Showing posts with label Cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cancer. Show all posts

Monday, 24 October 2016

Two Months Until Christmas

Hello there gorgeous blog reader! I am delighted that you are back here again. 

It's Monday, which always comes after Sunday and before Tuesday. I figured I may as well take my Captain Obvious to the next level. Why not? Rhetorical question...

So anyway, here I am. Back to entertain to you in my typical fashion! Which means that I have absolutely NOTHING to tell you. Not a thing. But that won't stop me! I will proceed to babble on about bugger all for several paragraphs. Right. On with it.

So where were we? 

Oh yes, not only is it Monday, it's also October 24th! And you know what that means, don't you? It's just two months until Christmas! 

This time last year I was walking around oblivious to the fact that I had cancer. Yikes. Thinking about this macabre fact reminds me of seeing Lawrence Mooney doing stand up on the telly.

He did a spot of black comedy about cancer. The observation went something like this: that you can stub your toe and be doubled over in agony. Meanwhile when you have cancer growing in your body - NOTHING. Not a twinge. Scary, scary shit. And so true, in my experience. 

I'm not sure what it is about this time of year, but we seem to like being all dramatic, getting cancer and stuff, conveniently right before Christmas. Aren't we show offs?

Yes, apparently Mickey Blue Eyes got his diagnonsense in October of 2004. So it's always been such a jolly old merry time for us. Yeah, NOT. Which brings me to what I want for Christmas: NOTHING. Meaning, I want this period of time to be extremely boring and uneventful. 

Anyway, I expect I should probably start shopping. Every single year I say I am going to be organised and every single year it sneaks up on me. Needless to say, I am not organised AT ALL. Which is slightly embarrassing, after boasting in this post about being organised. Awkward. 

Look, I have my own version of being organised. I have such a boring life that it spices things up to live dangerously and leave Christmas shopping until the last minute! It's all part of a plan. A not very well thought through plan, but a plan nonetheless. 

For example, last year I was a Christmas shopping NINJA. When I got my diagnonsense on December 4th, I hadn't done any Christmas shopping. So I went out the following Monday the 7th and did all my shopping in one day. Then I had surgery on Thursday December 10th. Winning! 

My GP was quite impressed. That I got on with it and did what I had to do. Looking back, I am too.

This may come as a shock, but I'm not exactly the jolliest person at the best of times. So yeah, 2015 wasn't a brilliant Christmas for me. Typically, at this time of year I would be all cynical and bah humbug. But not this year. I don't have to have surgery before Christmas, and chemo in the new year! YAY! 

The most exciting thing I want to happen during this period is listening to Carpenters Christmas music. You know, just for something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. 

Yep, we're so organised around here. We currently have no idea what we're doing for Christmas. Usually we have Christmas lunch at my brother and sister-in-law's place. Where ever I am, I will proceed to eat myself into a diabetic coma. SUCH FUN! 

As a matter of fact, it suddenly occurs to me that I have started shopping. I have ordered one thing online. See? I told you I was organised! The current status in our family is this: only one boy(Mr almost 8), sorta kinda believes in Santa. He's not totally convinced, but he's clinging to it. Just in case. 

Last year I didn't send any Christmas cards, for obvious reasons. Does anyone actually do that anymore? Nope, methinks. Instead they start boring as batshit blogs. Related: this space began because of the silly old Christmas letters I used to send. It's my gift to the world! No, there aren't any refunds or exchanges! RUDE. 

Meanwhile, I am seriously considering putting up the Christmas tree early, though, just to get into the spirit.  Shit, I really must be ill. This is more serious than cancer, people. I've become one of those people on the left...

Save me! 

Linking up for Life This Week.

Also linking up for Open Slather and Mummy Mondays.

Which one are you? Jolly or bah humbug? 

Are you ready for Christmas? 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Nine Ways I'm Currently Winning At Life

Life can be confusing, boring, difficult, full of unfulfilling tasks and frankly just plain old bullshit. That's why it's important to celebrate the smalls wins no matter how insignificant or ridiculous they may be.

