Sunday, 24 May 2015

thirty years extra!!

When I was carrying my first child I developed a condition called pyelitus, where the kidney under pressure is not happy and reacts with fevers and water infections. I was very ill with Daniel and then when I was carrying Rebecca I got it again.. this time I was hospitalised and treated very intensely. Outside my door had quiet notice on it.. I was drifting in and out of conciousness. I stayed there for a week, whilst my neighbour looked after Daniel whilst his dad was working. A few days after I was there and starting to get better, I awoke to find a doctor at the foot of my bed with a nurse, and he was saying to her, that I was a clear example of a woman who would die of Renal failure in my forties** I then asked him if he had any better news, but he scuttled away without saying any more! I was returned home to await the final weeks of carrying Rebecca, and as she went over 2 weeks more I was induced and had her in four hours.. During that marriage which lasted 23 years, I gave birth to another three darlings.. All of them put my kidneys under pressure, but I managed to deliver them without health problems for the babies. So, you will understand that having heard that doctor and never forgetting his words, I really did think that I had only until I was forty to live my life. It used to really wear me down thinking about the inevitability of finishing my life at forty. However, forty came and went, then fifty, then sixty and now, today seventy!!! Of course I do wish I had not had that awful prediction over my head and heart for all those years. I never thought I would be around when my kids came of age and married and had kids themselves, but how wrong I was!! Despite my health isues which have happened over the last few years, I am happier than ever before and rejoice in knowing my children are happy, in well paid job,s and happy with their own children. My grandchildren now number 9 and with John's three we share 12 grandchildren together. Christmas is when we all try and get to gether to celebrate another year ending and beginning, and this house heaves to the rafters ha ha... Thirty years is, and is not, a long time.. I have seen my family grow and produce the next generation, I have remarried, moved houses, travelled abroad and done a whole host of things, and I know that I am unlikely to see another thirty years in front of me, unless I live to a hundred... maybe then..... but I am so greatful for these last thirty years, because it proved to me that Doctors can get it wrong, and I was lucky to prove him very wrong indeed!!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Results

Every three years in England, the health service asks ladies of a certain age to submit to a mammogram experience.. This is usually quite an invasive and not a very nice experience as they have to squeeze your breasts to be able to xray them between pieces of glass. It means awkward angles and can be quite pinching and painful. So, when I got this invitation at the beginning of May, despite being in a close area where it was easy to park and be done, I was very very loath to go and attend, remembering all the other painful visits. However, I did go, and a week later a letter asking me for further tests arrived. I was quite surprised as I had never been asked back before, but the letter also said it was only one in ten people that there was cause for anxiety. Having been reassured by that fact, I was due to be seen the following week. However I then contracted Shingles and the thought of my breasts being manhandled and squeezed was not appealing, so I made the arrangement to go again last week when the shingles had almost gone. I was in some trepidation, but found the clinic and car parks easily and went to my meeting. I was ushered into a darkened room with a screen showing a cluster of white spots on my left breast, just under the nipple area. The took many xrays, scans and photos and then several pieces of my breast were taken for biopsy, and I left with an arrangement to return to discuss the biopsy this morning. We were together in the office with the surgeon specialist who told me that I now showed that I had pre cancerous cells, but the cluster were not at this moment active.. However there would be a time when they would break through and then invade the rest of my body and would become proper breast cancer. The option I had, was a full Mastectomy, or a cut and dive in to extract the bad cells and hopefully manage to clean up the area and prevent any spreading. I chose the cutting, which will only take about half an hour to do.. then afterwards I have to have radiotherapy for every day for three weeks to make absolutely sure that all is clear and safe. My husband is in a state of shock, because he really believed that we would be back home quickly with no worries.. Now, I have had an operation date set,.it will be after my trip to Canada, because I would not be good to fly after an operation.. and so on July 7th I will face the knife. Its a funny thing really, because I knew that something was up, despite the fact that there was no lump or discolouration, or dimpling, or anything to show that cancer was trying to rear its horrible head.. This is obviously why these Mammo tests are so important, so if any of you reading this, are in two minds about going and getting it done, please do not wait and hesitate, the main thing in my brain is that, if I had not gone, I would not be in a good position to deal with it, and it might be a completely different outcome I would be facing... So PLEASE do attend all these appointments, they may very well save your life!!!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Au Revoir, not Goodbye

