What happens when you’re on Santa’s ‘naughty’ list

Hello People.

I discovered a few days ago that I have cancer.

This is a right bummer. Not at all what I had in mind for Christmas, and a definite threat to those blissful hours of wallowing in the balmy Pacific Ocean which I have been hanging out for all winter.

But there you go, shit happens. Or that’s what I manage to think in my better moments.

Normally I wouldn’t pass on this sort of personal information. It compromises my tough-old-bag image and my rabid dedication to privacy and self-reliance.

But writing has always been my outlet, it seems a bit late in the day to bother changing my ways in that regard and I suspect avoiding the elephant in my mental room is going to take more effort than I can be bothered raking up, so I apologise in advance and suggest you skip the bits that reek of self-indulgence.

Meanwhile on Monday, I opened the door to my daughter Emily (D1, who lives nearby and has dropped everything to help me) to find my eldest grandson and my other three children there as well, Sam, Jane, Kate and Jake (Son, D2, D3 and GS) having also dropped everything and driven up from Sydney (500 km south).

Cancer aside (and cancer doesn’t deserve to be anywhere but aside) I am so lucky it takes my breath away.

Emily and LlewellynSam and Dan


Kate and Iain



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20 Responses to What happens when you’re on Santa’s ‘naughty’ list

  1. I have been there and done that and for what it’s worth, it’s almost 8 years and here I am. I understand about privacy, but if you feel inclined to reveal what kind of cancer, I might know something … or not. Being a patient and having a lot of friends who were patients too, you wind up learning a surprising amount. Take care of yourself and hang on .

    • rugby843 says:

      I agree. My cancers were twenty years apart. So it was like…hey! I’ve learned too, and I think all of us would love to help if we could.

    • Thank you so much, both of you. At the moment my intention is to get the tests out of the way (PET scan done, biopsy on Monday) and then set about enjoying Christmas and the whole-family visit (all children, children-in-law and grandchildren) that happens at this time each year. I’m not in denial, but I’m not going to dwell on it now and spoil everyone’s Christmas/summer holiday. Not to mention mine!

  2. Wow. ❤ That's an abysmal diagnosis. I had it. It just pissed me off, but it is also — for now? Forever? Gone.

    Marilyn is right and it's not only that you write but we read and care. It's not self-indulgent when you're trying to wrap your head around a BIG problem, a big change. It's thinking with the added bonus of listeners/readers. If you need us (me, anyway) I'm here.

  3. rugby843 says:

    It’s okay, Write, talk, Mail, do it all, it’s okay. I’m not talking as another old lady, no offense giving you my permission, I just have been there done that and would be happy to listen to anything you have to say. My email is cjscan_1999@yahoo.com. Write anything anytime. It’s great having your family around, but sometimes you want to ask or say something that you don’t feel comfortable discussing with them. I’ve had uterine and bladder cancer, survived both. Please let me help in any way you might need. Otherwise, I’m wishing the best for you.

    • Thank you – and I assure you no offense taken! I am very comfortable with being old (the oldest of you all, I think, at 74) particularly now: I don’t have a bucket list, having done those things i wanted to do and ended up where I want to be. I may well be angry later, but at the moment I’m fairly philosophical except on the question of abandoning my children. Won’t go there or I’ll cry (again).

  4. You have a Beautiful inheritance (family) surrounding you,you will conquer!

  5. Clive says:

    I’m not sure if ‘like’ was really an appropriate button – they need the Facebook selection! – but it applies to your approach, not your news. I’m very sorry to hear that, but it is wonderful that you have such a loving, supportive family. I’m sure they’ll help you fight it. Take care.

    • My family are the best, the VERY best! Even my 18 y/o grandson has more care and compassion, commonsense (and sense of humour) in his little finger than many adults manage in their entire lives. And none of them will let me NOT take care of myself!

      • Clive says:

        That’s wonderful to hear. It sounds like you’re being well looked after. I hope you can have a good family Christmas together.

  6. Helen, my kindred spirit in Australia, I was shocked, going through the reader, to see this post. I am so sorry and will send as many good vibes your way as I can. You know, I think you must have a lot of friends in every part of the world who will do the same. Don’t hold out, don’t apologize in advance for anything, don’t suppose anyone will want to skip past anything you say. Open your heart, let it all hang out, especially what you call “self-indulgence.” Let your light shine, let the rivers flow. Reach out to those connections. We are your community, your followers and friends in the blogosphere. Write your heart out and it will come back to you with a collective spirit and feelings that may amaze you, or not. I think you know that already. Know this too, and take it into your heart: You are worth all the love you will get.
    And my goodness, what a beautiful family!

    • I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply, but the truth is, I’m overwhelmed by so much care and kindness. My children tell me I have to learn that people want to help but that’s a hard one for me, dedicated as I am to fierce independence.
      I suspect that ‘letting it all hang out’ would get me into more trouble than I want even now, so I shall try to be circumspect. We’ll see! It’s so tempting, sometimes, to let it rip!
      Have a wonderful Christmas in your little piece of Paradise as I intend to in mine. I will think of you in your snow as I sit in the sun and eat prawns!

      • Good to hear from you Helen. Sorry, I may have gotten a little carried away. I do that sometimes. It’s the nature of the beast. I will think of you when I touch my stone tomorrow morning.

  7. Helen, that is a bummer! I’m so pleased you’re surrounded by such gorgeous people who care.
    My, What a good looking family! I do hope you are able to come to terms with your illness.
    Some cancers allow you time, so I hope you’ll be able to swim and enjoy your surroundings without feeling you have to stay locked away. I guess this will depend what sort of treatment you choose to follow. Best wishes and I surround you in light and love, Barbara ❤

    • Thank you Barbara. I’ll find out about the time at the beginning of January which is fine by me – it will leave me in peace to enjoy Christmas. I don’t intend to put myself through hell for the sake of a few more weeks, but we’ll see.
      It’s looking a bit damp here for Christmas Day. Hope yours is everything your heart desires!

  8. lwbut says:

    I’ve been spending less time on WP than i used to so it’s taken me a while to hear the news – which as you rightly say- is a bummer. 😦

    But it’s what you do and how you behave after the news that counts – and you seem to be doing everything right so far (and judging by your family, have done for most of their lives and i suspect yours too! 🙂

    Keep improving and fighting for your independence, but don’t think you have to do everything on your own. Do what you need to and let those who can do what they need to and all will be as it should be.

    The rest of us are mostly here for distraction and light entertainment and want to offer all the minimal support we can if you want it 😉

    Have a wonderful family Christmas with your wonderful family, you old grouch!! 🙂

    love (Bob)

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