Being Grateful…….

Having survived now for 13 years with Mulitple Myeloma, I know how lucky I am.  I am grateful every day for my life with my wonderful husband and children.  My son was almost 11 when I was diagnosed and my daughter almost 20. So the many years I’ve had are remarkable. Graduations from High School and college.

Some people using the bullet journal method write down what they are grateful for each day. Some do it a little OCed.  I don’t need to write it down to be reminded that the sun comes up or it’s raining and I’m fortunate enough to see it and experience.

Especially since I am enjoying this remission period. My next labs are coming up in the first part of April. Who knows what they will bring but I can only hope they are still good. Although, I don’t “hope hope” like in praying or anything.  Because your blood will be what it is no matter what you hope for. It is what it is.  That was a hard lesson for me when I was first diagnosed.  It took many years to realize basically nothing I ‘hoped’ for essentially made a difference but still one needs to hope. I think it’s a human element.

My neighbor that I’ve mentioned before in my ‘Death decluttering’ blog, is with hospice now. She only has a small amount of time left. I talked with her the other day. One thing that struck me was she said,” this wasn’t how she envisioned her retirement”. She’s only 2 years older than me and was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer 5 years ago.  She made it longer than a lot of cancer patients.

I’m one of the lucky ones and believe me, I am extraordinarily grateful. Not in any religious sense, just grateful to have lived to see another day.

 

BE GRATEFUL

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3rd of December

I’m grateful for my husband who works extraordinarily hard to support his family.

We have excellent health care as long as he continues to work full time and our son is covered till his 26th birthday, which will be right around the time my husband retires.

This next year I have some specific financial goals, one being, paying off the Santa Fe or at least most of it so B can get a small car like a Hyundai Elantra. Since he will still get a car stipend thing, he can use that instead of racking up more miles on the SF which we need to pull the tent trailer.  We will sell either the van or my VW. I’m guessing the van but who knows.

Today is a gym day and I need to go to Safeway for a few things like milk. Then this coming week is Flylady’s kitchen zone. I’ll probably start today and at least wipe the cabinets.

Our week looks dry and sunny but still cool, only @ 60 degrees high.

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Beautiful Lake Tahoe!

 

 

An Altruistic Act Of Friendship

Attention, Attention, Attention!

It has finally happened.

I am not talking about me losing my hair, that was a week ago, but finally, after months of careful planning and fundraising, the dear sweet, Iana Peppiatt has finally shaved off his hair. His long, hippy like locks are no more. They have been deposited in a plastic bag in my kitchen bin. I believe what started out as the ramblings of a drunken man upset that his friend had been diagnosed with cancer, has ended with him losing his hair safety net and I believe he is far more attractive as a result. As one of the many spectators, privy to Wednesday night’s events commented, Ian is now going to get ‘so much fanny’. Not my words obviously, I would never be so crude.

So, the Big Head Shave was on Wednesday night. All the dignity I unexpectedly saved with how I did my deed was, rightly lost on Ian’s experience. Well, it was for charity after all. As noted, we had spectators, there was a live video feed, some awesome banter, alcohol and I made nibbles. I bloody love nibbles.

I hope Ian does not mind me saying this, but in the hour or so prior to the Big Head Shave, he was nervous. Probably the most nervous I have ever seen him, and I have known him for a good few years. At this time, I will admit, that I could have been nicer to him, but it was just too much fun winding him up…

He started the evening looking like this:

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And ended up looking like this:

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I was given the honours of firstly cutting the mane and then shaving it. I did not relish the prospect of doing this, but my when I started, my, did I enjoy myself. Housemate had to assist a little because I was probably being a little too delicate around the ears. Sure, I also got a little sweaty. The wool dress was probably a bad outfit choice for such a high pressure role involving a number of stray hairs, but I will remember that for the next time I am put in the position where I am responsible for removing one of my friend’s defining features. If you want to see just how much I enjoyed myself, take a peak at this…

