Lets change the subject

Hi everyone.

I recently discovered this site and I have found it extremely helpful. I have read many experiences and have been given advise so thanks to all.
I want to use the site because I do not want to keep burdening my family and friends with my thoughts and questions.
I feel people using the site know where I am coming from and will not judge. However as strange as it might sound from someone posting on this site I am getting really fed up of thinking about cancer. I have seen the word link games etc but can anyone give advice on any interests they have taken up to avoid revisiting the cancer theme over and over again. I walk regularly this helps divert my thoughts, I read and have considered re kindling my passion for art.

I look forward to hearing from you, and thanks in advance for your support.


Hi Carol

Last year when I was waiting for results / mastectomy etc I visited Genes reunited site and started doing my family tree ( back of mind might have been thought of popping my clogs) and found searching census forms etc riveting. Also it kept me occupied at 3am.

I’ve got back as far as 1800 and it’s surprising what you find.

I find card making and scrapbooking time consuming as well. You could always dig out old photos and put them in albums. Just looking at old photos takes hours.

Jigsaws also waste lots of time.

No wonder my house is a tip - see I’m having a party!

Good hunting

Marilyn x

Oh yes, after just being dx my mum and her friend arrived. Mum’s friend had had BC 5 years ago and introduced me to card making. Never done anything like it before. 3 years on, lots of practice, loads of money spent and wasted on trying new things, but have settled on decoupage, its the only thing out of everything I tried that I can do well. I now have orders from family, friends, the local Bowls Club, my son’s College, neighbours etc. I love to personalise the cards and am presently busy making Christmas cards to sell - the proceeds of which I shall now be sending to the Hospice that cared for my recently departed Dad. They were brilliant. (The Hospice I mean.)

So, BC has taught me a new hobby and also gave me back some lost confidence. I can do this well and feel that I CAN contribute and give something back.

So girls, there is always a silver lining.

Love K

Hi Marilyn

Thank you for your ideas.
I like the idea of the family tree as I know I have a few skeletons in the cupboard!
I once tried to go back further on my grandad on my father side. However he was born in a workhouse and his details of the true date of birth were ‘iffy’.
My grandad was illiterate and the only legal documents we have was his marriage certificate and death certificate. Oh and of course the birth certs for his 14 children!.

I was in an art shop yesterday and pondered making Christmas cards myself so I think I will give that a go.
I’ll save the jigsaw for after Christmas.

Thanks again Marilyn
Take care

Hi Kelly

Decoupage, isn’t that awful fiddly? I like the look of it and have often bought cards of this style.
I once played bowls in my early 20’s, and I mean only once but really enjoyed it. I had forgotten about that. I think that might be worth looking into. Would I need to have a partner to join up?


Hi Carol,

This is a good thread! I got two kittens which has been lovely when I’m in the house feeling rubbish. My dad also did our garden for us so I’ve been planting things. Also started going to yoga and learning spanish…


Whenever I feel anything approaching normal, I try to get a little bit of exercise - whether that’s just a walk around the block, or like today, getting on my son’s bike to deliver a couple of local letters. Sometimes I manage quite an energetic swim! All helps keep the flab from accumulating on my tum.
I’m also hoping to do some watercolour painting with a mum from school who knows what she’s doing, just for a couple of hours one day. Lots of friends have offered to ‘be there’ for me , so we’ve met up at garden centres or in town for a coffee etc.
I’m determined to do something creative at home - there’s lots of recipes I’ve cut out of magazines that I don’t usually get time to try, so I’m planning to work through those. And I like messing around with a sewing machine and some scraps. You could try simple jewellery making - order bits from Kernowcraft.co.uk.
Hope you find something you enjoy
All the best

Hi Lizalou,

I have my daughters dog to look after at weekends and this helps make sure I get out walking. I love gardening but I have had to put that on the back burner recently but look forward to picking this up again soon. I tried yoga whilst in remission, to be honest I sometimes found the chanting hilarious as I am quite reserved (Stuffy some would call me) I did feel the benefit of being a little more supple though!

I went to France for my holidays and really loved it I thought about learning French.
This thread is helpful I am spoilt for choice now, I just needed help stirring up the grey matter.

Thanks again

Hi Jacquie

Thank you for the web page address I will give that a whirl in a little while. I love my jangly earrings (They go well with my short hair) so instead of paying £’ss I could give your suggestion a go.
I wish I enjoyed swimming, there’s a pool quite close to us but I am a very weak swimmer, my arms and legs go ten to the dozen and I get nowhere. The family just roar with laughter when they watch my efforts!

