Painted in WaterlogueThis week there was a service in Sydney to celebrate the life of a family member.

I’m grateful that I was well enough to make the journey to be there with our cousins and their children; and appreciative of shared ties despite distance and historically sporadic connections.

Cronulla Beach twilight





Yesterday saw the first of two visits to the radiation oncologist before the last chemo cycle begins next week.

Having sworn in the past that I’d never get a tattoo, there will be a join the dots game ready to play with soon so that the radiologist can hit the required target.

The good news for this phase of the treatment is two-fold.  Radiation will start sooner than I thought AND it will be every week day for four weeks, not five as I was originally advised.  That means I’ll be done with both the chemo and the radiation in just two months.

After that it will mostly be a matter of “keep taking those tablets!”

sunflower 1 - yellow



one step ahead of the game

This notice in the mail last week brought a wry smile to my face.

mammogram notice

On a serious note, it’s quite possible that the breast cancer was on its slow grow at the time of my last mammogram which came back ‘clear’.

As this particular tumour was very close to the chest muscle wall, my surgeon had difficulty finding it on the mammogram photos taken during the diagnosis phase, and referred to the ultrasound for his information.

Mammograms are not a substitute for regular self-examination. Just saying.





garden harvests as a measure of passing time

Just before the chemotherapy treatment began, we planted vegetables in the extended garden. Kale and spinach, broccoli and bok choy, and rhubarb.

They are as good an indicator as anything that end dates for various treatment regimes are approaching. We’ve harvested some leafy greens already. I’m looking forward to seeing the broccoli flowers start to bloom. That, and eating mid-winter rhubarb crumble.

Painted in Waterlogue

an outing and a game of chess

Wednesday night brought a late fly-in visitor to stay, and Thursday saw my first outing of this third chemo cycle. We went to the real Funky Mexican Cantina for a chimichanga and some people watching by the bay. Except for the odd day, nothing has impacted my appetite for food! In the afternoon we played chess. I was always going to lose this game, with or without a befuddled brain. The pleasure for me was that it was a defeat that took some time for my opponent to secure. chess linocut

when bubbles are a high point


When you’re somewhat isolated from the pleasures of partaking in regular daily activities, the smallest things can give you a lift.  Especially when you’ve spent a few days being not particularly interested in anything at all.

So when you get a frisson of excitement from remembering that there’s a bottle of ginger ale in the pantry and ice cubes in the freezer, that’s a good day.