Erica’s blog 18: February 4

The upside of being at home is I get to see my children more

I SEEM to have escaped the ravages of the chemo aftermath and yet again feel fine. Well, I say fine, my veins are extremely painful. Chemo is hard on veins so I will just have to grin and bear it. There are only four more sessions to go.

Apart from that my appetite is excellent, a bit too good! My taste buds are still in full action which is such a relief, but I know that this could change at any minute.

I do notice a strange sensation in my mouth, a little like trying to say a tongue twister and have noticed that on occasions I have to make a real effort to pronounce certain words well. I am also a little forgetful and find my mind wandering, which is unusual for me but nothing that concerns me. Keep eating well and exercising and all should be fine.

Today was World Cancer Day and there have been some fabulous programmes on Spanish TV. There seem to be lots of shops springing up offering wigs, scarves, mastectomy bras, swimwear, cosmetics and basically anything that will help people recovering from cancer to feel  and look as good as they can.

One shop even had stylish plastic cutlery because some people cannot stand the metallic taste of metal cutlery.

There is also an interesting online group called Change. Org and I have been following a Spanish lawyer who has petitioned the government for a change in the law with regards to benefit.

She has worked all her life and paid into the system, but the benefit system has let her down and she has received little or no financial support.

Another woman recovering from breast cancer gets up at 6am and goes out to fish to earn a living when she is in no condition to work. Pulling in the nets has aggravated her arm and made it swell.

Now I am no bleeding heart and I definitely believe in self-help and just getting on with things, but I was touched by their stories. Having received so many votes via social media they were on national television talking about their stories today. The world is upside down.

It seems to me that lazy people are given everything and working people who hit hard times through illness are sidelined. I will get off my soapbox for now, but finance is an important aspect and without the support of friends and family, having cancer and being unable to work could be more stressful than the actual side-effects of cancer treatment.

Aiming to keep stress to a minimum, I have been taking long walks by the beach and really getting into cooking. The upside of being at home for me is that I get to see my children much more.

It is so good to greet them from school, make them a meal, take them to their extra curricula activities, revise with them and just be with them.

I like knowing that they are having a hot, healthy meal… they are being super-charged with veggies and fruit which is great all round. I still make their favourite pear and chocolate cake or cheesecake, always room for goodies too!

Time to plan some fun things for the weekend. The children really deserve it. Lately they have astounded me with their shift in attitude.

They have always been very level-headed about their Mum having cancer but they have matured so much in such a short time. Total collaboration in the house now!

At last there isn’t a punch- up over who is going to wash up! Dirty clothes are put in the wash basket, beds are made and homework is done without a reminder from me.

I am really proud of them. They have finally understood that I can do most things, but the one thing I can’t handle at the moment is conflict or stress. I will seek out some meditation CDs, I think, and as a very funny yoga teacher up in the hills of Comares used to say “water my inner garden!”

I end on a high note and want to thank a very special lady called Melissa Jagger. We were at school together 30 years ago and she has a fabulous company called Fabrickids making bespoke towels and all sorts. I haven’t seen her since we left school, but via social media she heard that I had cancer and did a wonderfully kind thing.

Can you imagine my surprise at receiving a towel embroidered with my name made by her just for me? It gave me such a lift and a wave of emotion engulfed me. It turns out that my sister was in cahoots with her for ideas of my favourite things. Thank you, Melissa, I will treasure it. Good people do exist!

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    • Kevin

      12 February 2015 • 10:38

      Hi Erica. I have heard about your situation a few months ago and would just like to say we are going through the loop with the same problem. I pray and wish all is good for you and the children. You seem to be doing a great job of getting things into place.

      All our Love

      Marilo and Kevin

    • Erica

      03 March 2015 • 09:55

      Hi Kevin and Marilo

      Stay strong and I wish you both health and happiness. The children and I are doing well. Take care xx


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