Thursday, 31 July 2008

Twas the Night Before Chemo

Today, I had to drive down to the big shopping centre to get some blankets. I had Monkey with me, I was holding him, BUSTING to go to the toilet. So in I go, holding my handbag, shopping bags, and baby ..... simultaneously, three things happened:

1. I had to do, ummmm, more than a wee;
2. Monkey starts howling;
3. There is no toilet paper.

..... in that moment, I realised that shit like that happens to me all the time. I can be quite the Bumbling Bumbler from Bumbleland.

Thank God for his baby wipes, is all I can say.

I will most likely be offline for a while, it's chemo day tomorrow, which always send us all for a loop. My wonderful sis Rex is coming up to take Mr TC down for it, she will be staying a few days. My twin sisters alternate their visits to come and help out every three weeks ... they call it their "cancer holiday," as they get a break from their busy lives down in the city. Mr TC can't eat chocolate when he does chemo ...... is it wrong to have already realised this and looked forward to eating the rest of his American chocolate? (I'll try not to, Gemini, but I can't promise anything).

Tomorrow is Tigers sports carnival at school. I have been avoiding his school like the plague, every time I went there I kept getting swarmed and stampeded, everyone wanting to see the baby and ask how Mr TC is. I am OVER people asking me about it in public. If I'm feeling well enough to be out and about, then I don't want people to come running up to me to bombard me with their experiences of cancer; or their tears about Mr TC. Some people have really freaked Tiger out, so I have officially had enough.

Now when someone asks me, I just get this strange monotone voice and answer "Good" or "Fine" to all of their nosy fucking questions. My aura turns black and purple, and they end up slinking away, trailing their inappropriateness behind them.

I do not want peoples sympathy, or pity, or stories. Most people shit me on a good day, fucks sake. Not everyone is like this ..... some people are AMAZING. A few are mums from Tigers school .... I have told them I'm coming tomorrow, as Tiger is such a great runner and I can't miss it. I just hope I don't have a panic attack. Or tell someone where to go.

Pssst, Look Up Here!!!!

Check out this pic that Nancy sent me! She was driving at 80mph and took it with her phone. I don't know what that is in km .... hell, I don't even know how many kilos Monkey was when he was born. (8 pounds). I hate, loathe, detest, maths. That part of my brain just shuts down in protest.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Topcat 4 Gemini 4 Eva

I feel so guilty ... poor little Monkey. He didn't ask to be born into such an intense set of circumstances. I wonder how differently I would have parented him if all the bad shit didn't happen. Things would be so much easier.

I'm ok - I still have my Grace, it's here to stay. I just don't think I'm the most balanced mother at the moment. I'm always rushing around; there seems to be always something more important to do than simply holding Monkey, or reading a book to Tiger.

I've decided to become more Zen-like, and really be here in the moment. If I'm packing the dishwasher, just pack it. Making dinner, changing a nappy .... just be it, and stop rushing and hurrying and stressing out.

I have decided that the addict in me loves being severely sleep deprived. TOTALLY shuts my head up. Heh.


Ok, so, a box arrived today. From someone who's blog I started reading when she was in the 2ww ... her divinorama girls are nearly 9 months old, I think. We have become good friends, hooking up on Facebook as well.

Mr TC was here when it came, he's like, what! Maya sent an AMAZING box of goodies. Most of them for Tiger!! I picked him up from school, and said mate - get excited. He definitely did ....

Ben 10 Galore!!! He looooooves Ben 10 .... you can't get this stuff in Australia yet!!! We just couldn't believe it!

Gemini wrote the most beautiful note that made me cry. I can't believe that I know such wonderful women on the other side of the world. She sent a shitload of American chocolates (oh yeah baby, do it, uh huh ...) however, there was a catch."The chocolates are for Mr TC .... you can have some if he says you can.." What!!!!

I made the mistake of telling him this. (Maya knows that I frequently eat all the chocolate in the house, silently.) So, he puts it all in the pantry, and said that I couldn't have any yet!! Waaaah! I said not fair ... she's MY bloggy friend. I almost got pissed off .... but I just went out and bought my own stash of Cadburys, told Mr TC he had to ask me if he wants any.

Thank you, lovely Maya. You abso-fucken-lutely made my crappy day so much brighter. Thank you for the t-shirts, and for Monkeys wonderful Monkey onesie and Ralph Lauren pant suit> Totally awesome. I will meet you one day, you know it!!!

