Category Archives: positive thinking

An Airbrush for Life….

If you could, would you?

“Of course,” some may reply.

Mmmmm, I’m not so sure.

I was applying my make-up this morning, seriously considering that if I have to use many more primers, plumpers or smoother-outers I’m going to have to start the night before, when the thought of a concealer for life came into my head, then, even better, an airbrush.

My mind quickly started rifling through my memories, selecting those for the eraser of all things bad, the sad stuff and the cock-ups.

But none of our actions happen in isolation. If, along with the bad stuff, some of the high points of your life went too, would you still go ahead?

I know I wouldn’t.

My tough times have taught me about personal strength, the power of forgiveness ( of myself and others), the kindness of strangers and that the love of family and friends is the most important thing in my life.

And as for my high points, I wouldn’t swap one of them for all the air-brushing in Hollywood!!

 

 

 

 

Guilty As Charged…

Of time-wasting on an industrial scale!! I could faff for a living right now, expertly!

I laugh when I think about all those days I was rushing out the door to an appointment or hurrying to finish the washing/ironing before Sunday evening, those days where I promised myself a day of sitting on my bum and reading a great book through from start to finish, or spending an entire day sorting through my clothes, make-up, shoes etc.

Now I have the time…..loads of it, with a limited range of physical jobs I can do, so perfectly suited to my dream days above. So, can I finish a page, be arsed to even open the wardrobe?? Not a mission!!

I can wash two or three cups, swipe at the work tops with some disinfectant, gaze guiltily at the ironing and polish half the coffee table before I think the boredom is going to choke me. Memories of kids on wet, summer afternoons, with their noses pressed against the windows and bedrooms full of toys, moaning loudly, ” I’m bored! There’s nothing to do,” come rushing back and it evokes the same reaction.

“Nothing to do!! Look around you, look at all the things you have to be thankful for! Bored indeed.”

Guilty as charged. šŸ˜

What’s In A Name??

I believe you can find humour in any area or event in life and my cancer journey has Ā  Ā been no exception.

My husband and I were discussing the surgical procedure with the consultant when he mentions that I will have a dye injected prior to surgery that will colour not just my boob area, but the rest of my body as well, blue for an amount of time.

“Ha,” laughed my husband, “Papa Smurf.”

I shot him a look ( one of those husband/wife looks) as the surgeon continued in a sober fashion.

“Well it will have the effect of making your wife look a bit “corpse-like”.”

I looked back to my husband with a new-found respect. I think I’ll take Papa Smurf on this occasion.

“Corpse-like!!!”

So the day of surgery came. We walked on past the newly built, state of the art building where I will go for chemo and radiotherapy. I glance over at the beautiful bronze statue of Florence Nightingale in front of the door and then up at the building’s name.

“Cancer Unit”, writ large!

Not even a “The.”

Had they run out of funds or was the Minister in charge of naming buildings off that day!

I shudder and walk on. A lovely nurse greeted me and cheerily gave me my programme for the morning.

“Now, you will first go to Mamo and then round to Nuclear.”

Nuclear??

Turns out to be Nuclear Medicine. I think the Naming Minister was off that day too.

About 30 seconds after being deposited in the waiting room another lovely nurse comes to collect me. They must have thought I would run away and they mightn’t have been too far off the mark!

“I have to ask you, for legal reasons, are you pregnant?”

I laugh……heartily. “No.”

Lovely Nurse then gowns up and dons a pair of gloves before injecting this obviously hazardous material into my right tit!!

Because of various taping and markers I am not allowed to get “fully” dressed ( no bra) before me and two-hung-low walk back, through the hospital, to my ward.

Cheery Nurse is bustling about the ward when I get back and I ask her if she finds a sudden increase in the patients need of Valium, post Nuclear visit.

Oh, how she laughs!!

 

 

Being Afraid

I am just thinking back to a much earlier blog where I discussed being your own “best friend” because, right now, I would tell my best friend, my loved one, in my situation, “It’s okay to be afraid.”

I am.

I’m not afraid of dying ( I don’t think that’s my path at this time), but of living with the next bit of the journey; chemo……and the rest.

I cry for a bit, feel crap for a bit, Ā and then remember my amazing family and friends and how much they believe in me and how blessed I am to have them.

I can choose to lie down under this and let it beat me or face it head on, doing the best I can to follow the guidelines and advice and come out the other side, stronger than before; like thousands and thousands of people are doing every day.

So, I have pulled on my big girl pants I’m back in the ring!!

 

 

That Pollyanna “thing” again…..

How many times, especially this last year to eighteen months, with all that is going on in the world, have I bemoaned what has/is to become of mankind?

I have lost count.

Where have all the decent folk gone?

Answer – wait until you need them and they are there.

Don’t give up on the world or the people in it. There is more to be “Glad” about than you may thInk right now.

Life isn’t about stretching from one high point to another, but about finding worth in the twists and turns.

I always appreciated the goodness of the people in my life, but now they are carrying me through what could be termed a low point, sharing their strength, their love and compassion, allowing me to find the worth of where I am now.

Thank you.

And so, It continues………

I am quite good at some things.

