Friday, 29 January 2010

A Year Ago

Photo copyright: Maggie May

A year or so ago, my husband and son were underpinning the kitchen and searching for rat runs because we had nests of them up in the kitchen roof in a place where we could not get to them at all. We had nothing but problems from the start. Just at the wrong time it started to snow and then Sam hurt his arm through all that digging. Everything was held up.
Eventually the underpinning was finished and because there didn't seem to be any sign of rats whatsoever, even though we had been assured by Pest Control that they were coming from underground, in late Spring we had scaffolding put all over the garden and a tin canopy spread across the kitchen roof to protect it from the elements while the roof was taken off. The rat run was then discovered, chewed electrics repaired and a new kitchen roof was reconstructed. The source of the problem had been found.
The interior of the kitchen took months to finish and the house was really cluttered as we had everything stored in boxes.
All this caused great stress to me. It was very difficult to cook and keep anything clean.
I often think back to those times and think what a near squeak we had with all that commotion going on. You see, I didn't know about my cancer then. Think what a disaster it would have been if I'd have had to start chemotherapy with all that disruption around me. Unthinkable.
I suppose that is one of the things to be really thankful for.... that the kitchen was in a reasonable state before I knew about what was in store for me.
Seems when we get over one problem in our family, that we are instantly met by another and this is how it has been for years. One thing after another.

I just want to thank all the readers who have been supporting me with thoughts and prayers during my time in need. You will probably never realise just how much you have been helping me. EVERYONE. Just by being there and putting up with me when I have nothing to say about normal life apart from my recent experiences of chemotherapy, wigs and anything else associated with cancer.

There are several ladies though who have been supporting me with email, thoughts and prayers and through comments on my blog. They are the ones who have been down a similar route and who have encouraged me, given me information and urged me on.
Seeing their bravery through their own cancer has helped me to battle my own.
I just want to mention some of them who are now over their treatment and getting on with their lives.
One such person is Bernie whose blog is called On My Own. She lives in Canada and apart from emailing me with words of encouragement, she has even sent me a great little parcel of goodies from across the pond. I thought that was really kind of her and I was so thrilled.

Janine from Sniffles and Smiles lives in the USA and has been a tremendous prayer supporter and always remembers to email me when I seem to need it most, even though she is an extremely busy lady and has had to take time out recently, to catch up with other commitments. She told me a very useful tip..... that if I drank plenty of water while having chemotherapy I wouldn't feel sick. There is a lot of truth in that and I take bottles of water with me and drink all the time I am having the treatment.

Brenda whose blog is Brenda's Blog from Paraguay has recently completed her chemotherapy and describes fully her apprehension about living with the stress of waiting for scan results every six months. I can imagine myself being in the same position eventually. She leaves me useful comments and I find her posts helpful too.

Iota, sometimes known as guineapigmum whose blog is called Not Wrong Just Different is a British mum with a family who transported to USA. She sought me out when she read about my problem and left comments on some of my posts. She has completed chemotherapy for a similar type of cancer to me and her hair is on its way to growing back, though she feels the process is very slow. I have found reading her experiences very helpful and her bravery and determination encouraging.

Renee from Circling my Head who has been battling cancer bravely for along time. She is cheerful in spite of that and I do admire her strong but accepting attitude. She has always something positive to say.

I must not forget my sister in law, Maria, who doesn't believe in blogging but who is always just at the end of the phone when I need support even though she is often in great pain herself. She had chemotherapy years ago so can empathise.

Ann from Retired and Crazy has recently lost her husband but as he went through chemotherapy a few years ago, she knows what it is like and has empathy with me. We both started blogging around the same time and I found her very helpful when I was getting launched into writing my first posts. I stole many friends from her blog roll!

I must not forget my husband, Harry, who has been battling prostate cancer for years and has recently not had good news about his own health. He has been very supportive, especially when I was housebound during the snow and he risked his neck on the ice to do shopping for me. He was more devastated to hear of my illness than when he heard about his own bad news.
I know when I am ill next week with Chemo 3, he will look after me and be there for me, even though he is not in good shape himself.

There are many other people who have been there for me commenting and urging me on and laughing at things with me and I just want to say.

Is there any one left in Bloggesphere who hasn't read my brother, Eddie Bluelight's Sunday Roast Interview (number 100) with a person that so many bloggers still miss? Non other than David Mcmahon, the Melbourne journalist, writer of best selling books and professional photographer? If it has escaped your notice, then pop over to see what it is all about. He had so many Followers that it would be impossible to tell all of them about the interview that they would probably be very interested in reading.


Anonymous said...

You will always have a wealth of support, you're such a lovely lady.

I remember your rat problem well and yes, it would have been much worse had you been in the position health wise, that you are now in.

CJ xx

Hilary said...

