Thursday, 23 June 2016


Tomorrow week I turn 50. Yikes! That sounds so grown up and so mature and so old! Maybe we've been calculating incorrectly. I can't be 50!

My forties have not been fun and I have to stop this insane notion in my head that once I turn 50 the " bad" times will all end. I may as well accept that they probably won't, because I have a life long medical condition. But a girl can hope can't she that the next ten years won't be so horrendous?  I'm due a bit of a break.

While I wouldn't wish my forties on anyone I have learnt lots about myself from a great teacher called LIFE. Not sure how useful some of it is in the long run, but hey every bit of learning is good isn't it? ( scratches head and ponders question).

Anyway sorry if I'm about to bore you but I felt a stocktake was necessary. Sound the trumpets. Here are 40 things I learnt about myself, my body and my condition in my forties:
  1. Be careful what you wish for. I wanted smaller boobs all through my thirties and I ended up with a mastectomy on both sides in my forties. Not even remotely funny.
  2. Some doctors are better dealing with people than others. Ironic really because where would they be without people? 
  3. Some medical ancillary staff are too big for their boots. It's ok to stand up to them. Nurses on the other hand must be worshipped. 
  4. I learnt that all sorts of strange procedures exist. Eg ever had a hook wire procedure? I have. Wonder if I could put it on my resume... " I am experienced in hook wire procedures".
  5. A diagnosis of "benign tumour" is the most uplifting thing you will ever hear. You will want to kiss your doctor, even the ugly ones.
  6. A diagnosis of " malignant" will crush your very being if you allow it. Don't allow it.
  7. Having your breasts removed will result in grieving, even if you weren't a fan of them to start off with.
  8. Your partner will continue to miss your boobs long after you've gotten used to the idea they've gone.
  9. The cancer didn't kill me but having drains inserted for 10 weeks almost did. Drain pain is a thing, a bloody painful thing.
  10. You never recover from having cancer. You just learn to live with the fact you've had it. You never stop wondering why you?
  11. Breast reconstruction is hard work for you and your surgeon. It's easier to build a house than two boobs.
  12. Surgeons are so clever they can make you new nipples.
  13. Fake boobs are uncomfortable to sleep with. They can try to suffocate you because they are distant relations of cannon balls.
  14. Fake boobs act as anti drowning devices in a pool. 
  15. Scars don't all look the same and kids will assume you attempted suicide if your thyroid scar is obvious.
  16. The strangest, most unusual people will be there for you when you announce you have cancer, but the least expected people will let you down.
  17. At 43 I learned about Cowden's syndrome. Cow what?
  18. I learned that when doctors join the dots, eventually you get answers.
  19. Saying goodbye to your uterus is hard. You may not want more kids, but that doesn't mean you're ready to give it up.
  20. Saying goodbye to periods is a divine experience.
  21. I learned that if a doctor says I will recover quickly, I'm in for a rough ride.
  22. Doctors with alcohol in their rooms are a worry.
  23. Doctors who tell you that you have cancer and then move you on in under 5 minutes are never to be trusted again.
  24. I learned that some government workers need convincing that breast reconstruction is not a cosmetic procedure.
  25. Finding out a second time you have cancer is equally as hard as the first time.
  26. I found that if you have Cowdens syndrome, doctors will basically think you have made the condition up and it must not exist.
  27. Colonoscopy preps are gross. Lemon cordial in them makes them bearable.
  28. You can have polyps in your forties. You can actually have a garden of them.
  29. Anaesthetic wears your mind, body and hair out.
  30. Anaesthetists who call themselves your " sleep doctor" should not be trusted.
  31. Female specialists are harder to deal with than males.
  32. Removing your ovaries will send you into the biggest hormonal spiral you've ever encountered.
  33. Its OK to have depression and it's more than ok to talk about it.
  34. Antidepressants are God's gift to those who need them.
  35. Stomach surgery is not an easy way of weight loss and anyone who thinks so is a fool.
  36. Losing lots of weight doesn't make you any happier. It just makes you thinner.
  37. Chocolate tastes bad after stomach surgery, but salty things are yum.
  38. I'm more resilient than I ever thought possible.
  39. The greatest pain ever is not childbirth or organ removal or cancer. It's watching your child go through a medical nightmare and being unable to fix it.
  40. It's easier to accept what you have to go through and deal with it, then to fight it.
Here's  hoping my fifties are a little less educational. I'm thinking ( hoping) for a peaceful, quiet life. Palm trees and money in the bank would be nice too!

Till next


  1. The 50's aren't so bad, I've been here for awhile now! The 40's were tough for me as well, lots of work and raising teenagers- enough said! Happy birthday and welcome to the best years!

    1. Don't want to jinx myself by saying they can't be worse, but REALLY...THEY CAN'T BE WORSE...can they????

  2. You've been through so much! It's refreshing to read your humor and what a positive light you are!! This was fantastic and I wish you the happiest of birthdays lovely lady!!

