Shaving for Siobhan
Updated description (added comment/info by Siobhan)
The epic things people do for their friends. The wonderful Yaisa Nio is shaving her hair off to support me and to help raise funds that we are putting towards establishing an exercise program for all chemo patients.
Chemo is shite but the training program that I did focused on activating my fight response - by lifting weights. 6 simple exercises (with 3 sets and 12 reps) done 3 times a week made all the difference to how I came out of and endured chemo.
Most chemo patients loose Muscle mass -> I maintained and gained!
I also walked 8900 steps on average a day through chemo and my V02 test at the end of chemo was borderline healthy for someone of my age.
But other than the physical benefits of exercise the biggest benefit for me was the mental benefits. Achieving something during chemo kept me sane.
Help me and Yaisa help other chemo patients. We want to get a trial of a medicare rebatable Exercise Physiologist at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre by June 2019.
All of this is with my Oncologist Dr Sara Whalroos and Prof Elgin Lim.
All funds will NOT go to research but will go to helping improve the truly fucked up experience that chemo is.
Cancer is expensive - but exercising during chemo can be as easy as a set of weights, an app subscription - we have that, and a trainer who has expertise to deal wth cancer patients.
Help make my reality everyone reality - fuck cancer - keep fit.
Old description (by Yaisa)
If you don't know Siobhan, let me tell you, she is the craziest, fastest thinking, wittiest, most adventurous, most loyal, most gorgeous, most charismatic, most broad-smiled and most snuffable woman you will ever meet.
She is one of my best friends. And she has breast cancer.
On 29 May 2018, Siobhan voluntarily shaved her hair off in defiance of the feisty fucker. She was not going to give the chemotherapy the honour of taking away her hair. And this is only one of many actions she will be taking over the next few months to stay ahead of the cancer. She is planning (and already executing) many things to carry herself through this ordeal with dignity, grace, humour, positivity and realism.
She is tough and she is going to beat this, with the help of her friends and family. Sadly, there is only so much I can do for her in terms of daily support, living 1.200 km away and spending most of the year even 4.500 km or more away from her. And since drinking G&T's and wine to drown our sorrows when we get together next is not an option anymore either, I have decided to do something else in an attempt to support Siobhan.
Firstly, I am going to shave my hair off as well, just like Siobhan. So that the next time we are together I don't look too weird next to her with all my hair. If she's going to go all Natalie Portman, Demi Moore and Sinéad O'Connor on me, I can't very let her blow everybody off their feet by herself, now can I?
Secondly, I am going to donate it to a wigmaker who will turn it into a wig for someone who lost their hair due to a medical condition. No, I'm not donating my hair to Siobhan, because frankly, it's a really hairy thought to imagine Siobhan with my black locks.
Thirdly, and this is where you come in, I am going to raise lots of money with this. Every penny I raise (minus this platform's commission) will go to Siobhan. She can do whatever she wants with it: spend it on wig, scarfs, beanies, caps, hats, facials, spa treatments, the best organic food she can get, airfare tickets to visit friends and family, a cleaning lady, presents for Marcel, the Cancer Council, refugees or whatever she fancies spending it on. She will have to work less if not stop working completely for a while, so I thought we could collectively help out to make sure she has to worry a little less about her budget.
I will do all this in about six months time, some time in November 2018, because my hair needs to grow a few more centimeters to be donatable. As soon as my hair is long enough, I will set the date.
It will also give me more time to get used to the idea and mentally prepare for the big chop. A luxury that Siobhan never had. And perhaps with that timeframe, it will be possible for me to be in Sydney with Siobhan when it happens.
But more importantly, this also gives me plenty of time to squeeze more money out of your pockets and your friends pockets.
If you donate AUD 100 or more, I'll throw in a free yoga class - which you can claim in Sellicks Beach, in Amsterdam, in Bali or anywhere else in the world where we can manage to meet up in the next few years.
Please donate generously and share the news. For Siobhan.
Thank you ~ Dank ~ Merci ~ Grazie ~ Gracias ~ Danke ~ Shokran ~ Terimakasi
Picture of Siobhan and I taken in Giethoorn, The Netherlands in 2008.
On 29 May 2018, my friend Siobhan shaved her hair off in defiance of the feisty fucker, as she calls the particularly aggressive breast cancer that was discovered in one of her epic boobies early May (her words, not mine :-) !!! ) . She was not going to give the chemotherapy the honour of taking away her long locks.
By now, several rounds of extremely strong chemotherapy later, she indeed lost most of her (short-cut) hair – but gets to wear a wig made out of her own hair plus some locks donated by her sisters. She is going through a tough time physically, chemotherapy is poison and it hurts. Mentally however, she is super strong and I am so proud of her!
Her daily routine is her anchor; she does regular work outs to sweat out the chemo, does 10.000 steps every day, eats only healthy food and gets lots of rest. As she puts it, it’s a full-time job to manage the side effects of the treatment.
Being a self-employed consultant, this means she is working much less. And the Medicare and insurance systems being what they are, it means she is also out-of-pocket a fair bit.
Don’t get me wrong, she is not bankrupt and starving. She has the support from a lot of friends and family and still lives a good life in Bondi. But as a friend who is always far away, I want to help her too and I could only think of one way to do so: shave off my own hair to show my support, donate my locks to a charity foundation and with that action, raise funds from you to help Siobhan come out of this as strongly and comfortably as possible.
My hair needs to grow a bit to be wig material, so the big shave will happen in November.
Please don’t wait to donate though, I’ve have received some wonderful donations already and plenty of pledges but what we need now is more action. The cancer won’t wait, the chemotherapy is happening and Siobhan is fighting hard to stay on top of it all.
Your support would mean a lot to me. Thank you so much!
PS. If you have donate already, THANK YOU and stay tuned to find out the day of the big shave!
The photo was taking in El Gouna, Egypt in 2008, pretty much 10 year ago!
In the meantime, I am doing everything I can to nourish my hair and make it grow as fast as it can. Today I smeared an Ayurvedic herbal paste for hair rejuvenation and growth all over my head. Not sure it will help, but my hair does feel nice and soft! :-)