Man Cancer

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Since today is Daffodil Day, I thought it was a good opportunity to finally share our story of The Man’s recent testicular cancer diagnosis.

I’ve written a lot of words in the last two months. Private, emotive words. Words that don’t seem to fit in this space, right here, right now.

I just can’t seem to find the right “voice” to tell you the full story. It’s almost as if my emotions are completely burnt out. And it’s small wonder as they really have had quite a run of late!

To date we’ve had the tension and anxiety of the initial identification and testing of the lump.

Then the shock, grief and anger at the diagnosis of a tumour with a high likelihood of malignancy.

Surgery was quickly booked, enter more anxiety and hefty dose of fear.

This was followed by relief at the successful removal of the tumour and oddly enough, also relief at the confirmation of malignancy. At least we now know what we are dealing with.

Post-surgery has been fraught with more tension and A LOT of  discomfort for all parties involved. He is not a good patient. I am not a good nurse.

Two weeks on and The Man is getting back on his feet and the emotions are definitely flattening out.

FLAT.AS.A.TACK.

There is still a fortnight until he sees the Urologist again, then off to the Oncologist to plan out the next (and hopefully final) stage of treatment, most likely chemo.

That will be a whole new roller coaster ride.

In the meantime though, here we are waiting. Not fully cancer-free but a darn sight better than we were a month ago.

So, I guess right now what I should be feeling is a whole lot of grateful.

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Rice Bubble Bars

It could be said this house runs on Eucalyptus Oil, WD-40 and Coconut Oil.

We are very well lubricated to say the least!

Coconut oil is my new favourite cure-all. Aside from windburn, de-lousing and temporary tattoo removal, my favourite use for coconut oil is as a butter substitute in baking. The ratio is 1:1 so it’s nice and easy.

I mostly use it in baking for the kids because it makes me feel a teeny bit virtuous.

I’m always after homemade alternatives for pre-packaged lunch box snacks. Here are two of variations of the humble rice bubble bar (LCM) where I love using coconut oil.

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Honey & Sultana Rice Bubble Bar

4 cups of rice bubbles
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 tbs honey
1/3 cup sultanas and/or cranberries

Bring coconut oil & honey to boil in a small saucepan. Stir honey mixture and dried fruit through rice bubbles. Press mixture into a lamington tin lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until set (approx 1hr).

 

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Marshmallow Rice Bubble Bars

4 cups of rice bubbles
3 tbs coconut oil
250g packet of marshmallows
Rainbow choc chips/mini M&M’s/100′s & 1000′s

Melt coconut oil & marshmallows in a saucepan or the microwave. Stir marshmallow mixture through rice bubbles. Press mixture into a lamington tin lined with baking paper. Top with confectionery of choice. Refrigerate until set (approx 1hr).

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These recipes are so simple I even let Bam Bam help sometimes.

Do you use Coconut Oil for cooking? What does your house run on?

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Because it’s Tuesday…


So it’s Tuesday, and I blog on Tuesdays.

Except today my words are a shambles.

It’s been a big couple of weeks in our world and I have so much in my head that needs to come out but that can’t really be shared just yet.

I can say that The Man is going in for surgery on Thursday and we are all a little on edge about the outcome. We are trying to stay positive and hopefully one day this will be nothing more than a funny anecdote and I can write a blog post titled “Remember that time…”.

My beloved grandparents have also been in the wars. My pop has been in hospital with pneumonia and my darling grandma, who has just turned 80, will be having a mastectomy for recurring breast cancer next Monday. This pair have been a huge influence in my life and I love them with all my heart.

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In other news, this little blessing has just turned 10 months.

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She brings a smile to my face every single day. I know I bang on about it a lot but there really isn’t a moment of any day when I am not grateful for her presence in my life. She’s like a healing balm for my soul.

As is the seaside behind her. How fortunate I am to have such a beautiful backdrop to the inevitable and unavoidable dramas and heartaches in life.

ANYHOO! Hopefully next week my IBOT post will be full of good news and light-hearted banter.

In the meantime, promise me you’ll huge your loved ones extra tight today.

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Tips to avoid the social media mind trap

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Confession: Somedays I scroll through my Facebook feed and feel completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of “noise” – information, opinions, causes and advertising.

There is something incredibly humbling, and a little demoralising, about reading real-time human atrocities such as acts of terrorism and war, directly followed by a detailed summary of what your second cousin had for breakfast and pictures from a co-worker’s hen’s party.

