Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The Getting of Cancer.

About three months ago, I turned to Mr TC in bed and said "I have this feeling that something really bad is going to happen." He told me to stop it, I always think that, blah blah ... and shrugged it off. But I still had this distinct feeling of impending doom ...

About two months ago, I looked at Mr TC and suddenly realised I had more strength than him. I didn't say anything, I thought it was because my body was preparing for birth so women must automatically get really strong. (Emotionally and spiritually strong too, not just physically) ...

Not long after that, one morning Mr TC was clutching his tummy. "Hon, what side is your appendix on?" I told him not that side, the other one. "Oh, cool. Maybe I just over-ate. I feel really bloated. " Cue weeks of his tummy pains getting worse. I started to worry - and worry. I knew it was bad. I was freaking out, Mr TC just thought it was a hernia. He got an ultrasound - they found nothing. He got an x-ray, full body check-up ... nothing.

On Mothers Day, I woke up to him limping around the table, setting it for the pancakes he was going to make, then he was going to go to the ER at hospital. I told him to just go there straight away, don't worry about the pancakes. He was gone a few hours. For MONTHS I had been looking forwad to that Mothers Day, because I knew I was going to be so pregnant. He came home, had antiobiotics for the bowel infection they thought he had.

The pain got worse and worse - he couldn't eat or sleep. I was beside myself with worry. I also remember saying to him, half-joking "Come on hon! I'm about to have a baby! I need you to be strong!" He finally got cranky at his doctor, said "I'm not making this pain up, you know!" So she sent him along to get a CT scan in his intestines, he had to drink some weird stuff first. He called me before he went in, I said "Well, I hope they don't find a black mass!!" He laughed - "Oh, hon. Of course you would think there is a black mass in there. It wouldn't be a gold coin, now would it!" (We are opposites - I am the glass half empty, while his always overfloweth).

By this stage, I had both of my sisters concerned too. Exactly one month ago today, I was on the phone to my sister Rex. I saw Mr TCs ute drive up "Oh, he's home!" She told me to ring her back later. I went downstairs, he's standing in the kitchen with a look on his face that I had never seen.

"So, they found something."

I knew it I knew it I knew it oh my God oh my God oh my God - I realised I must have the best poker face, because I was so calm, I didn't want him to see me upset. I braced myself.

My big tough tattooed husband sat down at the kitchen table and started to cry. "I've got an appointment at the cancer clinic."

At that point, a new, different version of myself took over my body. "Ok. Shit. So I'll come with you, I'll get Tiger picked up from school. What time is your appointment? Don't worry mate, we'll deal with this together. At least they finally found the fucking problem."

I rang Rex and told her it was bad news, we'd know more that afternoon. Tee rang me 2 seconds after."Good news travels fast!" She seemed a tad confused at my cheery demeanor. The REAL Topcat was in a tailspin so tight she couldn't breathe. The fake, composed Topcat made phonecalls, comforted hubbie, organised things, started making lists.

It's funny how slowly it dawned on us. I looked at the referral we were taking down. "Lymphoma!? Isn't that cancer?"

"Nah, hon. Lymphoma just means all your lymph nodes, doesn't it?"


We were surprised as the boom gate magically opened up at the cancer clinic. Mr TC suddenly lit up. "Free parking!!"

He was excited, I was horrified. I almost corrected him. "Free SYMPATHY parking. For the CANCER patients." But I didn't.

Sitting next to Mr TC as the doctor spoke of hospital and chemotherapy, I dug my fingernails so deeply into my leg, to stop myself from crying. It didn't work, the tears flowed and rolled freely down my cheeks. The doctor handed me the tissue box. "OF COURSE you have a box of tissues in here," I thought hatefully. "Because this is the room where you tell people THEY HAVE CANCER." Cheerily, I wiped away my tears. "Sorry! Just a little bit pregnant, I guess!"

The doctor said they had found a 6.7cm 'mass' at the front of Mr TCs stomach, which had been causing all of his pain. There was likely to be more in there. I asked him if it was malignant. He turned to me, and slowly spoke. "What do you mean by "malignant?"

It was then that I realised, that it was all malignant. I couldn't believe I had been right - they had, indeed, found a black mass. I apologised to Mr TC days later, for being right. He laughed, said what - did I put it in there? (Did I? Did my negative thoughts create this?)

Strangely, the first thing I did when we walked out of the doctors surgery, was to step up on some scales that were there, to weigh myself. Then Mr TC did, too. The doctor came out and saw us, mucking around, joking and laughing. Mr TC apologised, said we just wanted to know how much we weighed. The doctor looked at us with compassion, nodded, then walked off. We felt like a couple of bumbling teenage idiots.

Then we drove home in the darkness. I wondered, if I was given the choice - to either give my baby up or have a healthy husband .... what would I choose? I couldn't decide.