See? You have a history of finding the source of the problem, getting rid of it and rebuilding. You'll do great! Hugs to you, Maggie.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Is it already a year since your rat problem. As you say thank goodness you don't have that to put up with now.

Keep on keeping strong Maggie - you are always sure to have support from your friends in blogworld. And good wishes to your husband too. A x

Suburbia said...

Gosh, was that really a year ago?

So glad that you have been well supported. Bloggy land is a wonderful place.

Often in my thoughts Maggie, good luck for next week.

(Very sorry to hear about Harrys news.)

The Green Stone Woman said...

You deserve all the support you get, Maggie. You´re a wonderful person and it´s an honor to know you. Thank goodness you got rid of those rats, though!


St Jude said...

Yesterday in a group session I was conducting I asked the people if they could tell me who they admire the most, it could be anyone from any time in history, they gave some great answers. Then it was my turn and I can hand on heart say that the person who sprang into my mind was you Maggie. You are a wonderful courageous, witty, warm, intelligent and open person. Thank you... (otherwise it would have had to be Mother Theresa yet again ;0))

Suldog said...

What a wonderful network of supportive friends and family you have, Maggie! That's the blessing in something like this. If you didn't know before that you were truly and fully loved, you sure do now.

Prayers continue.

Thumbelina said...

Ditto what Hilary said.
And you're welcome. As you support me with prayers, so I support you.

Hang in there. We're with you.


aims said...

It takes being a friend to have friends and you will always have so many friends you will be constantly surprised.

I'm always happy to see a post from you even if it is about wigs and chemo.

Jeni said...

You know what Maggie -you really should put this post -and lots of others you have done too -into the "Only the Good Friday" theme that Shelly Tucker over at This Eclectic Life has set up. As you always search for something that is good in the midst of when life is pitching nothing but nasties at you, your posts most definitely qualify, hands down!
Keep up the great job you do of uplifting yourself and your readers too at the same time, even in the face of adversity!

Mimi said...

Maggie, it's always a pleasure to read your posts. You have a sunny disposition, and an endearing way of looking for the good.
I remember the rat problem, but I only came in at the end of it. I agree that it's just as well you don't have that on top of everything else.
When my daughter was a baby, she had a toy that you knock down, but it bounces up again- you know the kind. Well, that reminds me of you. But also of life- we get a knock, we bounce back, we get another knock... And you bounce with true grace Maggie.
I've feel honoured to read your chemo posts- I know so much now that I had no idea about.Thanks for sharing so openly.
Good luck for next week- I'll be sending love and light your way.

Bernie said...

Oh Maggie thank you for the shout out but you are so easy to love and care about....I am so proud of how well you are doing and every day I say a prayer for you and Harry.......all will work out Maggie, it always does and then it will be something else to deal with, it's called life which is such a beautiful well my friend......:-) Hugs

Akelamalu said...

Just wanted you to know that I have been including you in my daily Reiki sending whilst I've been away Maggie. Good luck for next week.x

lakeviewer said...

Hang in there. The Universe collects these good intentions and seeds the sea and the sky with them, coming down in many different ways. Happy thoughts to you.

Nessa said...

It is so great that you have people that you can count on.

Getting Reacquainted in 55

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

How tough that you're being strong for yourself; how selfless and admirable that you're being strong for everybody.

Sandi McBride said...

Mags, you are the strongest person I prayers are always going out for you and I know that the Chemo is going to do the job and get you back on track. I remember when the rat problem was going on and wondered then how the heck you managed to keep your sanity...that's some brain you've got there Missy!
hugs a bunch

Brenda said...

It sounds like you have found a lot of support online as you go through all of this. I wanted to tell you that next Wed I'll be posting a picture of myself pre chemo and now, 6 months later. You can see how much hair I have. I don't know if it will encourage or discourage you. I know I felt like mine would never come back.

Thanks for linking to me.

Rose said...

I remember reading all your trials with the rat problem last year--yes, it's a blessing that that was resolved before you became ill.

I know it must be very comforting and helpful to hear from others who have experienced the same things that you have. Another blogger I read regularly is Nature Girl at, who is a breast cancer survivor and now is battling another kind of cancer. You and she have given so much inspiration to the rest of us through your positive attitudes and fighting spirit.

Sending wishes for healing to Harry, too.


Anonymous said...

It is great to hear that everyone is looking out for you... some of the blogs you mentioned I know, others I will stop by to visit.

I am positive that all will go well for you. x

Rose said...

I just popped over to your brother's blog to read his roast. What a compliment to you to have David cite your "Modern Fairytale" post as one the most memorable ones he has read. But I agree--that was such a poignant post.

Teacher's Pet said...

Maggie... YOU inspire me. I lift you up and hope that you know you are loved and thought of every day.
Give Harry a hug for me...and continue to keep your spirits up...and drink that water! Smiles and love from Jackie

SandyCarlson said...

