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September 17, 2019, 08:17:32 pm

Author Topic: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER  (Read 1021 times)

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caramel333

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HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« on: May 08, 2019, 09:16:37 pm »
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Hey Guys,

As declared by the title, this is my first digital journal where I will be recording and reflecting on my HSC journey with an ill family member. I intended to create this sooner, but I hesitated because the subject was still very raw and sensitive to me. However now by sharing my personal experience on such a heavy topic I will strive to provide a genuine perspective surrounding the ways I have juggled the HSC and the care-taking responsibilities of my ill family member. Also, just a heads up I will be referencing medical terminology which I will have a glossary for at the bottom of my posts.

Now to not leave you guys any further in the dark, I will provide a brief background:

It was around September, a month before year 12 begun when my Mother was called in to take some general medical tests. First upon hearing this, it never initially concerned me as I believed this was the standard routine to check it her health was overall in good condition. However, when the test results returned she was recommended to take further specialised tests. Fast forward around 2-3 weeks and my family was called in for a doctors meeting where we received the news of my Mothers breast cancer diagnosis. Immediately, my entire body felt numb and my emotional process system malfunctioned into overdrive. I resorted to bottling my emotions instead of properly processing how I felt by discussing how I was feeling to trusted individuals in my school community as well to friends and family in general. I felt as if no one could fully understand the full depth of my emotions. In Term 1 2018, I attempted to plaster on a mask of optimism and ignored how I was feeling in the mist of piling homework and assignments on my doorstep. I found myself constantly feeling being pulled by strings towards multiple commitments (i.e HSC workload, co curricular and being a part time carer). Soon, it was no surprise when I found myself feeling burnout towards the end of the term with the adoption of some poor habits(i.e inconsistent work routine and late nighters). However, during the summer holidays I took the opportunity to fully let myself adjust to a completely different lifestyle. Also, Due to the early detection, I am grateful that during the break my Mother had a mastectomy which currently is being followed by chemotherapy.

Jumping back into present day, I now say that despite the seeming chaotic experiences life has thrown at me, I have accepted it and continue to believe in my capacity to handle the HSC in light of the confronting revelation. I would be lying to say that I feel 100% now even if has been many months since the diagnosis due to continual challenges. But, I am becoming better at adapting my routine to suit my multiple responsibilities as well as shifting my values and perspective surrounding the HSC.

mastectomy- removal of a whole breast
chemotherapy - use of anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells

To conclude, here is a quote to summarise my HSC 2019 mood from my favourite musical Hamilton: "I will not throw away my shot"  ;)

Adieu,
C   :)






HSC 2019: English Advanced | Music 1 | Business Studies | Studies of Religion 1 | Ancient History | History Extension

angewina_naguen

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 10:27:03 pm »
+2
Very excited to see your journal! So sorry to hear about all that is going on with your mother in the backdrop of the HSC. If there's anything we can do to help as a forum community, do reach out and let us know  :)

Also huge musical theatre tragic here so loving how you're deriving optimism from Hamilton  8)

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brothanathan

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 11:43:23 pm »
0
Hey Guys,

As declared by the title, this is my first digital journal where I will be recording and reflecting on my HSC journey with an ill family member. I intended to create this sooner, but I hesitated because the subject was still very raw and sensitive to me. However now by sharing my personal experience on such a heavy topic I will strive to provide a genuine perspective surrounding the ways I have juggled the HSC and the care-taking responsibilities of my ill family member. Also, just a heads up I will be referencing medical terminology which I will have a glossary for at the bottom of my posts.

