Day 41 – Social Networking sites have their positive side!!

Things have been pretty good since my last post. I found it hard the two days after my shopping trip and the night after I was totally wiped out, felt sick and had to resort to sleep!! It didn’t make me regret that shopping  trip as that had made me feel normal again and had given me a day with my family that was just fantastic. But it did make me realise that if I do a day like that, I need to have a rest day afterwards…a day of doing nothing!

I didn’t do that after the shopping trip….we went to see my parents the next day. That was lovely and it was so nice for the kids to see them. They don’t live that far away, but somehow that means we see less of them!! My parents have gone through a lot themselves recently with my mum being in the process of (a very successful) recuperation from a bowel cancer operation, followed closely by a pulmonary embolism that nearly killed her. But she looks better than I remember her looking for a long long time. What is also nice, is that my dad seems really good. He suffers from severe hearing loss, but made more effort with the kids than I have seen in a long time which was great for them, and so so lovely to see. 

Cancer is tough on those who are carers… tough as it is for those of us who have cancer I think. And for someone like Nick who may lose me early on in our relationship, I would even say it is tougher….he will be left with the outcome of it all. But as well as it being tough, I think that cancer can make life more positive.  I certainly feel that for Nick and I, it has brought us closer together and has changed our relationship.  I get the feeling it has done the same for my parents, even after 50 years of marriage. It has also changed our priorities in life….family is now topmost and we make time for each other in a way that we didn’t before this hit our life. And that has impacted on our relationship with our children. I always thought we were ok parents….we loved our children, provided for them and did what they needed. But now, I think we really prioritise them, we talk and listen to them more, shout at them less, and try to think about what we would ALL enjoy as a family. And the results have been clear, to me anyway. My relationship with Rebecca is so much stronger than it was before….she is more emotional, and comes to me more….a bond that was never quite as strong as I had wanted it to be, seems to have come through all of this. Our kids just seem happier. Funny really considering what we’re going through. We all have our sad moments, obviously, but there seem to be more close moments, and more special times that we can smile at…..and that has to be a good outcome from a crap situation!!!

And moving on….

We had Sam’s birthday yesterday. I had been so worried I would spoil it by needing to be in bed or not coping with the day, but it all went really well. The little gorgeous one is now 5 years old….where did those years go….I can still remember the ins and outs of his birth (not one to share now I feel!). So I got up nice and early with everyone – he was SO SO excited, but still managed to stay in bed till 7.15. We had a lovely present opening session where he was just as excited about his cards (and being able to read most of them for once!) as his presents…..sweet! How many presents did he have?? So much Ben10 stuff, I think the shops must be empty now…he certainly has all that he needs! I then went back to bed for a couple of hours, leaving him to play with things, and in the hope that it would give me the energy I needed to get through the rest of the day. It was hard, and I was shattered by the end, but we had a lovely afternoon with a couple of Sam’s friends coming over to play, and then went to Pizza Hut – collapsed on the sofa when we got back for the rest of the evening, but well worth it to see Sam have such a lovely time with his friends :-)

The kids were meant to be staying with their lovely Auntie Sarah in London for a few days this week, but her youngest son developed an abscess on his tooth which got pretty serious. His whole mouth swelled up and he ended up at A&E in London. He is still there as we speak, but fingers crossed won’t need any of his teeth removing. Lots of love and prayers flowing his way, as it has been really hard for him to be in so much pain.

So, I needed to find some help. I am doing so well I think with my recuperation, but I can’t really manage all day if I have to get up with the kids at 8.30 when Nick leaves for work. They are brilliant and will play on their own for an hour or so, but I still need some sleep at some point mid morning. So when I realised I would be with the kids this week, there was a definite need to make use of all those offers of support we had been given. I wasn’t sure it would work at such a late time in the day, and I could tell Nick was getting nervous….he has a busy week at work and can’t afford time off to help for once. I don’t think he thought I’d get the help we needed but oh how did I show him.

Now Nick hates facebook. Thinks it is a total waste of time and that it is just about people being nosy about other people’s lives. Now he is slightly right, but I can see the social benefits of facebook and this was the time that really proved it to me. I put on a request for help for the week, and within about 20 minutes had got the week sorted. People have just been great and it is so lovely to know that offers of help were truly meant and not just said. We are so grateful to those of you that have offered to help this week (including those where we haven’t needed to take you up on it) and here is a HUGE thank you to you all. The kids are just loving this time…..they now get sad when they’re staying at home!!! So to all of you who are anti-social network sites, here is your proof they can be a life-saver!

Day 38 – Superb!

Just a quick one but I had to log just what a good day I have had today. Got a lie in till around 10am after which there was a bit of clearing up before going out with Nick and the kids. We were only meant to be doing a couple of bits, but ended up shopping until about 3.30pm!! And I was fine! Absolutely ok! Obviously the neuropathy was there and my feet were in a lot of pain, but I have realised that I need to separate that from how I am feeling post-transplant or I’ll never see the positive response to things. And today, I feel the same tonight at nearly 8pm as I would do any other day where I’d been so busy. What a feeling!

