Wednesday, 17 June 2015
(author unknown) Lord, Thou knowest I am growing older Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express myself on every subject. Release me from the craving to straighten out everyone's affairs. Keep me from the recital of endless detail. Give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains. They are increasing with the years and my love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Make me thoughtful but not nosey; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom and experience it does seem a pity not to use it all. But Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. My mom is still teaching me and making me smile
Yesterday I was in a strange mood all day..the past week I have been waiting for my friend's daughters to contact me with the latest news after their mother had taken a turn for the worst.When I had gone to see her in May, she knew that she was near the end although it was so difficult to imagine, but she said she was so tired of pretending that she was feeling better than she actually did, so as not to worry her dear ones.. and that she was ready now.. I spent an afternoon with her, just as if the years had rolled by and it was a good chat and lovely to be with her. When I left I gave her a big cuddle and told her I loved her and she loved me back.. As I drove away I was crying at the unfairness of death choosing to arrive too soon.. she surely had had a lot more years in front of her until the big C turned up. Last night on Facebook her daughters announced that their mum had left us at ten oclock that morning... so that must have been why I had felt so restless all day.. Then they put up happy pictures of their mother when she was younger and now, and it made me cry all over again. We had grown so close in our teen years, and than marriage and moving around had stopped us seeing each other, but we always kept in touch and the odd phone call.. Now she is gone, but at least I had a chance to tell her how I loved her.. In a grown woman, saying such things is not to be done lightly, but I meant with all my heart and I know she knew that. I am away now to Canada tomorrow, and do hope that I can attend a service for her when I get back, hopefully it will not be done whilst I am away. I guess, that why I am writing this, is its never to late to try and contact a person that has been out of touch for a while, even if it is years, a phone call can bring you back together again, and its such fun to know someone who knew you before you became who you are now.. Life is too short to have difficulties stopping you talking over the phone or texting.. its all so immediate now, so no excuse for not getting back in touch.. I know I was glad that I did, even to lose her so soon afterwards.
Monday, 15 June 2015
It is another Monday morning, the sun is outside shining after a whole weekend of rain and showers. I am sitting at my desk overlooking the garden and all its greenery, and waiting for the announcement that my dear friend has left this earth. On Thursday this week I am going to visit my daughter at her home in Canada, the first time I've been back to the country in eleven years. With having achieved a visit to Australia in January, I know that the journey won't be as long as that one was... but I am anxious .. With my condition being so unstable and never knowing whether my body is going to behave and let me manage it, and this past week it being stupidly difficult to manage, I am wondering if I can manage to travel the whole distance without an accident.. ~An accident would be mortifying as it happens when my bowels decide to empty without warning. I take extra Codeine tablets, because they have the affect of hardening the stools, but sometimes they stop working, and then the body goes into overdrive and I void everything I have in my intestines...[ Disgusting I know, and believe me even more disgusting in reality than reading about it..] but a burden that I have carried for over four years now, since the spinal operations left me like this. I have instructed lawyers of course, and we are going through the motions, already they have fronted up bills to almost 100,000 pounds. Luckily I am covered by insurance and a no win no deal agreement. The hospital of course deny any wrong doing and are trying to keep us delayed and waiting until we give up the suit, but that is not going to happen on my part. It is not the money, but the attitude.. they sorted the sciatica, 'so be grateful and stop trying to get us feeling responsible for the Cauda Equina Syndrome!!.' 'You knew the risks,.'.. of course it was pointed out to me that there were some risks, but would be very unlucky if it happened, and besides, if I didn't get it done quickly, then I would end up in a wheelchair when the pressure caused my legs to fail! Not much of a choice was there? I admit that I do have days when I feel very hard done by and upset that this condition will only get worse with time, and that eventually I shall have to have a permanent bag attached to me.. a horror I wish to avoid with all my heart. When I am standing in the toilet and managing myself, I get to think.. if that surgeon could see what I have to put up with several timesdaily, he would not be so cavalier in his response to my situation. It seems like once the operations were over -then goodbye and get on with it yourself.. However I am grateful that I am