twenty one


At the ripe age of twenty one an average person would see the beginning of full time work, the end of university and a new car with a full licence. Weekends are barbeques and beer at your new apartment or cocktails at the four seasons hotel. Sundays are spent dining at the local cafe for breakfast followed by beach swims in summer or lazy dvds in winter. Holidays are taken spontaneously to the hunter valley for wine tasting, shopping in Melbourne, city hotel stays for hens nights and birthdays. Planes are flown to foreign lands with foreign languages and school savings are spent at cafes, patisseries, boulangeries and markets. Sites are seen from the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the London Eye and the Roman Colossium. There are laughs at photos on the trip home realising you’ve put on a kilo or two so you join the gym when you get home.

These are all the things I had planned to do this year. The year of twenty one. The last year you can actually get away with being reckless. The last year at uni when you have spare time to sit in T2 at macquarie centre and teach yourself French or talk to industry professionals and ask them to teach you everything they know. Of course this year for me had a different plan for itself. Instead of attending uni lectures, I learn about my cancer, I hear my latest blood results and spend hours upon hours in ward 12a getting someone else’s blood or chemotherapy fused into me. Instead of renting an apartment, I pay for leggings, sloppy joes and wigs. Instead of styling my hair for the latest 21st party, my hair falls out and I attempt to cover it with synthetic strands of barbie hair. Instead of visiting the gym, I am wheelchaired between the car and my small bedroom in our Warriewood  home which I will stay in day after day while my friends work their new jobs or finish their university degrees. I buy concert tickets in hope that my blood counts will be high enough to attend but end up giving them away to friends who will be able to go without the risk of receiving an infection. My days are spent watching the clock, counting down to bed where I tend to have to take a sleeping tablet because I have just had a high dose of steroids to prevent side effects of drugs, leaving me agitated. I am told I have thyroiditis and the only drug I can take to slow my heart fills my sleep with vivid dreams and nightmares. I carry a thermometer in my handbag instead of lipstick, I moisturise instead of tanning lotion, I wear a hat over my bald head at night instead of plaiting my long brown hair that used to be there, I wear anti aging skin lotion, I apply mascara in hope not to push another eye lash out, I start to draw on my eye brows. Yes they are thinning. I try on clothes and tears fall, this is not my body. This is cancers body. I train my mind to think of hope and a future. I drain my thoughts with music. I count down days until I see friends and I can laugh again. I am happy for the good things that happen to my friends. They have hens nights, they have weddings, they work and go to uni, some have babies, some buy new cars.

I have so much to look forward to. But this is still so hard. Transplant in less than one month. Again another chance for hairloss, infertility, dry skin, rashes, sickness, nausea, being anemic (low blood cells) and mouth ulcers. Just to name a few. I need a boost to get me through this last stage. I love to hear from you. That is enough.



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13 responses to “twenty one

  1. Laura

    Sam no words can describe what a wonderful person you are. i love you so much and am praying for your eyelashes too xxoo 🙂

  2. Cassie

    Oh Sam.

    My prayers are with you. If there is anything I can do, please let me know. x

  3. Sandy Foster

    Hi Sam
    I love reading your update – thank you for sharing your heart. My heart aches when I read and think about the journey you are on. But I don’t want to make you feel sad – I live to encourage – which hopefully is food for your soul.

    I love Winnie the Pooh & Christopher Robin – they always make me smile.. This is just a little excerpt out of “Pooh’s Grand Adventure”… On the last day of summer, after many lovely adventures, Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh were sitting together in a tree. Christopher Robin said to Pooh, “Remember you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.” I love those words and I encourage myself whenever I am freaking out about something. I think that is just what Jesus would say to us too!

  4. Sandy Foster

    Boy… I clicked “send” before I had finished… I have a bit to learn on these blog sites…. Anyway… as I was saying – love Winnie the Pooh …. The Grand Adventure continues on … with some really scary bits in the middle… but the end reads…. Pooh was very happy to see Christopher Robin again, and gave him a big bear hug. Then, they all went home. “Promise me you’ll always be here, even when I’m 100?” Christopher Robin said to Pooh. “I promise” replied Pooh. They both knew that even if they were apart, they would always be together, forever and ever. And the friends realised that during their grand adventure, Piglet was braver than he believed, Tigger was stronger than he seemed, and Rabbit was smarter than he thought!”
    I guess you’re not really thinking you are on a Grand Adventure like Pooh and Christopher Robin, but I love how they all stuck together and helped Pooh when he was really, really scared. I hope in all this you feel the glue of all your friends and loved ones who are praying for you and believing God for a bright, sunny filled, concert-going, shopping-til-you-drop, God-filled life ahead – I know that’s what I see for you.
    Much love
    Sandy Foster

    • aplacetogetlost

      thank you so much sandy. i absolutely love winnie the pooh (especially the old english version). thanks for believing with me.

  5. Bronte Waller

    such cute comments sandy- yes, love winnie…thinking of you sam…day blends into day and it seems so mundane but our father in heaven is doing mighty things in amongst it all…i pray he’ll show you more and more each day. love to you.

  6. Hey Sam, your best days are ahead of you. When I was younger I saw everyone else enjoying the things I only dreamed of. Now that I’m older there is nothing better than catching up on lost time, and you have way more wisdom and money, not to waste the moments of joy. You will get to have the things you want, just not right now. They’re coming and trust me, you’ll appreciate it way more than ‘normal’ people who think that it’s just life.
    You get to appreciate every single moment, every breath, every time you get to laugh. You know the depths of despair and what it is to conquer, not many people know those two extremes.

    Keep hanging in there. I’d say more people are praying than before, realise how hard it is for cancer patients and the need for things such as donors and transplants. It’s not a waste of time, nor your life. God has not forgotten you and neither have your friends and family in God.

  7. Jane Grover

    Beautiful Sam, gee cancer ….and all it steals from you…..SUCKS. But we KNOW it is not our God who comes to steal from us.
    John 10:10 says “The thief comes ONLY to kill, steal & destroy; I have come that they may have LIFE, and have it to the FULL.”
    I cried out to our God this morning on your behalf Sam, I resisted the thief and claimed LIFE, LIFE to the FULL for you.
    Our God is a restorer, a redeemer and he recovers it ALL, he gives us double of all that was stolen, He is faithful to the faithful (PS 18:25)
    Though the transplant journey ahead is big, it will lead you to new LIFE and to the fullness your life is to hold after cancer, and just like when Jesus rose from the dead, and the thief wondered how did that happen? so it will be with you Sam.
    Defeated again, plans to kill, steal & destroy your LIFE foiled, he will go away confused knowing his time is short, whilst you Sam will rise up and testify of the ONE who gives LIFE abundant life, life to the FULL. And the saints will rise and rejoice with you and your family, and we’ll all be waiting to watch your uni graduation, your wedding day with your own hair and lashes, your baby’s dedications, etc. etc. and for the rest of your days you will tell your story of your God who comes ONLY that they might have life. Big Love x Jane

  8. andrew byers

    Boy misses this girl.
    i am so looking forward to the day when i take you to the next latest acoustic falk rock concert and seeing you jump up and down and sing in a pitch which no one could even say is close to hitting a tone along side with me.
    it is indeed going to be one to remember

  9. Beth

    i get so much joy when i see you’ve updated! love you so much!!!


    (GG coming this week!!!)

  10. Ursula







    Thinking of you and praying for you Sam!

  11. Elise


    Tears fall from my eyes reading this, no doubt my prayers are with you. Theres is a special something in the mail for you to look forward to, it may not be much but I hope you like it 🙂

    Lots of Love, Elise xx

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