A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Like Waking Up After a Bad Nightmare

This morning I woke up the way I normally do, thinking about the day I had ahead i.e.  what I should wear, pack for my lunch, etc.  when it hit me:  my mother's results from her lymph node and surrounding tissue biopsy came back negative. NEGATIVE. 

I cried with joy last night when my mom called to tell me the news.  The relief that I was filled with was indescribable.  We laughed and talked about the future before Mom rang off to go and call my four siblings to share her wonderful news.

So today I sit here at work (on my lunch break mind) and I feel so happy and relieved, because no matter what else is bothering me, or what other problems may arise, it all pales in comparison because my mom is going to be just fine.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Taking Inventory...

Ok. So I have to get down to business this week. By this I mean:

a) get used to being back in the workplace, and
b) start eating sensibly again.

I managed to get a flight out last Thursday night which got me into London on Friday morning. Although the news that I could unexpectedly get on a flight that night (Thursday night) was a bit of jolt, kind of like being asked if I’d like to be hooked up to a machine that was going to send electric shocks throughout my nervous system, and my brain shouted no! Well, actually I did shout no out loud; and if I’m being honest here, it was probably more like a wail. The poor Air Canada rep who went by the name of John must have thought I was a nutter - and he would have been right. But I had to be realistic - it was an offer I couldn’t really turn down as I needed to get back to England for work, if nothing else; my vacation days were rapidly depleting and I have a few other trips to try and sort out this year. (I knew my husband was coping well without me, even though we did miss each other loads.) Another plus of flying on the Thursday was that I had the whole weekend to recover and get my head around everything. So thanks John, for getting me onto a direct flight when every other rep told me I had to go via another route.

I was grateful for my extended stay in Nova Scotia as there are a number of issues taking place at the moment, besides my mom’s breast cancer and it was really good that I could be there with her and my sister the few extra days. But like all good things, it had to come to an end and I boarded the plane on Thursday night with minimal tears and looked forward to seeing my husband once I was airborne and plenty or promises that the three of us (mom, my sister and I) would meet again soon.

Now I’m just in the process of trying to sort through a mountain of work, and not doing a very good job at it. I’m sorry, but my head is still elsewhere; luckily enough I have a great boss who knows that sometimes you just need a bit of extra time, which is extraordinary really, as I have been off work for a whole month. One whole month.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed the pound tracker at the top of my page; I’ve copied this program from another blogger (hello Demeter :) in my quest to (seriously) sort my weight out. I’ve just been looking back at a few photos and although I don’t think I look so bad, I don’t feel so great. A month of eating whatever I felt like, despite going to the gym a fair bit, has left a mushroom top around the top of my jeans and that does not feel comfortable - at all. So rather than buy bigger clothes like many people do, I’m deciding to take control of things again, and rather than just try and lose the extra 6-7 pounds that have crept up on me, I’m going to take a serious stab at shucking 20 lbs. If it works great, if it doesn’t I will at least have lost something and have gotten that much fitter (because I am pretty fit, if not slender, if I say so myself).

Well enough about that – sorry to have bored you and I understand if I’ve lost at least have of you by this point.

Over the next few months Andy and I are going to try and plan a few getaways and various other enjoyable events; It’s been a hard year and it’s time to start enjoying life again. Here is a sneak preview of some tentative plans:

May – Andy and I want to spend the long weekend at the end of the month exploring the countryside in Berwick-upon-Tweed with Molly. Berwick is a beautiful part of the countryside just below the Scottish border that I have always wanted to see, especially Holy Island, a small island just off the coast that is host to a monastery.

August – Andy, Beryl and I are going to drive to Ireland; Andy and I will be going to for a family celebration with our friends Paul and Sophia as well as to explore the Irish countryside and we will drop Beryl off along the way with her family just outside of Dublin. Hopefully we will have Fern with us at this point but it is all dependant on Mom at the moment and how everything goes for her. Andy and I are really excited to have Fern stay with us for an extended period and Mom is behind her all the way. It will be a wonderful opportunity for her and besides, sometimes it’s just good to have family with you when you live so far away. Especially when you’ve had a tough year and just want your sister close, and she has worked so hard on a Science Degree and just wants to get away.

