Thursday, 18 August 2011

Bob Moving on but need to make sure Bob doesn't come back ....

A friend sent me a text today which made me think:

3 things in life that never come back when gone:  time, words, opportunity
3 things in life that never should be lost: peace, hope, honesty
3 things in life that are most valuable: prayer, love, faith
3 things that make a person: hardwork, sincerity, commitment
3 things in can destroy a person: lust, pride, anger
3 things in life that are constant: God, change, death

I would probably add to the most valuable health as well! 

I have my faith which I find comfort in especially going through this situation and lay my anxieties out in prayer.  I am not angry at what life has brought me, although I sometimes think “why me?” then turn it around and say “why not me?” and feel closer to God.  Through times of adversity hidden strengths can be found in all kinds of people – those who organise, those who counsel, those who heal, those who are inspirational and I have met all these kind of people going through this journey.  I have been told that I am a brave courageous person, but I don’t feel brave or courageous, just the realisation that this is something I must get on with and get through so I can carry on and would rather do this as positively and calmly as I can.
So its good news that Bob has now gone out of my life and all that needs to happen now is preventing Bob from coming back.  My chemo will start in about two weeks’ time. 
Six sessions of 2 hour chemo three weeks at a time, and then radiotherapy for another three weeks.  This is the time I fear the most with all its side-effects but right now I still taking it one step and one day at a time, trying to enjoy the now .  My cousin will try to come to as many treatments as possible, holding my hand and keeping my spirits up and the breast care nurses will be with me on every treatment.

Oh and I have also put on nearly two stone since just before and after my op, and I am not moving my arm in the right way and need urgent physio  so I don’t get stuck with a frozen shoulder for many years – so I also need to try and find a regime of dieting, exercise as well as keeping my sugar levels in check, preventing infection and maybe just maybe give up smoking if I don’t find it too stressful.  LOL  - there really is nothing new there! I’ll update you on my progress …..

Going back to the text I received, I see my blog as an opportunity to get down my feelings in words at the time I am thinking them.  I hope it does bring peace to those who worry about me, it’s being written with complete honesty conveying the hope I have on full recovery.  Through my faith and prayer, and the love I have of others and they of me I find comfort, and it certainly takes hardwork, commitment and sincerity from others to support me and be my friend at this time.  Lust, pride and anger are things I will skip over at this time but they are certainly buried somewhere in my psyche – especially anger and pride if I am truthful.  Death is with us all the time and Bob has definitely made me dwell on it for a while although I try to turn my mind away from this as definitely not a positive thought!  Change – life is full of changes and I am a testament to that - we all need to adapt to life and what it throws at us, it never stays still even if we want it to - and God is something personal to me and means many things to different people.  I do wonder sometimes about those who are going through the same process as me but who do not have the support systems around them such as I do – so really I do not have anything moan about and a lot to be thankful for!

Despite fearing what is to come, strangely, I have found myself more hopeful today.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Me, Bob and my son

Extracts taken from the Scary Mother Manifesto.

- I shall maintain a sense of humor about all things motherhood, for without it, I recognize that I may end up institutionalized. Or, at the very least, completely miserable. - I shall not compete with the mother who effortlessly bakes from scratch, purees her own baby food, or fashions breathtaking costumes from tissue paper. Motherhood is not a competition. The only ones who lose are the ones who race the fastest.
- I shall never claim to know everything about any child but my own. (who still remain a mystery to me.)
- I shall not preach the benefits of breastfeeding or circumcision or home schooling or organic food or co-sleeping or crying it out to a fellow mother who has not asked my opinion. It’s none of my damn business.
- I shall try my hardest to never say never, for I just may end up with a loud-mouthed, bikini clad, water gun shooting toddler of my very own.
- I shall remember that no mother is perfect and my children will thrive because, and sometimes even in spite, of me.

