sheer anxiety and terror of being a newbie to the world of cancer. The waiting for results had began.

After finishing ten months of treatment and giving my radiation burns time to heal I decided to return to this event.  In November,  once treatment was complete, I took off like a rocket and tried to train as I once had, six times a week.  But it was too soon and too much for my chemo and surgically depleted hemoglobin.  I was falling into bed at 7:30pm and was unable to wake in the mornings. So I dropped the training back to three sessions a week and that seemed to be enough to help lift my treatment fatigue.  I almost gave up on the idea of returning to the same triathlon. For weeks it just seemed unachievable and unrealistic.

But in mid December I decided to have another go at reaching the goal and I started training more frequently again.  I wasn’t waiting any longer.  My goal was just to go back and finish it again, 700 metres swim, 20 km’s on the bike and a 5 km run and feel comfortable in myself through the process.

I’m glad I didn’t give up on this idea.  I’m glad I didn’t wait.

This time, there was much less fear about doing the actual triathlon even though I had a lot less fitness.  Having completed it before helped, but there was something about what I have been through in 2013 has made me a bit tougher with respect to challenges.  A bit more of a go getter.  Some people suggested I should wait.  Wait till my body had recovered more.  But there is no time to waste.  Why should I wait to be ready to exercise?  To train?  What was I supposed to wait for?  What was I fearful of?  Getting better?  Getting past cancer?  Getting on with living?

I’ve put off many things in my life thinking there would be a more appropriate time down the track to start working towards something.  I’ve made loads of excuses.  I sat and waited.  The years rolled on by, and I was still waiting.  But I’ve learnt this year that the best time to start is NOW.  Not when I think I look more respectable in lycra or am fitter, or have faster times or feel more comfortable while running. But to just jump in and have a go.  Just drop the fears and the inhibitions that hold us back.  I’m not going to be the Mum who sits on the side of the pool anymore and watches my kids.  I am what I am. In all of my puffy, wobbly, bald, post treatment glory.

While waiting in a pre race toilet queue, I got talking to a lady who asked me if I had done the race before. My thin short hair still screams cancer to some people and after she glanced up at my scalp she paused uncomfortably.  I told her my story and she proceeded to show me her open heart surgery scar from ten months earlier. Surgeons removed what was thought to be cancer on her aortic valve. And there we were waiting in a pre race toilet queue about to do a sprint distance triathlon. Both of us with an appreciation for our lives and making the most of things.  Waiting for the loo.  But not waiting for the things that were important to us.

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What incredible friends and family I have! Photo Credit to Bevan Lemon.

Then, while waiting on the grass for the pre race briefing, I spotted a couple walking past the park. They had waited for the right moment to approach me.  I bawled like a baby on recognising high school friends Mel from the Blog I GOT THE GOOD CANCER and ‘Bevan Lemon’  that drove a 700km round trip to surprise me.  This gesture mean’t so much to me and I will be forever be grateful to them for doing that.  Even more incredible was that Mel had just finished 6 months of chemo and here she was, in the northern part of the state on a 39 degree day cheering me on (and she still has better head coverage than me!) and all while waiting to see if her cancer was in remission or not.

When Mr Cool and I went to leave our children with their grandparents to walk to the start of the swim, my oldest son got upset.  This was partly because he saw my reaction to Mel and Bevan’s arrival.  But it was also about him remembering the details of this previous year vividly.

He remembers the state his Mum was in last time I did a triathlon and it was when his life changed immeasurably.  Shortly after that triathlon his Mum went away to hospital many times, she came home with hard breasts with scars and spent long durations in bed and there was a bag of blood attached to her and she kept going back to hospital all the time to see doctors.  She couldn’t hug him like she used to because she was in too much pain and she couldn’t lift her arm anymore. Then her hair all fell out and she was too sick to care for him and his brother, and people kept arriving at his home with meals and cards and flowers.  He had waited a long time for “his” Mum to be “his” Mum again.  And now we were back in the place where in his mind, it all began.

After reassuring him that everything was okay and that I was very happy and excited, he agreed to cheer for us and I gave him our camera and asked him to take some photos.  He played with his brother and they watched and waited for their parents to come into view as the race progressed.

With all of the excitement of surprises from sneaky friends and unsettled kids,  Mr Cool and I hurriedly made our way to the start and while walking with a friend the tears started flowing at the feeling of being back here.  I had waited a long time to get back here, to this moment.

