Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Due to bad eyesight. Blogging, sadly, has just been too difficult. Hopefully it is not a permanent thing. But if so, nothing will stop me from wishing you all a wonderful Christmas.

Have a lovely day,

Take care of you and yours.

Share lots of love.

And of course have a very happy New Year!!

Jaz xx

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Sixteen years ago we met and didn't look back for one moment.
This is where it all started.........

..and this is what we looked like.

And this is what we made!!

Happy 11th Wedding Anniversary Mark. My best friend. I love you.
Jaz xx

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What a week!

We have had SUCH a week.

A week involving packing, short trips away, A&E visits, more hospital appointments, more medical updates and news. It's all so much it simply takes breath away. I hope it calms down soon. But I feel this may be the reality of living with a brain tumour after all.

I've started packing up the house, just the non essentials. It's kind of tricky with funny eyes. But I've never been one to let stuff get in my way. I'm typing this with a patch on and finding it a real struggle. But there aint no way this tumour is going to take my blog away from me!! Not yet anyway!!!!!!!

We drove up to Paihia on Friday eve, staying in beautiful apartments and visited Waitangi on the Saturday.
Arrival at Paihia late Friday eve. LOL

The view out our window the next morning.

Treaty house at Waitangi

Exploring the Maori villages

No as many images as I had hoped but it was point, shoot and hope for the best with my eyesight that day. At least we can tick Waitangi off the 'before we leave the North Island' list.

Unfortunately I was at the end of my 'weaning off steroids plan' and my eyesight deteriorated very quickly. By Sat arvo I could barely see a metre in front of me. Back home we drove and spent Sunday in A&E. Result?........back on the steroids.
I have developed a syndrome, common with either hydrocephalus and or tectal plate tumours where the eye muscle develop paralysis when trying to look upwards. It is extremely frightening, and for some reason the steroids (possibly the anti inflammatory nature of them) help. So I guess it's a matter of working out how much, what level, what dose keeps the symptoms reduced and the side effects limited. I am sad it has got to this. It may well be permanent, although I have a slither of hope that because the brain fluid is now at normal levels and the tumour is not currently growing that the eye muscles and nerves can recover. It says it's possible on my little glimmer of hope is there.

What have you got if you haven't got hope huh?

Other than that, it becomes about acceptance of the changes. It's difficult to swallow. I may never be cured from any of this and once again, my breath is taken away. But chin up and all that. We have got to push on the best we can. Going back to flat land and my friends and family seems an even better plan now.

So much busyness I have forgotten the most important part this week. It was my birthday.
Mark cooked a delicious meal, the girls baked and decorated a wonderful cake and I got lovely,thoughtful gifts. It made life seem a little brighter.
Thanks lovely family for your effort. Thanks also to the all the well wishers and mail I have received.
You all really know how to make a week shine!!!
Jaz xx

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Treacys are going Home

Time to let you all know.

The funky Rangiora townhall.

We are relocating back to the little township of Rangiora where we moved from two years ago now. Mark has a managers job within the township and with any luck we will wake tomorrow with the contract on a house purchase finally through the rigorous insurance checks now required within a seismically freaky zone.

We have mixed feelings about the move back home. We actually love our new home up here. The location, lifestyle and new friends. But we must admit the dreaded brain tumour has hampered this lifestyle. Mark and I are both fiercely independent people and a little stubborn. So we are not entirely happy that a little tumour is now dictating our journey.
But it is, and we are learning to accept the changes it is bringing.

I am certainly a different person to whom I was when I left Canterbury. Inside and out. My experiences before after the diagnosis of the tumour have certainly left their effects. Surgery, rehabilitation, treatment, medications, losing hair, changing appearance, stress, fear and many other aspects of this journey has left a few scars. I am apprehensive about taking "me" home. I often don't recognise myself. And I really mean the inside as well.

We also realise the Christchurch we once loved and felt a bond with doesn't really exist anymore. We haven't been back since the devastating and fatal February earthquake. I know we need to prepare ourselves for the devastation and sadness. We will watch Christchurch rebuild with hope and anticipation like all other Cantabrians I imagine.

