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Category Archives: Personal anecdote

Reblog: Learning the lessons

I’d like to introduce you to another friend of mine who has just started a blog.
She had dipped her toes in the waters of WordPress before, then somehow mislaid her login details and lost all the original posts, but now she’s back and writing better than ever.

Hop over and say hello, so you too can learn some lessons of life.

The Lessons

I quit school when I was 17 and spent two years trying to get the GED. I failed the math and writing multiple times, and after a while I quit again. I went back to try a final time, at which point my teacher told me I could do a high school completion course. After a year and a half, I graduated as a member of the Nation Adult Education Honor Society.
Lesson one: Believe in yourself.

My son attends a magnificent school with wonderful teachers. I just found out today that he is being bullied, and he is afraid to tell the bus driver. The boys who are picking on him used to be his friends, and now that my son turned over a new leaf, they don’t like him. I asked him what he plans to do, almost afraid that he would say that he would go back to…

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Posted by on February 3, 2017 in Blogging, Personal anecdote

 

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Random photo mashup…

Did you hear the bizarre story this week, about Sky TV’s (unsurprisingly cancelled) drama about Michael Jackson, starring Joseph Fiennes?

Well I was chatting to a friend about that doomed project on Facebook today, which led to a discussion about which inappropriate actors could be cast as recently departed musical icons.

While she suggested that Samuel L Jackson and Denzel Washington should star in Wham: The Final Stand, I quite fancied the idea of David Bowie: Heroes to Ashes starring Ray Winstone and Lemmy: Last Wild Man of Rock with Peewee Herman in the lead role.

But my friend wasn’t convinced:

“Both good choices.  Though I fear they are a little too Caucasian to portray these roles effectively”

She was right, of course, so I reevaluated my decision to have everyone’s favourite short, stocky, East End hard man play the Thin White Duke and instead went for everyone’s favourite smoldering, six-packed, tortured hard man, Idris Elba.

This met with a great deal more enthusiasm, (to be honest, I think she’s got a bit of a weakness for him) so I thought I’d provide her with a visual interpretation of my casting idea and I was so pleased with the result that I’m sharing it with you, too.

You’re welcome.

{You’ll have to imagine Peewee as Lemmy, it was too disturbing to post} 

 

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Reblog: Time heals all wounds

Lanthie had a tough Christmas, but she’s determined to make it a good New Year and it’d be great if you could click over to her blog and show her some support. Thanks.

Lump, what lump?

Found myself very dehydrated again on Wedesday last week.  Went to the oncology centre for my second last radiation treatment.  My last treatment was not quite a celebration.  On the way home I said to my boyfriend I think I need to be in hospital.  He was not thrilled by the idea but knew I was right.

I was a wreck.  I could not stand for more than a minute at a time.   I was pale and had no energy.  Still not being able to eat or drink anything.  Hadn’t done either in days as nothing stays down.  Something sets off a gag reflex and I just bring anything up, filled with mucous.

So I was admitted on Wedneday afternoon by my oncologist. It is now a week later and am still here in hospital.  Yes, I spent Christmas in hospital.  And it’s not nearly as much fun as…

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Posted by on December 29, 2016 in Blogging, Personal anecdote

 

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Reblog: Riding the Wave

Lanthie is starting to feel the toll of her cancer treatment, please go over to her blog and show your support. Thank you.

Lump, what lump?

I have written this post in my head for about 3 days now.  It has also had 3 different titles.

The first was “Pearls of Wisdom“, hoping I could impart some form of advice for other’s with throat cancer.

I deliberated much about this.  But quickly realised that I have no advice to give.

When I started this blog, it was my intent to do a day by day journal of my journey starting with discovery to finalising treatment. I did loads of research, read many many articles and many forums.  I thought I had it all figured out and I knew what to expect.

