Monday, 22 December 2008

Dec 2008 .....with a Bullet

My new digs. You visited. Thank you.
Oh my God thank you so much for your emails - AMAZING EMAILS. I had no idea, that all of you people living in Constantinople were there, reading along. All with your own stories - of heartache when your own hubby died ... or your son with addiction ... or your battles with babymaking. And I loved finding out your real names too ... how weird is it! Plus, some people even sent PHOTOS. Fucking awesome.

Tee and Rex have built up their own relationships with stepson, and love him like one of their own. We are spending the nights at Tees and going to Rexs house on Christmas day. There will MUCH revelry and laughter.

I have a migraine, Monkey just had canned custard for lunch, and Tiger and I are eating processed potato in the shape of smily faces. I have writing work to finish off. I STINK of B.O. .... I need botox under my armpits, to stop the sweating. I might have to accidentally put my face under the botox needle heh. My house is a mess and I have piles of wet washing to hang out. The Christmas tree is DEAD, Long Live the Christmas Tree. I need to repaint my toes, shave my legs, build a gingerbread house, change Monkeys nappy, and take Tiger to the park.

I love all of you.

I utterly adore the living hell out of my brother ... but suddenly I have more sisters than I ever thought possible.

XOXOXOX

Friday, 19 December 2008

The River in My Heart

Most of my adult life, I have hated, loathed, despised, anyone knowing my business.

Which is why I set up this blog. (What, did you think my real name was Topcat?) Actually, the reason I named myself Topcat is .... drumroll .... I found a cool pic of Topcat on the net.

(No wonder my grandmother always called me a deep well.)

Ummmm, here's the deal .... I have a new blog. In my real name. See, Mr TCs cancer made me turn everything upside down on the bed and shake the shit out of my whole life. We thought he might not make it. What does it all mean. Who am I. I am in pain right now. Answer? To write it.

And I wrote it, and you read it.

Certain Shining Lights of Love have been placed upon me in my life. The joy when my beautiful Tiger was born. Then Miraculous Monkey arriving.

And ...

You. Lifting me up, from the minefield of 2008.

Thank God I had to do IVF to get pregnant, otherwise I never would have started this Happy-Go-Lucky blog, that turned into my main lifeline. Reading your comments this year, I got filled up with your Love and Hope. I'm so grateful.

Even if your name is Mauve and you live in Greenland (next to Flicka!) and you landed here by googling "manhands farting" and you've only ever read and not commented one word. And you sit by the fire each night and tsk tsk that that Terrible Topcat is on the Warpath AGAIN. The way I see blogs working ... the blogger gets stuff out, the reader comes and reads, offers love or support or a silent prayer or a silent fart .... the act of reading someones words and just wishing them well, somehow makes a magic difference.

This year, I wrote. In my worst, dirtiest, most awful days of my twenties, I would hold on to this slim, tiny morsel of an idea that maybe, just maybe, I would be ok and get through and stay alive and end up writing.

I did, and I have, and I'm crying because it's real. Recovering from "stuff" is real and I will never stop being amazed by that. Life is here right now - bigger and better and more amazing than I could ever have dreamed, shitty fucked up as it is sometimes, I still feel amazed and grateful at it.

A few months ago, I ended up writing the text for a childrens book, that looks like it will get published sometime in the new year. When I think of writing, it feels like there is a river in my heart. I need to grab this feeling and jump on .... come out of the blogging closet. I don't know why I just do. It seems important.

The truth, did indeed, set me free.

Of course, at my new digs I can't write as angrily and rudely as I have done here. However, I think I'll just be more imaginative and creative about my political incorrectness.

Indisputable Topcat? She is me, and I am her. She will live in my heart forever, for she has been the doorway to get to where I am going. And I don't even know where that is!

Now, I dont like change ... when I was a kid, my auntie had her kitchen remodelled, after 15 years of it being the same. I cried myself to sleep that night, praying for her old kitchen to be back there in the morning when I woke up. It wasn't. God I was sad. God I was weird.

But, there is a LOT of despair written here .. and maybe I just needed a fresh start.

I will update two, for a little while, then gradually just write in the other one. I would love it if you came to visit. (Please! I have no comments yet and it's been awfully lonely over there!)

I told Mr TC what I was doing, and I have his full support .. and permission, to write about him. I asked stepson if he minded me writing about him, his exact words were ... "Sure! I don't give a fuck!"

In fact, I'm heading over there right now.

Care to join me?

(Don't forget to email me, especially if you live in Constantinople or Timbuktu)

xoxoxoxoxoxo

Thursday, 18 December 2008

3dp Best News Ev-ah



Oh my goodness ...... these boys!

Newsflash to self: YOU ARE INCREDIBLY BLESSED.

I am so happy these days I can hardly stand it. I'm letting myself feel joy and elation and love. It's seeping through all the cracks and shadows. We are all renewed. Monkey has started sleeping through. He is so happy. Coincidence? I don't think so.

He does so many little cute things I am only just noticing. He will eat us out of house and home ... look, he even eats his pram if I don't feed him enough! -





He seriously loves his food .... exactly like his father. He is seven months old today, and for three months already he has been eating proper solid food, three times a day. Haven't told too many people that, as some pooh-pooh it. But, I couldn't NOT feed him. He was hungry! He would watch us eat and squirm and get so cranky. Sometimes he gets so freaking hungry, that he starts crying before he's even swallowed his next spoonful! I've lost count of all the food he has tried ... pumpkin, corn, carrots, squash, lentils, chicken, beef, apple, pears, banana, yogurt, custard, leek, you name it. Why look ... in this next pic, he is a BABY POSSESSED -

"Give me the food. Give me the goddamn food and no-one gets hurt!"


"Mmmmmm. Uh huh. Oh yeah. Do it to me DO IT. This. Is. The Shit. Well, it will be in a few hours HA!" -

____

Thank you, thank you, for your love and support. I have something to share with you all, soon.
I have changed forever. This year - has marked me in a way that will never be undone. NEW battlescars, to match the old ones! Not feel so afraid.

XOXOXOXOX

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

... and they lived happily ever after.

I'm now officially changing my husbands name to The Bulletdodger.

No sign of tumours. All gone. "Cancer go bye-bye" was the text I sent to my sisters this afternoon.

The doctor was his usual limp self .... talking something about a "trace" of something they found up in his chest region (near his lungs, like I thought). But he "thinks" it's ok. I know Mr TC won't get a second opinion on that, and if I asked him he would look at me like I was crazy. I just hope the doc is right.

Told us there is a 20% chance Mr TC will get some form of cancer back, at some stage. It's funny - I think those odds are FANTASTIC. However, when I had to do an amnio last year, there was a 0.2 percent chance there was something wrong with the baby - I was terrified. Go figure.

So what the fuck was the point of all that for? I mused aloud, in the car on the way home. Mr TC started rabbiting on about work, and money, etc. I said what we have learnt from it is that life is so precious, so fragile. We just have to live in the moment. Can't we just do that? Please can we do that.

He doesn't need to go back to the doctor for another four months.

I have reached a new, insane level of tired. Every cell in my body has exhaled. Even my marrow is tired. We got back home this afternoon, and Mr TC had to go back out again.

I was left by myself, feeding Monkey in his highchair with nothing but a bib on - no nappy, praying that he wouldn't decide to take a crap halfway through his jar of store-bought baby food. He didn't. I looked into his eyes ... they are the most intensely blue eyes I've ever seen. What came out of my mouth, over and over and over again?

"Welcome home, Monkey! Welcome home. This is your home!"

Like I should have welcomed him almost seven months ago. I cried, but not many tears came out ... as they were from my deepest well, where I held my saddest pain. Concentrated tears.

This whole experience is long-drawn out trauma and I can't wait to breathe again.

___

I need to say the hugest, most massive thanks, to you. For continuing to come here, and read and support me. Especially the last few months, when I fell off the world for a bit, and floundered around. I disconnected from everything.  Hopefully, the storm has now seemingly passed.

I am so sorry if I have offended people by not returning comments. I know when I visit someones blog and take the time out to comment, I kind of would like some acknowledgement.
And I have not always done that in return. I almost stopped writing here completely.

But I didn't, and here I am and there you are. And that's all that's left of the Wicked Witch of the East.

We won this years cancer battle. Goodbye, tumours. Hope you shut the door on your way out. I hate you.

As for the future? Only time itself knows. I don't know. Doc said it could come back - in six months, or six years. Or never.

But, you know what? Mr TC could get hit by a freaking bus. So could I. A plague of locusts might come and eat our eyes straight from the socket. A tornado could rip us all to shreds.

I. Don't. Care.

Because every single day, from here on in, is a BONUS. Every day. I vow to stress less, stop being such a bitch, appreciate life more, and to not forget the clarity that this year has brought.