It's chemo day on Friday. Chemo is a necessary evil. Mr TC turns 42 tomorrow - no celebrations this year, he just can't see anyone at the moment, has disappeared so far in himself. He says that his spirit is absolutely gone, the only thing that breaks through and reaches it ..... is Monkeys smile.



I'm not joking. Kill me. The fuck. Now.

It's 6.30am .... I have been up for four hours already.

Why must Monkey be so unsettled in the night times ..... 3 to 4 hourly feeds I can deal with. But the old "get up and put the pacifier back in about ten times" game? Yeah, not so fun. But still manageable. Sometimes I try putting it back in with no light on, and stick it in his nose - or his eye. Missed it by that much as Maxwell Smart would say. Monkey doesn't think it's very funny.

But lately - he just won't settle back down after a bottle. I mean c'mon dude!! Mummy is borderline psychotic as it is!! Pleeee-aaaassssssseee go back to sleep.

A few hours ago, I just gave up trying to settle him and howled alongside next to him. Which I think scared him and made him cry more. Which woke Mr TC up and he came down from upstairs to see what was going on. Baby is almost 3 months old ..... number of times husband has got up in the night to help ....... ZERO.

"What's going on?" He innocently asks.

"Ummmm, he just won't settle." I answered, in my best husband-on-chemo-better-be-nice-to-him voice.

I don't care that he has cancer. For the love of GOD I need a decent sleep. Just one. With earrplugs.

The End

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Show and Tell ... Fasten Your Seatbelt

This is my Show and Tell for this week. For others standing at the head of the class, click here.

On Tuesday, the 13th May this year, I drove two hours down to Sydney to attend a freelance writers seminar. (I am a freelance writer). My baby was due in six sleeps time; the co-ordinator of the seminar was afraid I would go into labour any second. I LOVE being in Sydney, especially at night. Like New York, Sydney never sleeps, and is a welcome change to the slow life I live here on top of the mountain.

I was early, and ended up taking a whole heap of really cool photos, just for the hell of it. The course was held at the Sydn.ey Writ.ers Centre, which is right on Sydney Harbour. When most people think of Australia, they think of the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge ... and I knew I wouldn't get out much for a while, newborn and all, so I soaked up my last night of freedom.

My hubbie, Mr TC, had been getting very, very bad tummy pains for weeks by then - I nearly didn't go down, because I was so worried about him. But he reassured me, said that he was fine, and that we would find out tomorrow what the problem was.

Well, we definitely did find out what the problem was .... the infamous cancerous black mass of tumours in his intestines, finally reared their ugly existence the next day, Wednesday the 14th May. Our whole world has been turned upside down since that day .... I can't even describe or process it, because I'm still living it.

Suffice to say, the photos I took of Luna Park, on my carefree, frivolous night before That Day, took on a whole, new, sinister meaning to me. Like the Gateway into the Funpark of Terror, don't you think?

Thursday, 24 July 2008

What IS Chemo?

Mr TCs doctor told us that he will likely only need 8 rounds of chemo. Next week is his fourth bout, so he is almost halfway through it. The doctor also reckons that Mr TCs prognosis is "very good ... he possibly could go on to clear this."

"Forever?" I asked.


It's not a promise, but fuck it's relieving. I had SO MANY questions for the doctor, at one point I was just machine-gunning them to him, Mr TC turns to me with an "Are you fucking right!?" look. Heh heh. When Mr TC asked the doctor if he thought the tumours were shrivelling, because that's what it felt like, the doctor looked at Mr TC like he was a fuckwit, making Mr TC feel like a dickhead for asking. When we got up to leave, I noticed, with much satisfaction, that Monkeys bottle of formula had leaked all over the docs office floor. Suck a fart.

We walked past all of the other cancer people, many of them old, their eyes lighting up when they saw such a tiny baby. Mr TC was adamant he wanted to hold Monkey the whole time we were there, as if to say "Look! I might have been facing Death, but here, Here I have Life!!"

In the car on the way home, I counted up five more chemos, and saw that the date of the last chemo is the 24th October ...... my nine-year clean and sober birthday. It's a sign.

Later that night, I made a chocolate cake with sprinkles, and before I cut it I sang a full rendition of "Happy Almost Halfway Through Chemo to Yooouuuuuuu ........" Tiger sang it too, then thought for a moment. "Mum, what's chemo again?"