We are looking forward to being back amongst the people we love. As I am not currently permitted to drive I am looking forward to being back on flat Canterbury land for walking the kids to school and regaining my own independence.

Mark's work will be just a stones throw from our new house (please go through contract!!!!). Which means no long trips home, no commuting. I have my husband near me. This I like and want. This tumour, as much as we loathe it , has brought us so much closer together as a couple............ as a family in fact.
Lovely Ashley River

Our lives in Whangaparaoa has been lived in rental properties. This has been ok for the duration. We were more interested in exploring every weekend, making memories and taking loads of photos. And this we did.
Now we want the Kiwi dream back. The backyard, dog, vege patch and a place to potter. Our place.

This move back home is going to bring us that.

To those of you we are leaving behind up here, thank you for making us feel so welcome. We will miss you all dearly and consider you life long friends. Northland will always be a place to revisit and holiday in. Thanks for becoming a part of our extended family.
Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains

To those of you who are awaiting our arrival back on Canterbury soil. Not long now. We are excited to rebuild friendships and see you all again in early January.
Jaz xx

Monday, November 14, 2011


Yip it's 3.36am , Monday morning and I'm blogging . I'm either a little mad, hopelessly addicted or it's something else.

Oh that's right.


They make you do some funny things these tumours. Like; awake at three am with hunger pains you can't ignore (that's the steroids, which I'm nearly off, YAY!!) and insomnia.

So what's a girl to do? Blog of course.

Gone are the days when Monday morning posts were all about the weekend just gone and enjoyed. Even though we had a great weekend. I'm still posting about this bloomin' thing in my head.

I thought about dying last night. Mark and I were sitting at the computer together. Doing mundane stuff. It hit me like a gale force wind. Brutal with the stench of 'tumour'. Waves of tears. And then gone. More like a Nuclear wind I guess. Not often does it get me anymore, I tend to keep myself distracted and busy, but sometimes the mundane tasks seem to encourage it, or at least allow it to get me.

I've worked out what our WORD is for this year.


Plain and simple.

I used to enjoy teaching values and attitudes as a unit theme with primary school children. Courage was always in there. It takes a lot of courage to be a learner. To take risks and try new things.

Well i've learnt a thing or two about COURAGE this year. In fact our whole family has. My children have been extraordinarily courageous. Mark shows courage in a daily basis living with this tumour alongside me.

But I now know what RAW COURAGE is. I can't think of another way to put it. It's the kind of courage you need when you know something needs to be faced or completed and your entire being wants to pull away. I didn't want to learn it or even experience it. It was kind of thrown into my life. I don't even consider myself very good at it. I just had to do it, be it, own it I guess.

It sucks. (As my pre teen might say).

Brain surgery is the scariest thing I've ever had to face. Every inch of your body wants to run away. You've just spent time chatting to several surgical assistants and registrars about the numerous risks. But lying on that table, looking at the surgical lights above you, you know it's too late. It's going to happen. The only thing left to try is a bit of COURAGE.

That's the courage I mean.

A very special woman in my life said something very poignant and memorable to me about courage this year. Her words, I can't remember to quote exactly, but the sentiment I will never forget. "Courage doesn't always lift its head and roar like a lion. It's often just a small and quiet voice at the end of a day that whispers; I will try again tomorrow".
I guess. Courage presents itself in different forms. Depending on what you need. Thankfully, most days, that quiet voice is all I need.

I'm not trying to talk myself up here. I just needed to write. Funny what you think about lying awake in bed. I wonder what tomorrow's topic word will be?

It's now 4.11am. What else is a girl to do?

Jaz xx

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Welcome back!

Look who's back for another year!

Hi Nana!

Good to see you again.

Jaz xx

Friday, November 11, 2011


It's here.


I'm not normally superstitious at all. But ever since we met , Mark and I have had a 'thing' about the number 11.11.

It started shortly after we started living together. We kept noticing the time 11.11 on the digital clock. Over the years whenever we noticed it, often at the same time, we would look at each other thinking it was a bit odd and spooky.