Here are nine ways I'm currently winning at life: 

1.I went out for lunch at a club buffet with my Mum, aunt and their friends (all seniors) and was charged the seniors price. Despite my cancer marlarkey ageing me overnight, I'm not quite ready for a seniors card. You'd think I'd be mortified, but I prefer to look at the plus side. Bargain! 

Nanna Ness: Winning at life since 1971!

2. My post chemo hair is the gift that keeps on giving! I've become a foxy lady! In addition to 
scoring seniors discounts, all I need is a velour track suit to complete my Kath n' Kim look. Noice. Unyewwsual. 

3. Last Friday night I threw together some leftovers and created a yummy pasta bake off the top of my head. MasterChef here I come! Okay, not really. But considering my lack of culinary prowess, it was a triumph for me. The fact that my boys didn't touch it let alone taste it is also irrelevant. More for me!  

4.  My dodgy cheapo handbags are all falling to pieces. I had a bit of scroll through Evilbay to see if I could find one. Meanwhile, my parents set off to visit my aunt in Wagga Wagga. When they rang to say they'd arrived it transpired that my aunt had been given a beautiful leather bag and it had my name on it. Score! 

5. I've been on a de-cluttering mission. We went out for dinner for Father's Day. When we arrived home we apprehensively entered the house. It appeared to have been ransacked. Nope. It was exactly the way we'd left it. Related: the decluttering is going well. Ahem. Not really. But at least it's an effective deterrent for burglars! WIN. 

6. I have an impressive collection of colourful pens. This may not seem like an important achievement. But pens are very hard to come by in these parts. If I can actually find one when I need one I'm calling it a win. 

7. I have a superpower! Who knew? 

Image credit:

8. I became a creative genius! Well, I wrote a silly 
brilliant story and terrible touching poem! Plus I made a slice and scones that were eaten! By me. Details! 

9. Social media addiction saved me money! True story! There was some sort of local election thingy (I should probably pay more attention to politics..ahem) and we had to vote over the weekend. I totally forgot about it until someone posted about it on Facebook. See? Social media addiction isn't all bad! There is an eighty dollar fine for not voting. So I saved $160 dollars just by looking at Facebook (Mick had forgotten too). Yay! 

So there you have it. Facebook and seniors discounts FTW!

Linking up for IBOT.

Linking up for FYBF

How are you currently winning at life? 

Monday, 20 June 2016

I freak out when...

Hello dear people. Today I am going to tell you what really, completely and totally freaks me the fuck out. It's freaky.

Here goes: 

I freak out when I see a cockroach. Unfortunately I have passed this trait on to my boys. Mickey Blue Eyes reckons I could be hired for sound effects in horror films. All they would have to do is put a cockroach in front of me. I emit the most blood-curdling, chilling scream of sheer horror. It is rather impressive for some one who is normally so quiet.

I freak out when I get dizzy.  This is a massive phobia for me. Weird. I guess it probably has a name.

I googled it. 

Apparently it is called  Dinophobia.

It all started 22 years ago when I jumped up quickly out of a chair when I was freaking out from seeing something on the telly that made me squeamish. (Yes, blood and guts and all that freaks me out, too!). I had a massive panic attack, hyperventilated and passed out. At the time I didn't actually identify it as a panic attack, because I'd never had one before.

I'm not sure if it was ongoing anxiety from that experience or the result of hitting my head when I passed out, but I then experienced frequent attacks of vertigo. It still freaks me out so much that I won't talk about it too much here. 

I don't understand how people enjoy going on amusement park rides and making themselves dizzy.  They are demented. I am not. The end. 

This phobia has changed who I am. I guess you could say that I've always been the scaredy cat person who was afraid of anything that threatened my equilibrium. 

As a child I was terrified of both escalators and elevators. To be honest it was never a claustrophobia thing, I just didn't like the sensation of movement. The feeling of the ground dropping and moving under you. It  totally freaked me out. I often avoided lifts. 

I also feared being on a boat or ferry because I didn't like the rocking sensation. Are you seeing a pattern here? I'm a 'two feet firmly on the ground' kind of girl. 

I can remember being terrified on a merry-go-round. Yes, I was a fun child. My brother and I often went to a park around the corner from my aunt's house. It had one of those rides that spin around. My brother LOVED it and I HATED it. 

