A week of visitors

On 7th and 10th May, two weeks after the operation I had two days of visitors. On 7th Emma, Linda and Alison came to see me. Now this is massive for Linda as she never takes a day off so to come and visit me, to be out of the store for a few hours was a real show of affection from her. Anyone else and she would have said “put my name on the card or here’s some money towards a gift” and the words “I can’t go as I’ve got too much to do” would have definitely been included as it’s one of Linda’s phrases. Mom had been out before they arrived so that we could provide sandwiches and cakes 🙂 we all spent a few hours together at first in the garden, so Linda could have a fag (I was being good at the time and on a Ecig) but the weather wasn’t warm enough so inside we went.
It’s so funny having people in your home that you have worked with for years. Emma had helped me with my colour scheme in the front room. I had created a mood board thing and hours had been spent together trying to match the right shade of chocolate and creams in curtains.
I think they were impressed that I was doing so well. I was watching for their car to arrive for about 20 minutes before they actually did so I was in the street when they pulled up. It was just so lovely to see them, my BHS Kingston family, in my house, wow! After catching up with all the gossip they were gone too soon and I was soon asleep as everything tired me out but I was happier for seeing them and slept soundly.
On 10th I had a home visit from HR. Now to protect the innocent I have to give her a false name, so Ann came round and brought me a beautiful daisy plant for my garden. The weather was better that day and we sat outside. This meeting was important as I needed Ann to understand my need to be at Kingston. We agreed a return to work plan to involve my local store, High Wycombe and Kingston, but over an agreed time scale. Ann had her own troubles with health and I was honoured that she decided to share her story with me. She was to be my ‘point of contact’ at work from the senior management team and throughout my journey she has been amazing. I was dreading working out of my local store but again life surprised me as a met Mary, who is a lovely lady. She has had her own pain in life and at around 11 am when I’m in the store she makes me coffee and we have a chat about life and I wash up afterwards, thanks Mary for just being you.
Again I feel blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life to support me. I often think of the people going through cancer who maybe don’t have a garden to sit in, who don’t have a partner to look after them or the people who have financial worries to add to the shit that cancer brings. On that point a word of advice, if I had taken out critical life cover as part of my package at work, which would have cost me £100 a year, I would have received £90,000 upon diagnosis of cancer. Now money isn’t everything but £90,000 would have at least made me smile. I remember looking through the options on the form and thinking that I was too young for critical life cover, I’m healthy and maybe I’ll take it out next year, fool! So if you have such an option at work please take it out as cancer knows no colour, creed, gender, religion or the worst of all age. It strikes when it wants in whoever it wants. The word cancer scares the living day lights out of people, one in three of us will be effected by cancer and yet it’s a taboo word. If you don’t say the word then you won’t get it. The only thing we can all do is just hope that it doesn’t come knocking at our door or come calling for the people we love, cos if it does, trust me it’s a bitch!

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Married to Steve, I have two children - Rebecca and Richard. Steve has two children, Lauren and Chris. Rebecca lives with us (nurse Rebecca) and my mom Judy also has become nurse and housekeeper but lives in the West Midlands. My son is in the Army and comes home when he can. I am 47, born in 1967 and I was told I had bowel cancer on 22nd Feb 2015 and this blog is my journey through it. I hope it helps you as you were the reason I started it.

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