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!

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!

Expectations

I am expected to run a business, a household and manage family life…

Where the FUCK do I get time to do ALL this? Ontop of that  I am supposed to be grateful for having a Husband… Really???  Whatever…

I am expected to wake up with a smile, make breakfast, pack lunch and dress kids for school. I am expected to run an aftercare service after said kids come from school which includes lunch, homework, Islamic Studies and play time. I am expected to clean up after everyone, make their beds, pack away and tidy up after them. I am expected to vacuum, do the laundry and provide meals whenever someone utters ‘I am Hungry’. I also have to attend to every ‘Mommy I am Finished’ call from said kids with an enthusiasm I used to reserve for hot chocolate!

I work from home, which really translates to I Don’t get Anything Done from Home! I am therefore constantly available for everyone to request things from me (which are completely not work related)… I don’t get the pleasure of alone time. Productivity is a tricky affair that lasts until I get sent to the shops or butcher (at least twice a day) and by the time I return I have forgotten whatever it is I was doing in the first place! I am expected to work under these harsh conditions and yet I am not allowed to get ANGRY because I can’t deal with this CRAP! I juggle meetings around my families’ needs and demands and when I have to be creative I absolutely LOSE MY SHIT because I can’t balance the MOMMY/WIFE responsibilities with the BUSINESS /CREATIVE responsibilities!

I am also expected to manage my moods and care for my health. I am supposed to eat healthily and follow a sensible diet rich in fruit and vegetables. I should limit junk foods and restrict takeaways… I am expected to exercise daily and get completely miff when I get asked about my activities for the day (hence the annoying Runtastic on FaceBook). I am also expected to not dress like a ‘Dronkie’ and brush my hair and teeth daily, maintain a happy, approachable composure and be PRESENT 24/7.

Hence, in MY OPINION, Your expectations of me are unrealistic…

So, Dear Husband, DO NOT WAKE ME UP AT 4am because YOU ARE GOING FOR A RUN!

Only Drug Fuelled Maniacs are awake at that hour anyways… Besides did you know…

THAT I CAN ONLY GO AND RUN WHEN THE REST OF YOU HAVE HAD BREAKFAST, WASHED, DRESSED, POOPED AND THEN LEFT HOME?

I feel unappreciated and a little resentful!  Fuck This Shit!!!

And then I feel guilty AF because as they get into the car my kids yell ‘We Love You Mommy have a nice day!”

And I end up sobbing ‘snot en trane’ as I go for my daily run!!!

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!

For Lives Lost

For All the Women who have been Raped

For Franziska and Sinoxolo, the Rhodes Monument Rape Survivors, and Anene Booysen and the baby that was raped and didn’t survive, and the two lost girls who got gang raped TWICE, and the FIVE old women who got raped in the cornfield and ALL the countless voiceless faceless OTHERS…

How Sad… Very Sad…

I am distraught and disgusted. I have tried really hard to not give voice to my feelings about the deaths of these innocent young women. But I really can’t NOT SAY ANYTHING… because my Silence and Your Silence is really what perpetuates this kind of horrific acts in the first place. We look away, we hide them and we try to forget them and hope it never happens again… PLEASE STOP THIS COWARDLY BEHAVIOUR! Because Guess what South Africa – IT happens annually, monthly, daily…

I am angry at the MALE  SPECIES of South Africa. I am angry at South African Society as a whole BECAUSE we tolerate this behavior. We have not taken enough measures to prevent this from happening again and again.  We are so completely desensitized by violence against women and Rape that it is almost an accepted part of our reality. We have learnt to accept it and live with it… Almost. Why?

What are the Women of this Land supposed to do? Are we to live in fear and hide our girl children? Are we to cower in submission and accept these atrocities? The scary reality is that many of us are Mothers to Daughters. I shudder to think that I will have to teach my daughters’ about ‘Rape Culture’, about how to behave around men, what not-to wear, how to not be friendly and mostly how to be afraid of Strange Men and Familiar Men! Isn’t that ridiculous? How absurd…

What makes a Man think it’s okay to stick his Penis into a woman/girl/child WHEN he WANTS TO? What has this world come to? Is this the dilemma of Modern Man? Where He literally has to destroy the place he comes from? That’s right you Bastards – you came from a VAGINA!

How the Hell did we get here? Why are women still getting raped and killed and abused by men? Gender based violence still occurs on a regular basis… And don’t even blame poverty… ‘COS JUST STOP MAKING LAME EXCUSES… Just because you are poor and don’t have a job you feel you should Rape and Kill women?

Why are we called Modern Man when we are still capable of such immense destructive, violent and evil behavior… to the extent and excess that we are worse than animals… we are actually DEMONIC… DEVIL SPAWN…  The level of depravity and evil is unimaginable… what horror movies and nightmares are made of…

I am beyond ANGRY – I AM MURDEROUS ACTUALLY!  And I will go to War to Protect my Rights as  A Woman, as A Mother and as A Daughter!

I feel strongly that Men need to understand that they deserve to DIE if they Rape a Woman… That’s All!

Women of South Africa RISE UP!!! Say ENOUGH YOU FUCKING MONSTERS! We Marched for our Rights in 1956… we need to Take Action because We Are the Future of this Land!

Isn’t it Ironic?

I really don’t know what’s worse – being a parent or being a child.

I know I am bad at them both, but I struggle to choose and balance these two aspects of my life.

I am That Mother who wants the very best for their child and expect the same level of obsessive compulsion to be reciprocated in their relationship with me governed by their achievements and accomplishments. I am Tiger Mom on Steroids – ‘Like what Do You Mean You Don’t Understand? Go and Write it out TEN times until you DO!’

I am Sorry – I do NOT want a child that does not work hard, doesn’t achieve, doesn’t respect life and is generally not interested in anything… I refuse to be the Mother of a Loser or an Asshole because that would be a reflection of my values that I have instilled in them! There I said it – some kids are assholes and it’s their parents’ fault they are that way…

I am a very involved parent – I wish that I were not! I sometimes wish to be an absent parent – where I did not have to deal with the everyday struggle of trying to raise kids in a healthy, constructive way! I long for the days when you could get sense smacked into you or the days where you would eat your two day old lunch for supper that night!

I am also that child that is rapaciously involved in her parents’ lives. I live with them, for them and to them! I get a constant criticism of my brutal parenting style and my food always tastes like crap! We fight and swear and disagree on everything but we cannot live without each other.

I have been having the hardest time realizing that it is not easy being the child that watches their parents’ grow older. With age comes ailments that you don’t fully understand and having to realize how unfair life is for whilst you are at your prime they are on their decline – this makes life just a little harder and sadder…

This week I have witnessed my Father literally fall to pieces from excruciating pain caused by Shingles. I felt it with him as my heart shattered under the heaviness of his discomfort.  The helplessness makes me feel cowardly – I mean why can’t I fix it? Or take it away? Or soothe it with a Band Aid?

Not So Simple…  Life is complicated like that…

I hope one day my children will be so obsessed with me as I am with my parents and that they never give me a moments peace and that they invade every aspect of my being as is their birth given right! And that is Not Negotiable!