Saturday, November 13, 2010

Felice Navida

Tonight I went out and had a great night with 'the girls'. Last night was my BFF Birthday and I was so sick I had to leave half way through the meal. There is no rhyme or reason to this bullshit. When you get sick, you get SICK. And I tried to struggle through, but to no avail.

For the first hour that I was at the Birthday dinner I had NO IDEA what anyone was saying. It is a bizzare and scary feeling. You pretend, because you don't want to miss out on all the fun. But I'm not going to kid you, I knew I shouldn't have gone.

I wanted to go, but I knew I was too sick to go. So you go anyway...

Hoping that I would come good.

I didn't.

I even told BFF that I didn't have her Birthday prezzie with me, until she said "really?" and we both realized it was in my hand...

My brain is fried.

When the BFF/Birthday girl turns to you and says "you REALLY should go home", you give up the ghost and sneak out.

I 'back-doored' it, because it is easier than announcing to a group of 18pax, why you have to leave. It is boring, dull, embarrassing and a constant reminder that you are sick.

Today I spent the entire day on the lounge and started to come good around 6pm.

Phone calls were recieved, and I decided I felt fine and headed out.

Drinks/laughs/dinner with 'the girls' ensued.

We ended up in a bar. We know the owner, and it was full of laughs and cute boys.

A 'chap' wandered up and we started chatting. All was looking good. There was mutual flirting and the night was progressing the way any single girl would want it to. And then some DOUCHE walked up and said "So, you have cancer??"

I tried to dismiss the DOUCHE, but the damage was done. Suddenly it was like a blind had been pulled down across single-dudes eyes. He said "really? Do you?" With no where to retreat I said "Yeah".

You cannot escape this FUCKER which ever way you try. Wigs, scarves, fucking brown paper bags... It always seems to catch up with you.

I'm not looking to start a new relationship. Far from it. But a cute guy flirting with you just makes you feel good. We all know this feeling.

Then suddenly I was the latest 'freak-show' and EVERYONE had questions. I don't do questions. They bore me. But oddly enough as word spread, a chap came up to me and showed me his scar and said that he was 6 years in recovery from stomach cancer. He was a cool and fun dude (and just quietly I hope my girlfriend is at home shagging him right now!!!) He also had a story to tell me.

He asked how my friends were handling this. He said other than family and friends that he had had for 20 years prior, he no longer had the friends that knew him pre-cancer. He said that people had dropped away and had not understood;

*The need to go out and get shitfaced occasionally without judgement
*Not realized that you get RADIOACTIVE crap pumped into your body weekly. A few wines don't hurt
*They had their own issues and could not cope, long term, with what he went through
*The hard boring slog that treatment is
*The fact that he was no longer the 'party child' that he had been before
*Everyone expected him to be sitting at home waiting for treatment to finish, and available to them when they had spare time
*With no hair, and the steroid weight gain, he looked like a chick

It kinda shocked me, because I have certainly felt all of these emotions to a varing degree. As I have ALWAYS maintained;

*I am still the obnoxious ratbag I was before this started
*I will beat this
*I will do the best I can
*With the steroid weight gain and no hair I look like a dude
*And most importantly, that this is a marathon, not a sprint. I have said this from day one.

I live with this crap 24/7. It NEVER leaves my mind. I have no choice. Some days I am sick, some days I am not. I cannot predict when or how this will manifest itself. I REALLY wish I could. I constantly feel like I am letting people down. I'm just doing the very best I can. For me.

Selfish existance? Hell yeah

By choice? Fuck no.

On the upside, for the first time in my life. EVER. I knew when it was time to leave the bar and catch a cab home. Alone.

So clearly some good has come from all of this ;-) And as of so far... No late night phone calls or texts. Jeeze...I MUST be growing up :-p

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Vicar of Dibley

Dear Coach; After telling me on Friday afternoon that my dark wig made me look like the Vicar of Dibley, you have sealed your fate. I hope you enjoyed playing tickle with my rude parts in the past, as you SURE AS HELL aint going to get anywhere near them again. You tell me you prefer me as a blonde? TOUGH SHIT. I prefer you when I am drunk. Somehow I managed to keep that to myself while we were dating, you could have done the same...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This is too funny

I just got home from Chemo and thought in the cab all the way home "That was SO funny today, I'll write a little story about it". Now I am in front of the computer 5 minutes later and I have nooooooooooo idea what I was thinking. Nothing. Nada. Zip

Chemo-brain you make me laugh

Who Wants A Drink?

