Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Welcome to Caromellymac's new site. Well, actually, old, unused site - but whatever, hopefully a more accessible, easier on the eye site!

I set this up last year as an alternative to my 'cancer blog' on myspace but as you see, never quite got 'round to writing anything, so let's hope this foray is more successful.

After quite a tough start to my new diagnosis, made all that little bit more difficult by the private health care system thinking the NHS was providing practical and emotional support and the NHS assuming the private health care system was, I finally got in touch with the local hospice, which sounds fairly dire but actually, they've been brilliant and have assured me that after my treatment for chemotherapy they will discharge me, with a month's notice! They have so far provided a counsellor (vital), a physio (reeeeally helpful), a chaplain (surprisingly helpful!), a day care supporter (just lovely) and crucially a 'care coordinator'. All of them very easy people to have around who, of course, are very understanding of my situation. Dorothy House rules OK!

In the absence of Dotty House as ever, my most amazing friends provided the practical, emotional and rock steady support. This came (and comes) in a variety of guises.

Top marks on every level go to my first and oldest God child, one Adam James Doggett (pictured with Tache). He's ten years of absolute love and beauty. He's also the only thing that has shaken me from sleep since the end of October and made me cry tears of pure joy.

He's a typical lad. Loves his mates, his computer games, his mum and I hazard a guess at his sister Ellie and he does his best at school. I have to 'fess up to the fact that I don't even know if he's ever discussed what he wants to do when he leaves school; they're not the kind of discussions we have on the all too rare occassions we see each other. He lives up in Lytham St Annes, around 220 miles away, so we text and we had a brilliant, too brief holiday together in London this summer.

At school a few weeks ago, they had a poetry competition. Adam's strength is maths, or so I thought. This is what he wrote:


Youth is strong
Youth is never wrong
Youth is funny
Youth is fit

Youth has the speed of a cheetah
Youth has the weight of a feather
Youth is as cheeky as a monkey
Youth can jump futher than a frog

Youth is always at the top of the list
Youth thinks before his actions
Youth is born to be best
Youth is never sad
Youth is young at heart.

Adam Doggett (10).

Needless to say, it's made it into a book called 'Poems from Lancashire' that will be published shortly and a copy will be held in the British Library.

A posting from facebook brought the next bout of love induced tears. Just a rant from a bloke (coincidentally, Adam's mum's fella Michael):

Just read your blog, Mrs and I've come the the conclusion that bones are crap. We would be better off without them. If we didn't have bones we'd be puddles of jelly and puddles of jelly can't fight each other. The worst a puddle of jelly could do to another puddle of jelly is flop on top of it (and that could be quite nice) and there probably wouldn't be religion because you can't crucify a puddle of jelly and make it a martyr. If we didn't have bones I wouldn't have broken the one in my leg when I was 14 and I wouldn't have screamed like the front row of a Boyzone concert in front of my mates and you wouldn't be so poorly. So, I'm voting bones out. End of rant ;-)

The final one (for today, keep 'em coming!) is an email I was awake to receive at 1.47am one fine December morning:

ts late, am in bed reading something I would love to be able to have written to you so am sending it to you anyway and hope it gives you strength. . See u monday fer a pint n a pie.!! xx
"Now the days stretch before you with the dryness and sameness of desert dunes. And in this season of grief we who love you have become invisible to you. Our words worry the empty air around you and you can sense no meaning in our speech.
Yet we are here. We are still here. Our hearts ache to support you.
We are always loving you.
You are not alone. "
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

From Maya Angelou's book 'Letter to my Daughter'.

Friends are the family you choose and I have the best in the world!

Finally, friends Penny and Linda came over at the weekend to do the deed of head-shaving prior to the all important 2.5 weeks from first chemo treatment.

Three years ago, my oncologist Dr R told me my hair would fall out after 2.5 weeks of a pretty harsh chemo regime (not the one I'm now on) and he was exactly right, to the day and my gorgeous hairdresser Jo shaved my head for me that day. A couple of days later, I was completely and utterly bald as a coot, marvelling at the accuracy of such detail.

This year, Jo was working but kindly loaned me some clippers from the salon so we could do a No 1. Penny did the honours with hair cutting (and should she ever leave the corporate world, she knows her true vocation!) and Linda held my hand and between laughter and tears told me I looked fab at every stage of the cut. The Absent Bloke got the task of actually shaving my head. There's a thing he didn't think he'd be called upon to do on 12 April 1997 when we did the old 'in sickness and in health' stuff.

Four days later I've still got a George Michael style 6 o'clock shadow on my still not bald pate. Here's a site I probably should have checked before I took such drastic action and for those of you without the time to read it, I may experience hair loss or thinning. Then again I may not. Ooops :D


  1. Heh heh! Good thing you're such a stylish look like Natalie Portman in 'V for Vendetta'.

    Great blog my love, and great site! xxxx

  2. Sorry about the layout - only teething problems I hope!

  3. Love your website, love to hear the NHS and Private Health care are talking to each other in regards to you, love the picture of Adam and and his cheeky as a monkey poem, love the comments and love to you, Ali xxx

  4. Those in the land of Oz are waking up (literally)to your new site ..... your followers have steadily grown by nearly 25% in the time it has taken me to read your latest blog!
    I'm loving your wisdom and wit as always! Gx

  5. Managed to get on this thing, I think I sucsessfully joined the blog network.... Hmmmm... Well we will seee over the next few weeks if I can get the thing working next time I log on to your blog. I enjoyed reading all your adventures, luvvy, Forgot about you loosing your hair again!! Good grief. Do you need me to see if I can find you some exotic head wrapps out here in Canada. I can get you a nice warm hat made out of bear or beaver!!! HA HA, we have plenty of those here, but I will look for something a little more classy for you luv. Sending you all my love and lots of huge hugs, your mad friend Janiexxxxxxxx

  6. P.S I tried to put a photo of me, in one of those little boxes at the top of your blog, bloody hell, I cant figure it out, I will try again when the kids get home from school, Just thought you would get a laugh out of imagining me getting all messed up trying to do this stuff!! Talk to ya soon Janiexxx

  7. Hi, seem to have signed up ok, but am likewise struggling with the photo upload! Like the format of this site - looks good. No.1 is great, you look as good when you get up as you did when you went to bed - best haircut I ever had - you'll probably look better without the goatie tho' ;o) Love you, Bry xxx

  8. Dear Carolyn ......I am not capable of finding a pic of your bald head , but I can imagine you look gorgeous anyway ......I have a lovely big sis who is the exec if the Nottingham Hospice .....I go in there every time I am in Nottingham ...can't think at the mo how to describe it but there is definitely something very special , I am sure they will give you all the help you so deserve .....Les Arnauds will I know help too....looking forward to seeing you out in here in France
    Bisous ! Rosalind

  9. Hello chick! Glad I can get updates from you on this page and nice to know others were as computer illiterate as me in trying to work out myspace - it must be for the youngsters!! You are, as always an inspiration to us all - even through the tough times you've kept your humour and managed to keep on writing to keep us updated of your battle even though it was probably the last thing you felt like doing. Your friends are scattered far and wide, but we share the same valued "thing" (sorry, couldn't think of another word!) - which is you, our dear mate Carolyn. We're all rooting for you and love you loads - the messages from all those above and extracts in your blog show that we can share our emotions and voice our thoughts and feelings - even the Poms have it in them - who'd have thought eh? Jayne xxxxx