noah byrne pic collage


Today you are nine years of age. Your last year in single digits.

I can’t believe you were only six years old when I left. Such a heavy load to bear when you were so young. Your shoulders are so broad and strong though, I’m in awe of the way you tick off the days with strength and happiness.

I’ve felt your pain lately beautiful boy. I know you’ve been missing me more than ever.

Thanks for talking to me in Fiji. I can’t grant your ultimate wish to see me on this earth again but I can help you achieve your dreams buddy. I walk beside you every day, I am your angel for eternity.

The more I’ve observed you over the last three years, the more I believe that you can be anything you want to be. Your potential is limitless Noah.

Your dad and I don’t care what you choose to do in life. In sports, arts or academics but we do know that you can be the best of what you choose. You have been blessed with a brain that combined with your own cultivated attitude and perseverance, you can achieve anything.

Everybody loves you. People want to spend time with you. Your friends glow in your company and their parents adore having you around. People are better for having you in their lives.

Stay motivated my boy, I am excited to see what you become.

Love Mummy.


Noah Byrne finding a coconut in fiji

The three year anniversary of Lou’s death was special but poignant.

Just getting to Momi Bay, Fiji was a challenge. The Omnicron Covid variant was on the loose in Sydney, severely impacting holiday travel. As a vacating family of 11 we were magical to dodge positive tests before departure. It was like dancing in the rain and not getting wet.

We timed our Island holiday arrival perfectly for a category one hurricane, yep, pretty much landed right in the eye of the storm.

As the weather cleared and the sun started to shine, Grandpa was exiled into isolation with a positive Covid test, and he went down sick too. Grandpa never gets sick.

Nonetheless, the six loved hearts are always making lemonade.

Anniversaries of a loved one’s death is probably the shittiest milestone to celebrate. For me, “celebrate” is the wrong verb to use. I see the milestone as an acknowledgement of the precious time we spent with the departed and a sombre reminder of how short that time actually was.

Five days into the holiday was Lou Lou’s anniversary. Three years to the day that she exhaled one last time wrapped in my arms, never to inhale a breath again.

We decided to take the remembrance party to Grandpa and organise some Fijian dancers in front of his ocean Bungalow. Grandpa loves a show more than anyone and this was the perfect way to cheer him up and honour his firstborn.

The weather was clear and the Fijian MC kicked off with a traditional prayer to honour Louise. I don’t know what he said but it was beautiful and it felt special.

Champagne in hand, sitting in the soft sand, the first entertaining dance started with a backdrop of the prettiest sunset we had on the holiday. Scattered flavours of blue and white, with some soft pinks in the distant sky and the palm trees waving at the heavens in the ocean breeze.

By the second dance segment, Evie had dragged her cousins up to mimic the three Fijian girls shaking their grass skirts to the beats. Louise would have undoubtedly been the first to dance, so it was fitting her pretty little girl was naturally taking the lead.

Darkness set in and the fire dancers hit our makeshift stage in spectacular fashion with bright blistering flames cutting through the black night.

Everyone was all smiles.


JBoy organised for the kids to throw some hand-picked flowers into the ocean and say something to Lou. Our own little ceremony to connect.

Noah stated he didn’t want to talk out loud when throwing in his handful of flowers into the lapping tide. We all tossed our flowers in one by one and spoke to Lou with a brief message.

When everyone had thrown in their flowers and moved away from the water, NoNo’s was standing accompanied in the pitch black, knee-deep in the warm South Pacific Ocean for a minute or so, his eyes shut and talking silently to his mum. He then tossed his flowers in the water and burst into tears.

I could see it coming so I’d turned off my phone and was right behind him. I picked him up, he latched on and cuddled me tight like a Koala clinging to a gumtree. He cried wet tears into my neck and sobbed.

We spent 15 minutes like this while I encouraged him to cry. I didn’t say much, I just let him cry it out. The deeper the love the deeper the pain.

It’s a cathartic event and a platform for Noah and me to talk.

I often attempt to explain to Noah how much his mum loved him. Maybe I just need to tell him “she loved you as much as you loved her” and he will understand.


jboy and the kids

You’ve missed so much Lou.

