It’s like my anxiety took speed then jumped out of a burning plane without a parachute into a sea of hungry crocodiles

(I know crocodiles don’t live in the sea)

This week I thought I was having to prepare myself to lose my Mum.

It all started with a standard MRI scan – her bones were hurting and we needed to find out if it was her hips or her back, or both. At the scan Mum had to change into orange scrubs – she came out of the changing room all Orange is the New Black, and I was all like Judge Judy proclaiming that I sentenced her to life for crimes against haircuts during my childhood – and she crossed her legs protectively and was all “Shut up I’m going to pee myself.” and we giggled stupidly like teenagers.

On Monday Mum went to collect her results – which revealed a lump. But the bone doctor couldn’t deal with her, she needed to go to Gynae.

Gynae?

In the interim Mum had blood tests and whilst there, given the card of a cancer specialist nurse. She would be seen by the doctor on Friday.

Cancer?

Really?

Was this really happening?

Monday night I sat in the bath and cried – of course, my poorly brain told me that my Mum was dying. My poorly brain also told me to make plans. So I did. I’d go and stay with her and I’ll care for her. She’ll never be alone again. My poorly brain also reminded me of every-single-thing I hadn’t done to make her proud. My poorly brain gave me images of her funeral, and how I’ll wake up every morning and for three seconds everything will seem perfect until I remember she’s gone. My poorly brain started to shut down.

On Tuesday morning, my Harvey dog got sick again (he’d been poorly the week before, but blood tests had told us he was OK.) Too early to call Mum to check if she was still alive, I walked Harvey, because walking is Harvey’s second most favourite thing to do.

But my usually boisterous crazy cocker spaniel didn’t want to walk. He shlopped along beside me like a 20 year old dog, and my poorly brain told me that this was it, everything’s fucked – all the living breathing things I love most dearly are going to die at the same time. I broke down in tears again, and to add to the awkward – this time publicly. People walked passed me staring – the crazy woman speaking out loud to her dog telling him he had to walk and can’t die because right now is not convenient…not now and not ever.

The crazy woman in her wellies and morning hair and I don’t blame them for walking past me either.

I called Bernard because when it gets bad, that’s what I do. I told him that I hated my brain and how it makes me think of every worst case scenario in every situation and I wanted it to stop. He told me that everything was OK and it wasn’t my fault, that my brain is poorly and when he gets home he’ll unscrew my brain and make the bad go, and I was happy with that. Bernard knows how to snap me out of terror and make me smile.

But Harvey got more poorly. And I was still convinced that Mum was dying.

Tuesday turned to Wednesday and I tried to keep it light with Mum. She was scared too. I called her lump Tarquin. I told her that we were going to make Tarquin fuck right off – that he wasn’t invited to this party and how bloody dare he show his face around here. She smiled and that’s all that mattered. I never told Mum I could see her funeral in my head in graphic detail. She didn’t need to be worrying about my poorly brain too.

Harvey wouldn’t poo though. He’d had blood tests, he’d had injections – he just wouldn’t poo. I began endless loops of dragging him around the block and cooking and feeding him chicken breast willing him to poo. The vet told me to give it another day. My poorly brain told me that he had a blockage in his intestine and if I kept feeding him and he didn’t poo his intestine would burst and he’d die and oh yeah, my Mum’s got a lump called Tarquin that’s killing her.

Friday morning came around. 4am I was wide awake. Mum’s appointment was at 11am – I drank 4 coffees and waited until it was 6:30am to walk Harvey again whilst willing him to “do a fucking poo for Mummy PLEASE.”

At 6:45am Harvey did a poo. I rejoiced. I sang to him, and skipped and he wagged his tail and trotted beside me and the relief poured through me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes and my poorly brain told me that maybe he wasn’t going to die after all, but don’t forget – Tarquin’s still gatecrashing the party. Filing that thought until the end of my walk,  I saw my friend with her two dogs, and swang the precious poo in it’s bag around my head in a circle of victory and she whooped in celebration too because she knew that Harvey wasn’t right and how badly my poorly brain had been treating me.

