Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Weekend fun

Jack was in respite this weekend so I spent Sunday in bed reading. How decadent is that? Holly and her boyfriend David made me brunch in bed too, so spoiled wasn't the word.

A couple of hours later Holly came up with David, holding a pair of tweezers asking if I would pluck his eyebrows for him! "Are you sure?" I asked him "cos it will be painful!".  "Yeah, it's fine" he said.

Half an hour later (and some pain for David) I was finished and he looked so much better. Even he thought so as he admired himself in the mirror!

I was quite chuffed that he was willing to be at my mercy but apparently Holly had told him of my skills with the tweezers. I never realised I was good at shaping eyebrows until people started commenting and asking where I got them done.  I think I have passed my skill onto Holly cos she is pretty nifty with the tweezers too.

David and Holly  (before I attacked him with the tweezers!)

After David went home, Holly's bezzie mate Diz arrived with her bags as she was staying a couple of nights. She wasn't in the house 5 minutes and we were already giggling.  We watched a couple of movies, one of them was the Disney movie Tangled which I had bought the day before.

OMG that horse is so so funny! When it got to the part where Eugene dies, Diz starts shouting at the screen saying "No he can't die! I bet she just sings and brings him back to life" and both Holly and I say "no it's not that easy". So Diz starts coming up with ways to bring him back to life and I am rolling about on the sofa, crying with laughter at Holly's face cos she went through this exact same scenario with me the night before when we were watching it!

Finally when Diz runs out of ways to bring him back to life, Holly states "it's a Disney movie Diz, of course he is not gonna frigging die!" and we all fall about laughing again as Diz looks so relieved.

Who knew you could have so much fun watching a Disney movie!

Later on, we were watching the comedy movie Killers and we were winding Holly up about people jumping out on her. Then she needed the toilet and wouldn't go by herself so Diz and the dogs went through with her. All was quiet for about 5 mins and then I just heard screaming and Holly came flying into the living room, screeching like a banshee, as if she was being chased by some demon.

Holly and Diz - big kids at the park

Over the top of that, you could hear Diz, who had jumped out on her as she came through the hall, howling with laughter. Diz couldn't speak she was laughing so hard and then we were all rolling about in hysterics. I laughed so hard I cried, my stomach hurt and I couldn't get breath. After what seemed like forever we managed to control ourselves and Diz said through her laughter "God, I've missed you guys".

And we had missed her too cos she really makes us laugh.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Elgin, Scotland

I thought I would give you a little snapshot of the small but beautiful part of the world I live in.

I live in a place called Elgin, in the north east of Scotland. Elgin is only 6 miles from the coast and there are numerous beaches that I have taken the kids to over the years.

the bridge to Lossiemouth beach       (source)

I was born in Elgin but left soon after and my family didn't return until I was 12. I had been used to living in small towns up til then so Elgin was a bit of a culture shock for me. I hated school and couldn't wait to leave.

Some of you may know very little about the place but it just happens to be the home town of actor Kevin Mckidd who starred in Trainspotting, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (to name but a few) and who plays a very yummy doctor in Grey's Anatomy. Although I don't know him personally, I did meet him one Christmas Eve and since then I have found out that he knew my brother Steve really well and used to babysit for his kids.

Kevin Mckidd        (source)
The Cathedral in Elgin dates back to the 13th Century and now lies in ruins after it was damaged by a fire started by the Wolf of Badenoch. The beautiful ruins were allowed to crumble until someone decided that the remains should be restored to their former glory.  The Cathedral is a real tourist attraction now and people come from far and wide to see it. There have also been quite a few weddings held there in more recent years and some short plays have been put on in the grounds too.

Elgin Cathedral - front view (source)

Elgin Cathedral - back view (source)
In more recent years, behind the Cathedral, the local authority have added the Biblical Gardens which are open to the public. Weddings ceremonies can be held in these beautiful gardens too. There is a lovely peacefulness about the place and it is a lovely place to just 'be'.

The Biblical Gardens (source)
The town centre of Elgin is pedestrianised and the centre boasts a beautiful church called St Giles. This is the church that runs Holly's theatre group. In front of the church is a pretty fountain that for quite a long time didn't work but in recent years has been fixed. It has been fixed so well that walking close to it is not an option as you get a good soaking for your efforts!  It is lovely though.

St Giles Church (pic  from here)

A distillery on the outskirts of Elgin, called the Glen Moray forms part of the famous Malt Whisky Trail and in the village of Craigellachie is the Speyside Cooperage, the only working cooperage in the UK which provides  casks to local distilleries and companies worldwide.