This mish mash of information overload is unique to social media. Unique to this generation. No longer do we peruse a broadsheet over our breakfast or tune into the radio on the way to work to get drip-fed news worthy material. In reality, many of us now plug in to the news of the world before our feet even touch the floor in the morning.

It makes me ponder what impact this deluge of information has on our mental state. Take for example, the disaster of flight MH17. I knew about this horrific incident before I had uttered a single word to my children that day. I hadn’t had a shower or a coffee, heck I hadn’t even looked out the window. Yet there I was snuggled in the warm comfort of my feather doona, contemplating the deaths of 290+ innocent people on the other side of the world. It made me want to grab the kids and pull the covers over our heads, never to step foot outside again!

Social media is not all doom and gloom, of course. Plenty of good news stories are shared and social media is a fantastic mechanism for getting the word out about the amazing things people are doing to make the world a better place. However, this can take it’s own kind of mental and emotional toll as we are inundated with appeals for countless worthy causes. It’s hard not to feel guilty for not following, donating or otherwise supporting all the charities and fundraisers for various chronic diseases, community initiatives, not to mention the orphanage the Angelina Jolie runs. It takes all my will power not to rescue every puppy the animal welfare page posts. If it wasn’t for the threat of divorce, I’d be the crazy dog lady in no time.

Oh, and while we are at it, I’d have more cushions too. Lots and lots of cushions. It’s not quite the salvation of humanity but Facebook has really honed in on my latest obsession with homewares. Then there’s all the adorable baby items. My sidebar and suggested pages to follow are full of gorgeous things I lust after. Pinterest and Instagram are just as bad at tempting my inner consumer. So many things I want want WANT need. Maybe. Just a little?

While I’m contemplating the sales at Temple & Webster, I read all the posts by friends, family and random acquaintances. Some are happy, some are sad. Everyone experiences life out loud, vividly and quite often in picture form. I know the planned colour of Sally’s bedroom feature wall, that John is looking forward to days off and that Mary’s kid got selected for the state soccer team.

Would I know this information otherwise? Probably not. Does it change my world? No. Is it adding to the “noise” in my head? Most definitely!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE social media. I love connecting with like-minded people, I love oversharing and I love learning new, interesting things every single day. I am also acutely aware that as a blogger/social media bar fly I contribute more than my fair share.

However, I am starting to realise that some days the “noise” of social media gets to much. The information overload takes it’s toll.

We really need to be conscious of our personal goals, needs and limitations when looking through the kaleidoscope that is today’s social media arena.

We cannot fix all the world’s problems, buy all the things or always keep up with the Jones’s.

Feelings of despair, guilt, envy, inadequacy or overwhelming social awareness are not constructive or healthy.

If you are like me and find it impossible to avoid social media all together, even when you aren’t at your most resilient, here are some tips to avoid falling victim to the social media mind trap:

1. Skim over posts and avoid clicking on links to articles that appear to contain distressing or “heavy” content.

2. Avoid reading the comments attached to posts in relation to issues you feel strongly about, chances are opinions and beliefs that are contrary or degrading to yours will offend and upset. Reading or engaging with the conversation will drag you deeper into the mind trap.

3. Hide or Unlike/Unfriend pages or friends that continual post material you find emotionally taxing.

4. Pick two or three causes/charities/organisations that you feel passionately about to follow on social media and keep it to that.

5. Avoid checking social media immediately prior to bed and when you wake up. Start and finish your day with a clear, relaxed mind.

6. Step away from your device! Allocate a set amount of time each day where your computer/tablet/smart phone is out of reach or switched off to help you resist the temptation of checking in with social media.

These few small logical steps can help us maintain a sense of perspective in relation to our own locus of control and establish a healthy ongoing relationship with social media.

Do you ever experience information overload from social media? What do you do to avoid the social media mind trap?

 

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The Rocking Chair

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We have a nightly ritual, my daughter and I.
Every night before bed, we sit together in the rocking chair in her room. 
I feed her and then we have a cuddle. 
She lays with her head tucked under my chin, her body stretched down my mine. 
We sit together and just “be”.
She does not need to be rocked to sleep but it is our time, our moment, to savour our bond.

Sometimes I sing. Badly. But she doesn’t seem to mind. 
Sometimes we giggle as she sticks her fingers up my nose or plays with my hair.
But mostly we just sit and rock.
I use this time to soak her in, mentally imprinting her sweet smell, soft hair and warm weight against me. 
Some nights I wish I could freeze time. 
Every night I linger longer than necessary. 
My favourite place in the world right now is that rocking chair.

 

Do you have a nightly ritual with your kids?

Do you ever wish you could freeze time?

 

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