Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Social media here I come

Well hello long time no chat!

Yesterday I had lunch with Ann and Rachel and it made me realise hoe much I'd missed interaction with other people. It's strange that you can be really lonely surrounded by family and people in general.

I came off social media because too much bad,sad news was upsetting me but at the same time I've missed my Twitter buddies and Facebook friends. Okay I have plodded through FB liked the occasional picture or status and updated my status with photos. It's the support and friendship of people that I might have met or just connected with on social media that amazes me. The fact that many of us have met through having a common denominator Bowel Cancer is both sad and yet  uplifting! This morning I went back onto Twitter, the only way to defeat demons is face them head on!

There is a downside to spending a lovely afternoon with friends. . . .going home and back to reality! To be honest I don't feel like I go home more going back to the house I live in. Having mother in law living with us is more difficult than expected.

The last month or so has been difficult, as well as MIL driving me mad my eldest daughter Nikki had a bleed on the brain the beginning of last month. Since then she's been back to A&E a couple of times. Still having headaches and problems with her left leg and the left side of her face.She has an MRI booked for Dec 3rd so hopefully we will have more answers then. I've found it difficult dealing with it, bought back memories the fear for one. Also it made me realise how my family must have felt when I had mine. At one point a couple of weeks ago we had Nikki and MIL in the same ward! Mother had a funny turn at 2.30am luckily Colin heard her and managed to catch her before she hit the floor. However she did cut the back of her calf and needed 16 stitches!

Colin had to have surgery no 4 on his wrist the end of August but it's not healing properly so sometime over the next few weeks he will be having op no 5. So if I disappear from social media again it will be a temporary break while I become, yet again, chief cook, washer upper, dog walker and taxi driver!!

As for me nothing really to report except a letter from my CNS telling me that I will be having a CT in the new year another the end of next year and that's that! I'm not sure how I feel about it, relief fear I really don't know!

So I look forward to becoming part of the wonderful world of social media again.

Big hugs my friends xx

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A taste of my own medicine!

Hmm I think we're all probably guilty of dishing out advice to family and friends BUT don't actually follow that advice ourselves!

I wake up some mornings not wanting to get up and face what's happening. What would I say to someone feeling like that? "Think about how lucky you are to be alive,to have a roof over your head" So why don't I listen to myself! I should be grateful that I'm a survivor, that it's over nine years since cancer came into my life and that the last time it came back was four years ago. Of course I'm grateful to be one of the lucky ones. I hate hearing of friends bad news.

I can hear a special friend that is no longer with us telling me to brush myself down and put my happy head on. I would if I could find it, think it's buried somewhere in my craft room.

The thing is a situation at home is sending me back down into the abyss of depression. I can see no way out of it. I feel trapped again. I'm not going into details,it wouldn't be fair on the person concerned. A few of you know what's happening and I want to thank you for your kind words and hugs!

I haven't had any enthusiasm to join in chats on Twitter or Facebook. I miss my daily weather chat

I DONT want people to feel sorry for myself. Which is partly why I haven't been on social media. The point is depression creeps up on you and before you know it you're unable to shake it of.

At my last counselling session I finally realised that cancer has a lot to do with my feelings. That big word IF popped up. IF I hadn't had cancer I would be at work. IF I hadn't had cancer I could get out and about more without getting breathless, without being in pain. I wouldn't have needed the surgeries or chemo. Then again if I hadn't had cancer I wouldn't have met some wonderful people!

The reason I'm writing this is to show people it's good to talk about how you're feeling. Depression is an invisible illness. Don't be afraid to talk to a doctor or nurse if you're struggling. Family and friends don't always understand how when you're cancer free you stilll struggle.

Thank goodness I have my knitting group to go to every Sunday evening!

I'm off to look for my happy head now!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Finishing Line

So my friends the finishing line is in sight. In approximately 13 hours we will wave goodbye to 2014.
How has yours been?
For me it's been a bitter sweet year. It started badly with the tragic loss of 3 wonderful people from our bowel cancer family. I didn't know Jane or Tony well but Hazel was important to me.
Thinking about their families and friends.

A high point for me is NO hospital stays this year!!! Last year was spoiled by the gall stone incidents! So that's 2 out of 9 years with no admissions and more importantly 3 years cancer free. My next CT is January 7th so scanxiety will be setting in soon!

