Family & Football

On 30th May Aston Villa were in the FA cup final at Wembley! Steve and I had thought about going up to the Midlands on the next weekend but we weren’t sure because we were all waiting for the chemo start date. As soon as we knew Friday 5th June was Chemo start date we had to change our plans. So I phoned my mom to say we were coming to stay with her for a change. That sent her into a blind panic as she had to do the housework, buy food and get extra supplies of good coffee in for me as she knows me too well.
We had seen most of Steve’s family a few weeks ago when they came to visit us for Sunday lunch but I hadn’t seen my family. So we moved all plans forward by a week.
We travelled up on the Saturday morning. As soon as we hit the M40 the cars travelling down to Wembley had scarves flying out of their windows. I would have loved to have been able to buy Steve a ticket that day to see his team play again at Wembley in the FA Cup Final but tickets were £550 each on the black market and so I decided against remortgaging the house for one day at Wembley. I’m glad I didn’t as we lost anyway but that’s not the point, they could have won.
En route to Aunty Vera’s house we went to Villa Park to buy souvenirs of the day, a scarf to wear during the match and to hang out of the car if we win. All the coaches were lined up ready to set off for Wembley, fans and flags everywhere. It was a lovely sight to see as they like us still had hope that we might just win against Arsenal.
We watched the match at Aunty Vera’s house. Aunty Vera is a very special person and as we say in the Black Country “she’s the salt of the earth” Since Steve and I started dating she has never forgotten either mine or my children’s birthday’s and she always remembers Wedding anniversaries. She welcomed me and my kids into the family from the off. She is married to Uncle (bloody) Alan, who had bowel cancer 7 years ago and is doing really well. They have two grown up children, Paul and Alison. Cousin Alison joined us that afternoon as did Sarah, Steve’s sister. Aunty Vera put on a lovely spread and fussed over us all for hours, she loved it, as we did. Uncle (bloody) Alan is called that as every other word is ‘bloody’ and it’s not in a rude way, it’s just him and it’s funny. He makes us all laugh as he like us loves to see humour in life. Life just isn’t funny sometimes but special people always find something to laugh at, we all need an Uncle (bloody) Alan.
Here is an example of how lovely Aunty Vera is. A parcel arrived at home for me one day after the operation. Inside was about 5 presents all wrapped in Christmas paper, bless her. I had lots of Christmas presents and it was early May, it made me smile. One of my gifts was a magazine to read, now I don’t think she put much thought into what magazine she thought I would read. It was aimed at the more mature lady shall we say and adverts for women who had bladder problems was the theme throughout. Rebecca and I read it one day and laughed all the way through it, so it had done it’s job. The other clue as to her maybe quick a magazine is a great present to send was the all important main article of the magazine which this edition featured, you guessed it ‘Bowel Cancer’ the first sentence went something like ‘Bowel Cancer is the second biggest killer in England second only to Breast Cancer’ now that was it for me I really did laugh out loud, excellent Aunty Vera, just priceless and I never told her as I wouldn’t want her to ever be hurt or embarrassed, so why I’ve put it on here I don’t know, LOL.
We left Aunty Vera and Uncle (bloody) Alan’s house armed we yet another bag of goodies to keep me going through Chemo. I haven’t opened them as the plan is that when I have a bad day I go to the goodie bag to cheer myself up with a present from Aunty Vera who I just love to bits.
From their house we went to my Aunty Cynthia (my Dad’s sister) and Uncle Phil’s house. She didn’t know we were coming and was surprised completely to answer the door to me. We only stayed about an hour as the day had been a long one and they were Baggy fans and Villa had just lost in the FA Cup Final. I did get to see my cousin Susan and her family Si, William and Isabelle.
On Sunday morning my Aunty Shelia (my Dad’s other sister) came over to visit and she had brought me a bag full of goodies too, it’s not all bad this cancer stuff hey! It was so lovely to see her, love you Aunty Shelia. I went over the road to visit Nanny Jan (neighbour I have known since the age of 3 and good friend to my mom).
We then went and had a lovely Carvery meal with Iris (Steve’s mom) Sarah, Stuart, Chris, Lauren and my mom. Lauren brought me flowers and we all enjoyed chatting away and having a laugh together, precious times with special people in our lives.
There were so many people I could have seen whilst in the Midlands, old school friends and other friends from throughout the years but for me it was just about seeing family before chemo. Steve and I headed back to Wycombe that afternoon glad that we had decided to travel up and see them The only person that I didn’t see and really wanted to was my cousin Nicky but she was on holiday but I hope that we will see each other soon.

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Married to Steve, I have two children - Rebecca and Richard. Steve has two children, Lauren and Chris. Rebecca lives with us (nurse Rebecca) and my mom Judy also has become nurse and housekeeper but lives in the West Midlands. My son is in the Army and comes home when he can. I am 47, born in 1967 and I was told I had bowel cancer on 22nd Feb 2015 and this blog is my journey through it. I hope it helps you as you were the reason I started it.

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