Breast cancer post #2

I’ve had a very busy and social weekend with my wonderful family and friends. It can be exhausting to experience the emotion of others when my own emotions are soaring in different directions but I am finding the courage to do that and it’s getting easier by the day.

People have been very supportive AND practical which is a huge relief to me. Paul,  from Forest Edge Stone, for example, has extended my art exhibition to May 1st (3 extra weeks) for no charge so I don’t have to worry about it. You can find out more about that here. What a man!

It’s odd but I feel surprised by people being emotional. It’s not that I’m not touched (afterwards) it’s just that it confuses me for the first few seconds. I automatically think ‘I wonder why she is upset’. So in true Bredle family (mothers side) style, I’m breaking the ice with humour. It shocks people sometimes but if I can make people laugh I feel happy and so do they. I’m also perfectly comfortable to speak openly about the ‘other feelings’ so it’s not that I’m in denial. Mostly I feel quite enveloped in a calmness and peace, mixed with a positive and fighting spirit and I am touched by the empathy others feel comfortable to show. No behaviour is wrong or right. Feelings are feelings. I have found enough grace to understand that how people react (or don’t react) isn’t always an indicator of how they feel.

So as well as catching up with loved ones… I’ve discovered that there are now half a dozen ex/current Swinburne staff with breast cancer, diagnosed in the last month or so and many who have had it in the past 2 years. I could make comment on that but let’s leave it alone:) I’m catching up with a couple of them for coffee next week so we can support each other.

1901973_753528051337655_193389831_nIn the quiet moments I’ve included a tad of artwork. I began drawing again at 1am Saturday night when I couldn’t sleep. One of them was very bleak and I’m going to ‘bin it’ and others were introspective. The plan is to ‘half complete’ a pile of drawings and finish them off while I’m on the chemo drip.

This one (above) is probably expressing more than my words can say but even though it is ‘sad’ looking, the wings are a symbol of ‘hope’. They are also breast cancer ribbons which are a bit cliche but… meh!

Warning: my humour can be black

So my new plead with the MOTH (Man Of The House) is ‘If you loved me… I’ve got cancer you know’.  So far I’ve asked for a Ferrari, a house down the beach and I asked him to shave his head when I do mine. He was shocked at first but now he is responding with ‘I don’t love you that much’.

Last night we were having dinner with a bunch of my wonderful friends and I extended it to request many things on behalf of others. ‘Colin, if you loved me you would buy Janet a house, Gail an iPad etc etc.’

Anyone who wants to get in on the act can slip me a commission of 25%. Now that I’ve got no job I’m becoming entrepreneurial.

French Lentils have the power

The things I love to eat (apparently)…

Broccoli, Walnuts, Beans, Garlic, Mushrooms, Broccoli sprouts, Pomegranates, Lentils, Blueberries, Spinach, Eggs, Salmon, Rye bread (whole rye flour), Sweet potato (all yellow veges and fruits), Kohlrabi, Whole grains, Flaxseed

No high fat dairy or processed meat

Keep off the processed food



I figured if I looked up power food for fighting cancer and stick to a diet (loosely) I will have some kind of control over my body. So I printed out the list above. The MOTH has been very diligent and wanting to do the right thing by me (apart from the Ferrari) and went on a hunt to buy everything on the list. Some of those things were pretty challenging but he also managed to make the ‘normal’ things more difficult. He couldn’t just buy lentils from the supermarket. He had to buy FRENCH LENTILS from the health food shop. They are sure to work better. So we had very posh FRENCH LENTIL BURGERS for tea. Voila!

I wondered why Rye bread always has wheat flour in it so I decided to make my own ‘cardboard-tasting-solid-as-a-brick’ loaf. It didn’t rise at all and it made me gag to eat it. All is good. WIth my french lentils and my cardboard brick Rye loaf I can conquer all.

Tests and stuff

Today I have a Gated Heart Pool Scan and a full body CT scan. The heart one is to check if it will stand up to one of the chemo drugs which they use in the trial and the CT scan is to check for cancer locations in soft tissue. I had the bone scan last Friday and we should get the results when I see the oncologist tomorrow.

I have to have a biopsy next Friday so they can tag the tumour. Perhaps they want to track where I am so I can’t run away (microchip). Then I have to sort out wigs, bras and where and when I will start chemo. I’m happy to be doing the trial (see blog post #1) as it means I will be closely monitored. Shrinking the tumour before removing it just makes sense. So let’s hope and pray that I will be a suitable candidate.

I’m so blessed to have Colin, my kids and their partners and a huge network of family and friends who are all with me on the journey. If I don’t respond to your messages or have that promised coffee it’s not that I don’t appreciate you.

The purpose of this blog is to inspire others and not to get pity. I hope that regardless of tomorrows results I can do that in some way. If not, just let me make you laugh so we can all feel OK about it. Maybe some days I won’t be laughing and you can pay me back;)

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Jenny Wood breast cancer

A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realise how blessed you are.