The Pathways of my Life started so simply
I just complicated it all from there.
Who could plan for losing so so badly? Many laugh at such scenarios . . . The stuff of movies and comedy not for real life . . . don’t laugh too loud about such folly, I have experienced it all. I was prepared or so I thought !
For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health. The world is my oyster . . . It could never happen to me! and it’s not just about me its has a much much wider impact!
What did I do wrong? absolutely NOTHING, this could happen to anyone anytime. You can never prepare to avoid such a series of events, the trick seems to be in the recovery which seems so unlikely in times of extreme pain! We are all equipped with an internal “freedom of choice” to try or not to try, truly a very powerful resource within which is at our disposal until our last breath.
Who could plan or foresee successes that I have experienced. Successes that have risen up from seemingly nowhere, born only from a willingness to keep trying without the comforts of any proof. Winning Lotto doesn’t even come close in any comparisons.
A roller coaster of events outside my control have decided my direction in life and the events have played out to a very sweet and very sour unknown script.
1989 Claire and I were married and what seemed not to long after that, my Dad Dennis very unexpectedly suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 52 and dropped dead right in front of my brother and I, at an evening cricket training session – Dad was the team coach.
2002 I win a brand new $50,000 Land Rover 4 wheel drive vehicle.
2008 I was given unexpectedly a 7 metre Italian motor home – $180,000.
2012 Broken Neck – During a cycling Event and in the lead group 30 kms into a 100km race, a large crash – I am now paralysed down one side in a ditch at the side of a country road.
2012 Financial Disaster strikes just two days into my broken neck drama – totally immobilised in a hospital neuro ward, the long treacherous arm of the GFC reached out and took down my business, I lost our family home and all financial resources, leaving us almost entirely broke. I was helpless and unable to move or respond to anything, this was heartbreaking and so so devastating.
2013 Broken Neck – 9 months later I fully recover-
2013 As true as a Roo’s Tale: In the pitch black of a 5:30am morning – My first recovery ride back with my cycling buddies after seriously breaking my neck 9 months earlier in a cycling race. We were heading up to a favourite Gold Coast Climb, then whammo a Kangaroo flashes out of the tree line and collided with me head on – the Roo and me eyeball to eye ball in the pitch black with a big semi heading straight at us in the opposite direction – the result ! – a busted bike, a black eye, followed by a lot of nervous exhaled laughs of relief from those behind me once they realised that I had not re-broken my neck.
2014 my younger brother Graeme RIP falls to Cholangiocarcinoma.
2014 Claire wins the grand tour prize to the “Tour Down Under” – the world’s UCI Cycling tour opener in Adelaide Australia. An all expenses paid 8 day experience with the tour sponsor and pro cycling elite, worth several thousands of dollars.
2015 My Gallbladder disintegrates creating unbelievable pain, a medical emergency and 5 hour operation.
2016 I receive the exact same Cholangiocarcinoma diagnosis as my brother Graeme, that had me descending at a dizzying speed.
2017 (January) An aneurysm to end it all very quickly, but another stroke of very good luck the right surgeon (Tom Snow) in the right place at the right time – with only seconds to spare Tom was available to save my life.
2017 (July) I was down to weeks if not days to live. Then came more luck in the form of a Dr Matthew Burge and a “Hail Mary Pass” from Keytruda – only a tiny subgroup of 9 people made it on to a global Keynote trial. I was the only one to respond fully and immediately.
2018 Claire wins the same amazing “Tour Down Under” 2019 grand prize yet again,
2018 The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation advised me that I had been awarded one of their 3 full scholarship positions to attend the Salt Lake City for the Annual Foundation Conference in Feb 2019.
A very weird normal rhythm to life from a young age.
I have experienced and learnt much in life, many many things that most would struggle to believe as true, yet I haven’t even mentioned my black eye and busted bike as a result of a head on crash with a Kangaroo. This happened on my very first group recovery ride just 10 months after breaking my neck.
Pain and pleasure have been significant and determined teachers, essentially gifting me uniquely powerful insights, and Wisdoms in life.
I truly have been forged in fire between the Hammer and the anvil.