Monday, April 12, 2010


I've only been away for 10 days but I can't settle haha.  I want to keep going and going... haha.  My holiday was spent travelling from place to place and bed to bed (sounds great but it wasn't quite that much fun ha).  But I had two wonderful successful days sewing with my dear friend Myra in Hamilton and then nearly two days with Carol in Palmerston North.  My challenge quilt is 1/3 done but I don't go back to work till Wednesday so I have plenty of time.  It's due to be handed in on 24 April so I think I'm going to be okay.  Can't show you any photos till then!!!  grrr.

It was a lovely holiday.  I saw my daughters, my grandkids, my Mum, Uncle and my cousin AND nearly all my bestest friends so I feel wonderful except that there was some not so great news.  My daughter who had a liver transplant 17 years ago at 19 years, has had bad news.  She has come out of remission and the disease is again attacking her liver.  There is more permanent damage.  However she has the best of care being under two hospitals who contact her every second day to see how she is and check weekly bloodtests.  Of course the increase in medication can cause permanent damage to her other organs so that's why they are concerned but Nette doesn't let her health rule her life so to everyone and me, she appears totally 100% healthy.  She has an amazing attitude.

Check out her column published in the local newspaper on Friday...

PASSION by Annette Kendall

What did you want to be when you grew up? I tell people I wanted to be a fire engine. I didn’t really. Red is so not my colour. I actually didn’t have a career in mind as such when I was a kid. I had this dream that I would spend my life trekking along the railway tracks, stopping in each town solving mysteries and helping people. I think I got my inspiration from a program at the time, “The Littlest Hobo”. Except the littlest hobo was a dog. I would have one child, a girl, who I adopted (because kissing boys was yuck) and I was adamant that I would never have a desk job.

In the real world, I’ve spent the last 15 years in one desk job or another and I have one child, a boy, who wasn’t adopted. I obviously got over my aversion to kissing boys.
2010 marks 17 years since I had a liver transplant. I’m told that’s some kind of record for someone with my disease. I’ve gone way past the predicted ten years. I have a rare condition where my body thinks my liver doesn’t belong there and tries to kill it off. It never goes away, it just goes into remission and eventually it builds up resistance to any treatment that may be available. Recent tests have shown my disease is back. There are no other drugs I can go on, I’ve gone through them all. No cause for concern, she’ll be right.
How am I still kicking round after 17 years? It’s certainly not because I’ve taken care of myself. It’s also not about attitude. It’s about having a purpose, a meaning in life. It’s about having a reason to drag your sorry butt out of bed, even when you feel like death warmed up. I’m still here because I was brave enough to search out stuff that I’m passionate about.
What do I mean by passion? Your passion is that thing you do where you lose your sense of self and time seems to stop. You think you’ve only been doing it a few minutes, yet hours have passed. It’s challenging and requires skill and concentration yet you are deeply and effortlessly involved. It could be playing sport, writing, fixing cars or figuring out how something works. If you know what your passion is, you’re fortunate. Most people will go their whole lives without ever experiencing the feeling that you’re doing exactly what you want to be doing and you never want it to end. Important note though, your passion isn’t something that makes you happy. It’s more a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction.

A big salary won’t keep you alive. Following your passion will. I’m no model patient. I don’t follow the rules, I don’t eat what I’m supposed to and yes I have a wine or five sometimes. Granted I have a pretty cool attitude but the thing that has kept me going, even when I’m supposedly very ill, is my passion.
If you have no idea what your purpose or meaning is, go back to what you wanted to be as a kid. Our kid selves can be quite wise. I don’t work behind a desk anymore, I travel the country speaking to groups of people about a whole variety of things. My favourite thing in the world is speaking to someone and seeing their eyes light up when they talk about what they’re passionate about. I’m not walking the train tracks but I am travelling from town to town helping people.
Finding what you were born to do isn’t an easy road. It takes courage and involves risk. You’ll get things wrong, maybe on a monumental scale, but you’ll be living. So many people spend their life merely existing. Is that what you wanted for yourself when you were a kid? I doubt it. My life’s hardly a smooth road and I stuff up loads. Bet you one thing though, I’ll be here for a whole lot longer yet.

 I'm ignoring the 'What If' thoughts and being positive!..  Nette is a strong woman and she will get through this before most people realise she's been unwell.  The family is off to Australia on Thursday to another conference , regardless.  Nothing will get in Nette's way... she has no time to be 'sick'. 

But I'll keep on praying anyway .. it doesn't cost anything to pray!

I know what my passion is..


Draffin Bears said...

Dear Karen,

Oh I am sorry to hear about Nette, and really hope that she can get her health sorted, so she can be well and healthy again.
What an amazing attitude she has, and I enjoyed reading her article in the paper.
Glad that you had a good holiday and must have been fun catching up with everyone again, your Mum and all your family. I had an email from Veda, the other day and thanks for giving her my email address ~ it was lovely to hear from her. I hope that you have a good week and I will keep Nette in my thoughts and prayers.


Chris H said...

Your daughter is an amazing woman.
I hope she can overcome her disease once again.

Nanci said...

And this is your kid? You must be in awe of her! What a fabulous article and how well she wrote it too!
It's a keeper to remind us all of how good health says it all.

Margaret said...

Wow what an amazing story, you can almost feel the passion in your daughter. She's is so right money cant buy health or happiness, and we all need a bucket list right now.

I do hope she overcomes this once again.

MrsC said...

Wow mother and daughter, an amazing team. All power to you both.

Barb said...

What a wonderful post, very inspiring and what an amazing of luck and prayers are with you...