The kids, particularly Noah (his memories are more vivid than Evie’s) are missing you incredibly right now.

He’s had several moments in tears over the Christmas period and my heart aches for him but I love seeing him process the pain and cry it out. I don’t want his little heart as hard as mine, I feel his pain but I prefer to see him emotional. He’s a beautiful boy and I attempt to keep more of you in him than me.

Your little boy has been craving lots of physical contact. I take pride that he gets relief from me. Constant hugging, hand-holding and just touching me to make sure I’m by his side. The children’s need for affection makes me a much more emotionally connected father.

your boy..

Of course, Evie Pope misses you too. She talks about you more than Noah which allows her to work through her feelings. I’ve made eye contact with her a few times lately and I’m looking at you. My heart skips.

Evie Pops

We’re all on holiday right now. You left a colossal hole in all our lives but at fun times like this, the hole is wider and deeper. We party in your honour and legacy.

I had a minor panic attack when I got the passports out before leaving. I only counted three with an expectation of retrieving four. “Oh shit, I’m missing a passport.” I’m halfway through viewing each headshot and of course, I’m like “da, Lou Lou’s isn’t in here, she’s not here anymore.” Silly Dadda!

Things like this still happen often. It’s a twist to the tummy at the time but I like that I go day-to-day behaving like you’re around. It keeps me on track doing things the way you would have done.

You’d be proud of everyone in your family. Your Mum and Dad, Liesy, Jon and all six little loved hearts.

We miss you.

Our Optimism Was So Bloody High

holding hands

I can’t believe it’s been three years since we were in Germany. Fighting for life.

Looking back our optimism was unrealistic. Lou was so-so sick and her chances of survival must have been near zero.

But they were “near zero”, they weren’t zero.

I’m proud that WE all hung onto that fraction of a percent and turned over every stone. WE truly thought we could win.

We weren’t successful but we did try try our best. What else can you do?

HER VILLAGE rallied, they paid for her treatment, they paid for our travel and paid for our stay in Germany. Most importantly her village gave her every opportunity to live.

That is special.

Fick Krebs

Beautiful Girl, It’s Your Birthday

Beautiful Evie Pops

My little beauty.

You won’t remember but we used to have these little clashes. You were only three years old but the little mixing pot we both shared of; fire, stubbornness and a pinch of crae-crae was the perfect tiny storm for some mother and daughter friction.

Always trivial of course but can you imagine how exciting these encounters may have become as time advanced?

It would have been fun for your dad to watch for two reasons:

1.) He was attracted to my crazy and instead of being scared, he got a warm fuzzy feeling when I erupted. He was scared and amused simultaneously; and

2.) He has always been your refuge. You would run to him and he would make everything alright.

Your dad just loves being your anchor, it’s all he needs to be happy. If you are happy he is happy.

You know I’m not physically present but I’m always smiling ear-to-ear, my star is burning bright for who you have become and who you are going to be.

You were born with charm and an outgoing personality. You have learned to be resilient. You are becoming assertive, bold and confident.

You are seven today and blooming into something special.

Happy Birthday Evie Harper Byrne.

❤️ Mummy.

Mummy’s Proud

grief kid instagram post

I go through these stages where I imagine Lou turning up, just walking through the door at that very moment.

“Oh look, kids, mummy is here!!!”

The thought of this event might not happen for weeks and then it becomes a daily occurrence again. The grief roller coaster of emotions must trigger various thoughts and Lou’s virtual presence is a result.

The last of these episodes have been a positive experience. It’s like some kind of affirmation where Lou is validating that we are in a good spot.

While the dreamlike experience may only last a few seconds, a long detailed scene plays out in my subconscious.

The kids are drawn to Lou’s presence like she never left. They run to her like she’s simply walking in the front door from an outing.

She is surprised at how big Noah and Evie are, she is instantly complimentary of how much they’ve grown, how beautiful they are. She is overwhelmed with their happiness.

Mummy is so proud of them. Impressed with their friends, their little social lives, their love for school and all that they cram into their busy lives.

