Weary…

You got this, Keep going

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you, I am doing fine, but I am really weary.

I had my second round of chemo 4 days ago and it has surprised me just how extremely tired I felt afterwards.  It is pretty tiring just sitting in a reclining chair for 7 hours while various drugs are dripped into my system, but let’s be honest many people have to endure far worse things than that and it’s all for my own good.  I knew that chemo would make me tired but after the first round I was OK until I stopped taking the steroids but this time the fatique hit me almost straight away.  So I’ve been doing lots of resting.  I spent most of Friday (the first day after the chemo) just wrapped up on the sofa, either sleeping or watching tv.  On Saturday I ventured out for a walk in the town and tried to do some shopping, but by the time I got home I was shattered.  Later my brother and his wife, Mu, who came over from France for the weekend, came to visit me.  It was lovely to see them and we had a good chat.  They gave me some really lovely hand and moisturising cream which is good because I’ve also been told that chemo dries out the skin.  After they left I spent the rest of the day resting.

Yesterday we all had lunch at my parents house, that is Mum & Dad, Mike & Mu (from France), Dave and Jen (my other brother and sister-in-law) and T and me.  Mum did a good job of creating roast dinner for 8 especially as 4 of us don’t eat meat and we had to have something different from the rest.  Mum never thinks her dinners are good enough, (but honestly Mum it was good and) all the plates were empty by the end of the meal.  I was so exhausted though I didn’t really participate too well in the socialising, but I think they all understood.

Today I’ve been feeling a bit better but I stayed off work to have more rest.  I did go for a short walk this afternoon because it was cold, but dry and sunny and I felt like I needed to move my legs and later I did a bit of easy sorting out of papers.  I’m not sure how it will be tomorrow as I’ve no more steroids to take so I may be even more fatigued, but I’ll just have to wait and see how I feel when I get up.  I would like to get back to work before the end of the week though if I can.

The good news is I haven’t felt ill just tired and a few other minor side effects but nothing serious.  Being tired means you have to rest and that’s all right. It does mean that there are lot’s things that are not getting done, but that’s OK too – apart from the Christmas shopping which is beginning to cause me some anxiety.

So rest is good and sometimes it helps to quiet everything down and just centre on the moment.  That happens mostly for me when I just sit and doodle in my journal.  This Warrior Women journal is really special to me it’s really helping me focus on how I can best look after myself and learn from this journey.

The image above is from the warrior women journal and I currently have about the same amount of hair as the girl in the picture.  My hair came out really fast but I’ve been left with a very thin layer of stubble, maybe that will come out this week?  Do you know what? Even having no hair isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, it’s just strange, a new experience, not exactly fun yet, but I’m working on that 😉

The quote says “Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see, it is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly “You got this, keep going'”

I hope all is good and wonderful in your part of the world.

Big love

AJ xxx

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Embrace the Glorious Mess that you are

 

 

Glorious Mess

Hello friends

I hope all is well with you, I’m doing fine.

It’s been a while so I thought I should update my blog.  Here is another page from my Warrior Women journal.  I am learning acceptance – sometimes you don’t need to put up a ferocious fight in order to overcome life’s difficulties, sometimes you just need to accept things as they are.

Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.

 

After round 1 of chemo I didn’t feel too bad, nowhere near as good as I felt before it, but nevertheless not too bad.  I even went to work the next day but I didn’t get there until 11am and everyone was out of the office and I had nothing to do so I left again at 3pm. Still at least I made the effort.

I had medication to take in the week following the chemo to help with the side-effects.  The side effects I was aware of were nausea (but I had tablets for that), tiredness, aching legs and everything tasted strange but I certainly did not feel ill.

I had enough steroids to last me 5 days and then on day 6 which was last Wednesday I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I actually got up early and started getting ready for work, but everything was a struggle, and after I found myself just lying on the sofa for half an hour I realised I couldn’t go into work. I phoned in and told my boss I needed to take sick leave and went back to bed where I stayed all day.  I did get up at about 4pm, had a bath, put clean pyjamas on and went back to bed.  Finally got up at 8pm and watched tv for a couple of hours.  I took the next day off work too and went back in on Friday.

Over the weekend I was OK and we took Mum and Dad out to lunch on Sunday, by that I mean that I drove but in fact they treated us to the lunch.  I ate far too much and my stomach was uncomfortable afterwards.

