The Week That Was…..

I felt amazing mid to late this week. That totally makes up for the absolute and amazing crap feeling I had after the ‘new’ chemo drugs a couple of weeks ago.

So, This week, I took myself out for a drive to Mt Barker (South Australia, Australia) and did a spot of shopping, took myself out for lunch, walked the streets and had a wonderful time.

Thursday I met up with a BFF Tracey, had a semi decent lunch (too much organic and not enough flavour) but a great catch up and walk around Mt Barker and again, felt amazing.

Until you ‘can’t get out and about’, you have no idea how great it is to actually, get out and about.

Uniden Digital Camera
Uniden Digital Camera

Friday, still feeling good even though I slept a lot of the day.

Today, (Saturday) I deliberately had a luxurious sleep in because nothing needed to be done and in all honesty, I was feeling a bit flat and off.

I then got a phone call from one of my many cousins, Christine, and in all honesty, I felt like I had caught up with her in person. It was wonderful to chat to her on the phone and hear about her boys, job and life. I think some people think you have to be face to face to be a part of someones life but when you are many kilometers away from one another, the phone call can feel like a face to face catch up. I think Christine was my first ever friend, we went to ballet together, she included me in ‘spin the bottle’ with her grown up friends and we have laughed. Laughed  for many years….

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Today (again) once I had showered and dressed, I popped over to one of the ‘Real Housewives of Meadows” Lisa and had a lovely chat but as I entered the house, there was Summer. Summer is my friend, my nemesis and everything in between.

She, Summer, looks at me as I walk in and says…

“Damanda, your eyes are all red”

I say, yeah I know Summer, they are just a bit irritated today. It is a chemo thing.”

Her reply…

“Well, look at my beautiful eyes”… She has mascara on and her eyes look amazing and I was like…

“oh  yeah, nice Summer, your eyes look pretty’ and she shakes her head and says ‘Yeah, I know”

So, I then talk to one of the Real Housewives of Meadows’ about parties and weddings etc and Summer looks at me with ‘that look’ and I say ‘Sam and I are going to get married when I am feeling better ok?’

Summer says..

‘Yeah well, you need hair to have a wedding’

I said,

‘Can I wear a wig?’

Summer asked what a wig was and I explained it was like fake hair but looked really nice and nope, she is not keen on this idea, It has to be real hair.

Thanks Summer for keeping it real xx

Here is the highlight of my week being my cauliflower the size of my head

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Sparkle Me Up Baby!

I have had an amazing two days in a row.

Yesterday, I took myself out into town (40 kms round trip) and had an amazing time. I spent the last of my splurge money. Remember all the wonderful people who had bought yummy chocolates to raise money so I could splurge on myself guilt free?

Well, I used the last of that money yesterday by buying a lovely ring to sit over my new engagement ring so it doesn’t fall off. It is gorgeous. It will keep my amazing ‘family’ engagement ring safe. (see previous post if you have no idea what I am talking about)

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See that beautiful ring next to my engagement ring? I thank you Accalia, Mia and Friends for providing me the splurge money to be able to afford such a pretty ring to protect my equally pretty engagement ring.

Today, I met up with Tracey for a coffee and lunch which was lovely, a spot of shopping and back home to a visit from my little friend in the neighbourhood.

Before I lost my hair, Sam and I picked up some fun ‘fake tattoo’s’ to play around with should the need arise when my hair fell out. Well, my little friend popped over today because I had bought her a little gift and she came to pick it up. We shared some naughty sugary bubbly drinks and this is what she did to my head

Photo on 27-08-2015 at 6.15 pm

or here is another view

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and another….

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Aren’t we all thinking my lovely neighbour Summer (aged 4) has done a great job??

Well, here is the artist and myself..

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Clare had a bloody ball tattooing me all over my face and head. So no, it wasn’t my four year old neighbour Summer but in fact, Clare, my gorgeous 40 something neighbour hehe.

