After effects

It’s now three years since I had the face sarcoma, I’m feeling frustrated and low at the moment. Having survived the cancer for the third time, I found myself out of work in August 2014 and I’ve found I either don’t have enough qualifications for posts that I should be able to do or as soon as a perspective employer discovers that I have no teeth doors seem to close for me.

It has been a long wait to have my reconstruction completed and having finally been granted funds for implants and then new teeth on the NHS I discovered that I’m on yet another waiting list that could be anything from six months to a year.

In the mean time I’m lucky if I get some agency work to keep the wolves from the door, along with this I’ve discovered if you work for agency you don’t get much support from unemployment who just want you to sign off if you’re working for an agency.

With the fact I now use a stick to get from A-B but not whilst at work, I just need some support on my leg and ankle but enough that some positions would leave me in pain and my ankle swells up so jobs standing up all day are out.


Weekly Writing Challenge : Mind the Gap

ereader vs books

This weeks writing challenge and corresponding poll has made me think what I like. Like others before me I can’t strictly choose one form over another. It depends generally on what material I’m reading.

Through many hospital visits staying in and attending various clinics I know I would be lost with the ebook reader on my Android Tablet and before that my Kindle. I found myself in the situation where my beloved Kindle gave up the ghost so I bought a tablet to enable me to do other things as well as read. I have found it helpful to pass many an hour whilst waiting for appointments and not having to carry paper books around with me. I would choose this method for reading fiction. The down side of ebook readers seems to be the fact that you are restricted by your items battery and if using a reader on the move one has to always remember to charge your reader up before leaving the house in this respect ebook readers have the edge over tablets and books have the edge over both these forms.

If your a Star Trek viewer you may have noticed they were using Tablets long before they came into regular use. All of those of us of a certain age well remember Scotty talking to a mouse on a computer instead of moving the mouse how far technology could take us in the future. Who knows some day in the not to distance future the battery issue may be resolved.

But if I’m looking up information in non-fiction I much prefer a pa.per book as I find it easy to find information as with this kind of book I don’t read it from cover to cover and will find myself dipping into certain chapters of just the information I’m looking for. Books are also easier to view text alongside picture, tables, or graphs as these tend to come up too small on an ebook reader.

So my decision for now is to  continue using a ebook reader for fiction and books for non-fiction.

I’ll wait and see what future technology may bring with bated breathe looking forward to even newer and better ways.


World Cancer Day

Today is World Cancer Day. Did you know there are over 200 different types of cancer? You can develop cancer in any organ of the body. And there are over 60 organs of the body where cancer can develop.

To find out about the many different types and things to look for drop into:

Let us think of some of those rarer cancers around the world and people suffering with Cancer every day not just today.

Once diagnosed with any type of Cancer you live with it for the rest of your life not just on Awareness days.

Where do I go from here?

It has now been 18 months since this latest attack of cancer started. I find myself asking the question where do I go from here? How do I get my life back on course?

I was always a person with low confidence and self esteem which now seems even worse.

I still have no teeth. A slightly lop-sided mouth.

Do I try and get back to my old career or try and find a new one.

My choices are:

  • Teaching Assistant.
  • Proof Reading.
  • Or some sort of office job but what I have no idea.

I will still need further treatment so is it still to early to be thinking along these lines?

In the past I could never succeed in landing a job (only could get as far as interview) which doesn’t help confidence stakes.

I am attending a job shop with MacMillan Cancer Centre at the UCLH with hopes they can help me and check over my CV.

I have been signed up to a getting back to work programme by the job centre but after one phone call in November I haven’t heard anything more from them.


Marvellous group of people.

Yesterday I went to the hospital where my treatment is taking place. There I attended a head and neck cancer patient group. This has never been done before. It came about because when I had one of my stays in the hospital I helped another lady who was very distressed after her reconstruction operation and the hospital realised that there was a gap in the services that they offered.

There were around seven of us all with sarcoma but different types plus a few support partners. During the course of the afternoon which was very emotional for some we discovered that although we had different types of sarcoma’s there were also similarities between us and our treatment.

There were some amazing stories of different journeys some finished and some like mine still ongoing.

I also found out about an organization called changing faces which I will blog more about when I’ve looked into it in more detail.

I wish to thank you all for sharing your journeys with me and listening to mine. Thanks also go to the McMillan support centre for hosting the meeting and listening to our views on how future patients maybe helped and supported,

Head and neck cancer is such a difficult journey as everything is out there for others to see, we have all had our dark periods and come out the other side. Now we have to learn how to live life after the cancer and move on to a new stage in our lives.

Hoping to hear from you all in the future.


How do you keep warm?

With the current cold weather it is important to find ways to keep warm. Some of the things I do to keep the winter chills at bay without running up an enormous electric bill are:

  • The use of layers of clothing its actually easier to keep heat in using layers rather than thick clothing.
  • Wearing fingerless gloves so I can still type etc.
  • Believable or not if I’m really cold I’ll even put a hat on. A person loses most of their warmth through their head.
  • Hot meals, casseroles, stews and soup.
  • Make sure all doors are kept shut to keep the heat in.
  • Use a tumble drier which helps circulating the warm air in the kitchen even if the tumble has an extractor taking away much of the air you will still get some warmth coming from the machine.

What sort of things do you do to keep warm?