Month: June 2015

Just Keep Walking

Yesterday, I had my 6 monthly check-up with my oncologist. When it came time to leave for the appointment, my feet didn’t want to move. Here they are under my desk at work.

feet before

They didn’t want to move because, at work, there’s no cancer. There’s only busy and decisions and normal. Safety.

I eventually got them to take me out to the car, and push the pedals so I could drive to the Cancer Centre. The centre of all things cancer, the place where the worst news is delivered, then the awful, poisoning chemo is delivered, then the burning, burning, burning of radiation is delivered, then monthly, three monthly, six monthly, yearly the physical exams, the mammograms and the ultrasounds are done and more news, so far, so good, is delivered. My feet pushed those pedals, but in the car park, they didn’t want to get out of the car.

feet in car

Eventually, my brain won the battle with my feet and they walked me in. I stood at the door, my back feeling the warm sun and my feet not wanting to cross that shadowy threshold.

feet walking in

I went up the stairs, I made my feet take them rather than the lift because when I was having chemo I would prove to myself that I was still ok, still hanging in there, still alive by walking up those stairs, every time. I then sat, and waited. Always with the waiting. One foot swung like a pendulum set to the time of my pounding heart while the other kept me in contact with the ground. Contact with the ground is always essential when dealing with cancer.

feet waiting

At last, my name and my feet have no choice but to move into the consulting room. The oncologist comments on my weight loss, but in a good way, and then it’s up to my hands to take over from my feet, as off comes my jacket, my top and my bra, and the physical begins. I actually stare at my feet as I lie on the hospital bed as the doctor’s hands feel across my scar, my collarbone, my neck, my armpits and my remaining breast. Slowly, carefully, silently. Then the ‘all good’, a pat on my arm and I breathe for the first time in minutes, and my feet are suddenly, extraordinarily eager to move. I am dressed and out of the office, my bill is paid (yes, I pay for this torture) and like Speedy Gonzalez on speed, my feet are racing me out the door, over the unwelcoming mat and back to the car.

feet leaving

I then have an hour to kill (in a totally non-cancer sort of way) before picking my boy up from school, so my feet take me to a cafe, where I sit myself down, take the load off my feet, and relax so much that I order a bowl of chips, not remembering that chips are one of The Reflux triggers. For a few seconds there, I forgot I got cancer, forgot the cancer drugs gave me reflux, forgot I wasn’t just a normal school mum wiling away a few minutes before the bell rings.


I ate a couple, and then my feet then walked me to the school gate – actually there may have almost been a skip involved.

happy feet

Happy feet.

What The Boob Taught Me

Because someone nominated me for the Kidspot Voices of 2015, I was given the opportunity to attend the related blogging event in Melbourne in June. For someone like me – a blogger so new and part-time that if I was working in hospitality, I’d make the pimply faced kid running the McDonald’s drive through look positively sophisticated – it’s wildly exciting to be given such opportunities.

Nominees for Voices (that’s what we in the biz like to call it … or maybe that’s just me …) are given the opportunity to make a pitch to be in the running give a five-minute presentation at the big event. I so badly want to make a pitch, and to speak at the event. SO BADLY. I love public speaking (I blame lack of attention as a child). I am fiercely passionate about the topics about which I blog (cancer, food, equality – not necessarily in that order – have you seen the size of my arse?). I am secretly very competitive (cue people who know me well falling about with laughter at my use of the word secretly).

I’ve put a huge amount of thought into my pitch over the past couple of weeks. The pitch requires ten point summary and a one minute, candid video. The topic is ‘how things work’, applied to something we are passionate or knowledgeable about. Food? Equality? Cancer? I’ve brainstormed, re-read all 86 of my blog posts, drafted my pitch, thought long and hard, redrafted, reworked that … Then I had a massive hissy fit because it was all so try-hard and needy and pick me, pick me, so I deleted it and sat down with a piece of paper and a pen and came up with this.


Ten points:

  1. 1.5kgs of lost weight can be life changing.
  2. Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference.
  3. It’s not only cards that some people keep close to their chest.
  4. You can’t judge a book, or a boob, by its cover.
  5. You’re only as perky as the supports you have in place enable you to be.
  6. Sometimes your greatest achievement is being able to blend in with the crowd.
  7. Poke me as much as you like, I can’t feel it.
  8. I am as soft as butter and as strong as steel.
  9. I am ok with you being curious about me, just not morbidly so.
  10. The day you stop thinking about me is the day I fall out of your tankini in a public swimming pool.

And then there’s the one minute candid video that makes up the second part of my pitch. I decided I needed to be brutally honest, to pull no punches, and to tell it like it is. This video shows how life works when you’re in remission – how every morning there’s a reminder of the damage that has been done by cancer. Warning: graphic content.


I am so proud of myself – proud that I am a nominee, proud that I’ve had this opportunity, and proud that I came up with what I think is a cracking pitch and a video which is … well … nothing, if not candid.

But the realities of geography and life mean that even if my pitch was successful, the 1,600 km journey for an event which would require me taking time off work from my actual job that pays the actual bills, and which coincides with several key family events, is simply not going to happen. As much as I’d love to be in Melbourne, telling people about the Boob, in reality it doesn’t matter, because I write on the Internet, which after all, is all about communicating and making a community with people not sitting around in the same room. If you’re reading this, my pitch was for you – I want to continue to tell you about what the Boob has taught me, and continues to teach me, and I want to do it now, because there is no time like the present.

As for the Boob, well it can’t be tied down to anybody or anything – a true free spirit of the prosthetic world – and as such is about to embark on a trip around Australia, first stop Daydream Island. Strap yourself in, people, for whilst I might be limited by geography right now, the Boob is on the move.