Thursday, February 4, 2016

I am back, briefly

I am back, briefly

Hello, dear readers.

It has taken me about 45 minutes to log back into blogger.  After such a long hiatus Google freaked out and sent me all these emails warning me I was being hacked.  

Who would have thought Google would decide to annoyingly consolidate everything into one big non user friendly account with a 1990s style interface.

It has been so long I almost forgot both my user name and password, which is not helped by the fact I have 5 separate email accounts not including the home one. 

And I found more than 400 emails in my inbox, admittedly a rather large number of spam (not I don't want to 'collaborate' with you on my blog, sorry), but others, I am embarrassed to say, from dear internet friends emailing to check up on me and share their stories. 

To those who wrote and to whom I haven't got back to yet, I am dreadfully sorry.   I pride myself on being responsive and organised, and indeed, I get at least a 100 emails most days at work, and end the day with only a couple in my in box (not perfect of course, just slightly OC). 

As luck would have it, I am having a non superstitious month, and I have a few little thoughts and writings I have put together about cancer, post cancer and all of that stuff.  

I have put this off because I was pretty certain that continuing to write about cancer would curse me with a recurrence.   I am now slightly more philosophical about these things

None of my writing tends to feature any of the following words:

  • journey or cancer journey 
  • remission
  • courageous
  • pink.
I will explain why in due course.

In the meantime, it has been 3 years since I posted. 

My how the world of blogging has changed. 

No more blog rolls.  Hardly anyone comments any more.   It seems like a less generous, inclusive space, but I am sure that that is just the natural progression of life.  People are busy, and they find new and different ways to distract and entertain themselves. 

Most bloggers have moved to instagram, in my case, exclusively.  

And so, what that means is that I feel more like I am writing for no-one and no body, and that is a good thing.  So really  it has come full circle.  

The other anniversary which has passed by is my 5 year anniversary post my diagnosis.   And yes, I seem to be still here. 

I spent that day, a day I had been dreading, and anticipating, in equal quantities, in central England in a tiny honey coloured stone village called Easton on the Hill,  and here is what I posted to IG. 

Today marks 5 years since I was diagnosed with a breast cancer I was told was very aggressive. My children were 3 and 8. I was given a special pamphlet to help me explain 'cancer' to a boy who had just started kindergarten. 

I spent the next four weeks in total shock and denial. I had two major operations and then started two years of various treatments including chemo and Herceptin. And I don't even have room to list all the temporary and permanent side effects and issues arising from that treatment. I didn't really expect to be here to be honest. 

Being a patient in some ways is easy - you just let the system take over and you always feel supported (even though in some ways it is like attending your own funeral - so many flowers!). Being the family member or friend is much harder - so I would like to thank all those who brought food and champagne, wrote me notes, told me my newsreader style wig looked great, gave me the names of a great Chinese doctor and naturopath, sent me poems and DVDs and magazines and books, pushed me to keep exercising and just generally stood by me. 

Not just at diagnosis but six months and two years later. There were some friends and indeed family members who vanished never to be heard of again. But I guess that is more about them than me and other friends with cancer tell me this is quite common. I was lucky to get world class health care and to have an oncologist with both a sense of humor and great perception who understood what I wanted which was the nuclear option. Who also said do not whatever you do throw a five year survival party - because of course it is never over and in spite of what you might read there is no such thing as remission from breast cancer, not really. I was unlucky to be misdiagnosed by my GP so please do not do what I did and listen to the man who says you are too young to have a mammogram or ultrasound and trust your judgement always and always ask questions.

Love to all 

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