Sunday, 31 July 2011

Ok I have skipped a few things!

Because I started this blog late, I have missed a few things out like the mascetamy op itself and the mini self help group we had in our ward.  I have also made a new friend who is going through the same thing as I am which is comforting.  I missed out  the feelings I had explaining to my son that I had cancer and step by step as I go through the process I update him.  I stay positive and I know he worries - the relief he showed was bigger than mine when I got the all clear that the cancer had not yet spread beyond the lymph glands .  My son stayed with my cousin around the corner when I had the first op and would come and see me in the mornings to pick up his bike for school and then after school.  This happened for about two weeks and then slowly he came back to stay - its been me and my son against the world for a long time now, protecting him against the anger of his dad, our subsequent move, divorce and realisation that we could breathe again,  Amazingly my son is very resilient and I am so so proud of him.  He is being sent away again for my next op but much further away for about a week and a half, our dog has also gone to visit friends so I am not looking forward to being completely alone.  Alone is the time that I feel less hopeful, less positive - in others I can put on a brave face but alone I tend to wallow and feel sorry for myself.  The one thing that is really annoying me is that decisions are being made for me without any consultation or asking what I think - I am just suppose to let others have control.  Communication has never been a strong point in my family!!  More seriously, I got wind that there was some concern over my son and that I was not looking after him properly - now this really upset me and I need to address it.  My son to me is amazing, clever, cheeky and incrediably annoying all in one.  He has had to take on more responsbility in helping around the house etc, but I try to let him still have the time to do the things that he likes to do.  Emotionally I think I have been very careful with him which is probably not necessarily the right thing to do - I do love him dearly.  Bob has made it clear to me that I hav e got to look after my self more so I can look after my son , but also that I must think of other things as well - making a will, guardianship, financial secuirty, a place for us to live so we can make our own decisions - there is so much to think and worry about and basically I am backing off and hiding from dealing with these things - but soon I must!

Friday, 22 July 2011

A single mum with Bob

Here is just a bit more about myself.  Two years ago I ran from London to Colchester after an abusive 18 year marriage - I had found the courage to get out and create a better life for both me and my son.  My cousin instrumental in my move offered me a family friend's  house to live in at a nominal rent so I was lucky I had somewhere to go.  When I first moved down both I and my son struggled -  I commuted to my work (a 4hour journey per day) never getting to work on time and always late home - juggling home life with work life - ensuring my son was taken care off while I was commuting - in the holidays etc.  My son struggled with his new school, the move and his feelings about his dad.  His dad found our telephone number and was ringing day and night - I had to change my number twice until BT sorted it all out.  My son's dad deliberately didn't allow him to contact him on his birthday and he denied contact on my son's birthday.  Then my son sent him a father day's card which he sent back to his school saying he was no longer his dad  - he knew where he was going to school!  From then on my son decided to put his dad out of his mind.  Then my husband threatened my life - stupid man he left a voicemails threatening me at my workplace - after the CSA took some money from him for our son's maintenance (and its not that much either!).  He was cautioned from the the police.  I became very depressed and couldn't cope anymore and signed off sick from work.  I never went back.  Throughout my depression I faced the reality of the abuse that both I and my son had gone through - I visited the Women's Refuge, both my son and I went into counselling.  Gosh this sounds all doom and gloom - but it wasn't - for the first time I could laugh freely, I could have a completely happy day - both my son and I could breathe again without tiptoeing on eggshells not expecting when the next outburst of nastiness would happen. It wasn't easy dealing with all those negative emtions for both of us but we came through it and we came through it together stronger!  We both took up cycling and became Colchester Cyling Stars being filmed for an advert- and still volunteer now on stalls etc.  In December I got a new job working for a Bishop - a lovely job - the money was a lot less but no more commuting and I could wave my son to school and be back just an hour after him - with Fridays off!!  My son was doing well at school - top sets - he was beginning to fit in - I was focussing on trying to set up a single parents support group which Colchester hasn't got liaisng with the North Essex Parenting Group - and then wham Bob came along.  In some ways I shouldn't be surprised - living with all that adreline and negativing and stress - its not good for the soul and its got to go somewhere and it was Bob.  Over the last two years I have done some of the most stressful things people can do - divorce, moving and a new job let alone trying to get back on our feet.  I will talk more about my son in my blog - but I have a lot of catching up to do on this blog to get it up-to-date from Easter to now!

