On my 35th birthday in September 1979 I never thought I would be diagnosed with breast cancer, however a month later I was. My children were aged 8 and 10.
At the time I thought I would never see my two daughters grow into wonderful mothers. They now each have three children. I take great pleasure in watching their development and being involved in the nurturing of five granddaughters and one grandson.
I also thought I would never complete a further nine years of study, finally achieving a Bachelor of Business in 1986. I am still working, now self-employed as an accountant.
I never thought I would get to see more of our wonderful country but my husband and I have undertaken extensive travel - more than 150,000 kms driving round Australia and New Zealand. These trips allow me to indulge three passions - planning the trips, photography and collecting books on Australian history and Australian travellers' tales. I have written and illustrated a book based on our travels for our grandchildren.
Some of the other things I thought I would never do but now have:
- fly in an open Tiger Moth plane,
- drive the infamous Gibb River Road,
- do a sunrise walk to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko,
- be a passenger on several mail runs in the outback,
- climb the sand dune called Big Red in the Simpson Desert,
- be shown sacred Aboriginal tribal lands by an elder in the Pilbara,
- spend time inside the enclosure with cheetahs at the National Zoo in Canberra.
As I approach my 30th anniversary on this journey I can say that I never thought I would see my 65th birthday. To celebrate I am planning two trips. The first will be 30 days driving around Tasmania and the second will be 30 days driving around Australia taking in all the mainland states.