still alive and not otherwise dealing with mortality like my dear friend. Another school friend died last week. She had had an operation on her throat and then died of a massive heart attack. It goes to show that no one can tell when their time is ready. I feel like I would like to live at least until as old as my mother. She was 87 when she left us, and this July 18th would have reached her hundreth year. She was a fit little body, rushing around visiting people in hospital, keeping herself very involved with the Church as did my dad. Then she got a water infection and her kidneys failed, and she was gone.. A massive shock as it was my dad who had ill health his last years, and she seemed to go on forever.. walked miles every day and was really energetic.. My dad joined her in 13 months, but he didn't want to live without her, so I knew it would not be long. I must get up and sort out the day.. I have to iron clothes and prepare to pack my travel bag.... I always take too much, so going to really cut it back and buy over there ,.. so will stop right now, and wish everyone a much better day than ever before...<
Friday, 12 June 2015
As y ou may remember from a previous posting, I now have a full set of dentures. These are not the most easy thing to get used to, but they worked after a fashion.. I still have to wait six months before I can have a new pair that will fit better and be more comfortable. However, this morning, having cleaned them, I wrapped them in a cloth and laid them on my table in my bedroom. I was busying myself as you do, and saw a fly buzzing around, and the first thing I did, was grab the cloth to flick at the fly... You can guess what happened next.... the fly was fine, but as I flicked the material, both dentures flew away out of sight**! I managed to find the top row fairly easily, but hunted high and low for the bottom dentures.. no luck... felt really stupid at losing the darn things.. then went out into the hall landing, where of course I did find the missing dentures... but it was split in a complete half, and unusuable.... horror.... gosh, with my top plate in, don't look too bad, but unable to eat or even speak clearly without the bottom ones.!!!.. Mad dash to dentist in next village, where had to explain in front of a crowded reception room my dire emergency and need to see a dentist.. The receptionist calmed me down and took the dentures upstairs to the dentist and I waited for the outcome.. she came and told me to come back on MONDAY after 2 pm, when they should be back after being mended... Of course this is Friday and they do not work on saturdays, so Monday it has to be... [thank goodness I didn't have this accident on next wednesday just before leaving for Canada!!!] Apart from this major disaster first thing this morning, my day has not been too bad.. spoken to another school friend who is trying to cope with her husband who has Alzeimers and is becoming more difficult to manage.. In fact she is finding that no normal place will take him for respite.. that he probably needs to go into a Nursing Home, and the difference between the amount that subsidises him, is over 300 pounds less than needed and that the family would have to find the difference each week to keep him there on a full time basis. Its great that she can get financial help, but where do they find the difference.?.. She has been coping with him for several years, ever since he had a stroke and the decline has been so awful. She is coping all on her own, her son and his family are of course too busy to help and all her own family are gone. In August they will have been married fifty years and I was their bridesmaid, so we are planning to meet up for a lunch to celebrate with the other bridesmaid.. so sad that it all ends so awfully. They had a good and happy marriage, but the stroke took away their future.. My greatest fear is losing my mind.. I am sure that many share the same horror of it.[ When I get memory lapses that I have never had before, it makes me scared that I might go that way.]. They say now that doing crosswords does not necessarily sharpen the brain and arm it against these illnesses, but surely it must help? Having said that, I was never one for the jigsaws or puzzles or soduku so don't know how it will end for me. Unfortunately I know how it is going to end for my dear friend that I visited a few weeks ago... When I saw her, she said she was on her last weeks from the 12 she had been told... frightening to know how impossible that was to dodge, but she had got all her affairs in order and wills and burial sorted.. [actually, I wouldn't mind having the time to do it myself instead of just slipping off and leaving everyone else to sort it out...] but I knew she was scared and so upset at not being able to share more years with her husband and family.. but it does just happen that our road runs out and we are already at our destination* I guess that is why the Ancients said that' Carpe Diem,' and its so right... Seize everyday hard, and make it work the best for you and never harm anyone in doing it.. that way you achieve all that you desire and are loved by all who know you.. Wish that were easy to do, but it isn't is it? Trying to live in 'the moment' is much easier said than done, but worth trying all the same.. and.... avoiding stupid situations like my morning accident, so I would'nt have to shout out in disgust at my stupidity!!!
