My Birthday and a fab weekend

After my very gloomy last post I promise this one will be slightly more upbeat!

We went away for the weekend to a lovely cottage in Devon. It was a very quiet village with only 250 residents. But it was just what I needed following on from last week. A few days to sit, chill, read, go for a walk, or do whatever I wanted. And the sun shone!! Even better. The people were so friendly and I did properly relax for a couple of days.

Yesterday was my 48th birthday. I really don’t feel that old. I know 48 isn’t old but I am getting on a bit!!! I don’t really mind getting older as each birthday I celebrate is a reminder that I am still here, another year on.

I had some beautiful and very thoughtful gifts. I am blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who have kept me going through this difficult time.

Today is also my eldest daughter’s birthday – she is 23. I don’t know were the time has gone and it only seems like yesterday that I held her in my arms for the first time. She is an amazing young lady and has been so strong through all of this and thankfully she has some amazing friends who have helped support her. I think I have said it in an earlier post but it is so easy to forget about the family and friends who are watching their loved ones go through this difficult time and not being able to help. I am thankful every day and so proud of both my girls and perhaps don’t recognise them enough for what they do and how they must be feeling. You can become so wrapped up in your own feelings, thoughts, pain, etc. that you forget about those closest to you.

Since last week the side effects haven’t been too bad. I have had back ache and back spasms but they have been manageable. I have a cold – I think – or it could be hay fever – I’m not sure!! Since my treatment began I have constantly had a bunged up nose and coldy symptoms but nothing ever came of it – it was just always there – but now I am streaming!! First time I have been ‘normally’ unwell in such a long time!!

Today I went to Penny Brohn in Pill. Previously known as the Bristol Cancer Help Centre it was set up by Penny Brohn and  Pat Pilkington in 1983. Penny Brohn, grew up in Bristol and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1979. She knew instinctively that she needed more than just care and treatment for her body.  She recognised that she needed to care equally for her, “mind, spirit, emotions, heart and soul”.

Penny Brohn UK is the leading UK charity specialising in a whole person approach to cancer, known as the Bristol Whole Life Approach. They show people how healthy eating, staying activemanaging their stress and reconnecting with the things they love can make a big difference to their health and wellbeing. They have doctors, nutritionists, therapists and counsellors who are there to support people like me – and their families. They offer massage, counselling, relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, 1:1 sessions for lots of different things and healthy eating cooking demonstrations to name just a few. They bring together both medical advice and complementary approaches to find the best of what works for each individual and help them find what they need, to live as well as they can.

I enjoyed today and it was good to be able to share experiences with other people who like me are going through cancer and treatment all at different stages. It was very interesting and informative particularly a short dvd we watched about the science of cancer.

During my first cancer back in 2005 I wasn’t aware of this charity and there was very little emotional support for me particularly after my treatment had finished so to find somewhere like Penny Brohn who support you no matter where you are on your journey is an amazing comfort – you are not on your own. I will definitely be signing up for a couple of things.

Before I finish I found out this weekend that a friend and neighbour has been diagnosed with bladder cancer. It is so completely unfair. Cancer doesn’t care who you are, it’s a bastard and as my friend said “its just fucking shite”. (excuse the language). There isn’t much else I can say about that.  However, on another note, a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer just after me had chemo first before her operation and she told me today her lump has gone and surgery is in July. I am so happy for her and she is an amazing woman fighting the fight. Like so many of us.

Today I am 48 years old. It has been 25 weeks since I found my lump. 23 weeks since my diagnosis and 18 weeks since my operation.

God bless and look after one another.



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