13th November

This story started 3 years ago, on Friday 13th November.

This story has been one of the most defining of my entire life and believe me there have been other stories that rank highly for heartbreak – but this, well I’ll simply tell it and see what you think…

It was a seemingly ‘normal’ day at work, punctuated with student meltdowns, juggling demands and generally getting to find which way was ‘up’ in a new job. As the day wore to an unexciting end, I began to get visual disturbances. Bright, cracked and distorted vision heralding a migraine. I shovelled my go to off the shelf medication in and drank lots of water … but my vision simply worsened.

I had to walk the short distance home as my car was in for its MOT (I was due to collect it later) but as I left the school premises, I felt unsteady on my feet, my balance was completely off, and I looked to all intents and purposes like a drunk wending her way home. I was frightened of falling into the road, so I walked as close as I could to the hedges although this meant that I was falling into them – but better privet than Prius.

I got home, the girls had been home a while and as I tried to tell them what was going on (a severe migraine) they tried to tell me of their adventures also getting home – but I really couldn’t concentrate and began to feel nauseous.  I tried to rest on the sofa, knowing I had an hour or so before I needed to collect and pay for the car. I did attempt walking to get it – I could never of driven it – god only knows what I was thinking – but I met my son at the end of the street and he helped me back home. I climbed the stairs (literally hanging onto each step) and got into bed hoping sleep would dispel the nausea and pain.

 

I can remember my youngest daughter telling me the pain in her leg had gotten so bad that her teacher had given her a lift half way home, but I literally couldn’t concentrate on anything – my brain was so fried with the headache. I curled up in a ball and willed myself to sleep.

 

In the morning, I awoke and felt much improved, the pain was lessened, although I felt as though I’d been binge drinking and had severe hangover type symptoms.

I’d checked on M early and she was struggling with the pain in her leg and as we had an x-ray appointment at the local hospital that afternoon, I decided to keep her off school as I certainly wasn’t fit for work.  So, I let her rest in bed.

My memory fails at how I got my car back from the Garage. I know my husband drove us there and I drove mine back – so I’m assuming it was in the morning as he then went off to work.  My eldest two children went to school and I went to check on M.

She was awake and described how her teacher had driven her part of the way home and that her leg really hurt. I looked again at it and for whatever reason my ‘mummy sensors’ went into overdrive.

The history had been that she had come home from school one afternoon and said she had a lump on her leg, I looked, and it seemed like a mild swelling, so I said that she had probably bumped it and hadn’t realised and that it would bruise up and it would be fine. She continued complaining of twisting her ankle as her leg gave way, but I put this down to divots in the school field, but as the bump hadn’t bruised, I’d phoned the GP surgery had a telephone consultation in which the GP suggested bursitis was the probable cause.

After a week of treating it for that but it was getting no better, so I arranged a face to face appointment. The GP said she had ‘no clue’ what it could be but would refer us to our local hospital for an x-ray and a soft tissue scan. The x-ray could be arranged within the week she said, but the ultrasound would be a matter of weeks to schedule.

So, this was the Friday that we had our x-ray appointment in the afternoon.

To this day I don’t know what or why I suddenly began to panic about her leg, but all I knew as that I wanted her to have this x-ray … NOW.

8 hrs later just was not going to cut it for me.

I phoned the NHS helpline and tried to get a second opinion about whether I could just take her to A n E. They were helpful and thorough and were about to tell me to take her to hospital when the call handler changed her mind and said that we needed to go back to our GP practice and if they felt M warranted Accident & Emergency, they would send us from there.  They even made the appointment to see a doctor at the surgery within the hour.  I was beyond frustrated and just wanted to get it checked out. I phoned the surgery and the receptionist advised that she understood my concerns but reassured me that the GP we were booked in with had a strong paediatric background – so I relented.

I phoned my partner (now husband) and asked him to come home from work as I was convinced something was really ‘off’ now. He acquiesced and once home, we trundled off.  He tried to lighten the atmosphere by making jokes about everything. It was annoying at the time, but possibly what we needed. We walked into the consulting room and met a pivotal character in the story. K, asked M about her pain and symptoms, asked to have a look and after doing so wheeled her chair back to her desk and picked up the phone, dialled a number and said “ I have a child in the practice who needs to be seen by the on-call radiologist now, no I don’t’ care if its lunch time, this child will be seen, ok, thank you, I’ll send details across to you now”

At this point I thought “oh fuck its serious – her leg must be broken, I’ve been making my child walk around on a green stick fracture – what sort of mother am I that I didn’t realise”.