At 10:50am Mum and I entered the gynae department. We sat waiting for the doctor. In front of us a rack of pamphlets, every single one documenting information about every kind of female cancer there is. Mum grabbed my hand, I squeezed it and smiled at her. “Either way Mum, it’s all going to be OK, I’ll make sure of it, don’t you worry.” I had no idea how I was going to fulfill that promise, but at that point – I could have fought a lion and won.

The cancer specialist nurse called us in. The doctor, a handsome chap of around 12 years old it seemed told Mum he was going to examine her – she asked if I could be with her – I, in my nervousness blurted “Yeah, as long as I don’t have to see her foomph.” Mortified I closed my eyes and heard my Mum snort and the doctor laugh telling me there was no need for me to be at the ‘business end’ if I didn’t want to be – the tension broke. Mum prepared to be probed by a 12 year old.

Turned out Tarquin is 98% probably a cyst, the horrid little bastard. If I thought that nothing could top the relief of seeing poo come out of my dog’s bum I was totally wrong – for I could have squeezed that doctor until he squeaked for the comfort he gave us. We got Mum back in her undies and skinny jeans before you could say “speculum” and out of there.

She’s booked for an op to remove her ovaries and I shall be there to nurse her afterwards. I’m pretty sure she’s going to ground me for sharing stuff about the innards of her va-jay-jay but I shall take the hit and surely she’s used to me and my ways by now?

Happy Mother’s Day my lovely Mum – here’s to at least 50 more!

Some Things that happened this week

1. For the love of all known gods don’t brush your teeth with turmeric.

Context:

I read somewhere that brushing your teeth with a mix of turmeric and coconut oil makes your teeth whiter. So, as I take turmeric paste daily anyway (it’s a long story, but now I can’t stop taking it because my brain thinks I have to – so I continue to, even though I probably don’t have to and maybe that’s a whole other blog) I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s nasty. Proper nasty. Not only will you look like poo is coming out of the wrong orifice, it tastes like the devil’s balls. Your toothbrush will turn yellow and (even though you’ve bleached every square inch of it) you’ll find splats of turmeric in your bathroom for days  – just like you’ve had an explosion of the toilet sort EVERYWHERE and you won’t be able to explain it to visitors or anything because if you try to, they’ll look at you like you’ve gone stark-staring-bonkers – and nothing’s worth that.

2. In other news – I tried really hard with the I Refuse To Be A Fat Bride thing this week. As it stands, I will indeed be a fat bride if I don’t stop eating as if I’m never going to eat anything ever again. It’s difficult though. At weekends we ‘snack’ – it’s a thing. And I tell Bernard every Sunday night to take with him anything that’s going to make me snack during the week whilst he’s away. Sometimes he forgets. Like this week, he left half a lemon drizzle cake.

On Wednesday I asked Harvey if I should have some. He was all like:

dog judging

So I ignored him and ate the cake.

That broke the diet seal though and for the rest of the week and I continued to eat as if I’d never eat anything again.

Tomorrow I start the diet again proper.

3. The Viking thing happened too. But we won’t speak of that again. I’m still trying to assemble some kind of hope-slushie from my CRUSHED DREAMS.

4. My other cocker wanted to kill me.

cocker spaniel

He’s all eyelashes and attitude is Jasper. Bastard.

5. Facebook told me that Harvey looked like this eight years ago:

cocker spaniel puppy

And I died a bit inside because eight years has gone so quickly.

6. I worked shit loads and I sold a record number of these:

Paw print heart necklace

6. Then it was Saturday and I woke up to Bernard being all ‘househusbandy’ writing shopping lists and washing up and stuff and I realised just why I’m marrying him – we’re both the same kind of touched.

list2

list1

list 3