On New Years Eve 2018 I have decided to take the time to reflect back on the past 12 months. It has been a roller coaster with smiles, tears, adventures, triumphs and many laughs.
I have learnt a lot about myself this year after a stressful return to full time work, something I initially wanted but later realised that since my diagnosis my priorities had changed. After 5 months back at work, just when I started finding my feet again the rug was pulled back out from under me, with the discovery of a metastasis on my heart. Work stopped and chemotherapy restarted. Chemo was kind enough to leave me my hair and freedom this time with a more manageable once monthly regime of carboplatin and Caelyx. Dec 24th was the 6th and last dose of the regime, I am happy to be leaving chemo behind in 2018. Oddly being off work on chemotherapy opened the door for a spree of holidays.
A number of items where ticked off the bucket list in 2018. Perth, Margaret River, Yarra Valley, Melbourne Cup!!!, NZ solo road trip, parasailing, zip lining, white water rafting and learning to ride a motorbike. The 2019 list is already in the making and it is going to be big :) I love to travel and have seen some amazing places but travel always makes me appreciate my home in Australia. I am so grateful to live in such an amazing country and to be surrounded by awesome family and friends.
This year I started fundraising for Save the Box (https://savethebox2018.everydayhero.com/au/alisha) for Ovarian Cancer research. My initial goal of $5,000 was reached within a day and $10,000 in 1 week. I quickly realised the thrill of fundraising for a cause you are passionate about, every time I see a new donation it gives me such joy. I am currently over $23,000 and have raised the bar to a long term goal of $100,000. I always knew I had amazing support with my family and friends but the way everyone got behind me spreading the word and donating was the best part.
I don't always tell my family and friends how much I love them. 2018 was a tough year for some people very close to me, it breaks my heart to see the people I love in pain and feel helpless to ease it. I get more upset on behalf of others than I do with matters that concern myself. Even in the moments of pain though you can find beauty such as in how people come together for others. So as 2018 closes I think about my friends and family. I think about how precious and amazing life is and how we need to embrace the present; live in the moment.
Best wishes for a Happy New Year,