Wednesday, 13 May 2009

That Awful Day

This morning my mobile phone rang. It was Dave.

"Oh .... ahhhhh .... who's this?"
"Eden. Eden your WIFE."
"Oh. Heh heh sorry hon ...."

Then he launches into this big involved spiel about the forty thousand things he needs to do today and manic and stress and worry.

Five minutes later I rang him back.

"Ok hon .... just think you should know something. Exactly a year ago, you drove into our driveway and told me you had cancer. Tumours. Cancerous tumours. So, while you may be stressed out and blah blah today .... for goodness sake you certainly have a better level of problem, yah??!!"

He agreed, and I could hear his breath get caught in his throat.

I never thought I could have a worse day than the day of my dads suicide ... and I did. It was the day I wrote this:

"We just got back from the cancer clinic. Looks like Dave has some form of 'systematic lymphoma' in his stomach/intestines. He is in extreme pain, the doctor is going to find a surgeon for him asap, hopefully tomorrow. He needs to be opened up, to see how advanced it is and how far it has spread.I cannot believe I am typing this. The doctor said it's likely he will need chemo. We sat in the waiting room that was full of old people and there was a wicker basket of free knitted beanies. He probably won't be there when the baby is born, we will be in different hospitals.We are both in shock."

And this tasty treat:

" ..... I keep waiting until I feel better to post. But I'm not. Thanks so much for everyone's comments, and for keeping us in your thoughts. It really does mean a lot. My poor sweet man, Goddamit I love him so much and I'm so scared. The night we found out, we just held each other all night. I couldn't sleep at all - literally, not a wink. Just my two eyes peeping wide out into the darkness, holding him so close, with disbelief at what is happening underneath his skin. He got up to go the toilet and nearly collapsed, I had to help him back into bed. I listened to his breathing all night, afraid it would stop. We got up at 2am and sat up on the couch next to the fire, watching some elder Aboriginals on tv making boomerangs by hand. It was amazing. We kept telling each other we loved each other, Dave said "It's like it was when we first met!" And it was, our love in the room around us like this big, palpable presence.

The day gave us some light. I'd written lists and lists of stuff we needed to do before we both go in. He's very worried about his business - he employs 6 people, they're all on different jobs. He has just built a beautiful brand-new house that we can let-out for holiday accomodation ... we need to get it furnished and up and running to start getting some money in. Hopefully his co-workers and employees can all pitch in and come to the party. (Cancer party! Yay!)

He gets admitted on Sunday, for a biopsy and 'look' operation on Wednesday. Strange that he has to spend three nights in there first, but 'a good bed is hard to find' in the public system and we can't risk losing it. The doctor has been so lovely, really working hard to find a surgeon for us. Hopefully Dave can get a daypass out on Monday, to be there with me when the baby is born.We need to find out what we are dealing with, before they can treat it. I didn't expect to be asking about the effects of a person on chemo being near a newborn, during my last-ever doctors appointment yesterday.

I keep crying at really inopportune times .... standing in line at the grocery store, walking up the street. How strange for people to look at me with such sparkly excitement in their eyes ... when having a baby is the furthest thing on my mind. I have organised a quick release program from hospital, so that I can be visited by the midwives. This is mainly for my little Max, who got in the car this morning, and after picking up on all the 'vibes' with Dave and I ... said "Geez mum. Today is just really weird." We have told him that daddy is a bit sick in his tummy and has to go into hospital, but that Auntie Linda and Auntie Leigh will be here to take good care of him and then mum and dad will both be home. My sisters will be here on Sunday. I think I have been putting that off, because I know after this weekend that our lives will be forever different, no matter what happens.

I have an awful feeling that I have created this, which is quite irrational. Dave always reckons I fear spiders so much that they always come to me, and scare me. I have experienced a lot of deaths of people close to me, and sometimes I have worried about what would I do if Dave ever died. Like the whole "The Secret" thing, manifesting your reality. But, I think, if that was real ..... then there would be no infertility blogs, would there.I'm a bit all over the place today.

This morning, we were all having a cup of tea by the fire, and Dave was telling Max he'll have to take the garbage out as one of his jobs. Max goes "No - you can take the garbage out when you're a ghost." I felt sick, and hoped Dave didn't notice. Then the dog jumped off the ute ... when she was leashed on there, so she was dangling like a freaking hangman. Dave grabbed her and she was fine, but she has never done that before. It's all surreal and strange and numb. I can't believe the timing.

In twenty years from now I want to be talking to my twenty-year old child about what a scary week it was before he/she was born. And then Dave will walk into the room and crack a silly joke about it and I will laugh but say a silent thank you up to the universe."


One year since that time. Recent events made me petrified for Dave all over again, but I think he is ok. If he is not, there is nothing I can do. I think he is ok.

SO many people at that time told me ..."God never gives you more than you can handle." And my head screamed BULLSHIT.

Til one day I went to a Knitters Anonymous meeting, and someone said: "God never gives you more than you can handle .... but life does."

And it does and it did and now it's not. There are no crises here ... only the ones I create myself. We are all well, in this house.

All well.


