The Changing Seasons, August 2021

Timely. This beautiful and very welcome card from my friend Sarah arrived the day of my surgery. Image: Su Leslie

Where to begin!

When I left you last month I was preparing for surgery for suspected ovarian cancer.

I join you this month a few body parts short of a game of Operation, a pleasing number of kilograms lighter, and with a long, but largely healed scar running the length of my abdomen.

The surgeons are confident they removed the visible tumours, but as the cancer had spread beyond my ovaries, I’ve been referred to an oncologist to discuss chemotherapy.

That should be enough for me to process and deal with.

But.

Four days after I got home from hospital, New Zealand went into a nation-wide Level 4 Covid-lockdown. The initial cases were pretty close to home, and for the first time since the pandemic began, I felt afraid. The possibility of illness — particularly a coughing illness — was terrifying while I was held together with staples and medical tape.

We’re now on Day 19, and my initial fears of becoming sick have been largely replaced by a weariness brought on by all the extra hassles of daily life (particularly one involving frequent medical appointments).

I’m incredibly fortunate to be locked down in a comfortable home, with plenty to eat and the wonderful Big T looking after me. I just wish I could DO more.

I’m not quite healed enough to work in the garden or finish restoring the armchair I had begun, and, as you’ll see, I’ve had a fairly limited choice of subjects for photography this month too.

Flowers began arriving not long after my return home. Image: Su Leslie

Double exposure. Image: Su Leslie

Still beautiful in decay. Image: Su Leslie

Throw in a little editing. Image: Su Leslie

Care package from my sister in law — kindness, goodness and supporting local business. Image: Su Leslie

Not missing these. Bye bye daily injections of anti-coagulant. Image: Su Leslie

The Changing Seasons — this month hosted by Ju-Lyn at Touring my Backyard

75 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons, August 2021

  1. Your photos of them bring me the scent, the wonderful scent !, of the stocks, dear Su.
    What I have missed is whether or not you’ve had the meeting to discuss chemo, and what was the outcome ?
    Terrific to hear from you; not so terrific to feel as if it’s all up in the air.
    Less big fat (87.6kg now, from 104kg) hugs from me

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congratulations; that’s a wonderful achievement! And hug very gratefully received.
      Yes, the stock scent was fabulous. I put the vase in another room to encourage me to get off my bum and walk through the house to smell it. 😂
      Oncology appointment is this coming Thursday — at 8.30am in the city. The only good thing about lockdown is that I won’t have to leave at six just to get there in time.
      Hugs back to ya.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: The Changing Seasons: August 2021 – Touring My Backyard

  3. Thank you so much for the up date Su. I have been thinking of you, especially when it came round to end of month changing season time. Your scars sound to be healing very quickly, probably due to good diet and positive outlook, let’s hope the insides are doing the same. I think I know how frustrating it must be when you cannot DO anything. Those flowers are so beautiful and you are still being inspired by them to do some interesting editing. I love the sunflower double exposure image. Take care and I’m sending you lots best wishes for a swift recovery 💕🌺🌻🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gosh, Su. Surgery and hospitals in the best of times is harrowing; I feel you having to deal with the anxieties associated with this journey of recovery.

    And lockdown is hard, no matter how comfortable our homes are, having been self-isolated for a couple of weeks before. Maybe it’s just the frame of mind and the thought of being shut in. And not having the strength or the energy to engage in our favourite activities is just the pits.

    I continue to pray for you each day: that you will have a flower to spend time with, a delicious morsel to enjoy, a loving conversation to soothe. Sending you a big hug.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You are alive. Enjoy EVERY moment. My mother died of breast cancer, my brother of pancreatic as did both maternal grandparents. My first husband had kidney cancer and I’m not sure whether or not he would have survived it (he was 36 when he got ) because at 53, he was dead of heart problems and medical incompetence. I had breast cancer in both breasts 10 years ago with the heart stuff just four years later.

    Which actually makes me the official family survivor and I am very very grateful to be alive, despite all evidence I should be dead. I’m glad be here because, for reasons I find baffling — my husband and sone seem to want me around.

