Autumn Tales II – Ukulele Woo Woo

April 23

So the Braveman went back to work and my fairy and I planned our week together.  Which involved pajama mornings, play dates, parks, breakfasts out, book shops and the movies, all the fun things we like doing together.  I just didn’t want to miss an opportunity with her whilst I was feeling OK.

I still have a lot of help from parents, friends and our lovely ukulele playing Wendy Woo Woo, who helps out most nights picking Sienna up from School, taking her to activities and organising dinners and lunches.

I feel sad not doing the mum things that I want to do, but Wendy is sweeter than apple pie and Sienna really loves her.

Wendy brings her pretty green ukulele and serenades us with her husky bluesy tones as she goes about doing chores and caring for our girl.

I reminisced about my own childhood memories as I watched my fairy and her sweet friends create their own childhood memories, by excitedly setting up a shop at the front of our home they called, Meekaluka Cafe. With chocolate chip cookies, little pink cakes and the tastiest home made sour lemon drink, they were open for business. The positions of order taker, server and cashier were assigned and it wasn’t long until they had sold out (all to relatives that ‘happened’ to be walking by) and the Meekaluka Cafe was promptly closed for the day after much success.

I made it to her swimming, gymnastic and tennis lessons and as I watched her freestyle to the end of the pool, climb high up the gym rope to the roof and slice the ball over the net like a pro, I couldn’t believe how far she had come in the 7 months since I was able to get there last. I also realised why the poor kid was so utterly exhausted at the end of each week. But she was so happy that I was there and so proud to show me what she could do.

She sat up straight in class when I went to hear reading, one eye on the teacher and the other on me. These treats to go and see her, really made me realise how much my little girl had grown up and how much I have missed seeing her at school, I was happy and sad at the same time.

We set off to the movies one morning, ‘cancer guilt’ kicked in so I made sure, I bought her the biggest popcorn, choc-top and water I could buy. I just don’t want her to forget these moments with her mum! Hopefully she’ll remember it for the fun and not for the massive vomit she’ll have later because of all the garbage I bought her to eat.

The movie was true Dr Zeus style entertainment for Sienna, and I loved the 3D aspect, where you could manage a ‘sneaky snooze’ under those big black Grandma glasses. Half way through the movie, my 3D slumber was interrupted by even louder bells, whistles and sirens and then a serious sounding man’s voice began to announce, “evacuate evacuate”!

With my 3D glasses still on, I grabbed my fairy’s hand which was still clenched with popcorn and we made our way out of the cinema. We came across a tsunami of white, grey and purple fluffy heads making their way out of another cinema, the scene looked even weirder through the lenses of my 3D glasses.

Rather than hang around, we quickly grabbed our ‘replacement tickets’ for next time and left the building. My fairy leaving a rather long trail of popcorn behind her as it bounced off her clothes as we made it back to the car.

We never did find out what happened that day.

New ballet shoes were bought, a haircut was had and the most favourite bookshop was meandered through. We walked down the street holding hands, doing the ‘Three Squeeze Hand Secret’ that we know means, “I Love You.”

My Braveman told us that he had to fly out to New York for meetings for a week. My little pain in my stomach that had been niggling started to niggle a little bit more. I told him about the pain and we agreed that I would see Dr Deb before he left. Trying to avoid any scans or trips back on the medical travelator, I helped Dr Deb decide that I had a bowel infection and felt happy to tell my Braveman about this diagnosis. However she still insisted that I would have a blood test and ultrasound.

After having a lovely celebratory lunch for my mum’s 70th birthday, my Braveman flew out that night for New York. We were sad that he had to go because everything seems so much safer and protected when he’s with us.


My fairy was even more sad than usual that he had left, but a big glass of ice-cream and a sleepover with mummy in the big bed, seemed to fix things.

We held hands all night under the covers.

She was going back to school, my heart feels sad that she has to go back and I pine for her all day. But to get off to a fun start we went out for breakfast before school. Something my own mum would do for us as a special treat once in a while. See….. memories, creating memories.

Sienna had her ‘show and share’ at school and the topic was, “What would you like to be when you grow up”? It would be no surprise that she would have her heart set on, Ballerina. Performing grand jetes and pretty pirouettes around the house day and night, it would only be natural.

But I was touched and saddened at the same time when she said, she wanted to be a Doctor like Gary Richardson (My Health Stylist). She explained that she wanted to help people to get better. “Especially you mummy, so if you get to 80 years old and it comes back, I can look after you and make you better.”

That feeling of proudness and yet pain of her sweet innocence in this whole thing, filled my tummy with an ache. I hugged her so tight, wanting so much to tell her that everything was going to be ok, but was suddenly pushed away because I was apparently, “over squishing”. Yes my current, ‘over ample boozzie area’, can be quite suffocating for small people when given an over enthusiastic hug.

By Tuesday my niggling pain wasn’t getting better and I was terribly tired, probably more due to the fact that the Braveman’s helpful hands were not around and I was following around a kid with a bigger appointment schedule than the Prime Minister of bloody Australia. Offers always came from the kind Mum’s from school, who would take Sienna in the morning and drop her home when I couldn’t.

Secret messages and phone calls were being exchanged between New York and Melbourne with concerned Besty Troops and a worried Braveman.

Instructions were given from New York and I relented to an ultrasound and blood test, and to be sure I went, one of my Besty Troops took me, not only to my appointment, but she actually came into the examination room too. It’s just that I liked doing the, ‘normal of normal’, and it had been such a quick time between ‘normals’ before another scan was being ordered. I just wanted more ‘normal time’.

The news came back from Dr Deb that there didn’t seem to be anything unusual, but she had contacted my Health Stylist in any case to let him know.  Three more sleeps until the Braveman came home and his girls were really missing him. I had a message at home that night, that Professor Gary Richardson (My Health Stylist) wanted me to have a further cat scan and see him early next week.

My heart broke a little inside. My fairy and I ate ice-cream in bed again and watched a movie she chose, and declared me to be the “best mum in the whole world”! We fell asleep that night, whilst I was telling her most favourite stories about when I was little.

On the Saturday, my beautiful Besty Troops came over with lunch and laughter. We spent the afternoon talking about life and reminiscing about the fun we had in the ‘old days’. I had much delight in finding some old photos that we chuckled at as we saw the 80’s hairstyles, very high jeans and cheap gold rimmed glasses, that we all thought looked simply fabulous.

We talked about the challenges in life, parent’s passing, children growing up and worried husbands. But I didn’t want to talk about cancer, I just loved hearing their problems, the more they told me, the better I felt. A break from the cancer conundrum was good for the mind. I miss talking to my friends and being the ‘solver’ and not the ‘solvee’.

Home Coming
April 30th

Finally it was home coming time. My fairy was so excited that her Dad was coming home, she ate her dinner at the speed of light, had the quickest shower in all time history and insisted on doing her own hair so she looked shiny and healthy for when her ‘Dad Hero’ walked through the door.  She sat patiently in the front room for nearly an hour watching the lights from cars turning into the street, hoping the next one would be her Dad. I love her, love for him.

I sat there too, watching her, watching for him. Every so often, my mind would wander to the ‘what if’ of the next day’s scan.  Please let it be ok.

4 thoughts on “Autumn Tales II – Ukulele Woo Woo”

  1. I can’t believe how many times you can make me laugh when I’ve got tears in my eyes and my heart is full to bursting with your stories. Sending the good vibes your way xo

  2. I love reading your story rach as much as I have tears when I read it. I think you are just amazing and your husband seems one in a million . I hope to hear good news soon of your treatment I pray all the time for you x

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