Are We Ever Good Enough…?

I am sure we all have these days.  The days where you wonder if you are actually clever enough, brave enough, strong enough….. the days where you doubt the very essence of who you are!

We all know others who appear to be more intelligent than ourselves however that doesn’t mean we are stupid….. it means we know “what we know.”  It doesn’t mean that we should see ourselves as any less than others.

We simply are “enough!”  Never doubt that, my friend.  Never doubt that your ability to make it through to the next challenge in your life.  We don’t have to prove ourselves to anyone other than ourselves.   And if people judge or criticise you, don’t let that stop you from being who you are.

Some like their cakes to be chocolate and some like their cakes to be carrot (bleugh)  We are just like cakes……Some will like us one type, say chocolate and others won’t but that is none of our business………. Let them get on with it……. Do not get to upset over what others see us as………. chocolate or carrot cake is still cake!

Do we make a difference?  I started my Facebook page, way back in April 2016 not for recognition, not for fame but as a way to help me deal with the feelings and emotions that came out after my diagnosis.  And to be blunt, I though it would bring comfort and love, after I had died, to my Husband and Son.

It was there to help spread the awareness of this disgusting disease to the best of my ability and hopefully, by sharing our story, it would help others on this long, dark road and let them see that everything we experience is just the “normal” reactions to any type of cancer.

I wanted to use the page to highlight what myself and others, like me, have to go through, physically and emotionally because it is tough!  It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  We may have others around us, helping us, urging us onwards but ultimately it is ONLY us that can decide how we cope with the cancer bubble.

Crumble or rise above the ashes like the Phoenix….. So many people that I have spoken to have become better people, by their own standards, due to this evil disease! It seems to cut the cr#p out of our lives, it makes us understand what is truly important and what isn’t!

We all too often, in life,  get worn down by the “ins and outs” of daily living.  The daily trudge, the repetitive cycle of working to pay the bills, to have more money for material things, when what if I told you that that stuff doesn’t matter a jot!  Would you believe me?

Let’s stop focusing on “what we have” and start focusing on “what we can give to others”.  Why are we so fixated on “stuff?”  On things that, when we die, we won’t have and will be meaningless to others.

Let’s concentrate on living in the moment, laughing, joking and “just being.”  That’s what life is about!

We use the word “fight” a lot when we speak about cancer. We are “fighting” this cancer, we are fighting this “battle” but in reality we are just getting on with our lives.. we are not fighting anything… we are just trying to survive.

Our bodies become battered and bruised during treatment, whilst we try and process everything we go through, in actual fact it isn’t until treatment is over, then we can reflect on how far we have come on this really rubbish journey.

This photo is after a TURBT, and is where my Urologist would resection the Bladder tumour. I felt awful!

It takes a lot of time after treatment to fully process what we have been through. You see, whilst having treatment we are so focused on our next step that we don’t often realise that’s how much strength it has taken us to get where we are, right now.

We get so consumed by the “cancer bubble” that “real life” seems a million miles away from the reality that we are experiencing.

We get to meet so many amazing, wonderful people during our treatment.  People with the same type of cancer, or close enough, even people with different types of cancer.  We need these people, to lean on for strength when ours is waning and to give them strength when they find themselves struggling too!

For friendship and laughter, I can’t stress this one enough.  Even in the darkest moments laughter can be heard.  The human spirit is mindblowing.  When you think you can’t….. just can’t… take any more…. you will.. and much more besides.

This is me and my Lovely Chemo Nurse, she always made me smile ❤️

For the moments when you are often to scared to speak out loud about how you really feel.  You know those moments…. those dark, distressing thoughts that pop into your head at 2am.  Those thoughts that are constantly niggling and nagging at the back of your mind.

Those thoughts that we can’t share with the people we love, because they just wouldn’t totally understand how we feel because it takes someone who has been through what we have been through to truly “get it.”

I truly believe that everyone we meet in our lives, have some purpose in them. Whether it is for a brief moment, to tell us something important or just for the laughter. Never dismiss anyone.

Treat others how you want to be treated back.  Be kind and giving but don’t give too much of yourself, remember you can’t pour from an empty coffee pot.  So make sure you that YOU take care of you, first and foremost.

If you are anything like me, this will be hard to do, as for me, my coping mechanism for my life is to “take care of others” even to the detriment of my own health, which isn’t good!  However I am working on myself continuously growing and learning.

