Return of the Kat!


Hello!

I blogged on Tuesday about my WP absence and the difficult time I have been having and today I am very  happy to tell you that I am back to what passes for normal for Kittykat.

I underwent a couple of not very pleasant procedures called a hysteroscopy and a D&C a month ago. They were a long time coming, as I had deferred and rescheduled them several times due to chest infections and generally being a total scaredy-kat about the whole general anaesthetic thing. However, I got through it and came out the other side, bruised, bleeding and sore but in one piece.

Lying in bed afterwards, still groggy from the GA, the young doctor stood beside me and casually dropped the C-bomb on me. I had no idea cancer was even a possibility, so this came as quite the shock. In retrospect, the doctor really should have waited for me to be more alert and should certainly have waited until the OH had returned to be with me while she spoke to me.

I went home, having been told that my biopsy was being marked urgent, as the procedure revealed some ‘suspicious’ things, and that I would return for results about whether or not I had cancer within 4 weeks.

Way to break the news!

I spent four weeks making dreadfully dark jokes about having cancer, dying and all things morbid, (as is my way…). I think the OH deserves an award of some sort for putting up with me. I did my research online and basically resigned myself to the fact that I would be facing a hysterectomy and that was that. Pragmatic Kat.

Yesterday, I went to get my results. On the drive in we spotted a single magpie and of course I made a joke about that. We talked nonsense in between asking each other if we were ok, (we said we were but we weren’t). We touched hands and exchanged glances a lot more than was probably safe whilst driving.

When we reached the hospital I suddenly felt more tense than I had through the entire four weeks previously, suddenly tearful and anxious. Vulnerable.

My name was called and a pleasant doctor spoke the words everyone facing a cancer diagnosis wants to hear, “Your histogolgy came back good.” My chances of developing cancer over the next 20 years are less than 5%… I’ll take those odds thank you very much!

I felt, after my cryptic blog posts, that I owed y’all and explanation and, boy, am I happy to be giving this one rather than the much less happy one I had rehearsed in my head for weeks.

I confided in a few people I consider good friends on twitter, and I have to say, they were absolutely amazing in their kindness and support. I really am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. Who says twitter friends aren’t ‘real’? They say you know who your true friends are when the shit hits the fan… this was proven to me recently.

My bestie and soul sister Feli was amazing too. She was, as always, a quiet, solid source of strength for me and I am truly grateful to her for telling me I was simply not allowed to have cancer. (And for carrying on as normal in the meanwhile, discussing all the most important things in life, ie; sex and food.)

And as for the OH… where do I begin? The man was there. 100% there. He gave me space to make bad jokes, to be moody, to be silly, to get disgustingly drunk, to be whatever I needed to be. I want to publicly thank him for, as clichéd as it is, being my rock.

And so my friends, that is my news! Its good. I feel lighter than I have in months. I can breathe again!

Fret not, I will still bitch and moan about being ugly/fat/useless/depressed… I am still me after all.

But for today I am smiling.

And listen to me – If you notice anything odd happening to your body, do this…

GO TO THE DOCTOR!

Today.

Make the call now.

Don’t be a scaredy-kat.

Don’t put it off.

I spent two years, (yes, really), being silly and burying my head in the sand and I still got amazingly lucky.

Don’t be a twit like me.

oh…

And go hug someone you love!

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved

 

Coming Home


“Will you just GO?!” she giggled, pushing him away as he leaned down to kiss her one more time, “You’ll miss the train!”

“Ok, ok! There’s always another train anyway… but ok,” he smiled and lifted his bag, turning to unlock the front door. A blast of icy air hit her bare legs; she hopped and jogged on the spot.

“Fuck! Gotta scrape the windscreen,” he sighed.

“See? Now you really will be late! You should listen to your wife… she always knows best.”

“He! Yeah I got a genius one. Get your ass back up to bed, it’s cold.”

She reached up and squeezed him in a hug, “I love you, have a good day.”