Today early this morning, I left to drive over 160 miles to visit an old school friend. We had known each other since meeting at school aged 11. All these years we have kept up our connection, meeting at odd moments irregularly over the years. Now that facebook is so accessible, we are connected there too. I have been able to catch up seeing all her children grown, the last time I saw them they were babies when she was living in Ireland with her first husband. Now they are all grown up with children of their own* Ten years ago, she found out by chance that her fainting one day at work where she was a nurse.had been caused by her liver which had a rare condition called Polycistic Liver. She knew that it was not good, as she had already known that several people in her family back for generations had got this condition which had caused them to die early.. She was supposed to be monitored regularly, but of course it was not done, and five years ago the flipping Liver burst and sent out all its bad things all over her body. She was rushed into hospital where an 8 hour operation managed to clean up as much as they could.. then chemo, then ok for another five years, when the Cancer appeared in other places, and she had more chemo, but this time they could not contain it, even after cutting out more of her insides. Now she is at home, weak but very brave, in a house that she and her husband have carefully renovated over the 14 years they had lived there, and it looks beautiful. Like her dear husband said, they had got the house and garden just right and were looking forward to a long happy retirement when all this happens.. Life is so cruel especially to people that do not deserve it! With the last treatement failing, and the cancer growing rapidly again inside her, she is at home for these days. Tomorrow the Hospice Nurses will come by to see if they can help her with the massive pain and heat sweats that she is enduring now. She has got all her affairs in order and her will is made so her children and husband will not be disadvantaged by her leaving them. I drove all the way, setting out at 8 am in driving heavy rain all the time blasting down, and making driving hazerdous. Then the traffic jams that delayed my journey by fifty minutes, I finally got to their home around midday... Not bad I thought with all the delays. By this time, the sun had come out and was shining, so the garden looked wonderful from the room where she was sitting. I was shocked,she had reduced so much in her face, but she could still be recognised as my dear friend.. We sat and talked and talked, and her husband joined in a bit, and made us lunch and the visit passed well.. From time to time her eyes would get full as she realised how little time she knew she had left. With her calculations from when the doctor had told her the best would be 12 weeks, she is on the last two weeks, and then .... Of course her dear husband wants her to stay with him as long as she can, to try and make it to her 70th birthday in November, but she knows she said, that this is not going to happen and she worried about how he will cope later when she is not with him. He too, is being positive and upbeat as much as he can, but he knows too that the days are counting down. I know that my friend has had a reasonably good fulfilling life with lovely children that adore her, but even so, it would have been marvellous if the last meds had worked and given her more time. I said to her ' I dont like goodbyes, so I am saying Au Revoir, and see you soon'. She then got up and walked with me to her door, and then I just hugged her and told her I loved her, and she told me she loved me too.. and I left before I could start crying.. I have been crying ever since, but I am so glad I made the effort to see her, I do hope we are wrong and she lives longer, but if not, she will know that I loved her dearly and she knew that I made a special journey to see her. Its my birthday on Sunday and I am going to send her a card to tell her she is sharing it with me, so she can celebrate twice if she gets to November, and I will include a little gift... She is so Worth it..

