Holidays

There’s nothing better. This picture basically sums up how they’ve been so far:

 
Of course I’ve been a little busier than this, but this part is the most important. 

Jane xx

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What’s been happening in my world

Hello lovelies, and my humble apologies at the delay in writing. It has been almost three months since I last blogged, and there’s been quite a lot on in that time. In my last post, I spoke about seeing the doctor regarding IVF, and I will give you an update on that in the next post (no posts for 3 months, then 2 in one day? That’s me!). I wanted to give you the very happy news that my husband is technically now cancer free.

After 6 weeks of chemo and radiotherapy (the worst of which was the week after they both finished, go figure), Mr Nester and I had a gorgeous 9-10 weeks of no treatment, before he was booked into surgery at the start of last week. They cut out a significant section of his lower bowel, including the entirety of the tumor, and connected what remained back up. The labs have come back showing no sign of cancer anywhere else in his body, and also that there is now no longer any involvement of the lymph nodes. It seems the chemo and radio did the trick, and this is the best possible news we could have hoped for.

So he is resting and recovering, and I am playing nurse. The timing for his surgery was an interesting one, as we had originally planned to start IVF this month. The start date happened to fall on the exact day Mr Nester was going in for surgery, and as such we thought it might be too stressful, so we would push it back another month. Boy am I glad we did! Last week has been the biggest week of my life, firstly worried stupid for 10 hours while Mr Nester was either in the patient-only waiting room, under the knife or in recovery, and then spending 12 hours a day for the whole week staying by his side so he wouldn’t feel alone, lonely, or bored. Thankfully I brought my trusty laptop with trusty TV shows and movies, which kept us sane.

It has been a crazy few months since we found out Mr Nester had bowel cancer, but I can now say with huge happiness and relief that the treatment has worked, and he is now free of the cancer that was threatening his life. There is still a way to go yet, with a second bout of chemo as a precaution, and getting back to his regular self after surgery, but all that seems like a walk in the park after what we’ve dealt with.

And so, we look forward, and towards what we were originally hoping for – starting a family. Who’d have thought that the “Nestability” portion of this blog’s title would be so apt? IVF journey up next,

Jane xx

Other, parallel worlds

I just caught this post through the WordPress Reader, and it hit home for me in a way that not a lot has, when I comes to dealing with cancer as a partner, rather than the afflicted. It rings very true for my situation at the moment, and rather than try to replicate it, I thought it better that you should hear it from the source. Please read. It’s quite lovely.

Jane xx

How I Changed My Name – Stickler.

We are familiar with it by now, on a first name basis, in fact: “The cancer” “Cam has cancer” “the cancer thing.”  Cam texts me after an appointment and refers to “my cancer”, like it was some sort of pet. A black slimy pet with too many fingers, that doesn’t do anything but sit in […]

http://sticklerblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/how-i-changed-my-name/

Secret keeping

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I haven’t been completely honest with you. Oh, the posts have been all true, I’m not hiding anything there. I have however lied through omission. This week’s loss was a little more of a hit than I had let on, as there was a little more hope, more need clinging to that pregnancy than I had perhaps shared.

You see, my husband is currently going through something we never thought we would have to deal with in our thirties. My darling, beautiful, soul mate of a husband is battling cancer. He was diagnosed about a month ago, with stage 3 bowel cancer, meaning the tumour has spread to surrounding lymph nodes, but thankfully nowhere else. Our little pregnancy was created in the last week before he started treatment: chemotherapy and radiation combined. Since the cancer is right in that baby making region, there is a risk that fertility might suffer as a result of the treatment, and there’s also a chance it might not return. At all. So that happy (and then desperately unhappy) event was possibly our last chance of conceiving naturally.

I’m sounding all doom and gloom here, and I don’t mean to. The outlook for my husband is good, very good, and the doctors are discussing a cure, not just a treatment. Thankfully we also managed to visit the freezer section of the fertility aisle – that is we froze some potential offspring before things got real. I am very much expecting my husband’s…ahem…”production” to return to normal after treatment, but we’re realistic that it could take some time, like a year or so.

Technology has come on in leaps and bounds since I was born, and I know that the chances are excellent that we’ll get to create our own little being. Until the moment that’s confirmed though, there’ll still be that niggling “what if” seed of doubt.

For the next little while, life is about Mr Nester getting better, and our life returning to the future filled utopia we had before this fork in the road. We will get through this, we will be stronger, better, and other Kanye West lyrics. For now though, the conception wagon is taking a vacation.

I’ll still be here with the ins and outs of my extraordinary ordinary life (not a bad thing!), But the baby chat might be a little way off.

Thanks for listening, lovely considerate followers.

Jane xx

After the storm

Storms in Melbourne last night

Storms in Melbourne last night

It was a ridiculously apt day yesterday, for all that happened. I woke up, got dressed, got ready for work, all was normal. Heading to the train station, there had been storms that night, and a lot of rain. I had taken a pregnancy test again the night before, and it seemed a lot lighter than previous tests. I was somewhat inconsolable straight after, then shook myself a little and focused on the fact that I had no bleeding, no cramping, it might just be the test. For me, the rain and threatening storms cleared, just like it did yesterday morning.

Getting on the train, the weather looked like the worst was over: the horribly dark clouds were receding, I was sure I could see the sun straining to emerge. I reached my stop not too much later, and the weather was what could only be described as torrential. Booming thunder, flashes of lightning, and absolutely bucketing rain. All without an umbrella. As I was walking through the downpour, being soaked to the skin, I knew I was wet, would get wetter, and this was pretty awful. But I also knew I would dry off, I would get home, have a hot shower, and feel a lot better.