Speyside Cooperage   (source)

Elgin is home to famous brands such as Johnstons of Elgin cashmere mills and Gordon and MacPhail, leading Malt Whisky specialist. Only a few miles away are Baxters of Speyside, famous for their soups and Walkers of Aberlour, famous for their Scottish Shortbread. Yum Yum.

making the cashmere (source)
yummy yum yum (source)

famous soup     (source)

As well as the many beaches around my home town, there are loads of beautiful walks through woods and hills. The famous Speyside Way idles through a few villages in the Moray area. The main path is 65 miles long and passes through some of the most stunning scenery.

along the speyside way   (source)

another part of the Speyside Way     (source)

Does it make you want to come and visit?

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Pay it forward

Last week I was given an award I'd never seen before. Cool innit?
I was given this award by two bloggers, Odie over at The Simple Life and Somnia at You are Loved.

Odie was one of my first followers and always left comments that were positive and encouraging. I guarantee if you follow him, no two posts will be the same. There are recipes, pics of bbqs by the lake, videos of animals doing the funniest things and lots more. He is one of the most positive people I know and it's catching.

Somnia is a young girl who is still deciding what she wants to do with her life. She is crazy mad into her music, a very clever girl and someone who nearly gave up blogging because of family pressure. When she disappeared I was gutted because it was clear that being able to blog really helped her get stuff off her chest. But she's back, so check her out.

The rules are that you have to post the award at the top of the post (check), refer to the blogger who awarded it to you (check) and pass it on to 5 other bloggers.

Kellie is an Alaskan girl who has moved to Wisconsin and has a small hobby farm. She has 3 lovely kids, one who has just graduated and soon to leave home. Her farm is truly beautiful and it's never a dull moment there.

Cathiey comes from Ireland and is mum to 3 children. Her kids are her world and in her words she has "one fab teen, one gorgeous girl with cerebral palsy and one amazing boy with aspergers. Cathiey is just lovely and she has even tried to teach me the ways of Twitter which I am so rubbish at!

My crazy life
Julie is a fellow Scot and a mad as a box of frogs! I have known Julie for quite a few years now after meeting her at a Unique conference, We hit it off immediately and we both have the same wicked and warped sense of humour. She has 3 lovely kids, one who has special needs but his condition is undiagnosed.

I wasn't blogged yesteday
B is a lovely lady from Australia who blogs about anything and everything. She has an enquiring mind like me and her posts often make me laugh. If you haven't been to her blog yet, then you don't know what you are missing.

Absolutely Narcissism
Sandra is one of the funniest girls ever. You always get a good laugh at her place.She talks about everything and anything and she can be so rude! Her husband and kids are her favourite subject and she has loads of followers. If you don't follow her already then you should. The best therapy ever!

Well that's it for today my little gigglers. Have a good one.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

How do you pronounce that?

My daughter is so funny. Yesterday morning she was fetching and carrying for me while I was getting Jack dried after his shower.

I asked her to get me his deodorant and she brought me 3 different sprays. I kept a deodorant and a body spray and she put the other one back.

As I am drying Jack under his arms, I shouted on Holly to get the deodorant and spray it under his arms. "Which one is it?" she asked me and I pointed to the right one. After a blast under his arm, she waited patiently while I fought to get under his other arm and she blasted that one too.

Then I dried his back and asked her to spray it with body spray while I held him in position. She picked up the deodorant again and I said "no not that one" and she looked at me confused saying "what does a body spray look like?".  I then nodded my head in the general direction of the spray cos my hands were holding Jack in position, saying "that one there".  She looked around the bed, trying to locate the spray when suddenly she spots it and picks it up saying "ahh would it be the faa cuk?". 

My face was a picture and I'm like "eh?" as she held up the body spray.  I took one look at it and collapsed in hysterics on top of poor Jack who didn't have a scooby what was happening.

this is the body spray  (source)
I am laughing so hard, that I am crying and unable to see for the tears and I can't get breath. Both my children are looking at me in total bemusement. Holly is repeating "what? Tell me why you are laughing" and I look down at Jack who is raising his eyebrows as if to say "what's wrong with her now???".


Finally I manage to regain control and I explain through my tears that the brand is actually called F. C. U. K standing for French Connection UK and not pronounced faa cuk like she thought.  "Oh, so it's not faa cuk then? I thought it was some smarty pants who had decided to make it hip by putting the word f**k on the market but by changing one of the letters in order to make it pc. Either that or they were dyslexic". 

