The $10,000 Bill

As I sit here in my little home office trying to waste time until my ankle surgery today, I thought I might pop in here and say HI!

I am fasting so as you can imagine, I am not in the greatest of moods AND my surgery isn’t until about 3:30pm today. I had to start fasting at 7:30am so that is a huuuuuge gap between meals.

It is just a quick day surgery today to take out two pins from my ankle. Apparently the surgeon is going to leave the plates and screws in and ‘if I want’, they can be removed in about three years or so. I forget what I had for breakfast this morning so how on earth am I going to remember about the plates and screws in my ankle in three years time?

Anyhoo, onto the TAX MAN.

I am going to have a whinge and whine about this so if you are like me and like to be around only positive things, then stop reading.  But if you wonder how you would cope when unable to work and think you have it all sorted, then read on.

Sooooo, I pay for income insurance each month which covers me for such times as when I am unable to work due to illness.

Enter Breast Cancer.

This is a perfect reason to have income insurance because, it is very difficult to hold down a full time job while having treatment for cancer such as chemotherapy, mastectomy and radiation to name a few.

Another thing I have, and pay a lot of money for, is Private Health Insurance. This ensures I can get treatment very quickly, receive very good private health care and rebates (of sorts) for some treatments.

Therefore, I feel, I am a very small burden on the government.

I am not using the public hospitals, therefore freeing it up for people who are unable to afford Private Health Insurance.

Nor am I asking the government to fund me while I am not working with Sickness Benefits because my income insurance, whilst it doesn’t pay my full wage, assists me in getting by during this time.

So, I knew that the income insurance wasn’t having tax taken out of it while I was receiving 75% of my wage but given that was quite a reduction in payment, we found it very difficult to find the extra money to pay the tax. So, in my wisdom, I ‘assumed’ that the $4,800.00 tax payment made while working (which was due to be refunded to me because I had earnt under the threshold) would cover the tax cost of income insurance.

You can imagine my absolute disgust and disappointment when finding out that that my tax bill was just under ten thousand dollars.

This is the thanks I get for having Private Health Insurance and Income Insurance.

If I had chosen to take on sickness benefits (which I am completely entitled to do so) and used the public system, I would have had no tax bill, would have more than likely even received a tax return with $$ involved, be better off each fortnight not having to pay for income insurance or health insurance and become a burden on the public system and government.

It really pissed me off.

Yes, I am very thankful to have my life, to have come out the other side and yes, I know that $10,000 is a small price to pay but geez, when do I get a break here?

Oh thats right, I got a break on the 3rd of May, 2 breaks in fact. In my leg and ankle!

Thats it. Whinge complete.

It is now time to head down to the hospital for a lovely little sleep under an anesthetic, have some pins removed, hopefully be fed when I wake up and come home some time tonight.

There is a lovely photo of my boy, fresh from his shower because I didn’t have time to find any related photos to this post. Oh, I could have taken a photo of my empty bank account and purse!

🙂

Still Here :)

 

I have had so many lovely emails and conversations with people wanting me to ‘come back to blogging’. Wow, I can’t tell you how much of a lift that gives me. Thank you to everyone who has enjoyed, laughed, cried, worried and read my blog through my Unscheduled Journey with Stage 3 Breast Cancer.

Let me tell you about………………

The Ankle Incident 3rd of May, 2016

So, it seems that after chemotherapy and radiation, your bones can become quite brittle.

My oncologist and surgeon had both told me repeatedly I needed to lose weight as a cancer prevention because carrying extra weight can cause the cancer to return. Therefore, I came up with a plan.

My energy levels were still very low so there was no way a cardio or aerobic exercise was on the agenda but I thought, if I drive to the city from home (45 kilometres) and park on Fullarton Road in South Australia, I could then walk the 2 kilometres to work. As there is no bus that goes to where my car was parked, it meant that I couldn’t ‘cheat’ and get a lift after work but had to walk back.  That meant I was walking over 4 kilometres a day!

My weight was starting to come off and even though the mornings were very cold, I felt great for all of the fresh air and walking until I rolled my ankle.

There was a section of my walk that was dirt and there was a teeny tiny pothole that I lost my footing in and over I went. As I went down, I heard to very loud noises which turned out to be two broken bones. But, get this….. there I am, dressed in my work clothes, lanyard around my neck with my security pass, backpack on the ground, sitting in the dirt crying and holding my ankle and NOT ONE PERSON HELPED ME.

There were people everywhere too. People were cycling on the track behind me, others walking their dogs, people parking their cars five meters in front of me and walking to work. How on earth have we become such a selfish or scared society that we won’t approach someone who is obviously in distress?

I called the ambulance myself and waited half an hour (the emergency department is five streets away) and then spent three days in hospital following surgery where there were plates and screws put in to my tibia and fibular. I was in a Cast for three weeks with a walking frame, then a ‘moon boot’ for five weeks with a walking frame and am having my second surgery on the 7th of September 2016.

THE BREAK AND SCAR

 

So, my weight loss adventures obviously came to a halt. I was off work for 8 weeks and am only now just starting to walk properly again so am hoping my surgery next week doesn’t set me back any more. The surgeon did say that I will be fine after a few days rest following this surgery so am not too worried.

