Ooops I Forgot to ask about…

Tomorrow I see my Oncologist who is my Primary Care giver since diagnosis. I am VERY AFRAID of seeing her ALWAYS – because I am a ‘Moffie’ and I am afraid she may find something new wrong with me… It’s ridiculous I know but I am only human, therefore I am having a denial day. Where I lie around and detach myself from my daily realities and wish my bed could swallow me whole!

I have managed to get a cold AGAIN… And now I am thinking about all the possibilities of my situation. I wonder about whether I am doing enough to remain ‘cancer-free’. I wonder if I should drastically change my eating habits (because I do not diet) and whether I should be exercising more… I wonder about whether I should have less mammograms… I give a lot of thought to my medication and try to remember every new ache and pain that I have to report on…

Then I come up with an action plan. I am going to discuss all the above-mentioned topics and jot down some notes to ensure that I remember. Despite being really afraid of my six monthly checkups, I have a really awesome relationship with my Oncologist, and when we see each other we generally forget to talk about the things we should be talking about LOL!

So for like the first 10 minutes we talk about the kids, the jobs, the homes, the husbands, the families… Then she does a full physical examination. Then I eventually remember what I wanted to ask her vaguely and get distracted by other things we haven’t spoken about yet. We speak a lot about activism and why so many people are getting diagnosed and dying from Cancer.

And then we talk about books and photography and travelling and exercise and animals and food!

Then I get my prescription (if we don’t forget), my pathology forms for blood tests  and get told about the date of my next mammogram.

And before I know it my time is up and I have not discussed ANY of my concerns about my health!

Bleh!!! Go Figure…

And then when I get home I will say:” Ooops I forgot to ask about… EVERYTHING!!!”

Goodbye Laurene Le Grange, Till We Meet Again

I have been quietly mourning the loss of my dear dear friend Laurene Le Grange. At first her passing absolutely floored me (for obvious reasons) but then I realised that she is in a better place. A place that she had longed to know of her whole life… You see, she was a Seeker, of all things Magical and Mystical and Spiritual and Supernatural!

We first met at my third chemo session (and her first infusion) three years ago, where I had been saving a seat for her by request of a mutual acquaintance who had finished her chemo a few weeks before. Where I was often hysterical and over energetic, Laurene was quiet, calm and generous. She had such a deep understanding and acceptance of our journey that impacted me deeply. We spoke and spoke and spoke and spoke that in no time we would finish our treatments without even noticing the passing of time. We spoke about our children, our husbands, our lives, our achievements, our failures, our Spirituality and Beliefs and of course Cancer.

I suffer from resting-bitch face and I am not very friendly and in the worst situations I am even more abrasive, but Laurene ensured that I had made friends with everyone who was in the chemo room with us. She was one of those people who had the capacity to befriend anyone. That was something new to me as I had always been rather anti-social. To be honest, I did not really want to make friends with anyone at the hospital for fear of them dying and then for fear of having to deal with the heartache and loss and grief… But Laurene was my Beacon of Shining Light that taught me to be less afraid and more trusting of others.

So we made friends (lots of them), we shared our stories, we cheered each other on and we actively participated in each other’s lives.  And so she crept into my heart and became MY PERSON! My person that I would confess my deepest fears to, the person I would tell all my ugly little secrets to and not feel judged or condemned. She was there for me as I was there for her through this arduous three year journey.

When I think back of all the troubles we faced and conquered, it was so easy to get depressed or to succumb to sadness and misery… But Laurene ensured that I did not… She forcibly made me think of the Blessing of Love and the Gift of Life and Meaningful Living!

I never spoke to her last week. I am sure she had many things to do to prepare for her Transformation…  I attended her beautiful Memorial Service on Saturday that was as Magical as she was! And although I was shattered, I felt her Peace emanating from All gathered there.

Laurene believed that everything had Purpose and that everything happened for a Reason – Universal Truth.  Never has this belief been more true in my life, as she had been my Guide, my Sister, my Friend… She taught me about Unconditional Love and overcoming Life’s challenges.

