Wednesday, 2 December 2015

WOYWW 339

Well, I haven’t been around much lately, I know. There’s been a lot going on in my life and I’m pretty exhausted, and my creative mojo has fled again for the second time this year… My poor ARTHaven has become the dumping ground it always is when I am not using it, so I thought as a reintroduction to joining the human race again, I would show you just how awful it is, and how little creativity has been going on of late! So here’s the guided tour of Shoshi’s Dumping Ground.

First stop, under the window.

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The box with the transparent lid contains the finished cards from my card factory (to which I must return asap!). You an also see my camera case, the purple box that belongs to my lovely cleaning lady – she wants me to alter it for her. Beyond that is a pile of fabric scraps and bits and pieces given to me recently by a lady from church, and under the window, my packing foam pieces that I was making into heat-set rubber stamps, and a pile of dried teabags!

Moving over to the opposite side of the room, this is supposed to be my textile zone and drawing zone, but as you can see, it’s just got stuff dumped on it.

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The saddest sight is my main work area. On the desk itself is a collection of dried leaves I picked up outside the hospital a few weeks ago, thinking I would do something with them but now I can’t think what to do with them.

You can see that the dowel that supported my bags of rubber stamps has broken and collapsed. This happened two or three weeks ago and I haven’t had the energy or the enthusiasm to do anything about it. My hubby, bless him, got me a metal rod to replace the dowel, and you can see that on the desk, waiting to be installed.

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Here’s a close-up of the wreckage.

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How sad is that. It says it all about the state of my creative mojo at the moment!

However, to happier things. I saw the oncologist yesterday and we got the result of my recent post-chemo CT scan, and it is clear, so I have been pronounced cancer free! This is of course very good news, but I am having some problems processing it at the moment as I need a huge mental adjustment to transfer from being a patient (VIP, receiving incredible care and support, all given with kindness and even love, and feeling affirmed and very special) to being a normal person again (ordinary)! I am also wrestling with some feelings of survivor’s guilt, having met some truly amazing and wonderful people on the chemo unit whose stories are working towards an end very different from my story, and whose indomitable spirit and cheerfulness never cease to amaze me – I find myself asking myself “Why me, and not them?” Fruitless question, I know, because cancer is no respecter of persons and the whole thing is a huge lottery with no rhyme nor reason to it. I know I shall move on from this rather complex response to what I know is brilliant news for us, but at the moment I can’t match my hubby’s simple and honest and uncomplicated response of utter joy and relief! I am also wrestling with the fact that my response is a total surprise to me, as I was anticipating feeling the same uncomplicated joy as my hubby.

I have been through a lot over the whole of this year and a couple of weeks ago had an investigation under general anaesthetic which knocked me back somewhat, and I’ve been a bit low in spirits – I think it’s all a reaction to what has been a complete rollercoaster of a year emotionally and physically. I will get there in the end, but for now I need a period of readjustment to my new status as Cancer Survivor and Ordinary Person lol!

I am not feeling brilliant physically either, because I am plagued with peripheral neuropathy as a result of the chemo – this is not the transient, acute version one gets after each treatment, which diminishes towards the end of each cycle, but the persistent, chronic version which is different, and quite intense. I have also developed a couple of rare neurological effects which may or may not have developed because of my existing neurological condition (M.E.). There is no guarantee that I shall fall into the percentage of people whose post-chemo peripheral neuropathy eventually clears up, or whether I shall be part of the significant percentage for whom this is a permanent legacy. Either way, it is a small price to pay for a cancer-free life, and if it does end up being permanent, it will serve as a constant reminder, along with Kermit, my stoma, of what I have been through in order to become a cancer survivor, and I shall be glad of that, because I never want to forget, and I never want to take what I have for granted, and I always want to be reminded to count my blessings daily.

28 comments:

  1. I think that for the moment you just need a big hug and you got one from me! Those are great news!
    Next thing you need to do is start cleaning that mess - the craft activities helps - I've heard so.
    And last but not least - it's Holiday season. Go decorate, buy or make presents, do happy things, because you've really had happy news. And just remember that non of us is ordinary...but if we assume it that way - it's better to be ordinary at home than VIP in the hospital.

    Big hugs again!!!

