Welcome to the Lotus Journals.
My name is Donna Nottage. I am 34, married to Sean. We have two beautiful young sons – Huxley & Reeve. And I have brain cancer. An Anaplastic Astrocytoma (grade 3) to be exact. This is me, well was me….
Life for me was unexpectedly turned upside down on Christmas Eve 2016. When I suffered a seizure just after going to bed after preparing for Santas arrival for my boys. I was so excited for the next day but what transpired that evening has turned our lives into a living nightmare ever since and will continue too indefinitely.
I began sharing my story to my friends & family on 4th January 2017 via Instagram and Facebook, the day of my brain surgery. As soon as I started writing, I felt pressure ease and found it a really good medium to express myself. The feedback (shock/horror/disbelief mostly) from sharing my unfortunate situation really made me realise how wrapped up we are in our lives and we do not appreciate what is around us. So I decided it was time to share more. If I can just help one other person change the way they view the world, their situation or their outlook on life, then I know I’ve done my job. Plus it’s a great way to share my thoughts, feelings and update you all on where I am on this journey without having to notify everyone and you can choose to read along as much or as little as you wish.
As this blog started after many posts on Instagram, I back dated it and included these too, so they are all in one place. I have also included some diary entries that I wrote but hadn’t shared publicly. I’m attempting to update as often as possible, all depending on how much alone time I get to write from my kids! Haha (alone time with kids…what’s that?!) and really when I have any new news, but currently as it stands, all is going along ok and my tumour remains “stable”. Although this is great. I want it gone. So I’m planning on heading to Mexico in July for treatment at the ‘Hope for Cancer’ Centre, where they use a completely natural approach, where they boost your body’s own immune system to help your body fight from within. The reason I’m going you may be asking? Why not here? Well that’s because I don’t have an option here. Unless my tumour progresses. And I don’t want progression. I want regression . I finished my scheduled treatments (in April 18). Now I’m on what they like to call, “wait & watch”, which basically means I’ll have continual MRI scans every 4 months and they’ll just monitor me and we will just see what “Terry” (my tumour) is up to. And for me, that’s not enough. So HOLA MEXICO!!!
In Melbourne on Sat 22nd June, I’ll be having a fundraiser to assist in getting me there, aptly named ‘Hola Mexico’, it will be a night full of colour and fun. If you’d like to be involved or come and join the fun, say YES to FIESTA here. For more information please feel free to contact me, info in links above.
If you’d like to read along and hear about my journey, click here to start at the beginning or just scroll to the bottom of the page for the most recent post. Instagram @lotusjournals also has a lot of additional images & quick updates.
I’d like to thank everyone who is supporting me on this journey. Without you this would be a whole lot harder. To all the beautiful ladies who joined #donnassupportsquad at the beginning, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Also to Bec from Sunkissed Torquay who started my original #lotusfordonna campaign – you’re amazing.
Along with creating this blog to share my journey I also hope to create more awareness about Brain Cancer. Thankfully for me in October 2017 it was announced that the Australian Government has given a $100million dollar brain cancer research fund. We can’t ask for much more than that now can we? Considering when I started this journey in January ’17 it was one of the lowest funded cancers. Look what happened a mere 10mths later.
So, the Lotus Journals begin. Why the “Lotus” theme you ask? The lotus was a charm selected for my #donnassupportsquad necklace due to its beautiful meaning and how my sister-in-law felt it related to me. “Lotus flowers symbolise rising from a dark place into beauty and rebirth, as this exactly how a lotus flower grows – directly out of muddy and murky waters to produce beautiful pink or white blossoms”.
Thank you for reading and for your continued support. Together we WILL beat this.
Love, Donna x
P.S. Photo above of happier times, taken during Sean & my first wedding anniversary. Lunch at Polperro Winery in Red Hill. Also the photo I used to break the news on Instagram on 4.1.17. Completely ironic really, we were so happy this day and we had the most wonderful day celebrating. Little did we know in 2 short months just how much life was about to change.