Sunday, 6 November 2011

I have a new blog!

I have decided to embark on a new challenge, running a half marathon!  I wanted to start a new blog to focus solely on my training and the highs and lows whilst keeping this one to record our journey through remission so I hope you will come and join me on my new blog http://halfmarathonmayhem.blogspot.com/2011/11/brief-introduction.html and share the journey with me whilst continuing to read my sporadic posts on here!

Much love to all my lovely readers xxx

Monday, 24 October 2011

Day's of disbelief

For the most part I seem to be getting on with things pretty well.  College is manic, the business is doing well and we have settled down into family life quite well then every so often I get caught out.  Something comes along and reminds me that the last year actually did happen and it wasnt really some kind of strange dream.

Last night I was laying in bed reading "Confessions of a GP".  As books go its ok, a light read i suppose you would call it. Last nights chapter was about the GP's friend who died from Lymphoma and wham, it all comes flooding back.  I was trying to think back to Richie's first few months and all i can remember is hospital visits, leaving him at my mum's, a few times where he came to the hospital and got fussed over by the tea ladies, and they really fussed over him lol!  But thats about it. I dont remember that first smile, the first time he clapped hands, all those little special moments that I wont get back and this does make me sad.

I have spent an hour or so this evening reading back over my blog and it is almost as if it has been written by a stranger.  Perhaps it is my minds way of coping with it all by blocking it all out but in the process my baby boys first year has been blocked out too, and not just him either, I dont seem to have noticed Sofia growing and changing.  She is such a darling little girl (challenging at times i must add lol) and her sense of humour and comedy timing is fantastic.  She is a proper little ray of sunshine in this household.  Her and Richie have developed an incredibly close relationship and are a proper comedy duo in creche.

It is hard to believe that any of this actually happened, hard to comprehend, hard to understand and hard to find meaning to it all.
Rich said to me last night that he wondered what would have happened had the hospital not found it or he had not gone to the Dr's that day, would he be dead now.  I cant even process that thought.
I asked him if he was as scared as I was about it coming back, his reply "Time to sleep now"  his answer says it all.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Well hello there, how you doing?

It's been a while hasn't it!  I hope all my fellow bloggers and readers are doing just fine.
So what have I been doing with my time since I last posted?  I guess it is time for a catch up!

First and foremost, the reason I blogged, Richard.  It is almost 12 months since he started his chemotherapy.  Can you believe how fast the time has gone because  I cant!  When we first started on this journey through cancer the future seemed far away, a day without cancer being our first thought upon waking seemed far away but all of a sudden it is here!
Richard is doing well.  He is more or less back to normal although he does get more tired than before but I guess that is only to be expected.  He has remained positive throughout and his strength and determination has carried us through the past year.

The second subject of the blog, Richie jnr, my handsome boy!!  He really is a little star, such a happy and easy going little boy who really does have a smile for everyone.  He is gong to be one on Tuesday, the year has flown and I believe that his arrival has made the whole process easier as it gave us all a positive focus.
Here he is a few weeks ago, ready to knock the girls dead on his first day in creche!

Which brings me on to me!  I have made a lot of changes recently, I guess the most major one is a total career change!  Watching Richard go through his treatment and observing the work of the nurses on the ward has inspired me to start the process of training to be a nurse.  The final outcome of this will hopefully be midwifery but in the mean time I want to give something back, perhaps a round about way of saying thank you to the nurses and doctors who helped us through such a difficult time.  I guess the easy way would be to send a card and some flowers but my friends will tell you I never do things the easy way.
So here I am a month into an Access to Health course with a shed load of assignments to do, so much still left to learn but I have fantastic new friends and i predict we will have a ball!  So here we are, a new path to follow, a new journey in life and if you are up for it then i'd love you to come along with me for the ride.  So there we are, a new chapter in the world of Cancer and baby equals chaos :0)

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Calling all my blog readers!!!

I need your help!

I have been nominated for "Most inspirational fundraiser" for Race for Life this year by some of my lovely friends.  In order to win i need lots of votes.

Why should you vote for me?  Well you dont have to, and lets face it I cant make you lol BUT if you have read my blog and followed my journey through the last 12 months then you will know what a journey it has been and to gain a little bit of recognition for coming though it would mean the world to all of us!

How do you vote?  Just click on http://www.facebook.com/home.p​hp?sk=question&id=101503335162​13689&qa_ref=na&notif_t=questi​on_answer
and select Allison, its as simple as that.  To be nominated has been an honour and to win would just be something very special xxx

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The most special mum I know!

There are many qualities that make up a great mum, kindness, patience, care, love, understanding, tenderness, dedication and devotion.  The most special mum I know has all these and more.
The most special mum I know loves her daughter "To the moon and back", it's a love that is unconditional and will never tire.

Yesterday the most special mum I know celebrated her daughters first birthday.  There were cards, pressies, flowers, balloons and birthday wishes galore.  

Yesterday the most special mum I know read her daughter the special book that she promised she would read to her every year on her birthday.

You are probably reading this and thinking that you do all these things with your child too so why is this mum so special?  Let me show you a photo of the most special mum I know reading a story to her daughter yesterday on her 1st birthday

Yesterday Caz, the most special mum I know, sat and read her daughter a story.

One year ago, on the 21st of June 2010 Baby Anabelle Morgan was born sleeping.  I think the photo above speaks volumes about how much Belle is loved by not only the most special mum I know, but also her daddy who took the photo, by her family who sent flowers and the many people that never met her but love and care for her mummy and daddy who sent gifts and birthday wishes.

The photo above made me cry, it made me angry, it made me sad but it also warmed my heart and made me proud to be friends with the most special mum I know.

Monday, 20 June 2011

I did it!!

Yesterday was Race for life day.
I wasnt particularly looking forward to the run as it had been raining all week and the track is mainly grass and woodland and from previous experience it can be slippery and very muddy.
We arrived at the course in plenty of time and I met up with a friend and had a bit of a natter.
This is me ready to go!

