Happy Birthday, Dear Chemo.


I’ve found this most recent post from my daughter the hardest of all to read, because we’ve seen at first hand the boys’ anger and fear over their mother’s cancer. I doubt if I could have found it in me to reblog her thoughts if we hadn’t been in Bolton this last weekend.

We were there because Ellie wanted to be at her annual professional conference overnight. Voice overs work in the main alone, so theirs is less a conference more a knees-up and a chance to bond. Her colleagues have been unendingly supportive and helpful since Phil’s death, and she spent the weekend being hugged and loved.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the boys were doing their own thing. Twin Number One got invited for a sleepover. Twin Number Two wasn’t, but elected to come shopping and bake a cake with me instead. Then he too found himself off playing footie with his mates and being invited to spend the night at a friend’s house.

Suddenly, we were only babysitting the dog, who required a long, energetic and healthy walk on Sunday.

Perhaps it’s the light at the end of the tunnel. Ellie was happy. She had a much needed break. The twins were happy. They had time away from each other, and they could see their mum was OK.

It’s chemotherapy again on Wednesday. But it’s the LAST ONE. However bad it might be, it’s THE LAST ONE. Then there’s radiotherapy, which will tire her out. But that’s the LAST TREATMENT. She’s booked a family holiday for August. Perhaps they can dare to hope that this is the year when cancer finally pushes off and leaves them alone.

Fanny the Champion of the World

My relentless positivity is waning. The dark thoughts are setting in, and becoming far harder to shake off than the last few eyelashes which have long been sobbed into a snotty tissue. I have two children who miss their father, but I miss him too, and if it weren’t for them, perhaps I wouldn’t have bothered to fight this at all. In fact, I think I resent the fact that I can’t just say fuck it and join him, wherever he is. Because I do have his beloved children, though, and no family nearby to bring them up, I don’t have a choice. But, Christ, it’s hard – especially when the two children you’re doing it for are not helping you to row upstream, but are standing on the riverbank, chucking rocks at you as you try to do it alone.

They’re eleven. Nearly twelve. And they’re about as much…

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18 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Dear Chemo.

  1. Oh my….. you are one very brave and terribly courageous family – I pull my imaginary hat for all of you. Shall put a few words to Ellie.
    LUCKILY, you (still) have each other – I can’t imagne a world for the boys without their mum and dad…. And that’s a thought I have about twice a day for all the kids in war-torn countries…. We even see the devastating results in our own family with adopted children. Ellie, be strong – and take courage – things WILL get better…. hopefully soon!

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    1. Yes, let’s hope. They need a break. And it seems you know something about the difficulties they’re encountering. Thank you.


  2. When I stopped crying and reread this I was lost in admiration for you all. It’s particularly difficult dealing with children and grief because they don’t think or express themselves like adults. Love to all xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It’s Ellie who deserves all the plaudits for keeping the show on the road. She has lovely friends, and the family mucks in as far as possible, but in the end, she’s the one that has to cope, morning, noon and night, all day and every day.


  3. Hoping that the remaining treatment is over soon and so that Ellie can start recovering from the treatment side effects. Her courage is extraordinary. With very best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I read Ellie’s posts, I always want to write something bracing and uplifting but I usually just sit and stare at my computer. How does anyone deal with what she’s been thru?

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