My Ovacome

Letting Grief Express Itself

I'm in the middle of a really hectic couple of weeks so I haven't been spending all that much time on the site and even less trying to offer any support in response to the numerous very moving posts I've read about the tough times many are facing. Sorry I haven't sent many individual messages. I have been sending good wishes - they just haven't made it into print!

A really interesting blog I follow is Marie Ennis O'Connor's Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer. This week she did a post on GRIEVING LIFE’S LOSSES AND FINDING YOUR NEW NORMAL and it has generated a huge amount of comment and discussion. The Ovacome Sisters might like to go along to journeyingbeyondbreastcance... to have a look and maybe join in. With the creativity and articulate expression that's been shown here you should all have valuable contributions to make!

Keep believing!


17 Replies

Hi Linda

I thought you were away? Anyway welcome back to us... Thanks for this info

Love x G x :-)


Out and about a lot with my niece. Spent last night in a very rainy Dublin (but enjoyed a super meal!) before dropping her at the airport.

A quick breathing space over the weekend before next week's excitement with the Coronation dress and the wine tasting event in aid of OC charities.

Phew, it's all go! :-)


Linda put you feet up now... :-)


Yes ma'am!


Hi there Linda,

I found the link very interesting .thank you for posting on Ovacome hope other ladies will read it ...

It has helped me in as much as I need to find the ' new normal me ' and realise that I cannot now do what I could before chemo and I have to let my body tell me what I can and cannot do ...

Have been wondering why I am now more tired since finishing chemo than when I was going through the treatment ...

I have to pace my self has to be the new word for me ' Pace '

So want to get to where I was 'before' but thats not going to happen yet as I now realise that .

Thanks Linda xx

Love Janet xx


Dear Janet

Your post took me back a few months. I'm sorry you're feeling so tired right now. I thought I'd offer a ray of hope about the new 'normal'. I had Carbo-platin alone from June to November 2011 and didn't feel the side-effects of tiredness until the last couple of treatments. I was told I would 'never' work full-time again. The tiredness, which wasn't every day, lasted for about 3 months after I finished the course, and I also noticed other side-effects such as an itchy rash all over face and body. In fact a mild course of anti-biotic for another condition sorted out the spots.

I returned to work in February and I built up my hours over a couple of months. I'm now back at full energy levels - for the time being anyway -and have a challenging job involving lots of travel and meetings. Even the slight memory recall problems are getting less and less. I thought I'd mention this as sometimes the 'professional' opinion can be a bit doom and gloom.

I have an aggressive Stage 3 cancer so I expect I'll relapse and will face more chemotherapy. For now Mine isn't the worst case scenario. Hopefully with your Stage 1 you'll make a good recovery from the chemotherapy and can expect the tiredness to go. It might just take a bit of time.

I hope this is encouraging. Xxx Annie


Thanks Annie ..

Thank you for that Ray of hope ..never have been the most patient of patients !

So glad to hear you are back to your normal energy levels and I do so hope it will not come back .

Back on 03 I had a very blood clot on the brain that took along while to recover from in fact it took the hosp three months to work out was wrong to begin with ...

I have been to see our school head this week about a phased return to my dinner lady job in Sept , she is brilliant ...she fully understands that I might not even be able to do the three lunch times we have planned for me .

I do private house cleaning too but hubby is going to help me with that as I clean for an lady in her 80s but she is more like family bless her ...

I am doing the dusting and hubby is hoovering which is a great help ...

Guess I was just not prepared to feel as tired as I have been feeling .

Interesting about the spots ..have a few of them too on my face at the mo ..Its my eyes that are driving me up the wall ..lack of eye lashes and my eyes are very sensitive at the mo .

Its going to be one day at a time I think and I have to try not to expect too much too soon .

Thanks again Annie xx

Love Janet xxx


Dear Janet

It was really interesting to hear about your return to work. You have a pretty physical sort of job along with the house cleaning too. My husband does the vacuuming but it's not that I can't do it - I think he likes to share things a bit these days.

About your eyes - I got Blephritis after chemotherapy. My tear ducts aren't too efficient and for some reason I had a blocked nose/sinus feeling for months. I was told to wash the eyelids with a weak baby shampoo solution and a cotton wood baby bud. That, along with the anti-biotic, seemed to do the trick with the eyes. Perhaps this might help you too - no harm in trying I guess.

