Flashback to the Operating Theatre

It’s been over 2 years now since I had my operations, one to remove the tumour and one to correct a complication that happened after the first one.

Life has been great since coming out of hospital and I would like to think that I have adapted well to having a stoma now. I still have my moments and it has affected my confidence immensely, but since receiving the news that I had Cancer it made me realise that life is too short to hide away in the corner and beat yourself up about things that you can not control. I now try hard to fight my emotions with the ‘you can do it’ attitude.

I often visit the hospital for Oncology and stoma appointments, I have at least 6 appointments per year. Last week I had an appointment that had nothing to do with my Cancer and whilst I was there I bumped into my surgeon. I hadn’t seen him around the hospital since I was discharged back in December 2016.

I was waiting around for my medication from the pharmacy so i thought i would grab a quick drink from Costa, whilst in the queue I looked over to my left and I had to double take. There he was standing next me, smiling away, it was his smile that I noticed straight away. I remember his smile being very kind and gentle. And as I stood there, I really wanted to say hello, but was worried he wouldn’t remember me. I looked over at him again and this time I didn’t see his smile but instead I saw him in his scrubs. I had to blink and look away to take the image away from my mind.

The flashbacks came.

Being wheeled down from my hospital bed to the theatre in the early hours of the morning.

Laying on a bed in the operating theatre.

Looking around me and feeling cold.

The bed was cold.

My toes were frozen

People walking around, hurry about with tools, talking medical terms to each other

White walls

Beep Beep Beep…

Opening my eyes to seeing faces all around me

I remember struggling to breathe

Feeling pressure and tugging in my abdomen

Worried eyes

Beep

It was cold, so cold. It even smelt cold

Bright lights in my eyes

I felt uncomfortable. So much pressure

Urgency in peoples voices

Raised voices. Lots of words that just seemed to blur into each other

Slowly drifting off

And then waking up in a different room

Pain. In so much pain

Crying and screaming about the pain

Another surgeon giving me injections

Feeling so tired

Waking in my hospital bed back on the ward.

For days after I didn’t feel right. I was in lots of pain, but it wasn’t the pain that was worrying me. It was that uncomfortable feeling of being pulled from my inside, of feeling pressure and movement in my abdomen. I didn’t sleep well days, every time I fell asleep I had nightmares of waking during my operation. It took a good few weeks for the feeling of what may have happened to subside.

I have no idea if I awoke during my operation, maybe I dreamt it all, maybe I just imagined that it all happened.

But, seeing my Surgeon brought all those feelings back. As fresh as it was back then. This was a few days ago and I am now waking up during the night sweating. Whatever happened in that operating theatre It has certainly left me with more than a physical scar to look at!

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A day of PBs at the City of London Mile

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On the 14th June, the family travelled into central London to partake in a mile race. The race was sponsored by Amba Hotels and is in its second year. We attended the race last year and enjoyed it enough to enter again this year. One good thing about this running event is that it is absolutely free! All you have to do is register your details on-line and turn up on the day at your given start time.

I registered the whole family to run, Dad in the adult male race, Jak in the youth Mile and the two youngest boys and I in the family race. We was all sent our starts times in an email and was given the choice of collecting our bib numbers and chip a couple of days before the race. As Dad was racing in the first wave, we thought that we would just collect our bibs at the collection point in the runners village.

We arrived in good time. We had decided on driving into the City, as Dad works up there he knows on the best places to park. Dad’s race was starting at 10:30 and we got there at about 9:45. There was no queue in collecting out bib numbers, the volunteers were really helpful and very quick in finding our letters. Although the lady did say that it was huge help that I had written down all of our bib numbers, so she didn’t have to look for our names.

We found a quiet spot in a sheltered area, as the great british weather had decided to show up on the day too! Lucky for us it wasn’t a heavy down pour just a light spray, but it did rain for most of the morning.

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The boys played chase whilst Daddy warmed up. It wasn’t long before Dad had to make his way to the start line.

The race was to start on Canon Street just in front of St Paul’s cathedral. The course passes by some iconic buildings, it’s flat but has some sharp turns in it. Starting at St Paul’s cathedral you head down to the Mansion House Station where you then swoop left to the Bank of England, turning left at Bank Station and heading up Moorgate then taking the first left up towards the Guildhall then a sharp left again to Cheapside and then it’s a slight incline up Cheapside to the finish line.

We was given some inflatable batons to cheer people on in the race. You had two so that you could bang them together and make a lot of noise.

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The boys and I stood along Canon Street, just in front of the Festival Gardens and waited for Daddy to pass. We could hear the starting gun so we knew he would be running by pretty soon, in fact it was so soon that I missed him on the camera!

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We walked through the One New Change (a shopping precinct) as Cheapside was through the other side. We waited along the railings until we saw Daddy in the distance, running up to the finish line. We cheered him on and watched him cross over the finish line in fourth, with a time of 4:29. Daddy was given his medal and we all went over to congratulate him. The boys were so proud of him and couldn’t wait to give him a cuddle. Once Daddy had caught his breath back and got changed into some dry clothes, we sat down and got ourselves ready for the Family Mile.

