A Give-Away and an Update – the journey continues…

Live, Love, Laugh

Hello friends

The page above is the front cover of my 16-page Teesha Moore inspired journal.

An apology

First off an apology, I am sorry but I omitted something from my last post.  A little while ago I was contacted by Jenny of This Rosy Life blog asking if I’d like to participate in a blog hop.  I really was not up to it at the time so I declined the invitation, but nevertheless Jenny still mentioned me and my blog in her post  here.   Jenny is an amazing collage artist and I am really impressed because she uses lots of flower images in her work, I’ve always found flowers to be quite difficult to use in collage.  If you have a few minutes to spare why not pop over to Jenny’s blog, have a look at some cool art and say Hi to her?  This Rosy Life.

The Give Away

I promised recently that once I had finished the chemo therapy I would have a ‘Give Away’ to celebrate that milestone.  I have made up 3 packs of art supplies that I no longer want or need.  All three are similar and look something like this:

Give Away Pack

There are collage sheets, papers, some stamps, embellishments, bits of maps and printed papers in each pack.  It looks like there is money too, but the £20 and £50 notes are actually printed on serviettes and are NOT genuine currency 🙂

Each pack will also include one of the small journals I made from a pile of scrap papers:

New Journals

If you would like to win one of these packs please leave a comment below and I will pick three random winners on Sunday 22 March.  It doesn’t matter where you live as I’m prepared to post to anywhere worldwide and I’ll mark the package as a gift with low monetary value so you shouldn’t have to pay any import tax if you receive one.

Update on my health and the continuing journey

I had the last round of chemo on 24 February *Happy Dance*, I’m so glad that part is over. I’ve been feeling pretty good since then, so good in fact that I thought perhaps that was the only treatment I needed and I even began to think about returning to work next month.

I’ve been spending a lot of time still de-cluttering my room, I’ve made several trips to the local municipal tip and donated loads of stuff to a local charity shop.  Making up the scrap books from the 10 years worth of local magazines took me about 2 weeks and it was a really boring task, but I got there eventually and now I just have a neat little pile of scrap books instead of a huge plastic box full of magazines. The more I’ve got rid of stuff the easier it has become and it no longer feels quite so oppressive in my room.  I still reckon I could get rid of at least 50% of the stuff that’s left but for now I’m taking a break from de-cluttering and concentrating more on creating art.

Because I thought I’d be going back to work soon I collaged one of the small journals I made.  I needed something small to fit into my handbag and carry around with me with a few pens so I can journal whenever I get a few spare moments.  That will still come in useful but I won’t be needing it as soon as I thought I would as it doesn’t look like I’ll be going back to work any time soon.

Yesterday I had an appointment to see the oncologist at Southampton Hospital.  T and I set off at 8am and it took a couple of hours to get there.  I drove over to Cowes parked the car and took the ferry to Southampton then got a free mini bus to the hospital. It took us about half an hour to find the right department in the vast hospital and then we had a short wait before we got to meet a very lovely female doctor who asked me lots of questions about what had happened to me and seemed genuinely interested in me and my condition. She said “We recommend that you now have radiotherapy” and explained why they thought this was necessary.  Not only did she explain things, she checked that we had understood her explanation and encouraged us to ask questions.  If she was able to answer the questions she did and if she was unable to give us answers she explained why there are certain things they don’t know about my specific cancer but why they think the radiotherapy is necessary.  She explained all about what will happen next and during the treatment and what the likely side effects will be, including mouth ulcers, sore skin and the possibility that the saliva glands on that side could be damaged by the treatment and how that will be dealt with.

Next Monday I will have to go over again for another CT scan and to have the face mask made up.  The mask is necessary to ensure that they can target the area of my jaw bone while causing as little damage as possible to any other area of my face and mouth. The mask will also mean that I am unable to move my head and will hold my mouth open during treatment.  About two weeks after that the radiotherapy will commence.

I have to say it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be much fun but the treatment should be fairly quick.  I’ll have the treatment every (week) day for three weeks, the actual ‘zapping’ is only for a few minutes but the fixing of the mask and lining everything up takes a bit of time so I’m probably looking at about 20 minutes or so each day, plus what ever time I have to wait around at the hospital (for some reason there is always an element of ‘waiting around’ at hospitals) and about 4 hours travel every day.  I think I am going to be very tired at the end of this treatment, but hopefully by then I will also be in a good position to get on with my life and think about returning to work.  Most of the side effects should start to improve soon after treatment finishes.

So after this long chat with the lovely doctor we both read and then I signed the consent form and then she said, “Now I’m going to get Dr B (the boss) and he is going to come and talk to you.  During your treatment here we will both be looking after you and you will be seeing one of us at least once a week during the three weeks and we will be checking on your progress”.

Dr B must have been busy because it took a while before she came back with him.  He too was was very friendly and warm, explained things to us, checked we understood and encouraged us to ask any questions.  I told him that we were not used to being encouraged to ask questions and in fact we had both been made to feel like we were being awkward every time we asked the consultants at the local hospital any questions.  It was just so refreshing to be treated like adults for a change.  So we did ask questions and he gave us full and frank answers, then eventually I plucked up the courage to ask the one questions I really wanted the answer to, I said, “There is something else I’d like to ask you and I don’t know how you will react to this because I’ve asked two different consultants at my local hospital the same question and both times I’ve been made to feel that it is a totally unreasonable and ridiculous question to ask, but anyway here goes.  Is it possible for me to see the scans I’ve had taken and be given an explanation of what was found”?

