The Changing Seasons, June-July 2021

Wahine Toa (warrior woman). A note to self for the shitty days ahead.

I have ovarian cancer.

The provisional diagnosis, given a month ago, has been confirmed by an MRI. I am scheduled for a radical hysterectomy next Monday.

What happens after that will depend on pathology results.

The upside of all this is that T and I have finally sorted out Enduring Powers of Attorney and updated our Wills.

The downside is that we feel we have to.

On a positive note, the pulmonary embolism I was diagnosed with seems to have either cleared, or was never there at all. I no longer have to inject myself daily with blood-thinners, and don’t have to constantly wear the ugly compression stockings (at least until after surgery).

Bye-bye injections — for now. Image: Su Leslie 2021

On a less positive note; I’m still peeing through a catheter.

But I am starting to see the funny side of that — just not enough to write about it.

Something of an expert in the varying properties of medical tapes. Image: Su Leslie 2021

So does that sum up my life at the moment? Well, yes, ….


My father in law died a few weeks ago.

I’m grateful I was well enough to speak at his funeral and pay tribute to a man I really loved.

My son graduated from university last week.

And though we didn’t stay for the whole ceremony, I’m so grateful I could go, and see all his hard work of the last few years acknowledged.

The boy-child’s graduation. Image: Leslie family archive.

The Big T and I celebrated 35 years together at the weekend.

Every moment of every day I am grateful for his love and support and his fundamental goodness.

Even though he does make me laugh until I snort — and that is so unattractive.

So life is a bit weird right now, and will probably get weirder. But I’m fortunate to be experiencing this particular brand of weird in a country that still has a functioning public health system, staffed by people who seem efficient and are certainly kind.

Best of all I feel supported by friends and whanau; can’t ask for much more than that really.

Muriwai Beach; something to look forward to when I’ve recovered from surgery. Image: Su Leslie 2021

The Changing Seasons — this month hosted by Brian at Bushboy’s World

101 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons, June-July 2021

  1. You that you will find your way through this. And that being in a country with excellent medical services will be a huge help in your getting through it. Get a very good understanding of your tumor. It’s growth pattern and speed. Also, get the information in writing because you’ll forget a lot of it almost immediately. Having cancer is like heading into a long tunnel. Once you are in it, you can’t leave. But the end of the tunnel comes and I hope good news comes with it. I’m so very much on your side.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you Marilyn. Good advice; I have a nurse friend whoโ€™s come to appointments with me and taken great notes (and asked lots of questions). That has made a big difference to my understanding.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I had a doctor friend who did the same for me. It helped a LOT because I was in such a fugue state, I didn’t remember anything at all. I think Garry was so boggled and probably scared that he didn’t remember anything either. Just get the pathology results in writing. Medical people always want details about them and I think I had the papers and I think I lost them somewhere. I really WAS mentally challenged for probably a couple of years.

        I don’t know how we survive, but somehow, we do. Having a good marriage is a HUGE help!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. So inspiring post ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐ŸŒทyou and you your sonโ€™s Graduation 2 photos so lovely ๐ŸŒทโ™ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š
    By The Grace of God operation finished successfully ๐Ÿ™โ™ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘Take care nicely and God Bless ๐Ÿ™

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely to hear from you Su even though it was a hard read except that you still are able to have a good snort laugh. Thanks for letting us know how you are going and it really is a Changing Season for you. Sending love and hugs โคโค๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A hysterectomy is no longer the 6-month operation that it used to be — I was driving within a week after mine this spring, and had virtually no pain. With endometrial cancer, I have come 2/3 through a 6 session course of chemotherapy, and have a month of radiation to go. It sounds as if we’ve caught mine early, but I do worry where else there may be disease. Best wishes to you for easy recovery and treatment ๐Ÿ™‚ !

    Liked by 2 people

    • Iโ€™m so glad youโ€™re doing well, and your cancer was detected early. I generally heal very quickly, but am taking onboard the six-week recovery recommendation. Otherwise, I know myself and Iโ€™d be doing too much too soon โ€” out of sheer boredom ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

      Liked by 2 people

      • I have slowed my activity way down — although I have been able to drive since a week or so after surgery, I have limited my distances to about 5 miles at a time — it made me very nervous to have to drive 30 miles each way to an appointment after12 weeks. I’m actually doing more on the computer, and reading more, and generally “living life in the slow lane!” With nobody to help, that is enough, after I do the requirements of taking care of myself!