We all laughed and laughed, I ate three pieces in a row and felt so sick that not even a peppermint tea made it better. I didn't care.

Monday, 21 July 2008

I Will Never, No Not Ever, See a Placenta

I haven't googled Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma very often ..... it's just too fucking terrifying.

We have an appointment on Wednesday, to see Mr TCs doctor, Dr Taper. I call him Dr Taper Wormer. Heh heh. He has a mong eye and I don't know which one to look at. He has absolutely no personality, but is supposed to be one of the best oncologists around. This will be the first appointment we've had with him since we drove the horrible drive down there, exactly 10 weeks ago on Wednesday. This time, Monkey is on the outside, Mr TC is fully bald, and I will be on a mission to get some answers, Goddamit. Mr TC doesn't want answers. He has had no desire whatsoever to find out anything about his cancer ... in true macho fashion, he just wants to kill it as quickly as he can. I have finally learnt - that just because he isn't dealing with this the way I think he should, doesn't mean he's not dealing with it. I'd say that underneath all of his "100% going to clear this, hon" ..... is a shitload of fear. A truckload, in fact.

Mr TC has had 3 rounds of chemo, we had been told he needs 9 to 12 rounds. Chemotherapy is so fucking hideous ..... it shrinks and kills tumours, but makes me wonder what it's doing to the rest of his body. Last night, in a googling frenzy. I found out that Jacqui Onassis got diagnosed with Non Hodgkins some years ago, in a January ... and died in the May. (May 19, to be exact ... Monkeys birthday). There are four stages to Non Hodgkins, 4 being the worst. Hers was about a 2. Mr TCs is 3. Initially, Jacqui O had a very good prognosis, and continued working throughout her treatment. She didn't die from cancer ... she died from the fucking chemo. The other pearl of wisdom I learnt is that just over half of all people diagnosed with NHL are dead within 5 years.

Holy motherfucker. It was 1am, I couldn't stop googling ..... when I arrived on a site called "Chemotherapy Kills", which was all about how cancer is a big money-making industry for the drug companies, how 98% of chemo is useless ... I thought I'd better step away from the laptop and get the fuck to bed. Lucky I had a newborn to get up for all night. No wonder I feel somewhat crap today. *sigh*


Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was having a cuppa with Mr TC and his mate. Mr TC casually mentioned to his friend that he wanted to "Keep Monkeys placenta and bury it in the garden." Mr TC very nearly wore my mouthful of tea.

I spluttered. "Are you fucking serious? That's what I wanted to do with Tigers placenta and you said it was disgusting!!"

Of course, he denied it.

Actually, because Tiger was an emergency c-section, his placenta got whisked away, never to be seen by me. So I was actually quite looking forward to seeing Monkeys placenta, I grew it, dammit, and wanted to see what it looked like. Mr TC made sure to bring it home from hospital, and it's been in the freezer.

Last week, he got a call that the two apple trees he ordered were ready from the plant shop. He was finally feeling well enough to go pick them up, and bury Monkeys placenta. He came back, I told him to tell me when he was burying it coz I wanted to have a look.

I took the camera out there ..... and he'd already planted both trees, and buried the placenta! I said mate ..... I wanted to have a look! Now I will never know what a placenta looks like!!

"Ohhhh, sorry hon - do you want me to dig it up?"

He was serious.

He went on to tell me that actually, because he got two apple trees .... he chopped the frozen hunk of placenta in half, and buried half under each tree. "It just looked like a big frozen kidney, hon. You didn't miss much ... except for the bit of cord that was still attached."

I sighed, and just took a photo of him and Tiger next to an apple tree ... with half a placenta buried underneath it.

Saturday, 19 July 2008


This morning, we went for a walk around the lake. All of us ... the last time we have done this was around November, before I got so big. When I was pregnant, I would dream of the day when the baby would be here, and we could all be a family, how happy and complete it would feel.
I thought that once the baby was here, I would never ask for another thing again in my life. The hole will be filled, I will be content, whole and complete. Forever.

