Wednesday, June 29, 2005

chemo can cause joint pain. this is a good thing. I'll take your joint pain over your recurrent tumor any day.

A. has had a cold and is therefore unable to go to childcare. I am starting to understand why Sylvia Plath put her head in the oven. I am sending off material I'm not entirely happy with because there are deadlines. hopefully on Friday I'll have time to work up something new in peace. maybe.

Monday, June 27, 2005

before sunrise: A woke up at 6, 1/2 an hour later than yesterday. between the early mornings, this ache in my ribcage and a lack of time to write, I'm getting decidedly grumpy. I suspect I'm about to move past Denial to Anger. Pity the next idiot who gets in my way with some petty concern. Dh, meanwhile, is still on Denial. he can't see just how likely he is that I'll die. I sometimes wish he was like cancer, baby's dh, who has thrown himself into research about her condition.

meanwhile, A. calls for me when he wakes. when he closes himself into a room. and like now, when he's sick of playing in an empty bath and wants more action.

we have a long day ahead, driving up to the country place and back, just to clean between tenants. maybe I'll get one of these stickers for my car, with an Angry Life-threatened Mommy theme.

ps: first "sentence" yesterday: "More juice?"

Friday, June 24, 2005

how pregnancy prevents breast cancer.

work vent: so I asked to come back in one day a week to do the little freelance thing I was just sacked from. and my manager has told me he wants me to come back to the area I was in before. which I am so not ready to do. I am not ready for full days. I'm not even sure if I'm ready to do work that involves outside contact/going out on jobs. I don't know what I'm ready for, frankly. but I could do that little freelance thing, and I've been a good worker for seven years, more if you count my casual years, and I've been away for nearly two years and I'm in cancer treatment, dammit, and I don't think it was too much to ask, to do just a little easy thing for a couple of months while I got back into it.

and if they insist on the old job or not at all, they can get fucked, as far as I'm concerned. so much for family-friendly policies, yada yada. I'd rather not have the money and not drive myself crazy trying to put in 9-6 days while my life is still in turmoil. I don't know how I'm going to be with the daily grind; I'm getting more emotional about my life expectancy, not less, and the banality of it all might not work for me right now. and we don't NEED the money. I just needed a life. on my terms. funny how I've not cried for ages, and this got me sobbing. stupid managers. they just don't get it. he's a nice guy and all, but clearly looking out for his own area's interests rather than mine. am I right to feel aggrieved?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

maybe it's because I'm at the end of chemotherapy, but I feel more frightened than before. maybe it's because I have strange aches in and around my chest and upper abdomen. maybe it's just that sometimes I wake up and remember what is happening to me, and still can't quite believe it. but I am having trouble staying positive, and it seems every small interaction with A. is tinged with fear that I could just get sick and die really quickly, and what would happen to him then? who will know all the animals he knows the sounds for? who will sit and rock him quietly at midnight when he cries? who will blow raspberries on his tummy when he's getting dressed after his bath? yes his Dad is good with him, but he's busy. he has to work. he doesn't have the same feel for the little details as I do. and he's not the one A. calls when he wakes up in the morning. I just can't die. but I might.

meanwhile, my swims are invaded by women in bright red bathers with huge pregnant bellies, there was an eight-day-old baby at mothers' group today, and the other IVF woman in my group, who is 42, is unexpectedly 13 weeks pregnant with a boy and not all that pleased about it either. another woman told me about her miscarriage and I was properly sympathetic. but I'd take a miscarriage and the ability to try again over a five-year wait any day.

oh, enough sookiness. think I'll go and have a bath and try to remember that I am still alive, that my baby is monkey-crazy, and that at least some of my dreams are seeming more within reach than ever - as long as I stay alive.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

no time to blog. today we saw many, many monkeys, a tiger, giraffes and two elephants. also I had another story accepted by a magazine. to celebrate, I'm overcommitting by going to the movies with a friend tonight. baby being neglected, must go.

