My Good News

Today, dear readers, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all while also sharing some great news. Before I share my happy news, let me say that without all of you I wouldn’t have this to share. You have all been here for me in more ways than you can possibly imagine, encouraging me, supporting me, spurring me on. Some of you have even contacted me to point out the wrong use of a particular word, or to pick me up on my spelling or just to tell me that I’m wrong, or should be ashamed of myself… I value all feedback; I thrive on it. Oh, and a few of you have said you enjoy my writing style.


Anyway, without any further waffle, here it is:

I am now the proud owner of a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing from Victoria University (VU)

More from my Instagram feed:

On the day I received the cylinder in the mail containing my Diploma, I wasn’t well but I was more well than I had been all year, so though the misty fog of my sickness, it was a bright and beautiful day; and the day became even more luminous for me once I placed this up on the wall and took this photo. It sunk in.

I did it. This is a monumental achievement for me; and I’m so proud of myself. I didn’t need, or try to go to the graduation ceremony: it would have been too much. Perhaps when I go back and complete my Arts Degree, I’ll be well enough to wrangle a graduation ceremony?

However, my boyfriend, Dan, ceremoniously, gave me this:


The picture is not that clear, in case you don’t have your glasses on [LOOKING AT YOU SONDA!], it’s an owl wearing a graduation hat.

The last year of study, 2014, was tortuous. I recently shared some of what I was going through at that time; group that with a chronic sinus infection that turned out to be an infected root canal, mould illness caused by Pullaria mould and the burden of navigating disability accomodations for a worsening illness, and the chemical exposures (a car that’s like a gas chamber), and the recovery time for those exposures and the stress of dealing with them, and living (still!) in a foil lined house, and I have to wonder how I completed that final year at all. Without a doubt, it was my writing and my actual studies that got me through. VU staff—particularly disability staff (VUDs), awesome teachers and compassionate students also made this possible. But sharing my trials and tribulations as I try to make my way out of the Labyrinth that is chemical sensitivities with all of you along for the ride has been like therapy for me; but even more than that, this blog and its readers have helped me feel more at home in my craft. Thanks to all of you xo [hugs]


As promised, I do have some posts in my drafts folder detailing the strategies used by myself and VU, enabling me to attend school. I’ve been busy working on a cookbook that needs to go out, and an interview with someone very special and close to our hearts. Both these are close to completion—so long as I don’t have any major exposures and end up bed ridden for days, everything should go to schedule. Lol. (These tasks are actually distractions I’m using to stop stressing about the actual task of building a safe home; but as you may have noticed, there’s a lot about that going up on this blog already so I’m not really that distracted at all. (Also cathartic for me to share with you! xo)


Latest from Pubmed: Reliable Biomarkers for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Electrohypersensitivity

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

About Michellina van Loder


  1. Congratulations! I was wondering if you could do a post on dating with MCS? How did you meet your boyfriend? Was he already fragrance-free? There’s not a lot of advice out there on how to date when you live fragrance-free.

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      Thanks. I think I can do a post on that; I get asked all the time. My boyfriend wasn’t already FF; in fact, he used to buy fragrances for me when we met. I think because we have never actually lived together that it was easier to get him to ‘transition’. It’s a great idea, thanks. And one i look forward to writing and researching xo

  2. Well done Michellina! Congratulations!

  3. Wow! Respect to you ( Go Michellina Go Michellina) & so glad we all get to watch your inspirational journey here.

  4. Congrats. I have chills for you — I’m so thrilled. I was just thinking the other day that there would have been no way I would have acquired my degrees if I had MCS at the the levels I do now. I have a minor in chemistry — can you imagine being disabled with MCS and doing chem labs? I can’t wait to hear the next chapter of your life. I know your accomplishments will inspire others to strive for things they didn’t think possible. 😀

  5. LOVE YA — Michellina van Loder YOU NOW PROFESSIONAL WRITER & EDITOR— WITH A ” Diploma” TO PROVE IT!!!!!! :)

  6. Congrats! You should be proud of yourself. It’s an amazing feat. And you are a cutie!! ?

  7. Congrats!
    That’s a major accomplishment!

  8. Congratulations on your success! I think it’s fantastic how you keep going no matter what, and i’ll bet you will have your safe home sooner than later as you are another fighter, like the rest of us MCS – ers.
    have yourself a celebration, even if it’s with the owls and your unscented BF, you deserve it!!
    hugs from California, USA

  9. Beautiful post and such awesomeness of YOU. Congrats again – this is magnificent. You are a rockstar and an inspiration <3

  10. Great work Michellina Congratulations! I have moved to my safe home, but it is hard still shopping and then the neighbours frag/scent…I will pick time to try to educate. I am up high so that the wind may hopefully blow the frag etc away. Love and fresh air wished for you, and us all. Thanks for the fantastic articles.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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