It happened. I got Covid. I was incredibly lucky and experienced what can best be described as a bad cold. Honestly, I can’t describe the relief I feel about having faced it and been okay. I know this doesn’t mean I have unlimited immunity but it certainly has boosted my invisible forcefield of protection. The access to antiviral medication meant that the length of my positive testing status was significantly shortened so that my cancer treatment was uninterrupted.

I’d like to thank the academy. But more importantly I’d like to thank the four vaccinations I received, the mask wearers (no, not you people with it under your nose…I mean…just take the bloody thing off why don’t you?!!), my GP for monitoring and guiding my vaccination status, and my family and friends for putting up with my Covid anxiety and for taking my immuno-compromised status seriously.

Now….back to kicking Alan in the dick.

I’ve recently changed chemotherapy drugs. For your amusement or boredom (depending on your interest level) I have prepared a list of some of my new fandangled side effects:

  • Peripheral neuropathy: tingling/pins and needles/numbness in my fingers and toes, especially in response to touching anything cold. I actually throw a bag of frozen peas across the supermarket aisle the other day in response. I keep forgetting. It keeps happening.
  • Spasms in my salivary glands whenever I put any food in my mouth. Imagine sucking on a lemon and the drawing down feeling you get in the side of your mouth. Now multiply that by ten. It’s like my jaw is being extracted through my face. I keep forgetting. It keeps happening.
  • My voice has risen an octave but will gradually drop again over the next few days rendering me something close to a pre-pubescent boy mid sentence.
  • Oro-pharyngeal candidiasis: this one is a doozy and otherwise known as mouth thrush. It isn’t a new side-effect and I may have even mentioned it before but I thought I’d list it again because honestly, IT IS THE WORST. It makes everything taste disgusting and it covers my tongue in a delightful white film. Mmmm…lovely.

On the upside:

  • I am not in the foetal position in the bottom of the shower waiting for my next vomit like those chemo scenes in the movies.
  • My hair isn’t falling out anymore.
  • I’m slightly less fatigued on the new drug.

Now, off to the hospital to get Gwen, my chemo pump, disconnected. This is always a highlight of my fortnight. It’s a little Friday afternoon ritual of freedom.

Photo by Scott Webb on

This morning I woke to glorious sunshine pouring through our bedroom window. It might well be the first blue-skied day we have had in over a month. And in response, I became a delusional person.

Having no appointments or activities planned for the day I realised it was a perfect opportunity to rally the troop (Mum) and head to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Jules was enthusiastic in response to the suggestion having not attended in about the same amount of time it takes to remember why you don’t go.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Easter Show, it is an annual event originally designed to bring the best of agriculture to the city and to provide a central social event for farmers looking to get on the turps whilst potentially taking home a few prizes for their agrarian mastery. These days the Easter Show is a commercialised cacophony of overpriced showbags, dodgy fairground rides, disgusting fast food (see: Dagwood Dog) with a few rural teasers thrown in to keep things ‘authentic’. I swear those woodchoppers were wearing thongs back in the eighties. The Easter Show is basically a childhood delight and both a financial and sensory form of torture for parents. There is literally NO REASON a sane, childless adult would consider attending unless they were being paid to do so as some sort of escort/carer (see: previous career).

Google “Superspreader Events” and I suggest the Easter Show would rank a close third behind Buddy Franklin’s 1000th goal for the Sydney Swans and last weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Having considered none of this, it was with sound mind and a full understanding of the potential risk factors that we boarded the bus to Olympic Park.

The bus filled quickly as I attempted to further seal the N95 mask around my mouth and nose. The smell of teenage excitement and Lynx Jungle body spray will forever remind me of this near-death experience.

Sensing my rising panic, Mum gently patted my arm, reassuring me that we were almost there.

It was at about fuck-this-shit o’clock that the full realisation of my ridiculous idea dawned. We were heading full speed into a hotbed of pandemic pandemonium. As Olympic Park in all its glory came fully into view my body and my mind chorused: “Kristie, you are an absolute deadset idiot. This is not for you. You have cancer. Go directly to home. Do not pass go. Do not collect your showbags.”

What appeared to be a 50 metre wide column of approximately 15000 people was pulsing towards and beyond the entrance of the show ground.


Cue Abdul in an air-conditioned, sanity controlled vehicle to Cinderella us away from the horrific scene back to our car many kilometres away and the sanctuary of a suburban shopping centre where we caffeinated me out of my shame-spiral.

I have made some dumb decisions in my life. This was a particularly expensive one. The tickets and the Uber ride…

I have made some great decisions in my life. Turning around and coming home again despite the waste was one of them.

I have been careful and picky about socialising in the time of a pandemic. I have said no to invitations I’ve found too risky and I would understand if those who had sought to include me on these occasions would now question my integrity. I have even avoided family at times when things have been very risky. I was right to do so and my actions today were just…weird. I guess I just miss full-blown life.

In summary, if you are considering attending the Sydney Royal Easter Show in the next couple of weeks and you, too are immuno-compromised, or even if you are just a healthy person who likes nice things and nice places, this event is not for you. If Covid had a perceptible smell it would be a combination of cow manure and deep fried food.