We were late getting to the start line and it was like a comedy of errors with Mr Cool and I trying to get our wetsuits on as the starter called five minutes and a few hundred people gathered in the water below us.

Seven months after chemo my regrowth nicely resembles Harold Bishop! Way to go me!

Seven months after chemo my regrowth nicely resembles Harold Bishop! Way to go me!

Still conscious of my post chemo Harold Bishop hairdo, (a character from the Australian TV Soap Neighbours) and the complexities of easing the new hot flush me into tight lycra and a wetsuit that fitted me much better pre treatment, I got a quick kiss from Mr Cool and ran down and jumped into the river at the back of the pack and immediately started the swim.

I’m not a fan of menopausal hot flushes underneath a winter wetsuit and swim cap. Half way along I had to stop to tug on the neck of my wetsuit to let some cool water in.  Then I resumed swimming.  When I reached the river exit I fell over getting out of the water.  I was then unable to get the wetsuit down over my much broader chest and my arms were much more tired from the swim this year.  I walked through transition and wasted 5 minutes just trying to work out how I would GET THE DAMN WETSUIT OFF!   Riding a bike in a wetsuit?  Now there would be a challenge.  But I took my time and as the transition area emptied itself I was able to pry the wetsuit off my elbows and make my way out onto the bike course.

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Not waiting. But doing it.

On the bike the wind picked up and I was at the very back of the bike field pushing on my own through the wind. Despite there being very hot and windy conditions, I rode the 20km’s with a big wide smile.  As I pedalled along I reflected on what had occurred in 2013.  My body felt more tired with each lap but I felt comfortable, and I was okay with being last.  I was just thankful to be there, and so grateful to all of the people that supported us in 2013.

Then out of nowhere a woman rode up along side me.  After some chatting about the heat and the wind and some introductions, it turned out it was her very first triathlon.   She was intending to enter the event as a team, and wait till later on to enter as an individual. Down the track when she would have developed more fitness and discovered if she in fact liked triathlon or not.  But when she went to sign up she discovered her ‘”friend” had already entered her as an individual to complete the whole thing.  So on just 18 days of training she turned up and completed the race.  What a legend!  And that made two of us who were not waiting.

My incredible partner raced the swim and bike legs in the lead pack and then chose to stop and wait forty eight minutes for me at the start of his run leg to run alongside and finish with me. In his mind, I would not come last, as he would cross the line after me.

Yesterday, I surprised even myself. My second sprint distance triathlon achieved, twenty minutes slower than last year and my proudest achievement yet.  But most importantly I was again reminded of what an amazing network of friends and family I have around me and in choosing to do this triathlon, I was able to give my sons the image of me running across the finish line, ecstatic and with their Dad in tow.  I’m glad they didn’t have to wait a second longer to experience this.

Now if only I didn’t have to wait for some more hair!

Mr Cool gave up an age group win and stopped and waited for me so we could finish together, with Mr two chasing us up the finish chute.

Mr Cool waited 48 minutes to let me finish before him with our Mr Two chasing us up the finish chute.


Shittytittie Chemo Cuts Ten & Eleven “The Finale”

To celebrate the phenomenal response to The Shittytittie Chemo Cuts Reveal Challenge, for the finale, here is a little video recap of the cuts… enjoy.

For all the details of the challenge click here. You can also use the category menu at right of this blog to see all of the “Shittytittie Chemo Cuts Reveal Challenge” blog posts in the series.

Since it’s beginning, I have had 103 marvellous people contact me about the positive changes they are making to their lives, large and small, to live better and create a great legacy for their families, friends or communities. For every ten people, I revealed a new haircut! So with eleven haircuts in the series think of that as one bonus. Ha!

I was motivated by the loss of a beautiful past student of mine who was taken far too soon in his life and combined with my reflection of my own mortality this year with my breast cancer diagnosis, I decided to do something productive with an impending shitty situation. So I created the Shittytittie Chemo Cuts Reveal Challenge back in April. The response to this has been overwhelming and they just keep coming in…

Lisey,

For weeks now I have wanted to join your Chemo Cut Challenge. What could I do? I was going to explain the ride created for school funds and all the cash we raised…. Well that turned out to be a little less worthy of “running marathons” and even just “not buying any new clothes for a year”.

Lately I have had a massive change in my depressive anxiety journey that I could bore you for hours with.