I got a bit frustrated with the wait.  We were due to start at 11 but people were still arriving so the start time was put off till 11:30.  It is really frustrating when you have made the effort to get there early and other people cant be bothered to get there on time (but thats another blog post!!)
Anyway we finally got the go ahead to start and I joined the jogging group.  We set off and as usual there is a small bit of jogging then everyone bunches up and we have to walk for a bit!  Then we got round the corner, out of sight of the public and the majority of the joggers decided to walk, Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh why join the jogging group is 2 mins later you are going to walk!!  I then had to spend ages weaving in and out of people walking, chatting on their mobile phones *sigh*.
Finally I managed to get up a bit of a rhythm and was enjoying the run when I came to another bottle neck!!  There was a puddle in the gateway and everyone was faffing about trying to find ways through it, in the end i got so fed up I just went straight through the middle of it an carried on.  I was doing really well until I faced my nemesis.... a freshly mowed field.  I suffer really badly with hayfever (great when you live you a farm!) and as I was running around the field I could feel my chest getting tighter and tighter until in the end I had to stop and walk.  From then on I had to do a mixture of running and walking.
As I was running through the last bit of woodland, singing away to myself in my head, I felt a tap on my shoulder so i took my headphones off and turned around.  A lady had been running behind me and had been reading my back plate and said she had to stop me and give me a hug!!!  Bless her!  This made me very emotional, how lovely for someone I had never even met to feel compelled to give me a hug!
My back plate

Coming out of the woodlands meant there was only 500m left until the finish line!  Seeing people lined up along the route cheering and willing you on really helps with the motivation and im pleased to say it was a sprint finish!!!  I finished in 45 mins which is an okish time.  I had hoped to do better but the pollen got the better of me on the day but still, I FINISHED!!!  and I have made a difference to someones life.  How amazing is that!!
Me and Rich at the end :0)
Coming out of the race I felt really humbled to see a lady in a wheelchair being pushed around the course by her husband and I just thought how amazing and how determined they obviously both were to complete the course!

So there we have it!  Its all over and done with and the total so far is £1020 in sponsorship money.  I have been promised more donations so hopefully I can bring you an updated total soon.  So far this year I have raised £2820 for charity, not a bad total for little me!  How nice it would be to get to the £3000 mark.....hmmmmm (light bulb switches on above head!)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Tesco made me cry!

Its probably not the first time I have cried during a visit to Tesco, usually it is after the cashier presses the total button and the amount comes up on the little screen.  But today was different.

We went with the specific purpose to buy fathers day pressies for Rich.  I have struggled this year with what to get him.  My plan was to get him a second hand Iphone but i guess everyone loves theirs so much they dont want to part with them, I know it would take a brave person to try and separate me from mine!

Anyway Sofia, Richie and I were on a mission.  We chose our gifts (not very exciting compared to an Iphone but hey ho!) and then headed off to the card section, and thats what made me cry.  I stood there trying to decided which card I should get for him from the girls and then it clicked, its not just the girls this year.  He has a son too.  Now thats not a new thing, after all Richie is 8 months old now (Eeeek where did those 8 months go!) but this is the first fathers day since Richie was born.  Its the first time I could get a card that says "From your son Daddy"  Just 4 words, 4 very simple words but enough to make me cry!

Rich is a fantastic dad, he is the best that I could have wished for when I pictured a daddy for my children.  The girls stick with him like glue when he is home, they love to help him in the garden or in the shed and I love watching him read them a story but I knew deep down that he wanted a son.  Someone he could pass on his name to, continue the family tradition, do "boy" things with.  I am proud that I gave him this gift, well, all 3 gifts but to have his son, especially at the time Richie was born, just made things all that more special, almost like a gift from someone who knew!

So buying a card that said "From your son, Daddy" was one of the proudest moments of my life.  So here it is, the small little thing that made me cry
This time last year I picked up the first funny card I found and a few bits and bobs, I never really appreciated the sentiment behind "Fathers day" after all I grew up without a dad so I guess the understanding and appreciation of the father/daughter and father/son relationship isnt really there, but this year I realise the importance of it for our children.  They still have their dad, they have another chance so this fathers day will be a special one for us.

Make sure on sunday you give your dad a tight squeeze and thank whoever you believe in that you have him in your life.  Dads are special!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

That ole waiting game again!

Yesterday morning we went back to the hospital for a consultant appointment.  Rich is still getting a nagging ache in his shoulder so enough was enough and I called the chemo day unit for an appointment.

Walking back through those yellow doors into the waiting area brought back all those old feelings of waiting for test results, chemotherapy, blood tests and the like.  It's amazing how quickly you forget those feelings and also how quickly they come back when you see an object that triggers it.

So in we walk and Rich is sent to the beds to wait.  The consultant comes to talk to him and it was obvious that Rich was nervous as he just wont stop talking!  He suggested bloods and a scan to check the shoulder area.  Bloods were taken there and then but its now a waiting game for the scan.

I really thought (perhaps naively) that once we had the last scan that we would be free of cancers grip, free to get on with living our life as a family, but it seems that cancer is not yet ready to let go of its grip on our lives!

So here we are....waiting for the scan date...waiting to find out if its back....waiting.....

Monday, 13 June 2011

Tomorrow is the day...

that I have been waiting for since last year.  Its TAKE THAT day!!!!  

I first saw TT in concert during their circus tour and they were AMAZING!!!  It wasnt the first concert I had been to but most certainly the best.  The staging and theatrics were fantastic and I loved it all so when they said they would be going on tour this year I was determined to get tickets come what may!  I knew from trying to get Circus tickets that it wasnt an easy task and wasnt looking forward to spending hours trying to get through to the ticketmaster website or phoneline but was prepared.  Then out of the blue, a few days before hand a friend messaged me on facebook to say that a local coach company were running a trip to the concert and tickets would be on sale through them the day before general release.  9am came on that day and I was on the phone and my tickets booked.
I booked 3, 1 for me, 1 for my friend Anna and one for my 9 year old.  I didnt mention anything to her about the tickets until her birthday this february when I put a message in her birthday card to say that in June she would be going to see TT in concert.  She was thrilled to bits!!!
I try and give her as many opportunities and experiences as I possibly can.  We didnt have chances like this when I was her age and would have given anything to go and see my fave bands in concert so I am only too happy to give her these opportunities!

So tomorrow is the day!  My TT t'shirt is in the washing machine at the moment and I have the challenge of finding hers somewhere in the pit she calls her bedroom.  Im not sure ill manage it by tomorrow and sitting her blogging isnt going to help.
We are all very excited! Anna is under strict instructions NOT to be late for the bus tomorrow which will be a first for her :0)

One more sleep and TT here we come.  Hope you are ready for me Robbie, this has been a long time coming hehehe! 

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The race is on...

well ish!

So this time next week will be the eve of my race for life!  I am looking forward to it so much and this week I will be preparing my back plate.  I need to think hard about what I am going to say on it, there is so many words I could say but it needs to be to the point and also show my love and pride in Richard and what he has come through.
I have chosen the photo I want to use.

 I had contemplated using the picture of us as a family taken by the local paper
but decided against it as the focus in my mind on the day will be him and I will be proud to carry his photo on my back.
Funnily enough it is also fathers day the day of my race which i find really symbolic.  Rich is a brilliant dad and the kids love him to bits so running for their dad will keep me going!

The down side to all this at the moment it my left foot.  I have tried to run twice this month and both times my left foot and ankle have been agony.  I have been to see the chiropractor to try and get it sorted out and she did help and I was pain free for a week but as soon as i tried to run on it again, my ankle gave way and its really painful again.  So what to do?   Well one thing I will do is finish the race, that I know.  In what state I will finish it is a different matter.  I have trained long and hard for this and there is no way ill pull out now.  I have decided to join the running crowd and see what happens.

