Happy New Year!

Strength and Dignity

Hello friends!

Wishing you a very happy and healthy new year!

Well 2014 was certainly a year to remember but I am so looking forward to the new year, to getting through the next 3 rounds of chemo then, getting good results on the regression or elimination of the cancer and finally getting my health and strength back.

Despite my being the Christmas Grinch I actually had a good time, I saw the French side of my family just before Christmas that is my brother, his wife and my nephew and niece. On Christmas Day T and I had lunch with my parents and then in the afternoon my older brother and his wife joined us.  I got lots of really lovely gifts too and I’d like to thank all my family and friends for their generosity.

This week I’ve been feeling a lot better but when I had a blood test yesterday my white cell count was a bit low, so that now has to be monitored.

On 2 January I go in for round 4 of chemo, the drug that was taken out last time has been put back in but at half the strength or quantity I had previously.  In my ‘take home’ pack this time as well as the three lots of medication I will also have some fibre sachets and some injections that will need to be given to me on the fifth day after the chemo one a day for 5 days.  I have been told that I can give the injections myself and they will show me how, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to jab myself with a needle.  If I can’t then the district nurse will come and do it for me.  These injections are something to help build up the white cells.  Ah well that’s something different to get used to  😐

2014 has been a crazy year – we finally got our new kitchen installed (by ourselves – it took us 3 months to complete! ) after waiting nearly 20 years; the summer delivered some lovely sunny weather and that always makes me feel good; the local history group was as busy as ever with lots of exhibitions and events throughout the year; I really enjoyed the Arts Festival; I got to go to a Buckingham Palace garden party, I got a new job and pay rise within the company I work for, unfortunately I only did the job for a short time before I became sick but when I’m well I am looking forward to doing the new role and doing something that will be more challenging and rewarding than the data inputting I was doing for the previous 18 months; I have received lots of love and support from family and friends both near and far and I’ve realised that there are lessons to be learnt and good things that can be taken from bad situations.

Still, roll on 2015 and hopefully getting back to normal.

The page above is the last page of the Warrior Women Journal and was completed a few weeks ago. I have also now finished the cover and will share that with you over the next two posts.  I like the bright colours and the smiling warrior woman.

Today I am especially thinking about my friend Ruth who I met online a few weeks ago. She has had a much longer and harder journey than I have so far but she has faced each challenge with grace and dignity.  Right now things are really tough for her and she’s off line and taking time for herself.  I am so grateful to have met you Ruth and I’m holding you in my thoughts.  Onwards and Upwards.

Thanks again to you all for your support and love and please know that I wish every single one of you all the very best for the coming year – let’s make it a good one 🙂

Take care of yourselves

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.

 

In Herself

In Herself

Hello friends

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I’m looking forward to the new year and getting my health back.

I’m half way through the chemo treatment now, I’ve been OK since the last one on 11 December.  OK in that I haven’t felt ill but still very tired.  I’m fine when I’m on my own just pottering about or lying on the sofa watching tv, but it’s Christmas time so there is a certain amount of socialising that has to be done and I have found that very tiring. In fact all communications have been almost shut down and there is still no sign of my muse so no artwork either! Still, so far, I’ve not picked up any infections so that’s good.  Over the next week I should start to feel a lot better and then on 2 January I’m in for another round, round 4.

Not sure what is going to happen when I’ve completed all 6 there has been some talk of radiotherapy, but I feel like I want to know a bit more about what’s happening with my body before I agree to that.

So, am I ready for Christmas?  I suppose I am and if I’m not well it’s too late to worry about it now.  To be honest I’m never that organised or enthusiastic about Christmas, in fact I’m a bit of a Grinch, and this year I just haven’t had the energy for it.  I did put the Christmas tree up last week.  That involved going down in the cold, dirty cellar, finding the tree and boxes of ornaments, carrying them all upstairs, constructing the tree, sorting out the lights and decorating. About half way through I wished I’d never started and just wanted to lie on the sofa, but I carried on and did finish it. It looks pretty good too 🙂

Christmas TreeKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also made the Christmas light, it was a plastic round bowl that had some chocolates in last year and I had been trying to think what to do with it.  Then I had a spark of inspiration and bought a set of LED fairy lights.  I carefully cut a hole in the bottom of the bowl and fed the lights into it, then a modpodged some printed tissue paper over the outside of the bowl. The stand that it is on is meant for a candle but it looks better with the new light. It only took a few minutes to make and I’m really pleased with the result.  Because I used LED lights they don’t get hot so it’s not a fire risk.

When I’ve had some energy I’ve been trying to help out with the cooking.  There have been varying degrees of success and failure.  I ‘nailed it’ with my half plain flour/half spelt flour pastry and made a great mushroom and chestnut pie, and some good gravy but I burnt the roast vegetables.  It seemed to take up a huge part of my day to prepare a meal that only lasted a few minutes then there was a stack of washing up to do and I wasn’t sure it was worth the effort.

The spread above is from the Warrior Women journal and I completed it a few weeks ago (when the muse was still with me).  I like the colour palette of this spread and it’s another message to myself that I can handle what I’m going through at the moment.

Thank you all for your love and support and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.  I am really looking forward to finishing treatment and getting my health back.  And to getting my artistic muse back!

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.

 

 

 

Don’t be fooled

Don't-be-fooled

 

Hello friends,

Sorry it’s been a while since I last blogged so I hope all is good with you.  I am doing very well at the moment.

It took me ages to get over the second lot of chemo, I thought I would be OK to return to work after a week but I still felt very tired so I went to see the doctor and was signed off work for 2 months!  I’m a bit disappointed as I wanted to carry on as normal for as long as I could but the reality is even when I’m feeling OK I still don’t have masses of energy and maybe it will be good to just rest for a while.

The past few days I have been feeling much better and have been trying to catch up with things that just got left (like housework, christmas shopping and art) while I was feeling so tired but I am making very slow progress and in fact I haven’t done any art since I was last in the chemo suite.

The page above is from my Warrior Women Journal and I completed it a few weeks ago (fortunately or I’d have nothing to share with you today). The quote says “When life feels overwhelming don’t be fooled into thinking that more action is needed.  To create order and peace get quiet, go inside.  You will find everything you need right there”  I’m sorry I don’t know who to attribute this quote to, but I didn’t make it up, I’m not that clever!

Today I went and saw some of my friends and colleagues from the Ryde Arts Festival team at the Green Wreath making event at St Thomas Church and then I went to visit my friend Sally-Ann who is emigrating to Ireland next week.  Sally-Ann and her family (husband and son) are busy packing up the entire contents of their house to ship off to Ireland.  I was pleased to see her before she sets off but I could see there was still loads of packing to do so I only stayed long enough for a cup of tea and a short chat.  I don’t think I would be brave enough to emigrate so I am full of admiration for them and wish them well for their new life and adventure.

Being off work means that I am finding it difficult to keep track of the days and when things need to be done.  I am sleeping a lot now.  Before I got the cancer I used to go to bed early and get up early, now I go to bed early and get up late so half the day has gone before I really start to get going – it’s a weird life!  Next week the important things to remember are a friend coming to visit me on Tuesday, seeing the consultant on Wednesday and then chemo all day on Thursday.  I wonder if it will knock me out of action again this time? Probably, but we’ll just have to see.  Still at least having it next week should mean that I am over the worst of it by Christmas.  Lets hope so anyway.

Seasons’s greetings to you all I hope you have a lovely Christmas and I wish you all the best for the New Year.

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.