Why am I putting this up on my blog - its a reminder than other than trying to get myself well I am also a single mum trying to parent my child under challenging circumstances.  Mcmillian have a very useful leaflet on how to explain cancer to your children and the emotional impact it can have and for me honesty is the best policy with a positive spin especially with a chold who wants to know everything!  Each step of the way my son has travelled with me on this journey as well, being sent away to very kind family to help me recover and heaped more responsibility on him but trying to maintain to let him still be a child learning from experiences both good and bad.  My son has his moments when he pushes both mine and other peoples buttons he is 13 not yet an adult but trying to be with the need to be the young child within him who needs approval, hugs and unconditional love.  When I have my chemo my only concern is that he may be able to go to people as a bolt hole when I have my bad days, or someone will cook him dinner when I don't want to eat or cannot cook myself - having that continquency would be great weight of my mind.  But understanding others children is not an easy thing to do even if you think you do.  You understand your children much better than anyone else - their moods, what makes them happy, whats the best way to discepline them and to look after their emotional security but even then teenage thoughts and needs can be a mystery - totally agree with Scary Mother!  I don't always get it right, but I do my best.  My son is not the easiest of children as he can't ever sit down, jumping from one idea to another, likes to wind up people deliberately/and not deliberately and succeeds- hard to keep up with.  But on the whole he is a good kid and in his own way is being very supportive, protective and loving.  Its not only me who have had challenges over the last two years, he has as well and I want to him to be able not to look over his childhood not with regret and saddness but at all the good things he has achieved and the happy times. We both need some good things to look forward to, and that will be my next mission to try to do this at each milestone of the chemo. 

Will know more tomorrow - the waiting game is the hardest to cope with most of all.  Last week I posted on facebook Katherine Jenkins singing the hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind with the last line "O Still Small Voice of Calm" - and that is really what I am striving to find in my soul that still small voice of calm.

O still small voice of calm"
Please visit my site http://www.katherine-jenkins-i​ for a comprehensive collection of Katherine Jenkins videos
PS - bigger font size by request!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

How can I say thank you with Bob around?

Writing a blog which others read you have to be careful how you phrase things because it is easy to write down your feelings at a particular time in a moment when you are feeling unhappy, insecure and with Bob my emotions change day by day - one minute all is ok with the world, another is a day of insecurity with thoughts jumping to the future and then thinking have I actually got a future - I know its natural to swing from negative to positive thoughs in an instant. I am also incredibly sensitive and also read into things that are not as they seem, although a sixth sense shouldn't always be ignored.  The last week has been a little surreal - I have been a lot more mobile coming out of the lymph gland op than I thought I would be, being able to do more than I thought I would which is a good thing.  After being so quiet with my son away, he is now  back causing all kinds of mayhem  but enabling me to focus on something other than Bob, and after causing an embarassing flea infestation the dog is back as well making me smile with his antics. New rule for the dog he is no longer allowed upstairs and we have acquired a babygate and he has been regulated to the dining room and kitchen while we are out and over night - first time last night and he whined for a long time - my heart went out but I know this is all to everyone's good - no more fleas in my bed!  Another of my friends came up from London with her two children and we have a good but exhausting day which knocked me out for the next day - ok I am being told to slow down a bit.

The news was full of the London riots last week, and the weekend papers have been full of MPs again fiddling expenses and cival servants abusing credit cards.  I wonder which ones are more the looters than the others.  It made me think what would I do if my son had been involved and I would like to think I would definately report him to the police.  I am as outraged as anyone and I have been researching the reasons behind the riots. They call this the consumer riots - there are so many things I would like to have, so many things my son asks me to get him, and I cannot because there is no spare money around  but would I loot to get what I wanted - of course not because that is pure greed - and its the disregard to other people and not care what happens to them that makes me so sad. 

The one thing having Bob is knowing who is there for me, and all my family have been wonderful in so many ways.  Its hard to know where even to begin to know how to say thank you.  Flowers is one way, making a thank you card is another, taking someone out for a coffee is another, and sayijng this in my blog is another one.  For my cousin who takes me to every hospital appointment and shares each emotional step on my journey with Bob, and has cried, laughed and supported with me each and every day not only during this period by over many many years and who I could not do without.  For another cousin who comes and sees me every Tuesday with such a calming pressence.  To my aunts who are always there to listen to meand ask a quick favour of.  To my dad who rings me up every day even just to say I am beating him on on-line scrabble!  They say you can't choose your family but you can your friends - well I would choose my family to be friends any day of the week!  Thank you to my old work colleagues in London who have made special trips to come and see me and lift my spirits, new work colleagues who have taken me lunch and check in now and again, and to friends and colleagues around the area who have popped, chatted and prayed with me.  The doctors and nurses who professional concern have been brilliant.  I could go on and I have probably missed out a whole lot of people.  If I could bring all these people together and have a party after I am recovered I would. 

My next appointment has now come through.  I feel I have gone through some rounds in a boxing match but the harder one is now about to happen - I am in limbo again because I am not there yet but I know its right around the corner and a whole new phase of life is about to begin and I am going to still need the support of all my loved ones, family, friends and colleagues to help me pull through this so I do have a future.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Me and Bob, Living with Cancer: Just because Bob is around doesn't mean I can't be...

