Monday, 5 September 2011

Getting back to "normality"

{warning: photo depicting after surgery scar included in post}

or as close to it as possible.....

I can't believe we are in September already and in two days school starts again for another year of learning.  It will be strange having only one son in education now....the time just seemed to have whizzed by in a flash for the other two!  I think I need to grab these last two days tho' if I want Ellis to go properly attired {I've yet to get any form of uniform for him} guess who will be uniform shopping later!  It's an exciting year for Ellis, being his penultimate, he has chosen his subjects ready for his GSCE's: French, P.E. and Car Mechanics {besides the compulsory Maths, English, Welsh, R.E, P.E. and Science}....who knows which direction this little lot will take him in.....

To say it's been a brain numbing, hectic year would be THE understatement of all time....trying to remain positive and push myself  further in 2011, then hearing of and coping with Dad's unexpected Cancer battle and the double {triple} whammy...Mum being diagnosed with Cancer in the same week as Dad.  

Late February/early March was a whirlwind of hospice visits by friends and family to see Dad and say their last goodbyes, long days spent by us at his bedside...all of which were filled with laughter and reminiscing and.....funeral planning.   Whilst this was taking place, mum was also having tests which resulted in her being scheduled for surgery to remove a lump from her neck....

THAT was surreal trying to visit both in hospital {on opposites side of the City} and to have them speak to each other by phone from their hospital beds...VERY surreal! 

Following Dad's funeral, mum and I spent a week in North Wales {mum's birthplace} visiting family and trying to come to terms with what had just taken place, also to help mentally charge us for what we were both about to head into.....the diagnoses from her surgery was that she had Hodgkin Lymphoma...rare in older people...that treatment would be 3 months of Chemotherapy followed by 1 {possibly 2} doses of Radiotherapy, so having this time with her family was important.  Even tho' her cancer was at Stage 1, the outcome was unknown.

The journey was rough, mum only managed one month of chemo...a particularly aggressive dose given to her {which, we were told, even the younger generation found difficult to handle} the decision was to take her off chemo and start earlier than planned with the radiotherapy but instead of 1/2 doses she would have a day for three weeks.  This form of treatment was much "kinder" to mum, the chemo had knocked every ounce of mental and physical strength out of her {I feel she would have coped better mentally if this had been the plan first}. 
Treatment finished 11th July, she had her first appointment with the Consultant last week to see how she was getting on since treatment stopped.  She is doing amazing....her strength is slowly returning, she has set herself a few goals to achieve to continue regaining her strength...mentally her brain is starting to retain information, she is not so confused by everything and I feel she has a small spark of hope about her.  Her first scan will come in October {three months after treatment stopped} we will know what the outcome is, no point putting life on hold...time to make some plans and set those goals.

We also had an unexpected trip back up to North Wales in August, only this time the hubby and three boys came with us. I can't tell you how stoked I was to have all of us there.  The kids are all teenagers and, two at least, are at the point of probably not wanting to "go on holiday with the parents"...but I felt I had to ask them anyway, to my amazement they said yes before I had even finished the sentence! One happy mamma!

I LOVE going to Pwllheli {North Wales}'s a seaside town and gets extremely busy in the Summer but is as dead as a dodo in the Winter....there's really nothing to do there except chill and go to the beach!

{will display photos individually over the coming weeks for a better view!}


I LOVE the smell....the sound of the waves...the seagulls...the yatchts...the water...the relaxed, I could go on and on...

One thing the boys decided to do during the week was pop to the driving range as well as play a round of golf
If I could...I would move a heartbeat!

The down side to the visit was, the weekend before we visited, my Uncle {mum's brother} had two serious strokes...the visits to see him were painful {because of recent events} emotions were bubbling under the surface anyway....he's got a long way to go but, fingers crossed, he will be improving by's a slow process...but staying positive helps.

So September begins and plans are to be this space!


hello gorgeous xxx

EDITED: shopping done, uniform complete...all achieved in 20 mins...yeah baby!!


  1. Wow your poor family hasn't half been through it!!! Thinking of you all x

  2. Glad to hear your Mom is on the mend. Love your pictures! I can't wait until we move to England, St. Ives/Cornwall area. I was born there, kept my citizenship and planning a move to your side of the pond when my youngest finishes school. Most of my family still live in England.

  3. Sweets...I had no idea your Mom was going through all this while your Dad was sick too. Oh, your sadness and dark days MAKE so much sense!!!!

    {while my Dad was sick and after he passed away, I was in a very dark depression myself....NOT fun}

    I am so glad that your Mum is doing better; making plans....that is wonderful.

    Sorry about your Uncle too...bless him.

    I would love to hear more about your kids!!!!

    Please take care, keep that chin up. Brighter days are ahead...I just know it.

  4. I will keep my fingers crossed for your Mom. I am with you I love the ocean, the smells and sounds!
    September is a new hope and new days.

  5. What a traumatic year you've had. I'm so pleased that your mum is doing so well. Tell her that the scars do fade and get hidden in the folds on your neck and the swelling does go down quite quickly. I was completely numb on that side of my neck at first but nearly 7 months on the feeling is coming back. I hope your uncle makes a good recovery too.
    Jo x

  6. What a year you have had. I've been thinking of you....and sending you a big hug across the miles. May your Mom continue to find strength - she has been through so much and is an inspiration. I am hoping for a speedy recovery for your Uncle.
    I'm glad to hear you enjoyed such a nice family vacation in August. I'm glad you posted these photo collages - what beautiful scenery! I didn't realize your boys (2?) are teenagers - looks like they had such fun! I also enjoyed reading about the courses they are taking in school - somewhat different than the subjects offered here. I'd love to see more pictures of the boys in the future!

  7. So pleased that your mum is improving, hope she continues to do well. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to your uncle too.
    The photos look fab, and so nice that your whole family went away together.
    I didn't know that Welsh was a compulsory subject there, it's great that the language is kept going though.
    I hope that this year keeps getting better for you and your family.
    Take care,

    Julie xx

  8. I can so relate to that sign...

    Sorry to hear about your parents. Not just one of them, but both being diagnosed with such a horrid disease as cancer at the same time. I can't imagine how tough that must've been.

    I sort of know what it must have been like for you. My dad went through operation, chemo and then a round of Mabthera as he got some sort of lymph issues on top of everything last year. But he's well now and recovering fast. He was so, so ill, suffering from fungal infections due to the chemo and anemia due to a bleading ulcer, that he could barely get out of bed for a long time, but now he's almost back to normal, from day one determined to be active and working to regain normal strength and weight.

    I'm glad to hear your mum is improving too and that she's setting up goals to regain her strength, mentally and physically. That's such an important step, to keep focusing on recovery and positive thoughts. I hope she'll keep improving and all tests will be good. And I wish a speedy recovery for your uncle as well.

    PS! Pwllheli (how on earth is that pronounced?) looks beautiful. I've always wanted to go to Scotland and to London. Perhaps I should add Wales to that list too.


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