Grade 3

At lunch today, I sat on the same sleepers as I did in Grade 3. While eating my lunch I gazed across the basketball court at my new classroom. The same classroom where I was the student when I moved to Sydney to live with my grandparents 17 years ago. I was sent to Sydney by my mother and father so that I could secure my spot at the school that my best friend attended while they sold the house in Melbourne. As I sat on the sleepers I saw Sabrina and I giggling as we hung our bags on the hooks, Mr Southwell strolling out of the classroom welcoming us lovingly. I remembered the time when Sabrina felt sick upon arrival at school due to the hour and a half trip from Castle Hill. She told me that she wanted to go to sick bay but then I decided I felt sick too so I took the sick bay pass and Mr Southwell thought Sabrina wanted to bludge. When I was eight, I thought living away from my parents for three months would be the hardest thing I would ever have to face. At 25, I learned that life is full of hard things.

Today I saw new children walking into my room with their own trials. I became the teacher strolling out of the classroom welcoming them lovingly as they giggle and hang their bags on the hooks. I know that my experiences will equip me to build resilience in my students. To show them how to value life and live life the best way they can. They will learn that they can be great at things. They will learn that although they will face trials and challenges they can still conquer.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Man in Bed 13

It is school holidays. I have finished university and am now casual teacher at the school I used to attend. During my time off school, I am going through some documents I wrote on my laptop while in hospital receiving chemotherapy. I am not sure of the date I wrote this. But from the circumstances written, I am guessing it was around April 2009. I am reminded of how grateful I am to be alive and well today.

Man in bed 13: “Hey, you got your hair cut.”
Bed 12: “Yeah, it was all falling out anyway. It doesn’t matter, all mah mates have no hair anyway. I would just be catching up.”

What is it to older men? How can this cancer walk be so much easier for them? The day I lost my hair I lost my femininity. A friend once asked me what my real hair was like under the wig. I described it as granny with a lesbian style. And that’s what it is. Every morning I wake up to look at someone who is not the girl I once saw. Today I see someone with tired eyes, sallow skin, limp cropped hair and a smile that keeps on trying. Tonight as I write, my eyes are fogging. I never cry. I give in. How can this sickness be my reality. My tears have to remain silent because I am sharing a bedroom with four men. I feel if they know I am crying, they will think I have no faith. They will think I know I am dying.

As I look at those words my body shivers. More tears glaze my sight. But my heart is at peace. I know that I will not die. Even though I have been given 50% chance to live. As my doctor says, there are two options to go from this stage given my results from my previous bone marrow biopsy were intermediate. The results of bone marrow biopsies are either positive, meaning a person still has a lot of leukaemia cells, negative, no leukaemia cells, or intermediate, right on the line between these two scores. My doctor has no way of choosing whether to give me a transplant or just finish chemotherapy because of my intermediate result. With a positive or negative result, the choice would be easy. But not with me. So here I am. Sitting in my little room surrounded in curtains, one old man snoring to my left, another drawing his curtains, another reading his book. No one can tell what they are dreaming or thinking. And they do not know I am sitting here swallowing my tears, trying to remain silent so they think I am strong.

I know God is real, but why does he feel so far. How come prayer is surrounding me and results are still negative? How come I always get every single side effect from every drug I receive? Tonight, God will you be with me? Be with my thoughts. I still trust you. I still fall to my knees and worship. I know your grace is enough. It’s more than I need. Please turn this around. Let me live for you for the rest of my life. Let me be alive. Let me be completely well. I will serve you for the long life you give me.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

2011

Hi all,

Well here I am again. I’m sorry its been so long. I thought I’d give you an update on where I’m at since its been six months since I’ve posted a blog with words. If you want to know about my medical details you can go to www.samfroggatt.blogspot.com If you dont already know, this is where hospital visits have been recorded since day I was diagnosed.

So I’ve finished my first year back at uni. I’ve overcome my shaky hands, (as I was talking about last march). I did really well considering I was still so sick. I changed my single education degree to a double degree in education and linguistics. Call me crazy. So now I am preparing to enrol for another three years of university. It will be worth it in the end.

I have continued making little soft toys… I posted one of them a while ago, one that I made while in hospital, Graham and Alice in Wonderful. Go back and have a look. This has been my way of enjoying the time I spend at home on my own. These toys have led me to creating a business called “x the boys” said as “kiss the boys” but i thought the “x” for kiss was a cute symbol. Anyway I have made lots of sales for adults and babies as well as teens and early 20’s. Please have a look at my website. Each design is made to order. You can choose colours and styles. How fun! Here are some photos of some I have sold and made that are still available! Click on the to go to the website.

 

super peter panda

 

olivia owl

 

linen owl

grace the garden bunny

 

ted tooth holder

In November I began casual work again. At first it was so painful on my back because I was standing up on hard ground. It put pressure on my lower back where the muscles and tissues are so tight because of my previous lumbar punctures and bone marrow biopsies. I almost decided not to go through with it but something told me to try again. So I took 2 weeks off to let my back recover and I went back. It was really cool because I worked with some really fun people the next few times which changed my outlook of everything. I knew if I kept showing up (keeping boundaries with my health) I would eventually get the hang of it. Since I am just a christmas casual, I might not be able to work here at the end of the month. I’m praying they keep me!

