Friday, June 30, 2006

my gp says I should do these funny little sideways flicks with my lower arm, keeping my upper arm parallel with my torso, in order to avoid "frozen shoulder". after I had A., the advice on pelvic floor tone was to do Kegels whenever I stopped at a traffic light. so I find myself in the car, flicking my arm and squeezing my pelvic muscles, feeling like some kind of broken automatic doll or Tourette's sufferer.

which reminds me: must do some situps, which cause me to swear like a Tourettian.

Friday, June 23, 2006

riding in to my breast surgeon checkup yesterday, I looked up at the grey sky and wondered if I should have brought a raincoat; perhaps it would be raining by the time I was on my way home. But, I figured, by the time I was on my way home, one of two things would apply: I'd have cancer, or I wouldn't have cancer. Either would make rain irrelevant. it's all about perspective, I thought, and was pleased with myself.

as it turned out, I remain stuck in the middle. yes, the surgeon could feel the lumps in my neck and left armpit. no, they didn't worry her unduly, especially as I 've just had surgery and they could be caused by an infection-fighting response. but yes, she did think it warranted further investigation; an ultrasound, and if that looked odd, a CT scan (implying, I knew, a check for spread in the rest of my body). but no, the ultrasound didn't really show much (which is good; the original cancer could be clearly seen). still, I should come back in six weeks to get looked at (felt up!) again; not so good when I'd been on six month intervals with her and six month intervals with the oncologist. so I have to try to adjust to a lumpy, aching neck and try not to worry about dying for a while. I said to DH the other day; it's not like being a racing car driver, where you face death and then the risk is over. it's constant, housewifely living on the edge, where you have to get the shopping done while wondering if you'll be alive at Christmas.

dh has bought a new giant Mac, which I'm using because there's midwinter sun glare on the PC screen for the next hour or so. I don't think I like the keyboard; it's too broad and flat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

sitting in the doctor's waiting room yesterday, I noticed a group of Orthodox Jews come in - Dad with the fringe and head covering, Mum with a kind of turban covering her hair, kids wearing mini suits - and I went back to my magazine. but I could hear the woman sitting across the room from me with her son, aged 7 or 8, whispering "Jews" - pointing them out to him. not necessarily in a poisonous way, but simply making a point of their difference. so far, I've tried not to mention skin colour and age when Alexander looks at people in pictures and on the street. a black man is "a man". a woman wearing a skimpy bikini is "a lady". I saw him staring at a guy in a wheelchair the other day and I decided not to say "don't stare". maybe later when he's old enough to understand empathetic manners. but for now, I just want him to see people, not race. and the best way to do that is to accept differences without comment.

what century is it again?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I've worked out what it is I don't like about my hair at this length (dark, slightly curly, forming a substantial cap down to the nape of my neck). If it comes down across my cheeks and forehead, which it does when it's been washed and not held up with "product", it makes me look like Kathleen Folbigg or Myra Hindley; what they had in common was short, face-concealing haircuts and murder of children.

current procrastination: unpacking the boxes that came from storage and filing all my books and photos (as far as I can with my arm only slowly recovering). laughing at the outfits I went out in public in. I should really call them costumes: lots of red lace and interesting jackets and retro-style op shop dresses with ironic 1930s jewellery. I guess I wanted to be different. I certainly was that.

current anxiety: the vague stiffness in my neck and the difficulty of telling tense tendons from inflamed lymph glands. breast surgeon checkup next Thursday can't come quickly enough.

A is: a master with the mouse on the Wiggles website. very keen on putting out his own breakfast. a wonderful giver of hugs (on request). cute as a button.

memo to the SECOND lecturer who failed to turn up to a scheduled meeting about my thesis, thus AGAIN wasting valuable childcare time: you are not doing me a favour by agreeing to teach me. you don't have the right to just blow people off like that (there may be an excuse, but it had better involve serious personal injury; you had my number). I expect you, like the previous lecturer, will fail to apologise. so I'll have to keep looking for a supervisor. because I'm 40. I have a 30 per cent chance of being dead in five years. I have a small child and not much time and a head full of stories to write and things to do, and guess what? your time is worth no more than mine, and I won't let you make me waste my life in hallways.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

blah. the longer I have to go without exercise, and without being able to DO things, the more depressed I get. still have pains if I try to pick up anything heavier than a book with my right arm. today I tried to unpack some boxes of books, and therefore am now getting sharp pains in the incision area. double blah. went looking for information on whether that was normal or a sign of infection, and got sucked into reading about metastasis, survival times etc. triple blah.

even on my precious childcare days I don't seem able to shift myself into any sort of proper creative mode; hence the box-unpacking mentioned above. I ate a whole lot of cheese to celebrate my birthday, now have made myself paranoid that that will ruin my anticancer dairy-free diet efforts.

meanwhile, A is wonderful, of course, though he's developed a habit of coming into our room in the middle of the night and just standing beside the bed, breathing. it's most disconcerting. he is currently asking me "what's your name, Mummy?" over and over; rewarding me for good behaviour by saying "good boy!" and drawing lots and lots of big scary lions, which look like swirls of texta, but I'm assured are lions.

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