K now turned to us and said that we needed the leg x-rayed – little did we know then that she had her strong (and correct) suspicions as to what the problem actually was.

We drove to hospital, my husband dropped us and went to find a car parking space, M and I found X-ray 1 and went in, registered we were there and were then rushed into a scan room and she had her x-ray’s.

I looked fiercely at the screen as I stood behind the safety glass but couldn’t see any fracture line so was slightly relieved. The radiologist then said we could go. I was slightly bemused as there seemed to be a contradiction between my GP’s speedy response and the relaxed attitude in the scan room. Just as we were leaving the scan room we walked into J and told him the scan was all done – he of course had just paid for several hours of parking on the car – so we decided that we may as well stop for a coffee at the Costa in the hospital..

We eventually finished our drinks and drove home, confused but slightly less concerned. Within 60 minutes though that feeling dissipated into abject fear.

K, phoned and said that we now needed to go back to Hospital – this time to the Childrens Paediatric Assessment Unit and we would be met there. I asked if I would need to pack a bag, she advised that I could do, but to keep it in the car. I literally had no idea what was happening but went into mum mode. J would drop us back at hospital and wait for the eldest two to come home from school and come back to us once they were settled.

 

The next bit is a blur.  I remember the PAU, I remember the crying babies, the junior doctors, trying to alleviate the tension for M by the age old parental tool of distraction, getting frustrated by the lack of information, then the fear as M was requested to give samples (having never had a blood test before) and was given a hospital ID wrist tag.

It seemed like forever until J returned and then another life time until we met T – another main protagonist in this tale. M and I had joked about which Dr would come and see us and as we saw T, she said … “that will be him ‘Dr Disney’ look at his tie mum”.  She was correct.

Eventually, he took all 3 of us into a side room, and said in his straightforward Teutonic manner “we suspect that M has a type of bone cancer, she will need MRI’s and bone scans, she will have to have a biopsy to confirm which type we suspect it will be” … he then went on to show us the scan – I don’t think I really looked – an atomic explosion seemed to have gone off in my head and all my senses were dulled.  At times of great distress my physical reaction is to think I’m going to be sick – I never have been yet – but my mind is more focused on visually searching out a receptacle in which to vomit rather than cause much more fuss by puking on the floor.

J said I kind of went into full panic mode, but I don’t remember that – I had just (as had M, who at the time was 11yr old) been completely blindsided and it was taking me all of my effort to not collapse on the floor.

I  recall M being taken out of the consulting room by a nurse, so T could talk to the cogent adult in the room (no, it wasn’t me!) about the plan for the next stages of investigation. I was genuinely  listening to him, and I was taking it in, but it was as if it wasn’t happening in reality – although it very much was.

Next came phone calls to relatives and again this times gets blurry … no one knows what to say or do when you pass on the fallout of a cancer diagnosis … but this part of the tale is as far as I’m going today. It’s been hard going over the events and interesting which aspects are blurrier that others. but it has been cathartic.

So much has happened in the last 3 years … but they are other stories, potentially to be told on another day.

 

Advertisements

Thank you

A trying day was had yesterday. But this morning finds me in a coffee shop eating a danish and drinking a coconut latte, waiting for a hairdressers appointment.

I won’t go into details of the trials and tribulations of the events but suffice to say, it was a donkey and final straw situation.

I’m writing because I realise that I am sitting here feeling truly thankful … for so many things :

My husband, my children, my parents, my sister, brother’s in law and sisters in law, my husbands parents, my family, my husbands family, my extended family of friends of confidantes and my friends and acquaintances near and far. For the conversations, advice, guidance and the unswerving support they provide.

For my strength, my determination, my parenting, my beliefs and my capacity to love. I am imperfect but feel I am not too far from being true to myself.

It is a wonderful feeling to wake up realising that you are a decent human being who thinks and cares for others.

I must also say that I am thankful for the individuals and situations that make me question my beliefs, test my patience and levels of incredulity … for they are teaching me what it is that I stand for and what I shall not accept. Your choices make me more assured in mine.

Repair

I found myself uttering a sentence I was unsure I’d ever hear myself saying yesterday. It’s surprised me and consequently I’m writing about it.

To give some background … I’ve been applying for jobs.  I haven’t worked since the paediatric oncologist told us that Mimi had cancer, and that’s 3 years ago next week! Mimi’s chemotherapy / immunotherapy protocol was so intense that we were rarely out of hospital for the 10 months of active treatment, added to that her recuperation and recovery from her limb amputation meant that at the end of that year we were physically and mentally empty.

