Saturday, 31 January 2015

Last Call
Last call at the Bar!  This is it folks todays the day,  31st January 2015 and we all know what that means don't we?  Yep, my last chance to have a Beer, Wine or Spirit.   Oh and I did end up opening that bottle of Pinot last night, I shared it with my husband and we talked about the month that is in front of us and how he can support me best and he has decided to join me for FebFast which, is certainly going to make it easier for me.   Thank you Adam, I love you to bits.

Today is election day here in QLD so its all very auspicious and luckily for me there are a few election parties happening tonight which, I am lovingly referring to as my "farewell to booze" party.   I will be BBQing and drinking and socialising with my friends and I am looking forward to waking up tomorrow (probably with a headache)  knowing that that is it!  And you know what?   I'm getting used to the idea and actually looking forward to the challenge!   I'm looking forward to feeling healthier, feeling stronger, feeling less guilt that I drink too much.  I'm looking forward to having more money in my wallet as I won't be spending it at BWS or Dan Murphy's and I'm looking forward to being a better person because of what I am doing.  Knowing that I am helping to bring awareness to the despicable disease that is Multiple Sclerosis and assisting Mary by raising these much needed funds to get her to Moscow.    I'm also looking forward to having a cup of tea instead of a wine tomorrow afternoon.

So wish me well on my journey and  please, if you can,  like and share my blog to your page.  I really want to get the word out about Mary to help her raise this money and the more people that share the more likely we are to achieve our goal.


Depending on how much is taken and the physical condition of the individual, alcohol can cause:
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulties 
  • Distorted vision and hearing 
  • Impaired judgment 
  • Decreased perception and coordination 
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Anemia (loss of red blood cells) 
  • Coma
  • Blackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember events that occurred while under the influence)

Long-term effects of alcohol

Binge drinking and continued alcohol use in large amounts are associated with many health problems, including:
  • Unintentional injuries such as car crash, falls, burns, drowning 
  • Intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence
  • Increased on-the-job injuries and loss of productivity 
  • Increased family problems, broken relationships 
  • Alcohol poisoning 
  • High blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases 
  • Liver disease 
  • Nerve damage 
  • Sexual problems 
  • Permanent damage to the brain 
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency, which can lead to a disorder characterized by amnesia, apathy and disorientation 
  • Ulcers 
  • Gastritis (inflammation of stomach walls) 
  • Malnutrition 
  • Cancer of the mouth and throat
All this sounds a bit depressing hey?  Its just a little bit more motivation for me to not drink.

Cheers xx

Friday, 30 January 2015

Well hello Friday

Ah Fridays, how I love thee....... It may be a different Friday next week after being alcohol free for 6 days eeeek!   I only  have two more assisted sleeps before the big F (that's F for February in case you were wondering). 

I am both super excited about this little adventure and secretly nervous, wondering if I am really going to be able to do it.  I didn't realise how much I may actually depend on alcohol for my "switch off" which,  I so enjoy at the end of the day.  You may have noticed that I'm not really that fussy what it is that I drink, I have friends who are so stoic in saying "oh no I don't drink that" or "I can only drink Bourbon" and I'm  like "really?  OK then!  Same Same for me. Give it 'ere".    So its going to be pretty hard for me to come home from work and start cooking dinner without the obligatory drinkies in my hand.

 How will I manage?  I just will, that's how!  I have a great motivator to get me through and that is my Mar-Bear and just thinking of Mary going to Russia on her own without her husband and child for 3 months while she undertakes this treatment makes me realise that my challenge of being alcohol free for 28 days pales in comparison to what she has already  been through and what is yet to come.   And that is what will drive me. 

