Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Aint Nothing Like the Truth

Ok, so Mr TC is flying to Queensland tomorrow to watch his son play soccer. Stepson is an amazing player, and is in the trials to possibly get picked for Australias Under 17's. He will be flying back to his mum and sister. I'm too tired and overwhelmed to go, and truthfully - I need a break from Mr TC. Cancer is a full-time job, and it's killing me. (HA).

I've spent all afternoon adjusting, scanning, and collating a shitload of photographs, spanning the last eight years. I've made an album for stepson, and an album for stepdaughter. (I'm REALLY going to have to think of some better names.) I'm an avid photo taker - there are so many happy, smiling, amazing memories. They are very alike, Mr TC and his daughter. The same looks, same laid-back attitude, same quirkiness.

Finally, after a hectic afternoon of photos, writing quotes for Mr TC, minding Monkey .... I bolted up the street at 4.30pm to get all the pics printed. Only to be turned away again, and again. Three photo places I went to, all said they couldn't do it because they are closing soon.

I had one more to go to, ran up the hill panting with Monkey in the sling, and Tiger running after me, starting to get worried himself the poor sweetheart.

"Mum ... ummmmm, what are you going to do if they say no too?"
"Well my love, I might cry. But hopefully they will print them."

I went in and asked the lady, she said sorry, but she didn't think they had time. Tiger was browsing off in the store, so I leaned over to her and spoke quietly.

"Look, this is so important to me, and I would really appreciate it if you could do this. My husband has cancer. He's flying out to Queensland to see his son play soccer tomorrow, between his chemo treatments. I've spent the day copying all of these pics to get them printed off, to remind both of my stepkids what an amazing father they have. I need my stepdaughter to know that she has a place in our family and her dad will get better and hopefully be able to see her soon."

Without a word, she patted my back, closed her shop and printed every last one. They look magnificent.


And as for the APB follow-up? Oh my God. Oh my GOD. I am printing all of the comments out now .... EIGHT pages worth. Just - unbelievable. I'm going to give them to him in an envelope to take with him tomorrow, with instructions to read them when he is in his motel room alone. He will just be so blown away. Blown, I tell you.
It may take me a few days, but I'm going to thank all of you personally. He won't know what hit him - POW, an avalanche of love, and support, and humour and sageness. How much do women rock? You all ROCK the whole FUCKING HOUSE DOWN. Goddamit I want to have a fuck-off cancer party, and invite every single one of you. I'm going to pay this forward so much .... thank you doesn't even cut it. BUT THANK YOU!!!! xoxoxoxoxxoxooxo

Monday, 29 September 2008

Putting Out an APB

"... you gotta cry without weeping,
Talk without speaking ..
Scream without raising your voice.
You know I took the poison,
From the poison stream and I floated
.. outta here.""

- Running to Stand Still, U2

So fucking melancholy and weepy lately. I keep turning around, because it feels like someone is behind me. I'm either being haunted - by one of my dads, or my nan ... or it's the long-lost monkey on my back come to say hello. Incessant dreams. I've stepped up my meetings, and will most likely even reach out *gasp!* to an older woman in recovery I know, see if she can help me do some step work. I need to shift some of this bullshit - take some rocks out of my backpack. My whole neck and upper back has seized, most likely from carrying the whole weight of the world on my shoulders. A good friend of mine busted this week, which has really shaken me up. Both her and her husband had almost nine years clean time up - I can't believe it. They have four children, and I just know that it's going to end badly. So sad - but makes me realise I am not immune. And fuck knows, the past 4+ months have reminded me of why I used to use drugs .... takes away all the pain. (Also takes away everything else, too ... unfortunately).

My shining light this week has been finding a new version of "Running to Stand Still" on iTunes. It is my favourite U2 song of all time - big call, I know. Bono wrote it about a girl he knew in Dublin who was a heroin addict. I want it played at my funeral. Specifically, in the middle of my funeral, after the eulogy. Very, very loud. In its entirety. Does anyone else plan the songs of their funeral, or am I the only freak?

Today I did a load of washing, but had no desire to hang it out, so it's still in the washing machine. Lethargic, useless, stranded, and a bit fucked up.

Blah blah fucking fucking cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer chemo chemo chemo chemo.

Some photos might save this post ......

It's Mr TCs new favourite thing, to carry Monkey around the lake in his sling. See that hat he's got on? It's MINE. But, he loses his hair, and asked if he could "borrow" it. I mean really, all with the excuses to wear my headwear. We got another one - so now we both wear matching hats. Which is very Keith and Nicole of us, I know. But hey - she copied off me, by having a baby with red hair.

Oh, and as for Monkey? Yeah, nothing much to report, except he's ON SOLIDS. Yes. yes he is. He is SUCH big baby, I'm getting him weighed tomorrow. I have been putting it off. Why?
Because the FUCKING midwife always asks "HOW'S MR TC????" In front of a room full of people. So, I have no idea what my baby weighs. None. Anyone got a good comeback for the midwife? I'm so tired of dumb people. Someone asked me about Mr TC yesterday .... I very nearly told them he was dead. Just to fuck with their puny, miniscule brains. (I wonder if my bitterness will go away, after the Fiasco fades??) Ahem - anyway, look, a cute baby eating ...

He has eaten pumpkin, rice cereal, lentils, and vegetables. The very first thing he tried was mashed banana - very fitting, considering his blog nick-name. He LOVES his food. It's such a relief, I was so pissed off that he was only getting his food from a can. (Formula). Tiger keeps wanting to eat it too ..

My most beautiful, amazing peeps. My bloggies. You myriad of wonderful, amazing women, from all over the world. I need you! I have a favour to ask you - all of you.
Mr TC has really, really had enough. Not seeing his daughter recently has been the final straw - he is so depressed, and downhearted. Every morning he wakes up defeated, talks of leaving, moving, selling, fucking off to anywhere but here. The chemo has almost crushed him. It won't, but in his words he's really "Doin' it tough, hon."

I'm doing everything I can. It doesn't feel like enough.

