Moving forward slowly…

Hello friends!

I hope you are all doing well, here everything is fine, progress is slow but things are moving forward and in the meantime I’ve finished the Little Book of Cosmic Maps 🙂

Back & Front Cover

For me doodling is a really good way to pass the time..

Spread 1

Spread 2

Spread 3

Spread 4

As you can see I’ve had a bit of time on my hands recently…

I had the PET scan last week, it was OK just a bit of a hassle, it took 2 hours to get to the hospital then I had to wait an hour before I was called in, they gave me the injection of radioactive glucose and I was left on my own for another hour before I was called in for the scan.  It took about 35 minutes and then we were free to go.

I was told that I would be slightly radioactive for about 6 hours and was to avoid contact with pregnant women or children.  However I was still allowed to travel home on public transport (another couple of hours).  I didn’t stroke my two cats until the next day, but it didn’t seem to bother them.

Yesterday we went for another appointment with the consultant haematologist and she told me that the results of two of the three tests on my bone marrow are back and neither of them found the cancer in my bones.  The final test is more vigorous and the results of that are not back yet.  But so far it’s looking good.

The PET scan didn’t find any more tumours in my body (phew!) but although the tumour in my mouth has shrunk the scan found residual lesions in my jaw (I’m not sure but I think that means scaring).  So although the tumour is almost gone I still have the disease in my blood but it’s in it’s early stages and there’s a good chance that with treatment I can fully recover. So the plan (worked out by this mysterious team of invisible experts) is for me to have 6 rounds of chemo and then radiotherapy on my jaw.  It feels like I’ve been telling people for over a month now that I’ll be starting chemo ‘next week’ and that hasn’t happened but it now looks like it will start during the week commencing 3 November.  In the meantime I have to sign the consent form and have an ECG just to make sure my heart is OK. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the nurse who is going to tell me all about what’s going to happen and on Saturday I have to visit my local doctor’s surgery to have a flu jab because they want that done before the chemo starts.

Having chemo-therapy is not something I am going into lightly and in truth I’m not looking forward to it but …. ‘needs must’ as they say, I’m just not sure what to expect.

I’ve been feeling so well for the past two weeks and enjoying not being at work but tomorrow I am going to go back to work because I reckon if I take too much time off I won’t want to go back at all!  Anyway it’s pointless, and unfair on work colleagues, to have sick leave when I am not if feeling sick.  Fortunately I have good employers, I’ve worked for them for a very long time and, up until now, I have a pretty good attendance record.  I think they will be flexible around my hospital appointments and will be OK with me having time off if the chemo (or the cancer) makes me unwell over the next few months.

So all in all I am doing well at the moment, and I am staying positive and upbeat.  I hope all is good with you where ever you are in the world.

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.

 

 

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Cosmic Maps and where I am right now

Cosmic Maps

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you.

Thank you all for all the love and support you have been sending – positive energy is a powerful thing and I’m grateful to have all you people in my life right now.

So, here is where we are today but first just a quick recap.  On 10 September I had a biopsy taken from a mass in my mouth and on 17 September I was told I have Large B Cell Lymphoma – a cancer of the blood.  The next day I had blood samples taken and on 26 September I had a CT scan.  All the time the mass in my mouth was growing and I had to go onto a liquid diet because I could no longer chew any food.

I started making up superfood smoothies and drinking a litre a day.  The smoothies always contain fresh green vegetables, 2 teaspoons of ground up buckwheat, about an inch of ground up turmeric root, desert spoon of hemp oil, teaspoon of chia seeds, desert spoon of probiotic yoghurt, sprinkle of ground cinnamon; then I add fresh and/or frozen fruit to make is taste nice and coconut water to thin it down to a drinkable consistency.  I have to say I have been feeling great since starting this diet.

On Monday 29 September I saw a consultant haematologist at the hospital and she was supposed to tell me then all about my disease and the treatment plan, but that didn’t happen as the results of the scan and blood tests were still not available.  She did give me a quick examination.  She asked to look at the mass in my mouth and I warned her it looked disgusting,but her reaction of “Eugh!  That’s big and looks horrible” shocked me a little.  I already had the feeling that the tumour was shrinking by then but I didn’t say anything. So we got no definitive answers that day and we left the hospital a bit disappointed but understanding that the treatment needs to target the problem so the more information they have the better.

My next appointment, ‘by which time we hope to have the answers’, was supposed to be yesterday at 12:30 but on Tuesday I received a phone call asking me to go in at 09:30 instead so they could take a bone marrow biopsy after which I would be seeing a different consultant haematologist.

