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.


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.


Happy New Year

2012-12-28 18.50.49

I hope you all had a good Christmas.

As I said in my last post, I went back into hospital just before Christmas, to have a screw and a plate removed, plus a hole repaired at the back of my flap. My tracheotomy scar was also redone supposedly to improve it but I’m not too sure at the present whether it has improved or if it’s worse now. They tell me that the operation went well but I’m going to wait and see after the swelling has gone down as I write this I think I still have a small hole, where the flap at the moment is so thick my surgeon told me it is a bit like seeing cheese and the stitches just pull through so only a few stitches were used hoping to let nature do the rest.

I wish you all a Happy New Year let’s hope for improvements for us all in the year to come.

Wishing you all health and happiness for 2013.

It's nearly Christmas a season of good will!

As we approach Christmas it brings to my mind what Christmas is really about. Its not about the presents. In my mind its about thinking of others and I think of all those that have crossed my path both physically and on social networking. I feel grateful to have got to know you all and for that I thank you. I am not religious but I still think of you and keep you close to my heart and in my daily thoughts. It’s with the support of friends just as much as family and close family that helps me through.

It helps to share ups and downs as I go along the road on my cancer journey.

On a positive note I have finally been dismissed for the Breast Cancer Care clinic.

What are your wishes from Santa for myself its to have my family around and a new full set of teeth but that’s not going to be this year maybe next.

As I Approach Yet Another Operation.

Today as I waited around in the hospital for another round of tests and seeing the various members of my surgical team. A man came into the waiting area with the tip of his nose missing making me think that no matter what we have to deal with, we find the strength from somewhere deep within ourselves.

I was only thinking the other day that when I hear of someone else feeling down I always seem to then feel down myself. Then this gentleman walked in seeming to be totally at ease with his own situation. We all think at some point that we can’t cope with what life throws at us. Yet no matter what we have our black moments pick ourselves up dust our selves down and fight for another day.

Unfortunately when we receive that dreaded cancer diagnosis, its like being given I life sentence.

I know for myself that after the breast cancer in 1999 I always felt I would never be free as its always there just in the background of each and every check-up will I be OK this time has it come back and now I have to have regular chest x-rays because my latest cancer can come back via the lungs. Its always a huge sense of relief when your told its all clear for another few months.