What I will tell you is that this massive change of lens is because I know you. I walk more often than not now, I even jog a little. I park further away and run a little more with the kids and just stop and watch that movie they need me to be there for. I finally had a family holiday after eight years!!! These changes were spurred by your situation, if you weren’t feeling sorry for yourself how dare I.

I have had an excellent psychologist for a while now, but somehow your attitude, wit and especially your challenge just won’t leave me. These small changes have lead to massive changes for the better in my relationship, my children’s happiness and my business.

Thank you Miss J! This is what I’m talking about! Yeah!

Here are the final cuts, number 10 and 11… the Hare Krishna and the G. I. Jane Baldy.

Here we go!

Here we go!

A family affair!

A family affair!

The Hare Krishna Cut. Yes, Yes, Yes!

Going going...

Going going…

Gone!

Gone! G. I. Jane Baldy

What was interesting throughout this process was that I was able to take control of it and have fun. The first time I saw my complete head shaved I actually liked what I saw. I could not stop staring at myself in the mirror clippers in hand, with family watching and children taking pictures on iPhones.

I never experienced the trauma of chunks of hair in the shower or on the pillow which you often hear about with people undergoing chemo. Of course, it took a few more weeks for my head to lose the mousey brown stubble from the final shave and although I am two thirds through chemo my scalp has started sprouting tiny grey fluffy hairs. Of course, I am looking forward to when chemo finally finishes at it begins to grown back. I am also looking forward to some great styles courtesy of Punk Chick next year and continuing to rectify my abysmal hairdresser visit life tally.

Heartfelt thanks to Punk Chick, JRF, Mr D, and my awesome family for helping me make the transition to chemo induced hair loss a positive experience. Oh and I forgot the echidna. How could I forget the echidna! Thank you to everyone that shared their personal challenge with me, and thanks to everyone who commented or donated.

As I move forward through this cancer treatment I will hold the inspirational contributions to this challenge and all of the support that I recieved very close to my heart. In the deep dark glum moments, when I feel like I can’t be bothered anymore, I will come back to this challenge and think about the wonderful atmosphere of positivity and change that was achieved here. It was truly inspirational!

Don’t stop wanting the best from yourself. There are no quick fixes with anything, only our positive attitudes and habit forming behaviours that make the difference. From little things, big things grow.

So if you are unhappy with aspects of your life, then address them.

Be the person you deserve to be.

Life is too short to stress.

Live in the moment.

Contribute to your community.

Appreciate your natural environment.

Treat yourself with respect.

Value and appreciate your health.

Love your friends and family.

Enjoy!

Love Lisey

x

Shittietittie Chemo Cuts

Shittietittie Chemo Cuts

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These organisation’s are very dear to my heart at present because they do some awesome things.

The Forgotten Cancers Project. Click to DONATE
http://www.forgottencancers.com.au/

Peter MaCallum Cancer Centre Click to DONATE
http://www.petermac.org/GetInvolved

Bendigo Health Foundation Click to DONATE
http://www.bendigohealth.org.au/howyoucanhelp/default.aspx

Pink HopeClick to DONATE
http://pinkhope.org.au/

Breast Cancer Network of Australia Click to DONATEhttp://www.bcna.org.au/


Shittytittie Chemo Cut Nine

It’s that time again folks!

I have been so inspired and thrilled by the responses to the Shittytittie Chemo Cut Reveal Challenge! Almost 90 different people have contacted me and made a commitment to themselves to live better lives, contribute more, treat themselves with more respect, embrace their community and environment. The inspirational list of things goes on and on! Yet it occurred to me that I hadn’t made my own personal commitment to the Challenge.

So I am going to share my challenge with you. It has been partly inspired by my friend Dawnybob’s ongoing achievements and commitments. I had actually given up on the idea of this. But after hearing of her goals and achievements the flame has once again been ignited through all of the uncertainty of future treatment. A little voice in my head says “but you can’t do that you’ve had cancer, and lymph node surgery, and one breast amputated and the other breast to be amputated and radiotherapy soon, and poison pumped through your veins, and years of crazy hormone drugs and blah blah blah…” And another voice is my head says “Just watch me!” So thank you Dawny for being awesome and sharing with me your challenges and bringing to the surface my competitive streak. Dawnybobs wrote…

