Saturday, 31 December 2011

Stepping into 2012

This is always the hardest post to write. The one where you sit and reflect on the last 12 months and try to sum up all the experience, emotions, ups and downs in a succinct and interesting blog post. This is my third version.

My challenge has been trying to cover all that has happened but trying to find the positive so that this isn’t dip into a sad and miserable post. I started by reading back over the last couple of ‘end of year’ posts. I realised that after 2009 and 2010 being quite adventurous with some big life changes, this time last year I was definitely burnt out. 2011 was to be about fixing myself – accepting depression, stress and anxiety and doing something about it, stopping the short term fixes and being open and honest with myself (and others), looking after myself, trying to be healthy and the building of friendships and relationships that had been neglected.

The biggest thing that has helped me in achieving the above and beating those demons is the love and support of friends who have been struggling with similar issue and challenges. For me, 2011, has been very much about building and being part of strong support networks, being there for others and working together through the dips and the difficult times. I have also recognised that some of the support networks I used to rely on are no longer as vital. I have made so many close and wonderful friends from Twitter and I hope that it continues but I have seen a more fickle side this year and been hurt by the playground it can become so I will be continuing but in a more reserved manner and not be so sensitive to those who chose to un-follow or not reply to me.

2011 has not been a year of good health for me, with Derek the Borderline Tumour taking 9 months of my year and putting me through endless scans, reviews, operations and tears. In some ways I feel I have missed so much – particularly through the summer months but in ironic way, Derek has saved me and forced me to fix myself and reassess my outlook and my attitude – I now know that I can’t do it all! The support network of family and friends has got me through the year and I am now more aware and grateful for those I have around me. And through it all I have found the missing part that I was always searching for. I have never really understood the whole ‘when you know.. you know concept’ but I know and now everything flows around it.

Looking ahead, 2012 is likely to be harder but I am stronger and I am trying to ensure my body and mind is as healthy as it can be so that is can prepare, deal with and heal faster after. On Monday I start my round of IVF and I am scared. This will be my only chance to have a child of my own and I am reminding myself of that every time I think of the ridiculous amount of injections I have to give myself. I hate needles. I am anxious about the side effects and the possibility of stimulating the cyst on my remaining ovary so that it grows to Derek size, but it is a risk I am prepared and have to take. I am so thankful that Carl will be with me as I start but it is going to be very hard doing it alone once he returns to our northern home. Next time I will see him it will be on ‘retrieval day’ and I just hope my body comes up with the goods. Following the IVF I will then be back in for another major operation but again, this time I will be more prepared. I will know what to expect, what I can and can’t do and the level of pain I will be under. I will also have systems in place for work so that I can take time off and out to recover without driving up the stress levels.

I see 2012 as being a very big stepping stone. I don’t really have any resolutions just the wish for me to feel as happy and content as this year. For Carl and I to continue to grow and build on our future, for my business to continue to be successful and prosper, for my friendships to continue to strengthen and for new ones to flourish and for my health and body to get back to being fit and healthy.

Last year I ended on that I was ready, this year I will end with my feelings that all will come right and will be ok:

I believe.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

I am not immune... nor amused!

This weekend I have discovered that I am allergic to Flucloxacillin. Spending a weekend with a head and face the size of Shrek's and the acne of a teenager has not been one of my most enjoyable moments.
I think it has confirmed my immune system and general health is shot to pieces. Since my operation in June I seem to get poorly as soon as the slightest feeling of being 'run-down' shows. My wounds were not healing from October's procedure so I went to get antibiotics to clear the infection and I end up with an allergic reaction. Typical!

I need to start looking after myself better especially with the impending major surgery in early 2012 and possible chemotherapy. How can any drugs make me better if my body can't support it and reject everything?

I have an awesome support network but I need to be able to look after myself better. Other people need me to be strong. Tomorrow we find out the severity of my nan's cancer and mum will need me to be strong for her.

Mum said in January this year that it was going to be a year of 'health issues' and boy has she been right.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Things about me

I am a very tactile person who loves to sit and stroke arms, rub feet, fiddle and twirl hair, rub my feet together when comfy, rock to sleep, (all which I do without realising) and cuddle a ridiculous amount. However, I can not STAND the feel and touch of:
  • Tea bags *shudder*
  • Velvet *squirms*
  • Mouse mats *squeals*
  • Wool clothing (my wool skirt is hell to put on and smooth down)
  • Carpet
Yes, the carpet is an odd thing. This doesn't mean feeling carpet with my hands (although you will never catch me running my hand over 'good pile') but mainly with my feet. I can not walk on carpet barefoot. You know that feeling when your feet are all smooth feeling? - that is the worse time to be on carpet. And those who rub their feet on carpet when they have an itch - that makes my teeth hurt as much as nails down a blackboard. Sometimes getting out of bed in someone else's house (I have floorboards throughout my house!) and walking across the carpet can send me into panic and I end up doing a special kind of walk on the sides of my feet - toes in air, to either a pair of socks or slippers.
I have no idea where this comes from - friends and family deem me as odd. Hey ho!

I might tell you something else about me soon but in the meantime, what makes your teeth hurt / body shudder / face wince?


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Shaded Confessions

She had picked the tree. It was a vast oak with a strong reach providing plenty of shade against the mid-august sun. As they walked towards the large shadow, her eyes scanned for a place to sit - a spot where the grass was full, no thistles or twigs that might stab or sting her bare feet. Her heart was racing. She had wanted it to be perfect so that the moment was there and the words would flow.

They placed the old rug on a lush mound of grass, spreading the corners and kicking off shoes to weigh down the edges, protection against the summer breeze.
After unpacking the basket of homemade lemonade, triangles of sandwiches, strips of carrots and peppers to submerse in dips and two cup cakes each, she took a moment to stop and watch him. His eyes were beautiful. She had always loved his eyes - so many colours and flecks of light, she wondered whether she would ever see them cry or the colour become dull; the thought made her own eyes water so she pulled down her sunglasses to hide her thoughts.

They didn't say much whilst they ate and sipped the cold lemonade. Just a few pleasantries about how beautiful the day was and how the breeze was welcome as was the silence of the great open park. She wanted to say they should do it more often. She regrets not saying it now.

He ate, read the paper and snoozed in the sunshine. His body unwinding with every long exhale as she watched from behind her dark shades. Every so often she felt for the piece of
of paper that was in the pocket of her strappy summer dress. It was a hand written note, one that she had read countless times. She didn't actually need the note, she knew the words
off by heart but it reassured her. Twice she pulled it from her pocket and started to unravel the small squares, but twice, her fingers worked the paper back to its folded state.

She wanted to blurt the contents out and let all 357 words fall from her lips as quick as possible. What will he say? Will he laugh, cry or be angry. Will he scoop her up into his arms and kiss her with all the answers she will ever need.

She held the paper, clenched in her fist, took one breath and whispered... 'My name is not Clare...'

Timeline Terrors

One thing that I really don't understand, and am sure I never will, is how people can be cruel to others.
I detest bullying of any kind. Whether passively or aggressively, hurting other people is wrong.
And those that torment, tease, wear-down, control and purposely degrade and belittle are the worst type of bullies.
There are those that hide behind others,a bravado or an online personality who emotionally bully others for no other reason other than that they can. They find it entertaining and generally have no sense of compassion for anyone else.

Twitter has scared me recently. I have seen far too many nice people hurt and upset due to other Tweeters. It is all too easy to bitch, tease or degrade when no one knows who you are and when hidden by a computer screen.
As well as the general nasty attacks on time lines, there have been groups who jump on a bandwagon and who are quick to join in the name calling and bitterness when actually, they know nothing of the situation or the personal traumas that are taking place behind the scenes.
Twitter is a place to voice your mind and your opinion. Being able to have freedom of speech and reach a vast audience is in some ways what makes it special (and somewhat addictive) But what when that is taken too far? It forces people no option other than to leave, close accounts or be someone they don't want to be in the form of a new account.

This then doesn't make it real. And this isn't restricted to Twitter, all online forums face the same.

