Welcome Home

What’s that great saying? ‘Home is where the heart is’ that’s the one. I am lucky to have two homes, my actual home and my BHS home in Kingston. 9 weeks post surgery and 15 weeks since I was first signed off sick with possible appendicitis I was finally going back into work, back to Kingston 🙂
Anyone who has had time off work e.g. maternity leave will understand when I say that whether you like it or not you lose your confidence. Your working world has to carry on without you as what’s that other saying? oh yes ‘we are all just a number’. Emma and the team had continued to run Kingston without me. I hadn’t had to make a decision in months apart from basic functions oh and my all time favourite now of ‘where’s the nearest loo’!
They didn’t need me anymore, I was just in name only, a person that once drove them to distraction with one mad project after another. We had achieved so much together, such precious memories and now I was returning still trying to just cope with walking and carrying a handbag at the same time.
No one knew how much going back there meant to me apart from Emma and of course Steve, they understood my need to be there.
Your job and what you do in your work life is important but I understand that I need people around me, I in fact need to be needed. I had done regional roles in previous jobs but it didn’t make me happy because I wasn’t needed, or part of a team and their everyday lives.
Since I’d been off sick I have of course been in regular contact with Emma and Alison. Linda doesn’t do modern technology and when I received texts from her it would always makes me smile as I know a few short words would have taken a lot of swearing and about an hour or if she sent a longer text I know that John (her hubby) would have had to of done it for her.
Whilst being off I was so touched by the messages from my team from people I had not expected to get messages from. Being a boss is a job I do take seriously, I’m there to earn my wage not to win a popularity contest and some people just don’t like me and that’s okay. Steve says that I’m like Marmite, you either love me or hate me. I actually don’t like Marmite but I hope you get the point. So if your not a team player, you don’t like to do a decent job or you think that ‘that will do’ is enough then your not going to like me.
I thought I would just break down and cry just walking through the doors that day but I held it together. Everyone made a fuss, I had lots of hugs, my office was decorated, I had flowers, banners, a balloon and my very own welcome home cake 🙂

It was just so lovely to be there, when anyone asked how I was I replied my normal “I’m fine” which was true in terms of recovery and some said one of my all time favourite statements which is ‘gosh you look well’ This one cracks me up, is anyone with cancer expected to look like shit or close to death and how on earth does the person with cancer respond? I just say “thanks” and leave it at that however I have been tempted to say occasionally “would you like me to look a little more gaunt, maybe thinner, or just a little more death like?
On my journey home I think I cried most of the way home, I’d loved being there with them all, normal again but I knew I couldn’t go everyday like I used to, I knew with chemo coming I had just a few short weeks of being part of their lives again and to help Emma and then months of chemo would prevent me being there and I wouldn’t be needed again.
I got home and Steve asked how it went and I told him all about my day, full of joy and laughter but I didn’t mention the tears or the lack of confidence cos to discuss it would make my fears real, so best to pretend that ‘I’m fine’.

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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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