Be gentle with yourself and yes it does take a while. I am just on a year and bit in remission from gynae cancer and its only now I can learn to live without the anvil hanging over my head and 'what if-ing' all the time, but it still creeps in every now and again.
I had a rude shock last week when I worked really long hours and the routine became: work, home, work, home and I was so tired that I threw up in the bathroom. Even in remission we forget. Cancer changes your body with regards to 'capabilities'.
Take a step back and remind yourself you made it, you are making it and its one day at a time. Get rid of any expectations too, put your little black book on a diet and take care of yourself. You are living in all your gorgeousness 🙂
... View more
Well folks its been a while since I have been on here and I am in the fortunate postion (at the moment)to have completed a year in remission from my gynae cancer and although the slog is a little tough at times and the 'cure date' is not for another 9 years.
Nevertheless, I am still counting my blessings every single day and you are never too far away from my thoughts. Cancer is a lifelong club I think, once you join, you never leave and the people you meet will always touch your soul in ways you never imagined, leaving you all the more richer for it.
Alas, being a teacher, I am the 'cancer guest speaker' (nice!) at our junior school's annual worlds greatest shave fundraiser. The kids are gorgeous and are happy to donate and undertake such events.
The token cancer speaker - so many ideas and thoughts run through my mind - well, the chemo injections in the spine for starters, followed up by folenic acid! 🙂 Its enough to make an adult cry, let alone a 5 year old. I have decided to talk and focus on hope. I have also decided to talk about death, because it can happen too, as we know. What a journey. It will be the first time I will stand in front of little people and talk whilst they open their minds and the hearts (and their wallets for that matter). At the end of the day, its the kindness that counts.
In my 14 years of teaching, I don't think I have ever been as nervous as I am now, me, who can talk the leg off a chair - who would have thought! So, if you have any quotes, ideas, topics, stories or you want to come along in spirit with me, by all means, let me know 🙂 In the meantime, this Teacher Mum is going back to basics. Friendship, Hope and Kindness.
... View more
Beautiful heart and kindred spirit. No more suffering on his part. He is dancing free on the clouds with the angels, filled with health and spiritual life. Just remember that the love never dies. The body may, but never the love.
Sending you love and light
... View more
Happy Mothers Day and
here's to us
For making it through another year
For celebrating life
For opening our hearts and taking risks
For the heartbreaks
For the cancer explanations to our kids
For the days we just had to keep on going
For taking care of Mum
For being a Mum
For taking Mum's place
For the meals and the laundry
For the hugs and the tears
For not giving u
Happy Mothers Day
... View more
I tell you what - its not all roses is it, even when you smear yourself with the stuff 🙂 But if given the choice, as bizzare as it sounds, I'd still choose the journey because it taught me how to live.
We are just testing, now - keeping an eye on things...I don't worry about the major stuff anymore. I dont think I want to...its too exhausting..
Hope you are travelling well and thank you for sharing your post as well, we all just are living this life the best way we know how I suppose
... View more
I wrote this a month or so ago...thought I would share with you here. :D
Many of my posts on this blog have been about my own personal experiences on this journey as a cancer survivor. With my dear husband’s okay, this post is dedicated to my beautiful husband and wonderful children who not only lived this occasional anxiety driven journey but who also dodged and lived through the collateral damage and debris that such a journey can bring.
This is a very small snippet of their story, as I witnessed and how they explained it to me. An acknowledgment, that they lived and continue to live the cancer journey with me.
My beautiful tower of strength and my soul – my husband
When the tumour was first diagnosed my husband said it was a wake up call for him, that I wasn’t going to be around forever, perhaps the realisation that at times, like we do with our spouses or partners, we take them for granted in the knowledge they will forever be what they are. The seemingly innocent world that was pre-cancer was decimated with one telephone call. I remember watching my husband feel very vulnerable – hands wringing, skin picked, nails chewed. Tears at the dining table.
Cancer in hindsight has without a doubt bought us closer together as husband and wife, it gave us a deeper level of intimacy so much so, we renewed our wedding vows in an intimate sunset ceremony on New Year’s Eve and gave thanks for each other and for who we are – who we are however wasn’t always serene and tranquil.
Trust was tested, patience was exhausted, frustrations flared up and shouting matches ensued out of fear of loss and a fear that the love of your life may die. Indeed for me, confronting the possibility of dying in that I had to leave my spouse and children without wanting to. The word cancer in our household became a dirty word, a despised word, and one that was overused so much so that we didn’t want to talk about it not only to each other but even to the doctors on the telephone. When a medico called, the other walked out of the room – another reminder that this unwanted guest was overextending their stay.
Some days, it just got too hard for everyone.
