Erica’s blog 15: January 14

Most things in life dependent on your state of mind and heart

THE Christmas tree and decorations have been taken down and it is time to think about the year ahead.

Whilst I love Christmas, I also feel a sense of relief when the festive season is over. It’s like turning over a new leaf. I’m not one for making New Year resolutions, preferring to face the year ahead with optimism, clear the decks and start afresh.

I have been feeling better than I did after my second chemo session because I have maintained a healthy appetite and even put on weight, but I have a bad chesty cough which I note has been harder to shift than normal. Before I became sick I would shake off any illness in the blink of an eye and have hardly ever taken medication in my life. However, I cannot risk my cough becoming more serious, so I have had to resort to antibiotics, which I dislike.

My arm is very sore. The trauma of the operation is coming out as the sensation returns to parts of my right arm previously blissfully numb and ignorant! I move my arm but must not lift anything heavy. It is quite hard when you have been a strong independent person disciplining yourself to do most things with the left arm or ask for help.

I dislike the fact that racket sports appear to be off my list too. I will review that later on!

It is all to do with preventing my arm from swelling up as I no longer have an operative lymphatic system on my right side.

I continue to receive many messages of love and support from all sorts of people. I am constantly asked how I feel psychologically. I remain the same as always, upbeat and positive. Sometimes I question it. Maybe I am not giving this cancer thing due deference?

Well, too right I’m not! I disregard it. I understand that I am going through a treatment process, but it is just another stepping stone and with time it will come and pass just like everything else in life. Physical pain is one thing, but emotional trauma is another ball game.

If you can keep an even course and avoid confrontation, stress and sadness you will be better equipped to fight off anything.

Most things in life are dependent on your state of mind and your heart.

Keep head and heart strong and you will give yourself the best chance whether you are fighting an illness or otherwise.

In two weeks I will be going in for round four of chemotherapy. My hair only fell out three weeks ago and it has already started to grow back, a very impressive fuzz I might add! Utterly incredible and saves a fortune on hairdressing and shampoo! Keep looking for those silver linings!

I will sign off now as it is late and my body is telling me to go to bed… she who must be obeyed!

If anyone wishes to write to me or ask any questions I am only too happy to help.


Readers’ response

Dear Erica

I’m Spanish and a regular reader of EWN and I would like to say to Erica Russell how much I love her column ‘Health and Beauty’. It is the first page of the newspaper I read.

I like the way she writes and her positive attitude about everything. How much good she does to everyone who reads it. She is an example to everybody in her situation.

I pray for the complete cure of her illness and I wish her the very best for the New Year 2015.

Alborada Laorden, Palma de Mallorca


Dear Alborada

I was so thrilled to get your letter and very touched that you should take the time to write to me. Thank you for your kind words and good wishes. The very best for you and your loved ones for 2015.

Warmest regards, Erica


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