THE X-RAYS OF THE PLATES AND PINS

xrays

A further 8 weeks off work was certainly not what I had in mind seeing as though I had returned to work only three months previously. 10 months off work with Cancer was enough I had thought but the universe had other ideas hehe.

THE CAST AND MOON BOOT

As I was unable to put any weight on my left leg for 6 weeks, Sam (Dr Hands) made a makeshift kitchen in the living room and even had a car fridge with treats, drinks and lunch options.

THE ‘KITCHEN’, DAISIES FROM MUM AND FLOWERS FROM WORK

So, this is the update on the ankle business.

Are you a suspicious person? I haven’t been known to worry about black cats, walking under ladders etc but for some reason, after I broke my ankle, I kept worrying that there was once more really bad thing left to happen to me.

I couldn’t get rid of the feeling even though people would tell me that there were 2 breaks in my bones so that adds up to three things with the breast cancer. I was also told that as I had breast cancer surgery and nodes removed, that could count as two and the third was my ankle.

Well, I had my third one which I’ll tell you about later but here is the short version.

My tax bill for 2015/2016 is a whopping $9,800.00!

That, right there, is my third thing.

Anyhoo, thank you to all who had messaged me with well wishes and worries of the cancer returning but be assured, all is well for the time being.

My current focus is a reconstruction (which I am sure to tell you all about when it is done) and, my wedding to Dr Sam the Hands himself.

Lots of Love from me

me

Xx Talk soon

My Pity Party

Live kinda sucks at the moment. I know, it sucks for everyone. I also know, I am one of the lucky ones but, that does not discount my current mood with life.

My passion has gone. There is little to no energy for the day. I have started smoking cigarettes again, drinking too much alcohol, no money in the bank, very little weight loss after walking more than 5kms a day, no excitement about anything, fed up with oncology visits (only four left), seriously dull fiction book, nothing capturing my interest on TV, Foxtel or Netflix, reduction on my food intake but still not much of a weight loss, painful teeth, blocked tear ducts that the optometrist ‘sort of’ fixed but need more painful work, unfinished back garden,  Brady upsetting the neighbours with his barking, sore and bruised nose from falling on it last weekend……….. yep, I could go on and on. Oh, and the big issue, AM STILL FAT!

So, I decided a while ago that I was going to be completely healthy and refresh my body. Why on earth would I decide then to take up smoking again? Who knows. I know the dangers of smoking and cancer and chemo and death. The thing is, I dont give a shit about anything at the moment. I wish I could but I can’t.

I have no passion. There is nothing right now that excites me. I am trying to focus on my upcoming November wedding in 2017 but all I can focus on is the fact we have no money, I am fat and our back yard is totally unsuitable for my budget reception.

NO, I am not looking for sympathy but maybe blogging and letting it out might release some of this built up crap that goes on within me.

I am so sick of being so tired. Today, I couldn’t go to work simply due to a headache and tiredness. Who on earth needs to call in sick for these issues? Me! I slept until midday and even then, I could have slept even longer if I didn’t have an oncology/herceptin appointment. I love my work/job but I just couldn’t do it today. If I didn’t have that oncology appointment, I’d probably still be in bed.

Every day my bestie/cousin and I  email each other with how we are, whats going on and we list a minimum of three things we are thankful for for the day. I would be lost and even worse than what I am without that.

I think I need to find not only a passion but, I really need my energy and motivation back. I know I’ll find it eventually but wow, these negatives in my life are totally blocking all that I need and want right now. This is a time that I should be joyous, happy that I still have my life, nearing the end of my cancer treatment, a beautiful home, sensational Sam, amazing daughter and mum and sister…….. But right now, it all kinda sucks.pity

Another Lump….

One thing many cancer survivors mention is the fear of it coming back. That ache or pain or lump or bump could be ‘it’ again.

Well, I have a lump. This time, it is in my other breast. Well, I shouldn’t really say other because I only have one left now so it is in my breast. I assumed that I was being a hypochondriac prior to seeing my doctor last Saturday and that he would brush it off, tell me I was being silly and send me on my way.

That didn’t happen.

He is concerned. Shit shit shit.

Tomorrow afternoon I am off to have a mammogram and ultra sound.

The way I figure it, NOTHING could have survived the recent chemotherapy blast that lasted six months. Surely!!??

It is a decent size lump too. Not a little one but a biggin. I don’t really want to be the 1 in 20 to get it again (these are the amazing odds my doctor gave me of getting cancer again, 1 in 20!). I have barely even recovered from my last bought of cancer.

The only thing that keeps me calm is the fact that I have been there and done that and can do it again if I have too but naturally, I really don’t want too.

I am still tired from the last cancer. I am still having herceptin and heart scans and tamoxifen and massage from the last cancer. Why can’t cancer be a one time only illness?

And another thing…. My hair is looking amazing! I can’t be losing it again so soon!

On a brighter note, I am absolutely loving being back at work. I love walking the floor and riding the elevators. I love that I say hello to people and have a sense of purpose each and every day.

