Saturday, 21 January 2012

An ode to my work colleagues

Over the past 12 months I have had an abundance of support from my work colleagues. After family, they were the first to know of my diagnosis. I had to tell them, as the roster was out and I had to take myself off it to have the surgery. Well, straight away I was overwhelmed with the support. My shifts were quickly covered, but even more importantly was the night out organised to farewell my breast! We had a great night with a lot of laughs and wine, especially wine! I don't think other patrons at the restaurant could quite believe what we were "celebrating"!

After surgery and throughout the rest of the year there were the calls of support, the meals for the family and the visits. There was Joan, who hung my washing on the line for me (even though my pegs weren't matching colours); Kim, who, despite her own family problems, still came over with meals for us and took me out for coffee; Sally (been there, done that) reassuring me endlessly; Cecilia, who spent the day doing some interior decorating for me as I couldn't make a decision about anything. She gave me direction and helped me make that decision!

At work always the support and care. "Stay away from that room - some one coughing". Darrell & Caroline, the roster queens, who always gave me exactly what I wanted to fit in with my treatment. To the girls who willingly stepped aside from their regular shifts so I could work them and they slotted in somewhere else. And, of course, our fearless leader, the head honcho, who always checked on my progress and gave me leave whenever I asked, or indeed, if I looked like I needed it!

But mostly there were the laughs. "Veronica, you look different.""Oh No! I forgot my eyebrows again! Here, you put them on for me." (And they did).
"Sorry I'm late, got half way here and realised I forgot my hair" "Yeah, we figured as much!" Then there was the disappearing wig scenario, which I'm sure you well remember. All this carry-on jut made the months of treatment slide by.

As I was going through my treatment, Sue, our ward clerk, was also going through chemotherapy. Rather than a wig, Sue opted to wear scarves or bandannas. We were able to determine her mood for the day by the colour of her head dress! The darker the covering the more distance we kept between she and us! But mostly, Beware the Red! She also had a weekly competition of "Guess my Neutrophils!". Jodi seemed to win that one, although it was often a case of "How low can they go?"! They went low, but Sue smiled her way through it all (or grumped, depending on her headdress)!

Sue and I finished treatment about the same time so we decided to have an afternoon tea at work to thank everyone for their support, - and because we like to have afternoon teas. As you can see by the photos, the colour theme was purple.  All the Toxic Waste containers are purple so we decided that was the colour we needed! Amazingly, on the appointed day, the place was fairly quiet and we all managed to get to afternoon tea! Doesn't happen every day but we do enjoy it when it does!

Thy're a motley crew......

                                                                 We have hair!

.....But I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

I'm Still here!

Had a quiet couple of months getting to the blog site. Judi (my sister) even offered to Guest blog for me! Keep your eye out for that one, it will happen.

In the meantime I am back - I think. It seems that after all my treatment and appointments and having my life organised for me, when it all finished I stopped doing everything - especially blogging! Just couldn't organise my life when I didn't have an appointment on which to focus! And then of course there was the visit from my mother-in-law; the trip to Perth; Christmas; New year; anniversaries and holidays. More about all of that in coming weeks.

Suffice to say, 2012 is starting off much better than 2011 did. So, I will continue this blog for a bit longer, - until I run out of Raves. Stay tuned.....


Sunday, 13 November 2011


relaxing on the lounge!  She knows she isn't allowed up there!
            meet CHINO...

waiting to be fed.....

playing with Andy's shoe (but don't tell anyone)...

....and socks...


chill out mode with favourite toy

You may wonder why. So do I. You may ask what breed she is. So do I. Iwanted to call her "MIXUP" because that's what she is, but the boys wouldn't let me. We know she has Cocker Spanial (mother) and Labrador/Heeler (father), but I'm not convinced there isn't some Dalmation in there!

Did you notice how dogs (or this one anyway) doesn't have a red eye effect, but a green eye effect? Jimmi explained it well, but I can't remember the explaination. Also getting rid of red eye effect doesn't work on green eyes! We tried! Chino's eyes are not green, they are brown.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Exciting day today.... I bought myself some new breasts!
They come with a 2 year warranty!

Bet yours don't!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Hair returns...

So now my hair has started growing back, which is good as the weather is getting warmer and the wig becoming quite uncomfortabe. But, not only is the hair on my head growing, but it is everywhere else too.

My days of the brazilian are done. Slowly but surely my eyebrows are returning to where they should be. Even my eyelashes are on the way back. I noticed the latter last week when I was lying down for the final radiotherapy session and my glasses must have slipped back as my eyelashes brushed against the glass. A very exciting moment!

However, not so exciting is the return of those chin hairs! Wouldn't you think all those chemicals and the radioactivity would have permanently removed the unwanted? Aren't these things closely aligned with cancer cells? Shouldn't they be? Alas, no. Not only chin hair, but full facial hair! A Downey kind of stuff -a bit like a baby has all over its body. I was speaking to MynewbestfriendLee   and she assured me it was "normal" and under no circumstances am I to wax it! Apparently it will just go away (yeah, right)! So now I am feeling that I am helping to prove Darwin's theory of Evolution. It just looks like I haven't evolved quite as far as others!

Speaking of chin hairs, have you noticed that there appears to be a direct correlation between the growth of these and the occurrence of diminishing eyesight? So we don't even notice the chin hairs until we move out of denial about our eyesight (these new light bulbs aren't as bright as the old ones, are they?!) and get glasses! At which point you realise you have been walking around looking like this for months, and then wonder if anyone else has noticed, because you sure didn't! Just another one of life's little jokes!

Well, must away and do some shaving, (the hair on my legs, that never actually went away, just slowed a bit, is now back with a vengeance) waxing (but not the face!) and general depilatory methods to do my utmost to diprove Darwin's theory of evolution! Or at least to demonstrate that I have evolved. Truly I have!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Who stole my hair?

Because it suits me, I often do night duty at work. Because of the nights it falls (weekends) I am often working with Colleen, a regular night dutyer for the past 25+years. Throughout this year she has been "keeping an eye on me" to make sure I don't fall  in a heap at work. If someone (ie a patient) has a cough or sniffle I am banned from entering the room. Consequently, there have been a few shifts over the months where Colleen has ended up with more than the 50% workload. Thank you Colleen!

Also at work, it seems there is a fault in the airconditioning, as at various times of the night (and indeed day) it becomes realy hot and I feel all sweaty, and red in the face and generally flushed. It's not just me who has noticed this, as there are other colleagues (similar age) who have also noticed this air conditioning malfunction. Maybe one of us should report it! When it gets hot like this, one of the best ways to cool down is to remove my wig - always helps.

Working at the computer one night, the air conditioning started playing up again. So, without even thinking, I took off my hair and threw it nonchalently onto the desk. When I got up to do some real work an hour later, I couldn't find my wig!

"Where's my hair? What did I do with it?" (Due to my scrambled brain of late, I always question myself first). This questioning quickly moved to "Who stole my hair?" Everyone pleaded innocence and then I remembered that Colleen had been in for a few hours but had then gone home. SHE HAD STOLEN MY HAIR! Now I just had to find it....

Could rule out 3 rooms (infections, coughs etc) so that just left 10 to check. Susan suggested I try Room 4. "But there isn't anyone in room 4" says I. 

Of course! Room 4! We had been doing Basic Life Support drills.

I walked in and thought I'd died! But then I realised, it wasn't me, just my hair!

What Colleen doesn't realise, is that one day my brain will return,and I will be able to think of a good payback. She doesn't know how, or when, or what.  (Neither do I actually). So she'll just have to sweat on it for a bit longer!!