"Scary-go-round" is a very apt name for this, if you ask me

So it's comforting to know that I haven't matured beyond the age of eight. Nice. I would still be terrified to spin around on those things. 

Next month we're headed to the Gold Coast. You won't see me on any rides at the theme parks. I'll happily mind the bags and jackets while Mickey Blue Eyes takes the boys on rides. I might even take a book. That's my kind of thrill seeking. Shut up.

I have to also confess that I freak out quite a bit every time I think about my breast cancer 'journey'/diagnonsense, which is often. It's the first thing I think about every morning, and the last thing I think about at night.

I am totally freaked out by the realisation that it was just random 'luck' that it was discovered and diagnosed when it was. It could have been so much worse. All I did was decide to go to the doctor for my pap smear. I didn't even receive a reminder for it like I normally would. Somehow I just had it in the back of my mind that it was due. I also knew I had to have some routine blood tests done. However, my GP had said to me mid last year that I could have left it until January if I wanted to. Between her saying that, and not receiving a pap smear reminder, I could easily have said to myself "Stuff it, I'll wait until January", but I didn't. THANK GOD I DIDN'T. I would have been so screwed.

As much as I wish the whole thing hadn't happened at all, it did. And my doctors say it was an early cancer. I wish I didn't have cancer at all, but at least I was 'lucky' that it was found relatively early. It's still a freaky feeling to think too much about the future and what may happen. Mickey Blue Eyes assures me that this is something that takes time. It took him a good few years to get past this fear. (He had bowel cancer in 2004). I guess it will always freak me out a little. But I'm learning that you live with uncomfortable feelings. I don't have to like them, but I can make room for them.

Speaking of freaking out, is everyone else quietly alarmed by how fast the year is flying by? It's almost the end of June and term two! Cue all the Facebook posts counting down the days until Christmas. Please don't tell me exactly how many days it is. I don't want to know. I'm freaking out. 

Well, that's enough freakyness from me. Now I'm freaked out because I don't know how to spell 'freakyness'. Is it freakiness or freakyness? Is it even a word? Who knows? 

I need it a cup of tea and a good lie down after all this freaking out. Later, people!  

Linking up for I Must Confess

Linking up again for  Friday Reflections

What is your weirdest phobia? 

Monday, 29 February 2016

I Don't Understand...

This weeks prompt is: I don't understand... 

We could be here for a while. I don't understand SO many things. Like, for instance, people. What are they about? So weird.

Plus, I don't understand Twatter and I'm hopeless with technology, despite having a blog. It's pretty obvious, isn't it? Sigh.

One of the thing that I REALLY don't understand is why bad things always happen to good people while arseholes roam the Earth unscathed and blissfully unaware that they are, in fact, arseholes.

I also don't understand:

Small talk
My kids homework
Morning people. And basically just people, period, as I've already mentioned.
Almost anything that other people find entertaining and fun. Think sport, nightclubs, amusement park rides or taking drugs. Yep, I'm a real barrel of laughs!

But anyway, enough of the boring lists of things I don't understand. I didn't want to bang on about my cancer 'journey' all the time in this space, but last Friday I got THE BEST news!

The professor type lady from the Familial Cancer Service rang me to inform me that my test results came back clear! This means I don't have any mutant genes! There is no increased risk of it returning in the other breast, or of ovarian cancer and no need for any further surgery!!!!!! WOO HOO!! I'm slightly ecstatic right now!

This makes me realise that I really don't understand how or why life is such a random lottery.  I don't understand why one person has a cancer diagnosis, breast or otherwise, and they can be going strong decades later, while another person isn't. While I'm more positive that I'm going be the former, there is always that teensy bit of uncertainty.

I've never been good at embracing uncertainty or change, so this is going to be a big lesson at learning to live with something huge that I don't understand.

Which brings me to all the inspirational sayings and memes. This one popped up in my Facebook newsfeed yesterday.

But I'm starting to think it's more of a 50/50 proposition. Life is 50 percent what happens to you and 50 percent how you react. In fact, I wonder if we have less control than we think over both of these things. 