What a difference a year makes, Maggie. How cancer can change everything. How cool it is you have so many good people in your life. I remember that rat situation and how you approached it with such spirit! You are amazing.

cheshire wife said...

I am sure that your health problems have put the problems with the rats in their place. In a year's time you will be looking back on today and wondering how you got through. Stay positive. Fingers crossed for you and your husband.


Expat mum said...

Keep hanging in there Maggie.

Eddie Bluelights said...

The rat problem was conquered and now we are all behind you for the cancer battle - almost half way there, Maggie. Isn't it wonderful to have so many friends there for you - all round the world. Not many have that do they? God Bless ~ Eddie

She Writes said...

Maggie you are loved and treasure among us. It is painful to know you are hurting, as is your family, and we can't sheild you completely. I send you all my good wishes for your husband and you. I pray for your strength, courage and hope to be renewed every single morning. We never have had to put up with you. That is a misonception on your part! We are happy to be here and offer what little we have.

Much love,

Working Mum said...

What a wonderful world the blogsphere is! Still sending you the bloggy love and wishing you courage for Chemo 3.
WM x

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh Maggie! I am so sad that you have embarked on this cancer journey right after completing a trial! I pray this journey will be a short one. And most of all, I pray that you will continued to be encouraged and blessed by your friends in the blog world and real life. You are a blessing.

Absolutely Write said...

Glad to hear blogland is providing you with such a source of love and support. And cheers for sending me over to see the interview with David - it was good to see him again!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I was hiding in the shadows today, and just happened to catch this post, dearest Maggie...You are so very kind to mention me in your post...completely unexpected... unnecessary, but I am truly honored that you should mention me by name. You are a dear, dear friend...I love you very much, and you know, of course, that I pray fervently and continually for you and Harry!!! I so wish I were there so I could help in some tangible way...You are an extremely courageous lady, and I admire you so very, very much!! Sending you all my love today and always, Janine XOXO
Now, I must go back into hiding...still have work to complete...;-)

Wendy said...

I can't believe it's already been a year since your rat problem! Time really flies by!!

I also find bloggers very supportive and helpful. They truly are gold! And you have quite a supportive network. Well, like attracts like, and you are a wonderfully supportive friend too.

Debbie Drews said...

Well, what a mess in the photo. Even I didn't get to see it when it was like that. I guess you kept me away!
So glad that the problem is solved & the mess cleared up so you can concentrate on getting well.
So glad so many bloggers are supporting you, Mum.
Love Debs x

Alix said...

So glad you and Janine are corresponding. She is amazing and her writing is truly art.

The whole rat thing must have been terribly stressful, but it looks like you got your physical house in order just like you're getting your "cancer house" in order. Meaning, taking the necessary steps to isolate the cancer, and board that bitch up.

Sending you love and sunny warm healing wishes!

Love you Maggie!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Maggie, the fact that you blog, manage to comment so prolifically, make your hospital appointments, be a loving and caring wife to Harry, sister to eddie and so much more makes YOU one special person!

Its very kind and thoughtful of you to leave special thanks for these friends who have had similar experiences....the wonders of blogland eh...!!fantastic!!

Teacher's Pet said...

Maggie...I'm stopping by to give you a hug. I do hope that you feel it....always.

RNSANE said...

Maggie May, the people who have been there, done that, know best, I think, how to advise you and can share their experiences first hand. That they are so willing is an inpiration and is what makes them the special, loving people that they are. Besides them, you are surrounded by so many others of us who adore you, enjoy your blogs, your wit and humor, your writing style and the way you look at life. If we can help in any way, to make any of what you are going through easier, we want to do so. Just let us know if we are at all remiss. We want to surround you with a cocoon of love and friendship from all corners of the globe!!

Oh, heavens, it is good that your kitchen is not in disarray at this time,for sure.

It is hard to understand, isn't it, why good folks seem to get bombarded with adversity. Doesn't seem at all fair!

Hugs and sunshine sent from California!

the mother of this lot said...

Well, there I was, just about to type some glib comment like 'I go away for months on end and you're STILL on about rats....' and then I carried on reading.

I didn't know Maggie. I'm so sorry. I'll put you on my prayer list this minute! (And you know how good I am at praying)!

Nishant said...

you have quite a supportive network. Well, like attracts like, and you are a wonderfully supportive friend too.

Work from home India

MarmiteToasty said...

cripes has it really been a years since all that kitchen nonsense...

I have a thought, you know the morris dancing jackets, you should make a wig for you on the same lines LOL you know all cut up strips of material :) it would look GREAT...... huge hugs to dear you..


imbeingheldhostage said...

I think it says a lot about who you are by the people who surround you. You have a wonderful network of friends and family.
I remember the kitchen fiasco! What a great way to look at it in retrospect.

prashant said...

Thank goodness you got rid of those rats, though!

Work from home India