Sunday, 28 March 2010

Getting on with living,,,

I have given myself a bit of time before I write this post. It's like writing difficult news to a good friend- finding a way of spitting out the message in a way which 'softens' its impact. I have come to the conclusion that there is no way of dressing it up. I just have to spit it out, as it were.

In 2007 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, After surgery and treatment, and ten months of work I have managed to get back to good health ( with the little gall bladder blip last year!!). I found out recently that the sciatica I posted about is in fact a tumour pressing on my sciatic nerve. The cancer has come back. Almost certainly a secondary, a re-occurence. Damn.

So huge shock. Trauma. Upset. Life knocked over like a bowling ball getting a strike on skittles. It has been a tsunami in our world. And of the last few weeks we have been to sort it all out on an emotional, and physical level.

And it's the stuff between the ears which has needed the most work.

Without going into specific details, the way the news was handled was not good. It was a complete mess. Indefensible really. Over the phone, careless, negative, frightening. I am not easily daunted and being of a usefully irrepressible nature, I don't stay down for long. But this time it has taken a while.

I had an operation last week. The one I was scheduled to have last Thursday was cancelled because my consent form got lost. It was a day that the best fiction writer could not make up. It was burlesque really. But at the time it felt like something from a Stephen King novel. The bright side of it was that I had the operation the next day in another hospital ( Furness General in Barrow in Furness) which is a lovely place. I really liked it. They looked after me really well. I was supposed to be a day case, but ended up staying in for three nights ( look on it as a mini break) because my blood pressure reached stratospheric proportions ( probably stress related). Now all my treatment has been moved there. I am happy about it. I feel safe and comfortable there. It is easier for my friends and family to get to. All in all- it is so much better.

Next Wednesday I start six cycles of chemo over eighteen weeks. We have cancelled the much looked forward to trip to the States this year in July. It's all hands to the pump to get me well again. I will lose my hair this time, so today I am getting it all cut off. It's a bit of an adventure really. I am trying on wigs and scarves this weekend. I will experiment and have a laugh with it.

I have learnt a lot about myself in the last few weeks. It has been very difficult, but I have had the time to reflect and think, and take an increasingly long range view on my life. It is interesting. Very interesting. And damned tough.

I am blessed in being surrounded by a wonderful support network. I couldn't have a better one. I am surrounded with loving arms, kindness, wisdom and experience. I am surrounded by strength and compassion. I have time to just be me. To rest. To relax. To think and make sense of it all as best I can.

So I am at the beginning of a interesting leg in the journey of life. I will keep you up to date on how I am doing, and what I am noticing.

Best get ready for the hairdresser. A very short new style awaits me.


Sage said...

Jo {{Hugs}} if anyone can challenge this you can and I wish you all the best in the world for the treatment you are facing xx

l'optimiste said...

f*ck f*ck f*ck!! I can't believe I missed this post - I am so sorry - bloody cancer grr. Made me cry.

So, my dear, [she says, calmly] you know where I am - if I can help at all, shout. Or scream [that's acceptable].

I recomend a Buff HIGHLY as averse to cutesy scarves - wigs are a nightmare round the house and a Buff keeps your head warm at night - and cool if it's hot. And you can wear a hat on top of it. The link is on my blog. They also make great neck scarves after you get better.
Which you will.
In the meantime - 3 million hugs - you can do this.

jinksy said...

I'm sure all your Blogland pals will be joining in to wish you well!

Diane@Diane's Place said...

I'm sorry for your bad news, Jo. Having been through all this before you pretty much know what to expect, though I'm sure that doesn't make it any easier to bear, especially the emotional part of it.

I add my best wishes and positive thoughts to those of your family and friends, hoping for that day when you can post here that the cancer is gone!

Love and hugs,


Fav.Aunt said...

This is a powerfully and inspirationally brave statement from my favourite niece. We, as a small, but very loving and united family, have had the toughest of tough years in many ways so far. You might say its only April..... However, with the combined force of our love for each other as a family and the continued strength and courage of this young woman and her equally young cousin also facing very difficult health problems, we will face it,deal with it and defeat it together and in each of our own hearts. Go for it girl wonder. xxx

Jess said...

Jo....just know that you are prayed for mightily! God is an amazing God...and I will tell you as Gigi told me....YOU CAN DO THIS, You are WOMAN, You are INVINCIBLE!

Clippy Mat said...

A shiver ran down my back when I read this. I am so sorry that this is happening to you. It sounds like a complete nightmare and must have knocked you and your family for a six!
What to say? I just want you to know that a blog comment cannot do justice to this, I know that. I really do send you an immense amount of love and support. I will pray for you and hope that you know that many people who visit your blog will do the same and keep you in their hearts and thoughts.
I hope you find courage and strength in the support of the people around you, it sounds like they are being amazing. Thank God for small mercies like that and the lovely hospital that made you feel good. Sad about the people who screwed up and made a mess of telling you the bad news. I can only hope they learned a lesson from that.
I am glad that you are sharing this with people who know you through blogging. I hope that it will help you in some way to work through your feelings and that the support you will get will give you some encouragement.
I think your hair will look great. Wear that style with pride lady. You are a warrior now!
I am sending you the biggest, warmest hug that I have and all of my love and support.
God Bless
Pat :-))
p.s. there is a way to change the date on your post so that it will post currently. I think you click on "Post Options" when you are in compose/edit mode. then 'Post date and time', then select 'scheduled at' and you can change the date and time. (I hope that's right.)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Jo, I am so sorry to hear of this news. I will pray for a smooth and comfortable recovery as you go forward and once again fight this battle.
I feel confident that with your attitude and being surrounded by loving will succeed.
I will add you to my daily prayers.
Please keep us updated.
Hugs, Suz

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Being first to comment I was unsure what to say. so 'bloody hell' for starters. I could say what a brave, sensitive post this is. it is, but you don't need maudlin **** either. Your attitude is superb, which this sort of thing needs. You are in good hands and company. Thinking of you, Ken.