He kissed her, not allowing the fact that she tried to wriggle out of his embrace because she hadn’t brushed her teeth stop him, “Love you too, gorgeous.” He locked the door behind him and she tapped on the glass; a code they’d shared forever, before hurrying back up to bury herself under the still warm duvet.

*

Her eyes heavy, sleep just starting to envelope her, she groaned at the sound of her mobile buzzing next to the bed.

 “Feeling shitty. Turning back and coming home.”

She was surprised to see only fifteen minutes had passed but she smiled at the thought of having him home for a day, even if he was feeling under the weather.

“OK, see you soon x”

She ran to brush her teeth so she could kiss him properly when he got in.

*

She heard his key in the door and pulled his baggy fleece over her cami top to keep her warm as she went down to greet him. His face was pale, eyes bloodshot; he did not look at all well. “What’s wrong love?” she asked, touching his forehead to check his temperature; his skin was still cold from the frosty air outside.

“Killer headache and I feel a bit off… think I’ll head back to bed and maybe get a later train.”

“Tea?”

His face went even more ashen and he shook his head, “No thanks, just bed. You come back with me?”

“Try to stop me!”

 

Snuggled under the duvet together, he wrapped her in his arms and kissed her again, “Love you, gorgeous. I wish I was feeling better,” he sighed, “I just wanted to come home to you.” She soon heard the low buzz of his heavy breathing, and smiling, she closed her eyes and relaxed against his chest, knowing she would not sleep again once his snoring really took hold.

*

An hour passed until her stomach prompted her to get up and make breakfast for herself, deciding to let him lie on a while longer. She watched his face, so peaceful in sleep; the deep creases that routinely marked his forehead unusually softened. He looked completely relaxed.

*

Wincing at the cold kitchen tiles under her bare feet, she regretted not wearing socks, but didn’t want to risk disturbing him again. With a smile, she watched the little robin busying himself on the patio as she waited for the kettle to boil. She noticed the garden was still under a heavy blanket of frost and ice. She shivered and wrapped his fleece tighter around her, thinking she would eat her toast under a blanket watching breakfast TV and then would check on him.

Carrying her tea and toast through to the TV room, she was irritated by a knock on the door. Not even 9.00am; too early for the postman – not wanting him being woken by more knocking, she hurried to open the door.

*

“Mrs. Johnston?”

Her vision blurred at the sight of two uniformed officers on her doorstep; a tall man and shorter, slightly portly younger woman, “Yes. I mean no. I’m… I didn’t take the name… what are you here for?”

“May we come inside?”

Irrationally, she snapped, “No! What do you want?”

The couple exchanged a slow look and seemed to come to an unspoken agreement that the young woman would speak, “Ma’am, are you married to a Mr. Tom Johnston?”

“Yes… why?”

Her mind reeled. What had he done? Was he in trouble?

Looking at the strangers at the door, and across her driveway, something in the back of her mind registered as not quite right about the scene before her.

“We are very sorry to inform you…”

She wasn’t listening.

The car. Where was his car?

“Your husband was involved in a car crash earlier this morning, at the train station junction. I’m afraid it was a fatal accident, Mrs… Um Miss…”

She slammed the door closed and whirled, taking the stairs two at a time, screaming, “Tom! Tom!”

Flinging the bedroom door open, she fell, scraping her bare knees as she skidded across carpet, taking in the thrown back duvet, wrinkled sheets and pillows; the empty bed.

She felt gentle hands on her shoulders, pulling her up. The young female officer lifted her to sit on the edge of the bed, as she murmured, “No. No, he was here. He was here…”

“I’m so sorry, Mrs… sorry, what is your name, love?”

She couldn’t speak.

Her eyes locked on the hollow indent on his vacant pillow.

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved

*at the risk of “dissecting the frog“, this story came to me a couple of weeks ago when the OH texted exactly that and came home to me rather than go to work. I was haunted by the idea – what if a ghost came home instead of him and couldn’t quiet shake the thought. I am a bit morbid that way…

Incidentally, the morning went 100% as described, (even down to the glass tapping code… yeah we do that),  although I am happy to report he is still in the land of the living!