I was wondering if you could leave him a comment? A message of love and hope, directly to him? I will print them off and give them to him to read ... I know he will appreciate it. He'll probably get all big-headed and annoying, but I'm willing to cop that. He needs a bit of a lift, and my back is so sore from holding us both up lately.
(Oh, one more thing ... this week, I shall devote a whole post to Sarah Palin. Oh yes. yes I will.)

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Maybe I Am Beige Now Too

Had a hard few days. I'm putting WAY too much pressure on myself lately, to work from home and mind Monkey. It's getting harder, too, as he gets older. I end up getting nothing done. I half mind the baby, half work, and half go crazy. I'm swimming through mud.

Mr TC and I take it in turns to get all morose. It's been his turn this week, my God he looks so pale and awful, depressed and fed up.

Buoyed from the fucking incredibly insightful comments on my last post, I rang Sandi (that silly masseuse!) to tell her that I won't be using the voucher, maybe she could offer my friends their money back. She was quite cold, I was quite weepy from calling my favourite auntie to tell her she can't come up and visit me tomorrow. (I blamed Mr TC, but the reality is I just don't want to see anyone. Ummm, anxious, much?) Anyway, I told Sandi exactly why I got so upset. She denied it, which made me turn into a kid again and doubt my whole reality. It was weird ... having this nitpicking conversation with a massage therapist about the state of my husbands tumours. I mean, seriously. I softened my tone, and brought it back to my reality on a daily basis of people putting in their two-cents worth. I just wish she could have owned her stuff, instead of flitting around. She said I "misunderstood" what she was saying .... she also said she hardly slept all weekend because she felt so bad. I believed that bit, for she is a mainly nice person. Just fucking dumb. She kept telling me what the internet told her ... finally I said "Sandi! Do you think you are telling me things I don't know?? This is our life! We have been living this every day for five months!"

She shut up. And offered me a limitless supply of massages, which I shall never redeem. Because she's a liar liar pants on fire sitting on the telegraph wire.


Recently, I received an email out of the blue, from someone I had never heard of. She said her name was Kate, and that she had been reading my blog for a while. She told me all the wonderful stuff, (how cool I am, naughty cancer, I rock, etc) ... and asked for my address, because she lived near the HERSHEY FACTORY in AMERICA ... and had a crazy idea that some chocolate might make me feel better. Now. My dilemma ..... on one hand, she could be some 47 year old, obese, psychopathic guy living in Sydney with a penchant for redheads, OR, she could be the real deal. My brain was chanting "HERSHEYS. HERSHEYS. HERSHEYS."

She. Sent. Emergency. Supplies. OMFG.

And, when I wear my "Go Away" t-shirt so much it needs a wash .... (and I SO will. I have B.O. issues - ask my sisters. It's like, I have man glands or something. I actually have to throw t-shirts away after a while, because they just stink so bad. Or, I have to soak them in disinfectant. Good grief, is NOTHING sacred with me? No?) ...

I can swap it for this one ...

Thank you, oh Kate from It Is Tuesday, Right? For the hats and the Monkey rattle too. Totally was a bright ray of sunshine, in our otherwise fucked week. I have been on the recieving end of quite a few goodies in the mail, I am so lucky and blessed. You American chicks are so freaking generous. I think I'm an American at heart, I have always felt like I could live in Tucson. I don't even know where the fuck that is!

The hilarious thing? Mr TC thinks all the parcels recently have been from the same person. I pressed him on it.

Me: "Who? Who do you think the parcels are from?"
Mr TC: "Ohh, you know hon. That woman from your email support group."
He does not understand the concept of blogging. That's ok.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

"Wake Me Up, When September Ends."

This is the story of how, last Friday at approximately 5.10pm, I tore somebody a new arsehole.


I live in a small community. Five days before my baby was born, my husband gets diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. I KNOW that is big news. I KNOW it stopped people in their tracks. I'm only just now starting to come to terms with it all myself. The trauma was fucking despicable. For those last pregnant five days, I felt OBSCENE. I wanted to hide. The news of Mr TC was starting to trickle out, and people would eye my big bulging belly, with the most horrible look on their faces. It felt like pity .... I HATE being pitied. I am nobodys victim. From the beginning, I have fielded all the questions that people would never ask Mr TC to his face. He can't believe how accosted I can get just out buying a carton of milk. It started to piss me off immediately, and I would put on a bright smile and say he was doing ok. The most annoying question, which I got a LOT, and still do ..... "Is he going to be ok?"

Ummm, let me just consult the magic crystal ball I have handy in my pocket. Let's see ...... oh, would you look at that. No. No he's NOT going to be ok. Thanks for asking!

I feel like I am already pitied in my life anyway. At parties, especially big family functions ... the fact that I don't drink is so incredulous to some people. People cock their heads to one side, and say .."Ummmmmm .... lemonade?" One of my aunties actually turned to my sister, during the bridal waltz at my wedding, and said. "Oh, so she can never drink again?" Like it was some sorrowful thing. Fuck - I am more free than most people I know. I have a peace in my life that that particular auntie can only dream of.

Anyway, so the Topcat family got dealt a most serious and heavy blow, back in May. Some people were respectful, gave me space, and didn't grill me like a fucking cheese sandwich. I had to go to a concert at Tigers school, when Monkey was 12 days old. I had him in the sling, my c-section scar was killing me, but I had to go. Because Tiger needed at least one fucking parent functioning. One husband there ended up chasing me out of the school after the concert, so insistent. How's Mr TC? What kind of cancer? Will he be ok? I told him I had to go. I am so rude to him now, whenever I see him. SO rude. How would he like, if HE was sick and some fuckwit chased his wife out of school?

That's what a lot of people seem to be missing ... empathy. And tact. And appropriateness. One woman I know saw me driving around the car park, and motioned for me to wind down my window. I did. She's like, "OH MY GOOOOOD I HEARD ABOUT MR TC! IS HE GOING TO BE OOOOOKKKKKK????" I had Tiger in the car with me. Do people think that he has no ears? How does he feel, when the clueless masses have their inappropriate outpourings in front of him? I asked him.

"Oh, I don't care mum. I know dad's going to be ok. They are just silly."