I am a “people pleaser.”  I know this.  Nothing gives me such a buzz in knowing that I have made someone else happy, or that I have helped someone who needed it.  I doubt my own intelligence, my own persona..  I wonder why people like me and sometimes get too wrapped up in why they don’t!

I guess the bottom line is… it doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t matter to me (see cake example) as long as I try to do my best, live my life to my own standards then WHY should it matter what others think of me?

On this journey I have lost many friendships along the way.  I used to get so upset over it, it used to really hurt me until I read something that really resonated with me.  You can’t make anyone be “your friend” you can’t make people “like you” and quite frankly if others don’t value you or your friendship then you are better off without them.  It has taken 48 years to get here.

Me and My Best Friend, been through a lot together, fallen out, not spoken for years, make up, she has been such an amazing support to me ❤️

Why give yourself to people who don’t see your sparkle?  Who don’t appreciate your soul?  Who don’t see who you really are?  Or maybe they do and it’s just not for them!  But again… that’s none of our business! And you have so much more to concentrate on than this!

We can strive to better ourselves, we can start with taking care of us, we can fill our “coffee pots” to the brim in order to help others.  Whatever you do, you are enough.

I always thought you had to be so intelligent, so clever, so… well … so not me, to make any impact on this world. My voice, although being small, teamed up with others, becomes loud and strong.

We can make a difference and it doesn’t matter how big or small that difference is, it is still a difference..

So are WE ever enough? I think the answer is YES…… YES WE ARE!

Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently. Believe and trust in who you are and the difference you bring to the world ❤️

Love Anita x

A Letter to My GP’s, My Doctor’s, My Consultants…..

Dear GP’s, Doctor’s, Consultant’s,

Having become an expert in my own body, these last 7 years, I wanted to explain to you how you make me feel when I come to see you. It varies on time to time and who you are, what your work load is like and your attitude that day.

That make me feel very sad. We know that you have an immense workload and are expected to see a certain amount of people during the day and yes, gosh, it must really annoy you when someone keeps coming back to you but you can’t find anything wrong with them.

It must feel like they are wasting your time. Or perhaps you just don’t like “me?” Perhaps I am one of the people whose personality you cannot bear. Or perhaps you just got out of bed, feeling tired, feeling exhausted and utter deflated because you know that your day is going to be filled with people who didn’t need to come and see you and others who should of come weeks ago.

Perhaps you are just feeling “bleugh.” Fed up with the targets you have to meet, fed up with budgeting for every illness, scan and test you have to organise. Even the ones who you know aren’t actually ill. But to ease their fears, you will send them for a test/scan/x-ray knowing that it is a waste of time, thus battling with potentially using an appointment that someone else may really need.

Perhaps you are fed up of the waiting times for your patients operations, and despite them coming in weekly, there is nothing you can do for them, other than explain you are sorry and agree that the waiting times ARE too long. I get that there is nothing you can do in that situation.

Apart from from maybe listen. Listen to their worries, their fears, read their state of mind. Read between the lines. Try and empathise with them….. NO try and UNDERSTAND them or do the NHS guidelines say not to get “too involved” with your patients?

What happened to when you signed up with a surgery, you got your GP for life? WHen did we start to lose the “caring side” in being a GP/Doctor/Consultant? When did it become about targets and not patients? When did you stop actually LISTENING to your patients and instead you started keeping your eye on the clock. God forbid if you go over that 10 minute appointment!

I am writing this to you because I want you to UNDERSTAND your patients. I want you NOT to dismiss me because I was here a few weeks ago and there wasn’t anything wrong with me. Please just LISTEN with an open mind. LISTEN AND HEAR US!

Do not dismiss us because you don’t like us or have us labelled as a hypochondriac. I know there are some people who do let our side down and DO waste your time but that isn’t me. I am very frustrated at feeling ill, I am upset and distressed because you keep telling me I am fine when I know MY body and I KNOW something is wrong.

I know it took you years to train as a GP/Doctor/Consultant and qualify. But… didn’t you chose to be a GP so you could HELP us? Wasn’t that the reason? So you could make difference in people lives? So you SAVE lives? And I know that sometimes that comes to the detriment to your own family life.

