74 days to Antarctica - "Life Is A Highway" Tom Cochrane


Approximately twelve minutes reading time


“Disenchantment, whether it is a minor disappointment or a major shock, is the signal that things are moving into transition in our lives.” ~ William Throsby Bridges


Hello! Welcome to another Sunday. How quickly it has arrived. I hope that you are happy and well. It’s only twenty days until Christmas and twenty six days until 2022. Oh my!

Much has happened this week. It has not been easy but it has been a good week.

Monday was heralded with a song that a man made up for me and sang to me. I was humbled, delighted and flattered. It was lovely. This was a new song. I told them that I am incredibly flattered and feel very special, especially given this new information. How lucky I am.

Yesterday I learned that my ten year old nephew is a close contact risk of Covid-19 from one of his class mates at school. He wears a mask to school. I pray that he is safe and well. I hope that all the children are okay.

A few days ago I learned that my trip to Antarctica has been cancelled. There is too much uncertainty in the world regarding travel and safety from Covid-19 is not assured. I was shocked. I was not as disappointed as I would have expected. Perhaps after all that I have endured since the Black Summer Bushfires, losing everything, fighting for my life for almost two years and being completely disabled, this is a minor event. My trip will be rescheduled when the World is more stable and international travel is safer and more reliable.

I will continue my countdown. It will be interesting to see what happens within this time-frame. Given that I am not prepared for my trip this is in some ways a reprieve. As my bushfire rebuild is not yet complete this pressure of competing timelines is alleviated.  I have no idea when my home will be finished and ready for myself and Schrodie to return home.

“Life Is A Highway” by Tom Cochrane is this week’s “Song of the Week” because it is fitting. I love this song, everything about it. The sentiment is spot on. I cannot control what happens to me in Life but I hold on tight and enjoy the ride as much as possible. I look forward with optimism and anticipation. All is as it needs to be, just like my “Knot of Life”. I do not know or understand the reasons for these happenings. I make the best of my reality at each and every point in time. Gratitude and joy feature as constants in my life, no matter the circumstances. Overall I love the energy, positive and cheerful, happy music which overrides the lyrics. This is a great and powerful song. May you enjoy it as much as I do, always.

Schrodie and I have just returned from our mildly wet walk, through the rain sprinkles. We beat the storm and had a wonderful walk. The scent and colour of the gardens was a delight, as always. Outside it is still wet and cold. We had two Summer days mid-week, which were wonderful. The heat was a shock to the system. It was glorious to have two consecutive, hot and sunny days. We look forward to more. Summertime is upon us although it mostly still feels like Wintertime. For me, rain means no bushfires, for which I will always be grateful. May what happened to me and the horrors I have lived, never happen to anyone else.

Spending a day in Bondi Junction was a wonderful and strange experience. To be around people, although it was pretty quiet all ‘round and to be in a massive Shopping Centre like Westfield was an interesting experience, after being locked away for so long. I hoped that I might buy Christmas presents but I couldn’t find anything and was not inspired to shop. I indulged in one of my favourite things to eat, the best Middle Eastern street food in Sydney, a delicious falafel pita bread. This did not disappoint me and was worth the three hundred kilometre drive, although not the purpose of my trip.

My chemotherapy hair is mostly gone. After seven months I have had a haircut. I love it. My Stylist is one of the best. He explained to me that what I did not like about my hair was that it was what I call “chemotherapy hair”. My long hair has been cut to the nape of my neck, my shoulders. Without my realising it, my thick hair has been growing back. The crown of my head is covered with thick, lustrous, healthy hair which is bouncy once again. The fullness looks complete although this is a trick of the eye created by great skill and mastery with scissors, for which I am grateful. Only the last inch or so of my hair is thin and remnants of the chemotherapy. I feel much happier and lighter once again. Amazingly my natural colour, mid-brown, is still in tact and not destroyed by what I suffered over the last two years. Now, I will regrow my hair, long.

A couple of days ago, I received a message that my Poem, “Words, Words, Words” will be included in another International Publication, the third for this poem. An international Anthology, for which I am thrilled and delighted. This was completely unexpected. I hope that you enjoy my Poem. It is included within my pages.

