Friday, May 26, 2006

yes I'm still feeling sorry for myself - fat, unproductive, incapacitated and nearly 40 - but yesterday the guy who carried my vegies to the car for me told me about his daughter, who is 3 and has had cancer since six months. it's not curable. I already knew there was one thing worse than having this myself, and that's it.

and as I was dragging my screaming son into the car, angry about the damage I was no doubt doing to my wound, I chatted to the woman at the car next to me; her kids were a year or two older. twins. and I imagined dealing with two of the going off like he's doing at the moment, in the state I'm in. again, it could be worse. but life just doesn't feel right at the moment.

so instead of spending my morning working on my writing, I'm off to buy a New Dress. it's bad enough being fat, without having to have nothing to wear as well.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

so my surgeon says to me: no lifting at all on that side. that was two days ago, as I lay awake on a surgical table and she restitched me.

this morning, I took A. to the shops; the playground first so he could let off some steam, then the supermarket, then to a cafe we like for lunch. where he turned into Child From Hell. where he screamed "I want that chair"; "I want that fork"; "No"; I want some cake"; "no go in the pram"; "not going home yet" and so on, while I progressed from trying to reason with him to threatening him with the pram, to actually putting him in the pram (yes, he weighs 13 kg or so) while I tried to get bags for our sandwiches and pay to go. a woman came out of a nearby shop and appeared to be about to say something. I glared at her. I will never shop there. some people at a nearby table offered to help and I summoned all my politeness to say no thank you, I was fine. his screams penetrated the entire cafe (we were outside on the footpath tables, mind you). people stared. I couldn't rush: I can't drag him, I had shopping, food, oh, and the dog to deal with. he seemed unable to calm down, no matter what I did. and of course I couldn't explain to people why I let him lie on the footpath screaming: "oh, I've just got a massive incision healing on my chest". in retrospect I should have asked the nice couple who offered to help to pick him up for me. but how humiliating would that be? this is why I find this depressing: I can't do the things I should be able to do, for me or for him.

once we got home I could use the training method on him full-on. ie I gave him his food and ignored his screams. after, I admit, saying a couple of less than kind things to him on the way home, including "just shut up". he eventually settled and ate nicely. now I can hear him singing in his room after a 3-hr nap. I think we need to go back to the cafe, now, this afternoon, and he needs to a) apologise and b) sit nicely and eat something. seriously. yes, he's only 2 1/2. but he knows, and can learn, a lot more than I'd ever have thought before I had a kid of my own.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I've been trying to think my way out of this funk I've fallen into; and though I'm annoyed with myself for popping a stitch, I have to remember: this is all happening because I had cancer in the first place. the only thing to do is to have a plan for when I'm able to be active again. just because I won't be turning 40 as fit/slim as I'd like, doesn't mean I can't spend July, August and September getting into shape; before I have to go back for operation #2.

dh has just emailed me saying he'll be away for a week in July. strangely looking forward to it: I sleep better when I'm alone, and if I arrange things properly, I won't miss out on much exercise etc. and if he's not here, we can't fight.

Monday, May 22, 2006

by Friday night it was clear I needed to get the little tear on my wound looked at. so I rang the hospital, they rang the dr, and on Saturday I went down there. this morning she stitched it up again in the mini-theatre at the practice, complete with surgical masks and overhead lamp. and the countdown begins again: no swimming, bike riding or lifting of ANYTHING with my right arm for four weeks. you'd have to know me and how much I love being active and how I need those swims and rides to keep me sane, to understand how depressing this is. I can't rearrange the house. I can't even let my son go up on the high playground equipment, because I can't catch him. I'm on antibiotics again, so theoretically I shouldn't be drinking on Friday night - my big birthday drinks night - but I think I'll be Bad and not take the drugs that day. not that I fit into any of my pretty dresses anyway; instead of six weeks of fitness and health, I've had six weeks of blobbing, and more to come. oh, and when she took a little fluid out of the expando-thing to ease the pressure? it hurt like someone had plunged a sharp needle into my right breast. which is exactly what it was. ouch.

Friday, May 19, 2006

so I thought it was clever to start my reconstruction six weeks before I turned 40. it wasn't. since then, I've hardly ridden my bike(s), swum not at all and actually gone up in weight. the little seam across my right chest is still weeping in one spot, and even though every muscle in me is screaming out to go for a swim in cool water, I know it would be a bad idea: I could actually tear the scar open, or get an infection. so I'm going to turn 40 unfit and overweight. I'd be surprised if any of my nice dresses even fit me. wouldn't it be a shame if I had to go buy a new dress for my birthday drinks? ;)

to console myself, I've had to write out a weight loss-fitness plan for the three months between my birthday and the next surgery. I'm not fat, just heavier than I'd like to be, by at least 5, ideally 10 and at the extreme, 15 pounds.

there are more important things in life, I know. but turning 40, while better by far than not turning 40, is still allowed to bring on a small crisis of self-image. not to mention my career, which is shot/stalled/not receiving great critical acclaim as yet. sigh.

