Thursday, 29 December 2011

2 days and Counting!!!

I have been fighting a viral infection over Christmas. One thing I have noticed since cancer, I just can't fight off infections the way I used to.

I must admit that today I was very upset, couldn't stop crying. I just want to be the Sara I was before I had cancer. Since 3 years ago next month my health seems to have been in a steady decline. I have never in my life been so fat, unfit and unhealthy. I feel so ugly all through.

Today I did wonder what the point of it all was, I really couldn't see what quality of life I have anymore. I really did lose my fight today.

So I thought about Mike Peters, I thought about other friends, had a good cry, a good moan and then came back fighting!

This year has been a difficult one for me on a lot of levels. You would have thought that 2009 or 2010 would have been worse but having finished the radical part of cancer treatment I am suddenly plunged in at the deep end tryind desperately to stay afloat.

On January 5th 2011, Poppy was run over by a tractor and died in my arms. The memory of that day haunts me. Her head looking up from the road looking for me, scooping her up into my arms, our eyes connected, she relaxed because she was with me and she died. That was the start of a terrible year.

On 14th May I lost the lynch pin of our family, my Auntie Heather. Very suddenly at the age of 65. She has always been a part of my life, always been there for us all giving support freely. Such a kind and loving person with a wicked sense of humour, I still can't believe that she is no longer with us.

I was let down by people I thought were my friends this year too. They told lies about me and attacked me on FB without due cause. If those people have the audacity to read my blog then you know who you are and shame on you.

I would refer to yet another Mike Peters song at this point so take heed and listen if you dare.

"I've been accused of being things I'm not......"

On top of this I have had a couple of cancer scares coupled with excrutiating back pain which has led me to give up my running, walking and riding.

The year finishes on the note it started.

However, in January I have a scheduled bone scan which is purely precautional, I have an orthopedic appointment to look into my back problems and my mammogram which I hope will declare me 3 years in remission!

The pain killers my doctor has prescribed me are working so once this stupid infection is gone I am hoping to be climbing the rosy slopes to good health!

See you in the new year!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Well, I can't believe that another Christmas is almost here. The planning, preparation, saving, legwork, computer work that goes into making it a splendid festivity is culminating in tomorrow.

So as we celebrate the birth of Christ tomorrow I give thanks for everything that I have been blessed with in my life..... my family and my friends who give me the motivation to tackle each day, my animals, my faculties and most of all I thank the surgeons, nurses, doctors and scientists who have made my recovery possible.

My Christmas wish is to have a 3 year remission score next month.

So thank you to all of my amazing friends who have kept me smiling and coping xxxx

Here's to many more Christmas'

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


What a week I had last week. As you know I am suffering chronic back pain, it comes and goes depending on how active I am. This has resulted in me cutting back my walking and I have stopped running.

Last Wednesday I had a scheduled appointment with my oncologist and I explained the problem to him. He took the matter very seriously although not at the pain front! He organised a spine Xray and blood tests straight away and asked me to come back to clinic for the results.

Thankfully, he greeted me with huge smiles saying that he is confident that the bone scan scheduled for a later date will not show up any signs of cancer in the bones.

I visited my GP the next day and in fairness she was brilliant. She has given me a range of pain medication instructing me to start off with low doses and working my way up until my pain is under control.

I didn't realise just how much pain I have been in until those painkillers kicked in. My mood instantly lifted because at last, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I can start riding my pony again, running and walking.... in short I can get my life back!

One thing that Dr Soe's reaction to my back pain did, was made me realise the grade and severity of my cancer. It was quite a sobering thought.

I also met a friend from breast cancer support and she had an elective double mastectomy after finding a low grade lump in her breast. She has a family history of breast cancer. She wasn't given chemo just the tamoxifen which she had to stop after she lost her voice and had other complicated side effects. She was facing another operation last Friday to remove a tumour from her rib cage..... This meeting made me realise that coming off tamoxifen for me is a big NO.

