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Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'


Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Hi flora, so glad I'm not the only one who wants to be left alone! Why doesn't the world understand that we're just unavailable atm....we need to sit in the garden, walk to the shops, do new things, talk to new people........cos' we're just not the same person any more.........love sent x

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Update.  Well "it's 11 in the morning and once more the dawning.. tra la etcetera".  Am feeling bog-eyed and absolutely shattered after the insomnia (boy was I feeling crabby) but I had a stroke of genius (I think) last night.  I am just going to buy one of those T-shirts bearing the slogan "Please Do Not Disturb" and wear it all the time - surely even the most thick-skinned person will get the message and leave me alone then!

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Nearly 2 a.m. & raging insomnia Smiley Sad With a bit of luck typing this 'ode' might get the anger out of my system and perhaps I might be able to get back to sleep again. Wish me luck.


My Little Moany Poemy-Woemy

I'm battling this thing, the big 'C'

And so far I've managed to cope

Oh, it's hard not to despise you

You're well yet you sit and mope

You're a fake, a problem-maker

I'm fed-up trying to be so sweet

I wish that you would just *** off

And desist from laying all of your

Self-inflicted problems at my feet?

Smiley Mad Smiley Mad Smiley Mad Smiley Mad Smiley Mad Smiley Mad Smiley Mad Smiley Mad Smiley Mad


Yes, I can do sarcasm too!!!!




Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Wishing you a fabulous day Kiki x x

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Race for Life tomorrow and I've been staggered by everyone's generosity in sponsoring me! I've raised over £500 so it really feels like we can contribute to kicking Cancer where it hurts! Looking forward to the atmosphere though I imagine it will feel quite emotional! Walking with a team of 9 though so good moral support!

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Priceless x x

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Hi Lexilou


It's Role E - Professional Nuisance Smiley Happy Cancer has made me take life less seriously. Sometimes (ok, often) the devil gets into me and I can't resist a tease. Yesterday I went into a big local shop and a young family trooped past - Mum looking glum, Dad looking glum, kid looking glum.  Dad was nearest so I playfully poked him hard in the ribs and said "stop looking so fed-up you miserable begger - it's sunny weather outside"!  He looked absolutely stunned for a few seconds and then he started laughing. I couldn't stop giggling to myself because the look of shock on his face when I prodded him had been so funny. Tee-hee! Smiley LOL 

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

No worries ff, privacy respected. 😄
So when there is a gap, my mind, my ohh so curious mind, just wants to fill it. I wonder how close i get with the following speculations. I am most definately not stating this was you new role, purely playing.
Role A.... secret squirrel. Employed to improve the lives of those within a 50mile radius of you, with special license to include all interactions via the web
Role B.... Model for life studies, art students need the experiences. But this became more challenging as your need to share wisdoms made you so animated
Role C.... Gardener - creating beautiful calming spaces
Role D - doesnt really matter as whatever your role, you bring such warmth and here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart x x x
LL x

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Come, come Lexilou, a ‘lay-dee’ has to keep a bit of feminine mystique – joking aside I have a good reason for not wanting to ‘spill’. To change the subject, I’ve been ‘musing’ again. Here’s a Life Lesson: It is possible to be too nice. An example goes like this: you offer someone a short lift home and they think “oh, this is great”. One day they think ”I wonder if she’ll take me to the shops" (you like being helpful so you say ok). Then another day they decide to ask you if you’d mind taking them a bit further, into the nearby town (it’s inconvenient but you give in because it seems rude to bluntly say “no”). Big mistake. Emboldened (because you were a pushover last time) they ask you to take them to their relatives many miles away because they say it is an emergency and they are “really stuck for a lift” – (privately you think it is a cheek but then you feel guilty – after all if you are “a good person” you should help others). Gradually ‘they’ start expecting regular lifts from you. ‘They’ begin to take you for granted and feel that they are entitled to your services. One day you need to go to the supermarket – this person finds out and you are shocked when they speak to you disrespectfully and chastise you! (for not taking them as well). Finally you wake up and realise that things have got out of hand. Like I said, you can be too nice!