Now to not leave you guys any further in the dark, I will provide a brief background:

It was around September, a month before year 12 begun when my Mother was called in to take some general medical tests. First upon hearing this, it never initially concerned me as I believed this was the standard routine to check it her health was overall in good condition. However, when the test results returned she was recommended to take further specialised tests. Fast forward around 2-3 weeks and my family was called in for a doctors meeting where we received the news of my Mothers breast cancer diagnosis. Immediately, my entire body felt numb and my emotional process system malfunctioned into overdrive. I resorted to bottling my emotions instead of properly processing how I felt by discussing how I was feeling to trusted individuals in my school community as well to friends and family in general. I felt as if no one could fully understand the full depth of my emotions. In Term 1 2018, I attempted to plaster on a mask of optimism and ignored how I was feeling in the mist of piling homework and assignments on my doorstep. I found myself constantly feeling being pulled by strings towards multiple commitments (i.e HSC workload, co curricular and being a part time carer). Soon, it was no surprise when I found myself feeling burnout towards the end of the term with the adoption of some poor habits(i.e inconsistent work routine and late nighters). However, during the summer holidays I took the opportunity to fully let myself adjust to a completely different lifestyle. Also, Due to the early detection, I am grateful that during the break my Mother had a mastectomy which currently is being followed by chemotherapy.

Jumping back into present day, I now say that despite the seeming chaotic experiences life has thrown at me, I have accepted it and continue to believe in my capacity to handle the HSC in light of the confronting revelation. I would be lying to say that I feel 100% now even if has been many months since the diagnosis due to continual challenges. But, I am becoming better at adapting my routine to suit my multiple responsibilities as well as shifting my values and perspective surrounding the HSC.

mastectomy- removal of a whole breast
chemotherapy - use of anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells

To conclude, here is a quote to summarise my HSC 2019 mood from my favourite musical Hamilton: "I will not throw away my shot"  ;)

Adieu,
C   :)

I hope this amalgamation of events has nurtured your sense of empathy, as our society is in high demand for people who possess the ability to understand other's chaotic experiences.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 12:10:40 am by brothanathan »
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jamonwindeyer

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2019, 12:43:21 am »
+3
Welcome to the forums! Such an incredibly honest and brave first post to make in an online space - Genuinely happy for you in that you seem to be looking at this optimistically and taking it as part of your HSC experience. Maybe this journal will end up helping others who have similar experiences in the future!

And of course, best wishes to your mum in her treatment - Rooting for her, hope the chemo is going as well as can be hoped! :)

Could I ask a bit more about you? EG - What subjects do you do, do you have any goals for what you will be doing next year? :)

caramel333

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2019, 02:48:46 pm »
+2
Welcome to the forums! Such an incredibly honest and brave first post to make in an online space - Genuinely happy for you in that you seem to be looking at this optimistically and taking it as part of your HSC experience. Maybe this journal will end up helping others who have similar experiences in the future!

And of course, best wishes to your mum in her treatment - Rooting for her, hope the chemo is going as well as can be hoped! :)

Could I ask a bit more about you? EG - What subjects do you do, do you have any goals for what you will be doing next year? :)

Thanks for the warm welcome! I definitely created this journal to help other individuals in the future who are in similar circumstances to mine  :)
Regarding HSC talk, my subjects are: Music 1, English Advanced, Ancient History, History Extension, Business Studies and SOR 1
As a majority of my subjects are humanities based, I aim to study secondary education or international business  ;)
HSC 2019: English Advanced | Music 1 | Business Studies | Studies of Religion 1 | Ancient History | History Extension

caramel333

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2019, 02:55:25 pm »
0
Very excited to see your journal! So sorry to hear about all that is going on with your mother in the backdrop of the HSC. If there's anything we can do to help as a forum community, do reach out and let us know  :)

Also huge musical theatre tragic here so loving how you're deriving optimism from Hamilton  8)

Thanks for the greeting   :)  Musical theatre is my weakness  ;)
HSC 2019: English Advanced | Music 1 | Business Studies | Studies of Religion 1 | Ancient History | History Extension

caramel333

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2019, 08:44:34 am »
+6
Hey Guys,