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Daddy was running again with Joseph and I was going to run along with Oliver, but Jak was running in the Youth Mile race so he was going to watch us. We waited along New Change where a man with a megaphone called us all over so that we could head towards the start line. We was all running in the Family wave 1, so we was the first of many families to run the route that day. I believe there was 6 in total.

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Oliver was so excited, as we waited with other runners at the start line, he didn’t talk much but did say that he was going to run the whole way. Everyone was talking to him and asking me how old he was, they couldn’t believe that a 3 year old would run a mile.

The gun went off and we was running along with  the crowd, I held onto Oliver’s little hand as it was quite busy and everyone was running so fast. We passed by St Paul’s cathedral and it wasn’t long before we saw Jak cheering us on. We gave him a little wave, the fast runners had sped off ahead so we was left with some space on the road. I let go of Oliver’s hand and let him run by himself.

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I stayed close to him and constantly asked him if he was ok and if he wanted to carry on running, he just nodded his head and carried on. People were cheering him on and shouting ‘Come on Superman!’ I think it helped as each time he heard someone cheering him he had an urge of energy and his speed had a little burst in it. We had no idea where Daddy and Joseph were as they had gone off ahead at the start, they are much faster than us. Although Jak did get a photo if them near the finish line

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As we turned the corner onto Cheapside and could see the finish line up ahead, Daddy and Joseph joined us for the last 200 hundred metres

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We all held hands and ran together, we let go as we neared the finish and let Oliver cross over by himself.

Oliver finished with a time of 10:47 and Joseph in 7:47, smashing their times from last year by 3-5 minutes. We collected our medals and goody bags, which had water and sweets in for the children and an energy bar for the adults.

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We found a spot opposite the Amba Steel Band and watched the other milers run towards the finish line, we cheered everyone and even had a little dance to the music. The atmosphere was alive and fun.

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After watching all of the family waves pass by, it was time for the Youth Mile. The future athletes. Jak made his way to the start and we waited eagerly at the finish line for him. We knew he wouldn’t be up with the first children to be crossing the line but was hoping he would make it in 6 minutes. We could see him as he steered the corner onto Cheapside, was he going to make it?

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With his brothers cheering him on and his parents shouting out his name, Jak crossed over the line in 6:06. After collecting his medal he made his way over to us, he didn’t look happy! Jak had a tough month with quite a few late nights and no time to train due to his part in a theatre show and his acting in a film, so I had explained to him that he shouldn’t be upset and mad with himself for and to look at what he had achieved so far. He didn’t get the time that he wanted but he did have fun and enjoyed the day. After a little rest and a bite to eat, whilst we watched the Elite Athletes race, he was soon back to his smiling and cheery self.

We had a lovely family day at the City of London Mile, which is sponsored by Amba Hotels and can not wait until next year to enter. The city Mile for us, is about Family time and having fun. We danced to music, we got sore throats from cheering, we got tired legs from running, we raced with some lovely people and had a lovely enjoyable day. We came back with some lovely memories of our mile experience. The children have taken their medals into school to show all of their friends and teachers. The youngest wears his all of the time.

Thank you Amba Hotels for sponsoring such a lovely event! See you next year!

 

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I remember when…. Memories

When my eldest was a toddler he used to love anything to do with Bob the Builder, he had all the teddies, toys, bed covers and clothes with Bob on them, but most of all he loved going on the Bob ride.

When Jak was born my parents owned a chalet in Clacton, it was a lovely little site which had its own club house and swimming pool. Every weekend we used to pack our bags and drive to the chalet, the park was about a 10 minute drive from the seaside so we spent quite a lot of our time walking along the seafront. Jak use to go mad when he saw the little Bob the Builder ride the was always outside the amusements arcade, in fact he used to scream to go on it that much that a trip to the seafront used to be unbearable unless he had a go!

He used to scream ‘Bob Bob’ as soon as we parked the car up, he knew what was there and he knew exactly where it was, as when I used to walk a different route around the shops (thinking that I would trick him) he would shout ‘Go back Mum, Bob over there!’ Pointing towards the direction of the amusements.

When Jak was 2 and a half the chalet park got close down and we had to give up our chalet, which meant no more weekend visits to the seafront.

We did go back to the town a few times but Jak was older and had grown out of his obsession with Bob the Builder.

A couple of weeks ago, we went back to the same seaside resort for the day a we walked down to the same amusement arcades and guess what was there? Yep, Bob the Builder ride lol

Jak couldn’t resist one last little ride, just for old time sake lol

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I think he may have outgrown the ride but I secretly think he enjoyed it more than what he let on 🙂

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Summer Holidays, when memories are made!

