Friday, October 27, 2006

reading a horrific (but brilliantly, delicately written) piece by Joyce Carol Oates in the New Yorker. It deals with the death of a young man, partly from his parents' pov. I am having to force myself to continue. I now avoid stories (movies, books) with a plotline involving dead children and, to a lesser extent, dead mothers (ie motherless children). because the very idea is a threat to A. the very possibility.

and I understand how people can turn to religion, how they can choose to believe that if they put their trust in God, He will take care of them, keep their baby safe from harm. if I thought it would help A, I would pray every day, ten times a day. and because there's no evidence either way, it's tempting to think "well, it can't hurt". but I'm a humanist. I believe we get this one life, and the how and why of consciousness is essentially the biggest lucky break the universe has ever come up with.

oh but God, protect my child.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

today someone asked me if he was my first. I said in reply "only".

I wonder...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I have a great idea: why not get Madonna to adopt my child? after all, she can provide him with a better life: more money, more frequent flyer points, a better start on his music career.

hell, why not get Madonna to adopt me? I could do with being pulled out of my sub-rockstar lifestyle. here I am, suffering the depredations of economy travel and eating leftover rice for lunch. help me, oh great white Messiah-lady.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

of course no one cares what I think about Madonna and baby Davie. but anyway, I think it's just wrong. w-r-o-n-g.
1) the child has a father. yes, the father is relinquishing. because the other two siblings died of malaria. Madonna could easily safeguard that child against malaria without taking him home.
2) I don't care how big an orphanage she's setting up. she's circumventing the system everyone else has to go through - Malawi normally doesn't allow overseas adoptions - by virtue of her money. in other words, she's buying a child.

while I have every sympathy for people who want to adopt, this kind of thing just makes a mockery of what it's supposed to be about: the child.

ouch. the swimming of course set off a serious amount of wound leakage and a low-level infection. bandaids only seemed to make it worse, so I reverted to a foam dressing with a plastic layer to hold it on. this morning I took the foam off without having a bath first and discovered that doing that only rips a layer of skin off an already fragile area. ouch, ouch, ouch. so this afternoon I'm swimming without using my right arm at all (I had been making feeble paddling movements). but I'm swimming. it's 28 degrees outside and I'm practically a single mother at the moment - dh has work bigwigs in town - and far too much work/writing to do and I had a mammogram and ultrasound this morning and I NEED a swim.

the mammogram hurt. the u/s confirmed that I have active nodes in my armpit. they don't appear particularly unusual. but they don't appear not-active either.

three more weeks to A's third birthday and my second anniversary of diagnosis. I thought I might not make it this far. sometimes I wonder if it will turn out that I've been deluding myself. that this brief respite will be followed by a return of the nightmare.

scans will do that to you.

Friday, October 13, 2006

have just received a very polite rejection email from the editor of a UK anthology of stories. It's so polite compared to some of the offhand things I get that really, I shouldn't mock it. but I will anyway. because halfway through, it contains this phrase: "Sorry not to have better news."

honey, the last time anyone said that to me - and she said "sorry I don't have better news", those exact words - she was informing me that she'd like to remove my right breast and send me off for six months of vicious chemotherapy. oh, and of course it was much more likely than previously thought that I'd be dying soon.

now that is bad news.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

one for the daddies

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I am a very bad BB. not swimming was literally driving me crazy - isn't depression a form of craziness - so today I plastered several waterproof dressings across my wound and did 500 metres, one-armed. and damn, it feels good! didn't look like any water got in, but I'm still terrified of an infection. at least this way if I have to go back into surgery I will have had a swim...

Friday, October 06, 2006

trick question: what's more annoying than a child who wakes you up at 5.30 am?

A child who wakes you up at 5.30 am then goes back to sleep in yourbed of course!

actually, even more annoying are friends of friends whom you've only emailed as a favour to a real friend who's moving to their town, who respond to your information about studying with "lucky you" and a little declaration about how hard it is for her to work part time and look after kids as well. like studying isn't a real occupation? of course I'm writing as well, and doing that whenever I get a free moment, but I didn't really want to get into all that with her.

a publisher has agreed to look at my silly manuscript for a children's picture book, all 160 words of it. I'm almost embarrassed to have called it a manuscript.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

possibly good news: I rang the kinder we'll be sending him to to see if he was still on the list for 08, and they said he's at the top of the list for 3-year-old kinder in 07.

now, I don't want to move him across yet. but I was going to have to put him into childcare three days a week for first semester next year because of a stupid uni timetable change. if I put him into kinder instead, it would just be the morning - I might have to leave uni a bit early to pick him up - and it would be a chance for him to get used to the new place slowly. and it just so happens that the morning they have kinder is the morning I need...

saw the placcy surgeon again yesterday. she says there's still hope (though the tiny hole has been leaking like crazy since yesterday now). she agreed to make the implant smaller, so I'm a bit more comfortable, and there is an option to get it cut out and re-stitched. ouch. we'd do that under a general, which I think I'd prefer. I'm a bit over lying still while people do painful things to me. but meanwhile, it's the same old same old. wait, don't swim, wait.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I went away overnight on Friday night, which I have to say was bliss: being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted. which turned out to be not much but reading, planting trees, eating and a very small amount of essay-writing. then I got home at 5.15 Saturday and tried to leave again for a dinner party at 7 with dh. predictably, this caused a storm of protest, crying, "I-want-a-cuddle" etc. I tried reading to him and tucking him into bed, but he wasn't fooled. fortunately our sitter was a friend who is good at this kind of thing, and she took him off to apply a Wiggles bandaid to his supposedly hurting tum (yeah, right kid!). still I felt awful, even after I sms-ed my friend and she said he relaxed almost as soon as we left. it's a pity, as he was good at childcare Friday morning: I went in with him in a casual fashion, slowly, not to make him anxious, and then when he got involved in a game, my pace quickened and I was off to Adult Land. it's a pattern you see often at the centre: mosey in, sprint away. once the child is "dropped off" we become speedy cram-it-all-in working parents. and even though I hardly get paid, and my main occupation is study and writing, I consider myself to be "working". Hey, I even sold an article the other day for proper freelance rates. not that I couldn't do more of that; one luxury of my husband working stupid hours is that I can afford to only propose things I want to write.

oh, and the friend who was so good with him? whose little boy is a great playmate? moving interstate at the end of the year. damn, damn, damn!!

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