I am doing my first open water triathlon on Sunday! (750m river swim, 25k bike, 5k run), then in June I am doing an Olympic distance triathlon (1500m lake swim, 42km bike, 10km run). This is all in the hope that I can do a Half Ironman triathlon (70.3) in August (1900m swim, 83km bike – 21km run). Not bad considering I couldn’t run a mile in Jan-March (with a dodgy knee). Lisey does this get us a new haircut? Oh and another change in my life is I am applying to join the fire service and I am halfway through a massage qualification! Phew I didn’t realise quite how many changes I am making! x

Dawnybobs is an amazing role model to her 3 young sons and what strikes me about her is since I have known her, her attitude has always been positive. She is such a ‘go getter’, having taken up running after having her children several years ago, she has now completed so many fun runs, half marathons and marathons it is ridiculously inspiring! Late last year, we joked about how we would do a Half Ironman triathlon together even though we live on opposite sides of the world. Plans changed for me a little this year. So these kinds of goals had been swept under a rug.

I have recently (and very publicly thanks to this blog) been wallowing through the murky waters of chemo and was in doubt about what my future holds. But I have set myself a goal and this has helped switch the light on. It has helped me see that this year is just a temporary blip in the scheme of things.

So once chemotherapy is done, and radiotherapy is done, and the scars from 4 surgeries in 2013 have healed, once I am understanding the side effects of tamoxifen and my potential early menopause at 38 years old, I will begin some serious training for my first Half Ironman Triathlon (also known as a 70.3 which refers to total the miles covered) 1.9km swim, 90kms on the bike and a 21.1km half marathon.

Yes, by spring 2014, I will be close to crossing the finish line in a Half Ironman Triathlon chute. I might even wear lycra. And I will do it with two fake breasts (or possibly none if the radiotherapy damages the plastic surgeon with the hairy face and tie’s handywork!). And in that finish chute, I might even stop to kiss Mr Cool and the kids. Unless I’m worried about getting across that line seconds away from ticking into a new hour. In that circumstance I might be compelled just run on by.

This seems like a ridiculous goal to have at the moment, with so much treatment ahead and unknowns. But life is pretty ridiculous isn’t it?

Since I am continuing to run (slowly) through chemo, I figure a fitness goal will help me immensely in both physical and mental respects. So what have I got to lose? I get such a lift after walking and running. It is so beneficial for fatigue management and mental health. I figure that integrating some swimming in the pool when the weather warms and I heal from radiotherapy will be great for my arms and lymph node surgery scaring issues. Plus I love riding my road bike and it’s something I can do right now.

The key will be having realistic expectations. Circumstances are different now and my body will have been through an incredible amount of changes this year. One step at a time!

It’s a long road ahead as I lose fitness, gain weight and suffer the effects of the chemo drugs and radiation, but I hope to heal and work at getting back to where I was pre diagnosis last December where I had done three triathlons and was absolutely loving the challenges and achievements I had set myself. What I accomplished last year was amazing and showed me that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it. No one is permanently stuck in the same tracks. We can all head in new directions.

So that is the shining light ahead for me.

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Here we go! With the oldest child getting the iPhone camera ready in the background. With the youngest a bit unsure about why Mummy is posing in the mirror and holding that funny contraption thing to her head.

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Some loving help was required from Mr Cool to fix the mixed bits at the back.

On that note, here is Shittytittie Chemo Cut Nine.

The final cuts where done at home a few days after Punk Chick worked her magic. My hair started shedding on about day 14 after my first dose of FEC chemo. Hair from other parts of my body surprisingly went earlier as I embarrassingly blogged about here.

It was important for me to shave the hair before I started losing great volumes of it all over the house. In the days before we shaved it, there was hair dropping onto the kitchen benches, falling onto my dinner plate and getting stuck in my tooth brush. So it was definitely time to take control of it and have some fun.

It was also imperative for me to involve our young children in the final cuts and shave. They watched and took pictures as our good friend Mr D documented the whole thing on his camera. We laughed as the hair fell and there were some tears. It was a very emotional process but empowering as well.

Mr T has a bit more jewellery than me

Mr T has a bit more jewellery than me

Introducing to you Shittytittie Chemo Cut Nine – Mr T. Remember him from that 1980’s show “The A-team”? Incredibly, Mr T was treated for T-cell Lymphoma in the 1990’s. He said lots of crazy stuff back in his prime. But one of the most sensible things he ever said was…

“Everything started as a dream. You gotta have insight, know what you want. You gotta have a plan. Like I tell anybody, if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. I’ve been planning ever since I was a youngster. You’ve got to start from somewhere.”