Yes, we also know it could have turned out so much worse, as I sometimes cry out in frustration at hubby when I explain that a cancer friend of mine has been given 6 months and she has a 9 month old and is still in her 20′s and struggles how to tell her relatives – this is it. He picked me up off the floor when we lost a student at school to cancer – 15 years old, gets me raging mad even to this day in a desperation and a sense of helplessness. I couldn’t bring myself to attend her funeral because it was too hard to bear and to cope with – we had lost one of our own and at her age, it was bloody criminal. He was distressed at the lack of control such a situation can bring. What do you say? What do you do? How do you comfort?
He wasn’t able to be physically there in the school gym for the Worlds Greatest Shave, because it just reminded him that I had cancer and it was picking at a sore that was taking its time to heal. ” My wife has cancer and sometimes I don’t want to be reminded of it “
Today, although still very emotionally exhausted by the cancer experience, we are all the more better for it, as husband and wife and as individuals – it has strengthened our bond and we have become spiritually, emotionally closer as a couple. We take time out more, we embrace each other in every way and we appreciate and acknowledge each other. However in want of a better word and to quote this beautiful man that is my husband, we walked through an absolute “s*hit$torm” to get to where we are today.
“I don’t want to leave Mummy in case Mummy goes and she never comes back”
Our Amazing Grace took it the hardest. Hospital appointments in were wrought with tears and leg clinging when it was time to drop the children off at the “hospital kindy” on the way to the Oncologist. Ice creams and treats were rewards as our hearts broke as we watched the soulful and gut wrenching wailing and sobbing – a fear of separation and anxiety that crept in post hysterectomy and again, after the Christmas school holidays. This is part of the collateral damage that cancer leaves children whose Mummy is going through the journey.
It ebbs and flows. This is night two or three, I’ve lost count, this week where our little girl has been able to sleep in her own bed. For 4 days in a row, she awoke at 12:30am and sometimes 3:00am screaming, not being able to find myself or dear hubby and into the bed she came with us – with her little foot touching my leg or a little arm draped over hubby’s shoulder to make sure that we were always there with her.
Kindy and the prospect of making new friends is an exciting world for her now, each day Mummy is away from the hospital her confidence grows and her independence is restored. Smiles and excitement shared with a rainbow of happiness.
The future looks bright and positive and as far as we know – this story will have a happy ending.
Writing this post was difficult. I can talk about myself and how it affects me as I know how to handle and deal with me, but when you know that your diagnosis is the cause of so much soulful heartbreak and insecurity to the people you cherish and would die for to spare their pain, it stabs you in the centre of your very being.
I discussed this post with my husband and sought his ok, as you can appreciate it is a very private and personal family journey. Many of you comment via e-mail or facebook commenting on my or our strength or courage, and I am completely thankful for your support, but I also wanted to share with you, behind the smiles and positivity at work, behind the soulful and thoughtful meditations or status updates, the tears and the soul journey that we have experienced as a family, a journey that you rarely hear about on t.v or read in the medical pamphlets. A journey that is confronting and soul wrenching, that strips you bare, that tests you in every way possible and times mercilessly drags you by the hair to hell and back and to places inside you, you never thought existed.
It is also a journey that we have gently embraced, experienced, shared, loved in its own respects because it was one of the greatest teachers that showed us, that through it all we are able to achieve anything. The bonds that tie this family cannot be broken. We knew it, it just hadn’t been tested. So we know, within our hearts and souls, come what may, we will be more than ok. The love we have for each other as husband and wife, the parental love for their children and a child’s love for their Mummy & Daddy, in this little family is unconditional, constant and strong, albeit we now carry the battle scars for me physical and for my family as well as myself, emotional. Scars that tell a story and scars that are carried with a sense of pride and in some respects – achievement.
... View more
From one Teach to another. I hear you well. I had the same discussion weeks ago with hubby however as I am the only breadwiner it made things tricky but apart from that he asked me the question:
Why did you become a teacher?
Teaching, to teachers for the most part, I think, is more than a job, well most teachers anyways, we hope to inspire, to share to teach to facilitate to guide...and the list goes on. Its a vocation, its a passion its part of our lives..it burns in our hearts and it soothes the soul.
I think sometimes like the lost soldier mentioned, we lose that passion, get caught up in the mundane, the negative because its how we feel inside.
I have rediscovered the zest for life now that all the cancer stuff is done with (for now)...that determination, the get up and go...and I went back to why I wanted to do what I do to begin with - and once again, believed in myself...what I could do, who I am...and its awesome 🙂
There are changes that cancer forces you to confront - issues that didn't bother you in the past now make you want to throw a hand grenade at the person or situation and you think where on earth did that come from? :)
I hope you have come to find and continue to find what you are looking for 🙂
... View more
I dont know about bowel cancer per se, but I know with gynae cancer the blood rushed backwards and I felt as though I didnt know whether I was arthur or martha!
For me, just having my hubby and children around was enough - their love and support is what gets me through the rough times 🙂
... View more
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.