I am not belittling the HUGE amount of stress you must be under, the long hours that you work. The abuse you sometimes get from an unhappy patient. That is all wrong! That isn’t fair to you!

But what isn’t fair to us is when you can not be bothered to even read our notes before we walk in and see you. That you don’t know what my latest blood results are because you haven’t looked. That I am just a name on a bit of paper to you. An NHS number. You don’t KNOW who I am. That isn’t fair.

What you need is a “home”page on you computer, giving you an up to date overview of my health. All of it, physical and mental health. Telling you quickly what medications I am on. What I am allergic to. My last blood test results or any scan/tests results.

You should be able to take a few minutes to read this and understand where we are in our treatment and how we are coping emotionally before you see us. Then maybe you won’t have to ask “so what can I do for you?” You will already know the stuff that is happening to me.

I wouldn’t have to keep explaining myself, over and over again, each time I see you. Its like banging my head against a brick wall. It makes me feel unheard, its invalidates me, it makes me want to give up. It makes me think that you “can’t be bothered” with people like me, so why should I be bothered about my health? If you aren’t taking it seriously then why should I?

That isn’t a good way to feel about someone who is mean to be looking after your health. And that attitude is exactly why it took 8 months for me to be diagnosed with a Neuroendocrine, small cell bladder tumour. It had spread to my lymph nodes, liver, hip and arm bones.

All because I gave up talking to you all, because none of you were listening to me. You dismissed my symptoms. even when I was peeing blood for over 2 months, deep claret colour. You dished out those antibiotics like they were smarties. You didn’t listen when I said I didn’t think was a normal infection, you didn’t listen when I pleaded with you not to give me anymore antibiotics.

You made me feel that there was no urgency with how I was feeling, you made me think I was imaging it. But I had proof the “blood in my pee.” You STILL didn’t listen and 5 lots of antibiotic later, I started to pee blood clots.

Do you KNOW what I did? NOTHING!! I sat on the toilet peeing blood clots and I did nothing. Didn’t go to A&E because you had told me there was nothing wrong with me other than a UTI. I had lost hope, I felt despair. My Son and Husband were shouting at me and I still didn’t go because I had had enough of being told there wasn’t anything wrong with me and thatI had been made to feel that I was a nuisance.

I recently was told that I didn’t know what kidney pain felt like because he said my hand wasn’t where the kidneys were. I know where my kidneys are, I know that dull ache that doesn’t go away, with the occasional stabbing feeling. I sat and looked at the GP and decided to say nothing. feeling utterly deflated.

Perhaps I am wrong but over the 25 years of having infections and UTI’s, I DO know what it feels like and to be belittled by a GP is wrong, I also was asked “whats the matter with you? You are normally so happy and cheerful” “ah…” I said, “the face I show to the world.”

Had he looked at my notes he would of seen I have have history of depression, as well as the bladder cancer, erythromyalgia, raynauds and last but not least the heart failure. But he didn’t. If that is who he sees, the face I put on to the world, then how can I put my trust into him? How can I really believe that he wants to help me, if he knows nothing about me? If you don’t look behind false smile?

I am so sorry that you find your profession is so hard and that paperwork/guidelines and other such rubbish keep you exceedingly busy, with less and less time for your patients however you CHOOSE your career, YOU wanted to make a difference, please remember that.

Please even when you are exhausted, take the time to HEAR what your patient is saying. Take time to try and understand why they are sat in front of you. Please don’t become so complacent with our health that you miss something monumental in your patients lives.

Please, please look after yourselves as well as us. Notice the Zebras within the horses. You may well save someones’ life.

Love Anita xx

I feel like such a Fraud!

1st April 2106… that was when I first saw my tumour. Since then I have had 2 lots of palliative chemo and 3 radiotherapy sessions. Oh and let’s not forget the removal of my bladder, lymph node and woman’s bits…

19th August 2017 was the date it was removed and it was the date that my life slowly started getting better. Obviously it did take a while, you can’t go though a major operation without having to get used to a new normal, without coping with the pain and disruption, wondering if your life will ever be the same again.

I know this as not only have I been through it, I have supported others through it too! They didn’t believe me, on week 2,3 or 7 that their life would get back to “normal” or that one day they would have half an hour of fun, without thinking about their stoma and bag … but you do.

You learn to live with everything that life throws at you, physically and mentally! Physically, it is hard. The body hurts and aches, you may have “accidents” where you are left covered in pee! These being you down, mentally!

