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A way of moving on



My blog has been since 2006 a partial record of my life, fiirst as a caregiver and now as a widow I have never worried about what I wrote or who read it as it is a personal journal but one that might always resonate with others. Sometimes it is like a holiday journal, it may be about my family or what is happening in my life, I don't think it matters.  The benefits have been that I have had a way of recording what is happening from a personal point of view.


I am now 70 and for the past 8 months on a different journey as the result of finding a dark spot on my left leg had become a melanoma I climbed onto the medical merry-go-round It is a hard  thing to suddenly discover you have a malignant melanoma and has resulted in having three operations  so far. I am still recovering from the last one. I just spent a week in hospital and it was not a good experience as my local hospital that is an ever growing complex does not seem to be able to cope with what I need doing. 


It seems sometimes as if we do not keep up with all the new knowledge and try to substitute technology for teaching and so fall behind. The hospital was rolling out a new scheme to computerized the medication input so nurses were all looking at screens not patients. Which meant that call bells went unanswered and everything else took second place. I must say that although I am still not confident that the infection has gone I am glad to be home. At least here I can set my own hours, eat my own food and it is quiet enough to think my own thoughts.


So I have decided that as soon as I am able to drive again I need to plan some different activities. I missed out on most of the summer activities and several parties I would have loved to attend. I haven't visited my son in Broken Hill since last July or seen any of the grandkids since Christmas. I feel as if my whole life has been consumed by medical matters, so many tests and xrays and scans, blood tests and interviews. I need some leisure and pleasure time now.  I know there will be more tests as I am in several studies now but I don't want my life filled with that


I have once again really appreciated the friends who have shown their concern and offered help.  Not that they're able to help in the way  I need but the fact that they offered. My daughter and daughter-in-law have been great transporting me from test to test and Shirley has organized a lot of my care. The recovery goes on. Hopefully no more time in hospital, I would like to have time to enjoy autumn and the warmth of the sun will help me to heal. I have to stay in my house for at least another week.


So what have  I learned from all of this? As usual that life is uncertain, that at some stages life seems to be passing me by. But that's never the truth is it ? We learn something from every event we go through, that we have so many opportunities to see our lives from a different angle and even something that may allow us to make life changes. I met women who have suffered greatly yet are still ready to laugh at life. I find that very inspiring. I hope that I can act as bravely as they do in my turn.


I know not everyone finds a sickness like cancer or stroke easy to cope with but it certainly brings out the best in some people and I am happy to know so many in my own life. The  WAGS group are still my best supporters. I owe so much to them. I wonder how someone who is already looking after a spouse, partner, son or daughter can still find time to reach out to others. But that's what happens. And I am very thankful for that. In time I will endeavour to repay them or play it forward.



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you are handling this new uncertainty in your life so gracefully.  I have noticed if you want something get done ask busy person & he will find time to get job done, same way people gone through their own trobles in life have empathy to understand trouble of others. after my stroke I have become more aware of struggles of others.







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Hi Sue, I'm back on the medical roller coaster myself. Not as immediately dangerous as you are going through but sufficiently uncomfortable that what you say here resonates deeply.  The issues in your "little" hospital appear to be endemic,I spent 5 days in the Alfred here in Melbourne and it was so frustrating seeing the nurses either unwilling or unable to answer call bells in a timely manner.


However I did meet someone who's just starting on the brain injury recovery journey (she'd recently had a brain tumour removed) and she said it did her no end of good to share a room with me and see that recovery was possible if not perfect. we are still chatting via text as she has now moved on to a rehab centre.


I do hope this new chapter of your life comes together for you soon.


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Finally got the two leg drains out so only one more to go but that one will have to be on for up to three months. I need to make an effort now to stop being the patient and start being me, even if it is in loose fitting dresses to disguise the drain, another learning curve for me.




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