Monday, 28 February 2011


I don't really want to put a jinx on things but I really do feel that spring is on its way. It is still cold outside but the plants are starting to grow. I have just walked through Darland Woods and everything is sprouting, even the grasses on the lake. Cola is shedding his winter coat also which is earlier than last year I couldn't take Cola's rugs off until mid May!

I hope that we do have an early spring and a nice summer this year, we missed out last year and that was such a shame.

I am looking forward to seeing leaves on the trees again and the place being lit up with the colour of flowers.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Re-Visiting the Past

SerimalB in a Pickle "Pickles" just months old, she will be 7 years old next month
This weekend I seem to have been guided back into my past. I am not sure why because I tend not to look back and I certainly don't have any regrets in my life. I think that my trip into Wrexham town with the boys might have started the process, as we walked around once familiar streets, streets I have walked for over 40 years, remembering, thinking, mourning the changes.

I decided to pay a visit to John and Ruth, the couple I used to groom for over 30 years ago. They gave me my first pony Shilo who was a rescue and I later had my last horse Mac there. I went to many shows with John over the years and helped him prepare the ponies for classes..... Cadenza and Opal. I saw little Pickles when she was minutes old and helped back and school horses for him. Happy, care free days.
May 26th 1983 - English Class, Ysgol Dewi Sant
I particularly remember his goat "Gruff" and this one day, John left a cardboard box full of vegetable peelings near to him. Gruff ate the box and left the peelings! I still giggle about this decades on.
It was quite a sad experience returning there because John and Ruth have grown so old and the puppy I last saw is now an old dog with cataracts. I still feel as though I am 19 but facing my past I have to accept my mortality.
Harry Llewelyn

Chirk Castle gardens, me, Harry and Joe looking for fish and dragonflies
I have spent alot of time thinking over the last couple of years and wishing things had been different. I wish I hadn't had cancer because the long treatment which made me so ill, robbed me of my childrens youth. One minute they were 7 and 9 and the next minute they had grown up before my eyes. I feel as though I have missed out on a vital part of their lives.

My past has shaped me into the person I am today. The people who come in and out of my life at various times are the ones who have enriched me.

Saturday, 26 February 2011


There are so many illnesses, conditions and diseases apart from the one everyone always recognises! The picture above was taken a couple of weeks ago at the Gathering in Prestatyn. Basically it is a weekend of rock and roll. Andy Gray was the guitar tech for Mike Peters and what struck me about him at the Gathering 18 was what such great care he took of Mike, it was beyond what his remit must have been.

Imagine how sad I was to hear that Andy is suffering from a condition called MND. Such a talented and nice guy, its just not fair. His sister Janet has a blog and is raising money and awareness of the condition. You can see the red band I am wearing in support of Andy and his sister and all money goes to MND charity.

Fibromyalgia is another condition I have come across recently with two friends being diagnosed. These friends are the loveliest, kindest people you could ever meet and yet their lives are plagued with constant pain.

Of course a condition which is very close to my heart is Autism...... Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties. Both my sons are on the spectrum but my youngest is more profounding affected. He is what they call a high functioning autistic so to the outside world he looks just like any neuro typical child but his perception of the world is totally different to ours.

I actually did a digital story once with Yale and BBC, a 2 min presentation which highlighted Harrys difficulties. At the official showing, there wasn't a dry eye in the audience.

Harry struggles with life.... everything is affected. He can't cope very well with change, sleeping is a huge problem, also co-ordination difficulties, reading and writing. He is also sensitive to touch and light.

Its hard to explain really how it affects him but my chemo brain has given me a deeper understanding of what it is like to be an autistic person. Imagine you are trying to write a letter, something important but as you are doing that there is loud music being played, flashing lights, people tapping you on the shoulder...... thats the best way to explain what every day normal life is like for an autistic person.