I burst into fresh laughter at the fact that she has obviously thought about this, a LOT!

This from the girl who is always taking the mickey out of my enquiring mind?  Now we know where she gets it from.

Monday, 23 May 2011

I'm the fool here

Betrayal comes in many forms doesn't it?  And often at the hands of someone you least expect. For the last 2 months I have been coming to terms with a betrayal that has floored me.

Remember I told you about the visit to see Granda Mac whilst he was in hospital with his knee and their friend who was also visiting, who was quite rude to me? Well I shrugged that off because, well people have off days don't they?

Then about a month later (March), I was at a meeting hosted by the charity Enable re the cuts in the disability benefits and I met a lady there that had been a big influence in my life in the early years of Jack's initial diagnosis. She ran the special needs playgroup back then. After the meeting, she managed to grab me for a 5 minute catch up. Her first comment was "you didn't tell me that he'd gotten married again!" (He being, Father of the Year)  I laughed and said "yeah it's coming up to a year now but I haven't seen you to tell you, so who told you?"

"Granny Mac" was her reply. The conversation continued then I said that "he doesn't really see much of his kids these days, even Holly" which I knew would be a surprise to her because Holly was the only person he seemed to care about. She said that she knew he didn't see Jack because Granny Mac had told her "that Father of the Year's new wife would like to look after Jack but that I wouldn't allow it!  I was speechless because this is the first I have known about this. I asked "are you positive that she had said that?" and she answered that "yes, absolutely, because I then went on to defend your position as the mother of a child with such complex needs and how you couldn't possibly allow just anybody to look after Jack".

picture from here

I was absolutely incensed! How many other people has she told this utter nonsense to? No wonder her friend was rude to me at the hospital if they've been told this kinda crap. This is someone who comes into my house, is made welcome, knows what's going on in our lives and whom I have just learned to trust all over again after previous betrayals.  It took me a long time to get over them but get over them I did because I didn't want my feelings to impact on Holly and Jack's relationship with their Granny.

That was a Friday night. I took the whole weekend to calm down enough to challenge her about it. All she did was deny saying that even though I challenged "then why would she have had to defend me if you hadn't said that?" Then she did her usual, burst into tears and said she didn't want to be involved! WTF? Every time she opens her mouth she is involved! Then she blurted out that she was only repeating what Father of the Year had told her. So she had lied, she had said that.

I laughed, honestly, I did and I told her that I would welcome Father of the Year and his Bride's help and that would require him to be at my house morning and night for a period of about 6 months of intensive training before I would be confident that he was capable of looking after his son. Her face was a picture when I added " but you know that won't happen because he is not f**king interested! And what is wrong with that sentence anyway "his wife wants to look after Jack!" when surely it should be Father of the Year who wants to do it!

Since then, I have struggled to be normal with Granny Mac. I am furious, hurt, let down, sad but most of all I am angry at myself because she has once again lulled me into a false sense of security and I fell for it. Fool me once and it's your fault, fool me twice and it's mine. 

I know you are going to tell me that she is caught between myself and her son but it's not a position I have put her in. I don't mention him to her at all unless she brings him up which she does now and then. The reality is that she chooses to pass on the information that he gives her without getting the facts and not caring who she is hurting in the process. I truly don't think she realises that she hurts my children when they hear things about their mum that are untrue. I know that it is really affecting Holly's relationship with her.

In the end, I can't stop her saying things about me but I can stop her having access to me. So now when she comes to the house, I try to have as little time with her on my own as possible. I make small talk with her, nothing more, nothing less. 

It's not the way I want it to be but I no longer trust her and that, my friends, are the facts.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Last Sunday

Had a great day on Sunday. Arrived in Aberdeen just after noon. Kathy had lunch ready and waiting as she'd told Phyllis that she wouldn't see us until about 2pm. This meant that I could relax a while after my drive before heading out again. Kathy also hadn't told Phyllis that I was coming, mostly because often I have to cancel at the last minute and also because she wanted it to be a surprise.

We dropped Kathy's kids, James and Erin, off with Kathy's mum and dad and off we set.

Kathy knocked on the door, while I hid under her kitchen window. Once Phyllis and Kathy greeted each other, I stepped out from my hiding place and peeped round at her, grinning.  She burst out laughing and gave us both a hug. She was totally delighted to see us especially when we told her that if she wanted to go somewhere then we would gladly take her. No sooner were the words out of our mouths than she had me fetching her wheelchair and we were off.

