I Get By…

Wow, where has the time gone since my last post?  You probably haven’t missed me, but if you were the one waiting with baited breath – my sincere apologies!  Look on the bright side though, you have just got yourself into the Guiness Book of Records for holding your breath the longest…

I’ll give you a quick update on what’s been happening with me since November and then get into what I really want to say.  I had been hoping to get this post out before Christmas but ended up in hospital for five days instead with neutropenia (basically that just means that my white blood cells were practically non-existent so couldn’t fight any possible infections and I had a small bug of some sort, although they never found out what exactly).  Luckily I managed to get out before Christmas and was well looked after by my lovely in-laws over the holiday period.  Since then I’ve had two more lots of chemo, my last one (ever I hope!) on Friday of last week.  I’ll be continuing on the Herceptin and Pertuzumab treatment every three weeks until they stop working, and will be having scans to see what the state of play is in the next few weeks (fingers firmly crossed please).  In the meantime, the things I’m looking forward to now are:

  • hair growth;
  • taste buds;
  • less painful, stronger nails;
  • more energy

plus a load of other things besides, but I don’t want to sound like a whinge-bag!

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about on this occasion was about how I cope.  In order to do so, I thought I would use an analogy (I think that’s the right term).  Bear with me; I’m hoping it’ll make sense although it could get a bit poncy in places.

I am a small red wooden rowing boat in the middle of a vast ocean.  (The only significance of the colour is that red is my favourite.)  My paintwork is dry, cracked and peeling in places and I have lost my oars.  It is dark.  Above me, the dark scudding clouds offer the occasional tantalising glimpse of the moon and stars (told you it might get arty-farty).  I am at the mercy of the turbulent sea and waves.  From time to time I catch sight of land, but the tide isn’t conducive to allow me to get close.

At first glance I am utterly alone, but care to look a little closer and you will see that I have some “weapons” at my disposal.  I have a sturdy chain and anchor (my husband, Glenn), who in the stormiest of times drifts along with me but who always quickly finds firmer ground to anchor and stabilise us.  I also have two flotation devices, secured to either side of my boat (my girls, Jade and Anja – I’m sure they will not thank me for this simile) who keep me upright and stop me from sinking under.

If you zoom out a little from this picture, you will see that there are a number of support vessels surrounding my boat from a short distance – my family; my parents, brother and family, sister and family, my parents-in-law; brother-in-law and family – all there to help whenever they are needed.

And up above me are the stars, so many of them…  All my friends; those who I know well and those I have yet to meet.  Just like the stars, I know that you are always there, even if I cannot always see you!

Of course, there are others in the picture too – the “professionals” – my oncology consultant and all the nursing team; my MacMillan nurse (first Claire, now Sharon); all the volunteers who keep everyone going with hot drinks and smiles in the chemo unit; and all the staff at Keech Palliative Care Centre in Luton.

So with this “army” of support surrounding me, how can I not cope?

Thank you all for your love, support, friendship, craziness, loyalty, gifts, thoughts and prayers.  You are truly one in a million (all of you), and I am one lucky girl!

Enjoy Life