Saturday, October 9, 2010

Being Happy


  1. In answer to your question "What would you do?", please e-mail She is a breast cancer survivor who writes, and blogs, about all kinds of cancer and has a lot of information about support groups (and alternative therapies). She can help you find peple who are also dealing with malignant melanoma who you can exchange information with. Those who actually have family members in Kathy's position could be an enormous help to you in getting through the days and weeks ahead. I have been corresponding with her in recent months.

    Meanwhile, do exactly as you are doing. Spend time with friends. Live each day to the full. And it's OK to be angry. I would be surprised if you are not.

  2. Now, moving on...what a fabulous photograph! i just love the new hair do. But something is missing from the table. Where is the glass of wine?


  3. Thanks Chris - I'll fire off that email.
    The glass of wine usually appears after 6pm!

  4. STUNNING photo! It just epitomises what one has come to expect from you two, Kathy & Ian - battling inwardly and exuding Joy Unbounded!
    much love, karen

  5. Chris, Karen,

    If it were not for the two of you, there would be no space for my tears.

    Today, Kathy taught me Internet Banking. That was our morning. Then she totally outpointed me, and every body else, at Petanque.

    What a beautiful day.

  6. Hi Chris - Joy-filled festivities to you tomorrow (15th) for the end of your radiation, and for Sunday, celebrating your Mum's birthday - I'm sure she'll be with you...

    Kathy & Ian - just keep having tons of Fun!

    take care, all of you

  7. Karen, thanks so much for remembering! Well, my radiation will not actually end until Monday. There was a minor equipment malfuntion last week...just a wall panel light or something but they had to cancel the day's appointments and investigate just to be sure. Nevetheless, we are so very close that we shall still be celeberating this weekend!

    Amazingly, I have come through this with minimal side effects. No fatigue and no bad skin problems from being zapped. Just a bit of a lobster hue and the itchies, which I can manage. But I have been taking very good care of protecting my skin (unlike those ladies in Ian's other blog)

    Next up is a decision on whether to accept the five years of ajduvent therapy...a once a day pill to aid in preventing recurrance. Problem is, that pill was developed to respond to the hormone receptor Estrogen. My cancer is not that type. I am (was) HER2+. I need to know for sure there is some benefit before I commit. I will find that out on Monday, also, when I meet with the medical oncologist. There does not appear to be a specific therapy developed for post-menopausal cases like mine, which is amazing considering HER2 DCIS represents 25% of early breast cancers.

    We shall see.

  8. Hi Expat!
    It's great to know that today marks the end of the treatment, and that you've come through it with minimal adverse side-effects.
    I'll raise a glass to you tonight!

  9. Expat? Have you reached that decision about the once-a-day pill?

  10. Hello! i am on my travels, back here in New Jersey for the week.It feels good to be free from radiation and back in the work saddle again.

    I think a decision hs been reached. The oncologist agreed with me about Tamoxifen being no use. He sugested an alternative pill called Evista, the same one I had found out about the day before on the internet. It does the same thing in terms of aiding a prevention of recurrance but with fewer and less severe potential side effects and is for post menopausal women.It was developed originally to prevent osteoporosis but was found to work against breast cancer too. Docs prefer Tamoxifen for most women since it has a long history of success and this other treatment is newer...but I am not most women! So I shall get a bone density scan to see if there is any indication of osteoporosis and if so, this pill wll be a "twofer." The doc wants the bone scan because he feels more comfortable prescribing Evista for a primary problem(osteporosos)than just as a cancer preventative, but confirmed that even without any osteo present he would recommend it for me anyway.

    Meanwhile, I have started my own personal regimen of prevention through nutrition, ensuring that my diet is always high in antioxident fruits and veggies and other good things. It's playing havoc with my "inner plumbing" but that will settle down. One must also limit alcohol (boo!) and finally get rid of the nasty ciggie habit (long needed but tough).I will be closely monitored also with regular clinical exams and mammograms as recommended.

