Follow by Email

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Drama 1

And so, as the first week after chemo ends, I wake before dawn.

Today Al is leaving for a golfing sojourn in New Zealand with some of his good mates.

I have encouraged him to go. The poor man has been waiting on me hand and foot for weeks. He's been treating me as if I'm a fragile flower, bless him.

He leaves well before 5.30 am, and even though my hips are aching, I roll over and drift off to sleep.

What's unusual about this is that for the first time in days, I dream. I dream of a man who is disappearing and people around him have to work something out, before he is competely erased. In my dream, I dream it's a great story. I dream that I have woken up and have written it down, impressed by my pure genius!

And then I actually awake. And here's the thing. I wake CRYING! In fact, I am sobbing uncontrollably.

The last time I cried quite so vehemently was when Michael Jackson died (which, in case you have been hiding under a rock recently, was June 25, 2009).

It's altogether unlike me.

The deluge lasts, I don't know, perhaps five minutes? I feel bereft, alone. I have become the wreckage of an abandoned ship.

I've become the fish, chucked overboard in disgust, by John West.

And then I realise, of course, how much I've been relying on Al. Without him to hold my hand and stroke my forehead, I couldn't have come this far.

He is the rock I've been clinging to while all around, I have been praised for my 'courage'.

Once this fit of unusual self-pity has passed, I suddenly realise that something strange has happened to my face.

I roll out of bed and go and look in the mirror. I see that my lips and my face are swollen.

I panic. Shit! Is this an anaphylactic attack?

I scurry to the medical cabinet and throw down an antihistamine.

I start panicking. I'm alone. Help! What if I can't breathe? I try Ethel. No answer. I look at the clock. 5.58 am! Shit. Too early. I ring my dad. It rings out.

More panic. I grab my patient diary and call the Emergency Number at Greenslopes Hospital. Is it enough? A bloody Zyrtec. That's all I have.

The nurse at the Hospital is quiet and calm. I've done the right thing. Wait 20 minutes. If I'm breathless she says. Ring 000.

Dad rings me back. Mum is one her way, as arranged with Al. Hooray!

Now I've calmed down. Okay, no breathing problems. Everything's fine.

My mum arrives and we take this picture, so that we can blow it up and send it into the next 'Face of Australia' competition. Good thing I'm not vain, because here it is:

It's actually quite funny. I look like I've gone 10 rounds with Tony Mundine.

No, I look like the love child of Mal Meninga and Jocelyn Wildenstein. (Sarah O'Hare eat your heart out you hideous mole) :)

Mum cooks me breakfast and lunch. My aunty comes in for a chat. We have a laugh.

My neighbour, friend and fellow world-changer, Craig comes over bearing a coffee and red frogs. He's so lovely.

Later, I have a visit to see Dr Choo. It's early afternoon and I'm still swollen. In fact, I look like a bad Botox experiment. Quite youthful if a bit Chinese around the eyes.

Dr Choo is at a loss to explain my allergy.

We discuss various theories. The wind last night? Something on my dog? I am none the wiser. Perhaps we'll blame the herbal supplement I took last night (Astralagus - apparently good for recuperation from Chemo) - except for throwing up last night.

She tells me that in the case of a severe allergy attack it's best to use Phenergan.

After we get home, Louisa comes to take me for our walk. It's EVEN slower. I tell her about my experience today and laugh, thinking how Al would have taken it if he'd got the call on the 13th hole.

"You bastard. You left her for four days and now she's dead!"

But the evening is good. Mum and Aunty are cooking me a prawn curry for dinner.

Outside it's a fresh evening. I hear the wind keening in the trees.

What started badly, has ended, I'd have to say, pretty well.

I find I can laugh in retrospect.

That's what I'm counting on.


  1. Hugs and happy thoughts, and please remember beautiful one, you have multiple nurses also at your disposal.....I gave you my number for a reason, don't ever feel alone
    Much love

  2. Dear God not the Spaghetti Bol ��

  3. Hello Bron

    Just to let you know I am still following you and walking with you on your journey.

    Love Leni

  4. What do yo mean Bronnie, I look like that most mornings....hence the reason Richard leaves the house by 3.30 - 4.00am each day. :-)
    Can I pop in and have that lie down with you next week? No tidy up, no getting out of your PJ's, no brushing your hair even - just wanting to spend some time with you, and being comfortable. I'll even wear PJ's. Thinking of you always. Lindar x

  5. Marie - not the Spag bol (which was delicious) :))
    Thanks Leni!
    Lindy loo, next week is a 'strong' week... I will need more and more propping up with each hit I am told. The worst week is the first 7 days after chemo... at the moment I am holed up at home as I have to avoid crowds. It's very boring as I can't go shopping, I can't go to the movies, I can sit in coffee shops but outside away from the great unwashed :)) You can come and keep me company anytime though... I believe I'll be dehaired sometime this week so maybe you can come down for the ritual Number 1 that has been highly recommended as a prerequisite to balding... I'll give you a call

  6. keep doing what they say to do and take the phenergan if needed. it may put you to sleep. hope al had a safe trip to nz.