Last summer I had to stay inside all day every day as the heat used to give me fevers with shakes and sweats, this year i have been out on hot days on the beach, staying under the shade of an umbrella. But I do now react to the heat anymore. Today I go to the hospital again for my month intragam infusion that is three hours long. This week I have come off 10 prednisone to 5 prednisone and on the 17th I drop my immuno-suppressants from 50 to 40. This is a huge thing since I’ve been on them for 14 months. Next week I go for all my immunisations/baby needles again since I have a whole new body, its like I’m being born again.

You’re prayers are still important to me. There’s still a long way to go. But I see the end in sight.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

beautiful

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

thank you

thank you to all who are still reading my blog. i know i haven’t posted in so long but this is a good thing. i am becoming busier with uni, exercise and having fun so i am finding i have less time to do this. i am currently working with my psychologist to get back on track with life. don’t give up on me. i will beginning writing again very soon once i have gotten my head around this huge thing i’ve just been through.

please continue to pray for my health. i am on my last week of prednisone from tomorrow. that’s if all goes well. i have extreme mouth ulcers which will only get worse during the week. pray for my tiredness. i keep waking in the night every night.

so don’t give up, come back and check when you can.

lots of love x.

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

swallow

I have a lump in my throat when I go to bed each night, anxious for sleep and fear for what the next day holds.

I have a lump in my throat on the days that I meet a new surgeon, I have to again retell my story and repeat my list of drugs. I am always reminded of my painful journey.

I have a lump in my throat when I sit on my bed and look around, trying to find something that will fill my life with a kind of purpose.

I have a lump in my throat when my favorite tv series finishes. What do I do with my time?

I have a lump in my throat when I hear about what others have been through while I have been gone. Why couldn’t I be around to help them?

I have a lump in my throat when I see my old friends well, established and moving on.

I have a lump in my throat when school holidays end and there is no one around.

I have a lump when I think of the future. Is my sentence of infertility for real?

I get a lump in my throat and I feel all hope is lost.

A lump when I have endless days to do whatever I like.

I get a lump in my throat when people tell me its going to be okay because I know its true. It’s just too hard to try and persevere.

I am learning not to try and control my thoughts but to stop letting them control me.

My words are true, but I am still dreaming. It has been a year this week since my last dose of chemotherapy. This time last year I was completely wiped out with no memory of three days. Its insane to think about what has happened during this time. God is teaching me daily how to take care of myself and look after my mind. Physically my health is improving but emotionally, things are challenging. Today I am going to visit a clinical psychologist. Pray for my safety and pray that my thoughts don’t control me.

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

book a head for hair

I was browsing on the internet to kill some time today. I was searching “hairdresser puns.” I thought it was appropriate since my hair is now growing back ever so quickly. I came across some funny titles which I will let you search for yourself. However I found this one which is in Cotswold, Winchcombe, U.K. Interesting pun.

My hair started growing back in January, once the “100 days of bone marrow transplant recovery” period was over. It started out as fluff. Blonde baby hair. It was patchy, thin and thick in different areas and bald on the crown where I sleep. As soon as it grew I wanted to book as appointment for colour.

While my head was bare, the wig itched it. I had to pull down strands to cover the bald spots where the “wispy bits” should sit. Like behind your ears and down your neck line. I was convinced it didn’t look real. I think its funny that on wednesday at uni I walked into my tutorial and the girls rant “nice hair cut sam.” Little do they know. Mwah ha. I only tell some people at uni about my condition. If I think we’ll be friends longer than just a semester, I let them in.

For a whole year, I have scrubbed my head with soap. Never used conditioner, a hair dryer, straightener or product. I have instead placed a jewish style cap on my delicately skinned head and pulled my wigs on from front to back, side to side and twist til its perfect. As my hair has grown underneath, grant has always said “you look beautiful without your wig,” “are you going ‘wig-free’ tonight?” I would whip off my wig to close friends to see what they think. They would always rave. “It’s getting there! Its getting there!”

I have always been a long hair girl. When I was in kindergarten I got my hair cut into a bob. I cried and I cried when I looked in the mirror. Since then I havent gone back. Well until now, but it’s not like I had a choice. It takes courage to accept changes, to accept who you’ve become. Sometimes I  want to hide what I’ve been through just because it makes life so much easier. Now, wearing my new, grown hair out, it brings out more conversation. I have an opportunity to talk to more people than I would if was still wearing my wig. If people mention “Wow you have short hair.” I can choose to explain why.

Anyway, I need some of your support. Because I am new to this. Is there particular clothes that look better with short hair? I’m not quite sure how to pull this off. But I am open to your opinions. I got some inspiration from these pictures.

well eventually…

So now I get to book ahead with my friend who owns her own salon in her home. She is fantastic at what she does. 6 more weeks, my hair will double and I will need another cut.

14 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized