A few months (?) ago I wrote a post about how blood cancer has affected my life and how it has motivated me to take part in the world’s greatest shave. Since then my local paper published an article to help me raise funds (thanks Maribyrnong Leader!), I was able to raise $1000 thanks to my generous family and friends (donation still open, if you are interested), and on the 11th of March I rocked up to Federation Square, got on a stage and let the volunteers shave off my locks…
Not going to lie, there was a moment during the shave when I actually had tears in my eyes – I loved my long hair and a lot of my confidence came from wearing my long hair out and there I was letting someone just shave it all off. But now (four days after the fact), I love the new me and it feels liberating to just wear my face. So here I am #nofilter
More importantly, the events around Australia raised $10 million – that’s $10 million that will go towards those suffering from blood cancer and their families to aid treatment processes, that’s $10 million that will go to researchers who are in the process of finding a cure. It makes me hopeful, maybe not for my grandmother who’s cancer has worsened over the past month (she is being tested for TB at the moment) but there is hope for others and I think it’s important to be hopeful in this fight for a cure.
I first heard about leukemia when I was about 9 years old when my dad told my that his sister was admitted to hospital to get treatment for a ‘serious issue’ as he put it. When I went to see her I was so excited because she had the coolest new hairstyle – who would not want a shaved head? But then she started coughing more, she started getting more tired everyday and my dad told me that I need to not demand play time every time I visited her in the hospital because she didn’t have the energy for it. Over the next few months she looked like she didn’t eat anything, her eyes sunk into her head and her arms looked all spidery with all the blue and green veins popping out. Then came that day when my dad came home and told me that my aunt got a very high fever and because her was already sick, her body couldn’t handle it and she had passed away. All I could think of were my cousins – who was going to go for their prize givings? who was going to help them with homework? who was going to cook them their favourite meals? I guess cancer won.
Recently my mum called me and told me that my mother was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer. The reality of this statement didn’t really hit me until I actually saw her and realised how the monster had taken over my grandmother. We couldn’t grab hold of her hand because she would bruise at the slightest touch, she couldn’t move around much because water had lodged into her joints and her knees had become like jelly – the monster wins every time. It breaks my heart to look at how frail my magnificent and strong grandmother has become, it breaks my heart that this monster, this sickness is taking away her ability to live the way she wants to, it breaks my heart to see her getting a blood transfusion every three months. She refuses to be on chemo because she says that she has lived a long life and doesn’t need to take away the opportunity of life from someone who is younger – which my heart hurt even more, she truly is a magnificent woman. It’s not fair.
Cancer has seeped its way into the lives of so many people I love and I haven’t been able to do anything but stand on the sidelines and watch it take over.
I have been trying to do my best to beat this disease over the past year and this year I have decided to take part in the World’s Greatest Shave which raises money to support families with patients diagnosed with cancer as well as raise funds to find urgent cures. I know this is a small feat compared to the uphill battle that is dealing with and finding a cure for cancer – but I hope that it will make a difference.
*If you would like to donate to this cause and help me shave my hair for a good cause please follow this link here.