The reality has been that my experience has been totally different to what I expected.  In every way and the reality that getting up each day has been a challenge, and there is no way I had the strength or energy to maintain…

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Posted by on December 20, 2016 in Blogging, Personal anecdote

 

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So I married a superhero…

By now most of you know that my wife, Rhonda, is American, but what you may not know is that she’s also a superhero.

She is Spoon Woman.

When I got to know Rhonda, over five years ago now, she was just another American I could playfully wind up on Facebook. She was introduced to me by a mutual acquaintance and we soon became good friends, finding common ground in politics, music and literature, amongst other things. 
Even more amazingly, she shared my sense of humour and found my first forays into the writing entertaining, saying nice things about blog posts I sent her and generally coming across as one of the more sane and well-balanced Americans that I’d met, during my initial exploration of the internet in general and Facebook in particular.

She also told me she had fibromyalgia.

Ok, I’m guessing that if you know as much about fibromyalgia now as I did then, you’re probably reaching for a dictionary, or more likely opening a new window so you can Google it. So let me save you the trouble.

Have you ever pulled a muscle, or had cramp? 

Of course you have, everyone has had those “Uh-oh!” moments, the ones that result in you suddenly hopping round the bedroom at two in the morning, swearing your head off and trying to straighten your toes. Or that horrible sensation in your back when you try lifting something just that fraction too heavy and realise too late that you’re going to be wincing every time you bend over or get up from a chair for the next week.

Well, imagine that feeling, but all over your body.

All the time.

You can’t, can you? You literally cannot imagine it, because your brain quite rightly won’t allow you to synthesize that experience, any more than you can really remember just how bad toothache is. There is a failsafe in your brain which stops you experiencing pain, except when it is received as the kind of emergency warning signal that it’s designed to be.

If you put your hand in a fire, your brain tells your hand that it’s in pain, because that’s the quickest and most effective way to get the idiot who put it there to take it out.

Except that isn’t quite right. What’s actually happening is the nerves in your skin are telling your brain that your hand is burning and your brain, in reply, is telling your hand that it’s in pain.

But what happens if your nerves tell your brain that your hand is burning, even when there is no fire? What happens when your nerves tell your brain that your whole body is burning?

Put simply, Fibromyalgia (or “fibro” for short) does basically that; it causes neural transmitters to constantly send false positive pain signals to your brain, resulting in permanent, chronic and sometimes seriously debilitating pain, everywhere at once, all the time. The very idea of it is terrifying to me.

When Rhonda first casually mentioned her condition to me, during a chat on Facebook,  I didn’t quite know how to take it. I mean, here was a woman who looked after her daughter on her own and ran a special needs residential care home and seemed to work eighteen hour days, almost every day; that didn’t seem like someone who was in constant pain to me.

Maybe, I thought, you can just have “mild” fibro, perhaps it wasn’t all that serious after all. But that only went to show how little I knew of Spoon Woman’s abilities.

Rhonda once told me; “There are three ways fibro can affect you; you can let it take over your life, just lay in bed and give up; you can moderate your lifestyle to alleviate the impact it has on you; or you can just get on with it. I decided that I was going to just get on with it and I wasn’t going to let it affect my life.”

I was awed by her attitude at the time, having never met her in person and only having known her a short while, but I just accepted it and thought no more about it.

Fast forward a few years, she and Audrey are here in the UK, we’re married and Rhonda is working full time at the local chip shop. A dream come true.

Except that isn’t quite right. Dreams-come-true don’t usually feature constant pain, at least mine never have.

You’d never know to look at her, that Rhonda was anything other than the perfect loving wife and doting mother. She cooks, she cleans, she does laundry like there’s no tomorrow, anyone would think she was addicted to housework. You’d never know she’s in discomfort, that her myofascial tissue is screaming blue murder and her skin itches so badly she wants to scratch it off. You’d never know the muscles in her back are locked into solid knots, so bad she has to lie on a deep tissue massage roller in the evening to release the pain, or that she has hypersensitive pressure points on her skin that can deliver bolts of agony if touched.