I am looking forward to it very much, the atmosphere on the day is always electric and its so emotional reading everyones stories as you go round the course. Sometimes I wish there was more I could do, and this I will give some serious thought to in the coming months, but for now I will run(?) with pride, love and humility for the man who I love beyond words, for the strength, courage and determination he has shown and for the future, our future as a family.

(Ill also being having a last minute push for sponsorships so if  you have a £1 or 2 to spare, please pop along to my page www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/allyrunsforrich)

Wish me luck!!

Friday, 3 June 2011

A minor (!) blip?

Things have been going well, we have been busy as a family with so much stuff going on that for a second we have forgotten what has happened in the past year.  Its easy to do when life gets in the way, kids are busy with activities and you go back to being "normal"

Little things prick your conscience, like a trip to Tesco this week.  There was a motorbike for sale in the carpark and as he always does Rich said "oooh look at that bike, bet that would fly" and as always i say "There is no way you are having a bike"  Its been a little thing between us for years.  This time was different though cos a little (9 year old) voice pipes up from the back of the car saying "Dad you are NOT having a motorbike.  I dont want you to have an accident and be ill again, you have only just got better and I dont want you to be ill anymore"  The tears started to come but I had to turn away and not let it show, but you could tell it got to Rich too.

Then you hear those words "My shoulder aches again" and suddenly that stomach lurching feeling is back and those memories of chemotherapy and pain and sickness come flooding back.  In fairness he has been overdoing things and wont listen when he is told!  In the past few weeks he has spent all day helping his brother build and fit out a log cabin, then after tea has been going to our building plot to work on our house, he has been mowing the lawn, building picnic benches etc etc (you get the picture) so the likelihood that his shoulder hurt because he has overdone it is a realistic prospect BUT there is always that what if!

So this weekend he is to rest and if there is still pain on Monday then back to the Dr we go :0(  Till then sleep will be a distance memory in this house!  I laid in bed last night and just thought back to the last 12 months, and I pray to who ever will listen that we NEVER have to do it again cos i dont think i can.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

It's all go!

Well to say its busy is probably an understatement but that can only be a good thing right?  Quiet times mean time to think and that is never a good thing!

The business is up and running and events are coming in thick and fast.  Lets hope people like my stuff and make a few little purchases so that I can buy some more stock and make more pretty things!!
I have a few new products up my sleeve which I am really looking forward to revealing in the next few months.

I shall also be starting a business blog as well, lets hope i manage to keep that updated as often as this one!

So what is todays blog about?  Well its a shameless business plug!  Cos lets face it you cant get enough exposure can you?

Why not take a look at my website and come back and give me some feedback?
www.with-love-from-me.co.uk

I also want to take a moment to thank my wonderful friends who have supported me from day one and my amazing man who had endured night after night of going to bed alone while i have been sat typing, making, swearing and a whole load of other things!!

So, look out for With love from me THE BLOG!  Coming soon to a screen near you!

Monday, 16 May 2011

It was broken, so im fixing it!

Life that is, or rather me.
My blogging has been sporadic of late, as has everything else in life.
Its a rather long, boring and tiresome story so I wont bore you with the ins and outs but ill provide the basics.

So ill rewind a bit, back to the fantastic day where Rich finished his treatment and we said goodbye to the hospital, only it wasnt a fantastic day, it was a sad day, a scary day because we are now alone!  I dont mean alone in the sense of being the last 2 people on earth, although sometimes it feels that way.  I mean alone as in suddenly there is no one responsible for his care, its just us.  We dont have the security blanket around us anymore and thats scary.  The what ifs are still there, what if it comes back, what if we dont know its there again, what if they forget about him?  Ok the last one maybe a bit extreme but it feels like that as there are no more appointments, no more treatment.  Its just all gone!

So everyone kept saying to me how relieved I must be and I put on the happy face and say yes but inside im saying no im not, im scared.
I felt that I should be relieved, people kept saying how strong I was but I wasnt but felt I should, people kept saying I should be this and should be that and I wasnt and I felt like I was a failure.  I wasnt meeting other peoples expectations of me, but more importantly I wasnt meeting my own and I found that hard to deal with.  This feeling of failure was building and building and building and with the GP withdrawal of my meds it finally came to a head.  I cant quite describe what happened as I dont know, i just kind of imploded.  I decided that the best way to stop letting other people down was just to cut myself off from everyone and everything, friends, family, even my own children.  I just didnt want to function.
I went to a very dark place, somewhere I never want to visit again, it cost me friendships although some will say if your friends cant be there for you when you are at your lowest point then they are not friends but on the flip side, if you cut yourself off and dont allow people in then how can they help?
I felt that I was at a point of no return but thanks to some very very special people, some of who sat up talking to me online till 3am in the morning listening to me rambling the most inane things that made no sense to me never mind them!
But with their love and encouragement I got help, I got my meds reinstated and the cloud has started to lift again.  I have spoken to a counseller who is helping me to put things into the place they should be and not the jumble mix of mess that was in my head.
Im far from fixed, its going to be a long process and I accept that now, I accept that I have to be me, not who people expect me to be.
To help with this I decided I needed a focus, that is what spurred me on to start my business.  It is a scary prospect, I stand to lose a lot if it fails BUT its up to me to make sure that does not happen.  Its something that I can be in control of and I guess that is what I need at the moment.  I lost control of so many things in my life that I needed to regain something back.

I still have a list of things I need to do, I need to regain control of my eating which spiraled, I need to regain my enthusiasm for running and training for my race and I need to regain some normality back in my life.  Im taking steps to do this, baby steps, one thing at a time.
Its been almost 2 weeks now since I fell and I am thankful for the people that picked me up and dusted me off.  I wont forget that, ever.

So there we have it, me laid bare (ish) Its been a tough blog post to write but therapeutic at the same time!  So back to blogging, but with Ally v.2 :0)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Positives and negatives

Wow its been a long time since I blogged and im quite ashamed to say I didnt finish the A to Z blogging challenge, I have no other excuse then the fact life got in the way, the baby and I have been really poorley with a horrid D&V bug which almost saw him admitted to hospital with dehydration.
I was going to post about what had happened since I blogged last and realised that it sounded mainly negative so I decided that for every negative I posted I would also post a positive because there are always positives to be found out there somewhere.
So lets start with the negatives and get them out of the way!

Firstly I lost my Aunty last week.  I have amazingly fond memories of her from when I was a child.  Her and her husband lived in Poole at the time and would come and visit regularly.  I would always beg them to take me out with them for the day as Mum didnt drive and Dad died when I was 7 so unless it was in walking distance we never really went far.
Everytime they came to stay they would always bring me a pack of gingernuts.  Random I know but as a small child you look forward to these things!
About 10 years ago they moved down to Pembrokeshire and bought a bungalow that Richard and I had renovated (our first project in property) It was lovely to have them so close and also to think that they were living in something that we had created.
Sadly not long after moving down she suffered a stroke which had a significant effect on her daily life.  I found it quite sad to see how a vibrant outgoing lady had turned into someone who couldn't walk far, take care of herself and had mentally changed.
She died from a massive heart attack but was on life support until they made the decision to switch the machines off and as they were doing all the work it was simply a case of letting her finally go to sleep in peace.

