Monday, August 24, 2009

An update. Our girls are home!

As anyone who knows us will attest our family is everything. We work as a four, no more, no less so it was a hard week for Wend and I when the girls went to Wales. They went to stop with Aunty Noo and Uncle Jase and the girls favourite playthings, Ryan, Jacob and Stella the bonkers springer. Their home for the week is a little slice of heaven in wet Welsh Wales.
Shakes and cakes

Sheffield's temporary big wheel

Well they had a whale of a time, riding bikes and body boards. Running round the huge graden chasing and being chased, hide and seek and being kids. Happy and active kids.

Wend and I survived, we spoke to each other, we laughed and held hands and were a couple. A couple that continually talked about their kids, wonder what they're doing now, can we talk to them yet, will they be awake, hope they're going to the toilet regularly. But we were a couple and being just us some of the conversations were freer and more open, not snatching time when the girls were outside, nor listening for when they were on the stairs.

Anyhow Wendy's dad, Bill and his partner Bron, brought the girls home about a week after my fourth chemo. I felt good, really good. Active and alert and although I got tired I felt genuinely good for the first time in ages. Perhaps it was a sign..... Anyhow we took the girls into town and to East One for tea as a welcome home and also for Georigas birthday, a bit early but it allowed her to celebrate with Bill. Blow me down she ate most of her meal with chopsticks. Going to Wales always brings her confidence on, physically and emotionally she'd changed. I don't think it's the water but maybe.....

We then walked down into town and went on Sheffield's temporary answer to the London eye. Half the size but what an amazing view, even more amazing when Bill paid, cheers Bill. Now I'm not one for heights but since having kids I've decided they're not going to inherit my fears. So on we get, repeating the mantra "don't be sick, don't be sick, don't look down, oh fourpence halpenny, don't look down" round in my head. It'd have been a waste of a great meal.

Anyway I wasn't sick, no-one was, and we had a great time just being normal. For me being normal is where I need to be, it's a long term target, how normal well that's open to discussion but as normal as I ever get.

For a week and a half I was normal, the hair on my chin started growing back with some consistency. I was driving my car regularly, not something I do when my concentration isn't there, we were going to the shops. Not big shopping trips or anything but more than just me being ferried there and back. We even went to the pictures, twice, the second time was for Georgia's birthday proper Ice Age 3 in 3d. It was great really funny and the 3d stuff worked really well with the weird glasses on.

That evening we had Ma n Pa round and aunty Shelly called too for homemade pizza's. Wendy made the bases and everything and they were superb, way better than the supermarket ones, even the good ones.

Then I started feeling a bit pants, but it's my first borns birthday so we're going to get on with it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Friends and Family

They're what get you through, they're the ones that keep you going when it's pants. Mark seems to cop it when I need to go to hospital, both times I've been kept in he's taken me up and both times he's been shocked at how sh*t I look. But he comes and he sits and waits with me, averts his eyes as I swab my groin for MRSA and generally talks b*ll*cks with me while they sort a bed for me.

Mum and Dad have been amazing. Without their help with the girls this summer would have been awful. They've been supportive without being intrusive which is a hard thing to do.

The Neutropeonic thing that Wend posted about was basically my blood didn't have enough soldiers in it to fight out of a wet paper bag let alone a cold. I felt cr*p, just laid on the bed Saturday before my temperature spiked forcing me to ring the hospital again.

It's still a humbling experience going to one of the wards and listening to other peoples tales. Seeing people with terminal lung cancer hacking up every five minutes and spending three hours a day on a nebuliser but still being cheerful and laughing a joking is inspirational but emotionally draining too.

So I'm home, knackered but home. Humbled by positive attitudes and just getting on with it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

he's coming home he's coming home fatboy's coming home!

Well I'm home.

Will post more about the experience later.

(oops sorry about the earlier title!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The things Nick will do to avoid a sleep over!. Nick is currently an inpatient on ward 3 at Western Park Hospital. Since mid week we have known he was brewing something! By Thursday he was very ropey, but determined not to be admitted as it was Georgia's 8th birthday on Friday, he was a trooper all day , didn't make it to Georgia's bowling party and by Saturday night looked awful, had a temperature and had to go in. Georgia had a friend staying for a sleepover and I think all the giggling and pop music finished him off! So basically his blood count is out and he is neutropenic he will be having Intravenous antibiotics and daily blood tests and once they are happy with them he should be let out! As for his planned chemo session on Wednesday we don't know yet, his consultant will decide that over then next few days. Sorry it's a short post I don't have quite as much time as Nick!
Wend x

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Can I ask you a really personal question.....?


Debbies old steed

It was the third Christmas do since I started at Winterhill that I first really spoke to Debbie. I was wandering around being a nosey git and talking to people that you don't usually get time to talk to at work. It's interesting talking to different people, finding out their interests and hobbies and about their families and just getting to know a bit more about someone who you pass in the corridor most days. Sometimes it leads to a similar interest (motorbikes in this case) or sometimes it allows a link between departments that you hadn't seen or been able to use before.

Anyhow I'd plonked myself down at Debbies table and was chatting and watching the world go by. We'd talked before but not at length, Debbie is a teaching assistant who accompanies some of the more difficult students, an incredible assett to my lessons. She's one of those very patient people but unlike some she won't be messed about and you'll know very clearly when she's not happy! Debbie also works closely with the students in the centre, who are on modified timetables or go out to do more practical learning, so you often see her out in rigger boots and a Hi Viz jacket taking a group of lads out to build a wall or a path or something.

All I knew was that her son and daughter were at the school and she had a flair for art and design, I'd seen her sketching in some of my lessons. Anyway late in the evening I find she has a passion for motorbikes and travel and for workign hard as the teaching assistant job wasn't her only one.

We had a great chat and laughed at people embarrasing themselves and getting drunk and that was that. We finished for Christmas and she went and did family things in Rotherham and I did family things in Sheffield and Wales.

So the first Monday back, hmm don't like mondays but they happen every week and this year I had a couple of free periods first thing so it softened the blow considerably. Sat there working on my computer and the door opens, "Oh hello, have a nice christmas?" without looking up it was going to be the right question whoever was there......

Debbie seemed distracted but said she'd had a good one but "Can I ask you a really personal question?"...... Now it's not the usual monday morning greeting and if I wasn't happily married and had been drunk at the Christmas do then I'd be worried!

How personal could it be? It can't be that bad can it? "Yes if you want to, I may not answer it though!"

"Are you Derek Hart's son?" Now unfortunately I heard Eric Hart, so after a little clarification we came to Derek. "No, not me, why?"

"Oh I just wondered, having talked to you at Christmas I was just wondering." Debbie looked disappointed at this but not worried.
"Was his brother Roger and did he live on ******* Lane in Sheffield?"
"How did you know that?"
"He was my uncle."
"What do you mean he WAS your uncle." Debbie hadn't said why the question but now picked up and the terminology I used.
"Oh he died a couple of years ago. Why do you ask about Derek?"

"He was me dad!" Came the showbiz bombshell! Not what I was expecting in any shape or form.

It turns out uncle Derek had been a little, busy, in his past and had been sharing the love with Debbies mum. Once Debbie was more than a twinkle in an eye Derek upped and offed and went back to being less generous with his love, as far as we know!

So I started the day having three cousins on my dad's side and was to end it with four. On the phone to mum at break time, "just been talking to a cousin of ours" "Which one, Alison?" "Nope" "Paul" "Nope" "Joanne" "Nope" "Well we haven't got any more cousins." "Well we have now!"