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Love my third eye in the middle of my head. What is even funnier is the fact that as I was saying goodbye to Clare, a lovely lady walked passed with an amazing blue staffy and I said “Hello Gorgeous” to the dog and the lady laughed. I was mortified thinking she thought I had called HER gorgeous until Clare reminded me that I was tattoo’d all over my face. Shit.

Then, other neighbour Sharon popped over to return items from the weekends piss up and yep, she had to chat to me trying to be serious while looking at THIS FACE.

Love being bald and having fake tattoos to play with hehe. Clare had a ball.

I feel so sparkly right now. I might be a little hard to resist tonight come bedtime

oohhh la la

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Boogers and Safety Nets

Hair Loss. Did you realise that included my nose hairs?

What worries me here is what are my boogers going to hang on to now? They are like trapeze artists aren’t they? Clinging on to their rope, swinging away over to the next rope, but, I am outta ropes up there. When a booger appears, there are going to be no ropes and NO SAFETY NET!

What happens? Am I just going to be sitting in a cafe somewhere, some day and a booger will just fall out of my nose onto the table next to my friande and coffee?

Usually, I think, once a booger has finished their trapeze act, they’d fall into the nest of nose hairs at the bottom and wait for you to blow it out into a tissue. They’d just hang out on that safety net of nose hair until you are ready BUT I HAVE NO SAFETY NET.

Ah man, people warn you about chemotherapy side effects being feelings of nausea, mouth ulcers, fatigue, bone pain but nothing about boogers. What About The Boogers!!??

I was talking the neighbours John and Clare about it yesterday with them being nurses and all but they were no help, all they did was laugh. When I asked for a tissue, I got given a paper towel and told, it’s super absorbent! How much did he think I had up there?

A few hours later I received a text from Clare advising there was a little gift on the front door matt for me.

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Pocket Pack Tissues. Thanks guys! You really are the caring neighbours one needs with they have no nose hairs…

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I’m Marrying the Whole Family!!

These last few weeks have been quite trying to say the least but the biggest standout has been the loss of my beautiful engagement ring.

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Well, today all of that changed. My future in laws came over today but as I had had a great night at the neighbours house last night, I was unable to get up out of bed to see them and explained to Sam that I would not be getting up today.

Sam came in not long after MIL (mother in law) and FIL (father in law) had been here and asked me to just get up for a moment because there was something they had to tell me. Sam looked so shocked and out of sorts I had the worst feeling that someone had passed away.

Imagine my surprise when MIL explained about a lunch she’d had with one of her sisters and partner and they’d decided to get the family involved and put my sparkle back on my finger.

Auntie Suzie had spoken to the jeweler and had made a few wheels and deals from my understanding and then the rest of the family was contacted and before you know it, I was presented with the ring box identical to the one Sam had presented to me on the 19th of December, 2014.

Inside was the exact ring I had lost. Well, not the ‘actual’ ring but a brand new one identical to the one I had lost.

There, in the box the ring was sparkling, glinting and yep, I cried.

We have tried to phone everyone who was involved in this amazing act of generosity.

Thank you to

Sharon and Michael Manning

Jessica Rowe

Auntie Susie Burdof

Bernie

Joanna Burdof

Uncle Brendon and Auntie Jeannette

Nikki McGrane

Emma McGrane

Kylie McGrane

Auntie Jenny

Michael Mannings Mum and Dad

Michaels Sister and Brother in Law Ann and Rien

Jo – at the Jewelers

I thought I was feeling better yesterday (hence party time at the neighbours last night) but today, I am walking on sparkles and sunshine and love. There is a good chance when I finally walk down the aisle, all of these people will be at the end of the aisle waiting for me to marry them all 🙂

I can not thank you all enough but I will start with thank you. I will do my best to ensure your Sam is loved and looked after forever just has he is doing for me. xx

The Truth Today – and a Slight Discussion on Farts

Last Thursday, 8 days ago, I had the worst chemo ever.

