Sunday, December 18, 2011


Near the end of my radiotherapy a dear old family friend gave me $100 to go and get my hair styled around my bald patch (from where the radio-waves had entered), a cut that it would conceal it. I chose to go to Servilles, one of the top hair salons in Auckland, in Mission Bay.

A lovely female hairdresser, the head of the business, cut and styled my hair brilliantly so that my bald patch was completely concealed. At the end of my cut she invited to come back whenever I wanted to get a free head massage from a junior in the company, Terry Whaitiri. I accepted the invitation and went back to the salon on a regular basis, in spite of the great distance from my home to the salon.

A close friendship developed between Terry and me and through his kindness I would go and get my hair cut and dyed for a ridiculously low price for many years to come. Those years included from 2004 – 2007 when I gained 40kg in 14 months, and those hair styling sessions were like pure gold to me. I would often go into the salon feeling in an utterly exhausted emotional slump but would always leave feeling a million dollars and with my hair looking fabulous. It really can’t be overstated the power that being made to look good has on making you also feel better.

This I think was the philosophy behind a charity group that was started in America in 1987called ‘Look Good, Feel Better’. This group works with women undergoing cancer treatment, teaches the women how to apply makeup properly and pamper themselves and then sends them away with a bag full of top of line cosmetics. ‘Look Good, Feel Better’ was a blessing for that time. Terry Whaitiri has been a blessing, and a friend, that I think will last for a lifetime!

Terry is now also a makeup artist and since October 2009 has come down to my home (an hour’s drive each way) and does my hair, gives me a full makeover and has a meal with me. We have had many a laugh when he has done ‘themed’ makeovers and He truly is one of the greatest blessings of these past 9 years.

Truly there are treasures to be found in any dark roads we may have to walk down in life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Prior to my starting radiotherapy a dear family friend made the most incredible gesture of love for me. She had made a stunning patchwork quilt that she wanted to give to me.

On one side of the quilt were colourful, bright tropical flowers that had been magnificently patch-worked into hexagons. The backdrop to the hexagons was an amazing quilted black background. This was bordered with beautiful tropical flowers.

The other side of the quilt was a solid block of differently coloured hibiscus which weren’t quite as bright as the patchwork side. When I had severe headaches, or when extra visual stimulation was too much, I would turn the quilt over and have this side up.

To add to the beauty of the quilt, everywhere there were flowers was stitched with a variegated thread. This varied in colour so that it showed all the colours of the rainbow winding through the quilt. What inspired me through this thread, even though a thread is such a simple thing, was that it didn’t stop changing colour. That made me think about how my life wouldn’t stop changing ‘colour’ either, that I would move on from the exhausted ‘dark’ time I was experiencing and into a brighter future.

Since my time at fashion design school colours had very distinctly symbolised different things to me. In my mind blue symbolised peace; yellow symbolised joy;  green, a combination of both peace (blue) and joy (yellow), symbolised hope;  red symbolised passion; orange, a combination of both  passion and joy, symbolised strength to me and white, symbolised purity.

Having this thread, which changed colour from one inch to the next, showed me the ‘thread’ that ran my own life - that life would always be beautiful. Even when I was moving through periods of darkness, just around the corner peace, passion, joy, hope, strength, and purity would always be there for me to see. 

This quilt was given to me to take to Domain Lodge (the Cancer Society Motel opposite Auckland Hospital) and was such a beautiful ray of sunshine for me. It was the first thing I saw when I entered my room and it just brought me such joy to look at while lying in bed during those 6 weeks of treatment.

I will be forever grateful to this wonderful friend and for the precious gift she gave me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


“God, in all His magnitude is not too majestic and mighty to move and guide all our ways … even the most minute and intricate of details.”

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011


“Kind words are like an ointment that brings healing to the heart and spirit many years after the words have been spoken.”

Thursday, November 3, 2011


"All things are made possible by faith. All dreams begin as hope. All moments are made easy by grace."