I don't know how this is going to play out. We are all hoping, wishing, and praying for a happy ending. I know when I think things like "You fucking idiot! How could you be growing tumours in your stomach, the same time I was growing a baby! That's just ridiculous! Who does that?!" ..... I know when I think things like that, I don't actually MEAN them. I love my husband more than any man I have ever, ever met. The only man I have never cheated on, the only man who made a home for himself in my heart. We are so good together. I simply adore the motherfucker. I have told him my worst, darkest secrets. (They are pretty bad). He just shrugs "Is that all you got?"

The timing of it all is just so incredible. I am still so, so cranky at God, Universe, whoever the fuck is in charge. I feel ripped off, it's not fair, poor me - and then realise that worse things could have happened. Mr TC didn't die in a car crash. We have a chance that he can get rid of this. (Don't we?) I worry about my dreams, they are out of control.

Trying so hard to enjoy the baby. I'm frantically looking for signs in everything. Then realise .... maybe Monkey is the biggest sign of all. To just hang on and have faith, that all will be well.



Geohde said...


I hope that all will be well too


Stacie said...

I pray that the ending will be happy, too. And I think you're right about Monkey--he is the biggest sign of all. Much love to you.


Wordgirl said...

You know, the first time I stumbled across your blog I was struck by the honesty here -- I remember thinking 'now this, this is one authentic woman'...not afraid to reveal the whole of her. And you amaze me with your willingness to stay open, to write it out, to process it and do so with the balance of humor and tenderness you do so well.

It's weird. I even said to G a month ago or so -- "TC just posted pictures of her husband and I really think you two would like one another" he just looked at me sideways as he thinks the blog thing is a bit much...they'd get along GREAT.

Monkey is faith and love combined, isn't he?

Thinking of you, and Mr.TC, Tiger, Monkey, and your sisters...



PaleMother said...

Hi TC. :)

Well, if I didn't know you were a writer before, this post would have been a giant clue. LOVE, love, love writers. :) You had me at "redhaired and vengeful," but this is a bonus. :) ;)

Someone said to me recently, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride." And I'd have a posse of sisters like you and we'd ride like the four horsemen, unstoppable, away from suffering.

I am not religious, but I am a sucker for a good quote. I get spiritual spam from and this morning, I got this one:

"Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all. For no one can anticipate the time of disaster. Like fish taken in a cruel net, and like birds caught in a snare, so mortals are snared at a time of calamity, when it suddenly falls upon them."

Ecclesiastes 9:11-18


Your honesty shows your strength; it's to your great credit. You are a fighter in the best sense.

Hug all of those boys and yourself for us.

Have you ever seen this site? It's not for everyone, but I've found it very helpful. They have a big selection of tapes for stress and trauma and well-being and also specific health challenges:

Thanks for your comment and your encouragment on my blog. And thanks for answering my question -- LOVED your answer. I'll reply over there.



Gemini Girl said...

Monkey is the sign. He is here now- for a reason. To gove you strength.

I pray for mr tc with all my heart. I think of you daily. If you need anything at all- Let me know. Even if it's just an ear.

Chas said...

Still in my thoughts and prayers!

dee said...

I think you said it best, dear girl, with "Monkey is the biggest sign of all..." (forget the maybe).

Yes, yes, yes: hang on and have faith, that all will be well. I can think of no truer sentiment...and I think that the chances are very good that Mr TC can get rid of this. With you, Monkey, and Tiger by his side, how could he not?!

Strength in numbers...strength in you.


nancy said...

I obviously don't know how this is going to play out either. But just you know that you have people all around this whole fucking world hoping and praying for you. (I'll do the hoping since I'm not the praying type). I even have a friend on that same continent as yourself who I can have come over and help if you ever find yourself needing it. She'd a great friend of mine, she'd help you out just as she'd help me out.

I wish I knew what more to say.

tobacco brunette said...

I can't tell you how often I think about you and your family and what you're going through. I check often for new posts, hoping for updates and (good!) news. You're a woman of unbelievable strength to be handling what you are right now and I know my stupid words can't make things better for you, but please know that I'm thinking of you and hoping for the best.

Monkey has incredible parents!

r.a.w. said...

My dear TC - so much to say and I just can't find words. I just feel like there is no possible way that Mr. TC would not be able to overcome it. He has triumphed over so much already and he has such a strong woman beside him. Not to mention the two really-really-ridiculously-good-looking boys he's got to look after. (my brothers always use that line from Zoolander - I like to steal it from them on special occasions).

So I will continue my prayers and wishes that all will be well. You are fabulous and plucky and your family is so blessed to have you.

Love to the whole TC clan.

vamplita said...

Thinking of you and yours, TC. Love and positive vibes to y'all!

Vee said...

I am so glad you recognise Monkey as a sign, I too believe so.

Stay strong, you are doing great!

Bee Cee said...

Just gotta have hope that all this will work out...I am hoping with all my might for you.

anna said...

Monkey is truly a sign and a source of strength and hope. I too am thinking of you and your lovely family daily if not multiple times a day and praying that all will turn out well.