Category Archives: childrens book

This Too Will Pass

“This too will pass” has been a phrase rattling around in my brain for ages – in fact every time I have felt, or do feel, miserable about yet another event in my life or the effects of my treatment, it makes itself heard. My whole reason for starting to blog about the cancer journey was so that I could have a record of how it felt to be me as I travelled it, because my memory alone would not be reliable.

I occasionally used to be aware of days that felt like weeks and others that passed in a few hours, but in the past few months this time-disconnection has been so exaggerated. Perception of time has been more weird than usual since August 2015 when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. That month was the worst, because it was after diagnosis but prior to surgery in mid September, and waiting for appointments or results seemed excruciatingly slow.

The rest of September and beginning of October wasn’t too bad while I coped with all the trauma of the operation whoospie which resulted in further surgeries and complications, but the latter part of October and early November dragged again until I started chemotherapy. The period from mid November to mid April was even weirder because during each chemo cycle the time was stretched out, yet the six of them seemed to have passed quite quickly once they were finished, despite a hospital admission delaying the final one.  I moved to live with my partner in September and started getting my own flat ready to be rented out – this lasted until March.   Admittedly it perhaps wasn’t the least stressful thing to do while having cancer surgery and chemotherapy but was necessary all the same – I don’t think I could have coped if I had still been living alone.

Through all those months, whenever I was lying there hating the kidney drain, or sitting watching poison being dripped into my veins, or feeling as though every ounce of energy had deserted me, or seeing every hair on my body disappear, or being driven scatty with issues in my flat,  I kept telling myself “This too will pass” and it did.  Since mid April time has rocketed by, and this week I had my three month check since the last chemo. I could hardly believe it had been that long.

Undergoing the treatment didn’t stop my activities although it did curtail them a bit. In February and April I organised and administered one-act drama festivals but I didn’t start back volunteering at The Scottish Community Drama National Script Library  until May.  In December I finally got around to getting two children’s stories I had written many years ago  on Kindle, then this last week also published them as hard copies.   I used to design my own knitting patterns but hadn’t knitted for 20 years, however, last week I started to learning to crochet and this week have been making a jacket in rainbow-coloured wool to my own pattern (how successfully is so far unknown!)  My partner has re-kindled his model railway plans after 15 years so I have been lined up to help with modelling the scenery – another totally new project to add to the great tapestry of life.

At this moment in time – the day before my 69th birthday – I do occasionally have a crash of energy, I still get frustrated by my toes paining, my eyes spontaneously weeping or my peeing bloodied urine, but I console myself knowing it is temporary.   My hair is growing back, my energy levels are much better, and the chemo-brain business has stopped (still have senior moments but it’s different to chemo-brain). I still have at least one more surgery to go through and there continues to be uncertainty about how successfully my damaged uterer will have been mended, but it will all be over soon. Although my perception of ‘soon’ might be different from one day to the next, I know all I have to do is to hang on in there and let the time-perception-distortion machine do its trick.

Above all, distorted as my perception of time might be, I am grateful to have plenty of it spreading out before me.   Others on the cancer journey have not been so lucky.

Nothing To Report Sir, (but then again….)

I started writing a blog after being diagnosed with uterine cancer, primarily as a record of my own ‘journey’ but also as away of possibly helping others faced with the same life event.
Initially there was quite a bit to post. From my own and others reactions to the news, frustration about waiting, feeding my soul in general, mishaps in surgery, then first chemo. (See my other blogs.)  BUT since then there really has not been much to report/comment/moan/laugh about.  Nowt, zilch, not-a-hing, nutting, zero, sod-all – but then again…..
My second chemo cycle was more or less uneventful, but my enforced extra time indoors meant that in addition to doing the usual SCDA admin for the One-Act festival, and apart from  incorporating my scalp moles in a drawing cherries on my bald headMe being daft - so what's new! larking about at Christmas……….      I was able eventually to re-visit books I wrote many years ago for my grandchildren and publish two of them on Kindle.

My beloved Rainbow Dragon

My beloved Rainbow Dragon

‘The Rainbow Dragon’ was written after we took my four year old granddaughter to our bothy in Glencoe, and she was so delighted to go to the river to fetch water. The Rainbow Dragon character became very real to me over the years. As we drive in Glencoe I am wont to point out the wee bridge across the river as “that’s where Cherise met the Rainbow Dragon” almost believing it to have really happened, and it has always been  on my ToDo list to have it published.  I had the text of the book on e-file and a copy of it that I produced myself, so I finally got time to scan in the illustrations and tick my list . This is the link to the Kindle book

Connor and his sad friend Trevor the Tractor

Connor and his sad friend Trevor the Tractor

‘A Good Idea For Trevor The Tractor’ was written for my grandson at about the same age (or possibly a bit younger). He loved tractors – it was as simple as that – and the calling of “taktooor” when one is spotted has become part of tradition (well for me anyway) . The original book has been lost and I never kept a copy of it, but luckily when I was moving paperwork to Livingston, I came across a draft and some uncoloured illustrations, so I set about retyping it and colouring the drawings on the PC in ‘Paint’.   link to Kindle book here 

Today – Hogmanay – was my third chemo session and it went totally smoothly.  All traffic lights were at green, and there was hardly any traffic, so we drove there in a third of the usual time. Even the car park at the treatment centre had immediate entry (we waited 20 mins for a place last time).  Consequently I booked in an hour early and  was called minutes after.  Indeed all was so hunky-dory that I started getting my first drug infused at 11am – instead of 2pm both previous times.  I was finished by 3.45pm instead of 7.30 pm last time!
However – one thing that did happen was quite cathartic and worthy of note. An ex-work colleague who I had not seen for eight years, arrived to have (yet another) chemo session so came to sit next to me.  She is only in her mid 40s and has a young child, yet has been dealing with many cancers over a seven year period.  Every time she gets clear in one area of her body, the bloody disease appears somewhere else.  She started with breast cancer, then bile duct, liver and now bone, but she is not afraid and displays a wonderfully positive, yet utterly realistic, attitude to her sad prognosis of very short probable survival.  Discussing matters with her has reinforced my strong feeling that we have to live our lives in the present and very near future. We must squeeze every iota of  value out of our lives because we never know what is around the corner, in the skies, on the rails, across the road or flowing towards us for that matter – in flooded rivers or our own veins.   So maybe there was somat to report after all.