Cartwheels and Monkey Bars

My Fairy having afternoon tea

Is it normal to be sitting up in bed with your 6 year old for a ‘sleep over’ together, me writing my blog, her reading a book called “My Mum Has Breast Cancer”?

My brother, my wise dad and me

I suppose as the once un-famous (but famous in my eyes)…….philosopher (my Dad) ……..once asked, “What is normal?”

True enough, what is normal? I would love ‘normal’ so much but I’m not sure it exists for us anymore.
My Guardian Angel Troop’s book she wrote with her little boy
when she herself went through breast cancer.

By the way….. the book, “My Mum Has Breast Cancer”, was written by one of my beautiful troops along with her brave son and mum. Sienna pulls it out of her book shelf from time to time and reads it quietly to herself.
The Brave Man’s Home!

We welcomed the Brave Man home, with balloons and welcome home posters. After travelling 36 hours from New York via Abu Dhabi to home, he was rather tired to say the least. I was hoping that he may have picked up a few burqa’s for me as he stopped over in Abu Dhabi, but there was too much choice for his poor and weary jetlagged brain and he just wanted to get home to his girls.

As spring had sprung, so had a few rogue hairs on my head. Whilst I was grateful for the new growth, looking like I was wearing an ‘alfalfa skull cap’ wasn’t my idea of the Charlie’s Angel look that I was aspiring for.

Other than my ‘sprinkle’ of hair looking like alfalfa sprouts,
it’s also good for ‘fluid retention.’

Fortunately for me, one of my ‘besty troops’ noticed the unattractive predicament my head was in and offered her services to shave the ‘fuzzy wuzzies’ off. Coming with credentials such as shaving her horse’s bits and the boy’s heads at high school, how could I say no?
One of my ‘Besty Troops’ Narelle when she was just a kid.
She was known as giving a ‘mean number 1’ on the local boys heads at school!

And thank goodness I took her advice, no longer did I look like old Grandpa Womble after a quick ‘number 1’, I’m back to the ‘normal’ old chemo look. Which I must say, I’m ‘rocking’ rather well, just like Meat Loaf rocked the MCG on Grand Final day. Mmmmmm???
Making Blueberry Muffins with my Little Fairy

A few more weeks post chemo and I’m feeling better every day, still tired but managing to enjoy more moments with my little family.

Nurse Maree visits three times a week for my arm that is still swelling to the size of a small child’s leg. She wraps and massages and sends words of wisdom about what else I can do to ease the swelling. I have never met anyone else so dedicated to their job and their patients as ‘Maree the Magnifique’. Lately we’ve resorted to bandaging my arm at night and even though I look like a police attack dog trainer with the full suit of bandage on one arm, it definitely makes a difference.

Unfortunately the aching wakes me up at night and in my half asleep state, I manage to unwrap the 30 metres of bandage to the point where I wake up in the morning looking like I’ve had an all in brawl with a gang of mummies. Still, we try again and again.

School holidays have been a real treat and my Fairy and I have enjoyed lots of adventures. Together we drew up a plan of what we’d do each day, from bowling to pyjama mornings to ‘Sienna chooses anything day’. Secretly it was more for me and my fading memory, just to remind myself that it was school holidays so I wouldn’t get her dressed in her school uniform and drop her off at school.

Self Portrait
My Fairy and I having a pic-nic in the park.

We went on picnics at the park, which included hours of monkey bars, cartwheels and my little fairy calling out, “Watch me mum, watch me mum, watch me.” Of course I couldn’t keep my eyes off her and was so grateful at just being there to watch my little fairy being as happy as a lark.

Things weren’t so happy when one of those nasty little magpies swooped me and nearly flew off with my scarf in its beak. Ever so graceful I shooed it away, with my arms and legs going everywhere like I was swatting about 1000 flies at once whilst doing a rendition of MC Hammer’s rap dance, ‘U Can’t Touch This’. Not a good look!

After the commotion, I sat there thinking, I can just read the headlines in the local paper tomorrow, “Cancer woman has more bad luck when she gets pecked to death by a feral magpie.”
Bowling Concentration

We went to the movies, had our nails painted and made plans for her upcoming 7th birthday party. I savoured every moment and I think she might have too.
January 2009
My beautiful fairy nieces and my fairy

My 9 year old and 6 year old nieces, (Sienna’s cousins) stayed over and it was so wonderful to have them, such beautiful and loving little girls. They enjoy each other’s company so much and watching them play, was like reading a chapter from the Adventures of the Faraway Tree. So much imagination, innocence and adventure.
Breakfast In Bed

After I was made breakfast in bed by the three little angels, we set off to see the Tutankhamen exhibition.
Three little Tuts

The Brave Man had spent the night before explaining to the girls all about the history of the pyramids and the Egyptians and King Tut. They were captivated by the story and mesmerised by the history and somewhat amused with the similarity between my bandages (on my arm) and the mummies bandages. Yes, real, real funny girls.

The Cousins off toMeditation

After the exhibition we all went off to my weekly appointment with Dr Deb, where I go for my lesson on ‘Life with C’ and meditation. The girls were allowed to join in and we were all taken on a magic carpet ride into the world of meditation.

What a spiritual day we had!
That night, when they were going to bed, I heard the eldest one Billie say to my fairy, “You don’t feel like a cousin Sienna, you’re just like a sister.”
It’s been a great two weeks!

My Little Fairy says good-bye as she leaves for
school on the first day of fourth term

Five more sleeps until my scan……… I’m anxious but I can’t believe that there can possibly be a ‘time limit’ on the beautiful moments like the ones I’ve just had over the last 2 weeks. There’s too much living to do, and I don’t want to go anywhere!

2 thoughts on “Cartwheels and Monkey Bars”

  1. Reading your blog spreads a smile on my face! I love your positive perspective on life and how you enjoy every single moment! Your little girl is simply beautiful. I'm so glad you got to live these 2 weeks by her and your sweet family! Many many MANY more moments like these will come your way, don't you even doubt it! Again, I'm in love with your blog and enjoy the sense of humor you add to every paragraph!:) I'll be coming everyday to see if you've updated us on anything, you and your family are on the prayers of a girl who lives on the other side of the world:)

  2. liz zamanis-robinson

    I will second everything you have said Karla… Rachel, I cry and laugh everytime I read your blog..I pray for you all the time…Fight with all of your might..Your fairy and Brave Man are superb…I have no doubt that you will make a full recovery and forever be cancer free..keep going you are almost there!
    Much Love and Luck,
    Liz ( I am a friend of Narelle's) xxx

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