Whilst I have a lot of personal stuff to go through, I will be stepping back from Twitter for fear that comments will be made and I will be judged for decisions or depicted as someone who is always poorly and complaining, although I am not that type of person and those that know me, know that but, that doesn't protect me from those that don't and who will be quick to judge.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Last week wasn't as bad as I anticipated. Which is good; with two hospital appointments I feared that the week would lead to some very difficult decisions having to be made. Decisions that I had already started to work through and partly arrived at.

The Good
Wednesday's appointment with the fertility clinic was the one I feared the most. Expecting to hear that my body is not hospitable enough to conceive naturally or grow a baby, I was told that they saw no reason why a) I would not get funding for IVF this time round due to the remaining ovary having to be removed and b) that my uterus is healthy and should be good to grow and carry.

*breathes massive side of relief*

After hearing that decision and knowing that a report is going back to the PCT to request funding, I felt a little more optimistic about my appointment with my consultant on Friday. I like Mr Metcalf, he is always very straight forward, explains things well and is genuinely nice. I feel lucky to have such a consultant on my side. He told us that, most importantly, I have time. The next operation does not have to happen imminently and that it can wait for the ivf treatment so that we do have the 'back up'. Now all we need is the ivf treatment to come through quickly.

The Bad
Both appointments, whilst lifting a little weight off my shoulders, also imprinted some concern at the back of my mind. IVF isn't always successful and I know that this one round will be my only chance at having my own child.
The biopsies from my last procedure shows that there are cell changes in other parts of my pelvis and whilst they aren't bad cells, they are the same as Derek (borderline tumor cells)and an area of concern. So to ensure that these don't spread any further I will not only be having my remaining left ovary and tubes removed, also my peritoneum and omentum as the cells are littered throughout.

The Ugly
It is almost as though Derek cocked his leg before he left and sprayed my insides, marking his territory. The next operation will therefore be a big one and not as keyhole like I had hoped. They will go in though my current scar and up higher this time so above my belly-button. They will cut the current scar out and once done and they have taken everything, they will pull it all together and sew me up - I guess a bit like a tummy-tuck but the scar will be bigger and along with the two recent keyhole scars, my stomach will look at bit of a mess.
The thought of another big operation, days in hospital and 6-weeks recovery absolutely scares the crap out of me but I know it has to happen. But what scares me more is that to ensure the cells are all gone for good and to stop the spread I was told I may have to have some rounds of chemotherapy. That word makes my insides quiver but I am glad I know the whole process so I can prepare and hopefully, the operation will be enough.

This week, we also found out that my nan has cancer. I am not sure which type but it is 'down there' and she is having to have a full hysterectomy. At the moment we are waiting for a MRI to if and how much it has spread. She could end up as a patient with Mr Metcalf also, depending on the type and stage of cancer. All horrible and very upsetting but I know she will be in good hands.

The next 6 months are going to be very hard for us as a family. We all have our fears and we are all trying to prepare.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

My head... this second.

Do I stay on Twitter or not?
Do I keep my left ovary or have it removed?
Do we attempt a round of ivf or have it as (it seems) how nature intended?
Do I have it all taken out?
What about early menopause?
I need to remember to reply to that text...
Will HRT make me grumpy... how will it change me?
How do I deal with not being able to have children?
Do I need to keep talking about it?
Should I stop expecting people to understand?
I need to reply to him
Why hasn't anyone been in touch?
How am I going to pay the mortgage next month?
Must remember to call Dad...
There is no food for dinner
What if adoption takes too long?
What if I resent my friends, siblings when they have children?
What if the new cyst grows as fast as the other
Can I take another 6 weeks off for more surgery?
I need to reply to email
Who will look after me?
Who will run my business?
What if the girls don't like me?
What if I get homesick?
How am I going to do this?



Sunday, 6 November 2011

I spy

The playground never dies
Fickle games and hidden lies
The race never ends
Fast pace fewer friends
The stories forever told
He said what? Her response cold
The twisting tales continue
A whisper to another - the facts untrue.
The playground never dies
No matter the age, there are always spies.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Just an update for now.....

I have almost given up trying to update this blog with the trials and tribulations of my never ending health issues.
I want to get back into writing creatively but at the moment, I do not have the head space to string words together the way I would like, so for now, the blog is back to being a dumping ground and my emotional filing cabinet.

I am not very good at talking about what is in my head but give the me tools to write and it will all fall out and at the moment I need to this.

So, after my post about Things as they are at the beginning of September where I had been for an ultrasound and been told my left, remaining ovary wasn't 'normal' and being refused for funding to have any eggs frozen as a back-up-plan, I have been thrown back into the system.
Last Wednesday I had a laparoscopy, which is a camera in through the belly button to have a look around. I was under GA again and this time, knowing what to expect I tried to fight the icy cold liquid as they pumped it in through my veins. Obviously you can't fight it and I won't up two hours later on a morphine high. I spent a few hours in recovery again - I am clearly unable to manage any level of pain as I was watching women come in and out of recovery whilst I was still laying there with the world spinning. After getting back to the day surgery ward and sleeping of the GA and the morphine I was visited by my consultant who told me that I have a 5cm cyst on my left ovary so it will all have to come out. He said he wanted to see me within two weeks and then left. I think I fell back to sleep.

Back at home that evening it all started to sink in. Whilst he said that he will write to the fertility clinic to get the Hampshire Primary Care Trust to review their decision following the new findings, I now have massive doubts that any of this is actually going to come together.
Thursday and Friday were hard. I peeled off one of the dressings on my belly and cried. I do not have a small little incision, I have a gash that has been stitched poorly and left me with a ridge of skin, I looked and felt like I have been butchered.
And whilst friends were meeting and supporting Twitter Friend Gray on his awesome Tweetathon, all I could do was watch. It was the IOW Festival all over again - me being unable to move, in pain whilst friends were together having a good time. But I sucked it up and did what I could from my bed to help the fantastic cause.

Now one of the things that I extremely grateful for, is having a friend who is a medical student. In her final year, Peta has been an absolute star in helping me to understand what the big words on pieces of paper mean. She has come along to nearly all of my appointments and explained what consultants are actually saying. Last night, over dinner she was reading my discharge notes and what was actually found last Wednesday and told me exactly what it meant. In the most simplest form; I don't think my insides are very baby-making friendly. Words such as: bulky uterus, polypoidal endometrium, adhesions, nodularity etc mean that my insides are a bit of a mess, let alone Derek's bastard love child growing on my left ovary which has grown to golf-ball size in less than two months.

Talking with Carl last night, who has been an absolute rock of support we were discussing the what ifs and some decisions that might have to be made. Do we want to get eggs or an embryo frozen and implanted at a later stage knowing that my insides are not very welcoming and may not work. Do we do it as a back up knowing that egg stimulation and the whole process can be painful and if unsuccessful - heartbreaking? Do I go with my gut instinct that I will not be able to have a child naturally and request to have it all taken out?

There are so many questions and so much to think about. I have another appointment with the consultant on the 18th November when I will hopefully know more and understand what needs to happen. My head is full with the what ifs and the thing that makes me the saddest is that I might not be able to give my mum the grandchild she craves. I mean naturally as we have already discussed adoption and if I can't have children then this is what we will do - there are far too many babies out there needing to be loved.

There is also work to think about. It is almost certain that I will have to be cut open again to have the cyst removed and that it won't be able to be done through key-hole. This will be another six-weeks recovery time and maybe longer as it is only 6months since the first operation, let alone the two little holes and one gash I have in my tummy from last week. Hopefully though it will be OK as I will have my apprentice with me AKA Flossy who starts full time with me next week as The Marketing Collective's Junior Marketing Executive. I can not wait. Not only working with my sister but also the pressure it takes of me and the projects and work that I know we will be able to achieve. She has helped me for the last couple of years and knows the business. She is confident and I know she is going to do extremely well. There will be ground rules and I will be her boss and not her sister during office hours - for me as much as for her! I fully expect to see her on The Apprentice in a few years!

Wow, this feels better; 'stuff' is out of my head. I know all will be OK and as it is meant to be. I am strong and I have an amazing support network around me so what ever will be - will.