But mostly she taught me how to not be afraid of Death…

So my Dear Laurene, Fly, Soar and be Free of this Earthly Realm and Conquer in the Next. Until we meet again… Rest In Peace…

PS: I  Fucking Love You!

Losing a Friend

I sit here staring blankly at my PC screen…
I am in shock…
In grief…
In denial…

I know I should write to get all the emotions out and that it would probably be good for my psyche… In the early hours of Thursday morning I was notified of a good friends passing and then later that morning I was notified of another good friends passing…

Death…
Makes me MAD!
I promised I would not swear…

Wahib Isaacs!!!

I never realised that I actually knew you my whole life until I stood there saying goodbye.  You teased me and annoyed me my whole life also. You were a relentless critic of all my shortcomings. I loved your direct approach of telling me when to shut up and when to get over myself. We even worked together at one stage which was really funny because I was your supervisor LOL!

I saw you everyday casually strolling past my house or me running past yours and you hollering ‘Run you fat bastert’! Your sarcasm and wit always got me laughing. You were vrek droeg with your bot jokes! I told the kids about you and Ayesha said “Mommy is that the Uncle that says ‘You so pretty but you give vuilkyke?’” I said ‘Yes that’s Uncle Wahib…’ Ayesha is so sad she never spoke at school all day…

I will miss you telling me that I am a bad parent and a terrible wife! I will never hear you telling me off before Muslim School either ‘You gonna chirp Sheikh again tonight…’ or you giving Maruf advice on how to discipline me: ‘You must listen to your husband and just keep quiet!’ LOL!

CRY! CRY! CRY!

But always you were calm and soft and caring… Considerate and gentle… With a golden heart filled with kindness that was always ready to help…

I am so shattered by your death because I still can’t believe it’s true…

Your Dad held me so tight and thanked me for being your friend and I thought I would split in two because the amount of grief I feel is unbearable and his grief is devastating and indescribable…

I pray for Sabr and Peace for your family as you are irreplaceable my bru…

I will never forget you…

Nothing prepares you for the loss of someone you love…

Inna lielaahi wa inna ilayhi raajioen!

PS: Yes! I am still crying! I promise I will do better! Ek is tog lief vir jou!  Till we meet again my friend!

Licking My Wounds

I have spent the morning curled up in a tight little ball on top of my bed. I am not feeling snugly or  warm or cosy and all feline-like – I am however trying to comfort myself… and of course not inflame my overactive imagination or bring on an anxiety attack! Calm thoughts prevail amidst the crazy pounding of my unstable heart! I am trying rather desperately to lick at wounds – old and new alike!

The last week has been disastrous and super challenging for me. I fell down a mini flight of stairs at my daughter’s school (it’s okay to laugh) last Tuesday, and I am still limping around from the severe sprain (and possibly torn ligaments)! OUCH! What a nightmare! And because of my dubious health condition I had to have x-rays and a proper foot examination at the emergency unit of the nearest Hospital! Even MORE OUCH! Thanks the Powers that Be Nothings Broken – just my Pride and Ego – I had to show my Unshaven (for a year) legs to all the medical staff on duty! Damn You Murphy’s Law! So I was sent home with crutches and a compression bandage as I refused the space boot, with orders to R (Rest), I (Ice), C (Compress) and E (Elevate). So I listened (a little bit) and I RICE’d for a day or two then started using my foot! 

I am happy with the progress thus far, but am getting rather alarmed at my ‘Other’ foot – the left foot that caused my fall! It’s probably angry at me for calling it an Underachiever… bleh! Ever since chemo this foot has been problematic presenting with severe heel pain in the mornings and evening and when it is cold. I self diagnosed with Arthritis – but there is no swelling just ankle cracking and a lot of  heel tenderness. Then Dr Google announced that it is plantar fasciitis – for which there is no quick fix other than rest your foot for six to eight weeks!

WHAT??? I am trying to get fit here!!!