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  2. Congratulations that is awesome news. I can understand how hard it is to comprehend that especially with everything else going on. That Dowling stick looks defeated, hopefully the new rod will last forever. I didn't t play WOYWW for a few weeks because my desks all three of them are worse dumping grounds than yours and I dare not show them lol. Take care Nd hope you get more and more good news in the future

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  3. Always lovely to see the creative space of other crafters. Lovely to hear your good news ... reactions can always surprise us. Just accept it slowly a day at a time.
    sandra de @20

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  4. Oh goodness Shoshi, what a time you've been having. I must say it's wonderful news that you are now cancer-free, but I do understand your feelings. After such an intense year it's going to be very hard to whoop around and feel elated, especially as you know so many other people who are travelling a tricky path and aren't so fortunate as yourself. I have never reacted to any good news as I, and others, assume I should, and I have always had to ease myself into it if that makes sense. I do hope you start feeling stronger and better - I'm sure your amazingly positive attitude and love of life will help you through this.
    Sending a hug your way,
    Diana x

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  5. So happy to read that you are cancer free Shoshi!!! Take all the time you need..... because then you will be coming back full force!! I know we have all been there with the loss of mojo.....I too am coming out from my latest bought of it as well..... perhaps we'll do that together!!! I for one am thankful you are cancer free because I love reading of you endeavors!!! Take care my friend.... love ya!!

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  6. Dear Shoshi, I have not visited your blog in a long time, life being so busy, but when I do come on to check, I see you have been pronounced cancer free. What great news, hugs from the states!

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  7. I am so happy for you!! Seems to me God still has a mission for you to accomplish. I will keep praying for you to feel better. As to your desk, I'm sure it will get cleaner someday. Hugs!
    Carol N #32

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  8. Survivor's guilt is a strange thing, Shoshi. Remember when you asked the same question 'why me?' when you were diagnosed last year, immediately turning it into 'why not me?' You should do the same now - why shouldn't you be the survivor? Being ordinary and cancer-free is way better than being special with cancer. Ordinary is good! I'll take ordinary any day! I'm so happy for you! I hope the side effects will sort themselves out or at least improve with time. Let them go - you don't need them! You've still got Kermit to remind you of what you've been through. Your mojo will return - of that I am certain! Give it some time! It's probably still gathering momentum to explode in a frenzy of creativity at one point. And it's got a nice place to go to when it happens, in your craft room, which is an amazing creative space, despite being used as dumping ground for now. That happens to me too! As soon as there's a clear surface somewhere, I start filling it up with stuff. Glad you were able to join WOYWW this week, Shoshi and the all clear is fantastic news!

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  9. Maybe you should make some art in one form or another to give all those feelings a place. Vicky(#1)

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  10. I am so glad to hear you have been pronounced cancer free! You may or may not remember my family was going through a very similar situation with my DH having rectal cancer. He just had his 6 month scan and is still free an clear. He is now feeling much better and is back and work and even playing some soccer on Fridays :) I have to believe you too will start back up the mountain of emotion and even get your art mojo back in time! PaperOcotilloStudio #37

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  11. Yes, the human psyche is strange and complicated. All I can say is, that it is a phase you are going through and sometimes just going into the new year (a watershed) can perk you up as you start a new beginning (cancer free and ordinary).
    I hope your mojo comes back soon. (and of course you will have to let him in.... will you let him in?)
    Have a good, i.e. better week,
    Lisca#11

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  12. Hi Shoshi, I know exactly what you mean about mojo, it seems very hard to get back into crafting after all we've been through. My craftroom also became a dumping ground for all my stuff, but I did finally get (most) of it put away. I'm plodding along with Christmas cards, but finding the motivation is the hardest part. I know it's almost here, but I still cannot really be bothered with it.Lots of love & Hugs, Shaz #4 xxx

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  13. Congrats on being cancer free! Wonderful news! I am sure your muse will come back. Why not start on small projevts, like I did? No stress!!
    Hugs
    Gabriele 39

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  14. Oh, you have been missed - sorry you've been having a tough time - but YAY for being clear!! Hope your poor craft room gets some love soon, but take your time and don't rush it. Hope you'll come back and see us soon, Shoshi! Helen 3 xx

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  15. I must say the craft room looks tidy Lol! I have to be quick tonight as it is an early one for me tomorrow, going to Harrogate with a friend. You have come a long way already and you mustn't forget that. Thanks for the visit to mine and happy woyww, Angela x 19

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  16. I guess you must be feeling impatient to return to normal after so many on-going health issues.Coming back again after so many set-backs must be so darned hard. I wish you peaceful times ahead, and some happy hours in your craft room.You always do such interesting works with great techniques. We've missed your posts. Glad you're coming back.