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Great thread again fiesty lady, though also one of mystery,,,, did you say you retrained? if so, what did you become ?
Thinking of you Eileen, and sensing the love you shared x x
The 11 and 3/4 national trust post has definately got me curious. Am always curious 😄 .
And a final share as out walking early with a friend yesterday along a broad riverside path we were treated to the sight of 2 cyclists exercising about 30-40 free running tail wagging hounds, and they were all so well behaved, only Windsor needed encouragement to ignore us!!

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Hi Eileen


I am so sorry to hear that your mum has just died - she sounds like a nice lady. My mum died when I was only in my thirties and my dad died when I was just out of my teens.  I admit that I still shed tears, even now, but I am consoled by the fact that I have lots of very happy memories to look back on and as the song goes "they can't take that away from me". Not everyone is as fortunate as us.  Someone I knew once said to me "I hated my mother and I wasn't sad when she died - I was so shocked but I also pitied this person. I remind myself often how blessed I was to have had good parents.  Just take one day at a time and be kind to yourself.  Heart


PS You are not an idiot re the smiley face thing because I made that mistake too - just click on Preview when you type your message and you will see the emoticon that represents the words "smiley face".

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

There was supposed to be a smiley face at the end of that instead of which it just says smiley very happy which makes me look like some kind of idiot!! Xx

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

I hope I get to stand behind you in a queue one day Flora - sounds it might be entertaining!  I am working hard on retaining my positivity though it has been difficult as my Mum died last week. BUT she was 89, had been really fit and healthy up to having a heart attack at the end of March which really knocked the stuffing out of her. Up until then she had looked after my Dad, done all her own cooking, cleaning and washing using an old twin tub which she had to drag out from under a worktop every time.She went to village halls locally for bingo 2-3 times a week - mostly a chance to gossip with her mates and did lots of knitting for charity. When she was admitted to hospital the pharmacist was staggered that she was on no medication at all up to that point. And she was the most contented person I ever met.So when I get some perspective I can look back on her  life  positively!

Other positives - went swimming AND got changed in the communal changing room for the first time. Admittedly not as brave as those of you who had a mastectomy as I only have  a weird shaped nipple and lumpy boob.

Got discharged by the oncologist who says I am low risk - woohoo!!

Got home and found same oncologist had signed a letter saying the result of my DEXA scan shows I have osteoporosis which didn't seem much of a positive until I thought well if it wasn't for the BC I wouldn't have had the scan so wouldn't have known I had a problem until I broke a hip or something whereas now I can do something about it. Call me Pollyanna hey! 

And my garden is looking lovely and end of term is next week.

Love to everyone. Keep smiling::Life is good and I do appreciate that so much more now.smileyvery-happy: 

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Maelstrom - yes, that word describes exactly what it feels like going through all the cancer treatment.  I'm looking outside at the moment, the weather is dull and the sky is cloudy - am I cast down by this?  Am I heck -  I'm happy as a pig in muck just to be alive! Smiley Wink Another way I have changed is that I tend to blurt out exactly what I am feeling these days (my OH dreads what I will come out with next) Smiley LOL. For example if someone swears in front of me I might say "you've got a right mouth on you haven't you?"  A couple of days ago I was standing in a queue in a large department store when a ghostly 'figure' silently glided up behind me. The figure was six feet tall and clothed in a burka with just a pair of eyes showing so I am assuming that there was a female underneath all that material but it could just as easily have been a man!  I was curious and itching to ask "is it your choice to wear a burka or does someone make you do it" (because that was what I was thinking) but unfortunately the assistant was already handing me my change so I had no reason (or excuse) to loiter. Strange times we are living in.

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Just been reading this thread and musing on how breast cancer has changed me...after my mastectomy I must admit that I yearned for peace and quiet and to get away from the maelstrom that my diagnosis had created.  Immediately after my op I would sit and enjoy watching the birds in my garden and dare I say it but I'm now a bit of a twitcher!  I've started going on birding holidays to far flung scottish islands and even treated myself to the very top of the range binoculars which are fab and along the way have met some wonderful people. x



Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Hello Ladies I totally agree with all your comments. I spend time with friends I want to see and don't worry too much about those I don't.

