About Me

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I'm Carole, living in London, happily married and mum to two amazing boys.I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectal Cancer in April 2010. Surgery took place in November 2010 and I now have a permanent colostomy...Spinal mets were then diagnosed in October 2011...In January 2012 I was told of further spread to the hip area (multiple lesions)..My life expectancy is now 6-9 months. Walk alongside me on the last part of my experience with this..

Saturday, 4 September 2010

1st Day at Secondary School

As you know, today was the first day of Secondary School for Dj.....He seemed to be looking forward to it and although he confessed to feeling slightly nervous he was not terrified.

I left him there looking a little lost and scared but knowing he'd be okay once I'd gone. Told him where I'd be at home time and left him to settle in.

Both Rab and I collected him today and he came out with a smile (always a good sign on a first day) and he said it had been fine.
He then filled us in on his day and literally didn't stop talking all the way home. So in brief, this was his day.....

  • He made a couple of new friends (Owen and Daniel);
  • enjoyed lunch (egg sandwich, a flapjack and a drink - such a creature of habit) ....he's eaten hundreds of egg sandwiches in his life - never at home, always at school;
  • he took part in a team game and his team did well - apparently they didn't win but had a lot of fun
  • found out he has something in common with a girl in his class, they both detest tomatoes
  • learned how to operate the biometric system they have for school lunches, library books and registration (everything is done via fingerprints)
  • managed to put his lunch money onto his account and more importantly managed to ask for help when it didn't work at first
  • found people to sit with and have a chat to at lunchtime - this is something he would have really struggled with even just a year ago
  • was awarded a merit certificate for finding out essential information that everyone else forgot to ask about (his obsessional need to know things comes in handy sometimes....lol)
  • and is fine about going back on Monday :-)

Oh and lastly, during the summer holidays they were asked to prepare a piece of homework on themselves.
They could choose to present in either Art form, story, photographs and text or powerpoint document on a USB....Dj decided to do a mosaic of himself and write a short piece on his likes/ dislikes using his name as a key....
This is his mosaic below (A4 sized)........

And this was the text that he wrote alongside it.....

D = Decision making, this can take me some time. I like time to think..

J = Jumping, I like to jump sometimes, I find it relaxes me and gets rid of stress

A = Art is something I find relaxing. I like to be able to spend time getting things just right

M = Military machines, weapons and wars is a subject that really interests me. I have WWII items that I collect

E = Energetic – sometimes I find I have more energy than I know what to do with! Using the trampoline here will be good J

L = Listening, I like to listen and think – it is something we should we should all do more often, listen to each other and think about what we say.

So the things above tell you a little about me. I’m not so good at talking about myself, in fact at Primary school I wouldn’t have been able to stand up here and do this.

I used to think that no-one was very interested in me but since I’ve grown up I’ve realised that I am a good friend, a great listener, a good advisor and I’m fun to be around.

I’m looking forward to doing really well here at this school and making some good friends along the way.

He handed it in to his form tutor in the morning session - then during the afternoon the Head of Year came into his class and held up his work and announced that he really really liked this piece of work and could Djamel please stand up.....So apparently he did (amazingly, because in the past he'd have tried to disappear underneath the desk)
Mr W the Head of Year then said there was going to be a prize awarded for any work that he considered to be of a particularly high standard and 'This is the standard I'm talking about...Well done Djamel'

He was sooo proud of himself and the truly great thing is, that he accepted the praise without going into a blind panic - I think he's going to do well at this school because he's determined to.


  1. It sounds as though you should be incredibly proud of your lovely son!
    Tell him that I think his mosaic is brilliant. I'm a bit of an arty farty person myself, and I was VERY IMPRESSED with his work!
    My little lad goes to middle school for the first time on Tuesday - I hope he makes as good a start as Dj.

    much love
    Shents x

  2. Absolutely brilliant Djamel! well done sounds like a great school enjoy yourself luv Wendy Woo xxx

  3. yay! what a great first day and it sounds like he will do REALLY well there. welldone Djamel

  4. Loretta and Tony x4 September 2010 at 13:35

    OH WOW, Mega proud of you Djamel, that is amazing! xxxxxx

  5. Hey Carole, sorry not been about much this week and just got back from Whitby today so logged in...

    This is an amazing post, you and Rab must be so proud :-) I love the artwork!

    T x

  6. You must be so proud of the lad Carole, and with every justification. What an excellent start to his secondary education.


  7. Thank you everyone for the lovely comments. I will make sure he reads them all tomorrow.

    Dj used to really struggle with praise of any type, now he's able to accept it with a grin and realises that it IS okay to feel good about your work - He's such a perfectionist at times, everything must be 'just so'.... :-)

  8. Absolutely fantastic! I'm so proud of Djamel, he is a gifted and unique soul.

    Beaming with pride here!

    And that Mosaic is stunning. Just wonderfully stunning!

    I'm so glad Dj had a good first day. Proud beyond words.

    lamia xxxxx

  9. My clever nephew, well done! Never easy to start at a new school & make new friends, but you have cracked it! First day out of the way so gives you a good insight of what's in store for you. AND the HEAD Teacher, coming to congratulate you on your first day, well, say no more! Great homework project and very you! love Anuty Sarah & M xxx, PS, more good luck for Monday

  10. I am so glad that first day was a success,a great relief for you all.Well doneDj excellent work,sounds like a good school where you will get the support you deserve.
    Rose xxxx

  11. Thank you all again, he's read the comments and is very pleased with himself....

    However he has asked me to let you all know that I (mum) got something wrong (well, let's face it, I'm not wrong often so once in a while is completely acceptable....:-)..)

    I said (wrongly) Head of 'Year' came to his class but it was the Head of House.

    Apparently it's extremely important that I correct myself on this matter. Therefore, I stand corrected and promise to listen harder in future :-)

  12. Oh my goodness Carole, your son is just starting my son is ending his secondary school year this year. How quickly time flies!! I hope he enjoys these next very important years at school.

    How are yoiu feeling Carole? I am still bothered by side effects from the Arimidex.

    Take care.Alli XXOO

  13. Honestly Carole, you don't listen to a THING the boy says! :-)

    Djamel, your artwork about yourself is a piece of utter genius! I hope you are HUGELY proud of yourself for having thought it up, having put it together so incredibly well, and for having had the guts to stand up in class and talk about it. You have worked so very, very hard to come a tremendously long way from being the boy that hid his face and wouldn't talk to me whenever I visited to being the confident young man you are now. Like your mum, Auntie Sarah, and everyone else I'm incredibly proud of you. Much love, Auntie Louise xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  14. awww bless him !! well done DJ :O)

  15. Thanks Lou, it's so true he's come so far in the past couple of years. He's made more friends today and seems perfectly happy at his new school.
    All good and makes life so much easier all round. Hoping to meet up for lunch soon..I'll text you,
    Much luv xxxxx

    Alli, I have no idea where time goes anymore. It seems not so long ago that he started at nursery and sat crying asking to come home all the time....:-)
    I'm feeling really well thanks Alli - although it won't last as I'm fairly sure I'm down for more Chemo after the op. *THAT'S* a worry for sure :-(

    Have you discussed your pains with your ONC again?