Give me so much love, That I forget myself

I was due to write a blog in the week before Easter. I realised on the Thursday before Good Friday that I was running out of time. My choices were to sit down and spend a few hours with my laptop, or, stay outdoors in the sunshine. Readers… the sunshine won.

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For the first time in a long time I decided I would not stick to my own self inflicted writing schedule. I justified this to myself quite easily. The writing was never meant to be a chore. It is far from a chore, I love it, but on that day, it felt like being in the outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and admiring the spring blossom was really all I wanted to do. Nobody told me to sit down every third Friday and reflect on the previous few weeks. Doing exactly that though, has been a gift. When you are tired, and achey, and a bit flakey, it’s very easy to put things off. I am very reluctant to give in to that slippery slope. By sticking to my regime it means I am in control. “No” cancer, I am not too tried to write a blog. “No” cancer, I don’t care that my back will hurt when I sit at my desk for too long. And “No” cancer, I will not feel guilty or sorry for taking a week off. You are not winning. That said, I am quite proud of my commitment to writing. This is the 21st post since I started the site in April last year.

As it turns out, taking time off from cancer is a very important thing to do. It’s very easy for me to spend all my energy fighting it, thinking about it, planning and fearing my next stages, talking about it, explaining it and frankly, just living with it. A chemo buddy reminded me last week (thanks Jules) that we have spoons of energy and these are not limitless. I am reminding myself that everything I do is about finding a way to live with cancer, and not to see myself as a terminal cancer patient. Hope and denial are, after all, the safest ports in a storm. To “do cancer” 24/7 is draining. If I am investing all this time and effort in finding the best way to live with it, then I have to find a way not to allow it to permanently inhabit my headspace. There are plenty of appointments to remind me of my situation, so to take some time away from it all, is surely, the very best medicine.

There is not a great deal to report in terms of treatment. Since my chemotherapy dose was dropped and I was prescribed another drug to manage the hands and feet – things have improved. I am finding that being really proactive with keeping the palms and soles moisturised is reaping rewards. The lotions, potions, gel socks and white gloves are doing the trick. That sounds a bit like I am having a fun time with self manis and pedis. I’m really not, it’s an annoying chore.

I have just finished the 5th chemo cycle and am due at the cancer centre on Monday for blood tests, an injection, drug haul collection and hopefully the start of the 6th cycle. I expect to be back at Mount Vernon for the next MRI at the end of this coming cycle.

My yoga class has finished for the time being and I am missing that. Although I am having a few one to ones with a physiotherapist at the Hospice. She is putting me through my paces and helping me work on strength and giving me some exercises to help my mobility.

Next week I am at Mount Vernon for a “Look Good/Feel Better” session at the Macmillan Centre. This is run by an international charity https://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk/

I shall report back, but the aim is to work with patients to support their physical and emotional wellbeing. I’m really looking forward to it.

The week before Easter, my pal Vicki and I spent 3 hours in Marks and Spencers in Hemel Hempstead collecting for Breast Cancer Now. We actually had a lot of fun and in the process raised about £250. Many people came to speak to us and told us stories of their own experiences of cancer. It never ceases to amaze me how far reaching and wide spread this disease is. I am certain the funds raised will be put to good use, they are a great charity: https://breastcancernow.org/about-us should you be so inclined, you can use that link to donate.

Easter, and hence the reason for my “week off”, was spent in glorious sunshine on the Pembrokeshire coast. We were blessed with spectacular weather and made the most of it by spending almost all of our time outdoors and taking a couple of trips to the beach. We had some great GozFam time but I also had some friends who came to visit and share the weekend with us. It was fabulous and I’m so grateful for all these new special memories. As well as Easter we celebrated the arrival of Spring with friends and neighbours in a hilarious evening which involved a cultural clash of highbrow poetry, brilliant jokes and slightly less brilliant karaoke. I’m not sure I have laughed so hard for quite a while. It was a great way to say goodbye to winter.

The final part of the celebration was my sister’s birthday. Having baked some awful brownies for the party, I redeemed myself with a chocolate cake to end all chocolate cakes. We had another lovely day and celebrated her ageing in style.

I am now back home following a really blissful couple of weeks. I must say I am quite exhausted from all the celebrating, but grateful for what was a really special time. I’m also refreshed and once I’ve had a decent sleep or two and eaten half a tonne of easter eggs, shall be back to fight the good the fight.

Spring, are you ready?

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Big Love, AG xx

#Macmillan

#Breastcancercare

#Breastcancernow

#MarksandSpencer

#LGFBUK

Eurythmics: Right By Your Side / Annie Lennox / David Allan Stewart

Give me two strong arms
To protect myself
Give me so much love
That I forget myself
I need to swing from limb to limb
To relieve this mess I’m in
‘Cause when depression starts to win
I need to be right by your side
No one seems to touch me
In the way you do
Nothing seems to hurt me
When I’m close to you
I’m so full of desire
When you set my head on fire
I need to be right by your side
Every single one of us needs
Love, love, love
Everybody needs to give and receive love
Every single day can drag us
Down, down, down
But there’s nothing left to fear
When love gets into town
I’m so full of desire
When you set my head on fire
I need to be right by your side

4 thoughts on “Give me so much love, That I forget myself

  1. Hi Abigail, I believe through a mutual friend – that you gave had a dose of chemotherapy. I saw from your blog that for you it wasn’t a first option and control is very important to you.
    My experience of chemotherapy is 7 years ago – I had stage 2 ovarian cancer however it was a clear cell cancer. I took the offer of belt and braces chemo as although the tumour had been removed and had not spread – there could have been some pesky cancer cells still floating around.
    I was 52 years – old age in cancer terms but with a precious 17 year old daughter in the midst of her A Level course. I desperately wanted to see how she did, whether she went to university, whether she went onto her goal of being a teacher. Her concentrating was in pieces and I felt chemo would show her I’m fighting to survive with the greatest of odds.
    When I received the chemo, it was in a day centre – over 6 hours of IV infusion. First, went in the anti histamine and steroids. Then it was 2 bags of weed killer. When that was going into me, I visualized the old pac man computer game where the chemo was gobbling up the rogue pesky cells. When I was bored with that, I had a machine gun visualizing the cancer cells being blown to oblivion. I had 6 rounds of this treatment and without exception- I visualized these processes whenever I remembered.
    I am a mental health worker and I mentioned this to a Psychiatrist, she mentioned that there is evidence of visualization having positive outcomes- it certainly worked for me.
    So find your visualization game and imagine blasting those cancer cells to Kingdom come!! Also made me feel I was proactively fighting the little suckers and not passively sitting receiving treatment.
    Sending you lots of positive vibes ❤🎉🎈🔮🎀🦄🎁🎊🧜‍♀️

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for you comment and positive vibes. Im guessing if 7 years on the chemo did it’s job, that’s great. As my cancer is stage 4/terminal all treatment is palliative and not curative, hence my hesitation.
      I agree that we need to use the power of the mind, in fact I meditated through the hell that was the first 20 minutes of the cold cap. It’s understandable why many don’t tolerate it at all!
      Thanks again.

      Like

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