Tuesday, 8 September 2009


The pub in Glyn Ceiriog - our favourite place (not the pub but the actual village)
When I was growing up, one of the many pieces of advice given to me by my mum was.... "in life, you have to be like a tree which bends in the wind. If a tree stood rigid, it would snap, learn to bend....". I have always followed this advice, adapting to change really well and not being too bothered by it.

This week, I have found myself to be snappy, irritable, naggy....... Why? I ask myself. Then I realise that I am at a transitional phase of my cancer treatment. On Thursday; the 19th anniversary of my big brothers death; will be my last dose of chemotherapy. After 12 rounds of chemo over six months, I will be glad to kiss goodbye to that phase in my life. I then move onto the next stage which I haven't thought about much, the radiotherapy and it scares me. However, like every aspect of cancer treatment you have to put on that "stiff upper lip" and soldier on..... It is rather like fighting a war with cancer. One mission is soon to be accomplished then on to the next and the next and the next until peace can be declared once more!

So, having never been phased by transitions before, I am surprised that I find myself feeling the way I feel at the moment.

This thought leads to another thought.

This time it is with autism and those with communication problems. Transition is hard for them as their security lies in routine and mundane daily grind. I now know what it feels like to be my child...... I now understand just how hard life is for them, dealing with situations that I have taken for granted all of my life. Simple changes in routine such as going to school a different route, a school play instead of the usual work.... all these tiny tiny little things that we all take for granted because we are ABLE to bend in the wind.

Cancer has taught me so much in life...... Mainly.... not to take ANYTHING for granted, be it transitions, being able to adapt to change, my family & friends, my life........ I am also able to discard the unnecessary and the unwelcome and focus on what matters.
Transition.......... Bring it on!!!!!


  1. Hi Sara
    You pretty much said it all.... cancer changes us, in every way...glad your chemo will be over soon, by the way, I finished mine in late August and I feel stronger every day, you will too....
    Its not easy, but we have to be brave soldiers and do what what we have to do.... I am happy you will start feeling better after your last chemo.
    Take care of yourself...hugs

  2. You'll find radiation so much easier than chemo.
    Love the village picture. Are you and your family fluent in Welsh?

  3. Your mother gave you wise advice!!
    Transitions are hard and you are certainly learning this more with cancer than with anything else. It is hard to go from one to the other (chemo to radiation). But it also signifies the next leg of the journey.
    I understand you being "afraid" of radiation. I can tell you that I breezed through chemo and didn't mind it at all..but radiation? I was a mess. I think it wasn't so much the radiation itself as it was ending one part that I visualized helping me to live...as long as I was having that poison I was doing something strong to kill cancer cells. But radiation? I was giving up something I felt was "strong" and going to something that was so very unknown. And radiation was every day, 5 days a week. Chemo was one day every 3 weeks. I was at the hospital daily for radiation and it just made cancer so much more "real" to me. I was a mess that first day!!!!!

    What I love about this post is that you are seeing the benefits of breast cancer. That you know understand first hand what life is like for those with autism. You always understood it, but now you fully grasp the difficulty with transition from having walked in those shoes. It has increased your compassion and empathy 100fold. As I say so often...cancer is a gift if we look for what we have been given.

  4. Oh Sara...yes so many lessons and transitions through cancer. But as Sherry said, you are seeing the benefits and understanding. I think you had it all along to..just now your perspective is straight on.

  5. Hi Sara.
    It certainly hasn't been easy for you, has it! I hope we all learn new things from this experience and take what we have learned and hope that it stays with us always. Radiation itself is easier than chemotherapy but it is more time consuming every day even though you are there only for a short time each day.
    I love your last paragraph...transitions, I hope we can all make that change smoothly :)

  6. Hi Sara~
    I found you through Sherry Lee. I too have been in your shoes and was given 3 months tops. That was 18 years ago and I am still here :) I love your Mum's advice and it is so very true. With your attitude and views I have no doubt that you will be strong and stand tall, bending when you need to.
    Much Love,
    LuLu Kellogg

  7. I will remember you especially tomorrow. How did you big brother die?

    This month is also a sentimental month for me. My little ( he would be 20) boy was born. To me, my healthy boy I wanted had died the day he was born. Instead, I was left holding the "shell" of him for 55 days.

  8. Oh so sad! My brother died in a car crash, one of his tyres blew and he died instantly. That was 19 years ago. So sorry for your loss :0(

  9. So true what you say about transition. As for Glyn Ceiriog it's a lovely place - I used to go horse riding in the hills around GC. Wonderful. We'd often head over the tops to Pontfadog for lunch and tether the horses outside the Craig Hotel (now a private house). The Glyn Valley Hotel in your picture do some nice meals (nowhere to put the horses though!)


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