So next month will be 3 years since I found my lump on 16th January, on 4th February it will be 3 years since official diagnosis. I have a mammogram scheduled for the back end of January and I am hoping that I will be reporting my 3 year in remission!

Many hospital visits in January..... bone scan, mammogram and orthopedics.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

I Don't Want to Die

Its almost 3 years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I have to pinch myself as I think of the years which have passed in a blink of an eye. It's been quite a roller coaster of a ride!

During that time I have spent 2 years having treatment... operation, 12 rounds of chemo, 15 blasts of radiotherapy and 18 doses of herceptin.......

My body has been poisened within an inch of its life, some parts permanently damaged.... other parts are regenerating with time.

I have got to a different stage in the whole nightmare now. The first 2 years I was in a sort of protective bubble being cared for by surgeons, oncologists and nurses then the last year has been a bit of a different experience..... like using crutches and then starting to walk without them for the first time.

I have had an ache like a bruise in by back, parallel to the breast which had the surgery. There is no bruise apparent and it hurts when I stretch my arm up into the air.

Today I have been made so very happy by my wonderful husband, my beautiful sons, my family and my amazing friends. As I adjusted the shower head and felt the twinge of the "bruise" I was overcome with fear and I suddenly realised the situation I have been in and I also that I really don't want to die. I have got far too much to live for.

For the first time since the shock of diagnosis I cried, really really cried because I am scared.

I have so much to live for and so much more I want to do with my life.

I realised today that being overweight because of the drugs, having back pain because of the drugs isn't important. The weight will come off one day and the pain.... well pain is pain but my life is important to me.

My scars are a permanent reminder of my ordeal, the numbness in my arm and breast and the pain when touched.

I am seeing the Oncologist next week and I will be checked out and will feel extremely silly in having these fears. As Jason said, I had a massage last week and the discomfort could purely have been caused by that.

I am a positive person, I have to look for the good and discard the bad but the fear is something I will have to learn to live with.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Money! Money! Money!

In my life I have been poor, I have been comfortable but it looks as though I am heading for poor again. All I hear on the news is plans to cut services, increase tax, cut pensions. I never believed I would see fuel at £1.30 a litre and the cost of food is crazy. Every time I do my shop the prices have gone up.

I am lucky to have lived frugally as a child and my mum showed me how to create a meal from nothing. Don't get me wrong, I never went hungry and we always had a decent meal to eat but we didn't have crisps, biscuits, sweets and things like that which people these days see as an essential part of their store cupboard and mum always made food from scratch so no tinned or convenience food, it was far too expensive.

Everything seems to have an expensive price tag and as we move into frugal times the expectations we have created during the comfortable times are still in place. This leads to discontent, a feeling of injustice, anger even.

So now, as you read this try to think of what is important in life...... really important!

  • Health for me is important because without it you can't enjoy life to the fullest
  • My children through them I have learnt valuable lessons in life
  • My husband who is my rock
  • My mum who is my mum (enough said)
  • My family
  • My animals who bring me such joy and sense of purpose
  • My friends who give me more support than they ever could realise
  • My faculties
I could really go on but you can see in my list that I haven't put anything materialistic in there.

So as we approach Christmas, a time which puts dreadful pressure on us to spend, spend, spend. Shall we just try to readjust our expectations. Look at the real meaning of Christmas. Ok, so you might not be religeous but you can still look beyond the religeous aspect of Christmas and look into the meaning. It is  a celebration of the end of winter and the coming of light..... it is a time to show love and appreciate to those who are important to you and most of all, it is a time to celebrate life.

If somebody is kind enough to give you a gift, don't just accept it. Look deeper into the gift... the fact that the person who has given it actually wanted to gift you, the fact that they have taken the time to produce this gift and wrap it for you. If you are lucky, they may have even MADE the gift for you.

So the message from this blog is... we are living in difficult times and things are set to get worse before they get better. However, you don't need lots of money to be happy, you just need to change your expectations and perceptions and look to what wonderful things you have in your life and be content with them.