It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been busy busy busy. First I was busy having fun with Beck and Amelia. They did a great job at keeping my mind off of everything. During that week I often forgot about what’s to come. I ate, drank and was merry.
Since then I’ve been back on the roller coaster. Packing has made it all really hit home (again) and that sinking feeling has returned, getting worse day by day. Most of the time I just feel frozen or in limbo though, unable to move forward, trying not to look back, stuck in this moment. Post diagnosis and surgery but pre-chemo. It’s very surreal and an extremely hard place to be actually. It kind of feels like life is happening as it normally would around me but I don’t fit in anymore. I’m in limbo, in between surgery and chemo, my old life and my new life, Yeppoon and Brisbane. People around me are going about their normal lives, even my close and immediate family, and sometimes I find it really hard to keep up. At times I’ve said I’d like to sleep for the next 15 months and wake up at the end of treatment but then I’d miss out on all the goods things too.
A lot of it has to do with the fact that we’re moving and I don’t handle moves well at the best of times. Packing is even more difficult because we’ve leaving some stuff here in Yeppoon, taking what we need to Brisbane (to be stored until we find a house) and then there’s what we’ll need before we find a house. Argh! It’s too hard to even think about let alone act on what needs to be done. Needless to say it’s all happening very slowly. We had a garage sale last weekend so were able to relieve ourselves of many items we no longer need or can’t justify the space for. Thursday to Sunday was pretty hectic and there wasn’t much down time. I’m struggling to find the time I need to replenish and prepare for what’s to come. In some ways it’s good that I’m busy as my mind is not focused too much on the future but I was really hoping to have some good quality time with my little family of 4 before our lives change for a while. I’ll just have to take what I can when I’m feeling good over the next 15 months and make the most of those times, cramming in lots of love & laughter with Derek, Rosie and Polly.
It was good to have yet another big clean out. We had one before Polly was born so it’s surprised me how much stuff we still had that we don’t really need. It feels good and I have a feeling that when we come back from Brisbane we’ll have yet another clean out of all the stuff we’ve left here that we just don’t need. We should all have a good clean out once in a while. It’s good for the soul and makes life feel somewhat lighter.
I had some more tests last Thursday. A CT scan of my brain, an Echocardiogram of my heart and also an ECG of my heart. Brain scan is to make sure there are no tumours in there and the heart scans to see what my heart function is like before my treatment starts. There is a risk of the drugs affecting the function of my heart. The risk is low but they will be testing my heart every 3 months over the next 15 months. Still waiting on test results but no news is probably good news at this point. I’ve had two reflexology appointments the last few weeks and got a lot out of it. At Choices at the Wesley they provide free sessions of reflexology, reiki and Indian head massage so I’ll be booking in for some sessions. I’m booked in for a Look Good Feel Better workshop at the Wesley at the end of October. It’s all in the title really, looking good and feeling better while undertaking cancer treatment and how to get a handle of the side effects that affect the appearance. My first treatment is 18 October and my hair will probably start falling out about 3 weeks later. I’ve already started the chop, my hair is currently sitting just below the ears (and red) and I hope to get in another haircut soon. I remember why I don’t like the current length and am now looking forward to having it all cut quite short.
Polly & I (my new hairdo) :
As I said, the past few weeks have been pretty tough emotionally. Packing has made me face up to things I wasn’t quite ready to face up to. The main one being the fact that we’ll always be a family of 4, when I had pictured us as a family of 5. Little George or Billy will always be a figment of my imagination now, never a real little boy running around, playing with the girls. This makes me very sad. I know that I’m lucky that I have two beautiful little girls (people keep telling me I am so I must be!) but it’s difficult to come to terms with that when the choice to have another baby has been taken away from me. Going through Polly’s things have brought these feelings to the surface. I’m sorting through these feelings with the psychologist and I have no doubt that I’ll come to terms with this in time. It’s tough in the meantime though, especially with everything else I’m having to deal with at the moment. I am lucky though, I have two gorgeous girls to take my mind off of all my troubles. And they do, many times a day.
So, plans from here are finish packing, Derek drives to Brisbane with the cat and dog on Sunday. Missy and Maui will be staying with our friends Matt & Renae until we find a house (thanks guys!) Mum, Rosie, Polly and I fly on Monday. Monday afternoon Derek and I are looking at a house in Sherwood for rent. It ticks most of our boxes so hopefully it’s the one and we don’t have to keep looking. In the meantime we’ll be staying in a unit in Southbank leased by Derek’s work. It looks really nice and I’m sure we’ll be very comfortable there until we find our next home. On Tuesday I have an appointment with my physio in the morning. I have much better range of movement in my arm now but I have cording under the arm. This means my tendons are shortening. They’re a bit painful but the physio should be able to help with this issue. There is still a lot of numbness but it’s more bearable to touch each day. On Tuesday afternoon we have an informal interview with the daycare Rosie will be attending (thanks to my Aunty Debbie). I’m so excited that she’ll be attending such an amazing daycare, especially with a family member on staff. It’s located in Indooroopilly so we’re looking in that general area for a rental. We have family close by and it’s not too far for Derek to get to work. Only problem is it’s very expensive! We’ll try and view some other properties on Tuesday too. All the ones I like are $700+ a week.
On Wednesday I’m having the portacath inserted. As I’ve said previously this happens under heavy sedation in the radiology department at the Wesley. I have to fast after an early breakfast and the procedure is at 1pm. Home that afternoon but back on Thursday morning at 8am for check of my blood count before starting chemo. The chemo treatment will take place at HOCA each time. HOCA stands for Haematology & Oncology Clinics of Australia. I’ll be there for about 4 hours this first time before being admitted to the ward overnight so they can keep an eye on me. To be honest, I’ll be relieved to get to Brisbane and start the treatment. I’ve been in limbo for too long now and it’s wearing me down. Less than a week to go but still so much to happen in between.
It’s been a few days since I started writing this blog post. A lot of the house has been packed up. Tomorrow we’ll finish most of it and pack our bags and the car with what’s needed for our initial stay in Southbank. Rosie has been sick again so hasn’t been at daycare this week. I took her in there today to say goodbye, it made me sad. She was so happy running around with the other kids playing with the bubbles and giving hugs to all her teachers. I know she’ll make new friends and kids adapt easily but it means it’s nearly the end of our time here and our new life is about to begin. Who knows what this life will bring. I’m optimistic but also a realist. It’s not going to be easy and I think that time will probably slow down a bit for a while. I’m hoping there are lots of people around me to help keep the fun in my life because time goes faster when you’re having fun. Polly is such a cheeky little girl. She was 6 months old yesterday (11 Oct) and is thoroughly enjoying eating now. She’s much easier to get a smile and giggle out of than Rosie ever was. I’m looking forward to seeing her personality come out even more as she grows.
Polly’s first taste of food :
Rosie feeding Polly :
Rosie out on a date with me :
I’ll leave it at that for the time being and try to check in next week at some stage. It’s been great to hear from everyone with well wishes up to this point and I hope to keep in touch as much as possible over the next 15 months. It’s a lifeline for me sometimes. I want to hear what you’re all up so please keep me updated.
Remember October is Pink Ribbon Month so please support it in any way you can. If I had the time I would have arranged a Girls Night In myself. I’ll have to focus on next year instead. http://www.pinkribbonday.com.au/