What interested me the most is my Oncologist (who I think is amazing) told me that I may need panadol to help relieve some of the bone pain related to the new chemo drugs I was about to be given.

What a load of crap he was talking. I mean, I know people have their tollerances and stuff but shit, panadol? After 5 days being bed ridden, not sleeping but not awake, can’t eat and new hemorrhoids arriving, headache and skull pain that I have never felt in my life, panadol was NOT WORKING.

So, you probably got the gist in my previous post about all that and am now on Endone for pain, Coloxal + Senna to help with consitpation, Anusol for Hemorrhoids, Panadol to help with the Endone, Anti depressants because, well, this isn’t a walk in the park and a couple of anti nausea to keep everything in check. I have to have all this stuff PLUS try to eat food.

The great thing about it all, being as fat as I am, I have lost 6 kilos and am loving it. Another 25 kilos and I’ll be just fine and dandy.

Now, let me think what this blog was going to be about because I seriously had a reason for coming here tonight…

As you can see from all the medication I take, it is easy to lose track.

Oh thats it. I have a diary called the 5 year Q & A  diary. Each day, there is a new question. For instance, 19th of May, 2015 – Question – What’s the most creative thing you’ve done recently? My answer for this year, 2015 was ‘Start my ‘An Unscheduled Journey’. Next year, on the 29th of May, 2016, I will have the same question. What I love is that this diary I ordered was ordered before being diagnosed with cancer but came when I was diagnosed with cancer. This is going to be a very interesting diary.  Every day has a different question and I can imagine, over the five years, are going to have such amazing and different answers.

On the 17th of August, the question was – If you had to spend five years in prison, what would you finally have the chance to do? – My answer was – Write my life story.

It got me thinking about how many people think (and tell me) how wonderful it is that I have so much time to myself to do the things I love.

Ok, let me get a few things straight.

  1. I have cancer – I am not on holidays
  2. No full income is coming in to my bank account to allow fun times and day trips
  3. Most days I wake very ill and lethargic, no that doesn’t allow me to dance amongst the daisies
  4. Coffee with friends? They work during they day you know?
  5. Oh, spending the day with my dogs, that I have no energy to walk or play with
  6. I can watch TV and Movies all day – Did I mention I have cancer? Headaches, nausea etc? Tv and Movies do not work in this situation
  7. You think sleeping in is a bonus and such a luxury – these sleep ins are caused by cancer…. Doing it everyday for weeks on end do not make it enjoyable
  8. Gardening and enjoying free time – again, cancer takes away energy to garden and free time is recuperating.
  9. Your friends may not be able to deal with you having cancer. Deal with it and move on

Anyway, I could totally go on and on (as I do) but I think what really pisses me off is that people really think I have it good right now. My weekly spend on medication to deal with this cancer is just under $100.00 and that does not give me energy to plan my garden, clean my house, watch movies etc.

What I do love is that I have a few things such as the following

  1. Income Insurance (bills, mortgage, food)
  2. Three months of having a cleaner which has freed up time for Sam and I thanks to my gorgeous and amazing cousins and family
  3. The Bank. Our bank with our mortgage has been so kind to reduce our mortgage for the time being
  4. Obviously, the love and friendship and caring from my family, inlaws, friends, neighbours and of course Sam
  5. A beautiful home in which to recover from the shittiest and most disgusting treatment for an illness called cancer
  6. Bubbles – There is nothing like sparkling wine when I can finally stomach it
  7. My amazing furbabies
  8. Medication

Honestly, the what I love section could go on and on and on.

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Only read on if you have a strong stomach…

I dont think I will ever fart again. That is saying alot from someone like me who LOVES to trump out a tune from my but.

Now that I have to endure endone, codeine, cancer, hemorrhoids and so forth, no fart is safe….