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  17. That's awesome that you have been found to be cancer-free!! I hope you get to be feeling so much better soon. When you have the energy to tidy up your ARTHaven, that will get your mojo going again. I wish you the best!!!

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  18. Hi Shoshi, just popping back to thank you for your heartwarming comment on my WOYWW post yesterday and also on my new post today! I want you to know that I really appreciate all the visits and lovely comments and I can't wait to reciprocate when you start blogging again! For now, rest well to gather your strength and creative energy!

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  19. Thank you for yet another sweet comment from you, Shoshi! I love the idea of you getting into art journalling! May 2016 be an awesome year for you! You so deserve it after what you've been through!

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  20. First, Sorry I am SO late with my Comments. ((((((((((((hugs)))))))))) take it a day at a time .Wonderful news XXSoojay xx

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  21. Hi Shoshi!
    My craft space has also become a bit of a dumping ground at the moment. Great to hear you are cancer free but I know you still have a fair amount of health issues to deal with. Hopefully your story will inspire others facing cancer. It will take time to adjust but I believe you will soon feel your sense of purpose.
    I have a new project starting online and I'll be in touch soon to ask if you can help! Love Elai

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  22. I keep wondering about you and how you are doing so I decided to stop wondering and visit you. Such a heartfelt and honest post from you. By far you are not the only person to feel lost and confused after being diagnosed cancer-free. Cancer defined you for so long that it's like a big fat "now what?!" Well, now it is time to move on to the next phase. It will take you time to discover the next phase but meanwhile have fun exploring and learning what it is all about. Welcome back to the land of the ordinary people! The secret is we're not really ordinary, we're all just faking it. Take care my friend!

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  23. A very Happy Belated WOYWW. I am actually late on my tour around for 340, but thought I would come over and see how you were. So glad to hear your fantastic news. Normal - what is that? Whatever it is for you, relish every moment. I absolutely adore days when I am at home, no appointments/no deadlines/no pressure - and I can just choose what I want to do (in between the usual cooking/laundry/animal care etc!). I look forward to seeing you back in your craft room again. Ali x

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  24. Hi Shoshi! Hope you're well and getting stronger every day! Thanks for reading and commenting on my latest post. I'm just popping over to say that if you need anything printed on a laserjet, before you get yours, just send me the files and I would be happy to send you the prints back. xx

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  25. I am thrilled to know that you are cancer free, but will pray that you soon recover from the chemo effects. I believe our Lord has great plans for your future, so your creative mojo will soon be back. Just be patient and listen to his voice. Your love and support for those less fortunate in the chemo unit may be your new inspiration. Blessings to you and your husband, my dear friend. (I noticed this was last week's post, but my current WOYWW # is 32.)

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  26. Hi Shoshi, thanks for another lovely comment! It will be so nice to have you back blogging when you feel up to it and sort the technicalities. I must say, I've never heard of LiveWriter - I usually don't have any problems with Blogger. Then again, I've never tried anything else other than WordPress and I know I didn't get on with that very well, even though I know a bit of code. Or maybe that's why - I know enough to mess it up but too little put it right, LOL. Take care! xx

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  27. Thanks for the info on LiveWriter, Shoshi! If I ever get fed up with Blogger, I'll look into it. Good to know that there's an alternative. Hope it was just a one with Phoebe and it won't happen again. Poor kitty!

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  28. Thank you so much for your visit to my blog earlier this week - I replied by replying to your email so I do hope you got it as I know in the past it hasn't worked between us ( I have about three people with whom I can't reply like this for some very strange reason!). Just in case you didn't I thought I'd write it here as well! I am sorry to hear you are suffering with such extreme fatigue and I hope you soon start getting stronger - this can be a very stressful and tiring time of year anyway, which probably isn't helping! I also hope you are coping with your good news and managing all the overwhelming feelings associated with it, as I know that has been difficult for you recently.
    I really appreciate your wonderfully kind and thoughtful comments that you leave on my blog posts and I feel privileged to have you as a 'blog friend'! Your art and techniques are an inspiration and a joy, and I hope you soon feel some little creative stirrings - they will probably come when you aren't so exhausted!!
    I hope you and your hubby have a wonderful Christmas -
    Diana xx

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