Liz's colonic journey

The Right Thing

Since Thursday I’ve been tired and had that vague sort of post-chemo nausea which I guess comes from using up my rations of steroids.  Sigh. And N’s news is still haunting me.

It was probably a mistake to dispatch Pat for Steers burgers and chips for dinner tonight, but I’d spent the afternoon watching the cricket and the rain pouring down some more, whilst nibbling sunflower and melon seeds and raisins to stop me chain smoking. This led me to thinking about what I would really like to eat, and it wasn’t vegetables or fruit! (My sister, Sam’s worried that I’m not eating real food.) Well it was veggies in the sense of mash ‘n gravy and veggies in white sauces and so forth, accompanied by something meaty. The grey weather isn’t conducive to feeling active and when one is already feeling flat it doesn’t take much to disappear into a slough of depression (How’s that for a phrase?). I really think 5 days solid is over the top and that someone else might need some now. My interpretation was that I needed some iron, but it was really about comfort food. I enjoyed dinner but it’s now fighting with me – I guess they really mean it when they say stay away from deep fried foods and red meat.

My mum was so worried about Thursday’s blog that she called yesterday morning to find out how I was doing and whether I was still feeling bleak. Also whether I was going loopy. I think I kind of was. It felt like it would be really easy to just give up. We had a laugh though, about  the fact that my Skype page still says that I’m off to have a nap (sorry guys I just get overwhelmed!), exhausting medical appointments and how heavy the doors to medical places are. I felt silly for grumbling. She’s been managing diabetes and osteoparosis and horrible back pain for years now – and yet she still keeps her sense of the ridiculous. Luckily she lives in Australia!

I dashed out this morning, after eggs and toast ‘soldiers’, to get Pepper and Rocky’s fancy Hill’s Joint Support low-cal doggy chunks, and some chewies to stave off their boredom at being inside most of the time. I also stopped by MacPharmacy to get some more painkillers, where Godfrey, the pharmacist, was incredibly caring asking how I am – so nice to have a pharmacist that knows who you are and what’s going on. (He called me last week to find out!) I haven’t needed any painkillers, but I figure I should have them on hand in case something strikes in the middle of the night. The Treatment Centre gave me a prescription for 100 (hopefully they’re not trying to tell me something!) but Godfrey would only let me have 20.

10kgs of dog chunks are 10kgs plus 2kgs of chewies – I was exhausted getting it into the house and conked on the couch for half an hour. When I say conked, I mean out for the count snoring. I woke feeling great and did the juicing thing. I can report that today’s juice: Pineapple, Apple and Carrot was delicious – even Pat said so.

Then we had the fabulous S&M team (Shirley and Mary!) arrive for a visit, with chocolate for Pat and a lovely cheery bouquet of orange roses. I’ve always been an ‘au naturel’ type of flower arrange (translated means stick them in a jam jar and let them be beautiful!) but I find myself quite enjoying thinking about placement and length of stem and container. Pat’s mum would be so proud of me – she did Ikebana and always talked about directing and distracting the eye and disguising the rims of the containers. It was such a lovely visit – talking about adventures walking – the Gaterite 50km that Mary and I finished leaning on each other, and the Soweto half-marathon that Shirley, Sharon and I did – here are pics of us at the shebeen afterwards.


 Too many stories to write here but maybe the walking crew from the old RWFL Pinetown branch (now merged with Westville into the new and Super Cowies Hill branch) can add their stories in the comment section! I never dreamed that when I joined RWFL (to encourage Pat!) that we’d meet such amazing people and share such great memories.  As I said to S&M this blog has kind of taken over from walking as a way of letting out what’s on my mind. It was nice to hear from them how everyone is getting on. I will definitely be at the side of the road cheering on the crew doing the PDAC next year.

I’m starting to think in Blog now – translated this means… Oh that’s interesting, I wonder what that means, that’s quite fun, does this warrant sharing? And these all seem to weave together into what I hope is a theme. Today’s idea of the Right Thing, is my way of thinking about how often we try to norm-reference ourselves. Like what is normal in any of these chronic diseases in any of our lives? How can we possibly try to “fight it” and what does ‘fighting’ look like?

Dee, you were right, natural yoghurt definitely helps the burps and will save Pat the price of a pair of holsters. Thank you. I don’t know if I’ll actually start growing my own – it brings up memories of Horace (my mum’s yoghurt plant) escaping over the stove because we couldn’t eat the yoghurt fast enough!

I had fun getting out of the bath yesterday and just feeling a lovely fluffy white towel under my toes. I spent five minutes chortling about the sensation. Dunno how normal that is!

On other weird things and side-effects – my nails are growing like an overenthusiastic yoghurt plant. I don’t know if this is normal, but as a strictly every 10 day nail filer, having to pay attention every second day is quite a demand.

So what is the Right Thing? Can anyone do a postgraduate degree or an article or a marathon or a menu or chronic treatment in an ‘acceptable way’ or is the secret really to do it one’s very own unique way? Quietly or noisily, publically or privately, healthily or unhealthily.

I love that so many of you have said how much you are enjoying my blog. I’m honoured that you are reading along and that you find inspiration and some laughs in my ramblings. I’m loving your comments and for the quiet ones, I love that you want to read it.


