Monday, May 31, 2010

Less negativity......

The last post needed saying and I said it. But it probably didn't read very positively, my life is awesome, it's bloody brilliant being me.

Last weekend we were invited to Gareth and Julia's wedding at Borrowdale youth hostel in the lakes. Gareth is a good friend and neighbour and I was proud to be an usher even though I had to wear way too much wool on the hottest day of the year!

We had a brilliant weekend and Gareth and Julia just looked so happy and it all looked right. It reminded me of our wedding, a hot but wonderful day were everything went right and Wendy looked stunning. Being in the lakes was very relaxing and made me so incredibly happy. We'll be back one day, with or without the kids I'm not sure, I'd like to do both we will see.

Anyhow photos say so much I'll let them do the talking.

The one with the head!

My gran couldn't remember my name when mum called in on her the other day so I'm the one with the head. Not sure if the rest of the family are headless but mines been a little distinctive recently!

The brain is an incredible thing. It controls our bodies for a start, it enables us to walk, to judge distance/speed/beauty, it allows our mouths to work (sometimes) to utter the words I love you or to give thanks for a beautiful day. For some people it helps them be academic, storing information and formulea for use in the future. For others it allows them to paint or create or be musical or theatrical. Some get a strength of character, some get a determination that carries them through regardless, others get the ability to share, to teach, to love.

I think we all start out with similar abilities but with our own strengths. Our lives then mold us into the beings we are, the experiences, the ups and downs. My first word was mini, not mum or dad but mini so I guess there was some outside influence going on there!

My head at the moment is struggling, it is struggling with my body not being as fit as it was. With me being tired a lot of the time and it's struggling with little petty things at work which should be of no matter to me. Wendy and I keep having the whole your body has been through so much and it has to recover.

Yes it has to recover but I want it to be faster! This Thursday is one year since I started chemotherapy. I have been back at work for seven weeks, as a phased return so building my timetable up. I've also dropped Wednesday which gives me a chance to recharge. Making it to the end of my first half term was a fabulous feeling, it was a real milestone for me I had been scared that I wouldn't get there. That my body would say no, that I'd get a cough or a cold or something would happen. But nothing did, except for my head playing tricks with me, putting doubt in place of confidence and mixing emotions up to boiling point for no apparent reason.

I have to look after me and that is what I lost sight of. I've loved being back and teaching again it's felt so right and fun and some of the kids have been so nice. But it's all consuming and once you're in that classroom for the hour or two you have that lesson for you're in charge, no wandering off for a pee or to check for a text message. It's been brilliant but it hasn't given me chance to think.

It's half term holidays now and it gives me that chance to think. To hold hands with Wend and walk and talk and laugh and cry if need be. But it's all about getting a balance back, I knew it'd be hard going back to work and physically it has been but mentally it's been a real challenge. This week is about being me and getting back in tune with being me. Being me is being part of a lovely little family,it's taking the dog for walks, it's taking the kids for new shoes and stuff for school and it's about being in love with an incredible woman.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Knackered but smiling

Well the smile is there more often than it was. I don't feel as angry as I did, I went through a stage of just wanting to fight anything and everything. That is passing which is great as I don't upset the kids or Wend as much and I'm a more chilled teacher because of it.

The tennis elbow is ok, getting better actually, my tennis is still rubbish though. My chest still has it's moments and I'm happy to put that down to radio therapy side effects and a hint of a cold. Don't worry it's not man flu!

I've started staying at work until lunch time this week which has been as much of a kick in the teeth as starting back at work. It's been hard but I've enjoyed it, I've enjoyed feeling more part of the furniture and the kids are getting more used to me being back. I get less people staring at me, I had one lad come up and pat my shoulders as though he was checking I was real! It also feels like the staff have pretty much all seen me and it's old news. Which in a funny way is great, I like some attention but it's nice when people see me for me rather than someone who's had cancer. I'm starting to be Mr Hart, big loud hairy Mr Hart who is firm but fair (hopefully).

I went to see my GP tonight to sort out my final sick note, wow how good does that sound, so that I can return to work after spring bank half term holiday. I think that the timing feel right, it may be hard work, it will be hard work, but I need to be back properly. I will need to plod and to get my lessons right, settle into the full routine and then I can start thinking about getting my fitness back. It would be unfair for me to ask my body to go back to work and then on top of that start pushing to get fit again. I'll ride my bike and maybe go for the odd run but I need to make sure I have reserves of energy the last thing I need is to get run down.........had plenty of that!

Oh next Weston park visit is in three months, tennis elbow permitting!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


The scan came through all clear. The thoughts on the arm is that it may be tennis elbow! My chest feels funny and my breathing isn't what it was but the consultants listened to my chest and it's all clear and the suggestion is that it's the side effects from the radio therapy still making themselves known.

I guess it's been an emotional time as everything felt like it was going so well and that I could get on with life all hunky dory. But it scared me, it scared Wend as well, it scared George and Carys and mum and dad. I've never been so convinced that I was going to die. It's a pants feeling really, all I could do was think about how Wend and the girls would cope and what music they'd play at my funeral and could I have an eco coffin etc etc etc. All the stuff that a morose self pitying hypochondriac thinks.

Well stuff that. I need to find the fine line between symptoms and side effects and I need to listen to my body and how it's responding to the gradual process of recovery but I need to live. I need to let go of the ghosts that sit with me in any waiting room, as though I'm going through chemo again. Let go of the feeling that my body isn't quite doing what I expect it to. We learned today that treatment can age your body by 10 years! Bugger. Anyway this 48 year old body is going to get fit and get back to work and get back on with enjoying life rather than existing, afraid of any ache or pain.

I need to do it sensibly and I need to do it once. We want boring from now on. No more excitement, no more appointments, no more waiting rooms. Lets chill out, live life and be as normal as I get for as long as possible.