For instance, you may have a picture in your mind of you think you'd react to a specific situation, but you honestly have no idea how you'd really react unless it really happens. And if that reaction isn't always positive, it's not a sign of weakness. I may be straying off topic here a bit, but I thought this kind of ties in with how I don't understand the whole 'life is a random lottery' thing. 

Having said that, maybe I should buy a lottery ticket after my good news last week? Of course, that was actually a better feeling than winning the lottery! But then again, I've never won the lottery so how would I know? If some one could please arrange a lottery win for me, so I can test my theory? Thanks! 

What do you not understand? 

Linking up for I Must Confess, Open Slather and Mummy Mondays

Monday, 25 January 2016

Box Of Chocolates

Why hello there. I'm back, because I need a hobby that doesn't involve eating. At least while I'm typing I can't shove food in my gob. Besides, I have so much to tell you. 

Apparently life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. Well frankly, I would have preferred to have gotten a paltry old box of Cadbury roses (see above). Instead, I got cancer. The cancery kind. It was there lurking in the lump in my boob. It was only small, or so I'm told and I got that fucker. Or, at least, the surgeon did. But she had to cut me in order to do so, and I do not particularly like being cut. I'm funny like that.

I don't like doctors, hospitals, surgery, blood or any of those things. I cannot watch medical programmes. I am well and truly out of my comfort zone.

It is really quite bizarre but at the same time boring. A familiar story. It happens all the time. So why not to me? It's felt like that ever since Mickey Blue Eyes had his cancer 'journey'.

It all began one balmy November day when I made my way to the doctor's to suffer the ignominy known to all women as a pap smear. My GP always does a breast exam during the same appointment, and she discovered the lump. I had no freaking idea it was even there. Scary shit. 

"I don't think it's Cancer," she said, then immediately booked me in for a mammogram the next day. My tits were dutifully crushed and the results were not alarming at this point. Nothing looked suspicious. But off for a biopsy I went. Those fuckers HURT. 

A few days later the dreaded news came. It was cancer. I've now become one of those people who says things like 'I'm on a 'journey', and I never wanted to say such skin-crawling things let alone go on one. But here I am. 

I was cut on the 10th of December and they got it all, as well as a few more spots lurking in the margins. The good news is, nothing had spread to the lymph nodes. The bad news is, it's something called triple negative. You just know that anything negative isn't good, let alone when you triple it. Sigh.

This means there is a slight chance of it being a genetic thing. In which case I would have to do the whole Angelina Jolie thing and have a bilateral mastectomy and removal of ovaries. I always knew Angie and I had so much more in common besides our striking resemblance and humanitarian efforts. She oozes sex appeal with those pouty lips of hers, while I'm also quite surly pouty at times. She adopted all of those children. I adopted a dog from a pet shelter. So... same thing, really. 

Anyway, back to this cancer shit. 

To cut a long, gruesome story short, I saw the Familial Cancer Service Professor type lady and she thinks that the chance of me having a mutant gene is unlikely. (But I still stick firmly to my theory that Ang and I are twins separated at birth. Shut up).

I had a blood test and will know for sure in 8 weeks. In the meantime, I started chemotherapy. Fun times. Using 'fun' in the sense of horrifying and craptastic. But you get that. I will lose my hair.

And I will now become a person who wears hats. At least I do look stunning in hats, that's one consolation. It may or may not be the good kind of stunning, but details. 

Chemotherapy involves going to hospital for a few hours, and having some nasty chemicals pumped into you via a drip while you munch on an icy pole or ice chips. This is to cool the mouth and therefore prevent mouth ulcers. I'm having four 'cycles' of this treatment every two weeks. Short and sweet. Or short and shit, in this case.

For the first two days after I had my first drip/cycle I didn't feel any different. Then, on the third day I got out of bed and immediately felt extremely strange. Nauseous, dizzy and bizarre. It's like the mother of all hangovers, multiplied by a bazillion without the fun of the booze. Not fair. 

It was particularly unfair because that was on my birthday. HMPH.
I did manage to have a cakie and a good lie down. There was no way I was staying vertical. 