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
When I got the letter to go and see the Breast Unit at the Hospital, I smiled ruefully and thought, what does that mean?? I had never been asked to go again before, and my last mammo was clear when it was done three years ago. I had no symptoms, and really didn't feel unusual, so what was the point I said to myself.. However it was an early morning start which I like because then my day seems longer and I can get more done. So at 9 am I was there at the outside unit in a very large van thing. The actual process this time was very easy and quite painless... sometimes the women moving your boob around can be quite rough and ready, but this one was not, and I told her so, before I left. Thinking no more about it, I was shocked to get the letter saying I had to return.. no matter that it also said, only one in ten has got anything wrong, that I was not to worry etc etc etc. My way of dealing with worry is usually to put it at the back of my mind to deal with later.. then I can deal with it, when it is urgent. I had had a shock a couple of weeks earlier when my son told me his marriage was over and he was moving out. Whether that shock made me ill I don't know, but I quickly came down with Shingles and so I had to delay going back to the Breast Unit. Three weeks later I was able to attend the clinic. When I came into the room having covered myself with a dressing gown after disrobing.. I was shown the exray of my left breast and could see the clusters of tiny white spots under the nipple . There were quite a few of them, so they took more pictures, and then a scan and then came back to inject me with a numbing medicine so they could take the samples for the lab to see if they were bad cells. My next appointment was the following week when my husband insisted on coming with me. He was in total shock when the surgeon said it was pre cancerous and they needed to operate to be safe. I was in a funny place, knowing that I had the choice to leave any operation and wait for them to escape if, indeed they were going to.. or have the operation. My husband would have said no operation if they are not bad cells.. and might never escape, but I thought it better to have a lumpectomy.. Since that day I have read and read articles on the operation procedures and printed some of them out.. looking for side affects that might happen... all of which leads me to believe that from being on the back burner, my ideas and thoughts and fears are starting to travel to the front of my brain, where I will have to deal with them.. I still feel in a fatalistic mood, knowing that I will have the op, but so unsure of what happens afterwards when I have the radiotherapy and how it will affect me and my life for a while. We had planned to have a luncheon party to celebrate our 25th anniversary, but it would have been held in September, and with all the things I had to get done with my health, it would be left totally for John to get the house ready and the garden and he always operates best when I am helping too.. If I am out of action, he will not feel like doing much without me. Sp we have put our anniversary party to one side, he will be also turning 70 in January, and the plan is now to celebrate our birthdays and the anniversary later in the year, maybe in springtime.. I know it makes sense, but agreeing to postpone has just made me aware of how vulnerable I might be after doing the operation and radiotherapy.. I am still in a state of 'laissez faire' but really not happy knowing how it might affect me to the point of writing off the whole of July whilst I recover. LIfe happens whether you want it to, or not, so I am going to go with the flow and try and stop feeling this way. If it makes me tired, then I must be patient, which I do find hard to do, and if it doesnt affect me too much I will not be too depressed at having cancelled our celebrations. I feel in a state where time is working forwards and I am drifting towards this operation , and I feel disconnected in a way from the operation and all the following things like radiotherapy.. now that we have cancelled the party, it is acknowledging that I might be quite poorly afterwards and I hate being ill for any length of time** I guess my disconnect is how I am dealing with whatever fear I am feeling. Everyone has gone quiet when I have mentioned the lumpectomy, as if it truly is awful...hopefully they will be proved wrong, I wont lose my energy too much and I wont miss the whole of July in recovery... Wish me luck hey?
Saturday, 6 June 2015
The other day I managed to click on the tv during the morning , and saw it was a programme with Mary forgotten her surname, anyway, she had this idea for a lasagne, and I immediately wanted to do it veggie style. So it was sausage meat, as veggies dont have sausagemeat I broke up the sausages myself into small pieces and then followed what I had remembered from the programme. I laid the lasagne sheets into hot water, to make them more malleable and useable, then= mixed up the strewn sausages and added mushrooms, peppers onions and tomatoes.. when they were gently browned, I added creme fraiche to the mix then put on one side. I found a jar of tomato and placed in a jug and then diluted a little with water. getting the dish, I put a layer of sausage mix first, then the lasagne sheets then the tomatoe juice, then repeated it another time, and for the last level of mix on top I added several strips of cheddar cheese.. In the oven for half an hour at 180 and boy was it delicious.. I do find that I can adapt most recipes to veggie, and John seems a lot happy with my results.. I tell you, this recipe I just had to do immediately that morning after seeing it on the #TV ... It would be fun if you tried to do it too later.. really really tasty!!
