Monthly Archives: May 2014

My Birthday


Wednesday 28th May

Another birthday, another year older; and what a lot has happened and changed in my life.

The weather has been glorious, the sunsets amazing, and the dolphins swimming and splashing across the bay sharing in my happiness of being with my family.

This time last year I was hobbling on crutches, with my lower leg bound and bandaged. I had had a skin graft from my thigh applied to an area on the top of my foot. A dodgy mole had been removed: the Alien Blob had been a malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.

I have learnt an incredible amount over these last twelve months, but try not to let anything get me down. I had to stop teaching, due to the surgeries and resulting lymphoedema, missing the students incredibly, but I am to be returning in September. I have also accepted that I cannot change things, it is no good looking back at the past and wondering. One shouldn’t live with regrets. None of us knows what the future may hold, but to wake up and enjoy another new day, is indeed a blessing. Living for the moment, not wasting time worrying, being amongst a loving family, healthy enough to travel and meet with friends, focussing on what really matters, this is my life now.

French, silky, lacy………


Friday 23rd May

It’s French, has a lacy top, feels quite silky and stretches beautifully. It’s my new American Tan support hose! I haven’t been this excited about medical compression garments since, well, I don’t know when.

I had my weekly appointment with my lymphoedema nurse this afternoon. Thirty minutes of targeted massage on my left leg; most relaxing and beneficial. My nurse had been promising a new stocking for me to try, and today it had arrived. It was a sample pair, promoted by a rep, who had left it for me to trial. Appearing extremely short, almost a knee-length sock, it did stretch easily from foot to the very top of my thigh. A lacy band decorates the top, frilling almost like a wedding garter!

In the warmer weather recently, I have been wearing shorts or skirts, and it would be good to have two legs on show, that are of the same colour. At the moment, one leg is normal, the other a sludgy, bandage-beige!!! But no-one has made any comment ~ it’s just me being vain. I think I must look like a dork! Maybe people are being polite 😜 Still, it will be good to go out and be able to not rock the Nora Batty look!!!

One year on


Tuesday 6th May

One year on…….

It was during this week, a year ago, that I had a dodgy mole, the Alien Blob, removed from the fourth toe of my left foot. A day patient, I remember everything so well. There were no problems, everything went smoothly, and I went home quite relaxed, thinking everything would be all right.

How wrong would I be?

Six months on…….

It is now six months since I underwent major surgery to remove the lymph nodes in my left groin. Having ascertained that the Alien Blob was a malignant melanoma, I was soon to learn that the cancerous cells had spread through my lymphatic system. Following a positive sentinel node biopsy, I spent six days in hospital undergoing an inguinal dissection.

Four months on……

Although being told by my surgeon that he had removed all the cancer filled nodes, I could have sat back and done nothing. Just let things take their course. Check-ups, maybe, every three or six months. I wouldn’t have felt happy doing that, not knowing, not helping myself. So I was really lucky to get on a clinical drugs trial using a combination of two drugs, looking at the halting of progression and also the side effects. I have just ‘passed’ my four-month review at the hospital in Exeter, and been issued with my two pots of pills. Appointments having been made for four week’s time.

And here I am, a completely different person from the one I was a year ago. I began writing this blog, to put my thoughts and feelings down in words, to remember events, and chronicle all that has happened to me. One year on, I have had over a thousand hits!

Yes, there are days when I privately worry, wonder if I will progress to Stage 4, what will happen to my family, how ill I might become. However I don’t want these negative thoughts to bring me down. I have been off work for the whole year, recuperating, slowly building up my strength. I try to eat healthier, to take some gentle exercise every day, to get a good night’s sleep, but most of all, to enjoy every single day, to be positive and try to see the good in all things or situations. It’s hard work, very challenging; but I want to stay alive.

I’ll keep on keeping on.