They are all excited and it’s emotionally gratifying to watch.

Noah is moulded to Lou on one side and Evie snuggled on the other as they chatter.

Instead of feeling empty as the wave of Lou’s presence passes by, it’s a warm feeling, it feels like a family hug.

Thanks for dropping by Mumma!

Lou and the kids on the couch having a snuggle
❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Home Sweet Home

Evie Byrne holding River byrne and love for daddy

What Lockdown??

Noah, Evie and I left our home for a 10-day road trip on the 24th of June. A scheduled 10 days on the road turned into 107 days of running. The intention was to cruise up the coast to the Goldie and hit all the theme parks to get our buzz on. Queensland shut up shop and Sydney went into meltdown, so the Byrne’s turned into Covid Ninja’s and just kept running…..

Newcastle, Milbrodale, One Mile Beach, Nerong, Newcastle, Nowra, Braidwood, Nowra, Newcastle, Mildbodale, Singletone, Newcastle, Shoal Bay, Newcastle, Canberra, Thredbo, Burringbar, Stokers Siding, Braidwood, Newcastle, Braidwood, Newcastle, Scone, Sydney.

We loved every minute (except homeschooling) and didn’t do a day of lockdown.

Today we go home to our own comfy bed (yes one bed three humans). No place like home.

Missing Piece

louise and Evie Pops

Three years ago in Septemeber 2018,  Lou Lou took Elyisa, Jboy and I to Brisbane to see the Vance Joy concert at the River Stage.

On the morning of the concert Louise had a massive panic attack while we were looking for somwhere to have breakfast and commence our exciting day together. The ambulance took Lou and I to hospital where we spent the day and much of the night.

We missed the concert.

Here is Vance Joy’s new song and some pictures of Lou.

I’ve been waiting for the tides to change
For the waves to send you my way
I see you darling but you pixilate
It gets hard to take these days

But we’ll hold the line, I won’t let go
‘Cause I’ll be there when you can finally make it home
And I don’t mind ’cause we both know
That we’ll be fine when you can finally make it home

Because when I’m in a room with you
That missing piece is found (oh)
You know when you’re by my side, darling
Nothing can bring us down (oh)

I remember happy wasted days
Summer’s golden haze in our eyes
Lifting you above the breakin’ waves
Memories floatin’ back to my mind

You said, “Hold the line”, I won’t let go
‘Cause I’ll be there when you can finally make it home
And I don’t mind ’cause we both know
That we’ll be fine when you can finally make it home

Because when I’m in a room with you
That missing piece is found (oh)
You know when you’re by my side, darling
Nothing can bring us down (oh)\It’s like when you’re far away from me
I get lost in the crowd (oh)
Because when I’m in a room with you
That missing piece is found (oh)

Oh, I won’t waste a minute when you’re here
And we’re finally in the clear
When every day is like the last
I just keeping holdin’ fast

Because when I’m in a room with you
That missing piece is found (oh)
You know when you’re by my side, darling
Nothing can bring us down (oh)

It’s like when you’re far away from me
I get lost in the crowd (oh)
Because when I’m in a room with you
That missing piece is found (oh)

2020 F&*K YOU!!

COVID aside, my year was muddled. I just couldn’t find a spark and with no spark, no momentum.

I’ve often used sporting analogies when commentating about struggles on this blog, especially during Lou’s fight for life. There’s a tremendous amount of review and analysis that goes into a professional sport so I think it’s fitting.

2020 feels like a year that the opposition just wiped on you the rugby pitch by 80 points. Conceding a point every minute of the game, leaving you vanquished.

Even when you’re defeated by 80 points, you still need to identify something good in the game. Something that you can build on, something to improve by.

So it’s important for me to look for wins, positives that give me hope, a catalyst for improvement and an appreciation for what I have.