This consultant confirmed that the first biopsy had returned the cancer diagnosis and the results of the blood tests had confirmed the diagnosis.  The CT scan only found the cancer in my jaw bone, causing the mass in my mouth, and nowhere else in my body – Good News!!! Two more tests are required so that they can accurately ‘stage’ the disease – the bone marrow biopsy and I will also need to have a PET scan sometime in the next two weeks.  She said that in the meantime they can start treating the tumour in my mouth and I told her that it has already gone.  This is true since 29 September the tumour has completely shrunk and I no longer have any swelling inside my mouth.  My tooth is a bit wobbly and seems to be exposed at the roots, but all the swelling has, for the time being at least, gone.

The consultant looked at me with disbelief.  She asked me if I had been taking Steroids and I said I hadn’t had any treatment, then she checked she was actually talking to the correct patient (confirmed).  She said she had seen the tumour on the scan and that it was very unusual for a tumour to disappear without treatment.

In the light of this new development we agreed to wait until all the results are in before starting treatment.  So the bone marrow has been taken for analysis, I’ll be having the PET scan soon and more blood will be taken for retesting.  My next appointment is 21 October and I will probably start treatment soon after that.

It is such a relief that my mouth feels almost normal now after weeks discomfort, but don’t worry I am a realist and I understand that the tumour was a symptom of a much bigger underlying issue that is going to have to be dealt with in the near future.  It just feels like I’ve been given a breathing space and a bit more time to prepare myself for what lies ahead. I’m in a good place right now.

The image above is another spread from my Little Book of Cosmic Maps.

Take good 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.

Happy Birthday Blog!

Mandala book coverHello friends!

It’s been a while so I hope all is good with you.

According to WordPress it’s 3 years ago today that I started this blog, so Happy Birthday Blog!  Unfortunately recently I’ve been neglecting things and here we are in the middle of June and this is my first post of the month.  What happened?  I used to post regularly, often 2 posts a week, but now there are long gaps.

Working on the kitchen refurb was the start of the upset of the routine and finding the time is always a problem, but it’s more than that.  I’ve been wondering what it’s all about? Why am I putting all this stuff out there? I always found time in the past so what’s the problem now? Also there is a bit of guilt, people come along here and leave lovely comments and I read them and have every intention of replying, visiting their blogs and being supportive – every intention but I’m not always successful with my intentions.  So does that make me a bad blogger? I’m not asking for or expecting anyone to give me any answers but these are just some of the thoughts I’ve been having and I’m still confused about it…

Anyway, I’ve still found time to be creative – I’ve been working on a couple of paintings, on several journals and I managed to finish my second Mandala book, the images above and below are the front and back cover of the book.

Take good care of yourselves, until the next time

Big love

AJ 🙂

Back cover

 

 

© 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.

It’s been a good day :-)

A Good Day

 

Hello friends!

I hope all is good with you.  I didn’t post mid week because for some reason my mood flat-lined on Wednesday and I had no motivation.  It didn’t really worry me because I knew it would pass, and it has.

I have had quite a productive weekend, yesterday I did loads of housework then spent the rest of the day cutting up magazines and making collage pieces for my new 16 page Teesha Moore inspired journal.  I also managed to throw out the stack of magazines after I had cut them up, so that has made a little more space in my art room.

Today has been sunny so I finally got out for a walk.  My aim was to walk on a deserted beach and I went to Binstead to walk on Players Beach, there is hardly ever anyone there, but when I got to Binstead the tide was in and I wasn’t able to walk very far.  I tried going up into the woods, but it was very muddy and the path was blocked by a fallen tree.

Here are some photos I took while I was out.

01 Stream-alongside-the-footpath 02 Footpath-to-the-beach 03 Binstead-Beach 04 Beach-at-Binstead 05 Beach-at-Binstead-1 06 Broken-Pier-at-Binstead-taken-from-the-woods 07 Tree-on-the-Golf-Course-at-Binstead-taken-from-the-woods 08 Gulls-on-a-broken-pier

 

Still it was nice to be beside the sea and out in the fresh air.

Afterwards I visited my friend Razzle’s grave in the local churchyard, he died in a motor accident in 1984 aged just 24.  When ever I am in the area I visit his grave and say hello, it’s been a long time but we still miss him.

As the sea at Binstead was preventing me from walking along the beach I got back in the car and drove to Appley and took a longer walk along the beach there.  There were lots of people about as it’s a popular place but it wasn’t crowded and I came home with a few stones in my pocket which I am going to try and paint.

After the walk I went to see Mum and Dad for a cuppa and a chat.

Oh, and apparently today is my wedding anniversary, I didn’t remember until T told me this morning.  Seven years ago today just before sunset we got married on Mount Dillon overlooking Castara Bay in beautiful, sunny Tobago.  I wish I was there now soaking up the hot sunshine and chillin’ with the locals.  Prior to that we had been together for for 37 years so it wasn’t something we rushed into 🙂

The page above is another from my Mandala book.

Have a good week friends and I’ll see you all 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.