A few days later our lovely farm dog Jess passed away.  Jess was about 15 years old (give or take a year) which is about 70 something in dog years so she was quite an old lady!  She was a lovely intelligent dog who would give you her left or right paw depending on which one you asked for and was very loyal and obedient. When I was pregnant with Jade she would come and lay on my feet, it was then I noticed she had a swollen tummy which later turned into 11 puppies!!!  She gave birth on the August bank holiday in 2001.  I remember this well as it was a few months before I had Jade.
We kept 2 of the dogs on the farm and they were named Ralph and Toby.
This is Jess (left) with her 2 sons Toby (middle) and Ralph (right)
She was beautiful and elegant and I will miss her loads x

I was really gutted to hear the news that the beautiful mum of a friend of mine had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I always feel that stomach sinking feeling when I hear about someone being diagnosed now that I know what the journey entails.  I do have every faith in the medication and treatment available and am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be as successful for her as it was for Richard.  She is also writing a blog about her journey so why not check it out here and tell her I sent you!

Well, along with the negatives I promised you positives and here they are!
You remember my lovely friend Caz from After Anabelle?  Well after giving birth to a sleeping angel on my birthday last year, Caz is now expecting her 2nd child, a little brother or sister for Anabelle.  It is bittersweet news though as I know Caz will not be able to relax and enjoy her pregnancy this time round like she did with Anabelle as there will always be that fear in the back of her mind and I know she is having an anxious time of things so I ask you all if you pray (aint fussy as to who) then please send a prayer for Caz, Jon and Baby Bow.

This week I have finally launched my Business!!!!  Wow what a lot of things you have to take into consideration when setting up a small business, im still learning about things I need to do such as getting insurance (thank you nellie dean for your help and advice) registering with that lovely tax man etc etc.  Lots of forms to fill in, lots of money being spent out and a hope that things will work out!
So why not come and take a look at my website here where you will find a link to my Folksy shop on the "shop" page.
As well as making new beaded and fingerprint jewellery (coming soon) I am going to be recycling old beaded jewellery to make new designs.  50% of the money from the sale of the recycled Jewellery will be donated to a local charity Adams bucket full of hope who are raising money for a new chemotherapy day unit at our local hospital, a cause which is now very close to my heart!
I have already made one sale from my folksy shop was is fab considering I only set it up last night!  Fingers crossed its a sign of good things to come!

So there we have it!  Some positives and negatives about the past week or so.  If you take a look at my website then I would love to hear your comments about the site and the stock!

Hopefully normal blogging service shall now be resumed, in the mean time a HUGE thank you to those of you who have visited and commented on my blog, you make me smile xx

Friday, 22 April 2011

Sleep

S is for sleep, something that used to be a good friend of mine but we have fallen out in recent times!

I used to love 11pm because that was our bed time, we would snuggle up in bed together and fall asleep cuddled up.  It was my fave time of day!

Then came the night sweats, I couldnt go anywhere near him at night time because he was soaked in sweat,  This is when I first started to worry about him and what prompted me to nag him to go to the doctor.  Since then night times have never been the same.

When I first moved in with him it took me ages to get used to sleeping in the same bed as someone else but then it got to the point where I couldnt sleep without him in bed.  His arms around me made me feel safe and I could fall asleep with ease.

I have now got used to not sleeping because we are not cuddled up so that is why I am sat here at 01:17am typing this instead of being in bed snuggling up!
Just another sign of how life has changed for us :o(

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Reflections on motherhood

One of my lovely friends posted a link to this video last night and I thought it was perfect for todays post!  Its called Reflections on Motherhood.  The film makers asked mothers what one thing they would say to themselves if they could go back in time before they had their baby.  Have a look...

Did you cry?? I did lol!

So it got me thinking, what would I say to myself if i went back in time?  
I would say.....
Motherhood is not as good as you imagine, its a million times better!!

So what would yours be?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Questions

Q is for questions, as there are still so many unanswered!

1) Why did Richard get cancer?
2) Why did it have to happen when it did?
3) How do we know it wont come back?
4) How will it effect the future?
5) Will we ever be a normal family again?

These are questions that realistically no one can answer but they are the ones that I am desperate to know the answer to!

Rich finished his course of chemo today (cant tell you how happy it makes me feel to be able to write that)but the relief is engulfed by the "what now's"

So 6 months into this nightmare I am still left with the same questions I had right at the start.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Photography - Capture a moment!

P is for Photography, a passion of mine!

My father in law to be bought us a DSLR 2 years ago and I have turned into a bit of a photography geek!  I love taking photos that capture a moment!  That moment could be my children sharing their toys, a calf being born on the farm of Rich doing the dishes (that is a rare thing in our house!!)

So I was wondering who fancied joining me in a bit of a challenge?  Each week on a Tuesday I am going to post a photo from the previous 7 days where I have captured a moment.  I will explain about the photo and why I have picked it and hopefully it will encourage me to pick up my camera a bit more often than I do at the moment!! So who is up for it????

Here is my photo


I took this photo in my garden one morning this week.  We had moved the calves from a little paddock into the big field for the first time and the next morning when I got up and opened the curtains I found them all in my garden!!!  Its the joys of living on a farm :0)

I look forward to seeing the moments you have captured every week!!



Oh and while you capture a moment, why not capture my badge too?
Photobucket

<a href="http://cancerandbabyequalschaos.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i187.photobucket.com/albums/x24/ilovebaalambs/Captureamoment.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Monday, 18 April 2011

Ooops

O is for oooops! Been so busy working on the new business that i forgot to blog!!! My apologies and normal service will be resumed tomorrow!!!!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

New

N is for New, or specifically New Business because that is what I am working on at the moment!

I really enjoyed the challenges of organising the charity tea party and have also been working with http://www.la-roche-uk.co.uk/ which has inspired me to get my arse off the sofa and sort myself out.  Although when I say get my arse of the sofa, ive spent all day working on a website and have not actually moved!

So I can sense the anticipation in finding out exactly what I am going to be doing but I am wondering if I have built up enough tension yet??

Ah ok, well my business is called With Love...from me x and I am going to be making and selling beaded and fingerprint jewellery.  Now not only is setting up a business a totally new experience for me but Jewellery making is also a relatively new hobby!  I went to a few classes this week and got on so well with it and enjoyed it so much that I decided that it was something I could fit in around the children and I can do from home so off we go!!!

So check out www.with-love-from-me.co.uk, the site is still very much under construction but there is a link to follow me on twitter and facebook.  It is very scary and exciting all at the same time!!

