Friday, September 30, 2011

Wassup? Slack blogger as per. It's school holidays, and my boy has been super sick for most of it thus far. It started with a headache the Thursday night before the last day of term. He insisted on going to the school play anyway, since it was the final performance. By Friday morning he was immobile on the couch with horrible headaches. He threw up once, but that was it. Saturday we went to the doctor who said 'I don't know. Virus?" Helpful. Another day on the couch, no appetite, and he stayed that way most of the week. Yesterday (Thursday, a week later...) he ate a little and didn't have a day nap for the first time in a week. Today he is a little more improved again. It's been a slow recovery, though. Poor kid. Not much of a holiday hes having. Next week he wants to stay at Mums for a night. We went up today for a day trip visit to get him out of the house at least.

It's been a long week for many reasons. I'm finding comfort and escape in a book, very typical. It's helping though. Also, J offered me the cash to get the surgery done ASAP so I have an appointment with the surgeon October 12. Nervous, but excited. Just want to get it over with now. Weird feeling. I need to go to a gold class movie as a goodbye!

Finishing with a photo from the trip to Mums today. Kids had a great time :)

Fat chicks

Friday, September 23, 2011

I've never really talked about weight before. Funny, because it is a huge (pardon the pun) part of my life. I'm a fat chick. It's been that way since puberty, and even before then, I was always larger. Larger I can handle, but where I am now causes me so much sadness. I put a lot of value (or lack thereof) on myself as a person by appearance. It's not resulting in a good esteem at all, but I can't change my thinking. PCOS makes weight loss more difficult, and I have been seriously considering surgery. The past week or so, I have decided that I will go ahead with surgery. I took out health insurance today, there is a 12 month wait, which is kinda frustrating, but I'll use that time to do as much work myself as I can. I know that weight loss surgery is controversial. You know what though? The bottom line is I need help. I've tried for 20 years to lose weight on my own. 20 long, hate filled, failure filled, years. And I want to be around to see my children grow up. I want to be able to move freely and confidently. I want to be able to glance in the mirror and not feel depressed that the person I love on the inside, is not reflected on my outside. It's a terrifying prospect to consider surgery. It's not the easy out, it's scary, it's major, and it will have side effects and repercussions to manage. They cannot be worse than what faces me in the years ahead if I don't do something about this. I need help. Admitting that - publicly - is a big deal.

See this dress? I want to wear a dress like this. Whilst I will never be as thin as this model, I would still fit into that dress. I want to walk into a "normal" store (not a fat chicks store!) and be able to buy something off the rack. I can't even fathom what that is like. :( I've never known it. Ever. I'm scared that even after this, I won't. Maybe I never will. I have to try. For my children, my family, and most importantly, for myself. I need to do all I can. 12 months is going to be a long wait.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Firstly, the happy thoughts worked, mums post surgery results came back clear. I cannot describe the relief!!! Apologies for the lack of blog, no excuse either. Just being a Mum :)

I have to write tonight, though. I'm sad, and I am angry and I am frustrated. This is the reason why. Troy Anthony Davis was executed today. I get this awful sense of panic and fear and horror when I think about the death penalty. It's just so awful. In any case. In cases of innocence, it's abhorrent.

It distresses me. I read some good quotes today I wanted to share.

"You can say they deserve to die, but the key moral question is 'Do we deserve to kill?'" -- Helen Prejean

"To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice." - Desmond Tutu

Australia stopped capital punishment in 1967 when Ronald Ryan was hung. What's even better, and you may not realise this, but just last year, federal legislation was passed prohibiting capital punishment in every state and territory. It makes me proud to be Australian. Imagine living in the US, wrong place, wrong time, and wrongly accused... and you're killed for it.

How can taking away a life make up for one lost? Doesn't bring them back. Doesn't teach any one anything. An eye for an eye is an old fashioned, outdated, and barbaric school of thought and it needs to stop. We need to put pressure on American government to spark change. This can't go on. It is, put plainly, wrong.

Happy thoughts?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tomorrow Mum is going in for her surgery. As you can read here, she had thought cancer was back, but apparently, it's not. The lump she had gone for is now gone, but they say that shouldn't be happening so soon after her surgery 2 years ago. So, they want to go in a take a look around and check everything is okay. I guess it is largely precautionary. Mum is happy for it to be happening and wanting the peace of mind anyway. She has really struggled with what went on the other week, it shook her terribly, I can't even imagine how it would have felt.