Mam


This coming Sunday, October 9th, will be a tough day for me.

It is every year.

It is a day I dread. I know it is coming, it is as inevitable as, well, the days of the week. I cannot avoid it.

*

In 1993, I was 20 years old, at college and living away from home with the boy who would later become my husband. I was crazy in love and never wanted to leave him, never wanted to spend a weekend back at home without him.

I knew my mother missed me and would have liked me to visit more. But, hey, I was young and selfish and thoughtless. And, like all 20 year olds, I thought there was all the time in the world.

I called home one day in September, from a phone booth outside the Post Office, (back in the days when we actually used phone booths), and spoke to my mother, who told me she had been to see the doctor and was going into hospital for some tests.

The next time I called home I was told she was in Intensive Care.

One month later, on October 9th, she died. I was holding her hand when she took her last breath. The last thing she ever said to me was, “I love you, darlin’”. She was 53.

Turns out I didn’t have time.

I will never know what our relationship as two adult women would have been like.

I will always be the rebellious kid that left home without a backward glance. The girl who fought tooth and nail with her. The girl who rolled her eyes at her. The girl who loved her to bits but wasn’t able to show it. The girl who felt she never ‘got’ me, not the way she did my sister. The girl who was insanely jealous of their relationship.

At her funeral, in that final moment that we had to say goodbye, just before the undertaker closed the casket, in front of a crowded room of people, I bent down and kissed her cold cheek and the reality of it hit me. This was it. I think I had to be helped up. I’m not sure, but I think it was the boy I loved.

An old friend of hers I remembered from my childhood, (because she had a pet tortoise that fascinated me, she seemed so exotic and I loved visiting her house), came over, hugged me, looked me in the eyes and said, “She was so proud of you.” I never knew.

So, Sunday will come and I will think of her. We will talk about her and laugh at good memories. She was a very funny lady.

I will cry. And I will miss her.

I love you Mam.

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Remember Me? (a rambling post)


Yes, it’s me. I’m back. Well, for now anyway.

I have been stuck in a miserable, depressed state for so long that I can’t even put a time frame on it, and one of the side effects of that is that I haven’t been writing.

I used to have constant ideas for blog posts or stories running through my head but these days I have nothing. My imagination has dried up. My brain is empty.

I hate the effect this has on the OH. I know he hates to see me this way but feels powerless to help me. (No-one can help me. I am the only one who can help me.) I know it causes him pain to see me in this state. It feels selfish of me to continue to feel this way. Selfish and self indulgent.

I wish I could shake this off. I know I have managed to do it before, but I feel so very tired and unable to do it again.

I feel stuck. Completely and utterly stuck.

And when I feel this way, the horrible voices return.

They tell me I am useless, lazy, pointless, pathetic.

I have created my own misery by making dreadful choices, which have lead to a ridiculous amount of weight gain. Looking in the mirror, or feeling out of breath and sweaty at the slightest physical exertion, only add to my self-loathing. What a stupid woman I have been to have sabotaged myself so.

As I sit here now, I feel that I do not have the energy or drive to make the changes necessary. I simply do not know where to begin. I hate going out because I look and feel fat and lumpy. Walking makes me hot, sweaty and breathless. I could exercise at home as I used to before but I can’t even be bothered to do that.

I don’t know what to do or how to begin.

Yesterday I cried, cursing the fact that I have people who rely on me and want me to stick around. Simply ‘opting out’ felt like such an easier choice than facing another day feeling this way. But I do have people, (well, the OH and the dogs), who would miss me and I love them way too much to cause them any further hurt.

So here I am; staying here, facing another day of feeling like the world’s biggest loser.

If I was a believer I would pray for strength or inspiration to turn my life around, but hey, god is a fiction and there is no magic spell to fix me.