Maple Stars

Yellow maple stars fall from the sky

Blustery angles and sweeping breezes

I want to be walking

With the stars amongst my feet

The ground rich with colour

The air sweet in smell

If I could catch a falling maple star

I would make a wish

That you are by my side

With our own little stars to watch

Friday, 21 October 2011

Birthday treats

It has taken me a week to find the time to sit down and write about what an amazing birthday I had last weekend.

I love October (and that isn't just because of it being my birth month) because everything smells, feels and looks different, almost more relaxed. October is perfect for bumbling around cities, going for walks, dinner with friends, having afternoon tea and inhaling proper home-cooked, home-grown food complemented with a nice deep glass of red wine.

And I did all of this to celebrate my 32nd Birthday, here are some highlights:

My amazing hand-drawn birthday card from Carl with the message: 'When a Geek makes a cake, he uses a plan, not a recipe' And what cakes he made too! 20 delicious and beautifully decorated cupcakes - he had the help of a few of the girls and by what I gather there was some production line in process full of glitter, icing and pigs! But they were amazing.


My extra special and ultra amazing present from Carl was a laser-cut print from my favourite Artist, Rob Ryan along with a Thank you card and note from Rob himself. Absolutely stunning and very overwhelming - I am one very lucky girl.



And to finish the Rob Ryan theme and the continuing list of thoughtful pressies from my family and friends, Lucy and Ally bought me his latest book, 'A Sky Full of Kindness', a beautiful bedtime story that in no doubt will leave me in tears. I can see it being a book that I will read to my children and grandchildren which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

The weekend was truly special and I have never felt so spoilt and loved.
Thank you to my Mr Man Carl, my family and my lovely girlies and friends.

P.s... Can we all do it again soon? x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Survival

She must be scared and she must be overwhelmed with sadness at what may happen. She is stuck in the middle; her child and the one she vowed to be with for the rest of her life.
History is repeating itself. Her first born flew as soon as her wings were ready; never looking back.

Fight or flight.

This time it is not as easy, the young is his own flesh and blood. He wants to protects, he tries to love but doesn't understand the beauty of unconditional love. He rages and torments, never seeing good, only finding the bad. The young reacts. She is strong-minded (much like him) and fights her corner with uncontrolled tone. The tension builds and the air thickens as the house becomes smaller.

Fight or flight.

And all the time, she looks on - stuck and unheard.




Friday, 23 September 2011

Today

a brave face and confident smile
september sun reflecting thoughts
familiar smells transporting wishes
gentle breezes carry lazy dreams

deep inside a yearning grows
broken hopes and tired scars
autumn pulls close those that love
to share the fear of never knowing

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The lesson of the pink slippers

We can all be paranoid-androids at times, worrying about what others think and how they may perceive us.
I think I am having a particularly *sensitive* time at the moment and getting a more than little frustrated at how others perceive me or don't.

A time with an ex boyfriend sticks in my mind and when I feel like this I remember the scene and his words: "What other people think of you is their business and not yours". He said this whilst we walked around Eastleigh to pick up some lunch whilst he was wearing my pink fluffy slippers. I was embarrassed but in hindsight, I have learnt a lot from his attitude of not to worry about what people may think.

I am remembering that day today whilst battling with the urge to shout my side of the story. To set a few people straight with things that have happened, happening and that certainly haven't happened. But that will take time and energy and really, do those people care? Are they actually interested in the reality? I don't think so and if they were - I don't think it would make any difference. People form sides, make their own minds up and judge as they wish. What they think of me is none of business and I should just try to bury the thoughts and remember that I am a good person and all the people I love and care about already know that - I don't need to try and convince anyone else.

Now... where are those pink slippers.....

Monday, 12 September 2011

Things as they are

I think I have mentioned before that I have a book of quotes and lines from things that have moved me or resonated with the way I feel. Some are from books, some songs and even from people I know who have uttered small words of wisdom and insight.

There is one quote that has been playing on my mind since last Tuesday and that is that 'things are as they are'. Think of water trickling down a stream. It responds to what is there with effortless action. It isn't bothered by the stones or twigs that are in the way; it doesn't try to move them or struggle over them, it just goes around them. The water accepts things as they are and gets on with it.

Last Tuesday I had a follow-up ultrasound and the news was not the greatest. I was told that my remaining ovary "doesn't look normal at all" and that it has several white 'flecks' around it - some bigger than others. I also have a large fibroid and lots of polyps. Basically, my insides are a bit of a mess. After what seemed a long screening, the Doctor explained and then said to me that I would never fall pregnant whilst all that was inside. Geeee thanks! So, back into the system I go whilst the consultants decide what to do. The following day I had my meeting at the fertility clinic who told me they have declined any funding for any IVF treatment as a back-up following Derek's disruption. My head exploded. I mentioned the results of the previous day (which he was unaware of because he hadn't read the report!) and was told that if my consultant decides to remove the left ovary sometime soon then there may be more of a case to try and get funding for a round of treatment. Otherwise, the cost is over £4000 or available on the NHS if nothing has happened after 3 years of trying. My head exploded again. I am back in the hands of my consultant - if he decides to get me in for more surgery and remove the left ovary then I have a chance of funding, if he wants to leave it in and keep it monitored, well, I don't think it, (as in babies) will happen.

Something seems a little against me but I haven't let it get to me. I feel sad but also positive that it will happen one day in some way. I can't change my insides or make them better, I just have to go with the flow and trust in that things are as they are.

On a more cheery note, but still in a bit of a deep thought. I have been touched and moved this weekend after spending 3 days with lovely friends and meeting new ones at Bestival.
I tried to not think about the appointments and results but instead danced and sang and enjoyed myself. I never went far from Carl, I think we became a little more connected after the results and just wanted to be constantly close - for reassurance in that everything will be ok.
I had a moment on Sunday evening, well a couple in fact as Robyn took to the stage and ended her set with 'Every Heartbeat' I blogged about what the song means to me some time ago (Thinking back thinking of you) But seeing her live, hearing those words "but I don't look back" filled me with so much emotion that I burst into tears. I haven't looked back and even now, with everything, I know that I have made the right decisions and that I have to trust in things as they are.

And my highlight? It has to be Brian Wilson on Friday afternoon. He may be old and his voice may be giving up but the man is a genius and as the sun shone, I sang and danced without a care in the world.



Thank you to everyone who made the weekend special x

Thursday, 18 August 2011

A year on...

Time flies when you are having fun or if you are a busy little bumble bee.

This month it will have been a year that I was made redundant from Walking Distance as it went into liquidation. That was Friday 13th August and the day after I registered my company, The Marketing Collective and spent August 2010 working my behind off to get set up a new business so that clients and projects could continue.
A year on and I could not have asked for more. The Marketing Collective has done really well in its first year. I have produced four successful publications and taken on new clients - some within the tourism industry and some not. I have exceeded my expectations of turnover in the first year and been overwhelmed with the support from clients and the reputation that is being built.
I haven't done it alone, I have had friends, family and colleagues helping me along the way and I truly feel I have a great team of freelancers who are as dedicated to The Marketing Collective as I am.
It hasn't been easy. I worked my socks off in the first four months which resulted in a meltdown in January and the failure of a work/life balance, well not actually having any 'life' put me into a cycle of depression in early 2011 - overwhelmed with all that needed doing and the isolation of working and living on my own.
As I was coming into the brighter times, I had the stress of Derek and the disruption of having major surgery and being signed off work for six-weeks. During this time I was still able to 'knock out' a publication, one of which I am very proud of.
I have tried to take some time off during August, to try and relax and to plan the next year, which is going to be just as busy. I have also used it as a time to thank friends, family and colleagues for their support and to celebrate.

13 is meant to be an unlucky number and Friday 13th is well avoided by the superstitious. For me 13 is lucky. It was the day my life changed in more ways than one. Not only with work and a new direction but also in love. It was the first say I spoke to someone very special - someone else who has also changed my life dramatically, but more about that another time.

