Lymphoma, Stage Four

Today,  I am sitting on the hardwood  floor, in our lounge room. My body feels pretty normal. My neck aches a little,  my tummy is full of dinner, my mouth tastes nicely, of the drink I just gulped. I am weary from a day of work, and the transition of coming home to my beautiful, energetic, noisy children. Benjamin is cycling home in the darkness. I am always happier when everyone is safely home. My biggest fear is one of my loved ones dying.

Oh,  and I have lymphoma, stage four. What does this  even  mean? I'm just me. Mortal, but that is in  the one-day-far-away category, isn't  it? The doctor, bizarrely, told me there are a lot of little lymphomae, tripping around  my lymph system, like jiggling jelly-fish in a warm sea. Some of them have twisted all together, left of my belly-button, and I can feel them. An 8cm x 5cm mobile mass, says the computerised tomography report. I can feel lumps in my neck and groin, and  can  imagine these funny little lymphomae, dancing around w…
Hello! It's been a while since I have posted...
And I cannot control this process!
"It" chose this photograph, of lovely Benjamin and me, which is good, since I suppose it could have chosen anything at all?
Benjamin finished the Melbourne marathon. I am very proud of him!!!!!
Ptolemy is purring, snuggled on my lap, Eowyn and Coco and Bens are cosy in bed, and I am feeling thankful for them all. Poor Freya has an awful sore all around her neck, where somebody put a rubberband. It is summer, though very chilly, but I don't mind. I had a sense of feeling connected to eternity, outside time, Jesus being such a strong rock. I had been feeling very afraid for Coco's future well-being, which happens to me sometimes. Anxiety is rather unpleasant. I think I'd much rather not experience it. Imagine that!


...I've finished walking in her shoes.

Yet, as a wealthy Westerner, can I EVER really walk in her shoes? I had 3 days off over the last 7 days. On one of them, my ten thousand steps involved ambling southwards with Benjamin along the Withywindle in the morning, and northwards with Bens, Eowyn, Coco, Mateja and Maia in the afternoon. On another of my days off, I wandered through the forest to Seren and Jonathan's, and then walked with them at a leisurely pace. Yesterday, I walked along lovely trails and through Princes' Park to a tranquil Taize meditation on Jesus' death and resurrection. My line in the liturgy was 'Can we enter with Jesus into his pain? Can we enter with others into their pain? Can I embrace my own pain?'

I remember my first day in Kirema, Uganda, Mrs Sewagoma dancing along the path, smiling and talking with me and laughing. It all seemed so amazing, this new place, the lush, green tropical beauty. I tried to imagine what it must be like to b…

Last Day of Walking Everywhere!

Hello! It's the last day of my tricky little scheme! I had planned to walk this morning to church, however was running late, so biked with my lovely little family down the Withywindle. It is a rainy Sunday afternoon, the kind where snuggling in bed or on the couch or in the bath with a good book is a heavenly activity to undertake. that's what the rest of my little family are doing! The icecream truck has just been, Bens has a loaf of bread baking, & Coco is working out how to manufacture her very own crisps! I, on the other hand, am obliged to fulfill my commitment to walking ten thousand steps a day. So I am going out for a walk. In the rain. For a very long time.


Oops, I've been forgetting to blog. I haven't been forgetting to walk, although I must confess to doing so somewhat begrudgingly! There was a message today from Care, the people who are organising this endeavour, saying that we (you, my team, and me!) have raised enough money to provide a well for a village, and to teach them how to maintain it, and provide the tools. This gave me shivers. Real people in the real world are going to have water, because of our partnership!!!!

This morning I walked rather than ran. It was cold and windy, and dark when my alarm clock went off, today being the autumnal equinox here in the southern hemisphere. As I walked, I thought about Mrs Cate Sewagoma in Uganda. Her husband had been tortured to death, in her presence, during the terrifying era when Milton Obote was in leadership. She lives in the village of Kirema, caring for 5 orphans, whose parents were killed during the civil war. Her hut is very brown, and had no roof, as the rains had was…

Day 2, Searching for Water, On Foot

I'm really not sure what this project is officially called, so I shall rename it each day - I like naming!

This morning Coco was sick, with a sore tummy. As I made her toast with vegemite, and peppermint tea, I thought to myself "This is more like the lives of my African sisters." Coco's face looking up at me was so trusting and loving. She didn't want me to leave, and we did meerkat kisses and horse kisses and dinosaur kisses. Eowyn and Benjamin are also unwell, however, not being morning people, their farewells were somewhat sleepy!

As I ran out into the sunny, cool morning, I realised, with a little shame, that when an impoverished woman's child is sick, it often means they will soon die. I remember, conducting the antenatal clinic at Kirema in Uganda, almost every woman who came to me, pregnant, had lost at least one child. "On the first day, she cried all the time, and was hot. On the second day, she was quiet. On the third third day, she died,&quo…