I have not had a good month really with meeting my friend that is dying, and now is in a hospice as her days draw to a close, getting her pain managed has been a true struggle.. and then speaking to a friend in Spain just before she went in for a throat operation, only to hear after a successful operation, that she had died of a massive heart attack a couple of days later.. I was thinking ' who will be next'** Well, I got that answer on Thursday last week when I spoke to my brother in the South of France where he lives. He was very down as his best friend who had known since they married best friends almost fifty years ago, and was like his brother, had lost his fight with the cancer. I met Gerard over the years and a kinder more clever and humble person I have yet to meet. He had two children, one of whom, Pierre died of a brain cancer when he was eleven. As the same year of his birth both my brother and I had sons , they were all of the same age, so again, we suffered his loss together. It is true what they say about the good dying young.. this seems to be happening at the moment to my circle of friends. It is not the worst year of loss, that happened when I lost family and friends and included my own parents, my losses counted up to 13 in 13 months, ending with my father. I guess knowing it is coming to be the time when we should realise that three score and ten was the allotted time, and to live past this date is a plus, but not a given! Mortality is a strange word isnt it.. we sort of know what it means and know of other people dying young, but somehow it only feels like its anything close to us when we get so much older. As young people we believe that the whole world is full of opportunities and adventures and our lives seem to have no end. Now, I know that I am unlikely to see another 30 years and notice all too clearly how fast the weeks fly by! Once, a year took sooo long to get through, now it passes in a flash. My friend who is dying, is hanging on in there.. she was very poorly earlier this week and has been transferred to a Hospice for pain management and infection control. She is now very confused but stable and had a reasonable night last night.. I just spoke to her husband who is coping amazingly, but boy is he on some journey with her. She has always been the one with the funny quip but now she is trying to stay alive and not a lot of space for jokes at the moment. Outside my window the sun is shining, and I and John my husband are going to a Wedding this afternoon. The girl is from his Firm, and qualified with them as an Accountant, and will be marrying for the second time. She has been on her own a long while and her son is now 12, but its great that she is being given another chance to spend her days with a caring husband. I am so looking forward to catching up with the other Partners from his Accountancy Practice. When John founded it all of almost thirty years ago, it was just him and a few book keepers.. now it has several partners and John is retained as a consultant. He works two days a week, and finds it plenty to keep him satisfied and brain working.. He is the Tax specialist in the Firm. Weddings are so lovely because of all the hope they represent, and its a happy time to catch up with friends and families, not a sad occasion like funerals. Funerals however are becoming more and more commanplace now.. and I remember my parents saying they were going to at least four a month!! I hope I dont lose my friends that fast, and I would love to hope that one day I will meet them all again.. which is why, even if they are buried, its only Au Revoir, because we will be together all again one day.. That I do hang on to, the thought that nothing is really ended, and so goodbyes are not necessary**
Tuesday, 2 June 2015
I guess it was around their seventies that my parents started attending funeral services all over England and France for their dear friends who had died before them. I remember them saying how hard and depressing it was to see their friends leave them, and that they were all good people and should have lived longer. This evening, I picked up the phone to listen to my message on the answer machine. It was another school friend telling me that our friend had died this morning from a massive heart attack. WE had all known each other since we were ten years old. She was always the peacemaker and kind person.. never got into rows or fights and always had time to listen. She never grew taller than almost 5 ft, so we called her 'Little Mary'..She moved to live in Spain a while ago, and finally after working giving fishermen weekend holidays away, where she would give the breakfasts and her husband would take them fishing in the rivers around their house in Spain, they had retired and were starting to enjoy life... She has always had a bit of Angina, but like me, nothing really to worry about, only rarely needing the puffer... BUT over the last few months had noticed difficulty in swallowing and then eating food. Of course it was a Tumour on her throat, and she had to have an operation which took place a week ago today. Accordingly she seemed to come out of the 8 hour operation with all the signs being good, and was looking forward to coming back to their house by the end of this week. However, early this morning, she had a massive heart attack, and they were unable to save her. When I had called her house this morning, her son, over from his home in England answered the phone and to my enquiry, said he would prefer it if his dad could ring me back... Alarm signals ran through me, and I called another close schoolfriend that Jamie had been very emotional and I was worried.. She rang another friend who rang the husband and we all found out that our little mary had gone to join the Angels earlier this morning.. I knew that Jamie was upset, but never in a million years did I think it could be because she had died! Our lives when you look at them , only endure for a few years, too few to mention, it seems just as you think you have the 'hang of it' it all goes pearshaped! They were so happy in their life out there together, and were so looking forward to many more years enjoying their times together in the sunshine. Now her husband will have to arrange her funeral, what a terrible sad thing to have to do, and really now, seventy is almost expected to be younger than it ever was!! It is true, I feel she was cheated of many more years with her family. She met her husband whilst still at school and they married as soon as she reached 18, so that life time together will be hard to replace with being alone and single again. He will have the love of his son and his family, but how empty it will all feel. I am sitting here thinking who's turn will it be next? You never can tell, that is why I told my kids never to waste time, its gone so quickly and this life certainly is no rehearsal...... this is it, one chance to get it as right as you can whilst you are here and not to hurt anyone on the way... to treat everyone as you wanted to be treated... so far, so good...