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was eighteen weeks today.
it is nearly a year since I started the blog on this site. I don’t know how
many of my original readers are still here … ‘Stuff’, as they say,
‘happens’. And there is some
‘stuff’ that none of us want to think about happening because it is just too
want to know where some of you have gone, how you are, but dare not ask.
it was eighteen weeks today.
world has been hurrying on, but I still feel that time has stopped for me. The wailing, alien creature, my grief,
is quieter – still there, still ready to take me by surprise and put all reason
to rest, but I am beginning to function again. When someone complains of a sore knee, or an aching hip, I
am able to look reasonably sympathetic and say the right things, but all the
time with the knowledge that they have no idea about suffering at all.
yes, I am beginning to function again – after a fashion - because that is what ‘the
world’ expects me to do.
don’t ‘do’ grief as a society, do we?
That is why grief is treated like a mental illness – shuffled off to the
‘bereavement’ counselors (in the past, we might have gone to our priests –
perhaps some of us still do). No –
society wants us to keep ‘busy’ because us grieving ones, and those who are
terminally ill, are awkward reminders about love and loss and illness and death;
reminders too that no amount of keeping fit in the gym, no amount of going out
there and getting and spending, or making our ‘mark’ on the world in other
ways, will prevent the inevitable. (People keep on suggesting that I take up various ‘hobbies’ –
do they think taking up knitting will fill the yawning gap in my life?)
(or fill in with the expletive of your choice) to the shallow ‘world,’ I
say! I am older and, I hope, wiser
than I was a year ago when I first found myself here. You all know one of the lessons I have learned – live for
the moment, and love.
But the relentless
demands of time have been felt and I have been busy. The formal complaint has gone in and I sincerely hope that I
will have a little part to play in raising awareness about oesophageal cancer,
about the abysmal survival rates, and the very patchy treatment in the UK. Perhaps. However, I think that three MPs have read the letter now …
We will see, in time.
for those very faithful readers: Cold Comfort Cottage is just about wind and
weather proof for the winter; the two remaining hounds are going to have to
adjust to a new regime when their mistress returns to work; lawyers are going
to be involved about the plumbing situation and the Ancient Aga is still being
wishes to you all.
this maybe cold comfort to you but i was left a widower at the age of 29 4 years after i was wed to a most glorious girl, altho she did not die of cancer it was other things lets say. but i had all the bereavement people come round offering advice, what i asked the counsellor next was a bit abrupt. i asked her if she had had anyone close to here pass away? she said she hadn't. so my reply was abrupt again "How could she sit there and tell me how to deal with a situation she hadn't dealt with herself"
a bit abrupt but then thats me, to the point, so the pity givers arnt necvessarily the best people to deal with bereavement are in my mind the people who hjave had it happen to them. they did not help me one little bit. i turned to my family who were great.. you never get over the death of a loved one my wife at 29 my sister when i was 45 and last year my father when i was 48 and if this cancer thing dont go away then its me at a ripe old age of ??. So the best help io can give you is to add me as a friend and we can talk it over if you want to that is
Alan (biggles13) xx
Morning Buzzie. Still here down in the Midlands. Just keeping warm with a bowl of left over Chicken Tikka Massala & home made bread while the pooch pleads to be taken for a walk (jog actually as the midriff needs toning up !).
You show 2 fingers (or one) to the world & you do what you want- to hell with expectations.
Trade your Aga for a smoke blowing Rayburn !
Take care & you all keep warm up there, Jewels XX
Good to hear your wise words again.
Alan you are so right that only those who have experienced the pain of terminal illness and loss can possibly understand our feelings.
Even though G is still with me I have grieved so much over the past two years for the man he was and marriage we have already lost.
Now the cancer is in both lungs, the future is looking very bleak. G has wasted away again to skin and bone, and become borderline anaemic, he is increasingly breathless, and can hardly get upstairs now. A stair lift is on order.
He was taken into hospital as a day case on Thursday for a blood transfusion. Somehow, as every delay known to the NHS kicked in, the day became an overnight stay.
Yesterday a blood test showed his sodium levels are down, he will be in for several more days.
A frantic surf of the internet last night confirmed my worse fears. This is serious. Suggested treatments are restricting fluid intake and waiting for the level to rise naturally. Not much, hope of that on an NHS diet, or intravenous infusion of sodium chloride. Currently his fluid intake is restricted to one litre a day. So, why have they given him a two-litre jug full of water? G is capable of monitoring his intake, but many patients might not be, especially as one of the indicators of low sodium is confusion!
More internet surfing is required to find some sodium rich food I can take to him this afternoon.
We always knew G could win some of the battles, but from diagnosis on, the war was already lost. I fear he is losing the strength to fight on. All I can do now is pray he will come back to the comfort of his own surroundings for a while more.
You are so right, Thank you for the very wise words. I am only 7 weeks down the road of sheer misery, but already I have people advising me of my future and what I should do with it..
15weeks on myself today and your words are so true. We make people so uncomfortable. And people even some relatives don't seem to understand why you haven't picked up your old life and started again yet! One day they will know and understand but not for some time yet so that does not help them understand me now.
