Thursday, 6 November 2008

What the Sisters Did. Part One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cassandra said...

You have me in tears...

I love the half prayers. I think that a proper G-d knows the hell you've been through and respects your anger.

Also, to American ears, arsehole is a hilarious word. :)

I hope that your intense time subsides soon.

Vacant Uterus said...

Aack, Topcat, I'm crying. Our stories are different but there are some elements that are so similar that I can feel my heart rip when I read your words. Those half prayers...oh, I have prayed prayers very like those! That feeling of being a celebrity for a really bad reason, the trips to the hospital. Oh. Oh yes, I know a fair bit of that.

I'm hugging you from here, wishing my arms were long enough to reach across the ocean to where you are. I'm so glad you have your sisters to be crazy and loving with you, to hold you up when you can't walk by yourself. As always, I'm wishing you the most completely boring Christmas season with NO drama WHATSOEVER. HEAR THAT, GOD?!

Anonymous said...

My sweet TC- I love reading your stories. I love how i's your therapy. I go to a doctor once a week and complain about my mother, about my mini addictions (spending), my husband, my life with PPD....MY GUILT (the Jew in me)- but I wish I oculd just write it out like you do- so beautifully, so real.

PaleMother said...

Here's me, furtively commenting, hoping I get it all out before my visiting parents come downstairs and see the real reason why my house is a disorganized mess and they make the same comment as Mr. TC (without the 'fucksake' part).


"I hope that's ok."

Fucksake. Rhetorical question.

Let's begin.

As I was reading this post, I thought for the thousandth time this week to ask you if you ever read any Anne Lamott? I can't remember if I've mentioned her to you before. I feel like I should call her up and tell her to read your blog. You'd like her (and vice versa). She's a blackhumored, recovering writer like yourself. Single mom. For some reason, one of her books that I never got around to reading leapt off my sloppy guestroom shelf at me this week and I'm reading it now. So that's why she is on my mind. She had an essay in this book about praying in highly f-ed up circumstances. Her take is that Jesus digs honesty and transparency. Good thing for us, eh?

"it helps ... to know somebody, out there, gives a shit."

Here's me, giving a giant shit. :)

(Side note: Why do you suppose we do that? Take the hallmark sentiments and give them a zohawk and a nose ring and rate them pg-17?)


D was here.

Wordgirl said...

I never get used to the fact that as I am waking up, you are going to sleep...and I hope your sleep tonight is dreamless and deep.

Someday we'll sit in some sunny patch on a wood floor somewhere and thresh this whole time through -- and I know that however much people complain about technology -- I will always know that without it I would never have met this person whose story resounds in me so clearly. "We read to know we are not alone."

And G: "so what is it with you and that thing...are you talking to your girlfriends




Amanda said...

It's amazing how a sister (lucky you to have two) can rush in and help to make life bearable again.

I just had to send my own sister a quick message of love for the time that she saved me. Thank you for the reminder to appreciate what I have!


G$ said...

I have such a blog crush on you, Rex and Tee. Puffy hearts infinitiy...


annacyclopedia said...

I second the Anne Lamott thing. Big time.

I'm so grateful that you have Tee and Rex to love you like you should be loved and care for you the way you should always have been cared for.

Thinking of you constantly, with fondness and warmth and admiration and compassion and love and laughter.

Oh, and with a fuckload of cursing.

bleu said...

You write so damn well, so so damn well!!

MrsSpock said...

I think that any God worth their omniscient salt already knows that string of cursewords are galloping around your head. And is laughing about it.

I have 3 sisters- and they have come through for me in the past 2 years more than ever. Girls really are stronger.

Beautiful Mess said...

Thhis was such a heartfelt post. I can't imagine how you typed it all out without crying, unless you did. That part that got me, was when you looked in the mirror and saw the same person, but your world had crashed around you. I felt the EXACT same way driving back from the hospital after we got the word my mom only had 9 months to live. I remember looking out the window and seeing a woman laughing. I wondered how she could be SO happy when MY world had crashed around my ankles. I wish for your heart to heal and your live with your husband to be nothing but joy *with the bickering* from here on out.
BIG hugs to you, my dear!

Cibele said...

I am so glad that you have your sisters there with you!!!!

OHN said...

Have you ever thought about renting out your sisters? I don't have any and could really use some that are already trained in inappropriate laughter :)

Pixxiee said...

Tee and Rex are my heroes. Would they like to adopt me? My real sister is a little like YOUR not a hell of a lot of love there.

Stop blogging at midnight, curl up with that gorgeous Mr TC and snuggle your heart out.

Love ya hon.

Deena said...

Mrs. TC, YOU are the bomb, and so are your sisters.

Makes me wish I had a sister...sigh

Carrie Ann said...

Loved the story. Sisters are the best, aren't they? I love my sister to death. Ever considered writing a memoir? I think it would sell like hotcakes.

Thanks for the comments on my blog!!

A Free Man said...

What a poignant post. I can't imagine going through what you went through at the same time. And I can certainly relate to your frustration with god, but your mantra at the time - "It just is" is dead on. Sometimes things just are and we have to get on with it the best we can. A friend of mine always says that god doesn't give you any more than you can handle, but sounds like he/she/it came pretty close.

nancy said...

I love when people use the word "furtive". It's seriously one of my favorite words.

And I ~loathe~ my sister. LOATHE her. I'm wondering if my husband will have to get cancer for me to like her? What do you think? Oooo. and I'm about to have a baby too. Perfect timing?

(I know you understand my humor and my sarcasm and I'm never afraid of posting to you the innapropriate jokes I think of. But I do wonder how many other people see my comments and gasp in horror.)

nancy said...

fuck. Now I'm doubting myself. I hope you understand my humor.

Topcat said...

NANCY!!!! Once I picked myself up off the floor, I read your second comment. Don't ever doubt yourself, lovely. NEVER.

So, so fucking hilarious. Loved it. XOXOX

Stacie said...

First off, it is more than ok! No need to ever ask if writing those thoughts of yours are ok! Intense is the understatement of the year. Write, woman. Write as much as you can. Get it out there. Purge yourself of this heartache and fear and everything else as much as you can!

"it helps ... to know somebody, out there, gives a shit" -- you know, you'd probably be amazed at how many of us really do give a shit about you. I am most certainly one of them!

Much love as always!

Evil Stepmonster said...

Your sisters are awesome! And I love that you all keep telling each other how awesome you are. If you ever find that you don't need them for a while, can I borrow both of them please?

battynurse said...

They sound like wonderful sisters.

Rachel Inbar said...

I hope my kids will be so good to each other. Having had the last ones late, I'm counting on them being there for each other when I'm not around any more.