I have been open with Tiger from the start. Daddy has yucky lumps in his tummy, and needs yucky chemo to kill all the lumps. He asked me where the lumps came from, I said I didn't know. Then we were watching a show about a little girl with cancer (because cancer is EVERYWHERE, you know) ... and Tiger said: "Cancer. Is that what dad has?" And I said yes, in a very calm way. But inside, I was like "HOLY FUCK YOUR DAD HAS CANCER OH MY GOD THAT IS SO FREAKY."

It feels like people want to know "the latest gossip" when they ask me. In such a matter-of-fact way. They don't stop to think that just MAYBE, maybe just getting out of bed has been hard, let alone walking down the street with a small baby, fielding questions from idiots. I pretend I am on my phone a lot, once it actually rang when I was pretending, nearly burst my fucking ear drum.

Once I was in the grocery shop with Tiger and Monkey, I said hello to a woman that I vaguely know. She nodded back, and then, five minutes later, came RUNNING up to me. "Oh, it's YOU! I heard about Mr TC! Is he going to be ok?" I stood there, gobsmacked by her fucking rudeness, looked at Tiger, and said "Well, of course daddy is going to be ok, isn't he?" Then looked pointedly at her. She still didn't get it, and was asking me more questions. People have their own pre-conceived ideas about cancer, and base a lot of their reactions on their own experiences. I can totally understand it freaks people out ... but, I'm always left standing there, trying to convince them to be positive, that we really think there is every chance Mr TC will beat this. The look in their eyes tells me they are thinking the worst.

I am done.

Lately, I've felt really anxious when I am out in public, scouting around, seeing if anyone's about to pounce. Anxious as fuck. Not all people are like that, of course. NONE of you internets are like that. Part of me thinks, thank GOD I had to do IVF, because I started this blog and ended up getting cancer support. And love. And empathy. You have helped me to not hate the complete human race, forevermore. How I love you all. How I feel thrilled with every single fucking comment. Even if it's just about the funny box of pink nappies. I blog a lot, I blog to get it out. To pass the time. We are all doing time in Chez Topcat. We are merely existing between chemotherapy sessions. It is awful. You have helped me, which in turn has helped my family. It's people like yourselves, who I don't mind talking about Mr TC with at all. Some women at Tigers school are so awesome .... they never ask me about Mr TC. I'm the one who brings it up, which is a refreshing change. Two of them even bought me a massage voucher, which was so lovely. I've had it for months, and finally booked it for last Friday at 5pm. Dinner was made, I reminded Mr TC 10 zillion times that I needed him home by 4.30. The house was clean, Monkey was fed. Finally, I arrived at the masseuse's house. Her name is Sandi, and Mr TC built her and her husbands house. So we know them. They are nice people.

I walked up, and she was just finishing off someone else. So I waited outside, enjoying the spring air. The other lady left, and Sandi came out. With that slapped-arse face look I know so well ....

Sandi: "How's Mr TC?"

Me: "Oh, he's really good!" (He wasn't, he was really sick that day.)

Sandi: "Is he? How many more chemos?"

Me: "Umm, two."

Sandi: "Well, I have been looking non-hodgkins info on the internet."

(A personal favourite .... when people give me their expert opinion after their 5 minute googling session. SO thoughtful of them.)

Me: Silent, starting to think, shut up now please.

Sandi: Head cocked, in a very "Do you want some lemonade" way .. "So, what kind of tumours were they?"

Me: "Aggressive."

Sandi: Winces "Ohhhhh, dear."

Me: "Actually, the aggressive kind are more responsive to the chemo than the slow-growing."

Sandi: Talking very slowly, as if to a child. "Well, Topcat, not necessarily. Some aggressive ones can actually be exacerbated by chemotherapy."

(Yes, she really did say that and no, I can't believe it either.)

I start to walk backwards, and said "Sandi, I really don't want to talk about this anymore." I felt anxious and angry and upset. She ignores me, and keeps on talking.

Now, you know how I talk a lot about how I was treated so terribly when I was a kid, how I had no voice, and could never speak up for myself? Yeah. So, I do not have that problem as an adult. As Sandi found out.

I start crying, she come close to me, all with the pity. Puppy dog eyes, yes dear, I know it must be so hard, lucky you have me to tell you how bad your husbands prognosis REALLY is. She went to hug me, I pulled away, and with a very tight, strangled voice said ...

"For fucks sake. All I wanted was a fucking massage!"

She was shocked. Probably hasn't heard the f-bomb in ten years, she is so straight. She is a nice person, but unfortunately has taken top honour in the "What NOT to say to the spouse of someone with cancer" game that I play every single day.

"Seriously! I am SO SICK of questions like this! How the fuck am I supposed to know if he is going to be ok! I DON'T FUCKING KNOW SANDI. He might die! He might go into remission! Everywhere I fucking go, it's all people want to talk about and I am SO. Fucking. Sick of it!"

She started apologising.

"Look, I know you didn't mean to upset me, but I just don't want to talk about Mr TC! If you want to know how he is, YOU call him and ask him yourself! I came here to feel better, not bloody worse! I don't want to know what you fucking googled! I just want to get through this time with some bloody dignity and respect."

At that, she started saying how much better I would feel after a massage. I told her I was in no mood for a massage, I was all churned up, and just needed a big cry. She was so freaking condescending without realising it, and told me she can "work really well with people who wanted a big cry." Ummm - she made me cry! Dipshit alert! Like, she could work her magic on the poor upset wife. What a hero.

I said no, I don't want a massage anymore, I'll ring and re-book it. She felt bad, so I told her that it's ok, I was just having a bad day.

I got in my car and started driving off. She came running out, calling my name. I looked around, saw I hadn't forgot anything, and thought fuck you. I just reversed up her drive, tears falling, wheels spinning, ignoring the fuck out of her.

I drove off, and came home. Had a nice shower, and ended up taking Tiger to see Wall-E. It's my brothers favourite movie too.

She rang and left the world's most annoying message the next day. "Oh, Topcat. Whatever it is I said that offended you I apologise."

