Life flies by. Sometimes all too quickly, as when you find out that friends are about to leave us far too soon (we’ll miss you Paul). But it marches on, regardless.
In dot points:
- starting to feel like I have a handle on things at work – have been madly deleting VHS tapes and vertical files from the catalogue this week, and disposing of them by various means. This has led to emptying many shelves, which is a good start. Lots more to go, but nice to see the effect.
Sneak peek at the cover art (by Kathleen Jennings) for To Spin a Darker Stair.
just waiting on final cover design for To Spin a Darker Stair before it goes off to the printer – very exciting time! Pre-order special deals are still available and come with a bonus opportunity to win a copy of Margo Lanagan’s new novel, Sea Hearts – Margo is another luminary of the fairytale retelling genre and while Sea Hearts plays with myth rather than fairytale, it’s simply excellent, so you’ll want to read it!
- plans are slowing gathering for future weekend events – today we have our first playdate with new friends from school. Next weekend we’re hopefully heading to Hobart to visit Tansy & co. Not long after that we have family visiting for two weeks, during which I will be skiving off to Adelaide for the CBCA judging conference (eep!).
- this weekend will also include putting together the first issue for 2012 of ic3 (the WA School Library Association Journal) and editing some more stories for Epilogue, which really needs to get to the printer in the next month as well, in order to make its release deadline of the June long weekend.
- to help balance the shit news on the “friends with cancer” front, my mum had her final chemo yesterday to complete the five months of treatment she’s been having. Another week or so of followup management, then some tests which will, hopefully, be very positive. She has stayed very well throughout this time, other than a couple of little niggles that have been quickly dealt with, so we’re very hopeful that she’s going to be given the all clear. She’s planning to let her hair grow back however it comes, and she’s learned, by living in a one bedroom apartment or a hospital room. that there’s an awful lot you don’t need to have! Decluttering ahoy? :)
- other achievements this past week include finishing the Aurealis Awards reading (I stepped in to a panel at the last minute as a judge had to drop out for personal reasons), knocking over all but half a dozen of my remaining CBCA reading, and being very close to the end of WA Premier’s reading. It’s been fascinating to see which books have not been entered in various awards by comparison, and it’s very interesting seeing what a number of different judges think of various titles. I’m feeling VERY well read in the Australian YA and Children’s field this year!
And now I’m off to unpack some more boxes – managed to empty one this morning already, and unearth a lost library book from Rockingham, so that’s already a win!
I spoke to Mum this evening. After two days of chemo, she still sound (and says she feels!) fine. Dad reckons the drugs are making her high :) She says there’s five different drips feeding into her, with a bunch of different stuff. The hospital is lovely, and the nurses wonderful. She has an 80+ year old room mate who she has, naturally, befriended. My friend Michelle (sister of my bridesmaid and longtime family friend) lives and works right near the hospital, so has of her own accord taken Mum & Dad in hand – she’s taking Dad shopping for shoes on Saturday and is looking forward to Scrabbling with Mum. I’m very grateful she’s there. Mum’s mission is to find Michelle (a gorgeous thirty-something lawyer) a nice doctor to play with :)
Mum told Master Eight what was going on this evening. I’ve kind of been avoiding it, because my kids are pretty soft and I wasn’t sure how they’d deal. Had a good talk with them both at bedtime then and I’m sure there will be more questions, but hopefully neither gets too upset.
I feel pretty useless, being here, but have started to make plans to spend a couple of weeks there in January, en route to Tassie. Wish I was like my auntie (Mum’s sister), who flew up from Sydney today JUST FOR THE AFTERNOON!!! Brilliant :)
In all, sounds like she’s in good spirits so far. I know the effects of the chemo may change that, but I’m glad it hasn’t happened yet.
My mum has been on a rollercoaster for the past few weeks. Well, maybe not a rollercoaster – that would imply there have been ups. Unfortunately, the ride has been all downhill. She has gone from being a healthy 61-year old who feels fine, to a person about to be admitted to Leukemia House in Brisbane for the next six to nine months, to be treated for an aggressive lymphoma. Her GP came across high calcium levels in her blood about four weeks ago, and from then it’s just been an escalating diagnosis, from suspected parathyroid problem to suspected lymphoma to stage three lymphoma (treatable with six months of chemo) to this. And you know what? It fucking sucks being on the opposite side of the country right now. :( For a wonder, my brother (who lives very near them) has actually stepped up, so that’s at least something, but I feel so bloody useless and I have no idea what to do.
It’s been a funny old week. The best news of the week so far is that I have a new niece! My brother and his wife had their third baby this morning, and we’re all delighted she’s a girl. Her two big brothers (and boy cousins) aren’t all that impressed, but Miss Six is delighted. I have photos, but I might get in trouble for sharing them :)
Not so good news is that Mum has been diagnosed with lymphoma (not sure which type yet). She’s having a biopsy today and a PET scan tomorrow, and we’ll know more next week. We’re very hopeful, given it’s been caught early, we think, by a very tenacious doctor, but it’s a bit of a shock, given that’s she’s feeling entirely well! Starting to think my dad’s family are a bit of a worry. Of six siblings, FIVE of their spouses have battled cancer (but they themselves are healthy as horses)! A little freaky.
We’re choosing to run with all the positives this week, despite the downers. What else can you do?
We have some old family friends flying in from QLD tomorrow. Judy recently found out she has lung cancer, and has been given twelve months to live. She’s here to try some treatment to improve that estimate. I’ve known these people since I was thirteen, and they’ve been a big part of our lives for a very long time. Judy was the kids’ daycare mum when we lived in Miles, as well as being a family friend. I went to school with their kids, and am friends with them too.
Last year my aunt Carolyn fought lung cancer, and is doing very well. Last week I got an email from my last school and found out that one of my teacher aides just discovered he has lung cancer. These three people range in age from mid fifties to mid seventies, but all are friends/family and it’s a fucker.