There doesn’t seem to be an end to it all! Lots of tears of frustration are cried. You should be grateful that you are still here, alive and cancer free… but you aren’t. You mourn for your old life… the happy, carefree life before cancer.

Times goes by… you cope, you learn to live your new life, adapting to it all the time.

People comment on how well you look, on how well you seem to be. They don’t know your worries, your fears, the pain beneath each smile. The force you have become in order to push yourself everyday. They just see the smiles, they see you as “fixed.”

The truth is that we aren’t “fixed” we aren’t who we once were. So many problems that lie beneath surface, so many worries.

I need to get a job, yes, I get a benefit to help towards living but because I am not dead, this benefit, which has kept us afloat, may not be granted to me because I have chosen to get off my bottom and am trying to get physically fit… so we may lose that money… and then what do we do?

You see, I’m in that “limbo land” where I am not cured and nor will I ever be… and some days are amazing and I am filled with life, other days, it’s enough that I walk the dog and then take to the sofa with a blanket.

People perceive me as being “well,” as being fit, as being fixed and better. People don’t want to hear about the realities living with an incurable illness and other health issues, they don’t want the truth..

They don’t want to hear how you were woken up in the night, with horrific pains in your legs at 2am and how no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t get through it, you wanted to scream and punch things.

They don’t want to know that today, you are struggling walking up the stairs or that today your body had decided it has had enough.

They don’t see the tears of frustration and anger when you can’t do something so simple it really messes with your head. It’s like having a “jumbled up instruction book” as a brain and that nothing makes sense today!

You worry over how you are going to live the rest of your life, how you will survived and what type of job you can get that will understand that some days you can barely make it out of bed….? But you see, you don’t show that side to social media, you don’t show the tears, the pain, the nightmare days….. no one wants to see that!

I wonder if any of my friends wonder why I am still here? I do! It’s funny once people see you are doing “well” they forget about the flip side. The side that was so distraught because you were going to die! And now you aren’t ……it seems!

Some days I want to just disappear, go somewhere new, where no one knows me… go “ghost” for a while… not have to deal with issues like money… shopping… I can’t do that though.. I have a family I love, a Husband whom I adore and am so very grateful that he has stayed by my side ❤️ I know some people haven’t been that lucky.

So am I moaning or trying to educate people? Once you have cancer and treatment stops.. well you are just “left.” Left to try and figure it all out on your own, left to try and put the new pieces of the puzzle back together, left because there is no one for you to lean on anymore.

I recently got discharged from “Macmillan’s” care, and I understand why, I do not, right now need palliative care… I am so very thankful for the support that I have received over nearly 3 years and I know that when I need them again, that they will be there ❤️

But what do I do now? Who can I turn too? Or maybe it’s time I forget about “cancer”, pull myself together, get a job and some responsibility….. I feel like the biggest fraud going …

Love & hugs

Me ❤️

Destructive behaviour … Growing & Learning?

At what point should you cut yourself off from someone who has destructive behaviour? At what point would you say enough is enough?

How many times would you go through the same destructive behaviour with someone? Someone, who you love so dearly however it’s having a detrimental affect on your own mental health?

How many times would you help to pick up the pieces whilst they are already off onto their next destructive path? At what point would you stop?

I have tried so very hard, and “learnt behaviour” is the worst. I am no saint, I have made millions of mistakes and yet I have learnt and grown, through ageing and wisdom. This is what we do when we learn and grow…. and yes sometimes we repeat the mistakes until the lessons are learnt and we move on.

How do you take “the world off your shoulders?” How do you deal with the guilt, in thinking it’s your fault that they are this way?

How do you help someone who doesn’t see their behaviour is destructive, who doesn’t see the devastating affect it has on others around them. Someone who continues on their path totally oblivious to the hurt they have caused, but it’s ok… they are ok now.

How do you deal with the after effects when you are emotionally drained? How do you just walk away for their good and your own sanity?

How do you walk away and not enable their behaviour any more? How many times do we have to get to the same old place, the same old pattern? How do we stop it when you feel it is your job to help and support them?

How can we just walk away? Will that do more harm than good?

I don’t know any of the answers to any of those questions, all I know is that right now I must focus on my life, my health however heartbreaking it is…. but I still love them …

Anxiety strikes!

