Life after cancer

Christmas has come and gone and the new year is here at last! Happy New Year!

The lead up to Christmas for me was very exciting. I was so happy as last year was so bad for me I was worried I may not be here for Christmas. I know many people have it worse than me but when you are given a diagnosis like cancer you think you are going to die.. No one really associates cancer with long life even though many do live long after cancer.  So it was a very emotional time for me as I was so grateful to have made it. Not necessarily in one piece but who cares, I made it 🙂

Life since I got the all clear has been weird. I’ve been so tired so my body must have been needing the rest, but depression has set in as losing my job was the final strike.  Some days getting the energy together to even smile is hard.  But I fight it and get on with it.

I’ve been having headaches and dizziness a lot recently which has made me paranoid. It’s probably all the rich food and glasses of wine but I am going to get a head x-ray soon just to be sure.  Why wait and see. I’m not a wait and see kinda girl really. I’m a go out and get it sorted kinda girl.

Last appointment went well with the oncologist, they are pleased with me and I am booked in for a routine full body scan in February. More aniseed water, I can’t wait.. not. lol 

I don’t have much feeling yet at the back of my right arm so anytime my hubby touches it I cringe. It’s a strange feeling I can’t describe it.  My right boob and scar area is still very sore especially when my son jumps on me and lands there. Not sure he understands why I scream bless him.  My right boob is perkier than the other one. Think the scar tissue in it has made it bigger.. I’m now known as one hang low. haha  I guess when they sewed me back up they gave my right boob a lift too.. bonus.. ha

2010 will be a good year.  Lots of all clears, a holiday or two with my husband and son and happy moments lie ahead. 

I wish you all well. May a cure for melanoma finally be found.

Lest we forget how fragile we are

Life is short.

A dear friend of the family past away yesterday. An old man who had lived a long life.  A great friend to my parents. He was supportive throughout my illness, offered assistance during my charity event and gave donations for the raffle. I never got around to calling to say thanks. My mum did, and my husband did but I never got round to it. I kept seeing him on the road and kept saying to myself I must give him a call to say thanks.

Now I wont get that opportunity. Life is short. You can see your best friend on Monday, and by Tuesday life can change dramatically. And that does really happen. You could be celebrating life one minute and the next you are mourning someones life instead.

Dont waste time, say thank you, say I love you, remember to be grateful even if what you have isnt everything you’ve ever wanted, at least you are alive and you have your whole life ahead of you. Make sure you spend yours being grateful and happy. Things could always be a lot worse.

I hope I live till I’m anciently old and I can look back and say WOW that was quite a journey.

Rest in peace dear Edwin.  A man who always had to have the last word, always created our arguments and always had a heart of gold. The world wont be the same without you.. thank you.

I went for a swim

I went to the beach recently. My doctor said the salt water will do my wounds the world of good, so armed with factor 50, our umbrella which is UVP proof, some cold water and a whole other bunch of stuff you need when you have kids off we went.

I got into the water for a total of 5 minutes just to cool off and to salt my armpit up which of course stung as swimming was out of the question as my arm is out of practice and the muscles are still sore. I didn’t expect that.  I am not allowed in the sun my doctor said so I was quick to get out and sit under the brollie.  Everyone else was in the water and I watched alone from the side wishing it was me in the sea with my son, not being able to be in the sun isn’t the end of the world, but its the end of the world as I know it. I hate that I cant play in the water with my son but my melanoma is so high risk that I cant risk ever being in the sun again. How sucky is that!  However, its a small price to pay when I get to live a long and happy life.

I had plenty of time to watch everyone on the beach.  Quite a few had already burned and are in the peeling process, not many under umbrellas and I wondered if they all knew about what they could potentially being doing to themselves.  Some stared at my armpit and my back back and I wondered if I should tell them why I looked the way I did.

I didn’t of course, people on holiday don’t want to know about my fight with skin cancer or anyone elses for that matter. They are on holiday, in Cyprus to get a tan, that’s the whole reason they are here in the first place (well amongst other things of course).

I wish there was something we could do to make people realise how dangerous it is. But the magazines put models that are airbrushed with beautiful tans.  We all think being tanned is beautiful.  We have forgotten to love ourselves as god made us.

We watch arabsat and there are adverts on there for a cream called Fair and Lovely and its for people with dark and blemished skin to look white and pure.   Theres even one when someone turns a model away cause her skin was too dark but it turned out the window was dirty, cause she uses fair and lovely so she gets hired in the end!   I think thats quite racist to be honest, but there they are trying to look fair, and here  we are trying to look brown!

Going on holiday just to fry yourself in baby oil cause thats what you are doing if you use that isn’t the way to do it.  Don’t burn, always use a minimum of 30 in hot countries especially when its 38 degrees out there! You only have one skin. You cant get a skin transplant and once you have skin cancer you have it for life.  Many are lucky to live in remission, many die.

My emotions are still running high. I can be anywhere and start crying because I am so grateful to be alive, to be in remission. Adverts on TV with happy endings make me cry. I’m a blubbering mess… everything makes me emotional at the moment.

All in all I spent about 30 mins on the beach.  Days out on the beach or by the beach are now a thing of the past for me.  Lucky for me though, I do have a very well shaded pool in my garden which I plan to spend time in once my arm is healed as I cant swim in chlorine yet.

I will need follow up visits every three months at the Oncology Clinic for the next 3 years, then every 6 months to year 5 then every year till year 10. After that I don’t know.  But I plan to find out.. cant wait to moan about it when I’m 45! I’m going for another boob scan next week! Just my right one.. I wonder if my left one will feel left out.. ha mind you its rather difficult to keep one in in such circumstances.. lol

Live love and be happy. You only get one life so make the best of it. 🙂

My armpit and its progress!

Taken 22.08

All my new skin coming through.. all my old skin fried off! lol

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