Do you know whats funny?  I have had great intentions of making this weekend a BIG one, because I can as its still January.  (I'm not sure if I will though) and today on my way home from work I dropped into my local BWS and bought 4 (yes 4) bottles of wine and with a little melancholy thought "this is it",  "this is it until the 1st of March" Holy Sh*t!      So do I neck it all in one foul swoop or do I savour each drop?  I don't know?  I guess we will just wait and see how the weekend pans out.  I've already has one bottle with one of my very best besties  (I like to share)  so that only leaves 3 to go......OMG!    Oh and I think there is some Port hiding somewhere in the house. 

The other challenge besides not drinking of course, its going to be getting on here to write my blog every night right about now and put my feelings down on screen  and not become a complete bore and whinger.  (Oh how can I be witty without the help of my friend Alcohol?)  That's the insecurity coming out in me......  I'm sure I'm going to go through a whole bunch of different emotions and urges, I know I'm going to have days where I really struggle and  I am already starting to feel anxious about it;  but I am determined that I will make till the end.   I feel so accountable! 

So with that, go and  have a fabulous weekend.  I'm going to go open a bottle of Pinot Gris

Cheers xx

Thursday, 29 January 2015

What is HSCT

 What is HSCT I hear you ask?   

 "Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation involves the intravenous (IV) infusion of autologous or allogeneic stem cells to reestablish hematopoietic function in patients whose bone marrow or immune system is damaged or defective".   (Wikkepedia)

Or in lay mans terms;  The procedure involves harvesting stem cells from the patient and giving them doses of chemotherapy, then replacing the stem cells back into their  body.    Its like re-booting a patient’s immune system with their own stem cells after high-dose chemotherapy.

Pretty hard core hey?  Like I've said before, Mary is one the bravest souls I know to be undergoing this treatment but it is the only way to halt the onset of more symptoms.   As controversial as this HSCT treatment is, it is paramount in Mary's recovery from MS, it doesn't claim to cure MS but it is said to halt it in its tracks.  

Please help us get Mary to Moscow.

If you want to know more about HSCT Treatment check out this article of Kristy Cruise on 60 minutes who had the same treatment last year at the same hospital and with the same Doctor  that Mary will be going to. 

You might want to grab a cuppa and a tim tam. 

On closing I just want to share a message that  my beautiful sister sent me earlier this week;     God I love her....

"I'm doing this with you Jodie, each week I'll donate the money I usually spend on booze and smokes to Marys treatment which is a much better cause. Plus along the way improve my own health and fitness, which I take for granted.. Time to grow up and look after myself, and love myself a little more.
A win win.. Thanks Sissy x thanks Mary x"

Cheers x

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Bacardi anyone?

With only 3 days left to go I thought I had better give my bottle of Bacardi a little nudge - I would hate to have alcohol in my house when I am trying to abstain (hic)....No not really, its water, oh ok then its Bacardi Lime and Soda but honestly I only had two as I'm trying to wean myself gently off the booze.    Ah, nothing quite like a nice cold wind down drink after the shenanigans of school and work. Oh and  hows the view over the rim of my glass?  I guess I'm going to have to find a substitute for a wind down drink in the not too distant future hey?  Gosh I haven't even started and I'm already looking forward to a Mojito or a Cuba Libre or anything else with content........How on Earth am I ever going to get through 28 days of my FebFast?  I'm probably starting to sound like I have a drinking problem which maybe I do, which is another motivator for me undertaking this challenge to myself. 

I've been telling myself for years that I don't have a problem and that I am completely in control of what I drink. I like to think that I can say no and sometimes I do but more often than not I don't.  I find it hard to be in a social situation and not have a drink in my hand.  Its almost a relief, its as if I can hide behind the glass or bottle,  although, my husband wonders sometimes who that bitchy cow is that comes out after a few too many vinos at a party.  (I hope thats not the real me)  I really shouldn't drink wine, or maybe,  I just drink too much.

So this is going to be quite the social experiment - I'm looking forward mostly to breaking the habit of a (almost)  daily tipple, having more energy, finding time to exercise and hopefully end up with glowing skin and less of a red nose (LOL)  Boy I really paint a lovely picture don't I?