But for now, work/life/love has the perfect balance and it is only going to get better!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Perfection

A sun kissed arm
Tangled around your neck.
Reflections of the river
Shimmer on your shades
The gentle touch
Of fingertips and breeze
Dance through covered blonde
Soft lips against
Cherry red with chosen words
To learn and love



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 1 August 2011

Fear

I found a letter, that was more of a promise.
my heart pounded and eyes skipped over words
each commitment, a lie that was masked
from the very beginning, I should have known
that the struggle was power, the energy was anger
fearful of words, never knowing the right ones
to say or to hold close, only until now,
I realise that the power was a flicker
for a light that was ignited and burned intensely
overwhelming even at distance, where heat bubbled
and gave a purpose to life

Sunday, 17 July 2011

When words fail

Today I feel like words are my enemies. I am angry and frustrated at the use of words and how we can abuse them so easily, how the absence of one word (or two) from a sentence or paragraph can change everything. How words, within seconds of reading them can change our mood and throw us into a pit of self-doubt.

The tone of a word is hard to communicate when tension and frustration has set in. It is easier to type or text and to let the words flow without reading and checking as to whether they say what we really intend.

How many times do we proof read a text, tweet, update or message before hitting send?
Is it a sign of becoming lazy with words and putting more emphasis on the expectations of the recipient that they will 'know and understand'. Words and their interpretation should never be taken for granted but they so often are. We presume others are more aware of a situation or have inside information or are conspiring against us and we get angry and sad when the response is not what we want to hear, when in actual fact, if the response was said to us in person and we could hear the tone of voice, see the facial expressions and body language, we would know that there is no conspiracy and that people do care.

Words are powerful things, please use them with care.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Relief at last

Since the beginning of April all I have wanted is to be able to take a huge breath in, fill my lungs and then exhale knowing that I am ok and that my health is back to what it should be.

Today I have finally taken that breath and my goodness it feels good.

After the last hospital appointment I was left with a decision as to whether I have my left ovary taken out after being told the disease had made a home on it, or whether to leave it, plan my future i.e children, as normal and just keep the left ovary monitored. I was a mess after that appointment. I had wanted to get some closure on the last few months and know that I could move on but I was told that the left ovary already had the disease so to me, the saga has still been continuing.

HOWEVER...

This afternoon I have been to see Mr Metcalf, (who was unavailable last time so I saw one of his colleagues) I went with confidence to let him know what I had decided - to removed the left ovary and have some eggs frozen for a future time. He looked a little shocked at that and advised me that I shouldn't. As he started to explain about the little 'node' that shown itself on my left ovary it turned out that they didn't just take a biopsy of it but they cut it out of my ovary. So, there was me thinking after the last appointment that I have another little bugger (who had been named Eric) and have been worrying since about how and when it might grow, when in actual fact - I have nothing! There are no more nasties in my body and I do not have to lose my left ovary all I have to have is an ultrasound every 4 -6 months to check make sure nothing new is growing.

INHALE.... EXHALE....

I feel like a cloud has been lifted. I am still seeing the infertility clinic next week to discuss harvesting and freezing eggs but this is going to be more of a back up plan should anything crop up and start to grow again. But, I have been told that having babies naturally shouldn't be a problem.

I have no idea why we were told this before or if we did why we didn't pick up on it. My medical friend was with me last time and she was of the same understanding. I spent that Friday sobbing my little heart out for nothing.

Today I have done what I wanted to do three weeks ago - skip out of the hospital feeling positive and happy.

And now I can properly draw a line under it and get back to being me.

DEREK THE CYST
___________________
DONE


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Fine Line

we tiptoe on faint lines
a tightrope of emotion
and a balance to fine to reach
a strong step forward
then two unstable back
never fully reaching
the potential of the end
anger and frustration
as forces knock and push
we reach out our arms
waiting to be held
wanting to be caught
there is no helping hand
from within
the strength will come


Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Decisions of Life

I was hoping that my follow-up hospital appointment would give me some closure on the last few months of Derek's rude invasion of my body.

Yesterday's appointment didn't give me that and instead it gave me a serious amount of thinking to do and some very difficult decisions to make.

The pathology results showed that Derek was a Borderline Ovarian Tumour (BOC). I was told by the consultant not to look on the Internet because the information is very limited and in most cases, explanations of BOC include the word cancer. He stressed it is important to know that I didn't and don't have cancer. This was and is a huge relief and I think a giant cloud has lifted from my family and friends. But it is still very hard to understand what Derek was - apparently it is so complex that even doctors don't fully understand. My lovely friend Peta found this for me though:

What is borderline ovarian cancer (BOC)?
BOC is probably best defined by what it is not. ‘Ordinary’ ovarian cancer is when cells grow uncontrollably on the surface of the ovary and are able to spread to other organs. Most cases of ordinary ovarian cancer are found at an advanced stage (stage 3 or 4). This is when the cancer has spread beyond the ovary. Although BOC arises from the same type of cells on the surface of the ovary, their growth is much more controlled, and they are usually not able to invade other tissues.
For this reason, some doctors prefer the term ‘borderline ovarian tumour’ rather than ‘borderline ovarian cancer’.
Because BOC behaves in a much less aggressive way, in most women the condition has not spread beyond the ovary when it is diagnosed (stage 1 disease). This means that for women who have had surgery to remove an early disease, the risk of it coming back is very small (less than 5%). Most experts recommend that no special follow-up is needed after surgery for stage 1 BOC.

It then goes onto explain that there are some difficult cases and of course, I am one of those:
- Stage-1 borderline ovarian tumours in young women treated with limited surgery to allow you to keep your ovary. There could be an increased risk of the disease coming back in the ovary you have kept.

I already know that there is a smaller version of Derek (now named Eric) on my remaining left ovary so the disease has spread. It was always the plan from when originally discussing with my consultant Mr Metcalf, that we would do the procedure in stages, giving me the chance to think about fertility options etc.

It was always more my worry that I wouldn't be able to have children and that it would be taken away from me, so to be faced with the reality that I now have those decisions to make, is all very overwhelming.

I have two options: I can either leave little Eric where he is, have him monitored regularly and try to conceive naturally and when I am ready to. I can have some eggs frozen also and to keep them as a back up plan if Eric suddenly grows at the same speed and I have to have my left ovary removed.
The other option is to have my eggs frozen asap and to have the surgery to remove my remaining ovary at the earliest possible chance. This will ensure that all the 'nasties' are out and I have no risk of the tumour spreading onto other areas in my pelvis (such as my bowel) which will involved greater surgery.

I cried all afternoon yesterday. All I wanted was for it all to be over; to come away from the hospital with a clean bill of health and to know what it is all behind me. I think until I have more surgery it is always going to be at the back of my mind that I have something 'alien' inside me. There are too many what ifs to leave it there - what if it suddenly grows, what if I fell pregnant and the hormones made it grow at speed - how would that affect the baby, what if it does spread.. what if... what if....

In three weeks time I have to go back with my decision, which at the moment is to have it all removed as soon as possible and to have some eggs frozen for when I am ready. I don't want to rush anything or feel under any pressure to have children before I am really ready to.
And if it doesn't work and I can't have children well that is something that I will have to deal with when it happens.

At the moment I am just very thankful for a such a loving and supportive family and circle of friends.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The melting of Little Miss Independent

When I went in for my operation, I knew that the recovery was going to be hard. I knew that I would be in pain and that I would be limited to what I can and can't do. But I don't think I fully appreciated how hard it would be.

Living on my own for the last four years has meant I have become very independent. I like my own space and I like being on my own. Some say I have isolated myself slightly over the years but I have been comfortable with my own company. I do things on my own, in my own time and I answer to no-one. I look after myself and I am someone that people turn to for a chat, cuddle or to vent so inevitably end up looking after other people too. In my family I have always been the one that sorts everyone else out, the one stuck in the middle of arguments and the go-between for people.

I have never been the one people fuss over or look after. So Derek's surgical removal has thrown me into a state of flux. I don't know how to cope or accept people wishing looking after me.