I also saw on the National Trust website - 50 things to do when you are 11 and 3/4. While reading through i noticed there were a lot of things on this list I hadn't done at the age of nearly 50! All sorts of things on there from walking behind a waterfall, lying in garden and look up at the stars, building a den...I couldn't actually remember if I have ever done this! I wrote down all the things I want to do as soon as, rather than later I never put anything off now! I am just working my way through my list and having lots of fun. Have a look you might see some interesting things that you haven't thought of. XX


Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Thanks kiki, and yes alison good luck to you! 

Kate x 

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Good luck Roseka, with whatever you decide to do! I've often thought about a change of career but never quite had the guts to do it ! Alison I really admire your decision to take a year out and travel, have a fantastic time!

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Lol feisty flora not sure I could swing bags of compost around or dig up small trees like I did before bc/mx - the next door neighbour used to call me amazon woman! I'd just started a practical horticulture course when I was diagnosed (through my first screening mammogram,  what a shock), having to give up the course because of having the surgery was one of my saddest moments. However,  I've just got myself a voluntary job with the rspb and local wildlife trust so I'm going to see what comes of it. Meanwhile, my lovely local bc charity have provided the services of a gardener to help me out while recover so it's all good,  and maybe I'll start the course again.  x  

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

This is a great thread. I too have changed since I went through treatment four years ago. I have a really busy job which hasn't got less busy. I enjoy it but I've decided to take a career break for a year - I"m lucky that my job will let me do that so it's a win win situation. My husband and I are going to go travelling for a year from this October - we're in our fifties. I can't wait!

I'm not sure I'd have done that if I hadn't had cancer. Too caught up in life and the business of it to take a break.


All the cliches about recovering from cancer are true, I appreciate friends much more, and my family, it's funny that so many of you talk about birds in your garden. I only have a patio sadly, but when I was having chemo and couldn't sleep very well I'd sit in our kitchen in the early morning with a cup of tea, watching the sparrows fighting over the bird food. For HOURS! I still love watching garden birds.


I want to experience new things - I've never lived abroad so we're starting with six months in one place abroad, Then we'll decide what we want to do next - it feels so liberating. I'm not going to worry about my bleeding pension - I might not make it anyway! If there's anything that having cancer teaches you, surely it's that you can't bank on ANYTHING.


I appreciate life every day. It helps when the sun's shining mind you. 


Clive James has a terminal illness and has written lots of really wonderful poetry if anyone is interested. He has also spent hours watching the birds in his garden. 


Lots of good wishes to you all 







Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Hi Roseka


Just had to reply to this. Brilliant idea - you are never too old to retrain!  What have you got to lose?  There are too many of these about Robot Sad Robot Sad Robot Sad Go for it girl!  Make some enquiries and see if you can get into gardening if that is what floats your boat - think how good all that fresh air and sunshine would be for you.  PS I'm not just talking the talk cos I walked the walk, changed my job and retrained late in life - I did wonder if it was just a pipe dream but I made it come true. You know what they say, it is what you haven't done in life that you regret. Bee bingo sounds fun, I never knew about that so you have taught me something - I have loads of bees in my garden, I'll try that. Let us all know how you get on. xxx

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Well I was dx in Oct 2014, had mx and recon and returned to work in march,  to be told last month my contract won't be renewed and will be redundant from end of Aug! Instead of feeling sorry for myself I see it as an opportunity (although a bit worried about future health concerns, with a new employer,  assuming I find a job!). I consider myself lucky that, although we'll really miss the money, we'll cope,  I'm taking the opportunity to really think about what I want to do - although retraining as a gardener perhaps not so possible now....whereas before bc, I'd probably just have panicked and looked for another job doing the same old thing.