If you tell me “X” is going to happen, that it will hurt, but that by time “Y”, I will feel better and that A,B and C benefits will then cut in; then I am good at coping with “X”.

But, in this, I am not unique. In fact, I think most of us are the same.

When we can touch the sides, mentally, with most problems, we can cope with the discomfort of the journey.

I come unstuck when I don’t know where the bottom is or which way is up.

My surgery was over. I have done very well and was feeling positive about prospective dates in my diary.

My phone rings on Friday evening.

The surgeon wants to see me on Monday morning.

For roughly five minutes I panic, really panic.

Then I laugh to myself.

My panic will change nothing for the better. It WILL absolutely have a bad effect on the rest of my weekend. So……I stop.

As simple as!

“Really?” some may ask, doubtfully.

“Yes, really,” I can reply.

This cancer will not rob me of one single second more of my life’s energy than I can possibly help, and I CAN help this.

So I look forward to meeting the lovely “Mr. M” on Monday morning and leave those cards until they are dealt.

I’ll be grand!!

And so, Life turns another page….

“It’s breast cancer Becky.”

I gulped, so did my friend, whilst she held my hand and assured me it would be okay.

The lovely doctor talked on, but I didn’t catch a lot of it. Her tone was gentle and comforting.

“Have you any questions Becky?”

“Yes…..am I going to die?”

“We don’t even talk about that at this stage. Honestly, it will be fine Becky.”

“Do my daughters need to get checked? Can this affect them?”

“No, they are not at any increased risk.”

That was it, I was all out of questions. I picked up all the helpful publications and nodded agreement as to what was going to happen next.

We left and went to replenish our coping mechanisms with tea and cake.

“How come I haven’t lost any weight Stella?” I asked as I snaffled down my hot, buttered scone that could feed three adults.

“I don’t think it always works like that,” she answered sagely. “How do you feel,” she asked.

Five weeks later I still feel the same. Honestly.

Grateful !

Grateful to all those women that went before me, without my luck, and allowed tests to be performed on them , with the hope of helping others like me; to all the millions of people worldwide that have helped fund amazing research into curing this disease and to the doctors, nurses and specialists who dedicate their lives to helping folk like me.

I am so grateful to you all.

There is no “Why Me?”.

Why NOT me?

But I didn’t need this to know I am blessed; blessed with incredible family and friends, who cradle me in their kindness, their love and their humor.

I’ll be grand ! xx

Giving It Up.

I have read so many self-help books, listened to so many experts and attended so many seminars, all aimed at helping us give up the struggle, the stress and the negative thoughts and behaviour that marks our lives.

And I get it! Honestly, I do. Let’s face it, the vast majority of it is plain, good old common sense.

But, what it is NOT, is easy; hence the enormous quantity and re-hashing of similar information.

But, no-body said it would, or should, be.

What it is, is worth it.

Each time I hand over a particular stressorĀ to my life’s path, I gain a relief and sense of peace I would not swap for any amount of money or possession.

I am where I am supposed to be, for whatever reason, and I will find happiness here and now.

I have lived with more stuff, more money, more ego, more fear, more stress.

Giving up the fear of losing something you never “owned” in the first place is liberating, and underlines that well-known saying,

“Less is more.”

I Love You Harriette Thompson !!

I love this woman, even though all my excuses for not getting off my backside were blown away as the news reports of her crossing the line on her latest marathon were flashed up on the TV screen.

Not only is she 91 ( or 92 depending on which report you listen to) but she has survived cancer and did not start running until she was 76 years old.

Technically, I could wait another 24 years before starting a whole other aspect of my life! Wow, what an amazing notion.

She is bright, generous and self-effacing; a true inspiration, but I suspect she might tell me not to wait until I am 76. I think she might tell me to do something, anything, now.

Whatever she might say, I love you Harriette.

Would You Believe It?

The news is full of stories illustrating “mans inhumanity to man”, but rarely do we get to hear about those moments of inspiration that so perfectly show what the power of many can do.

Last week approximately one hundred passers-by rushed to the aid of a cyclist trapped under a double-decker bus in Walthamstow, London. Together, they lifted the bus enough to allow the injured man to be pulled clear. Their behaviour flies in the face of the theorists that say, when we become part of a crowd we are slow to react, electing to stand back and wait for “someone else” to take charge.

I doubt anyone there stopped to check out the person on either side of them, to assess whether they would ask them round to theirs for tea on Sunday; they just took a place beside them and, together, their joint strength and will moved, not mountains on this occasion, but a huge, heavy bus and for the benefit of one.

This happened three days ago and I have been wishing ever since we could work like this on a larger scale, politically and socially.

Well, to-day it is wonderful to find that we have.

The news of the breakthrough in the treatment of cancer is nothing short of spectacular. This result is not only the amazing work of the scientists involved, but of every charity collector in the street, every mini-marathon runner, every patient that has taken part in clinical trials and every man, woman and child that has donated time, money and energy to find and fund a cure.

Our own future health is a mixture of good diet, reasonable exercise, genetics and luck, but the vast majority of people I know have invested, in some shape or form, in this research, without waiting to see if they are going to benefit from it personally and without wishing to monitor those that may benefit from it.

We have the power to do wonderful things when we focus on the hope that unites us instead of the despair that divides.