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Updated: Aug 7, 2022


Our zest for living, can rather ebb and flow throughout our time on this planet and I'm no exception. Still there's nothing like a health scare or two, to make one sit up and notice, that the adventure we are on, as short as it is, is very much worth having.

Late last year, I found a lump in my breast. It turned out to be nothing to worry about which was fabulous. However, even with that good news, I knew my health wasn't everything it should be and I gave myself lots of excuses. Maybe I was feeling MEH because of travel, of stress, celiacs, post menopause, of this and that, maybe? I knew something wasn't right but never really did anything much about it. I really do tend to put a lot down to the 'just being a woman'. Like somehow, we have to put up with feeling rubbish! Self punishment? Maybe?

I remember pre 2019 I was happy and I was healthy. WTF went wrong? Even in Canada 2019, I was well, even though I didn't particularly like where I was. The cold weather seemed to suit me and I was at a good weight and fitness level. My skin was clear and soft and I felt energetic, mostly. Towards the end of 2019, pre move I started to struggle with my digestion again. By early 2020, back in France I started to suffer with eye problems. Who knows if I had COVID at any stage during those first few months back in France, as there were no tests! During the COVID pandemic my stomach started to swell when I walked and I generally felt awful most of the time. I simply went from fit to breathless overnight. Strange. I did go to the hospital and doctors and was told I wasn't looking after my celiacs disease. Honestly, I felt that I very much was even though eating safely in France was rather challenging at times. The doctors kept giving me antispazmodics which really only slowed everything down some more. In the end I put it all down to the stress of renting in France and as he had a client in the Uk towards the end of 2021, we decided it made more sense to wait out some of our time here and so the 'HALF LIFE' began! Our French wreck was and still is under renovation, so it all made sense for a while. We knew the half life wouldn't be easy, but it would only be for up to two years at the most. Actually, the reality is that the 'half life' is really not 'doable' long term, with the pressure to back and forth and of course the odd health issue.

So we packed up again (I know, one day I must endeavour to count our many moves, but not today, too scary) knowing that we would have to go back and forth and that the next time we lived in France permanently, would be once the Wreck was sold. Then and only then could we buy somewhere we both loved. We arrived here late December and I was utterly exhausted. I remember the lead up to Christmas being fraught, mainly because I just felt awful, definitely not myself. Way back in August of 2021, I'd already realised I needed to cut back on my involvement with online communities and around Christmas time instead of being out, I was very much dragged in and the stress was monumental. That story is long and I can't be bothered today. Anyway, somethings are better off left in the past where they belong. Suffice to say, my plans for a quieter two years were scuppered for a while.

Little by little, inch by inch I've re set my life online, retaining only a handful of people I trust as my online friends. What was supposed to be a shared positive community to help like minded people had really lost its way sadly. It goes on, but under a new management team, new name and I've completely retired from Simply. Instead I have turned back the clock and gone back to it just being me! All the drama and stress has faded away and I can finally relax. It definitely helps!

Then I suddenly start bleeding from the undercroft! I'm a 7 years fully paid up member of the menopause crew, so bleeding shouldn't be a thing! It was the 28th of May when it started. Very heavy with right kidney flank pain. on the 31st, having no GP, I began the battle to get treated or at least be seen. I ended up in A&E and was seen after 5 hours. Even then the A&E doctor didn't want to start anything because in her words 'You don't have a GP"! I didn't back down knowing that I could have the big C and the sooner I was seen the better! Even though I didn't have ovaries, I still have a womb and cervix and so the risks were still very much there!

Cancer in the undercarriage? Jesus!

In the end I was admitted to the Gynaecology ward and was seen pretty quickly! Two lady Gynae's had a good poke around . There were a lot of hummmmmm and shhhhhh's, lots of frowning and then they called for the big guns! Mr big gun was of the opinion that I had cancer of the cervix and possibly the womb. He was very serious and asked about any trauma downstairs because of the amount of scarring he saw. I couldn't for the life think what he meant but also by then the fear was in me...........! CANCER IN THE UNDERCROFT!

He explained to me that I would be referred quickly and within two weeks, I would have all the answers. I just pretty much felt that with every minute that passed I was dying! My husband and I were petrified. What did the future hold? What about all our plans? I had so wanted to spend the summer in Europe and now it was all on hold. We could hardly breathe.

A week came and went and no appointment, so I rang the A&E secretary, who did some investigation. Turned out I had been missed off the appointment list! Not a great start but she got the appointments sorted for an ultrasound and vaginal scan with in the two week time frame. Then the same thing happened again and appointments were all askew! I got myself all ready for a painful internal procedure and instead saw the consultant! It was all back to front. These things happen but by then my nerves were shot to pieces. Last Tuesday, I finally had a few supposedly painless procedures which were in fact excruciating! I get the results in around four weeks, but the consultant felt positive that its okay for me to have my summer and he thinks I will be on six monthly appointments thereafter! Lets hope he's right! So whilst I've not been pronounced free of the big C yet, I remain hopeful. However, the two week urgent diagnosis really isn't possible and its more like 10 weeks in reality! I will finally get the results when I get back from my holiday.

After all the hospital visits, I do absolutely need a holiday and we have also come to the conclusion, that we need to be back in France full time soon. It's too hard to manage the wreck from here and anyway we need to be present in France for tax reasons. I hope we find a solution but meanwhile we have R&R on our minds. Our purchase of an RV in France fell through. We had put a juicy deposit on one but we delayed picking it up due to issues here. Anyway, the long and short of it is, they sold it! Arghhhhhhh!

Back to the drawing board we go!

In the end after much back and forth, we gave in and booked a package holiday! A really rare occurrence in our family history! We don't generally do the package thing and we all had rather more 'sexy' destinations in mind, however the monumental price of flights at the time of year we want to go, decided that it would be a more reliable Turkey holiday! Can't wait really and even though I won't get to meander down the Italian coastline, there's always next year!

Life moves in mysterious ways and to be honest, as I approach my 54 th Birthday, I'm only just learning to go with the flow.

If life gives you lemons, squeeze them and add them to a ginormous G&T!

Footnote: My results came in just as I was about to leave for the airport. I GOT THE ALL CLEAR!


Donna x

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