Thursday, 29 September 2011

Seven Things

I was lucky enough to receive a blog award a while ago from the lovely Michelle at Jarrah Jungle.  She is the bargain queen and ultimate home renovator, I am always in awe of what she is achieving with her own two hands (and her partner's)

So in an effort to get away from all the doom and hospital gloom I've been experiencing this week (still in, first signs of liver improvement today with the help of some intravenous steriods) I thought I would finally reply.

Thanks Michelle, just what I need, something light and airy!

So now I have to let you know seven things about me that you might not already...

- I dont really like football but I do love the footy show, looking forward to sitting down and watching the Grand Final show in a few minutes!

- My eyes were blue when I was born but now they are green.

- I don't like having mismatching pegs hanging up my clothes so I buy bags of the same colour.

- I 'flavour schedule' certain foods so I have little stacks of each flavour ready to go (for example, a mouth of bacon, topped with egg, topped with grilled tomato, all planned neatly so I have enough right til the very last bite).

- I was a bit of a 'raver' in my younger years and still love kicking up my heels to a bit of drum n bass.

- There have always been cats in my household right from the moment I was born, bar 6 months when I moved to the country and my cat had recently passed away and I wasn't yet ready for a new one.

- My first job was in a fruit and vege shop which I was the best because I am a huge fruit lover and used to put away all the best quality stuff I wanted early and got a nice discount on it.

Now I'm supposed to tag seven bloggers to share their seven things but I think you are all fantastic and my brain power is about at it's limit at the moment so if you feel like sharing some facts about you, consider yourself tagged for the sweetest blog award!


Tuesday, 27 September 2011


I am truly truly blessed with the most amazingly wonderful caring loving man in my life.

MR, Mr Rock, who has always been my rock but has been really outdoing himself in the rock department since my diagnosis, decided that being at work while I am in hospital was highly uncool and took some time off and flew in early, all without telling me. 

On Sunday night I finally finally hit that wall that I have been cautiously tiptoeing alongside since the end of March.  Up until the throwing up began I had been pretty positive about being diagnosed with CML and fairly confident that I could carry on my life as normal.  With this hospital admittance and my results continuing to go up, Monday night saw me having a good old cry at about 2am after unsuccessfully trying to get to sleep for a few hours and being madly itchy from the jaundice (I am a delightful shade of yellow, particularly my eyeballs)  Of course, after the cry I felt a bit better and finally got to sleep at about 4am after an SMS to MR (who was on nightshift) saying something along the lines of 'This sux. Stupid liver. Stupid head won't turn off. Stupid mutant blood.*'  The next morning at about 11, MR sticks his head around the hospital door!  Instead state of mind fix!  We'd already had a discussion about how I could just say if I wanted him to come home but I told him unless I was seriously ill I wouldn't do that and there's not much he can do for me while I'm in hospital anyway.  I have issues with becoming burdensome to him.  But I am SO Soooooo glad he came home.  I feel very very loved.

Last night I got transferred from Hollywood Private Hospital to Charlie Gairdner's to be on their liver ward under the care of a team of liver specialists because my results were still going up.  Some of the numbers were over 1000 times higher than they should be.  Today I was lucky enough to experience a liver biopsy in a very novel way - through a vein in my neck.  They were concerned about my blood not clotting very well and a chance of haemmorhage if they went through my side so through the vein in my neck they went.  Not the most pleasant of experiences to say the least.  Thankfully I got a double dose of twilight drugs and local anaesthetic. 

Today's blood tests showed some of the numbers were dropping a little bit which is good news, hopefully there will be a bigger drop tomorrow.  Also hopefully the biopsy shows no signs of liver failure, only damage.  Lots of fingers and toes crossed because I would really like to just go home and spend some time soaking up some love from my boy. 

Now that is the best medicine my liver, and crazy stressed and anxious brain, could ask for.

* mutant blood because my disease involves a translocation of chromosone 9 and 22, essentially meaning my DNA/blood has mutated. Or if not really, that's what we've taken it to mean.  My sister and I call each other 'Poo', short for Poobum, however I am now 'X-poo' (X derived from XMen)

Friday, 23 September 2011

This week I'm grateful for...

It's been a while between posts for me and an even bigger while between grateful posts.  Unfortunately my mind has been a bit stuck in the 'this sux' and the 'i feel like shit' disposition but finally there is some light!  The reason I have been feeling so dreadful is because my liver is injured, possibly due to my medications.  I went to the doctor on Wednesday to have a whinge about throwing up every day since Saturday so he ran some tests and on Thursday night I got admitted to hospital.