The first year ‘off treatment’ was a huge impact on recalibrating our lives and trying to work out how to assimilate back into ‘new normal’ whilst juggling a seemingly endless list of outpatient appointments. Now that we’re nearly at the end of 3 years since diagnosis a lot of soul searching has come to the fore.  Should I return to paid work, can I juggle what can at times be a frustrating jumble of last-minute appointments alongside normal week to week activities and an ever-growing social diary for 3+ teenagers whilst my husband burns the candle at both ends working full time and studying for his MBA?

I realise how lucky I am in having the choice as to whether to return to work, but I’m keen to show our children that our ‘new normal’ includes not being held to ransom by the fear of relapse, and not putting a hold on our lives ad infinitum, that a newly acquired physical disability does not mean that the world stops immediately and we must become chain ganged to Cancer / limb difference and its side effects.

So, this last year as full-time school attendance was achieved, I began volunteering for a charity that has remained close to my heart throughout this whole childhood cancer episode. And its been wonderful, meeting up with parents with whom I don’t need to explain anything, who don’t blanche with horror over discussions of what we’ve had to endure and teams who would literally do anything to help with the cause of promoting the financial hardship associated with a childhood cancer diagnosis, championing the need for research, highlighting the impact (physical and psychological) of current treatment regimes.

I’ve gained some confidence back and felt that I was able to use sharing our experiences and thoughts to staff so that they could look at service provision and updated my employment skillset alongside. I’ve presented at staff development days and given feedback to teams and research projects.

I felt that maybe this is where my career should be re-started … working alongside a group of amazing people and chipping in my tuppence worth in order to make a ‘collective’ difference. However, its harder than it looks … most opportunities are full time and London centric and I just don’t know how to break into something new like this so I resigned myself to looking at a simple part time role where I could keep the ‘home fires burning’ – but even there I’ve struck problems with demands from employers for ‘drop of the hat’ flexibility and having been out of the employment loop for a considerable chunk of time.

 

The job hunting has made me question whether I should be devoting my time to Participating or pulling in Shekel’s for the family pot.

I asked my husband and one of my trusted friends yesterday why they thought I volunteered, and their feedback helped me clarify my thinking a little about why I am volunteering.

One of their thoughts was “if anything is helping you heal then its worth keeping that going” and I replied (which is the reason for this post) “I’m not sure there is much more healing I can do … it’s just coming to terms with it all” and as the words left my finger tips I felt as if the raw open wound that I had carried around with me since late 2015 was now a closed wound. A wound non the less, one that won’t go away and won’t shrink over time – but also an awareness spread of acceptance that it won’t necessarily grow either.  This may seem a simple thought to you, but it’s held me captive in the knowledge that the wound of Mimi’s cancer and subsequent limb loss won’t ever go away, that it’s a vicarious part of me that I take with me always.

It’s made me grasp that I previously never thought that this wound would ever begin to heal, but now I find myself talking in terms of a ‘scar’ so it by definition must be healing and I therefore repairing myself.

I guess my path forward is learning to love my scar and beginning to view it in terms of a ‘kintsugi’ repair.

I’m unsure if my indecision over whether to opt for paid employment over volunteering is any further forward but at this point, however, I am very grateful that this indecision has led me to a revelation on my path of healing and acceptance, and therefore until I do make this decision, I will continue on with Participating my voice and time.

 

(The image used is from Emily McDowell who’s work and philosophy have kept me buoyant over the last few years and we have been lucky enough to receive gifts of her work).

Lost voice … ?

I deliberately didn’t set myself a New Years resolution this year. It almost seemed like it was tempting fate if I set myself up with some tasks / goals only to have them potentially derailed by anything medical coming up with M. This may sound fatalistic to some … but believe me once you have had your eyes opened to the world of childhood cancer then you know that ‘maths and poultry’ are an area best avoided.

I did however set myself some tenuous ’12/24′ targets … the premise being to aim for 12 of something but cap it at 24. I think I must have been influenced by Bullet Journaling techniques but as my arty doodling is pretty lame I think I must have subconsciously opted for a pared down version which I keep track of on my phone.