Now. It's just our number.

We see the time and smile.

It still happens all the time.

So today has almost become an anniversary of sorts. Mark even woke and greeted me with a big kiss and a 'Happy 11.11 Day!!!"

I know others' around the country and world are celebrating and considering it a lucky day. Well it is for us. We feel lucky to have each other!!

Happy 11.11 Day to you Mark. I feel lucky to have you in my every day.

Happy 11.11 day to all of you out there. I hope it's a lucky one for you all.

Jaz xx

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Remembering to Live!

It sure is tricky being thankful when things just aren't cool.

I struggle to see every morning. Making the school lunches in my "pirate feathersword" get up. One eye patched so that I may negotiate the kitchen effectively. Ridiculous really, but if I don't my vision is a swimming mess of multiple images. Bloody, brain, bloody tumour, grrrrrr.

Even the Bougainvillea growing on my deck looks like it's worthy of thanks. Beautiful!

But it was for his very reason I started doing Thankful Thursdays. I needed to be reminded, even on the worst days and weeks. I AM NOT DEAD YET.

For this.......... I am REALLY thankful :-)

And while I'm still kicking, breathing and walking into things, there is hope. Plenty of it.

So today is purely a reminder to oneself. Come on Jaz. You aint dead yet. Still plenty of stuff to achieve. Even if it's slightly modified, altered or impaired. Life still needs to be lived.

I needed this reminder today.

Maybe you need it too.

Jaz xx

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Playing with Fire

Let's begin with a brain update.
I'm typing this with my eye patch on as my eyes do not cope after a full nights sleep. But we crack on despite. I really hope my eyesight returns.
You may have seen my comment on my last post that the MRI went pretty well.
1. No new growth of the tumour (still the same size but they can stabilize and take a long time if going to shrink. Time is needed here.
2. The discolouration caused by radiation treatment is resolving and not a sign of any new disease. ONE BIG PHEW!!!!!
3. My ventricles are still a bit overfull of fluid which may be the discomfort I still feel. The drainage hole has worked and is working,but once again this is a scenario that needs time.
4. I have lost my cheek bones LOL. Bummer. The fluid caused by fluid retention (steroids) have changed the shape of my face (well I certainly notice it). I laughed at it yesterday as I brushed my hair. I laughed. I reckon that's another step towards recovery mentally at least :-)

A Night Out
Lat night we shared guy fawkes with friends and at their street party. It was a great night. I actually didn't think I could do it. With the amount of pressure I currently have in my head I find noise and lots of people and movement just a bit too much. But with a head full of antinflammatories, well watered and fed the night got better and better.
I think some times distraction has a major role to play when trying to cope with feeling unwell.
Thanks Lisa and Paul! What great spread, lovely company and awesome to have had some fun!

The fire works were brilliant fun for adults and children alike.

Happy kids
and more happy kids....
and some more!!

My happy little girl who was petrified of the fireworks last year really warmed to them and was extremely brave.

Some of the happy 'lighting' crew.

Sparkler fun!
She made it till midnight :-)

Jaz xx

Friday, November 4, 2011

Forgetful Friday

I realise I haven't made much of an effort to be Thankful on Thursdays lately. Shame really as it was a time in the week which forced me to have a more positive outlook on our current life. Which is a good thing.

So although Thursday has past. I shall be thankful on a Friday.

A very good and dear friend called me this morning. Just hearing her voice made me shed more than a few tears. I was, thankfully, able to offload (she doesn't mind a bit) many of my fears and some of the icky stuff I've had to deal with this year. What a load off it was. I am so grateful to have her in my life. Love you Simone xx

Next I am thankful that my children can have some normality. A small sleepover with junk food and DVD is scheduled for this evening. It hasn't been a regular event at our house this year. Most of the the social events have taken our children to other people's houses. It is nice to finally host a friend and have some fun. Yay!

And finally. Things are growing.
Parsley, strawberries, spinach, corn and courgette. Just a smattering of veg.
But it is lovely to see anyway. Thankful for the warmer weather arriving and new growth around us.