And (bad writing starting a sentence with and!!) as if she knew, Jo over at http://jojokirtley.blogspot.com gave me an award this evening called Kreativ Blogger award!



I have to link back to Jo (check) then tell you 10 amazing facts about me!  Gosh, amazing facts??  This is going to be difficult!!!

Ok here goes

FACT 1: In 2005 I spent a month teaching in Africa, whilst I was there I got to fulfill a life long dream.  That dream was to go diving with Great White Sharks
 This is me in my very fetching wetsuit and diving mask!!  I hoped into the water expecting it to be warm considering the temperatures were hitting the high 40's every day but the sea was bloody freezing!!
This is a picture of a Great White Shark taken with an underwater
disposable camera!


FACT 2: I have sung on TV several times and have featured on a CD with The Pembrokeshire Youth Choir

FACT 3: I gave birth to my 2nd child in 26 minutes

FACT 4: I have never read a Harry Potter book or seen any of the films

FACT 5: I collect sheep!!!!  Not the real life ones that sit in the field going Baaaaaaa, although we do have rather a few of them!  I collect china sheep and have a display cupboard full of them, all different shapes and sizes.  There must be over 100 in there!

FACT 6: Rich is my childhood sweetheart.  We have been together since 1995 and have never split up in that time.  We are certainly soul mates :0)

FACT 7: I once appeared in a crime stoppers appeal video for an attack in a local playing field.  That attack is now part of a huge trial going on locally which also includes 2 double murders!!

FACT 8: I have lived in Pembrokeshire all my life and would be happy to stay here forever, it is truly a beautiful part of the country

FACT 9: I have never broken a bone (that is just asking for trouble isnt it!!)

FACT 10:  I am so boring there isnt a fact 10!!!

So there we go!!  Now i have to pick other bloggers to give this award to!  Hmm lets have a look!
I award

  1. http://ourhandmadejourney.blogspot.com/
  2. http://first-time-daddy.blogspot.com/
  3. http://frommyclassroomwindow.blogspot.com/
  4. http://babyrambles.blogspot.com 

 Hope you enjoy reading these other blogs xxx

Friday, 15 April 2011

Mental Health

M is for Mental Health and I think this post my divide opinion but im going to speak my mind because thats what I do.

This week it was revealed that Catherine Zeta Jones was receiving treatment for Bipolar disorder after her husband had been treated for throat cancer.  Now, I first of all want to make it clear that I sympathise with her 100%, watching the person you love most in the world going through such a terrible illness is heartbreaking.  You feel lost, totally out of control and helpless, although that is probably an understatement.  It is enough to make anyone crumble, I know I did.

I beat myself up about taking my "happy pills", I felt like a failure because Rich was coping so why shouldnt I?  I slowly crumbled and it was like I was sat outside the window, looking in on a life that wasnt mine.  If it wasnt for the support of my lovely ladies then I would never have taken that step to get treatment.  It helped big time and I feel more balanced and able to cope, I can see now that it was the right thing to do.

So thats why I can see why Catherine has gone through what she has BUT and there is a but, I dislike the way all this media attention is focused on how brave she is for signing into a top clinic and getting help.  Now dont get me wrong, it does take a brave woman to admit there is a problem and to get help but just because she is famous and loaded does not make her any more brave then the hundreds of "everyday" women out there that struggle with depression.  No one publishes their story and congratulates them on being brave.
The only thing this story has achieved (if anything at all) is to highlight the fact that mental health issues do not just effect us normal people, but also the rich and famous.  Depression does not care about money and status but if you have the money and the status then you are almost certainly going to stand a better chance of recovery than those who have to rely on people caring enough to help.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Life

L is for Life.  Something you only learn the value of as you grow older.
It is a shame when you are younger that you dont really appreciate the value and importance of life and making the most of it until its too late.
I didnt really do much with mine when I had the opportunity, wasnt really bothered about exams, flitted around in crappy jobs and never really achieved anything.  I did however want to be a mum and remember pestering Rich every year from the age of 16 that I wanted a baby, he was far too sensible though and made me wait!

It wasnt really until I became a mum that I started to realise the importance of life, suddenly I didnt feel good enough so I decided it was time to make something of myself.  I started university when Jade was a year old and juggled motherhood, studying for my degree and working as much as I could.  I got the opportunity to visit Africa which made me reflect on life more and realise what was important and what wasnt.

Sadly as time went past I forgot the lessons I had learnt and started taking life for granted again.  But Life had other plans and it decided to bring me back to my senses.  We decided to try for another baby, and i thought that we would catch straight away but we didnt, a year later we were still trying, a lesson not to take life for granted.
Eventually I gave birth to Sofia and our journey through life continued.  I suddenly started to realise that life was passing us by without realising so decided I wanted to complete our family straight away so we tried for Richie.  Again life sent us a reminder and after the initial excitement over the easiness of getting pregnant, we lost our baby at 7 weeks.
I fell pregnant again straight away and was not so complacent about life this time.  After Rich got his diagnosis life suddenly became very precious and now I often sit and think about how quickly life is passing us by.  I am reminded about that song "Sunscreen" by Baz Luhrmann

"Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh nevermind,
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. "

How true that is!!!  Youth is certainly wasted on the young!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Karma

What Is Karma?

Karma is a Sanskrit word that means "action." Karma has commonly been considered a punishment for past bad actions, but karma is neither judge nor jury. Rather, it is simply the universal law of cause and effect that says every thought, word and act carries energy into the world and affects our present reality

For K I had planned to blog about Karma.  Although im not religious or spiritual, I do believe in Karma in the sense that being good to others means that good will return to you, or at least that is what I thought until now!

If this was the case then why does bad things happen to good people?  I dont just mean us, although in a sense I do, but also friends.  There is Caz who lost her beautiful daughter Belle, Laura and her struggle to become a mummy and so many others out there who have had a horrible time of things.  

Its made me question the things that I do believe in, if someone like Rich can get cancer when bad people out there are living life to the full without a care in the world then what is the point of living a good life?  Does Karma actually exist?  Dont get me wrong, I have seen many people who get what they deserve but I am seeing more and more good people go through experiences they dont deserve and it makes me angry.

Perhaps there is a reason for it?  If there is I am struggling to find it.  I have thought long and hard about the reason behind all of these situations, i wondered if we were "chosen" because someone knew we would cope?  I dont know.  What I do know is that we have all survived and I still believe that good things will happen in the future xxx

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Just mental!!

J is for just mental which probably best describes this week so far!  Certainly still on a high after the charity tea party on Sunday, was great to meet so many lovely people and to have such positive response about the day.

I thought my day could not get any better until i heard about the MAD awards from Jo over at http://jojokirtley.blogspot.com
I have not heard about them before so googled it and went to have a nose to see what is was all about.  I had a read through the blog and checked out this years nominations, imagine my surprise when I find im nominated and not just for one category but for 6!!!!!
Best MAD baby blog
Best MAD Blog writer
Best new MAD blog
Most Inspiring MAD blogger
Most MAD family life blog
and 2011 Parentdish blogger of the year
That is just mental!
I never imagined when i started rabbiting on about the crap that was being chucked at us that my blog would be nominated for awards, especially with so many other fantastic blogs out there.

