Cancer is a…Dancing Queen

My heart is broken 💔

The most wonderful man has left this earth far too soon to Liver Cancer.

If ever you needed your day to be awakened in a Cancer clinic in walks this man. I’m sitting there minding my own business and then two names are called for the usual weight:BP check before you see the consultant. Suddenly I see this man walking beside me who says ‘should we dance together down to the weighing room?’ I burst into laughter – this got my attention.

I was weighed and then he was and we sat outside the room. We started talking about cancer and then family. Family was very important to us. The passion I could hear about his children was refreshing. During our conversation something strange happened- I realised that I was laughing in a Cancer clinic for the first time in 9 months! It was 5 months post op so I certainly wasn’t ‘healed’ as they say- physically or mentally. However, this man made me really chuckle.

My name was called again and I went in to see my consultant and thought nothing more of our encounter. After the consultation I was making my way out of the clinic with my son who had gone to park the car earlier, when I saw my ‘clinic dancing partner’. I smiled at him and he stopped me, he said that everyone needed to talk about cancer a bit more, it was too hidden. He asked if I had an email address and at this point I introduced him to my son. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his card and handed it to my son! I was standing there with my hand outreached to receive it 😂 I was intrigued as to why he did that. Later I was to find out that he did it out of respect and courtesy to my son. He didn’t want him to think that he was trying to ‘chat up’ his mum in front of him AND at a Cancer clinic 😂😂

This man was intriguing so 24 hours later I emailed him to reintroduce myself and wished him all the best for the future. Three days later he replied but not with good news about his consultation.

This was the beginning of what became the most wonderful friendship in such a short space of time. Time was precious to him, I thought I understood it then but now he has gone I finally understand just how much time meant to him. They say walk a mile in another man’s shoes, that saying is so true. We can empathise as much as we can but until it happens to us, we will never truly understand.

I’d love to chronicle the whole story but I’m not sure about that- especially now, my heart is truly broken. I never knew how painful it would be but now I know because he can never call me 3-4 times a day, email me, walk with me, laugh with me, he is no longer here😔. Death is so final but not in his world so for that I am happy. Maybe I will see him again as a beautiful butterfly 🦋 in my beloved gardens this year.

I cannot wait…💕🦋💕☺️💕

Copyright 2019 ©

😔 Week 1 CVD19 UK Lockdown- ‘Day in, day out’ ☺️

No track today…

We are fast approaching the end of week 1 of the UK govt lockdown. The advice remains: wash your hands with soap & water, stay indoors unless you need to go out for essentials- food, daily exercise (once a day) & medication, stay TWO metres apart from others and under no circumstances should we congregate anywhere! This is to help reduce the spread and protect the NHS staff & resources which at present, is overly stretched.

So where is the UK population now? Mostly adhering to the advice which is good to see. Long may this continue. Our NHS & other essential workers are out in the world, the supermarket employees, transport, deliveries, pharmacists, emergency services, charities, volunteers-day in, day out helping to keep the country ticking over. The least we can do is to listen to the advice and protect them as they work to look after US. Please listen if you wish to stay alive and that of your loved ones…

What of the people living with long term conditions and Cancer? Earlier in the pandemic, the UK govt pledged that life saving treatment would continue. As we have moved along the scientific curve of COVID-19, this message is continuously under review. Treatment is now dependent on a number of factors and will be determined between the patient and their consultants. I sincerely hope that we can all get some kind of support whilst we continue to walk in the path of Cancer whilst having to now dodge a ‘new normal’ of the COVID-19 ball! A new invisible co-morbidity. Most of us have been here before, that thing called social isolation, some of us are still present but now we have most of the world sitting alongside us. I have noted people not being able to cope with staying indoors together with the necessity of staying away from their friends and loved ones – this is an experience people living with Cancer do, have done and continue to do- day in, day out. This is by no means a critique of anyone, let me be absolutely clear on this, it is a social observation (the psychosocial in me). Perhaps this is where our community of Cancer self help resources can tap in and support people around us who are afraid and under strain with the lockdown. We can because we know, we can because we have, we can because we felt and continue to feel, we can because we know that smell of fear.

Reach out and support someone if you can…

https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS

🥰❤️

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🥴 ‘Let it Be- Part 2’😔

By The Beatles

‘And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be. Yeah
There will be an answer, let it be’

There is no song which you are truly worthy of, no love you should be attached to. You have arrived and destroyed lives…

I seriously do not know which I fear more, the Cancer I live with or Corona! This moment feels surreal. At times I find myself asking, ‘Is this real? Am I dreaming or am I dead?’ I just cannot get my head around it. I have watched many apocalyptic films in my lifetime and always found them fascinating but not now. Now it is no Hollywood film set, real lives are at stake and people have sadly lost their lives. They have gone far too soon, may they rest in peace.

