Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Miracle we prayed for!

The past few days have been hectic with our 2nd school term starting and the project I'm working on in the final days before it has to be handed in, but I just want to take the time and tell you the most wonderful news.

My mom had her latest scans on Thursday afternoon, and there is not a sign of cancer anywhere in her body! Isn't that totally out of this world? God is absolutely awesome.

I don't think it has hit me yet, we've been much calmer about the news than I ever expected. It doesn't lessen the feeling of relief though, I just think it's going to take some time for the truth to settle in and shake us up with joy!

Her previous scans, early in February, showed the tumors were much smaller than when they were first noticed, but there were some troubling marks on the bones of her skull. The doctor did extra tests and told her that he suspects it arthritis. That might be what is keeping us back from going on all out of our skins because of the news. I know it sounds skeptical, but I don't trust it all that much. She also has one more chemo on Tuesday, and then regular check-ups during the next few months. Will keep you updated!

Thanks SO much for all your comments on my previous post, I haven't had time to sit still at the pc to visit all your blogs, but this week it should go easier to have some "me" time. :)

UPDATE - 27/10/2010:
So many things has happened since I wrote this post. The short version is that both my mom and dad have passed away since then. My dad died 5 months after his lung cancer was diagnosed - on Easter Sunday morning, 12 April 2009. My mom passed away during the night of Easter Sunday the following year, 51 weeks after my dad. I miss them something terribly, but their legacy lives on.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

100th Post & Blogoversary

I didn't plan it this way, it just happened. Well not really "just happened", but I've been thinking about my 100th post, feeling bad about the negative one (#99) I left up for so long. My apologies for that. When I realized my blogoversary was close, I didn't post, and waited till they coincided.

Life hasn't been all that bad since I last posted. Good and then not so good things happened since, but all in all they turned out good. Will tell you more about them later this week.

I'm not going to reminisce about the past year, or refer back to topics discussed in the previous 99 posts. This I do know: I'm happy about the changes in my life that were a result of my starting to write about my Infertility. The people I met through this blog has enriched my life in a way I never expected, and I'm so grateful for that.

Thanks for being there during this first year of my blog. Hopefully it will catch it's second breath and carry on for some time to come! :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

BEWARE: Ranting & Raving ahead!

In Afrikaans we have a saying: "Dit gaan re├źn!" (It's going to rain!) and it usually means something that hasn't happened in a very long time has finally happened again.

Well, you can expect a hurricane of sorts: I caught up on about 2 months of comments on my blog by visiting yours! My sincerest apologies for neglecting you so long. No excuses, but my sincerest gratitude for not writing me off totally :)

One of PJ's recent posts made me decide on this post of mine, #99 on my blog. It's a discussion on the book
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. The last paragraph is about how Fertiles sometime "assume that couples without children chose that path freely and deserve any downsides that might come with it." She said the following that struck a very sensitive cord in me:

"I admit that I resent fertiles who make wrong-headed assumptions about my life. (Yes, I drive a nice car now and shop at my leisure but that’s because I don’t have any college funds that need tending.)" Go read the rest of her post, it's really great!

Further on in that paragraph she talks about what she is able to afford to do since they decided to live child free. It gave me the courage to write this post.

Why do I need courage? Because this post is going to step on some toes. Those of my sisters and mom. And believe me, I don't want to hurt anyone, but this has to get out of my system ASAP.

Lately, both of my sisters and my mom have dropped statements like the following:
  1. "I wish I could have just one night to myself. Must be heaven!"
  2. "A friend of mine got divorced recently and she's having a fabulous time! Going to clubs, doing exactly what she wants, when she wants. *sigh*
  3. "The day you decided to become a mom was the day you decided to put yourself in 2nd place. Always. That day you decided to think of yourself lastly. Responsibility is the name of the game!"
At first I ignored it and tried to understand their side of the story, why exactly they felt that way. The comments didn't stop. They continued and increased. Yes I'm sensitive about what they imply. But I really, REALLY tried not to take it personally.

I failed miserably. Any continued attack on the strongest of reserves gets through the barrier of defense eventually. Mine broke down the last day of our family holiday. I held out for 6½ of the 7 days of constant (not all of them intended) bombardment.

This was extremely difficult:
  1. Watching everyone with their partners, even though it wasn't the most idyllic of times for them, while I'm doing the being single thing.
  2. Seeing my dad and mom enjoying their grandchildren so much.
  3. Watching these kids I love falling asleep on their parent's lap.
  4. Listening to conversations reminiscing about their cute sayings & doings, seeing the utter joy on my parents faces.
  5. Keeping on smiling and acting as if nothing bothered/hurt me at all.

What makes the whole thing even more difficult to comprehend is the fact that these people are my family. They are very important parts of my support system. They were there for me during the worst of times. I've been there for them during their dark days.

And now it looks as if they think despite everything in my story, I got the best deal imaginable. On top of that: even the parts of this deal of mine that hurt me terribly in the past is now forgotten/healed/not-so-bad-anymore.

