Clusterfluff the Brain Tumour

November 2017. 

I was excitedly preparing to launch my debut novel Oleanders are Poisonous, when life decided to throw me a curve ball.

This is a journal blog of my transition from vulnerability to recovery.

Meningioma MRI Scan

1 Ice cream in my head

This year, for my birthday, the universe gave me an unusual present. Yup, kind of unique as presents go. Not the type of gift I’d normally (well, ever) choose for myself, but as brain tumours roll, it’s the best brand available: Meningioma. While I’m digesting this news, I’m hanging on to the knowledge that this big fat gift has three big positives: it’s got a return policy at the best neurosurgery centre in Australia, Monash; ...
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2 Not a nutter yet

Today Chris and I met with the neurosurgery department. Not too encouraging to arrive and find they weren't expecting me at admin. But one look at my referral and they said, ah yeah, don't worry, we'll make sure we fit you in. Apparently big Clusterfluffs bring benefits. Only had to wait an hour. Goodo. And my case will be handled by the head of the neurosurgery department. That's service for you. The session went seamlessly ...
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Annie's hair cut

3 Hairy stuff and dragons

Today I got new hair and my very own fabulous poem from my clever bro-in-law Peter Collins. The anti-seizure drugs are kicking in and making me drowsy but I managed to fight through to get my mailer subscriber list happening. New Hair: My gorgeous friend and hairdresser of many, many years, Lucia Motta Miko, came over to my house and gave me a cute short cut, to pave the way for the big shave. I ...
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bunny

4 Bunnies and brownies

I want you to know I’m not scared, and I don’t want you to be scared for me. It’s surreal, yes, but on the whole, I’m balanced, calm, positive. I’m also getting out of doing step classes because of my current fuzziness. Do I need an excuse? Nah. Bunnies are cute. Enough said. Ooh! I just found out that my #8WordStory was selected by Queensland Writers Centre to be a part of their billboard campaign ...
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sausage_dog

5 Sausage dogs and teletubbies

We have lift off. Woot! My “W. Stealth Guided Craniotomy” will be on Tuesday 5 December, 2017. Tuesdays rock! I was born on a Tuesday. Hopefully, I won’t die on one. Mwah ha ha. Do I sound a little manic? I am! Said auspicious occasion will take place at Monash Neurology, Clayton. Op will be performed by the head of neurology, Mr Andrew Danks. Be gentle with me, Andy, it’s my first time. Once Clusterfluff ...
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Black cat tattoos

6 Weird and wonderful things

So, about the anti-seizure meds: they are reputed to sometimes cause hallucinations. Hmmm did this stuff really happen? BTW: no spider pics appear here – some of my mates have phobias – but there’s spidey talk, so just preparing you.  Jo B. some of this may be your doing. Interesting fact: The arachnoid (as opposed to an arachnid) is the fine, delicate membrane - the middle one of the three membranes, or meninges, that surround the brain ...
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Cheesecake

7 Drama queens and pigeons

Okay, I admit it. I'm human. Today I was a drama queen. We (Chris and I) attended my pre-op clinic appointment at Monash. We were told to allow 3-4 hours. It took 2.5 hrs. Pretty good, huh? But … I’ve lost a little faith in the admin system. I hand over my referral letter. The admin woman reads it, checks her list for today. Nope. They're not expecting me. Not today. I tell her I've ...
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Odette the Ostrich

8 The equaliser

Before I get into the nitty gritty stuff, I want to share this: I have some strange and hilariously wonderful friends. Meet Odette the Ostrich. Thank you Annie and Wendy. This poor birdy looks like I feel his morning – we both could have done with a sleep in. I suspect, also like me, she prefers to keep her head buried in the sand. I might take her for an MRI too. This week's Rub Chris ...
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9 Pre-op quickie

It’s been a funny week with lots of black humour about last coffees, last cheesecakes, last gigs, last Walking Dead episodes. Some friends have found this hilarious, others horrifying. Laugh, damn you! Nine o’clock tonight I’ll be having a final MRI with GPS tracking dots – I’m going to ask if I can have some of these thingies to track down our cat, who likes to go bossing about the neighbourhood. Then I report for ...
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10 I’m still here

Remember how I was joking about having ‘lasts’ last week? Well, I’m one hugely lucky girl (and I don’t mean my new George Foreman-style swollen face). The initial surgery went well but was longer than expected. I hit the surgery table at 7.30 am and got to recovery 11.30 am, waking up around 1.30 pm. And again to Chris’s face around 2pm. He told me he’d read the ‘just in case’ letter I’d left at ...
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