Here is a short movie that captures the highs and lows from my battle to beat Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma.
The movie starts with a Maori Haka called Ka Mate (pronounced Car-Mar-Tee) to signify my New Zealand heritage and the part it played in winning the battle.
Te Rauparaha composed Ka Mate circa 1820 as a celebration of life over death after his lucky escape from pursuing Ngāti Maniapoto and Waikato enemies. He had hidden from them in a food-storage pit, and climbed back into the light to be met by a chief friendly to him – Te Whareangi.
“Ka mate, ka mate! ka ora! ka ora!” translates to “’Tis death! ‘tis death! (or: I may die) ’Tis life! ‘tis life! (or: I may live)”.
My Dad used to recite the Haka in his head during the early scans when they were testing to see if my cancer had spread to draw courage and strength and to draw the warriors from the past to help save me.
Ka Mate Haka is both a challenge and a celebration – and in the movie it signifies the challenge before my battle with cancer that you see unfold and it is also in the movie as a celebration of beating cancer.