Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time may change me


One of the weirdest aspects of my cancer treatment is that I haven't lost my hair. Which is good, obviously, because it keeps my ears warm. But I did have it cut very, very short because it's just easier to look after that way. And when you've been in hospital for two weeks and can't use the shower because it me, you don't feel like washing your hair.

This page got me thinking, though. My life has changed so much in the last couple of years. In some respects, I'm sure I'm still the same as I always was. In other ways, I hardly recognise myself. I quite like the person I've turned into. I think I might keep her. The hair? I'm letting it grow back now.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just too cute

These are the 'good' days, the ones in between treatments, the ones when I feel (mostly) better and can actually do things. There aren't enough days like this at the moment. I am impatiently waiting for the time when all my days are like this.

crocheted bag

And on the good days, I make things. I've moved on a bit from making blankets, and now I actually follow a pattern. This one I even had to edit because the original made me lose a stitch at the end of every row. It's never good when you realise your rectangular piece of crochet is turning into a triangle.


I love the pattern with its neat zig-zag, and purple is one of my favourite colours. I'm pretty sure I shall end up like my sister Mindy, who is always knitting in shades of pink and purple. They're just so pretty :)

the lining

And I even lined it. Pink with polka dota. Little hand-stitches all the way round. A button on the front to make a clasp. Cuteness overload!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sleepless nights

Going to bed early has never held much appeal for me. What if I miss out on something exciting? Being ill, despite the fact that it makes me tired, has made me even less likely to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Too much to do, too little time. Plus, insomnia is actually a side-effect of my tablets so I have a legitimate excuse for staying awake till 3am.

Apart from watching lots of late-night TV (when the programmes with subtitles and sign language come on, you know it's late) what could I possibly keep myself occupied with at that hour?

miniature pumpkins

Crocheted miniature pumpkins. Naturally. Now available in the shop.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Highs and lows

lsned - catching up

Just because I write it on pretty paper doesn't make it feel better.

This last weekend has been hard. Initially I thought I was going to get away with it - the Hickman Line seemed to take away so many of the horrible side-effects of the chemo. By Sunday, though, I had realised that it wasn't going to stay that way and I've spent the last couple of days finding every little bit of strength that I have left.

Realistically, I know that I am lucky. There are plenty of people who would love to be in my situation. People who haven't had treatment, people whose treatment hasn't worked, people who are in far worse states than I am right now. I am working my way through my sixth cycle of chemo and there are people I know who have had ten times that number, and yet still carry on.

This blog was never supposed to be about cancer, but it's hard not to make it so at the moment. It feels like my cancer and my treatment is all that is happening to me right now. Everything I do revolves around it. My journal pages for the last few days are mostly just some very self-absorbed ramblings about how bad I feel, because it would be dishonest to put anything else.

I try to stay grateful. I try to stay focused. I try my hardest to stay strong because I know I am not the only person on this journey. Most of the time I think I do a pretty good job. But it is going to take more than some pretty papers to make me feel ok this time.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I am not going to argue with my mother

6 september

My lesson for 6th Sept is something I have learned, re-learned and am still learning. I know parents have a duty to tell their children they are beautiful, or clever, or whatever. I know in my Mum's eyes I (and my sister) will always be the two most wonderful girls in the world. But actually, sometimes, she's right. And I'm not going to argue.

7 september

Because I know how bad chemotherapy can make me feel, when the date approaches for my next infusion I start getting this sense of rising panic. I think of all the things that need to be done before I am out of action for a week or so, and then I stay up very late trying to do them all. Invariably I fail. I have to keep reminding myself to stay calm and just prioritise the really important stuff.

8 september

And the downside of the staying up late that I end up making myself really tired and having a day when I don't actually feel like doing much at all. But you know what? That's ok too.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Two days at a time

Where does the time go? I have more time to myself right now than I have ever had in my life - and yet still I run out of time to do things. I blame the internet.


More journal pages...

I don't always feel ill. When I have good days I forget how much my body has been through and that I am still a long way from 'fit and healthy'. I push myself hard a lot of the time, and some days I have to remind myself that it is ok to rest.


On the other hand, sometimes you just need to make the effort. To go out, to see someone, to do whatever it is you're putting off. And it's always worth it.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

So far, so good

2 september
Thursday was a bit of a bonus day really. Although I was due to start my next cycle of chemo, it didn't go ahead because I was waiting for a central line to be fitted. This will hopefully eliminate the pain that the chemo causes in my arm, and make it easier for blood tests. I never used to be scared of needles but I can't even watch Holby City any more.

So Thursday's lesson was easy - enjoy every minute. Especially when the sun shines and I go to spend some time with my gran.

3 september

Friday, on the other hand, was not so good. Having the Hickman line inserted was every bit as painful as I feared it might be. Wikipedia seems to think people have this done under general anaesthetic - I shall be writing to tell them this isn't so. I had a local anaesthetic and was all too aware of what was going on. It hurt then, it hurts now, and I think it's going to hurt for a while. But it isn't forever - and I think that's a lesson I'm going to be reminding myself of a lot this month.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Something every day?

learn something new (almost) every day
So, Shimelle runs a class every year which encourages us to look for lessons in our lives, and record them in a creative way. I've done the class since it started (because once you've done it once, you can take part each year for free) and I have two completed albums from 2006 & 07, then a year when I didn't do anything, and last year I got halfway and then stopped.

This year, I am being realistic. I know that there will be days when I don't feel like doing anything. I know that crafting is difficult because I am not in my own home right now. But, I also know that having a creative project to work on will help to keep me motivated. My previous journals are fun to look back on and see what was happening in my life. I don't think this one is necessarily going to be fun but the lessons learned will still be important.

I've prepared as much as I can - made the book, decorated all the pages, and stamped a load of journalling spots ready to write on. In theory, all I need to do each day is write a sentence and stick it in. Let's see how far I get!