It’s just after 6 am when I wake as so I head straight for the kettle as I know Rita is stirring and of course for my normal 1/2 a biscuit. Now on the way to conference when Steve and I stopped at the services we brought emergency biscuits from M&S and they were lovely. The only thing missing from my normal morning routine is Tia, the ungrateful rescued cat, Molly however she doesn’t normally come to say hello until about 8 am (lazy dog) and my all important fag but sometimes you can’t have everything in life can you but I’ll be with them all again soon. Rita wakes and we are both excited that I have slept for so long. Morning drinks done we start to get packed and then dressed as we have arranged to meet everyone for breakfast at 9 am with the view that we would be on the road for about 9.30.
Our hotel room is full of my presents, our bags and with my wheelchair on top of all of that it’s like an assault course in itself just to move around the room. I look at my gifts and feel so lucky, avoiding eye contact with the rug of course with it’s pretty ribbons holding it together as it will start me off crying again. My joy of the last two days is not about gifts it’s about the joy of being there with everyone and sharing precious moments. I think to myself that I have received enough love, support and encouragement to continue what I’m doing to last me until we all meet again at the next conference and I use this when saying goodbye to people later on as it really does express how loved everyone has made me feel. My emotional bucket is getting full and I need to give something back by continuing my work on spreading awareness, writing my blog, doing my BHS project work and being the best I can be for my loved ones both friends and family 🙂
Shall I explain what an emotional bucket is? Okay then for those who don’t know. If you consider your emotions and well being as a bucket. You have to have a balance between giving and receiving to keep the bucket levels balanced. If you give, give give always doing for others, wearing yourself out, working too hard then your bucket becomes empty and so does your heart. You feel low and depressed. If you take, take, take from others and give nothing back then your bucket becomes too full, it can over flow and you become selfish, arrogant, and take people for granted. Your bucket becomes too heavy to carry around and so you will eventually be very lonely as people turn away from you. The perfect bucket, like life, is a balance of give and take.
In the hotel breakfast room I’m hoping to see the lady who I spoke too on my first morning to thank her for the extra duvets, pillows and blanket but she isn’t there and also to see James to say thank you to him again. I didn’t see the lady but I did see James. I try to thank him again for all that he had done for me in ensuring that I could attend conference but he just keeps smiling saying it’s fine and was a pleasure to do everything for me. Bless him, thank you James.
During breakfast as normal after the night before we try to find out the gossip but nobody has any. Everyone has behaved themselves and even BFF looks good on only a few hours sleep. Breakfast done Rita organises every available pair of hands to help carry my bags and presents out to Mr Grey’s car whilst all I have to do is after a quick fag outside sit in my chair and say my goodbyes to everyone.
As I pass through the seating area of reception I spot Janet from Hanley. I call out ‘keep her away from me’ this is just a joke but every time I see her I cry. She has promised to come down on the train soon to see me at home, bless her. She instantly comes to me and hugs me. She whispers in my ear ‘if I hug you tight enough and for long enough I hope I can take all your suffering away’ that’s it and I’m sobbing in her arms again. She is one very special loving lady.
Loads of people come and say their goodbyes Liz, Jacqui, Amanda, Sue from the Isle of Wight, nag bag Jo (love you really), Dave West and Mr Muscles to name just a few of the hundreds of people that pass by, I even got a kiss from Mr Bottom (on the cheek of course) 🙂 It’s all too much and as I am pushed by Rita to head outside for a fag with a coffee I bump into the Black Country clan. Claire from Telford, Julie from Walsall and Cath from Wolverhampton. We all sing the famous Black Country song together, which opening lines are:
‘I’m Black Country born and I’m Black Country bred, I’m strong in the arm and thick in the head’
Which makes Janine HRH laugh who is just passing to also say goodbye quickly. We all have a photo taken together to remember the precious moment. Julie the Store manager of Walsall had spoken to me the night before. She like so many others in the BHS family saw my blog via the daily shares from my loyal supporters and started to read it, she is now addicted and loves it. I’m so pleased to get feedback about my blog from anyone, good or bad. As I say countless times I have never written anything longer than a postcard since leaving school apart from work reports. I can see the joy in her face when she got to meet me last night and I’m just so pleased that I’m reaching out to people, that awareness through my journey is spreading and that hopefully that I can spare others from this awful disease.