HA! I mean, of course I am amazed and so, so in love with Monkey. More and more every day, actually. It's a relief to see him get a little bit bigger and more robust. I'm getting the hang of his needs .... I know what to do to prevent his big crying jags. As Rex said .... it's a big shock, to be born. Especially having a planned c-section. He got a rude awakening, he got birthed before he told us he was ready to come out. He's so cute. He coos, and smiles. He saves his biggest smiles for mummy, I am incredibly blessed that he is a healthy, happy(ish) little baby. Sometimes, though, he has had to come second, or third in my priorities. It appears that cancer trumps newborn, every time - in fact, taking care of a tiny baby is PISS-EASY compared to wondering if your husbands tumours are going to shrink; is this just the beginning watching Mr TC fight a dreadful cancer battle that goes on and on and on. God I hope not.

Anyway ... it was a really nice walk. I had Monkey in the sling, Mr TC was walking the dog, Tiger was chatting away about the lego people in his pockets. Mr TC had a hard day today. I can't imagine what it must be like for him. Sometimes I don't want to - sometimes I just have to detach myself from him and the pain he is going through, aware that I have that luxury. He doesn't.

There has been a huge, powerful, sustainable shift in me ... and not of my own doing. I have completely surrendered to it all, and it's just so much easier now. I've let go, put down my fighting gloves, no longer in a rage at what has happened. Things seem clear and calm. It still sux dogs balls badly, but I'm not about to jump off a cliff.

Grace truly is a powerful gift.

It's winter here ..... I HATE WINTER. I'm counting down the days til spring. Today was very cold, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

Mr TC and Mischka .......

Mr TC and Tiger ....

I'm in love with carrying Monkey in the sling. The fancy $500 pram sits forlornly in the hallway, gathering dust. In this pic I have my ugly bushwalking boots on, and for the love of God ... LEGGINGS? What was I thinking! How could I not have put a skirt on over the top? I am standing next to the "vagina sculpture". (Not really, but that's what we call it) ...

I had the BEST view. Every time I looked down, in fact ....

Lovely tree, hey? Note my SIX YEAR OLD SON HALFWAY UP IT. I nearly shat my ugly leggings ....

Me and Monkey appear to have matching outfits on. Apparently, I love hoodies. And stripes. And striped hoodies ......

I took a photo as I was downloading all my pics this afternoon. My husband is asleep on the couch, because he is in the middle of chemo, because he has cancer. And he feels miserable, shitty, and sick. Today, I didn't freak out about it, or panic, or argue.

I can't believe he used to live in my belly ....

I am so blessed.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

The Strangest Thing Happened On My Way to a Nervous Breakdown Today ....

Last night I went to bed so distressed and defeated. I dreamt all night that Tiger and I were doing chemo as well. We knew we had to stick together, to make it through.

I woke up this morning, so renewed ... and different. It's hard to explain it without sounding like a complete nutjob. It feels like I have been given a reprieve. I believe I'm living in Grace.

I was brought up Catholic ... First Holy Communion, Confirmation, church every Sunday. Fucking hated it - it was so boring. God was powerful and strong, a man (obviously!) .... and a nasty, hateful, vengeful prick. I was terrified of Him. Then I went to confession - I would kneel in that little booth, nervous guts, and tell the priest my sins. Sometimes, it felt like he was waiting for more sins, after I told him all of mine. So, I started making them up. I started lying to the priest! Wasn't that a bigger sin than all of mine put together? The rest of my Sundays were spent in such anxiety, I would look at my mum and my sisters and envy their peace of mind, all the while my mind was screaming out You are going straight to hell! Liar!

Anyway fast-forward to when I started counselling for the first time in my life, because I was so, so depressed and fucked up. It was AWFUL. I was 21 years old! I only went to the counsellor twice, didn't bother going back. Because "He did nothing - all he did was write down my drinking and drugging history."

I bought books to find out who God was - Mormons, Scientology, the Bible. I went to my first rehab. I became a born-again Christian, until they staged an intervention and all laid hands on me and asked for the 'demon' to come out.

As I've grown and matured, so has my relationship with God.

The God I believe in isn't the judgemental God of my childhood anymore. The God I believe in sent very fucking powerful Angels - from this world and another - to watch out for me as I went through what I did. God gave me love through my precious Nan, oh she loved me! She didn't look straight through me, she saw me, hugged me, told me I was worth something.

My God is a God of coincidence and strange happenings. Gives me magic and miracles. My God got me knocked up at five months clean, knowing what a good mother I would be. If I pray for patience, my God sends me a traffic jam. My God wants me to always keep growing and learning. Not to give up.

God is Buddha is Jesus is Muhammad is Love is Compassion is Truth is Spirit is Sacred. The big sky and a grain of sand.