So, my 12/24 list is this:

·        Craft projects

·        Books read

·        Blogs written

·        New things / Experiences

·        Over nights

·        Llbs lost

As we start running hell for leather towards the end of 2018, I can see definite wins. My read book list is pretty amazing, and I feel good about the various texts and topics I’ve covered.  I’ve renewed my enthusiasm for positive psychology (there’s a pun there somewhere) and I’ve kept my local library busy with requests and issues.  I set this particular goal to see if I committed to a target if I would increase my reading – which I love but had been put to the bottom of my go to activities. I’ve loved this goal and can see my repeating it next year – I just feel I need a better way of tracking what I intend to read.

My Llbs loss goal has fluctuated throughout the year but I’ve achieved part of the target but I’ve kind of just looked at how much I’m noticing I’m eating and have dropped alcohol almost completely which I think must aide the shedding, but I haven’t dedicated a vast amount of time to this … so a WiP still.

My overnight’s goal is doing pretty good too, with stays in Yorkshire, Scotland, Wales, Dorset & Spain. I just plain simply wanted to ‘escape’ and get away from my every day routine. This has certainly helped my mental health and its been lovely to change my perspective.

 

Where I haven’t done so well are the craft, new things and writing areas. Craft wise, I’ve several projects that I’ve started but haven’t really progressed. It seems to be a time commitment and static thing that’s working against me here – I just don’t want to be stuck in a chair. But I must also admit I’m unsure of my skills.

Trying new things has been ok, but in all honestly I’ve hardly tracked it as a goal and although I know I have done some things that I’ve not attempted before this wasn’t successful – I think more specific targets would be easier to manage.

However, my writing has been my biggest non-starter. I guess I’ve really struggled with the fact that I’ve felt my voice isn’t important, worth listening too and that I had nothing to ‘say’.  But the thing is … I have had lots to say but just not wanted to put myself up for evaluation of my personal thoughts / perspectives which I guess is what posting on social media is about.

Maybe my lack of confidence in my creativity with regards to writing and craft are linked?  Where I have realised my goals, they have been in areas of quite personal yet internal achievement (weight loss, knowledge growth and time away) whereas areas of externally viewed progress have faltered.

I’ve worried that writing is in part an ego trip. Waiting for someone to tell you how good or bad you are, and I don’t think I’ve been ready for any sort of confrontation.

I know I have missed writing, I enjoy the internal dialogue and the process of just getting words out of my head helps me greatly. My lack of job-hunting success I’ve pondered is maybe the Universe’s way of forcing me toward the keyboard that I’ve been so fond of backing away from, and todays non-response from an employer has made me sit down and start talking about why I haven’t been achieving my writing targets. Every cloud etc…

I will not commit to more writing, although I think I am going to commit to more 12/24 lists.

Being human …

I was recently asked if I was interested in supplying a blog for a fellow oncology mum’s blog page. She’s a highly respected and successful blogger so it’s nice to be able to get to a wider audience and increase my own visibility, but truth be told that isn’t the reason that I chose to write.  I’ve mulled over the topic for a while thinking of what angle I can take, coming up with some ideas but nothing really felt right or held any cadence, that is until 10 minutes ago when I got a text from a young chap I met at the weekend – calm down, much more harmless than you think!

You see, we were at a charity event called the LimbPower Junior Games which is an annual event at Stoke Mandeville Sports Centre. It’s a sporting event for those with limb difference, in which children get to try a vast range of adaptive and inclusive sports.  We went last year, when M was just finished chemotherapy and was only just coming to terms with being an above knee amputee. The whole family participated and loved it so much that we were determined to go back again this year. It is a fab day and LimbPower really is a worthwhile and forward-thinking charity, so if you know someone who has limb difference (congenital or acquired) they are worth looking up (limbpower.com).

Danny spent a considerable amount of time chatting to M and discussing how she can communicate more effectively with our Enablement Centre in order to get the most from the provision of a sports limb. He has since texted me asking for further contact details so that he can forward information to help us in selecting limb components etc, and it was then that I had my lightbulb moment (which M will find even more amusing as only this morning as I was driving her to school she asked what I was doing with a lightbulb in the car’s centre console “Do you hold this up above your head Mum, and wait for a great idea?”, “Oh if only it were that simple Love” I replied – but I think she might have a point, so I might not remove it just yet!!). 

