Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Old Girl is Slowing Down

The Waratah is the floral emblem of NSW. This is my very first flower on a shrub that has been in for some years; some joy in my life. Perfect timing!

My breast cancer recurrence. The lesion is progressing rapidly, requiring daily dressing changes. There are no answers to the problem!

'There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. One should sympathise with the colour, the beauty, the joy of life. The less said about life's sores the better.'
-Oscar Wilde

Not too much to write about this post, mainly because of fatigue, and lymphoedema, which has the ability to control my life. Suitable management is certainly required and I have not yet found the secret to maintaining lymph flow.

The excitement of observing my first NSW Waratah brought with it much joy, given that we had a period of heavy rain and these shrubs do not like 'wet feet.' I have thoroughly enjoyed looking out through the kitchen window at the magnificent red Waratah, knowing that they are not particularly easy to cultivate. Having lost one bush makes this one even more 'special.'

You may notice some changes in my writing. I am no longer thinking 'straight' due to large doses of opiates required to ease pain symptoms. I have suggested to my doctor that we work only towards making me as comfortable as possible; seems to be working, but not sure if I am making 'sense' with my writing or on the phone.

I have been assessed, and approved, for a Community Aged Care Package. When the Assessor arrived, she made the comment that I must surely know people in high Given that these packages are for the aged - usually 70 and over - the assessor was amazed that I had made it as far as I had. The package provides assistance, subsidised by the Australian Government. To reduce the cost of residential care, the Government provide home services, keeping the elderly, or disabled, in their own homes for as long as possible. I fit in there somewhere! The assessor was fantastic, stating that one of the workers does commercial cooking and could therefore prepare meals in advance for both Haydn and me. Seven hours per week at a cost of less than $10 per hour, is marvellous. I am thrilled with the standard of care that we receive. Haydn has made it clear that he will do whatever it takes to keep me at home if that is where I wish to be. I think care would be difficult as, bein classed as 'High Care,' I would be placed with the elderly, including dementia patients etc. I would have no control over my pain medications and would be at the mercy of staff in an institution. Cannot imagine requiring medications for 'break through' pain, only to be told it would be given when they are ready. Knowing that some partners find it difficult to cope with a breast cancer diagnosis, let alone having to deal with what Haydn goes through daily, I now see a side not seen previously. He amazes me! Although I have waited 15 years, I am so pleased that he is here with me. I cannot fault the gentle man that 'fronts' up regularly to take excellent care of me. Had I left when I had previously considered it, I would be struggling financially, emotionally and physically. That would have presented multiple problems for me.

I require assistance with showering due to the removal of the dressings, and the bleeding that follows, making it impossible to shower myself without help. Having the use of only my left hand it is a bit of a trick as we endeavour to stem the blood flow. The community nurse that visits to do my dressing changes three times per week is going to start ringing me when she is at the gate. I will then be able to prepare myself for the shower, she will be close by when it is time for me to get out. Sounds like it may be just what I need and it will give Haydn a break. He is concerned that if something should happen to him there will be no-one to help me with personal care. Given that my package could include some personal care, including showering, it would be too confronting for someone, other than a Registered Nurse, to help me out of the shower. All in all, I believe I am in the best place possible, with the most appropriate care suitable for my needs. I also have the Palliative Care team on hand. They are a phone call away and I have come to know them well over the past three years.

I have now removed the caption and appear to have lost something in the process. I am not sure if I managed to cut and paste the complete entry so do hope the end makes sense.


Kaz said...

Chez as we have talked have no words just know i love you lots and always in my special prayers.Wow it sure has grown alot.Big hugs my dear friend,your in my heart always.

Loads of love Kaz.xoxo

Kaz said...

Chez as we have talked have no words just know i love you lots and always in my special prayers.Wow it sure has grown alot.Big hugs my dear friend,your in my heart always.

Loads of love Kaz.xoxo

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I love the waratah blossom, a new one for me. Yes it seems to be good timing.

You write clearly despite the pain medications. I am glad that you are receiving such loving care.
But it must be so distressing to see this evil increase before your eyes.

Edwina said...

Cheryl, The picture of your Waratah is absolutely beautiful, they are one of my favourite native plants and I'll be sure to think of you when ever I see them flower from now on.

I am so pleased that you have finally been approved, for the Community Aged Care Package. I do hope with the services they offer will make your life more comfortable at home.

It is extreamly hard for me to put into words what is in my heart...But I want you to know I read your blogs regularly with a heavy heart and that you are in my thoughts and prayers...always!

Sending you gentle hugs and love~Edwina Xx

Donna Robert said...

Amazing to see that a flower has bloomed for the first time at this time in your life. Perhaps a sign of peace and time. They say everything comes into a life for a you watch this flower continue to grow may it remind you of all the friends that have grown in love with you. Your as beautiful as this flower Cheryl as as you look at it, may it reflect your beauty and determination to grow! Hugs my dear friend xoxo

Bruce said...