Where is the gratefulness in this you ask?  Well, the relief! I am not a whinging hypochondriac after all! There actually was something wrong.  Plus, I am off all meds while my liver recovers so no taking tablets for a few days and no more nausea and throwing up.  YAY! You would not believe my excitement at this idea last night.  It was a little ridiculous.

Of course, if it is the Glivec doing this to my system it means I will probably have to come off it and go on to some other not so wonder-drug-ish meds with a whole new list of side effects which are apparently more common to experience.

But that's to worry about later, for now I will just be grateful for...

... being right when listening to my body tell me something is not right

... a break from nausea (I would like to say an end, but that might just be jinxing myself)


... a week and one day early start to the school holidays.  Even though I can't do any crochet because they've stuck the canula in my inner elbow (they couldn't get a cooperative vein on the back of my hand/wrist) and that means I can't bend my arm...

This week's gratefulness post is being hosted by Lioness Lady, go and pop over for a visit for more love of the small parts of life.


Sunday, 18 September 2011

Silver Threads of Whinginess and Tiredness

is what my blog seems to have reinvented itself as lately.

This weekend was what most people would probably call a fairly quiet one but in my current world classified as a bit of a busy one.  I went to bed early on Friday and slept half of the day Saturday, getting up in time to eat some toast and read for a couple of hours before getting ready to head down to to Dwellingup for our belated Father's Day Hotham Valley dinner train ride.

Sadly, it did not live up even closely to my anticipations.  I tried to keep in mind that it is run by volunteers but when the rest of the carriage (bar 3 tables) was a loud 40th and our table with a party of three got an extra previously unknown person from the big party sat at our table with us (?!) when we were trying to have a nice family dinner it was a bit weird.  Added to the fact that it was $77 per person and the main course roast beef was that really thinly sliced roast beef stuff that you buy and heat up and put in roast beef rolls, essentially cold sliced meat from the deli section of the supermarket that had been warmed up.  Not so impressed.  I certainly wouldn't be able to recommend it to anyone.  I reverted to childhood on the way back and slipped off half of my seatbelt in the back seat and lay down and dozed for the hour and a half trip back to Perth.

Today I slept in again, got up and had more toast and read for a couple of hours until it was time to get ready for Brown Owls (except I fell asleep on the couch and ran a bit late).  I started and almost finished square 27 of 30 in the pink granny rug.  I'm glad I went but I really would have been just as happy snoozing on the couch.

I think I have reached that point of exhaustion where I am just going through the motions.  I go to work, I pretend to be perky and energetic for the students for a few hours, come home and bomb on the couch.  I am getting through each day by counting down to the weekend so I can just sleep.  I'm sure that's not really what weekends are supposed to be about.  Blogging has gone out the window a bit, my life feels very boring and I am now too tired to even be tired of being tired.  It is all a bit ridiculous really.

I contacted the Leukaemia Foundation who mailed out some stuff about their support groups.  Which seem to be very few and far inbetween and are on weekdays during the day time.  Helpful.  And I joined the CML Alliance from a flyer in my medication packet who sent me out a booklet filled with photos of people with grey hair enjoying life playing lawn bowls (because I have an old peoples disease and so most of them are old)  They gave me details of a nurse I can ring to ask questions.  But only on Monday to Friday from 8.30 - 4.30 EST.  Seeing as I am not going to get up at 6.30am just to make a phone call to ask a question this is also fairly unhelpful.  And my specialist never called me back after I phoned to leave a message for her to call me after my eye bled.  I'm feeling a bit invisible. 

Two weeks until holidays.  The countdown til school holidays is my mantra at the moment.  Until then I might be a bit absent from my blog unless something interesting happens in my life (unlikely).  I'll still be around living life through reading your blogs though!

Oh.  The reason for this post, other than to let those people who asked me to let them know about the train ride was to say that my giveaway winner is Wendy from A Beautiful Day.  Congrats Wendy, I'll email you to get your details.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A reminder (or two)

Brown Owls is on this Sunday at the Bayswater Family Centre (cnr Crowther and Murray St, Bayswater) from 2 - 4pm.  It's a free crafting session so you can just bring whatever you are working on and a gold coin towards hall hire.  If you're going to come and you're new please feel free to just turn up (after leaving a comment here to let me know you're coming).  We'd love to see you there!  I bought some lovely wool from the Bendigo Wool Mills for the first time so I'll be continuing to work on the ever slowly progressing pink granny blanket.  Only 4 more squares to go before joining up time!!  If you want more info about our Brown Owls group and are on facebook, search for Perth Brown Owls to join us.

