I’ve always been aware of #breastcancerawareness but after this, I am a lot more serious about it. Ladies (and gents), please check your boobs for irregularities regularly. If you don’t know how, speak to a local healthcare practitioner.
It was a normal Monday morning shower. Until it wasn’t anymore. There I was, warm water cascading down over me, yet I was ice-cold with an indescribable feeling of dread; I had felt something unusual in my right boob – a hard lump. Could it be cancer? Nah, surely not?! But maybe… no, don’t be stupid! There’s no history of breast cancer in the family…but what about on your biological father’s side? It could be cancer… you’re at that age… These are just a few of the things that milled through my head the entire day. Needless to say, I hardly slept. I kept waking up during the night poking my boob. As sure as the earth rotates on its axis the knob was still there, feeling to me to be about the size of an old one Rand coin.
I am extremely humbled; a psychotherapist friend in Bristol in the UK asked me to be a contributor for her practice’s website. My first article is available to read here. I shall write for her as required, from my own perspective as someone with depression, on various topics. It is a tremendous privilege to be part of a project like this, knowing that my stories may help others who are struggling.
As I was writing the published article, it got me thinking about other aspects of lockdown and how they’ve affected me.
I said to Eliza the other day that I am starting to hoard stuff, and it is scary. I know that hoarding is linked to certain mental illnesses, including depression. To quote a short excerpt from an article I found online: “The term hoarding refers to a psychological disorder whereby an individual refuses to discard things that they own. The person holds a firm belief that they will eventually need these items for some reason.”
I have had a buggered back for ages, but for the last ten days, I had debilitating pain as I’ve never experienced before. I couldn’t walk – I shuffled; I couldn’t stand up from a seated position without crying in pain. It was dreadful.
Pink is a colour that I’ve grown to love as I’ve got older. Maybe it’s because I’m still a hopeless romantic (despite my disastrous love-life track record), or maybe it’s because I feel like some candyfloss right now. Who knows?
I’ve lost count; I think it’s day 76 of the lockdown, or as I’ve come to realize, the new normal. It’s been challenging, but slowly I am beginning to get used to it. I’ve pretty much given up wearing my specs when I go out because they constantly fog up when I wear my mask.
My cooking skills continue to improve. I made an amazing Thai green chicken curry a while back which was beyond delicious. As I become more confident, I will experiment with spice mixtures myself, rather than the readymade ones. The Amish apple loaf is something I can make with my eyes closed and it is an absolute hit.
I also tried my hand at making a vegan tropical rice pudding. Oh my word! It was so delicious, I at the entire pot all by myself.
Tomorrow I plan to make chicken a’la king and somewhere in between then and Monday, I want to try a Jamaican banana bread. Yes, I’m finally climbing on the bandwagon. I also want to try making pizza dough in the breadmaker.
Staying in the kitchen, I finally used my juicer. I made an amazing mix of beetroot, cucumber, apple, pineapple, and orange juice. I stored it in a Douw Egberts coffee bottle, but it didn’t last. I drank it all. I felt spritely afterwards. My body must not have known what hit it – such freshness! I made some for Elizabeth and when II went into work, I took some for Carla and Rowena too. Carla is quite keen to try anything that comes out of my kitchen. I feel bad for all the pulp that goes to waste, but I will freeze it next time and use it in waffles, soup, cakes, or even try to make vegetarian patties of some sort.
On June 1st, the ban on alcohol was lifted. People queued for hours to get booze. I waited until Tuesday, went to Woolies and bought a bottle of Diemersfontein Chocolate Shiraz there. In and out in under ten minutes. Elizabeth and I drank it on Friday night while sitting a great social distance apart from each other.
There are rumours doing the rounds that some MEC’s are requesting a reinstatement of the ban because abuse cases are on the rise, as are accidents. Just last week, someone posted on a local Facebook group that a visibly drunk man knocked her son over – this while the inebriated prat had three children in his own vehicle. Apparently, he was let go, because under COVID-19 regulations, he couldn’t be breathalyzed. The question begs, why wasn’t he detained and taken to hospital to have his blood drawn? What if the child he hit had sustained serious injuries? The mind boggles…
On the subject of blood, I went to donate a pint yesterday. It’s been over a decade since I last made a donation. Turns out my details were still on record after the extended hiatus, and yesterday was a milestone donation: number 25. I got a nifty picnic blanket to mark the occasion. My hope is that when a modicum of normality returns to life, I can convince our management to host a clinic once every two months. I broached the subject in March, but then lockdown happened.
Last Wednesday, Lily-Rose celebrated her crown birthday. I could unfortunately not spend the day with her, her parents and her Nanna because I had work but took a drive out to the farm on Saturday. The great thing about the farm is the wide-open spaces, so visiting with social distancing in place is easy.
They have a few orphaned lambs that are bottle-fed which is always a highlight to me. I can confirm that Ba-Ba Black Sheep is indeed real. And he is a glutton for milk. If I didn’t have a tight grip on the bottle, he would have pulled the teat clean off.
I also got better acquainted with the chickens.
One thing I love about going to the farm is t a drive down to the river. The reflections on the water are always magnicient.
Rachel the Rocket continues to grow, giving me hope that I might be able to cultivate other edible indoor plants after all. I don’t have the right set-up at The Cave to grow plants outside, and with the way the wind has been destroying things of late, even if I could, I wouldn’t.
Tonight, a ridiculous wind storm is expected, bringing with it a cold front and freezing temperatures. I fortunately still have some Cape Ruby Port left from last year, and The Bean gave me a pair of warm slippers to wear, on the proviso that I buy her another pair that simply slips on.
The one thing I do enjoy about the winter is the sunsets (I just hate that the sun is down by 17:30 already).
Work continues at a reasonable pace. The lockdown has changed many things and there is a ripple effect as a result. It can be extremely frustrating at times, but I’m still fortunate to have a job, and even more so, to still be able to work remotely. On cold days, I’m extra grateful because I can work while sitting under a blanket, with an unlimited supply of coffee.
That’s all for now. I promise my next post won’t be weeks away.
Until next time, stay safe and keep warm! And remember:
I’ve not blogged for a while. I know I should, but I’ve been feeling so meh the past few days.
There have been days when the only time I’ve got out of bed has been to get a glass of water or to pee. I’ve even worked from my bed. I’m emotionally exhausted from lockdown. Fortunately, I still have work to do every day which helps keep the sanity levels just short of the red.