My bushfire rebuild is progressing. The tiler has been working for almost two weeks laying the tiles. Tomorrow he is to grout. I didn’t realise there was so much tiling. I am relieved that so far, I love my colours and print selections. I am happy with all my choices so far. This is particularly important as I was forced to choose from what the builder allowed, even the minimal colour palate for paints. I only upgraded two choices of tiles to enhance the comfort and joy that I would feel in my living spaces. I don’t love the mosaics that replaced the ones I selected but they are okay. My eight year old nephew suggested that they look like chain-mail, which I love. Surprisingly I see Dragon Scales. Nevertheless, I am happy with my selections. If I had free reign to choose everything myself, the house would look completely different. Considering I stayed within the builders included options for almost everything, I am happy. The tiler calls my main tiles black which they are not. They are a grey, green Australian tile. My bathrooms are very dark and dramatic. My sister asked me why I chose such dark tiles. My bathrooms look like the “Bat Cave”. Batman would feel at home. My tile selection was simply that these were the tiles I liked best within the included selections. They are a proper non-slip floor tile. They are Australian Made. They are dramatic, evoking interest. I like the texture. Whilst visiting my home on Friday, the tiler was cutting the large wall tiles to place on the floor of the patio around the door. I didn’t realise until I was talking to a friend later. This is dangerous and a really big deal. I sent the Site Supervisor a request to check this and remove any wall tiles from the floor. One of the main reasons I chose these tiles was the safety of proper non-slip tiles on the floors. The wall tiles are also thinner. I am flabbergasted at this potential result. The only reason I can imagine him using wall tiles on the floor is that his job becomes easier using larger cut tiles than laying more smaller tiles. I will check this more closely later. If this has been done, they will be reported and fixed. I hope that I am wrong. I was hopeful and optimistic about the tiler as he tiled my friend’s house. Her job was much smaller and simpler. The Site Supervisor told me that there was a problem in the kitchen as they could not lay the mosaics around the window sill, it being too hard. I said “no problem” lay the same green-grey tile around the window sill and under the cupboards instead of the mosaics. Problem solved. This did not phase me at all.

There is still so much to do and I have no idea when I can return home. Schrodie loves going home. He loves exploring the house. It is much larger than I realised. We deserve the space. For the first time in my life I will have space and storage space with nothing to fill it. My old friend Irony rears her head once more.

I was assured by the Site-Supervisor that the wall in the living space will be removed. He told me that they aren’t installing the fireplace. I told him that the Contract Plans say “Builder to install”. When I reminded him that the fireplace will not be where the wall has been incorrectly built, he tried to talk me out of moving the position, telling me a bigger space at the back of the house is better for me. I have considered this carefully and do not agree. I want the fireplace in the middle of the space and the middle of the large hole in the wall. This will allow the four sided fireplace to be seen from the hall as well as the living space. Most importantly, it will allow the easy transfer of heat to the hall and the surrounding bedrooms and bathroom. He is right in saying that the fireplace will reach the middle of the hole. Another reason that it will look odd if not centred in the space. I hope that my assessment is right and it looks and works well. He wants to position it where the wall is as this will make his life easier and not require the hole in the ceiling to be moved or fixed. This was their mistake. I must live with the decision that I take and my choice, as always in life.

Spending time with friends has been fabulous. I am grateful for the host of smart, fun, interesting, creative wonderful people in my life. I am happy to have good people, especially good men in my life. I no longer have any “guys” in my life, just men. There is a real difference between the two. This is why I refer to a man as a guy, to his face, rather than a man. I never refer to a guy as a man, because he is not. I know the difference. Sadly, I think that this is overlooked by too many people. The same goes for women. It is not age alone that makes a woman, a real woman. Nevertheless, I am happy with the people in my life. I am amazed by how many new and fabulous people are now a part of the fabric of my life. I feel blessed, as always.

Much work is happening on the podcast with so much still to do. Although I have faltered much about whether to continue with it, countless people push me on. I keep getting told how important my story is and how I can really help others. I am humbled. I hope so. I have lived the last two years and they still seem unbelievable to me, stranger than fiction. My Memoir has taken a back seat as there is so much more pressing work to do first. Every day is filled with so much and there is never enough time to do everything. My task list is ever growing. Once we return home, much of this will disappear as the jobs are completed, eventually. Until then, “I must grin and bear it” as Mummy taught me. This is a staple in my life.

Schrodie and I have fun every day. We walk, we play, we dance. He has play dates with friends for which I am grateful, as is he.

I have decided not to continue my appointments with the Trauma Psychologist. I have spoken with my Family Doctor (GP) and another Psychologist who agree that the relationship does not seem beneficial.

Balancing cashflow is a constant and tricky business. I must be very careful always and this is terrifying until my situation is back in balance. For now, I manage, grateful that I have the necessary skills.

