By Recover the gift

I am fellow traveler on life's often tumultuous roads. I have lived and worked through several life changing traumas and experiences which have shaped my path. I strive to help others overcome adversity and lead fulfilled and flourishing lives.
I have a special interest in Addiction Education and Recovery Coaching, Grief Counselling and general positive life orientation.

My leg debulking surgery – the first of its kind in Africa.

As some of you will know, I suffer severely from lymphedema following my cancer treatment when I was 29 years old. Lymphedema is the swelling of an area due to the build-up of lymph fluid. I have secondary lymphedema which is generally caused by cancer treatment. I carry about 5 kg of additional weight in my right leg with the majority of it being below the knee. When they found the cancer in the lymphs in my groin in 2011, they had to remove the lymphs in the groin and pelvis and then also had to do 6 weeks of…

Today is your 5th birthday – by Simone

My darling beautiful Bella Today is your 5th birthday. And try as I might, I can’t find it in myself today to celebrate. In previous years I have really tried to use the day to celebrate you and the remarkable day you were born rather than letting your death override everything. But today I just can’t. I have been dreading today all week. The thought of you being 5 is somehow particularly hard for me. FIVE! Not a baby anymore but a real little person with your own thoughts, personality, vibe and will. You would have been in grade N.…

People Like Us – by Simone

I was interviewed for a book that 2 Swiss girls were doing, 6 months after Thomas died and 14 months after Bella died. They were travelling around the world interviewing people about the most influencing moments in their lives. They have put together an amazing book of pictures and stories of 80 individuals and it is such a privilege to be part of this. It was first published in German and more recently has been published in English and I was lucky enough to receive a copy. Thank you Sandra and Sandra! I look back now and I think about…

From survive to thrive…overcoming the guilt – by Simone

  Wow, its 2020! And it’s been a while since I have written. I am normally fastidious about writing on the 1st of January, sharing my thoughts on the year, and my goals, but somehow this year felt more calm, less like I needed to take the year by the scruff of the neck and stamp my authority on it. Which is a good thing I think. We also had such a lovely December holiday together as a family, some really good quality time for us with so much fun and laughter and I guess I also didn’t want to…

4 years today darling Belsie – by Simone

It’s 4 years today my darling Belsie, since you died. 4 whole years. In some ways I remember every single moment of that day like it was yesterday, in other ways it feels like a couple of lifetimes ago. The one thing I do know for sure is that not a single day goes past that I don’t miss you so very very deeply and long to see you again. As per always we went away over this time, and I really do find that this makes it easier to bear. And we had a really lovely weekend together, just…

Birthday reflections – by Simone

It was my birthday this weekend. Since Bella died, birthdays for me have been hard. She died 3 weeks after my 34th birthday and so it always felt that that specific birthday marked the last time I innocently went on and celebrated life, completely oblivious to what was to come, how much our lives were going to be completely changed forever. How my heart was going  to be shattered into a million pieces and how hard it was going to be to paste it together again. My first birthday after Bella died, Thomas had also just died and I was…

Practical things I wish I had known the day my children died – by Simone

It recently came to my attention that a friend of mine who is a remarkable photographer is part of an organisation overseas where they give the gift of photographic memories to families that have experienced stillbirths, premature births or have children with serious and terminal illnesses. The fact that she is able to give this gift to parents, something physical which they will have to hold on to, and remember their loved one by is remarkable. And it takes a truly special individual to be able to do this. Which she is.   And this got me thinking about the…

8 years in remission today – by Simone

Today marks 8 years of remission from cancer. I still need to have my annual CT scan and bloods done tomorrow, but I saw my doctors last week and they were happy with things. There have been a lot of bumps along the way, and some pretty big health scares but on these days I am reminded again what a privilege it is to be alive. To be given the opportunity to live life to its fullest. Because it really is a gift and privilege. And so today I celebrate being alive, healthy and cancer free.   It’s been a…

Today 3 years ago my darling Thomas, you were born and then left us – by Simone

Today my darling Thomas, three years ago, you were born. You gave us a precious 3 hours, and then went to be with your sister in heaven. I have been trying to think of today as your birthday, the day you were born, rather than the day you died. But it’s so so damn hard. Because this day is shadowed by the fact that you died. And the traumatic way that you came into this world. And these anniversary days just suck, period, no matter what you try to do, and how you try to frame it. They are just…

Pushing out of my comfort zone – by Simone

After everything that happened last year and the pressure I put my body under, I made a promise to myself to look after “me” more. To sleep more, stress less, exercise more, eat more healthily, push myself less. And most importantly to learn to listen to my body. To go back to basics a bit and not to stubbornly just push because that is what I have always done. Some of these things have been easier to do than others. And one of the big areas I have been focusing on is trying to get my body stronger through exercise.…