In that moment, I thought, I am NEVER getting a massage off you, you dumb idiot. Mr TC was all "Call her back hon! She'd feel so bad!" He went and got me the phone. I said "Mate! You are NOT the boss of me! How about how I feel! I am not calling her ... and I am NEVER getting a massage from her again!"

I will see her again, and I will explain to her - nicely, why her words affected me so. The most annoying thing is the fact that my back kills! I need a fucking massage!

Ok, during the time it took to write this post .... Mr TC came in with the mail. Stacie from Heeere Storkey Storkey posted me a t-shirt. But, not just ANY t-shirt. Can you believe what I just opened?

The timing of that is proof that God has a sense of humour. Thank you, Stacie. From the depths of my jaded little heart. I'm going to wear it .. A LOT. When people ask me dumb questions (and they will) I shall point to it. Oh yes. Yes I truly, really will. LOVE IT.


Monday, 22 September 2008

I Heart Mr TC. (Especially his cluelessnessness).

(I don't have the mental energy to document my meltdown at the stupid person who took the CAKE when it comes inappropriateness ... it's coming soon, though. Oh my gosh it makes me cranky just thinking about it, GRRR)

Instead, I share yesterdays story.


Mr TC was SO proud of himself.

"I bought a box of nappies, hon. We were running low."

Now, for him to even NOTICE that we needed nappies was worth quite a few brownie points. I follow his voice into the room .. to be greeted by this:


I seriously fell over from laughing, he was immediately annoyed. "WHAT?"

"Well, mate. It was great of you to get them, really. But, last time I checked, we have a baby BOY."

Tiger walks in to the room, straight away says "Who are the girl nappies for?"

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Thanks for the Lolly Bag, Michael.

It's Mel's Show and Tell time!! Click here to see who else is standing at the head of the class, bursting with pride at showing their news!!

Today was my nephews seventh birthday party, down in Sydney. Mr TC was too sick to go ..... this weekend, he was also too sick to:

1) Come to an art gallery opening

2) Go to a family fun day

3) Go to a local annual circus equinox

4) Attend a friends birthday party

He went to to Queensland next week to watch his son play soccer. The cancer excuse is starting to wear a little thin. (I'm mostly joking). I don't want to be a single parent anymore, so I gave up on going anywhere too ... except Tomcats party. It was at a playcentre down in Sydney, and Tiger was HANGING to go. So I took him, and Mr TC minded Monkey.

My sister Tee made a pinata birthday cake ... a cake with a hard outer shell of chocolate around it, containing gold chocolate coins ...

It was a hit! (Literally)

This is what it looked like after it got attacked by a swarm of hungry boys (oh, and me. I was pulling off hunks of chocolate where I could) ..

Then I had a little jump on the jumping castle ..

And took a silly photo of me and Tee (Rex wasn't there, but I will be sure to take funny photos of us next week at her daughters birthday party. When you are the sibling of twins ... you have GOT to be fair.) ....

I ALWAYS pull that face in photos. Mr TC hates it, which makes me do it more. He calls it the Jocelyn Wildenstein face. I didn't like the age spot under my eye, it went SO dark in my pregnancy. And Tee had a strange rash thing going on under her mouth. So we rectified the situation ....

Of coure, we kept looking at the photos of ourselves and PISSING ourselves laughing. The group of women behind us were looking at us, bunch of boring turds they were.

One kid was a no-show ... Michael. At the end of the party, Tiger went up and got his lolly bag from Tee. I was just about to say "Can I have Michaels lolly bag" .... when Tee handed it to me, without saying a word.

Inner child? Man, I'm trying to find my inner adult!

(Tomorrows post ...... one poor unsuspecting woman said too many innappropriate things about Mr TCs cancer .... AND BEARS THE BRUNT OF MY RAGE.)

Saturday, 20 September 2008

This Day

I have loved this day. Mr TC took Monkey for a walk, and let me sleep in til 9am! He had him in the pouch, and walked all around the lake for ages. He said "He's such a good boy, hon!" I told him it was great that he's bonding with him. He said he bonded with him the moment he was born. I said you know what I mean ... and he did. (When Monkey was born Mr TC was doped up on painkillers because his tumours were hurting him so bad. He had a daypass out from the big hospital, and had to leave when Monkey was a few hours old.)

Today was HOT. The warmth, oh my God. Every cell in my body is relieved that I never, ever have to be in the winter of 2008 again. It is gone. It was the most bitter, bone achingly miserable fucking winter of my life. We bought tomato seedlings and thyme bushes and worked in the garden.  Utter freaking bliss. I love doing family things.

Today, I discovered that Monkeys right cheek is much more ticklish than his left, Tiger discovered he could hit a ball with his baseball bat VERY hard, and Mr TC discovered to his dismay that he has put on waaaaay too much weight. I told him I would rather see him with some meat on his bones, than a skinny, scary, sickly skeleton.

Today, I laughed with my sister Rex on the phone, ate leftover tuna casserole for lunch, got on a secret level of Mario with Tiger (very exciting), and watched Mr TC toil in his beloved veggie patch. I took a photo of two of my favourite birds - kookaburras. They were sitting in a tree right outside our house, laughing so very hard. I always wonder what is so darn funny. Today, Monkey didn't like his tummy time, I hired a DVD "that the whole family can watch please mum!" ...... and I didn't think about cancer that much. Fuck you, cancer ... and the tumours you rode in on.



Friday, 19 September 2008

Back to Front

So I'm an everyday blogger now. Who knew!

Monkey is four months old today! 16 weeks! Hallelujah! A while ago, I asked Mr TC to give him his bottle, while I took a shower. I came out, to the sound of silence ... except a funny strange suckling sound coming from the kitchen table. On closer inspection, I find this scene .....


.... I finally found my industrious husband outside, doing something else. His explanation?
"He can feed himself now, hon!"
Mr TC will have Monkey driving up to the shops to buy his own formula soon.
The lovely Flicka from Vacant Uterus reckons she only has one brain cell left. She named him Mitch. I asked her to come up with the name of MY last remaining brain cell .... she called him Bogart. "Of all the brains in all the world .... he walks into mine." Heh heh.
Also, I'm a little concerned about Monkeys lack of tricks. Alas, he does not roll over, fetch, or collect my slippers. All he has done lately is hold and cuddle a toy, which was very cute, although slightly worrying. I'm thinking it's because I haven't been as interactive with him as I probably should. So, my mission is to play more with him, on the ground. He's starting to enjoy limited amounts of 'tummy time'. When he is just laying there on the floor, Tiger always says "Mum! Monkey's doing 'back time' again."
Allow me to illustrate .....

