2021 Canberra MS Mega Swim

Down the rabbit hole on Easter weekend

If I had thought this through I would not have signed up to this year's MS Mega Swim. As in previous years I am over-fed and under-trained so it's really been a case of "So what's new?" But this year I am still recovering from the two disastrous surgeries I had in October and November last year. I still have the Morganella infection in my leg and am still on hideously strong antibiotics that are doing my head in and trying to destroy my body. I've lost huge amounts of hair and am seriously considering shaving the lot off. I seem to have developed tendonitis in both shoulders. My sleep had been shit these past months but now I have pain in my upper arms that wakes me and stops me getting back to sleep. Why oh why couldn't they have put me on a drug that would have miraculously made me slim, confident and wrinkle-free. But, and this is a big 'but', there are some really positive things. I surprise myself by just how useful being a stubborn Virgo obsessive-compulsive can be. And just how bloody lucky I am to have friends who put up me not just when I'm good, but even when I'm very very bad. Who love me unconditionally even when I hate myself. I used to tell my Dad that "Just because you're in pain doesn't mean you have to be one." Now it's me who has to follow that advice. Today the lovely Kathy and I went for a swim. We agreed that we would swim for a half-hour. Non-stop. Just a few years ago I'd have done this with relative ease. Today, from the moment I pushed off, my body complained. My arms screamed. My lower-back squealed. My head then started talking to me, telling me, very loudly, that stopping would be sooo nice. This constant chatter went on for over half an hour. I kept swimming. Slowly and painfully. I wish I'd been able to tape that conversation. Our inner conversations are so damn powerful. But we simply can't let the negative chatter win. I'm a master of negative talk. I've had years to perfect it. It's my default setting and it annoys the hell out of me. It was such a relief today to finish. Both mind and body conspired to overwhelm me but they did not win. And that's why I write this. It was such a joy to have been able to do it. Because as I was swimming I went down the rabbit-hole of what I would do if the damage to my muscles and tendons is permanent (a very possible side effect of the antibiotics I am on). Not swimming was inconceivable. I've tried all sorts of other sports and a activities but water is my 'home' - so I told myself I'd find a way. As I progress through this nightmare, I do continue to be grateful that I am capable of adapting. But more than that, I give thanks to my wonderful friends who have confidence in me, who give me sensible advice even when I don't want to hear it, and who put up with me e.v.e.r.y s.i.n.g.l.e d.a.y.

First swim squad

Did my first swim squad in YEARS last Wednesday. It was hard. They got us doing sprints. I'm a mono-speed swimmer. But I do it!

Back in the pool

Tonight I had a lesson with David who I taught to swim in February. We had a follow-up lesson tonight. He's done amazingly well. He's going to come swim with me this Saturday. So incredibly satisfying to take someone from non-swimmer to comfortable in the water. Persistence not perfection.


Aside from looking forward to joining others in the fun and atmosphere on the day, I’m taking part to raise funds to support people living with multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis affects more young people than any other chronic neurological condition and average age of diagnosis is 30 . It can strike anyone at any time and the symptoms vary so widely.

For instance, can you imagine waking up one day unable to do the everyday things you would usually take for granted? Like not being able to see properly (or at all), you physically can’t get out of bed, can’t walk to the phone to call someone – anyone – or live a life without pain?

All of a sudden your world has changed.

By being part of this event, and because of your generous sponsorship, the funds we raise will allow people living with multiple sclerosis to access vital MS Support Services. Services such as MS Peer Support, connecting people who are newly diagnosed with those who have lived with multiple sclerosis for a number of years, or the MS Employment Support program keeping Aussies living with multiple sclerosis in the work force.

Thank you again for your support.

My Achievements

Uploaded a Profile Picture

Made a Personal Donation

Shared my Fundraising Page

Received Five Donations

Reached 50% of Fundraising Goal

Reached 75% of Fundraising Goal

Reached 100% of Fundraising Goal

MS Hero Fundraiser

Thank you to my Sponsors


Katrina Tap

Go Dory, whenever it is. xx


Helen Rubin

Great to see you back in the pool!



You inspire me everyday😘


Deborah Johns


Elizabeth Owen

Best wishes for this endeavour and my admiration for your courage despite illness and adversity.


Leo Kuipers




Tracey Hansen

You go girl!


Judith Clues

Good on you Dory x




Sinclair Croft


Catherine Alexander

Enjoy the swim. It’s a wonderful organisation to raise money for. Happy laps.

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