So...

I left Dr Luke's surgery and got in the car. I phoned Sister #1 and assured her I was fine and that it would all turn out to be a 'storm in a tea cup'. She said she would fly in the next day. I told her not to as I just wanted to digest it all, but she said she was coming anyway.

And I thought that was pretty nice.

By now I am stuck in 'football traffic' on Punt Road. On a Friday night. That is enough to make anyone cry.

So I did.

I threw myself a 'pity party' that lasted all of about a minute. I just couldn't be arsed with the dramatics of it all. I was scared that if I started, I would never stop.

Still am.

So I wiped the tears and did the call around looking for a drinking partner.

Now when one has had news such as this, I'm sure that there is a protocol that one should follow. Me? Just felt like a drink.

So I could have phoned a plethora of friends, but I didn't want to tell anyone (Sister #1 was sworn to secrecy as my plan was to deal with this and not tell anyone) But I had ran into a friend a few weeks earlier that I hadn't seen in ages, and for no particular reason other than I know he doesn't mind a refreshing beverage from time to time, I called him.

It was easy. He wouldn't ask any questions, and I wouldn't feel guilty later about not telling him what had happened at the Doctors half an hour earlier.

So I phoned Ham and asked what he was up to. He said he wasn't going out as he wanted a quiet night, but I could drop in for a quick drink on my way home if I wanted to. I told him I had had some bad news, but didn't want to talk about it.

I don't think either of us had ANY idea of how ridiculous that weekend was about to become. Actually, I KNOW neither of us had any idea how ridiculous that weekend was to become. And I have to say that that Friday night will probably stick out in my mind as one of the truly funniest nights of my life.

And there has been some bloody funny ones.

As I said, Ham doesn't mind a beverage, so one drink turned into two, into twenty seven, into one hundred and forty million. Chain smoking was invented as an Olympic sport and fights over the airconditioning was as dramatic as the night got.

At some point (possibly drink number seven) I, in my infinite wisdom, realised that there was a big chance that I would end up getting drunk enough to spill the beans on what was unravelling so I wrote it down on a piece of paper and shoved it in a drawer.

Why? I dunno. I was PISSED!!!!

It had already been revealed that Sister #1 was heading to town the next day. So he knew something was up, but as we had had a run of baaaaad luck in our family recently and he said later he thought that we had had another family member drop-off-the-perch. But he left it alone.

So at about 8am on the Saturday (there had been no sleep) I decided that NOW was the time to tell him.

Yup, get shitfaced and then tell one of the most emotional people you have ever met that you have a terminal disease.

Ladies and gentlemen, please stand and put your hands together as 'The Drama Llamas' are about to hit the stage!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Can I Please Have A Doctor's Certificate For Tuesday?

So what happened next?

Well, as I said, it was a Friday afternoon and I was at a clinic having mammograms and ultrasounds. I wasn't that worried about the whole procedure, as I had regularly self examined my boobies (I wasn't the only one that had given them a thorough examination either just quietly...) and just a few weeks earlier I had been to the skin Doctor for a full body check of my moles, and I had passed with flying colours.

So I figured I had nothing to worry about and was basically just indulging my Sister #1.

There was quite a flurry of activity buzzing around me, but I wasn't taking much notice. I knew I had nothing to worry about, and frankly as I hadn't had these tests done in years and years I didn't realize that this wasn't just the usual.

I remember getting asked to move from machine to machine, and then back again. I thought they were just being thorough.

Then when I was getting changed a nurse came in and told me that my GP wanted to see me to discuss my results. I walked out to reception and said;
"Why would he want to see me tonight? I already have an appointment to see him on Monday"

I was then told that he wanted to see me straight away as he didn't want me to 'fret' over the weekend about my results.

As Dr Luke is an ABSOLUTE darling, I thought this was just him being his usual sweetheart self.

Still, no major alarm bells going off.

As it was after 5pm by now and Dr Luke was on the other side of town, I told the receptionist that due to peak hour I wouldn't make it there in time, so I would just see him on Monday.

She told me he was waiting and would be keeping the surgery open until I arrived.