So I just wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to who ever has nominated me!  Having read more on the awards, it seems like a very big privilege to be nominated for these awards and I am certainly chuffed to bits!

I have added the badge link to my page so if you following me and would like to add to my nominations then I would be chuffed to bits.  From what I understand when nominations end there is a voting round (I could be wrong, this is all so new to me!!).
At the end of the day though im just so blown away to be nominated!  It is "Just mental!!"

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Incredible

I think that just about sums up today!
We had our charity Tea party today, the first charity event I have ever organised and it was just as the title says, incredible!!!
I didnt really know what to expect, I have never done anything like this before so was worried that it would be a big flop but it wasnt!
People were queuing to come in, they had a go at all the games, raffle tickets were sold by the hundreds, people bought and ate cakes, they laughed, spent money and had a brill time!

I set up a tree of thoughts, the idea being that people write a message to a lost loved on a tag and tie it to the tree.
By the end of the day the tree was full and the messages were just beautiful!  I tied each one to a balloon and took them up the fields this evening and let them go.
This is me with all the balloons
And this is the balloons floating off up into the sky, delivering the messages to people who are loved and missed
Up up and away!!!
I got very emotional doing this as did Jade who helped me to let them go.  I wrote a message to my dad who I lost when I was 7 and Jade wrote one to her Great Grandad whom she loved very much and was very close to.

I was amazed by the amount of people who came that I didnt know and have never met!! Obviously word got round which is fantastic!

I couldnt have done it without my fantastic team of helpers!  Who would have thought that there were so many kind and caring people out there who would give up their sunday afternoon just to come and help me out?  Such special kind people!!

Anyway I bet you are dying to know how much we raised??  Well, I am so proud to tell you that we raised
DRUM ROLL PLEASE






£1184.50!!!!!  Still cant quite believe it myself!!
Such an amazing day and such fun had by all!!


Red Kites Cheerleaders from West Wales Academy of Dance


Me and my mum at the end of the event!

Hectic

Ok its cheating a bit but i didnt get to post yesterday because I was hectic getting ready for the charity tea party that I was arranging.  Sorry :0(

Friday, 8 April 2011

Goat

My G is for goat, or should I say its dedicated to a very special goat!!

As you may have gathered, I live on a farm.  I love animals of all shapes and sizes (spiders excluded) and was thrilled to move onto the farm with Richard and his family and got to help out with the sheep and the cows.
As well as this fantastic home life, I managed to bag myself a job at the local theme park on the children's farm section.
I got to work with horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens.  I really enjoyed it and loved all the animals.  Sadly foot and mouth hit the UK and the managers of the theme park decided that all the animals must go and the consensus was they were to be put down which there was no way I was going to let happen so I managed to find homes for as many of them as possible!  Rich said he had always wanted a goat so a goat is what we got!  She was born in June 2000 and called Beth.
She was only a few months old when we brought her home and decided straight away that I was her mummy.  She would follow me around the farm yard all day long and if I sat down she would curl up on my lap and go to sleep.
Rich made her a little shed for her to sleep in and during the day she would roam around the lawn munching the grass (who needs a lawn mower!!)  On the odd occasion she would come into our cottage and curl up on the rug and go to sleep.
I think it amused people who came down to our farm, most people have dogs walking around the yard, we had a goat :0)

As she grew bigger, so did her horns and by God she could cause some pain if she wanted to!  She had to be tethered as she would munch her way through Richards mums substantial flower boarders but she had a mega long lead and spent most of her time escaping from it and munching on said flowers!
When she did escape it was like something out of Benny Hill trying to catch her!  People would be diving everywhere while she would slip through  your legs.  At first you could bribe her with food but she soon got wise to that.  It got to the point where I was the only one that could catch her but you had to just sit on the floor and let her come to you then as you were smoothing her you had to wrestle her to the ground!

Beth was very much my first "baby".  See normal people have dogs or cats as a pet, not me, im different, always have been always will be!!

Sadly late last year Beth did her usual escaping trick and managed to munch something she shouldnt!  This wasnt the first time she had done this and on previous occasions we had taken her to the vet who had advised us to give her strong tea to neutralise her tummy.  Beth, like her "mummy" was not a big fan of tea so didnt really enjoy this very much but needs must so she had to have it.
This time the tea didnt work, she went downhill fast and I sat in the hay barn with her as she fell asleep, very peacefully.
I didnt get the whole crying over a dead pet thing until that day.  I phoned Rich and sobbed down the phone to him that she had died (am getting all emotional about it now!!)
Later that evening he came home, got a pic and a spade and dug a grave for her.  This was at the height of his bad shoulder and although he was in excruciating pain he carried on digging.  He then came to get blankets and laid one on the bottom of the grave, carried her over and laid her on top of the blanket.  He put another on top of her to keep her warm (sob) and buried her in a corner of our garden.  He marked her grave with stones and laid her collar on the top of the soil.  We said our good byes.

I miss seeing her about our garden, munching on the grass.  We have had to buy a lawnmower!!
So this post is dedicated to Beth, the best pet goat in the world!!

RIP Beth, the worlds best goat!!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Future

Todays F post is dedicated to the future!

What exactly is the future all about?  When I was a little girl I often wondered about the future, you do when you are little don't you.  I never imagined that at 7 my dad would die in front of me or that I would go a bit off the rails as a teenager.  I just thought life would be like the fairytales, Meet your prince, get married, have children, live happily ever after.  You dont think about the challenges that life has to throw at you along the way.

I also had a clear picture in my head about what I was going to be.  I was going to be a Paramedic and rush to 999 emergencies in an ambulance and help people.  I even did work experience at the ambulance station and loved every minute of it then saw a uni course that would help me qualify, but mum said no, we couldnt afford for me to go to university (and being the youngest of 5 she was reluctant to let me go) so there and then my future changed direction.

I never imagined at the age of 15 I would meet the man of my dreams and fall madly in love.  I never imagined 17 years later we would still be together with 3 beautiful children and the most fantastic relationship.  So I found my prince but he wont marry me, thats fine by me, we are happy as we are, but its another part of my "future" that has changed.

So here I am, 31 years old, a mum of 3 with a teaching degree (very far removed from my paramedic plans) that has been useless to me so far, waiting to hear back from college about moving in a different direction (midwifery) and still wondering what the future will hold.  So much has happened since I was little that shaped me into the person I am today but so much is still the same.