I keep wondering what my ‘Clinic Dancing Partner’ would of made of this had he been alive. One thing is for certain, Corona Covid-19 would have been the topic of the day, as he was intrigued by human behaviour. When I feel anxious about the situation I just think of him calming the atmosphere with words of wisdom. I see him approaching me with the beautiful white Lotus flower I recently saw him present to me in my Mindfulness therapy. Was this the message he brought to me? Was this his way of calming the path before the storm? I may never know the answer to this but it gives me a real sense of inner peace when needed 💕🦋

‘There will be an answer, let it be…’

2020 ©

‘Mother Nature’s beauty at Kew Gardens’
Thank you for taking this photo my friend 🥰

🥰 ‘What do I know?’🥰

By Ed Sheeran

‘I’ll paint the picture, let me set the scene
I know when I have children they will know what it means
And I pass on these things my family’s given to me
Just love and understanding, positivity

I’ll paint the picture, let me set the scene
I know, I’m all for people following their dreams
Just re-remember life is more than fittin’ in your jeans
It’s love and understanding, positivity

I’ll paint the picture, let me set the scene
You know, the future’s in the hands of you and me
So let’s all get together, we can all be free
Spread love and understanding, positivity.’

My inspiration for this post is by way of an unexpected conversation with a lovely young lady. Typically my inspiration arrives at 6am or thereabouts but this happened later in the day.

I came across a page which was a reflective journey of an adult-child who lost their parent to cancer. This story made me really sit up and pay attention. As the person going through the physical sides of cancer we often are the ones who can be found at the centre of everyone’s concern. Where children are involved we often out them first as parents. This is a typical human instinct for most of us as. When they are conceived, coming into the world and they fall and graze their knees, we jump to their aid to make the hurt go away. As they grow into adults we wait in the wings to help them navigate their education and their first love. The pain that arrives when you are diagnosed with cancer in a clinic/GP practice/letter/phone call is like a thunder bolt through the heart! You have a few seconds to let the words sink in and then a gut punch, an absolutely stone crushing punch hits you in the depth of your stomach – ‘what is going to happen to my child or children? How will I break the news? When should I tell them? Should I tell them? How will they go on without me? Are they too young to be told and will they understand?’ The questions spin around in your head as if your thoughts are being separated from the mind in a centrifuge. The pain is so real, so present, so crushing. You stop thinking about yourself and fast forward your mind to life without you, your child or children living life without you and what this may look like. It is a space that no parent ever wants to visit in their thoughts. A real dilemma occupying every minute of the day post diagnosis. It is a silent dilemma that you dare not share with others…

It took me at least 5 weeks to break the news to my children, adult children. I just could not do it. Each time we were in each other’s company I felt like an absolute fraud but I just could not tell them. I cried, I tortured myself with dreadful thoughts, I just could not bare the thought of me not being here for them, adult children or not. I also did not want to disrupt their lives, I had no desire to turn their worlds upside down. I battled on, day after day, wondering how and when was the best time to open up and reveal all. For me the right timing was when I knew more, when there was a clear treatment plan for me to share with them. There was no way they would not ask me lots of questions so I knew I had to be ready with definitive answers where possible. For some reason I do not recall which day of the week I chose but I know it was midweek, during the day when I decided to tell them. The moment will stay etched in my mind forever. I didn’t know where to look, who to look at first or when. I just did not want this to have happened in the first place. This is where I was really angry with cancer. I wasn’t able to ‘read’ them, it was frightening, I wasn’t about to second guess but I knew their pain was deep. All that went through my mind was how proud I was of who they had become, so for this, I was incredibly happy . This thought presented me with a sense of peace. If I left this earth I knew on a practical and social level, my children were survivors, grounded in everything that I knew and had taught them. I knew they would have a good network to support them, to support each other. This was the only thought that brought me clarity and focus during this time. If I was going to get through this I needed to focus on wanting the best outcome, not just for myself but for my children.

Today when I came across the young person’s blog about their parent, it teleported me back to August 2017, at the dining table, with my adult children. It took me back to my thoughts about their busy, exciting young lives and how cancer had arrived to disrupt it, it made me think. Today when I viewed the contents of the page, adorned with beautiful videos and images it made me smile. Here was an adult child, reflecting on their beloved parent’s journey with cancer.  Whilst they were still hurting, they were being a real inspiration to so many people. Their story is real, it is raw, it was like so many other parent-child cancer journeys, far too many. At this point I was thankful to the young person, thankful that my children had another chance, grateful that this beautiful adult child had come to remind me of the importance of being grateful for my life. Grateful that this beautiful parent had left a lasting legacy in their adult child to share with the world.

Thank you, love and best wishes.

PS: You are anonymous on here as promised🥰

‘I’ll paint the picture, let me set the scene
I know when I have children they will know what it means
And I pass on these things my family’s given to me
Just love and understanding, positivity.’

silhouette of man touching woman against sunset sky

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