And start from somewhere I will!

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I think I like it!

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My version of Mr T

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Please join the challenge! Only one haircut to go! Lets get to 100 peeps in the Shittytittie Chemo Cut Reveal Challenge!

Take it from me…

Mr.T
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These organisation’s are very dear to my heart at present because they do some awesome things.

The Forgotten Cancers Project. Click to DONATE
http://www.forgottencancers.com.au/

Peter MaCallum Cancer Centre Click to DONATE
http://www.petermac.org/GetInvolved

Bendigo Health Foundation Click to DONATE
http://www.bendigohealth.org.au/howyoucanhelp/default.aspx

Pink HopeClick to DONATE
http://pinkhope.org.au/

Breast Cancer Network of Australia Click to DONATEhttp://www.bcna.org.au/


Shittytittie Chemo Cut Six, Seven and Eight

Yes, you read the blog title correct… cut six, seven and eight! What an extravaganza!

Please excuse my tardiness. I’ve been busy holidaying interstate, running fun runs, cheering at awesome Ironman triathletes, playing with my beautiful kids and reflecting on my life as I explored and sat on stormy beaches and ran my toes through the sand, as well and being treated for breast cancer. All of this takes up a lot of time.

So in light of the fact my head is currently as bald as a babies bum as I am now officially over half way through chemo (yeah baby!), and in Southern Australia we are rapidly moving towards an Antarctic winter, I feel some urgency to reveal these cuts and get to representing the current me in blog land again.

I have not forgotten all of the responses that have been streaming in to me via text, email and the blog for the Shittytittie Chemo Cut Reveal Challenge. We have reached close to 70 contributions from people making positive changes to their lives from volunteering to mentor whole families of children, committing to sprint distance triathlons, beginning couch to 10km training programs, having mammograms, working on relationships and improving marriages, spending more time playing with children, booking overseas holidays, working on developing a more positive attitude to everyday life, going back to study for a new careers… the list goes on and on.

The response to the Shittytittie Chemo Cuts Reveal Challenge has been totally overwhelming to be honest. I never dreamed that such an idea would spring forth so much gooey goodness and inspirational change in people.

This week I received a wonderful message from a dear high school friend from 21 years ago which I just have to share.

Dear Lisey,

I have been reading your running experiences with interest – not long after our 20 year school reunion I started my ‘triathlon training’ for the end of the year (‘fun tri’ at the local club). Swimming and riding I can do (slowly!), but my running takes me back to laps of the school during PE, with merciless (moustached) Mr Mahony…

So I’m surprised to find I am getting to like it. Out of my driveway and turn right gives a great view to Mt Baw Baw if the day is clear. The down side is running past the neighbours – they insist on hanging the most recent fox they’ve shot on the barb wire fence, though at least the smell keeps my speed up!

I smiled on the weekend – opening some of the last boxes since we moved here (2 years ago!) I found a post card from you – in a box that has travelled with me to each of the 6 houses we’ve lived in the past 10 years. It was from Esperance, on your around Australia trip – was that the year after year 12? You were learning to surf… a skill you still have?

Thinking of you often, well done for the hard stuff you’ve already come through.
A xx

I have only run into this friend a handful of times in the 21 years that have passed since we finished high school. And that postcard was written and sent in the early months of 1994. Kept safe all these years in a box. And yet these words that have reached me this week from an old friend mean so much! To know that so many people are thinking of me and wishing me well on this journey is just wonderful.

So today filled with gratitude, I reveal three cuts which gets us closer to the business and bald end of things.

First we have the “Brad Pitt (in his smug Gwyneth days, not Jennifer Aniston or his latest one which I can’t remember her name but she carries the BRCA 1 gene and just had a preventative Breast Cancer double mastectomy, see her amazing story here) Haircut.

Then after some more snipping it was time for a little shampooing and rinsing. Oh glorious shampoo and rinse hands of Punk Chick! If only you had a spare set I could hang in my shower and use each day!

JRF was onto the broom and did a marvellous job of sweeping up the strands of hair into a growing pile. Such a jack of all trades he is! An extraordinary fellow, friend, photographer, music lover, spiritual guider, stylist and sweeper. Amongst many other attributes.

The hair pile grew impressively larger and larger

Nothing like a good wash at the hairdressers!

Nothing like a good wash at a great hairdressers!

For cut number seven we tried the “Rick Astley Never Gonna Give You Up” wet look, without much luck. Unfortunately ageing and chemotherapy have ruined such voluminous ambitions.