September/October: Because I won’t get to meet Clara this June, Andy and I are already looking at flights to go and spend time with the baby and her parents this fall, as well as a few friends that we haven’t seen in way too long. Added bonus here – my mom is fully intending on joining us for a few days whilst we are in Ontario.

And this is jumping the fence a bit, but mom is already talking about coming over again next spring which is fantastic and something for her to work towards.

Well I’ve said enough for one post.  I will try and upload some photos from my last few days in Nova Scotia as soon as I can - Fern and I had a great time messing around with the camera on my last day :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I don't know if this is God's way of telling me I still need to be here in Nova Scotia with my mom, but due to the the volcanic eruption I'm grounded here for an extended stay.  We aren't complaining as Mom and Stacy are especially happy to have me around for another few days;  I'm in a much better position than those who are stranded at the airport, or on holiday with no place to stay.

I wasn't 100% ready to leave today, so in a way this wasn't isn't so bad at all (I say, as Stacy fills my bowl with Doritios in preparation for some TV time). It was funny watching mom's reaction when Andy rang to report that Heathrow Airport was still closed to flights.  I have no trouble staying an extra week but I would be lying if I said that to be away from my husband, Molly, our boys, etc. much longer than that will be hard. So fingers crossed that this situation will clear up in days, not weeks. 

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the extra time with my family playing games, drinking wine or even lazing about (and eating way to much rubbish!)

These were sent to mom yesterday by Catherine (and Mackenzie) and made mom's day.  Mom is definitely feeling the love world-wide.  We are truly blessed in our friendships and family. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Whirlwind Two Weeks...

Since coming home to Nova Scotia I have been spending most of my days at the house with mom just being with her.  I'm so grateful I was able to be here throughout all of this and I'm glad we had the resources to let me be here to help her do the things that don't come so easily at the moment due to her surgery, such as wash her hair; Mom and I go for the odd walk or two, play a few rounds of Yatzee and in between I've been happy to do any house cleaning or laundry that needs sorting.  I've been lucky enough to fit in a few trips to the gym which is a good thing as I have been indulging in a lot of my favourite foods since returning home (i.e. May Garden and Pizza).  She is my mother and she gave me everything she could, and still continues to do so.  Its the very least I can do.  Besides, its not all for mom either, a lot of this is for myself.  I just needed to be here with her.  

I haven't had much time to spend with friends this trip, and I'm sorry for that, however I know everyone understands that my reason for coming home was to be with my family.  John, Stacy and I have had a few evenings out at dinner and/or a movie; I've managed to get in some time with the children here that I adore and at the moment I am trying to sort out an evening with my godson Gavin;  I've already spent an amusing evening watching the Princess and the Frog with his sister.  Tomorrow night Stacy, Dawn and I head to the Metric Concert - a group I'm not overly familiar with, but from the little I've heard I like.

Time is just flying by much too fast.

A few other activities I've been up to in the previous week:

Rock Climbing with Brendan and Lucas
(my cousin's twin hurricanes)

Lucas and Brendan

Stacy and I went for supper with our family friends Jeff, his mom Marguerite and son Will:

Marguerite & I
(Marguerite has shared mom's experience in the past and is a strong, beautiful woman)

Stacy and I had our own little wine tasting on Saturday night;
I have to say, the Pinot was my favourite, but then again I am a lover of Pinot Grigio.  Stacy loves the Sauvignon Blanc.

We had to be extra careful on the drive back fromt the LC, we didn't want our precious cargo breaking!

The next few days are going to be kind of low key but that's ok.  I'm just happy chilling with Mom and making sure she is ok. 

I just want to say thanks to my husband, my family and all of my friends, even those of you I've never met face-to-face, for being such wonderful, supportive people.  It means a lot. 

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Breathing Easier

Many of you will already know that Mom came through her surgery with flying colours and that the initial biopsy of her lymph nodes turned up clear; we are all crossing our fingers that the more in-depth results will show the same and that after her round of radiation in June we will see see the back of it all.

It has been a shock to our family for sure, but we are sticking together and getting through this just fine.  I can't express how much easier I'm breathing now that I am here at home with mom, actually able to hug her and tell her how very much she is loved. Because she is - so very very much.

Mom and I on our way out for her first walk post surgery.