My Sunday Photo 10-12-2017

Sunday, 10 December 2017

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


Deep in conversation with Santa!

Miss A had a lovely chat with him when we saw him yesterday. He was really lovely and took the time to ask her lots of questions. Thankfully there were no surprises when he asked what she wanted for Christmas and she told him a blue camera which is what she's getting!

OneDad3Girls

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Stick Man Christmas Fun

Sunday, 3 December 2017

We enjoyed a fun morning of Stick Man activities with Forest Explorers in Delamere Forest!

The session started with a book reading of The Stick Man (we'd also watched the film before setting out to get us in the mood!). The kids all knew the story well.

Then each child was given a stick from which to build their own Stick Man. Each stick had legs so we ventured outside to find a suitable stick for arms and other materials to make hair, clothes etc. Using just pipe cleaners, the Stick Men were assembled. There was such a variety and they were so individual to each child.

The next activity was making a wooden Santa. The children were given a carved wooden block, paint, glue, pompoms and googly eyes. It was so simple and yet it looks fab! Definitely a decoration we'll keep and have out each year.

It was then time to venture outside again. This time deeper in to the woods to make the Stick Men (and women) a home. Miss A worked with another girl to create a house which then had a sofa and TV inside!


The final activity was to roast marshmallows on the campfire. Miss A loves marshmallows so she was really excited to get to do this.

It was nice that the kids had things to take home at the end of the session based on a story that Miss A is really familiar with. We've previously taken part in a Forest Fairies activity morning which was also really good. Forest Explorers host various family events in the school holidays so it's worth keeping an eye on their Facebook page for details.


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My Sunday Photo 03-12-2017

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


The kids have seen Santa twice this week at various events! This was taken at a local Christmas Fair. Master R isn't sure what to make of the man in red yet but Miss A gets so excited. It's such a magical time for kids.

OneDad3Girls

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Me & Mine - November 2017

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Joining up with the Me and Mine Family Portrait Project with these photos of our family for November.


Our first festive photo of 2017 when we met Father Christmas at a local Christmas Fair. Master R isn't quite sure yet what to make of the man in red!


This one with The Gruffalo was taken at the start of the month by my brother on a lovely walk in Delamere Forest. We didn't realise Miss A was pulling a funny face until we looked back later! She's so cheeky!

November Highs:
  • - A big highlight of this month was seeing some of my family and us all staying in a house for the weekend together. My brother, sister-in-law, niece and her boyfriend came up to Chester and we had such a fab time catching up.
  • - The month began with the rest of half term. We visited the World Museum in Liverpool with Mr MoaB's sister and her kids. It's been a long time since we've been to a Museum. Wasn't sure how Master R would be as he wasn't that well all week but he actually seemed to enjoy running around the place! Bit disappointed by the Planetarium Show but other than that we had a great day exploring all the different exhibits. 
  • - Miss A got to try roller skating for the first time at a free local Roller Disco and Laser Light Display event. She got the hang of it really quickly and it's definitely something I'd like to do again with her. The laser light display was fun too!
  • - Another first this month for Miss A was going to a fireworks display. Previously we've just watched a few fireworks from the window, but this year I took her with my brother and sister-in-law to a local display. I was a bit worried she might not like the noise but she loved it! 
  • - Whilst my family were up we went for a wander around Chester including the Cathedral and walking round part of the walls. It's such a nice town to be able to take people to.
  • - Miss A went to her school disco with lots of dancing and some party games. I was helping at the event and must admit the noise level was so high but the kids all had a great time!
  • - Mr MoaB's Mum came to stay for a few days and we took Master R to Grosvenor Garden Centre to see the Christmas decorations. The had some singing reindeer heads which were great fun. Lost count of the number of times we watched them! 
  • - Both the kids supported Children in Need - Miss A had a Silly Hat Day at school and Master R wore fancy dress to nursery. 
  • - Mr MoaB and I have finally got around to making some firm plans for our wedding (we've been engaged since 2012). We've now booked our wedding venue and the Registrars. So we're all set for September 2018!
  • - As part of the Frodsham Christmas Festival, Miss A got to ride on the school float which was themed on 'When Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney'. She sings the song all the time now!
  • - Miss A achieved her next level of badge at her Gym Stars gymnastics class. 
  • - Master R's vocabulary seems to have come on leaps and bounds over the last few weeks. He has so many more words and is trying to say lots more. It's so fab to hear. 


November Lows:
  • - My third stay in hospital of the year. This time due to a chest infection. Thankfully it wasn't sepsis. Meant that my treatment had to be delayed by a week but when I had it, it all went fine. 
  • - I still have so many blots posts unwritten and in drafts. I am struggling to know where to start to get the blog up-to-date but my plan is to try get them all written so that my blog stays as a record for the kids to look back on. 

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

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My Sunday Photo 26-11-2017

Sunday, 26 November 2017

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


A magical moment for Miss A as she encountered a Unicorn at the Frodsham Christmas Festival last night!

OneDad3Girls

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Living with Cancer - A Year of Treatment

Thursday, 23 November 2017

A year ago today I had my first chemo treatment so I thought it was an appropriate time to give a bit of an update on what's happening with me as I continue to fight cancer.


I originally went public with diagnosis back in February and you can read more about this in my original Living with Cancer post.