She wanted to go to this new shopping centre called Union Square. We weren't sure about the parking but we managed to find it after a fashion. It wasn't until she was getting into the wheelchair that she noticed she still had her slippers on!  So excited was she at the prospect of an afternoon out that she'd completely forgotten to change them.  Kathy and I had a good laugh at her expense and Kathy said "it's ok, we'll just tell people that you've got a touch of dementia!" to which I replied "nah nah, we'll just point at Kathy, say she's your carer and she dressed you".  Tee hee hee.

I was so busy laughing that I didn't notice at first that I was getting electric shocks off the wheelchair. Ouch!  It got so bad that you could hear it sparking so Kathy took over. My hand was, as us Scots say, derlin! We had a quick look around before we stopped for coffee, cake and a spot of people watching.

Union Square (source)

Phyllis was most impressed with Union Square, especially this little jewellers that we came across. I was drawn to all the beautiful rings with gorgeous topaz gems. Like a magpie I make a bee line for all things sparkly, I just can't help it. The three of us spent about 20 minutes perusing this little shop with Phyllis eventually buying a very sparkly cubic zirconia dress ring.

it looked a bit like this (source)

She bought it to replace the engagement ring that she lost.  It looked lovely on her hand and it got me to thinking that, I hope I still hanker after beautiful sparkly things when I am her age  (late 70's) because clearly the ring was giving her so much pleasure. She was most impressed with the very cute bag that it came with even though the ring went straight onto her finger. I meant to take a picture for my blog but I forgot. Grrrr!

From there we swung by the supermarket where more giggling commenced when she picked up a pack of 16 toilet rolls to put in her trolley.  Then she realised her mistake when Kathy and I fell about laughing saying " at least you wont need to buy any more til Christmas!". When she started looking at the ready meals I suggested that she put a couple of curries in her trolley along with the toilet roll to give the checkout girls a good laugh!

Who knew you could have so much fun food shopping?

Back at Phyllis's house, she introduced us to one of her neighbours. In the meantime, Kathy's son, James was texting me asking when we were coming to pick him up.  I couldn't believe that it was nearly 6pm already! I text back to say we would just be 5 minutes and I started making moves to leave. After ten minutes and a further two texts from James we were on our way. Turned out he had been promised a Chinese take away and the poor boy was hungry. Poor neglected child, NOT.


I laughed when Kathy queried why he had contacted me and not her. Well that was easy cos Kathy is so laid back, she's practically horizontal and hurrying is just not in her vocabulary so he could have been waiting all night! Sorry Kathy but it's so true.

After our Chinese, I headed home about 8pm and picked up Holly en route from the Boyfriend's house. At the door they smooched and said their "love you's" and as Holly got in the car, I shouted "love you too" to him through the open door as I drove off. He shouted that he loved me back as I tee hee hee'd all the way home.


Got home and there was a text from him saying "don't know if you heard me, but love you too! lol".

It's really good when you can have a bit of banter with your daughter's boyfriend.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Did you miss me

I have been without phone and internet access for nearly a week and I have had withdrawal symptoms not being able to get onto Facebook and Blogger!


On top of that, Jack and I both have chest infections and have been feeling pretty yuck and to add to the fun, Holly is knee deep in exams. Oh the trauma!

So normal blogging will resume when I finally get the energy. In the meantime, hope you have all had a great week and an even better weekend.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Ssturday Ramblings

I wrote a post on Betrayal, tried to publish it but then Blogger kind of went nuts. I kept trying on and off for most of yesterday but eventually gave up.  I then read my horoscope on Facebook and it told me: 

Watch your words today. You can say things that cut through to the bone. You don't realize just how harsh you can sound. You may be absolutely right, but there are more gentle ways to tell a loved one they are not being realistic than "Are you off your rocker completely?"

So maybe it's just as well that it didn't get posted huh? lol although I wasn't saying anything like that. I took that to mean that Friday was not the day to let the world read it.

Jack is in respite for 4 nights. I was supposed to be taking Holly to Dublin this weekend but it was bad timing on my part because it turned out to be slap bang in the middle of the exams!


Last night we went to the cinema to see Beastly. It was quite good but a bit cheesy. They guy playing the lead was really quite hot but is it wrong that I thought he was hotter once he's been changed into this scarred, ugly, tattooed guy! This, from the person that thought the guy in Avatar was hotter once he'd been transformed into a blue alien!  In my defence, Holly agreed with me re both movies! What can I say? It's genetic!

 So today I am taking the opportunity to chill and do stuff around the house.