Sunday, 17 May 2015

another week

just back for attending church and feeling good for doing so. Next sunday is my birthday, and a big one, so maybe will attend again,.. its in the next village, and not too far to drive. This coming week is quite a busy one for me. Tomorrow I set out about 8 oclock for the long drive to Southampton. I am visiting a school friend that I have known for so long, we were about eleven when we first met at school Over the years we have kept in touch intermittently and now with Facebook, much more in recent times. When you leave school the big wide world is beckoning and so many adventures happen along the way. Meeting new people, and experiencing different styles of life that friendships from years ago take a back burner. However every one of those years didn't matter when we got back in touch, it was just like yesterday and we chatted so easily again. We were very close when we were just in our teens and studying for the GCE exams. That summer I used to catch the train and travel to her huge old house in Shepperton and we would find a spot outside in the sunshine and try to study, breaking off now and again to take a dip in the stream at the end of the garden. That summer seemed a long hot one, and we managed to study and do ok in the exams later. A few years later my parents bought a house around the corner from her, and we shared a lot of time together, then my parents went to live in France. I kept in touch with letters, but after a while that faded too.. Anyway, this dear friend of mine has never been far from my thoughts and meeting her tomorrow after many years, must be over 25*** will be a great chance to catch up and be close again. ~Her family, like mine has thrived and she is also blessed with grandchildren.. so we have a lot to talk about and I am so looking forward to the visit. I have postponed it twice before, so third time lucky!!! It will be a long drive, but well worth it I am sure! Then, Tuesday I return to find out at the Breast Clinic what they are going to offer me if the clusters were not good... then Thursday off up to Sheffield to try and see the mind doctor to see how my life changing injuries after the operations have impacted on myself and my mental state.... that should be fun eh?? .. luckily, Friday I will have to recover before my birthday weekend starts.. a birthday in fact that I did not expect to have, as when I was carrying Rebecca and only 23 I was told that I would develop kidney failure in my forties and possibly expire from it!!!!!! [they were not very schooled in being sympathetic those Doctors**]... So here's to a good week, even if it is busy!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

not a good start to this week!

Apart from making the decision for our Dog Reiver to join the others at Rainbow Bridge, my week so far has been quite hard and will be until next Tuesday I think.. I had had a routine mammogram test four weeks ago and the next week was called back to have a secondary look at my breasts. However as you will have read, I had got Shingles and could not bear the thought of being moved around to be photographed, so put off the appointment until yesterday. When I arrived first in the queue I was photographed from all angles of my left breast. On screen it showed tiny white spots of calcium in a cluster and one other further back, but they then had me scanned, then back to be photographed again from all angles and this time a biopsy was decided. They injected me with a painkiller and then proceeded to take several shots of the cluster and took the results away for closer examination and for these results I have to wait until next Tuesday Normally I put big things like this on my mental back burner and gradually as the day advances, begin to deal with it at the time. This time however, I can say I am a little worried as they said it could be bad or a good cluster but won't know until looked at in my detail. Quite what I shall do if it is bad I am not sure. I have always believed that these things can be spread by cutting open and trying to extract, but now I am not sure what choice I shall make. Of course I know that our lives here have a certain length, but not sure I want mine to end as soon as this. Cancer is thought to be hugely affected by stress, and apart from Monday and Reiver's going, I have endured a very great deal of stress coping with the life changing situation that I was left in after my two spinal operations over four years ago. These clusters have come in the last three years, and I am sure that I was at my most stressed soon after returning home having to deal with myself and all that entailed. Still, it is Wednesday today and the sun is shining, so I am going to put a positive spin on things.. I am going to be with a dear friend looking at a house she is interested to buy and then take it easy all afternoon. John can go look after his grandsons after school and I will rest here and watch tv. My breast is not as sore as I expected and my dentures are becoming more easier to use so, I shall relax and place everything in the lap of the gods.. wish me luck for next tuesday?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Hard decisions..