Months before Mr TCs diagnosis, I was aware of a big darkness. I thought it was because I hadn't spent much time on my spiritual self, and kept thinking I needed to connect with God again. Later I realised I was sensing the shadows of my husbands black tumours. Cancer must be the opposite to God.

The birds and butterflys before my embryo transfer; the amazing relationship with my sisters; spine-tingly moments when someone has shared something powerful in a meeting; the way Monkey looks at me (me - the crankiest mummy in town, for fucks sake. And he still loves me!); lead singer of the best band in the world kneeling down in front of me - in front of sixty thousand people - and holding my hand. Bono held my hand. No other cunts.

God God God God God.

God is listening to Coldplays latest album on my iPod. Especially the title track, Viva La Vida. To me, it's all about Mr TC, how he now sweeps the streets he used to own.

Today I feel Grace has been given to me. Without a doubt, I could not get through this next period of my life on my own. I can't do it by myself ... and now I'm not. I feel Peace and Calm and Strong. I could not have recovered from drugs and alcohol without a spiritual awakening .... there's no way I can get through Mr TCs cancer AND a newborn AND mothering Tiger AND being in recovery. I mean who the fuck could? Not even Angelina Jolie and her truckload of hired help could handle this shit, I'm sure. (Ooh, what I wouldn't give for a nanny right now!)

Today I watched Tiger jumping on the trampoline, my heart soaring every time he showed me his next move. He always begs me to watch him jumping. I watched him living in that moment, he was literally jumping for joy ... so free - from worries, and pain, and panic. Just jumping. Tonight we made cups of tea and sat in his room on beanbags and watched Dumb and Dumber, laughing together at the most annoying sound in the world. I just changed Monkeys nappy .... he was looking at me with SUCH adoration. I said "Yes, don't worry. Mummy will watch Jim Carrey movies with you when you get older."

My heart is lighter, like I have a river in there. I feel so blessed, and stronger, and capable. I also know that this feeling is real, and will last.

Thank motherfucking God for that.

(God knows I swear and is ok with it.)

"What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things."

- u2

Monday, 14 July 2008


To dearest Monkey,

You will never read this blog, but I'm going to write you a letter here anyway. You are SPECTACULAR. Once upon a time you were sitting in a little dish along with eight others just like you, and the doctor came down with his little tweezer-like thingies and plucked you out. I imagine you sitting there, waving a teeny embryonic hand in the air. "Pick me! Ohhh, pick me!"

And he did. And you are SPECTACULAR.

I hugged you last night - really, really hugged you closely, drank you in and was filled with the Love ... the Love that I should have felt when you first came out. Let's face it my Little Sunshine - the first two months of your life have not been an easy time for anyone in the Topcat family. I hope that starts shifting soon.

Two months!! Exactly two months ago today, I was running around the house packing my hospital bag, big-bellied and frantic, my heart breaking every time I looked at your daddy.

Your daddy has been very sick. Everybody is hoping and praying and wishing him to become well again. The doctors are making him even sicker, so that he will come back better and stronger and able to move all the mountains he usually does. Your daddy is the strongest person in the world. You haven't seen that yet, but you will. You have more hair than him! He always comes up to you and blows a raspberry on your face. He has given you bottles, baths, and hugs. He adores you so much, and secretly confided in me how having you is making him fight harder.

You are my little cutie, with your button nose and delicate little face. You have started smiling and cooing, making mummies heart melt with gratitude and love. We got your feeding issues sorted out, and now you are much happier. (Sorry about that).

Sorry also about:

1. Being so preoccupied most of the time
2. Blaming my big fart on you last week
3. Constantly answering questions about how daddy is. It must be all you ever hear about - I will put a stop to that, I promise.

I will make mistakes, my sweet. That is my job! I will fuck up as a parent, hurt your feelings, be cranky, do things wrong, laugh at misfortunes. Ask your big brother Tiger ... the other day he built the best Lego ship ever, but it got tangled in mummies scarf and came crashing to the ground. Mummy has a dreadful, uncontrollable habit of laughing at other peoples misfortunes. She spent the rest of the day apologising to Tiger, even bought him some new Star Wars Lego out of guilt. (Parental guilt is GREAT for kids - you'll see).

You have the best big brother in the world. He is itching for you to grow a little bit bigger so he can play with you more. He loved you straight away.