I have bought a new bed. A leather one, so really I should be getting my finger out and putting it together instead of being on the net but I can't quite seem to get myself motivated! The new mattress arrived yesterday too so I really don't have any excuse!

it looks like this (source)

My ex and I bought the bed I have at the moment, about 3 months after we moved into this house. I liked it but I didn't love it. When we split up, 3 months later, he didn't want anything from the house and I couldn't justify spending money on a new one but 9 years later, I think it's time for a change.

I love getting new things for the house, it's one of life's little pleasures!

Tomorrow I am heading through to Aberdeen to see Kathy and to visit an old lady, Phyllis, who we used to work with. I love Phyllis to bits but she does put a lot of pressure on me to visit regularly which is made more difficult by the fact that she now uses a wheelchair. It's not like I just pop in for a coffee either because she likes me to take her out and about when I visit. This means I can only really visit her when I don't have Jack. I have tried it whilst I had him and Holly with me once and I was so exhausted that I thought "never again!".

These days when Jack is in respite, I am just too tired to go anywhere and the last thing I feel like doing is a 130mile round trip to visit someone especially when it feels like a busman's holiday! 

Kathy though, has volunteered to help! So it wont be near as tiring with the two of us doing it so I'm looking forward to the banter with Phyllis cos for a lady who has had quite a few mini strokes, her mind is as sharp as a tack and her humour is as wicked as mine!

Then Monday, Holly and I are going through to Inverness for a spot of girlie shopping. I think we might take the train because it saves me having to drive.

So that's my weekend all sorted. Hope you have a good one my little gigglers.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

A beating

Holly was walking the dogs on Saturday night around 6pm when she met in with her friend Daniel. He had just dropped off his girlfriend at the bus station and was walking home.  Two youths passed them, acting a bit strange but Holly and Daniel ignored them.

About 5 minutes later they came back with another youth and they started beating up Daniel, demanding that he hand over his hat. Three against one!

Holly was so scared that she didn't know what to do. She knew that she couldn't break it up without getting hurt herself and she wasn't willing to leave him, so she stayed, rooted to the spot while these guys punched the hell out of Daniel's face, head and back. She was so frightened that she couldn't even take out her phone and call someone for fear that they would start on her!


Daniel, by sheer will, managed to stay upright. If they'd gotten him on the ground, I think he would have been on the receiving end of a lot more. For Daniel and Holly the beating must have seemed to last a lifetime but it was over in minutes. The yobs took off with his hat which was nothing special, not designer, just a hat. Daniel was covered in blood and his nose was obviously broken so Holly called me to tell me what had happened and that she was taking Daniel home.

He lives about 5 minutes walk from where it happened. By the time she got home, an hour and a half later, she was in shock and very distraught.

As is the way with situations like this, she was upset that she had felt so helpless and couldn't do anything. I assured her that if she had, she would have been hurt badly too, as would the dogs, who were cowering in fright. Yobs like that who randomly beat up innocent bystanders are not gonna care about hitting a girl and her dogs.


The next day Daniel appeared in the afternoon to see how Holly was and to let her know that he was OK. The police are involved but no one has come to interview Holly yet, which is no surprise.  Daniel had bruises and fist marks on his back, his nose is in a bad way and it has to be reset once the swelling is down and he was in quite a lot of pain.

It is totally shocking! I can just hear those yobs boasting about their antics to their mates, thinking they are just so damn hard and untouchable. The sad fact is that very few of these little shits are brought to justice.

Time will tell.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A poem

This is a poem that Holly wrote about her brother. She was about 12 when she wrote it.  Enjoy.

Blue Sparked Eyes

Look into my eyes
Tell me what you see
I see a fragile flame
Struggling to grow
A small light
Fighting against night

Look into my eyes
Tell me what you see
I see a glimpse into a heart
As gentle as can be
A warm embrace
Enfolding precious memories

Look into my eyes
That's all it should take to see
A happy little spark
Sheltered from the rain
Glowing through the tough times
and the happy ones too

So smile and see
How happy I am to be
An everlasting, burning little spark
in the rough tumbling seas

I thought it was lovely so I printed it out on fancy paper, laminated it and gave a copy to his teacher and auxiliaries who worked with him, on his last day of primary school. A copy is stuck on the wardrobe in his bedroom along with many photos of him from when he was little to now.

Have a great day my little gigglers.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Unique and Race for Life

Holly's practical Drama exam went well she thinks, although she wont know if she passed until August. The examiner was laughing so that's a good sign.

She is off school at the moment with a sickness bug but she is starting to feel better now cos she is getting cheeky!

