A Woman of Strength

Woman of Strength

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you.  I am doing fine although today has been a bit of a challenge.

The image above is from my Warrior Women Journal and it is to remind me that whatever difficulties I face will only make me stronger. If you click on the image you can see it bigger.

After my last post I received a letter from the hospital telling me I had an appointment at the chemo therapy unit for 11:00 am on Monday for an education session and then the first round of chemo today (Wednesday 29 October) starting at 09:30.  I was impressed that the appointment on Monday was half an hour after my appointment for the ECG so we’d only have to make one trip and cover two appointments.  We arrived at Cardiology in good time for the appointment (as we always do) and then sat and waited and waited (as we always do).  At 11:00 I still had not been called in for the scan so I sent T off to the Chemo unit to tell them I would be late. Eventually got called in and had the scan and then we made our way to Chemo where we met a lovely nurse who explained all about what was going to happen when the treatment started.  The first day was going to be a full day and I would be monitored constantly to make sure I was OK.  If the first day went OK then subsequent treatments should be quicker.  I was also shown the treatment room and introduced to the team.  I have to say that of all the (many) parts of the hospital I have now visited the people in the Chemo suite are the most friendly, professional and caring people I’ve met.  So although I am slightly anxious about the Chemo I am reassured that they will take good care of me.

Today my brother picked us up from home and dropped us off at the hospital for the 09:30 appointment.  We waited in the waiting room with other patients before being called in to the treatment room.  After a while I noticed that everyone else  was having their blood pressure and pulse taken and being prepared for, or already receiving, treatment, but I wasn’t.  This was strange because I knew I was going to be there all day and most of the other patients were there for shorter visits.  Eventually I was told that they were waiting for my paperwork to come through and as soon as it did they would start treatment.  Then at about 11:00 I was told that my consultant had forgotten to write the prescription for my Chemo, but it was being done right now and as soon as it was made up they would commence treatment.  Then at 11:30 I was told the consultant was not available to write the prescription as she was with another patient and therefore they would not be able to treat me today but could I come back tomorrow.  I think I said something that was fairly loud and had a few expletives in it when I was told this and T got really, really cross with them and had to leave very quickly. They were all very apologetic and the staff in the Chemo suite were as angry about it as we were.

The consultant who forgot to write my script is supposed to be in charge of my case but I am not feeling very inspired or confident now that something this important was not picked up. Surely my care cannot be down to just one person? I was told I was under a whole team of people so how come someone else didn’t check everything was in place for today? I am thinking of putting in an official complaint but no doubt there will be a lot of excuses and buck passing and we’ll never get to the bottom of it.  I’m really not happy with what happened today.  I was unable to contact my brother to get him to come back and collect us so we had to get a taxi home (and even that was a hassle and it took over an hour to arrive).

Sometimes I think my life story has been written by some surrealist comedy writer with a very warped sense humour!

OK that’s the rant over and now I’m going to be calm and start all over again tomorrow.  I need to stay positive because anger and anxiety won’t do me any good, it just saps my energy and puts me in a bad place.  What I really need now is calm and positive energy.

Stay healthy and happy everyone.

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.



Focus on the Journey


Hello friends!

I hope you have had a great weekend, mine has been OKish.  I woke up with a horrible headache on Saturday morning and that kept me in bed all morning.  I finally managed to get rid of it and at lunch time I got up to make myself some toast.  The phone rang and my husband told me it was a friend wanting to speak to me.  I groaned as I really didn’t feel like talking to anyone but he had already told her he would get me so I answered the call.  Then I was hit by a bombshell, I was told that another friend had collapsed and died that morning.  It was completely unexpected, I had only seen her the previous Saturday when she came and volunteered in the cemetery with me, helping to record inscriptions from the memorials.  She has been helping me do this for several years.  In all that time I hadn’t really got to know her that well as she was a very private person, but gradually she began to open up and chat, especially when it was just the two of us working together.  She was a kind, caring, thoughtful soul who did much to help other people.  The last time I saw her she cheerily said “See you in a couple of weeks”.  As far as I know she had not been ill and her death was sudden and unexpected, she was only in her early 70s.

