Thursday, 22 November 2012

Quick As A Flash

Photos copyright: Maggie May

Our weather has turned out really stormy and wet lately and today we had warnings of structural damage through high winds.  I braved the storm to go out to the shops and was really buffeted by the wind and was like a half drowned animal when I returned home. However, a week ago the weather was much more congenial and one morning I was asked by my son, Sam, whether I was up to going for a walk with his newly acquired dogs round the local park, which was a bit of a surprise as I don't see so much of him these days. I said I would go if he didn't race on ahead. It was a fine day and I took my stick. It would be good to catch up with all our different news while we walked. I managed to keep up very well and once we reached the park, the dogs raced on ahead obviously disturbing something.
It wasn't long before I spied a little creature and quick as a flash I managed to retrieve my camera from the bottom of my bag.
The trouble was, it was quick as a flash too and I had no time to zoom in. 
Look closely......can you spot what I saw?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Unwanted Gift

Photocopy:Maggie May

It was late in 2009 when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was completely shocked and unprepared for it. After all, wasn't this what happened to other people? Surely not to me.
I was just one of the people who statistically would be the *one in three* so why wouldn't it be me? Christmas of that year was to change everything because I started chemotherapy and a long, hard slog to get where I am today.
Three years on and in remission, I still can hardly believe everything that has happened. 

It was the little brown diary for 2010 that got me into the habit of writing everything down on paper, though I was already writing my blog. In the first place, the diary wasn't meant for me but was given as a Christmas present to my husband, Harry by someone who obviously didn't know him well at all because if they did, they would have known that Harry didn't like writing and would consider diary keeping as a terrible chore.
I decided to take the diary off his hands and made a New Years Resolution to write in it every day. The  first one was filled with my struggles of fighting the effects of chemo and trying to push back the disease which couldn't be cured because it was in its secondary state before it was noticed. I felt writing the diary was very cathartic so I made a New Years Resolution again to fill up a second one. 
That book was also filled up and then the third one was bought. I am amazed that I got this far because at first Oncology weren't too hopeful for a reasonable survival time.

The three books are full of my emotional and physical turmoil and as the anniversary of my cancer discovery has already passed I am so grateful to all the hospitals, treatment, doctors, specialists, nurses and family and friends who have helped me get to the stage where I am in now.
Although buying another diary does make me wonder what the next year will throw at me, I am determined to buy the next one and do my utmost to get through it and hopefully start a fifth.

Somedays when I'm filling in my daily account of the day, I look up to see what was happening last year and then again the year before. It is encouraging to see an account of what I went through and how I managed it and I am reminded of how strong I was in 2010 compared to how I am today because chemo and radiotherapy have certainly taken their toll on my body. 
I have come to the conclusion though, that we are a lot stronger than we think.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Poppy With A Difference

Photocopy: Maggie May

Children never cease to amaze me.
I'm always delighted to receive a phone call from my grandchildren but Millie's recent request for me to knit her a poppy was a bit of a surprise to say the least.
As Remembrance Sunday is coming up and schools must have been telling the children about the reason for wearing a poppy, it might have been expected that she'd want to buy one to support the veterans....... but why a knitted poppy?

I did explain that the only pattern I have in my Knitted Flower Book would produce a much bigger flower than the traditional poppy pictured in the photo.
She assured me that it would be fine.
When I asked her why she wanted a knitted one, she just replied that it would be rather nice, so being the kind, talented grannie that I am, I just got on with the request.

I am reminded that on Armistice day last year, my son, Sam moved into his new house. So Happy Anniversary Sam. 11/11/11 is not a date that is easily forgotten.

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Guilt

Last Thursday, I was really looking forward to my daughter and two grandsons coming for a long weekend during the half term. We usually have quite a lot to catch up on because she only comes every few months and theres only so much you can say on the phone.
My son also called over with the two granddaughters and we also saw his partner, Sandy. Just a normal family gathering and a pleasant time.
Eventually it was bed time and the granddaughters had gone home with Sam and Sandy and everyone was in bed.

By five o'clock in the morning, I knew I had a really bad sickly feeling and I was off my feet for the whole day trying to be discrete with my bucket. It was bad luck happening just as Deb had arrived but probably just a fluke. I would have stopped her coming if I had known what was going to happen.
The sickness left me fairly wrung out but I felt I got over it normally and was just annoyed about the bad timing of it.
However by Sunday morning, poor Harry suddenly became quite violently ill only this time with something much worse than I'd had because he needed the toilet too. (I'm being polite!)
My daughter had to travel that day to the other side of the country and being a single parent in charge of two autistic boys, and having a business to run, she decided to leave right away.
She travelled back about lunch time and because of bad traffic on the route she had to take, we knew it would be evening before she got home. She would phone when she arrived, she always did.

In the meantime Harry had started fainting and I was loading the machine as fast as it would wash, still feeling a little weak and tired from my own session a few days before.
In the end I had to dial the paramedics who came within five minutes. They were like angels coming to the rescue with lots of advice and arranged for a commode and plastic sheeting to be dropped off. They ran lots of tests and were here for an hour. Harry was border line for hospital but they didn't want him spreading germs so it was decided to keep him home but I would need help looking after him.
They arranged for Rapid Direct to visit our home twice a day, so that he could be bathed without me having to worry about him collapsing and he was carefully monitored.

My daughter rang with the news that she'd got home just before she started vomiting. Although she had got safely home, I was filled with guilt that it seemed to have been started by me.
My son called round this morning to say that he'd dropped the children to school but was now going to bed for the day because he felt awful.
However, Harry seems to be getting over it very quickly and it turned out to be just a twenty four hour tummy bug.
However, if your immune system is a bit compromised because of other health issues, then it can be more of an urgent thing.
If he goes on like he is doing, then he will be discharged tomorrow.
I still feel very guilty though.
I wonder if anyone will want to visit again?