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.
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!”