    So that's the current state of the game. How is Kathy doing? And how are you holding up?

  11. Hi Chris
    Well done! You are an inspiration. Your intelligence, fortitude, and stamina...

    I'll write more when I can.

  12. Yes, Chris, what a dazzlingly positive comment, as always. Keep fit and healthy!

    And Ian, how indeed are you and Kathy?

    Love and Happiness to you all

  13. just stopped by to see how things are going in Tenerife. Are the Birthday celebration plans all set? How's Kathy's health? How are you doing yourself.

    I think of you both every day.

  14. Hello Both,
    I haven't written because there's been genuinely little of import to report. We've just been enjoying life.

    But tomorrow is start of Kathy's Birthday holiday! We are off to another island to spend a week pampering ourselves - Yippee!

    Unusually, we've had rain and winds here, and we're hoping that this doesn't delay our ferry.

    Fingers crossed!

  15. Sounds Wonderful, Ian-CI! Have a Fabulous cake-filled birthday, Kathy, and both have a Blissful holiday! much love, karen xx

  16. Hi Kathy & CI - just to wish you both the Merriest of Christmasses, and Much Joy for the New Year
    love & kisses, karen, xx

  17. Thank you Dolores! And the same to you and to Expat. We had a memorable week celebrating Kathy's 60th. Pure joy - lots of pampering, sight-seeing, and being happy together.

    We returned to Tenerife to greet a succession of visitors - family and friends - who came to stay with us (we now have an old friend of Kathy's here).


    Here's wishing you a very happy New Year!

    Much Love to you both
    Ian :-)

  18. Stopped by just in case anyone's checking the blog (I do, every day). Thought I'd let you know that I had my first mammogram since the surgery yesterday and got the all clear.

    Ian, I think about you and Kathy so often.


  19. One thousand and one apologies to Expat and Kathy,

    As you know I write a weekly blog that is most of the time light-hearted. During our conversations I was afraid to ask to enquire about Expat and Kathy’s health. That did not mean I was not thinking about you. I had both of you in my thoughts and figured that it was your call to bring the subject up. I did not want to intrude as words fail me on occasions and maybe you did not want to talk about it.

    Last night I was having a nosey through old Dolores and CI blogs. It is fun reading old posts and reliving the laughs and good banter. I remember CI had a technical problem that resulted in him losing some posts. He said he’d managed to retrieve some and kept them in a separate folder: The Canary Archive. I always thought this was a home for old posts, I had no idea of the content that was in here. I was surprised when I read the messages.

    Forgive me for not being here through the trials and tribulations. I’m delighted to hear of the progress and absolute bravery from both of you. I read all the comments and every human emotion flooded through me- from sadness to bright joy as the words on the page moved me. The three of you (CI, Expat and Dolores) are outstanding human individuals and the friendliness and shared concern in the comments shines through on every page.

    Sorry for commenting and interrupting the flow. I can understand you might want the details on this thread to be kept personal. There might be a facility on Blogger that can make this post available to read to approved readers only- you’ll need to check that out, CI. I will not be offended if you disprove me. You’ve all been friends for a long time.

    After reading the blogs last night I just wanted to let you all know that I have been thinking and praying for you. One thousand and one best wishes to everyone for the future.

  20. JW: I am sure I speak for all of us when I say you are most welcome to this little group. Perhaps we were all of the same thought...hesitating to openly invite you because the conversation is different and some might find it uncomfortable.

    You are a true friend and a part of our lives. I'm very glad you found us.

    By the way, this is the only forum where we use our real first names,again because of the nature of the conversation. I'm Chris.

  21. Chris – an all clear! What wonderful news for you, your family and all your friends! I do hope that Karen sees this soon!

    JW, how the hell does a Canary give a Road-Runner a great big bear hug? :-)

    Here’s my news – and why it’s so late in arriving here.