I don't remember a lot about the weeks leading up to my first treatment. It was just a whirlwind of appointments and scans and we were just trying to come to terms with the diagnosis.

My treatment journey started at the Cancer Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury. I just had time for one round of treatment before we made the big family move up from Bucks to Cheshire. We had to time our move around my treatment dates.

Then once we'd moved, it was another series of appointments at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in the Wirral including meeting my new oncologist. I was found to be HER2+ so my treatment plan was changed and I had my first round Christmas week. Not great timing and I was pretty wiped out over the Christmas period. The day of my first treatment was when the ward were all dressed up for Christmas so at least this took my mind off things.

I also took the decision to have my hair shaved off on Christmas Eve. It was coming out in great clumps and I was getting more and more upset every time I showered. We took the kids along to a local barbers and I think this helped Miss A to accept that Mummy had no hair as she saw it coming off. We tried to make light of it hence the plate photos etc. I decided on a barbers as I didn't feel I could go into a hairdressers when everyone in there would be getting primped and preened ready for Christmas. This would have been more upsetting. I got used to wearing hats whenever I went out and luckily it was through the winter so I didn't look too out of place.

My treatment has been every 3 weeks with a few exceptions when it's been delayed. I had 7 rounds of this chemo treatment over a 4 month period. I was very fortunate as I got through most of it pretty unscathed with only a few side effects, mostly fatigue. I know from others, that this is definitely not the case and side effects can knock people out completely. I did end up in hospital on two occasions with neutropenic sepsis. Luckily both times I was only in for 2 nights as the hardest part was being away from the kids.

We were so fortunate that for every treatment, we had family members on hand who came and looked after the kids so that Mr MoaB could accompany me on my treatment days. They are long tiring days even though it's mostly a lot of waiting around in between getting bloods done, seeing the oncologist and then having the treatment itself. A massive thankyou to each of them for their support.

Next door to the Cancer Centre is a Maggie's Centre and this has always provided a welcome haven on the long days. There's always a friendly smile awaiting and free refreshments including an endless supply of biscuits. It's nice to have somewhere relaxing to go away from the waiting room of the Cancer Centre.

At the end of my chemo treatment in April, I rang the bell at the Cancer Centre. Even though I knew my treatment was ongoing, it felt important to mark this milestone and I got more emotional than I thought I would.

I was to continue on a 3-weekly treatment plan of Herceptin and Pertuzumab indefinitely from this point. I started to go to the Cancer Centre on my own so that Mr MoaB could look after the kids.

Originally I had a PICC line inserted for my treatment but then I became allergic to the dressings that were applied so it had to be removed. It was great for treatment so I didn't have to have a cannula each time but it was a bit of a pain as you had to keep it dry when in the shower with a big cover, I couldn't go swimming with the kids and it had to be flushed and re-dressed every week between treatment by the district nurses. I opted to have Portacath inserted in my arm instead which sits under the skin and means I can go swimming etc. It's brilliant.

My Breast Cancer Nurse had nominated us for a Special Day through the Willow Foundation. This fantastic charity offer special days to seriously ill young adults. We asked to go on a family holiday to Center Parcs and they made all the arrangements for us to spend 4 nights at Sherwood Forest in June. It was just what we needed after everything we'd been through over the preceding year. We had the perfect weather and enjoyed some amazing family time together.


We enjoyed a great summer and I made sure I made the most of the time with Miss A before she started school in September. I actually felt really good and was definitely managing okay on my new regime of drugs. However, my body had other ideas and I was told at the end of August that I would need more chemo. This time a drug called Kadcyla. It came as a complete blow as I thought the other drugs must be working as I felt so well. But so be it. I have now had 4 rounds of this drug and again seem to be getting away with very few side effects (touch wood this continues).

Fortunately I shouldn't lose my hair this time which is good as it's growing back nicely. When I tell people about my cancer for the first time, they are always shocked as you really wouldn't have any idea from the outside! That's a good thing. I obviously never look that ill even on my off days!

I have found a great support network with the Younger Breast Cancer Network. They have various groups depending on your diagnosis and location in the country. It's always nice to know I can go on their to chat or ask questions with those going through what we are. It can be hard to read some posts but that's the reality of this disease. There are so many young women who have cancer and many who like me have young kids. We need to keep fighting.

Throughout this whole time, it is the kids who have helped me stay focused and not mull on it all. I just have to get up everyday and be Mum for them. Master R is still too young to understand any of it and Miss A just knows that Mummy goes to hospital every few weeks and has an 'ouchy' in her arm but it it doesn't impact her day to day and I hope that continues for a long time to come.

And of course I couldn't have got through all of this without the unfailing support of close friends and family, but mostly Mr MoaB. It's tough and it will continue to be so, but we have our wedding booked now for next year so we have something to focus on and look forward to next year. Thank you Mr MoaB.

So that's where we're at. It's been quite a year. It's hard thinking back but I wanted to record my journey for the kids to read in the future. I have one more treatment this year and then fortunately my next treatment won't be until 9th January so I can enjoy the festive period and Miss A's school holidays without any stress or side effects. Yeay!



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My Sunday Photo 19-11-2017

Sunday, 19 November 2017

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


The first of what I'm sure will be many Christmassy photos! I took Master R to a local Garden Centre with Mr MoaB's Mum to see their decorations. He loved all the displays especially the singing reindeer!




OneDad3Girls

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