Perhaps in 30 years time I will still be wondering what the future will hold for me and my family or maybe I will be contented in life and have done everything I always wanted to do.  Who knows, but without the past being the past it was then the future there is now would be very different! (well done if you understand that last sentence!!)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Events

I have really struggled to come up with a post beginning with E, have thought about the obvious, Easter, Everything, Eating (haha) but nothing really grabbed me until my friend Caz suggested Event!

I am taking part in 2 events this year.  One is a nationwide event and one is a local event that I am organising myself.

The first event takes part this Sunday (and is causing me much stress!!)  I am organising a tea party at a community hall in our local town to raise money for the Lymphoma Association.  This little known charity has been a huge support to us during Richards treatment and provide a free helpline, a chatroom, information on the different types of lymphoma and the treatments available and much much more.  I have made lots of friends through the site, some are battling lymphoma, some have won their battle and others have lost loved ones.   Each one has a story to tell and each one an inspiration in their own right.
Anyway the tea party is going to consist of lots of tea, cakes, stalls, balloons, face painter, raffle, cheerleaders and lots of fun, I just need to get people in the door, thats my biggest worry at the moment!  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

The second event is in June and that is Race for Life!  I have done RFL since it came to our town a few years ago, originally I ran for my grandad and my aunty Diane who both died of cancer, then every year there seemed to be more people to add to my backplate.  Each year it made me more and more sad that people were losing their lives but it also made me proud that I was running in their memory. This year for a change I am running in celebration rather than memory.  I am celebrating Richards life, celebrating the fact that cancer research has been able to help to develop treatments that actually work and that save peoples lives.  Thats a pretty amazing thing to be part of.   To date I have raised an amazing £1005.00 after starting with a target of £250.  We were also featured in the local newspaper this week.

 I will feel so proud running (stumbling) round the 5K, I will have a big smile on my face and be proud to be part of something amazing!!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Daughters

D is for my daughters.  The 2 most important girlies in my life!!

When I was a little girl I longed to have a daughter, after all I was growing up in a household with 4 brothers and no sisters.  I wanted a girl to bond with and to share lots of girly things with like shopping and hair etc.

I fell pregnant with my first baby in 2001.  It was a bit of a surprise to say the least, but much wanted none the less.
We tried to find out if it was a girl or boy at the scans but they were never able to tell so we waited in anticipation.  We discussed names and decided on a boys name pretty much straight away.  Richard has a family tradition so the boy would be called Richard William.  A girls name was not so easy but one evening I came home from a late shift at work and Richard has decided on Jade as a name.  He had his heart set on it so I agreed.
On the 1st Feb 2002 Jade Louise was born after a 4 hour labour.  She weighed in at 5lb 10oz and was just perfect.  I threw myself into motherhood and relished in every second of having a little girl.

Jade is now 9 years old and is such a beautiful little girl.  She is full of pre teen attitude and can be quite feisty but she is also kind and loves her little sister and brother so much.
She is a very bright little girl who loves to sing and dance.  She is the apple of her daddies eye and they are very very close.
She shares my passion for clothes and shoes which makes shopping a lot of fun and also very expensive!  She is a proper dainty girly girl and everything I imagined my daughter to be!



In contrast to Jade comes my 2nd daughter Sofia.  For as long as I can remember, Jade wished for a little sister.  I decided to finish my degree and settle in a job before we had any more children.  Time went by and I finished my degree and started looking for a teaching job.  Jobs were few and far between so I bounced from one school to another doing supply work.  It got to the point where I realised the job wasnt going to happen and I was getting older so we decided to try for baby number 2.  After a year of trying I was delighted to finally fall pregnant with daughter number 2.  Jade was over the moon about having a baby sister!
Sofia Rose was born on 7th November 2008 after a 26 min labour!!  That was a sign of things to come!  Sofia is very different to Jade, she is like a whirlwind! She shouts and demands.  She strops and cries and can be a total monster BUT she is also cuddly and funny and loves to play with Jade.
She has the cheekiest smile and is such a joy!

I love my 2 girls very much and appreciate how lucky I am to have them in my life!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Cancer

Day 3 of the blogging challenge and it wouldnt be right to pass by the letter C without touching on cancer, after all it has touched our lives and has now shaped our future.
Cancer is a scary word, it fills people with dread, it conjures up images of death and despair.  When Richard was first diagnosed that is the image that instantly popped into my head.  He had cancer, he was going to die.  This has been my biggest fear since I fell in love with him, loosing him.
This has been a long and stressful journey, something I never thought would happen to us BUT there is light at the end of the tunnel.  It has made US stronger as a couple, stronger as parents, stronger as individuals so I guess you can look at it with the view cancer didnt beat us, we beat it!
Cancer has made us better people.


Saturday, 2 April 2011

Building

For the letter "B" of my A to Z blogging challenge I have decided to go with Building as my theme.

Since I have known Richard, he has always been very practical and very hands on, first with his cars and then when we bought and did up a small bungalow.  I was always impressed by the fact he learnt new skills quickly and was able to turn his hand to anything he wanted to.

Just before our first child was born in 2002, Richard decided he wanted to have a go at building a house.  I was more than a little nervous about this project as we had only done a little bit of DIY before and neither of us knew anything about building really.
We looked at a few plots locally put there was one that really caught our eye.  It was originally a pub car park but the owners had closed the pub down and converted it into a cottage and 2 houses and was selling everything off.  We looked at the plot a few times, went away and thought about it, came back to look at it some more and after a lot of consideration decided we would go for it..

The main thing that drew us back to the plot time and time again were the views of the rolling countryside.  Standing on this empty plot and looking across the fields was just breathtaking (as was the wind coming off the fields!!)

So once the plot was officially ours we planned out our design and Richard got Auto CAD and taught himself how to draw up house designs.  When we completed our design we got it printed out and submitted it to the local planning officer.  It was a long and nervous wait to hear if we had got planning permission or not, most people we knew did not get permission the first time so we were anticipating a negative response.
By some small miracle the planning officer passed our design first time and we set off on what was to become an epic house building project.

Everything that has been done to our house so far, with exception of the plastering, has been done by Richard with a little help here and there from his dad, brother, my brothers and of course me :o)

I like to think I was an interior designer in a previous life, mind you how many of us think that!!  I think Richard would probably beg to differ as we have totally different taste when it comes to interior design which can often cause minor disagreements!!

We are currently on our 9th year of building.  That does sound a long time, and had you asked me when we started building if I thought for one second we would still be building 9 years on then I would have probably laughed hysterically at you, but the reality of it is, life just simply got in the way!
3 children later and a battle with cancer almost complete means our beloved house has taken a back seat but that does not mean there is no progress.

Richard has worked tirelessly on the house on weekends and days off and do you know what?  Not even his chemotherapy stopped him!  He would have his treatment on a Tuesday and by the Friday was back at the house working.  In the 6 months of his treatment he has fitted out 2 bathrooms, laid underfloor heating, finished slating the garage room, installed solar panels and laid floors.  His utter determination has seen him get over the sickness and exhaustion and back out to our plot within days of that horrible combination of drugs.