This is tummy time .....

This is back time .....

And THIS is "getting washed by daddy in the kitchen sink of our holiday flat" time ....

It's a wonder Mr TC didn't just pass him the soap and tell him to wash himself.

Thursday, 18 September 2008


As always, the cold light of day brings a better perspective on things.

This morning, Mr TC brought Monkey into my bed. I kissed Mr TC goodbye, and then Tiger came in. We spent half an hour giggling and laughing, Tiger doing Ace Ventura impressions to make Monkey smile. We all got up and I gave Monkey a bottle while Tiger did his homework ... if he finishes it, I will take hime to see Wall-E tonight. A special treat on a schoolnight.

I went back and forth to my boys, kissing them and drinking them in, thinking to myself how perfect they are and how lucky I am.

Tiger told me all about the poo that Monkey did the other day .. "You shouldda seen it mum! It was PERFECTLY ROUND LIKE A MEATBALL!! A total circle!!" Then he played Mario, and as always, said Mario 'Bros', rhyming it with toss.

"What does Bros mean again mum?"


"Ohhhhh, that's right. Pauses. That's actually silly."

I packed his lunch, we laughed that he got the last two chocolate biscuits, leaving none for Mr TC.

My heartlight is back on again. As Mr TC and I always say to each other in a stupid voice ... "CRISIS AVERTED."


Wednesday, 17 September 2008

"This is the fear, this is the dread ... these are the contents of my head."

I had to write something else, just to get that post off the top. I freaked myself out, especially reading your comment, Almamay. Feelings that have been dormant for years started to stir. Sometimes I don't know why I post the things I do. After Mr TCs diagnosis, I am much more open here ... and I was pretty open anyway. But, I think I'm still very angry at how things went down. I give off an "I don't give a fuck" attitude, but inside I'm a bit of a wreck. I keep wanting to cry - at nothing. It's hard even to cook dinner. I've probably lost a freelance gig because I didn't reply to a simple email from my editor. WTF!? I feel like failure! Shouldn't I be over this yet? Isn't the whole cancer bullshit wearing a little thin? Today I had to take Monkey to the doctor. He has an infection, poor little guy. Don't even get me STARTED on how late I bonded with him, and it's all the stupid cancers fault. I HATE CANCER. WHERE DOES IT COME FROM ANYWAY?? WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE IT?? AND WHY DO I KEEP SHOUTING??


I wanted to ask the doctor what he thought of my listlessness and general sadness and paralysis ... but I accidently forgot. (Just like my gorgeous nephew "accidently nearly pinched Monkey" last week. Heh) Whoopsies. Let's play a game called "How long can you stay in pain before you reach out." I'll start .... oh would you look at that, I started ages ago! About four months, actually!

I think I'll be ok ... I always am. You know that stupid, motherfucking statement "God only gives you as much as you can handle?" Yeah, well, BULLSHIT. God, Universe ..... SOMEONE gave me more than I can handle. I'm done. I know myself enough to know that I probably need therapy. I also know myself enough to know that I'm not getting therapy. The thought of walking in to someone new and spilling my guts to a stranger ... where the fuck would I start, anyway? The last therapist I went to was a fucking voyeur. I have had so much therapy in my life that I could start a therapy practice tomorrow. A GOOD one.

Ugh. I need to shake some energy up. Feeling slow, softcockish, stagnant and totally paralysed. Tonight, I was standing there mashing potatoes to go with the schnitzel, and I suddenly though, fuck  I need a drink. Or ten. Or 27. Just to "take the edge off." (Funny joke, as people like me don't take the edge off, we demolish the whole fucking cliff.)

No, I am in no danger. Doesn't mean that I don't feel like it. Sucks to be me. Yes my sweethearts Tee and Rex; I will go to a meeting, please don't worry. I haven't smoked cigarettes for over five years .... wonder if I'll make it through the week without one? I just want to rip someones head off, when what I really want to feel is peace, love, forgiveness and tranquility.

I just feel so embarrassed that I'm turning off comments.

"We are the Hero of Our Own Story."

(That was todays quote of the day, in my sidebar. I like it.)

This year, it has been TWENTY YEARS since my dad killed himself. I can remember it all like it was yesterday ... I was 16, we had just moved back from England. We had been living the high life all through the eighties .... ferrari, houseboat, swimming pool with a slide, Disneyland, crates of Dom Perignon champagne. A billiard room, mums yellow stationwagon Mercedes, the Rolls Royce in the driveway that my parents traded for some diamonds during a dinner party.

All that money and stuff ..... yet we were the most dysfunctional, bullshit family on the block. I knew it the time. My sisters and I would get banished to our rooms, outta sight, outta mind. You see, it wasn't really our dad. It was our stepdad, from 1977 - 1988. Our real dad was off drinking himself to death somewhere, while mum announced suddenly one day that from now on we were to all call him dad. Whatever - I couldn't give a shit, but my sisters were spewing, for they had all the memories of our first dad they I didn't .... they didn't WANT another dad.

Shit I could give so much background filler here. Such a rich, fucked-up tapestry to choose from, when talking about my family! I would love to write a memoir one day.

There was a stock market crash in '87, I was at boarding school at the time, but I remember my mum being insistent that I talk to "dad". Because, he was shattered. It was the beginning of the end, we didn't know it at the time - but he most certainly did. At sports the next day, I saw Scratch, this big tall guy in year 11 crying. And crying. His dad had killed himself, because of the crash. "Shit!" I thought. "How awful!"

