Getting a Grip (maybe)

S2 phoned today. I felt honoured (whoops, my reluctant respect for her status is showing). She asked (among other things) if I had considered counselling from CancerCare. I said that I was aware of the option and would bear it in mind, but that I felt I had a lot of good support. I have had mostly good experiences of counselling/spiritual direction at times in the past, so I’m not at all averse to it in principle, nor to the suggestion that I might need it. But I fear there are some counsellors who might fall foul of my overactive bullshit detector —

Of course now I’m wondering if S2’s question was a standard one, or whether she actually does think I am more screwed up than most.

I also had a phone conversation with my bc nurse. I suppose it is her job to be reassuring about hormone treatment. And she did quite well. So why have I taken a tentative decision to go for the treatment?

– because of what Prof Michael Baum says about the risks of surgery (possibly upsets delicate equilibrium thereby facilitating growth of dormant cancers). If this is true, I probably need to get those high oestrogen levels down.
– because I can always stop if it is too bad.
– because it might not be too bad. It sounds as if the Zoladex is worse than the Arimidex (I am almost inevitably in for a load of hot flushes I think), but the bc nurse said that weight gain – or at least huge weight gain – is not as common as on Tamoxifen. So here’s hoping. I am concerned about the risks to bone density, but would be monitored carefully for that. Of course, the big recommendation here is exercise. What a pity I hate exercise. Got to try to do it. Have ordered a pedometer as a motivation tool.
– because I don’t want to be left alone with all this. This is odd (and a bad reason for going for it). I have a real push-me-pull-you attitude towards the medics. I wish they had never bothered me, but now I’m here —

Oh dear, I think I’m in danger of getting boring. I feel boring, sitting at home with not much get up and go, and everyone else whizzing back to their important September lives. As is my habit, I make a small list of small things to do for each day, but I’m not getting through them. S2 says I should expect to feel tired for a while yet, and the hormone therapy is likely also to take energy out of me, so I should probably give myself some breaks. However, I think I feel better if I can say I have used at least some of my time well (must be the protestant work ethic). So, everybody, I am going to be accountable to the Blog. Here’s a list of things I will try to do tomorrow:

3 sets of physio exercises (I have been pretty good about these, but they are boring).
Pelvic floor exercises (because menopausal symptoms coming soon with a bang)
Piano practice (always good for me in many ways when I get down to it)
Get letters sorted for research project, including MGS
Go for a walk (say, 20 minutes)
Do one lot of laundry
If not wet, do some light gardening, e.g. a bit more cutting back
Cook tea (with back-up team in necessary).
Read my book (Rose Tremain’s “Merivel”) for a sustained period of time.

I’ll let you know how I go. I won’t be rewarding myself with chocolate, so “likes” for a completed list appreciated!



  1. Hi Elizabeth. have you considered/looked into natural alternatives to Arimedix, Zoladex etc?
    There are loads of interesting articles
    I was on celebrex for my health problem which caused me to end up in emergency surgery since this I have been on piascladene (soya /avocado based alternative which has been proved to do better in clinical trials and has no side effects.
    Also look into diet i;e; avoid sugars etc etc and eat loads of veg and fruit etc Look into which help/hinder your condition

  2. For all the getting of a grip – feel gripped/held through all of this! you thoroughly deserve it!! xx


  3. you are writing such a beautiful, honest, thoughtful account of your experience, elizabeth–it is brave and deeply honest, makes me feel the place you’re living in–no matter how little else you’re accomplishing in these days of taking care of this this is a book in the making

    • Thank you Dona; I would like to think there could be a book in here, but thousands of people do blog about their cancer. I would have to have a USP. Still trying to get something published in the national press —

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