Thursday, January 31, 2013

Oh Yes . . . and I forgot about the Termites

Mum in cleaning her skirting boards found her fingers in the wallboards. A quick call to our wonderful Termite man - revealed aggressive, nasty buggers throughout the whole house.

So with everything off the walls, and the house in an uproar for the next three weeks, we have had the house chemically nuked.  Hoping that every termite in Australia catches the disease.

Maybe, should have just fed them some of my Xeloda chemo-drugs.


Despite a line of concrete and stone around the house - these monsters have managed to find a tiny gap under and through the concrete barrier.
So if you see one of these little 'buggers' chewing on your house - let me know and I will send around my hit squad.

And today, the one and only picture that they hadn't noticed still left on the wall, fell apart - the entire frame eaten - through the wallboard. 

January 31st today - A new month and hopefully a bit of better luck next month.

Ten Days and what a life!

First of all a summary. Since my last post we have:

  • lived through another chemo treatment
  • seen very close friends, lose their son to suicide
  • lived through an ex-tropical cyclone called 'Oswald'
  • had over 200mm of rain as a result
  • had a large gum tree fall on our shed
  • and had Sarah start back on her final school journey
  • Oh Yes and I celebrated my 49th birthday

It has been a life's worth of living in just these ten days.

So here is little of the news.

Saturday 19th everyone made such an effort for me to help me celebrate my 49th birthday. Ivan and Elizabeth arranged a cake and everyone gave me some lovely gifts - lots of books and DVD's to see me through my treatment.

Sunday 20th Donna and Graham O'Brien friends came over for a fun afternoon tea and then on Wednesday it was chemo time.

The treatment worked really well again - I had a chat to my oncologist and hopefully (with me begging) - I might get away with just 8 treatments and this way I am over the 'hump' mark as they say with 4 treatments completed. Thursday to Monday were their usual right-off - lots of sleep and nausea - but no vomiting this time. So am improving.

During this period of absence from the world the storm slid in. It slowly coasted along the seaboard and dumped rain, rain and more rain. In places well over 400mm. The rivers rose and places that flooded in 2011 were once more under water.

The ground was so water-logged that the roots were loosened and with winds over 100kph it just dropped.

The creek in the fields at the bottom of the garden was flowing fast and furious.
As was the stream down our garden.
We are blessed in that the tree slid sideways and the main structure of the shed held. The insurance company will be out tomorrow to assess and repair.
The winds ripped the top off the swing

and brought down a small tree in the front yard, which went under water as always; but luckily it didn't sweep onto the brickwork.

Of course as the clean-up began we found another tree leaning. This time it was leaning towards Mum and Dad's bedroom window, so it had to be cropped and chopped.

Matt, Elizabeth and Mum all got stuck in and soon it was down to a manageable level and stabilised.
With young adult muscle on the ropes and grandparent muscle/weight behind, the tree was once more upright.

So as the week wound down to its end or in this case beginning - Sarah's much anticipated/dreaded first day back at school approached. She celebrated with glee the announcement that due to the floods and lack of transport or clear roads - school which was due to begin on Tuesday was delayed until Wednesday. We didn't manage to get a first day back photo, but today I sneaked into the bathroom to capture her JOY at being back at school.

Thanks Mum, I really need you and your camera this early in the morning. Her short hair (normally) makes her look cute, funky and grown up, but this morning was not one of those days.

So as she approaches Grade 10, her final three years and the challenge of being the only one at school. I wish her luck and love, and hold thumbs for my sanity.

January 2013 has been no simpler, no easier and no less hectic than previous years.

. . . but there are changes.

My world has shrunk to a three-weekly cycle at the moment. I am on the countdown to the end of my treatment.

Matthew and Elizabeth are facing challenges of university and especially for Matthew it is a year of major change.

So for the end of this post - I want to honour friends who are family.

Our dear friends Julie, Chevy and Jacob, sadly lost their beloved son and brother Jared. In honour of their privacy, I will not say much, except that our thoughts and prayers are with you as a family. Jared will be missed by us all and we will grieve, support and love you always.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday morning blues

Ivan's last day of holidays today.

He decided to take this extra day to spend some time with Alana and Dean (the Canberra cousins) before heading back to work tomorrow.  It has been lovely having him at home for 3 weeks, but I have to say taking leave over Christmas in +35 heat is barely tolerable. 