We ended up suddenly moving to England (I went to FIVE high schools. Sometimes as a dork, sometimes as a cool kid. Ohhhh, the scars!) for a last ditch attempt to salvage dads business, and money. None of us wanted to go, but we had to. We lived in this 4-storey mansion in Middlesex, reputed to have been Oliver Cromwells shooting lodge. My sisters and I found out ... that we actually maybe even LIKED each other, and started bonding for the first time ever. My brother was eight, the family mascot, my beautiful, beautiful blonde-haired guy.

Anyway, it all fucked up (Really?! What a surprise!) and mum had to hock her diamond earrings for some flights back home, to live in my grandparents front yard in a caravan. We had nothing. Dad managed to buy a 120y Datsun, we moved to a rented house which stank, and had no furniture for three months as it got delayed on the container coming back to Australia. But, the odd thing ..... we all got on as a family, for the first time ever. Mum got a job. Dad talked to us girls like we were actually human ..... until he got busted embezzling money from all his businesses, so he drove to the hardware shop to buy a hosepipe, then, in a secluded area of town (actually, it was a freaking RACETRACK) .. he gassed himself. I wonder what he was thinking? I wonder if he had thought of killing us all too? My brother says there is a name for that .. "Family Annihilation Syndrome". He had crossword puzzle books with him in the car ... obviously he thought it was going to take longer than it did.

He got found the next day by one of my friends dads, head slumped back, red-faced, and quite dead indeed.

That was the day my heart started to turn bitter. I knew he was a prick of a stepdad, but he was MY stepdad. The whole world went grey, for many, many years. I didn't think I could ever get over it, it was so awful and raw and impacting.

And now? Pfffft. Fuck him. I wish he was in front of me so I could tell him to FUCK OFF. Of course, there is damage in my psyche that will always, always be there. The love between a father and daughter - puhLEASE. (But, inside, it hurts so very, very bad. Wasn't I enough, that neither of my dads stayed on the planet?) If they were the heros of their own stories .... then, what a couple of softcock heros they turned out to be. Mum married again. A beautiful man.

So, the current economic climate - especially in America. Sends a few shivers, because I know this will be happening to other families. Sometimes, having money isn't as great as it appears to be.

I have always hated the date of his suicide. When I fell pregnant with Tiger, guess what his due date was? Yep. It changed everything for me. Instead of being the one date in the year I hated, it was now the best, most exciting freakin' date I had ever heard in my life. (He came one day after his due date.)

I saw that guy, Scratch, again. Once, when I worked at Jetset travel in the early nineties. I wanted to run up to him "MY DAD KILLED HIMSELF TOO!! SNAP!!" But, I didn't. I was a dork at that school and he would have had no idea who I was. Plus, it just would have been weird.

And therein endeth another of Topcats cheery stories. Scary thing? I have so, many more.


Monday, 15 September 2008

Same Shit, Different Day

First ever family photo ....

So much has happened since I last posted. It was chemo day on Friday .... I've never taken Mr TC to chemo. I wasn't allowed, because I had a newborn. My outfuckingstanding sisters take it in turns to come up here, stay a few nights. They leave their hubbies to take care of their kids, and come up here to take my hubby to his chemotherapy down at the big hospital. They have both told me how awful it is, and impacting, and they have both agreed that I should be spared from seeing him all hooked up, getting shit pumped through his veins by a masked and gloved nurse. My sisters are carrying the burden of my husbands chemo. How do you repay someone, for doing that? I super puffy heart them with all of my spirit, 4 eva.

So, I have my Mr Beige here. For a week following his treatment, he looks beige, is shitty because he's sick, and can't wait for this crap to be over.

After chemo on Friday, Mr Beige TC went to the bank. He told some of his apprentices to stack a shitload of wood under our house, so they had been clanging under there all day. My sister Tee was up, it was her chemo turn. She was on the phone to our sister Rex, I was outside and suddenly heard a massive jumble of wood tumbling and falling, then a strange muffled yelp. "Oh, poor Claude!" I thought it was the guys dog. Then I hear "GET IT OFF MY HEAD. GET IT OFF MY HEAD. AHHHH AGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH." Followed by a mad scrambling of planks getting thrown about. I ran in to Tee, she was like a freaking superhero while I faded like the big softcock I am. I was holding Monkey, I just kept saying "Something really bad has happened!!" Tee pushes me out of the way and tells me to wait outside.

For the next four minutes, all I heard was planks being thrown by the two other apprentices and Tee, and this poor, poor 17 year old moaning and yelling. It was horrific. He was covered by a mountain of wood. All you could see were his two feet, poking out. The sound of the panic seeped up through my floorboards, I was wringing my hands saying "Please be ok! Please be ok!"

They got him out, I drove him straight to hospital, but he was ok. He was crying and had wet his pants, struggling to breathe properly. I can't believe he's alive. IT WAS TERRIBLE. For the rest of the day, I just kept saying to Tee in awe, "How the fuck do you do things like that! You are a superhero!" We were laughing, she kept saying "I saved a life today!" (She yelled at the guys to stop throwing their planks onto the poor boys torso, they were in such a panic.)

Then, the next day, after Superhero Sista Tee announces her work here is done and drives back home, Mr TC gets a call from his sixteen year old son, just had a fight with his mum, can he come back and live with us. Mr TC wants to book a flight straight away; I want to move to Brazil. I adore my stepson. Step-parenting is hard. I'm torn.

Seriously though ... what can I say? No? I love my stepson - we have the same humour, we get on very well. He is an amazing, strong guy with a huge heart. He lived with us between the ages of eight and fourteen .. that's a lot of history, and memories. Tiger still cries when he asks if his big brother is ever coming back to live with us. So. He is my husbands son. For better or worse. My husband has cancer. In sickness and in health.

Mr TC misses him dreadfully, and wants to be there for him as he goes through his bullshit teenage years. And I think .... hopefully Mr TC will go into remission. I'm pretty sure he will .... but if he doesn't, who am I to come between the relationship of him and his firstborn son?

So. The last few days I have been bracing myself for the news that he is coming. We still don't know yet. I dread the nights. Stepson stays up til 2am. I desperately need everyone on bed when I go to bed, or I can't sleep properly, because I know I will be up three times in the night with Monkey, and I just need quiet. I dread stepsons attitude towards me. I feel shitty about it .... I can't choose who I live with. The sneaking, the high-energy, the moodswings, and if I'm perfectly honest, that means less of Mr TC for me. I must share him. And I don't want to.