Jack has had a couple of days of really bad seizures but they seem to have calmed down now. Wednesday was a particularly bad day and he was so exhausted that he hardly moved. Yesterday he was a different boy and his eyes were wide open and he was taking everything in. I love it when he is like this, he was even smiling at me with the odd chuckle thrown in though I am not sure I want to know why he thought I was so funny.

I have two very cheeky kids.

Maz from Unique, the support group for families who are affected by chromosome abnormalities has put together a video to highlight their work. She did this in her spare time and it took her a nearly a year, not surprising when she was trying to fit it in on top of working and looking after a child with a rare chromosome abnormality. See if you can spot my gorgeous boy.

Unique supports 8000 families in 81 different countries and is not government funded. Their work is so important because having a child diagnosed with a chromosome abnormality is so isolating and the future can seem quite frightening and there is usually very little information the geneticists can give you about your diagnosis as it is often so rare.  Unique brings together families with similar conditions and professionals who are able to learn more about these chromosome abnormalities which in turn makes them better informed and more able to support families during the initial diagnosis.

It feels good to have a network of families who understand just how hard life is at times.

My friend Angie (who was the encouragement behind yesterdays post) is doing the Race for Life this weekend. These are events run by Cancer Research UK that take place across the UK which consist of 5k and 10k races. You can run, walk, hop, skip....whatever floats your boat, all for charity. It's a great event, one my niece, Diane took part in 2 years ago.

She ran it for me!
at the finish line

I was a very proud Auntie, especially so when I learned that it was my name on her back. I was quite emotional!

So best of luck to Angie, her two daughters Debbie and Shelley and their friends this weekend and I hope you have a great time while raising money for such a great cause.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

As I see it

My friend, Angie, sent me a text a few months ago suggesting that I do a post on my blog, if it wasn't too painful, on having cancer and the subsequent treatment.  She felt since I had helped her so much that it was only fair of her to share me!!!

Now when I had cancer, at the tender age of 24, so traumatised was I by the whole situation that I wanted nothing to do with helping other people going through something similar.  In fact when I was well enough, I started running as fast as I bloody well could in the opposite direction of anything remotely to do with cancer.

Twenty years later, the memories are still as fresh today as they were then. At the time I was given 6 months to a year to live but I was not ready to bloody leave yet, too much mischief to get up to still.

Unfortunately I couldn't outrun the little bugger and it came back to bite me on the ass when 2 of my friends were diagnosed with cancer within months of each other and then my sister was diagnosed not long after.

So what advice and knowledge did I pass on?  Mmmmmmmmmmmm well let's see.  My advice was at times a bit off the wall and of course, brutally honest.

So here it is, in no particular order, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of having cancer and subsequent treatment.

1)   If a junior doctor is having trouble getting a needle in your vein after the 7th try in vein no 7, you are perfectly within your rights to scream at them through your tears demanding he gets someone who knows what they are doing! Hell even after the 3rd time, start screaming your head off!!!

2)   Yes that is a vein on the inside of your wrist and believe me they are not afraid to use it.

3)   I don't know how, or why but you will take an ill will to one person during your illness.  They don't have to have done anything, in fact are completely innocent of wrong doing but every word they utter, everything they do will piss you off royally.  You know it is totally unreasonable but you just can't help it.

4)   The first dose of chemo is so easy that it lulls you into thinking that the rest of the treatment is gonna be like that.  Not so.

5)   Losing your hair is the most traumatic of experiences but once it is gone, it's gone and hey you wouldn't believe the amount of money you save on hair products!  A fortune, believe me.

6)   If a doctor is in the middle of giving you chemo and you start to 'up chuck', when he scoots back in his chair to avoid said spewings, remember to follow him because you are still attached to him via a butterfly needle! lol

7)   Being sick is the most lonely feeling in the world.

8)   You never knew how important your eyebrows where for putting on make-up until now!!

9)    Your bladder takes a heck of a beating when you are being violently sick.

10)  All that pressure on your bladder causes it to become "sensitive" and you think you need the loo every 10/15 mins.

11)  You don't have to suffer for 18 years like me, cos there are pills for this!

12)  When wearing your wig, try really hard not to scratch underneath it too often as the middle parting ends up half way down your head!

13)  You don't think that you are ever going to feel beautiful again but you will.

14)  Having piles, thrush and mouth ulcers all at the same time doesn't bode well for 'his' chances of having any kind of sex!

15)  When your doctor mistakes your best friend for you, then tells her that her blood results are ok so she can have her next chemo, don't correct him like I did cos if just one person could take a doze of the lethal stuff for you, it would be amazing!

