Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Saffa Chick in Saffa Land

I haven't dropped off the planet, just travelled half way around it! I am in Cape Town, South Africa, visiting my Dad who has been scarily ill. 

Dad has lung cancer, and in the hopes of improving the odds he started a course of chemo a few weeks back. Now, chemo disagrees with everyone, but as Dad was in a frail state to begin with it totally floored him. He has been in a hospice ward for a couple of weeks with no white cells, unable to get out of bed. On top of the normal chemo side effects he also caught a couple of nasty bugs.

Luckily all that is now under control and Dad was discharged a few days after I got here. He is awfully weak and still suffering from various complaints, but he looks better every time I see him. 

I didn't want to post anything about my trip because for a while there this trip was looking to have a sad ending. Instead, it is a mostly joyful time of watching Dad regain his strength! Obviously the cancer is still lurking in the wings, but for now I still have my lovely Dad to spend time with.

I brought King to South Africa with me, and left Princess at home with Milord and a nanny. I just couldn't face the trip with both of them, and Dad is in no state to cope with an easily bored toddler. Dad has met Princess before, but not King, so King came along. Honestly, it couldn't have turned out better, as King was brilliant on the flights, and poor Princess came down with a virus just before I flew and has only just got better! We checked in super early and got a bassinet which King loved sleeping in, and I had the best leg room since I was a child. The domestic connection was less comfy, but the crew were great and King slept in my arms while I rested my wineglass on my neighbour's tray!

I have been out of South Africa for so long that I have completely forgotten how friendly people are. Everyone greets you as you walk by, and if you are stuck in a queue or a lift they will chat or play with the baby. It's nice. I am, however, very tired of being told how FAT!!! King is by everyone from a passing stranger to a doting Auntie. Yes, he is a very big, plump boy. And so he should be. Princess at the same age was the same shape (go back and look) and now she is slender and so will he be. King has a bottle of milk every 4 hours, except for the feed he skips at night, and that's quite ok. He has rejected all solids so far and I am not going to force him before he is ready, no matter what the great-aunts say.... growl

My family in South Africa is big and close-knit and have been totally awesome. I am driving a cousin's car, with carseat hired by an aunt who is also handling my airport pickup and dropoff. Another cousin has found me a cot, pram, playmat, toys and bumbo seat. To top it off a couple of my inland cousins are flying in next weekend to visit me while I am here! I have no family in Oz, but boy do I have a great family here!

I also have a super circle of friends. While most have scattered to the 4 winds following their careers and wanderlust, the few left in town have been quick to offer their help and companionship. I am currently staying in the company beachfront flat of an old boss, typing on his spare iPad - all free! Other friends have all offered catch up time... I have been a bit distracted but now that my Dad is so much better I hope to touch base with them.

My sister came and crashed on the couch here over Easter. We had a nice time even though Sis is not very mobile and also is on a cocktail of antidepressants which help her through life but make her rather subdued. She loves her nephew and spent as much time as possible playing with him. Sis also brought along all the Twilight movies which we watched back to back and now I am dreaming vampires! I think the books suck (heh) but the movies do a good job of making a silk purse from a sow's ear.

In a couple of days Dad and Stepmom will travel home to Saldanha, just over an hour up the west coast, and we will go with them. Then a week with Dad in his seaview house before I fly home to Milord and Princess who I miss terribly.

King has been such a great kid on this trip. Some days he hardly gets a fraction of his naps (he has 3 a day) because of running around or unconducive sleeping arrangements, but he can always muster a smile and cuddle for everyone. Especially Mummy, who sometimes really needs a cuddle!

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

As soon I read you were back in South Africa, I feared the worst. Your dad is such a fighter, he'll beat this thing.

The silver lining is that King gets to meet all the Saffa family!

Oh, and you may want to check out the Hunger Games books and movie. I liked the movie far more than expected, so now I've got the books-thanks to Chef bugging me to purchase them.

Enjoy your family time-and those cuddles from King.