On my first day at home the girlies took it in shifts to be with me which was lovely and I did nothing but lie on the sofa, but even the company and having activity in my house felt unusual and something I was not used too. I sound like such a loner, but perhaps that is what I have become, part of me wanted to scream and just switch everything off to be on my own, but I couldn't so I had to welcome the fuss and just let my friends get on with what they wanted to do for me and it eventually it felt comfortable.

I have loved the closeness that has come back into my relationships with my friends. After 6 months of stress and depression following the business being set up, I pushed myself deeper into my safety cave and friendships had become strained and a little damaged. I was worried I had lost them but over the past two weeks I have never felt closer to my friends and I feel the bonds are as strong as they were a year or so ago. So I have one thing to thank Derek for!

This week, albeit only Tuesday, I have done too much already. I can see that the skin is healing on my stomach and I have a nice (and quite beautiful scar) but I forget the lower levels. I forget that my tummy has been cut and held open, muscles pulled and cut and parts of me taken away. These layers will take longer to heal and I am not helping them. I know that, but I find it so very hard to sit and do nothing. I feel panicked if I don't work, I feel stressed that if I slow down now, I will never get the drive back to push the company and its products forward.

I am not doing myself any favours. I know that. But how do I stop being a stubborn, independent woman?

Tonight I have been completely overwhelmed by the love and friendship of those around me. I never expect fuss and to be honest, I am not sure I like it or know how to deal with it. I feel uncomfortable when people spoil me - mainly because I have never had it. Don't get me wrong, my family is very loving and I rarely went without but being fussed over by others is hard to accept and I really do think that I am not worth all the effort.

So for friends and loved ones to rally around me, to be checking in on me, bringing me food, turning up on my doorstep out of the blue to help with work, sending friends to check on me, texting every day, calling, doing midnight painkiller drug runs and to generally be looking after me has been amazing and without sounding too cheesy, a little bit life changing.

And with one very special person filling me with love, affection and spoiling me with life's little delights, I hope that I can soon start to feel more at ease with being loved.

Thank you to Carl, Lucy, Ally, Laura, Anna, Peta, Jade, Lou, the #recoverymafia of Twitter and my wonderful family.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Another Sunday

my heart sinks
as your lips touch
glass

another sip
a tongue poisoned
hurt

words slur
as eyes roll with
sadness

surrounding faces
bitten tongues holding
regret

tempers bubble
in the place of
love

these are the times
you will never get
back

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

A week on

It seems a little surreal that it was this time last week I was lying in a hospital bed waiting for my operation. It seems like yesterday but at the same time it seems longer ago.
This time last week I had sent my support team home (who had been complete rocks all morning keeping my spirits high) and I was snoozing on the bed in the Day Surgery ward waiting for 'my turn' with the knife. I was so tired I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the hard plastic covered pillow; I woke an hour later by producing a massive snore that not only woke me up but also meant that as I opened my eyes, the ladies on the other beds and nurses were staring at me.

At 2pm my turn had arrived. I was wheeled into a room where three people got to work on me straight away. One squeezing my arm to get my veins up, the other putting in a cannula and another attaching heart monitor pads. I remember facing two double swing doors which were the entrance to theatre; I felt like I was on a ghost train waiting for the ride to start. The nurse squeezing my arm asked me what I did for a job, I replied and that was it. I was under.

The next thing was me coming round, or trying to. I remember screaming with pain and shouting that it hurt. I knew then that I had not had the keyhole surgery but the open tummy surgery. The room was spinning as the nurses worried about my response levels. I was told my mum was upstairs refusing to go home until she saw me and that I had been in recovery for 5 hours because of respiratory problems. I pushed myself to come to in order to see my mum.
They took me up to the ward around 9pm, I saw mum and Flossy, told them I loved them (apparently my eyes were huge due to the morphine) and then fell asleep.

It wasn't the best night sleep. My obs were done every 15 minutes to start with so was constantly giving an arm and pushing my morphine button. My tummy felt sore and my muscles were agony. All day Thursday I felt as though I have done thousands of sit ups. Mr Metcalf came to see me and explained they had not been able to continue as keyhole because Derek was so big so they cut me open, removed the critter along with my right ovary and took a series of biopsies including one from my left ovary as there is something suspicious there too. A nurse then gave me a wash and made me get up out of bed which was almost impossible due to feeling sick and dizzy. That was enough for the day.

My visitors came and I cried when they left because they were all to the Isle of Wight festival and I should have been going with them. Instead I was stuck, in pain and feeling helpless.
Friday I came off all my drips but I was as white as a ghost. I scared myself. Two blood tests later and I was confirmed anaemic. Generally your blood level should be over 100, mine was 67. Mr Metcalf was a little baffled as apparently I hadn't had a 'massive' bleed during the surgery but I was losing blood from somewhere. That evening I had two units of blood transfused into me. I felt like a vampire.

Saturday morning I could have bounced out of bed. I had colour and I was excited that I felt so much better. The blood had done the trick. The girlies came to visit which was a highlight and I felt as though we could have been in a Sex and the City, or Friends episode - the giggles and conversation from the Day Room were awesome, although I was exhausted by the end of the day.

Sunday, the doctors were happy with my recovery and progress and let me home. Amazing to think after major surgery I was going home after only 72 hours in hospital. What they do is truly amazing.

Being a patient is going to take some getting used to. I am stubborn and I hate sitting still. I find it awkward being looked after and fussed over and even having company for a whole day freaks me out a little. My family and friends have been amazing and I love them all very much.

I am so looking forward to being healthy and back to myself for the summer - bring it on!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Getting it off my chest

I am having a 'life is unfair' and a 'why me' moment.

I have been trying to be upbeat and positive about Derek the stupid f***king cyst for the last 8 weeks, keeping my head above the water, cracking on with work and remaining strong. But now I am feeling angry, upset and extremely fed up and wondering when I will actually get a break from the crap that life keeps on throwing at me. I get described as resilient a lot, yes I bounce back, I keep going and I will work hard to get things done and to achieve what I want to, but every now and then, I just want a break and I want to be able to sit back and have a head full of nothing other than the positive and lovely things that are happening in my world. Don't get me wrong, there are lovely things happening but at the moment, they are over-shadowed by my ever-increasing stomach.

I am uncomfortable, in pain, my legs hurt with shooting pains, I am tired and I am absolutely shitting myself about the operation. Three weeks ago, I was at a 40% chance of having ovarian cancer… and told I could end up having a hysterectomy.

Yeah life goes on and I WILL be ok but I am scared, I don't want either of those things but I am fearing and preparing for the worse. So another two weeks of waiting and thinking about it all is going to be hard.

I am so upset that I won't make the Isle of Wight Festival, I have been looking forward to it for months now - being there and hanging out with some amazing friends (most of which are all thanks to Twitter) and seeing my sister at her first festival. I wanted to be singing to the Kings of Leon as the Sun went down, drinking beer and sharing laughs and experiences with my friends.

Instead I will be in a hospital bed with tubes and wires and a lovely big scar drinking crap tea and eating mush.

I will stop moaning now. I have spent a good couple of hours sobbing and feeling sorry for myself.

I now have it out of my system and I will focus and look forward to having a healthy summer. I might just have to have a mini-festival in my garden. I do know that I will be having some lovely trips away and I will be organising a big party in August as a 'goodbye/good riddance Derek - 1st birthday of my business - thank you to all my friends & family for support over the last 12 monist' party.

Now that IS something to look forward to.

And @ljattrill, @CarlTheGeek, @TheLongTallAlly, @SisterLedge, @DiaryofaLedger and all the other twitter friends who are going... think of me when this is played please..


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Sunsets


The end of the earth was happening as we hit the motorway. The sky to the west flaming with vibrant yellows, pinks and burnt oranges. The clouds disguised as smoke as the sun set fire to the horizon.
We headed north on an adventure, leaving the doubt to burn with the sun.

Friday, 6 May 2011

The next step

This morning I have been to see Mr Metcalf at Princess Anne hospital to talk and discuss the next steps of Derek's life inside me. I didn't know what to expect so hadn't really prepared myself or thought of any questions. Mum came with me, as did my lovely friend Peta who is in her 3rd year of medical school; I am so glad she came.

