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!