And of course my over inquiring mind has sent me on investigations of whether the cancer has now moved to my left foot! Ridiculous I know! It happens okay! Moenie Lag Nie! It turns out to be a very common runner’s injury. But I was still not happy with that explanation. I know that I run with difficulty since my mastectomy…. So I researched some more… and found a rational explanation for my injury…

My Mastectomy with No Reconstruction and NOT wearing my Prosthesis!

SURPRISE SURPRISE!.

My wonderful life saving operation has unbalanced my biomechanics to the degree that my postural mechanical mechanism is off balance. SAY WHAT??? In other words – the removal of my left boob has caused my body to be unbalanced (probably by about 800grams) impacting my spinal alignment, chest and shoulder movements, stride and gait.

Oh, about my prosthesis… It’s a gross piece of heavy plastic silicone… despite being very versatile and useful in all the wrong ways… I will have to re-acquaint myself with you… You piece of breast fillet!Eeeeuuuuhhhhwwwwww!

So I’ll just lay here In Limbo… and lick my wounds… until my next run!!!

PS: Yes I will shave my legs! And Wear my Prosthesis! Promise!

7 Days of Being Grateful

Here’s a #throwbackthursday post!

In 2014 (I think) a good friend nominated me to do a ‘7 Days of Being Grateful” challenge. I thought I would share them with you!

Day 1 of 7 

Daily Mantra: Today I am grateful for being alive – Shukr the Almighty!
1. That I have eyes that enable me to see beauty in every living thing
2. That I am able to witness joy, happiness, sadness and a full spectrum of emotions
3.That I am encouraged to look beyond the mundane and see magic and meaning in all things
Alhamdulillah!
Day 2 of 7

Daily Mantra: Today I am grateful for being alive – Shukr the Almighty!
1. I am grateful for cancer. Really. It has tested me in ways unimaginable. It has also made me realise how brave, strong and resilient I am. I am not a Survivor… I am a effen WARRIOR man!
2. I am grateful for hair. Yep… Had no hair for a year and it felt sooooo crap. Head, face, legs, arms, pits, pubes you name it… Any hair is a good thing. You feel quite lost without it! True!
3. I am grateful for insanity. Its genetic apparently. I come from a long line of lunatics. I am happy that I fit in quite fine! Insanity has embraced me and made my life really really interesting… my husband, kids and family can all attest to this!
Alhamdulillah!

Day 3 of 7 

Daily Mantra: Today I am grateful for being alive – Shukr the Almighty!
1. I am grateful for hot flushes. They make me understand that not everything is within my control. They kept me HOT through winter… and allow me alot of naked time at any given opportunity. BEWARE!
2. I am grateful for prosthetics. It balances my bra and chest so that I dont look lopsided. Also they are multipurpose… and can be used as a pinholder, ball, fly swat etc… mines’ very handy indeed it has even been used as a weapon LOL!
3. I am grateful for the knop on my head. I often misjudge the proximity of my head within the radius of objects that jump out at me… this knop has been a strong reminder that my head is big and that I need to wear my SPECS! THANK YOU!
Alhamdulillah!

Day 4 of 7

Daily Mantra: Today I am grateful for being alive – Shukr the Almighty!
1. I am grateful for not playing nice. I have no problems telling someone exactly what it is that I think of them. Now don’t get me wrong, I am nice sometimes but my tolerance of BS is minute!
2. I am grateful for accepting that I am a weirdo… Really. And a geek. And possibly a mad scientist. I have taken things apart and put them back together, I believe Photoshop and After Effects can Save the World… go figure!
3. I am grateful for my imagined sense of privacy. Apparently this comes as part of the package called becoming a parent. Nobody ever told me that I would NEVER be left alone or in peace to have a bath/shower/sleep/shit… NEVER! My life has transformed into a reality show with my kids as the audience and me as the star of the show!
Alhamdulillah!