I was first seen by one of the consultants who basically said I was having to make a choice - whether I wanted a hysterectomy to remove it all or to do it in stages. I wasn't prepared for that. He asked me my age to which I replied "29", to which Peta responded "No you're not", I have no idea why I said 29; I am 31 but it broke the ice a little and we all had a giggle at my nervous stupidity.

I said that I do want children and that I would like every chance so for the procedure to be done in stages. I didn't like him, he seemed to not know much and scared me. I talked to the cancer support person from Winchester who sits in on all consultations. She gave me her card and said I can call anytime with any concerns.

We were then taken to see 'the Boss Man', Mr Metcalf who will be doing the procedure. Again, we talked about wanting children and whether I give him permission and will trust his judgement if he opens me up and feels that both ovaries and my uterus should be removed. If I had thought I would be asked these questions, I would have given it more thought. But as my mum said, my health comes first.

Mr Metcalf had a feel Derek and we discussed that it *could* be endometriosis as many of the symptoms are the same. But, he won't know this until they see it. So the plan is that if will get is colleague - Adam Moors who is a specialist in endometriosis to be with him when I go into surgery (lucky me I get two surgeons!!) I will have a lapraoscopy with a camera to see if it endometriosis, if it is Mr Moors will continue with the procedure and if it isn't then Mr Metcalf will take over, open me up and remove Derek who has eaten my right ovary. If the left side is looking troublesome, he will not remove but will wake me up first so that I can discuss fertility options - harvesting eggs etc and I will then go back to have the rest removed.

All a lot to take in. If it isn't endometriosis (en - do - meat tree - oh -sis, for the purpose of my mum who can't say it properly) then the risk of it not being malignant is 60 / 40. The odds are still pretty close and we got the impression that they still have no real idea as to what it is.

At least I have a date to work towards which means I can plan work, get my hair cut (because I want to look my best) and fill myself with positive vibes. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is endometriosis but I won't know until I come round from the anesthetic and whether find a scar or not.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Silence

Another Friday and another call from the hospital.
I am still an 'uncertain' and a 'borderline' case.
It is easy to deal with when I have something to take my mind off things, when there are friends who keep me busy so I don't have to think.
But when they go home and the silence surrounds; I think.
The what ifs, the maybes and the what will I do thoughts consume
All I can think is that in life, there should be no regrets.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A dip

with happiness there comes pain
with love there comes frustration

Today is not a good day.

Frustration on so many levels; I don't want to wait and be patient.

I want to be able to be free of the burden and able to say how it really feels.


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Waiting in their hands

Today I sat in yet another waiting room, waiting for another scan and test. It appears that every week I have a new thing to experience within the realms of the hospital. It has been nearly five weeks since I first found the lump AKA Derek and although that seems a while ago now, everything does seem to be happening as quite quickly.

I have had an ultra sound, internal examination, MRI scan and a CT scan. Surely that is enough for the the doctors to know exactly what Derek is and the best way to remove him; but it appears not.

On Friday, my case will be discussed at an MDT (a multi-disciplinary meeting) where they will decide what I have done, my risk factor and how it will be dealt with, and of course, where I go to have it done. The consultant called me last Monday to go through what needed to happen next. At that stage, the MRI scan still hadn't given them enough information so the CT scan was being booked. I tried to take everything in as she talked about the type of cyst and that it was complicated and that I would have to lose my right ovary. Because Derek is so big (the size of a melon) they can't quite see my left ovary so that is uncertain at the moment. But, she has reassured me that they know I am young and have not had children yet so will do everything they can. She also talked about pre-cancerous changes, raised hormone levels and the surgery.

It was all very scary and saddening and still is.

My thoughts drift between positive and the slightly morbid, there is no level ground. I am noticing children, families and couples a lot more; wondering whether I will get to have that or whether it just isn't meant to be. All the things I have wanted the most for a long time feel to be in the hands of a group of doctors and there isn't much I can do but sit it out and wait.

I would be lying to say I wasn't worried or scared but I am very thankful for my lovely family and friends, both in real life and those online in Twitterland. I know the support is there and that I will be OK with lots of people holding my hand.

For now, I am focusing on the business, trying to get ahead of myself for when I have to spend time in hospital and trying to get as much rest and sleep as possible so recovery can be as quick as possible.

After all, I have a festival to go to in June!
Thanks everyone x

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Darkness

you live in the shadows
always knowing
never known
surrounded by hope
yet consumed with fate
every twist and turn
forced contemplation
of future stories
and tales to tell
the happy ending
yours to take
all I ask
is to give me time

Sunday, 10 April 2011

These words are mine

With my words
I can never tell
the truth behind
what is felt

Twist and turn
my fierce temptation
to pour and spill
then crash and burn

Take what you will
from the style of
my expression
fluid and never still

Words appear
for no-one but me
the reason and truth
are for me to fear

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The truth about Derek

My life seems to be a constant roller-coaster. There never seems to be a period of calm and of constant well being and satisfaction, there always seems to be 'something' going on.
Just as I was starting to come out of the big dip and loop-the-loop, feeling more positive and in control of work, relationships and life, the track has shifted and I am approaching another scary section of the ride.

Last Tuesday in Pilates, when lying on my stomach attempting to do an exercise, I noticed a hard lump in my stomach. At first I though I was lying on one of the jelly type balls we use or that my top was scrunched up under me. There was nothing there yet it felt like I was lying on something. I was very uncomfortable and very worried; all manner of things crossed my mind as I felt how hard my stomach had become and the shape of the random mass.

I arranged an appointment with my doctor on Thursday who seemed equally as baffled but referred me for an urgent ultrasound. Always reassuring when in a doctors room and he is frantically writing URGENT and underlining it several times on a referral fax.

Luckily there was a cancellation on Friday and I could whiz up to the hospital for a scan but not before drinking a litre of water. I have never been so desperate to pee and with the appointment running late, I was fit to burst to the extent that I could hardly walk or talk. The lovely Lucy was an absolute star in trying to take my mind of the fact I was about to wet myself... in actual fact, I think I agreed to join the WI!

The ultrasound revealed what they think is an ovarian cyst and at 20cm wide, it is not a small bugger. I cried. The thought of having something that big inside of me was a shock. So many questions flew through my mind but none that could really be answered.

So, the next dip is the fact that I will have to have an operation to remove the cyst, which I have named Derek... perhaps a bit wrong and sick, but hey! I need to make light of it - it is the way I deal with things. Besides, my friend told me that sometimes cysts grow teeth and hair, which is WRONG, so I have an image of a little Pac Man inside me, it felt right to name it. (Why on earth she told me that - I have no idea!!)

This is going to mean time off from work which is going to be a challenge especially when everything is picking up again with new projects and I need to jump on some opportunities. But, health DOES come first and I will just have to do what I can, when I can. Am certainly going to have to work hard this coming week to get as much off the ground and ready as possible.

Just another thing to deal with but I have lots of lovely family and friends to help me out and keep me positive.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Time will wait

Time is a funny thing. We own it yet we give it away without thinking. We live our lives at the mercy of time, always having to be here there and everywhere.

It occurred to me, or rather it was pointed out to me on Friday that I am not bothered by the time.

I always used to be. I used to panic and become so stressed if I was late. If we (as in the ex and I) had to be somewhere at a certain time - even if it was just chilled drinks with friends, I would precision plan so we were there dot on time. However, we never were, and despite the stresses and planning, we were always late.

Our house, which is now my house was covered with clocks. Every room had one that ticked and chimed. We have weather stations with digital clocks in the bedroom, spare room and lounge. The ex would ensure that the clocks were accurate to the second, often dialling the speaking clock to get it right.

On Friday, I hosted a comedy night with the lovely Grant Sharkey on his Calm Down tour - basically he is going to people's living rooms and performing comedy. It was fab and I loved having all the girls over, cooking for the masses, drinking and having a giggle. As well as Grant, we had Simon, The Mentalist who confused and baffled the hell out of us with his tricks and mind reading. It was Simon who pointed the time thing out to me by saying: 'Do you realise that not one of your clocks in your house has the right time?'
I stood and thought; he was right. At the time he was stood in front of the oven which has a clock and the microwave is above it. Both clocks tell different wrong times. The only remaining 'tick tock... Ding dong' clock which the ex was kind enough to leave behind hasn't been wound up for months and is set on 2.40... Am or pm, I will never know. I also don't wear a watch. My bedroom does not have a clock and the clock in my car is wrong.