    1. How lovely you are to say all that. Thanks xx

  3. That was the first time I've read a loooong list right to the end - you've been through so much and I definitely think you are due for a break in your 50's! I hope you find some serenity and respite in the decade ahead xx

    1. I did put in a warning that I might bore people. I'm glad you persevered. I sometimes wonder if writing about health issues is such a good idea, but to be honest writing is the closest to any sort of serenity I've got.

  4. I love your list, I read them all. As a retired oncology nurse thank you for the thumps up for nurses. No matter how long I worked with patients I still could not say I knew how they felt. Unless you have walked the walk you can't talk the talk.

    1. Nurses are worth their weight in gold and more. With every medical emergency I've been through, a nurse has kept my head above water. Thanks for what you wrote. It means a lot.

  5. I've seen the inside of a hospital and scanning machines more in my 40's than I can count on all digits.
    What you wrote resonates with me too.
    I've less than 2weeks left of my 40's.I was going to write a similar post :)

    1. Please tag me in your post. I'd love to read it.

  6. What a power of strength you have become through all this adversity. I do pray that the next decade will be kind to you and your dear daughter.

    Bloggers Pit Stop

    1. Kathleen as usual your kind words are so touching. My prayer echoes yours.

  7. Hi Suzi!
    Congratulations, you won the Blogger's Pit Stop! You will be featured this week.

    1. You've made my day Janice. What a great birthday present!

  8. LOL...Same pinch...Almost into my 30s and want my Boobs to shrink.

  9. Hi Suzi,

    Reading your list reminded me of what Winston Churchill said" If you're going through hell, keep going" You did and my hope and prayers that your 50's will bring you much happiness and good health.

    Would love to know more about the "Colonoscopy preps are gross. Lemon cordial in them makes them bearable".

    Now I'm going to make a cup of tea and explore your blog. Congratulation on your award!


    1. Not sure if lemon cordial is only an Australian thing, but it's sweet and I add it to the preps to make them easier to drink. Otherwise the taste is too salty for me.

      Love theChurchill quote.

  10. How have I been reading blogs for two years and missed yours with the GREAT NAME!

    1. What a wonderful comment. Please stay around xxx

  11. I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and cheers to a peaceful time in the 50's. You have been though so much, what a fighter. #mg

    1. I'll drink to that!

      By the way I love your blog name.

  12. Oh no it seems that you have been through so much, surely your 50's will be kinder.Have a lovely birthday and thank you for sharing your positive spin on life. Take care xx #mg

  13. You've been through so much, Suzi! I love how you keep a positive attitude and take everything in stride. Hopefully your 50's will be awesome :) Happy Birthday!!

    Edye | Http://

  14. wow! what an inspiration you are.. your positivity is infectious, and your humour? I just love it! This is the first post of yours that I have come across, and honestly your refreshing! love it! happy birthday for next week! heres to less stressful/worrying years in your 50's! You absolutely DO deserve a break! #mg

  15. May the next decade be much kinder. Happy upcoming birthday!

    Visiting form #mg

  16. Very inspiring and great perspective too. I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. I'm sure she has your strength. Thanks for linking up with Funtastic Friday.

  17. life can sure deal some crap, and let's hope your 50's are much better!! I will be 40 in 6 sleeps and I pray mine are happy and healthy years, and I pray your 50's are for you my dear. Happy birthday!!!! May you embrace your 50's with joy, laughter and great health! Thank you for linking up #mg

  18. You have certainly paid your dues Suzy although you shouldn't have had to. What an inspirational lady you are! You will be Sizzling Towards 60 I know!! Happy birthday and may you enjoy every moment of your 50s with fun and laughter xxx

  19. WOW! Your 40s really sound like an adventure...or rather a rollercoaster you probably wanted to jump off of for almost all of those 10 years. Good for you for making it to your 50s. I turn 40 at Christmastime and I'm already contemplating how being that age will change me. Why should it change me though? It's just another number, but I guess the stigma of 40 is alive and well. Anyway thanks for posting this at the #Alittlebitofeverything link party. It's definitely, right place, right time. I definitely will keep in mind not to complain about my 40s and be inspired that someone who's gone through what you've gone through has made it to their 50s!

  20. Hi Suzi Congratulations! Your post was my favourite in this week's Over the Moon link up. Kudos to you!. Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty.

  21. Wow Suzi. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. You have been through a lot and I find you an inspiration. Your 50s will definitely be better than the forties. Here's wishing you and your daughter good health and lots of happiness.

  22. My, your 40's were rough! You sure learned a lot. I appreciate you sharing. Would love for you to join me at MySideof50! The 50's have lots a great lessons to learn too!

  23. #38 was my favorite. Wishing you a Happy Birthday!


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