I saw you when you were four cells old. Four cells. I wonder which cells I saw? A cell in one of your beautiful dimples? A cell in the fold of skin under your cute little bum? Or one from a strand of the most gorgeous hair ever? Most definitely I saw one from the depths of your iris, because when I look into your eyes, my precious boy, I feel like I have known you from the beginning. My heart gets pulled and my tummy seems giddy and I miss a breath.

I love you.

You came from the Other World. You brought precious gifts of love and healing. Thank you.

All my love forever,


Thursday, 10 July 2008

T-shirts, Strangers and Dancing

When I was a kid, a friend of my parents gave me a green t-shirt, with white writing on it. It read: "I never get lost because everybody always tells me where to go."

It was pretty cruel. I didn't know what it meant at the time ... but I liked wearing it, because it always made people laugh. Someone asked me once ... "What do you think that shirt means?"

Blushing bright red, I said that I thought it meant that I could ask for directions. Cue fits of laughter from all of the adults in the room.

Years later, I suddenly remembered that shirt and realised what it meant. I was furious.

Now, my lovely little seven-week old Monkey has been quite unsettled for a while now, his long jags of crying have led mummy to have several mini-meltdowns.

Perhaps it was a bit mean of me to dress him in this shirt?


It reads "Sookie Sookie La La." *********** EDITED TO ADD .... In Australia, 'sook' means to be a crybaby. To my credit, I didn't take a photo of him actually crying in it. Actually, he has hardly cried much at all lately. Poor little guyo - first mummies boobs stopped working, then he gets a formula so rich he couldn't poo. Now, with a soy formula, it's all happy days. Thank the LORD IN HEAVEN ABOVE.


He still has SUCH a hard suck. I found this bib ...


He gulps so much air when he's downing his bot-bot (in 2 seconds flat ... that's my boy!) that when I lift him up to burp him, I have started getting a little scared. He burps like Barney from the Simpsons - so loud, and strong. The room gets filled with formula fumes. It's freaking hilarious.


In other news .... Mr TCs third bout of chemo is tomorrow. Tee is here and will take him. Mr TC and I have been incredibly strained with each other lately. It's awful. We are like strangers. I can't even look at him much. There's so many unsaid things there, he hurt me a lot when he lashed out last week. I'm still angry .... and I MUCH prefer to feel anger than pain. The pain of watching him go through this is relentless - I can't imagine what it's like for him. He won't tell me - won't tell anyone. I don't think we've ever been this distant before. My bald husband is having chemotherapy and what do I want to do? Go dancing. I've organised with a friend to go out on Saturday night. I never, EVER go out. I just need to be a bit free, let loose, shake all the cobwebs out. And then I will resume my regular caretaking.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Two Wolves

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.
"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, worry, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Monday, 7 July 2008

Shopping as Therapy

This wasn't how it was supposed to be, Universe! Things are sometimes so terrible they are simply hilarious. Reminds me of the time just after my dads suicide, when I was all dorky and 16. My sisters and I bonded suddenly and very closely after that, trapped in a hell only mania could relieve us from. We would laugh hysterically at everything .... the car rolling backwards down the driveway, nearly crashing into the house .... the psycho cat who would wait and pounce, scratching the shit out of us when we would least expect it .... other peoples misfortunes. All terribly hilarious. I remember that sometimes I would be laughing so hard because something was so very funny, and then I would be inexplicably crying and would have to leave the room. I'd end up sobbing in my bedroom, low, awful crying, realising that actually, nothing was funny, everything was just really, really fucked and terrible .... even though our family was one of the most dysfunctional on the planet, it had just been blown apart by death, and that was deeply sad. My brother was never the same. Ever ever ever.

I'm slowly but surely coming to terms with the fact that tumours have been growing in my husbands stomach and chest. Seven weeks ago today, Monkey was born. I still remember the exact moment when he was pulled from my tummy .... new life, the baby I had dreamt of for years ... and yet, how bittersweet. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

That means that eight weeks ago this Wednesday, we found out Mr TC was much sicker than we could have dreamt. It feels like he has been gone since that day. I miss him. He is not the same, and I wonder if he ever will be. I know I won't.

