Friday, March 21, 2008


One of the silver linings about being ill and going part time is that I dont have to dedicate my weeknds and "holidays" to endless marking anymore, which was always such a stress at Easter when coursework has to be finalised .. my heart goes out to colleagues busy on that this week ..

The weather forecast is grim, even in France it is the same as here - I hope it DOESN'T acutally snow on our gite!

Meanwhile, here is a cheery pic of my n B, in Jean's house, with the Easter Chicks she gave us (which are obviously already eaten!)

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Another land-mark. I have officially resigned as Head of English at college and expressed the desire to work only part time next year. I am pleased about it, and know this is the right decision for me, but just occasionally I get a huge side-swipe of emotion that just makes me cry about it. I've hardly cried about anything to do with ME this year (other ppl's stories and TV drama have been safer vents for my weepy moments) but stuff to do with work ALWAYS sets me off.

I dunno - I don't see myself as "career-mad". I think I only applied for the job in the first place as a way of avoiding being bosssed about by a muppet! Since that rather reluctant start I like to think that I did a good job of managing the team and supporting all those students over the years. I will miss that side of it.

It's not as if I'm losing my job altogether, I can still do good lessons and make resources ... so why does it feel so sad? (thanks to Ann H for "being there" for me on Monday!)

Cancer eats away at your life, inside and out. It has unexpected repercussions and implications.

Some people might wonder why I am making that change anyway. There are two other women at work who have had cancer and kept their HoD jobs going, so why can't I?

I think it is mainly about the prognosis issue. Having a good prognosis would (maybe) feel different, but having a grim prognosis encourages me to make choices. That, and actually: just the luxury of a debt-free existance and a supportive partner means I CAN make this choice. Really it is a privilege to be able to change tempo in your life. Four other ppl in the English Dept have done this over the past ten years without being "ill" to prompt them into it. I no longer want to give 70 hours a week to a job and I am am happy, really, to make the change ..

Saturday, March 01, 2008


well here is a thing to share with you ....
Today I sort of had this imaginary flight of fancy in my head (can't recall what set it off) and I was imagining living for another 30 years and being 79 .. and somehow I realised that is the first time I've imagined myself seriously further ahead than a few months since this caper started

It feels like a momentous thing, somehow, to get back that sense of a future, however short-live that feeling is.

It also made me realise that for a very long time I have been totally resigned to the idea that my life-expectancy is short ... and how hard it is to think outside that idea (mainly cos my oncologist told me there's a 66% chance of it coming back this year!) hard to imagine being the 1 in 3 who gets a reprieve ... somehow ..

maybe I've been being too pragmatic in having that short-life idea in the back of my mind all the time... anyway, today's little spark of imagining a future was rather special ...

I mean I dont sit around imagining myself DEAD, or even being upset about that .. I'm pretty blase about that in fact, just a wimp at the idea of more pain and more pain and more pain that you have to go through with cancer before you get to the "peaceful oblivion" thing ....

"thinking positive" and live your life" mantras are more than just words, but I can't bring myself to be pollyanna and oblivious to the reality ... except that is might NOT be the reality .. the bus I sense hurtling towards me might suddenly slam the brakes on ...

and I might live to be 79