Almost 4 and half years ago, we adopted a rescue dog to be pals with our girl Millie. Millie was a cross staffie with collie and very energetic, and we needed a lovely calm dog, who might be able to calm her down too. We were so lucky to have a wonderful cross staffie with lurcher dog join us. We called him Reiver. He was a dark version of Milie and larger and he quickly became a beloved member of our family. Having reared five children with my first husband, we had no time to take on animals as well. So this time around,with my second husband and all the children now grown up and living away, we could have time to have a couple of fur babies. This is what they have become. Our dogs have lightened our lives and become so much a part of everything we do. This big dog we called Reiver, and he thrived. When we first had him, he was very insecure, having been really badly treated by his first owners. As a puppy he was left in a small bathroom all on his own for the first year of his life. When he was found abandoned, his back legs didnt work and he had to be carried around. He was just one year old when he came to live with us, and gradually he learned to trust and love us. He didnt like men, and it was a couple of years before he felt able to kiss or lick John my husband. He slunk away whenever he saw a broom, so one can imagine what that represented to the poor darling. At first he could not jump up on to anything, gradually easing his big body up to sit beside us. However after a couple of years, his legs became stronger and he started to be able to feel strong enough to jump , but over this last year, he has been going down hill. The repidity that this reduction has happened has been utterly awful. Now the poor darling can barely walk, his back and front legs refuse to obey him and he cannot stand well, and keeps falling over. We had originally taken h im to the vets, because he had a developing bald patch which was gradually taking over his whole back... however after a lot of tests, we were no clearer what was causing this.. Then the legs started to play up more, and in the last two weeks the front ones went. We are crying inside, because we have had to make the choice of letting our brave loving boy go to the Rainbow Bridge where he can run free again, and on Monday the Vet is coming to help us ease him into the next part of his journey. We are devastated to have to make this choice, but there is no option. The feeling is that has to have been a brain tumour that has acted this quickly and with all the tests in the world, it is not going to make him better. Whoever those Beasts were who had him first, gave him this legacy and I hope they rot in hell for what they did to my darling boy. I shall miss him so much, but his pain has to end.. He tries so hard to do normal things then just falls over and looks at me. I feel that we are right to choose for the Vet to come,but its so hard to say goodbye. He is only 6 and should have had a lot more years of loving yet to come. My boy Reiver and his sister Millie, looking out at the garden and no doubt watching the squirrels**

Thursday, 7 May 2015


Yesterday was quite traumatic,with the extraction of five teeth... but I have to say, that once last night was over, today is not too bad with pain etc etc... I cannot wait to be able to use them properly, but for the moment am taking my time. I have not managed to eat much as they are a little loose, but the dentist said she would adjust if I go back. which I will, soon... Anyway all you kind people, thank you for your best wishes, and I am ok again now... in fact I took a picture and I think you will agree they do not look so bad... when I get the new pair in six months, they will be whiter than these, but for the moment, they are going to do me well.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

last days with my teeth***

It has been my bad luck that given all the meds I am taking, my mouth is dry and the saliva glands no longer work, which in turn gave rise to decay in all my teeth, and so I have had to have them all out.. Tomorrow my last five will go and I am really feeling bad about it. The dentures that I have at the moment are not that good, as we have to wait six months before ordering a new one that will fit properly. so tomorrow when I have these ones out, the teeth are added to the main denture and I will have to wait for the six months until my jaw is settled. As I am going to Canada in 6 weeks time, and I did not want to end up with a tooth, or several breaking, I have opted to have them out tomorrow. I wanted to be under, and not aware, but because the drug would relax all my body muscles it could lead to very embarrassing situations with my bladder and bowel, so I have to have them out with ordinary injections. The dentist herself is delightful and I am sure will do her best to make it as easy as it is possible to do, but the mere act of it happening, makes me shudder. The last time I had several out, I was straight to bed and slept for a whole night, and over the next few days it worked out not too painful, so I am hoping this will be the same when the tops ones go. I know that lots of people have dentures and manage with them very well, but they do not have dry mouths and so this affects the glue stuff that I put to try and keep the dentures in place and can make the mouth feel very uncomfortable and weird... I know that eating is not going to be easy for quite a while whilst I get used to using them , and hopefully[ if I think positively], it will aid my weight loss... but I just hope it is not too painful and that I will be able to manage to eat everything that I will want to do. Since I have not had these dentures too long, I have been very careful how I eat and how to do it.. its the strangest thing relying on a row of plastic teeth... there are no feelings, just clunking against the jaw, and the old tongue has to play a much bigger part in softening the item before I can swallow it... So wish me luck, I know I am not terminally ill and that is a small price to pay for getting older... but its hard to get my head and heart around.. What has happened to you, did you manage to cope with them easily and manage like normal?