It’s been a hectic couple of weeks in the Giles household, hence the lack of recent blog but am trying to rectify this with a bit of an update. I’ve taken part in quite a few events for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (LLR) during weekends in September - I was collecting for LLR as part of Small Change, Big Impact week on 14th, was on the LLR stand as part of Cardiff Cancer Awareness day on 20th & helped at the final Vintage Car Rally in Tredegar House on 21st. Each event was completely different, & although I am still absolutely exhausted after a busy few weeks I have found it extremely rewarding.
Last week I had my 4-monthly check & everything seems to be stable although I’m getting a hip x-ray because of on-going aches in the area from where the tumour was removed & I also had my 6-weekly psychology appointment which always helps to straighten me out. One of things that we talked about last week was the fact that I don’t like asking for help at all & that my blog has become my other main source of “dumping” about how I feel at any particular point. It’s funny how easy it is to open up in a blog which is then published on the internet but how difficult it is to ask for help in person. I can’t quite get my head round that but I’m sure that I’m not the only person to feel like that! Something else I’ve noticed is how I can talk about my feelings very openly & honestly to other patients, who often I have only just met, but I struggle to do it with family & close friends. I suppose there is comparative “safety” with those with whom I am not emotionally connected but I would love it if I could truly understand why this is. I’ve talked in previous blogs about the need to appear in control & not to drop my guard at any time but I can’t decide if I’m more scared of showing weakness to others, or to myself. When I look in the mirror, I like to think that I’m standing firm but sometimes I would love to just let it all go. Not sure if it’s personal pride, fear of “failure” or just bloody-mindedness but failure is not a word that I like to use in connection with myself.
So what does this all mean? I think what I’m saying is that helping others brings its own rewards for me, but that I’m not very good at helping myself. Volunteering for LLR has been another enabler for me, which helps me as much as I hope it helps others. Later this month I’m looking forward to the Connect event which is going to bring together supporters from Wales & it will once again be really good to meet others who feel like I do. I’ve often thought that the greatest gift that you can give of yourself is your time, since that is something that is precious to us all.