I know I will work through my shit and get over myself, but fuck man, can't it just be BORING here for a while?

I'm still swimming in things that need to be done. I finally cleared my email inbox yesterday ... I had 567 emails in there, new fucking world record. I still feel like I can't fight my way out of a wet paper bag. So much to do. Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Blah. Magnificent news is I keep falling MORE in love with Monkey, I can't believe the difference in my heart now. I have two sons! I am so lucky!


"I love my shoes, mum. Now, get me a bib to match them. IMMEDIATELY!" ........

"That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!!" ....

"What is this thing anyway? A hand, you say? Hmmmmm. Interesting." ...

"My mummy has fat rolls on her tummy and doesn't give a shit! Somebody get her a cannoli, STAT!" ....

Lastly, you know what made my week? Last Thursday, a package arrived in the mail. From New York ..... a fellow blogger. I opened it, and PISSED myself laughing. Maya, I cannot believe you posted a fluffy toy halfway across the world, just for me. HILARIOUS. THANK YOU!!!
Maya sent me Topcat!! I'm sorry, how cool??

Funniest thing was when Mt TC saw it. He scoops it up. "Ohhhhhh, where did ya get this hon? Topcat was my favourite cartoon when I was a kid!" He launches into song. "Topcat! The indelectable, Topcat! Leader of the gang ...." his voice trailed off as I struggled to keep a straight face, and tried hard not to correct him. (It's indisputable, not indelectable. But, after eight and a half years of being together. I'm not allowed to correct him anymore, drives him crazy. I must suffer in silence, and try not to laugh at his mistakes). I told him Topcat was me, and that on my blog he was known as Mr TC. He smiled this funny smile, like he thought he was famous or something. My little beige Turdburger.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel .... let down your golden nipple hairs."

As soon as I hit publish on my last post, my thoughts started to fester. "AM I ok with Mr TCs cancer? Am I in denial? How come I'm so tough about it? Is it just bravado? OMG MY HUSBAND HAS CANCER!!!" .... and so it continued, until I fell into a spiral again. I am in the biggest slump right now .... my bedroom is DISGUSTING. You cannot see the floor. I had this bright idea that a spring clean will make me feel better, so I emptied the entire contents of my cupboard on the floor, to "force" myself to sort through them. I started too .... then I kept coming across my pregnancy clothes, which I wore with such joy and anticipation in my heart. I was looking forward to the baby so much. And then, suddenly, I stopped looking forward to the baby, baby was born into chaos, baby cried a lot. And I would think, "Baby! Stop that crying right now! Don't you know daddy has cancer and mummy cannot deal with your issues!!" Nice.

Of course, we are out of that stage now. Monkey is interactive, smiling, says "Ma" (yes he really does and no-one is telling me otherwise). This morning I felt all fucked up, I was changing his nappy. I tickled him, and he laughed. The sound of a tinkling angel, my God he is just delightful. I carried him to his cot for a nap, and absentmindedly said out loud "Oh, thank GOD I love you!"

So, I have the messy bedroom of a twelve year old, and CANNOT seem to clean it. I lay on my clothes-strewn bed yesterday and played Mario and ate chocolate. I have articles due, need to return about 500 emails ... and I sit like a sloth. I will get my work done - always do. We need the money.  It's real addict behaviour, and is actually a form of self-abuse. Because I do things that feel good in the moment, but I KNOW it makes me feel like a worthless piece of shit. So, I'm blogging about it, in the hopes it can shift. I'm tempted to post a photo of my room, but am too ashamed. It's funny how I will put nice clothes on today, and run errands, and people will see the outside of me and think "Oh, a woman with a baby! How sweet!" But on the inside I feel so low and terrible.

As they say in recovery .. this, too, shall pass. BUT SO DO KIDNEY STONES.


I'm in the process of setting up a google reader account. I keep missing peoples posts and playing catch up. I will update my blogroll too, as I think they are important. Please let me know if you would like to be added.

I will end this post on a very funny, gross thing. Because, I'm thoughtful like that ....

Yesterday, I was in the shower. Now, lately, I have been losing a lot of my hair, as you do after the baby is born. I look down, and see strands of long hair on my boobies. I brush them away .... but they don't come off. Why? Because they were attached to my nipples. Long, golden strands of boob hair, getting lathered by my shampoo.

I swear ... with those plus my incessant chin hairs, I could grow Mr TC his own wig. Except, we would look like brother and sister because we would have matching red hair.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

So a Fiasco, Tumour and Canoli all Walk Into a Bar ...

So we had sex. For the first time in FIVE MONTHS. Ever since a whole bunch of tumours got found in his stomach, he has felt decidedly unsexy, so it was nice to see him back in form. TMI, much?

Today, we drove down to Sydney. Me, Tiger and Monkey took Mr TC out to lunch, to our favourite Italian bistro in Norton Street, Leichhardt. Beautiful spring day. It was fucking AWESOME to be out and about as a family, to see Mr TC "back". I told him ..."Hey, I know what's different. Your mojo is back! Your mofo mojo is back!" I broke out a rousing rendition of Welcome Back Kotter. He laughed. I think his body must be getting used to the chemo. It was a wonderful day, my heart still feels warm from it. The week away has done us all miracles.

Tonight, I was reading the paper, and saw an article about how lymphoma is Australias fastest growing cancer .. for no known reason. There has been a breakthrough in treatment. I read it out to Mr TC, without reading it myself first. "Tumours have a very big chance of coming back. Half of the people diagnosed with lymphoma in Australia are still alive after five years ..."

My voice trailed off, I looked up at him, to see all the unspoken things in his eyes.

There is a very good chance, that after his last three doses of chemo, Mr TC will have a scan and there will be no signs of any tumours. What we don't know, and what I can't predict, is if they will come back - in some other shape or form, or start growing in his vital organs. Fuck knows if that's going to happen. We will cross all of those bridges if and when we come to them. I haven't thought that far ahead. Damned if we will sit back and wait for the big bad cancer to grow back again. He might go into remission for twenty years. For one year. Forever. "We know not the hour of our death."