And these lillies, almost bursting into bloom were from my late Nana's garden. They have been with me at every flat, house and rental we have owned or lived in. South and North Island. I have moved them with me loyally and Nana has never failed to deliver yearly blooms. Lovely huh.
Can't wait for it to happen again soon :-)

Thank goodness for finding these things around me.
We plan to get the kids out on their bikes this weekend.
Have a wonderful weekend yourselves.
Jaz xx

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


MRI tomorrow morning.

Today's mantra:
It's going to be fine
It's going to be fine
It's going to be fine.

Tomorrow's mantra:
It was all ok
It was all ok
It was all ok

The power of the positive!!

Jaz xx

Monday, October 31, 2011

Who is this person standing before me?

I'm having a moment. Just a little one.......promise.

We had a pretty relaxing weekend which was total awesomeness. Bought some Levis jeans for $29 at Savemart. OH yes!
New trainers originally $190 for $49 for my 'no driving' daily walking expeditions. Wicked!

Yep, a good weekend. Even the grocery bill was cheaper. Go figure! We relaxed, mooched, hung out together. The nice stuff.

But today I feel somewhat .........deflated. Disappointed I guess. Every now and again my brain tumour saga catches up with me and slaps me clean around the ears.
I have been on a lowish dose of steroids for the past month since my recent surgery. They are awful actually. I don't like them very much. BUT, they seem to have helped my eyes and head pressure. I feel I can function almost normally on them.

Catch 22 though. While the eyesight and 'headiness' feeling improving is a positive. I really struggle with the transformation my body is going through. Unfortunately, and embarrassingly this is where I become rather shallow in character. I miss the old me. The healthy, relatively fit, active, slim me. Ok so I've never been a sports woman, but a healthy 35year old and proud of it.

The steroids are making my face a little swollen and rounder. A smattering of acne. My hair is still a bit irregular from having surgery patches shaved. I can't sleep very well. I'm often up at 3 or 4am drinking sleepy tea or hot milk. I have an insatiable appetite. Like I've never had before (other than when I was pregnant). A drug induced (and eating at all hours of the day) belly is appearing, despite my 80 tummy crunches I try each day and regular walking. I feel I'm losing the battle, despite my efforts. It's all vanity, I realise this. I know it's more important to be alive and functioning, I just miss me!

My lovely husband is very good at saying all the right things. He loves me, the whole me. The person whom he married and the person whom he shares everything with. But I'm a girl. I want to be attractive for my husband. I want to be healthy and attractive for me too! It's a strange feeling to be changing beyond my control.

Some of it may be within my control. I'm trying a lower dose. But so far my symptoms eg the poor eyesight are returning. Drat.
I'm hoping it may plateau and become bearable, liveable. But I guess, if I have to increase them again I will.
I keep active. Even if I don't see the results outwardly, I'm sure it's good for my overall health and well being to keep moving and my heart pumping. That I can do and will continue.

I'm a little uncomfortable at the thought of the next time I see my friends and family again who reside in Canterbury. I don't really want to look like I've been on medications for months on end.
Oh I know........they love won't matter..........they will completely understand........and support me anyway. Yep, I know all this.

But I'm still having a moment.

Jaz xx

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hey guess what?

I have things in my life other than managing a brain tumour! Yes I do!

I love cooking with apples. Well all fruit really, but especially apples.

My mum and her best friend (who have both sadly passed away in the past five years) loved and shared the most delicious apple cake recipe.
AND IT'S EASY!!!! Because these too amazing women are not in my life anymore, their recipe, written with love and passed to me is especially precious.

Yesterday I made the cake for Mark to take to his work today. His work mates are benefiting from my 'recovery boredom' quite a bit lately. I smothered it with maple syrup butter icing. OMG YUM!!!

Here tis if you want to try it:

Easy Spiced Apple Cake
Melt 125 grams butter
Grate 2 medium size apple, mix in 1 cup brown sugar and an egg. Mix!!!