According to DrinkWise Australia,  The lifetime risk of harm from drinking alcohol increases with the amount consumed.   For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.   But, I bet you already new that.

Hmmmmm, I wonder whats left in the liquor cabinet for tomorrow?????


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Back to School 2015

Well hello again, I'm hoping all parents involved survived the back to school routine - I myself was pretty stressed - back to school, back to work all in one day - phew!  No wonder I drink!  But all that is about to change hey?  Only 4 more days of January and then I am on the wagon, look out!  I  hope I still have a family that loves me and some friends that are willing to hang out once I've completed my challenge.

Did you know;

Multiple sclerosis statistics  No, me neither until until my friend Mary was diagnosed with MS in 2002.  She was 31 and  in the prime of her life.  It was a shock not only to her but to all her friends as well.  Mary went from being a Gym Junkie and National Dragon Boat Champion, she loved walking on her glorious Gold Coast beaches every day, worked two jobs and loved socialising.  - be it shopping, dancing or exercising!  Mary always was the life of the party.  (She still is if truth be told) :)

Mary thought that with her MS diagnosis she would not be unable to do much of the above and really struggled with "What can I offer friendships? My partner?  My family?"

Mary is such an important person not only to her family but to her extended family and friends far and wide and she is cared for and loved immensely by all of us.

So Mary is off to Moscow in August this year for HSCT (hematopoietic stem cell transplant) treatment.   The procedure involves 'harvesting' stem cells taken from the patient's bone marrow blood, then destroying the patient's immune system through chemotherapy before transplanting the healthy stem cells back into the body to rebuild a 'clean' immune system.  In effect, the body's immune system is wiped through the Chemotherapy, which means no more MS!  YAY

Here is the link once again (in case you missed it), PLEASE dig deep and help Mary on her Mission to Moscow.



Monday, 26 January 2015

We are Australian

"We are one, But we are many
And from all, the lands on Earth we come
We share a dream, and sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian"

Happy Australia Day oi, oi, oi!

So I did a lot of contemplating today over my XXXX Summer Bright Lager and discussing the possibilities of life with my friends and family and I've come to the conclusion that if its going to be, its up to me and so I've decided that 2015 is the year to start saying YES instead of making excuses for not participating in opportunities that come along.  How can I not?  I've also decided to grab the bull by the horns so to speak and start making opportunities for myself and not just waiting for them to be offered to me on a silver platter.  

So this journey began as a quest to raise money for my beloved friend Mary who is the bravest soul I know.   She is on a  journey to get to Moscow in Aug 2015 to undergo HSCT stem cell treatment to halt her MS in its tracks!

Want to know more?  Check out her Go Fund Me page here and  Please donate: . No amount is too small and all will be very much appreciated.

I'm new to blogging and learning as I go so please be patient and watch me grow.   I hope to bring awareness to MS and  support my friend in raising much needed funds and its also a journey of my own growth and awakening as I refrain from drinking alcohol during the month of February - lets see where this whole thing ends up.....



Sunday, 25 January 2015

Reflections of me

So I'm another day closer to February and as FebFast looms  I am feeling both excitement and nervousness.  Excited because of the challenge that awaits me and if I have the strength to accomplish this crazy idea and nervous because I wonder if I really can do it. But, I have good motivation to get me through.  So let see hey?

I've had an good old friend staying with me this weekend and we have had an amazing time catching up with of course a nice cold glass of Sav Blanc in our hand and have had numerous chats along the way so it has been a lovely way to farewell January and look forward to a dry Feb.

Wish me luck



Saturday, 24 January 2015

Reflections to February

I sit, looking over the bay, thinking about the upcoming month. Thrill, intrepidation and a sense of challenge lies ahead. I have decided to stop drinking alcohol for a month, to raise money for my friend Mary.

Now while some might think giving up alcohol isn't that big a deal. Well let me tell you , it fricken is!

Gladly taking support in any form - financial for Mary, cheers (non alcoholic ones) for me, or you sharing your own "non-alcohol" journey.