Saturday, 31 December 2011

Stepping into 2012

This is always the hardest post to write. The one where you sit and reflect on the last 12 months and try to sum up all the experience, emotions, ups and downs in a succinct and interesting blog post. This is my third version.

My challenge has been trying to cover all that has happened but trying to find the positive so that this isn’t dip into a sad and miserable post. I started by reading back over the last couple of ‘end of year’ posts. I realised that after 2009 and 2010 being quite adventurous with some big life changes, this time last year I was definitely burnt out. 2011 was to be about fixing myself – accepting depression, stress and anxiety and doing something about it, stopping the short term fixes and being open and honest with myself (and others), looking after myself, trying to be healthy and the building of friendships and relationships that had been neglected.

The biggest thing that has helped me in achieving the above and beating those demons is the love and support of friends who have been struggling with similar issue and challenges. For me, 2011, has been very much about building and being part of strong support networks, being there for others and working together through the dips and the difficult times. I have also recognised that some of the support networks I used to rely on are no longer as vital. I have made so many close and wonderful friends from Twitter and I hope that it continues but I have seen a more fickle side this year and been hurt by the playground it can become so I will be continuing but in a more reserved manner and not be so sensitive to those who chose to un-follow or not reply to me.

2011 has not been a year of good health for me, with Derek the Borderline Tumour taking 9 months of my year and putting me through endless scans, reviews, operations and tears. In some ways I feel I have missed so much – particularly through the summer months but in ironic way, Derek has saved me and forced me to fix myself and reassess my outlook and my attitude – I now know that I can’t do it all! The support network of family and friends has got me through the year and I am now more aware and grateful for those I have around me. And through it all I have found the missing part that I was always searching for. I have never really understood the whole ‘when you know.. you know concept’ but I know and now everything flows around it.

Looking ahead, 2012 is likely to be harder but I am stronger and I am trying to ensure my body and mind is as healthy as it can be so that is can prepare, deal with and heal faster after. On Monday I start my round of IVF and I am scared. This will be my only chance to have a child of my own and I am reminding myself of that every time I think of the ridiculous amount of injections I have to give myself. I hate needles. I am anxious about the side effects and the possibility of stimulating the cyst on my remaining ovary so that it grows to Derek size, but it is a risk I am prepared and have to take. I am so thankful that Carl will be with me as I start but it is going to be very hard doing it alone once he returns to our northern home. Next time I will see him it will be on ‘retrieval day’ and I just hope my body comes up with the goods. Following the IVF I will then be back in for another major operation but again, this time I will be more prepared. I will know what to expect, what I can and can’t do and the level of pain I will be under. I will also have systems in place for work so that I can take time off and out to recover without driving up the stress levels.

I see 2012 as being a very big stepping stone. I don’t really have any resolutions just the wish for me to feel as happy and content as this year. For Carl and I to continue to grow and build on our future, for my business to continue to be successful and prosper, for my friendships to continue to strengthen and for new ones to flourish and for my health and body to get back to being fit and healthy.

Last year I ended on that I was ready, this year I will end with my feelings that all will come right and will be ok:

I believe.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

I am not immune... nor amused!

This weekend I have discovered that I am allergic to Flucloxacillin. Spending a weekend with a head and face the size of Shrek's and the acne of a teenager has not been one of my most enjoyable moments.
I think it has confirmed my immune system and general health is shot to pieces. Since my operation in June I seem to get poorly as soon as the slightest feeling of being 'run-down' shows. My wounds were not healing from October's procedure so I went to get antibiotics to clear the infection and I end up with an allergic reaction. Typical!

I need to start looking after myself better especially with the impending major surgery in early 2012 and possible chemotherapy. How can any drugs make me better if my body can't support it and reject everything?

I have an awesome support network but I need to be able to look after myself better. Other people need me to be strong. Tomorrow we find out the severity of my nan's cancer and mum will need me to be strong for her.

Mum said in January this year that it was going to be a year of 'health issues' and boy has she been right.