The Wonderful Macmillan Nurses

Macmillan Cancer Support nurses are wonderful people!   They have been a great support to me and my daughters over the last year, following my diagnosis of bowel cancer in February 2013.   When I ended up in the Intensive Care Unit at the local hospital with sepsis, they spent time on the phone talking to the family to explain what was happening and why.  

I am one of the lucky ones, fortunately, after the necessary chemotherapy, I had a clear CT scan this February.  There are many who are still fighting cancer and continue to have the support needed.   I was speechless to discover that the two ColoRectal Macmillan nurses who were helping me  job shared and had about 240 patients between them.    Yet they always made time to speak to me, even if I did have to leave a message for them to call me. 

There are only just over 3,500 Macmillan Nurses who helped 598,568 people in 2012, clearly more are needed.   Macmillan fund their nurses for the  first three years and after that time the long-term funding is taken up by the NHS or other partner organisations.  

Macmillan funding is almost entirely through donations and fund raising events, in fact 97% of their income is through supporters of Macmillan.

One such event is their MACMILLAN NIGHT IN on the 16 May 2014.  The idea is to have a great night in with your friends, and donate the money you would have spent if you went out to Macmillan.   What better way of raising money for a good cause.  

How about it?   Sign up HERE for your Macmillan Night In.

This Too Shall Pass

This last chemo session, only the second one of 12 has been wave after wave of relentless nausea during the last week.  It has ranged from what felt like mild motion sickness, just wafting around in the background, to  almost losing the last thing I had eaten.   It has been most unpleasant!  The anti-nausea tablets have been difficult to keep down and I will speak to the Chemo Nurse on Thursday to ask if they can prescribe me another brand.

My sense of smell has heightened to a level beyond my imagination.   I had two beautiful bouquets of flowers for my birthday and had to remove them from the lounge as the water in the vases, despite replacing it daily, hit me as I entered the room and made me gag.   The flowers didn’t smell too wonderful either – how sad.

Conversely my taste buds have plummeted in the other direction and everything has a peculiar taste and texture of cardboard.  Food has to be quite highly spiced for it to make any mark.   Even drinking caused a problem.   I am suppose to have 8 glasses of fluid a day, which proved tough when there is nothing to drink guaranteed not to make me feel nauseous.   Plain water sat heavy and even the Canada Dry Ginger Ale which did go down a treat was not working.  The green tea I had taken a liking to now tastes foul.   I am going to buy a bottle of Elderflower cordial with the hope that will hit the spot.   I am writing this on Day 12 and into my 5 free chemo days so feeling a lot better.

This brings me to This too shall pass a phrase to become my mantra.

My eldest daughter, Lizie, gave me a beautiful bracelet for my birthday with two engravings on the silver heart:

“This Too Shall Pass”  and “You are Loved” on the other side.

Recently Updated1 (1024x724)

This phrase is part of a proverb with the meaning that everything, good or bad, is temporary.    I will hold on the fact that everything bad is temporary.

The story behind the phrase goes that one day King Solomon said to his most trusted minister, “There is a ring that I want you to bring to me”.

“If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty,” replied his minister, “I will find it and bring it to you,

“It has magic powers,” said the king. “If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy.”

After many months Solomon said “Well, my friend have you found what I sent you after?”   The minister held up a small gold ring and declared, “Here it is, your majesty!”  As soon as Solomon read the inscription, he realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.

This is a very famous phrase with a lot of history.   I  found a number of poems entitled “This Too Shall Pass” one of which was written by the American poet Helen Steiner Rice (May 19, 1900 – April 23, 1981) which I found hit at particular note.   I hope, if you have not seen this before, you will find this of comfort too when needed.

If I can endure for this minute
Whatever is happening to me,
No matter how heavy my heart is
Or how dark the moment may be-

If I can remain calm and quiet
With all the world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me-

If I can but keep on believing
What I know in my heart to be true,
That darkness will fade with the morning
And that this will pass away, too-

Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break all of the chains

That are binding me tight in the darkness
And trying to fill me with fear-
For there is no night without dawning
And I know that my morning is near.

…Helen Steiner Rice