josephmachta's blog

The Paediatric Oncology Ward - A Surprisingly Happy Place

Originally written January 25th 2014

Whenever I tell people about my interests in medicine (child medicine and cancer) or about my placement in Sydney, I’m almost always met with the same response – “oh no, that’s so sad! I don’t know how you deal with it” or “gosh that’s depressing!”

Every time, I am left with the difficult task of explaining to them that, surprisingly, those statements are pretty far from the truth.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, if there is a doctor on board, please could they notify a member of the crew…”

Originally written January 28th 2014

Last time I wrote, I had mentioned that Danielle and I were to be flying home to London (via Singapore) the next day. Never did I think I would be writing about the flight itself but it turned out to be quite an adventure. Here’s what happened…

The Redundant Bonjela

Originally written January 16th 2014

As I’ve previously mentioned in another post, chemo comes with its side effects. Most of us are probably aware of the most common adverse reactions experienced by oncology patients. Indeed, most Hollywood productions featuring characters going through treatment for cancer will be shown predominantly to be bald and vomiting. Losing my hair was hard. Before chemo I would look in the mirror to see thick, long, dark hair (don’t worry, it grew back!) and suddenly all I saw was a white, bald emaciated head and face. The nausea and vomiting was nothing short of horrific...

No peppers, please

Originally written January 8th 2014 Firstly, huge apologies for my lengthy absence. The past two weeks have been Uni holidays and as such I’ve been enjoying some other parts of Australia with my lovely fiancée, Danielle. Melbourne, Fraser Island and most of the East Coast are wonderful places – do travel there if you ever get the opportunity. Now, for a blog post… I am an eater – I absolutely love food. I don’t think I’m a foodie (I don’t actually know what a foodie is) but I do have an enormous appetite most of the time. There is, however, one food I won’t eat. There is one vegetable whose taste I find so offensive and overwhelmingly revolting that 99% of foods I eat undergo a strict and thorough inspection before going past my lips. This vegetable, as the title of this post suggests, is the pepper...


As I’ve mentioned previously, I got my cancer diagnosis ten years ago. Well, today I’m happy to be celebrating my 10th Cancer D-day – Diagnosis Day.

Happy, celebrating and cancer aren’t really words you’d typically see together in a sentence and I get that it’s a little strange of me to rejoice at the discovery of my aggressive, life-threatening disease. Whenever I’m asked about why I celebrate D-Day, I usually refer people to a piece I wrote while I was ill. I won’t include the whole thing here as it’s five pages long and I doubt any of you have the time for that. So, here’s [an abridged version of] one I made earlier…

By way of introduction

Joe Blogs is an unoriginally named but exciting, inspiring and sometimes funny blog about one young Medical Student's life as a patient and how it affects his medical practise and life in general.

The original site for the blog is but it contains all of the same content as the AAD site, so enjoy it wherever you please!

NB: The original blog was started in mid-December 2013 so the posts on the AAD site may all look like they were written on the same day, but that's just because they haven't been backdated!