16)  Fear becomes your nemesis, it haunts you, lurks behind you and keeps you awake at night.

17)  Visualisation is one of your most powerful tools. I used to imagine my chemo was like lots of little pac men zooming around my body munching up the the bad cancer cells.  It really helps.

18)  My consultant at the time told me that having a positive mental attitude counts towards about 70% of your treatment and the chemo/radiotherapy makes up the rest.

19)  If someone suggests a faith healer to you don't automatically poo poo the idea. They don't interfere with your treatment, are non invasive and real faith healers don't charge you for their services plus having another weapon in your armoury in your battle against cancer can't do any harm.

20)  When someone you know dies of the cancer you have, it can be totally devastating as your fear becomes overwhelming and panic can set it.  Just because they have the same kind of cancer as you, it will present differently so no two cancers are the exactly the same.

21)  Once you have fought an illness like cancer, you are never the same.  It changes you and things that seemed important no longer are.  Friends and family often find it hard to adjust.

22)  Your tolerance for people who moan about a cough or cold is at an all time low and really they'd better get the fuck away from you cos you have a lowered immune system and could die from their sniffles!

23)  One of the long term side affects of your treatment is that you can be badly affected by smells.  My stomach still turns when I smell the perfume Poison cos it is strong and sweet smelling and reminds me of the smell of my chemo concoction!  I also can't stand the smell of hospital canteens, have been known to turn green at the smell and be sick.

24)  Drip stands become the devil and can make you queasy just to look at them.

25)  Once you have had the all clear, everyone wants to celebrate but all you want to do is cry.  Cos once the fighting is over for you, there is nothing to hold back the fear which you will have to live with for the next few years til you are so many years clear. It's like your very own rain cloud hanging above your head.

26)  Every ache, pain, lump will put you on high alert and send you into orbit. In my case, I spent many a time peering down my mum's throat to see if hers looked like mine and was not amused when she cracked up laughing because she had had her tonsils removed and that's why she didn't have the same lumps at either side of her throat as me! Bitch! lol

27)  Your skin can become really sensitive and you may have to go for more natural products. If you've lost your hair, remember to moisturise your scalp as it can become quite dry.

28)  If you lose your hair you will be amazed by how much heat you lose from your head without your hair.

29)  Your heating bills will get quite high because sometimes during chemo you just can't seem to keep warm. Bed socks are brilliant for keeping your feet warm as they are much thicker and great for wearing around the house. Also sewing scarfs onto turbans/hats can really help keep your neck and head warm.

30)  The hardest thing about dealing with cancer is the huge emotional impact it has on your life.  You use all your energy to lurch from one chemo to the next and you push all your emotions down and squash them into a small container in your mind, snap the lid on and forget about them.

31)  The problem with this is that you keep having to do this, so there becomes a build up and the container lid starts to strain under the pressure and when you least expect it, the pressure lifts the lid and you can't hold back the tears.  But you only cry enough to relieve the pressure so there is little relief.

32)  You are frightened that if you truly let go then you will never be able to stop those painful, gut wrenching heart breaking tears and you will lose control.  We hold on so tight to our emotions because when you are going through an illness like cancer, this is the only control you have.

33)  No matter how tough things get, laughter is still the best medicine.

34)  Hugs are the best therapy but people are often afraid to touch you cos they see you as being so fragile.

35)  If you are crying, everyone can cry but if you are smiling, they have to follow your lead.

So there you have it, Cancer from a patient's point of view. So if you know anyone with cancer and I am sure you do, then let them read it, bet they recognise so much of their own experience on this page and it will help families who feel helpless too, cos they will know now just how much strength it actually takes daily to keep smiling and positive.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The pressure is on

Holly has her practical Drama exam today. She is so nervous this morning.  I have never seen her like this before.

The pressure is really on today because her marks are based on the opinion of one person. If that person doesn't like the way she acts, they will mark her down. If they don't think her character is believable she will lose more marks. Also she is very dependant on the other actors in the play. If they forget their lines or just ad lib then there is more pressure on her to steer her part of the play back to where it should be. So as a class, they have a tough day ahead, trying to remember lines and not let each other down. I hope it goes well. I have my fingers and toes crossed!

Last week Bruce and Tucker @Jadip gave me an award.  If you haven't visited Bruce, then please do cos he makes me laugh on a regular basis and it's the only blog I know of where the family pet gets to have his say on Tucker2days. Big licks and belly rubs to you Tucker.

