Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Getting On With Things.....

I can't believe we're almost finished with November. Soon it will be advent and we'll be into Christmas.
We've had an incredible Autumn with sunshine on many of the days. Ok, so not warm enough to sit out in the sun with a cool drink and a pair of sunglasses! However, the sunshine does seem to lift the spirit somewhat. It's something to do with the way the light strikes the garden and makes everything look better, making me feel better. In fact I feel a lot better lately.
Occasionally, it's poured with rain and then I've been glad that I have the ability to amuse myself with books and jigsaws and needlework. Some times I've cleaned a corner of a room, cupboard or whatever needs doing. This gives me a tremendous sense of achievement.... clearing a clutter that has been there for ages  and shredding up those annoying papers that have been lurking in my folders and cluttering up my filing system for ever.

I expect people are wondering how I am. I think I'm managing a lot better than I thought I would. The time seems to be ticking away and I'm getting on with things.
People have been incredibly kind to me and I've managed to get out and about and meet up with friends fairly regularly.
In fact the most difficult thing I've had to do recently is to restring a rotary clothes line that snapped in many places due to old age. I expect it made a funny spectacle in the garden with me trying to battle with the new rope that tangled itself round everything...... my legs, the plants and itself. Has anyone ever tried it?
Eventually I got my towels pegged out securely and it looks as though everything is working OK but it wasn't a professional job by a long chalk (as we say in England).

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Healing Time......

For the past few weeks I've been yo-yoing between good news, bad news, good news bad news.....
Its been a gruelling process of uncertainty.
However, I can now say that the biopsy did prove that *it* wasn't cancer and that it is fibrous tissue and a haematoma. 
My fractured hip will heal and the haematoma might be reabsorbed into my body in time or it might have to be removed at a later date. I'm having another scan in three months to see if it is going down.
I can live with that and feel now is the time to make a Fresh Start and to get on with my life.
I just need space to recover from all the trauma and worry and allow the healing process to begin.
Thanks for all your support during these difficult times.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Life Can Be a Bummer

Today I had my biopsy under local anaesthetic using an ultra sound scan.... the type used for scanning babies but in this case...... no baby.
It will be next Weds 28th before I get the results.

I'm trying to be positive but at the moment things are not looking too promising. I'm now in a lot of discomfort bordering on pain and all my comments from the last post, so far seem to be from  people really relieved that it isn't the return of cancer. However, in truth, it seems that cancer return will be the most likely outcome and I didn't feel I could read another comment that said, "Thank Goodness it isn't cancer".
All I know is that it isn't now likely to be a haematoma.
I've said it before and I'll say it again...... life can be a bummer.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Second Chance?

I feel it's about time that I wrote a post. I've been apathetic enough since Harry died.
You might have read about the wonderful send off that Harry had at his funeral on my brother Eddie's blog. He described everything in such detail that I really don't need to add to it except to say that it was a very happy occasion when all the grandchildren contributed in some way or other by a reading or playing an instrument. Everyone wore colourful clothes and he had all his favourite hymns, readings etc. 
There was very much an atmosphere that he'd been set free and had moved on to something much better. That is what we all believe.

However, I had my own secret torment going on because a few weeks before Harry died, I was beginning to experience some worrying symptoms and had got in touch with the Oncologist that had seen me through such a lot of treatment before. They took it quite seriously and thought I might well be relapsing into an other episode of cancer. An urgent CT scan was arranged and two days before the funeral I had the scan and couldn't help but worry what it might reveal.
The following week I was phoned up whilst out walking and told that two things had shown up on the scan. One was a stress fractured pelvis that was put down to radiation damage from four years previously. The other was an unknown *thing* that showed up in my lower quarters.
I was gutted and disappointed that I hadn't even had a chance to do anything that I wanted to do after Harry had died and now it seemed I'd be facing chemo or some horrible treatment in order to get a bit longer life.

As everyone will realise, I'd given my very all to him for well over eighteen months and not been able to have many days off or felt that I could relax because of the unpredictability of his illness.
Anyway, when I got to Oncology this week, I was told that it was most likely to be a haematoma caused by bleeding from another smaller fracture. I'm now waiting for a biopsy to confirm this and to see what can be done about the haematoma.
I was reassured that there was no sign of cancer on the scan anywhere on my body.
Although I am in some measure of discomfort and I also have to be very careful not to do anything that could break my pelvis or hip, I really do feel that I'm so lucky to be given another chance of life.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Celebration of Harry's Life

In my last post, I knew that Harry was really ill and hadn't much longer to live. I posted it on the Friday and by the evening the GP had rung me to say that he probably wouldn't last the weekend. So I planned to spend all day if necessary, on Saturday and his twin was going too and also my brother, Eddy
However, Harry had other ideas and decided to go to be with the Lord during the early hours of Saturday morning, so nobody got to see him before he died. I was disappointed and angry at first but now feel very grateful to have been able to sit with him and smooth his hair for a long time on Friday afternoon. He wasn't conscious anyway.