Expat mum said...

I wish I were coming with you to try on the wigs. xx
PS. To update the date of your post, go to "Post Options" and it lets you manually change the date so taht the post appears as your current one. Or you could switch to the newer version in your blogger dashboard which makes posting much more user-friendly.

Linz M said...

So sorry to hear your news. You seem to have such an positive attitude however and I am sure that will help you beat it.

Thinking of you x

Beth said...

So sorry to hear this news. We're all wishing you well - and sending hugs and healing. (horses too!)
Love xx

Anonymous said...

I have been so worried about you Jo, good to see you back in blogland where you know we will all support you and send you our prayers and positvity every single day.

There are a fab range of hats, scarves, buffs etc, but I think you will look fab just the way you are.

Jeez girl, we are ALL rooting for you. Please use us to provide any support we can. When you are down, let us lift you up. When you are scared, let us chase away your demons through humour and support. Blogging is cathartic. Do not hide away or feel alone. We are only a blog post / email / telephone call away. That can be the difference between a bottomless pit of despair, and light at the end of the tunnel. Let us be your light to keep you strong. xxx

Loopin said...

Sending love, hugs and positive vibes (and wacky cards) in your direction.

Glad the hospital was a more positive experience (good fruit borne of the missing consent form!), and now means that you will be closer to home for your treatment.

You are inspirational, as always, in your attitude to all of this.

Iota said...

Oh I'm sorry. I'm really sorry.

I was treated for breast cancer last summer. Four cycles of chemo over 12 weeks.

Hats. If you don't like wigs or headscarves, then hats, or caps.

Renie Burghardt said...

I was stunned when I read this post. But also encouraged by your positive attitude, Jo. You will beat the villain and come out a victor!

Hugs and Lots of Prayers, too.


C said...

i will keep you in my prayers... use the power of your mind to help you keep a positive attitude! i am so sorry you have to go through this.


ChiTown Girl said...

Oh, Jo, I was so sad to read about this over at Clippy's place. My thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy recovery. You fought this horrible beast once, you'll do it again with a vengeance!!

Gail said...

You remind me of my mum in your post Jo. She took the stance that she was going to take stock of her life and do her damndest to get through it with a sense of humour.

Sending you lots of 'black and white' love and positivity.


Lakeland Jo said...

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and love. I know my bloggy friends will be a very real support to me at the moment. Bless you all X

Ladybird World Mother said...

You. You are a bloody star and a marvel and an inspiration. If any more arms can fit round you, please put mine. For an enormous hug and hold. I bet your hair style is brilliant. Short and sassy. Amongst the treatment I hope you find all the good things you seek. All my love. x

Linda said...

{{{Hugs}}} Jo xoxo I have only just come across your blog and I certainly will be praying for you and a speedy recovery xoxo

Granny on the Web said...

Oh, so sorry to hear this news... makes my silly hand pale into the insignificance it surely is, in comparison . You surely are one strong lady, I have much admiration for anyone going through these trauma's in life.
As your Fav.Aunt commented, "go for it girl wonder"XXXXX

Snowdrop said...


I've not been blogging long, but (and I have to be careful as i don't want to loose my anonymity) - you have been a household name for me for some time.

I am sure that you will seek comfort from all the message of goodwill (and boy do you have a following!!!!).

You have the strength in you to fight this - that is clear.

My thoughts are with you.

Pamela said...

I just saw your award from Clippy so came over to give you my best best wishes. X

karen gerstenberger said...

First of all, I am sorry that this has happened. Cancer sucks - as if ONE time isn't enough for anybody!

So now, hand to the pump, or the plow or whatever we will call it. You have my total support, positive energy, prayers and love coming to you from Western WA. Your attitude is brilliant. I'm so thankful that you like your hospital. It makes a HUGE difference, as I'm sure you know.

I'm thankful that you have done so much over the past months to get your body into its best health. I hope that all of your good work will make the journey a bit easier on you.

Please keep us posted as much as you can, so we know how to pray, what to send, etc. Do you want reading material? Bath and Bodyworks lotion, scented hand-sanitizer, etc. (and if so, what scent)? I'd love to send a package. (You can email your address to me, if you would like to, at karenlboren at yahoo dot com.) Sending great hugs of encouragement!

Lakeland Jo said...

What lovely wonderful people you are. I feel like I am wrapped with a big mega comfortable duvet. Lots of support and encouragement. I really appreciate it.

aims said...

Hi Jo. You don't know me but Polergirl sent me over and if she says go - I snap to it and do it.

I'm so sorry that everything seems to have been done wrong. Getting this kind of news from some uncaring and cold person is the worst possible way to receive it. What has happened to compassion in this world - especially in the medical business?!

Please know that I will be thinking about you from way over here in Alberta, Canada.

I believe you are strong - and that's what it takes. Strength and a positive attitude.

Do post pics of the new 'do'!

Decadent Housewife said...

Just catching up this dull day with blog reading. My. This caught me off. Will put you on my prayer list. Hugs to you. Been there.

Brett said...

Being Dyslexic (and a man) makes picking the right words really hard, so i will just echo what every one else has said and wish you all the luck in the world.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Jo, you are an incredibly brave person and I'm sure you'll pull through this. You are amazingly brave to write about it too.

Optimism can be the most powerful drug of all. Shame on how it was handled...which is more than annoying. "Cretinous" is the word that most springs to mind (re: the person mishandling you).

I'm sending you lots of huge hugs, warm thoughts and pure good vibes. H xx xx