Me and Bob, Living with Cancer: Just because Bob is around doesn't mean I can't be...: "OK lymph glands out and I am at home. The op wasn't half as bad as I thought it would be, a bit uncomfortable and painful on occassions but..."

Just because Bob is around doesn't mean I can't be happy!

OK lymph glands out and I am at home.  The op wasn't half as bad as I thought it would be, a bit uncomfortable and painful on occassions but I have lot more mobility then I thought I would.  Feeling a bit stiff where my arm was pulled back and the importance of the arm exercises have been reiterated again.  In fact I have come out feeling quite europhic which is such a strange feeling after feeling so down in the dumps - maybe the antibotics they have put me on are really happy pills!  May be it just the relief that the lymph nodes are gone (or as many as they could get out - there are about 15-20 lymph nodes under the arm and some of them are very small) and I do not have to face another operation.  The nurses as usual were wonderful and very caring although extremely eager for me to go and they even remembered me from last time!  Nothing over the last couple of days have seemed to get me down - not even finding some fleas in my bed last night!!  Pesky dog must have been sneaking onto my bed when I wasn't looking - time to get a stairgate me thinks before he comes back and proper defleaing for him as well!  It is quiet but I am revelling in it at the moment and am just enjoying simple things like a good chat, a game of cards and reading a book in the sunshine but I do hope I get a goodnight sleep tonight without having to change bedcovers at 3am in the morning!  See I am quite happy, having Bob aound doesn't mean I can't be happy you just have to find the joy where you can and hope the worries don't keep you awake at night.  I need to be fit and calm going into chemo which is coming up soon and I just don't know how that is going to effect me so I am learning to take each day as it come and not to stress about something that hasn't happened yet.  Of course there are things I need to sort - a housing benefit problem which I am delighted to find I can claim some - every little bit helps and if I can't get back to work (even for a little bit) facing claiming sickness support and another housing claim - that is to come at the end of the month when I will know just a little bit more.  And really that is what it seems to be about learning just a little bit more each time I see the consultant - no using running when you are not even walking the saying goes.  Well today is Friendship Day and I celebrate all things to do with my friends and family - everyone who has come to visit me, intention of coming down to see me, taken me out, done some shopping, cleaing and cooking for me, rang, texted and correspondend and generally just kept me laughing.  I thank you every one of you. 

Monday, 1 August 2011

Bob and I going out

Over this last week I have started to socialise more, probably because my next op is due and I know I won't want to go out in this way for a while.  I had my hair cut, short and spikey and dyed it another colour. ( I want to feel good again but also preparing myself for chemo).  Some friends came from London at the weekend, took me to lunch, walked around the park and then cooked me dinner.  Today I was taken to lunch by some work colleagues, and attended a pub quiz. There were the inevitable questions about Bob - as Bob is never far from mine and others thoughts, but there was also light heartedness and laughter and again I wondered at the kindness of the people around me. Tomorrow I meet a lady I met in hospital going through what I am for coffee.  I ignore any looks I get - but on the whole I don't notice anything - it seems to me I am the one who only really notices the shape of my body - although others may only be being polite - it comes to the the question of whether I will in the future have a reconstruction or not - but my thinking is to get rid of Bob first and then may opt for this in the future.  I know others feel very differently about this, but as I don't have a partner I am not so attached to my breasts and do not feel that I am not a real woman without one.  I am dreading my next op this week as I am not quite recovered from my first yet and the inevitability that I will be coming home with drains.  My son and dog will be visiting friends and family so I will be alone in the house at times as I recover.  Everying one is so busy during the summer holidays and I feel like I am stuck in limbo.   I need to make decisions soon on what I should be doing through my chemo, go back to work and work through it, should my son not stay at home, should the dog come back - how I will cope when I go on to government supported sick pay.  Some of my friends and family try and take these worries from me and make decisions on my behalf - but I wish they would ask me first as I do have my own thoughts and needs that they necessarily do not think about.  Oh and its all getting a little political as well as they can do in families.  I wish sometimes I did have a partner who could support me and show me the love I need and sometimes crave - but I do not regret leaving the partner I had - or becoming a single mum - one little bit.  Having this and that relationship would have been a living hell!  Oh well along to my next hurdle the lymph glands on my left side come out on Thursday and I am dreading it but it is just one more step to get through on the road to getting rid of Bob.