changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

health and home June 21, 2013

Filed under: cancer,home stuff — eclectic chicken @ 10:51 pm
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First the health.

I saw the surgical consultant this week and it’s looking like surgery is my best option to optimise the chance of drawing a line under this whole cancer malarky. I was however naively optimistic about how much of my inner workings they would be removing and it would seem I’m to have a ‘right hemi colectomy.’ Because of the way blood is supplied to the colon they have to take it out in chunks (a but like pruning a plant I guess… one doesn’t want a section of internal die back)… so I’ll lose the third of my colon plus some small intestine (but who cares about that there’s miles of the stuff) which I wasn’t aware before now had been/is affected.

If Mr Consulant (pleasant chap who has been inside me before so to speak) can get the cancer out through a smallish hole this will be done as a laproscopy but if it needs a bigger hole… they’ll open me up and go the whole operative hog. This will not only be more painful in healing terms but also means a longer stay in hospital.

Anyway… cut, remove, stitch up and then amazingly you can start eating normally pretty much straight away and then they let you go home when you can fart if you’ve had the laproscopic version of the op.

Yup… thats official… you fart…you can go home. (it means the stitch together has ‘taken’ and you’re airtight inside).

I suspect the bugger IS growing again since chemo stopped as the area is tender again and I’m becoming aquainted with my new toilet bowl as I’ve started being violently sick if I over-do the eating. So I’ll probably need that longer stay in hospital, followed by several weeks of taking it easy (just as the fatigue state was starting to lift) that the open surgery recovery requires.

And surrounding my new toilet bowl is my new house. It’s lovely and I’m very happy to be in here. There are moments when I panic about the responsibilty of it all and even worry about when I have to move again… but that’s natural. When all the small things (the leaky gutter, the leak under the sink, the funny noise the toilet cistern makes, a larger than usual bill blah blah) add up to panic level theres a time where you have to freeze and do nothing -ignore the bally lot of it… and then you breathe… a big deep breath and do SOMETHING.

I felt that panic muchly the first week in the house, living with someone elses grubbiness (not worse than ones own…just someone elses), not knowing where things were, noticing all the small jobs that needed doing, not having a car nor the energy to walk far… I panicked.

Gold stars in the early days go to many people but mostly Jane for moving car after car load of stuff on her own and Annie who turned up on day two and top to bottomed the kitchen so I could start putting things in cupboards.

Then I wrote a list… several lists and started working my way through the official things, the things I needed, the things that needed doing.

In line for a gold star at that point was Steve… who I used to call Steve the decorator… he came round to get rid of the pink walls and Peppa Pig frieze for the boy… replacing it with Lapiz blue with some additional chalkboard black on the cupboard door. Whilst he was waiting for the paint to dry he replaced a broken manhole cover outside, slapped some concrete under my back door step and put new innards in the latchy handle on the cupboard he was painting. I just need to nudge him now to come back and check out my guttering. (oh and he showed me how to remove the filter on the extractor over the cooker).

For the first week we also lived without a fridge until I was pretty certain I could get a MacMillan grant to cover the cost. So our eating that first week was pretty basic and depended heavily on local convenience stores. We had rice with a tin of mackeral on top one night… and amazingly when the cupboard is bare and theres no alternative the boy will eat such fare… though he did prefer the night we discovered the local pizza shop have a buy one 9 inch get one free night.

I’ve found one of my skills is in making a house look like a home… it looked like a home by the end of the second day and I think has something to do with books on shelves and glassware on window sills. Helped by the fact that this is a light house that feels airy and my renewed energy started bouncing around the place. Jobs I’ve avoided for years are now things I want to do… every night I leave the kitchen in a state I’d like to find it in in the morning. Even though I have to pace myself to do things and do them in  installments (most of a day to strim the small overgrown lawn) – I get them done.

Small things make me happy. A flowering geranium on the kitchen window sill, washing hanging on the line, my small yellow tin bucket that holds my wooden clothes pegs.

I spend a lot of time sitting at my kitchen table by the open back door doing ‘things’ at the table and am slowly discovering new walks with Lucky.

Tonight I’m on my own. Just me and the dog. Meg has gone over to her dads having been here a few days… she’s coming back next week to help with hospital appointments and boy and dog sitting; the boy himself is having the weekend at Janes.

The house is quiet except for the dog snoring and the clock in the sitting room dinging its dongs (which even I am admitting are a tad loud for the room) I’m lying on my new bed with brass knobs on and once I’ve typed this I have a big stack of library books to attack.

I’m very, very happy.


Countdown June 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 9:19 pm
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The official date for GRS is the  12th July.

Jane is counting down in days… hours…. and no doubt in her quieter moments her mathematical brain is dealing in seconds.

I just know its sometime next month…. that hopefully some childcare in the form of Jane’s sister will appear so I can take Jane down to Brighton and settle her in. And then welcome her befannied self back into the world before heading back North to touch base at home before ricocheting back down again (hopefully with boy in tow) to have a couple of days by the seaside, a few hours by the bedside and then take Jane home again.

And then very much like after a birth one goes home and gets on with the real challenge of a life changed irrevocably.


Still here…. April 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 10:39 pm
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….unexpected I know.

First the shock….the numbness….the confusion…. the anger….frustration and a hundred other feelings that still occassionally raise their heads. (many of which raise their heads in any relationship where one partner machine washes the entire handwash pile without any form of consultation or by your leave).  🙂

And then there was the ‘other man’ with his penis and his hundred and one other attributes. (Many of which like mowing lawns and leaving handwash piles alone Jane used to do). […not that he does my lawn….but i know he probably owns sensible enough shoes to try it].

But…regardless… I’m still here.

Now passed the stage of ‘this time last year Jane was John’…. like any other form or bereavement time heals…the yearly anniversary passes and you get on with life. In this case with all the chaoticness (sp?) […or even is that a word?] of living with Jane that distracts from the ‘bereavement’ and makes one concentrate on the joy of a partner finding themselves.

Last week at the hospital meeting the surgeon for Janes op for the first time (more later perhaps on that) the point of my still being here was raised again. The surgeon pointed out that many partners hang on in until the surgery is definite and then there is a flashpoint…some go ballistic….some turn on the emotional blackmail..others just leave.

To me, now, the surgery is a fairly small psychological step… a huge undertaking nonetheless (physically) but psychologically we are BOTH ready for it. In fact I’m quite excited…. mostly for Jane’s sake… but also becuase its the end of a chapter (certainly not the end of transition…I’m not sure where that begins or ends) but definitely the end of a chapter and will let us, hopefully, move on together in several areas of our life.

To have got this far and to think I still have some say over whether the surgery happens or not is… well… its inconceivable.  Was it day 1 post revelation or day 2 when i decided i had to realise this ‘thing’ was more important than I was?

I think the days I struggle now aren’t so much about ‘the transitional process’ but just the day to day niggles of living with someone slightly less compatible with me than I used to have…. we’re still learning and we’ll get there.



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