    DO NOT feel guilty. Be grateful. Tell everyone LOUDLY and if possible, publicly, how very much you appreciate their support. They are working on new kinds of medications for us and many of them are coming available to “regular” (not test) people.

    We got used to lockdown. We aren’t big socializers anyway, so it wasn’t a huge adjustment. And because Owen came home. And I had the birds and squirrels to watch.

    Keep the birdfeeders near your windows and remember that many, many of us are rooting for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Marilyn. I am incredibly grateful for all that I have, especially the good people around me. It would be so nice to see some of them though. Our bubble-of-two is cozy, but I’m missing the boy-child’s hugs, and all the offers of meals that can’t now be delivered ☹️

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  6. So good to see Zimmerbitch in my Inbox!!! It is good to see you back here, Su. Of course, you have not missed a beat with your photography–still beautiful. The good thing about chemo–it keeps the bad stuff away. Good luck with your visit to the oncologist this week. Maybe he thinks your cancer would respond to immunotherapy? That’s what I have–I still feel sick but no hair loss. That was the first thing I asked about! 😬 Vain much? 😉 Take care of yourself, Su.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have so many questions for the oncologist!! Oddly I’m not that worried about my hair; I had intended to shave it all off when we went into lockdown last year (though since then I’ve found a fabulous hairdresser)!

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  7. Oh, Su, such times. I feel for you. Glad the surgery went well, not glad that the cancer has spread and that you will more than likely need more treatments. Love all your flowers and that you have been able at least to grab a camera and allow us to share the beauty. Your injections of anti-coagulant reminded me of when I had to inject the boy (2017) with the same, but very different looking needles. It took me a while to understand exactly how to insert the needle to avoid hurting him! I would never make it as a nurse! We were both relieved when we could stop! Take care my friend, wishing you all the best and a good recovery.
    Jude xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. SO glad to see this in my Reader and hear from you. These photos will do quite nicely but you’ll have to do without flowers from me as I haven’t mastered the art of sending them through the mail. 🙂 Wonderful to have your friends and family rallying ’round. Now just stay safe, rest, and recover!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gorgeous flowers, gorgeous photos! Lovely to “hear” from you, Su. I remember having to inject both my husband and then years later my mother with heparin nightly, to prevent blood clots. I got very good at it – no bruising…nurses would compliment me on my “technique”…not a skill I was happy to be proficient at, but oh well…I was happy to be of some use. All I can say is: one day at a time, one appointment at a time. Take notes, or make recordings if you can…don’t be afraid to lean on others…they will want to help.

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deb. Where were you when I needed a needle-proficient nurse?? It’s definitely not my super power.

      A friend suggested recording meetings on my phone, and I think that’s a brilliant idea.

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  10. I was so happy to see your post, Su! One huge step forward, one major surgery behind. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts, special wishes for the best treatment strategy and outcome with the oncologist. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for sharing your flowers and your news with us, Su. I was worried when I heard where those cases were, not to mention the terrorist incident. We all wish the cancer news was better. Be pushy, see if you can get on a clinical trial. You get the best cancer treatment possible, plus the trial stuff. Or so I’ve been told. Big hug.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tracy. Last week was pretty shit in my part of Auckland, with floods affecting some friends’ homes and businesses (and my in-laws’ house apparently, though it’s currently empty and we can’t go round to check the damage). The terrorist was just the rancid icing on a mouldy cake. I really fear for Muslim and refugee community i ties right now; there is so much nastiness and vitriol being spread.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve been thinking of you a lot Su, so am pleased to have an update, with its mixed news. Chemo is very far from being a walk in the park, but it DOES end, as my daughter can testify. She would also tell you to accept every single bit of help you’re offered, whatever it is, without worrying about whether you can ever ‘pay it back’, as always – and unnecessarily – concerned her. Sending all positive thoughts your way x

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Surrounded by love and flowers is a good place to be, Su. Thanks for taking the time to record it for us. Scary times and I was almost holding my breath as I read down the page, but good luck with the appointment and whatever lies ahead. We are all rooting for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Glad to see these lovely images and to know you are keeping safe in lockdown. I am looking forward to going into Level 2 but I am not looking forward to the return of traffic. As you rightly say it’s a blessing to be without traffic when you are trying to get to an early appointment. All the best with that. I am also glad to see the card from Sarah. I have been wondering how she is as I haven’t seen her on IG for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. While I am so sorry to hear about your surgery and your anxiety about the threat of Covit19, I am glad to see you back blogging, Sue. All these beautiful flowers that friends and family sent to your home, must have been a source of joy and encouragement during this difficult time in your life. Best wishes! Peter

