Saturday, May 23, 2015

There's work to do.

"You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to do."

― Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake


First week post surgery and the healing has well and truly begun. Bruises are fading, all seven incisions have knit back together and my dressings have been removed.


It's been a week of trying to pace myself, stay on top of the pain and somehow keep up with our normal routine.
Wednesday was very difficult, I woke to the news that another of my Cancer Clique girls had lost her fight and despite knowing that she was nearing the end, the shock took my breath away. To see the life of this gorgeous 31yr old woman being snuffed out by bowel cancer doesn't make sense and never will. Amelia was sweet & funny. A beautiful soul who supported others even when she was struggling with treatment herself. She sent us all home baked gingerbread at Christmas cause that's the kind of lovely friend she was. Generous.

I cried for most of Wednesday...I dropped the boys to school, came straight home, curled up in my bed and cried until I fell asleep and that's where I stayed until it was time to do the school run again. There is no rhyme or reason when it comes to cancer. It steals what it wants, when it wants. The ultimate thief with no remorse. I will never get used to the loss of the girls in my support group, no matter how many times it happens, no matter how much it's anticipated.



Wednesday reminded me to continue to be grateful for my remission and revel in the little things like watching Harry making a birthday card and Jack discovering the world of Lego.

I was sick, now I'm well again, and there is work to do. I will not squander my remission by feeling sorry for myself. I will love the living, grieve the dead and flip cancer the bird at any given chance. I will get stuck into life no matter how damned unfair it can be.




Sleep well sweet Amelia. You were, and always will be, greatly loved.



xx Em

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Reconstruct...take two.

(Warning...graphic post op images ahead.)
It's done.
My final surgery is complete.
I woke Friday morning feeling anxious. Everything irritated me and I was impatient and snappy towards my Littles when all I wanted to do was cuddle them. I was tired. Tired of everything to do with cancer. Tired of the mindfuck that comes with surgery. Anticipating it but worrying it would be cancelled again. Preparing for the inevitable frustration of waiting and the pain that follows.
Husband dropped me off at the hospital a little early so that the Jackman wouldn't miss out on his gymnastics class. I sat in the cafe courtyard for a while, soaking up the warmth of the late morning sun. That little bit of quiet time was just what I needed...feeling the radiant heat on my skin, thinking of everyone I loved, telling myself that I could do this, just a walk in the park.
Then it was a case of going through the motions, a routine I now had down pat. A game of twenty questions with the nurse; gowning up; waiting; moving to the holding bay; cocooned in warm blankets; waiting; twenty questions again; anaesthetist tapping my arm to find a vein; waiting; surgeon graffitiing my chest; waiting and finally into the ice cold theatre. Stretching out on the table like a slab of meat on the butchers block, mask coming down on my face and nothingness.
I have no memory of recovery, nor of the several hours afterwards. Eventually the pain crept into my foggy mind and woke me. It was 9pm, it was dark outside but the room was bright with light. Peeking under my gown I saw skin covered in flamingo pink betadine, always an assault on the eyes. Then my right breast, swollen and bruised but seemingly more even than before. Skin stretched taut, no longer puckered from radiation. Relief. A quick call home to say I was ok and then a night of sleep broken by hourly obs.
Morning...a change of shift, new nurses coming in and out. Head heavy with painkillers, dozing on and off, sun rises. Out of bed...tentative steps to the bathroom...wincing as the bloodied gown and bandages around my waist are removed. Then the shock of bruises revealling themselves. I hadn't anticipated so much. I hadn't thought about the aftermath of the liposuction. My poor, poor body. A long shower to wash away the gaudiness of flamingo pink. Slow work getting dressed. Blood still oozing from under dressings. Body aching and fragile.
Surgeon stops by to check his handiwork, encouraged with how the surgery went. I am so grateful for this softly spoken man who took away my cancer and rebuilt a most beloved part of my body. A few more hours of waiting, dozing off now and again, head still heavy with painkillers. Then home, home to my boys for cautious cuddles and rest.
This is it. I am done. My surgeon said we'd know in a few months if any more surgical "tweaking" is required but I know that I won't be needing it. I was never seeking perfection. Close enough is good enough for me. I am satisfied with what I have and I know that I won't be putting my body through any more surgery. I am so grateful that my treatments have given me a future. Now it's time to nurture this body back to health.



Time to rest and let the healing take hold.

xx Em



Sunday, May 10, 2015





Feeling like the luckiest Mummy in the world and wishing my Mama and every Mummy & Mummy-to-be a very beautiful day.


xx Em



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

Today has been one of those deliciously lazy days indoors while the weather blows fierce and cold outside. The perfect day for hanging out in pjs, drinking tea and catching up on my favourite blogs and Instagrammers. Inspired by Joy the Baker's luscious pics, I decided to make a batch of warm cinnamon rolls to go with our coffee. Indulgent...heavenly and indulgent!

I slightly over cooked this batch but the espresso glaze hides all manner of sins and the husband insisted he'd polish off the burnt ones for me. Good husband!




Highly recommend whipping up a batch of Joy's Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls tomorrow for a Mothers Day treat. No need to thank me...happy to share the love (and the calories).


xx Em.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Golden Sundays



Golden afternoon light.


Warm homemade apple pie from dearest of neighbours.


Kids riding bikes.


Autumn seedlings in veggie beds.


Pumpkin patch.


Autumn palette...pretty.




Afternoons like these diminish the stress and anxiety of surgery being cancelled at the last minute after waiting all day at the hospital.

Afternoons like these make me so damned grateful that I have time on my hands to spare, to spend with my Littles and my Love.

Afternoons like these breathe joy and beauty back into my soul.


xx Em