Friday, June 17, 2005

woo-hoo! this post has nothing at all to do with mothering or breast cancer. but I've just had my very first fiction story accepted by a very respectable literary magazine (can't name it, might blow my cover). and I'm just about turning handstands.

sigh. getting nowhere with writing. doing housework, farting about on the web. did I mention I was sacked yesterday?

so today I was doing an online real estate cruise and discovered: a) an old church for sale in a town near my existing country property. a network of tatty rental places? I wish...

and b) 4 acres of land diagonally opposite my existing property. so, so tempting. all I need now is $400,000. or a job to service a mortgage.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I used to be so law-abiding (actually, I have convictions for DUI, petty theft and possession of marijuana, but all before I was 20 and I've been extra good since then), but now I'm planning a jailbreak.

yes, every time I drive past that hospital in East Melbourne, I promise my embies: "I'll get you out of there somehow, dudes." I have to admit I feel like I'm promising my daughter that, but in reality I don't care, never have, which gender the next successful hatching is. that one's mine, all mine.

after that, I'm hoping I can convince dh to allow donation. I worked hard to get them, and A. is such a great kid, it seems a shame to not use them up when so many people are waiting for donor embies. and if I die? all the more reason to let them be used, in my opinion. in a way, it will be part of my legacy to the world.

last chemo over, hooray! the nurse took four goes to get the needle in. I also used to have such nice veins, now they're shot. oncologist and I discussed Tamoxifen. he's not so attached to me doing five years. a few percentage points, he says. we'll review it, he says. I live in hope of being ready to ttc again in a little over two years. I never was patient, neither. now I have to be.

(file under: Things Cancer has Taught Me. Not that I'm Grateful or Anything)


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I don't now, nor will I ever, belong to the "grateful for cancer" club.

but I'll say this for it: in a world where we spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to other people, or other possible selves, it's making me feel lucky, for now. because I am not currently a person with terminal cancer. I am more happy than ever to carry out menial tasks for my child, just because I'm glad to be here to do it. I could, of course, be dwelling on what life would be like without it (3 months pregnant?). but that just ends in me beating up on myself for not going to the dr earlier. so I don't. I compare myself to those who haven't survived it, to a possible me who had metastasis, and I try to feel lucky.

I did my last, I hope, blood test today, before the last, I hope, chemo tomorrow. those levels had better be up there, because I'm so OVER sitting and smiling at A. while a nurse draws blood, like it's fun or something. at least radio will be a different form of insult to my body.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

childcare progress: I picked him up today and he was playing with a kid who lives near us, whose Mum I've been meeting up with sometimes. He looked so cute with her, and when we left he waved "bye bye" to her specially. maybe they'll get married one day and I'll have grandkids with big round dark eyes. but the main thing is: He didn't cry! he simply saw me, smiled, and ran over.

we are now a real family. we have fingerpaintings on the fridge. he's 19 months old - just yesterday all he could do was mewl and hold my finger and suck milk. aaah, I miss my baby.


thanks to a poster at Grrl's threads (oh, you know where to find her), I have a new word: dyspareunia.

now that I've renovated and have people actually commenting, I thought I'd put in a really gross post to put you all off.

can I just say that between vomiting and constipation as a side effect of chemo, I'll take the chuck bucket any day? no, it's not a nice subject. but I seriously don't think the labour pains were any worse than the 36 hours I've just had. dh was not amused when I told him to call in the dr, I was going for the caesarian...

Sunday night I went out and had an actual Late Night - 1.30 am bedtime, 5 glasses of champagne, and much pointless babbling to dear old friends. I even wore a tight low-cut dress - with a chemise to hide the scars, of course. well, your best friend only turns 40 once. now I'm behind on my work, my housework and my blogging. A is at care, bless his little baldy head, and I should be getting on with things.

did I mention he's taken to walking around wearing my slippers? he looks like a mini clown in blue silk oversized shoes. did I mention my boy is the cutest, most wonderful thing ever? I feel almost perverted, I love him so much (at what age do you have to stop openly sniffing your child's head for that lovely clean-kid-hair smell?)