        • Life in the slow lane is FINE and considerably beats out no life in any lane. As time marches on, I’m still slowing down. Cancer always leaves you wondering what else might going on. It’s a scary disease and I was terrified of it until my heart failed. Now, I just figure something will kill me eventually and I’m just not going to dwell on it. I still don’t drive except for emergencies. I’m out of practice and I get occasional angina attacks that make me fear being behind the wheel. I might have to start driving again, but I look at the car, then I think “Maybe next week.” Or the week after.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Su, oh Su .. Why did you have to go and do this ? – I mean, it don’t seem one bit sensible ..
    Dear blonde bombshell, you have put it all very well indeed: we understand perfectly the insane juxtaposition of utter joy and utter .. not-joy. :\
    Big T and Little T are both so proud of you; and I hope very much that you are proud of yourself. I think you are: you’re no fool.
    Very much and very great affection: with any luck, me auld darlint, we’ll be mocking you about this in not so far-away a time.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am tearing and smiling at the same time. With your usual wit and aplomb, you share your challenges; and in your gratefulness, I am yet again inspired and encouraged. I feel so privileged to share in your journey through this space.

    Sending you a BIG HUG, and lots of positive energy.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Sounds like it’s been a tough time. I had a mastectomy in May, am in the middle of chemo and am looking forward to radiation as well. It’s a hell of a journey (not all bad!). I have learned in sparkling hues how wonderful my family and friends are. I have had my faith in human goodness restored. But I send you massive good wishes and heartfelt good luck. You sound, as my Dad’s cousin would say, strong as a mallee root. So glad you have a wonderful partner and family around you. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I saw you pop up in the reader Su and opened it in anticipation. But was devastated by your news. Thank you for letting all of us blogging buddies know. Iโ€™m sure, like me, many of them would be wondering how you were. But, like you say, we live in one of the best countries in the world with an excellent medical system. And a big bonus is that you will be recovering during our glorious spring time. So smell the roses my kiwi friend and take it one day at a time, slowly….๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I wasn’t going to like this post but on second thoughts I decided there was heaps in this post to like. For starters, it is wonderful to hear about your son’s graduation. Honestly, it seems like yesterday you were helping to get him ready for his first year at Uni. I am also so glad you have loving family and friends to help you on this part of your life’s journey. Kia Kaha, wahine toa. We are with you all the way. Love love your first image!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Su, I don’t ‘know’ you and yet, you feel like a friend to me. We have ‘shared’ tea parties, we have been rejoicing over your fantastic skills and the beautiful stuff you made, we looked together at which fabric would be best to put over a chair, I have been thinking more than once of buying a one-way-ticket to your corner of the earth (but have decided that now I’m back – finally – in my home country Switzerland, I ought to stay), and I’ve been reduced to tears over your news. Then I shed more tears of joy for your son’s achievements (and what a glorious photo this is too!), I shared thoughts and feelings over the death of your father in law. My youngest sister died end of March and my mother in law followed end of May – and like you we all parted in peace and understanding. Such a help!
    We still have to get our testaments sorted – but then for the moment, I hope we won’t need to hurry….
    Now I ask you to take Marilyn’s advice, have everything important in writing – I have realised too that when one is in a ‘pickle’, your brain cannot take it all in and one forgets immediately what one has been told.
    You are a beautiful, strong, fabulous, Warrior Woman, you have a strong, loving Big and Young T each, you will be surrounded with love, prayers, thoughts and the best care available and you will take each day, one after the other, in its stride. I wish you with all my might the best, may you have much reason to snort, grin and smile, may your heart be light and your load bearable. I’m with you.


  11. I love your warrior photo. This is how I picture you – strong, sure, take-no-prisoners.
    I love the graduation photo with ‘Little’ T. He doesn’t look so little anymore, does he? ๐Ÿ™‚ Graduation day is a watershed moment in every parent’s life. The future begins here.
    I love that you snort when you laugh. It speaks of unbridled mirth. How can that be anything but wonderful?! … well, except when a fluid gets snorted out of the nose in the process. Trust me on this one. I speak from experience.