It's funny talking to other people. I'd completely forgotten about the spots/itching and sore eyes. It seemed at the time that it would never go away.

Good luck with your return to work as a dinner lady. What lovely rewarding work - but also very physical - much more than me!

xx Annie


Hi there Annie,

Yes Annie life used to be so busy and I was always dashing here and there ..kept me fit too .

Miss the little ones very much as love my job ..

Have been a dinner lady since 1995 ..we have a lot of fun with the children and its has seen me through the loss of my brother and mum and dad ..

Its amazing how little ones can lift you when you are down .

Will try the eyes with the weak baby shampoo as have some from when our cat was still with till last August ..she passed away at 22 .

My eyes water quite a bit and as for my nose well its awalys running !! Was tring to tie my scarf the other day and had to stop because of the nose .....

Really theses are such small things and I have been so very lucky through out my treatment .

I do count my blessing very much so .

Love Janet xxx


Dear Janet, you seem to have been through a period of terrible loss. I'm so sorry to hear of your Mum, Dad and Brother. I think you're wonderful to keep positive all through that. I lost my dear Dad last March and within a month I was lying helpless in hospital. We've both been lucky to be the survivors and I think we're like-minded souls determined to make the most of what we have. Today it's sunny. We're having a really lovely Sunday. xx


Hi there Annie ,

Cannot begin to tell you how I felt after mum passed in 09 was like well there just me left from my birth family but then I have an amazing hubby Brian and a wonderful daughter Alison and son Alec back up team ! not forgetting such suportive friends ..

Two days before my Final chemo a lovely lady called Rita text me to wish me well with my last one .

She was our neighbour when I was a little girl , she still lives in her house with her lovely hubby ..her whole family have been touched by cancer and she has lost sibblings through it too .

ill health has always been around my family ..mum had Crohns ..never known a time she didn't have it ..So its always been stay positive ..she was pretty amazing ...

Thinking about you today xxxxxx

If you can do so Annie then staying positive is the way to go forward ..but not always easy I know .Its Sunny and cloudy here today so a bit of a mixture ..

off to Suffolk on Monday for a break .

Hope its dry !

Love Janet xxx


Dear Annie

Great to hear that you're doing so well and back at work.

I was working part time from home for a library advocacy body but it was confirmed at the same time as my diagnosis last summer that the govt funding would end in March 2012 so I finished work for good when I went in for my surgery in Sept.

At the time the implications of this barely registered as I was so worried about the cancer but now I'm really starting to absorb just how much I've lost. I keep myself busy but I had had quite a high-profile career and it's left a big gap. Just another aspect of loss.

Hope you stay healthy for a long, long time.



Dear Linda, It's hard enough to cope with cancer isn't it without the world going wrong round us. I'm having a tough time at work and despite working for a university and in the field of disability I was ousted from my job whilst I was on sick leave. I'm fighting it. Why not? What's a petty work problem if you're fighting to stay alive!

I'm really sorry your job wasn't even an option when you were ready to go back. It's been a major part of my life and reflects a part of who I am. I really wanted to go back and to work as long as I can be effective and I wouldn't dream of working longer than that.

I've had a lovely day today with my husband. We've had a project in the garden as it's lovely and sunny today. He's taken himself off for a sailing race and I'm going to walk the dog. When the weather is good you feel you can beat the whole damn world don't you!

I wish you a long long healthy happy life too. In fact I wish it for us all. xxxx Annie


Good luck with fighting your case, Annie.

I like the photo you posted earlier. The sun is shining here at the minute but there have been several showers and it's not very warm so you've done better we hav here. Hope you had a lovely walk.

Linda xx


Hi Janet

So glad you found the link useful. It's still very early days for you and I'm sure you will find your energy levels improve with time. I finished chemo in February and my body still let's me know when I've been overdoing it but overall I feel I'm making good progress.

Believe in you

Linda :-)


Yes I know the apostrophe in let's is redundant. Hate it when my iPad tries to be smarter than me! :-(


Thanks Linda ...

Its hard sometimes when people say you look so well ...and one is feeling shattered to say the least ..... but I will learn to listen to my body when it talks to me !

Love Janet x


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