Yesterday was going to be a great day. I was starting an Aqua Fit group at our local lesuire centre. I’m sure that I have mentioned that I have overhauled our diets (mine & Tims).

This has had a fabulous effect on both of us. Secretly I am feeling pretty darn smug! (Well not so secretly now) The problem I seem to have is… well… there isn’t enough hours in the day anymore 😱 I am enjoying the walking, it is just taking up lot of my day now…

I am getting up and having a coffee then taking Sherlock out. I am walking for a good few hours, this is helping me with my fitness and my mind. I have been feeling a little low for a while and whilst I tell myself it is just the “January blues” I often worry it could be a sign of me not coping!

I don’t know about you but I have a facade that I can put on, it’s a good one and no one other than me, knows that I’m having a hard time. I do this, for me, to save face, to stop others from worrying.. and because if I am lucky, it will pass without any major incidents.

So this brings me to yesterday and aqua fit. I was looking forward to going, yet it was only as the time grew closer that I could feel panic rising from my tummy. “Who else would be there?” “Would I know anyone?” “Where are the toilets” (this is a new one due to Sally Stoma) “Will I wear my wig or not?” “What if it gets wet (doh) and falls off”…, and so on… you get the picture.

Now the thing is I am so much more confident than I have ever been in my whole life. If you meet me you would never know I have anxiety issues and that I am prettified of grown ups.. I cover it well, so well that sometimes I even fool myself.

Cut to the leisure centre, I park,

Take several deep breaths and walk in. There are about 5 older women in front of me, all paying for aqua fit. I wait my turn, anxiety building, the Receptionist says something I don’t quite hear due to the thumping in my ears. I ask her to repeat herself and she does, happily and nicely. “Ok I have got this.”

I walk down the corridor not really knowing where I am going, I see the sign saying “changing rooms” and go to go in. I can see through the glass on the door that there are lots of people. My heart beats faster, thump thump thump thump.. my face stings as I can feel myself “flushing” thank for I have waterproof foundation on.

A lady comes through the door with me and the same time, I take a breath and say “are you here for the aqua fit? I’m on my own and feeing a little anxious.” She smiles and says yes. She is here with her husband and of course I can tag along with her.

I feel rather proud of me! Actually asking for help, taking control and not letting anxiety win. I go to a cubicle and get changed. I decide that no wig will be worn and that I will just buy a swimming hat in future. I get into my costume. Big deep breaths!

I hold my head high and go to the lockers. Omg so many people are turning up for aqua fit! What did I expect? I try to pay no attention to anyone and yet my head is now wondering how to get to the pool, I don’t even know where it is, oh bloody hell!

My hand runs down to my bag. I need to empty it before I get into the pool. Oh god! Where are the loo’s? I struggle with finding a locker. There’s one, at floor height. I put my clothes and bag in, I try to lock it.. it won’t work…. why won’t it work? Omg seriously am I that stupid I can’t work out how a locker works?!?! Panic begins to rise…

Someone bangs into me by mistake. I try and different £1… it still doesn’t work… the noise, oh gosh it has gotten so noisy… my heart starts to race again, I struggle with the locker door…

Someone says something to me, I just look at him, I can see his mouth move but I can’t hear him. My heart is pulsating in my ears, it’s all too noisy, I grab my stuff and go back to the changing room. I hurry and change into my clothes…. I can feel tears forming in my eyes, panic is settling in… I have to get out of here NOW!

I try to leave they the doors that I came in, they won’t open, I claw at the small gap, desperately trying to leave, with my boots and bag in my hand, half of my clothes on, the other thrown into my purple bag. Someone sees me, she pushes the door, I don’t even know if I thanked her, I ran…. ran for my life (ok a little dramatic)

Just as I was leaving through the main doors, I’m aware someone have grabbed my arm and is talking to me. It takes a few seconds… it is the fitness instructor saying something… I mutter “I have to go home” and then I run, I burst into tear and I run to my car.

I get in and drive. I become aware that I must of stood on a thorn. There was no time to put my boots on. I drive, I drive to my safe place… the place I know where nothing can touch me, tears running down my face, sobbing my heart out. Feeling like a fool, an idiot.. I mean what person gets so worked up about aqua fit?