    On the other hand, I don’t like your diagnosis. My delight in seeing a post from you in my email was quickly extinguished when I read your words. I send you warm thoughts, hugs, and anything else you might want or need to see you through the journey ahead. M-R and Ju-Lyn were both so eloquent in their comments, I will let them speak for me too โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I can’t say anything on the medical side; I admire your lucidity in taking the facts as they are and moving forward as always with dignity. It’s a great lesson, thank you. I wish you all the very best.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear Su–this popped up last night just as I was going to bed so wanted to save it for this morning. Not the day brightener I expected. Keep that warrior pose photo front and center–she will ground you and remind you that you can do it. My husband and I go to each others appointments and I have a notebook–half for him and half for me. Our own little diary. Having it all written down is so important so all you have to do is rest and not try to remember what you never remembered in the first place. The boy-child–congratulations to him. My, he has grown. You are strong, Su. You will need your rest, but the fight does not diminish. Ask questions. Knowledge is power. Much love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Lois. Iโ€™ve been lucky to have a midwife friend come to the pre-surgery appointment t. She took great notes and asked all the questions I wouldnโ€™t have thought of. Knowledge is indeed power.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love that photo of you, Su. I am sorry to read that you are needing to go into battle but I know you will face this challenge with everything you have, and with style, wisdom and grace. Sending strength and love to you, Warrior Woman.


    Liked by 2 people

  15. Oh, Sue! Who wants to write this kind of stuff? Our worst nightmare but we know so many people who have gone through it. And crucially, come out the other side. What a fabulous photo with the boy and such a proud moment for you. Ours was finally here last week and I still wander into the bedroom and smell his cologne. Chin up darlin, and keep chuckling for as long as you can. Sending hugs ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You’re a strong woman Su, they have come so far in the treatment of this type of cancer. You have an excellent chance to get through this.
    The graduation of your son is another mile stone. You have so much to be proud of and so much more to look foreword to.
    Leslie xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Oh, Su, not what I wanted to read when I saw your post in the Reader. But you are a warrior and you are tough and pragmatic. But that doesn’t mean you are not frightened and wobbly on the inside. That’s OK too. You have a loving supportive family and friends and now is the time for them to step up. And what a proud moment for you alongside your boy child. Definitely a young man now with new adventures. Keep smiling and snorting, though watch those stitches – and I send you all my love and hugs and positive thoughts โค๏ธโค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi, Su, thank you so much for the update, really so much going on in your life right now. I will be thinking of you on Sunday/Monday, wishing you the best possible outcome and painless recovery from the surgery. Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Su, I’m so sorry about all this. It’s wonderful that you have positives to celebrate – thank goodness, because it’s tough, as I know from my daughter’s cancer and treatment. I hope that you, like she, will be able look back on this in due course and remember it as being a challenging part of your life that, despite everything, you came through with only a few bits of yourself missing. Sending love and positive thoughts x

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: The Changing Seasons: July 2021 – Touring My Backyard

  21. Su, I’m just seeing this, so I’m sorry I’m a bit late to the “party.” My sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer more than five years ago. She has gotten excellent medical care — even here in the states — and I know that advancements have been made in its treatment. Please let me know if you’d like me to put you in touch with her.

    Sending many healing purrs,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Andrea. Iโ€™m waiting for pathology results at the moment, but once I know more about the nature of my cancer, Iโ€™d welcome a chance to talk to your sister. ๐Ÿ™โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  22. LOVE you as Wahine Toa, dear friend – you look so powerful and ready to kick ass!! Even bare foot – however do you do that? I’d need stell-capped boots to pull off that look! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Making someone snort with laughter = love in my book. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Love the shot of you and the boy-child!
    Much aroha! xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Pingback: The Changing Seasons, August 2021 | Zimmerbitch

  24. Hi su
    35 years! Oh wow that is so awesome
    And I am late checking in here after reading your more recent update (and no reply needed) but wanted to send well wishes your way and condolences on the FIL – and of course congrats to your son

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Here I am traveling backward through your posts and ahh, how hard the diagnosis is when you get it. The words they throw at your in the doctor’s office. The matter-of-fact review of your options. The constraints you will now have on your life and time. I found it harder to wait, easier when each procedure was done and over with. Sooner than you think, you get back to life as normal. Or, as normal as it ever gets. But this is a time like no other. Everything will feel more intense, be more important. And a lot of that will be hard to experience, but also hard to have behind you. (I found cancer to be weirdly the most loving experience of my life. So many people surrounded me during that time. I hope you get that kind of love and support too.) I will think of you in the days that follow. And hope for a very good outcome at the end of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. Youโ€™ve said so succinctly exactly how Iโ€™m feeling. I am fortunate to have so many lovely caring people around me, and itโ€™s made me appreciate friends and whanau so much more.

      Liked by 1 person

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