Second reminder, last chance to enter my giveaway which will be drawn on Thursday.  Not many entries so far so you've got a good chance of winning!

Sunday, 11 September 2011


For my birthday, my birthday buddy at school brought in a delicious homemade pavlova with strawberries and passionfruit and cream and it was just delightful.  She brought in the pavlova on a very very cool old pavlova plate that had the recipe in the middle and you bake the pav on the plate in the oven and serve it up on it too, great idea if you ask me because moving a big pavlova can sometimes be a bit tough.  I oohed and ahhed over the plate (and the pavlova) and my workmate told me that she had been gifted the plate when she was 16 and had been using it ever since.  She'd be in her 50's now.

A couple of weeks later I was heading off to do my food shopping and peered in the window of my local oppie as I went past, only to see a plate exactly the same sitting on a shelf!  Well, I raced straight in and picked it up for just $5, as well as a couple of pairs of old knitting needles for a dollar each.  What a lucky coincidence that was!  I haven't used the plate yet, will have to find an occasion to make a pavlova soonish though!

For more op shop treasures head over to Her Library Adventures and if you haven't yet, head over here to enter my giveaway!


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Childhood birthday cakes

As a child, I loved perusing the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake book each year as my birthday approached, choosing which cake I might like Mum to make for me that year.  Once we were old enough it became a bit of a tradition in our house to choose which cake we wanted for our birthday.  I never wanted chocolate, it always had to be a butter cake.

Birthday cakes are getting fancier and fancier these days.  Plastic icing on a child's cake just doesn't sound like a fun cake for a child (in my opinion).  Butter icing is where it's at!  Unfortunately my Mum got rid of that very special WW Birthday cake book, something I was very upset over as I had a deep desire to inherit it!  Luckily, MR's Mum has a copy that she still uses for her one grandchild.  I'll  have to put in my dibs on that copy.

Here's my 4th birthday cake, the first one I came across when hunting for photos to share.  Those little silver cachous balls used in the necklace were the best.  I loved sneaking into the pantry and pinching a few to crunch away on.

Other cakes I can remember having are the swimming pool, the piano, the witch and the cat.  Many happy memories.

I'd love to see a photo of a birthday cake from your childhood.  Leave a link in the comments if you post about it!

PS. Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Monday, 5 September 2011

It's GIVEAWAY time!


So much for my birthday giveaway, originally planned for almost three weeks ago now!

But it doesn't matter because a giveaway is good at anytime... right?!

Up for grabs is a block of milk chocolate from the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, a bag of organic coffee from MR's favourite coffee brand (I can't vote because I don't drink it) Yahava Koffeeworks (also of Margaret River), a menu planner/shopping list note pad - perforated for easy planning and shopping, a set of salt and pepper shaker babushka dolls, a little purse mirror with a beautiful illustration by The Nebulous Kingdom and a Belle and Boo fabric swatch with attached pin.  There may also be a couple of other surprise crafty goodies in the pack as well if I get my act together in time!

To enter, be a follower and leave me a comment by midnight (Western Australian time) on Wednesday 14th September.  For an extra entry do a post about my giveaway and let me know via the comments.  Make sure I can email you and let you know if you've won!

I will post to anywhere in the world!

Happy entering :)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Signs of Spring

Today after the rain stopped I decided I really should get back out in the garden to continue on with the neverending weeding of the bindi bindi which is trying to take over our back lawn.

No!  I say.

I managed 6 buckets of weeding (procrastinating from school work that really should have been done instead), still many more to be done though!  I'm actually enjoying it somewhat, it's quite satisfying to see the lawn clear of weeds in patches.  The sunshine is just lovely as well.  Fingers crossed it doesn't get too hot too early this year like it did last year!

When MR is home later this week have planned a big garden overhaul on the weekend.  Hopefully I still have some energy left to get some work done... I have a couple of fruit trees that need planting.  An apricot and and orange - housewarming presents from my Dad.  But lots of things need clearing before I can put them where I want them.