The Bulletdodger is calling for the pancakes I promised to make, as a celebratory dessert. He has already had a celebratory quickie, in our walk-in-wardrobe with the kids walking around the house wondering where we went. Ha!! Told him he never needs to have an affair.

SO, my Blessed Peepage - thank you so, so much. I love you.

Now go give your loved ones a kiss. Immediately.

Tell them Topcat sent you.

XOXOXOXOXOXOX

Monday, 15 December 2008

Schmircus

Yesterday, Mr TC was feeling well enough to go to an actual BBQ, with other actual PEOPLE. So we went. It was strange, being social again after hiding at home for so long. I sat next to an old lady, and had Monkey on my lap. She turned to me and said, "Oh my! Look at that babys eyes! Beautiful! He loves his mum, you can tell."

I was surprised. "Really?"

I thought, wow, he loves his mum? He hasn't had the best six months either. I often wonder how differently I would have parented him had Mr TC not got sick .... I suspect I'd have had a truckload more care, patience, and love. Fuck. Sucks that I waited and yearned so many years for this baby, and then Everything Happened. The crying and the screaming ,, from all of us, really. The nights are still so bad I just gave up. It used to be just me and him up every hour on the hour while his dad was upstairs in the chemo wing and I was trying so so hard to parent Tiger as best as I could, shield him from everything that was going on.

Now Monkey comes into bed with us. Which is setting him up for bad habits I know - but I can't handle it anymore, trying to placate him or control his crying. Aint nothing controlled about wanting to throw your crying baby out the window at 2am.

So in bed with us he goes, until next year when we are all back at work and school and settled again.

If I scratch the surface, it's easy to see that I've had a touch of post-natal depression. Probably other stuff. I wondered it often ... am I depressed, or do I just not give a fuck? I go in and out of it, still. I think it's finally abating now. God I hope so.

My Tiger is the most wise and knowing boy I have ever met. I adore him.

Anyway, so yesterday, the old lady kept turning to me, saying "Oh what a handsome boy. Is this your first? He loves his mum!"

And it made me feel special, that he loves me. Even when I kind of failed him a bit, back in the Fiascos Darkest Hours.

I am not failing him now .... he is happier, and less irritated. More content. It's a hell of a lot easier to parent a contented baby than a fussing one, I swear.

The old lady again turned to me, and, as if seeing me there with Monkey for the first time. "Oh! What a beautiful baby! Is he your first? My goodness, those eyes. Ohhhh, he loves his mum!"

Finally it dawned on me that she had dementia. I answered all of her questions again, and didn't mind, not one bit.

I really needed to hear, over and over again, what a beautiful baby he was, and how much he loved his mum.

___

We went to the circus on Saturday night - the first time we have all been out together as a family. I even got a sitter for Monkey. We were SO excited. Naturally, halfway through we got evacuated from the Big Top because of a severe storm warning, and had to go home.

No circus for the cancer family. So annoying - Tiger was SO disappointed, and we had to come home and pay the babysitter after forking out $200 bucks for the freaking circus tickets.

Reminded me, yet again, that you can plan all you like, but things will happen as they will.

__

Mr TC has had a personality transplant. Oh my GOODNESS he is being so mindful and caring and loving. So lovely. His smell is back! He smells like a man - a big, tough guyo. I didn't even notice his smell was missing, until it came back a week ago. That musky, sweaty man smell. LOVE it. I have missed it so ... all the hiroshima bombs that kept getting dropped on him every three weeks wiped him clean of all human-ness. I keep going up to him, grabbing him and smelling him, deeply. "Oooooo, yeah. Big tough guyo smell!"

He swats me away, but I know he loves it. I kind of feel like I make him a better man. Dunno how or why. Just feel it. When we first met he wore overalls and I had more money than him. And he had three kids. I took a lot on. Guess it's all about balance and compromise.

We ended up talking the price down and booking a nice house near the beach, for a week in January. Tomorrow, we are going down to the big shopping centre and doing Christmas shopping. Then, at 3pm, we have an appointment at the Big Hospital, with the Big Kahuna Doctor. Woe betide him if he tells us bad news WOE BETIDE. I would be so cranky that he made us wait almost three weeks to tell us.

As it is ... if it IS bad news, I will cry and rant and rave and stomp my feet, have three tantrums, tell the doctor to get fucked (yes, I will) wail and curse God. Then I will deal with it.

If it is good news ... well fuck, won't that be the shit?

XOXOXOX

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Hello it is I, Arsehole

Mr TC goes out every night. This is nothing new, but sometimes I'd like to go out too. Do .. something? Work, work, busy busy hectic. Everything is exactly the same - if not more manic, than before he got sick. His days are a manic mess of madness. I wish his cancer and chemo changed his perspective on his life like it has mine.

For months I've been saying we need to plan a holiday for January. Now there's nothing left to book! No - thing. Unless we drop a mere three grand for a fucking beach house somewhere. So.

Maybe I take the boys and I on holiday somewhere. I'm not joking.
____

Still recovering from Tigers party. Oh. My. Lordy. The jumping castle. The pinata. Pass the parcel. Twenty screaming seven-year olds running around my house. Next year? He can take a mate to the movies. Maybe two mates, tops. It was good, though. He deserved every second of happiness, to be made a fuss of. His friends are all still talking about it at school, saying how "awesome" it was.
__

The pesky PET scan results? Mr TC walks in with them last week, sealed in an envelope.


Me: "Well, open it!"
Him: "I can't! It says don't open them. The appointment with the doc is on the 16th - he'll open it then."
Me: Laughing, trying to grab scans. "Seriously, open it."
Him: "NO! It says I can't."

I freeze, incredulous. "Are you SHITTING me? Are you FOR REAL? You had a mass of tumours, which hopefully are all gone from the chemo - and you're not going to have a look? You're going to wait two weeks? Since when the fuck did you start playing by the rules!?"

Him: Sulkily "Do I have to hide them in my ute?"
Me: Sighing. "Do I have to give you a blowjob to find out if you still have cancer?"
Him: "Deal."

Fifteen minutes later, we walk out of the bedroom and I rip open his scan. We studied the photos, and put the disc in my computer. (First, he puts it in the DVD player. Why is it, after I tell him that only my computer will read the disc, I have to sit there watching his futile attempts at getting it to play on the TV? Why? Why?)

For the second time in our lives, we watch his 3-D cartoon self slowly spin around. Our consensus? We tentatively think there are no tumours. I am a bit worried about his lungs, there seemed to be some hazy blackness in there, but he reckons they are fine. We shall know for sure next Tuesday. Meh.

____


Party pics ...










The Mario cakes, complete with Starcoins and different levels ...



Happy Birthday, big bro!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Like, a Total Update

I have been missing for a while, haven't I? Sorry. I know I'm not my usual chin-hair describing self. I have felt conflicted, torn. My vivid imagination has me with ten stalkers, knowing the town in which I live. Some random guy was outside my house recently, and I thought, "OMFG HE IS HERE TO KILL ME!!" But he was just taking his dogs for a walk. Apparently, that is not illegal.

Big things are occuring. The end of the Year that Was. Waiting on the Reading of the Scan. Working from home as well as working in the home. Looking after a six month old baby who tries every last ounce of my patience, and has done since the day he was born. My GOD HE IS A HARD BABY. Kicks the shit out of me, every single nappy change. Needs to be held 24/7. Eats like a freakin racehorse.

He had his first go on a swing today ... for the first time in days, he seemed content. I am SO getting him a swing for Christmas.


(Note Tigers ever-present Peace Out sign).

I realise I have just bitched about a six month old baby. *Insert obligatory "I love my baby" statements HERE. (I do ... he is insanely gorgeous.)

My beautiful stepson has come back to live with us. It is FUCKING AWESOME. At the risk of totally jinxing the fuck out of myself .... he is kind, hardworking, thoughtful. He has a job, and a completely wonderful outlook on his life. We joke and laugh together ... often. My God, I underestimated how much I love him. I met him when he was seven ... Tigers age now!! Stepson is now sixteen. I see my influence in him ... traces of myself in things he thinks and says, and it clean blow me away. I think of Pam and her W, and the amazing shared history they are creating.

My stepson has a positive, optimistic future planned ... the complete opposite to me when I was his age. I'm gobsmacked. And really, really proud.

__




We are still in Tigers birthday week .... I have made SUCH a big deal about it. I cancelled his party last year because I was having an amnio done. This year .... I am throwing him and twenty friends a massive, fancy-dress, jumping castle extavaganza. Come one, come all. The Mario cake sits in the fridge, garishly decorated. Pass the Parcel is wrapped .... each with a lollipop and then the main prize is a Magic 8 Ball. Naturally, before I wrapped it I asked Universe if Mr TC was going to be ok. "All signs point to a yes."