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I was away on your publishing date and only can return today to read you. What a journey you have made already! Plus the upheaval of a new lockdown AND a terrorist incident – you really didn’t need all that….
    I’m greatly surprised and utterly thrilled to read that you are recovering so well – but I shouldn’t be that surprised, your positive attitude and great approach towards everything life throws at you is most certainly helping you in the healing process.
    I think so very often of you, and often I also send a word to our Master in Heaven, for you and some others in dire need of a ‘little (big) help’ from above. I would like to thank all those who keep you in relatively good spirit, your great T, friends, family, those flowers, cards, gifts, thoughts and phone calls are such a wonderful help in getting ‘over it’. Then we can and shall count on the always more advanced medication and medical help as Marilyn described.
    Wishing you God’s help and a strong hope that all will be well in the end. We’re counting on having you around for much much longer. Please get any help you’re being offered, I tried in former years not to let anybody know about my state of health and I would never do that again. Let those friends be there for you!
    I’m not sending any flowers but a bunch of good wishes, great vibes, big smiles and loving thoughts.

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  17. It was so nice to see a post from you in my mailbox. I just took a stroll through all the comments as well.
    I echo all their sentiments. I have my fingers crossed for your oncologist appointment this week. If your personal cheering squad of bloggers could possibly make a difference, consider it done. All our best wishes, and positive energy has to help! 🙂❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Seeing a post from you always makes me smile, even though the news you share doesn’t… 😦 I hope your appointment with the oncologist was clarifying and that further treatment will start as soon as possible. Your flower photos are so beautiful, I feel especially hooked by the wilted sunflower. It’s good to hear you’ve got enough provisions to last you through this current lockdown which I hope will soon end so that you can get out more and more easily. I hope walks are allowed? With all that fresh air it should be, even here it was recommended last winter. Are you wearing a FFP2 face mask when around people? Any coughing/sneezing sickness would be so uncomfy with your staples and such, not just Covid.
    And what a lovely care package from your sister in law! I’ve never tasted tamarillo, that is, not that I know of, what does it taste like? More fruity or more like a tomato?
    Sending an enormous HUG! xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you my dear friend.
      Auckland is to drop down one lock-down level tomorrow, so we will have a little more freedom (and for the takeaway lovers, they can go back to buying Big Macs and whatever).
      I haven’t bought any special face masks, mainly because I’ve hardly been out. Luckily my wound has healed really well and sneezing, coughing and laughing are no longer scary.
      Tamarillos are hard to explain. When I was a kid we used to call them “tree tomatoes” and they do look similar when cut. They taste both tangy and sweet, and a bit astringent. The skins aren’t edible, so we tend to scoop the flesh out, in the same way as passionfruit or kiwifruit. You will have to visit NZ during tamarillo season and we will eat them together.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh, Su. I am so very sorry. Talk about life turning on a dime. I am sending prayers and good thoughts your way. And I love that you are still seeming to enjoy simple things–from toast with jam to beautiful flowers. You have a huge community out here rooting for you. Don’t forget it . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Kris. I really do appreciate the kind messages from you and the rest of my blogging whanau. Chemo starts next week, so I’m alternating between wishing I could run away and hide, and just wanting to get on with it.

      Like

  20. I wish you good luck with your chemotherapy and hope they manage to get every nasty little bit of your invader. By now your lockdown may be over or at least relaxed a bit. If so don’t go rushing around but try a more steady pace with getting out and about again. Take great care of yourself.
    Huge Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much 🙏

      We’re still locked down and going a bit stir crazy. My energy levels have been quite good, but I’m taking it pretty easy. I’m not hopeful of a quick end to the lock-down; the case numbers aren’t falling much, and Covid seems to have become entrenched in areas of deprivation where it’s much more difficult to ensure proper testing and vaccination.

      Liked by 1 person

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