But Danny’s text today made me realise the ‘being Human’ has what has gotten us through M’s cancer / amputation … Being human to me, is about having frailties, recognising them in yourself and seeking help, but also supporting others. There have been so many individuals who have picked us up, comforted, shown love, care, compassion and thoughtfulness to us (all started out as complete strangers – many have become trusted friends and caring advocates). These connections were often forged when we are least expecting them and probably when we most needed it.  I personally don’t believe in divine intervention but to clumsily paraphrase … maybe there ‘are’ more things in Heaven and Earth than in my philosophy.  All I know is when I needed strength and guidance it came to me – through human contact and interaction.  It only takes a few moments looking at current global events to be reminded of the quote “When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers, you will always find people who are helping’” F. Rogers.

I also feel that truly ‘being human’ is contagious. I see first-hand those that have been helped, reaching out and helping others, through charities or trusts, bereaved oncology parents go forward with their grief and try to make a difference to those who are still going through treatment, those who are widowed set up groups to induce further ongoing support … the list goes on.  Behind every charity or support group you encounter, I believe there will be individuals who have experienced pain and loss and want to assist others.

For me too it is also becoming important to contribute and support others, feeling united by our common experiences and with that aim of trying valiantly to help and support those who are going through similar circumstances.  I didn’t choose to become an oncology mum, but now that I am, I have developed a skill set and experience base that strengthens my daily life. I know what diagnosis day feels like, what surgery day fears are, and how every x-ray brings ‘scanxiety’, and I have learned many techniques in coping and not coping. These have been born out of the human beings that have surrounded me through my daughter’s diagnosis and treatment and beyond.

So, my reason for doing this blog is for someone I have not yet met, but I feel to be a kindred spirit who has soul, grit, love and smidgen of vulnerability, whom has listened and counselled me and who I know will continue to do so, and therefore I feel universally lucky to have this fellow human being as my friend.

Blindsided

Do you identify with this feeling?  You’re bumbling along all tickety -boo and ever-so pucker and then you get hit by a wall of emotion?  It feels like a crushing tsunami, slamming into your legs, demolishing your stability and strength and you come tumbling down (often in what seems cinema style slow-mo) to your knees?  That’s the effect an emotional trigger following trauma can have. I can’t speak for all, but for me it can feel like a ‘rabbit caught in the headlights’ freezing my thinking then everything speeds up and I feel as if I could drown in panic, an ever-expansive spiral of fear and negative thought patterns. It can be mild or it can feel colossal.

Sometimes I am able to recognise the tell-tale signs that I’m about to ‘be hit’ and I can shield myself with self-talk and distraction. I have developed a mantra of “Action is better than in-action”, and I have found that physically moving can literally move my head into a more positive space. Be it ironing, washing or hoovering or baking. Taking up that ‘panic’ space in my head with something constructive works for me.  I’m trying to extend this into a slightly more personally regenerative area by trying to use Pilates, reading or swimming but as they are more scheduled activities they are not as good as ‘heading it off at the pass’ than tasks I can immediately focus upon.  The introduction of a puppy into our lives does however mean that I can just ‘get moving’ and take her out for a walk – though I am in serious need of some decent ‘non-fuddy-duddy’ waterproof walking shoes and coat – this County has its fairer share of rain than most!

But what about those times when you’re completely blindsided and have no time for distraction techniques? Me? I tend to cry. Though I get annoyed with myself for doing so, it does act as a really cleansing way of letting the grief and fear out but it is a bit socially awkward. People often don’t know what to do or say.  Believe me, I don’t need a raft of soothing platitudes, it’s almost like I’m a bottle of coke that got dropped on the floor and the only way for me to release (at the moment anyway) is to ‘leak’ … maybe I need to reframe crying as simply ‘effervescing’ – after all we as children used to say “she’s bubbling” when someone was crying?

So, what ‘blindsides’ me?  Well, I’ve started compiling a list, and in no particular order and just a few triggers are …

·        The chilled food cabinets in M & S … or to be more specific the memory of the smell of the food. You see there is an M & S next to Bristol Children’s Hospital and for nearly 9 months I ate ready meals and sandwiches from there – a treat some would say, but I was too scared to venture far from my daughter’s side whilst she was in for treatment this was my sustenance. But even the packaging on an M & S Spaghetti Carbonara can make me come out in a cold sweat. I swear Pavlov would of have had a field day with me!

·        NHS car parks, though this could actually also be down to the exorbitant charges, lack of disabled parking spaces and too small spaces or weird barriers. I think its just car park fatigue in general that can tip me over the edge. My patience varies in strength from ‘eternal’ to ‘a hundreth of a nanosecond’.