I went outside, jumped in the car and got on the phone to Sister #1 and started bitching and moaning that I had to cross town, in the rain and during Friday peak hour to get my results. By this stage she was starting to get a bit nervous about the whole thing. I suppose I must have been too, but I honestly can't remember feeling that way. I thought at worst I might have had a blocked duct or something as basic as that. But realistically, I didn't think there was even a hint of a problem. SURELY I would have known if something was up.

So I arrived at the surgery, to find that Dr Luke was waiting for me. The surgery was closed. I walked into his office and sat down.

He looked at me and said "there is no easy way to tell you this, but you have breast cancer"

I sat there, waiting for him to tell me that it was just a small blip and could be taken out in a minor procedure.

He then said "It is advanced"

Not knowing what the hell this meant I just sat there. No tears, no emotion.

He then went on to tell me what I had and what would be happening going forward.

I still hadn't said a word.

I then asked me to say something, and all I said was "I'm waiting for the punchline..."

He then told me he couldn't believe how calm I was and I just repeated that I was waiting for a punchline.

He told me there was no punchline and that I had a "really hard time ahead of me". He then asked me if there was anyone he could call, so we called Sister #1 and spoke to her on speaker phone.

He then told me that he wanted to send me to a particular specialist. She's expensive, but the best, he told me. Throw in that she only takes limited patients and he mightn't be able to get me in and I was SOLD!

Oh Dr Luke...you know me so well...

I had a meeting with my boss on the upcoming Tuesday, so I asked for a Doctor's Certificate as I wanted to be in top form for my meeting, and with a Doctor's Certificate I could put it back by a few days until after I had got all this pesky boob problem out of the way.

He looked at me and said "Tuesday? You want a certificate for Tuesday? I don't think you understand, you wont be going back to work for quite some time..."

Yeah sure... As if!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days Are just Bloody Hard

So, most of the time I only tell you guys about the good times. For many reasons. Basically because who wants to hear about the scary, sad, pain full, dull and mundane bits. The other reason is, is that if by some further bitch-slap of nature I don't pull through this, I only would ever want to be remembered as the loud pain in the arse I was before this heinous thing started attacking my body.

So today you all get a lecture!

I have been banging on to ALL of you ever since my diagnosis about going to see your Doctor and getting a FULL body check up. Now I am discovering many of you have been telling me little porky lies and have said you have had them, when in actual fact you have not. The SAME excuse keeps on coming back to me.

"I don't have time"

It will take you less than an hour of your life...


Well folks let me tell you a little thing about time. I have not worked since July, I have no hair and have just spent the last 3 hours organising my medical bills. I am already up to $20K out of pocket in these bills alone. I also have no idea when I will be able to go back to work, when I will get the all clear and when my fucking hair will start growing back.

So, still don't have time???

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Random Bits

So, I'm still trying to work out how to organize this blog, as writing retrospectively could be tricky. But here are a few things you may not know about the 'special' joys of Cancer;

*When your eyelashes fall out, they fall into your eyeballs. AND HURT
*You don't have to shave your legs for months on end
*Chemo make you stink like a rotting junkie. You cannot get the smell off your skin, out of your clothes, bed linen or furnishings
*Wigs have to be so tight that they don't fall off when you turn your head or look down
*You have to wash your hands so often that you start to REALLY resent it
*You have to become obsessive about others washing their hands and very quickly discover which ones of your friends do or don't wash their hands after using the bathroom
*Being bald feels fantastic
*Being a bald chick isn't that fantastic
*Buying 2 very expensive wigs online after not having slept for three straight days is just plain stupid
*Finally you have the bikini line that you have spent a fortune on at the beauticians trying to achieve, but now no one wants to look at it
*A wig on a stand looks like a severed head
*Chemo is a liquid that is put through you much the same as any other drip
*Chemo makes you pee BRIGHT red, like undiluted cordial, for 3 days after
*Cancer is really boring, long, tedious and lonely
*Sometimes cheese tastes really yummy, like rediculously extra yummy, 20 minutes later it may taste like poison
*When you open the fridge door and bend down the cold breeze on your bald head makes you giggle
*Your finger nails split vertically and not horizontally, so you have to wear nail polish to try and stop them from splitting at all times
*You have to brush your teeth after eating anything and rinse with a vile salt/antiseptic wash
*Wine makes mouth ulcers feel better
*Chemo can sometimes make you get 'special feelings' in the ladies-down-stairs-department. Which is odd as you are in a room filled with strangers
*There is such a thing as nostril thrush
*Drinking 4 litres of water a day is basically a full time job