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Nephew Samuel BRAVES THE SHAVE in support of Andrea Balona - Updates - Givealittle

  • Deed done, shave braved     27 May 2019
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    Thanks to everyone who donated! Today as promised Samuel Braved the shave and is now an egg head too! His dad, Paul, in solidarity shaved his too!

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  • Second round of chemo today.     23 May 2019
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    Second round of chemo today.

    It's a rather exciting one as my lovely friend Tanja Latham-Zurbruegg had flown all the way down from Auckland to drive me today and keep me company for a couple of days. Lucky me and thank you Tanja. Having such a great time catching up.

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  • Only 4 more sleeps     23 May 2019
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    Only 4 more sleeps till Sam shaves off his luscious locks and becomes an egg head.

    Sam even won an award at school when they heard what he is doing.

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  • Half way there     21 May 2019
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    Thanks to everyone who's donated, we're over half way to reaching our target, which is AMAZING. Thanks to each and every one of you who's donated.

    Sam's excited (and a little worried) about the head shave.

    Please share far and wide to raise as much money as we can to help Andrea and her family get through this tough and scary time.

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  • Andrea's Story & Journey     17 May 2019
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    ... So I found a lump. The second I felt it a little voice said "Don't ignore this!" Which I do with just about anything that's wrong with me.

    Life is too busy to be sick! I have too many people and animals to look after. But I also trust my gut, which was telling me this is serious. So I listened, thank God.

    Within a month of finding the lump I was booked in for a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy. Exactly 2 weeks later I was given the news that I have breast cancer. At that stage I was told that surgery would be needed to remove the lump and also lymph nodes. In my heart I knew that the doctor would tell me that but it didn't mean I wanted to hear those words.

    And now I would have to go home and tell my husband and 3 kids the news. News I knew would scare them and upset them. It's a 2 and a half hour journey from the hospital to home and all I could think about was how I could break it to them.

    I realised that I could not control getting cancer.... But I could control how I would deal with it. This is not just going to affect just me but everyone in my life too. How I handle the situation would also play a huge part in how my children cope with it. So I decided to face the situation with honesty. They deserve that!

    - With bravery because it would take strength to fight it.

    - With humour because laughter is the best medicine.

    - I also made my mental health my priority. I can handle the physical pain if my head is clear and my spirit is strong. But if I break down so will my body and my family.

    So with this plan I went home and broke the news. There were tears and lots of questions but we started the journey and got stronger and more accepting every day.

    2 weeks after the diagnosis I was back in hospital for the surgery. The lump and lymph nodes were successfully removed.

    2 weeks later I was back at the hospital for a post op check and to get the final biopsy results. This when I was told it was an aggressive cancer and that chemo, radiation and hormone treatments would also be necessary.

    Devistating to hear!

    It was not over but actually just beginning.

    The idea of chemo and the side effects suck big time! But I had to swallow down tears when the radiation was explained. This is the part that upsets me most because I have to move away from my family for 6 weeks. I have never been away from my children for that long. Time is precious and I am being robbed of 6 weeks with them. This was so unfair!

    But then again that little voice inside of me started to speak. It gently reminded me that those 6 weeks could mean that I have extra years with my kids. That these treatments were there to help me be around for my children for much longer. Perspective. I still hate the idea of being away but greatful too.

    Now chemo has begun and I have tubes sticking out of my arm for the next few months. Tubes that hurt when I hug my kids. But I am still giving a hundred hugs a day because nothing is better than love from your kids.

    My bones ache, my head pounds, my stomach churns, I can't taste food, I can't feel my foot. My hair is gone. But I am still here and plan to be for a very long time.

    I still get up. Get my kids ready, walk Tammy to school every day, clean my house, take care of what needs doing. I can find many things to laugh about every day. I feel the love surrounding me every second.

    I am able to keep my spirit strong because the love and support has been immense and I mean HUGE!

    Everyone has swooped in and surrounded us with so much love. I don't know how to say thank you because words are not enough. I believe love heals so thanks for being the best treatment in the world.

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