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I am going to 11! (If you know, you know!)


Well, that escalated quickly! I had no idea that a potential side effect of my treatment might be hearing loss, but then, if the consultant had listed every possible impact, I may have declined this life-saving opportunity. I know that aging brings with it poor eyesight (already got that T-shirt), aching bones (tick), wrinkles (not doing too badly in this respect) and hearing loss, but I had been managing with struggling slightly to hear by turning up the volume on my TV and radio – that is until about 3 weeks into Cycle 2. It started with me experiencing tinnitus, more pronounced in my left ear and incredibly irritating. Of course, living alone and not spending much time with others for the last couple of years, I hadn’t realised just how much my ability to hear had deteriorated.


I have regular appointments with my CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) to discuss how I am feeling and also have well-being calls/appointments with my GP; so when I mentioned the tinnitus and finding it difficult to watch TV without subtitles, I was referred to the Audiology Team at the Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welshpool. The very thorough tests (very much like the field vision tests for eyesight where you press a button when you see a light, but for hearing, when you can hear a beep) revealed that I have suffered moderate to severe hearing loss – I was very shocked and realised how I had naturally adapted to this new disability. The solution was, naturally, hearing aids and I immediately thought back to the large flesh-coloured contraptions my late grandfather used to wear. However, this is the digital age and when they showed me images of what I would be getting, I was pleasantly surprised – they were tiny!


I had impressions of my inner ear taken and then waited for the custom-made devices to be made. It didn’t take long before I got the appointment for my fitting and so, with a mixture of trepidation and excitement, this week I went to collect them. WOW…...! As soon as the aids were switched on, I heard sounds I could swear I’d never heard before (of course this isn’t the case, but I’d become so used to not hearing a large part of the ‘upper range,’ that these sounds appeared to me to be new). Not only are they comfortable and discreet, but they link to an App on my iPhone and can be controlled via this App. I can create programmes for different environments and, when I receive a phone call, it goes straight into my lugholes – a bit like wearing ear pods permanently!


My delight at being able to hear again properly was obvious and, had it not been for social-distancing, I would have hugged the Audiologist! Once again, the NHS had come to my rescue and improved my quality of life, as well as my quantity of life with the cancer treatment. I don’t know how I am ever going to re-pay this service and all those who work so hard in it. This week there was the first nurses’ strike in the RCN’s history, and I fully support it. I made a donation to the RCN Strike Fund and posted off the pendants, wine bottle stoppers and painting Xmas gifts for the Haematology Team at the hospital. It doesn’t seem enough for all they are doing for me and everyone else who relies on the NHS, but it’s a gesture of thanks nonetheless.


This is likely to be my last post of the year and I want to thank each and every one of you who has read any of my blog so far. I appreciate all the messages of support and even a ‘like’ gives me a positive boost. As I prepare to spend this Christmas with my son, Charlie, (after being alone the last 2 years due to shielding because of my #BloodyCancer!), I wish you all a very happy festive season, filled with fun and joy and spent with those you love most. For me, 2023 brings another 8 months of treatment and it is a little daunting when I realise that I will only be halfway through on my birthday in February; however, I have coped so far and will continue to do as I am expected to do (a first for me as I am usually a rebel!).

Each day I try to remind myself that all any of us truly have is the moment that we are living in, and so I try to keep a constant focus on the present and the things that matter to me in each day or week. So, savour every moment you have and smile when you can – times are tough for everyone right now, but look for every silver-lining and cherish the good times.


See you next year and I hope you will follow my progress and share with anyone you think may benefit from understanding one person’s cancer journey. I will continue to be honest, hopeful and share with humour, after all, as the saying goes “if you didn’t laugh…”!

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carol_longshaw
Dec 19, 2022

Awhh Angela I’ve missed your tweets - they’ve not popped up for ages on my feed so I decided to look for your blog. soz about the hearing and the god awful horrendous treatment that you’ve had to go through I really hope you have a great Xmas with your boy (I was a single parent too for 21 yrs - still am though he’s 38yo now) I have a partner but the decades of just the two of you - well they are blooming precious and after 2 yrs of sole xmases - I hope this one’s a belter. love the bottle tops etc btw gorgeous keepsakes. See you in 2023 love and positive outcomes all the way la…

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anneatcanbury
Dec 18, 2022

So interesting about the progrrss in devices but also how we adapt to a loss of an important sense. Thanks for always writing so honestly, positively and insightfully Ange. have a wonderful Christmas with Charlie and May 2024 bring you lots of healing energy x

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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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