You may need
to know some basics about the author so that certain parts of the story fit
together. Phillip Fay was born on the 31st of August, 1970 so for the majority
of this story he is thirty-four years old. He is the youngest of five children.
Until the age of nine he grew up in a small country town in
New South Wales
. Just before his ninth birthday his mother died, by the somewhat disturbing
coincidence, of breast cancer. His family then moved to the Gold Coast,
, to live with his grandmother.
While a fair
bit happened between the move and when he met Lisa, including a wicked
stepmother, several different schools and many odd jobs, they are not important
to the story but may help explain a rather odd sense of humour. He met Lisa at
school in grade ten and they dated for several years before going their separate
ways. Seven years later, in 1998, they got back together.
have a daughter, Telleasha, who was born on the 21st of March, 2001, and Lisa
has a son, Zane, from a previous marriage. Lisa and Phil are not yet married but
plan to be as soon as life reaches some level of normality. Lisa is a primary
school teacher and Phil is an electrician/computer programmer/computer
technician. We can now add budding author to that list.
diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2004 and the rest you can read about in
the series of Lisa Updates
Updates are a series of real emails that I sent throughout my partners
(Lisa) breast cancer ordeal. I initially wrote these updates as a way of getting
out of telling the same story many times. The story was fine at first but after
I had retold it ten times or more, even I got disinterested and I ended up
looking very cold about a distressing account. I went from telling people,
in detail, about how upsetting the mastectomy was to, Oh yeah, she had her
boob cut off, shes okay. Whats for lunch?
decided my daughter, Telleasha, who was only three when most of this was taking
place, may be interested to hear what went on and how her old man handled
things, for better or worse. I hope that by the time she reads this, and
can appreciate it all, this vile disease is only a faint memory in both her
mother and the history books. I cut and paste all my emails and joined them all
together, hopefully they are of some interest.
the first four or five updates were really meant to be some quick messages to
friends and co-workers, I avoided use of correct grammar, a dictionary, and a
thesaurus. After a while, I found my emails were being sent to more and
more people and some of those people were forwarding them on. I dont know if
I was trying to avoid embarrassment or just trying to make something a bit more
readable and enjoyable but as the updates go on you can see the format visibly
changes into more of a series of short stories that I thought were not only more
entertaining but sometimes thought provoking.
from correcting some blazing spelling errors, fixing sentences that made no
sense, and adjusting font sizes to match (as a lot of the emails I did not keep
and had to cut from peoples returned messages that had quoted the original),
all are in the original state that they were sent out. While I certainly
was not trying to have fun or indeed make any profit at Lisas expense, I do
try to write in a kind of light-hearted way. Please do not confuse my humour
reading, please keep in mind that most of these emails were only ever supposed
to be viewed by certain friends and family and so I have made comment on a few
things that I wouldnt normally divulge to the general public. Also,
remember that I am both an adult and a tradesman so I have felt the right to use
a bit of colourful language here and there. While I was taught that
swearing should only ever be used as an exclamation point and not as a comma,
sometimes I just go with the flow of the moment. So if you are easily
offended or a churchy type (often the same thing in my experience), then please
do not read this! You will only end up writing me a nasty email that I will
happily ignore anyway, and besides, Ive heard it all before.
Lisa Update – 26th of July 2004
Just trying to keep everyone up to date, and offer
excuses of why I have been slack keeping appointments, fixing computers etc. The
following is a bit of a generic email I am sending out to people to explain.
Well, what can I say…. Ive had a BAD week. I
dont care how bad your week has been – mine BEATS it. Getting straight to the
point – last week we found out that Lisa has breast cancer and she is going in
for a mastectomy. It started as a lump she thought she should get checked out –
that led to a mammogram which led to a biopsy…. then to a few specialists, all
of whom agreed that a mastectomy was necessary. They THINK all the cancer is
contained and they should get it all with the operation…but of course they
wont know for sure until the day (great – something to look forward to!) So
this week I have endured MUCH crying (did I tell you just how good I am at
dealing with females crying?) and I guess I wont be in at work much over the
next few weeks or even months. We dont know when the surgery will be yet as
we have no private cover and have to rely on the fabulous public system!
My week wins!
PS. I hope to still have time to do computer jobs for
you but depending on operation dates etc I may not be able to do them straight
away. I understand completely if you cant wait for my services.
Lisa Update 2 – 5th of August 2004
your weekly gloom report here. Just giving everyone an
update on the Lisa situation – so please pardon the generic nature of this email
but it is going out to about 20 people as I dont want to type the same thing
over and over….my hands already hurt from pounding on the table yelling why
me? over and over…..Yes I know…stop being a selfish pr*ck and think of
what Lisa has to go thru…..
We found out this morning that surgery will be on the
19th of August (Thursday afternoon). Depending on what they find on the day
determines the extent of surgery. While there will be a definite mastectomy and
removal of some lymph nodes under the arms, it could be more extensive if they
find things are really bad – but at this stage they think not. The pathology
results dont come back for about 5 days after that and depending on those
will tell if they A) have to go back in and remove more tissue B) If
Radiotherapy is needed C) If Chemotherapy is required.
ALL BEING WELL Lisa will be out of hospital in 2 or 3
days and be sent home with just a drainage tube (taking place of the lymph nodes
until the body catches up with things) and this is removed about a week later.
She may also have some minor nerve damage in that arm from the removal of the
nodes. Therefore, she will not be right to drive a car for several weeks at
least. If chemotherapy is required, she may be feeling ill for months.
So, I will be at work until Tuesday the 17th of August
and then I will be off for AT LEAST 2 – 3 weeks initially and that may well turn
in to longer and eventually I may have to work out just coming in a few days a
week or something. I will also be putting my computer business on hold for a
while but may get out for the odd job here and there depending on how Lisa is.
That may well be something Lisa can be happy about as the last few weeks I have
been doing 12 – 14 hour days trying to keep up with two jobs. If you need
anything from me it looks like next week is it for a while.
All right – thats the end of Phils gloom report
for this week – you can now feel slightly better about your own life for a bit
now. Ill keep you up to date when I can.