Hello and welcome to my blog! There are really very few totally surprising events that happen in your lifetime and I must say this was one of the biggest for me. When I turned fifty my doctor handed me a piece of paper saying “OK, it’s time now, go and get a colonoscopy” I of course took my paper home and shoved it into the back of a drawer and forgot about it. Almost two years later, actually because my husband had had some colon surgery and I really felt comfortable with his surgeon, I pulled the piece of paper out and asked if he could do it for me. I had no symptoms and had had no problems with this area of my body…ever! When the results showed stage II rectal cancer, well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I just felt sort of numb when he told me. I managed a weak smile because I could see my husband out the corner of my eye with tears rolling down his cheeks. We drove home in near silence as the shock of the big C diagnosis sunk in. I think that night I remember having a little cry in his arms and saying “But, I don’t want to have cancer, this is awful” I wanted to start the day over and end it with a “You’re all clear, see you in ten years” But, well life is not like that is it?
- I decided to start this blog on the first day of treatment because I am a busy hairdresser in my normal life and I have such a wonderful clientelle I wanted a way for them to be able to check in on my progress and know if I was available for appointments. That was just over a year ago. If you are just joining the blog I hope you will enjoy, learn and laugh along with me, because my cancer journey is certainly not all doom and gloom. It’s had it’s moments I can assure you but this has been a year that has changed my life in a very positive way too. You just have no idea how wonderfully kind and generous, the people you know, and some you don’t, can be until you are in the muck on a daily basis. In the beginning I posted on a marvelous site called caringbridge.org, a free site for people with serious illnesses to post for family and friends but after a year and my latest diagnosis, I would like my story to be available to anyone. I know one of the first things I did, and really this is not a good idea at first because you can scare the crap out of yourself, I got on-line and tried to find people who might be going through something similar, because you want to know what the hell you’re in for, how bad will it get etc, etc… What I found was not very helpful. It seems that only people who have had horrible experiences are the ones most likely to write about it, I suppose the rest of us just get on with the business of coping. I realise that not everyone gets to plough through their cancer with an apparent sense of fun and fortitude that is my lot, but know that if you are freshly diagnosed and full of fear, as we all are, you might read this blog and feel a little calmer and maybe have a laugh or two at something that is not so funny.. Please know that you can always contact me for support. If I can help, I will.
My mother died as a result of breast cancer when I was in my early twenties, my father having preceeded her twelve years prior to heart disease. She was a tower of strength, an amazing woman full of life and laughter. When I think of my mother a single image always pops into my mind. It is of her walking from the kitchen to welcome me home, a tea towel slung over one shoulder and a huge smile on her face, arms open wide. I wanted to convey this same feeling to you. Welcome, kick off your shoes, stay a while.