Anyway, so she goes in for surgery tomorrow morning. She will SMS or call me when she is out again. My auntie (her twin sister) just emailed asking if I was worried. I said no, then I said actually, yes. Mostly, because it just brings back the memories of her surgery for cancer. Of the hospital visits for chemotherapy and stuff. It is SO hard to tell myself THIS IS DIFFERENT. It just feels so similar.

Please keep her (and me!) in your thoughts tomorrow. I'll be nervous until I get the all clear call. Whilst results will take a while to come through, if anything untoward IS found, she will find out right away. It'll be okay. I know it.

September 11.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

WTC1 new Tower construction, May 2011.

Quick warning: There is some graphic content in this post.

Can you believe ten years have passed since the world changed forever? I can't. We all know where we were when it all went down. I was 23, working as a counselling supervisor with Lifeline. It was late at night, Australian time, I was on the phone to a friend and watched the plane hit, but didn't register that it wasn't just a movie. J came in and said "it's the pentagon too, this is huge." I still didn't really register. I watched the news for a while before going to sleep, I had a plane to catch early the next morning for work, to Canberra for Lifeline's annual conference. The airport was like nothing I had ever seen before, nor since. It was SO quiet. So sombre. There were televisions on and all had CNN live streaming. It was sort of scary to board a plane and head for Australia's capital city. At that point there were predictions of all kinds of terror on western society.

In the years that have passed since, I have been morbidly fascinated with events from the day. I have read every book I can find on it, watched many documentaries and accessed endless internet articles, videos and photos. Recently, I watched a documentary interview with some survivors, ten years on. What fascinated me more than the stories of escape and horror ("I crawled over a man with no head, just a spinal column sticking out 3-4 inches from his neck" and from someone at the Pentagon - "there were body parts floating in the water, I wanted to take them out, it was the only chance. A small hand floated past, there was nowhere to put it so I put it in my pocket. I was so angry...") but more than that was how they were affected in the time since. Nightmares, reliving certain scenes, one man said he couldn't cope in confined spaces, and still struggled to go to a movie theatre.

In the time after 9/11 but before having children, I seriously considered becoming a Critical Incident Stress Debriefer and working with first responders. I still sort of would like to... But it's unlikely. Hearing these stories made me think about it. I cannot comprehend how people see these things, in real life, and continue living a normal life. How do you process it and carry that around forever? One survivor made my heart ache when he said "living with it is my penance for surviving when others didn't." That made me so sad, that he feels guilty for his survival.

There's no doubt September 11 changed the 'safe' world we live in. It took away our innocence, and reminded us we are ALL potential targets. The horror and raw anger of it impacted everyone who has seen that footage. We all still feel emotional about that day, to some extent. Even those of us a world away. Those lives will never be forgotten. Those that saved the final target, and took the plane down in Shanksville, heroes is an overused word, but this was true heroism.

In May of this year, I went to New York City. My first stop was the World Trade Centre and the memorial. The new memorial was obviously not opened, but I could see it under construction, along with the new WTC1 Tower. I wandered through the memorial across the road. Saw the photos, read the stories, saw remnants of steel, uniforms, and personal effects that had been recovered. I was emotional. So many names. Given how much I had read and watched about the day, I thought I would have some sort of grasp after going to the site, but I didn't. It still didn't seem real. I don't think it ever will. (edit: I dreamt I was there last night, considered not publishing this post, felt wrong using the graphic details. But, it's real. Pretending it didn't happen, doesn't make it not so).

How religion fits into all of this is a topic for another post, but today is for remembering.

The Meaning of Friendship

Monday, September 5, 2011

Do you ever have moments where something that should be obvious, hits you like a truck? Things that people might say in one way or another over time, that you might have even heard before, for whatever reason makes more of an impact out of the blue? I had this happen to me twice this week, and I wanted to share it.