You’d never know, because she is Spoon Woman and she knows how to best use her spoon supply 

When I was going through one of my regular fibro Q+A sessions with her the other day, Rhonda asked me if I’d ever heard the spoon analogy. Funnily enough, I hadn’t.

Imagine you have a finite supply of spoons and you need to “spend” a spoon in order to have the energy to do everyday activities: 

Get out of bed – one spoon. 

Take a shower – one spoon. 

Get dressed – one spoon.

Get the kids off to school – one spoon.

Drive to work – two spoons. 

Find somewhere to park – one spoon, etc etc…

The secret is, to portion out your supply throughout the day, so that you don’t find yourself out of spoons when you still have stuff you need to do. And, like the energy boost tokens you pick up in video games, extra spoons may be obtained through napping.

Naps are sacrosanct in our house, I’ve learned to respect the power of The Nap. And I collect spoons, too, in my way. 

If I see laundry that needs doing, or if I can take Audrey out and leave Rhonda to nap in peace, if I have time to do the housework before she gets home from work and insists on getting the vacuum cleaner out, then that’s one more spoon I’ve saved for her, so we can enjoy the times we have when we’re all here together.

I’m still awed by her, my superhero wife, now more than ever, as I learn more about what she has to deal with, every hour of every day. Because, like all of the other, secret and silent superheroes with “invisible” illnesses, to look at her, you’d never know.

{To read about the origin of Christine Miserandino’s  Spoon Theory in full, GO TO THIS LINK}

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2016 in aardvark, Blogging, Personal anecdote

 

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Stream of consciousness Sunday (1): Another lazy Sunday…

So, I’ve got Monday and Tuesday off work again, using up holiday before the end if the year, so SoCS is once more postponed until…well, until one of those days anyway.


However, Linda G Hill left us a prompt, so it seems a shame to waste it;

” “pretty.” Use it any way you please. “

Ok, as I said, it’s pretty unlikely I’m going to get anything written today, since it was the final, nail-biting race of the 2016 Formula One Grand Prix season at lunchtime and we went out this afternoon, to a retirement party for our local pub landlord.

There was live music, free food, good company and a rare opportunity to coax Rhonda and Audrey to get dressed up and socialise (to be fair, Audrey never needs any coaxing; she enjoys the fuss the locals make of her) and very pretty the pair of them looked, too.

The other thing I’m pretty thrilled about is the fact that my novel, The Wrong Stuff, has had its first review on Amazon (from someone I don’t know) and they gave it five stars!

Here’s a screenshot:

If by some extraordinary coincidence you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you need to;

***GO TO THIS REALLY OBVIOUS LINK FOR UK READERS***

***OR THIS EQUALLY BLATANT ONE IF YOU ARE FURTHER AFIELD***

…and search for the lovely bespoke artwork that I created, which looks like this:


The Accumulator will return very soon, honest.
No, really, it will.
**********

#SoCS

Pingback to Linda G Hill.

 

Reblog: On Top of the World ….Oh wait

Lanthie continued with her treatment this week, so please pop over and give her some support…

Lump, what lump?

So here I am, 7 terminator sessions in and 2 Chemo sessions.

The first Chemo session went fairly well.  No harsh side effects.  A little nausea. A little tired.  But I was still able to function.  I was eating like a horse – couldnt eat enough.  2 Breakfasts being the norm.

I sat in the Oncologists’s room just before my second session telling her how great I feel.  I was on top of the world.  Is this all it was about I asked.  I was told that the chemo wasnt too bad and it wouldnt get too much worse.  I felt quite upbeat about it all and finally was finding some strength to deal with it all.

Then I had my second session.

Realised at my session that I had lost alomost 3kg’s in the week.  Not that I’m complaning.  Losing weight while eating like a pig – what could…

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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in Blogging, Personal anecdote

 

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