Coping with cancer.


So today is THE day.    Michael goes in hospital prior to   surgery.

  This weekend has been rainy and miserable,  I wanted to eat out and make the most of it,   but Michael was not very hungry as he has to take some supplements to boost his nutrition, for what is called “enhanced recovery programme” He has spent a lot of time sleeping, in between the pre-op exercises he has been told to do.

So we are packed and ready to go…you would think Michael was going on holiday rather than to hospital.  I have bought him new shorts and tee shirts and felt obliged to iron his other tee shirts, pyjamas and dressing gown.   Normally I don’t do ironing, or buy his clothes,  but is some silly way I felt his scruffy shorts and  un-ironed clothes would be a reflection on my wifely concern,  so I ironed them all, even the underpants!  (such is sacrifice!!LOL!)

Yesterday we had difficult  day.  I was anxious and grumpy.  Normally I would go for a bike ride, but my back is still painful from the injury last weekend.    I am very, very tired. Probably a combination of the emotional strain my bad back, plus work has been very challenging the last three days.  I need a holiday!

Michael got a bit  maudlin.  On Friday he  spent about two hours in pre-op assessment  and his comment was “hmm, it would seem there is more to this than I first thought”

We sort of had “the conversation”…. We have always had separate finances.  So he told  me the details of his pension,  where he hides his bank book and gave me the lottery tickets he has bought for the next month.   He said  if anything happens, there was enough in an account for a funeral and the rest to distribute between the grandchildren…..  He has always refused to make a will or discuss funeral arrangement, unlike me who has everything neat and tidily written down.

I told him not to be so silly he is not going to die.    Probably completely the wrong thing to say.    The counsellor in me should have said something like . “Sounds like you have got some concerns about this operation”  but I am not his counsellor and knowing Michael he probably wanted me to say “don’t be so daft” anyway to reassure him and support his denial, which is his default coping strategy.

The nurse in me has wanted to take over and help him with the practise stoma  kit they have given him.  But I have stood back and let him do things in his own time and his own way…..  It took him a week to open the box.

  Some of this is selfish as I do not want him to be dependant on me.  I want to continue to be able to go away and leave him when I want to.   I want to continue with our lifestyle.

So, today will be a turning point in our current carefree lives at least for the foreseeable future.

Who knows what the future will hold.

Love Denise

Sorry to sound so moaney.    I need a laugh. Off to watch a comedy programme.

and a year ago,  life could have not been better on a trip to Estonia.  What a wonderful memory we made that day.



  1. You ironed Michael’s underwear?! I just hope that you didn’t use any starch on them!

    I’m sending lots of love and thoughts your way this week. Did you plan something – a movie, a long soak in the tub or a get-together with friends – for when you return home from the hospital this evening?

    Hang in there and keep being Michael’s wife, the version of you that he knows and loves!


    • In the event I went round to my daughters house for ” a brew (cup of tea) and a cuddle. Just what I needed.
      Believe me, in future he irons his own underwear!

      Thanks for the love and thoughts.

      Love Denise


  2. Have been thinking about you guys all weekend – hope that Michael’s surgery goes well tomorrow – will say some special prayers!


  3. Hang in there Denise and please don’t apologise, you are not being moaney, just your usual honest self. Like Mary Kay I hope you have something planned to give you strength and keep you going after you leave Michael this evening. Love and hugs and positive thoughts to you both, Janet xx


  4. Best wishes. My understanding is that colon cancer is quite treatable if it has not spread so that is good! You state you are worried about myelodysplasia…would that be a possible result of chemo treatment (is he undergoing that as well?). It is not a certainty, is it? I do hope all goes well! Hugs to you all!


    • Hi Cybee. Michael has had Myelodysplsia for two years already which occurred naturally, so the concern is that he will be susceptible to infection and not heal as well as he should. Thanks for your best wishes.

      Love Denise


  5. Hi Denise, I just caught up with your blog and by the time you get my message Michael will have had the operation and be recuperating well. So I only want to tell you that you are amazing and very strong, just what he needs now. Everything will be fine I’m sure.
    I send you positive energy and thoughts for a speedy recovery.
    I’m glad all was found early enough to take care of it.
    Lots of love from Florida and take care of yourself, we often forget about that when we’re taking care of others.
    Sylvia S.


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