Both doctors immediately said “Of course you can see your scans, you can see them right now, it’s not an unreasonable question, it’s something we would expect you to ask and we always show patients this information”.  Within a few minutes he called up the information on a computer screen. First of all he showed me the CT scan I had taken at the local hospital when I was first diagnosed and still had the tumour in my mouth.  The tumour was really obvious in the image.  Next he showed me the PET scan I had taken at Portsmouth hospital a few weeks later by which time the tumour had disappeared and he said “So we can see there is no tumour evident in this scan however when we get right into your jaw bone these bright areas show that there are still some cancer cells active and as you can also see here there are some large voids in the jaw bone”.  I was told that once the cancer is eliminated there is a good chance that the bone will grow back, but in all likelihood I will always have a weakness in the jaw bone and I may have dental problems in the coming years.

Dr B said “I’ll be honest with you, there is a possibility that the chemo has already dealt with the cancer, but to have this type of cancer in the location where you have it is extremely rare and it can be difficult to treat.  I want to give you the very best chance of survival that I can and that’s why we recommend this further treatment.”

I don’t know but it felt like they both really cared and although I’m not entirely happy about having the radiotherapy I also want to give myself the best chance of surviving this cancer so I’m OK about going along for the additional treatment.   And so my journey continues but I finally feel like I am being dealt with by people who care about me and are involving me in the decision making, it’s a refreshing change from how I’ve been dealt with over the past 5 months.  I hope I don’t get referred back to the local hospital when the treatment is finished because I don’t want to come under that hospital again even if it means I have to pay to travel to the mainland to be seen there.

So that’s where I am right now, probably not going back to work until the end of May, by which time I will have had more than 6 months off!  I’m fortunate that I work for a good company and they are being very understanding and caring about me too.

I hope all is good with you all, take good care of yourselves and make sure you have fun because you have no idea what could be waiting for you just around the corner.

Don’t forget to let me know if you want to be included in a chance to win one of my Give Away packs. Good Luck!

Big love from me

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.





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.

Sky above me


Hello friends

I hope all is good with you, I am fine.

By now I should be well on the way to recovering from round 4 of chemo but we had a slight set back.  I was due for round 4 on 2 January, but on 1 January I started to feel unwell.  This has nothing to do with any late night or consumption of alcohol on 31 December as I went to bed early and I haven’t drunk alcohol for years.  I had a bad night on 1/2 January and woke up on 2nd with a high temperature.  I still got ready to go to the hospital and by the time I left my temperature was down to normal.  When I got to the chemo suite I told them I’d been unwell and was asked lots of questions, then there were a couple of telephone conversations with the doctor and it was decided to postpone the chemo for 10 days and to put me on antibiotics in case I was ‘brewing’ an infection.

Since then I’ve been feeling OK but still very tired all the time.  Sometimes the lack of energy gets me down as I achieve very little in a whole day. Yesterday the sum total of my activities resulted in a trip to the vets to get Bill Kat sorted out and I managed to do a pile of ironing – that’s it, that’s all I did and it wore me out!

I had a blood test on Friday and as long as my blood count is OK I’ll be having chemo again tomorrow.  Wish me luck!  I’m still only half way through the treatment and it’s getting quite hard now.  Hopefully the injections I’ll get to boost my blood count will help with the tiredness this time.

So Billy Kat got in the wars again yesterday.  T got up at about 05:30am to let the cats out and then came back to bed.  I got up at about 8am and by then both cats were home again, I didn’t take much notice of them apart from putting out some food for them.  T got up at about 10am and then got cross with me because he noticed that Billy had a bloody eye and I hadn’t noticed it as clearly I should have done!

We phoned the vets and they agreed to see him almost immediately so we packed him up in the carrying box and drove down the road to the vets.  Both of our cats HATE being in the car.  They don’t mind being in the box and they don’t mind seeing the vet but the short trip there is tortuous to them.  Billy whined and howled all the way.  The vet checked out his eye, and he has a big scratch just above his eye and another just below, but fortunately no scratch on the eyeball itself.  He was given a shot of antibiotic and we have some drops to put in twice a day for the next few days.  Today he is looking a bit better although his eye is swollen and he’s not very happy that he’s been ‘grounded’ until it heals up.

We don’t know how the injury happened, he could have been fighting with his brother (as they don’t like each other much), another cat that had strayed onto ‘Bill’s’ territory or he could have caught a bird or rat that put up a fight.  That’s what happened the last time he got injured, he caught a large rat but it bit him and did a fair bit of damage before he managed to kill it.  For a while after that he was more timid and home loving, but clearly he’d forgotten all about that when he went out to patrol his territory yesterday.

The page above is the front page of my Warrior Women Journal which is finished now (yay!) and there’s just the back cover left to share.

Stay well and happy friends

Big love

AJ 🙂 xxx





© 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.

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.


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.




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 🙂

© 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:


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.