A. has a nasty cough. off to the dr with him in the morning. he's so cheeky these days; constantly testing us. I feel so mean when we put him in his "spot" for very small transgressions, but it's not about the actual refusal to pick up the crayons/hitting of the dog/pushing of Mummy - it's about the refusal to apologise and make amends. it is, in short, the principle of it. sigh. I'll bring up a well behaved human if he hates me for it.

good thing about having a toddler: you get to play with train sets.
bad thing about having a toddler: you have to do colouring-in. compulsorily. during breakfast.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I see from my logs that a lot of people are coming here because I'm the first blog listed on cancerbaby's site. I have one thing to say to you: do your checks. get in there and give those breasts a good old feeling-up every single month when your period's finished. and if you feel something odd, go see a doctor the very next day. it's probably nothing. but it might not be. this shit does happen, it does happen to people like you - it happened to her, it happened to me - and no matter how much the idea scares you, that fear is nothing compared to the regret of a later-than-necessary diagnosis. cancer sucks, but the earlier it's caught, the less likely it is it will have to fuck up your life.

(don't usually do public service announcements, but I feel a need to Do Something in my sadness.)

oh, you don't have breasts? well, you probably love someone who does. pass it on.

just another Saturday; spent the day visiting with friends, cleaning out the garage, watching a Pink interview we taped the other night, eating pasta, playing with my gorgeous son, now officially 2 1/2.

and then I went onto my blog and a comment told me that Cancerbaby - Jessica - has died. and I don't want to know, but I know. that for all the survivor bravado and whatever-does-not-kill-me-makes-me-stronger, cancer does kill people. cancer sucks.

back in May 05 she wrote about NED. NED has a brother, NAD: no abnormalities detected, pronounced En-A-Dee. I last saw NAD at my oncologist's checkup in February; I pray I'll see him again when I see the breast surgeon next month, and that I can keep on obsessing about annoying neighbours, the shape of my reconstruction and the plot of my novel. anything but what Jessica had to face.

go sweetly, sister.

strictly speaking, this belongs on my normal blog, but I want to really let loose and don't want there to be any chance of the relevant person finding it.

I've been trying to get a new fence around my country place; called the neighbour several times; eventually sent a letter laying out my position, because I had a deadline to get it done (mind you, I was offering to pay the FULL amount). eventually the fencer brokered a kind of deal, while the neighbour refused to call me back.

so this afternoon, as I was happily sweeping the path, the phone rang. "it's S... x from y," she said. I thought "who?". Maybe a tenant or the a friend of the cleaner. turns out this was the wife of the neighbour. she said she was calling because I'd written a letter giving them a deadline of the end of April (that deadline was actually to decide about the blackberry clearing, but whatever, it's now May 13, so you can see where this is heading). She said something about how they hadn't got back to me on it, and I said "I did come up, but G... didn't turn up."

this was a reference to my having driven a return trip of 260 kilometres, and my Dad driving 140 kilometres, with my 2 1/2 year old in tow, ringing G the night before - admittedly late, but he did agree to meet me - then waiting until dark with my Dad and tired kid until I gave up. I waited for the apologetic phone call; none came.

so what did this person's wife say about that? "What did you expect him to do, drop all his jobs? he's got jobs booked in. is that what you expect?" delivered, of course, in the sharpish shrewish tone you can imagine.

I could have responded: He could have at least called to cancel. He could have said no. He could have called me afterwards. I could have said that I took a whole day out of my life and he only had to drive 10 minutes down the road.

but I said absolutely nothing. not a sound. after a few seconds, she said something else about the fencer's quote only just having reached them ( the guy is a whacker, meaning the fencer, but I'm stuck with him due to the deadline). at that point I asked "are you a part owner of the property?" because frankly, if she wasn't, I was going to suggest G ring me directly. she snapped "of course I am, I'm his wife."

so I lowered my voice and very gently asked whether my understanding of the deal the fencer has outlined was correct; asked what it was they weren't happy about with the quote they have; agreed that G probably has the best idea of what fence needs doing; listened to her say they "thought" they'd have the posts they (the neighbours) are supplying ready by the end of next week; thanked her for the call; got out my notebook of people and services and plans for the place and wrote down her name with the words: "rude. don't trust."

and frankly, although I'm nervous about them not supplying the posts in time, I'm not telling them so. I'm not having another thing to do with them unless they call me. If their blackberries get out of control, I'm going straight to the council. if the fence doesn't go up in time, I'm putting an internal fence around my trees and they can take me to court for their rabbitproofing. and with luck, the day will come when they need me to help them out, or to not object to what they want to do with their property. and I'll open my notebook or read this post and remember that unnecessary attack when all I've done is be polite and communicative, if assertive, and think: fuck you, S, fuck you.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

fuckit, fuckit fuckit. I can't keep looking at cancerbaby's site. that should not be happening. but it is.

can only hope for a miracle, or failing that, that she somehow finds the strength to hold onto her wonderful self until the end.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I've confirmed my belief that sleep - mostly for the child but partly for the mother - is the most important factor after enough food and an absence of violence in bringing up nice kids.

we had the heating installed (at last) over the past two days. so I took A. out for long walks in the pram/gratuitous shopping trips to get him to sleep in the car. but of course that put his sleeps at odd times, in odd positions - he would fall asleep in the morning then not be able to nap in the afternoon - and by the end of day two he was horrid: hitting me and laughing, refusing to say "sorry" for naughty behaviour, to the point where I was so exhausted with it all (no naps for me and still getting the use of my arm back, remember) that a shop owner at the market had to tell him (gently) to stop pulling the beads on display, because he wouldn't stop for me. which made him go all quiet and cowed. for which I thanked her.

I'm quite confident that a couple of days of good naps will have him back to the sweet and generally cooperative boy he really is, and that the usual threats - being put "out" (in the hall) for a minute, having a drink or toy taken away - will start to work again. but for now, all I can say is: Friday. Child care day. HOORAY!

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