Thanks for the pointers

You’re welcome.
If you don’t know what to buy, you can phone Kernowcraft and they’re usually really helpful - they will tell you what you need to buy, or which thickness thread for which beads, etc.

Ha! I know what you mean re the chanting! In one of the classes a very earnest woman asked the instructor at the end “Should I be saying ommmmmmmmmm or ummmmmmmmmm??” ! Made me laugh, I don’t think it would really matter!


Thanks Jacquie and Lizalou
I only remember ommmmmmmmmmmmm hurting me with the vibration!

Miles of smiles

Anything creative is so good for everyone, but particularly when we have been through this trauma. I design and make stained glass and this helped me so much when going through chemo cos I could dip in and out when I felt up to it. I am just learning to play the bass guitar which is great fun too, I’ve borrowed one but hope to be bought my own for xmas!

I also garden and keep a dairy of what has happened during the year. A friend suggested I keep a diary about my BC experiences, but I opted for what was happening in my new garden instead and I think I was right! Sometimes BC just takes over our lives doesn’t it?

I also family tree research and have gone back to 1751. I was doing this before BC but have had more time since as not working full time now. I have also found living relatives through genes reunited, 2 of them 1st cousins from 2 broken marriges that split the families, so that has bee positive too.


Hi Irene

I am really pleased with the response to this subject, there’s lots of really exciting interests out there. I love the idea of the gardening diary. I think I might start a diary that picks up from today and how many of the ideas I have been given, those that I take up and how long I stick at them!. I will keep people updated.

Many thanks for the gem of an idea, perhaps we will exchange notes one day!
Kindest regards

Hi All

Just to update you,

I have started an ‘interests diary’ from an idea of Irene’s. The first entry reads go and visit the tombstone of Bendigo - not ghoulish. He is part of Nottingham’s history. I had been reading Alan Silitoe’s Nottinghamshire and remembered this was something I meant to do way before the Dx.

I have bought some embroidery silks and silk material and plan to reproduce some photos of Scotland we have into silk pictures.

After dinner I will go onto the website Jacquie suggested and I have all the other suggestions lined up.
I am still looking for a local bowls club!

Cheers all


Like Marilyn and Irene I am also a member of GenesReunited and can recommend researching your family tree as a good diversion from thinking about breast cancer. Especially finding the skeletons in your cupboards. I was amazed for instance to find out that 3 of my Gt. Grandmothers were carrying more than a bouquet when they walked down the aisle…and this was in the late 1800’s!

You will get a lot of help and guidance from the members on GR to get you started, and we also have “meets” in various parts of the country, (not that we do much talking about actual genealogy at them)!.

My advice if you are interested in finding out about your family history is go for it!


I have an allotment so when feeling energetic go up there and pull a few weeds out or if not feeling energetic get OH/niece/nephew to do it and supervise!! Otherwise I have recently taken up crochet. I used to do lots of cross stitch but at the mo my eyes are very watery so can’t concentrate on it. I love the idea of looking into my family history, sounds very interesting.

take two

hmmmm, the jungle - ooops, garden, is too much for me to tackle - the indigenous wild flowers will still be there next year!
like Allie my eyes are watery, so cross stitch or anyting that needs focusing is out . BUT, just before my first chemo I started crotcheting a ‘chemo’ hat. Five days after chemo two, even with the week delay, i have achieved 3 inches diameter. I think the hair will be back before the hat is finished.
Maybe i should just supervise all you lovely, crafty ladies :smiley:

Hi ladies,

My cousin must have been on the same wave length as some of you. She began to research the Family tree of my mothers side and this Saturday morning we are all meeting at my mums to have a look at it. She says there are some really funny stories to be heard and that although I am not for the area where I live we have relations living somewhere in this town. I’ve got the name so I will be tracking them down soon.

At the weekend my son put an offer in for his first house, the garden will need a lot of redesigning I just hope he gets it because I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

I have begun stitching silks and false leaves, I forgot how fiddly it gets, a few little curses and I was away.

I have begun reading about Elizabeth Fry the prison reformer, I remember enjoying her story at school. I had to laugh at the books from the library they were last taken out in 1992 and 1997, what a nation of unread we are!

allie4 I tried crochet in the seventies when it became a mini rage, all I ever mastered were coaster size rings!

Good wishes to you all

quisie- glad I’m not the only slow learner. So far I have i row of 300 stitches of crochet which will be a scarf at some point, probably next winter!!
cb102 -have fun with the redesigning your sons garden, make sure you have lots of help for the heavy work, I find that skint teenagers are very useful as you can get them to work hours for a top-up for their mobile phone and anyway its good exercise for them!!