H & N Cancer

Head and neck cancer is my constant companion. I’ve been symptom free for over four years now, I’m feeling good, but am vulnerable to a relapse at any time, having had three occurrences. I have had a couple of small surgeries and two major all day operations where the defects in tongue and cheek were filled with flaps of tissue and skin from forearms and thighs.  This has been going on since 2007.

The partial glossectomy meant that speech was a little slurred and eating somewhat difficult. The most recent outbreak in 2014 was in my buccal mucosa or inside cheek and led to the removal of all my teeth on lower left mandible, a slice removed from the mandible itself and a cut nerve that has rendered my left lower lip numb. With no dental support that lip tends to leak saliva, fluid and food. The neck is covered in scars and so is the chin where the last op required a saw so I had to be opened up from under my ear, up the chin, to the lip.

Still learning after all these days

I’ve figured out the password chaos of the early days. Bluehost takes a while to log you into WordPress. You don’t need a password. I think I was using those few seconds to type a password in. Something like that. Anyway, I can get in with ease now.

I’ve learnt a little bit about how to set up categories or menu items/tabs although I have changed all the categories to Metablog so that needs to be looked at. Tiny, weeny progress.

A photo for fun with no relevance at all except that all learning flows.

Getting easier

Have given WordPress a rest for a day and now I think I can understand better how this system works. Soon I’ll be able to customize my site and add a menu or some tabs or categories. This thread can maybe become a “metablog”, a blog about blogging.

My main reason for having a blog is to share the daily struggles of someone with recurrent head and neck cancer and very involved in supporting others. But over and above that is the life one leads after a life-threatening and disabling illness. That life becomes richer in a way because it was preserved at such cost. Maybe my full-on enthusiasm for life can be of help to others. And maybe sharing the bad times online will be a good venting system for me.

Added to that is the urge to write and create which is probably a craving held inside the tired brain of every ex-English teacher. After 40 years of struggling to teach others to write, what a joy it is to be able to write for oneself.

Below is a picture of the Blue Water Springs in Putaruru. Just because …


Getting there on a wing and a prayer

Well, I have learnt a lot. I have figured out the relationship between Bluehost and WordPress. I’ve had to call in the younger generation to aid and assist but that’s okay. I’m not proud (much).

Soon I’ll be able to plan my content which will be about head and neck cancer and life in general. It will be an outlet for me – a personal expression and will I hope help other older folk and cancer patients make the most of their lives as I am trying hard to do.

You know you’re alive when you are still learning. logo

Give me a break

Okay, so now the website seems to be working but so far the essential plug-in Jetpack does not seem to be playing ball. I’ve chatted online with Bluehost and Jetpack both of whom have been brill but I have to break my problems down into tiny steps for them to understand. Also if you get up to get a cup pf coffee or answer the door bell, you can lose the thread. It’s very time consuming and I for one feel that this whole WP thing could be more user-friendly. In a world where social media companies have made online communication frictionless, this sort of facility could do with a big extra dose of user-friendliness.

I need a break, like my cat, PudPud.


Progress in baby steps

I have kind of figured out the relationship between Bluehost and WordPress. Sort of. I’ve added About Me and uploaded some pics to be used on the site. Until I can handle the technical side, I can’t plan the content. This is so much harder than Blogger.
Oh, and I learnt something about logging onto site but still can’t log onto WordPress using a password. I’m in password hell. Aha, have just realised that you can change password under Users on left panel. OK, learnt that but now WP is saying a change of my email to what it has always been is “pending”. A heart attack is pending, mate.