Today Was Rocky

Feeling a bit off today…
Got a call early this morning from a young lady I met only last year when she was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. She informed me that she got sick two weeks ago and that they have rediagnosed her with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, her cancer has spread to her lungs…

Whew!
I was dumbfounded… I mean I never run out of things to say really…
But this morning… I had no words…
My lengthy list of curses and colourful expletives were silenced…

I am still trying to process her grief and anguish. I am utterly broken…

Stage 4 metastatic cancer is tricky and your life expectancy is shortened drastically depending on how your body reacts to treatment. I tried my best to stay positive and told her about many other Stage 4 Thrivers on Social Media and elsewhere. But my heart still feels the traitor…

I turn the mirror inwardly because I know what the nature of this disease is… that you are never really cured… it is part of your body and can return without warning and explanation at any given time…

I always get asked how I cope with this reality…
I don’t…
I don’t think about it…
I fill my head with other things… like music, books, children, family, running, praying, reading, working and creating…
So there’s really no time for the nagging insecurities lurking in my subconscious.

But on a rocky day, like today, I think about it a lot more than necessary…

Life’s a Beach

Writing about my breast cancer is a serious job and it is not always easy because in reality it becomes part of your daily truth. Your brain gets rewired during the process and you change (I have said this before… I know) sometimes in the biggest most visible ways and sometimes in the most miniscule ways that nobody notices but you. For example: I no longer smoke… anything… and I am not afraid to say everything and secretly I refuse to wear a bra!

So I have strived to be as honest and truthful in my retelling of my cancer chronicles (Side note: I am tired of saying ’Journey’ because ‘Journey’ implies I am going somewhere and where EXACTLY am I GOING???) instead of creating a false sense of reality. My writing comes from my head and heart and reflects who I am (an insane Nutter mostly) and flows outta my fingertips magically (KAK Man lol)! Writing is a natural outlet for me and if I am unable to write I feel as if I am being choked… emotionally and physically… and I don’t like being choked! I get frustrated as hell and only swear words spews from my mouth – not pretty!

So recently I have decided to up my game and do some research and read other people’s blogs! Biggest fucken Mistake! I have never been more bored, scared and depressed by my reality. Breast cancer blogs are uninteresting and hopeless! Maybe these women all got their brains rewired to being redundant… I don’t know… it’s very sad… I thought writing was supposed to help others and to inspire others – not scare the shit out of them!
So I have decided to keep on swearing and laughing at my situation because FFS I will not let this get me down – and neither should you! Its depressing and sad I know… but come on at least you are alive? Right?

I remember going to see a Psychotherapist during my treatment (notice no ‘Journey’) and she asked me if I am sad all the time… I said that I wasn’t sad at all! She was surprised when I said that I am angry and mad mostly! I needed to explain: I was angry at myself for getting this way and I was mad because I did not know how to deal with it! I felt that I was being deserted and all I wanted to do was run away from everyone and everything. She asked me where I would go… I said that I would go to Hermanus…. LOL for days! (Hows that for thinking creatively bwahahahahaha!!!)

She was really confused… But still maintained I was suffering of PTSD and offered me anti-depressants!

Point is – why so much doom and gloom? Yes, life is flippen hard and super challenging… for EVERYONE not just you! You are not alone in this gigantic universe. You do not exist in isolation… No! You form part of the many amazing things this world has to offer no matter how broken or bruised you are. So please choose to see beyond your circumstances and your problems and your sadness but rather focus on things beyond yourself and your existence! Why choose to be the source of someone’s misery and fear?

Some words of wisdom from the Streets: As jy niks mooi het om te sê nie dan hou jou bek!
Translation: If you have nothing nice to say then rather be quiet!

On a lighter note – the insanity continues! I am stuck in bed today with a tummy bug that my kids keep returning to me because I am the ONLY OFFICIAL BUM CLEANER in my house! They do not call for ‘Daddy’ and get grossed out by the idea of cleaning themselves! Both hands clenching nostrils… EEuuuuwwww!

