Sometimes life’s challenges just feel too much – by Simone

I am not in a great headspace at the moment. I feel like I am being tested beyond what I have the capacity to deal with. Even though I know I will get through all these challenges, I am finding it all quite tough to be honest.


I had cancer 5 years ago (a malignant melanoma which spread to the lymphs in my groin) but after surgeries and radiation, besides my very regular check ups, I continue life without thinking about it too much. I suffer with severe lymphedema (swelling of the right limb) which I have constant therapy for to try and keep under control, but beside that, I am grateful every single day for the gift of life that I have been given. Because as we know only too well, life really is a gift! I went for my regular check 2 months after Bella died and all seemed fine. My doctor did bring me back to a 3 month check-up cycle from a 6 month check-up cycle however, as given the stress I am under he wanted to ensure he caught anything really early if it reared its ugly head. 3 weeks ago I went for my check up and my cancer count (S100B) has doubled from 3 months ago. My count has always been between 0.04 and 0.07 except when I had cancer when it was 0.14. Below 0.1 is considered normal. My count 3 months ago was 0.05. Count now is 0.11. I would normally immediately go for a pet scan but it is not advisable because of being pregnant and the risk to the baby. So I went for an ultrasound and X-rays which is the best they can do at this stage. They couldn’t find anything in these so my doctor is happy not to take the risk of doing a pet scan and to redo everything in 3 months time. Then at least I will be in a position to deliver this precious bundle I am carrying early if needs be and go from there.


And then this weekend James was booked into hospital with an awful flare up of his diverticulitis. He has been in huge pain and really battling and hadn’t been responding to the oral medication he had been given. He is going to be fine, but its stressful nonetheless. And Murray has completely been spinning out without his dad being around. He is a real daddy’s boy at the moment, and the “disappearance” of his dad has rocked his world.


I must say, this cancer scare has completely unbalanced me emotionally. I don’t fear my own death, for me. But I do fear what my death would mean for my family, my precious beings. I am grateful that we have been saved from having to make any very difficult decisions right now had they found something sinister in the scan and x-rays, but it doesn’t take away the fear I am sitting with for what the outcome may be in 3 months’ time, or 6 months, or 9 months…I know that I need to get any negative thoughts out of my head and need to try and control my stress as best as I can. Because I firmly believe that stress causes cancer. 5 years ago when I got it I was going through an extremely stressful time and pushing my body beyond what I should have been. And the last 6 months have been the most stressful time, certainly emotionally, that I have ever had to endure. And so my fear for the future at the moment is real, and I am battling to keep it in check. Your mind starts to think all sorts of irrational things and starts to play scenarios over in your head, worrying about things that you have no way to control. And so when I am challenged with yet another thing, which in isolation, or 12 months ago, I would have bounced back from quite quickly or would have been a relative non-event, it somehow at the moment just feels too much and leaves me feeling pretty resentful towards life.


And I don’t like feeling that way. Its not me. I am a glass-half-full person. So I need to end this “pity party”, dust myself off, and get on with things, and fight, fight, fight. And be positive. For despite our tragedy of losing our precious Bella and the other challenges more recently, I have so much to fight for. I have a loving and wonderful husband who I adore and who adores me. I have the most beautiful, delightful little boy, who brings me such joy. I am pregnant with a sacred gift from our Bella, this amazing life growing inside me. I have a job I love, family and friends who love and support me, a beautiful home, food on the table, the list goes on and on.


So send any positive thoughts and prayers our way please, I for one certainly need them. And I promise to try and make my next post a more upbeat one.



  1. Sometimes it’s okay to not be okay. Be kind to yourself and surround yourself with gentle and loving people, you will get through this. You will feel joy again. Lots of love and strength to you. xxx


  2. Dear Simone, you don’t know me but I work at Oracle and I had little contact with James but we both worked in the RGBU. He’s a lovely man and he always made me laugh. I wish I had some words that would make this better for you but anything I think of sounds lame when I write it down. I ha be been reading your blog post and sometimes I’ve cried because as a mother myself I can feel the pain your expressing, although I have not lost my Bella (Daisy) the thought of it is enough to kill me, but you keep going and you’re grateful for what you do have, James, Murray and clearly a wonderful family and friends who love you all. I think I would be raging at the world just at the loss of Bella and would be a total mess but you are powering on and the news of potential cancer would throw me into further rage and I would be wallowing in self pity, you are not doing that you are expressing yourself beautifully and anyone who has lost a child and suffered the way you have I would recommend to read your blog post because you are such an inspirational woman, mother, wife – I don’t think I would have as much courage as you do given the events of this last year that you have faced. I am not a religious person but I will pray daily for your good health and that of your third child, James and Murray. I never knew Bella but i love to see the beautiful pictures you have of her Andre memories, though fewer than you would have liked, that you share of her. Sending much love Lucy xxx


    • Thank you for reaching out to me Lucy – your words are perfect and give me such strength. I appreciate you taking the time to read our blog and to write to us. May you continue to be blessed in your life. Take specialcare, Simone x


  3. Dearest Simone, what a difficult and painful time. I am so sorry for the darkness – for the overwhelming grief and the fear and the worry and tiredness of trying to fight for light. I share this mantra in the hope that it brings some ease: One day, one step, one breath at a time.
    Wishing you moments of reprieve and ease.
    With love


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