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Down, but not out!


It's been quite a while since I last posted on my blog, but I shall reveal the reason in the shaggy dog story which follows! If you have read any of my posts so far, you will know that the last year has been far from smooth going for me; my #BloodyCancer treatment is the constant in my life and dominates everything, but my ambition to move from Wales to be close to my son in Chichester has made a tough situation even more challenging. So make a cuppa (or pour a glass of wine!), sit back and here goes...

My last post in May (eek, how does time pass so quickly?) described the terrible situation caused by my cottage buyer pulling out of the purchase just 2 hours before completion, leaving me anxious and utterly lost. My son, Charlie, came to my aid and recommended that I still stuck to my plan to move down to stay with him for the summer, as I had originally intended. This I did. I arrived in Chichester on 12th June with a couple of suitcases and my huge box of medications, settled into the spare room and looked forward to a summer of adventure with my lad. I ensured that friends in the village took care of the cottage and gardens while it went back on the market. I felt relaxed and back in control for the first time in months.

The weather in June was glorious and I took advantage of being able to spend time with Charlie and enjoy this very special area, combining historic city life and stunning nearby beaches. I secured a GP practice and temporarily transferred my chemotherapy treatment from Shrewsbury to the local hospital. My treatment was going well, until a CT scan revealed the tumour on my spleen was not reducing as they had hoped - this was the start of quite a downward spiral in terms of both my physical and mental health. And, of course, in the background (although foreground in my nightmares) was the urgent need to sell my cottage to secure my new home. Although I had the comfort of being with my son and being less isolated and able to enjoy more activities in 3 months than I had in 3 years, my pain levels and fatigue remained the same - just awful. However, relief came from my pain medication (high levels of morphine and co-codamol) and also adrenaline (if this was available on the NHS, we'd all cope with pain more easily!). I did my best to put to the back of my mind the sale of the cottage and let the estate agents do their job and, in late July, I had an offer! I was 'back in the game', but this was to prove to be only temporary euphoria, as my buyer hadn't yet got his property on the market, so the developer deemed it 'an unproceedable offer' - in other words, because the chain wasn't in place, the time was running out for me to exchange on the Limestone property I so badly wanted.

I had a lifeline given to me by the developers (Bellway) when the third party agents (Moving Made Easy), put together a recommendation for a part-exchange; I was ecstatic as this solved all my problems and meant that I would be moving into Limestone Road in October as planned! I just needed this sanctioned by head office and then it would all be sorted and I could relax, knowing that my home was secure and the stress of the last 6 months would subside. I threw myself into life as much as it's possible in the middle of cancer treatment! I still had dozens of medical appointments, the debilitating side effects of treatment and the worry about my tumours, but I could cope better with my health concerns and finally sleep without resorting to Zopiclone. I saw my son qualify for the Triathlon World Championships (more of that in my next post), got all dolled up for Ladies Day at Goodwood Races and had a visit from my awesome sister (herself still recovering from a brain tumour). I also managed to have a wonderful time dressing up for Goodwood Revival (for those who don't know about this fabulous annual event, check out the link below, as it's well worth attending this retro weekend of classic car racing and vintage heaven). I managed to satisfy my craving to be creative by doing pottery painting classes (thanks to Biscuit Pottery for such a restorative and relaxing environment) and I coped with one day's activity by completely crashing out for the subsequent couple of days!

All I had to do, was wait patiently for the green light from the developer to say the part-exchange was going ahead and then I could feel secure and optimistic that I would finish my treatment and move into my new home by early Autumn. However, my bubble was about to be burst - yet again... The part-exchange was not approved and I received the devastating news that I had therefore lost the reservation on my new house. I was once again cast adrift, feeling hopeless and let down; ready to throw in the towel, move back to Wales and forget any plans to live happily ever after. I am pretty resilient, but this latest blow completely floored me. I was once again finding it difficult to sleep and had a permanent knot in my stomach. I had no appetite, so snacking on rubbish and my hair was once again falling out. I have been questioning the wisdom (or should it be stupidity) of trying to make such a huge life change whilst so ill, but with limited time left, even after treatment, I don't want to waste a day of time living close to Charlie.

However, sticking to the mantra that everything happens for a reason, I spent a couple of days in the doldrums, then picked myself up, dusted myself down and went into problem-solving mode! With Charlie working in Japan (with his new job involving Formula One!) and so no one to confide in over a cuppa, I decided to pop to the Bellway sales office to see if there were any options still available to me. The lovely sales consultant Bernie was on hand to listen to my woes and her empathy and kindness was just what I needed. I didn't expect to resolve anything, I just needed a cathartic moment, but Bernie's intervention completely re-shaped my mindset and between us, we've found an alternative option and it could just be better! The new plot is in a more suitable location, and whilst smaller in terms of floor space of the house itself, the garden is slightly larger and it still has the features I need to live comfortably for the remainder of my years. It's only a few minutes walk to Charlie's house and, best of all, it won't be released for a couple of months, so that gives me the time needed to complete the sale to the gentleman who has put in the offer on the cottage, or find another buyer who can proceed quickly. This really has to be the solution, doesn't it? I don't think I will cope with any more heartache and instability.

And that, my friends, is the shaggy dog tale of my rollercoaster summer! I realise that this blog began as a way of me sharing my #BloodyCancer treatment journey and I expected it to focus on the medical and physical aspects of chemotherapy and the drugs I need to take to cope with it, yet I now realise that sitting down and telling my holistic story is treatment in itself. It helps me to focus on how I have been feeling, reminds me of how strong I can be, but also highlights how vulnerable I have been the last year. I have just a little more time before the treatment ends and that scares me, because the day I stop taking my targeted therapy tablets and the anti-viral and anti-biotic pills, I know my cancer will begin to multiply once again. As for how long I have before it gets to the fatal stage again, no one knows; my consultant said it could be 2 years or even longer. Being the stubborn woman I am, I am going for longer! For now, I am focused on my health and my new home equally, because they are both vital to my quality of life and my longevity. So, for the second time of trying, here's putting my faith in the universe and hoping that my next blog post confirms my new address on Yorkstone Close! As always, thanks for reading, especially this long yarn! I am very hopeful that my next post will be the upbeat tale of me 'ringing the bell' signalling the end of my treatment. I will also be sharing photos of my trip to Spain to cheer on Charlie in the World Championships. If you have any feedback or comments, please add them below or message me. Finally, here are links relevant to some of the things I covered in this post:







Me and my boy!





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About Me

Angela.jpg

Hi, I'm Angela, also known as 'Space Angel ‘, on Twitter and 'Snakey' to my family (both monikers require a long story to explain!). I'm 58 and the proud mum of Charlie, my 26-year-old son. I live alone in my cottage in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, a beautiful village in the Tanat Valley in North Wales, and the location of the tallest waterfall in Wales.

#BLOODYCANCER

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