BCAM: October 31st

Thank you for sharing this month of Breast Cancer Awareness with me. I am so thrilled to have met Abigail Johnston. What a brilliant writer and advocate. I wish her and all of you a happy November, my favorite month. I celebrate my birthday November 7th with the joy of still being alive and a contributing member of society. I didn’t battle, I was lucky and had the surgeries and took the medications the doctors prescribed. But I don’t recommend getting breast cancer, so make sure you check. If something looks or feels a little off, it might be. Get it checked.

No Half Measures

It’s been quite the month, right? If you have stuck with me this whole month of facts and information about Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC), you deserve a medal! Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for getting to the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) 2020 a/k/a Pinktober a/k/a Stinktober.

And now remember that this every day, every month, every minute of our lives for those of us living with MBC. We learn daily about treatment going well, treatment going badly, someone entering hospice, someone getting diagnosed, someone dying. We wake up daily to side effucks that are chronic, like pain and nausea and explosive diarrhea. We wake up daily to reminders that our lives will never be the same. We wake up to anticipatory grief and preparation for the end of our lives.

Heavy, right?

It’s particularly appropriate to think about death on this All Hallow’s Eve…

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The People Under the Stairs

by Hugh Roberts

The countdown to Halloween is almost here. Hugh Roberts wrote this spooky story just for you, the readers of Always Write. I hope that you will enjoy it.

Thank goodness they had gone. She’d spent 30 years trying to get rid of them, and they choose to go now, a week before she moved to a new home?

Raising her hands in the air, Gloria celebrated, knowing she’d beaten them. It must have been the leftover stilton cheese from Christmas she’d placed under the stairs that had finally driven them out. 

Now, with only a week to go before she moved to the residential home that catered for people with the early onset of dementia, she could finally get started on sorting out 30-years of clutter. 

30-years of disturbed sleep, because of the people under the stairs, had taken its toll on Gloria. Rather than begin sorting out clutter, she could have comfortably sat in her favourite armchair and have taken a nap. The packing could wait until tomorrow, or somebody else could do it.

***

The following morning, Gloria awoke from the best night’s sleep she’d had since the night of her honeymoon. Throwing back the bedcovers, she made her way downstairs to make the first cuppa of the day.

Just as she walked past the door that led to under the stairs, Gloria came to a grinding halt. Was that a noise she’d heard coming from behind the door or was it her imagination?  

“Oh, I do hope you’re back,” sighed Gloria as she placed her hand on the door handle. “I’m going to countdown from three. If you’re not in there, they’ll be trouble. Three, four, two…Whoosh!”

Nothing but darkness and the faint smell of cheese met Gloria. She felt slightly disappointed that nobody was in there. A sudden noise from upstairs startled her, forcing her to close the door quickly.

‘Gloria? Is that you?” came a muffled, familiar voice from above her.

“You’re my little secret. My first job of the day after my morning cuppa will be to clear out this cupboard; your home,” Gloria told herself.

***

By the day of the move, Gloria had become a little depressed. How could the people from under the stairs have left her? They may have given her 30 years of disturbed sleep, but they were her best friends. She should never have made them go.

“Come on”, said a familiar voice of a man she didn’t recognise. “It’s time to go. Do you want to take a final look around the house before we go?”

Shaking her head, Gloria shed a few tears. Not only was she leaving behind 30 years of memories but leaving behind 30 years of living with the people from under the stairs. 

***

On the first night in her new home, Gloria woke to the sound of scratching coming from under her bed. Were they back? The people from under the stairs, were they back?

As she watched the duvet cover slowly disappearing down the bed, revealing the bodies of her and a man who looked familiar, Gloria knew they were back.

Hugh Roberts

Biography

Hugh W. Roberts lives in Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

Hugh gets his inspiration for writing from various avenues including writing prompts, photos, eavesdropping and while out walking his dogs, Toby and Austin. Although he was born in Wales, he has lived around various parts of the United Kingdom, including London where he lived and worked for 27 years. 

Hugh suffers from a mild form of dyslexia but, after discovering blogging, decided not to allow the condition to stop his passion for writing. Since creating his blog ‘Hugh’s Views & News’ in February 2014, he has built up a strong following and now writes every day. Always keen to promote other bloggers, authors and writers, Hugh enjoys the interaction blogging brings and has built up a group of online friends he considers as an ‘everyday essential.’