Somehow we have to keep going but our life priorities have changed and so have we.
Take care of yourself
Hi Grace still here, though having a little blip which will hopefully sort itself.
To take your discussion one step further in some walks of this modern life we too are commodities. Things were never the same after thatcher when the profit and the moment was what it was about. We have lost all sense of worth as we get sucked in to that fast world.
Sadly it takes something like cancer to take us back to basics and appreciate those we love and have around us, what we do together and realise the simple things can bring so much pleasure.
If only people would stop and look and listen we may have a better world in which to live, sadly I cannot see that happening.
Take care and stay warm hugs john
How very true what you say, live for the moment and love, as none of us knows what lies around the corner for us.I have been thinking about you a lot lately wondering how you are, Tom is still fighting this damn disease with every ounce of strength he has ,going to have a stent next week to see if it will help with his eating,but he has become an expert in the differant makes of hot chocolate anything to get the calories in.
My love and thoughts to you from me and Tom.
Hi Grace - I Do think of you very often and Love and appreciate each post that you put on here. Let's warm our cottages in preparation for our winters, and keep writing to each other. Sending you big hugs!
Love, Maureen xxxxxxx
Hi Grace it's good to hear from you again.
What you say is very true. I am 4 years widowed and my family hardly ever talk about him unless I mention him.
His children rarely keep in contact with me now. They did for a couple of years. I used to babysit for his sons children but not for some time now.
I have been lucky enough to find a companion who is made from the same mould as my darling husband.
I haven't committed myself totally we still live apart. I don't think I ever will want to live with another man.
Thank goodness for him because he helped me through my own battle with cancer. My family felt a phone call on the 1st day of my round of chemo when the side affects hadn't kicked in was enough.
I also lost many of my friends. Some people I had met since I had been widowed.
The world is a shallow place and the pelple who have never been hit by a tradegy, as in my case twice, expect you to carry on with your life.
Someone said to me (my own daughter) about my cancer, " it is your journey mum and you can't expect people to live it for you"
As you can imagine I was heartbroken. I don't want people to live my journey for me, but I would just like them to help me along alittle when I stumble.
We are still here for you Grace!
Take Care and All the best to You.
Love Julie X
Hi Grace, I have just picked up on your blog but do know how you feel. I lost my darling Martin from stomach cancer just over 5 weeks ago. No-one can understand what you are going through but the people who have been through this too. It is a long hard road and is not helped by the treatment that is dished out. But life goes on and we have to go on too, even though there are days when we just want the pain to go away. So, although I have not been with you on your road over the last year, I hope to be with you on your future path. You never know, we might be able to help each other get through this devastating time.
Hello Grace, I have been wondering how you are and I'm so glad you have posted even though things are very tough for you.
For us, Jack has now got a hospice nurse who has sorted out his medication, but as we know, everything seems to have a side effect, and each day is becoming harder. He isnt really able to go out any more but we did go out for our sons 18th on Wednesday which was a milestone we didnt think he would make at one time. My heart is breaking but I still have a smile plastered to my face most of the time - one of the reasons I gave up counselling after my 2nd session is because I need to be positive and I cant do that if I'm falling apart.
Hello Buzzie, I remember you and your really black sadness at the time. You are still here though. You see the will to live is so strong and no matter how we are feeling, in the end the will to live wins, hopefully every time and we just carry on taking one day at a time. Anyway, where would the hounds be without you - a home in a cage me thinks. You are their world. Maybe going back to work is a new beginning for you and the hounds will get used to it. As one door closes, another one always opens up. You will always love and miss your husband but you have a life to live whichever way you choose. I'm still here too after breast cancer and living each day. I read about our boys in Afghanistan and all the wars this world has been through. The youth that died in these wars had their lives taken from them. Please keep us informed how you get on - you are still welcome here as the site is for everyone affected by cancer and all our feelings can be shared. Anyway, I've gone on far too long with too much drivel so I wish you well and send hugs to your loneliness. God bless, Annie x
Thank you all for your up-dates and comments. I know that some of you are going through desperate times. We say a lot about people being 'in our thoughts,' both on the site, and off. However, you are in my thoughts, my 'cyber' friends . We have gone through, and are going through, a lot together. It helps, doesn't it?
John - I couldn't agree with you more about Thatcherism! I am so sorry about your 'blip' and hope that all is well.
Lots of love and vibes to you all,
Hi Buzzie thinking of you. Your blogs have really helped me and I am very grateful to you for being willing to post when you have been hurting so much. Keep strong. Glad you are trying to raise awareness of the dismal survival rates for oesophageal cancer.
Dear Buzzie, wise words as usual, but then your blogs are always wise, insightful, compassionate ... I could go on but don't want to bore you. My Mum was widowed in March (for the second time) and said to me on Sunday that she has felt a bit under the weather recently and wonders if it could be a reaction to all that life (and cancer) threw at her in the preceding two years. I'm so sad that she has had to deal with all this twice - and the 'friends' all seem to be drifting away and at almost 80 she's finding it very hard. I hope you (and the hounds) have a little more light in your life at Cold Comfort Cottage. And I truly am 'thinking of you', love Val XX
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