This topic has been particular difficult for me to engage with as it is an emotional time for me. Last year on the 12th October, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Who gets breast cancer at age 29??

This blog is going to reflect on the reason why I chose to go “open” on Facebook with my Journey. I didn’t want to at first. But then the messages came pouring in, all with the same questions. And I decided that Facebook is the best platform to share my story, so everyone gets the updates.

Below are some of the posts :

After these main posts, I had a few more posts.

I started a journal online, but kept is private. It was just a chance for me to document my thoughts and my side effects .

I kept the posts quite “generic” and left the gory details out .

Why did i go open?

wow, the amount of women who told me how my posts motivated them to go for a mammogram was more than I can imagine. The amount of people who contacted me asking me to speak to their friend/mom/gran/sister about the journey.. I honestly feel going open has spread the message and helped people to understand Cancer a bit more .

I have decided to share a snip-it of my private journal- what better platform than a blog about being “open” . The “nasty” side that I am yet share..

14 February 2019

Round 3 and 4 of chemo have been brutal, but in the past 4 months I have learnt more about myself than the previous 29 years. I’ve learnt that getting diagnosed with Cancer is honestly the worst, yet the greatest thing to ever happen to me. I’ve learnt that it is a grieving process. Grieving a body that was once mine, that I have had to hand over to this all-encompassing disease. Learning that even when you think you have hit rock bottom, there is always further you can fall. And yet I am a survivor. And yet on my darkest days, there’s this little light inside of me, a little spark of courage, just an inch more of bravery, that no matter what gets thrown at me, I’ve got this. My lowest point was last week Tuesday at work, when that little spark died and my body just could not keep up with my spirit. And yet, even as I lay on the couch in the work kitchen, I was surrounded by love and care. Surrounded by people who said it was okay. It was okay to not be okay. But I felt like a failure. I had done so well. Pushing through the 7-4 (sometimes 5) work day. Standing in front on my students and colleagues, trying to be the same Jo I was 4 months ago. And yet that person is gone. I am trying so hard to be the energetic , enthusiastic lecturer I was. But the fatigue hits and nausea growls from below. And yet, there are my amazing students, who are honestly like family to me, supporting me and helping me. Telling me it’s okay to sit down during the lecture, and its okay to spend the 10 minute break collapsed on a bean bag in the corner.

And yet I grieve.. I miss the time I should be spending with Emma and my family..

And here I am.. with 3 more chemo cycles to go.. M hair is growing back and I am still fighting! Praying for clear scans and a better 2020!

So what have I learnt from this week?

I was interested in exploring platforms where i could share my lecturing slides.

I have a page on Teacherspayteachers where I sell and share(some for free!) my Foundation Phase classroom resources which makes me some extra money every month. So what platforms are there for Lecturing resources?

I already share within the Varsity College platform and enjoy the collaboration. I am now going to branch out and my goal is to create a specific Training Student Teacher’s website where resources are added and shared.

I am passionate about Early Childhood Education and Beginner Teacher Training. I am really looking forward to my new venture!

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