29 July 2014… playing the glad game

Anyone out there old enough to remember the story of Pollyanna may have a slight aversion to the word positivty. Me, I loved that story and I know you have heard me say “positive” many times in relation to what my family is going through at the moment. I understand this is not a word everyone dealing with cancer embraces, nor am I sure that Brendan does all the time. But it is my word and it is what I aim to have my family surrounded by. Not because I don’t have a clear understanding of what is going on, more in the hope that what I focus on the universe might multiply.  I don’t want to give you a false impression though. This is not an easy ride. Cancer has the ability to kick the sunshine and lollipops right out of you and it does. Sometimes several times a day. It can kick you where it hurts, straight up one day — and the next it sneaks up on you unexpectedly and BAM, you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck…


Bren has just wrapped up 7 days of toxicity from this first lot of chemo and it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. We have a few things to get our heads around — these are just a couple of our new normals:

  • He has to use his own bathroom. Putting it delicately he is getting rid of toxic waste that is harmful to our growing children’s health. Luckily we have an ensuite bathroom.
  • And then there are mood swings from the medication. Not that you would know because he isn’t a complainer.
  • Chemo brain [yep similar to baby brain]…I had not heard of it before the nurse mentioned it and to be honest the kids think it’s hysterical!
  • Add a lowered immune system. On Saturday Tyz reached a temp of 39.8 to go with her rattly cough and runny nose. At the moment if her dad gets anything that results in a temp higher than 38 it’s life threatening, and it’s straight to emergency at Manning Base. So if the kids or I get flu’s or viruses during treatment, or someone brings something into our home, it is an added element of scary for all of us. We are being cautious to say the least.

That’s life at the moment, our new normal …so we are taking the good with the bad, rolling with the punches and digging in.


Courageous is a word that gets thrown around mindlessly these days. I can’t help but think more people probably need to see it in action, up close and personal before it’s used willy nilly. Getting up every day and going to work — putting your life on the line to serve others, that’s courageous. So is getting up every day, putting a smile on your face and getting on with life in the face of a disease that can take that life any day. Anonymous, nameless people to most of us are doing those things quietly, with grace and determination every single day, courageously. I am glad Brendan is full of courage, and is showing the kids and I how to find our own.


Most of us are unaware that we may pass a hero in the street, at the park or even at the grocery store on a daily basis, without ever knowing it, the very luckiest of us get to sleep beside one every night.


So in the spirit of Pollyanna I will continue to play the Glad Game and stay as positive as I can, as often as I can. This week I’m glad that Bren’s first Chemo, 7 days on, has been tolerable for him. I’m also very glad that modern medicine has come a long, long way. We keep hearing that recovery from each treatment is harder as they progress. I am really glad that so far the first one hasn’t been too awful; it gives Bren a better platform from which to jump into the next one.

And that’s my glad game done for today.

Thank you Pollyanna … I love rainbows too 🙂

Cal xx

NB: this is an archived post written in 2014 transferred from a previous blogging format


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