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Writing a journal

Hi everyone,

Over the last couple of days I've begun writing a new journal on a computer.

I started by going back to my initial diagnosis three and a half years ago. Being told I had incurable prostate cancer and that without treatment I had twelve months to live.

What it has made me realise is how much we go through on our own personal cancer journey. I can look back at the battles I've faced and feel proud of myself. Just wondering if anyone else has written a journal and how did it feel.

Best wishes and good luck to everyone on this brilliant forum,

Regards Peter xxxx

Comments

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @peter63

    Hi Peter

    What a great idea. By the way, I was diagnosed around the same time, in December 2016 in fact and I was told my cancer was incurable and that it was a very aggressive, Gleason 5 +4 =9. My original prognosis like yours, was not encouraging but with my wife Mary by my side, I have weathered the physical and mental pressures and the highs and lows and we are still here and counting.

    Mary has kept records of everything since I was first diagnosed and there have been some lows, that's for sure. You are right Peter, it is tough and we do deserve a pat on the back for getting to where we are now.

    Have you noticed how many people think that having prostate cancer is not a big deal? I am often told about people who have had it and are now as good as new. Sometimes I am made to feel that I am somehow a bit wet but as we both know that like any other cancer, there are significant different levels of metastasis and aggression. With a comprehensive journal, we can at least reassure ourselves that we are not wimps at all, but great survivors.

    Cheers

    Rob

  • peter63peter63 Posts: 49 ✭✭✭

    Hi Rob,

    Good to hear from you, hope you are feeling a little brighter and not in so much pain.

    Our stories sound very similar, I was also Gleason 5+4 and told very clearly that I was incurable. My first oncology consultant told me without urgent treatment I only had twelve months to live.

    Writing the journal is really making me realise how far I've travelled and how much I've overcome.

    Take care, stay safe and best wishes,

    Regards Peter

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @peter63

    Hi Peter,

    I think writing a journal is a great idea. I did start writing when I was diagnosed, and then the treatment etc affected my brain function . haha! Chemo brain!!

    I do have a reminder on my phone to do some writing each day, it doesn't always work though.

    I think writing down your experiences and feelings is a positive thing to do. Even if it is for your eyes only.

    To see how far you have come Peter from your initial diagnosis is wonderful.

    You are inspiring me to pick it up again.

    Hope you are having a peaceful weekend.

    Take care,

    Lou x

  • peter63peter63 Posts: 49 ✭✭✭

    , Hi Lou,

    I have to admit that I am already finding the process very therapeutic. It's reminding me that I have travelled so far on my cancer journey. I was initially given twelve months to live, but the journal is showing what is possible.

    Trying to make sure I do at least an hour a day.

    Hope you are keeping well and staying safe, all my best wishes,

    Regards Peter xxx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @peter63

    Hi Peter,

    That's fantastic! Good to have that discipline about it. Do you find your thoughts come faster than your ability to write it down?? I know mine do, even if I am typing. I have made some bullet point notes to remind me of things I want to say when I am writing.

    I did look up some writing tips, I got sent a lot from someone.

    Yes, I am keeping well thanks.

    Have a good evening,

    Lou xx

  • MoorandHill_manMoorandHill_man Posts: 10

    Great idea. I have been writing one so as to let my wife know of my life before I met her 35 years ago. I lived a fairly action packed life back then and events and stories I shared when meeting up with old muckers I am writing down; just in case.

    As this is my third time with cancer, second time my lovely wife went through with me, I too am writing down all the good things I remember.

    its a great way to get your mind around the facts of cancer, treatments and the nice people you meet in the hospitals. If only we could be so nice to each other all the time in life!


    Take care.

  • peter63peter63 Posts: 49 ✭✭✭

    Hi, thanks for the response . I have only my journal to cover my cancer journey and my use of therapy with my pyscologist . I have found it very helpful looking back at treatments and various other events. Take care and best wishes for the future.

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MoorandHill_man

    Good morning,

    Great to hear from you

    I think your writing will be an excellent read one day, stories of people's lives are important to put down and remember. It can make such a huge difference and impact on someone, not just the writer. Who knows who will be inspired by you telling your story.

    I love this about the community too. Reading others stories, is very encouraging and uplifting.

    Hope you are having a good week.

    Lou x

  • GrannyMoshGrannyMosh Posts: 20 ✭✭

    Hi everyone. My first post in quite a long time, having been busy filling in for a non-existent au pair in the care of my three grandchildren...a long story! I didn't keep a journal as such during my treatment, but did, and do still, have a Facebook group specifically to keep people updated. It saved my son from having to answer many individual enquiries as to my health, and gave me somewhere to moan on the rough days. After a while, it did become an unofficial record of an 8-week stay in hospital being treated for sepsis after my first and only chemo session, and also a resource to help me remember what happened and when. I rarely post in there now, but I occasionally look back through the posts and comments, and marvel at how kind people are, and how surprisingly good-natured I was (mostly)!

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GrannyMosh

    Hello Brenda,

    It is so good to hear from you again!

    I know you are and have been busy looking after your grandchildren. How have you all managed during this last year of Covid?

    I have seen you have been doing some lovely arty craft cards, we have a Creative Discussion going where you can share anything like this too. It is great to see what others enjoy doing.

    Like you I didn’t journal during my cancer treatment, in fact I didn’t read anything at all to do with cancer, good or bad. It was one of the ways it helped me to get through it all. I think the way you did your FB posts was a good idea, especially as it would have reduced the necessity to repeat yourself multiple times or the need for family to continually update people.

    Now though I am in the process of writing it all down. It may help someone, I know there are a lot of people who look to places just like here to find support, hold on to hope etc.

    I hope you are managing in the heat!

    Chat soon,

    Lou x

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @GrannyMosh @LouiseJ

    Good afternoon dear friends.

    How lovely to hear from you Brenda. Wow, looking after the grandchildren must have been tiring but no doubt fun too.

    Sepsis is really scary and that 8 week stay in hospital must have been very difficult for you. I hope that you are keeping well now.

    Yes, we read a lot about violent, unkind and greedy people but there are many more who are kind and supportive and who are often not mentioned.

    I think your journal is a great idea Lou. It will be fascinating for you to read through it when it is finished and to see in black and white, how much you have been through. It will also be really valuable reading for others who are at the beginning or in the middle of cancer treatments and looking for support.

    Rob x

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