We had a great weekend. My sister Rex and her husband were UNREAL, cooking curries and minding Tiger and helping me with Monkey. They have two of the most amazing children, it was a pleasure to be there. Rex and I scooted down to the big massive shopping centre, I haven't been shopping since I was pregnant. We walked in the doors, and I opened my arms out. "Ahhhhhhhh, I'm home." Rex is a great shopping buddy, just cruising, browsing, getting coffee when we wanted. Shopping for some new bottles for Monkey, a U2 song came on. "Little sister/Don't you worry 'bout a thing today/I know that everything is not ok .." I used to hate being a little sister. Now it's one of my biggest blessings.

I found a photo the other day of me graduating rehab, surrounded by my peers. I showed Mr TC, pointing at people and giving him a commentary. "Dead, using, using, jail, relapsed, dead, dead, jail ..... ooooh, there's me! I made it! Shit! Why did I make it?"

He just shrugged. "Someone had to." Addiction runs on both sides ... he made it too. Now he just has to make i through this. He HAS TO.

So, again - the longest post, with not much description of what Monkey is up to. The condensed version ..... sleeping, waking, crying, feeding, pooping. General baby activities. Keeping mummy on her toes ... keeping mummy distracted and busy, which is probably a blessing.

Here are some pics of our Sydney sojourn. I bought Monkey his first hoodie - I LOVE hoodies ...

Rex and her hubbie took their new boat out on a maiden voyage. Tiger loved it ...

The beautiful Rex, with Tiger, and the back of her cute little guyo (he's 3, loves the Muppets, and tells Rex to "Call me 'Psgetti, mum." ...

Rexs daughter, who is nearly 5 - and will be a famous artist. She is AMAZING. SO vague and floaty, just like her Auntie Topcat ....

That's it. I wasn't on the boat - I was back at their house, googling random crap, blog surfing, just goofing off. Utter bliss. They walked in the door 2 hours later, Rex was like, "Haven't you even had a shower!?" I was SO busted.

Friday, 4 July 2008


Well, it has happened. An absolute NUCLEAR WARFARE situation erupted in the Topcat household last night, involving a screaming match between a bald guy and his equally angry, vengeful wife.

It was messy.

Slowly but surely, I have felt irritation at Mr TCs seeming inability to accept his diagnosis. He laughs and jokes with people about it. He refuses to talk to me about how he is really feeling, won't come with me to see the healer my sisters rave about, basically it's the old head-in-the-sand situation. Yesterday, Monkey had cried ALL DAY. Since 2.30am I had been awake. Monkeys cry sounds like a strangled cat .... and it's DEAFENING. So by 7am I was a jittery mess, Mr TC comes downstairs and says "Oh, wow. I had the BEST sleep last night."

Seriously, that was fine and I was so ok with it. I want him to sleep, that's why he's in the spare room. But by the time 10am rolled around, I was a bit beside myself and kind of went numb. Fuck newborns are hard work ... some moreso than others. Poor little Monkey had the worst constipation, it must have really hurt him. (I switched to a soy formula yesterday, and he already seems different HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE LORD). I miss his breastfeeding poo. Breastfeeding poo is watery and easy, doesn't stink and comes every hour, on the hour. Formula poo is hard, stinky, and comes once a day. I felt bad for not breastfeeding, the Catholic in me ALWAYS looks for ways to make sure everything is my fault.

At 10.30am, like a beacon of hope shining in my otherwise dark world, the troops arrived. A carload of six women from my favourite meeting, to come in for a cuppa and cake and hold a meeting here. I had Monkey in the sling the whole time. I needed that meeting SO. BADLY. I cried with sheer relief when it started, and was quite amazed when everyone started sharing. Why? Because other people are having struggles of their own!! Who knew!! I shared, my mind still trapped back in the horror of being in hospital with a new baby, thinking Mr TC would never come home again. (I think I need to keep purging all of that fear and trauma until it's gone.)

They all left, I had a physical reaction to that meeting, like a weight had been lifted and I could breathe for a bit. I even picked Tiger up from school, went and got DVDs and onesies for Monkey. I felt NORMAL.

In a nutshell ... Mr TC and I had a fight and he told me that I had caused his cancer.

Lovely. At that, I morphed into a venomous, vitriolic steamtrain, tearing apart his entire being, using every ounce to rip his stupid, motherfucking argument to shreds. All he cared about when he got home that day was not how was I feeling after no sleep, was the meeting helpful ... no no. He just wanted to know what everyone thought of his fucking house.

There was more - much more, but I'm too tired to write anymore. I'm going to my sisters Rexs house tomorrow and I can't WAIT.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Forty Bucks Postage

Things are wonderful here .... Monkey sleeps through the night all the time ... I am peaceful and content and able to do yoga daily ... Mr TC is in complete remission ....