Thanks for sharing this blog, love to see your determination. All about breast cancer

Cheryl said...

Sue, exactly what the onc said. This is right before my eyes, under my nose odour wise, unfortunately.
Thanks for visiting.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for visiting Bruce. It cedrtainly has been a tough battle!

Cheryl said...

Donna, as if by the hand of angels, the Waratah has blossomed at this time. I will choose to reflect on your words, making them my truth, by allowing my flower to become a reminder of those of you have grown in your love and support of me.
Much love always Cheryl xoxo

Rama Ananth said...

Even the flowers which you love so much has bloomed, as if just for you, to see you look happy whenever you look out of the kitchen window. They want to show their love for you too, and despite the weather conditions not suitable for them they are there waiting there to see your eyes light up with happiness as you see them. Isn't it amazing how nature too is very much by your side.
I don't see anything wrong with your writing, everything is very clearly put by you. So no need to worry you are as fine a person can be in your situation.
You are an inspiration to so many people.

Diana Doyle said...

Dear Chez,

Thinking of you.....

I'm glad you can stay at home and have the help you need. I know Mum had a team of helpers that became like family to us that kept her comfortable and sane! :)

I think your waratah is a gift sent to you from above...and I'm so happy there's something so beautiful just outside your window for you to focus on.

Sending love Chez, just love....thans for keeping us all updated. I've been wondering how you are.

hug to you Chez
Diana x

Beth L. Gainer said...


I have always appreciated your honesty. Your post was completely comprehensible. Sending loving thoughts your way.


Diane Rodgers said...

Hi sweet friend,

I have come here tonight as you have been constantly in my heart. I feel devastated knowing what you are now going through with this lousy cancer ... I have so many questions and want to scream at God for allowing this to enter your beautiful body. Nothing makes any good sense to me ... nor to you I am sure of that.

You have shown your courage and strength throughout all of these past years of fighting this disease.... and yet I know you have shed many many tears and dealt with so much pain and disability.

God is preparing you for a total healing my dear will be completely healed and young and free once again. There will be such joy awaiting you we can even imagine such perfect joy and total love.

I never want to say goodbye to you and yet I feel the time is near and I must try to explain to you what you have meant to me. Our kids... dying so young have brought us together and one day we will all meet again.... we will finally get to meet in person when God calls us all home. The time is in His hands and it will be in a twinkling of an eye when we share His Kingdom together....forever and ever.

I pray your kids get to spend time with you soon....your grandkids also and all who can possibly be with you. I will pray this happens for all of you...

It is with such great sadness I write this to you ... you have meant the world to me for the past years...Know ...Please know how much I have come to love you and admire you...

May God keep you in His care until you are home with Him and all whom you love ....


nancyspoint said...

Don't worry about your writing, it's perfectly fine. I'm so relieved you are getting care you are satisfied with. I am thinking of you every day. And the flower is lovely. All my best, Chez.

Julie Goodale said...

You are making perfect sense to me. I think of you constantly & am so glad you are able to be where you need to be.

I love seeing the waratah bloom.Quite amazing!

gillian said...

What an amazing flower. Never seen one like that before. Thinking of you a lot. Hope you are getting help for your lymphedema. Am stunned at the home care problem. There is nothing like that in South Africa that I am aware of.

Sean said...

It is not all of life to live,
nor yet all of death to die.
For life and death are one,
and only those who will consider
the experience as one
may come to understand or
comprehend what peace indeed means.
- Edgar Cayce -
The quote comes first because as I sit here, the emotions I feel, I just cannot seem to put into words.
I am not angry at God, I am sad...but I do thank God very much for the opportunity of knowing you. You mean more to me than you can ever know. I love you Cheryl and will always be holding your hand. Bless you my beautiful friend.

Cheryl said...

Gillian the NSW Waratah grows in the same conditions as the protea so you should have no problems if you can procure the plant.
I too am amazed by the available services funded by our Government. I am definitely learning more and more about the availability as my disease progresses. We are truly blessed!

Anonymous said...

I missed you so!

Anonymous said...

It must be about now that your son went to Heaven. I hope you're doing well with that. Especially with all else in yor life. you are a brave lady. Susan

Cheryl said...

Emmy, I so miss you, and all my blog buddies. Thinking of you..

Cheryl said...

Susan, you are so sweet. 16th is his birthday, while 21st is the anniversary of his accident.
I am actually to the point of wondering if we are going to be together again as you will see from the next post.
Thank you for sharing the journey.

Anonymous said...

Dave was a bush pilot in Alaska...a very unforgiving country. He flew into a mountainside in bad weather. He was on his way to his work....building a road from one bush village to another. I hope if you are re-united with your son, that I'll somehow know. I want to have some comfort in the hereafter. Safe journey to you. All my love, Susan