Hi, I’m Nick.  This site is about my experience with Head & Neck Cancer and how it has influenced my outlook on life.

I wrote my first post from my hospital bed, a few days after coming out of the Intensive Care unit following my first surgery in June 2009.  I lost my speech for a while, so I started this blog as a way of expressing myself and telling my family & friends around the world how I was feeling.

After that, I began spicing up my recovery with activities such as springboard & platform diving, running the Rimutaka incline with a stomach tube in, and racing up & down Mt Tongariro like a Goat.

Now, I’m a proud escaped patient of Wellington’s public health system.  I have frequent checkups & monitoring, to make sure my recovery is going smoothly, but my health today is Excellent – thanks to my Medical Dream Team.

And thanks to the support of all my family & friends, I’m the fittest & happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life.

Since getting cancer & going through treatment, I’ve learned a lot about life in a very concentrated way.  My cancer experience has been serious business, but it has also enhanced my outlook on life.   I enjoy writing & speaking about what I’ve learnt, and sharing it with others in different ways.  There’s a highlights package of that, here.

I’m a life member of Outward Bound NZ and past Chair of on the Outward Bound NZ Members Council. I’m also a patron of the Pink & Steel Pilates Trust, founder of mycancerexperience.co.nz, a nonprofit support site for New Zealanders. I’m a trained and active volunteer for the NZ Cancer Society’s Cancer Connect network, and am currently president of Mt Victoria Toastmasters.

Most of all, I love running up and down mountains, for fun.  My highest summit run has been to the peak of Mt Taranaki, a dormant volcano in the North Island of New Zealand, but my favourite mountain of all is Ruapehu, (an active volcano, which I’m often privileged to run on).

In my ‘Secrets of a Shameless Optimist’ emails, I give behind-the-scenes updates on my projects:
  1. Progress on my book, a.k.a.  THE BOOK (gulp)
  2. Speech & presentation gigs, recent & upcoming
  3. MyCancerExperience, my nonprofit support site for NZ cancer patients

…with occasional updates on mountain running, outward bound nz, and my addiction to smoothies :).