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If you are tempted to see more, then the video footage is still available http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/30483575?utm_campaign=www.facebook.com&utm_source=30483575&utm_medium=social… One viewer commented that it was “The best TV ever”. Praise indeed. It is recommended viewing for anybody who thinks that shaving off your hair is not a big deal. It is. And the beauty of what happened on Wednesday, is that Ian did not need to do it. Ian did it to raise money, but also to make me feel better about what has happened to me. Way back when in October when we first started talking about it as I was losing those first few strands of hair and I was terrified, it gave me the strength to get on with it. Watching us reach our target on the Just Giving page, seemed somehow to make some sense of the madness that was happening around me, a madness that I had no control over. On Wednesday, when I watched Ian lose his hair, well, when I personally cut off that surprisingly soft ponytail, it did make me feel better. I do not know whether my feelings were selfish, but it did. Sod the charity, seeing somebody I know go through what I have had to go through, made me feel better and that includes being a witness to his fear beforehand. I found an inexplicably amount of comfort in his kindness and I will never be able to properly express to Ian what his sacrifice means to me. I do not think I would have been strong enough to do that for another person. I constantly think about a conversation I had with some friends in July, when my pain had started and I did not know why, and for some reason I said that I would never lose my hair for anything less than £20,000. How circumstances change.

Regardless of how it made me feel, it was for charity and Ian has smashed his target of £1000 and he is currently sitting on a total of £1345 all for Macmillan Cancer Support, who, I must say have supported me so wonderfully, as part of my Support Network during this hair raising experience. Even on Thursday, when I rocked up to the clinic in one of my wigs, their comments made me feel a little bit more confident in my synthetic hair. So, for the last time, even though our hair is gone, you can still donate. He shaved off his hair for goodness sake! http://www.justgiving.com/shavingmyhairwithEJBones And I do, truly thank those who have donated already. Your generosity has been the dogs bollocks.

I will finish this blog, again with a massive thank you to Ian. Ian who for so many years I have associated with his long hair. Defined sometimes. I have only known him with long hair, but the thing is, ten minutes after it happened, I felt like he had always had short hair. His altruistic good deed, showed me that hair is just hair and that his being and his personally remained in spite of him not having that moulting mane. I guess that this also applies to me, and boy, did that made me feel better. As big of a deal as it is for us personally, it, the hair, did not define us. And that is nice to know.

Ian Peppiatt, you are such a good egg. And for old time’s sake, here is a picture of us in our former glory.

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EJB x

P.S. Donate.

A Season Of Thanks

I am constantly thanking my friends and family for their support and generosity as I continue with my fight; some of them will even be lucky enough to get some gooey messages during this festive season. I do apologise for this in advance. I can’t help it though, I have cancer.

I am more surprised by the kindness of people whom I do not know as well, whether they are friends of friends, the parents of my friends or my colleagues who send me an email when I have had good news, or who just let me know that I am in their thoughts, or who buy me lunch and keep be abreast of vital work information.

Last week, two such people were incredibly thoughtful and gave me presents. I am a self loving sort of gal, and thus, I am a fan of the present.

The first present, I was given on Tuesday, and I believe was very much purchased because of my lifelong love of the Barratt’s Dip Dab. I love them. They are so much better than the Barratt’s Sherbet Fountain. I ask you, does anybody really need liquorice in their lives if it is not a Rizla? The gift in question was a Dip Dab mug containing three Dip Dabs. To date, I have eaten one. The photograph below is a photograph of me enjoying my mug in my bed. Nobody needs to see a photograph of me sucking a lollipop.

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I wrote a lovely email thanking Sally for my delightful gift, but it bounced back because our work email system is either stupid or secure, depending on your perspective. So, Sally, this is me thanking you.

The next gift, was in Christmas wrapping, but I just could not help myself. I could also smell the lavender oozing through the red tissue paper and I was intrigued. Inside the red tissue paper was a handmade scented pillow. Fortunately, one of my favourite smells, after EMan’s paw, is lavender. I promptly placed the pillow in my room, which meant that when I awoke on Sunday morning, my room smelt of lavender and not the usual Emma mould. Bonus!

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The best bit about Lisa’s present was the branding. As well as loving myself, I love my name in all its various forms, so the back of the pillow just tipped me over the edge.

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So, to Sally, Lisa, Ray Winstone and all the other people who have never met EMan, I thank you. You brighten my twilight.

EJB x

Thanks for Loving Me Through It

Thanks Mom, Dad, Joe, Tyler, Dani, Trevor, Mallory and to all those who continue to love me through this mountain that I face.  You give me courage and hope as this journey continues.