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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Funny funny ha ha

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True to Triv form, I’ve tried not to take this cancer caper too srsly.

Obviously, this becomes easier the further away one moves from that initial neutron bomb of the diagnosis. And easier still with news such as “it’s early”, “it’s small”, “it’s not aggressive”, and “you have two trauma insurance policies”.

But here’s the thing: I’m allowed to make jokes about it. You’re not.

(Apparently cancer not only makes you rich and thin, but also a bit of a tetchy b*tch.)

Case in point…a few weeks ago I met B for a drink. I said, “I really feel like a raspberry cocktail but there’s not one on the menu. I think I’ll tell the bartender I have cancer and maybe he’ll make me one!”  We laughed like drains! How funny was the chick with cancer?! How deeply well-adjusted am I that I can get my tumour and pink drinks into the same gag?!?

When it came time to pay the bill, we marvelled at what an ouchy sum all those pink drinks added up to, and B snorted and said, “Ask for a discount — you’ve got cancer!”

I found this alarmingly unfunny, and shot a stink-eye at her back.

game 1

Recently Damer took me to a major mansports grand final (yes, you read that right) as her and her rock star hubby’s guest. I had to pretend to be her “sister from another mister” to placate the grouchy tour manager, who’d been expecting her to bring her 12-year-old son. As Grouchy tried to usher us out of the very well equipped corporate box at the end of the night, he hollered, “Come on — on the bus! Damer! Damer’s fake sister!” As it was the end of the night, I decided to fess up to the fact that, indeed, the almost six-feet-tall, blonde goddess-like Kiwi Damer and I were unrelated by blood.

“Yeah, well I guessed that!” he said. “Suppose you’re also gonna try and tell me you’re not dying of cancer!”

“Um, actually, I’m not dying, but I do have cancer,” I said, suddenly finding the whole convo distinctly unamusing.

“Yeah, right! Ha!”

As we were driven home in the bongo van through the dying nighttime embers of Parramatta Road, all I could think about was tumours. Lesions and nasty cells. And chemo, and people looking at a hairless me with pity in their eyes.

I got over it. I’ve come to realise that, as Brunnie said, “people will take their lead from you.” So the best way to be is upbeat, which is how I feel 99 per cent of the time.

And the most recent good news is that me and my glorious hairs will stay together: no chemo coming my way.

But what that also means is no short-cut to skinny. And that, my friends, is no laughing matter.*


Cancer makes you rich and thin

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pic 2

Oh, and young.

I was back with Dr Rippy, bandaged, bruised boobs encased in a super-sexy post-surgery bra. It’s all glamour, this cancer caper.

“It hasn’t spread to your lymph nodes,” Dr Rippy says.  Phew, I think.

“In the next week or so the multidisciplinary team will meet to look through your results and decide on next steps.”

Oh. “So chemotherapy’s still a possibilty?” I ask.

“Yes. They may err on the side of giving it to you because you’re young and we want you to live for a long time.”

(Random, incongruous thought #243: when you get cancer at 44 38, people tell you all the time how young you are. It’s awesome.)

Thus begins the process of picturing yourself without hair. And eyebrows. And vomiting, and peeing poison. Not fun. Not glamorous.

But take my hand, kind reader, and step gingerly by my side into the dark, twisted neighbourhoods of the Triv psyche. Grab a helmet, head torch and hi-vis vest, and turn your gaze to a chemo future. Do you see what I see? Do you see someone…thin?

Regular readers have patiently followed the Triv travails from Dr Liu, to Vision personal training, to firm-but-fair Arlene in Rose Bay via hangry flirtations with 5:2. In short, for the past few years, I’ve been an ad for fad.

Chemo could prove not only to be my ticket out of a cancery future, but also an antidote to long cardis and nightie-style, waistless silky frocks. Goodbye Nancy Ganz, hello cheekbones!

As I pondered how I’d adjust to feeling my hipbones for the first time since I was 12, I thought about what I’d clad my new, svelte self in. That would take money, serious coin.

Enter…trauma insurance.

Never heard of it? Not many have. But it’s like betting against your health, and it’s the one time in life it literally pays to be a pessimist.

After my visit to the private, quiet clinic, I was, predictably, overwhelmed and emotional. Until I remembered the trauma policy I’d taken out with my employer some time ago. I called and got the forms. A tidy sum coming my way just for having cancer, yay!

That night, though, lying in bed, I couldn’t shake the feeling I’d forgotten something, that there was more. And there was: another trauma policy!

See, after all of Seriousimo’s health woes, I’d insured myself to the hilt. Happy days! How much, you ask? Enough to make a dent in the Palazzo Trivialista home loan, and then some to play with.

And play I will. Just watch me.

A Prada handbag seemed appealing, until la brutally honest friend GOS screwed up her nose as if I’d let off a chemo fart and commented, “Too bogan. You need a Birkin.”

That thought had never entered by head. But it has now, and in the dark, misty mind recesses where I’m 56kg and hairless, I’m suddenly toting new cost-of-a-Corolla arm candy.

I talked Pip through this scenario. It seems, though, that discussing handbag investments with friends is as polarising as talking baby names: it’s a zero-sum minefield.

“A Birkin? Hmm…” said Pip, shifting in her seat. “I think, um, it’s just that, you know, unless you’re swathed in head-to-toe Chanel, people might think it’s, well, you know…”

“A fake?” I asked, indignant. How sweet of her to gently suggest I don’t look money enough to carry a real Birkin. Just as well she’d brought me tasty baked goods or I might have had to slap her with one of my current inferior — yet social-strata appropriate — purses.

But should I pocket my six-figure sum, get thin, and continue to bask in my rediscovered youth, it’d be a brave person who’d look askance at the provenance of my Birkin. I’d hit them with a top-notch eyebrow-less stink-eye and holler, “I have cancer. And insurance!”