See what happens

See what happens

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you.

I have been doing well since my 5th round of chemo three weeks ago, I’ve had much more energy and I haven’t been watching day-time television.  I’ve even managed to do some more of the de-clutter of my room (still lots to do though), I’ve thrown out lots of stuff and taken several boxes of more useful, but unwanted, things to a local charity shop.   At the moment I am de-cluttering a big box containing 10 years worth of local magazines.  I bought some scrap books and I am in the process of cutting out anything relevant to the town where I live and sticking them in the books.  They will become reference books for the local history group.  I reckon I will have 4 or 5 scrap books of cuttings rather than a big box of magazines at the end of it, so that will free us a bit of space for me.  It’s taken a week so far and I’m only half way through.

I’ve been doing little bits of art in the meantime, but not much.  The page above is from my latest 16-page Teesha Moore styled journal, all the collage and much of the penwork was already done but I managed to finish the page this week with the quote.

Today I have been to see the consultant at the hospital and my final round of chemo is tomorrow. It should have been today but I wanted the specialist nurse to come to the meeting with me for support and she does not work on Mondays so last week I changed to appointment to today and the chemo to tomorrow.  I phoned the nurse (she wasn’t there) and left a message on her answerphone asking her to be there today.  I needn’t have bothered because when we arrived this morning there was no sign of the nurse and we were informed that she is off sick today (just my luck)!

I really hope I don’t need any more chemo after this because it has been pretty difficult over the last few months.  I didn’t realise just how bad I had been feeling until I started to feel better.  I just hope I don’t get ‘knocked out’ by the chemo again tomorrow.

The consultant told me that I will now be referred to the oncology/radiotherapy specialist in Southampton Hospital and he will decide if I need to have radiotherapy.  I asked if I could speak to this doctor but she said in a rather cross tone “No! I will speak to him.  If he wants to see you, you will go to Southampton and you can speak to him there in his clinic”.   Well that’s really all I wanted so she didn’t have to snap at me, I am so fed up with just being the subject of the treatment, not being involved in any of the decision making, getting contradictory information and being made to feel like a nuisance every time I try to ask questions.  I just want to have a conversation and explanation from someone before I agree to any more treatment.  I have had absolutely no indication from my consultant as to whether or not the treatment is working.  Maybe she doesn’t know but I’d have thought that as the cancer is in my blood then they might be able to tell from the blood tests I am having every three weeks.  When I asked the other consultant about this she said in a rather irritated voice that that is NOT what the blood tests are for, she didn’t say what they are for though.

Fortunately I still think I am going to be OK at the end of this, but it would have been nice to have had some feedback and encouragement from the team looking after me.  If I ever have to go through this again I think I will ask to be referred direct to the specialist cancer team in Southampton as I have not been inspired the consultants or care at the local hospital.

However I have no complaints at all about the chemo suite which is at the local hospital. All the people who work there are very lovely and professional and, although all my visits have been about 7 hours long, they have been very kind and nice to me and have done their best to make sure I’m comfortable while I’m there.  There have been a couple of times when my treatment has taken longer than it should and they’ve had to stay beyond their normal finish time, but it didn’t alter the way they treated me.

So, one more visit to the chemo suite tomorrow and then … wait and see. I didn’t get a blood test form today so it looks like I don’t need any more blood tests and I’ve got no appointment to see the haematologist consultant again so I guess I just have to wait to hear from the doctor in Southampton.  She did tell me that after our discussion three weeks ago she wrote to the Maxillo Facial unit and told them that I would like to see them to discuss what needs to be done about my degrading jaw bone and the tooth that was almost pushed out by the tumour. She said they should be writing to me direct with an appointment.

Gosh, I’ll be glad when all of this is over and we can just talk about art and normal life again.

Following on from my last post here is my 2nd journal video, it’s an early journal I made in 2011 and was inspired by watching Teesha Moore’s YouTube videos on her journal process.

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

Big love

AJ xxx 🙂

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2015 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.

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Its Nice to be Nice!

It's Nice to be Nice

 

Hello friends!

I hope you are all keeping well and happy.

I am pleased to report that I have been feeling pretty good for the last week and have not had to collapse onto the couch and watch daytime tv for several days now.