This week I had to brush up on my baking skills from year eight food tech as my family hosted a fundraiser for the Cancer Council called 'The Biggest Morning Tea'. Besides the fact that I can make killer toasties, it is evident that baking is definitely not my prowess. Therefore, instead of being in the kitchen I utilised my others skills elsewhere in the planning and organising of the event: location, invitations and dishes etc. Whilst there was numerous tasks to do, the constant collaboration between my family members and myself provided me with assistance and clarity, making the event a huge success!  I am also glad to announce that we raised $137.65!! ;D

In regards to balancing my role with this event and school, I am not going to lie, it was pretty damn hard but manageable. I woke up everyday from weeks 1-3 at 5am to complete event duties and then used my free periods at school and normal after hour study schedule to complete homework and major work tasks. This weeks agenda was tough with my HIX major hovering over my shoulder. Twice this week I have changed my question and it is frustrating as now I have to change my focus. Initially, I was investigating how postmodern relativism has influenced historians interpretations on the dancing plague however I had to discard this due to a lack of postmodernist perspectives on the subject. Instead, I have shifted my focus onto investigating causation. I am hopeful that I will find an interesting angle to work with.

Till next time, adieu
:)
HSC 2019: English Advanced | Music 1 | Business Studies | Studies of Religion 1 | Ancient History | History Extension

Pearlmilktea

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2019, 05:08:27 pm »
+1
Whilst there was numerous tasks to do, the constant collaboration between my family members and myself provided me with assistance and clarity, making the event a huge success!  I am also glad to announce that we raised $137.65!! ;D

Wow that's incredible ! Good on you for waking up early and balancing all that with school. You're amazing !

I'm really excited for your future entries. I have to admit I relate to your baking comment on a spiritual level :) I can cook anything in the microwave but please don't make me go beyond that hahaha
Feel free to check out my study instagram @gracie_studies for some study inspo or just to chat :)

HSC 2018: French Continuers (92)

HSC 2019: Biology, English Adv, French Extension, Legal Studies and Italian Beginners.

mango8

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2019, 07:11:21 pm »
+2
Hey Guys,
This week I had to brush up on my baking skills from year eight food tech as my family hosted a fundraiser for the Cancer Council called 'The Biggest Morning Tea'.

Hello there,

I just wanted to say that I truly admire you. I think you are very very strong, and you are an inspiration to many people. There is nothing I could adequately say about a situation that only you truly know, but I can promise that you will always be in my thoughts, and I will be praying for your Mum's recovery, who is also a very strong, amazing woman.

I absolutely adore musical theatre too! I am so happy that your fundraiser was such an enormous success, hope you're so proud of all your hard work paying off! Your dedication is also very inspiring.

I am really looking forward to your future posts, and keeping you and your family in my thoughts. 💖

caramel333

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2019, 06:04:12 am »
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Wow that's incredible ! Good on you for waking up early and balancing all that with school. You're amazing !

I'm really excited for your future entries. I have to admit I relate to your baking comment on a spiritual level :) I can cook anything in the microwave but please don't make me go beyond that hahaha


Thank you! I am also a fan of your insta note aesthetic  ;)
HSC 2019: English Advanced | Music 1 | Business Studies | Studies of Religion 1 | Ancient History | History Extension

caramel333

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2019, 07:17:15 am »
+5
Hey Guys,

This is just a reminder that my posts may be inconsistent due to the different demand levels every week however I am aiming to become more regular by posting every 2-3 weeks. With that said, lets get cracking:

Travelling further and further into the term has created I know not only for me but probably all yr 12  new layers of anxiety with assessments, major works, exams etc. How I have been coping with these approaching weeks is by planning in advance by scheduling and having a detailed checklists and a stable timetable. This is of course nothing knew to a perfectionist(guilty). Without this organisation system, I would crash and burn hard because for e.g I need to visually plan out stages of the research and writing process for my HIX major work . I need to log my extra curricular and see specifically how many hours a week I should have to study and assign those subjects. Whilst this in itself seems time consuming, it is a must. Therefore, every Friday night I update and review the system. Seeing what I can improve on etc. However, I have to admit that while creating a system was a piece of cake, sticking to the system with consistency was definitely challenging. Laziness and pure exhaustion caused me to fall out of the system for around 2 weeks, which made me scramble to get all my work complete. But, since then all I did was gone back and tweak the system.

