Two years, not counting

The 11th of December 2015 has always been a date that loomed large in my life for the last two years. It wasn’t a milestone birthday, someones wedding, exciting plans to commence travel, or study. It was the date at which time I was meant to be dead.

In my very first blog post, The Dance, I wrote about what it meant to work towards that date. In the oncologists office on 11 December 2013, my mind immediately scrambled to work out where we would be at that time, and I immediately worked out that it would be around the time of Dakota’s graduation from primary school. The thought devastated me. Who the fuck thinks when they concieve and birth children that it would be even remotely possible that they would not be alive to see their first child, of four, out of primary school? I immediately vowed that I would make it, somehow…I might not walk in her the school gates, but i would be at that graduation if it was, literally, the last thing I did. It was a bit of a horror story to be honest. I imagined myself at the very end of my life, gaunt, wheelchair bound, loaded up with pain meds, perhaps bald. Initially my mind did not entertain the possibility that people are individuals and might not work to timelines. And when I think about it now, I never have worked to mainstream timelines. I birthed my last three children in under an hour of active labour – one of them in only 20 minutes after the first twinge. Yet during the middle two labours, the midwives insisted on treating me as though I would dilate 1cm an hour, as that is what the textbook said, and my first birth was not quick. They totally freaked me out by saying that I would be in agony like that for hours, as clearly there was no possible way that women’s bodies might all work differently, as they were individual people. They traumatised me with their numbers, when the pain was so intense that I knew I was at the end of labour, not the start, but I didn’t trust myself – they were, after all, the experts. Only my beautiful midwife when I was having Georgia took me seriously, and took Georgie into her hands in a very peaceful and beautiful 55 minutes. I felt like a scientologist at a silent birth, I know I did moan a bit, but there was no howling and crying out and saying that I couldn’t stand this and would somebody shoot me. I was at peace, because I was with a woman who understood that I was not the same as the last person she helped bring a baby into the world. That birth healed me from the trauma that came with the two that came before her, and i will be forever grateful for that.

Today, I feel healed again. Never again will I work to a timeline, never again will I not trust myself, not realise that I am an individual and not a diagnosis. The last few days have made me realise that anything IS actually possible, and I don’t rule out the possibility that I will live with this disease for many years, much like a chronic illness, and who knows what advances in treatment there will be in that time. It’s time for living now, really living. I won’t give into fear, it sucks the life out of you, makes you feel like you are dead inside long before your body gives up the ghost. And do you know what? I will be at Indi’s graduation too, you mark my words.

The 16th of December 2015 will be a momentous day. I will walk in and watch my daughter mark a huge milestone in her life. And i will cry, I will bawl my eyes out, but not for the reason that I used to think I would….because she was growing up, because she was not my baby any more. A long time ago I made a bargain with the universe that the only tears would be because I was there to see it.

Best of all, I will look like everyone else’s crying mum in a big bunch. I won’t have to worry about the focus being taken off Dakota as they are shooting worried looks at her infirm mother. I would never want that, this is HER night. I will be accompanied by the cock bottle, but I will find a way to hide it and it’s phallic features 😛 We don’t want to be scaring the children.

My 12 year old is an incredible child. Yesterday she rounded out her primary school experience by winning the Baxter Brownlow, it is a mini version of a traditional Brownlow count and the teachers vote each week for the best and fairest in sport I guess you would say. She also won the best and fairest in Under 13’s netball this year too, for the third year in a row, but this time, she was only 11, so one of the youngest in her team. She achieved so highly in her high school entrance testing that she was asked to join her high schools accelerated learning program. There is more to this than me having a bit of a boast about my kid. It also says that in the two years just gone, I have managed to keep life normal enough around here that she has stayed calm and focused and this has enabled her to achieve these things. I’m proud of that…I’m proud of her, and I’m proud of me.

So, on with living it is. I have a shitload of radiation in me that might change my life, or at least have an impact on the length of it. I have a half finished kitchen that will be all good to go in just over a week. Christmas calls, as does the funbus for two weeks of Mitta, well…fun :) I’m excited about many things, but nothing more than 16 December, 2015 :)

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Because it is compulsory (and only because lol) she is letting me buy her a DRESS!

5 Comments on “Two years, not counting

  1. “I am an individual and not a diagnosis”
    That is gold, Julia. If you’d written nothing at all apart from that, you’d have written everything. It’s SO true – no matter WHAT the diagnosis. I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and I’ve taken my hat off to you SO many times, I just shouldn’t bother putting it back on again, really. But this is brilliant. And I’m SO happy for you right now. x

  2. I hope you blog up some pics of the night! Congratulations to all of you.
    And you are so right about keeping things real and normal for all of them.

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