·        My children / husband being uncontactable for a period longer than expected. Now as a parent of 3.5 (part time step son) who are all 12yrs+ this comes as somewhat of a doozie. Just as they are on the cusp of spreading their wings and seeking independence I’m yanking on that parental leash every hour or so – I genuinely feel I’m exaggerating here for comedic effect – but I bet my darling offspring will shaking their disdainful heads in mockery if they choose to read this blog).  It stems I feel from the understanding that you can’t tell me that lightening doesn’t strike – because it does! And if it can strike once, it can strike twice. I realise that me keeping tabs on everyone I love is completely unrealistic and I’m working on ways to master / deal with this.

·        Cancer Charity adverts / promotion. It’s everywhere! We just can’t escape it. Leaflet drops, cold calling, recycling bags, adverts in magazines, TV, social media … even a cinema trip. It’s like we can never escape the reality of our new existence.

·        Facebook prompts and notification from oncology groups, and this also includes photos on my phone, of her hair loss and limb loss. I find looking at her ‘old’ leg quite hard at times, as it reminds me of what she has dealt with and how much our lives have altered. Believe me, though I realise just how lucky we are and I am thankful for that – but I am sad for the extra stress and fear she now has to live with and learn to manage.

There are other triggers but you get the idea … I am learning to cope and adapt and reframe much of my responses but it is a long-haul trip and I’m not even convinced there is a destination or an end.

 

Smelling the coffee …

At this precise moment, I’m writing a blog on a topic that I know not what it actually is going to be about. It’s somewhat akin to getting lost on a mountain in an unknown country … who knows where I’ll end up?

You see, normally, I prepare and cogitate for a while before putting fingertips to keyboard. But I’ve been absent from my ‘blogging space’ and I have been yearning to get back to it.  It’s truly one of the times that I can just prattle on and get stuff out – extremely cathartic.  But the summer holidays are upon us and I’ve not had much time to sit down un-interrupted.  Believe me, I’m in no way complaining – I spent all of last summer in paediatric oncology wards – so having time (even if its not doing much) with my family has been wonderful – but it has most definitely put the kibosh on my writing.

 

However, today my three ‘Eggs’ are having 4 days away with their Father. He’s planned a lovely trip to Cornwall and I’m almost jealous – but it means that for the first time in 8 months I get a whole 24 hours off! It’s just me and the hubby (oh and the pooch) so I’m making the most of my break from parenting whilst his nibs is still at work and getting some ‘head-space’.  We are having a date night tonight, and have plans of ‘mooching’ round Bath tomorrow. Slightly excited? You betcha!!

 

To be honest I rarely get much of a parenting break these days, so much so that I find I don’t know what to do with my time and I find it draining away like sand in an egg-timer, thinking of what the children will be doing and how much I miss them, or carrying on with jobs around the house – that could in all honestly wait. So, it seems I spend time thinking about what I could do if I had some ‘me’ time but when I do get it, I waste it!  And although I realise that I’m talking still talking about them now, I’m achieving something for myself and my sanity at the same time by blogging.

Actually, now I come to think of it, it is peculiar, that often the things we feel we yearn for: ‘me’ time; Sunday morning lay-in’s; no school run, child free days / nights out etc. are not always what we expect. A case of the grass being greener perhaps?

I now know that after having had a year of not being able to do the school run because of my daughter’s chemotherapy and surgery protocols I really don’t mind it at all.  Sure, Sunday lie-in’s are an occasional nice experience but realising that it’s a sunny day, and we’re not stuck in a hospital somewhere spurs you on to carpe the hell out of that particular diem.

Although its lovely thinking I’m not on 24 hr rapid recall response for the next few days, I wouldn’t change my role as full time Mummy to my three Egg’s for the World and its chattels. My children have become even more precious to me (now, don’t get me wrong – they drive me ‘batchy’ at times but I don’t regret one single grey hair inducing moment EVER) since M’s illness.  It’s almost like her cancer diagnosis was a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ call. Despite the hell we have been through and the stress and strains we still encounter I feel damned lucky to have my children and the associated tasks and chores of parenting and motherhood.

So, I suppose on reflecting what I have typed so far the topic of this blog isn’t actually a topic at all but more of a rallying call to myself. Use your ‘me’ time effectively for a positive experience and don’t necessarily plan and cajole the words beforehand.

It’s been truly liberating just sitting down and typing and not knowing where, why or for how long I’d travel.

Gird your loins folks … I think the start of the coming academic term will mean a lot more writing and a lot more blogging. And I can’t wait to start …