I noticed today that it’s been two years since I last posted. My life took a u-turn in February 2014 when another rider attempted to take me out in the final of our SA BMX State Titles, came unstuck, and I had to wrench my bike around in mid-air to avoid landing on her face. i broke two metacarpals in my left hand, dislocated my little finger, burst my liver in two places and my right adrenal in one, an partially collapsed my right lung, although that wasn’t picked up until two years of breathlessness and pain later. I spent four days in hospital and against my better judgement I allowed the surgeon to talk me into pinning the broken bones. Turns out that was a very big mistake!
Six months later i still had very little use of the hand and was taken back into surgery to repair the damage to my tendons and knuckle that the first surgeon did. I’d just finished my Cert III in Horticulture and was back at work as a remedial massage therapist two days a week, and I was struggling with my health. To be honest, my health hadn’t been great since 2013 despite good food and lots of training and racing, and commuting by bike. i was struggling, and feeling worse by the day. I’d never regained full use of my hand and I had been trying to work around unexplained left hip socket pain that had started up whilst i was working on a lawn mowing crew back in 2014 but it wasn’t getting better. Then, three years after I’d thought i was done with menopause, I had an unexplained bleed. my OH went off to Bathurst in April, 2016 to race the Nationals, and I stayed behind to paint our kitchen, a job I’d been trying to get done for two years.
While he was away I went into a downhill spiral, health-wise. When he came back, I took myself off to the GP and was immediately launched into a series of day surgeries – cytoscopy, colonoscopy, hysteroscopy, D&C and biopsy, transvaginal ultrasound and biopsy, blood tests, CT scans, MRI. It turned out that the mass in my upper vaginal vault that had been dismissed my my specialist in 2010, when he’d removed a mass off my left ovary, was a rare form of vaginal cancer, an adenocarcinoma, that had grown to the size of a golf ball and was tethered to my bowel. At 52 I had been diagnosed with inoperable reproductive cancer.
With no time at all to take this in, I was booked in for chemotherapy and intense radiation therapy. I was to have five weekly doses of Cisplatin chemotherapy (later upped to six) and twenty-five doses of pelvic radiation therapy. I was also told, with no consultation whatsoever, nor regard for my being an abuse survivor, that iI would be given three doses of Brachytherapy radiation treatment. I was scanned again, tattooed, and sent for the first of my weekly blood tests. I was weighed, measured, and put on the production line. To add insult to injury, I was told by the head of the Chemo department at one hospital that I should be grateful because breast cancer patients had it so much worse.
At the same time that this was all happening, my OH’s ex turned up, after five years of silence, demanding to see him and have alone time with him in exchange for him being able to see his only child. OH didn’t want to be alone with her, and MIL thought I was being obstructive. It was a heart wrenching, gut wrenching mess that ended after three brief visits with the ex storming out after demanding that my OH “come home” to her. In front of me, and the inlaws.
Not really what I wanted to deal with at that time.
The ups and downs of treatment I’ve (mostly) dealt with in another blog, which i will link here when i figure out how. Suffice it to say that it was gruelling and protracted. During that time, I also lost my nine year old Cockalier, Jet, to congestive heart failure and a seizure.
Less that two weeks after I was given a tentative all-clear, I was resting up in bed with Lola, our rescue Cocker Spaniel when I smelt smoke. had a look out the back but couldn’t see anything, and didn’t think much of it as our neighbour often used his fireplace in summer as well as winter. two hours later I went to go to the toilet and let Lola out, and opened my back door to flames.
The fire took out the entire undercover area – my outdoor kitchen with it’s vintage furniture, the bike repair area, my tool cupboard and my OH’s bike repair area, then the indoor kitchen and half the roof.
Two weeks later, thieves targeted us and stole pretty much everything else we had.
we’ve been hit no less than five more times since.
Insurance is currently paying for our rental until the house is rebuilt, but it won’t be the little retro cottage surrounded by fruit trees that I’d spent four years renovating and working towards. the last theft involved someone unbolting our yard gate from the wall and digging up the concrete pavers, of all things. That, and the news that my daughter who had come over from Northern NSW to help me out thru the worst of the chemo and radiation, had decided to go back when her lease was up, taking her new husband and my grandson with her, meant that our decision was made. We were leaving SA too.
OH applied for a transfer and spoke to his bosses and area managers, who were incredibly supportive (as we have always found them to be, thru my busted hand and my cancer) and the next thing we knew, he was transferred and starting work in Northern NSW. I’m still here in SA packing our things for storage, selling off excess goods, digging up a few of the fruit trees, and supervising the renovation of our house. As soon as it is finished, I will be putting tenants in place and leaving also.
We plan to buy in the Mid North Coast-Northern Rivers area, hopefully half way between where my adult children are living. In the meantime I will have my little potted forest to care for, until I can plant Riverworks again.