The only objects I have with the correct time is my phone and computer.

Yet, I am so efficient with my time and I am hardly ever late. I take the attitude of 'I will be there when I get there' and I generally am on time (I have a few friends who may disagree!)

I refuse to let time stress me out. Things happen as they are meant to and when they are meant to. By busting a gut to be there early isn't going to speed things along.

And if the clocks go back or forward and you wake not having the foggiest at what the time is, do what I did and ask Twitter (and then call my mum to double check)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Roots of Me

This weekend has been a good one. I have done all the things that I love doing and which make me who I am. Another sign that things are falling back into place and I am getting there. Here is how I have spent the weekend:
  • Having Flossy over to stay, the banter and giggles and then being reminded about my individuality or what she describes as 'poor dress sense'.
  • Coffee in the sunshine of a gorgeous new coffee house in town where I adore the owners and where I will be spending many Saturdays reading the papers and supping coffee.
  • Giving my mum a bunch of flowers and seeing her smile and reminded that she is special.
  • Baking cakes for friends to enjoy over a cuppa and a overdue natter.
  • Pottering about the house, tidying, faffing, moving things, cleaning and generally being a bit houseproud.
  • Spending hours gardening and seeing Spring take over the borders.
  • Chinese takeaway with Nanny C and a good natter.
(Please note that 'work' does not feature - I have had a whole weekend off!)

I also did things that a while ago, and even a few weeks ago I wouldn't have been bothered to do. Little things that were overwhelming me, I have cracked on and got it sorted. I changed a plug - the first time I have ever done that and instead of running to someone else and claiming my inability and uselessness, I had a go and did it. And when the flymo started, I might have done a little victory dance.

And then I thought about needing someone else and how things had changed. A few years ago I had someone else in my life who would fix things, cut the grass, tidy the garage, wash cars etc. Now I do it all and although there is still a lot more I could do, I feel quite proud of myself for doing and coping as I do.

I was thinking all this whilst taking a breather in the garden and I thought about how life is like a garden. Sometimes we plant seeds, we water and look after them in hope that they will grow into something beautiful. Sometimes they don't and sometimes they get so far, perhaps a few shoots and then something out of our control affects them and they fade. We never know why, we just accept it and try again, but the next time changing the variables to give it the best possible chance. Sometimes we plant shrubs and perennials which start as pretty blooms to give colour and zest. They are meant to withstand and they are meant to return year on year but not all of them do. Sometimes the environment just isn't good enough to keep them flourishing.

We are forever pruning and cutting back but sometimes not hard enough. We are just taking the tips and ends off which is ok for a while but it can promote growth in the wrong direction with new shoots left, right and centre. We need to not be scared and be more ruthless to cut back hard. Let what is underneath breathe and see the sunlight so that new life can grow from the core.

When all the old and dead has gone from the previous season and new shoots start to encourage colour, we all feel lighter, brighter and can enjoy the space much better. Every season we learn something new and there is always tendering that can be done.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Distance


I can't remember if I read this somewhere, whether it was on a film or maybe someone said it to me, but it has stuck in my mind:

Sometimes, the longest journey is the distance between two people.

I have been thinking about this a lot recently and how vast areas of space can become wedged between two people, pushing them further and further apart. How we can live our lives with someone, share the same house, bed and lifestyle yet be so far apart that bridges are too hard to build. We become stuck in our ways and routines, gently plodding along not realising that our steps are taking us away from what we really want and desire. When we notice how far we have come along a particular road, we try to take short cuts and turn at junctions which although may seem like a fun new destination, the journey will always have to be continued. Distance has to be covered until we stop, turn around and see how far we have drifted from the person that we loved and from ourselves, and this is when we realise that we have been travelling alone. The distance is now too great that we do not recognise them, time and space has distorted faces. We have a choice as to whether to make the long journey back, ironing out the bumps in the road along with way or whether the journey ends.

Sometimes distance is all there is. There has been no moving away or coming together. It just exists as a black hole - a space of unknown from the very start and one that closes when the time is right.

The long and short of Twitter

I put this on a shared blog but the more I read it the more I like it.

*******

140 characters to create a new you
A timeline of words
To hide behind

140 characters to say what you need
Attention, comfort
A sense of being

140 characters to break lives
Fake hellos
Twisted goodbyes

140 characters to fall in love
Words flirt
Emotions intense

140 characters to make new friends
Soul mates to care
Hands to hold

140 characters is sometimes all I have.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Spring

The sun dances on my skin like soft kisses
across my shoulders on a Sunday morning
Bright yellow rays tease my eyelids as a spring whisper
blows through my scarlet hair.
Outside harmonies sing smiles
life awakens and fills my lungs
with a new day
and hope of another chance

Friday, 25 February 2011

Thinking back thinking of you

We all have songs that mean something to us; whether it be the lyrics, the melody or the memory that it evokes, reminding us of happier times or perhaps of the hard times and the fact that we have come so far. There are a few songs that remind me of particular times when decisions had to be made or had been made,and that when I listened to the lyrics I felt was being given a wake up call.

I heard one of the songs today and it didn't make me feel sad or low, it made me feel strong. I have been thinking of writing about these for a while so in my effort of being more organised and cracking on with the 'to-do list', here are three songs which mean something to me:

1. Dakota by Stereophonics
(Well there had to be one 'Phonics song!) As soon as I got the LSVO album, I fell in love with Dakota. At the time I was recovering from a very low period. I had been suffering from anxiety and stress following an infection I had picked up in Thailand. I lost all confidence in myself and simple things such as Christmas shopping with my mum in Decemeber 2004 would send me in to panic attacks with a fear of being in public. I underwent numerous tests and examinations as well as counselling and mentoring in an effort to get back to myself. By the time LSVO came out in February 2005, I was getting there. I remember wearing my candy pink mac and driving to a meeting with the Spring sun starting to show itself, snowdrops and daffodils beginning to show colour. I had the window open and was singing at the top of my lungs and I rememember feeling alive and strong and that things were getting better. And they did.




2. With Every HeartBeat by Robyn
This was more about the lyrics in particular: 'We can keep trying but things will never change.' In the summer of 2006, I found out that my boyfriend of 10 years and who I had bought a house with was cheating on me. My world fell apart. I didn't do what most do in that situation - kick him in the balls and throw him out, I didn't want to let go and couldn't, so for 18 months we spun around in a circle of continued lies and pain. Every time I knew they were still in touch I would leave or he would, but then the promises of making it work would come and we would try again. I lost count of the amout of times we tried. When this song came out, I felt that the lyrics were telling me what to do but I ignored and tried to get my world back, like Robyn sings 'Maybe we can make it alright' I was too scared to be alone. But, at the end of 2007 I couldn't take it anymore, I had reached a level of mental and phyisical exhaustion, I had wanted him to decided and pull his head out of his arse and do the right thing, he couldn't so I did and he left. From then on I focused on the lyrics: 'And I don't look back' and yes it did hurt with every step I took away from an old life to a new, but it made me stronger and I have never looked back since.



3. Broken Strings by James Morrison
Again, this was a telling song for me that a relationship couldn't continue, that sometimes no matter how much you love someone, that if trust is broken and if as individuals you are broken souls then no matter what you do, no matter how you hide and fill the cracks you can't make something better. When you know that you have done all you can, when you have remained true to yourself, if you know isn't right then you stand tall, be strong and walk away.



There are so many more but these make me stop and think about how I came through things. I know there is a song on the horizon to help me through this dip. Each day is a stronger one and as I get back to myself I know there will be a song to remind me that I did it.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Tired

Tired eyes with salty streams
Rivers of emotion
Hearts sink and hopes drown
Tides of pain
Vicious currents pull and push
words twist with deceit
Tired eyes with salty streams
is all I have

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Sunday Spontaneity

This weekend has felt like a bit of a recovery and a step forward in getting back to myself.