Summer holidays are awesome, not just because It’s summer time and we get to see the sun for a few days of the holidays or because i get 5 weeks off of work to spend with my boys but there are many reasons why I love Summer!

  • I get to spend 5 Whole weeks with the boys, all day 24/7. The joys of working in a school means i don’t need to find childcare for the boys whilst they are off school, it means that i can spend quality time with them myself.
  • I get to have a lay in in the mornings, maybe just an extra 15 minutes but it all mounts up
  • Knowing that i can go to bed late and not worry about getting the children up the next morning ready for school, we have lazy mornings where we sit around in our PJ’s and watch TV
  • Summer Holidays means there will be many inflatable days to attend, there is one to attend every week during the summer. They keep the children entertained all day long.

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  • The boys play in the garden every day with each other and have some quality bonding time. This year we have bought a play area for them and it was just put up in July just before they finished school for the holidays, they have spent every day out there playing in the fort, swinging away on the swings, sliding down the curly slide and making up games to play in the house.

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  • The swimming pool is up in the garden and the boys spend time swimming and playing games in it everyday. Jak and Joseph swim in the pool every morning and sometimes don’t get out of it for a good couple of hours. They play diving games and have swimming races against each other, their swimming techniques have come on leaps and bounds since having he pool up, Jak is so smooth under the water and Joseph has started to learn how to swim under water too. They like to have their friends round to enjoy the pool with them and they often have their birthday parties in it.

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  • We have lots of fun days out to many new places that we have been before, this summer we have been to Pleasurewood Hills theme park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Maldon Park and Cornwall

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  • We have our holiday away in Cornwall, a favourite holiday destination for all of us, Jak loves to go surfing, Joseph loves playing in the rock pools, Oliver loves burying himself in the sand, Dad likes to swim in the sea and I just like to sit back and watch them all enjoy them self
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  • Visiting different beaches, whilst in Cornwall we went to four beaches for our days out and even if the sun isn’t shining we enjoy sitting down on the sand watching the waves crash against the beach whilst the boys build sand castles, Exploring the caves and rocks and enjoying a paddle in the sea.

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  • Festivals! As an adult i have never been to a festival which is quite shocking as we live so close to the V festival in Chelmsford but every summer there is Lollibop to look forward to which is the Big bash for little people. The boy love attending Lollibop and never fail to have lots of fun.

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  •  We Visit Nanny, the boys love seeing Nan but as she lives 30 miles away we don’t see her as much as we would like to, so when we have time off of school we take advantage of spending a few days there at her bungalow.

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  • As we live so close to London, we spend quiet a bit of our summer up there meeting up with Daddy during his lunch time or just visiting the many parks that their is up there. We love to walk along the embankment to watch the boats go by on the River Thames and stand and watch some of the street artists, or even watch a show in the westend. This year we was lucky enough to all go and see Brainiac Live which was big hit with all of the boys, Jak even got called up on stage to participate 🙂

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  • Outdoor Splash parks are popping up all over the place nowadays and they are fabulous places to go for a quick cool down

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I love spending time with my boys and with only 2 weeks left of the summer holidays i am feeling quite sad that it will all come to an end, I really don’t want the government to shorten the holidays as this is the only time i get to spend quality time with them. Our weekends are normally taken up with football training, drama classes or Gymnastics so we don’t normally have enough time together to enjoy ourselves.

We have one more holiday to go on in Lincolnshire to add to this summer of dreams and then its back to work and school.

What have you been up to this summer?

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A Special Memory Jar

Have you ever sat down at the end of the year and tried to remember what you had done through out it? It’s easy to remember the biggies but what about the little ones that are not so important but are definitely worth writing about!

On New Years Eve last year we all wrote down 5 of our own memories that we all could remember and placed them in a little memory box, this was a lovely way to talk about we had done through out the year but i was sure that there was plenty more that we had just simply forgotten, so this year we are doing something different!

We are doing our own Memory Jar where we write down what we want to remember on a piece of paper and place it into a jar, then when it comes to the end of year we will all sit down and reminisce the happy times that we had experienced and there will be no remembering just reminding!

How I made our Jar:

I bought one jar with a screw lid which is a retro sweet jar with a plastic screw on lid.

I painted around the jar with glass paint and with special 3D foam pens i wrote words like yesterday, memories, remember and family on it.

Keep the Jar somewhere that can be within reach of everyone in the family, i keep mine on my livingroom sideboard as it doubles up as an ornament.

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You could decorate your jar any way that you want to, why not add some sparkle with some glitter or even put your own finger prints on to it!

Jot down on small pieces of paper what has made you smile or laugh or something or someone who has made you proud. What about your child’s first word, date of their first step, the first book that they have read or maybe a day out that you really enjoyed. The fun of a memory jar is that anyone can contribute to it either in writing or by drawing something and at any tough time you are going through throughout the year just open up the jar and read a few good memories they will sure bring back a smile to your face.

 

 

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