Erica’s blog 10: December 10


10th December

LIFE seemed to slow down. The last few months had been a whirlwind of appointments, tests, scans and chemo. It had been two weeks since my first chemo session and apart from a sore throat, I was feeling pretty good. I noticed that my hair was starting to fall out, nothing dramatic, but quite a lot on the pillow in the morning. I gave my hair a good wash and then towel dried it. The majority of hair seemed to cling on to its roots so I decided that I still wasn’t quite at the stage where I needed to shave my head. My blonde Bond wig was at the ready though!
I was told at my last appointment that I would have to remove my coil because the hormones were ‘in contra’ to my treatment so my doctor made an appointment for me at family planning and they called me in pretty quickly.
I hoped it wouldn’t affect my iron levels because the original reason for having the IUD inserted was because I was extremely anaemic owing to very heavy periods. Only time would tell.
In the meantime I looked after myself, went for walks along the beach with Jorge.
I did homework with my children, cooked meals, laughed a lot… life as normal. I still had an army of people offering to help, but I thought that I needed to get on with things as much as I could on my own.
I decided to get fitted for an arm compression stocking to wear when I was doing anything a little more strenuous, sport for example. The goal was to avoid lymphedema at all costs. Once your arm puffs up it’s a condition you will have to live with.
A lovely friend, Kelly, rang me and asked if I would like a foot massage! Well you can imagine I was over to see her in a flash. Aside from the importance of looking after ones feet and nails, I can honestly say Kelly has magic fingers and a wonderful heart.
She talked away and I could have stayed there forever. A massive thank you to her. She is in Avenida Tore Tore near the seafront in Torre del Mar. Go and visit her she is a wizard!
It was the run up to Christmas and I was planning for the arrival of my family. My parents would be arriving from Mexico, shortly followed by my sister from Manila and her boyfriend. It is always a major operation uniting us!
I was so looking forward to Christmas and my children were desperate to see their grandparents and aunt. Last week of school and I could tell they were tired. Time to decorate the tree and get in some Christmas goodies, mince pies and the like! Yummy.
Food really makes me happy and I was feeling so thankful that so far my appetite had remained healthy. You can have all the treatments you want but I think that without love, a fighting spirit and a full tummy it wouldn’t be enough. Just like everything in life you have to believe in yourself and in your ability to overcome. I have been able to find so many positives in my situation.
I see my children much more, I have changed the pace at which I live, which is just as well because my work life balance was askew before. When I come out the other side… I will be a far healthier person in so many respects. I take time to truly appreciate the little big things as I call them.
A walk, a beautiful sunrise, my children’s laughter, it doesn’t matter what it is really but each cuddle, kiss, smile, kind gesture seems magnified at a time like this. I just feel so grateful for the endless kindness and love from family, new friends and old.
What a lucky girl I am. Yes, I do feel like a girl. To me it seems just like yesterday that I was wielding my hockey stick on the muddy pitches in the pouring rain at school. I remember my mother saying the same thing to me.
“I may be older on the outside but I feel so young on the inside.” Recently I have been replaying my life to date through my head. From that tiny little girl who sailed the oceans with her father, mother and sister, from the shy girl who grew and blossomed at school to the young lady who studied in Malaga for a year as part of her degree. A very special time for me.
To the executive in London who had more jobs than you could shake a stick at! Then the move to Spain. Starting a business, having my children and living life to the full.
I have done so much in my life, but I feel that I have so much more to achieve. We all need a reason to get up in the morning.
The drive to survive is a powerful motivator. When you are diagnosed with cancer it forces you to look at life in a different way.
How often do we talk about doing things, but never get around to them? Well life is not a dress rehearsal and we aren’t on the planet for very long, so we might as well live life to the full. Take up yoga, go on that course or climb that mountain you’ve always talked about climbing.
Go on that holiday, visit those friends and family you keep meaning to see.
There is nothing sadder than going through life procrastinating because it so easy to come up with reasons not to do things. Start doing! Really live because having regrets is such a shame.
Next week I would have my next chemo session and hopefully find out the results of my bone scans. Step by step, week by week, but I had embarked upon my journey to recovery and I was really living life.


  1. Hi Erika, I´m so happy to read that you are feeling great despite the hardness of the treatment. I´m also very gratefull to see that all your family is caming from all over the world to see you and to spend the Christmas with you and your children, I know you are going to have a great time.
    I would like to wish you the best for this 2015, we should put aside this unlucky year 2014. The future will be much better, you will see.
    On behalf of your english class in Mayoral, we will wish you the best and we hope to see you soon so happy and active as always!!!!
    Best regards

    Jose Luis

  2. Dear José Luis and all at Mayoral,

    Many thanks for your warm wishes and all your messages of support. 2014 has been a whirlwind of a year for many reasons but I am up for the challenge! I look forward to 2015 with hope.

    I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and successful 2015.

    Lots of love to the best English students in the world!


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