Monthly Archives: June 2016

Should know better

Echo results…blood tests…herceptin…eye problems…insurance negotiations…driving license re-application….oncology…

AND what do I do? Act my age? Be sensible? ….n’ah…what do I do? Without consulting/talking to anyone whose advice might be useful. I get my eyebrows (which vanished..never to return, from chemo) tattooed. Or, in more age-appropriate language. I have had microblading.

Whilst the shape is OK (or is it?)…they are very dark…I gather this will “soften” but I currently feel defined by my eyebrows. Unsure what to do, other than act surprised! Should I….

  • Disregard aftercare advice and see what happens?
  • Wait for 2nd appointment and get them broadened? add grey? re-shaped?
  • Take to my bed/garden/the hermit-life?
  • Grow my fringe?
  • Buy better concealer?
  • Stop being so vain?
  • Botox my lips to shift the focus?
  • Wonder about rain damage
  • or blame my mother, she did tell me “that if the wind changed I would forever remain with THAT face” and it was BREXIT day after all…(so maybe Boris’ or Nigel’s fault)

…and wonder why someone of my age was so compliant when the “technician” was not the young beautifully browed  beauty I had imagined (after my NARS experience). Instead someone with eyebrows I visibly balked at (so far as I was able, without my glasses on) and there’s the rub…





Despite a week of more medical assignations than any other activity, I thought I was doing OK. I not only confidently signed up for a 7.25 (am) “Power Wave” class, 20 minutes of “high intensity workout using the PowerWave bag for all ages and all levels of fitness.” How hard could it be? I signed up for more than one session of the series…metastatic cancer, unexplained heart stoppage, diabetes type 1, sciatica be damned

In my typical brain trying to defy body mode I even went to the gym before the class and did 30 minutes of strenuous aerobic activity.I thought I was being sensible (?) and warming up.  All I can say about the experience is that I seemed to enter a senior moment time-warp the minute I entered the class. I was shown (1:1) how to hold the PowerWave bag and I forgot in the second between being shown and being given the bag…several times…Repeat for the first exercise…so now I am not only holding bag wrong but doing the exercise wrong…

I didn’t even last the warm-up (which was without the bag) before I decided that this really was not for me and collapsed in a giggling heap (on my own) on the running track. Of course any “normal” person might have recognised  the likelihood of this before signing up but I quite like the thought that “This Girl Can”…even if I can’t…



Lights go out in Europe?

A very drunk young Irish guy politely shook my hand and introduced himself to me last night, as I was walking along, I say introduced but he gave no name! He rabbited on about in the most extreme jingoist terms about his full support for Brexit  – assuming that we both felt the same. Then got round to asking if I agreed with him. I didn’t and before I even got going, wondered (out loud) how he could wax so lyrical (not) about “bloody immigrants” whilst, at the same time telling me that both of his parents were Irish nationals but he had emigrated and was British. He didn’t want to hear that (because “Ireland is different”) nor did he want to hear anything other than Britain could and should face the world alone, as, he spouted “they did in the war”. When I challenged that, he started shouting and walked off…but then scurried back and shook my hand again…

I am seriously angst-ing about Brexit…wonder if the forthcoming referendum will echo the miners’ strike when families and communities were forever divided by opposing viewpoints.

But naturally this is not the only thing on my list of concerns. As I move further away (in time not memory) from the betrayals that led to the breakup of my marriage. I ponder that I am not dead yet, and look around me wondering how a breast-free future with a very poor shelf life, pans out in terms of any potential partnership. Who in the world would be brave enough to love me and who would I ever trust enough to love? Two years of therapy and counting…

…and, for a final nail in the coffin (as it were) weather forecast in Sound of Music-land is thunderstormy and wet…very wet, heavy showers in fact. I am told (in a roundabout kinda way) by “frockfrolics” that this could be in keeping with the mission




Part-time working; part-time patient…why is it that you are always expected to be “free” at any time because of that? I had years of this in the workplace and now again I am having to dance to the tune of expectation…except of course, I’m not!

Do they anticipate that cancer patients sit around waiting for medical appointments to fill their days? It certainly seems so…I have had a day of being huffed and puffed at for daring to try and re-arrange inconvenient appointments. Appointments that frankly I don’t want but am “required” to attend for reasons that aren’t my own. It also took up several hours of dialling, re-dialling, leaving messages, trying again and again before I even found a person who could, with unsurprsing reluctance “help” – but only after interrogating me about why I couldn’t attend the given appointment. Is there really no understanding (or training) that a prognosis like mine makes me want to fill my days with living not dealing with people, who don’t seem to be seeing the full picture?

Frankly, feeling well fed up…bad enough living with the unpredictability of cancer without feeling like a nuisance for being unable to attend an urgent appointment, which is only urgent because I was erased from their recall list (again!), not because it is either medically urgent or personally important. It would be happiness incarnate not to attend but I do not want to waste precious NHS resources.


The Big C

Sitting watching The Big C on BBC which is making me feel ….compromised? dishonest? fanciful? Irritated that community singing seems to be an answer? I have a diagnosis which gives a mean survival of 52 months from diagnosis. I am at almost 36 months.But I feel “well”. I live a life of Russian this feeling “well” really “well” or not? Does it matter? Will I wake up the next morning? Should I continue to concentrate on other things?

  • Looking out for those close at hand – my nearest and dearest
  • Watching my garden grow
  • Doing what makes me happy
  • Unfolding (and ironing out) the creases I have formed in my life

Have decided that, although passed as “fit to travel” I am not fit for purpose on the mad long-haul adventures I had thought possible (and…on some base level still think might be possible). That’s OK, I just have to manage the expectations I continue to impose on myself (I am well skilled in change management after 15 years working in the NHS) and continue to work on the reasons behind them.

On Sunday it is the anniversary of my friend’s death from cancer. A year. Most days I want to talk to her. Most days I want to howl. Most days I keep calm and carry on…most days