Friday, June 10, 2005

I see I didn't blog the weekend with the inlaws. lessee; a dinner in an overly flash restaurant where I wrangled a tired bub while everyone else ordered TWO courses and lingered. visits to a very nice Mosman park where I was advised by toddler-and-baby mum to "have another one immediately". a zoo visit where there were no elephants, but the giraffes were excellent. two massive plane screams with people (hosties) stupidly offering to take my baby for a walk. no, he just needed to sleep. and some nice moments when MIL played with A while I just kicked back and read the paper.

sorry, but this is really upsetting. I want them all; but they're not puppies, you know. it's more like a shop than an adoption site.

ok, so I changed the whole blog to green with pink text. I'm working on it. and this new template takes ages to post. I probably should stop and cook for my baby or something.


ooh, now comments work too. go on, then. say something.

OK, as you can see, I’ve renovated. sort of. the way the posts were appearing a long way down the page really bugged me, but my html isn’t good enough to fix it. so I’ve just chosen a new template. no, I don’t like it much either. I’ll work on the colours asap

over at speckblog she's talking about dogs trained to report that they didn't find anything, just to keep them happy to keep looking. I feel a bit like that. I've nothing much to report, and I'm happily looking for work-related things on the Web and failing.

day 2 of THE LAST CHEMO (and it had better be the last, I tell you what) and I feel crap. headache, sickish, listless. and yet, due to the baby being in childcare, I have been madly crossing things off my to-do list. I have a mini-job. I have a house to run. I have a small business running a rental place up in the country. I have a university degree to consider taking up next year. I have a dog to walk. I have imaginary aches in my neck to worry about. I have acquaintances to congratulate on their pregnancies while simultaneously informing them in a blithe, no-problem fashion that I have cancer. so you can see, I just don't have time to die.

Friday, June 03, 2005

I don't remember my father's mother. I don't have a mental picture of her face. What I do remember is a darkened room and a double bed. She died of breast cancer when she was 58 - I must have been four or five. I have no idea how long it took or anything else, except that she had a mastectomy.

In my mind, I become very small. the cells and tissues of my body appear like struts and ropes and building blocks around me, and I fly through the spaces between them. in this superstructure, I find lines of popped balloons stuck to the wall - dead cancer cells. I scrape them up. If I see a balloon anywhere, I just pop it and stuff it into my rubbish bag. which I burn later.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

very sad post: sitting talking to A. while he had his bath tonight, I was telling him how we're going to Sydney on the plane soon, him and mummy and daddy. he was listening to me and saying "daddy", "plane", "mummy" at odd moments, repeating my words and connecting with the story, not that he really understands.

and at the moment he said "mummy" I realised: if having another baby means going off Tamoxifen, and if doing that will increase by any percentage at all my chances of dying, I can't do it. just can't. It's a risk I can take for myself, and would if I didn't already have a child. but I can't make it even more likely than it already is that that little boy will grow up motherless. I have no right. So it's surrogacy or a five-year wait (I'd be 44). that's it. it makes me very, very sad and I think I'm going to enter a phase of having real trouble with other people's multiple kids, especially the toddler-and-baby combination. I should be pregnant again by now. but that life is gone.

I have a self-obsessed neighbour. maybe I've mentioned her before. to be fair, she's probably only marginally more self-obsessed than me, but it's enough to annoy me. every situation has to be turned back to refer to her and her life. today I ran into her at my favourite local cafe (dreading that she'd invite herself to join me in my private little brunch-and-magazines-with-baby moment). in a few minutes, she managed to complain about breastfeeding (oh, how I'd love that) and to mention how annoying nausea is when you're ill (try chemotherapy, honey). a few weeks back she mentioned she'd had a lump in her breast, had it checked out, it was nothing. now, she doesn't know I've got had breast cancer. that's because I don't feel moved to share that information with her. but all the same...if she didn't have a daughter six months younger than A., who will probably turn out to be quite a nice kid, and if her front door didn't face mine, I think I'd just stop returning her calls.

on a happier note, Grrl is talking about mothering. and using the phrase "the baby".

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