As the year has gone past their has been good and bad news from our cancer family, we lost Sian and Ruth, some bad results but many clear scans and some baby news! Love and hugs to all still enduring pain, chemotherapy and other treatments.

I'm still trying to clamber out of the black mist of depression. Progress has been made. I have been referred for counselling again and maybe this time it will do the trick!
Lots going on indoors which isn't helping but will just have to be British, shoulders back, head held high and best foot forward!!

So my friends I wish you all a Happy Healthy and Prosperous 2015 xx

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Breaking out . . . . Or am I?

I can hear you all asking what are you breaking out of!

Prison? I don't think so!
Hospital? Thankfully no!
Asylum? Not quite yet!

So what then? For most of this year I have been deep in a black cloud of depression. I have been wanting to write a new post for a while and the tragic news that Robin Williams has passed away possibly suicide due to depression gave me the inspiration! Apparently 1 in 4 of us will battle depression in one way or another but sadly few of us can actually talk about it. You can't see depression, you can't hear depression but it's all around us.
The problem is some of us, me included, hide the cloud with a false smile. Although it feels like your head is going to explode it's easier to push all the worries, problems and even grief into a safe in the back of your head and throw away the key. Then suddenly the safe door flies open and down comes the big black cloud.
I have had counselling,was anxious when it finished and surprised at what things upset me the most. Off course cancer reared it's ugly head, I don't think that worry will ever go away. Lots of other stuff came up which I don't want to talk about now.
To my surprise what really upset me was talking about my parents, every time I spoke about them I cried. I lost mum when I was 9, damn cancer, so I never really knew her. It wasn't until I became a mum and a nanny that I realised something was missing. My wonderful dad I lost almost 9yrs ago, I was with him when he passed away. There isn't a day goes past when I don't think about him. He was always the first person I would turn to when times were tough. My counsellor asked me why I fought the tears "because I always do" was my answer!
As for talking to friends or family about things, I don't want people to feel sorry for me, I don't want to be a victim of my own thoughts!
I was starting to climb out of the cloud, could see light at the end of a long tunnel but then another setback, I kept saying to my counsellor I seem to go 2 steps forward and 3 steps back!
This however is a setback of necessary. My mum in law is moving in with us next week. Having her here isn't the problem. She is 92 next week and shouldn't be living alone, having her here will be less stressful for us all knowing she is safe. It's the upheaval in the house that's getting to me. As mum is having our front room we've lost our dining room. The room is cramped and my view is now a shed and a brick wall. It means eating our meals on trays on our lap! I will get used to it but it doesn't mean I will like it!
So I will throw myself into doing my crafts and not sit around moping. I've started to go to a couple of knitting groups, a big step for me as my confidence has been in tatters.
I do feel better for writing this it's easier than telling people what's going on. I know I have friends I could talk to and in time I will.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A Quick Update or 8 Years on Part 2!!

Here I am again, feeling somewhat better than I was the last time I wrote a blog post!!

What has changed? Well firstly I made a mistake in my last post, Im actually two and a half years clear not eighteen months!
For those of you that left messages or have text me, a BIG thank you.

Secondly purely by chance I bumped into my CNS when I was picking my daughter up from hospital after physio. My nurse was concerned at how I was feeling especially as it was totally out of character. She suggested going back to counselling, true to her word the next morning she phoned to say she had just faxed the referral. I am so lucky to have two amazing CNS!! I expected to wait months but no this afternoon, two weeks after speaking to my nurse, I'm going for my first session.

Also I finally gave in and let my daughter help me sort/tidy my craft room!! Just sitting in there playing my music not watching day time tv and 'getting crafty' has really helped.

I'm taking our dog Daisy for longer walks rather than just standing and throwing the ball. Have to admit having hubby at home for months doing the majority of dog walks had made me lazy!!

So I would say I've climbed a few rungs of the ladder out of this black hole!! I really think it's important to talk about how you're feeling, for so long I havnt especially in the early days of my journey. As a mum I wanted to protect my girls, didn't want them to know what I was really feeling.