  • The biggest win for me is that the kids are happy and healthy
  • I’ve spent so much time with Noah and Evie, which is invaluable
  • I have to remind myself that being a single dad is twice the work, twice the responsibility, twice the tears but its also twice the hugs, twice the love and twice the pride
  • I’m so intune with the kids emotions. I am a much better dad
  • My business hasn’t regressed during COVID which is a massive positive It’s in a static position with the opportunity for growth
  • My physical health is pretty good. While I burn the candle at both ends a little hard, I feel I’m reasonably fit for my age
  • I see my parents more than previous years as they like to visit often to support me
  • It’s comforting to know how much people care about my situation, being a full-time parent with two young kids
  • I’ve met people and done things I normally wouldn’t have
  • I have the opportunity for professional, personal and emotional development

I talked about being stuck in rut way back in May. It’s discouraging to know I never navigated my way out of it. I dragged my feet through the whole year. Everything has been an effort.

I think I deferred large parts of my grief.

I don’t think it’s possible to understand grief until you’re in it. Even when I talked about the five stages of grief I was still learning about it first hand. Perhaps we never stop learning about bereavement as it is an endless road with little signage for direction.

Acknowledging that you are struggling is the first step towards healing and I just have to cop this year on the chin. It was hard, I’ve been sad and feeling beaten. My current situation is what it is and I need to make the best of it. Vibrant flowers grow back after the harshest winters.

I think I’ve been waiting for some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps to feel better and work my way to a point of happiness, I have to identify ways to light up that tunnel while I’m in it.

I’ll find a way but for now; 2020. Fuck You!

Happy Birthday Weez!!







Happy Birthday From Joshua, Sadie, Noah, Billie, Evie and Georgina……


Two Hours On My Shrink

I just spent two hours at the track and I’ve reset my brain.

I know some people, actually a lot of people, probably wonder why I participate in action sports that come with a high risk of injury. Especially now that I’m far from the reckless age of a teenager, and double especially that my wife’s outcome with stage four cancer comes with uncertainty. Just so you are aware, I do wonder about my risky interests more than you.

I have always been addicted to the substance released into the body through excitement. Adrenaline. Some may think it’s audacious behaviour, perhaps negligent or downright stupid. Of course, you’re welcome to your opinion.

I do think there is a blurred line between the pursuit of seeking intense experiences without regard for physical risk, verse activity that has a high level of danger even though you do all within your power to keep your limbs intact.

So, my ride today: Motocross would be arguably one of the most physically demanding sports on the planet. In my current state of fitness, riding at the threshold of my ability, I have about thirty minutes before muscles start to pack it in and I need a recovery period between sessions. For that thirty minutes, I am in a mentally clear state and while my heart rate might be through the roof and lactic acid is ballooning all limbs, I am emotionally neutral. Isn’t that what people aim to achieve through meditation?

Dominic Byrne post about thrill seeking and action sports

Why do people meditate? To reduce stress, anxiety, depression and pain. They do it for well-being, psychological, neurological and cardiovascular benefit. Extreme athletes professional or recreational go hard for the same reason, even if they are consciously unaware and self-medicating ignorantly.

For me, it’s a combination of getting your buzz-on and concentrating so hard your mind has to be 100% clear, bar the exact moment. If you don’t get that front wheel in the deep rut entering the turn and your balance not weighted correctly, you will fall off. You’re thinking of nothing besides entering and exiting that corner. Because if you fall off you’ll hurt something.

On approach to a jump, if your brain hasn’t matched the distance you need to be in the air to the speed of your bike and you end up short or long, you’re a very good chance of eating dirt. Throw thirty other riders on the track, perpetually varying conditions and the power of hundreds of horses under your ballbag and the intensity is intoxicating. All of those horses at your disposal at the flick of the wrist, you have no choice but to “meditate.” Mediate or get a lift from the track in an HCF funded white van with flashing lights.

I’ve had to retire from one-off thrill seeking events that are a probable bad ending. The physical disregard I mentioned earlier. I’ve done this reluctantly, but your age and precious offspring become a priority. However the ongoing desire to progress at a sport, MX, skiing, skateboarding or whatever your poison, the combination of skill, concentration and risk will never leave you. Participating in these sports is a basic need, not a compulsive behaviour, I don’t doubt this one bit. It’s meditation, medication and an expensive session on the couch, all rolled into one therapy that works better than any other treatment.

