Coping with cancer.

THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN…….and I hope I am a coffee bean.


View of the nearby Rossendale Valley in Lancashire…Yes!

Yesterday Michael had his sixth and final chemotherapy session.

 After all these months of hospital visits, blood tests, emergency admissions, fatigue and side effects we are finally at the end.  Another ten days and he should recover from this session,  This morning I took him a cup of tea and said  “I’ll wake you up on Wednesday!”   he laughed and then promptly fell back to sleep.

…… I couldn’t believe how the tension, I didn’t know I had , drained from my body, yesterday, as the day wore on resulting in giddy elation when the final drip came down and overwhelming tiredness when we got home..

We celebrated with Fish and chips, (what else!) before having an early night,

Of course we are not out of the woods yet.  A blood transfusion next week and a PET scan on 21st November will tell us if the cancer cells have been destroyed, but for now we can have some sort of normal life for a couple of weeks.

Since April 18th, this has been a long journey.   Looking back I cannot believe what has happened and how we have coped without completely freaking out or fighting with each other, but somehow the petty things a couple argue about seem to fade into insignificance    You never know how something like this will affect a relationship and to my surprise it has brought us closer.

.  I guess “one day at a time” really describes it… and making an effort to find something positive, every day.   We focussed on what was happening on the day rather than thinking about the future.   Because sometimes the future was too awful to contemplate.

Of course we’ve had our moments.  When we have slipped and fear, despair, anger, frustration, overcame us, but somehow by acknowledging these feelings, they passed.  Changing our outlook on life, sharply highlighting the priorities of life and I don’t think we will ever be the same again.

The support we have had from family, friends, colleges, acquaintances  and  friends on facebook has been overwhelming.  Just a text or message saying “how are you doing?”  has meant such a lot to us.

Of course there are also those for whom watching this journey was too painful, and they stayed away.  For some they did not know how to react so they said nothing,  For some it uncovered painful memories they did not want to revisit,  we understand that.

….but sadly there were those who didn’t care, but of course they will not be reading this blog.  LOL!

Recently I read a very inspirational blogpost  by Denise Hisley from the blog inspired2ignite.  which I reproduce here. ……I hope I am a coffee bean.

Are You an Egg, Carrot, or Coffee Bean?

October 27, 2012

Denise Hisey Facing FearPersonal GrowthRecovery , 87 Comments

I heard the quote “The same boiling water that softens the carrot hardens the egg” years ago and thought I’d been the egg far too long, and would strive to be the carrot.  But recently I read a story version of this with an added twist –coffee beans. Carrot Egg CoffeeBeans

After reading the story, I’ve decided I want to be coffee beans instead.  (I think this will be widely received at home since I live in the land of Starbucks!) I couldn’t find the original authors of the quote or the story that follows, so please be sure to comment and tell me if you know.

A young woman went to her mother and told her how hard things were in her life.  She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.  She was tired of struggling.  It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about thirty minutes she turned off the burners.

She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.

She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its richness. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity … boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?  Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

How about you?  Does the boiling water of pain change you?  Have you gone into hardship fragile like an egg, but come out hardened and bitter?  Or strong like a carrot, only to be softened and defeated?   Or, like the coffee beans, have you allowed the situation to be an opportunity for growth and change?

Love Denise

A year ago I was moaning about Halloween.  Today it seems trivial.


12 thoughts on “THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN…….and I hope I am a coffee bean.

  1. You know I cannot imagine putting someone through something like that, so your fella is very lucky to have had you every step of the way. I hope it turns out better news from hereon in. And there’s always room for additional moaning about Halloween!


  2. Well, I hope that I too would be a coffee bean! Will certainly try to be after reading this story! That Mother was very wise indeed! Have never head this story before and found it very thought provoking!!! Thanks for sharing with us! I’m so happy for both you and Michael that the final chemo treatment has been done – I can only imagine the relief your body must have felt after being so tense for so long! Not easy to go through , and I admire both of you for persevering and coming out at the end stronger, wiser and best of all, closer to one another!! Sorry to hear that there were those who chose to ignore the situation and not reach out to you – their loss for sure! Hope that Michael recovers very quickly and re-gains his strength – and that you get some well needed rest! Will continue prayers that the scan on the 21st reveals that the cancer cells have been beaten!!! Love and hugs to you both!


  3. Very interesting! I’ve never heard this story before and like Sandy I hope I would be the coffee bean. You have both come through to the end of Michael’s treatment stronger and closer. Now hopefully you can both relax and enjoy just being together at least for a couple of weeks. Will be thinking about as ever and hoping for the best possible news on the 21st. Love from Janet xx


    • I had never heard this story before either, but from the replies to Denises blog it is well known….somebody even posted a video..

      Well hopefully Janet I can get to Manchester before Christmas. In fact I need to visit the solicitors with some deeds. Will contact you when I can. xxxx


  4. I never heard this story before. As Sandy said, I’ll certainly try to be the coffee bean after reading this.
    I’m glad Michael’s chemo treatments are over. It’s been a long journey. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts in the coming weeks, especially on the 21st.
    I really appreciate how honestly you write.
    Sending hugs! Janet


  5. I’m sure Michael would agree you’re a coffee bean! Glad the chemo is coming to an end and I hope you can take some time for yourself the next couple of weeks and cap it off with positive news. All the best xx


  6. Denise, I’m hoping you and Michael enjoy the upcoming repreive. Rest for the both of you!
    Glad you enjoyed the coffee bean story enough to share it! Thanks for the shout out, that’s very sweet of you. I have a feeling you are the best kind of coffee bean ever!


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