Wednesday, 29 December 2010

My 2010 in Pictures

My year..... (to see more like this and the chance to win a CyberMummy 2011 ticket visit Mummytips and add your Year in Pictures)













What a difference a Year makes

Last year, about this time, I was full of good intentions.

Two cups of coffee a day, weight loss, exercise, write a novel and some other stuff. Now traditionally I review my good intentions and go GAH! #Fail and generally get down on myself about how little I have achieved.

Don't get me wrong, I haven't achieved much of any of that.

I spent the first half of the year feeling really tired and quite low. I made efforts to sort out my mental health but the tiredness was still there. I put it down to working full time, being a Mum of a 4 year old and 8 year old and my lack of exercise.

Then in August I went for a Health Check-up paid for by work. There were no massive surprises, I wasn't surprised to hear I was overweight but I was pleased that my heart, my cholesterol and my posture were all OK.

There was just anomalies with my blood. They tested it twice. My white blood count was way too high. I think, I realised it was serious when the Doctor at the clinic phoned my GP to make an appointment for me.

Then everything moved really quickly. My GP had my blood re-tested and told me we were in a 'free fall situation' he was the first one to mention the possibility of cancer he sent me to the Haematology Day Ward. He didn't tell me it was the Haematology & Oncology Ward.

Long story short and after a bone marrow biopsy I was diagnosed with Chronic Myloid Leukaemia 

This kind of thing changes your perspective on things.

I don't have new year resolutions this year. I have new life resolutions.

5 years ago, in this country, I would have been having traditional chemo-therapy. My quality of life would have been poor and my prognosis would not have been good.

I am on a clinical trial drug, the side effects are minimal (like the disease, they make me tired, and I get headaches) and my prognosis is excellent. I am extremely lucky. Blood Cancer medication has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years.

I can't deny that it has messed with my head. I struggle with it at times, with the unfairness of it (even though I have no illness that I can see or touch) but I am also aware that there is no reason for me not to see my children grow up, hopefully, they will never see me go into the accelerated or blast stages of the illness where hope is limited.

So what are my new life resolutions?

  1. Stay alive
  2. Stay healthy
  3. Exercise
  4. Be happy
If I can get those 4 sorted, surely everything else will just follow naturally...And I will always have this...


Monday, 20 December 2010

Colds, Coughs, Snow, Nits and Christmas

I love Christmas.

Every year my husband has to stem my Christmas spirit to grotto our house and keep the decorations in moderation.

The lead up to this Christmas has not exactly been as smooth as I would like. There was the family weekend of snot in late November which was pretty disgusting. All the family full of an extremely snotty cold. Ugh.

Then the first spell of really frosty weather, we didn't have much snow, but boy it was cold. Everything looked beautiful though.

Sniffles continued into December but no one was properly sick. Then the dreaded nits came (I blame a soft play place we went to) We are still doing the repeat treatments. I haven't had them but I can't help but feel itchy...double ugh!

And now, just when we all really want to be festive and see friends and family, my eldest has a cold and chest infection that has properly floored her. I have never known her to stay in bed all day before this. I have had to cancel two visits already with people we really really wanted to see before Christmas. (There was a brief concern that it may be swine flu. Fortunately, after a visit to the doctor today we have found that it is not).

And now there is proper snow.

Still, the Christmas Lego collection is coming along nicely ...

And we are fortunate enough to have presents under our tree.

So with antibiotics and plenty of Christmas fayre, all will be well...and just in case I don't blog between now and Christmas, Merry Christmas everyone xxx

The Gallery - Love

When I got married I was fit to bursting with love - I genuinely thought that we could not be more in love.

But then nearly ten years on, our love has matured, and as life throws big splats and happy puddles at us it grows and we continue to be very much still in love.

None the less, I was not prepared for the love I feel for my children, strange, unconditional, totally overwhelming. My heart skips a beat for them regularly.

Here are two of my favourite pictures - the first one with my husband and my eldest daughter in Ireland on Christmas Day. The snow was unexpected so my husband had to borrow a hat from his Dad. It snowed all morning and was a completely magical Christmas. She is two in this picture.

And this is me with my baby girl when she was about one.

And finally because it's Christmas here is a couple of my favourite Christmas pictures of my girls.

Love certainly makes the world go round. If you want to see more posts like this go and see more at Tara's Gallery  and share the Love

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Gallery - Sparkle

This photo is from 4 years ago, Lola was 3 months old so Heather was 'helping' me decorate the Christmas tree.
Somehow, she ended up like this.....

I hope this is sparkly enough for Ms Cain over at the Gallery

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sunday, 28 November 2010

What makes my blood boil.

Now, all of you who know me, know that I can, at time's, be grumpy. Particularly first thing in the morning. 

There are, however, very few things that really make my blood boil. 

On Armistice Day during the two minutes silence there was a disturbance by some protesters who burnt a giant poppy.

I absolutely disagree with what they did, wholeheartedly. 

What made my blood boil was our reaction to this. 

On one social networking site there is a group called - Muslims who burn poppies on armistice day should leave our country.

The comments within this group are both, racist and offensive.

A small minority of extremists have behaved in a way that was not acceptable, but it seems our reaction is a mass reaction, to fight hate with hate? 

Does no one find it ironic that we (our nation) fought and our soldiers fought, for freedom, against racism, against oppression, against hatred, and yet our first reaction is to oppress. 

I am extremely proud to be British, I am proud that I live in a country where most people try to treat everybody equally.

