A Few Days Away

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Before I found out I had cancer Simon had purchased a travel auction voucher for a few days away in Port Broughton, a beachside town a couple of hours from Adelaide. We have just spent the last few days there and it was so nice.

We spent a lot of time fishing. I know, this wasn’t how I expected to spend my time. In my mind Simon was going to fish his little heart out and I was going to find a nice spot on the beach or in the shade and just chill out with a book. The first morning though I thought I may as well walk out onto the jetty with him for a while.

It turned out that fishing in Port Broughton was quite fun. There was no standing for hours, bored silly while nothing happened. Here, I had caught three fish before Simon even managed to get his rod set up. Sure, all the fish were under size so they got thrown straight back in, but it was fun catching fish after fish!

One of the many too small whitings I caught
One of the many too small whitings I caught

So we spent the whole of each morning fishing, and you know what? It was the first time in the last six weeks that cancer has not been almost continuously on my mind. It was a pleasant surprise when I realised as much too, as the thoughts can be overwhelming.

Almost everything in my mind comes back to cancer. I can’t think about anything past December 5th. I don’t know how I am going to cope with the surgery, or, even worse, if my lymph nodes come back with cancer in them.

While fishing was a great escape, eating in Port Broughton was a big reminder. Small country towns are definitely not the place to be when you are not eating meat or drinking alcohol!

The place we went for dinner on the first night was part of our voucher – but the only thing they had on the menu that did not include meat was garlic bread! In the end I had to cheat and order fish and chips.

The next night there were no main meals that were vegetarian, but there were a couple of tapas plates, like risotto balls and mozzarella cheese sticks. They were lovely though, and suggested they could do nachos without the meat, which sounded good to me. Except it was clear they had not really done that before, and I ended up with what seemed to be tinned tomatoes and sweet chilli sauce as the replacement for the typical nacho topping.

Our final night was at the pub, which if you are a meat eater, has quite an extensive menu. Unfortunately for a vegetarian, I only had two options – Pasta with a basic tomato sauce or a margarita pizza. I went with the pizza. Generally I love pizza, but I’ve eaten a lot of it lately and I am starting to get a bit sick of them, particular when not made well.

Drinks were another whole issue. I am so used to choosing a glass of wine that it’s a real challenge now that is not an option. in Port Broughton the only non-alcoholic options were soft drinks – and I don’t really drink them either, even before I had cancer! So that leaves me with water, which makes me feel really cheap.

I’ve kind of forgotten how much our society is ruled by alcohol. In so many other parts of the world many people don’t drink. Mostly for religious reasons, but not always. Menus tend to have a lot more non-alcoholic options such as juices and perhaps even mocktails. I am looking forward to all the coconut and avocado juices and every kind of mocktail when I am in Bali next week!

While I’ve chosen not to eat meat or drink alcohol (or coffee) as I prepare for my surgery, this is by no means everyone’s choice. Everyone’s cancer journey is different, and right now I am focused on being as healthy as I can to make surgery recovery quicker and easier. Of course there are no guarantees, but this is a tiny thing I can do to appease the control freak in me and feel like I can make a difference.

The countdown continues….just 18 days left with boobs!

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