Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Cleaning Fairy

I bear wings and a chux. I am the cleaning fairy! But my magic is lost.
I’m normally a cleaning freak. I’ll clean in places most people wouldn’t think about. I’ll get on my hands and knees to scrub a small bathroom floor because I want to know it’s clean, I’ll want to see it sparkle. I’ll clean before the cleaner comes. I’ll clean something while I’m using it (showers for example). I like clean. My former partner-in-crime didn’t understand. Yes, I will go ballistic if there is a grain of salt on the kitchen bench that I, not five minutes ago, cleaned to pristine perfection.
I’d like to add that I do not have obsessive compulsive disorder. Otherwise my current situation would not arise.
I can’t find motivation to clean my own quarters. Yet, yesterday I went to a friends house and did a weeks worth of her dishes and folded her laundry, all the while she told me off. It’s not the first time I’ve done that to her. I used to sneak into her house and mop her floor (it was sticky and I couldn’t handle it), do her dishes, do her laundry. I’ve cleaned things in other peoples houses that irked me while their backs were turned. I scrutinise the efforts (or lack of) of the cleaners at work. I like clean!
But why is it my bathroom is filthy? Why is it that after living in this house for at least 2 months I am yet to clean it AT ALL? There’s dust and fluff and a gecko’s tail on the floor being eaten by ants and I just stare at it while I’m on the toilet. My bedroom floor has seen a broom once since moving in. The shower glass has a build up of soap scum. The sink is speckled with mud. Dust is collecting in the toothbrush holder along with 10 cents.
And so, while I have the time to clean all this, I am on the computer... writing a blog... and trolling Facebook. And I feel like I’ve kept my wings but I am no longer a fairy, I am a pig. A procrastinating pig.
If anyone out there happens to find my motivation, my magic, please send it back. I have to have this house clean by Friday morning!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Part Two: The Wait Is Over

I tossed, I turned. Sleeping every night on the same side was uncomfortable but sleeping on the other was painful. I stressed, I worried. And I had trouble falling asleep and having to wear a bra to bed just made things even worse.
Bumps in roads, running, over-doing things. Nearly everything hurt. I was constantly worried I was going to bust my stitches. My breast got hot and it sometimes felt like it was swollen.
Two days before my follow-up appointment with the surgeon I pulled the giant bandaid off. The length of the scar scared me. Why did she have to make such a big cut? I re-covered the wound with three bandaids. The area was too sensitive not to have one on.
Ten days after my operation I went in to see my surgeon for my follow-up. She asked the usual questions and then finally she brought up the results. Under her breath she rattled off a few lines of the results and then finally I heard the words:
“Benign cyst”
Relief swept over me. I wasn’t going to be battling cancer after all! I was so happy I nearly cried. There is not much that could have topped that news.
After getting me a new, more appropriate bandaid for the wound she said “So it’s benign, we won’t be needing to do any more follow ups, that’s it, it’s all over”. Then she winked and smiled and I was on my way with tears welling in my eyes and a smile on my face.
I consider myself lucky. Not everyone out there gets to hear those words and their battles are long and hard, tiring and expensive. Sometimes they don’t even win.
I was surrounded by a support group of select people and the occasional not-so-select. But all the way they were by my side. My family, the 49 ladies who sit at the kitchen table and a number friends. Thank you to each and every one of you for being there for me. And thank you to everyone for your kind words even though you found out after-the-fact.
And so life goes on. My only battle now is to try and get out of bed in the morning after trying to catch up on 7 months worth of lost sleep!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Part One: The Unknown

There was an itch, I scratched it and suddenly 2013 became a trial I just didn’t to face. The dogs constantly barked, I was completely broke and my discovery turned my world upside down.
There was a lump in my right breast.
An appointment with a female doctor and then a referral to the imaging clinic later I saw the lump in an ultrasound as I shivered under the cold of the air conditioning.
“You’re gonna need a biopsy” they said. And so the drama began.
First attempt: Rinda came with me. She held my hand and told me it’s okay as I tried to fly off the examination table when the doctor tried to bring a needle near me while I was dosed but not doped on 3 sedatives. Instead of a biopsy I had a second ultrasound. It had grown
“You really need to have a biopsy” they pressed. The drama continued.
Second attempt: I took 3 sleeping tablets expecting that since people of much bigger build than me got knocked out on one. I asked a friend to come in so once I was asleep he could carry me to the appointment and I wouldn’t know a thing. The biopsy could be performed with me completely out of it. But like the sedatives, the overdose on sleeping tablets didn’t work.  Instead I was wired. As soon as the doctor saw me awake he laughed. He knew nothing was going be achieved that day either. The needles got brought out by the sonographer only to be put back by the doctor. I felt worse about wasting everyone’s time this round as not only had I not gone through with the biopsy again but my friend had driven 100km to come into town only to have him just sit in the waiting room while everyone dealt with my fear. The third ultrasound showed that the lump had changed.
“Maybe it’s better if I get gassed and get the rotten thing cut out?” The doctor agreed.
It took a while but a consult with the surgeon was arranged where she and I debated over the use of gas. She was against it while I was against being without it.
Soon enough a letter came through telling me when my operation in Darwin is. The dogs care arranged, Mum and Peter’s flight and accommodation booked and time taken off work, D-Day approached.
A week before I lay in bed thinking about what awaits me. I burst into tears and sobbed myself to sleep. I’m only 28, I don’t want to die. I want to live a full and happy life. I want to see my nieces grow up. I want to ride my horses, run my dogs, pet my cows. I didn’t want to be too weak to do anything. Too lifeless to hold my head up. I wanted none of what could be. And I certainly didn’t want surgery. But it had to be done.
“Well, you don’t have any major allergies and you’re fit and healthy, you won’t need to see the anaesthetist,” the Sister decided in my pre-admission .
“No, I would really like to speak to the anaesthetist please”, I was firm, but I needed to be, things were going to be done my way or not at all.
“The gas will knock you right out, I assure you” said the anaesthetist with a sweet disposition. I hoped she wasn’t filing my head with rubbish.
And so here goes, the following Monday. All gowned up and waiting to go. Surrounded by nurses, my surgeon and the anaesthetist.
“Gas, gas, gas and more gas” I stressed. Despite me being a handful everyone handled it really well and with such professionalism.
“Just breathe, deep breathes, you’ll be fine”.
“Time to wake up now!” says a chirpy voice beside me. What the hell?
“You can’t be serious? It’s all done?” I asked.
“Yes, it’s all over. I’m Wendy, your recovery nurse.
Relief just swept over me. It was gone. For now it was over. I was on a hiatus of a large amount of stress.
Getting the canula out was my final operation hurdle. I struggled to let the nurse pull it out so instead I pulled all the tape off myself in my own good time and left her to pull out the straw while I winced and cried.
I left the hospital with Mum by my side. Results on the lump were at least a week away.
So the wait began.