And I am rather pissed off because I may need to take antibiotics and I will miss my hills training this evening…

PS: Doing my first 21km Race this weekend… In Shaa Allah!

How January escaped Me

Its February already… and here I am still wondering what the Hell happened to January???

Come to think of it, January was a bit messy – all over the place like spilled sugar! I felt my life veering out of control as I emerged from holiday mode and needed to settle my kids into a normal school routine as well as train myself to be a disciplined hands-on Mommy Monster. Some days I am still flummoxed by the amount of energy needed to keep up this act… But I admit once the school clothes and shoes were bought, stationery bought and labelled, books covered and labelled, bags and lunch packed and the kids were carted off to school…
I felt like less of a failure…. And more like a Conqueror! Yeah!

So I could calmly settle into the dullness of adulthood! Where the requirements bore the crap out of me. But never the less I push on… because I could Rant Like Mad about how much I Love being grown up….

I set myself many goals to achieve this year but one I am particularly more excited about than all the others. Particularly because it embraces two things I am passionate about… running and raising awareness!

I have decided to run my first Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon 21k Race… and I will be doing it for Charity! I specifically chose to do this to represent and inspire other Breast Cancer Survivors to join the cause of awareness! I feel so honoured that I will be representing the PinkDrive Organisation – they have mobile mammography and gynae clinics that service disadvantaged women all over South Africa. Drumroll…. Tadaaa!

So be warned that my social media feeds will be about fundraising, fundraising and more fundraising for the next month! I would like to donate at least R5000 towards this cause as I feel it is an important and much needed service for women, considering the cost of these services at a hospital.

I hope that R5000 is not too ambitious… My idea is that I get at least 100 people to each donate R50 to my cause! So please people do not ‘unfriend’ me rather help me out on my road to the OMTOM!

I’ll be posting links to my GivenGain page soonest… Keep your eyes peeled!

Unpolished Farewell

I am writing from my poorly lit bedroom with a breeze playing at my curtains. My youngest is happily cleaning up her rabbits mess in the yard whilst my eldest is miserably drying off the dishes and verbalising her dismay from the kitchen with ‘bolla wange’ in tow. Flicking through my social media pages and I realised that its that time of year again… due to all the FB posts … when you get a glance of ‘Your Yearly Review’… So I figured I might as well deliver mine…

I am certain that today will be the last time I write on this blog for 2016 (I actually wrote 2015 lol thank goodness for spellcheck). This year has worn me out and hacked me down to another level of tired. Somewhere between June and July the carriage veered off the scheduled route and left me abandoned in unaccustomed territory… feeling helpless and lost.

The tone was set for the rest of the year unfortunately. I have been quite solitary for the last few months – if it weren’t for my family I would have been that crazy hermit living on the outskirts of society actually… living off the grid and rejecting societal norms… My family keep me in check and literally force me to live, despite me just wanting to survive… In all honesty I feel like 2016 has culled me…purged me!

The first quarter of this year was ushered in with wonderfully positive vibes. I finally built up the courage to start working for myself. I was certain I could do it all – mom, wife, business woman – the dream of every woman in this century! I was managing wonderfully and I was certain that the rest of the year would only bless me with more luck – right? But yet I was just not convinced enough to be at ease with my blessings as my spirit kept cautioning me to look deeper than the appearance of material things.

