Monday, September 7, 2009

What a shock !!!

What a shock yesterday when a friend told me they had been reading this blog and why had I stopped in June of last year !!!! My goodness where did that time go ???

My regular checkups came all to quickly, every 6 months I made the 90 minute journey to Valencia, hating the drive in the city centre and actually getting nervous about from the day before.Laterly I had a friend going with me, a super friend called Gay, she has been in my life for 30 years and is the most tranquil person I have ever met, so wonderful to be around. For one of these six monthly visits my car was of the road so off we went in Gays trusty old car. As we approached Gandia, out of respect for her aged but much loved and reliable car ( let's face it, hers was going and mine was not ), I suggested we leave the car there and get the train in to Valencia.

That was the start of our super days out where the visit to the oncologist and for my intravenous treatment in the day hospital became a secondary part of the day. As soon as all of that was over, we jumped into a taxi and spent the day in Valencia. We had a lovely lunch in a top floor restaurant with views of the reclaimed river bed area of Valencia and then we shopped before getting the train home. That has now become the routine for all the visits. They are now something to look forward to, a joy in fact. A time when we catch up with each other. Once again taking the positive out of everything. Even in the blackest moments there has to be a glimmer of light, that light is the positive. Grab it with both hands. We create our own reality.

During the time I have been absent so much has happened. One of those happenings has been the disbanding of the support site I was involved with. I decided to found my own and luckily my most favourite people joined me. We are only 23 members and we are scattered on almost all continents. Three years ago whilst still with the old site we had a meeting in London. 16 of us attended and it was a riot. Every second of the time together was enjoyed, every second exploited to it's fullest capacity. One of the girls in Australia could not make it so we did a Skype camera call so that she was with us for a time. Cancer brought me these wonderful people. One of the ladies from America then flew here to have a week with me. It was a time of such laughter, such pleasure. Sadly four of "my ladies" have died since then but each one of them has left her own special mark on my life and in my heart. I learnt so much from each one of them, from their dignity, their strength and there bravery.

Throughout the whole of this journey my husband, the most important figure in my life, continued to support, love and cherish me. It is important for anyone who has a life threatening illness to remember that their loved ones often suffer more than they do.

So much more to chronicle and so little time today, will be back tomorrow,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life as it was to become

When I decided that life was for living and it was time to get on with it almost everything became much easier to handle. Anyone who has brushed with the demon cancer and come out the other side will tell you that the one thing you don't get over is your immediate feeling of doom as soon as you experience an unexpected or hither too unknown pain. The first thought always, no matter what the sensible side of your head tells you is, "oh no, please don't let it be back". I don't think that ever goes.

Anyway, back to my experiences with websites and message boards.

I have benefited so much from being a member of several different support boards over the last three and a half years. Each one I have participated in has given me something special. They are in fact special places to be. It is here that you can share your hopes, your fears your dark and light thoughts without fear of upsetting your nearest and dearest. It is here I have made some of my closest friends. Friends who have become more than cyber friends. Friends I have met in the "real world", friends who have stayed with Paul and I in our home, friends I would never have met had I not participated in the boards.

There have been times when sparks have flown, but isn't this just part of "normal" life. We can not all agree all the time. I have received encouragement, love and affection from these cyber places.

Last year in July or September, 3 years after diagnosis, I announced to Paul that I felt fantastic, felt like me again, felt I was ready to take up the challenge of the commercial world again. By December we had opened our shop. I received support from all my friends on our breast cancer site and I still went there to meet my friends, to get their opinions and their encouragement. In fact my involvement with our site became even stronger.

In the meantime we have resumed an active part in our involvement with the horse world. I was very honoured when I was asked to judge at Europe's most prestigious agricultural show. I enjoyed every minute of it.

As I sit here today having just given a potted account of the last four years to bring me up too today, I can not tell you how lucky I feel. How glad to be alive, how normal my life is, though my friends would argue that there is nothing normal about my way of life. I might just agree with them. I am a 64 year old woman resuming my old career, I have been married for 23 years to my husband who is 17 years younger than me, I get up at 5.30 a.m. most mornings to fit everything in to my day, I am not unique, there are many ladies out there like me, but they too don't quite fit thee accepted normal mould.

Do you know I am even grateful for the fact that I am looking older, feeling older, am sometimes so worried about our embryo business, because the alternative just doesn't bare thinking about.

No, bring it on, ring on life, let me get at it, let me get on with it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

to continue.

In the first year after my diagnosis I was kept pretty busy with treatment and as I had volunteered to take part in the trials of two drugs my whole life seemed to be hospitals, needles, unfamiliar machines, driving miles down the motorway and feeling extremely tired.

On the day I stood and watched the majority of my beloved herd of dressage ponies plus my riding stallion, being disbanded, 6 of them being shipped back to the United Kingdom because I had the most overwhelming feeling that I might not live and then what would Paul do, how would he cope with 32 ponies plus all our other animals to say nothing of the grief he would have to handle, I would not have believed I could reach the point I have reached today.

My natural inclination in life is to be positive, and always to look for the positive so it wasn't long after that first year that my life was beginning to get back on track again. Hospital visits are down to just two or three a year now and even they don't hold any horrors for me now.

One day it was suggested to me that I join and take part in a breast cancer support board which is what I did. It was an enjoyable experience but I soon discovered that women are women no matter what and that sparks could fly even on a breast cancer forum. More of this later as I progressed from the first site to where I am now and so much happened that was good that I would like to share it with you.

Paul was my salvation, he devoted his life to caring for me. He had always been a loving and caring person but was even more so now. He often made me laugh, when I was as bald as a coot he painted a face on the back of my head and told everyone I was "two faced " and that I could see people coming and going. He made me feel cherished and loved. Nothing was ever to much trouble for him. He was my "shot in the arm" the medicine no one can prescribe, it doesn't come in a bottle. He was there for me 24 hours a day. It must have been so hard for him coping with it all.

Tomorrow my story will start were it should be by now, the complete turn around of my life, my changed attitude to life and people, my great appreciation of the simplest things in live, my gratitude for still being here and able to chronicle my thoughts.

Friday, June 6, 2008

the creation of my blog

Why have I decided to create this blog ???

Because there is life after cancer and plenty of it.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer over 4 years ago and the journey since then has been a long one. Long in the respect of getting to were I am now.

When I first heard those fateful words " I am sorry to tell you you have a malignant cancer " I did not realise how much water would pass under the bridge of life in such a relatively short time.

I will not bore you with the details of my diagnosis and the resulting operation and treatments just try and to explain to you why my own cancer experience has not been all bad. It hasn't been a joy ride by any means, it hasn't been a great deal of fun and given the choice I would rather not have had it but and it is a very big but, I have had some glorious times that I would have otherwise missed.

I am sat in our small shop in Spain writting this and feeling so glad to be here and to be able to do it.

It will help you to understand my blog better if I tell you a little about myself which I will do tomorrow when I come back to the computer. For me this is the beginning of something I am not familiar with and would like to comee back to the introduction when I have a few things in chronological order.