Standing in the Centre of my own Circle

Standing at the centre of my own circle

Hello friends

I hope you are well and had (or are having) a great weekend.

We have been quite productive here.  Yesterday T decided to repaint the kitchen ceiling again, so while he was doing that I took out one of the cupboards, dismantled it, packed all the bits in my car and took it to the local tip.  When I took the kick board off from the bottom of the units I was surprised to see just how much rubbish the workmen had left when they installed the kitchen in 1996.  So I cleaned all that up too.

In the evening I prepared a sheet of paper to make a Teesha Moore inspired 16 page journal, which I have cut and stitched this afternoon and started with the collage.

This morning I slept very late and was woken by the sound of banging coming from the kitchen.  When I eventually got up T has removed some more tiles from the wall.  Unfortunately when the kitchen was done just before I bought the house the tiles were put straight on top of the plaster board and in removing the tiles some of the board has been damaged beyond repair so we have had to replace it, so we worked on that together today.  Now we are wondering if we could put a skim of plaster over the walls ourselves or if we need to employ someone to do it for us.

Anyway, this is how far we got today:

Kitchen refurb part 1It looks a bit messy doesn’t it?!  The cupboard had to be taken out because those pipes running along the wall have to be moved somehow so that the new fridge and freezer can go under the small window.

We have to get a plumber in to do that for us as we wouldn’t know where to start and as brand new cupboards are going along that wall we definitely do not want any leaks.

 

 

The page above is another from my Mandala book, I have a poster on my wall at work that has all these motivational words on them and I thought it would be good to incorporate them into a mandala (of sorts).

Have a great week 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.

Chaos

Chaos

Hello friends!

It’s the middle of the week already and, as a friend at work said to me today, “We are over the hump of the week now and on countdown to the weekend”.  I hope your week is going well, I am still struggling a bit with the tedium of work, but I do know that the problem is with me more than the job.  So here are the good things about my job:  It’s only 20 minutes drive from home, it’s fairly easy, I’ve got my own office (which is decorated with my artwork), I work with some really nice people, at the end of the day I can come home and forget about it until tomorrow (unlike many of my colleagues I am not expected to go out and fix things in the middle of the night or at weekends) and my manager is nice.  I really need to keep focusing on the good things…

The page above is from my Mandala Book, I’m not sure it really qualifies as a mandala apart from the fact that it’s circular, but I figure if a mandala is a representation of a person’s universe then this is a fair representation of me and mine – my life is colourful, crammed full of stuff and a bit chaotic 🙂

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.

Happy New Year!

Happy New YearHello friends!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, if it is something you celebrate.

We had a very lovely Christmas Day.  T and I got up and opened our presents – I got Gellatos, new pyjamas, new pens, a bracelet, some new charms for my Love Links bracelet, a scarf, and lots of other lovely things.  Late morning we went to collect my parents and then drove over to my brother’s house where my sister-in-law provided a wonderful lunch for 9 of us.  It was a great day.  We got home at about 6pm having dropped Mum and Dad back home and then we watched a film called Midnight in Paris which was very good and I managed to last the whole film without dropping off to sleep 🙂

On Boxing Day we had invited T’s friend Nigel for lunch and we had to go and collect him from his sheltered accommodation and bring him back home, have lunch, then we went for a walk along the sea shore as it was a lovely day before taking Nigel home again.

On Friday we spent the day preparing the house for visitors and preparing food.

Yesterday (Saturday) we had to get up early to go to the DIY store to buy our new kitchen, we got an absolute bargain in the Sale and everything will be delivered towards the end of February.  Then the real work starts, ripping out the old and installing the new.

After we got home T’s younger brother, his wife and two children arrived, the first time we have seen them since last Christmas.  We had a very nice day together and yet another Christmas meal in the evening.  They all stayed overnight and this morning we all went for a walk on the beach before they had to head off again.

This afternoon I went to see Mum and Dad and tomorrow I will be taking Dad to the hospital audiology department so he can get his hearing aids fixed.

Now that Christmas is out of the way I am hoping to have some ‘me’ time, I don’t go back to work until Monday 6 January and, apart from taking Dad to the hospital tomorrow, I don’t really have many commitments so I’m hoping I can tick a few more things of my ‘To Do’ list and get some time for art.  I am currently working on 2 journal spreads – one mixed media and one collage and I am also altering a big ‘sample’ book I bought in a charity shop years ago.  I remember being so excited when I bought it but never did anything with it and the other day I decided to make a start.  I also have my 2013 year long project to finish and hopefully I will be able to share that with you soon in the New Year.  Then I have a new, year long, and hopefully easier project to start.

I hope your Christmas was wonderful too.

Thank you to all my readers for your support and encouragement over the past year (or longer) it means such a lot to me.  I wish you all success in all your endeavours and peace in your lives.

The image above is page 8 in my latest Mandala book.

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013 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.