So today, I say good bye to my fart band. The band that has seen me through many curries, bad diets, alcohol and whatever else caused them. Now, if I feel the need, I must bury my tooty fartie in the loo, for that ‘just in case’ moment. I will spare you the details of this discovery but I was sad. I did love to toot my butt tunes.

This featured image is 7 years old. It is from when Sam and I had our first ‘holiday’ on a houseboat on the Murray River for New Years. Her, I am happy, have 2 boobs, a wee bit thinner, relaxed and again, happy.

Uniden Digital Camera
Uniden Digital Camera

And then he said……

Before I start, Sam picked up my endone and life is good again ….. weeeeeeee

I had a conversation with a local business owner yesterday that I was just going to let go but, I can’t. I have to tell someone what type of people are out there and the conversations they feel are fine to have with a person going through their cancer fight.

I popped into a local business who, unfortunately, didn’t have the product I was looking for and the owner asked if there was something else he could offer instead. I explained that no, it was just that one thing I wanted but due to my recent medical treatment, I had left everything to the last minute.

It was pretty obvious what treatment I was having because I was standing in his store with my bald head and sickly looking skin etc and his response was this….

“I don’t know if it is just this town or that people talk more but it seems like EVERYONE is going through cancer.  (this was said in a very casual manner) He then went on to advise how cancer was ‘rampant’ through his family with a bad success rate.”

Um, yep, that is what every cancer patient wants to hear but then he asks if I am winning the fight. I advised that I believed I was.

He was probably trying to be nice and ‘country like’ and friendly because then he says, I love that you feel comfortable getting out and about without hats and scarfs. Good for you.

I did feel a bit chuffed then and went on to explain that I do pop a hat on when it is super cold and I kid you not, this was his reply…

“Oh Man, you have NO IDEA, how cold your head can get when you start balding”

I am standing in his store with barely an eyebrow worth of hair to my name while he stands there, head full of hair except for a little bit at the front that is thinning.

My reply was Yes, as a matter of fact I DO have an idea. I then left the store.

What a dickhead. But, it did amuse me for the rest of the day.

Medicate Me!!!

Where have I been? Just over there, in bed.

Remember how I said the drugs have now changed and my chemo will be different that the last four? Well blow me down if they weren’t right. I can barely stay out of bed for half an hour, the body and bone pain never leaves, have over dosed accidentally on codeine and we all know what that does to ones bum…… enter hemorrhoids AGAIN!!

Today I’d had enough. I rang my girls (they’d be the oncology nurses who give me my chemo) who in turn rang my oncologist and here’s what we are going to do.

Dr Sid (oncologist) is sending a script via fax to my local chemist right now which I’ll get Sam to pick up on his way home. This will be a very strong pain killer.

If I am still crap tomorrow, I get two nights in a single suite at my private hospital so they can take the pain away and give me some relief.

My temperature keeps popping up to 37.9 which does make me smile because it is the temperature of 38 degrees that we have to worry about. It never really gets there.

I think that is about all I have to report on today. Please have my very sore bum in your thoughts today as well as my body and hopefully, I’ll be right as rain tomorrow.

Oh thats right, one more thing. Totally busy and preoccupied with myself, I hadn’t gotten anything for Sam for his birthday yesterday. Oh I was a right misery guts laying in bed knowing I couldn’t drive to the nearest shopping centre about 20 kilometers away when I remembered, he talked about wanting one of those full sized wine barrels. I wizzed down to the landscaping yard, in my town, bought it and they delivered it free for me. So when he got home, there it was. Phew, gotta love country folk.

Over and out

medication

Talking to The Kid

So, I was chatting with Accalia yesterday and boy, I just don’t kids grow up so quick and wise these days.

I am a very proud mother to Accalia who is 22 years old and whilst we text more than we talk due to this cancer and chemo bizzo, I keep thinking of something she said to me yesterday.