As I said before, only I can fix me.

Now if only I knew how to…

 

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

 

A Note on Turning Point


Warning! This post contains a very large and potentially nauseating dose of positivity and hope… proceed with caution!

I wrote and shared my post Turning Point yesterday with more than a little trepidation.

My fear was that people would think I was exaggerating, making it all up, or just plain crazy.

To say I have been blown away by the support and kindness shown to me in response to the post, both on here and twitter, is an understatement. I want to say a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who commented and affirmed that I had handled the situation well and with strength and courage.

*

Last night I had perhaps two hours of broken sleep at best and was very tired this morning. I was tempted to stay home, but instead I left the bed at 7.30, ate a good breakfast, chatted to friends and got ready to go out.

I walked into town, enjoying the breeze on my skin.

I managed to get the bones of a new piece of flash fiction formed in my head, as well as a few ideas for a card I want to make for the OH and my anniversary later this month. I smiled at a gorgeous Labrador who was carrying today’s edition of The Daily Mirror in his mouth for his owner. I treated myself to some new pens for crafting and colouring. I popped into the doctor’s office to change my prescription for a new antibiotic, (the one I was on was ripping my tummy apart Aliens-style). I bought some salad and fresh bread and, as I walked home, I inhaled the fresh green scent of the hedges on the side of my road being trimmed by a tractor, (which surprisingly did not trigger my hay fever). As I walked up my driveway I caught sight of the two little fluffy white heads of my furry daughters perched looking eagerly out the lounge window and it made me laugh. They really do resemble two little ghosts.

I came, drank some ice-cold water, cuddled them and decided to write this.

All very mundane and not making for riveting reading, but you know what?

I feel good!

I am not thinking about my body, my size, my appearance, how much I don’t measure up.

I enjoyed the very tiny, simple things that we all to often miss. I used my imagination. I smiled at people. I enjoyed the physicality of walking and carrying home groceries.

I am so very ready to feel different.

I deserve to feel better.

I deserve to feel happy.

I deserve to take care of myself and treat myself with care.

I deserve to remind myself that I am a kind, caring, smart, funny, good and strong person.

I am more than my appearance.

I am more than my past experiences and traumas.

I am more than the mistakes I have made.

I know there will be dips but if determination alone can get me to where I want and need to be then I am feeling hopeful.

If you see me slipping remind me ok?

FullSizeRender

And once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all.

💓💓💓

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

The Gift Of Lily


On April 15th 2011 something happened that made the world a better place.

Lily, the Bichon, (AKA The Love Of My Life), was born.

I would not meet her for another 18 months, but when I did it changed everything.

I decided early in life that I would never be a mother. It scared me. I assumed I’d be crap at it. I didn’t want the responsibility.

I regret this decision now, but for several reasons I feel that chance has passed for me… a topic for another day maybe.

Approaching my 40th birthday, I began to long for a dog, (must’ve been the old biological clock right?). I spent many hours online looking at dogs for adoption or sale.

One Sunday morning I saw a picture of a little Bichon Frise for sale, and for some reason, I simply could not stop returning to her ad over and over again. No other dog could compare to her. Her name was Coco, she was 18 months old and it said her family were regretfully searching for a new home for her.

I showed the OH and he said he would make the call. I paced… and paced… and paced…

Suddenly overwhelmed with self doubt I asked him not to call. I couldn’t do it. I’d be a crap doggy-mom, it was too much. Then I started to cry.

The OH knew I did really want this little dog and talked me around, made the call and it was arranged that we would meet Coco the next day and see if we were a match. I then waited through the longest 24 hours of my life.

The morning came and we drove about an hour away to meet Coco. As we parked outside the house, panic took hold and I entered my very unattractive high anxiety state where I make utterly no sense and become completely negative and irrational. I was convinced the entire endeavour was a huge mistake and begged the OH to just drive away. He tried to reason with me and eventually lost his temper and told me firmly this was my last chance to have this dog…

We rang the doorbell and a remarkably thin, glamorous, blonde woman opened the door, and in her arms was my new love… Coco.