The second quarter of this year I spent desperately trying to improve my physical form. I became really strict with my diet and exercise routine. I kept busy. I kept ahead. I kept healthy. I pushed. I pulled. I huffed and puffed. I socialised. I spoke my mind. I got involved. I stayed grounded. I challenged myself. I made promises. I dared to dream. I ran and ran and ran some more… so much that I ran out of time…

I came to a halt… My life was forever changed in the third quarter of this year… I lost my very best friend confidant and mentor… suddenly and without warning… I was raw with rage and crippled with anger. I struggled to even get through my daily routines. Grief, sadness and loneliness kept me barely alive. I felt like I had entered into a nightmarish alternate dimension because reality made no sense. The rest of the months remains a blur…

And now I find myself here in December 2016… with my kids on holiday and the festive season on my doorstep… and I realise that 2016 has come to an end. And with every year ending I feel the natural tendency to reflect and think about the lessons I have learnt, if not the heartache I have endured…

I have come full circle and realise that I am a Mind, Body, Soul person. Something I have tried to downplay because in all practicality there is no room for arty farty hippie horseshit! But guess what… that is ME and I will embrace it! So Yes! There will be many meditative walks (and runs), yoga and tree hugging followed by star gazing and soul searching whilst immersing myself in nature for the last few days of 2016.

For me 2016 has been the year of Wanting Perfection…but choosing Courage Over Everything! I look forward to greeting 2017 with wonder and appreciation as I walk into another year of undiscovered blessings for which I am eternally grateful!

Go To Sleep

The only reason I knew which day of the week it was is because I had an overjoyed super excited six year old who could not wait to go to school because she had been off sick with a tummy bug that made me want to hide in a cupboard and not ever come out… Two weeks ago she had mumps and stayed home for a week much to her delight (at first) and then to her dismay (because she missed her friends and teacher).

And as the tummy bug got sorted the eldest suddenly started moaning about sore ears which I dismissed as sheer laziness because she never wants to go to school or even get up for that matter. She got dragged along to the doctor anyways and was given the all clear only to wake me up at 2am in agony with a face much similar to that of a chipmunk! Noooooooooooooo!!!! Mumps… AGAIN?

Do you have any idea what it’s like to deal with a mouthy attitude fuelled 9 year old with Mumps? Let’s just say it is NOT FUN! I just look on in sheer amazement (WTF horror mostly) and wonder what the Hell happened to my sweet docile child of 4,5,6,7 or even 8 years old?

Mumps…. How can you do this to me? I inoculated religiously and still you showed up in both kids…

Which leads me to my next question: Are my kids weakened immune systems my fault?

Apart from the fact that I was awake caring for sick children all night… this guilt trip nearly caused me a meltdown of cringe-worthy proportions. So I tried to address the matter with my husband, who was fast asleep and absolutely NOT INTERESTED! ‘

“Mayya… Really?” he grumbled, rolled over and tried to wrestle as much of the blankets away from me as he could, and as politely (as he could) told me to go to sleep…

But here’s my logic…

When I was diagnosed, my cancer would have been in my body for at least 5-10 years (according to the doctors – which I am uncertain of. What annoys me is how certain they were that I would be dead in 6 months without any treatment blah blah blah…). My kids at this stage were aged 5 and 2. The realisation kicks in! Wait for it…… Get it? I had cancer in my boobs when I had them in my womb!!!

Could this have affected them? Could it have affected their immune systems because mine was not working? Even more alarming was the fact that my beauties were non-milk producing decorations that served only to fill a bra cup! Other than that… ZERO… And I mean ZERO as in NIL lactation advantages. I did not breast feed because there was nothing to feed other than my anxiety of course. The lactation clinic tried to kill me with Jungle Juice and many other concoctions which did not work at all, much to the annoyance of the nursing sisters who were convinced I was the Anti-Christ of Breastfeeding!

So this is what keeps me awake at night… Guilt!

Yoh! My mind is the devil I tell you!

The SHIT I Say

This is completely impertinent… And I have hung onto this post since February… I don’t intend to disrespect anyone or to hurt their feelings, but if you know me personally, you would understand my wicked demeanor that comes shrouded with sarcastic humour all neatly wrapped in a little dynamite package! Attitude is my Swagger! LOL!

