Monday, 22 December 2008

Dec 2008 .....with a Bullet

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

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

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

I love all of you.

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


Friday, 19 December 2008

The River in My Heart

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

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

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

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

And I wrote it, and you read it.

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

And ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

The truth, did indeed, set me free.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Care to join me?

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


Thursday, 18 December 2008

3dp Best News Ev-ah

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


Tuesday, 16 December 2008

... and they lived happily ever after.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

I. Don't. Care.

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

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

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

Now go give your loved ones a kiss. Immediately.

Tell them Topcat sent you.


Monday, 15 December 2008


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

I was surprised. "Really?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Hello it is I, Arsehole

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Party pics ...

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

Happy Birthday, big bro!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Like, a Total Update

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

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

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

(Note Tigers ever-present Peace Out sign).

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes, I do, too.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Aint no Saint

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

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

Most .... but not all.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 1 December 2008

Sometimes the Sun and No More Always Looking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

2) How not to be a step-parent

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

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

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

But I taught myself how to put them out.