We have found ourselves hiding inside with the airconditioners on, or thrying to do a few things very early morning or late evening.   Also I lost a week after my early January treatment, so that totally took the wind out of any plans.

However, the fun of having two wonderful family members up to share a few days is great.

Yesterday we went to see "The Hobbit" - Alana & Dean hadn't seen it, so it was a chance for all of us to go back for a second look.  I think the power of the film was stronger second time round and Ivan and I really enjoyed it.

Swimming in the pool in the late afternoon filled a few hours for the kids, while I indulged in a lie-down - had been feeling unwell most of the day.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A good day today

This morning I 'woke, arose, got up' from bed - had not slept much last night with temps still in the high 20's all night, but by 6.30am decided it was better to be up than in bed anymore.

I had energy, I was awake and I was/am feeling well.

Like last time, and I must remember this for next time - the end of the cycle is good - my body celebrates and allows me to  have a boost of energy.

I did a whole lot of washing (all the hand stuff at the bottom of the basket); did some tidying up, left the house for the first time in 8 days - yippeee and watched some TV with the girls. It was a really good day.

This evening we all as a family even went down to our pool and Ivan and the girls enjoyed the first swim of the year. It has been too hot to even do that - how sad!

So tonight at 9.20pm am about to have a cool shower and head to bed, knowing that tomorrow is another good day ahead.

Lost a week?

It is now January 10th and I lost a week.  January 3rd was my treatment and I have lost nearly all the first 10 days in January.  The last couple of days in December and January 1st & 2nd were filled with dread of the treatment.  I was feeling well & healthy, but my mind just spiralled into the fear of coping with the next chemo. 

My greatest fear was 'would that portacath' work?  I couldn't get it out of my head how painful it still was and what a failure it had been the first time.  Despite, all good intentions, I wasted those days. As it turned out Thursday 3rd wasn't my treatment date, it was Wed 2nd; after phoning at 8.30am on Wed morning to confirm my Thurs appointment Ivan and I went out for the morning. On our return I received a phone-call asking where I was,  the confusion was complete. 

I then, rushed into the hospital and was seen really quickly, the portacath insertion went really well and the treatment worked. Very little pain, no extreme cold, excellent and then it started. By the time I got home I was feeling horrible.

All the stress, the pressure the negativity and the chemicals combined and I was sick. For the past week, I have been sick; too sick to drink, too sick to eat and too sick to think that this too would pass.

Of course it has!   It is 8 days and last night around 9pm, the worst of it was over.  I didn't sleep much last night - it was hot, hot, hot. But, this morning I have woken without the horrible nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. I can now concentrate on healing for 2 full weeks.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Annual Height Photo

Every year on New Year's Day or as close to it as we can; we take our annual height photo. It was when Sarah turned 12 that I moved to the front.

Sarah has always hoped that she would not be the shortest of the kids, but with only a 1.5cm growth this year and 6cm shorter than Elizabeth at the same age - she may be destined to be tiny like her Mum.

So here are some fun photos to share.

Matthew, Elizabeth, Sarah

I am way out the front . . .

And not happy about it!

Daddy joined in the photo this year

Sarah really wanted to be as tall as Elizabeth and Matt as tall as his Dad.

And of course my Love and I.

January 1st, 2013 - An author's tale

A good start to the New Year.

I decided that today I would start the day as I mean to continue it - as a writer/author.

I committed to a minimum of an hour's writing/editing and not only on Facebook and Blog posts, but the writing that will achieve the completion of another book.

Now, 2934 words later (of the 5307 edited in total) of re-writing/editing of Book Two - The Destructors - I am feeling really good about the process.  I think the bones of Book Two are good and with the experience of editing book One - The Creators. It will be a better book.

So a good start to the New Year.

The Gift of New Year's Eve

The Gift of New Year’s Eve

Christmas is over and it has been fun
The time to de-clutter, has just begun
It’s nearly time to begin a new year again
And the mess in the house is driving me insane.

So pack up the pressies and pack up the tree
Return all the gifts—of which there were three
Put on the washing and hang out the clothes
Clean out the fridge and sort out those photos

Let’s take a moment to reflect on all the love and joy
Of the season that is jolly; and every book and toy
Let’s think of the year that’s been; the year we have had
And focus on the good and not on the bad

For New Year is nearly here and we think now ahead
To the plans we have made and NOT the things we dread
So I wish you a happy year, and ask you to Believe
In new and fresh beginnings . . . the gift of New Year’s Eve