I don't know whether it is the result of a positive past week, or perhaps the heart-felt conversations with friends last weekend, which although (at times) was hurtful and saddening, it was also a little kick up the backside and a reminder of the special people I have in my life. It could also be the chemically-induced stability of my thoughts and processing of information and emotions, or that spring is finally in the air and colour is starting to return to the outside world.

More than likely it is all of the above together that is making me feel stronger and lighter and that I am returning to being me. The weekend has been enjoyable because I feel like I have actually taken a weekend. Today I was spontaneous and drove to Swindon (well nearer Bristol) for coffee; a sign that I am getting back to myself and seizing opportunities, not being afraid - just living for the moment.

The next couple of weekends look to be the same and I can't wait. It is good to feel the excitement again instead of the stress and anxiety around work.

As a good friend pointed out to me yesterday. I have done more already in five months than what I set out to; I have smashed targets and exceeded expectations. The business has been a success, it is a success and will continue to do so.

But now, it is time for me to reclaim some of my life back.
The balance needs to be found and each day I feel I am getting there.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Competitions

Life is about the survival of the fittest. We all watch nature programmes where we see life having to fight to eat, drink and reproduce. It looks tough in the animal world but perhaps no tougher than ours. I am not suggesting that we are all going around ready to fight for food but life is about competition and being the best that you can in order to survive.

There is competition in business, having recently set up my own business I know that it is a cut-throat world where the bold win clients, reputations and success. Of course, there are ways in doing so. Winning respect and trust from a client is of most importance, it is about nurturing, delivering and exceeding expectations. That is how you grow a business. It isn't a quick win scenario but something that develops over time and what ensures that you survive the storms such as an economic downturn.

There is competition in love and in winning the heart of someone you care deeply about. Sometimes the competition becomes fierce. It turns people into spiteful, jealous beings who will up the stakes to ensure that they are the ones who receive first prize. Games within games start to be played with tactics then becoming about simply beating the other person and not about finding something amazing with someone, that thing that we call love.

I will fight for what I want and what I believe in but I will do it the correct manner. I will always keep the upper hand and know when enough is enough. You can only try so much but by nurturing, building trust and taking time, the opportunities continue to flourish and you survive; standing tall and feeling proud.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Fairytale tragedy

Is it the mountain that is my heart that one has to overcome to get to the castle that us my mind? Or is the mountain my mind that one has to fight through, killing demons to reach the castle that is my heart?

Either way, it will take a brave knight to fight my enemies, slay the dragons and rescue me.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Friends

I never thought it was possible to feel so many things at the same time.
Feeling empathetic towards a stranger, knowing their pain, their loss and anger yet feeling helpless for a friend who's world has been tipped upside down.

Someone told me people would get hurt. But we can't always stop the people we love and care about from pain. We all wish we didn't have to see others go through things, but it has to happen. They are lessons and paths we have to take. We learn, we grow and we try not to make the same errors again.

All we can do is hold a hand and offer friendship and support for when our friends when need it.

Their choices are theirs to make, we may not agree but true friends will be there regardless.

My door is always open.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Suits of despair

surrounded by black suits
voices dull
words I don't understand
sounds I can not hear
there is only one voice
it whispers and echos
reminding me of you
I think of you, my friend
the one I have lost
to the voice
in your head
the one that tells you
that I am no good

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Lyrics and Life

We all have songs that resonate with us, no matter what is going on in our lives, there is always that song that when we hear it, we stop what we are doing and we think.
Lyrics can be so powerful. They can save us and send us on new paths. Sometimes it is as though the artist/ songwriter is writing specifically for us - as if they know what we need to hear and that we need to be reminded that how we feel - others feel the same.

I have a few songs that remind me of different times of my life and which helped my thoughts at the time, maybe I will save those for a different post! But the main song and lyrics which make me stop and which remind me of where I am and where I need to be is Rewind by Stereophonics. It is a beautiful song and reminds me that I should never compromise who or what I want to be.

In the answer to the question, if I could rewind my time, would I change my life? No, I wouldn't. All things happen for reasons and that includes the hard stuff, but sometimes, it only takes a song to remind us of that fact and that it will all be ok.


Here are the lyrics:

It's your time
It's your day

It's never too late

To change lanes

How's your life?

How's your place?

Was it where you wanted

Your head to lay?


But wait, you can breathe

You can see what I can see

Don't waste your time

You can't make back


If you could rewind your time

Would you change your life?


Do you like you?

Do you love your wife?

Or did you pick what

You're told was right?


Dream and be

What you feel

Don't you compromise

What you wanna be


'Cause change is okay

What's the point in staying the same

Regrets, forget what's dead and gone


If you could rewind your time

Would you change your life?


If Jesus rode in on a camel today

With your cross on his shoulder

Time to take you away

Have you done all you wanted?

Are you happy and warm?

Do you miss someone special

You don't see anymore?

Have you blood on your hands?

Do you dream of white sands?

Can you sleep well at night?

Have you done all you can?

The place I was born in

Stays crooked and straight

I see innocent blue eyes

Go blind everyday


Rewind your time

Would you change your life

Today?


Friday, 21 January 2011

Waves of emotion

I can see something heading into a epic disaster.

It is like the wave that starts far out at sea, gently being caressed and moved by the currents beneath it. Without much effort or choice, it picks up speed, rolling faster and growing in size. The wave might want to stop and slow down, but it can't; the current is so strong, it has grasped the wave and won't release its hold. As it grows, every rock, ship or structure that stands in its way is hit harder and harder with a full body of emotion.

It sees safety in a shore and it stretches to reach the calm flat end. But before it is there, before the end it has to break. Every wave has its breaking point where the horses run wild, where the crash of emotion explodes and thrashes the water with anger, feeling relieved at the release.

The wave has been building for tides. All it wants, is to be set free.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A New Hope

You hold my hand from a distance
Always there at the touch of a send
Far away but your warmth glows
Healing my pain and caressing my sigh
At times we are one, the same lost soul
Wanting to be heard, needing to be loved
Longing for life
To pervade tired blue eyes
As the bond changes and grows
New feelings and hope cement the trust,
That hand in hand
Our dreams will seen

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Looking Back/Looking Forward

I have been wondering about posting a 'Looking Back/Looking Forward' based post for at least a week now, but the tone and content of what I really want to say has changed daily. I then gave up and thought I wouldn't bother especially as I have been ill with some kind of flu/cold and not been out of bed for 5 days. As you can imagine, the post has got more and more negative as the germs took hold.


However, in this down time which I have been forced to take, I have realised a lot about myself and what needs to be 'fixed' to enable me to not only be happy but to start attracting and embracing all that I want from life. Someone made me realise that it is ok to ask for help. So I thought I would write as I know it will be important, this time next year when 'looking back'.

I did manage to drag myself out of bed on New Years Eve and spend a couple of hours with my friends to see in 2011. I am glad I made the effort - I figured feeling rotten and out would be better than in, alone and miserable. I got quite emotional at midnight as I said goodbye to 2010 which has been a hard and difficult year and tried to welcome 2011 and all that it may bring.

I am not going to go on about the bad times (there are enough miserable posts on here from the last few months) but I am going to make a list of my priorities for the next 12 months:

1. Fix what is broken and not be ashamed or scared of asking for help
2. Focus on the long term fixes - no more short terms (that includes men!)
3. Improve work/life balance
4. Stop looking so hard
5. Be open
6. Be honest - mainly with myself
7. Look after myself which means exercise, eating healthy and giving myself a break
8. Stop complaining about being lonely and do something about it
9. Protect myself
10. Learn to laugh and have fun again

Not much eh?

But 2011 needs to be about me and addressing some issues. 2010 was a lot of fun and I loved my year of being 30. I did things that I should have got out of my system when I was younger. So many experiences, giggles, great nights out and new friends but in doing that, I also lost something - not that I know what, but something is misplaced and 2011 needs to be about finding it and achieving a consistent happiness.

I am ready.