I wrote last time about a sense of community; how that helps me and how I am learning to be part of one. So when Rachael Bland died this week, it felt personal. A woman who I had never met, never spoken to but who reached in to the stratosphere and made me feel better. I felt connected to her through a similar timeline of diagnosis, disease and finding a way to live with cancer. She inspired me to face in to the wind and get on with living and doing the things I love. It slightly shocked me the first time I heard her talking about not being a bad wig wearing, waxy, grey skinned poorly person. But it made me realise, that whilst you have choice, you should damn well make the ones that are right for you. And she gave me hope. So whilst my heart breaks for her and her family I am minded to be grateful for everything she gave to us Stage 4ers. I have been really knocked by this news and the apparent speed by which, in the end, she died. I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t receive a massive reality slap. I am sad because she is gone, but selfishly, it also makes me scared, because hope seems to have been a little harder to come by this week. However, this is not the time for self pity and I know I will get through and be back to myself before too long. I just need to grieve this amazing lady a little bit.
On the off chance you are not familiar with Rachael’s blogs and podcasts, I recommend you seek them out. #Big C.Little Me #youmebigc
When in doubt, channel The Pooh.
In other news…
Last week I went back to the treatment centre for what should have been the start of the 6th cycle. You may remember how delighted I was that everything was on track and I was only having to get treatment once a month. Well, that didn’t last. Last week the white blood cell count had fallen below 2 again with the neutrophils below 1. Too neutropenic for treatment. So I was sent home to hibernate and avoid all germs due to rubbish immunity. Of course that was a week that I had loads of appointments and catch up plans so I attended those that I really wanted to and cancelled a few others.
I returned to the centre this week for more blood tests to see how things were going. Fortunately, the little tricky whitesters had got their act together and I got the injection, implant and tablets. Cycle 6 is go. In three weeks time I will be back in the MRI (rolls eyes) and back to see the Prof for a discussion on how things are progressing. Fingers crossed the drugs are still doing what they are meant to do.
This is what treatment day looks like:
Otherwise it’s been a pretty good few weeks and I am enjoying the last of the summer sun. Now it’s September and a bit cooler, I don’t feel like I have been microwaved, so am back out walking. It’s been great to get out in the fresh air.
People continue to amaze me with their thoughtfulness. I returned from my walk today to find a Fairy Dust candle on the doorstep, sent from an old friend. She knew I needed a little cheer this week and who doesn’t need a sprinkle of fairy dust every now and then? I’m so grateful.
The week is ending on a high, helped hugely by a lot of laughs, a lot of tea and hugs from The Humphinator…
Don’t think twice, it’s all right.
Big Love, AG xx