Anyway, they give you a shit-tonne of anti-nausea meds and I took the extra ones and eventually felt much better. Meanwhile, when I had a rough night I could just visualise myself floating on a luxury yacht on the Mediterranean instead of feeling the effects of chemo. Totally works. Sort of. Kind of. Not really. 

On day 9 of the cycle I had a blood test. This is to check on my white blood cells, which can go a bit wonky and require some sort of injection to boost them.(I'm really up with all the medical terms, as you can see). Obviously the point of chemo is as an 'insurance policy' just in case there's any errant cancer cells. But it also effects your normal ones, hence the hair loss and nausea. Anyway, my bloods were all good and I didn't need the injection at that point. So that's chemo. My next cycle is this coming Wednesday. After which, I will be  half way finished. That's the best way to look at at it.  And I will definitely lose my hair at this point.

Luckily I have a collection of hats thanks to some clever ladies. Thanks Mum, Auntie Helen and my imaginary friend Posski. 

Folks, this is why I don't have an Instagram
account. My selfies (and all photos) are rubbish. 

I've been using this silly old chemo caper as an excuse to over-indulge during the Christmas period. Consequently I've gained a few kilos. For those of you who remember that I was attending Weight Witches and had received my broomstick. Well, I'm a very bad witch at the moment. Oops. 

Evidently, you're supposed to become a serene-and-calm-kale-and -quinoa-eating beacon of beaming positivity to conquer cancer. I guess I'm doomed. I don't wanted to be doomed. Not in any way. Not to a grisly early death or a joyless life of eating mung beans and organic lentils. I'm torn. On the one hand I want to be healthy (OF  COURSE!) and on the other hand life is too short to not enjoy that cakie and glass of wine. Do you know what I mean? Everything in moderation, as 'they' say! (Including moderation).

It's not like I intend to take up smoking and just give the fuck up. But seriously, can't we just agree that this cancer caper just fucking sucks, and I won't be feeling on freaking top of the god damn world every second no matter how much I love the Carpenters. (Some things never change).  The truth is, anybody who thinks you're going to be positive one hundred percent of the time after a cancer diagnosis is quite simply delusional and without a shred of empathy. There, I said it. 

Having said all that, it's certainly been a huge exercise in finally getting the hang of this mindfulness and gratefulness malarkey.

I force myself with extreme herculean effort to exist only in the current moment and not project too much into the future. I've even been quite successful in my endeavours and had several outings with minimal anxiety. Previously I would have become quite beside myself just THINKING about an outing, but it's just a total waste of energy now.

Furthermore, I've even started a whole 'happiness jar' thing.  This is some sort of Oprah-esque rah rah philosophy where you scribble down the highlight of your day and throw it in a jar. It doesn't haven't to be any big grandiose thing, it can be a particularly impressive cup of tea or coffee you had. The idea is that you go back to it in the future and remind yourself that there were happy moments amongst the crap. And that the small, mundane things in life are often the happiest. I know. I don't even know who I am anymore.

At this rate, if I keep up this stuff I might even become a vegan. 

NO wait...

BAHAHAHAAHAHA! Long way off that.

Anyway, today's confession was supposed to be about revealing my greatest strengths. Well, I think it's pretty obvious, isn't it?

Apart from my admirable ability to look stunning in hats, I now believe my greatest strength is my resilience. I never give up. Occasionally I do wallow for a time. But I always snap out of it and keep going.  I never totally give up my hope that things will improve. 

In addition to my balls of steel and iron-like resilience I have many other unique strengths. Such as:

  • I can eat my entire body weight in cake.
  • I'm a freaking ninja when it comes to avoiding small talk.
  • I'm a comedic genius. I mean, admit it, I even made cancer funny. That's a gift, people. 
  • I have a photographic memory. The fact that this skill only applies to remembering the words to every single Carpenters song is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.
  • I can juggle and tap dance simultaneously.
  • I can make things up. Like that last point.
  • I can stay silent for long periods of time. Say, about 45 years? Coincidentally, this is my age.
  • I am the only person I know who, when they are actually trying very hard to clean up, can end up making more mess in the process. I do this by dropping things, knocking things over and generally having no fucking clue what I'm doing. Winning!
  • I can communicate by telepathy. Not really, I just forget what I was going to say. Sigh. 
  • I can compile amazing bullshit point lists. I mean, BULLET point lists. Ahem. 