Now finally outside with a fag and a coffee the bags of presents and clothes go whizzing past me by the team of helpers. Karen comes and joins me. She is so upset and starts crying. I beg her not to cry as I just can’t cry anymore, my left eye has become swollen I’ve cried so much. She just can’t stop as she hugs me and it starts me off again. She says she is crying because she has enjoyed just being with me again after not seeing me for so long, that she misses me everyday at work and doesn’t want to leave me as she doesn’t know when she will see me again. I can’t stop her crying. She puts her sun glasses on the hide her eyes from everyone but as she is still crying, her lips are all wobbly and I can see her biting her lips trying to control them. I give her some daisies from my bag for her to give to Emma at Kingston. This makes her even worse and she says that she can’t face seeing Emma as she knows she will just breakdown again. I just don’t know what to do now, like princess the day before I just can’t stop her sobbing. Eventually she leaves me and their is a pain in my heart for her as I hate how upset she is, my poor lovely Karen.
I can’t see Rita and so I ask Mr Grey to push me to the loo for an emergency wee before we head off. As we go through the reception area I saw Rita out of the corner of my eye talking to Janine HRH she is crying too. On the way back from the loo she passes me trying to hide the tears but that’s clearly not going to work. I don’t think that she wanted to me to see her upset and she says that she was just telling Janine how much she had enjoyed the last two days with me and she doesn’t want it to end. I know how she feels, I have loved every moment, even the teary ones but we all have to leave and hope that I’m well enough to be able to attend the next conference in 6 months time.
Back outside the front of the hotel Mr Grey pulls up with his car. He has a Citroen DS3, the sporty one. Now it’s so full of all my presents that poor Princess in the back has no room at all. Wheelchair finally wedged in too I have to say my final goodbyes and thanks to Rita and Leanne who have looked after me so well for the past two days. All done and safely in the car we pull away from the hotel and I just feel so blessed and happy. I’m also looking forward to being back home too, to Steve, Rebecca, my chair and of course our ungrateful rescued cat and lazy Molly dog.
Final photos from conference that I didn’t use in my previous posts but I want to share with you all as they form part of those precious moments with you all.
Finally back at home and a quick cup of tea for Mr Grey and Princess. Princess gets to see and play with my dream machine chair. Molly dog goes mad when she sees me as she is so happy to have her mommy back. Tia is nowhere to be seen and when she does appear she ignores me as usual apart from feeding time of course, she has never been grateful that bloody cat. Final goodbyes done and I’m alone with Steve again in my dream machine. But as I previously mentioned I’m so worn out within 1/2 an hour I am asleep and I slept for 4 hours.
I wake at 4 pm and at 7 pm I have to start taking the double dose of slow release morphine which Marina has agreed with my doctor. Drugs taken and although I was warned that it may knock me about for 2-3 days until my body got used to the new amount I wasn’t quiet prepared for the fatigue to kick in so badly so quickly. I can’t keep my eyes open, my speech is slow and slurred like I’ve had a stroke. This continues into Friday and although I have planned to go to the Midlands as I have arranged to meet up with friends. Which I was so looking forward too, I know that I won’t be able to go. I have no control over the fatigue and I start to cancel my plans with friends with a very heavy heart as I send the messages.
I have however a surprise for you Tracy Nelson, I found Mike for you. I told you he had left but he has returned to the BHS family and he remembers you working with him in Merry Hill. He sends his love to you.
Mary was due round at 1 pm today to drop off buckets and badges for my weekend in the Midlands but I didn’t cancel her as I wanted to see her. We had a lovely hour together catching up on the conference. It was a good job she was running late as I had been asleep again and only just woke up as she arrived. We were just about to get ready to leave as I have to have bloods taken at the hospital at 3 pm prior to chemo starting on Monday when the phone rings. It’s my doctor just checking on the prescription sent through from Marina and did I want any other drugs? I asked her whilst I had her on the phone if the results were in from my MRI scan taken last week. FINALLY some good news, she talked about normal wear and tear to my spine but the only words I heard clearly was that the cancer had not spread to my bones. Prayers are working Rita 🙂 I was glad that Mary was there too to share the good news with me and Steve.
Now I was going to bring you up to date date but this post is getting too long so I will try again tomorrow as lots has happened, nothing bad so don’t panic.
I want to just thank the extra donations from: High Wycombe BHS team of £100, The Big man himself, Juddy £110 from his cake sales, Countess Judd for the remaining £25 from her cake bake off, Jenny and Jx £10, Chichester BHS team for their extra £118, my BHS Kingston team for the remaining £170, and finally an anonymous donation of £20. Thank you all so much as every penny counts towards this great charity, Beating Bowel Cancer.
I also want to thank Liz who works with Steve, she contacts him every week to see how I am and to support Steve, thank you.
Now don’t forget it’s Strictly Come Dancing tonight and we all need to support the wonderfully sexy Peter Andre as he has also supported me by re-tweeting my Cancer Free video.
And finally on the prayer list for tomorrow Rita is Karen and Frankie, my loved ones as always, for anyone who is grieving for lost loved ones and for everyone to find the right balance in their emotional buckets.