In every fairytale there is a bump in the road.
The bump has been on the horizon for awhile now, and whilst we could see it looming, we’ve tried to ignore its approach. After all, bumps are unpredictable, unpleasant, and rarely bring much joy.
Especially when it’s cancer.
Dave (my nesting partner) was diagnosed with a blood cancer (Myelodysplastic Syndrome) about a year ago. Yes, I didn’t know then what is was either. It’s a cancer in the bone marrow, akin to Leukemia. The doctors were hoping it would be a slow growing one; but alas, it’s an aggressive one and Dave has slowly been succumbing to its effects more and more. And now the day has finally come: he is being admitted to The Royal Adelaide Hospital today for chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant. (Dave has 3 sisters, but unfortunately none of them were a match; so his donor is an anonymous one from the International Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Thank you whoever you are, we are grateful for your generosity! ❤️)
Polyamorous living is interesting.
I remember clearly when Dave was diagnosed. Andrew (my other partner) and I were in Bali on a holiday booked ages ago, so Chrissy (Dave’s other partner) accompanied Dave to the hospital. I remember being in the outdoor foyer of an Indonesian island resort, desperately (unsuccessfully) trying to dial in through the patchy WiFi into the doctor’s office. I remember Chrissy afterwards valiantly trying to translate medical mumbo jumbo to me with the aid of Dave’s deafening silence (he was in shock). I remember utterly falling apart, soaking Andrews’s T-shirt with tears as we contemplated how to return to Australia early amidst active volcanoes spitting ash in the sky, which sparked 24 hours of cancelled flights. I remember trying not to ‘ruin’ Andrews’s birthday holiday, and then being so grateful at how he put his own needs aside without hesitation and gave me all the comfort and hugs, as well as space when I needed it.
If there ever was a surefire way of scoring an existential crisis, I’m sure getting a cancer would be it.
If you’re ever feeling bored, try starting a new business from scratch with 3 people you’re in a poly relationship with; and if you want to level up, I highly recommend throwing in an existential crisis! I can personally guarantee no more boredom!
Right now at the time of writing, it’s 9.34pm, night before admission. We’ve just been out to dinner (last supper if you will): Dave, Chrissy and I. Amongst chatter about The Rabbit Hole (we talk about The Rabbit Hole a lot!), we chat about kids, about work. Chrissy and I also chat about the logistics of impending hospital visits, and decide that we will play it by ear and see how Dave goes. He’s an introvert; like an animal when they’re sick, he tends to retreat when unwell, and will likely need a fair bit of personal space. He knows we’re here when he needs us.
What we don’t talk about, is that ICU admissions for complications are not uncommon, and that the mortality rate is significant enough that the doctors tell you to get your Will in order before your admission to hospital. When we get home, I don’t let him see the tears in my eyes, as I watch him put away all his shoes in the cupboard, except the ones he’s going to wear to hospital tomorrow.
Things are going to be different for awhile. The Rabbit Hole won’t be the same without him. Who else would be sadistically zapping squealing girls with the Violet Wand only to have them beg for more; then not 5 minutes later be using a fluffy toy dog to play Peekaboo with a bunch of Swingers in the spa bath??
(Andrew the next morning while cleaning: “Ewww, why is this dog so wet??” He was imagining someone had had their merry way with it the night before at the Pyjama Party.
Dave: “Ah that was me. I chucked him at the unsuspecting people in the bath and it got wet!”)
Who is going to just magically whip up a contraption I just decided is going to be ‘soooo cooool’ for The Rabbit Hole??
Who is going to leap out of bed on a Sunday morning after a party to make us all cups of tea and coffee in bed, when Chrissy, Andrew and I are still rubbing sleep out of our eyes?
Dave, you’d better bloody get well soon, so you can come back and throw dry horse poo at me whilst walking down Hindley St!! (He really did this to me one night early in our dating days, the little shit!)
In the meantime, life goes on. We are so so grateful, to the bunch of amazing people who have been, and will be helping us out at The Rabbit Hole whilst Dave is away. He’s well equipped for the extended hospital stay (minimum 5 weeks if everything goes well), with super duper headphones and computer and internet. (He’s even got a small stash of TRH business cards, in case any hospital staff express an interest in swinging!)
Chrissy and I will keep him updated of happenings at TRH, so make sure you give us lots of good stories to tell him! Even better, send him/us stuff via private message on Facebook or email, he would love to hear from you! But if you really want to make him happy, feel free to send him nudes and smut: now that’ll really make him smile 😘
Anyway, time for bed for me, it’s going to be a big day tomorrow.
Love to you all, and thank you for being part of our lives ❤️
In anticipation of questions re how to donate to the Bone Marrow registry, here’s some information.
If you’re between 18-30, register here https://strengthtogive.org.au.All you need to provide is a cheek swab 😄.
If you’re between 30-45, in South Australia you can only donate via the Australian Red Cross Blood Donation Service. Just ask to donate stem cells at the same time you donate blood, and they’ll just take a little bit extra.
**However, if we donate via Red Cross, we will probably be subject to the ineligibility criteria they use, and unfortunately the sexually non-monogamous are ineligible to donate blood. It feels a lot like discrimination, and I challenge the concept that the openly non-monogamous are a more risky group than the supposedly monogamous, but that’s a conversation for another day.
Stem cell donation by itself however, isn’t subject to this exclusion criteria, so if you’re under 30 years old, just register online.