Losing The Jingle In My Bell

december 2011
my fairy is counting down the days
before christmas
december 2011
writing to santa
November 26, 2011 – moving to our happily ever after

Finally it was time for us to move into our little holiday hideaway in Johanna.

As luck would have it, we chose the second wettest day to move in November. Which included a 31mm downpour by the time the moving truck arrived and a Melbourne ‘Flood Watch Warning.’
Still it might have drenched our clothes, soaked our hair and water logged our moving boots, but not our spirits! They were soaring like a “bat out of hell”, you betcha, nothing was going to stop this little family from fulfilling their dream!
And over thecoming weeks, we get settled spending fun times together as a family and with goodfriends.
johanna treasure hunt with friends
off to find the first clue
the treasure hunt
reading instructions
december 2011
johanna beach
december 2011
making sand angels at johanna beach
Christmas was upon us
christmas 2005
the braveman and my fairy

So even though the christmas ham had been ordered, I found myself not giving ‘two gobbles’ about the christmas turkey, let alone the christmas pork and its ‘artery clogging crackle’.
I was even contemplating buying apple sauce in a jar!!
No homemade apple sauce??……… Now I knew something was wrong!!!

christmas 2007
the three of us
Where’s the girl that would decorate the house within an inch of its life, where’s the girl that would make a zillion trips to the shops to buy Sienna’s 1000’th present??
There was only one thing to do! Ring my HealthStylist, he’ll know!
Before I could say “frankincense and myrrh”, I was booked to see a lung specialist.
I took one of my ‘besty troops’ Narelle with me, for added support. The doctor and let’s just call him Dr Solemn, (not his real name, but reflective of his personality) asked me a million questions. He had me blowing, sucking and deep breathing until I just about passed out. Then looked at me and said, “Well you know all this lack of exercise and weight gain, wouldn’t help the breathing.”
december 2010
me and my besty troop narelle

As helpful and compassionate his advice was, I still sat there picturing myself ramming his stethoscope up his left nostril, whilst my besty troop Narelle, mounted his desk, yelling “hi ya” as she’d kick him in his double diploma Christmas baubles.

Yes, the weight gain has been an issue after having nearly 30 rounds of chemo, and probably quite lazy of me not to have completed an iron man in between treatment. But I promise to put it on my 2012 new year’s resolution list.
1. Try not to get cancer and
2. Complete an Ironman and lose 1000 kilos.
Gee I felt much better, what a great bedside manner this man had!
So next I was booked in for a bronchoscopy.  I had never had one before, so I was quite thrilled to add this to my ‘MPCL’ (medical procedure conquest list.) As far as I knew, it was just a little procedure where they basically have a look down at my lung and give it a ‘spring clean’.
june 2008
my fairy and my besty troop tiffy
The day came and my Fairy and my other ‘besty troop’, Tiffy took me in. I wasn’t that nervous and took it all in my stride. That was until the anaesthetist made a joke about me having a nice sleep just like Michael Jackson had. Ummmm……excuse me lady with the title that I can never pronounce without sounding like I have a listhp!!! I’m sure in the book of, “Keeping People Calm before being Medically Paralysed” that you should have read at Dr school, would specifically refer to the, “you don’t talkabout someone who DIED from having the same drugs, “ in order to make someone else feel at ease????

Fortunately the light that I saw when I first woke up was just the dirty old fluorescent tube on the recovery room ceiling and not the light at God’s pearly gates.

fun in the rock pools with friends at
Johanna Beach
So after nearly a week of going back to my everyday ‘lack lustre’ Christmas organising. My mind had trained itself, not to worry.  I went through the usual diatribe that I have mastered over the years. “If there was something wrong, they would ring straight away.” “It won’t be anything bad because my last scan showed no signs of cancer.” “The breathing difficulties are just due to me being an overweight warthog, couch potato, lazy slug”, just like ‘Dr Bedsidemanner’ explained to me.
And just as I had convinced myself that everything was real chipper, I get the call that my Health Stylist wants to see me. So my heart skips a beat and I get a small burst of adrenalin. But then I go back to my consoling and reassuring inner voice. “It’s OK the Health Stylist knows the drill, any bad news, he knows to ring the Brave Man first.” He knows a 24 hour wait until I see him, can turn me into a mental menagerie of madness, where I feel like I’m in a scene from the movie Dead Man Walking. He wouldn’t do that to me if he knew anything was wrong.
December 21st 2011
We leave to see my Health Stylist, and as usual, I look for signs on the way that things will be alright. A run of green lights, spotting a wandering Santa Claus, a clear blue sky, or getting that rock star carpark out the front of the hospital. 
We sit in his office and he’s as happy as usual and glad to see us. “Good sign…. good sign I think to myself.”
“So did you get your results?” he asks. There’s a strange silence and a puzzled look from all of us, as if we were just caught by Inspector Clouseau for hiding the ‘candlestick in the library.’  
At that moment my Health Stylist is handed a report and is on the phone to Dr Bedsidemanner himself. I listen to the tone of his voice lower and lower, I watch his lovely face change into disappointment and at that moment, I know it’s back.
The Brave Man and I hold hands like we’ve done so many times before and wait for the words….. “They’ve found cancer cells in one of your lungs”.
I don’t cry, but I grab my Health Stylist’s hands and ask him to, “please save my life.”
He says, “we can knock it on the head”! Assuming he was talking about the cancer and not me, I feel slight relief and go with that.
The next day I start chemo.
 L’angeloDorme – The Angel Sleeps
In memory ofmy sweet friend Son, who sadly passed away on Saturday January 7th2012. I will always admire her strength and poise as she faced this mostinconvenient illness.

2 thoughts on “Losing The Jingle In My Bell”

  1. I'm sorry that you're back doing chemo again. I admire your strength and honesty and pizazz. Your little fairy is a delight. Hope your mum is doing ok.

  2. Kristen thanks so muuh for your kind message. i've read yours & oh my how amazing you are. i love how you have set it up so you can help others. wishing you lots of healthness, happiness & less Dr's visits. xx Rachel

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