Like all big things in life do, this Cancer Fiasco will change us immeasurably. Things are already shifting - our priorities, our goals. We may rent out our house for a year and go and live in Spain. Just because we can. We want to travel ... live right in the moment. We were living like that a lot anyway. I kept thinking, when the Fiasco started "But ... I already live an examined life! We don't need another big thing to get through!"

Who knows why shit happens. I've always prayed a lot - but now, my prayer kind of falters halfway through. My faith took a huge tumble, and I'm not as sure as I used to be. Tiger keeps asking incessant questions about God. It's uncanny.

"Mum, why doesn't God come down to earth like He used to?" (I said He works in other ways ... like sending you a good friend, or a flower, or a song.)

"Mum, I wish they didn't eat those apples. Then we could be living in that beautiful garden."

"Mum, if God made the whole world .... did He make His own Self? (I didn't ask myself that til I was TWENTY, fucks sake.)

This post is everywhere all at once. I have so much to say - I haven't felt this strong for a long, long time. I'm back, baby. I have big things brewing.

I have had big revelations about Monkey, which deserves its own post. I always couldn't understand how some women didn't fall utterly in love with their babies straight away. Now I know. I know. (And I will never judge anyone about that again.)

Monkey is going so well. People ask me if he a "good baby". Once I answered "Oh, no. He is a bad, bad baby! Drinking, smoking ... I just don't know what we're going to do!" The woman thought I was a total freak.

My love is getting deeper. I'm starting to feel so very grateful - that he is healthy. That I got to bring him home from hospital. Some mamas don't get to bring their babies home from hospital. I can only imagine that depth of pain. Even with all the Fiasco crap, I do count my blessings. As crap and awful as it has been ... Mr TC is in with a fighting chance. Bring it on.

Mr TC and Tiger today. We ate fresh pasta, vanilla canolis, and chocolate gelato YUM ....

When I was about 12, I started sucking my stomach in. So, I have very good stomach muscles. However, for a while now, I have said "Oh, I can't do sit-ups, I had a c-section." It's been like my mantra.

What the world thinks my stomach looks like three and a half months after having a baby (I didn't wear those Ugg boots to Sydney, by the way) ....

What my stomach really looks like three and a half months after having a baby ....

Note to self: As soon as I finish off all the canoli, try a sit-up. OR FIFTY.

(After Mr TC took that second photo, he puts the camera down, looks at me, and says "You really are the biggest wanker I have ever met." I laughed at him: "I KNOW!!!")


Tuesday, 2 September 2008

El Sandi

“The heat that’s in the sun
… will keep us when there’s none.”
U2 – Window in the Skies

We got in the car and drove north. After I last posted, I developed an allergic reaction to the antibiotics and swelled up like a balloon, and then Tiger woke up one morning covered in a purple rash. I lost it. I was dangerously, perilously close to chartering a magic white horse to gallop me far up to heaven, to God Himself, and punching him square in the face. Enough. We have had Enough.

So, Mr TC gave everyone at work a week off, we packed our stuff, and went chasing the sun. We just drove further and further up. Monkey is a motherfucking hero, not a peep out of him the whole way. He just slept. Sometime recently, he has morphed into a superstar baby who does not cry much, and sleeps like a champion. It’s funny … with Tiger, I would fuss over him, and lay next to him to make him go to sleep. Mr TC would roll his eyes, and mutter something about the “Golden Child”. Monkey slept in a different bed 3 nights in a row recently, and it didn’t faze him at all. I am so laid back, the second time around. Considering.

I have missed you, friends in the computer! I had a dream that I could see multi-coloured rays of light beaming on us from all over the world, and it was you and your love and I thank you, more than you will ever know. I thought I would start a little IVF blog, have a baby, than tie it with a neat ribbon and say, that’s that then. (The blog, not the baby). I now know that I will always blog. It’s opened up an amazing world of wonderful, colourful, amazing souls. I expect to be bugging the nurses in my old people’s home in a few decades .. for a better internet connection.

Winter of 2008 is dead. It was without a doubt, the worst winter I have ever known. Ever. It was Australia’s coldest August in more than a decade ….. so blustery, and freezing, and bone-achingly cold. To be up north now, and feel the warmth of the sun on us …. is sublime. Spring has motherfucking sprung. The warmth and sand have oozed into us, bringing us all back to life. Mr TC is the sickest he’s ever looked. He has gained weight, which he is worried about. Of course, he keeps prodding the jelly on MY belly, to make him feel better. I’m like, I have just had a BAY-BEE, turdburger! What’s your excuse? (Ha – the spell-check for ‘turdburger’ suggested ‘torturer’ instead).

His excuse, of course, is the chemo. I keep battling this awful feeling that this will be the only family holiday we will ever know. I’m pretty sure I’m wrong, but it feels yucky nonetheless. I’m used to seeing women always check Mr TC out, right in front of me. It never fails to piss me off, and he always thinks it’s hilarious. Alas, no chick checks him out these days, as he is so sickly, pale, almost devoid of eyelashes. I can’t believe I can’t wait till he starts getting the once-over again!

I painted my toenails. For the first time since the baby was born, I have red toenails again. I took a photo, but don’t think you can see the red …….

Did I mention we are staying DIRECTLY across the beach! That is the view from our freakin BED. We drove straight here, looked at the To Let sign in the window and booked it. Mr TC is at the beach right now, with Tiger. Monkey is asleep. I’m writing this in a word document, and will try to hack into a wireless somewhere to post.

I bought a black hairband with a silver heart on it, which, according to holiday tradition, will last all of 5 minutes. There is no decent coffee here. We will go 10 pin bowling, and do a dolphin cruise, I will buy a summer dress, and Tiger shall bond with Mr TC. Nobody in this town knows us, which is blessed relief. I will soon get my eyelashes tinted and brow waxed …. maybe even a haircut!

We may never go home again! (Edited to add .... I just posted this, but now Monkey woke up and I have to go, boo! I will be back - alone, to catch up on everyone. I am STARVED of my bloggys news!! Starved, I tell you!! xox)