Sunday, 6 May 2012

Doesn't time fly?

Thought I'd pop by, it's been a while hasn't it? All good with me. Cancer wise, all quiet and I've not had any treatment for a year now. My 7th anniversary looms... I'm touching wood, saluting magpies, not walking under ladders and other well known remedies for staying cancer free. If I was to believe everything I read in the media I'd never eat, drink or do anything remotely interesting. Sod that!! I'll whisper the next bit... I'm enjoying my job again. Yes, really!! Who'd have thought!? Good times :)

Sunday, 6 February 2011


I don't come here very often now. In fact, I don't even like thinking about it much these days. Life is treating me much better nowadays.

But, another hospital check up looms and look where I come...

God damn roller coaster :(

Monday, 17 May 2010

Happy Cancerversary!

Ok, Cancerversary is not a real word.

Who cares? I've survived for 5 years now (plus 4 days if you are counting). And I'm glad to be here :)

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Goodbye Naughties... hello what's it called now?

I'm feeling a bit reflective. So, how were the "Naughties"...

I remember the end of the nineties well, I was full of hope after a period of mourning the death of my father, and the end of a long term relationship I was in. It was party time, and I was living life to the full - along with my best friend who was also recently separated from her soon to be ex husband. Its the time of my life I really started to figure out who I was.

2000 was a good start to the decade. I moved into my new house, I passed my driving test, bought my first car and my first niece was born. What a year! I worked hard, and played hard too. I was discovering a new life as an independent woman, and I was moving into a more "grown up" part of my life - hitting 30 in the early part of the Naughties. Planning, saving, dreaming and wondering where fate would lead me. Life was good for the first half of the decade.

And then into 2005... I had plans for home improvements, I'd been saving for years and had managed to get a promotion at work which had helped my home improvement fund. I had a holiday planned. I was looking forward. Then.... WALLOP... along came cancer. Life as I knew it stopped. Life became illness, and hospitals. Operations and doctors. Needles and chemicals. No hair and burnt skin. Concern and worry. Stress and anguish. No longer was my cup half full, it was almost empty. Dark times.

2006 I was still having treatment, but starting to find hope. I returned to work, and was pleased to be back (for a while!). Then came the aftermath, the bit you don't hear about in the fluffy pink world of breast cancer media. Dealing with the damage to my body from surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Coping with the changes I didn't think about when choices were life or death - like infertility, premature menopause (or not?!?). Then there is the psychological damage, the fears that only crept in once cancer had visited. The feeling of mistrust in my own body. The worries that every ache and pain could be "it" back again. The loss of friends I'd made, and the sadness and fear that brings.

So, the latter part of the Naughties was pretty shocking really. Add the workplace bullying into the mix in late 2007 and early 2008 and the terrible impact that continued to have in my life until very recently I think its fair to say I am glad there's not much of this decade left!

There were a few highlights too - another niece arrived in 2005. Friend's have also had children in the Naughties. I love them all to bits (yet I am also envious that I will probably never have a family of my own). I bought a caravan, by the sea, and spend lots of time there with my extended family. That's priceless and I know I wouldn't have done that before.

So here's to a new decade and new beginnings! I hope the next 10 (tenties??) are good ones.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Ch ch ch changes

After some blood tests earlier this week I received a phone call yesterday from my Oncologist, who among other things confirmed that my ovaries appear to be working! This is a bit of a surprise because all symptoms and test results over the last few years had led them to believe I was post menopausal. I've spent a lot of time getting my head round that - so now I am trying to get my head round the fact it might not be the case after all. I'm now back onto a different type hormone therapy, so my body will have more readjusting to do.

With hindsight I shouldn't have been surprised. My hormone levels were clearly changing. I felt like I wanted to burst into tears in the middle of M&S the week before for no reason (I don't think it was because the dine in for 2 offer wasn't on!). I was very sleepy, and had spots too. In fact, I think I turned back into a teenager for a while!! Argh.

I'm very lucky that my Oncologist is on the ball. Sadly I started out the week with a visit to one of my GPs, who completely fobbed me off and made me feel like I was making a fuss about nothing. He told me to go home and stop worrying!! Now, I may not be medically qualified but the fact that it appeared I wasn't post menopause and I was taking a drug that is only for post menopausal women was worrying me!! Its a good job I'm persistent, as a phone call to the hospital myself confirmed there was reason to worry and I was booked in for an emergency appointment the next day. I think my GP and I may have to have another chat at some point. I'd hate to think he would be so dismissive of someone else in the same position. I've come to expect a lot of dismissive attitudes from a lot of people, as many expect the fluffy, pink, positive version of life after breast cancer. But from a doctor...!!

Looks like this rollercoaster ride is still going strong. Hold on tight!

Friday, 4 December 2009

New beginnings

I hardly dare say this out loud... but work is ok!! Yes, ok! The "situation" ended. It was never dealt with, or any of the behaviour addressed so the legacy lives on BUT the protest was dropped and finally, 3 weeks ago, I got a new team. It's going well too. I've even been called "cool" and "sound" by some of my team. Yes, they meant me. Wow.

The 4 bullies are still working behind the scenes to try and spoil things. They don't have the same power now though. I hope their position continues to weaken as time goes by.

So - despite all the baggage it has left me with - I have made it a turning point in my life and it is the start of a new phase in my life. I'm focusing on all that is good in my life, and am doing all that I can to accept the bad. I've had the most horrendous time both health wise and in my work and personal life but it's time for a new start. I need a new start. I want happiness.

It's amazing what having a purpose does. I like.

Monday, 12 October 2009

The end?


I had yet another meeting at work today. One of quite a few meetings recently, but I'm bored of being a part of it all never mind typing it up. However, sometimes it's good to get it out of my head and onto "paper", I really do find it therapeutic. So, here's an update.

The mediation report arrived, and was in my opinion flawed and seemed biased. Let's just say the 4 of them did a good job of passing on their opinion as fact. I still struggle to even think about some of the cruel heartless things I had to listen to that day. Anyway - one part of the outcome was that I should move teams as has been demanded, repeatedly, by the 4 people who have been making my life hell for almost 2 years now. I, as ever trying to be the reasonable one, accepted this but very begrudgingly and told HR this was the last time I would be reasonable. I felt if it put an end to it, so be it. I was told this decision was non negotiable...

The 4 then got the outcome (which involved some movement with them as well), and they started to negotiate!! Yet again, they say jump and my employer starts warming up for a high jump! The tail is most definitely wagging the dog! So, I and my 3 managers (who have remained very supportive) put our feet down, hard, and said we rejected this stage and were considering taking further action.

Today I heard back from the union. The whole business is being swept under the carpet now, like it never happened. It will disappear, along with the boss who retires next week. He appears to be the scapegoat now. Convenient. The 4 remain working in other teams away from me, and I can stay in my current job. This is of course great news, I should be pleased. But as the poor behaviour and discriminatory attitudes (which are still displayed to me regularly at work) remains, and isn't dealt with I just don't know how I am going to deal with the future. It's going to be hard.

The union rep summed it up well today. I was ill and the staff didn't know how to deal with that so transferred their inability to cope into anger towards me. I've just got to figure out how I keep working somewhere where people are very open about the fact they wish I'd died now. Harsh, but I have bills that won't pay themselves.

I think I just need time to get my head round this. I'm not sure I truly believe it is over.