Now I have to plan the funeral. It is a lonely and overwhelming thing to be doing.
He loved bright colours and we don't want folk mooching about in black on his funeral day.
The grandchildren he loved so much will read poems and scripture and play musical instruments. We will sing his favourite hymns and tell each other afterwards all the little things that made Harry who he was. He'd have loved that and I sometimes find myself wishing I could tell him things that we're planning to do for him.

Although I've not had Harry with me at home for 6 months now and I'm so well used to being on my own in the house and making decisions and things like that, I shall miss him so much and will now have a large chunk of my day to fill in as I won't be going to visit him any more.

Harry, we almost made 53 years of married life. 
Thank you for being my faithful companion all these years of ups and downs. I have some wonderful and sometimes funny memories that nobody can ever take away from me.
I will always love you and you'll be missed more than you could imagine.
I know you've moved on to a better life, free from pain. I expect I'll be with you before too long.

Lots of Love

Thank you everyone who wrote such lovely comments in my last post. I will get back to you before too long.......

Friday, 4 September 2015

Letting go.......

Schools went back this week and there is a distinct chilly feel to the mornings and the evenings are drawing in. I guess Autumn is on it's way and I only have very late summer flowers struggling to bloom in the garden now. It's not my most favourite of times.

Harry is still with us but is very much weaker. I go most days to the nursing home but yesterday I went to Weston Super Mare on the bus and spent three hours in the cool sunshine by the sea. I walked from one end of the promenade to the other (which involved several miles) and then I walked back again.
There is a Banksy display at one end of the promenade in a disused open air swimming baths. I would have had to queue for hours to get in to see the street art and all the controversial paraphernalia that people either love or hate.
I would have liked to see it if I'd have had more time and am thinking of making an effort to get a ticket before it finishes in a few weeks time.
Google him if you'd like to find out more, but I know most people in Britain know all about him and will have their own opinions as to whether they want to see the exhibition or wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

One of the positive things that has happened over the last few weeks is that I'm a Great Aunt for the second time running, as my niece gave birth to Rosa who looks so cute in the photos that I've seen. Those who follow my brother, Eddy Bluelights  blog will probably have seen the latest photos of her and brother Peter. 
They are at the beginning of their lives with the possibility of great things happening to them, while Harry is at the end of his...... but something keeps him strong enough to press on for more time.
I do hope that he is having positive things happening to him in his imagination. Occasionally he opens his eyes and says *Hello* with a smile and then falls back asleep again. He doesn't seem to remember much about who comes or goes. I very much miss the *old* Harry and often expect to see him with me when I wake from dozing in front of TV most evenings. I have a flash of disappointment when I see the empty chair.
Its not easy letting go.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Join the Shaun Trail

For the last month in Bristol, Aardman Animations have inspired the production of 70 Shaun The Sheep life sized models that have been beautifully decorated by different artists and they've been scattered all around the city and outskirts.
London had 50 of their own on display earlier this year.  They will all eventually be auctioned off individually for large sums of money that will be donated to the children's hospitals. 

People have come from other countries especially to join the *Shaun In The City* trail as well as  Bristol citizens and visitors from all over Britain. Many have even bought an application for their phones, which brings in more money for the charity.

Because of our depressing situation with Harry during the past few months, my daughter has been coming to see him far more frequently than normal and we've been very grateful for the Shaun Trail to take our minds off things. We've visited parts of Bristol that we didn't know and would probably never have got to know without the Shauns. Wherever we've been, we've had to wait our turn to view and photograph these models because of the scores of visitors that are doing the same thing. Some of them have asked us to take their photo with the Shaun. Adults as well as children of all ages have been following this trail and it's surprising how many conversations we've had when people see us with a map. "Oh, are you looking for the next Shaun? It's just round the corner." 
This kind of venture not only brings in money for expensive scanners that the hospitals will be able to buy, but it's good for tourism and brings people together as well as helping us to keep fit by walking the different trails. Some of them are easy but others more challenging.
At the end of the month, the Bristol and the London Shauns will be on display together in a large Bristol venue and I intend to visit them with a friend. 
So I for one, am very grateful for this distraction. However, now I've found all 70 Shauns what next?