I had Harry's SLT report today and I had to read it twice. Being the eternal optimist I can see improvements in H all of the time, I even find myself thinking " is he REALLY autistic?" but when you read reports such as this it is like having salt rubbed into an open wound. It hurts.

We all love our children and we would walk over hot coals to protect them so can you imagine how I feel reading an official document which highlights all of your sons "failings". This is yet another thing parents of autistic children have to deal with.

I get stares over Harrys behaviour, I get tuts, looks of disgust but also I get the odd kind smile or hand on my shoulder.

Autism is a horrible condition in a world dictated by neuro typical people. I adore my son, he is autistic and I love him in spite of that, in fact I love him for that fact. Little things, little breakthroughs give so much more pleasure. Things like.... being able to eat mixed up food, being able to describe things in detail, using a knife and fork to eat...... simple things that parents take for granted.

I never had the normal toddlers.... my children couldn't speak or communicate, I had to deal with temper tantrums and frustration which was distressing for both me and my boys. So now, when I engage with a toddler, I never ever cease to enjoy their babble, their chat and interaction because that was something I was robbed of.

So all I ask is for tolerance of people.... You see that face in the crowd but you don't know their story. Don't brush past, give a smile and give your understanding.

Friday, 25 February 2011

My Day is a Colour

When I was going through cancer treatment, I saw my days in colours. Some days would be blue, those were the days when I was pretty low in spirits and I let myself have those days, just went with the flow because I knew that a blue day was always followed by a pink one and if not a pink one then it would be a yellow one which is almost on the way to being pink.

Have I lost you yet?

Seriously, if you are having a bad day, you are feeling low and down. Just go with the flow, allow yourself that one blue day, indulge yourself, don't fight it, accept it safe in the knowledge that it will be a new day tomorrow and a better one.


I thoroughly enjoyed the first series of Sparticus starring North Wales born actor, Andy Whitfield. Sadly though, Andy was diagnosed the leukemia and shooting of the second series has been delayed. They are now replacing the actor with someone else but personally I really don't think he can be replaced because he WAS Sparticus and such a good looking guy to boot.

He is fighting the cancer and I truly wish him well with his fight against this terrible disease.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

February Already!

So much has happened since my last post so where do I start?

Firstly, I got my 2 year clear from the surgeons, my mammogram was all good which is such a relief. Having the mammo isn't very pleasant on my scarred breast because of the scar tissue which can be painful at times. Talking of painful breasts though, I took the boys swimming on Monday and got kicked directly in the scar so its been sore all week. I am seeing the oncologist in March so I will discuss this injury with him, I do worry about such things, what they might start etc.

At the end of January we were at Pontins in Prestatyn for the Gathering. Oh what a fantastic weekend that was I can tell you! Rock and Roll and good friends, the picture above was taken on the first night and is just a fantastic illustration of the weekend. Killing for Company were totally amazing as always and such a lovely bunch of lads and Mike Peters.....well...... what an awesome man he is. I presented the last cheque to him for Love Hope Strength Foundation, I raised almost £800 with my run in December.

Joe is doing well on his keyboard, I am amazed at how he can pick up tunes so easily and then teach himself to play them. He has just purchased his first harmonica, the one he taught himself to play on was a kiddies one from a toy shop but this one is a Hohner. It came this morning and he has already taught himself to play Star Wars.

Pickles had a small operation a couple of weeks ago to remove a lump from her chest. It turned out to be a fatty tissue and she is fine. Strangely enough her lump was in the same place as my lump was!!!

My hair is almost grown into a bob which I am really pleased about. I can't wait until I can actually tie it up and fiddle with it. You never appreciate things until they are gone and losing my hair was one of the worst parts of cancer treatment.

So tonight I am having a Virgin Vie party as a favour to a friend who has just started out with this venture. It is just and excuse for a get together and a giggle. I have been busy cleaning the house but its hard with 2 kids and 2 mucky pups in tow.

I will try to keep up to date with my blogging from now on.....