18 October 2012


Honestly I say this blog is about being honest. But sometimes it's really not.

While I am busy posting pretty baking pictures and photographing the lovely sparkling blue eyes of my delightful offspring there are many layers underneath this slightly-above-her-average-weight, blue eyed freckle faced and very disorganised woman. I've been told on good authority that procrastination is a Farrell family gene (Farrell is my maiden name).

Layers of fear, striving to achieve and wanting acceptance that sometimes puts me off my balance. Sometimes I don't write things for fear of upsetting people. Namely my mum and dad who read this blog. They are the last people in the world I hate to upset and disappoint. 

My relationship with my parents is close. Really close.
Same goes for my brothers.
We are a good unit. My little brother was my best friend growing up.
My older brother was later on one of my best friends (the 18 month age gap was a bit too close for us when we were teenagers).

But back to my parents.

When I was 14 my mum decided to go back to school. She wanted to live her dream she had always had of being a nurse. Except she ended up dedicating her life and her dreams for 3 little dreams instead. And she did a terrific job of raising my brothers and I, she was fun and adventurous and beautiful. She still is.
She achieved her dream after a few years of regaling nasty medical stories, often at the dinner table while we struggled to keep our food down. Mum was never shy of saying the word penis.
When she graduated she went with her heart and ended up in the oncology department at Auckland Hospital and found her place in the world of nursing. She is an amazing nurse. So passionate, so caring and loving and so knowledgeable. She even has her Masters. 

My dad has always been a gentle man. 
Perhaps a little bit OCD at times. He washes wine glasses like a boss.
Like I said on this post he's always been there for me and my brothers. Very protective and very involved and we couldn't have asked for a better dad. There are so many reasons why but I guess I've just always been his little girl and I always knew he would do anything for me if it came to it. 

Which brings me to my point. I do have a point somewhere in here.

The day I was diagnosed with cancer. 
Well that was a hard day. It still brings me to tears to recall it.
After thinking "I'm gonna die" my next thought was "how do I tell mum and dad?"
Owen and I got through the appointment - it was a massive blur really. I just kept crying.
When we got in the car and headed further towards home, where mum and dad were waiting for us the dread kept growing. Why does my mum have to experience this first hand? She KNOWS this stuff. Too well. As we walked into the house solemn and puffy eyed and worried beyond all heck I think they knew. But I still had to say the words. 

Mum its cancer.

I don't ever remember looking at their faces. 
It was just too hard.

As recent as the last few weeks, in fact the last week before school finished last term I had a freak out moment that I decided to keep to myself. I found a lump in my remaining breast that felt vaguely similar to the lump I found 2 1/2 years ago that spun our lives from kinda normal to upside-down.
So what did I do? Well first I panicked, then I rang my research nurse at Auckland. Then I rang my GP and booked an appointment. STAT. 

I may have thought about my funeral plan. Again. It's really hard choosing the music.

Within the week I was in a clinic having an ultrasound which praise be to God was completely clear. No sign of anything. I skipped out of there as light as a feather. It was a cyst, not what I usually experience but it must have come on with an early and heavy period (*sorry dad...TMI? That means Too Much Information)

But you know what I didn't do? I didn't ring my mum. The thought of putting her through the sleepless nights and worry again was too much to bear. Especially if it was unknown still. We had already been through enough. I didn't want to raise the alarm unless it was really happening. 
But it just hasn't felt right not being able to blog this by wanting to keep it from people I love. I really want to write honestly. Not always about lovely cakes and children and frolicking in orchards. That's all very nice and magical but really being REAL is important to me. I WANT to be able to include it.

So there's my confessional. 
You may think it's nothing but I've prided myself on the fact I have a friendship with my mum and I kept something from her that she would want to know about. Geez, if it were my daughter I'd want to know too. 
Mum and Dad...I love you. 
I'm always thinking about you and its sometimes not easy being further away hey?

Like I said. There are many layers. Many many layers.

(and hey, it all ended up okay afterall right?)


Leonie said...

Oh Mon, I am so relieved for you! How stressful it must have been for you and your hubby these past few weeks.

My Mum went back and did her nursing when I was about 14/15 as well!! snap!

I too am very close to my Mum and Dad and can relate to what you say. I keep some things because I know she will worry and she has enough stuff to worry about.

But I wish we were closer to her because sometimes its just the little things I want to share with her.

Take care my friend

Gail said...

Wonderful post Mon. I'm so thankful it was a cyst. I'm so thankful too that during that time, you did (and still do) have a loving, amazing family environment to take some refuge in.

We've all got the layers. Bit like Shrek and his onion layers.

jacksta said...

What a cool relationship to have with your parents.
I must admit I only give my mum the highlights and only tell her the really important stuff to save her from unnecessary worry.

I admire that you have written honestly about your journey from day 1. MANY people could not do it. It helps heaps of people who read and journey along with you.

Jaz from Treacy Family said...

Oh Mon!
I can feel a massive mix of emotions as I read this. And the music for your own funeral is bloody hard I agree. My mind goes there when I have a scare.

Take care of you. I'm glad you can share. I'm glad you're ok. I'm glad you're honest. We all respect you for it. xxxx

PaisleyJade said...


Catherine and clan (aka catnz) said...

Oh Monica, what a scary time for you and hubby. The thought of going through all of that again is made harder a second time round because we now know what 'all that' may entail. Thank goodness it all turned out okay.

I'm waiting on a bone scan to try and rule out causes for the back pain I'm having - I don't want it on one hand but do on the other! The reality of our lives post-cancer is that we can never rule anything out, we have lost that innocence where our health is concerned.

It has been through this last year when I have missed my Mum the most.

Take care, Cath

Simoney said...

Wow Mon, what a post.
So glad for you it was only a cyst.
that's what i love about you - not just the delicious looking cakes and sparkly eyed children... but that honesty mixed in with hope.
love you

Sammy said...

So thankful it was just a cyst! And what a crazy roller coaster. I think your reaction makes perfect sense.

Love your honestly and thank you for sharing xx

Miriam said...

I love this post - and I think it reflects an important dynamic in our loves when we start to protect our parents more than we lean on them. I totally get that - maybe I'm just the same in my relationship with mine. So glad it turned out to be nothing - that is the best news ever. (and just quietly I sometimes think about the music for my funeral and I've never had a health scare - does that just make me morbid???)