I run to the house and burst through the door. The Hubs is there, holding me, telling me it’s ok, saying it’s all going to be fine… I have got to the stage where I can’t stop sobbing. He hold me. He tells me it’s ok… he says maybe next time he will come and watch me.

I try and tell him not to be ridiculous, in-between the sobs. I am a grown women of 48, I should be able to go to aqua fit on my own.

Slowly my breathing slows, the tears subside, the panic leaves as quick as it came… The Hubs makes a cup of tea and I feel like a fool….

For the rest of the day, I feel vulnerable, emotionally exhausted… and a little stupid. I email the fitness trainer and am just honest, saying that I became overwhelmed and had to leave. A little while later I receive a reply, telling me not to worry and she will see me tomorrow for the gym (bingo wings time)

She also says she will runs through things with me so I know where the toilets are, where the pool is and will show me the lockers and how to use them. That has settled my mind a little, knowing someone understands.

It is 6.52am as I write this, the gym is at 12! Wish me luck

As always

Love & hugs

Anita

#kickingcancersbutt and working on anxiety

My Year so Far…

Hellloooo, ❤️

Well, I don’t know about you but January certainly seems to be dragging its heels.. it’s the 13th and yet in my head we should be nearer the end of the month by now 😂 or maybe it’s because I am getting so much done at the moment, I am surprising myself 😜

I hope that you are all doing as well as you can be and that life is settling back to normal after Christmas? January always seems to be one of the longest months ever! (Have I mentioned this? 🤣)

After spending a lot of Christmas in pain, I have decided that something has to change as this is meant to be about quality of life now and yet most days I am taking pain medication. I am not moaning I just know that it’s down to me to change things in my life.

I have given up drinking because of my liver, and smoking , for overall health reasons and shouldn’t really be smoking. Now I am concentrating on what I put into my body. Really focusing on the foods, herbs and spices that will heal my body from the inside. (Hopefully 🤞🏻)

A few weeks on, it’s still early days and my body is still showing signs of inflammation but I am determined that this is a life change not a quick fix or a diet.. and it isn’t about losing weight it’s about me feeling pain free and being able to achieve the things I want to do! (It’s been 13 and a half days since my last cupcake……)

I will be documenting my progress on Bladdercancer.net in the form of articles and videos, so keep a look out if you want to see how I get on. I am trying and eating foods I never thought I would. 😱

I am also being interview for a Sunday paper supplement this week.. eek exciting… and it means I will be able to spread awareness of bladder cancer and Dying in Dignity, both of which are close to my heart. I’ll let you know how that goes..

One thing that I started last year is a “gratitude diary” so every day I am writing 3 or more things down that I am grateful for. This gets you to really think about your life and what you are thankful for. I am loving it, it just takes a few minutes a day to do and reminds you of all the good things in your life. ❤️❤️

Health wise, I am plodding on, high inflammation markers in my body and my hand keeps swelling up. I am due to have an ultrasound and X-ray on it next week! I am also due a PET scan within the next 2-4 weeks, I can’t quite remember so will wait for Nish to call.

I have recently discover “the Ranges.” I used to walk there a long time ago and due to being too lazy to drive to Oakhanger, I decided to see how good they were for Mine and Sherlock’s morning walk. Well we are loving it! So peaceful, so beautiful. ❤️

A huge thank you to all of you who are supporting the current Dying in Dignity campaign, in which I am involved in. We all need to think about our deaths and how/what we would like. Have those conversations with this who you love so that THEY know what your wishes are.

We are working towards trying to get the Law changed on “Assisted Dying”, not just me, but many many people face a agonising and painful death which just isn’t necessary in this day and age and as many people have pointed out, we would treat our pets with more compassion than we do our fellow human beings.. for more info please see http://www.dyingindignity.org.uk

I am trying to be more organised this year (😂😂😂😜) which for a Sagittarius is no mean feat! I am trying to create a Menu for the week ahead, that way there will be no more wasting food (I hate that) and we will know what is in the house to cook AND we won’t waste money buying things we don’t need!

The first week went well apart from I forgot that there are 7 days in a week not 6 (I seriously wonder about myself everyday 😮) but fear not, we didn’t starve, we just had to go food shopping!

I am also trying to work my life on a rota system.. so each week, say on a Monday, the bathroom and bedroom get cleaned, on a Wednesday the living room gets done etc.. is this really bonkers or taking it too far? Or am I a genius who is saving herself time? Only time will tell 😁😉

Who knows how long this will last 🤪 I am one for starting things and never quite finishing them….