Events in the last couple weeks have been full on. With my Yr 12 Retreat last week I always vow to myself not to cry and become emotional because its simply not in my nature and I detest discussing my emotions. However second day in, I was completing an activity with my friendship circe which required us to share our life stories and the waterworks spilled out uncontrollably. Vulnerability is terrifying but serving my life on a sliver platter to my friends made me realise how emotionally strong I am. Discussing sensitive topics such as my Mother's Cancer was a difficult feat I was able to overcome. I also tend to caretake for others emotions at the expense of my own. Which I knew wasn't healthy but now seeing myself and all my friends as emotional wrecks simply taught me to be less judgemental. We think that everyone else around us has it together but in reality a majority of people do not. All in all, I believe this retreat has taught me to accept and be more at peace with myself and others for we all a myriad of  experiences which may be foreign to others. However if retreat has taught me one thing its that I should never underestimate others as everyone I believe that everyone in my year group has the ability to succeed and I truly hope we all make it, competitiveness aside.

During this time as well, my Mother has halted chemotherapy treatment because it the physical side effects are taking a toll on her work. Numb hands and sore feet are the result which impedes her work as an accountant.However, with medication and constant check ups she should be back on soon.

PS: I have also submitted my first early entry to ANU(Australian National University)! ;D Fingers cross I receive a conditional offer

Till next time, adieu
:)
HSC 2019: English Advanced | Music 1 | Business Studies | Studies of Religion 1 | Ancient History | History Extension

mango8

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2019, 08:27:17 pm »
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Hello!

Not to worry, post whenever you are able to :)

I definitely want to start planning things in advance and creating detailed checklists by breaking down huge tasks into tiny chunks that are more approachable. I can understand being a huge perfectionist as well. I don't think I have been planning/organising my work properly at all, and I need to. What extracurriculars are you doing? I agree, that this process will be very beneficial in the long run, and I am guilty of making meticulous plans and never actually following through or merely being consistent. And in Year 12, that is vital. But yes, it's not set in stone as such, change up the system to suit you and how you work best!

That sounds nice you had a retreat, how long was it for and what else did you do?

All the best for your very first uni application! Update us on how it goes!

And I'll still be thinking of your mum, and I can't wait for the day she gets better again, I hope it comes very soon. Shoot me a message anytime you want if you need to x

PhoenixxFire

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2019, 10:06:13 pm »
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PS: I have also submitted my first early entry to ANU(Australian National University)! ;D Fingers cross I receive a conditional offer
What degree are you aiming for? I had heard that anu is changing their entry process a bit for next year and doing more early offers and putting less emphasis on atar. Good luck!
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

caramel333

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2019, 09:34:18 pm »
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That sounds nice you had a retreat, how long was it for and what else did you do?

So the retreat went for 3 days and 2 nights. As I attend a Catholic school, the retreat was reflective and focused upon the lessons we learnt during our high school years and becoming closer as a year group. One activity that I really loved was writing affirmations to each other. Everyone had an envelope with their name on a wall and across the stay, everyone would make an effort to write affirmations to each other even if they weren't close  :)
HSC 2019: English Advanced | Music 1 | Business Studies | Studies of Religion 1 | Ancient History | History Extension

caramel333

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Re: HANDLING HSC: ILL FAMILY MEMBER
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2019, 09:39:06 pm »
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What degree are you aiming for? I had heard that anu is changing their entry process a bit for next year and doing more early offers and putting less emphasis on atar. Good luck!

 I am aiming to do a double degree: Bachelor of International Relations/European studies  ;)
HSC 2019: English Advanced | Music 1 | Business Studies | Studies of Religion 1 | Ancient History | History Extension