    We arrived back in Tenerife as quickly as we could after Kathy’s second operation of the summer. She was determined that every aspect of our life together should continue as normal. She’d done the same the summer before after her father died, and the summer before that after she had her first diagnosis and her first two operations. That’s Kathy - unbelievably consistent, all heart and determination, so full of life.

    Gosh, have we been busy! We’ve had family and friends over to stay with us, caught up with our special friends in Tenerife, and done much more to make our home and life here even better than it was before. We’re now on broadband, doing Skype! Amazing! And Chris, we did everything you suggested during Kathy’s birthday week. It was perfect. Five star hotel, stunning breakfast buffets, spa, massages, exploring a whole new island, finding a Michelin-starred restaurant for an exquisite birthday dinner, and extra birthday surprises!

    We were joking and laughing together earlier this evening when we saw how full our diary is over the weeks ahead.

    Has anything changed? Yes. At long, long last, I’m learning to give more of my time to love. And even when I’m away from here, I want you to know - that includes you all. You are very special people.

  22. Chris, thank you hugely for the tip to come here today, and particularly, how terrific it is to hear your WONDERFUL all-clear news! I'm sure your positivity had much to do with that.

    Hell JW - really great to see you here. I'm sorry I never urged you to come - I just assumed you weren't comfy... (You know how stupid I am).
    Your comment is exceedingly moving.

    Ian, I've been popping in to check news a couple of times a week - it's Delightful and Thrilling to read your bubbly comment today! What a dynamic couple you and Kathy are - you deserve all the joy in the world, and that's obviously what you're giving each other!

    Warmest love to everyone here - what a privilege it is to be included
    karen xxxx

  23. Chris, I am very glad to have found you and happy that you have made a full recovery. You are an inspiration to us all and thanks for welcoming me into this little part of space.

    Ian, I’m not a road-runner, I’m a coyote. You know, you don’t know how lucky you are. Before I settled on Wile E Coyote as an avatar I considered using Sylvester the cat. The cat and the canary, we would have been destined to be best friends. :-)

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, man, are you having a ball. Good luck to you sir. I’m sure there are thousands of more happy moments around the corner. Best wishes to Kathy.

    Karen, I am serious and grumpy sometimes, usually when Rangers get beat. I’d like to thank you for the funny comments and posts over the years. When Telegraph Refugees Reloaded exploded (try saying that after a few sherries) I missed you. Thankfully, I discovered All the days of Dolores. Which in turn led me to discovering you other lovely people.

    I’m sure I can trust you all not to steal my identity. Who in their right mind would want to be me anyway? My first name is Joe with an e.

  24. Hello Joe. Did I ever tell you what a lovely man you are?

    Someone please blog about Telegraph Refugees Reloaded, for this is new to me, so we can discuss it on the regular forum.

  25. Hi Joe!
    When I lost my Id, I was left with my entity.

  26. Chris - PS. I'm not really jealous...

  27. Thank you, kind Joe. Yes, Reloaded- MyT-offshoot was splendid, wasn't it. Wretchedly I abandoned ship when struggling with business setting-up and finding no time to post.

    Am so lucky my path intertwined with all you warm and merry souls - thank you All, and Keep Well & Joy-Filled! karen xxx

  28. Thanks Chris, your comment made my day. I’ve only been writing for two years (believe me when I say I did a bit of writing at school :-) and I worry my true personality doesn’t come across. It is my pleasure to be your friend.

    Ian, you never fail to amaze me with your dazzling wordplay. I bet you’re an expert at cryptic crosswords. I struggle with the, what Martin Amis calls, the stupid crosswords.
    That’s the, allegedly, quickie ones.

    Good old TRR, eh Karen? Unfortunately the archives are not available. I can remember writing some insightful, penetrating blogs there. Two offhand I recall were one about changing a tyre and another about shaving with a blunt razor. I kind of came in near the end of TRR. I hope it wasn’t me pushed it over the edge.

    Happy thoughts everyone,
    Joe XXX