Today we are going to my in Laws for dinner. Really looking forward to seeing them, they are really lovely people and I think my Father in Law is going to teach me “cribbage.” Apparently you have to be ok at adding up and multiplying numbers… I think it’s going to be a very quick game 🤪🤪

Anyhoo, wishing you all a fabulous Sunday, whatever you are up too…

love & hugs ❤️

Anita

#kickingcancersbutt

And so it begins…. 2019!

Have you ever had a day when you felt really “grown up?” Today is that day for me.. I don’t know why today is the special “grown up” day, it just is.

It’s January, 6th 2019! WOW! 2019!! When I was little, I used to think that we would all be living on the moon and having space aged gadgets.

Ok, so we aren’t living on the moon but look how far technology has come. We have phones which we can take pictures with! We can send emails! We can watch films! We can search the internet! There is a thing called “the internet.”

I don’t really know where I am going with this post, I think it might be about being grateful about your life and who and what you have in it.

It dawned on me the other day that I have a pretty amazing life. The simple fact that I have a life right now is just mind blowing, especially when you think back to 3 years ago. (3!! I can’t believe it, can you?)

I have a warm and loving home. I have a wonderful family, who are much like yours. We all have our faults, differences and quirks but I wouldn’t be without them, they are who makes my life so special and challenging at the same time.

Never in a million years did I ever think I would have this life. Never did I think I would be a “normal” member of society. I have mental health issues, bipolar 2 to be exact!

There was a time when I went off the rails, and yet I couldn’t see it. There was a time when I was an absolute train wreck, bouncing off people and friends. There was a time when my life felt so dark, I felt so alone and yet I had the biggest smile on my face. There was a time when I felt so numb inside, so completely empty and dead, I never thought I would be able to “feel” anything, ever again.

And yet here I am! Sat on my sofa, married to the most wonderful, good man, who makes me laugh every single day. With a grown up Son, who struggles at times, with life, but has the biggest heart I have ever seen.

Here I am with a wonderful relationship and friendship with my Aunt, which I never knew was possible. And I love it. Here I am with relationships with my Mother and Sister that I never thought would ever happen.

Here I am with such wonderful, amazing and gregarious friends. There was a time when I felt I didn’t have any friends, I had driven them away with my behaviour.

I remember a day when I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. I was so tired of the extreme happiness and the desperate lows. My emotions were all over the place, I thought I didn’t belong in this world. I couldn’t cope… I wrote a letter so my Son explaining that he would be better off without me and that I was sorry but I couldn’t take all the pain that I felt in my heart anymore.

I didn’t want the daily struggle with my mind, anymore. I couldn’t keep the pretence up, that I wasn’t coping with life. I just couldn’t….

I poured myself a lot of vodka and took a lot of pills. I cried, I sobbed, I screamed… I became so overcome with emotion that my cries and tears became silent. I was totally empty of angst, there was nothing left inside me.

And then I puked! I puked a lot!

I could see half digested food, the smell alone was enough to make you sick. The sweet smell of alcohol, on its return journey with unrecognisable blobs of food, lovely!

I think I slept for a while. Upon waking the stench hit me, my head felt funny, my eyes, so so sore. I got a drink of water…. f#cking hell I couldn’t even kill myself right!

And that’s when I started to laugh. Not a giggle or a guff but a full on belly laugh! “Goodness me” (or words to that effect 🤪) “this must mean I am meant to still be here”

Those memories are still so raw, still so painful! I’m not sure what lesson I learnt that day other than drinking neat vodka and taking pills, burns and hurts your throat and gives you the biggest headache ever (as well as bad pains elsewhere).

I guess what I want to say is that “no matter how tough, hard or completely exhausting” you find life, hang on in there. Keep learning and growing… life can get better…

I am the living proof.

I am so thankful for today ❤️

Love & hugs 💖

Anita

#stillkickingcancersbutt

And finally being a grown up… 😁

P.S. the hubs and I are going to start a Christmas shopping scene jigsaw…. old Anita would of rather poked her eyes out with a very large stick, than do a jigsaw…. Nana Nita is really excited about the jigsaw, Grandson and whatever else 2019 will bring ❤️