Good enough for me. It was so strange, to wave Mr TC goodbye this week, as he drove off for his PET scan. I pretended everything was fine ... but when I played Mario for two solid hours straight, not even stopping to piss ... I knew something was up. Husband just going to check if those pesky black tumours are all gone la la la.

I have tried, and failed miserably, to make a paper mache pinata. Stepson is in the kitchen right now ... at 11.30pm on a Friday, making another one from scratch. (It may have something to do with the $25 bet we made on who could make the better pinata. Subtle manipulation, perhaps?)

I've got all the food ready, chips and fruit and drinks. What really got me ... were the lolly bags. I counted each toy, balloon, musk stick. Two snakes, one marshmallow puff .... all decorated with ribbons and stickers. Had a production line set up in my bedroom -

When they were all filled and ready, they looked so beautiful. I sat back, gazing ... and started to cry and cry. Shedding my fear again. Feeling relieved again. We made it this far. Mr TC is feeling better and better. My son GREW UP this year. I can't remember the last time I read his spelling words out to him, or played kids scrabble. But you can be sure as fuck he has the best lollybags you have ever seen in your life. He deserves a big deal made. Today he was reminiscing about "last year, when it was only us, mum ... remember?" He wished it was still like that, he told me later.

Sometimes, I do, too.

I have been so hectic and busy. Hardly been in blogland at all. My Who magazines are stacking up UNOPENED, still in their plastic wrapper, waiting to be devoured. (Tee got me a subscription for my birthday, back in March).

So tonight, while Mr TC and stepson were at soccer, and Monkey and Tiger were *gasp* SLEEPING ... instead of tackling Mt Laundry, I decided to shove it all into baskets and hide it in cupboards tomorrow ... so I could indulge in this ...


Please note the M&Ms are a party bucket, which I cracked open. I read that trashy mag from cover to cover. And it felt GREAT. And I'm gonna DO IT AGAIN.

So. That's me. But that's enough about me ... what do you think of me? HAHAHAHA.
(You have no idea how ashamed of myself I am for not checking in with you. I've had to turn comments off this post, otherwise my shame would fill my whole body up like toxic helium and I would be the fucking pinata.)
XOXOXOXOXX

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Aint no Saint

I need to stop hating people. I have turned into a bitter, sarcastic, jaded BITCH. The mums at Tigers school are scared of me. No joke. The phone does not ring so much anymore. Part of me thinks, good ... fuck off, but then, another part of me says it's time to re-join the human race. Get over yourself already. Like attracts like. Be better.

I choose to remind myself that not all people are arseholes.

Most .... but not all.

_______

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may try to cheat you. Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For, you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
~Mother Theresa

Monday, 1 December 2008

Sometimes the Sun and No More Always Looking

I should not be typing this. I had been planning to write this post, this auspicious post ... but I should be icing Tigers cupcakes for school tomorrow ... wrapping his pressies ... drumming up freelance work ... being busy and productive.

But, I looked at my blog stats, and someone came to my blog via googling "SOMETIMES THE SUN AND NO MORE ALWAYS LOOKING." In capitals, shouting and demanding. And I related to it's bad grammar, and for the umpteenth time today I thought of the date today, and what it meant, and how much I have changed.

Exactly twenty years ago today was the worst day of my life. Most traumatic, awful, fucked up bullshit day. It was the day my dad killed himself. Technically, he was my stepdad ... but after eleven years, and after my real dad had died four years prior ... I called him dad and thought of him as dad. Confusing.

He was a shit stepdad. Pretty fucking crap. But he loved my brother so much and that was enough for me. I love my bro. We talk a lot. We tell each other everything. I worry for him. I worry a lot.

Tigers due date was this date. (He wasn't born on this day, though). After so many years of hating this date, I had an amazing reason to look forward to it. It changed everything.

Twenty years on, I have proof that time indeed does heal. Not entirely ... I have scars from that time that will remain forever. Sometimes I feel tough, and proud of my scars. Other times, I feel so sad and fucked up. Meh.

Now, I don't feel that much towards my stepdad. I sit here, trying to have respect, trying to write out some positive aspects of his personality ... what he taught me, things I can hold on to.

Nothing.

Once, when I was about ten, I entered a Fathers Day radio competition. You had to ring up and say on air, what your dad did for you. I got on the air ... the announcer asked me what my dad for me. I stammered, and stumbled - realising to my horror that I could not think of one thing. Not one. I had to make something up. I told her feebly that he fixes my rollerskates. (I was quite the rollerskater in my youth. I still have a pair today.)

I didn't win. He never would have been bothered to fix my rollerskates anyway.

Actually, he did teach me a few things ....

1) How to fix his drink in the evenings. Johnny Walker Red Label Scotch, with dry ginger ale.

2) How not to be a step-parent

3) When you light a fire, start from the back first. That way, you won't burn yourself as you light it at the front.

4) Suicide is wrong. On so many levels. DO. NOT. KILL. YOURSELVES. When he was just eight years old, my brother lost his beloved dad. He talks to me about it. I tell him about how my real dad is dead. But I wasn't as close to my real dad as he was to his. Ugh ... dead dads, everywhere!

In conclusion, thank you, stepdad. For teaching me how to light fires.

But I taught myself how to put them out.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Hay While the Sun Shines

I've worked out what seems to be wrong with Monkey ... he's scared!!

The poor little sweetheart. If he sleeps through, til about 4am, he's fine. If not, and he wakes up any time before then, it's a screaming frenzy. It happened just then ... I went in, and he grabbed my hand in a panic and drew it close. He's so scared, and wants me near. I stay near.

We'll just fumble our way through, as usual.

In other, even more fearful news ... Mr TC is worried. He doesn't look good, has a big lump on his face, and today he asked me to feel his tummy for any tumours. His scan is in a few days, so I guess it's just on his mind. It must feel very strange, after chemo, waiting on scan results. Is that a lump? Am I sick again? Why do I feel so crap? Who was the second gunman on the grassy knoll?

Mr TC wins the husband of the year award this weekend! Both mornings he has got up to Monkey, took him and Tiger out for a walk, and at 9am, arrived back home to wake me up .. with a soy latte AND the paper for me. Motherfucking hero! Then, we just had family time all weekend! And, he was interested and thoughtful, bought me a bunch of flowers, and told me how sexy I look lately!!! WTF!

Last week, Tiger said "Mum, I really want to see the movie Australia." So last night I took him. Just me and Tiger, on a date. I vowed to spend more one-on-one time with him. Time is hard, these days. Parenting a baby, small child, stepson, wife of a sick guy, trying to work from home ... no wonder I kept blowing fuses. I had to pray and be gentle with myself, all weekend. Feeling SO much better.

Now, as for watching the film "Australia" last night ... let's put it out there, I do not think Nicole Kidman can act for shit. I see her on the screen, and think, oh look ... a wooden, stilted person who is trying to act. HOWEVER ... Australia was fucking wonderful, and she was really good in it! I was so, so proud to see the film focus on the whites' treatment of Aboriginal Australians.

It's the most expensive movie ever made down here .... us Aussies have a nasty habit of cutting down all our tall poppies, all the people who make it "big" and daring to give things a go. Baz Luhrmann has been castigated for audaciously naming his film, and the press are itching to call it a flop. But it won't flop. I loved it. Tiger loved it ... I was so proud of him, sitting there next to me. He was enthralled, and didn't get bored once. I kept kissing him and stroking his arm. Fuck I adore that boy ADORE.

Afterwards, we played air hockey, pinball, and a shooting game with rifles we re-loaded and hunted grizzly bears in the forest. PISSING ourselves laughing.

I had the best weekend. We are so fortunate. Yes I have felt the Big Fear around Mr TC again, thoughts flying around our heads. Yes the news of Patrick Swayze jolted us both, sitting at the park today, reading the newspaper together.

There has been so much sad news, lately.

I had the strange, unsettled feeling that I had travelled back in time from the future to today, so I soaked and drank and inhaled it in ... I kissed and kissed and kissed my boys, all weekend.

Whatever happens, I am one blessed motherfucker. I don't want to forget that.

Friday, 28 November 2008

The Terrorist

Every single night for the past seven nights, Monkey has awoken and screamed, screamed and screamed. Fed, changed, patted .... finally, if I walk around and stroke and whisper to him, he has drifted back to sleep. Until he screams again.

Poor old Michael Finnegan Begin-again. That was my brothers favourite song when he was little.