Rest in peace Rosemarie, dear kind soul, I will think of you and miss you every time I go into the cemetery to work.  The work you did will be appreciated by many people from all across the world who carry out research into their ancestors from our town.

She has been on my mind a lot ever since I heard, I had to phone several other people to impart the sad news and then I spent the rest of the time working on my art which has helped me to stay grounded.

The page above is from my A4 journal and was completed in August.  I used  pieces from an old cycling map as the background and then gave it a wash of watered down gesso and acrylic paint.  The bicycles in the bottom r/h corner were an image transfer.  The image and quote on the left hand page I found on the internet and it made me smile as I can imagine how precarious it was to ride a pennyfarthing bike.  The photograph of the girl is me aged about 18 on a bike ride in Nepal.  I stamped on the page with a Tim Holtz reflections text stamp and a number stamp.  I think I probably used Portfolio water soluable oil pastels to edge the page.  The quote sums up what I feel about art journaling – the process is more important than the end result – It’s All Good even if it’s not always good art 🙂

Have a good week my friends and I will see you soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂

The Destination


Hello friends

I hope everyone is well and happy.

This is my last post before we go off on holiday so I will be having a bit of a blog break for about a week and a half.  It’s going to be strange and quite refreshing to have no internet access for a while, but I am taking a few art supplies and a new journal I have made especially for the trip.

It is T’s 60th birthday and we are going to Keighley in Yorkshire where he was born and spent the first 16 years of his life.  We haven’t been there for about 40 years.  I hope it’s a good trip because he doesn’t have much of a memory of growing up, I think his childhood was quite traumatic, his parents split up when he was about 11 years old.   He wants to go back to his roots, but I hope it doesn’t bring back too many unhappy memories for him.

We will be seeing his best friend from school, his sister and an aunt so we are looking forward to that.

It’s hard to believe that the boy I fell in love with all those years ago will be 60 in a few days time (even harder to think I am just a few years behind him)!  Our relationship is as solid now as it’s ever been.  Love is a wonderful thing and I am lucky I found my soul mate when I was just 15 years old.

We are both going to be quite traumatised at leaving ‘the boys’, our two cats behind, but we have a friend coming to stay in the house and look after them while we are gone.  Hopefully everything will be OK.  We have never had children so these two beautiful cats mean the world to us both and we have never left them before.

For this spread I used gesso, acrylic paint, some bits of old maps, a dots rubber stamp and some tape I made.  I used microporous surgical tape and stuck it down on a sheet of acetate then printed text and old maps onto the sheet.  It wasn’t hugely successful, as the printing is not as ‘fast’ as it would have been if I’d stamped with Stazon ink, but not a bad effect.  The face is an image I cut from a National Geographic magazine.  The edges are inked with distress ink.

Right, I’ve got to go and pack, hope you all have fun while I’m away.

Big love

AJ 🙂Bengal Boys

The Bengal Boys  (they are not pure bred Bengal, but they have the leopard spots and many Bengal traits).  They look really sweet in this photograph but generally they don’t like being too close to each other any more!  Boys!

The Journey

The JourneyHello friends!

I hope you are having a good week.  Mine is going fine.

For this spread in my 6×6 journal I started with a page that had some horrible dark green paint on it and the opposite page had dabs of pink ink.  Not a great combination!   I collaged copies of old maps and papers from the Papermania Bookprint collection onto the pages.  I coloured them with Inktense blocks and water.  Where I had used Mod Podge to stick the papers down it acted as a resist to the colour – a nice effect.  I finger painted the whole spread with an ‘eggyolk’ yellow acrylic paint and then added the circles by stamping brown acrylic paint using bottle caps.  I thought it needed some contrast so I stencilled blue acrylic paint through punchinella and a big dot stencil.  Finally I added the words using brown Stazon and a set of tiny letters I purchased at Hobbycraft a while ago.

Making the spread was a bit of a journey, I had no idea where I was going with it when I started and I wasn’t sure where I was when I finished.  It was good fun though 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Big love

AJ 🙂