  1. Ahhh all well. It's a beautiful thing, no?

  2. I'm so glad that you all are so far from that place today.

  3. Life always looks a little different one year later. I think remembering that can help us get through the really rough know in a year it will not be exactly the same.

    Glad all is well.


    Beautiful writing in ugly times. It's funny ... I remember the part about the old people, of all things. But not the ghost or the hangman, which just take my breath away.


    D was here.

  5. What a difference a year makes, huh? Sometimes I look back on my life and literally ask the fuck did I survive that???

    Enjoy your day.

  6. I can't believe how far you've all come in a year. The changes you and Dave have both gone through are huge and amazing.

  7. I am so happy you are all well. You are a beautiful family. Love you!


  8. I always tell myself -- in a year, in a year it will look different -- I can never bring myself to say 'better' -- but different at the very least, and different is what we need sometimes -- just to have it shift...

    I am happy that you're well today -- that you all are.

    Is rainy here but the trees are blooming.



  9. I have been following your blog for a few weeks now and it is incredible. You and your family are amazing! Wonderful you are in such a better place this year. You are right, some times life does give you more than you can handle. You are inspirational whether you mean to be or not.
    A fan from the US

  10. Sometimes I just look up, shake my head, and ask...."Is this some sort of cosmic joke?"

  11. I'm saying a very loud thank you to the Universe for letting me find you because you were writing about the worst days of your life. Not exactly grateful for the cancer and the fear you had to stare down, but for the fact that you wrote your way through it and now we have inside jokes about borscht.

    I'm smiling all the way down into my heart at the thought of you and your family, all well.

    I fucking love you, Eden.

    And I also love your new blog name.

  12. I have been thinking alot this last week about 'the week that was'. Remembering the numbness after your phone call confirmed the cancer. I sat all night on the floor, staring at nothing. Planning, planning, planning. Imagining how you would be reacting, because as painful and numbing as it was for me, I couldn't even begin to see how you guys were reacting.
    Yesterday I put on Please Forgive Me by David Gray and I thought of you and Dave as I always do when that song is on. Then suddenly I got a flashback of me, 2 days after the cancer verdict, cooking five meals at once like a madwoman, completely no idea of what to do, say or think, just going back to my roots, a meal will solve everything. I had David Gray on, labourers were in my backyard readying for the new landscaping that just a week before had been so exciting and important. Occasionally they would knock on the back door, disrupting my cooking frenzy to ask me about levels or dirt or some trivial thing. I remember answering them calmly with tears streaming down my face as I cooked madly for my dear little sister and her sick husband, their unborn-about-to-be-newborn and my lovely nephew. 'Yes, I have casserole, all will be well'.
    A year has gone by? Holy Shit!

  13. *Hugs* I'm crying with relief and joy for you. And for the sadness of those memories. What a bitter trip. So glad it's ended well.


  14. It's amazing how much life you can pack into a year, the good and the bad.



  15. You, my friend, have been such a support to me. I was reading an email last night you sent me when I closed my blog. And you wished a miracle for me. I have never forgotten that...and one day I hope to tell you MY miracle.

    Today is your miracle. A year on. You guys not only survived, but you grew and learned and fought and loved.

    And reminding both Dave and yourself of that occasionally, when the normal stresses and irritations of life get to you - well that's a good thing.

    Love ya babe

  16. Your post had me in tears, and then your sister's response even more so.

    Peace Eden. Little bits of peace and love.


  17. I always struggled with that 'God never gives..." line as well, but the bit about life doing so - yeah. Definitely.

    Like your new name. There's a place up in the hills here called Eden Hills and I really want to live in that neighborhood - sounds idyllic.

  18. Those were dark days, indeed. I'm so happy that the view from today is a much better one.

    And for what it's worth - you may not always realize this - but you handled all that shit like a fucking rockstar. Seriously. How you did it, I'm still not sure.

    I'm also totally jealous that you get to furnish houses as part of Dave's business.

  19. Good Lord, your year has been insane- but you all made it through! And here's to hoping this day next year you will be able to say the same again...

  20. Hey, Found this today and thought of you:

    "Said one oyster to a neighboring oyster, "I have a very great pain within me. It is heavy and round and I am in distress." And the other oyster replied with haughty complacence, "Praise be to the heavens and to the sea, I have no pain within me. I am well and whole both within and without." At that moment a crab was passing by and heard the two oysters, and he said to the one who was well and whole both within and without, "Yes, you are well and whole; but the pain that your neighbor bears is a pearl of exceeding beauty."

    Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

    Like everyone ... OHN and TB ... said HOW the fuck DID you survive that ...

    I say ... thank GOD you did. THANK GOD.

    Much love,


  21. Timing ... last week I was talking to one of my boys about my Dad being in heaven (he died 5yrs ago).We were in the bedroom as my husband walked in and Joel (4) said to me 'My daddy is in heaven' too.
    I was dumbstruck for 5 secs, then corrected him.It still haunts me.

  22. It's inspiring to read your blog and know how you were feeling then and now.
    What great saying "God never gives you more than you can handle .... but life does."
    So glad your man is still living the dream with you by his side.
    I love your attitude about life now (read another post but haven't commented yet).


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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