Johnny is still not getting the attention he deserves. We are enjoying our time together. My playing is improving. More time and attention to my guitar will make an enormous difference to my playing. When the pain in my ulnar nerve, shoulder, hand and arm flare up I desist from playing Johnny too much, if at all. I am stronger. My hand function and control is much improved, for which I am incredibly grateful. The guitar lessons and playing has made the positive difference for which I had hoped when I first decided to take lessons and start playing as hand therapy.

My Libre Sensors have not been working properly and I must call Abbotts to have the two Sensors which stopped working without warning, after a few days, replaced. I am lucky that both times, I had a spare on hand. There are always error messages with the sensors not working. This is pretty scary given that my blood sugar readings are important to my safety and well-being, in the short and long term as a Type1 Diabetic. Luckily I feel the changes in my body and know how to respond appropriately.

Finally I am free of Prednisone. My last one milligram dose was on the 30th November. I felt rather unwell for the next few days. I hope that I never again need this terrible drug although I am grateful that it helped save my life. I only take Methotrexate and Benralizumab now and look forward to stopping both of these drugs as soon as possible. I take my nine daily vitamin and mineral supplements to continue my nerve restoration and body recovery. 

Apparently I look the same as I did years ago, or so I have been told. Remarkably I seem to have recovered my body relatively unscathed, at an obvious level at least. My determination and hard work is paying off. Once my diet is restored and my healthy eating patterns are fully restored, with a regular and more rigorous physical training work out in place, I expect my muscles to improve. The excess fat I am carrying, although not much, too much for me will be less with my weight and muscle tone improved. I cannot wait.

In the meantime Schrodie and I make the most of every day, no matter how harrowing. Most especially I am grateful for my wonderful, sweet Angel, Schrodie and his fabulous company. Every. Single. Day.

I am about to enjoy a hearty minced beef, potato and cabbage, tomato casserole. It is tasty, warm, hearty and delicious. Comfort food on a cold wet, day. This is an easy, quick, simple and nutritious meal which is inexpensive and doesn’t have much fat. It is seasoned simply with salt and pepper, however I added a splash of red wine vinegar and some Worcestershire Sauce to counter the smell of the beef to which I seem especially sensitive today. I also love the hint of tangy flavour. It is delicious and beckons me. I have a delicious loaf of Spelt Sourdough bread to enjoy with my meal and mop up the tasty juices. The bread will give me my two carbohydrate counts necessary to keep my body and blood sugars balanced. I have been managing two good meals most days. For this I am grateful and happy. At times I have felt hungry which also makes me happy. Hot oil splashed up into my right eye as I was searing the potatoes. I doused my eye in cold water, grateful that I can now cup my hand successfully to do this job. Hopefully, I am okay.

The other morning a black spider crawled out of the cereal box when I flipped open the lid. The spider jumped. I took it to the sink so it could go down the drain. I was grateful that the cereal bag was tightly sealed with a rubber band. This experience was surprising and a first. It did not scare me. I am glad that it wasn’t in the cereal and I did not eat or swallow it. Disaster averted. Home is bug central. I am glad that I am not afraid of creepy crawlies although I remain ever vigilant to their presence. I understand the potential dangers they bring. 

My car registration is on schedule as I now have my Pink Slip. One less important thing to consider.

These are some of the highlights of this week. Thank you for your company. As always, I hope that you leave Schrodie’s Mummy feeling a little better than when you arrived. I hope that by sharing my journey this helps you with yours in some way. Stay strong and hang in there no matter what trauma, challenges or adversity that you face. Celebrate every Joy! Celebrate every Win! No matter how small, they matter, much. I hope that my posts and pages help you in some way, interest you, make you smile or laugh. Most especially may these and your visits to Schrodie’s Mummy inspire and motivate you upon your journey. This is the only reason that I share this with you.

Do one small thing every day that makes you laugh and something to put joy in your heart and sustain you on your path. Please refer anyone who you believe will benefit from visiting us here at Schrodie’s Mummy.

Major General William Throsby Bridges sage words are included as they remind me that there is purpose to all that happens in life and our continued growth through the trials and tribulations of life are part of this purpose. This celebrated Soldier was instrumental in forging the Australian Army and creating Duntroon, the Australian Military Academy in Canberra. He was the only soldier whose body was returned to Australia from Gallipoli. I hope his words inspire and help you upon your journey.

Take care, stay happy and well.

I will continue to post on Sunday or as close to, as life allows. Pages will be added on Wednesday and Friday.

Bye for now.

Watch this space...   


Quote at https://www.overallmotivation.com/quotes/disappointment-quotes/



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