Anyway first things first the page above is from one of my Teesha Moore inspired journals. I’ve been wanting to use the phrase ‘It’s Nice to be Nice’ in a piece of art for a while now.  I first saw this phrase on my first visit to Tobago in 1999.  On the very short drive from the airport to our hotel (it was short drive as the hotel was on the other side of the fence from the end of the runway!) I saw this:

It's Nice to be Nice Tobago

It was a lovely way to be welcomed to the beautiful Island and when we started to meet the local people they all very friendly, laid back, chatty – all things nice.  This is what I aspire to be although I don’t always succeed…

I have now started the de-clutter of the art room and so far I’ve chucked out a couple of big bin liners of rubbish and filled a big box with stuff to take to one of the local charity shops.  I have discovered that I now have 22 completed journals, 10 journals that are in progress and enough blank (not started) journals to last me several lifetimes!

I have made the declutter slightly difficult for myself as I am insisting that before I throw something out I have to try and use at least some of it in one of my ‘in progress’ journals.  I also found a big stack of plain, thick paper so I made some journals:

New JournalsI have been making up some packs of goodies, by that I mean stuff I have previously purchased and used as art supplies (mainly papers) but no longer have room for.

I am thinking of having a ‘Give Away’ to celebrate my final round of chemo-therapy at the end of the month.  I’ll include one of the smaller journals in each pack (there are three packs in total).  But more of this later…

 

I have to say at the moment the art room does not look any tidier and even when I’ve finished I think that most people would still say it’s too cluttered, but at least I will know it’s an improvement on the chaos I’ve been living with for the past few years.

I wanted to start documenting all my journals, I tend to share images from the journals but rarely show the whole thing.  So here is the very first journal/altered book I created when I had no idea what I was doing and very little art supplies.  It’s not very good, but it was just my first attempt and I was just playing, I don’t think I’ve ever shared any images from this book before:

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

Big love from me

AJ 🙂

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2015 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.

 

 

 

Everything will be OK

Everything will be OK

Hello friends

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying good health.

Sorry it’s been a while again but I’ve been taking things easy and not doing much at all since my last round of chemo.  Tomorrow I am seeing a consultant again and on Tuesday I’m in for round 5.  Here we go again!

It seems to get harder every time.  Last time I had to have injections in my belly once a day for 5 days starting 5 days after the chemo.  I was dreading it, but actually it doesn’t hurt at all, in theory I should be able to do it myself, but I just don’t like the idea of jabbing myself in the belly with a sharp object even if it doesn’t hurt.  Anyway some lovely District Nurses came once a day to do it for me.  Energy levels have still been very low and I am really not doing much at all these days.  Spending a lot of time on the sofa with the cats, well actually one cat at a time because they would never be on the sofa together!

I got signed off work for another two months this week.  My last round of chemo should now be on 24 Feb providing I don’t pick up any infections in the meantime, I think I will probably be given a couple of weeks to get over that and then I should be having more tests and scans to see if it’s worked and if so I’ll be put on ‘watch and wait’ and have regular appointments and tests to monitor the situation.  This is what I am hoping for and expecting.  So it’s possible that I might be returning to work in the week commencing 30 March.  It will have to be phased return to work as it will take me a while to get my normal levels of energy back, and it’s going to be a massive shock to my system after so much time away.

There is a possibility that ‘they’ might want to give me radiotherapy after the chemo, but they will have to absolutely convince me of the necessity of that before I agree.  I’ve been told that radiotherapy zaps your energy even more than the chemo and I will have to travel to the mainland daily for this treatment as it’s not available on the Island where I live.  If I have to then that’s what I’ll do, I just want to be shown why it’s necessary. Anyway I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, for now I’m looking forward to just finishing the chemo. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do even though I’ve been fortunate in that so far (touch wood!) I’ve only been unwell once.  I can’t imagine how people struggle if it makes them sick as well as tired.

Yesterday I started to declutter and tidy my art room, a rather stupid thing to attempt with my current energy levels and as a consequence it now looks even worse!  I do need to get it sorted out at some time though as the mess is not conducive to being creative!  All the work surfaces are cluttered and some of the ‘piles’ of stuff are reaching dangerous proportions!

The page above is the back cover of the Warrior Women Journal finished a few weeks ago.  I really like this journal and it’s been good therapy for me to create it while I’ve been dealing with this cancer.

I hope all is good for you where ever you are in the world.

Take good care of yourselves

Big love

AJ 🙂

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2015 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.