Dry ingredients:
1 & half cups flour
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn cinnamon
1 tspn cloves
1 tspn mixed spice
1/2 tspn salt.

Combine sifted dry ingredients with the wet apple mixture. Put into a lined, greased 20cm round cake tin.
If not icing then add a topping before baking:
25g melted butter
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sugar
tspn mixed spice

Bake 30 minutes at 180

ps Yesterday I also made rhubarb muffins which I had never made before. Have you? They were amazing and didn't even have butter in them. Wahooo!!!
Jaz xx

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ah well, sometimes it happens (sigh)

My appointment came and went yesterday. Unfortunately taken by some poor critical care patient. I dearly hope they are ok.

Of course, I am a bit dissapointed. It means rescheduling of several appointments, a shuffling domino effect. More coaching of oneself (MRI's are not a pleasant experience and it does take me a bit of focused calmness and preparation on the day).

But somebody else got the urgent care they needed. I'd want that for myself and my family if necessary.

I'm still glad I put it out there into blogland though. It felt ok asking for your help. It was nice knowing that others are supporting me.

It's cool.

You people are cool.

Total coolness.

Thanks. Keep it comng. Lots of love your way too.

Jaz xx

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Can I ask you all a favour?

I've got a big week this week. Two hospital appointments. One for an Brain MRI an the other with my Opthamologist to reassess my eyes after my most recent surgical procedure.

I feel ok about it all. I know it needs to be done. But of course it still brings up bubbling emotions and 'what if questions' about my future.

I'm also feeling more recovered from the latest surgery. It was a month ago today.

There are still issues and I think the fluid levels in my head are still not quite right as I feel a little off balance, slight head pressure and fuzzy eyes. But it is so much better than it was.
I dont know the effects that anasthetic has on the body but I'm sure it takes a while to recover from that as well. (I stopped any online research a LONG time ago. Too many horror stories and dread on there for me to cope with!!).

Once again the Spiriulina and Antioxident supplements are helping get me through. Wonderful stuff.
Unfortunately, I have also been on steroids which have unpleasant side effects; insomnia, crazy hunger, anxiety, weight gain, round face, acne (the list goes on and on). But I am this week weaning myself off them. Yippee!
Hopefully the symptoms don't return so I can remain off them for a loooong time.

So anyway, the favour I mentioned I mentioned in my title. I hate asking for help. I'm terrible at it. Up until this diagnosis of my brain tumour I was an independent person in control of my life and family. I liked it that way too.
But I have had to do it and accept it a huge amount this year. I am extremely grateful for the help we have received too!!

I'm not very religious, but I am a spiritual person. I believe in the power of prayer and collective love and positivitiy. So will you help me out???

Tomorrow; Wednesday is my MRI. Can you send me some prayer and positive thought?? I won't have anything to report. They just do the scan and then I'll have to wait few weeks for a follow up appointment to discuss results, but no matter.
You never know, it may help. It certainly helps knowing my friends, family and readers are out there.

It lifts me and keeps me going.
If nothing else, that is more than enough.

Cheers friends
Jaz xx

Monday, October 24, 2011

Our Boys Won

Congrats to the Boys in Black.

I think the whole nation is smiling with you this morning.

Jaz :-)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Our little get away.

From Whangaparaoa to Whangamata we quietly idled along at a leisurely pace to our destination for the evening. Traveling with Phoebe we made a few little breaks and pit stops along the way. But only having one child to organise made it pretty easy and not at all stressful.

With my spirulina to keep me going, I made it ok and Mark and I had a great time together.

Soy fluffy in Thames

View in Tairua

Surf at Hot Water Beach Coromandel

Hot Water Beach

Happiness in ice cream

Enormous, beautiful native trees

Whangamata Cafe meal. Phoebe discovers a new passion for garlic aioli dip. I totally understand the love affair.

The motel

Whangamata beach with the sun setting behind us.

  1. Karangahake gold mine

Karaangahake gold mine river and swing bridges.


Phoebe and her kazoo

Evidence of the in flight entertainment. LOL

A lovely weekend had by all. Even little breaks are truly worth it.

Jaz xx


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