Think about how powerful those endorphins and adrenaline are and why they’re so addictive. You can get hurt playing footy, even break something and not even realise until the 80-minute whistle sounds. That internal drug is stronger than morphine less expensive and good for your health, fact. For the extreme sports ‘junkies” and contact sports participants, science would prove our brains flood more dopamine during activity than the safe and conservative. That feeling of pleasure will always have you going back for more.

Dominic Brrne Motocross and action Sports

The overcoming of nervousness and fear is like an emotional reward, it leads to feelings of well-being and positive psychological outcomes, a constant sense of achievement. I honestly don’t know if I am addicted to the biochemical reaction within the brain that leads to that epic state of joy, or the activity itself.

I won’t grow out of it, it’s in my DNA. It’s a matter of minimising serious risk but having enough fun to clear my thoughts, reset my brain, look forward to the next session and enjoy living. Unfortunately, I will break another bone or two in the years ahead of me, I don’t want to but it’s inevitable. I hope to all the gods it’s never serious.

Give Blood, Make The Effort And Save Lives

Have you ever needed a blood transfusion? Do you donate blood regularly? 💉 🌡 If you’re answer to question 2 is no, and you have no medical reason, then just consider for a moment that there was no blood to give me today. Or no blood for your loved ones when they need it.

Blood transfusions come from real human blood. It can’t be manufactured and donations get scarcer all the time. 33% of Australians will need blood in their lifetime. But only 3% give blood each year!!!!

Today I’m back in hospital having a series of blood transfusions. So please, please consider creating a habit of donating blood. If you already do you’re an absolute legend 🙌🏼 and I hope that i got your blood today❣️

And if that didn’t tip you over the edge consider this – Australia needs more than 25,000 donations every.single.week. So get donating people ❣️

I don’t know why this is?

Even though my medical experience is shallow, from my observation, there is a massive divide between non-traditional and traditional medicine. Surely there could be major benefits, for patients,  if there were collaboration and co-creation of treatments.

I don’t know why this is?

Other countries seem to be so much more integrated across the traditional to non-traditional medicine paradigm.

Has anyone got an opinion on this?

What Is Cancer? Do You Actually Know The Answer?

If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with cancer, you know how overwhelming it can feel. Maybe you’re also getting a lot of confusing information and advice. The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel making decisions. That’s the way I see it.

If you asked me a year ago what cancer is, I would have struggled to give you a satisfactory or close to an accurate explanation. The first 38 years of my life were not significantly impacted by cancer. A friend of a friend, a distant relative or a neighbour a few doors up got cancer. No one in my family was going to get it. Not until we were all old anyways.

What is cancer?

I’ll give it my best shot at explaining it. Our bodies are made up of millions of cells. Inside each cell is an instruction manual called DNA, which has chapters we call genes. Genes tell the cells how to behave; when to make new cells, and when to die.

Cells grow by dividing; one cell divides into two cells, two cells become four cells, and so on. Cancer begins when one cell starts to grow uncontrollably.

Cells divide when their genes tell them too. But if a gene has a mutation, it might instruct a cell to divide when there’s no reason to. The cancer will rely on the blood supply to grow, when they draw blood cells to it, these vessels allow it to travel.

When these cells divide, they make a copy of their DNA in genes, so that each new cell has the same instructions. That copy also divides, and so on, while older or damaged cells are told to die off, making way for new healthy ones.

Occasionally, the DNA instruction manual in a cell can get damaged or mutated. The cause of this mutation could be:

  • A chemical
  • Environmental Carcinogen
  • Hereditary
  • Viruses
  • Smoking
  • Diet?
  • Unknown, lots of unknown

While healthy cells are trained to listen to signals for when to grow, divide and die, cells with mutated DNA sometimes ignore your body’s signals. These rogue cells continue to divide unchecked. This is how cancer starts. In some cases, cancer stays put and is localised. In other cases, the cancer spreads (metastases).

When they are metastatic, tumours consume the body’s resources as they grow, damaging healthy functioning tissues and organs along the way.

So that’s the easy part. Now, what are treatment options? and Why is TNBC such a bitch?