As we prepare for the Manly Volunteer Firefighters training session at Coast Plaza this Saturday 23 March, as part of their preparations for their Sky Tower Climb on Sat 18 May, our very own Shelley from Coast Clinic who we all know and love - has shared her very emotional journey from finding out she had (ALL) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and documents her road to recovery in a Facebook blog:

Shelley was admitted to Hospital for tonsillitis April 2 2015. Routine blood tests revealed she has (ALL) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

We are sharing an excerpt from Shelley's Facebook blog post of January 27 2019 showing how far she has come from her initial diagnosis, her lows, courage, asking for help, and living her best life.

"Then one day…..Boom!!! 💥💥here ya go Shells, lets chuck this at you and see how tough you are! So many memories, feelings and emotions came at me all at once, from missing my dog, to the overwhelming anger, the lack of self confidence due to physical changes, the distrust of my own body, the distrust of people, the chronic pain, the fear, the loneliness, tired of being tired, and just mentally exhausted trying to keep a smile on my face and pretend I was strong.  I was pretty sure everyone around me had had enough of hearing about “my fears” or “my cancer” or “my pain” or “my current bug”, so much so that I was tempted to delete this blog because I wanted to erase all of those memories and feelings from my life. And all I kept hearing was the phrase “well at least you are still alive”.  Trust me, the worst thing to hear when you are grieving for everything that was.  I felt like I had drained everyone so I felt completely alone, I found myself in a very dark place.  I had two options, so I opted for the second and reached out for help.   I am not ashamed of it, I have to say asking for help was the best thing I ever did, to talk to someone who was trained to help me through and to reassure me that everything I was feeling was part of reclaiming who I am.

So, why wait till the 31st December to make promises to ourselves, lets start making promises to ourselves everyday and at the end of the day reflect back on it and if you didn’t quite achieve what you wanted you can aim for tomorrow.  Why beat ourselves up every year for not reaching our goals and then making the same resolutions year in and year out.  If we chipped away a little everyday we may just be able to see the big picture at the end of every year and be proud of how far we have come.  In short, we should live every day like it is New Years. Every day is a new one and we shouldn’t wait whole year to celebrate it (and the truth being is some wont make the next year).  So instead of saying next year why not say today 💜💜💜

Well, that is my little update, I am trying to live the best life I can and learning to trust my body again 💜💜  I am feeling excited for 2019 and what is in front of me and I have to say it's looking pretty bloody good so far!!

To those of you who are just starting the fight, in the middle of a struggle or grieving, no matter how alone you feel, I hope that my candidness can give you some hope💜💜💜"

Thank you Shelley for sharing your journey with us, we hope that it may help others having to undergo the same experience.


If you are in need of support Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand can provide this for you and your loved ones.

Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand - Support services

Northern Region - Auckland & Northland | 0800 15 10 15 | 09 638 3556


What is leukaemia?

Leukaemia is the name given to a group of cancers that develop in the bone marrow. Under normal conditions the bone marrow contains a small number of healthy immature blood cells, sometimes called blast cells. These immature blood cells mature and develop into red cells, white cells and platelets, which are eventually released into the blood stream.

For further information read here:

Why donate to Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand?

They are not a government organisation and they rely on the generosity of donors for fundraising.

Their vision is to to cure and a mission to care, and they are committed to improving the quality of life for patients and their families living with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and related blood conditions.

Every day 8 children and adults in New Zealand are diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood condition.

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