Ummmm - I'm tired? I have ended up giving up and hopping into the single bed with him in his room, holding him close. His piece de resistance was last night, screaming blue, bloody murder for three motherfucking hours straight. Nothing would help. Nothing seemed wrong. His crying was trying. I ended up shooting myself in the head, and am typing this from hell. (Tee and Rex ... Dad says hi!)

Not really .... but close.

He cried every time I tried to make him have a nap today, and putting him to bed tonight was a freaking nightmare. I was trying to get writing work done for my new job, had a deadline ... and just fucked it up. She sent it back to me three times to be re-written. She wasn't happy. "I'm usually really good!" I wanted to say. "I promise!"

I wailed to Mr TC, gnashing my teeth. Cried to stepson. Sniffled with Tiger.

Hello controlled crying ... how YOU doin'?

I've always thought that I could never, ever do controlled crying. With Tiger, a mere whisper of a murmer and I would run in to his room. Monkey? Poor sweetie has had crying issues since day one. Obviously my head is trying to make it somehow my fault, but I am beginning to see that sometimes babies just CRY. It is what they DO. And, I get the feeling if I do not nip this in the bud now I am sharpening a MASSIVE rod for my back. My back is stooped enough as it is.

So fucked. I need to work on myself more ... lately I have grown more angry, bitter and venomous than I have ever been in my whole life. It doesn't feel very nice, my dreams are getting dark, and my Higher Self is sitting out on a rock ledge somewhere, twiddling her thumbs, bored as all fuck.

I guess I'll read some baby books tomorrow, because I have utterly no idea what the fuck I'm doing. Seriously.

GOOD NIGHT

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

And the Nominees Are ....



About two millennia ago, the kind Rachel Inbar nominated me for a Kick-Arse Blog Award. Actually, it's Kick ASS Blog Award, but we all know arse has an R in it. Rachel sometimes leaves a comment here, which I do appreciate. Once she left one on a particularly disturbing post - probably about heroin use (mmmmm, heroin) ... she said how "boring" she was. Rachel you are not boring ... I wish I was more sedate, more even-keeled. Like you!

So, I'm passing the award on to a few bloggers. Now, I don't really like doing this, because I don't like to be exclusive. I'm sorry if I hurt anyones feelings - if I could nominate 57 people then we'd be sweet. So, I've decided to give a shout-out to those people who I have only started to read recently. Say, when my life got all fucked up back in May. A lot of people have come here and given their support ... I am eternally grateful. I'm so sorry I've not reciprocated much lately. My motherfucking useless modem hasn't helped. The very raw truth is ... lately I have wondered if I am:

a) Having a breakdown
b) Am depressed
c) Have post-natal depression
d) Want a divorce
e) All of the above

So that's my excuse. I could sit here and write a post on all my angst and demons, or I can take the motherfucking focus off myself and direct it to some others.

AHEM.

Palemother. Oh my God she is so wise and mysterious and cool. She has fish on her blog that you can feed. She knows stuff. She "gets" people. She has beautiful children. She can spot dysfunctional family habits at 10 paces. She. Rocks.


Flicka at Vacant Uterus. I thought she really did live in Greenland! I am an idiot! Flicka is real and raw and post pics of sparkly hair clips she has put in to cheer herself up on a fucked day. Her hubby Sarge and her have been through the wringer, back out, then around again. They adopted Sam, who is Monkeys peep. Flicka, never stop blogging. Please!


Annacyclopedia. She makes BORSCHT, AND she is cool. Hot hair. She looked around for a Womans Circle, couldn't find one .... so started one up. A person who IS the change they want to see in the world. Anna has taken a few beatings, lately. (From life ... not her hubby.) I told her recently that she is going to be an AWESOME mother someday. And she is. And I will be here, willing and cheering her on. I heart her.


G at Makes You Stronger. Hands down, has the best IRL name EVER. The fires of hell have burnt her. And yes it's making her stronger but I wish it didn't have to happen. She deserves EVERYTHING GOOD to now start happening. Truly a Kick-ARSE blogger.


R.A.W. (PWP) I think about RAW all the time. She is taking a break from blogging .... but her generosity and warmth meant so much to me at a really hard time.


Mrs Spock A wonderful and wise peep, who genuinely gives a shit. She totally must have known I was doing a thousand cries today ... for she emailed me THIS. Can't believe she took time out to edit pics of me and Monkey. Made me laugh and laugh, freakin' hilarious. She is wise, kind, and thoughtful.


A special mention to Nancy ... although I connected with her last year, I cannot NOT give this award to her, for her blog truly does Kick some Serious Arse. Nancy is unshockable. She stirs the pot ... went to a scrapbooking convention and women grabbed their children tighter, probably due to her cool tattoos. She's opinionated, strong, and very fucking pregnant.


I've already gone over quota - I wish I could choose more. Thank you for your support, all the peeps above and beyond, out here in Blogland. Your positive thoughts have helped me through the mire. XOX
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I'm still mortified at the pic I posted yesterday. (Thanks for the lovely anti-uglynose comments AHEM)

Here is another, to prove that I actually am cool now. (Obviously Mr TCs tattoos help with my cool quotient).





At least my fucking nose looks semi-decent in this one. I smell coffee .. IN BRAZIL.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

This morning, when I should have been working, I found the glasses I used to wear in high school, put them on, took a photo, and posted it on my blog.

Yes, yes I did.

No WONDER I never had a boyfriend in high school. I cannot BELIEVE my mother made me wear them. I am re-enacting photos taken of me as a teen .... the face is smiling but the eyes sure as hell aren't.

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*** Admiring my own handiwork and congratulating myself on being SO hilarious, I was studying the picture for a while. For too long.
Ummm, MY NOSE LOOKS LIKE A CAULIFLOWER. How can I be 36 and never TRULY know how big and ugly my nose is???? 

Monday, 24 November 2008

The Big Reveal

"I got lizards and snakes
Runnin through my body.
Funny how they all
Have my face."

- Sweet Dreams, Tori Amos


The day before I turned seven, I slipped up some thin, rusted metal stairs outside our house and sliced my shin straight open. You could see the bone. Blood curdling screams …. I remember my mother running outside with lots of teatowels. She said later that she knew she needed them because of the awful sound I was making. Sitting in the doctors surgery, I got my leg sewn up with no painkillers. It was horrific … I ended up with seven stitches, one for each year I had lived. I still have the scar, I can’t stand to touch it. Every time I look down it’s there, smiling creepily at me.

One day next week, Tiger will wake up and be seven. He will open all of his birthday presents. Then, his dad will hop in his ute and drive down to the BIGGEST hospital, and get a PET scan to finally see, if all the tumours have gone. Like on a home renovating show, being blindfolded and waiting for “The Big Reveal.” We have to wait until around the 16th of December for the scan to be read.

I can’t believe that Universe would give Tiger bad news for his dad on his birthday.

Obviously, I have feelings around it. Everyone asks me when the scan is, and can’t believe we have to wait so long. I’m actually fine with the waiting. For here, in Waiting Land, lies the possibility that his scan will clear .. like a two week wait holds the possibility of being pregnant.

It feels like the worst is already over – we are now just mopping up the aftermath. My marriage has taken a huge beating, and I know we need to re-connect somehow. Can we? We drifted so far apart.

But, whatever happens … the shock and trauma of it all has worn off. We got used to chemo. Monkey is bigger now. Life marched on, like it always does.

I’m having huge dreams. Huge. I do a lot of spiritual work and healing in my dreams, I always have.

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Last week I was with Tee, and we had parked in a big carpark where everyone fights for a space. Walking back to the car, we noticed that a car had parked illegally behind me. So we were stuck. It took me SO MANY FUCKING tries to get my car out. I told Tee I wanted to smash the fuck out of this idiots car, slam into it like a monster truck rally. She goes ... "Do you want to leave a note?"

YES.

We dealt with our anger appropriately, and left the note. Laughing so hard so I could a photo of it, to post here and show the internet.



We felt SO much better.

Lately I have felt my skin crawling, like I can’t stand living in it. I went to a meeting in Sydney last week … fucking awesome. One guy shared before me – about how he can’t stand himself lately. I SO understood. He was talking … “I mean, I’m just so sick of my own bullshit. My defects, my fucked-upness … I can’t stand myself. I really can’t. I hate myself. I just want to vomit all over myself.”

Everyone PISSED themselves laughing.

Yesterday, I looked at Mr TC and he looked sick again. Yellow, like how he looked before we found out he was sick. It rocked me to the core, the possibility that … well, you know.

Soon we shall all know.



Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Happy Half Birthday



I got to Sydney and promptly fell apart.

