Diary Entry #6: March – April 2020
This post is a little less on game development, and more about the crazy unexpected crap that can happen in your life.
It started as an ordinary year, a bit of work, a bit of fun and plenty of quality time with my little girl. I was making great progress on Bullshit, adding so much more to the game! It looked good. On the news, we had started to hear about this thing called Covid. It was happening overseas, and at the time I remember we weren’t too worried about it. It would never come here!
The Long March
March that year was a crazy time. I was still travelling to work to the office in the city and witnessed the sudden impact of Covid on the workplace first hand. In the first few weeks about 50% of the people in our neighbouring offices weren’t coming in. Then in the later weeks, I was the only person on the floor. Eventually we weren’t even allowed to leave our homes for work, so I was working full time from home. (and have been ever since) That was the start of our first lockdown.
Too many screens? I think not! My home and work environments combined on our kitchen table.
Then there was the exciting news that we were expecting our second child. Another girl! Our tiny apartment was going to get a little more crowded.
We had been exploring the idea of moving from the city to the burbs for around a year, but had to sell my apartment first. When we put it on the market at the start of March and had many people interested. Then Covid and our first lockdown hit. When it did we then only had one person interested, and they could bargain. Not ideal. We ended up selling our apartment for less than expected, but meant we could move. We desperately needed the space!
While all this was happening, we got news that my Father was about to have his operation. Last year we found out he had bowel cancer. He had been doing radiation therapy to reduce the size of the tumour, and we were relieved to find out that he was finally ready to have the operation to remove it.
At around the same time, I was experiencing some unusual bowel activity. I didn’t think it was serious, but I went to my doctor to check it out. He said it was probably nothing, but since my father had recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer, he suggested I should have a blood test and colonoscopy. The blood test came back negative for cancer. Phew! At this stage I hesitated booking further tests. I’m a little bit of a hypochondriac, and have been tested for things in the past that just turned out to be normal. I was also a little hesitant as the health system was under a bit of stress due to Covid, but Fi insisted I get it checked out, so I did.
My first appointment was the same week as my father’s operation. While he was under, I had a telehealth meeting with a specialist to make sure that I really needed a colonoscopy. He said that at my age I didn’t have anything to worry about, but because of my father’s operation he said let’s go ahead.
The procedure was on the Thursday before Easter. The preparation was a bit annoying. I was a little worried because I hadn’t had anaesthetic before. I went under and woke up what felt like straight away. Nothing to worry about there. While I was in recovery, the doctor started seeing other patients who had finished after me first. I ate my free sandwiches and thought nothing of it. Then the doctor finally came around to me and said some words which nobody ever wants to hear: “I’m sorry, you have bowel cancer”.
Fuck! After so many assurances, It was the last thing I was expecting. I returned to the waiting room to find Fi and my little baby girl. Fi and I were in tears, but my little bubba just looked up at me and gave me a goofy smile. That cheered me up a tiny bit. The doctor referred me to a surgeon who contacted me that night. He said he didn’t want me to go through Easter worrying. He’d had a look at my tests and said that it likely wasn’t too bad, and that he’d see me first thing Tuesday morning.
Me and Bubs on the day I found out. I was trying to mimic her bored look.
It was a hard Easter. Hearing that news and not really knowing anything about how bad it really is, was rough. There were lots of tears. My Dad was recovering from his Bowel Cancer surgery. It thankfully was successful. I didn’t want to worry him while he was still in hospital, so I just shared the news with mum. That was hard telling Mum. She’d already been through so much the past year, and it felt awful to give her more bad news.
Easter was over, so we headed in to see the surgeon. He ordered a CT scan and told me that it looked like it was a single tumour and that it was likely Stage 2 Cancer. Stage 2 means that the cancer hasn’t spread outside of the tumour. They could operate at the end of that week. I was surprised at how quickly this was happening. With Dad, he had to wait about 9 months before they could operate. This was due to his age, his health and other complications.
I spent that week telling close friends and family what had happened. My dad had recovered from his operation after a week and was heading home. I finally told him the news, and that was rough. He was optimistic for me though. After being there for his operation and Dad’s hospital stay, I was also expecting that in a week’s time I’d also be home and recovering. Boy was I wrong about that…
To be Continued in Part II…