I realised today as I looked at the
calendar is it 6 years to the day since I had my first chemo. I remember vividly how gut wrenchingly scared I was, and how lovely the lady was giving me the chemo, and how relaxed and special and individual she made
I had been 7 months pregnant with my only
son ( who is now a cheeky 6 year old) at the time of my diagnosis, and as soon as I heard the words, was convinced I and he would die. But I came through it, with the support of my family, friends, others having
treatment, and the love and unfaltering support of my husband. my hair grew back, and my confidence returned.
To all of you newly diagnosed, or just
starting chemo, I send you all good wishes. All of us who have been through what you are now facing remember the fear, loss of hair and loss of confidence. It seems forever until both come back, and having cancer
changes your life forever. For me, it meant I met some very special and gutsy people, realised what was important in life ( and what wasn't! Who cares about a bit of dust?!) and learnt that a bit of support from or
to others can mean so much at a time like this.
In time, it will be you writing that you
are six years on, and realising that you too have managed to come through one of the most difficult times a woman can face. You have a strength you don't know you have, and whatever happens, you are still you,
, and just as beautiful as you were.
The only hope I can offer, is I am 36, have had a full
mastectomy, simultaneous reconstruction and removal of lymph nodes. I am on Tamoxifen and monthly Zoladex injections. Even after having a setback with a massive
infection, I am back at work after 4 months. Having said that I have handed in my notice, as I had no position to come back to! etc,etc.etc.. If people do not know, they are entirely
unaware that I have been ill, which is good and bad! I have lost friends through this, who have not been able to see me since surgery, I guess it reminds them of their own mortality,
I don't really know? However in the world that I meet now, who do not know the situation, I have nothing but positive feedback. It is fine out there,once you make the first steps
but, don't take any prisoners! I would like to help other young people who have had this illness, just to say it will be alright!
Hang in there, Michelle Davies.(E-Mail address supplied)
Hello, I'm Janet and I am 37 yrs old (but don’t tell anyone!)
I was diagnosed in late Oct, surgery (mastectomy) in mid
Nov, chemo Dec - March and am doing radiotherapy.
Despite all this time its still early days in some ways. I feel I have climbed so many mountains and in such a short period of time.
Until its you you don’t know how hard it is to go buy underwear or go swimming or whatever.
It does get better, it really does. Dealing with chemo is more
in your mind than you might think. It can be hard getting better after each one to know they are going to make you worse again. I found the 1st one really hard as I was rather
sick. I have a friend who was going through the same thing and she gave some useful advice.
Keep eating and drinking, rest lots and don’t over do it.
I lost my hair after about 6 weeks which I found dreadful. I would sit with the comb in my hand dreading how much was going to come out. I cried when I went for a wig. The lady
was so kind and had been through chemo too which really helped. After a while of trying them on I felt more upset at taking them off. I bought 2 wigs- a brown bob and a long
wavy ginger party-hair do for cheering me up.
I found my skin got very dry and now I have e45 emollient oil baths which have made huge improvements to my skin.
I used to ask my friends to E-mail me so when I started getting out of bed they were there waiting for me and cheered me up.
What I think is important is to keep laughing. Its such a heavy
business. I don't begrudge spending money on funny videos or books or whatever as a good laugh is priceless
If there’s one silver lining in all this business its all the
wonderful hearts in family and friends. Its very hard to cry when you are laughing. Take care
(Email address supplied)
Life felt as though it was suspended, there were many tasks not done
I knew the story was not ended, nor yet was the battle won
Things had seemed to be progressing in a satisfactory way
Then on waking I could see this was a strange new day
The game had changed whilst I was sleeping, and the rules seemed different too
What had yesterday been simple now had to be learned anew
Those gifts I took for granted were no longer mine to claim
It was as if each face around me had a brand new name
Actions I had previously managed without fuss
were now beyond my wayward limbs and so laborious
Inside there was the real me, still bright and sharp and clever
Why then could I not break out despite my best endeavor?
I ranted and I raged against this cruel turn of fate
No place was in my heart for love I could feel only hate
I burned with anger and frustration at all those around
whose arms and legs and bodies were fit and strong and sound
I could not see their kindness and their patience and their caring
Because my anger, pain and grief I did not see them sharing
But then one day I saw a tear upon my pillow fall
from someone who through all those tortured months had given all
This was someone who sat beside me through my darkest night
Someone who had refused to ever let me leave the fight
The tear contained a wealth of love so great it had no price
a warmth of love so strong that it would melt the coldest ice
And so my frozen heart became the first in me to heal
And slowly did I move the hand which turned 'dame fortune's wheel'
My strength began to grow and my limbs they did obey
I found that it became less arduous getting through each day
Those things which I once gave no thought to now were truly valued
My heart and mind at last were free from bitterness and dull mood
And then another new day dawned and life moved on again
The story was not ended but the battle it was won
Elizabeth Slingsby© (1990)
Think it over...
Today we have higher buildings and wider highways, but
shorter temperaments and narrower points of view
We spend more, but enjoy less
We have bigger houses, but smaller families.
We have more compromises, but less time.
We have more knowledge, but less judgement.
We have more medicines, but less health.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk much, we love only a little, and we hate too much
We reached the Moon and came back, but we find it
troublesome to cross our own street and meet our neighbors.
We have conquered the outer space, but not our inner space.
We have higher income, but less morals.
These are times with more liberty, but less joy.
We have much more food, but less nutrition.
These are the days in which it takes two salaries for each
home, but divorces increase.
These are times of finer houses, but more broken homes.
That’s why I propose, that as of today,
You do not keep anything for a special occasion, because
every day that you live is a special occasion.
Search for knowledge, read more, sit on your front porch and
admire the view without paying attention to your needs.
Spend more time with your family and friends, eat your
favorite foods, visit the places you love.
Life is a chain of moments of enjoyment; not only about
Use your crystal goblets. Do not save your best perfume, and
use it every time you feel you want it.
Remove from your vocabulary phrases like “one of these
days” and “someday”.
Let’s write that letter we thought of writing “one of these
Let’s tell our families and friends how much we love them.
Do not delay anything that adds laughter and joy to your life.
Every day, every hour, and every minute is special.
And you don’t know if it will be your last.
Supplied via email from a visitor to Chorleys Angels
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Encouragement to other young women?
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