Maybe not all of you understand why I'm upset. After all, I'm not sharing everything that happened during the past few months on my blog. I really tried (and I'm still trying, daily!) to rather see the positive side of every sad situation. I really tried to be happy for them, tried to be part of conversations that centered around the kids. The last thing I want to be is the bitter, sour faced, spinster aunt. (None of the boys can remember my ex-husband - they haven't seen him since July '99 when the eldest of them was only 2 years old)

Maybe the following will help you understand me better, or why I even posted this. Maybe not. I still need to say the following to my family and friends in real life:
  1. The fact that I don't talk about not having children and how it hurts me doesn't mean I'm over being Infertile.
  2. The fact that you don't get to meet my boyfriend doesn't mean he is a figment of my imagination / that there is something seriously wrong with him / that I'm ashamed of him or you.
  3. Being single is NOT fun. I've paid an extremely high price for the evenings I have to myself. After the 4 th month of having them when you don't want them their novelty tends to wear off. You either have to start telling yourself you like onely (not always lonely!) nights very much or go insane.
  4. The fact that I don't have children of my own does NOT mean I don't have the faintest idea about discipline and child rearing. I just need about 1 year's study to have my degree in educational psychology, that should count for something doesn't it? Not to mention the 12 years experience being a teacher.
  5. Not having children does NOT make me irresponsible or free of any responsibility or worse: not knowing what being responsible is all about.
  6. Not having children or a husband does NOT mean I'm having the time of my life and that I'm able to do what I want when I want.
  7. I DO have life. The fact that you don't know everything there is about me does not mean it doesn't exist.
  8. The freedom and fun you think I'm having, comes at a very high price, one you won't ever be able to pay. No, you will NOT choose a child free life now that you have/know your children.
  9. Don't say it must be fun without the responsibilities of children EVER again. Not in my presence. Please.
  10. That's it for now, but I reserve the right to open this list up again in future.
To the innocent ones, my blog friends, thanks for reading so far through a ranting and raving post.

PJ's words are the perfect ending to this post:

"What I hope is that some day there’s greater awareness that infertility is not self-inflicted and that its effects last a lifetime. Motherhood and infertility share one very big thing in common: sacrifices. "

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Everything counts

A minute or so ago I was sitting in front of my pc, listening to the soundtrack of the movie "August Rush", looking out the window at the rain dripping from the leaves and trying to stop crying. For the umpteenth time today.

I've been wanting to come and blog, but every time I started the post in my head, it had the "crying" thing in there. So I found a great excuse not to blog with every tear next tear that fell. You guys know I cry a lot. And I know most of you are OK with it. But I don't want to talk about crying in all my posts!

The only problem with my crying is that I very often start out but seldom finish it. I start crying, but I leave the hurt inside. To really do crying the right way you have to let the hurt that caused the crying flow out with the tears. Otherwise you've just wasted a lot of time and energy and you'll wear out your sympathy vouchers way too soon.

Today I did it a bit differently. Normally when I go to the movies, I really don't cry. Not even when we went to see "The Passion of the Christ" - where they had boxes of Kleenex outside the door - did I shed one single tear.

It wasn't even 20 minutes into the movie when the first tear broke over the dam wall. I just gave up trying to hold it back. From there on it just got worse. No Kleenex in sight: I had to get real creative so as not to disturb the people around me.

What movie I saw? August Rush. Yup. Got the soundtrack right away. If you saw it and thought: "Huh? It wasn't THAT good!", don't worry. In the reviews they say you either LOVE it or think it's very mediocre. For those of you that haven't seen it yet, here is the trailer:

This movie touched something in my heart and my being that loosened a river of tears - one I've been struggling to get rid of for some time now. Don't ask me what it was, I'm still working on that.

It was beautiful, a fairy tale of getting lost and being found. Of how music connects us all. Of how nothing is impossible. You just have to listen. And you have to believe.

To get back to the topic of this post. While I was thinking of NOT posting today, the following quote landed in my inbox.

The truth is ... everything counts. Everything. Everything we do and everything we say. Everything helps or hurts; everything adds to or takes away from someone else.
Countee Cullen

You all know how I feel about quotes, and how they stumble onto your path at just the right moment. This one wasn't an exception.

Everything you do or say counts, everything makes a difference. This year I want to make a positive difference whenever I say or do something. I want people I come into contact with feel warm when they leave. It won't be easy, because I'm not always a bunch of sunshine. But the best I can do is try!

Go watch that movie if you haven't seen it yet. Take along some Kleenex and start believing again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dearest Secret Santa...

On a day when I needed it most, your package was waiting in my mailbox.

Thanks SO much for the trouble you went through making sure it was something I'd like. Thanks too for wrapping every item in a separate package - I felt like a kid again! Thanks for my SUPER presents dearest Santa - the love that went into sending them was felt half a world away and it meant more than half a world to me.

And uhm I have to confess: I donned my Sherlock Holmes hat and discovered who you are! As I said in my e-card to you - your gift warmed my heart in a way words find difficult to describe. A million thanks and more!