nearly made it…

Hello Everyone

I’m back in action here as the easiest way to keep you all posted on my progress.

I nearly made it to the five year mark when the oncology team at Western General Hospital  in Edinburgh would have given me the all clear and discharged me from further check-ups.  But an off-the-cuff remark I made on my last visit about experiencing mild ‘period’ type pains – when I no longer have the kit! – prompted a scan booking.   Result: the cancers have returned.  What a blow.  That was June last year.  Apart from Bill, and my closest work colleague Ian, I decided not to tell anyone because I didn’t want to cause unnecessary concern when I still felt very well, and I didn’t want the issue to get in the way of work.  I’ll write more about that under the 2015-2017 tab in due course.

Having considered the options open to me, I also decided not to undergo chemo or to take the hormone tablets.  I’ll also share more about my thoughts on this in due course.

By the end of last year, the mild pains had escalated and I was on a low, slow-release morphine dose.  This was magic for pain relief but the impacts on my digestive system have been a big challenge.

I stopped work at the end of 2017 and have spent the spring, if you can call it that, getting used to my new limitations.. I am SO slow.. and have to sleep for large amounts of the day.  As you know, this is so not me!  And it’s been a struggle to come to terms with my situation.  But, I’ve had my ‘one in a billion, Billiam’ as my constant companion and Euan my son, and am truly blessed to have so much love and support around me.

THANK YOU to everyone who has written to me over the last month or so – who is this person you describe?  Is it really me??  I’m sorry for not being so great at replying and I’m likely to get worse as time goes by.  Looking ahead I’m devoting my energies to writing on this blog and a few other small writing projects… so watch this space!  My sister Shara has very kindly offered to be a contact point if anyone wants to get in touch more directly, so please feel free to write to or leave a comment on this blog.

The next time..

someone says climate change isn’t happening and is nothing to do with us.  Share this factoid with them:

The recent Fifth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was produced by over 600 experts from 32 countries and was approved by the governments of 195 nations. It synthesises the results of over 9200 scientific publications and addressed 54,677 comments from 1089 reviewers. It is arguably the most thoroughly and rigorously reviewed scientific document in history. It concludes that the warming of the world is unequivocal and that over recent decades human actions have been the primary cause.                      Courtesy: Professor Chris Rapley at Imperial College, London University. Jan, 2014

I’m failing to keep my diary up-to-date – too much going on!  So please feel free to follow me on Twitter instead.  @TessaTennant

Time to get active..

Relatively few people knew that governments were meeting in Warsaw recently to work on the global climate agreement, due for sign-off in Paris in December 2015.  Exasperated environmental NGOs walked out of the meeting and the head of the Philippines delegation, Yeb Sano resorted to fasting to make his point that the Haiyan Typhoon devastation was caused by changing climate.  Even still there was an almighty struggle to keep negotiations on track, with governments retreating from the idea of commitments to softer wording around contributions.  On track maybe, but governments are not yet imbued with the determination to make you confident the final agreement will bring down increasing carbon emissions.

Given that I’m now a granny, my stake in the future has just shot out to around 2090..  I have a very direct interest in there being a successful agreement and liked the parting Warsaw message from Ida Auken, Denmark’s minister for the environment: “We want to make sure that those who come after us will also be able to enjoy the same wonders of life that we have … don’t forget to show people that you fight not because you deny life but exactly because you love it”.

Quite so..  get on the case of your local MP!


It’s 9 months since my hernia operation and this diary has languished because I’ve been busy re-engaging with the world.

I started writing it as the easiest and most unobtrusive way to keep friends, family and workmates informed of my progress through cancer treatment in 2012.  Thanks to everyone who posted comments to my postings, I didn’t expect the boost they gave me.  The diary was a great experience and I recommend it to anyone going through a prolonged illness, not least as a way to avoid the exhaustion of repeated explanations of what’s going on!

Now I’m moving on, I’ve decided to keep the 2012-early2013 postings password protected as they were flooding the internet with images which I’d rather didn’t persist.  I’m not just about having cancer!  A few people have asked if they can share the account with people facing cancer treatment and I’m delighted to help in this way.   So feel free to access the postings, using password: Tree33

a short account of having cancer

In summary, I had a full hysterectomy on 2nd April 2012, when cancers in my uterus, left ovary and two lymph nodes were also removed.  Chemo started on 10th May and the last was on 23rd August.  I then had a six week break before the radiotherapy started in early October, and I was through it by the end of November.  Unfortunately I developed an umbilical hernia and had to wait until early March 2013 for this to be treated.  Following this, I was given the ‘all clear’ and have been thriving ever since!