For Ellie

I woke up to the sounds of September rain. How dreary and glum it is out there. Twitter is full of talk about winter coats, boots, and return to school. I’m sure September is usually a glorious months, what’s gone wrong? For the first time in ages there are no dead slugs to clear up from the garden. That’s either because they didn’t come out because of the rain, or my onslaught on them is finally working. I hope it’s the latter. Despite the weather I still have pansies, those orange bluebell type things and something else flowering in the garden. Whatever they are called, they are flowering for the third time. I did as I was told and “dead headed” them. As you can tell, I have still not got to grips with the gardening thing, but it’s nice to see some colour on such a miserable day.

Sleep last night came in two instalments, I awoke at 1.30am with more stomach rumblings, not returning to bed until 4.30am. In between I finished off yesterday’s blog and published, the earliest yet. Whilst scanning other blogs on Wordpress, I came across more accounts from cancer sufferers. Some truly horrific and inspirational stories. One in particular from a lady in London, who has come through misdiagnosis, radical breast surgery, and now secondary cancer in the pelvis, liver and lungs that has led to a terminal prognosis of no more than 6 months. All that at just 28 years old, that’s just not fair. Despite all this, Ellie is fighting, and I can feel that her determination will ensure she keeps fighting just as long as she chooses to do so. I recognise so much from her words in my own thoughts, and it will serve as a great inspiration to me in the months ahead. It also serves as a reminder of how lucky I am. God bless you Ellie. I’ll be thinking of your words when I embark on chemo and radiotherapy.

There won’t be a blog entry tomorrow, I think both myself and you need a rest. I’m going to see my Dad and Marian (with an A not an O). I’ll take him my cancer book that I got from Macmillan (via Rebecca). He can read it at his leisure then, and maybe he will find it all easier to understand. I want to find out what medication he is on also, I know it is causing him so many problems. I know it’s some kind of leukaemia drug, but that’s about all I can get out of him. In typical Dad style he keeps everything in an organised file, so he will have all the letters, prescriptions, appointments etc, that should enable me to do some research when I get home, or maybe on my phone, or that black computer thingy as my Dad calls it. It will give me the chance to concentrate on somebody else’s illness for a while. They have also just made the first part of switchover to digital where he lives, and I don’t think they’ve got everything tuned in correctly yet. Because of his age he got a free advice and consultation from a local aerial engineer – they’ve been told that from switchover they’ll be getting BBC Midlands from Birmingham, suggesting that their signal will be coming from Sutton Coldfield. That seems strange to me when they have an East Midlands transmitter just up the road. I don’t think I’ll be getting on the roof, but at least I should be able to work out what’s going on.

The letters from the Department for Work & Pensions have started. Today I received one to tell me they are going to send another one ! I don’t know whether they want me to estimate how ill I’m going to be, and when, and how it is going to affect my ability to work. It all seems stupid and hypothetical. In the meantime, they think they are going to find me work. So, any employer out there want to employ me? Bearing in mind I’m going to be away 5 days a week for chemo and radiotherapy, and then I’ll probably require three months off whilst I undergo and recover from surgery. Maybe more chemo & radiotherapy. I’ll be feeling pretty crap for the time I’m going to be there, but I’ll try. It seems that a medical certificate saying you’re unfit to work means nothing to them. Oh, and to fit in before that I’ve got some interviews, assessments and probably a training course or two. Welcome to the world of Employment Support Allowance, the new benefit that’s going to seek out the spongers. So let’s start with people who’ve got cancer. Good idea. I think I’m going to need some help and advice with this.

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