His short stories have become well known for the unexpected twists they contain in taking the reader up a completely different path to one they think they are on. One of the best compliments a reader can give Hugh is “I never saw that ending coming.”

Having published his first book of short stories, Glimpses, in December 2016, his second collection of short stories, More Glimpses, was released in March 2019. 

A keen photographer, he also enjoys cycling, walking, reading, watching television, and enjoys relaxing with a glass of red wine and sweet popcorn.

Hugh shares his life with John, his civil-partner, and Toby and Austin, their Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

Hugh W. Roberts: Author, Blogger, & Writer
Blog: Hugh’s Views And News
Author of: More Glimpses and Glimpses

Books: Amazon Author Page:
Twitter: @HughRoberts05
Flipboard: Hugh W. Roberts

Let me know in the comment section if you would enjoy more short stories from different authors in the future.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: October 27

Abigail’s series is drawing to a close, but I want to thank her for educating us about terminal cancer. Many non-terminal cancer patients take drugs to limit their estrogen. I am one of them. I thought I had none left, but I was wrong. The little bit that I had promoted my cancer to grow.

Men, remember what you used to be able to blame on a woman’s hormones? Read on to find out what happens when women DON’T have hormones surging through their bodies.

BCAM: October 27th

Abigail JohnstonAdvocacyBCAM  October 27, 2020 1 Minute

Estrogen. It’s a hormone that I never really paid attention to until I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Because my subtype is hormone positive, that means my subtype is fueled by hormones. The hormones that fuel my cancer are estrogen and progesterone. So, as soon as possible after I began treatment, my doctor took steps to limit the amount of estrogen in my body. This happened with chemo, the hormone suppressing medication I took during chemo, the aromatase inhibitors I still take, and the radical hysterectomy I had in September of 2017. Radical just means they took everything out — cervix, ovaries, tubes, uterus — all the lady parts.

The result … well, estrogen is related to a lot of organs and bodily functions.

BCAM: October 26th

Do you wonder what to say to a person who is diagnosed with cancer? There are some wrong answers!!! Read Abigail’s post to learn what to say to make the person feel better not worse. 🙂

No Half Measures

Every time a person shares they have cancer, there are a variety of questions from a variety of people, family, friends and strangers alike. Some of them go along these lines … “Did you take birth control?” …. “Do you smoke?” …. “Are you overweight?” …. “How much alcohol do you drink?” … “Is there a family history?” … “Did you breastfeed?” …. “Did you get mammograms?” …. “How often did you do self-exams?” … etc.

I understand why these questions are often asked. The person asking the question is usually attempting to ensure that they don’t end up in the same position and they are trying to find the “reason” or the “culprit” for the cancer. Sometimes they want to know the answer, I suppose, but mostly it’s to put the person with cancer into a category.

The result?

The person with cancer comes to the inevitable conclusion that…

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Cee’s B & W Challenge

I was going nuts trying to come up with words with O and U in them that Cee hadn’t already used. I googled “words with the letters o and u in them and found this site for Scrabble players. https://word.tips/words-with/u/and/o/.

Accumulation

Accumulation of stuff at a store in Bellagio

Adulation & House of Worship

an historic House of worship in Los Olivos, CA. You should show adulation when you worship.

Caution & Fountain

This is a no-brainer. Only a dumbo would attempt to get near the water. Do you see the fountain behind the sign?

Clouds

We rarely see this many clouds reflected in Bravo Lake.

Counter

An old-fashioned counter at Cracker Barrel. This friendly woman did not stay behind the counter.

Outfit

If you are going to swim with the dolphins, you had better wear the right outfit.

Popular (Popularity Contest)

I would earn a gold star in a Puppy-dog Popularity Contest. (The human leg on the couch is mine.)

Southwest

A trip to the Southwest would not be complete without a trip to the Grand Canyon.

I hope you enjoyed this short black and white journey into words with o and u in them. Thinking of O & U words got easier once I got started. How many words did you find in this post? How many words did you find in your post? To read more entries, click here.

Don’t forget – one more day to get your Carrot Ranch Rodeo FREE FLASH FICTION WRITING Contest Entries turned in. Some people have had issues with both my new email and the entry form. You can always use tchistorygal@gmail.com.