So I just noticed that I haven’t blogged in a year. I knew it was rare, but I didn’t quite realise it was a full year.

Anywho, what was 2018 like for me?

  • Left my role with the French company in Canary Wharf – after the year-end and the shady accounting, I was not prepared to risk my professional license or reputation working for them for much longer. So I got quite busy with my job seeking.
  • Found a new role, which I started in late April, with a Japanese company, located much closer to home. So my train commute instead of being nearly 2hrs in either direction is now 30 minutes – so more time with the husband & cat. And I get the same salary, but more benefits, so win-win.
  • Husband & I went on a 4 day holiday to Florence. Both of us enjoy watching artsy documentaries and I saw a great deal on TripAdvisor, so took it. The city is stunning, highly recommend. We stayed in a lovely boutique hotel which had just converted over 3 months before our stay. It was a bit of a gamble, but the hotel was in the perfect location for us – within 1km of all the major sites, so walkable but far enough away that the lazy American tourists weren’t near us. I got the deal for a total of £600 for the pair of us .. sadly the hotel now charges over £150/day.
  • The fistula I was complaining about was checked – I had an MRI in early June at UCLH.
  • Got a frantic phone call from my Urology Team. Seems I had a 9.5cm growth on my right ovary and I was referred to the MacMillan Cancer Centre hospital, which is tied in with UCLH. I had the lovely Ms McDonald as my gyne-oncologist who did the surgery. Mr Wood, my urologist, was also involve as the tumour/growth appeared to be pushing my abdominal organs to the left (ergo the pain I was constantly in .. even Tylenol 3s weren’t taking the edge off). So there was a chance that my Mitrofanoff would be changed to an Illeal Conduit.
  • Met with Ms McDonald on Sept 4th (day before my Canadian hols) and within a month I had my surgery. The tumour had grown to 10cm, but thankfully it was contained within the abdomen (it hasn’t spread to the outer walls). Mr Wood had to take out the natural portion of my bladder from my neo-bladder, and re-implant my ureters. Recovery was going at a decent pace. As per my usual, I kept spiking temperatures and I ended up getting a PICC line.
  • I had daily blood draws. I don’t remember the name of the phlebotomist but I called him “My Vampire”. Every morning around 06:30 he’d show up and take 2 vials. For 2 weeks without any problem he was able to get bloods. No one has ever been able to do that.
  • I had a great Physiotherapy Nurse, Beatrice, who was so super supportive. The nursing staff at UCLH Westmoreland were absolutely lovely.
  • I have been getting periodic phone calls from the Urology Nurse Specialists & Mr Wood’s nurse, to check up on me.
  • Sadly, after being discharged I got sick again and was admitted to Southampton General Hospital with uro-sepsis. The care was rather lacklustre, from the doctors. The nurses were quite good…. but the doctors were rather lacking in initiative. For 5 days I was asking them to check in with UCLH with regards to the suggested after-care. It was only on my discharge day that they bothered trying to reach UCLH. F*cking lazy twats.
  • I have had 2 courses of chemo at Southampton – UCLH gave them explicit instruction on how I was to be treated, so that care plan is being followed.
  • Work has been absolutely lovely. Here in the UK if you are off sick you can qualify for SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) which is a measly £90 a week .. no one can live off of that. I am getting my full pay, which is highly unusual here and it’s a godsend for us. I am more than grateful that management has been so supportive.
  • The work I do at my new job is interesting – they are converting the entire organisation’s accounting system across 20+ countries, so my role is to document & produce standardised procedures for reconciliations. The documentation is done, but it’s not just about writing up what HQ does but also looking for efficiencies & ensure the procedures/processes are clear enough for even non-qualified accountants. So lots of travel to come.
  • Once the initial phase of my role is complete then I’ll be turning to monitoring the reconciliation process across the organisation; so I’ll be straddling between 2 Finance Teams – Central Finance (Consolidations) & Internal Audit. It will be interesting, once I hit this second phase. In the meanwhile, whilst off on sick leave I have been helping out with some VAT reconciliation issues. So this is saving me from daytime television.

During this prior year, 2018, I have had to push back on my mother’s deep love of Catholicism. I love my mother, but the constant talk of how Jesus & the Virgin Mary are going to heal me if I only went to church is complete shite. It came to a head nearly a month ago, when she wanted me to ring one of her friends from her Rosary Circle as she claimed she could help me. How the fuck can she help me over the phone from Toronto? I actually asked my mother that .. I was fed up. Up to this point I have been patient and kept my mouth shut, but the constant talk about Jesus has gotten to me. There is no fucking way that an invisible tyrannical shite deity like the Judeo-Christian one is going to help me. I was born with a birth defect, and according to medical research this defect can be detected in-utero .. so I have had this since before I was born. Are you telling me that a loving god would inflict this on a child? If so, then that’s not a god I want in my life.

To compound my issues with my mother, I saw her Will when I was visiting in September. Because my brother took over the land in Lithuania that belonged to our father, it was agreed that I would inherit 75% of my mother’s estate (I can’t find my father’s will, so I’m not sure what it says exactly, mom can’t seem to find it). What has she done? First, she completely misspelled my name on the Will (she whined that she doesn’t know how to spell my name .. nice, my own mother doesn’t know how to spell the name she gave me) and she reduced it down to 60% claiming that I’m not around to help her. So my helping to increase her CPP payments, reduce her Capital Gains Tax when she sold the cottage, doing her taxes for 15 years was worth shit I guess. Once I get through this chemo I’ll confront her again and get her to right her wrong.

I have ranted before on this, but the Toronto Lithuanian Community were quite discriminatory towards my birth defect. When I was young my mother tried to get me into Gintaras, a folk dance troupe in Toronto. Mrs Karasiejus told my mother point blank that she didn’t want my “disease” to infect the other dancers.  And there have been other instances throughout my childhood. The only peeps within the community as “elders” who did not treat me like shite were the nuns who ran the daycare centre I went to as a child. And then there is that wonder twat, who conveniently took a goodly portion of my items (which I was donating to her ridiculous rummage sale at Prisikelimo Church) and then promptly blocked me on Facebook. Nice. What does this teach me about the Toronto Lithuanian Community? For the most part, hypocrites.