We tried the "Rick Aslety, never gonna give you up, wet wet wet look, without much luck. As ageing and chemotherapy have ruined such voluminous dreams.

The “Rick Astley never gonna give you up” pitiful wet look.

Then we had a bit of an interlude where JRF took some selfies while we undertook some drying and styling time.

My gorgeous friend Errol Flynn aka JRF

My gorgeous friend Errol Flynn aka JRF

Then some more snipping and styling for cut number eight which has been named the “Jamie Lee Curtis Midlife Crisis Pixie Cut”.

The Jamie Lee Curtis Midlife Crisis Pixie Cut

The Jamie Lee Curtis Midlife Crisis Pixie Cut

These cuts signalled a rest for the amazing scissor hands of Punk Chick. I made a promise that down the track when my hair regrows I will visit her regularly to rectify the previous 38 years of neglect. I am excited about my hairstyling future.

The wonderful Punk Chick

Many thanks to the wonderful Punk Chick

What gorgeous souls!

What gorgeous souls!

The remaining cuts occurred at my own home a few days later as my hair began to fall, where my husband and children got to utilise their shaving skills. So there are still three more to come!

For all the details of the challenge and how to participate click here

You can also use the category menu at right of this blog to see all of the “Shittytittie Chemo Cuts Reveal Challenge” blog posts as they progress.

Who will be the next ten people to share their commitments to living a better life or making proactive steps towards creating a great legacy? YOU! Yes you! Please join the challenge! Lets get to 100 people!

There are still three more cuts to go!

Love from all of us,

Brad Pitt, Rick Astley and Jamie Lee Curtis
x x x

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____________________________________________
These organisation’s are very dear to my heart because they do some awesome things.

The Forgotten Cancers Project. Click to DONATE
http://www.forgottencancers.com.au/

Peter MaCallum Cancer Centre Click to DONATE
http://www.petermac.org/GetInvolved

Bendigo Health Foundation Click to DONATE
http://www.bendigohealth.org.au/howyoucanhelp/default.aspx

Pink Hope Click to DONATE
http://pinkhope.org.au/

Breast Cancer Network of Australia Click to DONATE http://www.bcna.org.au/


Shittytittie Chemo Cut Five

The positive pledges keep arriving. So if you haven’t yet stopped and thought about how exactly you could improve your health and wellbeing or some other aspect of your life and sent me a little note about, what on earth is stopping you? So far 52 people have joined the “Shittytittie Chemo Cuts Reveal Challenge”.

One incredible Mum who has three kiddies under five shared this personal challenge…

“I want to see the next hair cut! So I’ll share my personal challenge for 2013. After reading the book Revolution In World Missions (2004) about stories of poverty… I have decided I will not spend any money on clothes for the year. Wow! Hard, but it has so far been a fantastic experience for me! It has been very humbling. I stopped worrying about what I look like, I rediscovered old clothes and have got better at mending clothes. I have more spare time as I am not standing in front of the mirror or browsing shops. It has made me focus on how I feel on the inside … and I am looking very much forward to the end of the year giving that money to people who have not even a pair of shoes! So here is to ‘holy’ socks for 2013!”

Great for people less fortunate and for living more simply. An awesome idea, don’t you think?

Yahoo Serious from the Australian film "Young Einstein" (1988). Complete with cockatoo.

Yahoo Serious from the Australian film “Young Einstein” (1988). Complete with sulphur crested cockatoo.

So on we roll to Shittietittie Chemo Cut Five. This one is deemed the “Yahoo Serious Haircut” after the 1988 Australian comedy film titled “Young Einstein”. It starred Yahoo Serious, yes that was his real name after he changed it via deed poll from his birth name of Greg. If you see this movie in your video store, probably best to keep moseying on by it. I can’t remember anything about the plot either. It could also be referred to more simply as the “Electrocution Haircut”. Or the “Polly want a cracker sulphur crested cockatoo haircut”. I can’t make up my mind.

I really liked this one and it might become one of the favourites as it made me feel rather happy and confident. It has been interesting to see the change in confidence in me as a person as each hairstyle gets shorter. I think this comes out in the photography.

This is the moment the echidna jumped from my head.

This is the moment the echidna jumped from my head.

Looking at Punk Chick's photos from her punk days circa 1990

Looking at Punk Chick’s photos from her punk days circa 1990

The final shooshing

The final shooshing

The Electric Shock

See, twins almost!