 Pretty blooms on the apricot but should I be snapping them off so that the tree puts the effort into growing rather than blooming?
My itty bitty navel orange tree

And some lovely jonquils flowering in my front garden

Do you know some good gardening blogs for me to start reading?  I want to learn how to make my garden beautiful and lovely all year round!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

It was meant to be...

I often have moments in life when I look back and realise that something that happened or didn't happen was meant to be because it led me straight to now.  I am not religious at all but I do have some tentative beliefs that there is something out there watching over us.

I've been doing the same lately in regards to children.  Ten years ago if I had seen my future and realised I still didn't have kids at the age of 30 I would have been most upset.  The last few years I have been feeling clucky and as if that little timer in my ovaries is ringing loud enough to wake anyone.  But not now.  Now I am realising that it was meant to be.  I am happy to wait a little bit longer.

If I had children I would not be able to have laid in bed all day today in my pyjamas with a book and my computer.  I would not be able to have peanut butter on toast for dinner without feeling guilty.  I would not have been able to head down to the ED the other night without having to rely on family or friends assistance.  (I'm sure they would have been happy to give it but I hate asking for help.)  I would not be able to spend time being quiet and relaxing and sleeping in and reading and not worrying if I haven't picked up the mess off the floor.  I wouldn't be able to afford a cleaner either because no doubt if I had children I would not be working.  And my cleaner is currently my godsend.

On the other side of the coin, of course I'm sure I would be managing just fine if I did have kids but I'm no longer hearing that timer buzzing loudly at all.  I'm quite happy to be able to spend my time just taking care of me.

Do you feel the same?  That life has a vague path set out for you and that sometimes certain things happen for a reason?

Friday, 2 September 2011

More medical dramas

I am not sure I like this new blogger set up.  I am finding it very very different from the old one and a bit hard to drive.  I'm sure I will get used to it though. 

Today I am having a day at home after going to brush my teeth last night, looking in the mirror and getting a big scare because half of my eye was red.  Not a good look.  Seeing as eye bleeds are on my list of side effects that I must seek immediate medical advice for, I rang MR who rang his Mum's friend who is a nurse (I couldn't ring his Mum who is also a nurse because she is off in Africa climbing Mt Kilimanjaro).  She said to go to the nearest ED.  Oh yay. So off I trotted with a book to the hospital at 10.30pm. 

Now, it seems a little extreme to go to hospital for something that can happen when you sneeze violently (which I hadn't done) but seeing as I was home alone we decided it was probably best to be sure.  The people at the hospital were very nice and didn't make me feel silly for coming in.  The doctor tried to put in a canula to take some blood.  After five minutes of poking and prodding my arm she gave up on that arm and tried the other arm.  Unsuccessfully.  So she called a nurse to try.  He was very rough and made me cry and also was unsuccessful.  (In my vast experience of two male nurses and one male dental nurse I have found them all to be not at all gentle.  I am developing a bit of a thing against them.  How prejudiced of me.)  So they called another more experienced doctor who thankfully got it in first try.  Stupid veins.  Taking blood from my veins is usually tricky as they are very fine and slippery and don't like coming to the surface to be found but that's the first time it's taken four goes to get it in!!

They moved me to the observation ward to wait on the results after parking me and my trolley next to a sign that said 'Do not leave trolleys in this space'.  I thought this was a bit funny and wanted to take a photo but my arms were to sore from all the poking around and I know you're not supposed to use your mobile in the emergency department.  By this time it was about 2.30am as well and I was feeling a bit overtired, teary and anxious so I had a somewhat hysterical giggle to myself and tried to rest.

My blood test came back alright.  They were concerned my platelets were low which apparently has something to do with coagulation. But seeing as that was all fine I got to go home, thankfully with a medical certificate for today because I didn't get home until just after 4am. 

So, this week I am feeling grateful for..

- everything being okay (apart from an ugly red eye)
- not getting a parking ticket for parking in a 1hr zone at the hospital for 5 hours
- another long weekend
- woolworths online shopping (I'm trying it for the first time) meaning I hopefully don't have to get out of my pyjamas or leave the house until Sunday for Father's Day.  But I'm only grateful for it if they deliver everything properly and it's good quality fruit, veggies and meat.  Finger crossed.
- 4 weeks til school holidays.  Bring. It. On.

And hopefully tomorrow I will actually take a photo of my little stash of giveaway prize items and actually post up my giveaway like I promised to about 2 weeks ago.

PS.  Thank you for all the caring messages on my last post.  I called the Leukaemia Foundation today and left a message for someone to call me back.  Small steps.