Firstly, my gorgeous friend, Nat. I admire Nat for about a billion different reasons. She's beautiful, smart, she's a loving wife and mother, and she is a true friend. In response to my blog yesterday about Fathers Day and the week that was, Nat sent me this tweet:

I can't tell you why it had such impact. Something about seeing myself the way she does. Wouldn't that be a fantastic way to live life? And why can't I see the me that she sees?? Why can't I appreciate myself the same way Nat does? It made me feel good, but it was also the kick I needed to stop and say, 'hang on a minute, why DON'T I see that?' I'm really lucky to have people to open my eyes for me, thank you, sweet Nat xx

The second was another tweet. This time from the precious Cat. Cat is a sweetheart, she is vulnerable, and generous, and really insightful. She 'gets' the big picture when most don't, in a myriad of examples. Cat is a few short weeks away from one hard earned experience of motherhood. She has tenacity and spirit that I adore. I am so excited to see her reach such a longed for moment. Last night, she was protective and defensive of me. She had my back. She was looking out for me, and when I thanked her for it, she replied with this tweet:

No earth shattering revelation, right? But it was. For me, it was. Because I thought, 'yes, I absolutely would' - in a heartbeat. But I didn't realise that other people knew that. I didn't grasp that my friendship was appreciated and recognised and my loyalty was known. It meant so much to me, I really felt valued in that tweet. Thank you so much, Cat, for making me feel so appreciated and valued. I value you, too.

So whatever else might feel bad today, whatever else doesn't feel good, whatever feelings are hurt, these are the moments I focus on, because these are the moments that make my heart happy. Thank you, universe, for giving me these girls as my friends. /LOVE.

Happy Fathers Day

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Today is fathers day. I've done my best to make sure the kids Dad was spoiled and looked after, not sure if I succeeded or not, though.

It's been a while since I last blogged. A lot has happened.

On Monday night, I went to see Anberlin in concert. It was a 26 song set. HUGE. Such a freaking awesome show, really enjoyed myself, loved it. I wanted to go again! What's great is they recorded a DVD at the show so I'll be able to experience it again and again in time!

Mum watched the kids, she seemed fine, maybe slightly distracted. There is no way in hell I'd have guessed she was told that morning that her cancer was back. No way. And stupid me waffled on about it being her 2 year cancer free anniversary. Facepalm. I am retelling this casually, because as it turns out, her cancer is NOT back. How can such a mistake be made? What happened was that she found another breast lump and went to the oncologist who ordered a biopsy, bone scan and CAT scan, and told her the cancer was back and she would need to make an appointment with the surgeon for a mastectomy. She mentioned this to NO ONE. Not even my Dad until the next night. She was certain this was it, and her number was up. How utterly terrifying. The oncologist seems to have assumed her lump was the cancer returning. What the hell?? It was not until THURSDAY, that's a whole 4 days later, that she went to see the surgeon who looked at the biopsy results and could see NO SIGNS OF CANCER. Her bone and CAT scans were also clear. He believed the lump was a blood blistery thing but wants to open it up and check to make sure. But no, its NOT cancer. I had been trying to call her Thursday morning and been unable to get on to her. I was immediately worried, as I knew she was having the scan (I assumed it was part of the end of 2 years cancer free deal), and was worried she had had bad news. Anyway, I finally got hold of her and she said "I was told on Monday my cancer was back and I've only just found out it's not. I'm a blithering mess. Can I call you back soon?" I calmly and reassuringly said of course, no problem, all good. I hung up the phone and burst into tears. It was such a fright, even knowing it wasn't so. I know she didn't mention it in order to protect me, but I wish she hadn't carried it alone too.

Anyway, its taking her some time to get over the shock and fear. I honestly cannot imagine what that must have been like for her. Hell. Absolute hell. I could kick that oncologist fair in the shins. I am encouraging her to write a letter of complaint, not for any outcome than to feel shes worth standing up for and saying "hey, this was NOT okay to put me through." It took me a day or so to get over my own tears and wobbliness of it, I imagine it will take her some time yet.

On that same Thursday, I went to see my doctor about my holter monitor results, and was told they were not yet back. She called the place that reviews them and asked for it to be made priority and said she would call me that afternoon - or 2 days later as she had a day off. I just wanted an answer :(

I called on Friday and the nurse said she couldn't tell me as she wasn't qualified too - which only worried me more. Agai with my fear taking hold. I really am unsure how to work on it. Anyway, at 9am Saturday morning when I was half way through my 7km walk, my doctor called to tell me that I am okay. I have what is called ectopic beats. Apparently 20% of the population have them, the heart beats an extra beat and its made worse by things like stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, caffeine etc. No treatment is required and they are harmless. I was relieved. Whilst they are unpleasant to experience, at least I don't need to be worried by them. It's a huge relief.

So that catches you up on my week. It was a doozy. I really hope this week is far more boring. Boring is good.