But I don't want to blog about that, about how I feel a huge ball in my chest, and I, the recovering, in-tune person that I am ... cannot for the life of me work out what is wrong. But I am not ok. And in that ... the admitting that I'm not ok, makes me feel so relieved and better. I am NOT OK! I feel SHIT! Post-traumatic stress? Depression? Anxiety? All of the above? Who the fuck knows .... I just know that I am not ok. Paradoxically, that makes me ok.

I don't want to go home tomorrow, but I have to. Then again, I don't want to stay here, either. You know that feeling where you don't want to be anywhere?

Yesterday I walked down to glorious Bondi Beach, Monkey in his pram, soy latte at hand. I felt emotional. So much has happened. What a most intense year it has been. But, I am SO SICK of myself. Just get the fuck over it already. 

My baby turns six moths old today!

I told his naughty, wonderful cousins that we are to have a Half Birthday Party for him tonight, after dinner. We shall sing "Happy Half Birthday, to you ....". I bought cupcakes. (He won't have one, we shall eat them in his honour.)


I feel like somebody has pushed their hands through the clouds and handed me a six month old baby. I have a baby. He has not been my priority. I solemnly swear, from now on, that he will be my priority. I whispered in to his ear, today .... "Mummy is going to watch you and listen to you and love you so, so much!!"

Cancer is a thief.

I give him three thousand kisses when I put him in the car, and seventeen thousand when I get him out again. I marvel at his big little feet (like blocks of cement, he has feet like his mama). People stop me in the street, to comment on what a beautiful looking little guy he is. His hair has gone from red to golden ... my Golden Boy. He rolls over, but is not interested in crawling yet. My Laz-e-Boy. Just like his mama! He can cry real tears, kicks like Ian Thorpe in the water, has been known to eat and crap at the same time. His personality is starting to come out ... he is really "here".

At mums most favourite cafe in the whole world ...

I love him.
I am so relieved, to love him so.

He looks at me adoringly, and breaks my heart. Tori Amos once sang that she has enough guilt to start her own religion. Hello.

The next six months will fly, so quickly. If I am thirsty .... then I shall drink him in, this most spectacular, amazing little human. I am blessed to have him. I feel blessed to love him, and not ever want to let him go.

Happy Half Birthday, my Wonderful Monkey Star. Thank you for teaching me The Way. You are heavenly, and magical, and sacred. I promise to celebrate that, my sweetheart guy. I am so sorry, about everything. I am flawed ... we all are. But I love you deeply. And that really is all that matters.
forever,
Mum
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

























Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Feet on the Fairy



Tomorrow I shall make my escape.

I am going to my sister Tees house, down in Sydney .... I haven't been to her house since April, since I was very pregnant. Since the pre-cancer days. (Pre-cancer days! How I miss you!)

I. Can't. Wait. I need to sloth and not cook and read BLOGS and get my google reader sorted once and for all. I need to watch Tees cable and fart freely* and ponce around the Eastern suburbs in my gold sandals, pretending I am someone.

Now I just need to wrap up all the little pressies I bought for Tiger .... with little notes from me. He can open one a day, just so he knows I am thinking of him. He has found the transition of his big brother living here again a bit hard, lately. They have been clashing, and I see Tiger get upset because he just hates how much power the older sibling has. I get triggered badly, because of my own childhood issues .... sometimes, something innocent or even just "kid-like" can alert my bullying radar. I hate bullying, hate things not being fair. I've had to rope stepson in a few times, nicely, but just let him know I am on to him.

I was worried, about leaving Tiger here with stepson and Mr TC .... so I have done what every good parenting book would say ... and resorted to bribery. I told stepson that if he takes good, proper care of his little bro ... ".. and I mean proper! Because I will KNOW if you don't." - Then I will bring him home a set of earphones he wants for his iPod. (For, he always wants SOMETHING. But, don't we all!?)

Here is Tiger and stepson, mucking around directly under the Harbour Bridge:




I am an arsehole mother lately. It's true - I am. To both Tiger and Monkey. I am short on patience, frustrated, a little bit yelling. I really need some more Mo in my Jo. I need to love them and be nice and know how lucky I am.

I have had a post brewing about my feelings for Monkey, for months now. But I have been too gutless to write it yet. I will, because it keeps tapping me on the shoulder, demanding to be written. It's muck, that I need to shine a big fuckoff light on. It's hard and it's sad, that he got so tangled in the cancer web when he was born. But it was the truth then ... not now. Things are different now.

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Last weekend, I made us all drive down to Sydney. To park at Manly Beach, and catch a ferry over to Circular Quay. (Circular Quay is where the Harbour Bridge and Opera House are.) Tiger called it a "Fairy" (as I did, when I was a kid). He kept asking if we could buy fairy floss to eat on it.

We had a pretty cool day. Meaning - we were all getting along well. It is so dysfunctional, my family. Usually, one of us has the shits. The others rally around and try to pull the shitty person out of the slump. We take it in turns to be the shitty one. 

So this day, no-one was particularly shitty. We were all happy that Mr TC was feeling so good - if he feels good, we all feel good. A few more weeks, and it wil be the longest amount of time with no chemo in him. YAY.




Look - the Sydney Opera House is growing out of Monkeys left ear! Clever boy!



I LOVE this photo ... however, I don't love the gut overhang flapping over my jeans:



For more Show and Tells, check out Mel at Stirrup Queens HERE.

*Ummm, I fart freely anyway. I have to - if I didn't I would blow up like a blimp and float over the Southern Hemisphere forever. Mr TC is disgusted, because, obviously I fart louder and stronger than him. He thinks women shouldn't fart. Obviously, he married the wrong woman.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Playing in the Dirt

So where do I start? I've had a crap, awful week. So sorry about the disappearing post. Had the worst night and day with Monkey the other day, involving him crying and crying .... then me falling over while holding him, then a shopping trip where he banged his head and his pram upturned ..... ending with ME crying and crying, having lost any semblence of Patience and Love and The Milk of Human Kindness. Mix that with the WORST week of arguing with Mr TC, and Presto! You got yourself one fucked up Redhaired Vengeful Topcat!

It's tiring, to be me ..... the lows are so low, but the highs are phenomenal!

I haven't even mentioned the new job I got. As a copywriter for a website company, writing website text for different businesses. I have training next week. They received 150 applications, and employed 6 copywriters from all over Australia. I was one of six chosen. Fucking outstanding ... ever since Mr TC got cancer, my writing has taken off. So strange ... it's like, something so BAD happens, so something good has to happen, to balance it out. It's so good to keep earning money from home.

I haven't told my new boss that I have a baby ... minor detail?! And, I kind of don't really know how I'm going to write more than usual and mind Monkey as well. There's only so long I can stick him in front of the TV for. (Joke. Kind of). So, controversially ... I'm thinking of putting his name down for a daycare. Only for two days a week. The company I work for is only brand new, and still getting their web system up and running, so we don't know how much work will be there yet. I'll get paid per website, and it took me one and a half hours to write one. So, we shall see.

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Hey so guess what look at this:





It's a photo of a girl who is seeing her father for the very last time.

I was around eleven ... my sisters were thirteen. Our real dad came to visit us at our house ... I remember being SO excited, and nervous, as I didn't really know him that well. My mum and stepdad let him in ... it was so strange. I had pictured that he would come in to our house, all the adults would talk, it'd all be chilled. SO not. Mum and stepdad were playing pool, acting cavalier and odd. Me, my sisters, and our dad, sat down in the adjoining room, having a stilted conversation. Can't remember where my brother was .. having a sleep, probably.

I quickly realised he didn't want to talk to me, only to the girls. At one point, I ran off to get my coin collection to show him, and sat there, patiently waiting with it on my lap, as he was talking to Tee and Rex. I never showed him.

He asked mum if he could take some photos of us, across the road. We all stood in a row, while he snapped away. Then, he wanted to take some pics just of Tee and Rex. It took a LONG time. I wandered off a bit. At one point, I crouched down and started swirling my hands through the dirt. He said my name and I looked up. That's when he snapped the photo. The look on my face ... I didn't know I was getting my photo taken. There I squat, in my ridiculously dorky green velour tracksuit, with a smile pasted on my face because I just wanted him to like me.

I know I have tremendous abandonment issues, however, it really is rare that I feel the raw gaping hole, left by dad - both of them, anymore.

Yet, I have felt it so many times this year. So close to losing Mr TC. So close, that it constricts my heart, re-opens a lot of old painful wounds. I am strong and I am tough and full of bravado .... but fuck it HURTS like a BITCH, that most of the important men in my life have just not given a flying fuck .... couldn't get past their own problems. I see friends of mine, and the relationships they have with their fathers .... and something in me stirs, so exquisitely painful.

My real dad snapped that pic of me, playing in the dirt, waiting for him to see me .. he was dead from the booze a year later. Four years after that, stepdad kills himself.

