changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

the name of the beast November 22, 2012

Filed under: cancer,home stuff — eclectic chicken @ 11:04 pm
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…is a diffuse large B cell lymphoma… its a non Hodgkins thing and is very aggressive (I knew enough to burst into tears with relief  not fear when the consultant said it’s aggressive).

I start chemotherapy on Wednesday… no doubt more on that later.

Time to fill the boy in a bit now things are starting to move and be definite… so far he knows I’m poorly… that I have a lump in my tummy and that it might need an operation or zapping with chemicals. But we hadn’t til today used the ‘C’ word.

The ‘C’ word…. so big and bad and horrid we don’t say it… like the ‘N’ word and the ‘T’ word.

Actually having typed that the C word is cunt isn’t it… and cancer the ‘big C’… or maybe I typographically implied that with my capitalisation… anyway…I’m wiffling its been a long tiring day.

Cancer is one of those words…often spoken, if at all, in a Les Dawson mouthed over the fence fashion.

So its not a word we’d used so far with the boy… far too emotive… and maybe I just wasn’t ready for whatever he’s already built up around it in his absorbant big eared 7 year old kinda way.

We filled him in that the lump I have is a common sort of lump  and its totally zappable to get rid of it.. it may take a few months, I may feel crap whilst its happening, my hair would fall out and it would be brilliant if he carried on being as helpful as he’s being at present (sometimes).

And then just as he was losing interest becuase he already knew all this stuff and was reaching for the tv blipper I threw in ‘oh and its a sort of cancer’.

His mouth fell open and he did the Les Dawson thing.

Then came for a demi cuddle…. yanno… the sitting next to you leaning in becuase he’s too cool to cuddle sort.

I said he’d looked surprised when I said it was cancer… what had he expected someone with cancer to look like?….

“hmmm….” he said reaching to cop a feel of my unfevered brow…. “paler and sweatier….”.

“….And mum?”


“When your hair starts to come out… can I pull the rest out?”


“Will it grow again”

“course it will”

….and we watched the Simpsons.


A series of unfortunate events but a cracking holiday regardless. August 19, 2012

Filed under: cancer,out'n'bout — eclectic chicken @ 12:28 pm
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So…. Annie (of last years Whitby ‘fame’) and the boy and I set off on our summer holiday. Annie’s big Landrovery Discovery thing was pretty well packed, Henry dog was in half the boot and Lucky was on my knee with his head out of the window… the sun was shining…. the sky was blue….

…..and the car broke down just outside Peterborough.

We had a visit from an AA man… who suggested another man with a big tow truck would be a good idea… we saw some horses in a field and Rafe had his first poo in the open air (since he used to run naked and pre-toilet training incontinent in the garden).

The tow truck, driven by a very nice man drove us back to the start of Annies journey…so the boy and I were going away from holiday at that point.

The garage Annie uses lent us a courtesy car….a smaller car… so we moved our gubbins from one car to the next… jettisoned some things we hoped wouldn’t be neccessary for a week in Suffolk… pondered briefly where we’d put Annies daughters (joining us down there) on the way back…

…and set of again for Suffolk.

We arrived at dusk and the house was lovely… its in a village I used to live in, but a part of the country Annie didn’t know at all.  It was lovely for me going back… lovely with a dollop of poignancy.

I took the dogs for a walk up the track by the cottage and immediately met someone I used to know… unsure she’d remember me after a decade I cautiously said hello – to be greeted with a hug and a five minute fast pace highlights of the doings of the parish council – of which I used to be a fairly bolshie member it would seem.

Back to the cottage and a sleep in the true darkness of a rural night with only the distant hum of the overnight harvesting.

Oh yes…. and as I unpacked I realised I’d forgotten my purse with all my bank cards in! (second disaster?)

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and we went to the beach in Thorpeness… my local geography came back fine and the boy and dogs (yes even the aquaphobic Lucky) frolicked in the waves.

