Monthly Archives: November 2016

Emotional ending

I’ve written a lot about my return to work.  Well, now it’s here.  Monday is the big day.  I expected to be a little apprehensive about returning to work, but I didn’t expect much more.  Incorrect, Kristina.

I have been surprised this week by just how emotional (yes, including teary) and anxious I’ve been.  Emotional for lots of reasons.  I am going back to work, my sister finished her chemo (thank God) and  for the first time in a long time, it feels like the end of this most difficult journey we’ve been on this year.

As I was walking at City Beach this afternoon, I felt like I had come full circle.  The day I was diagnosed my Mum and my little sister took me to Odyssea at City Beach for a drink.  I’ve been to Odyssea for countless juices and coffees this year.  And I’ve walked the path at City Beach more times than I can count.  It’s gotten me through many tough days. Days when all I could think about was being on the other side – of chemo, of radiation, of treatment in general.  Now that I’m on the other side, there’s a huge wave of emotion which has swept over me because now I just have to live my life, albeit differently to how I lived it before.  Work marks the beginning of a return to normal life, which is why I think I’ve found it all so emotional.  A line in the sand.  Treatment behind me, life in front of me.

With living though come so many fears.  They’re not logical or reasoned, but they do exist.  Every headache, twitchy eye or sore body part, a fear rises inside that something sinister could be going on.  Then there’s fear about whether my brain is going to work again.  Will I even be able to lawyer anymore?  Can I afford my life, including mortgage, working part time? Cue anxiety.

But today I decided to just let it all go.  Whatever will be will be.  If I’ve learnt anything this year it’s that I’m really not in control of much of what happens in my life.  So, I just have to have a little faith and hope for the best.  I’m sure my work skills will come back to me, even if slowly.  And as for living, I intend to do just that.  Lots of exercise and healthy eating in the coming months.  (The plastic surgeon has put the hard word on me to get as many kilos off and get as fit as possible before surgery next year.)  And of course there’s Christmas coming and my little sister’s admission.  So many things to look forward to.

Cancer certainly has changed my perspective on life, but it has also fundamentally changed me.  I’m not the same girl I was on 1 February.  I think I’m a little kinder and a little gentler with myself.  I certainly listen to my body more than I used to and I definitely put myself first a lot more now than I did before.  The challenge from next week is balancing the new Kristina with Kristina’s old life.  So, time to rip off the bandaid and get back to work and try.

In the meantime, I’m gearing up to attend the Super Sunday Group Fitness Class Fundraiser at Lords.  Our ‘Goodbye Golden Locks’ fundraising campaign has now raised over $7,000 for the Harry Perkins Institute.  We are so amazed and proud.  I’m calling it, we can get to $10,000.  Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to everyone that has so generously donated so far.  Come along on Sunday if you feel like getting sweaty!

Have a very lovely weekend.

Krissy xx


Back to reality

Yesterday, three things happened that to most people would be insignificant, but to me were milestones.  I did the bridges walk (a 10km walk around the Perth river), met with a cabinet maker and attended a flexibility workshop at work.

You might wonder why these three random events have any significance to me.  Here’s why.  They are all little milestones marking my entry back into the ‘real world’.  For the last nine months I have lived in a bubble of treatment, exercise, wellness, sickness, netflix, cooking and appointments.  Yesterday though, for the first time, my day included activities that are forward looking and not at all to do with recovery.

It felt so good to finish the ‘bridges’ walk.  A walk I haven’t done since before I left for Melbourne in 2010.  It’s a cracker, but my fitness seriously deteriorated over the years and the thought of walking that far was exhausting, let alone doing the walk.  It’s nice to be back in a place where I can get around the bridges in just under 1.5 hours.  (And yes, for the runners of the world, I know that’s not fast, but I am a walker, not a runner!).

After my walk, I jetted home to meet with a cabinet maker to talk kitchen cupboards.  Not overly significant, except that the last time I met with the cabinet maker was just before I was diagnosed.  It’s interesting the little things that trigger a bit of fear inside me.  My house is a big one.  I was excited when I bought it, but then so utterly shitty to be diagnosed two weeks later.  All my grand plans for renovating flew out the window and I felt like cancer had totally deprived me of the opportunity to take the next steps in my adult life.  Now, here we are nine months later and with my tenants’ lease expiring at the end of March and me starting work in a few weeks, it’s the right time to once again turn my mind to all things renovation.  But what if it all turns to shit again?

I am pretty positive and optimistic most of the time, but sometimes, doubts get in the way of positivity and the idea of planning and moving forward is difficult, at best.  But move forward and enter the real world, I must.  It’s time to move out of ‘recovery’ mode and into ‘living’ mode.  That means going back to work, helping my friend Fiona plan her ‘head shave’ fundraiser (PS we’ve now raised $4,500, but keep your generous donations coming!), planning the house reno and looking forward to Christmas.

Speaking of going back to work, that all begins again in less than two weeks.  My cupboard is rearranged to accommodate new work clothes and yesterday I went to a workshop on working flexibly.  Something that before I have to say I never really thought was possible.  Now though, I want to really try and make my flexible (part time) working arrangement work.  I’m starting back only three days a week and in time I’ll to build up to four.  I was never terribly good at having ‘balance’ between work and life, I just used to try and do everything.  So, challenge accepted.  I am going to have to make a concerted effort to make sure that I can balance the demands of private practice with the demands of my body (including exercising and resting enough).

Until I start work, I’m going to be soaking up as much sunshine as possible.  And tonight, my sisters and I are going to Delta Goodrem!  You might think Delta’s a bit naff, but so many of the lyrics of the songs on her latest album helped me get through chemo (and the year generally).  Needless to say, I’m pretty excited…

Krissy xx