November 2008

On Being Ill
Posted November 10th, 2008 by Jane

Last week as I lay in my bed feeling ghastly I grabbed Virginia Woolf’s On Being Ill from my bookshelf, looking as I often do, for solace, empathy, affinity in someone else’s writing. I found little, beyond the reminder that sympathy doesn’t help much and that illness is essentially experienced always and only…alone. The suggestion [...]


Hannah Jones
Posted November 13th, 2008 by Jane

I feel really moved by the story of Hannah Jones, age 13, who has just asserted her right not to have a heart transplant. Hannah has been ill since she was 5, first with leukemia and then with serious heart problems, caused by one of of the drugs she had taken to zap an infection. For [...]


Sandra Lovegrove
Posted November 15th, 2008 by Jane

I miss Sandra Lovegrove. Sandra, who I first met in cyber space as jp and then jpoet died of inflammatory breast cancer in 2006.
Sandra was someone with breast cancer who stuck two fingers up, as I do, to the earnest think positive, cancerwasawakupcalland thebestthingwhicheverhappenedtome pink ribbon brigade. Like me, and perhaps even more so than me, [...]


One step forward two steps backwards
Posted November 17th, 2008 by Jane

Having terminal cancer has always felt like this to me..a little bit of progress, and ‘good news’…which of course no one without cancer would ever really think is good news..and then a dose of things getting worse, moving into a different phase.
I saw nice ENT man on Friday who warned that the improvement in my [...]


Breast cancer drivel
Posted November 17th, 2008 by Jane

Back in the 70s/80s I either loved or hated womens’ consciousness raising groups. Great when I found affinity and solidarity..other women who seemed to share my feelings, thoughts, experiences. But the flip side was coming up against women whose experiences left me cold and shuddering, distant and isolated. And so it is with cancer. I [...]


Funny what cheers me up
Posted November 25th, 2008 by Jane

Last night my oncologst confirmed what I knew already: that clinically my tumours are definitely larger. So that means straight off the taxol chemotherapy and on to the next one…a drug called vinorilbine…which reduced tumours when I had it April-August last year. Meanwhile I’ll have another CT scan to measure the tumours and check for further [...]


Indolent cancer
Posted November 25th, 2008 by Jane

In the beginning in October 2003 my cancer was described as ‘aggressive’, and so it was again after surgery, after the jackpot of a 5cm tumour and 23 lymph nodes with cancer and a ‘triple negative’ pathology (of which more on another post). In those days I got mightily irritated by the good news stories [...]


Triple negative
Posted November 25th, 2008 by Jane

Breast cancer isn’t one disaese, its many, though no one who hasn’t got breast cancer is much interested in this fact.
There was a mass of publicity three years ago about the breast cancer drug herceptin, hailed, and rightly so, as a major breakthrough, so important that oncologists stood and cheered when the trial results were [...]