Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Into Every Life A Little Rain Must Fall

This is a shorter post, but rather sad.

In 2012 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. After surgery, I needed a course of chemotherapy. I joined an online forum on the Breast Cancer Care website. There were about 26 members all together. As we all started treatment in or around February 2013, we thought it appropriate to call ourselves the February Valentines. We are still in touch, on Facebook, we have a secret, closed group, so nobody can read what we talk about on there.

Most of us are quite well and cancer free. But sadly, four of our number developed secondary or metastatic cancer. That is, their primary cancer has spread to other areas of their bodies such as bones, liver, lungs or brain. Three of those have succumbed to the disease. The first was Sandra, whose cancer spread to her brain. The second was Annabelle who had bone and brain metastases. This Monday, 14th September 2015, Kim passed peacefully away with her family around her. Naturally we are all very sad, and it has brought back the fear of something like this happening to any one of us. It's not impossible, as my poem below (written one year after my treatment) highlights.


One year ago we met. 
Just one year - and yet, 
How can I ever forget! 

Sometimes I catch your shadow, 
Sneaking down an alley, 
just around a corner, 
in the darkest recess of my brain. 
Stalking me - 
the ghost of what once was
and what might be again. 

I thought I had expunged you, 
drove you from my head 
in the halcyon days when poisons 
in my blood rid me of your threats. 
I believed you would be gone for good! 
But here you are, my stalker, 
waiting, while fear of your return fills my mind. 

Oh Cancer, why are you so unkind? 


The fourth member has secondary breast cancer in her spine, but is responding well to treatment. She will never be cured, but we are hoping she has a good few years yet. I obviously can't post any photos of these beautiful ladies. It wouldn't be appropriate,and I'd have to check with their families which would take time. So here are a few of myself when undergoing treatment, and just after.

About to begin my second treatment

No hair, eyebrows or eyelashes! In fact the only scraps of hair I had left were little patches on my shins.

New hair sprouting

Now you're talking

Cheer up, you have hair!

Wild woman of Sawley

Blimey, it's gone mad!

I keep it shorter now, easier to manage and look at those gorgeous eyebrows. They used to resemble giant caterpillars!

None of the Valentines will ever forget Sandra, Annabelle or Kim. 

My Wish

Cancer 'ain't gonna get me.
Cancer you dirty swine.
No, cancer 'ain't gonna take away
another Valentine.

First you took our Sandra,
then lovely Annabelle
and now you've taken Kim.
Cancer - go to f*^#!%$ hell!!

1 comment:

  1. Good grief you know how to keep it cheery on here don't you! I think you look much better with shorter hair. You won't be one of those we lose yet, me and dad are stuck with you for a while yet! ( sorry dad ) only joking!! Love ya loads xxxxx