Bob has shown me how people care

The day I was diagnosed with Bob, my tenants had disappeared owing me substantial rent, my son's bike was stolen, I had no hot water as the boiler had broken down and I was diagnosed with cancer - I call it my soap opera life.  My belief and trust in people in general had taken a big knock.  A miricle happened when a stranger came to door and bought my son a new bike - he didn't know about Bob.  My dad came to stay before I went in for my operation and gave me some money - saying its only money and you need not to worry about it now (not enough to cover all my problems but an amount which left me able to cope better). Although having my Dad to stay created all kinds of unique problems not anticipated - but I was just happy to have him to stay.  I haven't seen my Dad for about two years due to lots of reasons although we are very close, and this had brought us back together.  My friends and family who gathered together to put a rota together to help me over the first couple of weeks after the operation (and also giving me ongoing support).  Some old work colleagues came to visit from London cooking me a wonderful roast dinner and had me singing kareoke and laughing two days after the op. I have had various visistors from people I barely know dropping in for coffee and offering their support - loads and loads of telephone calls until it was impossible for me to just sit still and I got fed up with talking!  I have only to ring the cancer care people, speak to the nurses, help lines to talk to people - other people have contacted me who had had cancer which I never knew about to offer their unofficial counselling and advice and so it goes on.  Apparently I also have people praying for me all over the world! Facebook and text messages galore - to be honest its all been a little overwhelming but I never really knew how many people cared.  All the wonderful flowers are long since dead now - my pot plant still flourishes from the Bishoop - the cards are gathering dust on the shelves -and I wonder how long should I keep them up?  Its strange with all of this I still feel very much feel alone - they do say you can feel alone in a crowd. 

Thursday, 21 July 2011

More about Bob

First of all I would like to apologise to all Bob's out there!  My son named my cancer Bob when we decided we needed a name for it.  It was considered to call it after my ex husband but decided not to go down this route!!  Bob is tubular, and awas about 60mm (6 cm), which is pretty big.  It is now over 5 weeks since my masectomy and I am still in a little bit of pain and uncomfortable with a saroma (swelling were the blood drains to after the op) which makes it more difficult to do the arm exercises I have to do.  Yes Bob has now caused me to exercise and these arm excerises are ones I will have to do for the rest of my life!  Bob unfortunately is not completely gone - moved to my lymph glands - but after having an x-rate, liver, kidney ultra sound and bone scan has not gone elsewhere (thank God) - the two weeks to find out this was an agonising wait.  Unfortunately I have developed a bad viral cough which is wearing me out.  Also I  have gone up a dress size since the op!  I feel pregnant - bodyshock the doctor calls it - so here I am lopsided, fat and tired trying to keep positive.  That is what most people say to me stay positive and on the whole I do but really I do think I am also entitled to sad and depressed.  So I take my painkillers, my depression pills (and I didn't mention I am diabetic as well) insulin, expectant cough mixture, vitamin C, multi vitimins and minerals - optional paracetamal when I need it along with plenty of honey, lemon and good nutritional food  - although chocolate is also on the menu!

When I first met Bob ......

It was over the Easter Holidays when I first noticed Bob at the swimming pool and I knew then in my heart of heart this would mean that my life was going to change.  In May Bob's pressence was always there.  Bob could have been with me for a long time which was a frightening thought.  This could have explained a lot.  In June I tried to get rid of Bob, but it wasn't that Easy.  Bob was part of my every thought, a major topic of conversation.  I asked questions, I researched but Bob took away the control of where my life was heading Officially my life was on hold.  Bob seemed to entitled people to make decisions on my behalf without consultation, Bob brought insecurity and uncertainity but I had to face the fact that Bob would be with me for quite a while longer.  Not all things with Bob were negative as I met some great people, and found out how supportive my family and friends were.  Who or what is Bob?  Bob is my breast cancer and this is the start of my new blog.  Please share with me my ups and downs, the happy and the sad times of living with this cancer, the emotions involved as I live day to day.