AS IF!!!!!!!

Things are their usual crappy self - except my laptop has now died.

I know things could be worse. I know I'm lucky that I'm not living in Darfur .... but Goddamit I'm still finding hard to cop everything that has happened. I'm still so angry that my birth experience with Monkey was so dreadful. Angry that I have to watch someone I love go through chemo. Chemo is disgusting - it leaves Mr TC an absolutely shattered man, crushed and broken. Last week Tiger came into my bed from a nightmare, then Monkey woke up for a feed. As I was feeding him, I could hear a feeble "Hon!" from upstairs, so I went up still feeding Monkey and Mr TC was on the toilet, really really sick and I couldn't help him because I was feeding the baby. I just sat on the floor in front of the bathroom, saying "I love you so much hon." He finally made his own way back to bed. All I wanted to do was climb in beside him and hug all the sick away, but I had to go back downstairs and look after the boys. (Plural! I have two?! When did that happen?!)

I went to a meeting last week - the first one I've been to in 2 months. It was a DOOZY. Never have I shared so frankly. I made most people cry, spoke angrily about what had happened and how much pain I was in blah blah. It seriously helped me a lot, offloading and sharing my crap. A big thing is "Acceptance is the key." I truly believe that, but I'm not there yet. I'm still pissed off, and processing, still BLEEDING from GIVING BIRTH for fucks sake. I need to let myself feel my rage, and unfairness, and then work on accepting the situation. Otherwise I will end up bitter and twisted and even more fucked up, and lets face it, I'm pretty fucked up. I mean, I'm not, but I am. Blah blah I'm not even making any sense.

Ok, I mentioned recently that the lovely r.a.w. crocheted and posted me a wonderful yellow wrap for Monkey. Here he is wrapped up in the bloggy love - I took this photo earlier and the flash WOKE HIM UP, he cried for, oh an HOUR. (What a deadshit I am.) ......

Now, the next few pics. Stacie from Here Storkey Storkey .... are you freaking serious? On one of the WORST days post-chemo last week, a massive box arrived in the post. Addressed from America. From Stacie, and, and her two gorgeous boys Sha.wn and Jas.on.

Mr TC was home, and helped me open it. He's like, "Why would a stranger send us a box of presents? FORTY BUCKS POSTAGE IS SHE RICH?" I said she most definitely wasn't a stranger, and no I don't think she's rich I just think she's a beautiful caring person. Stacie posted a mountain of clothes for Monkey - even some t-shirts with a monkey on them! Rattles, onesies, cool outfits, a jokebook for Mr TC when he's in hospital! He couldn't believe it! An actual Monkey toy for Monkey AND Tiger, Tigers had a badge on his saying "Big Brother", which he wore to school!!

I can't believe the thoughtfulness.

We were just blown away. I had to explain to Mr TC how you meet other bloggers and form friendships with them, about how Stacies family had been through their OWN trauma recently. I told him that my own blog has kind of turned into being all about him, and how much people from all around the globe have sent their prayers and love to him. He said ...."Hon, what the fucks a blog?" I explained it to him. He wanted to know how much they cost, and how do I email people at the exact same time. I gave up.

Thank you, Stacie. So very much. You have helped restore my faith in humans. I super-duper puffy heart you and you always have a place to stay if you're ever in Australia.

Here are some more pics ....

My most beautiful Tiger - we are so, so close, more than ever ...

And take a look at this little beauty! THE DIMPLES! He was six weeks old yesterday ...

My guys watching cartoons ...

The contents of the big magic American box of goodies ..... (FORTY BUCKS!)

Tiger and the monkies .... he wore his "Big Brother" badge to school! ...

My stagnant, depressive state forbids me to do much blog-surfing, I'm sorry. I can't wait for my laptop to be fixed, and I shall be posting and commenting gaily, I promise.

One last pic. We have a veggie garden, which is pretty cool. We grow tomatoes, corn, herbs, lemons, zucchinis ... whatever we can. We've let it all turn to shit lately, because cancer does that to you, you know. The other day Mr TC comes running in - well, of course not RUNNING, more like hobbling ... "Hon! Hon! Look at the brussel sprouts!"

I raced in, to see him holding two of the most ridiculously tiny brussel sprouts you will ever see in your life .....