So as you can see, I have so many strengths. Now I'm off to kick cancer's butt and try on hats. 

What is your greatest strength?

Linking up for I Must Confess and Open Slather

Monday, 24 March 2014

Hospital Tales

Time for another round of tedious titillating tales from the bogan extraordinaire! This week we are telling our hospital tales.

I must admit I am extremely fortunate in that I have never been in hospital for any serious life threatening reason. Unless you count the time 15 years ago when I was admitted into hospital for suspected appendicitis which actually turned out to be the wrong diagnosis. In fact, what I had was ovarian hyer-stimulation or some such thing (I forget what the technical term is) - a nasty and potentially dangerous side effect from the fertility drugs I was taking at the time.

There is nothing quite like being wheeled into surgery looking and feeling like utter crap only to have your High School nemesis suddenly appear as one of the theatre staff beaming at you in the same utterly patronising way you remember from years gone by.

"You've lost all your hair!" she exclaimed as if I was bald instead of just having short hair. Luckily they knocked me out with the anaesthetic shortly after that and ended the pain of that reunion as well as the ovarian pain.

Other than that incident I've only been in hospital for day procedures to have wisdom teeth extracted and to investigate my fertility issues during my 20's. Can you believe I ever had fertility issues? Yeah, I can't either! I've also had a tubal ligation a few years ago so I don't have to think about contraception anymore. In spite of this, I STILL worry that I may fall pregnant. Everything about pregnancy has been completely bizarre for me so I worry that I would be that one in a billion bizzarro person who couldn't fall pregnant for love nor money while I was still young and in my 20's even with fertility drugs but might fall pregnant now in my 40's despite having had a tubal ligation. I'm not paranoid AT ALL.

My only other trips to hospital were when I had my babies. The worst of them was when I had a still-birth experience in 2007. I've never really written about it because it's hard to find the words to describe something like that.  The birth had to be induced and I was awake for it and felt all the pain of a normal birth. When I changed my mind after declining the pethidene shot for several hours, the midwife, who was obviously due to finish her shift, got all huffy and slammed the door when she went out to get it. I know nurses and midwives are over worked and underpaid but I imagine that if it was a contest as to who was having the worst day that day I would have won. A bit of empathy, please. The only consolation was seeing the baby and being able to say goodbye to him.

Another memorable hospital experience was when Micky Blue Eyes was diagnosed with Cancer. He had to have a blood transfusion immediately as he was severely anaemic and losing blood. He was joking around and saying that maybe he should become a vampire and drink it because it would be quicker! Meanwhile, I had to leave my squeamishness at the door and get over myself very quickly. Then the surgeon came in to describe what he was going to do and it all sounded rather gruesome  It seemed that he was going to slice the bejesus out of him. Long story but we ended up changing surgeons and he had a specialist colo-rectal surgeon and I'm SO GLAD we did. Nine years later he's still here to tell the tale.
Me and Mr 5 when he was brand new.

Fortunately, after the still birth in 2007 I was pregnant again the following year. I had decided to change obstetricians because I was slightly uncomfortable with my former female obstetrician's rather blunt and straight forward beside manner. She was no Nina Proudman. Although that's possibly a good thing when you think about it. Isn't Nina just a little too neurotic to be a obstetrician? And doesn't she have rather too many complicated daydreams about her love life when she's supposed to be delivering babies? But this post isn't supposed to be about Offspring. Oops. Back to my point...

When the day rolled around and it was decided that I had to have an emergency c-section due to my alarmingly high blood pressure my obstetrician was away and the back up one was also away that day - so who did I end up with? You guessed it. Ms Blunt who expertly cut me open and delivered my baby (now Mr 5), tiny but breathing. That was all I was concerned with. Then, with her usual bluntness she cornered me, which wasn't very difficult considering I was completely numb from the waist down from the epidural thingy. I certainly wasn't going anywhere.

"How many more babies are you going to have? she barked.

"None," I replied "this is it."

"GOOD!" was her emphatic response "You were just lucky this time."

Thanks for the information, love.