I am proud that we are a melting pot of languages, cultures, ethnicity and religion. 

I am proud that we can all practise the religion we choose too, or not,if we don't want to,  without fear that we will be 'disappeared' or victims of hate crimes.

I am proud that I can write this without fear.

I am not proud of our mass mentality, our belief in the red top newspaper, our fear of the individual and our ignorance and unwillingness, at times, to accept change.

People of Britain need to remember that the majority of our forefathers and mothers came from somewhere else originally.

Britain has been invaded by the Romans, the Vikings, the French, the Germans and when we went on the Crusades our soldiers brought people back from all over the world. This continued with Sir Francis Drake, Christopher Columbus and many many more. We are a tiny island. 

Anyone who thinks that they are 100% white and Christian are fooling themselves.

I dislike the ghetto-ism of our cities where similar cultures congregate and other cultures and influences are pushed out.

The only way things will improve and change is if we accept that people are different, our cultures are different, we are different colours and we have different personalities (some of us can be quite grumpy). We have to accept the difference's through knowledge and openness. 

I think sometimes people think because they are 'just' average they can't change anything. Of course we can, we bring our children up without hatred, with open minds and a curiosity for differences and change and we will all be OK. 

Seriously, it is as simple as that.

So what makes my blood boil. Ignorance, hatred, oppression, inequality, injustice and racism. (There is probably more, but that will do for now).

Silent Sunday - Peace

For more Silent Sunday's go to here

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Friday, 19 November 2010

Eight and Still Growing

My eldest daughter was 8 yesterday. 
How did that happen? 
One minute she is like this:

And now she is like this:

 I mean, seriously, where did the time go. How did she turn into this confident, bubbly, bright and beautiful person (I was going to say small person then righted myself, she is 4ft 4in - I am 5ft 2in she will be taller than me in no time). 
She has her own social circle and has had the same group of friends since starting school, and remains friends with her friend from nursery. 
She does well at school and is bursting with energy, so full of life. I am immensely proud of her and wish for her only good things.

When people say to you, don't wish the time away, they are SO right. 

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Gallery - Before and After

For the Gallery this week Tara has asked us for before or after. This is what I have come up with.

When Heather was a baby, we took this picture - I loved this picture, she was smiling and the sun was coming through the window. The Zebra romper suit was just a bonus.

So four years later I recreated the picture with Lola.
I see in these pictures their similarities and their differences and as time goes by and as Lola, gets to the same points in her life as Heather I see this continue.

And the frightening thing is, I see a little bit of me in both of them.

The most important thing is they are unique, special individuals who will always have each other for love and support.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Autumn - The Gallery

I love Autumn, I think it is my favourite season, so when Tara at Stickyfingers said this weeks Gallery was about seasons - I was made up.

Originally, when I was young it was because my birthday was in October and the new school started in September. This was reason enough to love the season. Nothing to do with the colours and the beauty of this time of year.

Now for me, Autumn stills starts at the beginning of the school year, I send my eldest off in her new uniform all smart and shiny and bright.

Then it is my youngest's birthday, so still about the birthdays.

Then mine, I have no photo recording this so instead I will put one of the pictures that symbolise autumn for me.
Nice weather for ducks!

Then, of course comes pumpkins and Halloween

and conker hunts.

At this time of year my road looks gorgeous.

And for me Autumn finishes on Bonfire Night...

Now roll on the cold winter, where it's all about Christmas and being cosy. (Love that too...)

Friday, 5 November 2010

What do you do when you are off work poorly?

I have been off work poorly these last two weeks, now before you all panic (because you are lovely and care about me) it is nothing Leukaemia based. The reason I have been off is more to do with an emibarrassing bodies type thing, which is all I am going to say. (Mortified!).

Anyhow I have been fully reacquainting myself with This Morning, Loose Women and 60 Minute Makeover, and I can literally feel any intelligence I may have had slowly seeping away into the abyss of daytime telly.

Realising this I have been wondering around Sky looking for things to watch.
Now, I love a movie, so my first port of call is always the movie channels or Sky Anytime. As a result, this week I have watched Backdraft and A League of their Own again.

Can you believe Backdraft was made in 1991, I know, shocker. And the thing that caught me out was William Baldwin, well, wasn't he a hotty in 1991, not the same man we recently saw in Dirty Sexy Money at all! I still found Jennifer Jason Leigh highly annoying with her bleached blonde perm and bad acting. Overall though, its a fab film. I had completely forgot the story and it was brilliant to re-watch it fresh. The only thing that really aged it was Jennifer JL's hideous perm.

As for A League of their Own made in 1992, there is the amazing Gina Davis who most of you will remember from Thelma & Louise, The Accidental Tourist, but who I loved in The Long Kiss Goodnight which is an awesome film. Anyhow, in this baseball for women during the 2nd World War film,  Madonna is there, Rosie O'Connell and Tom Hanks and the awesome Lori -I played Tank Girl in the movie of the same name - Petty.

- Gratuitous picture of Tank Girl - 

Now when this film came out it was panned by the critics, but I have watched this over and over and love it. It's schmultzy and kitsch and all of those things. Brilliant.

What worries me though, is that both these films were made in the early 90's and yet to me they seem quite recent. Time is clearly speeding up for me. Having said that I also watched White Christmas (1954) with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney (yep, George's Mum) and I wasn't even born when that was made, so it has all kinda balanced itself out.

So what do you do when you are off work poorly?

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