See, twins almost!

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Polly want a cracker?

JRF sent a text of this haircut to our close friends and here he reads their replies.

JRF sent a text of this haircut to our close friends and here he reads their replies.

Oh là là

I could potentially revisit this haircut when my hair grows back. What do you think? Imagine me taking my eldest to primary school next year with this! Cool and crazy Mum indeed!

For all the details of the challenge and how to participate click here

You can also use the category menu at right of this blog to see all of the “Shittytittie Chemo Cuts Reveal Challenge” blog posts as they progress.

Who will be the next ten people to share their commitments to living a better life or making proactive steps towards creating a great legacy? YOU! Yes you!

Get a move on peeps or I’ll still be trotting these hairstyles out come Christmas, by which time I hope the original hair will be growing back. There are still five to go!

Love and peace,

Yahoo Serious aka Cocky
x
photo-6 copy


Shittytittie Chemo Cut Four

Hang on to your seats because on this fine day we reveal Shittytittie Chemo Cut Four, after another fabulous group of people committed to the “Shittytittie Chemo Cut Challenge” to make an effort to live their best life. For the beginning of this challenge and all the details of how to participate click here. Please feel free to donate to the great causes below if you are that way inclined or just loaded and don’t know what to do with your money!

I received some emails and messages from some amazing women for this haircut. Women who have endured so much and yet have the get up an go to make their lives productive and contribute a great deal. I am sure their lives and the lives of those they know are richer for it. It is so inspiring to hear from people about their personal struggles and then see them stand and take life by the horns.

“Since breaking my back and fracturing my skull back at uni, I’ve battled constant back pain but I’m proud to say I’ve since run a 35km marathon, ridden a bicycle solo from Melbourne to Adelaide, hiked and sea kayaked the South Island of New Zealand and cycled the North Island, ridden through Vietnam and travelled a lot of the world and fulfilled a twenty year long dream to complete a triathlon just last year. All because I wanted to prove to myself that having a disability was no excuse not to go for it”.

The same person volunteers her time at a Landcare group, works with people with disabilities, taught in India last year and while living there helped with the clean up of a devastating cyclone. At home, she regularly helps friends who were seriously affected by the Black Saturday bushfires with chainsawing, pruning, weed spraying, babysitting and she also works at a not for profit organisation teaching kids about sustainability. She went on to say…

“I guess ultimately I feel strongly about community causes, environment and family. Life is tough at times. Sure. But I won’t be beaten. I will make a difference on this Earth and I am conscious of giving everything my best shot. Where to next? The Tour de France in 2014!”

It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if she was riding in it next year! That is one gutsy lady with an enormous legacy right there!

It is hard not to be amazed and inspired by people who live this way. So I dedicate all of my Shittytittie Chemo haircuts to you B! You are amazeballs! Not sitting and letting time pass by, not letting the personal circumstance and disability of a broken back and fractured skull get in the way, but living fully and passionately. You are so inspiring and I was lucky to cross paths with you years ago.

Reading all of these responses to this challenge makes me think that this hurdle of cancer in my life is a mere U/6 hurdle at the Little Athletics. Remember those? Teeny tiny they were.

So back to my trivial little cancer induced hairdos.

Echidna haircut

Echidna haircut

This haircut felt like one of those beanies with the ear pieces, so cosy. Yet it looked a bit like having an echidna wrapped around my head. Echidna aside, I have deemed it the “Tumultuous Tina Turner” unless any of you can come up with a better name. It’s a bit 1980’s era, Wedding Singer movie meets Kath and Kim television series. A bit boganish. Noice, noice, very noice! We nearly have exposed ears here… nearly.

I’ll admit I was a little eager to say goodbye to this one. So after snacking on some of the best figs I have ever eaten from Punk Chick’s awesome garden, on we went… snip, snip, snippety snip into the late afternoon sunshine.

Punk Chick's delicious home grown figs. The BEST ever!

Punk Chick’s delicious home grown figs. The BEST ever!

Punk Chick's expert hands at work

Punk Chick’s expert hands at work

Echidna gone!

Echidna gone!

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It really was like an echidna don’t you think?

For all the details of the challenge and how to participate click here

You can also use the category menu at right of this blog to see all of the “Shittytittie Chemo Cuts Reveal Challenge” blog posts as they progress.