I'm currently home recuperating from revision surgery,  really bored so I downloaded 'bee bingo' sheet from friends of the earth and spent a very happy sunny day spotting and learning all different bee species in my garden! Also carried out a rescue mission of a baby robin found in the utility room, and watched over it while mum and dad flitted around feeding it til it was strong enough to fly. Small pleasures..... take care ladies xx


Re: Musing and Curious - Why LOL's & GSOH now?

Well hell, here I am embracing 'teen speak' - what is happening to me?  I seem to have changed in all sorts of ways since this cancer 'thing'.  I've developed a really good sense of humour lately. Two girls were walking down the street wearing really tight stretch pants in fluorescent colours with bizarre patterns like lightening flashes on them.  A builder was so busy gawping at them that he walked bang into me - I could see it was going to happen and I laughed my socks off when he did. Then I went in a shop and when the assistant tried to put something in the till it shot closed and nearly took her fingers off and she gave a loud shriek - that made me guffaw out loud because it was just like the Ronnie Barker sketch in Open All Hours Smiley LOL. I think it is just that I don't take things too seriously now. In restaurants I used to say "fine thank you" even if the meal was a bit sub-standard but now I tell the truth and say "actually it wasn't very nice". The waitresses were quite shocked at first but now they seem to think that I am rather entertaining - however I do ask them to be tactful when they break it to the chef! I also make a point of telling chefs if the meal I have eaten was exceptionally good. PS I had a great curry this week - it was sublime Smiley Very Happy I am still dreaming about it!

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

You're right Eileen, we have a blackbirds nest in the clematis and keep seeing it nipping in to feed the babies! Also I've just managed to sort my annual travel insurance to cover me for anything relating to the cancer without too much expense so holidays here I come! (In a few weeks)

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

This is by far my favourite thread. Think I'll stop reading all the worrying ones and feel the good vibes from all the lovely and wise people on here. Thanks to everyone for cheering me up and sharing the good things. Sadly our blue tits went away without nesting but still lots of blackbirds/ finches and randy pigeons in the garden. And my geraniums are beautiful at the moment - running wild but that's great as they stop the weeds from coming through. Ate in the garden with my daughter this evening - at last it is warm enough to sit out xxxx

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Really pleased for you Val - onwards and upwards! xx

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

yes it is - thanks Nic x

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Congratulations Val, wishing you well with your wedding plans. A real positive to come out of all the *****!
Nic x

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

what an absolutely lovely and thoughful thread, and all of your comments are so so true. This awful condition does make you re-evaluate everything about your life, work, home, commitments, family, life style the lot.  And you know what, only good things are going to come out of  all this.  


The biggest change I have just made is to start organising my long overdue wedding to my rock (I know  cliche) but he has been for the last 10 years and especially through this awful time, I have just had chemo no 4, Tax, following Mx, and have radiotherapy x 5 weeks and hormone therapy to come. Its about time we tied the know, planning for June 2017 in Crete with all the nearest and dearest and noone else.


Wishing you all well through your journey.


Val xxxx


Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Hi Na123


Before I got cancer I used to do lots of 'favours' for someone. It started with just one or two little requests but somehow, over time, the requests got bigger and became more frequent until eventually, to my horror, I realised I had altered my whole life to suit the other person's needs. I had been working so hard to make them happy but in the process I had become very unhappy. One day I asked myself the following questions:-


Was this person a relative (perhaps I had a 'duty of care' towards them) - NO no relative

Was this person ill  - NO

Was this person physically weak? - NO 

Was this person mentally or physically disabled? - NO

Was this person housebound? - NO

Did this person have difficulty walking - NO

Did this person have breathing difficulties? - NO

Did this person need a disability scooter? - NO 

Did this person have family members to care for them? - YES

Was this person timid and lacking in confidence - NO! definitely not


In the light of the above answers, why had I been running myself ragged for this individual? It dawned upon me that I had been a damn fool!  Of course if the answers to the above questions had all been 'yes' then that would be a different matter. This was another valuable lesson I learned - altruism is fine but first make sure the recipient is worthy of your good deeds before you go charging ahead.


Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

This thread has made me smile, it runs so true
Did you realise you were such a 'fantastic' rapper feisty flora

What I have learned is that the past 50years are the past, I have had my mind, priorities, and family sharply focused for the future. No more planning for 'when' we retire, 'when' the children grow up, in 5 years time or 10years time. I am going to work to live, and no longer live to work
I have stepped forward, and you know what, this cancer has made me stronger and I hope a better person - less quick to judge,
I so regret that I did not make time for one the mum's at school who was diagnosed 9 months ago and died recently. She was 42, with children the same age as mine. I am not going to let that happen, using work and other commitments as an excuse
I have been bowled over by the support I have had, I did not know I knew so many
I have also found who my real colleagues and friends are. Some of which hurts.
Like you I have sat in the garden watching the baby birds - have we had more birds this year, I do not recall this previous years
Pulling up the weeds, tying back the climbers and just enjoying the sun on my face whilst the girls and husband are at school and work. I have never had the chance to enjoy life at its most simple and beautiful.
In anything horrible/terrible seeing the good/positive makes it easier to move on.

Have gone on a bit, sorry

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

This is an interesting thread and very true. Cancer is a real wake up call to make you re-evaluate your life and decide what is important . I was lucky in that all my friends really supported me through the difficult times, but one or two were particularly fantastic. No one really seemed to shy away from talking about it but maybe that was because I was very open about it from the beginning, because I felt I needed to talk about it.
Makes you think don't put off all those things you long to do, if you can afford to do them now, get on with it! I've decided to work less hours and try and get a better work/life balance. As you say you really appreciate the little things, sunny days, beautiful scenery, etc. Keep enjoying one day at a time. Xx

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

H missmore


Yep - me too.  Glad you've put yourself first. Sometimes you just have to be ruthless and cut those energy vampires right out of your life. One of my relatives used to act like a right twerp but turned out to be one of the kindest most caring people when I was feeling really ill - I was so surprised!  Keep smiling. xxx

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Hi again Eileen. Good for you -that's the spirit! This afternoon I have been having a blissful time sitting in the garden, relaxing in the sunshine, watching some newly hatched blue tits learning to fly - they make me laugh because they haven't quite got the hang of it yet and keep crashing into things and they try to land on flower stems that are not strong enough to take their weight and fall - they are so funny. It is true that often it is the little things that give the most pleasure - speaking of which I am now going to have a nice hot cup of coffee and a home-made scone. xxx

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Excellent advice Flora! I so agree. I feel one of the most positive things to come out of all this rubbish is re-examining what really matters and ditching the things that really don't. And that can include people you thought were friends who don't want to know and valuing some people much more who have come through and been brilliantly supportive. I am more ready to let people know that I love them. I appreciate little things more. I try not to stress about the stuff I can't change and give myself more time. I am starting to say no to things at work that I don't have time to do rather than make time to do them anyway at a cost to myself. I have learnt that I am very fond of my life and not at all ready to give it up for a long time yet!! x

Re: Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Feistyflora, I have learned that I have a tiny core group of true friends. Others I thought were really let me down when I was diagnosed with cancer so I removed them from my life, as the saying goes,  life's too short!  X

Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Here are the some of the 'Life Lessons' I have learned as a result of having cancer:-


Material possessions are just 'things' no matter how much they cost - human beings are what really matter - treasure your family while they are still alive, keep in touch with them, make time to listen. Never be afraid to show compassion. Don't be too quick to judge - people can be amazing, they are full of surprises - you think you know someone and then you find you don't!  You can't say "thank you" too often. When you are very ill it is not 'selfish' to put yourself first for a change, it is just sensible - real friends accept this - if they do not then they are not 'friends' at all. People who stubbornly refuse to examine their own behaviour and always blame others for arguments end up bitter, sad and lonely. It is never too late to alter your perceptions, consider your prejudices or change your style of hair and dress. Take each day at a time.  Laugh more - it is good for you.  What 'life lessons' have you learned?