One of the greatest things I took from my cancer ordeal was that life is too short to give a shit about things that are not important. If someone doesn’t like me, who cares? If I go to lunch a little late, it really doesn’t matter. The bus is late? Early? Too hot? Too Cold? It doesn’t bother me. I am happier today than I have ever been and I plan on staying this happy. No body can bring me doooooooown.

The best news of all from the last week is …. we have a wedding date!! It isn’t forever but we have the date. Do you see a problem with getting married on Remembrance Day? I would be really interested to know of peoples thoughts but I am loving the idea of being married 11/11/17. How lovely does that date look? I have looked at catering companies for my relaxed home reception, I have sent a message to Carol (the lady who owns the tree property) to ask if I can be married there on the date 11/11/17. I have even looked at pretty dresses for my gorgeous daughter to wear. Now, all I need to do is lose 20 kilos, grow some more hair, save save save and get married 🙂

Now, I’ll let you in on something.

Just before I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer in April 2015, I fell in love with a song that has such beautiful words but ends so sadly. This song really hit home with me and I even talked about it with Sam. Then, driving home after my cancer diagnosis after the mammogram last year, this song played on the radio and I cried and I cried. I do not want to be a part of this song. Here are the lyrics. If you get a chance, listen to it because as sad as it is, it really is beautiful.

JAMIE LAWSON LYRICS

“Wasn’t Expecting That”

It was only a smile
But my heart it went wild
I wasn’t expecting that
Just a delicate kiss
Anyone could’ve missed
I wasn’t expecting that

Did I misread the sign?
Your hand slipped into mine
I wasn’t expecting that
You spent the night in my bed
You woke up and you said
“Well, I wasn’t expecting that!”

I thought love wasn’t meant to last
I thought you were just passing through
If I ever get the nerve to ask
What did I get right to deserve somebody like you?
I wasn’t expecting that

It was only a word
It was almost misheard
I wasn’t expecting that
But it came without fear
A month turned into a year
I wasn’t expecting that

I thought love wasn’t meant to last
Honey, I thought you were just passing through
If I ever get the nerve to ask
What did I get right to deserve somebody like you?
I wasn’t expecting that

Oh and isn’t it strange
How a life can be changed
In the flicker of the sweetest smile
We were married in spring
You know I wouldn’t change a thing
Without that innocent kiss
What a life I’d have missed

If you’d not took a chance
On a little romance
When I wasn’t expecting that
Time doesn’t take long
Three kids up and gone
I wasn’t expecting that

When the nurses they came
Said, “It’s come back again”
I wasn’t expecting that
Then you closed your eyes
You took my heart by surprise
I wasn’t expecting that

Shut Up!

At the risk of being unpopular, sounding like an ungrateful person, this is something that is really starting to piss me off. I need to talk about it and just put it out there. I do not wish to offend any person and I am not dismissive of the awful times people go through with losing someone so close to them through cancer. My heart and love goes out to everyone who has been touched by this awful disease.

Having said that, I am still strong on my opinion of asking to please, consider your topic before discussing it.

I am a pretty easy going person. I don’t care what a persons view is on religion or politics, I really don’t care where you live or who you live with, black, white, gay, straight, man or woman, dog or cat……. I can pretty much talk to you about anything without getting offended or feeling out of place. And yes, I will even talk to dogs and cats.

Talking about anything and everything is pretty interesting to me because I love hearing about things that I don’t know about. Oh, unless it is about retaining walls and storm water flow. Those topics generally bore the shit out of me.

Recently, I finally found another topic that many people want to tell me about that I have no interest in talking about.

Death from Cancer.

Now, it seems, so many people want to tell me about a family member, friend or someone who died from cancer.

Shut. Up.

Do I look like I want to hear your story? No, I don’t want to hear your story. Although I am terribly sorry you have had to go through such a loss, I wonder why you think I want to hear about it.

Sometimes I really feel like saying, oohh, do you have another story just like that to tell me because that one made me feel marvelous! Please please tell me another story about someone else who had breast cancer or another type of cancer and died.

You are telling me about someone who had the same or similar illness as myself and then letting me know (as if I don’t think about it a hundred times a day already) that it kills people.

Shut. Up.

I know people die from cancer. We all know people die from it. What we cancer survivors do not want to hear about is how it can kill them.  Cancer survivors are not free of cancer. We have fought for our lives but it doesn’t mean we wont have to do it again. We hope we never have to fight like we did for our lives but most of us have it in the back of our minds. Is the cancer still in our bodies?

You do not tell a new mother about the awful death of a baby you know about.

You do not tell a parent sitting by their sons hospital bed following a car accident that you know three people who have died in car accidents this year.

You. Shut. Up.

Why do people feel so comfortable talking to a cancer survivor about the death of other people from the same horrible disease?

Do they think we feel ‘lucky’ to have had cancer and still be standing here today?

It is not up to you to ‘make us feel better’ with these stories.

Please, stop talking to us about deaths caused by cancer. It is not a conversation I wish to be a part off. That may change at some stage but today, no, I do not want to hear it.

Shut. Up.

DSCN2482

Thank you Samantha for these beautiful flowers that are all starting to open. xx