It's enough to drive a girl to drink!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Two Photos

I took this photo from our back deck, a few weeks ago. We were all watching TV, and I happened to get up and have a look. It was STUNNING. I grabbed the camera, and snapped. Made me feel silly ... that I was inside watching TV like an idiot, and Nature had put on this beautiful display.

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My Tiger, making orange juice in striped pyjamas. Note the determination on his face! The mussed up hair! I love him with such an ache, that my heart hurts. I know we have met before. We recognise each other, talk the same language. He is my Shining Star. Shining.
XOX

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry

Hi. It's me ... the arsehole who never comments on anyones blog lately, because she is so self-obsessed. I have been absent. I haven't wanted to blog ... because I feel messy. And when I blog when I'm messy, it always feels like I have hung all my washing out on the line, made some crackers and cheese, and asked the whole neighbourhood around to watch my big baggy yellowed undies flapping in the breeze.

Feels like some huge waves are crashing down on me, just as I was about to make it to shore. I am not on my computer, so I shall keep it short and sweet.

TOPCAT FAMILY UPDATE:

TIGER: Yesterday he handed out all of his party invitations at school. But he told everybody it was a "Mario" fancy dress party. They can only come dressed up as a character from Super Mario Bros. Which means, all the girls have to come as Princess Peach. I told him to tell everybody today that they can actually wear ANY fancy dress costume and maybe, not all girls want to be princesses?

MONKEY: The baby in the cancer ward. He is almost SIX MONTHS OLD. Soon I may even write a post all about him. Who knew? People say to me ... "Six months!? Wow, hasn't that gone quickly!?" I say ... no, no it hasn't, actually.

STEPSON: Broke my laptop ..... however, we are getting on very, very well. I love him.

MR TC: His PET scan is booked in for early December. We should have the results just before Christmas. So, it'll either be a very great Christmas, or, not so.

Mr TC has now added going to the gym to his list of after-work activities. Every single day, he is either at soccer, or footy, or the gym. He told me that he is not going to change anything in his life, post-cancer. Told me that I was the one who wanted the baby, why should it change his plans.

I handled it very maturely. I threw every single bunch of flowers he gave me in the bin. Except the beautiful Peace Lily, that he thoughtfully chose for my office. I ripped that one out of the pot, flung it around, and scrunched and ripped it to shreds.

THEN I threw it in the bin. I can't tell you how much better I felt. Seriously.

Crackers and cheese, anyone?

Friday, 7 November 2008

Just Keep Laughing. What the Sisters Did Part Two

Ok so where was I? Oh that's right, bringing a new life into the world, just as I thought my husband was going to lose his.


It kind of ended up that Tee stayed with me up in my hospital, and Rex went down to Mr TCs hospital. Rex was my lifeline to Mr TC. He is such a bravado, "I'm fine" macho guy .... like that Knight in that Monty Python movie, getting all his arms and legs cut off, but still wants to fight. "What, this? It's just a scratch." Until in the end, he's just this talking, bloodied head on the ground. I know that Mr TC would tell me he was ok, even if he was in agony and secretly scared shitless. But Rex was with him ... and Rex told me the truth. Her truth was that he was going to be ok ..... how I clung to her words, every day! She did everything for him that I could not. He had the worst bed in the worst ward, PUTRID. Talk about depressing. It was dark and dank, and there was a contaminated water scare, in his hospital. Nii-iiice.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ..... Tee was the only person I wanted to see. She brought Tiger in to visit, every day. She brought nipple shields and expensive creams, chocolate, clothes for Monkey. We sat and waited and worried together. I took a photo of myself, in the middle of the night, once. I don't know why I did ... maybe because I couldn't get out of bed, and wanted to know what I looked like. What a person in so much pain looks like. Quite strange really.

It's a terrible photo. I would lie in my bed for hours, in a trance, holding Monkey .... frightened isn't even the word. In shock. And horror. Then Monkey would stir and I'd look down and see him, as if for the first time. "Oh, hello lil guy!!" Kept forgetting about the baby.

In the mornings, Tee would come in, and I would talk to Rex, and I had hope again. Just a bit. It was around that time, that my catchcry started. If I got a shit lunch in the hospital, or when I complained about nobody sending me flowers ..... I would harrumph, exasperated. "Geeez! Don't they know my husband has CANCER!!??" We couldn't find a car park? My husband has cancer. Bringing firewood in at home? My husband has cancer. Telemarketers? Sorry, I can't give money today ... my husband has cancer.

I got out of hospital on Friday, Tee drove me straight down to see Mr TC. To the hideous hospital, where you need a machete to fight your way through the haze of cigarette smoke before you go in. I saw where he had been sleeping all week and just wanted to cry. We STILL did not know what kind of cancer it was, or how to treat it yet. Fuming. I sat in a chair next to his bed, Tee gave us some space then came back and cracked jokes. Suddenly a tribe of doctors appeared out of nowhere, doing rounds. Tee and I went for the jugular .... Tee, mainly, as I was breastfeeding a four-fucking day old baby. She hammered questions to them .. What type of cancer. Why don't you know. When will you know. How long in hospital. What can he eat .... on and on. Mr TC sat, bewildered, watching a ping-pong ball game of questions and answers. I'll never forget the doctor .... who had given us the bad news only days before .... turning to look at me. And he saw me. A breastfeeding, broken wife. He promised to speed things up - and he did.

Tee and I drove back home. Leaving Mr TC in the shitty hospital that day, was one of the worst, awful days of the whole fiasco. I felt sick, putting Monkey in the car ... to finally take him home. Without his dad. Happy homecoming, baby. We drove and drove ... right before we got home, the doctor gave us the news. "Non-Hodgkins."  We were beside ourselves with elation. We went crazy. Finally, after all this time, we KNEW WHAT HE HAD. For some inexplicable reason ..... Tee and I had a competition, to text as many people as we could, to tell them. And, to count how many replies we got back. "NON-HODGKINS!!" Texts started arriving to out phones ... "That's great!" "Awesome news!" "Ohh, what a relief!" We high-fived and nearly did cartwheels. (Tee won the comp ... I was spewing!)

Suddenly, something swam to the surface of my brain. "Ummmm ...." I said to Tee. "My husband has CANCER." It was very surreal. I lost it, and went quite loopy, laughing hysterically. "Wait! It's ok! It's NON-HODGKINS!!! Wooo-hoooooo! Yeeee haaaaa!! Unreal!" I started tapping it out in morse code on my breast pump .... great news, husband has cancer!

Tee suggested I go to bed. I did.

I went to my lonely bed, and the baby cried and cried and drank me dry, and I got so stressed and worked up. I was crying bad. I did not want to do this anymore. I cannot handle a baby at this time. Tee came in .... and made me go upstairs to SLEEP, while she minded the baby for the rest of the night. He wasn't hungry ... just picking up on my stress. I needed that sleep like nothing I'd ever known.

Here is where the real work form the girls came in .... they taught me how to look after a baby. Especially Rex, the Sleep Nazi. She was forever getting me to swaddle Monkey and put him to bed. Always. They gave me tips and advice, on everything. I was amazed. At one point, Tee turned to me, and said "Mate, what the fuck did you do with Tiger when he was a baby?" I thought, and realised."Well, basically just stood to his attention for three years. Whatever he wanted!" We pissed ourselves laughing. Rex got me onto the magical solution of preparing six bottles at once, so I knew exactly how much Monkey was getting in a 24-hour period. What a fantastic concept!

Monkey sleeps pretty bloody well now, due to their baby whispering skills. Once, Tee even stuck her boob in the pump, to show me how it was done. Now THAT'S sisterly love!

When Monkey was two weeks old, it was Rexs turn to be here. It was an awful week. I could not talk to anyone, answer the phone, or go anywhere. She was like, my total bodyguard. She'd answer the phone, say the persons name out loud ... and depending on my head nod or head shake, hand the phone over. One morning, I got up, and was getting brekky. She was chatting away, looked up to find me crying. She gave me the biggest, best hug, and told me she doesn't even know how I am getting up in the mornings. I wailed to her that I didn't want to go and see Mr TC that day. I didn't want to see him like that. She understood, and talked and talked. Suddenly, a car drove up. "Fuck!" I hid. It was the florists car. "Oh NOOOO. It's the fucking florists!"

(They are busybody, fucking idiots.) Rex goes, I'll handle this.

And she did. She got stuck talking to them for ten minutes, answering all their stupid questions. I was cracking up, having laughing convulsions that she was being so polite. She told me later they were ITCHING to come in, and she felt like a goalie in a soccer game, keeping them out. They wanted to "give me the flowers themselves." She said no.

