Work in Progress

Maandelijks archief van januari, 2019


Let me begin this story by telling you, I never wanted any fish swimming in a bowl, let alone a tank, ever.


But then came Bruce, which we saved out of the pond of the garden of my mother in-law. Clinging on for life in the last bit of moist mud that was frozen of the dried up pond. He was a true survivor, and that appealed to me. So, we took him home, and thought we would give him a nice warm life, for as long as he would live. Never, ever expected him to stay alive for this long.



He changed from a variety of accommodations, with the last one being a fish tank holding 100 liters of water.


All for his lonesome. Because he grew out of his last one. Did I tell you already he is about 25 cm long, and probably is about the same age as his length? And he is very domestic.



So my Brucy is my special little goldfish.


But now comes the part where it all went so terribly wrong. Well….not wrong, but I told you earlier, I never intended to own a fish…


Bruce his new fish tank had enough space to plant some greens and a piece of decorative wood, to make it feel extra homey. But after a while, an algae started to bloom. Up to a point, that I really got annoyed with cleaning the fish tank almost daily, because of the turbidity. I even got scared Bruce would be tangled up, panic, and then, maybe, even drown!!! Well… not actually drown off course, but you smellin’ what I’m sellin’, right?


After a huge search on the web, we decided to go for the most bio friendly way to deal with this particular kind of algae. We would purchase some platy fish. They eat the algae, and can coexist with a goldfish.


We went to the local store, and we were advised to buy three platies. Two girls, and one boy. That would be the ideal combination. I was amazed how tiny they were, and bought a tiny English bus for the safe side; where they could hide if they got scared of Bruce.


When we let the platies in with Bruce, I sat with my knees together, back arched, and bottom tucked. What if Bruce decides he loves Sushi. Then we have served him a dream platter…..

And then I really need to make a new appointment with my psycologist….



It seemed to go very well. The algae stayed clear, and Bruce didn’t like Sushi, thank God. We named the platies Bobbette, Bobbine, and Bobbère.


And they all lived happily ever after.


Except for Bruce…


The Bobberts enjoyed their new home a little too much, and dominated the fish tank and harassed Bruce by continuously poking him. And to make matters worse, Bobbette was pregnant….. of at least 40 baby platies……



What the fuck!!!!


You let a stranger in to help a hand, and then they take over your home, steel your food, harass the local, and multiply like crazy. Poor, poor Bruce…. What have we done??



Bruce showed signs of severe stress. So I bought a scoop-net, and had a good talk with the Bobberts. I showed them the scoop-net, and threaten them to remove them from the fish tank if they keep harassing Bruce. I told them Ramon wanted to kill them even, by putting them in a bowl of cold water and a drop of oil. So they’d better behave!!!


But they didn’t.


And Bruce got in worse shape. But I couldn’t get myself to allow Ramon to kill them. I can’t kill three fishes and a baby!



Baby Bobby was born. But all the others were still in Bobbette her belly. That is just mass murder!!


I will never ever go past Peter if I die….


So, the Bobberts have their own little villa now. Along with their own little warmth regulator, so it’s a nice continuous 24.5 degrees Celsius. Just the way they like it. Because they complained they had it rather nippy at 21 degrees Celcius up with ol’ Bruce.



And when we bought the new villa for the Bobberts, we also bought a new goldfish to keep Bruce company. Because in our read-up on Google, we read that a goldfish doesn’t like to be alone. So now Brucy has Lucy as a companion. And we couldn’t have chosen a better one. They are so graceful and polite to each other.



And so we have 6 little fish…..


And 39 more coming…..


I never ever want a fish, I once said….



Yesterday was our 15th anniversary, and we celebrated it John Lennon and Yoko Ono style. The entire day spend in bed. Even though it was not planned, this day of cocooning together was everything we needed. After two and a half weeks of recovering, and actually feeling stronger and energetic as each of those days gone by, I should be feeling a bit like my old self, minus the whole kidney failure thingy. So I would have enough energy to celebrate our anniversary.


But instead I had such a terrible night before our anniversary, where I practically spend the entire time on the toilet. Apparently, subconsciously, I was a nervous wreck.


The following night I would start again with a new med that would in time, take over the Prednisone for my Crohn. But that is exactly the reason why I have been offline for so long. The new meds didn’t go so well. And now, on the very night of our anniversary, I would start and try again. But I am scared for a repeat of the last couple of months, which can easily be so.


Thus the John and Yoko style anniversary….


Ever since June of last year, after almost three months of suffering terrible diarrhea 24/7, I finally got a colonoscopy which proved my suspicions. A few very big ulcers, and a bad inflammation; which meant Crohn’s was thriving again. I got back on Prednisone again, and after 4 weeks, I started feeling better again. I had a talk with the doctor, and was told to try a new med that showed a very positive treatment for Crohn’s disease, with way less side effects than Prednisone. I was very surprised to hear that the new med, was one that is used for chemo treatment for Leukemia. How on earth can chemo show less side effects than Prednisone? Especially when the instructions said when one has taken these meds, one have to rinse the toilet three times with bleach, and Ramon can only touch the pills wearing latex gloves, and I even have to wash my hands after I have taken them.


I had to strongly be monitored by taking blood samples each week. Mostly to check the amount of white blood cells.


Within a week after I started the new med, the diarrhea returned. I felt weaker and exhausted with each passing day. And to make matters worse, the white blood cells dropped like crazy. This was not supposed to happen. After it went dangerously low, I had to stop immediately, and start take the Prednisone again. This was in December, just before Christmas. We decided to stop a little longer than the doctor suggested, and to start the new meds again after the 7th of January. We wanted to be able to enjoy the holidays as much as possible, and not wanting to worry when or if something would go terribly wrong. And maybe even to strengthen up a bit, before entering the new tryout.


So today is the first day being back on the chemo meds. I still feel okay, and even though I am scared, I will have a song in my heart. It would be wonderful if it relieve the Crohn’s symptoms, and even have less side effects so my kidneys can keep this pace.


I am up to my ears with creative ideas I want to work on. For months I couldn’t get myself doing anything but keeping household on track, and sleep. I felt so guilty for being this “lazy”, especially when my father (aka probably my biggest fan) asked me when I am finally going to write something on the website again. ‘Can’t you just write that you’re under construction or something like that?’


But even that, was just too much. I was completely empty, or rather, I overreached myself on the emotional level. This was all just too much.


But instead of feeling choked by guilt, the crazy feeling of being just a lazy ass, which made me even more blocked creatively, I felt inspired by a quote from the movie Christopher Robin.


‘Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. Nothing leads to the very best something.’


So this time I know what to expect from the tryout, and act more on hands when it goes south ways. Don’t want to fall back that far in my energy and health again. I have too much I want to do, with the limited amount of energy I already contain. I want to create, write, draw, paint and be happy!


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Joyce Kleine – Work in Progress