I have to admit I did feel lucky. And I still do every day when I look at my boys.

Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess. 

                                                    What are your hospital tales?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Driving And Other Tragedies

Linking up an earlier post with My Home Truths for I Must Confess. A little late, but better late than never as they say.

I  Must Confess: I am a 41 year old P-Plater.

As I am now the mature (ie over the hill)  age of 41, you could be forgiven for assuming I am an experienced driver.  Wrong.  Embarrassingly, I am in fact, still a P-Plater. 

At age 16, when most adolescents are clamouring for independence and consequently a driver's licence as a means to that independence, it simply never even occurred to me.  Then again, it never occurred to me to have a crush on Jon Bon Jovi, like most girls my age either, so I guess I really was an odd one.

At age 21, it did somewhat belatedly dawn on me that perhaps I ought to get moving on it.  So I dutifully procrastinated for another two years before finally obtaining my learner's licence at age 23.  Then I began driving lessons.

Nervously, I approached the car in trepidation on my first lesson.  There she was.  The Instructor From Hell.  This woman would have scared Satan.  A miserable, hard faced bitch who proceeded to chain smoke throughout my lesson.

She would occasionally remove the cancer stick to snort with derision at my (lack of) driving skills. I turned left when she said right.  Right when she said left.  Went too fast.  Then, too slow.  Got muddled at roundabouts.  Terrified, changing lanes.

 Let's not even talk about reverse parking.  Even the most competent drivers struggle with this one.  Try doing it as a novice driver under Satan's supervision.  I lost count of how many times I hit the curb while she sat scornfully puffing cigarette smoke in my face.  I couldn't say anything.  I was too shy.  She was too scary.

Mrs Satan had no mercy however, and promptly booked my test, before I was ready, eager to be rid of me and my nervous driving. 


Uncaring, she booked it again.  Fail again.

"You're hopeless," she informed me bitterly, echoing the nagging voice in my head,  "you'll never pass."   At this stage, getting a driver's licence was the equivalent of sprouting wings from my back and flying.  Impossible. In my mind anyway. 

Third time.  With these helpful thoughts swirling in my head, it was just as Mrs Satan predicted. 

Epic Fail.

So humiliated was I by my hatrick of failures  I gave up and put it all firmly in the too hard basket, never to be spoken of again.  There it remained for a good 12 years.

Then, I started  seeing a counsellor during a particularly stressful period for our family, when Micky Blue Eyes had cancer (that's a whole other story).  She prodded me into action and I finally got my learner's licence again.

Micky Blue Eyes, obviously deciding that once you've beaten cancer, nothing is scary anymore, happily took me out for some lessons.  The 'happily' part was rather short lived.   After several arguments, nearly leading to divorce and an alarming incident where I hit the accelerator instead of the brake nearly smashing into our front gate and into the back of the old 1961 EK Holden that had been in Mick's family since it was brand new (sadly, now departed),  I once again booked an instructor.

Fortunately this one wasn't scary, even managing to smile and be encouraging.  I plodded along to lessons getting closer to sprouting my wings.  Then, I was also Up The Duff again.  Another tragedy struck.   I lost the baby at 19 weeks.  Suddenly,  driving didn't seem that important to me.(That's a whole other story).

Some months later, I managed to pull myself from an abyss of grief, and attempted my driving test.


Second try. I did it!  I finally sprouted wings!

 The first time I drove the car by myself, it nearly felt like it.  It was only a short trip to the local shops, but I came home, triumphant, beaming.  I pulled up and flew to the front door, exhilarated.  Then abruptly, I stopped, deflated, like a popped balloon. People your age have been driving for years, the nasty voice in my head informed me.  What a fool!  I felt small and pitiful.

I shouldn't have though.  Now  that I know I have Aspergers, it has caused me to re-assess lots of things.  Driving is one of them.  No wonder I struggled with it.  Lots of Aspie people do apparently.  It just took me longer to grasp it.  But I did.  Now I have officially sprouted wings and flown.  Something I need to remind myself whenever I am facing things I think I can't do or cope with.

Just don't ever ask me to reverse park however.  Despite finally acing it in my test I've never attempted it again since.