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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Back to work & lost friends

Ok, so I got to work as asked at 8.30am on Friday morning only to find that there is nothing for me to do until 1.30 when we have a full staff meeting, and then the statutory fire, health and safety training at the beginning of the new academic year.  Not only that but I have been told where my desk will be from now on, only to find that the previous occupants know nothing about the fact that they should be moving out of here to another building.  I feel a confrontation coming on and I may find myself somewhere else entirely.  Maybe I will end up in the other building which will make liasing with the folks I am supposed to be working with rather problematic as it is in another part of the village.

Added to that is the fact that the person I was supposed to be working with this year has decided not to accept the job because she wants something full-time.  So why apply for a part-time post?

I now don't have to go back until teaching starts on Thursday 6th September so I am trying to make the most of the last few days of the summer holidays but it is beginning to feel very autumnal.  Or maybe it is just my mood today.  I was trying to find out what had happened to some friends from a support group I belong to because I hadn't heard from them for a while.  I found obits for four of them, though one of them I knew was near her end after getting an e-mail from her a couple of months ago; she hadn't replied.

On-line support groups are very important to me because they are made up of other people who have the same disease and with whom you can connect on a very basic level - they just get it.  Too often they become only about the disease and the treatment options when, in my opinion, they should be about supporting the person and their life, and not just the disease.  Members go on there to rant and rave about the disease and its consequences but rarely do they post about the good things in life, unless they are good scan results.

I wish I had a support group of actual people in this area, but breast cancer support groups are about the smiling pink survivors and their wants and needs.  If you have metastatic breast cancer you are not included, at least not to fully participate.  After hearing several stories, and personally experienced how someone at the chemo clinic awkwardly ended a conversation because I said my cancer had spread, I wouldn't go anywhere near one.  I know they don't want to think about their cancer spreading, but what about a bit of compassion; and who knows if they actually got to know us they may realise that we still have lives worth living.  So much about metastatic disease goes straight from the diagnosis to end of life care!  There can be, and there are, years in between that can be happy and fulfilling.  So how about a bit of support for all of those years?

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