Mar 27, 2011 Latest post:
23 hours ago
Welcome back! I started this site in March 2011, when I went through breast cancer. If you have the time or you're bored, you can still read that story. Ten years later, as I was giving thanks for surviving ten years, I found another lump on the other side..... You are welcome to travel with me again...... Your comments in the guest book are always much appreciated, as are your prayers/thoughts....
Welcome to this CaringBridge website. I've created it to keep friends and family updated about the journey through all the ups and downs of cancer, treatment and recovery. I shall try to make an entry journal most days, so you can keep up to date, and would love to hear your messages. I am SO grateful for all your support and love...
Welcome to this website/blog/whatever it is. The ArchDeacon suggested this was a good way of keeping friends and family up to date with how we are and how things are progressing. I hope you feel able to use it.... not only can you find out how we are, you can leave us messages - and see the messages and support we are getting from others.
Those of you who know the story so far well, might want to skip this bit and perhaps go to the next entry, whenever that will be! I shan't be offended....
Otherwise, you will know that I found a breast lump when a friend had one, and that was only last month! SInce then, I've been back to clinic (as a "regular" who's prone to lumps which are not worrying); been scanned and diagnosed with cancer of the breast and lymph node. I've subsequently had a mastectomy, from which I am recovering amazingly well, and am facing the prospect of a summer spent having chemotherapy.. and then radiotherapy as ten out of the 18 lymph nodes removed were cancerous. The good news is they think they've removed it all surgery, and this is just belt and braces. "Just" doesn't quite cut it though!
The love which has surrounded us/been poured out to me has been quite overwhelming - and humbling. I've had cards from the most surprising of quarters (won't embarrass anyone by saying who was surprising!) people I didn't know I'd touched along the way.. people who I knew I'd touched, but had no idea how much... To feel so loved is healing in and of itself.
The Sunday before the diagnosis was confirmed, I was preaching at St Peter's in Stevenage. The lectionary gave me Jesus' command (not suggestion) not to worry.. so I preached on worry.. told everyone to live in today... to lassoo thoughts that were spiralling out of control and into the future (fear) and bring them back to God in today.... to be thankful and to view our problems through God, rather than God through our problems. At the time, I wondered if God was having a laugh, but now I see how good it was to know that stuff before I embarked upon this journey. I have been trying to live my own words - to stay in today; to appreciate the little things and to refuse to allow my thoughts to run ahead or get fearful. Whether you, dear friend and reader, believe in God or not - this is advice that works! I am living it, (though I'll be the first to admit that some days it will be easier than others!)
We are not finding life easy, with Richard not being able to walk without crutches for the time being (well, he can, but he shouldn't!) And with me not being able to carry anything heavy or do much with one side.. and both being a tad weary, but we are blessed by having so many friends and good family. Cuddy, our lovely dog is being walked....meals have been supplied.... two brave souls are coming to garden tomorrow (and perhaps throw a vacuum cleaner round?) Our wonderful daughter Mary took time off work to look after us (post-op) and has been fantastic. Dave & Ellie are caring and supportive, as are Richard's sisters. Our friends and church communities have also been brilliant. The hopsital community too has been fantastic. I've had messages/cards/flowers/chocolates from senior mangement, consultants, kitchen staff and lots of people in between. Chaplains DO get around it seems! My operation was in the QE2, not "my" hospital, so I was amazed and humbled and delighted to find that I kept meeting nurses who knew me and who wanted to help. I was only in two days, but the ward staff must have got fed up with the number of visitors making their way unofficially (and out of hours) to my bed... Thank you. For your thoughts and prayers - thank you. For all the messages and cards and texts - thank you. For all the flowers - thank you. For the support and love which has flowed over us - thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
I've not yet got an appointment with the oncologist - I'll let you know when I do.... and am just taking each day as it comes, recovering from the major surgery. Today, my arm is still swollen, as is my body where the arm touches (as it hangs at my side) and I am hoping this will go away. I am doing the physiotherapy "religiously" and not sure how much I should be pushing myself... possibly a little less than I am at this stage... We both could do with sleeping better, but are both sleeping better than we were (if you can unravel that awful sentence!)
If you are a praying-sort-of-a-person, we appreciate your prayers - otherwise we appreciate being in your thoughts....
If you would like to say anything to me - please feel free to "write" in the guest book - I look forward to hearing from you.