I’ve been back at work this week and on Tuesday evening I went to a Remembrance Day service held in the chapel in the cemetery.  My house is actually in the cemetery so I only had a short distance to walk.  I saw a lot of my friends from the local history group there but I didn’t stay long after it finished because I felt very tired.  Yesterday I was also struggling with tiredness and today I’ve phoned in sick again because I just don’t have the energy to do much at all.  I think my hair is beginning to fall out now too and my scalp feels uncomfortable 😦

I went to see the ‘wig’ lady the other day, but I really don’t know if I want to wear a wig, a couple have been ordered on approval but I did tell her that I’d have to have T with me when I went to see them because he will tell me honestly if they look terrible.  I’ve a feeling that wearing a wig all day will be uncomfortable too and I just don’t think they look realistic. Well not the ones I can afford anyway.  I’ve got head scarves and hats ready for when I need them.

Next week I have to see the consultant haematologist on Wednesday and then on Thursday all day at the chemo suite for round 2 – ding, ding!

So that’s where I am at the moment, I feel like I’m doing OK just wish I had a bit more energy but we can’t always have what we want can we and I know I am luckier than many people so I’m not complaining.

Wishing you good health and happiness my friends

Big love

AJ 🙂

xxx
© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Kind of People

Crazy People

Hello friends

How are you all today, I hope it’s good.

I am fine, I had my first round of chemotherapy on Thursday, it took over 7 hours because I had a slight reaction to the antibody (that’s the bit that locks onto the cancer cells and flags them up as targets for the other drugs), so it could only be dripped in very slowly. When the antibody was finally in it took just over an hour to get all the other stuff in. Because of this reaction it means all the other treatments (another 5) will also take that long.  The plus side of this is that I’ll have plenty of time for doodling and that’s never a bad thing 🙂

So far I’m feeling OK and I went in to work on Friday. I am still taking meds that I bought home with me, they finish in a few days time and I’ve been told I might feel a bit unwell for a few days after that, then I’ll start feeling better, then I see the doctor for a check up, and then on November 20th we start round 2.

I have a feeling that the problem with my ‘none’ treatment on Wednesday was due to staff shortages and overwork in the NHS so I’m not going to complain.  I think someone just overlooked my paperwork because they had too much to do.  I know it’s shocking that it could happen, and fortunately for me the consequences were only upset and inconvenience, but I don’t want anyone being ‘hung out to dry’ for that. They know it’s happened and it is being investigated but I don’t need to add anger to the equation.

I’ve had a really good day today, the weather has been warm and sunny and early this morning I received a package from my FB friend Iain ‘Oli’ Oliver containing this wonderful limited edition print by artist Jamie Reid:

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

I took the photo under artificial light so the colours are not true in the photo, but it’s bold, bright and uplifting and I LOVE it, thank you ‘Oli’ ❤ It brought me JOY 🙂

I had a slow and lazy morning pottering about – making sure I took meds at the right time, doing some washing, making a batch of smoothie, having breakfast, taking more meds and getting showered and dressed.  Then I wandered in to town and did some shopping and when I got home there was another package waiting for me.

 

This time it was a the book Dizzy Spells by the artist David Shillinglaw:

Dizzy Spells

I ordered the book about a week ago I think and I was so happy to receive it today.  I love David’s art, especially his wall murals, they are so colourful and cheerful.  There’s lots of symbolism and repetition in his art that just speaks to me at a deep level.

I had made tentative enquiries about getting him to come to Ryde, the town where I live, to paint a wall for our local arts festival next year.  We have a perfect wall that is in desperate need of a piece of wonderful artwork but I have to be honest I’m not really sure how I would get permission from the owners to have it painted (maybe just ask?) or raise the funds to pay for the project, but I’m sure it would have been worth the effort.  Then I got hit with the cancer so now everything is on hold until I recover in that regard. Never mind I can still go on enjoying his artwork even if it’s not here in my town and Dizzy Spells is a little gem of a book, full of black an white illustrations from David’s journals.  He is very clever with his use of words too, it makes me smile.  Thank you David 🙂

And that brings us neatly to my little offering of art at the top of the page, it’s a page in my journal inspired by ‘Teesha Moore’s Amazing 16 Page Journal‘ and the quote says: ‘Life is about finding the people who are your kind of crazy’.  And I reckon that Teesha Moore and her husband Tracy (both of whom I’ve met), Iain ‘Oli’ Oliver and David Shillinglaw (who I haven’t met) are definitely my kind of crazy people. 🙂

Take good care of yourselves and I’ll see you soon.

Big Love

AJ 🙂

 

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.