Being the misery guts that I was (which I think is a bit unusual for me because I have been quite positive about all of it so far but the loss of my engagement ring may have tipped me over the edge slightly)… any whoo I was complaining to Accalia on the phone about how my four hour chemo, reaction to the dye from the heart pool test and the loss of my ring and how this was meant to be the best year of my life.

Sam and I were handed the keys to our brand new built house to our design on the 19th of December 2014, the same day my gorgeous man Sam proposed to me. I had a new ‘promotion’ job which I loved, everything was going so great and now this cancer and chemo and radiotherapy and all the other bullshit. She was very patient listening to me blubber away on the phone.

My gorgeous and very intelligent daughter responded with….

The best year is just on hold Mummy, it might well be next year.

Thank you my girl for your words of wisdom. These words of yours have kept running through my head. You know me, I am not one to dwell on much so to have a few days of blugh is a bit of a shock to me. Thanks for grounding me. Love you to bits.

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Uniden Digital Camera
Uniden Digital Camera

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The New Drugs

Yesterday was the new chemo medication (the almost four hour visit) now has me on doseytaxol and herceptin.

Today, so far so good. Went to sleep just after 1am last night (lots of steroids for this treatment that keep me awake) and Sam let me sleep until 10am before waking with a breakfast of pancakes with real maple syrup, coffee, water and steroids, anti nausea tablets and panadol.

I did get up and about for about an hour but went back to bed until about 3pm. Dozed on and off etc but so far so good. I seem to have lost the headaches and most of the nausea. I think I was only nauseas this morning because being woken and asked to eat straight away isn’t my thing.

Thankfully, these chemo sessions wont last as long as this first time. They’ll get shorter and shorter.

Dr George has popped into my house to give my 24 hour after chemo injection (still loving this country service) and that’s about it.

Oh, the ring wasn’t in Kellys poop so I dont think I fed my diamond ring to the dogs.

Am feeling a bit dopey which makes TV, books and even blogging dull. Hopefully I’ll be back to laughing and giggling tomorrow. I am reading Game of Thrones Book 4 and O.M.G. I need my concentration back please because it is really really amazing right now.

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I think you’ll find me here for the next few days.

Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention yesterday, my amazing cleaner once again left me a hair tie on my bedside table which again, had me in a fit of giggles 🙂

Un-Engaged :(

Some weeks just suck and this week kinda fits the bill.

On Tuesday, I had to meet with my Professor, you remember all that? Well, while we were in the waiting room, at 3:30pm,  I was gazing at my gorgeous engagement ring and Sam was giggling away at me etc.

Wednesday morning, I woke to NO RING.

This house has been turned upside down so many times, the cleaner came through it today, I have even put rubber gloves on and squished dog shit between my fingers in case it slipped off while I was feeding the dogs.

Sam pulled the washing machine apart because my ring often slips off when I put a load of washing into the machine but all he found was $7.00 and some nails.

I went through all of the bins, car, lodged a police report, rang all of the places we had been too on Tuesday.

Where is my ring?

It had been getting a little loose because I have lost a little weight but it wasn’t slipping off everytime I moved my hand.

The only place left (if it hasn’t been found and sold) is inside Kelly.

Remember her. She is the one who has always had a little grudge against me when it comes to the love of Sam. Don’t get me wrong, Kelly and I are besties now but I wonder if she has taken it too far and eaten my ring.

When I fed them on Tuesday night, they got a treat of Tin Food which they rarely get and I mushed it all in amongst their biscuits. Kelly gobbles down her food so fast that she wouldn’t have noticed a diamond ring.

But get this, Kelly poops every night but hasn’t done one all day or tonight. Could there be a diamond ring blocking her up? She will now be sleeping in the garage because she is more than happy to poop in there at night. I am hoping there is a glistening diamond poo waiting for me in the morning.

Oh, and my chemo today went for just under 4 hours. The heart pool scan dye gave me a rash.

One a high note, we came home to a beautifully clean home, Thank you family and Shanna. I also got a lovely phone call from my darling daughter.

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