Many of us hide our true fears and feelings, but I'm hoping that writing about mine it will help others to realise it's okay to have 'wobbles' it's okay to have down days, but it's really important to try and talk to someone.

Onwards and upwards!!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

8 years on

8 years ago today the 22nd of February 2006 I had surgery to find out what the hell was going on! What they found not only changed my life but quite possibly saved my life!! A tumour in my bowel, an evil uninvited lodger.
So much has happened in the last 8 years, surgeries,chemo,a brain haemmorage and I've lost count of how many hospital stays. There has been positive things 4 more grandkids and a new circle of friends.
It's now 18mths since the last time I had surgery to remove a 'lung lodger' and 3mths since my last clear scan. Family and friends tell me how grateful I should be and off course I'm thankful to be clear of any nastiness! Then why have I been feeling so damn low and emotional!
My GP has upped one of my tablets, was for nerve damage now for depression. She also advised me to stay away from any charity work, volunteering, twitter anything linked to cancer issues including not doing my Macmillan shifts.
So why have I started having struggling again??  I've always stayed positive but I'm obviously not as strong as I thought.Maybe Macmillan talking to patients and there families. Seeing and hearing of friends having to cope with bad news, surgery and chemo. One of my daughters asked if I thought it would come back, how do you answer that question? I am scared it will, but the longer I stay clear the more optimistic I become.

January was a dreadful month for our Bowel cancer community we lost 3 wonderful people. Two I had met briefly, one I considered a friend. I don't normally name people in my blog but for Hazel I will make an exception.
Hazel Elkamouri (@witchyx)was the first person,after six years battling alone, that I spoke to that also had bowel cancer. I met her at Beating Bowel cancers patient day in April 2012. Found out she lived about 20min drive from me. I bumped into her in a local shopping centre not long after meeting. Hazel introduced me to a group of wonderful people also bowel cancer patients, these people I'm proud now to call my friends. Sadly we have lost a few friends in the last couple of years.

Back to Hazel,she was an amazing woman, helping others through her own experience of this damn disease. Not moaning about her own situation, doing what she could to advise and comfort others.
The last time I spoke to her, a few days before she passed away, I had visited her briefly in the hospice. She had asked if I could get her some flavoured straws to drink her milk through. The last text I got from her was thanking me and saying they were bliss and just what the doctor ordered!

I'm now caught in an emotional tug of war, part of me wanting to scream and shout and spread awareness. The other part shaking and hiding in a corner too scared of getting involved.

So eight years on it has been a sometime difficult, other times exciting and uplifting journey. I don't know what the future holds, who does, but I do know I can and will climb out of this black hole eventually.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

A letter to cancer!

So my friends Christmas is over and a new year has started. I'm not sorry to see 2013 end after all the gall bladder and stone adventures!! Although it did end on a high with another clear ct scan making me two years and a few months clear.
Before I go any further let me wish one and all a Healthy and Happy New Year. None of us know what's to come so positive hugs all round and on with the writing.

I've thought long and hard of a subject and it occurred to me I would like to tell cancer exactly what it has done to my life. So here goes . . .

Firstly why did you take my mum? I was only nine. Growing up I had no one to confide in about those girlie things that happen. No mother and daughter shopping trips, actually would that have happened? Would we have got on? When I became a mum who was I supposed to turn to for comfort and advice? Yes luckily dad and I were close and he was always available for chats. It wasn't until I became a nan and my girls asked me for advice that I realised what I had missed.

Then you decided to come for me and have put me through hell!! The scars on my body are proof I'm not letting you win. The constant pain caused by surgery a small price to pay for getting rid of you! I might not be physically as strong as I was before the battle began but I am still the victor!!

Emotionally? Mainly positive so step aside and let me move on. Okay so I do have down days but who doesn't? I get upset when I hear of friends with new battles, struggling with treatments and getting bad results. Last year many tears were shed as friends lost their battle.

Yes my life has changed drastically. I haven't worked since we met so financially things are difficult BUT don't chalk that up as a victory because I intend selling knitting and craft items. It's making these projects that has kept me sane.

So what happens next then? Who knows? I know what I would like to happen. I would like YOU to f*** off and leave everyone alone! One day that will happen, one day you will be banished for good until then be assured you are not welcome in my life again!!