Comments on: "The Right Thing" (7)

  1. Your blog is wonderfully addictive Liz and thank you for sharing your journey with us. I have to add my bit to your reminiscing of the Soweto half marathon. What a special weekend that was for all of us and one of the highlights of our races. It was an exceptionally hot day with the temperature reaching 33 degrees … what kept us going was that drink at the Shebeen in Vilikazi Street afterwards. Many more memories: on our way to register for the race we got lost due to all the road works and you directed us out – you were better than the Garmin we had, some of us swimming after our training walk (you being labeled by ‘you know who’ because you didn’t get into the pool), during the training walk Shirley was almost run over … the car skimmed her body – we were all so shocked, Beauty and the Beast at Monte Casino, you spending wonderful, quality time with your Dad, Shirley thinking he was sooooo cute – gosh she is hard to control!

    There are so many memories of training walks, races and comraderie that come to mind! I could go on and on so thank you for reminding us of that lovely weekend.

    • Darn my iPad, I replied from the TC but it didn’t ‘stick’. So I’ll try and remember what I wrote. Yes many kilometres and pairs of takkies and worth every cent for the memories walking smiley
      and the incentive to get back!
      Remember Shirley changing her bra on the 5 lane Soweto highway amidst busses, donkey carts, massive mercedes and pantechnicon trucks? Priceless!

  2. Dear Liz, I think that it is healthy for one to dwell on what’s happening and feel a bit down. Give yourself permission to do that BUT don’t dwell too long-that will lead to depression. I know that you are speaking to lots of friends and loved ones about what is happening but I also think that it would be wise to speak to a professional because sometimes we don’t like to speak about what is really happening on the inside because we want to be strong for others.
    I did reply via my cellphone to the previous blog but it disappeared 😦
    Our battles are fought in our minds and your positive outlook means that you are overcoming these battles daily.
    Thank you for your blog -everything that you write is significant and I love reading them.
    I started my healthy eating plan -so I’m looking forward to a better looking and feeling me:)

    May the joy, peace and love of the Lord be your portion.
    Lots of love- Rosaline

  3. There are things I wonder about as well ! frinstance are your juices in any way scientific – as in all roots together ? or colour coded ? or shape coded ? Just a thought . Not being a juicer myself! Maybe if you added oats to the juice it may keep you fuller for longer – not the same as a burger I do get that – and sometimes the craving is a lack of protein .Not that oats would help with that but you know how my mind works/ sporadically !
    As to the right thing -what ever your body tells you. You are doing so well and your blog is addictive .

  4. hey liz…i fall in that silent bunch…but kno that i am reading and following and send u much love & good wishes. Sori to hear abt N.
    Norm? go wid the heart, i’d say, & do watever our own unique way…yes, we’ll get rapped for not following the tribe…but at least we doing wat matters (to us & wat we believe in) & that really counts 🙂

  5. Joan Conolly said:

    Dear Liz, as i read your blog, i feel its – your – energy rise as you write, and mine along with yours! Amazing stuff – talking to someone – in whatever way.Even to oneself (one’s other self?) i feel the connectedness of us all. I love reading your blog. It makes up a little bit for you not being on the First Floor every day. For instance on Friday, now that we know about oxytocin and its benefits, we ensure that we work hard at the daily quota of hugs. It is 8!!! So witness the MPR research group all hugging on arrival and on departure as Serious Research on Oxytocin Levels! So, ‘what’s normal?’ That question takes me back to the exasperation i felt in Psych Something – or was it Research Methods 1 – where the ‘norm’ was demonstrated as ‘the numba-in-the-middle’ — i think — the effect of which was that i consciously jettisoned the notion of ‘normal’ and got on with life. You are so right to remind us that some people live whole lives ‘quite normally’ in ways that others of us would consider horrific. And you remind us that yesterday’s ‘normal’ can so quickly change into the new normal of today. I forgot to say ‘Thank You’ for the Wonderful Eyestretching Sized Grapefruit! I put a QUARTER OF ONE in the juicer yesterday morning and it gave me 300 ml of juice, which tasted wonderful!! I have been ferreting out my Crank’s Recipe Books, and the Whole Food Eating Manual. I shall bring them round. Have you tried the carrot, beetroot, apple and ginger yet? I send a hug every waking hour to you and Pat and Pepper and Rocky! Joan

  6. Hi Liz,

    Sorry about the horrible feeling of the side effects, I hope they pass soon. I know what you mean about thinking in blog, it is very addictive. I like your thinking about ‘norm’ and doing things in an “acceptable’ way or not. I most certainly think that the acceptable way is often done to maintain peace and ensure a smooth transition with admin and powers that be. But I am not sure of the impact it has on anything if everyone else is following suit. How do you see the value of a grain of sand on the beach? It is not until you get home and bring it into a foreign environment that you notice more than it’s presence, you notice it’s existence. But what if the acceptable way was to do things in your own unique way? What would this mean?
    I envy the juice you made today, I need to get myself a juicer too and I will plagiarize all your recipes ( well the one you were happy about) if you don’t mind.
    Well I wish you a restful rest of your weekend, my love to Pat, Pepper and Rocky
    lots of love and hugs

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