Monday, June 28, 2010

the world cup has overtaken everything

I have become a soccer fan. Really. Having never watched a soccer game in my life before this Fifa 2010 World Cup, being held here in South Africa, I have been overwhelmed by it all and watched game after game. I even hit a luck and scored a ticket to soccer city n Soweto, which was just amazing. I was so buzzed up by the experience I could not sleep till after 4am.
And it is very emotional too. For years we were the pariahs. As much as I am white and therefore grew up pretty priviliged, we felt it. It was kak living here. Really. So much oppression. So much distrust. So much fear. Cloak and daggers and people dying horribly.
Now it is just too wonderful. We are united as a nation, everyone's friendly, whities even taking the train into soweto at night to watch a game and even though it won't last, well, it's a wonderful party with all these tourists in town and all having a wonderful time. I have met people from all over: Taiwan, UK, Cameroon...
Watched the opening game of South Africa's Bafana Bafana against Mexico at Six in Melville and cried when our team sang the national anthem and then when we scored a goal. I was so emotional, remembering how it used to be here under apartheid and experiencing how wonderful it is now.
Then when I watched the Bafana Bafana vs France game at Melrose Arch - where they have an extra-large screen in the piazza and between-games entertainment - with a predominantly South African crowd, I felt overwhelmed all over again. A group of white schoolboys next to me belted out Nkosi Sikileli as if their lives depended on it, and as we all jived to the sounds of Mandoza,there was a spirit of national pride like never before. (Listen to Nkosi Sikeleli and listen to Mandoza's hit Nkalakatha.)"Better than '94!" say people, referring to the date of our first democratic elections in South Africa.
And everyone has mirror "sokkies' on their cars' side mirrors, mostly depicting the SA flag, and flags on their cars... I have SA flag mirror sokkies, a SA flag on my car, an official Bafana Bafana t-shirt to wear to games, a Bafana Bafana arty t-shirt just to wear, a SA flag scarf, a SA flag beanie and a green tracktop with South Africa written on it. What a blast!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One more herceptin to go

I had my second last herceptin treatment on Monday. Strangely enough have had no side effects so far - and it's Wednesday now. Can rememeber only one other treatment after which I also had no reaction.
Saw the oncologist last week too. Unexpected visit. Not The Tango Man - he was away - but his partner, The Secretary Bird. Very nice lady. Have had pain in the spot where my cancer was, in the lymph area on the side of my breast below the armpit. The biokineticist said it was most probably muscular and I kinda felt that it was linked to the radiation I had - yet completed about a year ago - and The Secretary Bird said she could feel no evidence of disease but if it, the pain/burning, is still there when I finish my herceptin (July 5 is my 17th and final treatment), then I should go for a scan, which she said the radiographer had advised anyway (to go six months after my previous ultra-sound, which was in January).
Getting kinda anxious. Look, am totally and utterly delighted to have no side effects this time, although I always feel as long as it's working, who cares, but it really is wonderful to not feel bad. But I do know that after the next treatment, I will be sent off to do that scan plus other tests - off the record heard it included a chest x-ray, another muga, and an abdominal scan - and to return to see The Tango Man with the results a month later. What happens if I am not ok? The Yoga Man says deal with it then, but it is a scary thought. I know if the herceptin and tamoxifen have not worked, then I am truly fakked because at this stage especially it should all be fine.
Well, if it's not, and the cancer has spread, then I know I have to have left breast masectomy plus will probably have to have chemo again. More than before. Makes me feel sick at the thought. Was ok the first time but want to be well now.
Must say, was intrigued when I was the oncology centre on Monday. There was an 81-year-old woman there. Not that I would have thought she was that old but the nurses told me: "Doesn't she look well for someone born in 1929?" they said. Whatb amazed me is that she is starting chemo next week. The Tango Man often treats patients of that age with chemo, the one nurse said. Guess they must be pretty strong - physically and emotionally - to deal with it. Go for it!!
Oh by the way, my nails are totally messed from the herceptin - splitting, so thin and look practically as precarious as to when I was on chemo - eg the one looks like it could split vertically. But I worked hard and then dashed off for a buff & paint on my nails today and although one split a little during yoga this evening (just a coincidence, they certainly look much, much better. So you see, one makes a plan and deals with things.