(I had an incredibly long history of how she settled in, how our suspicions about her suffering neglect and abuse in that first home grew to a certainty, and about how she became Lily, the happy, settled, pampered pooch she is today, but that is not the point of this post…)

The point of this post is this:

The OH did not just give me the gift of a dog for my 40th birthday. He gave me my best friend, my little confidant, my clown, my comforter.

He gave me the most precious gift of all… I discovered I am a natural mother; I have so much more love inside me than I ever thought possible. He also gave me a sense of confidence that yes, I could not only keep a creature alive, but I could nurture her and help her overcome past trauma to thrive into becoming the wonderful little dog she is today.

He gave me the gift of self belief. Of feeling capable.

Lily’s birthday fell on Friday when the OH was at work, yesterday she spent the day at the groomers, so that is why we are celebrating her fifth birthday today, with a roast chicken breast, complete with candles and singing.

I frequently moan about my many failings and things I despise about myself but this I know… Lily loves me and I would do anything, anything to keep her safe and happy.

Turns out I am a good doggy-mom!

FullSizeRender

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Gratitude


I am aware that my blogs appeal to quite different audiences, but I cannot decide where today’s entry should live… so I am posting it to both blogs.


The OH left for work this morning very tired and not in the best of health. But he went in to his office with a smile and hugs and kisses for the girls and myself.

His job is incredibly demanding and very, very stressful, (hence the recurrent bad health). He works with people who, and I am being generous when I say this, are less than cooperative and pleasant to be around. He works tirelessly every day, with very little recognition or support, and comes home to us three loony girls and whatever chaos is waiting for him here.

He is never too busy for us. His motto in life is, and has been since the day I met him, “there is always time for a hug”. I know, without doubt, that I am his top priority. I can call on him anytime for anything and he will deliver. Yes, I scold him for spending too much time playing games on his phone, but when the shit hits the fan he is there. Always.

I truly think I got the better end of the deal in this relationship. I have no idea how he puts up with me. He endures my endless chatter, my anxieties, my depressive dark thoughts, my hormonal moods. He laughs with me when I am silly and playful, he joins in singing in the car, he dances with me in the kitchen. He is generous, with his time and with material things. He is kind, funny and, (*although he does get it wrong sometimes), he always does his best.

I never feel I do enough to support him or show him how much he means to me. I do my best to make sure he comes home to a loving and happy home. When we hear him come in through the door every evening the girls and I literally run to greet him and I love to see how happy that makes him.

I take care of all the domestic tasks so that once he gets home he can relax and unwind, (ok, ok, he does take care of the bins!). I listen when he has a gripe or dilemma about work and try to help him work it out. I take great pride and pleasure in cooking his meals, making sure his shirts are washed and ironed, making good healthy lunches for him to take into work. It feels the very least I can do.

And yet I do not think I do enough. How can I?

As well as working so hard to keep us fed, watered and sheltered, he relieves me of the burden of things I find too stressful to deal with. He takes care of all the nasty financial jobs such as finding the best deals in insurance, utilities and general admin. I take an incredibly ‘ostrich with her head in the sand’ approach to such matters. I can hear my feminist sisters screaming at me now that I need to be more in control of these things. I know that if anything happened to him I would be very vulnerable and quite helpless. He is the grown up and I am the silly kid.

I felt the need to write this today to let him know that each and every little thing he does for me and our family is appreciated. I wanted to tell him, very publicly, how much I love him and how grateful I am to have met him all those years ago.

For the record, (and before you all throw up as a result of my sentimentality today), we have not always been happy. We had some very difficult times, and there were even points where we weren’t sure we would make it. But at the end of the day, neither of us could imagine life without our best friend.

I believe in soul mates… why? Because I met mine 25 years ago.

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

*randomly pointing out that Lily has a shorter life expectancy than me, causing me to tear up was not your best moment babe…