Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Christmas letter

Hello there

If you have been following my blog you will most certainly be aware that 2014 started for Mr H and I with a new kitchen and a diagnosis of breast cancer!

We surfed the huge waves of surgery, stomach churning chemotherapy and finally radiotherapy with the support and love of friends and family. We popped out the other side of treatment just before Christmas.  Last week I had my first, post cancer, nail biting annual mammogram. Apart from the obvious changes that surgery left in its wake, everything else was normal. Yes NORMAL!

So now when people ask me what my breast cancer prognosis is, I happily tell them that I am like a piece of ham, cured!

In 2015 I made sure the pendulum swung towards fun. I filled it with holidays, giggles, singing and hair cuts...

I now have a chemo induced grey and black change in hairstyle and I love it. Mom said I was born with black curls so clearly I have regressed!! No one recognises me anymore!

Writing and researching have become my new world. I am now working on a historical project relating to the Quakers and the Midland Adult School Union…

My brain tumour changed my life but breast cancer has given me a new perspective. I have learnt the value of Meditation in keeping stress levels low. I hang onto a calm mind and enjoy what I have more than ever.  I try to exercise more and our eating is the healthiest it has ever been but weight loss eludes me for now...

Mr H and I are looking forward to seeing what 2016 dishes up 

I wish you a happy Christmas and a healthy 2016

Love Dawn xxx

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Walking in the road...

I close the front door, crunch across our stone path then clutch my green handrail as I step down into the grey tarmacked road. Today my mindful walk is to the chemist to collect a prescription. At this time of year my attention is normally drawn to the orange, red and gold leaves still hanging onto almost bare branches. I usually stop in awe as I pass another crop of summer bright orange or Christmas red berries.

But today my head is dipped. I stare at the ground in front of my shuffling feet. Every crack, every hole, every ridge is waiting to trip me up. Make me fall. Or tumble. Each time it happens I leave a bit more of my walking confidence on the ground. Something else to trip over next time I am out!

As I gaze at the ground I see the cake crumbled grey stones which once resembled Tarmac. 

The rail road ridges caused by workmen digging channel tunnels into paths, then roughly filling them in without a thought for the pavement shufflers such as me.

My heart leaps over the hedge when my walking stick shoots away from my feet on the autumn leaf skating rink...

So I step out into the road.

My shuffling strides become lighter. My pounding heart plays a slower tune and at last I can lift my eyes from my feet.

I walk in the smooth gutter to stay near to the kerb in case a car dares to drive too close to this road walker. I would like to say "then I can hop onto the pavement". But getting from road to pavement is a precise four step procedure:

Step 1 hesitate then turn to face the kerb so my back is to the cars queuing to run me over...
Step 2 choose a foot to lift onto the kerb then lift as I lean heavily on my walking stick 
Step 3 (assuming I reached the target with step 2) lift the other foot onto the same patch of pavement
Step 4 step sideways to face the way I want to walk...

My knees are bruised and scabby, like a sock wearing school girl after a few tumbles in the playground I giggle to Julie when I tell her about my recent falls. I shall buy you some Barbie knee pads for Christmas she titters...

Dear Santa 

Last year the council resurfaced many of the roads which I walk on. I expect this is because they don't want cars and their drivers car-tripping into potholes.

This year please can you make the pavements as smooth as the roads. 

Thank you

Love Dawn