I kept pretending to Mr TC that I was ok, but I couldn't pretend anymore. I was fucked up.

Rex sometimes still asks me ..... how's those GIMP florists going?

My sister Tees present for me, when the baby was born? A FORTNIGHTLY CLEANER. FOR SIX. MONTHS. Yes. Can you believe that? My house gets clean every two weeks. NOT by me. Frickin' awesome.

Once, the cleaners were due when I was feeling so crap. I text Tee .... do you think the cleaners will mind if I sit on the couch and play Mario? My husband has CANCER, you know.

She told Rex, who told me to ask the cleaners if they could wipe my DS Gameboy screen, as I was sitting there. And if I get out, say "Ohhhh, CLEANERS! I was up to World SEVEN! My husband has CANCER!!!"

Dog whistle laughs all round.

The mums at Tigers school organised a cooked meal dinner roster, every single night. Whichever sister was there with me, would get excited come afternoon time .... ooohhh, who's on tonight? Oh, it's Jo! She makes the BEST lasagne!! We were all solemn and quiet, when they came, then they would go and we would rip it open, to see how good the meal was. Oh my God I'm laughing right now. I love every single woman who was on that roster - it was such an amazing thing to do for us. But sometimes ... the meal wasn't very big. Or good. And we would mock-complain. "Geez!" The girls would say. "Don't they know your husband has CANCER!"

When I was here by myself for a few days, Tee and Rex would text - what's for dinner tonight? To see what they were missing.

One night, Tee asked me. I was rather quite disgusted, and rang her.

"It was SAUSAGE AND LENTIL FUCKING CASSEROLE!!!"

Tee was outraged and laughing, all at once. "What did you do with it?"

"Mate, even the fucking DOG didn't want it. It's sitting outside in the casserole dish. Maybe some wild animals will come and eat it. It was filthy, I mean, come on. My husband has cancer. I'm going to have to go to school assembly, and announce over the loudspeakers that I need some decent food, not no sausage bullshit."

Tee couldn't talk for five minutes. The next morning, I get a text from Rex. "So how was your sausage hotpot HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH."

Tee said to me one day, that after this is all over .... I could still use the inappropriate excuse, just change the tense. "Oh, you can't give me a parking ticket! My husband had cancer, you know!!"

Sometimes, even long after Mr TC came home .... I would call one of them. And they would know something was wrong. And I would just say ..."My husband has cancer." And they knew and understood and brought me back time and time again.

Because .... Mr TC did come home. And he went through eight chemos, every three weeks. And now they are finished. And now we wait for the scan. I can't even look ahead, in my mind. To see what I think his scan will show. If I try to picture it, I just fall off a big cavern. So I can't. I think I believe his scan will be all clear. I think. We have an appointment with the doctor - the one who noticed me breastfeeding that day - next Tuesday.

Every day, since the diagnosis .... is a gift. Even though sometimes we very nearly ripped each others heads off ..... he made it back home. He's in with a fighting chance.

It's odd, having him "present" again. I have been alone since May.

Except for my sisters. I have called them Tee and Rex .... as in T-Rex, the dinosaur. For they have such puny little hands, compared to my big manhands. Their hands are pathetic. It's hilarious. My sisters real names both start with the same letter. They are kind, wise, wonderful human beings. We have each other. We have each others backs. I would do the same thing for them in a heartbeat. (Heaven forbid I'd ever need to)





Thursday, 6 November 2008

What the Sisters Did. Part One

Ummmm, hi .. it's me again. (waves). I'm having an intense time lately. I started writing something else, but the story of my sisters came out instead. I also possibly need to get some things off my chest, before Mr TC gets his scan. Just so I can process shit. Because I can't afford the money or the time to do therapy. I hope that's ok.

When I was young, I had such a raging, burning hatred for my sisters. It was terrible - we were all terrible. We were all taught to hate each other. Not in your usual "sibling rivalry way". It was psychological, systematic, and cruel. They have both been dealing with a lot of our childhood crap for the past few years. They wanted to stop the cycle of abuse, instead of passing it on to their children. It's hard, getting real. But they have done it! And I am so, so proud and amazed and happy for them. I cannot believe how close we three are. I never would have thought this could happen .. not in a million years. They are my mainest peeps. My blood ... the Source of Much Sass.

They got me through chemo ..... and it wasn't even my fucking chemo. Actually, to backtrack ..... they helped me get through my pregnancy. I keep forgetting I was pregnant ... seems like a world away now. Halfway through my IVF, I told them I had a blog. So they started reading it. And we seem to have gotten even closer since then.

Their hearts were broken, back in May, too. They stopped their whole lives, just for me and my family. If I didn't have them I would have run screaming off a cliff. They have talked me off the cliff many times.

My mother was the first person I called, to tell the news of Mr TCs diagnosis. Mr TC and I were two stunned mullets, driving back from the cancr clinic with the free sympathy parking. You know what he was babbling? How he had lived a great life, these past nine years. That was our mentality .... that he was going to die. I phoned my mum, so she would hear it from me. I lost it halfway through, oh how hard it was to say the word lymphoma to her. It took three tries. She was calm, asked did I want to call her back, as I was so upset. I said no. I hung up, and noticed a white van behind us, in the busy traffic. It was John, one of Mr TCs drumming buddies, waving gaily at us. We waved back ... how strange it was, that he had no idea what we had just been told. By the time we got home, we had a whisper of a grip, but not much. I picked Tiger up from a friends house, took him home and got him ready for bed. Me and Tiger stood next to each other in the bathroom, brushing our teeth together. I looked at myself in the mirror, thinking, wow .... I look exactly the same, but my whole heart has been ripped out and smashed. Tiger had no idea. I had to protect him. My sister text me ... any news yet? Shit, I hadn't told them yet. I rang Tee, she answered. I simply said "Bad. It's just really bad." And told her all we knew. I asked her if she could ring and tell Rex, as I had to put Tiger to bed. Rex sent me the most soulful, heartfelt text, telling me she loved me, over and over again.

And then one of the worst nights of my life happened. And then Thursday was here, and I had to have a baby on the Monday, and I ummmm, neeed help. (Thank God, THANK GOD I had a c-section. Mr TC couldn't have handled a full-on labour and natural birth.)

My sisters wanted to come up straight away, but I put them off. Because I thought it would be the last time I would have my husband and Tiger together, in the same house. Ever. So they were to come on Sunday.

The next few days, were just heavy. Like, we needed to be pushed around. Mr TC was in agony, the tumours so aggressive they seemed to be growing daily, pressing on all of his internal organs. How frightening, to have something growing in there and not know! And cancer is so common ... it's only a matter of time before somebody else we know gets it. Insidious.

My sisters rang and text me, those few days. Constantly. More people started to find out. I kept thinking I was ok .... then I so, so wasn't ok. SO NOT OK. There was just no thinking my way out of this one. I kept doing half prayers .... "Dear God, Please protect my ....... OH THAT'S RIGHT! YOUR'E AN ARSEHOLE! FUCK YOU, C*NT!!"

And I sulked to God, and refused to pray. For a while. We are back on speaking terms now, but my Faith has taken a battering.

Mr TC and I were in K-Mart on the Sunday, buying a car seat for the baby who was coming the next day. Because organised. My phone rang. It was my sister Tee .... she had arrived at our house, and wanted to know what she could do. She sounded really fucked up and didn't know what to do. I said .. "Ok, mate. Can you get the vacuum out ..." I heard her say "Yep. Sure."
I continued ... ".... and just start vacuuming, and vacuuming, and just vacuum the fuck out of the floor, for like, all day!!"

Cue maniacal, crazy, LOUD laughter. Me, nine months pregnant, in the middle of K-Mart, and her, standing in my house, at a loss, not knowing what to do to help. The first of the Thousand Laughs That Got Us Through.

Then Mr TCs phone rang .... it was his big official hospital, he had to go there immediately, to claim his bed. We rushed and rushed, not knowing if he would make it back out for the birth. We drove down together, all the nurses were waiting for us, knew who we were. Like celebrities, for a really bad reason. I imagined them, going home to their families that night, sharing stories over dinner about the poor couple who came in heavily pregnant, and the dad has cancer. Tsk tsk. What a story.

It IS a big story, isn't it? If I were reading it in a book, I would scoff, and think, well that's just STUPID. That wouldn't happen! Ha. What a way to find out how random the Universe can truly be. My mantra at the time was ..."It's not good, or bad. It just is."

It took four hours for him to get admitted. I curled up with him on his bed, and we both had a sleep. I broke the news to him that he was on a cancer ward. "What! What the fuck ... no I'm not, hon."