Day 5 of 7 

Daily Mantra: Today I am grateful for being alive – Shukr the Almighty!
1. I am truly grateful for getting over myself. For not taking everything personally and for forgiving myself my faults and weaknesses. NOBODY is perfect. Perfection is a subliminal fantasy programmed into our psyche by the Illuminati LOL!
2. I am grateful for dressing down. I don’t have a problem with fashion, I love Fashion, I just don’t think that it should shape and control our world. As a woman I can honestly say that we place far too much importance on objectifying ourselves. Seriously… fashion DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON! Rather invest in your Soul than that Zara/Diesel/TopShop dress… A beautiful heart looks good in anything!
3. I am a proud grateful FEMINIST! Like Betty White says: “Why say ‘Grow Some Balls’ Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough grow a VAGINA! Those things can take a pounding!” Booyah!!!
Alhamdulillah!

Day 6 of 7 

Daily Mantra: Today I am grateful for being alive – Shukr the Almighty!
1. I am grateful for lightbulb realisations – that the world is a treacherous place, true love is a fantasy (there is no Prince Charming coming to save you), not all people are nice or good and that evil exists…
2. I am grateful for intimacy. If you are married… have sex! Lot’s of it. If u don’t like it… learn to like it. Make it work for you. Like homework. Your husband will appreciate it! He didn’t marry you to hold your hand! Lol!
3. I am grateful for short term memory loss… Like this… Me: Aaaahhh you’re late because you went for a haircut! My Dear Husband: Eeerrrmmmm no… traffic! Me: Oh but I like your haircut! My Dear Husband: Mayya I CUT MY HAIR LAST WEEK! MOVE ALONG PLEASE… Shakes his head and rolls his eyes and stomps away from me… Sighs… Aaai jirrre!!!
Alhamdulillah!

Day 7 of 7 

Daily Mantra: Today I am grateful for being alive – Shukr the Almighty!
1. I am grateful for my family (the whole happy miserable lot). I am grateful for my kids who drive me cuckoos but who keep me grounded. For my husband who says things like this: Maybe Pepper is a Bad Ass Prison Bitch!” after I tell him that our two FEMALE Rabbits keep trying to mate! Bwahahahahahaaaaa!!!
2. I am grateful for ‘Find a hill… walk up the Hill ten times!” my oncologist (after I complained about my weight gain on chemo). To me it translated to: you are strong, you are in control of this, you can do this, you are NOT a VICTIM! So if ever you feel like a challenge go walk up a hill! Apply to as many things in your life as possible – your legs and glutes will love you for it!
3. I am grateful for not believing that my illness came from the Almighty. I know… I said it… this is my list *wink*wink*… Rather I believe that my circumstances led me to Closeness and Acceptance. PS: Do Not Ever say this to someone with Cancer. Really – it really pisses them off. You get cancer because of toxins in your body caused by the environment, the food you eat, negative emotions and bad bad bad lifestyle choices. This statement “illness is from Allah” couldn’t be more wrong, you are ill because of YOU! You made you sick – No one else. Dont rationalise your situation by saying it’s from the Almighty…. Its like saying I am an A**HOLE/MURDERER/RAPIST etc… and its okay it’s from Allah! Ggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

And lastly I must thank everyone who have read my Grateful Lists! And Laughed! ‘Cos it’s all about the smiles and little bits of joy that makes a difference in the end! I enjoyed sharing my headspace with you!

I may just carry on doing this weekly Lol!
Alhamdulillah!

Hello and Welcome to My Blog

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I have surprised myself at how easily I am able to put my thoughts to the wind and let them reverberate through the Universe! I thought that this would be a laborious task, but it seems that I have reignited an old passion (other than swearing) and I am really enjoying it!

Writing about my experience with breast cancer has come easily, although the experience has been anything but pleasant… and for the longest time I wanted to deny everyone the pleasure of what happens in my head and how I cope with the misery of my very own personal trauma!

I am not an inspirational guru, therapist or medical practitioner… I am however, a breast cancer survivor, a mother and wife,  a creative and a (bad) runner.

I hope you find my inner sanctum hopeful and inspiring and that it enlightens you to a reality many many people face daily!