The boy ate iced-cream, we saw the house-in-the-clouds and the mere and then on returning to the car discovered we had a flat tyre… not a bit flat…. but totally flat, with a ruddy big twig through the side-wall. this must be the third disaster… I reckoned we could change a tyre between us and set to. It was at the point where I was winding up the jack fairly ineffectively and had just broken a nail down to the quick that Annie managed to achieve eye-contact with a male of the species and reeled him in with her damsels in distress routine.

Gallant man he was too…. dressed in his towel from the beach he did indeed change the tyre, whilst we chatted to his wife and small boy.

I wish I’d got their name and email as that small boy promised if he ever found pirate treasure he’d give me all the diamonds. 🙂

The next day Annie’s girls arrived and the week became a lovely holiday of continual sunshine, beaches, a castle, visiting old friends and neighbours, celebrating Annies birthday and generally kicking back into the slower pace of life Suffolk brings.

Oh… except for Wednesday.

Wednesday Annie drove me to A&E with another gall bladder flare up… where I spent two and a half hours waiting to be seen. The doctor, as my GP said, did offer to refer me to a surgeon but I’d end up with an out patient appointment in Suffolk ; sooooo… she gave me some drugs, anti-inflammatories, anti-spasmodics and anti-biotics… or rather she gave me a perscription and a half hour wait in the hospital pharmacy (when we eventually found it).

And then… like all good things the holiday came to an end. I hadn’t managed a walk on the common, there just wasn’t time.. there just wasn’t time in a week to see all my favourite things… and becuase of my restrictive diet no reason to visit my favourite foodie places down there like the Orford smoke house, Swiss Farm sausage shop…. and only the boy got to eat chips in Aldeburgh as they are cooked in beef fat which kinda put the vegetarians amongst us off.

An early rise on Saturday morning… I hailed the morning with the dogs on a last walk and spent a few minutes wondering howcome I ever left and then into the car, mostly packed the night before, and the last bits of luggage packed around us in any available scrap of space and we headed home.


Communionisation. June 10, 2012

Filed under: home stuff — eclectic chicken @ 3:41 pm
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I was up early this morning to commune with my own gods walking the dog, feeling the sun and listening to the birds….

…and then home for the more formal version.

The boy did look totally dapper in his three piece suit, white shirt and silver grey tie… Jane polished up his shoes and I broke open Janes old bottle of Eau de Sauvage (one of my all time favourite smells)…if my boy was going to look good – he was certainly going to smell good too… AND I’ve been teaching him to hitch his trouser knees when he sits down… I want him to have all the masculine habits that make men attractive… when he grows up i hope he wet shaves and wears cufflinks.

No doubt I’ll have to instill this stuff in him myself….

In the meantime back to religion… instilled by Jane and the holy roman catholic church.

My sister turned up en famille… impressive as we don’t ‘do’ religion in my family much but even moreso as at midnight last night she was collapsing at Liverpool airport from a post flight perforated ear-drum!!!

Long service…. not bad hymns… it went on a bit….

…but it was lovely watching the boy carry the box up the aisle containing a special 300 year old chalice (my brother-in-law wondered if the box contained the priests 45s… it was the right size and shape). The boy managed to get back to his seat before complaining about the wine and my mother (a non catholic, although confirmed in the CofE) decided she’d like to do communion but had to be reminded to put the wafer in her mouth and skipped the wine altogether.

Watching the congregation accepting the eucharist, watching their faces made me wish I did do belief… it would be lovely to find such easy peace… but no…. much as I appreciate the rituals, the singing, architecture, community et al… I just don’t have it in me to believe… which is weird..I believe in ghosts… but then i’ve seen a ghost…. at least I leave some waver room nowadays and describe myself as agnostic as opposed to the atheist I used to be.

Released into the wild at the end of mass… the boy went mad… it was a long mass to sit still for. They’d laid out a post communion tea for the kids and there were refreshments for everyone who wanted to hang around – but even the priest trying to force feed the boy cake couldn’t keep him in place… he needed grass beneath his feet and the sky above his head.. and the voice of his mother echoing distantly “get up off that grass with your bloody suit on”.




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