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Why I Disappeared Over the Past 6 Months- being diagnosed and living with cancer and loss

explaing my absence over past 6 months

It has been ages since I last wrote something to post on Fab after Fifty, so I thought it might be a good idea to explain my absence.

I started to feel very tired over the course of last summer following a bout of Covid (despite having had all my jabs).  It was simply put down to ‘long covid’ and so I simply tried to keep going. Unfortunately in November things took a turn for the worse . I literally collapsed and was rushed to hospital in an ambulance. There I was told I had total kidney failure and only two and a half pints of blood in my system – no wonder I was tired!!  It was only later that I was told they had been seriously concerned that I wouldn’t survive the night. Fortunately I did, but the reason for the problems had to be identified.  During a long hospital stay involving lots of scans and tests I was diagnosed with a set of complex cancers – with limited treatment options due to the problems with my kidneys. I couldn’t have chemo or surgery. I had various tubes and bags installed – which I will have to live with forever – dramatically limiting my wardrobe choices!

Another stay in hospital

Essentially they could only look at palliative care. I was discharged from hospital and went for a course of radiotherapy . Unfortunately I suffered very badly from side effects and was once again admitted to hospital as my weight had plummeted to only five and a half stone.

In the midst of all of this my father to whom I was very close died suddenly. I was devastated when I unable to go to his funeral ( I was too unwell and only discharged from hospital on the day of the funeral itself- but too late to go).

I am now back home, desperately trying to put on weight and live my life as best I can. I am taking one day at a time.

I really haven’t had the energy until now to even think about the Fab after Fifty website or any of my social media accounts. My life seems to revolve around hospital appointments and supporting my mother who is struggling with the loss of her husband of 64 years.

My latest review with my oncologist indicated that they are happy with me at the moment – I am stable – but need to put on some weight! I have no idea how much time I have – I try not to think about it. I am hoping to get back to some sort of normality – and will start to share more content again – I still believe in being fabulous , although wont be sharing any pics of me until I have a little more flesh on my bones . I look far too scary!  I’m not sure that I will ever get back to looking as I did when the photo accompanying was this post was taken.

Life goes on – buts its different

But life goes on – although mine has changed dramatically. I am so grateful for the support of friends who have helped me through this. The little notes and cards that arrived when I was too unwell to see anyone, cupcakes on the doorstep when I returned from a particularly difficult day of treatment at the hospital, books sent to distract and entertain and the ongoing messages and calls. It is at times like this that you discover who your real friends are.

So, that’s how I’ve spent the last six months.  Forgive me if my posting is inconsistent moving forward – but I am hoping to be as active as possible.

Here’s to being Fabulous after Fifty!


Ceri xx


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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