He was. Bald heads, vomiting, and skinny pale faces everywhere. He did NOT BELONG THERE. Then .. Mr TC was allowed one more night at home! Hurrah! I was so fucking grateful he could come to the birth. We drove home, to Tee and Rex, and tried to be normal. Rex brought Angel cards, and matching bracelets, and a heart full of love. I played card games with my Tiger, poor sweet guy. He has had his whole life turned around this year ... gone from being the only child to the middle child. The next morning, the sound of my two sisters laughing together upstairs, warmed me. They were SHRIEKING with laughter, at a comment that Stacie had left on my last post. They brought the computer down, to show me all the love and support you all here in blogland gave me .... I was, and still remain, blown away. By how much it helps ... to know somebody, out there, gives a shit.

Then I left home, and had a baby. And my sisters were Shining Beacons of Love and Strength, who laughed inappropriately and insanely with me, during the awful times. But I will have to write that next post, because this is way too long already. And if I don't shut my computer off right now, Mr TC will roll over and wake up and say "Fucks sake, hon. You STILL on that thing." And we're getting on so well lately I don't want to have a pseudo fight at midnight over my furtive blogging. XOXO

....... to be continued ...........

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

I Wouldn't Trade the Pain for What I've Learned

"Sometimes you think everything
is wrapped inside a diamond ring
Love just needs a witness
and a little forgiveness

And a halo of patience
and a less sporadic pace
and I'm learning to be brave in my beautiful mistakes.

Oh .. I've .. felt .. that .. fire .. and .. I've been burned

But I wouldn't trade the pain for what I've learned
I wouldn't trade the pain for what I've learned."

Pink - Crystal Ball

One night in late 1999 I kissed a boy. A ridiculous, half-pash, that left us both embarrassed. It's hard, to kiss sober.

We got together "officially" in February, 2000. Lived in the flat, to the shitbox house ... to here. The House the Daggy Builder Built.

Sometimes I miss the flat. I miss being a waitress, and being carefree, and having sex in the loungeroom, pretending to be shocked by his porn. (SO tame). I miss pissing off for the weekend just because we can. I miss me. Most of all, I miss my daggy builder man-friend .... the friend that chemo ate.

Three years ago tomorrow, I put on my silver shoes and pink Lisa Ho dress, and thought I would have a panic attack from anxiety. My sisters wore black ..... HOT. We walked up the main street, all laughing together. That's all my sisters and I ever do, now. Laugh together. We have a lifetime together, to make up for the rough start that was forced upon us as children. My sisters are the sisters my husband has never known ... loud, and brash, full of spirit. After this year, they have bonded for life. We can never repay them ... we can only pay it forward.

I walked in to my wedding ceremony, the strains of the song I chose floated through - "No need to run .... and hide. It's a wonderful, wonderful life."

I think I picked that song because for so, so long, I was living the furthest thing from a wonderful life you could imagine. Yet here I stood, triumphant in the face of my past. I expected a quiet crowd gathered .... it was more like a seething mass of humanity. I remember taking the vows, and being shocked at how solemn it all suddenly got. From that moment on, he fell utterly in love with being married - he said it changed everything.

We ate, had speeches. We took private lessons for our bridal waltz ... Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon." We would practice at home .... I would sulk like a petulant child and he declared that "if I can't do the fucking dance he wouldn't do the fucking wedding."

My God but how tempestuous we are! We fight big. But we love big too. 

Tomorrow it will be three years since we tied the knot. Since I ended up totally trying to lead him on the dancefloor during our bridal waltz, thus ruining the whole thing. But I made up for it. Mr TCs African drumming band played .... and I had taken my own secret lessons, to dance to an African wedding song. He had always pestered me to take up African dancing, to his drumming. "No fucking way! I don't dance to the beat of your drum!"

Apparently I did, and he was most impressed.

We had both never been married before. Our child, Tiger, was almost four. He danced until 12.30am, until someone told him he was "allowed" to go to sleep. To this day, we walk past the restaurant where we got hitched, and he calls it the "wedding." I can't correct him.

What a year this has been. Continues to be. Nobody could ever accuse us of being boring!

The anniversary card I bought is laid out on the table .... I know he has forgotten, so there won't be a card for me when I get up. But he will be here when I get up .... something I wasn't so sure would happen, just a short while ago.

Happy Anniversary, my Beigest Turdburger. I will always try to lead when we dance. I can't help it.

I'm so sorry for not being able to help him more, this year. But I wasn't waving, I was drowning. Every man for himself. Anyway, love always wins out in the end.


XOXOXOXXOXO

Saturday, 1 November 2008

The Space Between Spaces



I have taken almost every single photo of Monkey .... including the ones with me in it. My manhand easily presses the button, and I try to stage them so that it LOOKS like someone else has taken the photo. Mr TC has been too preoccupied - so if I didn't, we wouldn't have any.

At the exact moment I was taking this Halloween one yesterday .... Mr TC walks past, totally scoffing at how ridiculous I looked, trying to stage my own photo. Look into my eyes! See the total contempt I have!

I went to a school reunion - I NEVER go out. I felt renewed, knowing that I CAN go out if I want to. It was so nice to drive in the driveway, safe in my house, back to my boys.

It is November. There is no chemo this month NONE. Waves of relief are starting to wash over us both. Mr TC feels different. He is still really sick, but he had a spring in his step. He was so very lovely to me today, SO present and in the moment with us. Tiger and I were playing Memory Match for over an hour ... I'm making a conscious effort to do proper "things" with him, instead of just TV or Playstation games. Mr TC came and played with us for ages, laughing and competitive.

Tomorrow I shall smudge the house. I want to bring new energy to it, get rid of all the bad crap hanging up there in the corners. I can see-ee you, negative residual auras!

Right now, Mr TC, stepson, and stepsons friend are all sitting on the couch watching footy, literally having a fart-off. Monkey and Tiger are in bed. We just ate chicken soup, and organic chocolate. We all watched the new Indiana Jones DVD ..... the post title came from a line in it.

We are in the Space Between the Spaces. Mr TC will get a scan in a few weeks, to hopefully see that all the "yucky lumps" (as I told Tiger) .... are all gone.

"But mum, what if the yucky lumps aren't all gone?"
"Well my sweetie, we will deal with that if it happens."
He thought, and looked up at me. "I reckon they're all gone."
"Me too, mate."
_____

Tiger and Monkey's first Halloween together. Awwwwwww .... a baby sacrifice!






Tiger kept trying to scare Monkey. He was jumping around, saying Boo! every chance he got, disappointed that Monkey would only smile.

"He's not scared, sweetheart. He hasn't learnt to be scared yet."

It struck me ..... how we learn things in life, that down the track ..... are better off un-learnt. We learn fear, and anger, and hate.

Look at how besotted Monkey is with his big brother. When we all start out, there is only love.

XOX

Friday, 31 October 2008

Not Dead

This morning, I say my husband is "in chemo". When he gets home this afternoon, I will from then on say "My husband is recovering from almost six months of chemo."

I thought I would feel so elated today. So triumphant, air-punching, yeeeeeeees. But no.

Instead, I feel utterly spent. I'm so weighed down and drowning. Had the WORST day yesterday, involving writing quotes and invoices for Mr TC from morning till 11pm. Trying to mind Monkey. Cook dinner. Mr TC tells me how to WRITE, so we have the biggest, nastiest argument. In front of the baby. Nice.

Then, I apologise. Then, he goes out last night to play footy ..... he now plays footy, soccer, and goes out to a regular Monday dinner. Which means, he is not here Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Do you think that's fair? Because I don't. Especially when I'm trying to cook dinner every night, help Tiger with his homework, and put the baby to bed. (Baby screamed for three hours last night! Right on! Mr TC walked in, sweaty from his game, just as Monkey finally fell asleep. I was a jangly mess with a nervous tic ... Mr TC goes "Hey hon! What's for dinner? Mmmmmm, schnitzel!") After refraining from shoving schnitzel up his arse, I told him in NO uncertain terms that it was not fair he goes out so much.

Blah. Mr TCs comeback was that I was the one who wanted the baby in the first place, why should it interfere with his plans.

Today I (SHOCK!) have not organised dinner yet! The kitchen sink will stay exactly how he and stepson left it this morning! I keep telling them I am not their slave ... I am NOT nanna! But the house is my job, I do all the house things, I do writing things. I do a lot.

Today I feel awash with the years heartache. It's been so terribly hard. I danced to Pink on my iPod in front of Monkey and made him smile. Tonight I will take Tiger to his school Halloween disco. I'm planning my next tattoo.

Tonight, there is also a school reunion of sorts, near where I live. It's being held at a pub.

Apparently I fucked half the bar staff and most of the clientele there, so I probably won't go.

Although, given the mood I'm in, I'm likely to go and DARE someone to say something to me.

Heh.