Sunday, 1 January 2017

Catching Up

I have a lot of catching up to do. Today is Sunday. I got out of hospital on Friday. I was there for nearly two weeks.

It's going to take a few blogs to get all my usual detail in, so today's blog will be a bit different.

I will start by explaining what put me in the Royal. It's called ascites. Fluid builds up in my abdomen because of the tumors. It needs draining regularly. It can change very suddenly from something that is uncomfortable to something that is intolerable and makes me unable to keep any food down, and from there it doesn't take long for my condition to slide quite fast.

So here is where I'm going to take this blog in a bit of a different direction to my usual style, and start with me trying to relay to you all a wonderful analogy I read once about grief. This is only my poor interpretation so I hope I can do it justice.

It was an article that described grief like finding yourself clinging to your shipwreck, that which you've lost, with massive waves crashing down upon you and almost drowning you. That is the grief, and the waves are so powerful and terrible that you think you will die. But you don't. Even though they keep coming, you hold on and survive somehow. Gradually the waves slow down. Gradually they become smaller. There will always be waves. Sometimes you will see them coming, sometimes you won't. Some will be small and some will still be massive. But you survive them all. They become part of your life.

I just loved this analogy so much. I found it so beautiful. But for me it was very easy to twist into an analogy about what it has been like to loose so much condition so fast.

At first when I was sick I was hit by a massive wave, yes it knocked me under the water but I recovered well and was nicely afloat again before the next wave hit. Well the waves keep coming, but in the case of my health, they keep coming harder and faster, each time I get knocked down it's a little harder, and each time it takes me a little longer to recover, and then suddenly you're not getting any time to recover at all before you're in danger again. Its frightening. You wonder how long it can go on, how much you can take, how serious are things going to get.

The last couple of weeks have been confronting and frightening. I've had the best possible care, but no assurances. 

I've felt gratitude every day, and it's a powerful magic. It fills my heart in a way I can't explain or put into words. I'm very good at feeling gratitude, but very inadequate at expressing it. Any one of you who has so much as sent a good thought my way has contributed to it, but I don't think I can ever let you really know what it means to me. 

Moving forward, as much I definitely needed to be there at the time, and I'm very grateful I was able to be, I really want to stay out of hospital as much as possible. I'm taking things very easy while I recover gently at home, and being very well cared for of course. I feel like myself and my medical team may have been caught a little off guard by this sudden 'storm', but hopefully with some more careful management we can keep me out of hospital.

I'm booked for another fluid drain on Wednesday and Chemo on Friday. The sicker you get, the harder it becomes to do the right things to stay well. Eat well, exercise, even take medication. It's another challenge, but I'm up to it.


  1. Dearest Fliss, thanks so much for this update. I don't hear about you any other way. You're a brave soul, a real Trojan, fighting away and yet having such a huge heart that's full of love and gratitude. There is indeed a real war being waged around you, and thank goodness you have help at hand when you really need the medical care and support. Keep fighting the good fight my dear. The challenge is big, but you're bigger.
    Sending you all my love x

  2. Just stumbled across this blog, and had to leave a comment.. You seem to calm and collected, although I am sure that inside you are still churning about all the things that have happened and also the things that might have happened.. I was so lucky to have been found to have pre cancerous cells last year No signs at all, just an old mammogram that picked it up. I realised afterwards how scared I had been, but during it, I was calm inside and put all negative thoughts on the back burner.. a thing I do when I cannot manage to take it all in. I admire your strength and courage in keeping the blog. That in itself takes energy and after a hard days chemo, I bet thats the last thing on your mind that you want to do... However, if you can, just let us know how you are doing at the end of this first whole week in 2017.. I truly hope that you have a miracle and come through beating all those demons, and I am here cheering you on, from the sidelines over the seas, in old Blighty**8 all the best and Happy New Year to you and yours janzi

    1. Wow, thank you Jeannine, I really appreciate it :)