I started bleeding yesterday morning at about 9am. Proper, heavy, red bleeding. I was working, so I just pushed it to the back of my mind and kept going. The bleeding got worse throughout the day, and the cramping set in. I knew that this was the end, I’d known from the morning (and really, from the test the night before). I managed to survive the day and make my way home. My beautiful husband had bought me flowers, amongst other comfort gifts. I sobbed. For a little while. Had a bath, wrapped myself in warm clothes, curled up on the couch.

Last night at about 2am I was woken by the worse cramps I’ve ever experienced. Like menstrual cramps times 10. I was doubled over, unable to sleep, paranoid something was wrong. For about half an hour, I was tossing and turning, curled in the foetal position (how ironic).Took more panadol, had a shower, managed to drift back off to sleep.

I woke up about an hour ago, and the (physical) pain was gone. Still more bleeding, still heavy, but without the constant reminder my body was rejecting what had been, what no longer was.

I know that right now, I’m in the rain. Wet, cold and miserable. But I will get through this, the weather will pass, and some point soon I’ll be warm and happy again.

Miscarriage is something that seems to be rarely discussed – so much so that it’s difficult to know what to expect, to know how to get through it. Thankfully for me, it was (is) very early on. It still has had a huge impact on me, but I’m grateful my experience didn’t include something recognisable in the evacuation. I know we will have other chances, and I know that miscarriage at this stage is very common. It will hurt for some time, but I think it’s important to share the experience, that hopefully someone reads this and realises that it’s not just them, they didn’t do anything wrong, and things will get better.

The sun will come out. It might not be tomorrow, but I will see it soon.

Jane xx

Sick as a dog

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We’ve had quite a sick puppy this weekend, due to a bit of a gunky ear turning into a full blown infection. We’d noticed it earlier in the week, and hoped it would go away – mainly as we’re a week or so away from our pet insurance being available. However, poor old Dog went off his food on Friday, and barely moved from the couch on Saturday. We’ve booked him in to get checked out on Monday, but the last couple of days have given me an insight into the turmoil of a sick child. In no particular order:

The fear: seeing Dog withdrawn and not eating made me obsessively focused on his well being. Watching to make sure he was breathing, lying motionless next to him so as not to wake him, tempting him with his favourite treats in order to encourage some sort of eating. Thankfully we realised that his sore ear was making it painful for him to eat dry food, so a quick trip to the shop for doggy meatballs resulted in a feeding frenzy, and a much happier dog.

The guilt: hoping late last week that he would get better (or not get worse) until the cover kicked in was swimming through my head yesterday, when he was quite obviously worse. The fact that I’d tried to dismiss his symptoms for a few hundred dollars (he needs sedating to be treated) made me ashamed of myself. Me, who has always kept to the mantra that money is only money, ignoring our new family member’s illness in the hope it would magically disappear.

The neediness: both of Dog and of me. He hasn’t wanted to be more than a few centimetres away from me for the last two days, and I’ve been hovering over him like the worst helicopter parent. Mr Nester & I nearly came to blows last night (slight exaggeration…) over me wanting to let Dog sleep on the bed – a no-go so far. The brave Mr Nester stayed strong, and I relented after a waterfall of whining. He was of course right, but I couldn’t bear to see the pleading eyes of Dog in his vulnerable state.

We’re checking Dog in tomorrow, and I’m sure he’ll be completely fine after some ear drops & TLC, however this weekend has shown me that I’m not as unmoving as I thought, when it comes to babies (fur or no!).

Jane xx

 

**UPDATE**

Dog is, thankfully, completely fine. He had a thoroughly blocked ear, which was treated with a lot of ear drops (not Dog’s favourite thing, apparently!). He’s all better now, and back to happy chomping up my shoes.

Friends with bumps

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I had a Skype catch up last week with two very old friends, both of whom are now pregnant, one who is ready to pop! It was lovely to see them both, and fascinating to see them at such different stages of a huge part of their lives. Both are expecting their first child, one is at 38 weeks, the other at 16. The difference in their progression was of course obvious, however it was their completely alternate attitudes that I noticed the most. Ms 38 weeks is enormously organised (as you’d want to be with 2 weeks to go!), and has been so for the entire pregnancy. She has a fantastic attitude of order, with a dose of reality. She eats extremely well, exercises carefully, and has had a great pregnancy despite developing gestational diabetes, which she has handled with aplomb. Ms 16, on the other hand, seems the opposite. She has had a rough ride of morning sickness, and seems quite blasé about what’s happening to her. While she had planned the pregnancy, her circumstances are chaotic – a new relationship, a pending move to be with the father in an as-yet-unbuilt house, and an aversion to wanting to buy anything for the baby, as she’ll “do all that later”.

Now, I know I’m sounding very judge-y here, and I really don’t mean to. I’m just fascinated by the different approaches people have to having kids. I must admit, my own perspective is skewed by my desire for children, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve already completely overanalysed the entire future pregnancy before it’s even happened. Perhaps I have something to learn from 16, perhaps her easygoing approach in pregnancy will translate to easygoing parenting.

Back to me though (c’mon, blogs are inherently narcissistic, and chances are I’m only talking to myself…). It was a lot harder than I imagined to talk to two people who are going through what I want so badly. These are two friends with whom I always feel comfortable, who I know I can be myself around. And yet I found myself plastering a smile on as they joked about me being next, and asked why I wasn’t pregnant yet. Thankfully I wasn’t in the process of trying, or trying to deal with another month gone by without conception, or I don’t think any fake smile in the world could have masked my emotions. I finished the phone call quite melancholy, which is ridiculous. Namely because we’re not trying yet, I’m not dealing with failed attempts at conception, and I’m genuinely happy for my friends! No matter my logic, it was a hard catch up. I can only hope that in 6 months’ time I’ll be the one glowing with pride.

Jane xx