From time to time, I get informed of people who are going through a Cancer diagnosis, and I react very badly… My skin crawls and I get a deep seated sense of remorse and horror whenever I hear this terrible news…  I either end up sobbing like a broken hearted teenager or just internalize and remain a Pissed Off MOFO for the rest of the day or until the emotions pass… PS: I am trying really hard to work through my exhausting Mood Swings!

A solid dose of anger makes me say shit like: ‘Why the fuck is this happening to so many people???’ much to the horror of the person I say this to, which is often my Mother or my Husband. Eyes down cast and lowered voice normally replies ‘I don’t know Sumayya…’

Because I am that Special Asshole that Wants to Know What the Hell is Going On with Our World! Why are so many people getting sick and dying from Cancer? But today’s post is not about the Ill-Death debacle… let’s leave that for another day…

The reality is that, like most people, I often don’t know what to say when confronted with certain situations or realities that shock me or upset me. I get it all wrong and sound like a complete airhead like this for example:

  1. “My Mother’s got Liver cancer…”
    My response – Holy Shit that’s hectic!
  2. “I think my Cancer has come back…”
    My response – Faaaarrrrrck! No… Ways… Are you serious?
  3. “I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma…”
    My response – Really? Where’s your tumour?
  4. “I have colon cancer…”
    My response – That is just So Kak!
  5. “My cousin has an inoperable brain tumour…”
    My response – Yohhh! That’s fucked up!

I apologise for my insensitivity and sheer lack of filter between what I am thinking and what I verbalise. Besides having a potty mouth I also have a mind that is as filthy as the inside of a toilet bowl! I lose self control and emotions get in the way of tactful things my mind could possibly process for my mouth to say.

Instead, I would honestly prefer to say these things to someone or anyone who is ill:

  1. I am So Sorry…
  2. I wish this reality did not exist…
  3. It’s a really SHIT thing that you are going through…
  4. Cancer is SUPER KAK …
  5. Is there anything I can help you with?
  6. Please remember to LIVE! Everyday! As best as you can…

Now isn’t THAT a whole lot better?

April Fear

Sleep has evaded me for at least a month or at worst two months. I don’t really keep track of these things. All I can say is ‘It’s painful… like when a best friend or (even worse) a boyfriend breaks up with you… The bitter fermented rot it leaves in your mouth is putrid! And the brain FUNK is equivalent to the aftermath of a hurricane. Somehow you remember vaguely what used to exist before this tirade of relentless exhaustion swept in…

Dramatic? I know…

I have never suffered from insomnia or any sleep related problems in my entire life. At first it was accepted that it was the result of an overactive mind and a traitorous brain that says: “Fuck You! We are Not Sleeping because Tonight we are going to think about Random Shit ALL NIGHT LONG!”

Alas, I digress! I can honestly admit that this bout of insomnia is directly linked to the onset of the month of April! I kid you not! You know how some people fear Friday the thirteenth because all manner of strange and evil things happen? Well I feel the same way about April… It’s ridiculous but true, I absolutely abhor the Month of April for a number of really asinine reasons which are unrelated, unimportant and irrational!

But still they keep me awake at night…

The Big Anxiety of this Month is: It’s my 4 Year Anniversary since diagnosis!

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on the 25th of April 2012.

Literally,  the Day my Life (As I Knew It) Ended!

Needless to say it is not a generally happy time of year for me. I think about my health at a hyperactive level and am super aware of the realities of having had Breast Cancer. My bi-annual check-up with my Oncologist is something that I cannot miss as well as the barrage of tests etc that follow…

And as Karma would have it, April is also the Month of my Husbands birthday. Now isn’t that just SOMETHING! And said person expects bells and whistles with strippers and nurse outfits – which for the past few years have equated to “let’s take the kids for dinner” LOL!

Always this constant battle of Yin and Yang! So this is the month of Duality for me – where my opposing forces of Light and Dark Battle it Out and eventually realize that they can and will coexist to maintain my natural balance… Even though I am as Tired as A Dying Dog!