Who will be the next ten people to share their commitments to living a better life or making proactive steps towards creating a great legacy? YOU! Yes you!

Get a move on peeps or I’ll still be trotting these hairstyles out come Christmas, by which time I hope the original hair will be growing back. There are still six to go!

Love,

Tumultuous Tina
x
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____________________________________________
These organisation’s are very dear to my heart because they do some awesome things.

The Forgotten Cancers Project. Click to DONATE
http://www.forgottencancers.com.au/

Peter MaCallum Cancer Centre Click to DONATE
http://www.petermac.org/GetInvolved

Bendigo Health Foundation Click to DONATE
http://www.bendigohealth.org.au/howyoucanhelp/default.aspx

Pink Hope Click to DONATE
http://pinkhope.org.au/

Breast Cancer Network of Australia Click to DONATE
http://www.bcna.org.au/


Shittytittie Chemo Cut Three

Another ten inspiring people contacted me and expressed their motivation for improving their lives; treating themselves with more respect, making changes to their day through eating better or moving more, getting their boobies checked out, paying forward kind deeds to those they know or surprising complete strangers. One lovely lass has stepped up her fitness goals and has started running 10km having never run that far before, and all of this whilst visiting Laos and Cambodia on a working and holiday trip. Go you good thing! Change in you can happen anywhere if you really want it to.

Quote of the week came from way out west “If you can do chemo, I can do kind!” Just love it!

So keep them coming people. For every ten peeps I hear from I’ll roll out the next Shittytittie Chemo cut. I’d like to hear from more blokes. Since blokes take a while to get on board especially since this is a breast cancer blog, and we all know blokes need a good kick up the bum to embrace these things especially when it comes to their health. So I have decided I will count any blokey contributions as two points towards a hairstyle reveal. Some of the guys I know just need a little helping hand.

All of this is riveting I know. But at least I’m having fun with it. It takes a lot of guts to embrace the effects of cancer on your life and it also takes a lot of guts to promote shameless ‘selfies’ and past embarrassing school photos on the world wide web. Something I never would have touched with a six foot pole twelve months ago. Not sure what has happened to me in recent months. I’m now full of guts! lol

My first ever hairdresser haircut circa 1983

My first ever ‘professional’ haircut circa 1983

Okay so back to the haircuts… The last bangs I wore on my pretty forehead were back in the springtime of 1983 which happened to be my FIRST EVER visit to a hairdresser. Back in those days I chose a shoulder length cut, with a nice straight part down the middle and a lovely flicked fringe. The photo is months after the haircut but you get the gist. Of course as the fringe grew out with no subsequent hairdressing visits, it had to be restrained by wearing a bit of white lace around my head to hold the bangs back. I now admit I copied the lace idea from my cool primary school friend who later became the forensic pathologist I affectionately wrote about in the last four paragraphs of this blog. My primary and high school mates will remember this ‘lacey do’ fondly as I had it for the next 7 years. Some may even be able to produce photographic evidence. I loved the eighties.

As promised we move onto revealing “Shittytittie Chemo Cut Three” named the ‘Linda Librarian Evangelista’. Very special because it is the second time in 38 years I have had a fringe. The fringe embraced my forehead for a good thirty minutes before we moved on. It was sort of comforting in a teddy bear kind of way. And then Punk Chick continued on with her merry Edward Scissorhands journey.

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Why hello! Nice to meet you.

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For the beginning of this challenge and all the details of how to participate click here

Alternatively you can use the category menu at right of this blog to see all of the “Shittytittie Chemo Cuts Reveal Challenge” posts as they progress.

Who will be the next ten people to share their commitments to living a better life or making proactive steps towards creating a great legacy? YOU! Yes you! Get a move on peeps or I’ll still be trotting these hairstyles out come Christmas, by which time I hope the original hair will be growing back.

Love,

Librarian Linda
x

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Photos taken by the extraordinarily talented bestie JRF

____________________________________________
These organisation’s are very dear to my heart at present because they do some awesome things.

The Forgotten Cancers Project. Click to DONATE
http://www.forgottencancers.com.au/

Peter MaCallum Cancer Centre Click to DONATE
http://www.petermac.org/GetInvolved

Bendigo Health Foundation Click to DONATE
http://www.bendigohealth.org.au/howyoucanhelp/default.aspx

Pink Hope Click to DONATE
http://pinkhope.org.au/

Breast Cancer Network of Australia Click to DONATE
http://www.bcna.org.au/