And what has been lovely is that the kids, especially Rebecca loved today too. They hate shopping normally so I’m not quite sure why today was so different, but Rebecca got some new school shoes which she LOVES, and had her hair cut, including a fringe being cut into it. And despite having put it off for months, she loves that too! Amazingly, tonight as she was going to sleep, she told Nick and I that it was her favourite day of the holidays…….and I was there for it….fab.

I am on such a high :-)

Day 37 – Keeping Positive with loads of love!

I’m feeling pretty positive at the moment after a couple of good days and lots of good family and friend support! So I thought I should write a blog entry that wasn’t depressing and miserable for me and for everyone else.

The day after I last wrote the children got back from their grandparents house. They had had a lovely time and while they were there, one of my sisters had popped round (she lives in the Midlands too) with a beautiful box for me. Now she had mentioned that my 22 year old niece had wanted to give me a little something, but what she had omitted to say was just how special this little something was going to be. I opened the box and sitting on the top was a photo album. As I opened the first pages, I burst into tears and knew I couldn’t open it in front of Nick’s parents so it waited until the kids went to bed….they’d already asked if I was crying because I was happy or because I was sad?!

So when I opened it later I got to look closer. In the box were so many lovely things from my family. An amazon voucher, nail varnish, pampering creams etc, a dvd, chocolates, a gorgeous mug and lots of lovely teas and hot chocolates. But the most secial was what my lovely niece and sister had arranged. They had got each of my 4 brother and sisters, my parents, and some of my nieces to write a special message to me about the journey that we are all going through together. Blub, oh how did I blub…..but in a good way… a very special, ‘I feel loved and cared for’ way. It is so the sort of thing I love, so me, and they got it. They know me so very well. I love them so so much.

Yesterday was a good day. Maybe the box helped to push me into being more positive. One of my NCT friends came over with her son. She was only going to come for a quick coffee, but ended up staying for nearly 3  hours and it was just lovely. Her son was a gem on his DS lite which meant we could just natter for ages and catch up on so much…and it didn’t seem like she was here for long at all – just how you want it to be. In the end I made us all lunch (another good thing!) and then we went for a short walk up the lane. All so good for the soul and so good for my recovery I feel.

I was pretty tired at the end of that so had a dose for a couple of hours while I waited for the kiddies to get back with another great friend…my next door neighbour. She has only lived there for a year and I just don’t know what we would do without her. She is so generous with her time and for someone we have only just met (in the grand scheme of things) she is so willing to do anything for us or the kids. Considering she is 6 months pregnant with her 3rd, she really is some kind of superwoman! I just hope that when she needs some help in November, I will be well enough to step in and make up for all the help and support she has given us. Anyway, I managed to oversleep them getting back, but eventually got over there for a cuppa with them before bedtime. A busy day, but one that just made me feel pretty good.

And today has followed suit. The kids went off mid-morning with another lovely friend of Sam’s….another person who has stood by their promises to help and has just been great. I was pretty shattered as I’d been up since 8.30 (early for me, late in most people’s books I know!) so I dozed on the sofa until about 12.30 when I forced myself up to have some lunch before I was due at a friends for my now daily cuppa! I drove over there and spent a couple of hours catching up with her which was great. I think just getting out and being at other people’s houses is so helpful at the moment…it stops me from feeling like all I’m doing is slobbing around the house. Next stop is actually doing practical stuff rather than ‘nice to do’ stuff. But I am worried about pushing that too hard. I left hers at about 3.30 with the plan of going home for a sleep, but fantastically, I didn’t feel too tired when I got back so  instead of wasting my day, I got to skype my sister in Beijing and then do a bit of organisation of online photos. It really doesn’t sound like much, but I have found it hard to concentrate on anything since I went into hospital, so concentrating on the photo’s was another step forward for me. And actually it’s a lovely thing to go over all the lovely things we’ve done since I was diagnosed….despite it being a hard time, we’ve had some good friend with lovely friends and lovely family. The photos are such a good way of remembering that times haven’t always been tough, and won’t always be tough once we get past this patch.

And tonight, when Sam and Rebecca got home, the parents of Sam’s friend came in for a drink. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel or cope with it as sometimes tiredness just comes over me at that time of night, but actually it was really, really nice. I felt like life was normal. I cooked meatballs for dinner and managed to make the whole meal without having to pass it over to Nick. I feel like things are falling back into place. I feel good. I hope this continues as we have a busy weekend ahead with a visit to my parents on Sunday, and Sam’s birthday on Monday….we just have to hope I’m not in bits by Tuesday!

So life is good at the moment. Really good. (And we’ll save the boring neuropathy talk for another more depressing day!!)