So where are we now?  Well below is a collage of a few pictures I have taken throughout the build.  The plan is to hopefully be in the house by Christmas but who knows what else life has to throw at us first!  It will be worth it in the end!!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Anabelle

So today is my first day of my A-Z blogging challenge and I guess the easiest and most obvious post would have been about me but lets face it, you would have fallen asleep after the first paragraph!

So todays post is about Anabelle. Why Anabelle and who is she?

Anabelle is a very special little girl. Her Mummy Caz was pregnant the same time as me last year and we shared stories of morning sickness, aches, pains and other joyful things that are associated with pregnancy.
I had a lot of friends pregnant last year which was fab and I got rather excited that some were due around my birthday. I have always teased my friends that I wanted a birthday baby but they all gave birth before or after.

It never crossed my mind for one second that Anabelle would be my birthday buddy, after all Caz was not due to give birth until August and my birthday was in June but out of the blue the news reached me that "Belle" was born on the 21st of June 2010. Now being born on my birthday did not make her a special baby, being born to fantastic parents like Caz and Jon didnt make her a special baby, the thing that made Anabelle special was that she was born sleeping.

Words could not ever describe how I felt when I heard the news, my stomach lurched, I felt sick and sat and sobbed for hours. I couldnt figure out how this could happen. I had never come across stillbirth before and ill be honest, i didnt think it was something that still happened very often. Now I know differently, it does happen, it happened to Caz and Jon and it happens to 17 families a day! 17 families a day go through the most traumatic event of their lives.

How do people cope with such devastation? I guess somehow you do! Caz copes by a number of different methods, one of those is by blogging (you can read her blog here)  It was Caz that inspired me to start blogging so I guess its only right that in my first blogging challenge I dedicate it to her and her beautiful Anabelle.

Although I never met Anabelle, I will never forget her, how could I?  She is my birthday buddy xxx

Thursday, 31 March 2011

The A-Z challenge!



Oh dear, what have I let myself in for now?
Well, I was reading through a few blogs and I came across a blogging challenge called A to Z blogging challenge as featured by Arlee at Tossing it Out .  
I thought OK ill give it a try and see if it helps to improve my blogging skills and give me an incentive to post more often.  So what is this challenge?


The idea is you make 26 posts during the month of April, one every day for the whole month, except Sundays when you are allowed a day off :o)
Each post must follow the alphabet theme so on Day 1 you may blog about Apples and day 26 you may blog about Zebras.
I am blogger number 796 who has signed up to this challenge and last time I checked there were just over 852 bloggers signed up to the challenge.


Now I dont have a great deal of time for blogging but I thought id give this a go!  So look out April cos here I come!!



Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Busy times!

Feels like ages since I have updated my blog so I thought I would come and share with you what I have been up to!
Planning for the tea party is going well!  I have lots of prizes for the stalls and amazing prizes for the raffle.  I visited the hall last week and I am really looking forward to it now.  My main concern is getting people through the door.  I have put so much effort into this and I will be gutted if no one comes :o(

Richards intrathecal chemotherapy seems to be going well,  he has had minimal side effects from the 2nd dose, just a few headaches.  He is half way through now and the end of all this treatment is finally in sight.  His hair is starting to return (although a little more grey than it was before perhaps) and he is starting to look more like "my Rich".  I still wander what will happen when we finish going back and fore to the hospital.  It has been part of our lives for such a long time now that I will feel a kind of emptiness when its all gone!
We were interviewed by the local paper this week which will hopefully help to raise awareness about Lymphoma and get the message out there that you dont have to be old or smoke to get cancer. I really hope I managed to get across everything I wanted to.


I have also been busy blogging for a very exciting new website La Roche Uk It was a fantastic opportunity that I couldn't let pass me by.  I have written 2 posts so far and the number of readers is going through the roof!  Please feel free to follow me over there too!
I feel as though our cancer journey is coming to an end but my blogging one is just beginning.  Something good to come out of the bad perhaps?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

So hospitals are supposed to be clean?

We have all heard the stories of dirty hospitals, stains on the walls, dirty floors etc but I have to admit up until now we have been very lucky with our experiences.  Our local hospital Withybush in Haverfordwest has been fantastic.  When we visit the chemo day unit it is always spotless, fresh, bright and welcoming.  The staff are fantastic and conscientious with their routines.  The cleaning ladies on the ward are lovely and they always come and make a big fuss over Richie when we bring him in with us and are must put out on the days when we dont!
When we visited the Royal Orthopedic in Birmingham we were also impressed with how clean it was.  Richard has his room cleaned every day and they even went around the bottom of the beds with special disinfectant wipes.
So imagine our surprise on Tuesday when we went to the University Hospital in Cardiff.  This is a HUGE hospital with a lovely little shopping and cafe area on the bottom floor.  We went up to the first floor and along the maze of corridors until we got to the Hematology day unit.  It was yet another long wait to be seen with no explanation as to why we have to wait over an hour before someone even speaks to us.  The whole atmosphere is very impersonal and the staff always seem too busy to have a chat unlike our lovely ward in Withybush.

Anyway when we were finally taken into the room where Rich was to have his lumbar puncture and spinal chemo I sat down on the chair next to him and we chatted until the Dr came to do her "stuff".  This time the process seemed to be quicker and Rich coped better as it wasnt so daunting being the 2nd session.  After the Dr had left the room he was made to lay on his back for half an hour.  During that time I noticed the shelf base of the bed had bits on it, there was a bit of plastic pipe which had been cut off something and lots of fluff, then i noticed it was actually thick with dust, so much so I actually wrote "clean me" and took the following photos

When we came out of the room there were no staff around to inform them of the state that the bed was in so we left.
I am shocked and disgusted that such a delicate chemo was undertaken in a room that was so unhygienic.
We are back at the hospital on the 2nd April and I really hope that my message is not still there for all to see on the base shelf of the bed!

My first blogging award!

It surprises me every day how much traffic I have to my blog, after all it is just the ramblings of an occasional mad woman who is trying to make sense of a lot of things in life so imagine my total surprise when I find I have been given a blogging award!!!

The Liebster award was given to me by fellow mummy blogger Mama Stokes.  It is an award for people with little blogs (less than 300 subscribers) to share blog love and spread the word. I dont think I have ever been given an award in my life so I am really chuffed to bits!  Now its my turn to award the blog to bloggers that I enjoy reading so here goes!



The rules are:

1. Post displaying the award, linking back to the person who awarded you (if someone could tell me how id be most grateful!)
2. Choose your own blog picks (below) and let them know they’re awarded
3. Hope everyone discovers some new favourites
4. Revel in the blog love!

I choose to award the following wonderful mummy bloggers:
Baby Rambles
Our handmade journey
Tracey - confessions of a mother
Random Mamma
Jo Jo's so called life

These are blogs that I enjoy reading regularly and I hope you will have a look and enjoy them as much as I do!