Thanks Bruce and Tucker.  I have gotten this one before so if you want to hear my answers, click here.

I pass this award onto a group of ladies I have been following for a while.  They are a group of 30 something women who share a blog and they are having quite a hard time at the moment.  So check out LYLAS and Co and say hi.

Now I am off to walk the dogs on this beautiful sunny day here in Scotland, then out to lunch with my friend Moira,.  Have a lovely day my little gigglers.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Fiddler on the Roof

It's been a crazy week!

The opening night of The Fiddler on the Roof went well apart from a few technical hitches. Jack really enjoyed it, especially the 'dream scene' where Holly was singing. In the interval he had a seizure and was out for the count during the second act! At least he got to see his sister perform and like before, whenever she started to sing, he sat up straighter and his arm came up like he was trying to wave at her. The show was superb.

Holly and Kristy in their chorus costumes (pic by Kristy)

I didn't get Jack into bed til about 11.15pm that night but he slept right through Marion (carer) and I getting him undressed. It was about midnight before Holly and I got to bed.  This kind of set the tone for the rest of the week. By the time she got home each evening it was about 11 and she was usually pretty high from the performance so we didn't get to bed til she'd told me everything that had happened that night, which meant we weren't in bed before midnight.

Lazor Wolf(Ben) and Holly (pic by Adam)

Having the day off for the Royal Wedding meant she was able to catch up on some sleep and she slept most of the morning but as soon as she was up, there was no rest for the wicked cos she had art to do for her exams.

Saturday morning was spent with Holly trawling around the charity shops looking for costumes for the two roles she has to play for her higher drama exam.  We managed to get most of it and the rest we decided to borrow from Granny Mac, since one of the roles requires her to be wearing older clothes. Once we'd gotten our purchases we were then able to relax and she could spend her birthday money which she did, in one shop, on cool skater shoes, three pairs no less. Loaded down with bags we popped into a cafĂ© where I treated her to a cupcake...yum.

Grandma Tzeitel looking very creepy! (pic by Zoe)

By the time we got home, we were weighed down with bags as I'd bought a picture at the market for my kitchen and Holly very kindly carried it for me,what a star!  I think she was regretting it by the time we got home though....unlucky!

Motel,  Fyedka and Grandma Tzeital  (pic by Kristy)

That night I was going to see the show again with my sister-in-law Jacqui who drove up from Edinburgh, my Dad, Holly's boyfriend, my sis and my niece and nephew.  The show was going really well, even better second time around.  Holly was in the middle of her song when this loud high pitched noise started up. To begin with I thought it was coming from her microphone but then people started to get up and leave!  Then a voice came over the loud speaker telling us to leave by the nearest exit and that's when it dawned on me it was the fire alarm!

some of the cast (pic by Kristy)

As Holly was already on the stage, she ended up coming out of the same fire exit as we did along with all the ghosts.  She made a bee line for her boyfriend, gave him a hug and kiss and he was covered in white stage make up!  Thank god for my sis who had wet wipes otherwise he was gonna have to stay like that.

I was hoping that we would get to see her scene again as there was an incident last year when Holly was playing Nancy. Someone fainted and an ambulance was called in the middle of Holly singing one of her songs and the show was stopped for a short time but we didn't get to hear it again which was a real shame.

Grandma Tzeital and Chava (pic by Kristy)

After freezing our butts off outside for about 20 minutes we were allowed back in. Within minutes Holly was back on stage in the dream scene. As she arrived at the front of the stage, just before she started her song, she turned to the audience and in her Russian Grandma Tzeitel voice said "this looks familiar!"  This was the perfect ad lib, had the audience in hysterics and totally lightened the mood. Her character was hilarious and she was really very funny for an old ghost.

Grandma Tzeitel and her ghosts (pic by Kristy)

The cast got a standing ovation at the end, well deserved I have to say and they even did an extra song for their very appreciative audience.  What a fab night it was and I was sad that it had come to an end. Holly always gets really down the next day because such a great time has come to an end so I'd arranged for us to go out for lunch to celebrate her birthday.

So Sunday we headed out to Baxter's of Speyside to the visitors centre there where they serve the biggest and most delicious pancakes. She'd set her sights on a huge pancake with ice cream and raspberry sauce.  It looked delicious.  It was a gorgeous sunny day so we sat outside and enjoyed the rays. After having a leisurely stroll around the grounds and shops we headed back into Elgin to the Troop Aid day being held in the park.

We had a lovely afternoon, very chilled and was the perfect end to a very hectic week.

Just got to get through the exams now!

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