Life’s Stages

So morning all however although yes you guessed it I woke at 4.30 am as usual and it’s now 5.30 am for me, you may be reading this tonight after your long day at work or on the way back from work or if you’re naughty reading at work whilst pretending to work on some important document that’s urgent, good idea hey.  Anyway this morning the normal routine arrives in the form of the Tia for breakfast and usually Molly briefly looked at me in the kitchen performing my teeth brushing, cat feeding, coffee, 1/2 biscuit followed by a fag and decided to just return to bed. I’ve taken the first of my tablets which is a 3 hour ritual before I can eat, well apart from a bit of biscuit after each tablet as a reward, that surely doesn’t count? Biscuits shouldn’t count toward any calorie intake for the day for anyone.

So when I woke this morning and it was 4.30 I was 1/2 awake and 1/2 dreaming stumbling through the routine. I thought that I had cracked it all, a eureka moment and this was my dream: I wake at 4.30 not because of pain but because a neighbour wakes for an early shift every morning at that time and wakes me up. I don’t have cancer as it was wind all along and they operated on me by mistake. The pain I feel now is due to all the drugs they give me. At the next Oncologist meeting on Friday they will tell me that they got it wrong, my notes were mixed up with someone else’s, that they are very sorry, stop all treatment and crack on with life oh and you can return to work  one month from now just in time for Christmas and the drugs to be out of your system, claim forms for malpractice are on the table top on your way out. Now that’s what my dream state was tellling me, I liked it, loved it and thoughts of me skipping whooping running out of the hospital filled my mind. Reality then set in on around the second coffee and fag that it was just a dream just a mad mixed up dream but the ending of being cancer free and being able to live without a death sentance of a year hanging over my head was just too sweet not to play out in my fantasy mind.

Yesterday my day was just spent with my mom. I loved it and she loved it, the sun was shining and like all relationships we know each other so well, we love to plan, to get excited, to improve things to make things in our house just lovely for other loved ones. Now the fustration of illness and my ability to contribute to anything is so limited it upsets me too much. My mom gets breathless trying to complete daily chores, her hands starting to go club like in appearance as so happens with age. She worries about falling, driving and confidence falls away with each year. She loves being part of our lives and due to the ‘Judy Den’ bedroom make over she has stopped an extra night. She wants to extend this to help finish the room off but I have to say no to her as life has to have balance and everyone needs a break from me, a rest, a recharge of the batteries but she just wants to be with us however she does know we are right. She can return on Monday rested and ready for taking up her invaluable role in this shit journey we are on. Thank you all so much for your comments left for her on the blog as she does read them all and loves them.

Steve had his break from me yesterday by going into the office. He tells Liz that he is glad of the break, there is no shame in saying that as it’s true. Thank you Liz, Graham, Bryn, John and Jay as you all help so much in your support of Steve and he returned yesterday whilst tired but refreshed as we had little contact all day.

So the planned carpet fitting for ‘Judy Den’ happened at bloody 6.50 pm so we waited all day for this and I’m just glad it’s done. Excitement to see the new carpet I crawl upstairs to see. Sat on a stool in the room we start to plan tomorrows job list. I’ve been in pain again since the John Lewis trip out and Steve starts to get stressed at me for planning too much for tomorrow and orders me back downstairs to rest. I sit and cry with him when he joins me of my fustration of being a useless cripple around the house, that I’m sat downstairs whilst everyone is part of the making of Judy Den and I can’t help, lift anything, move anything, just useless. Mom joins us and they understand but still insist that I have to take the day slowly and rest and not do too much as it’s them that have to see me try to recover, in pain and upset. So I agree to behave today and take things easy.

Now when I got the letter to say I could have my M&S pension it made me very happy but also very sad. My doctor has confirmed that I have a shit prognosis of a year. It doesn’t matter whether you only have £2.50 in your bank balance or £2.5 million as no money, no fame, no title you hold, no allegiance to God will save you from dying. It will happen to us all but to be told it’s happening it is very different. I cry because I can spend it on the ones I love whilst I’m alive, happy picking daisies before the sand timer of my life slowly (I hope) runs through the timer like the ones in any game.

So today’s post being stages we need to talk about that and it’s the serious stuff that I alluded to following Nicky’s weekend visit. It started there but applies to all my loved ones and to us all as we all go through grief. Now the internet says that there are 5 stages of grief and they are:

The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.

Now you can be in any of those stages at anytime, it’s a roller coaster ride. Now Nicky is in anger mode when she is not with me, when like my mom she reads about my day and feels helpless. She can’t imagine her life without me in it. She reads the blog and comments, lovely words from you all and feels that she isn’t doing enough, not saying enough, not buying me enough thoughtful gifts, not expressing how she feels. So she gets anger. Normal stuff according to the internet, oh where would we be without it hey. I try to explain that it’s okay that she doesn’t text or that she doesn’t find the right words to say cos we have been friends for so long I know how much we love each other, she is considered family to me and has been for over 30 years. It’s the one precious thing of life, your life and it’s experiences shared with others. That’s my meaning of life. If your dream is to swim with a dolphin, great but done alone with no one to share the moment is lost and empty. That’s why I don’t want to swim with a dolphin or climb a mountain or run a Marathon cos I’m happy just sharing moments with my loved ones. Laughter when looking back on the old photos I shared yesterday brought back the ‘ Oh wow remember this day’ and you relive that time and place with each other and feel the memory, feel the laughter, feel the love and it’s that which will hold my loved ones together when I’m gone I hope, the good times, the happy precious moments shared. The love of life and living not being bitter, angry or a victim of cancer but strength from the love we all had for each other.

Getting too heavy for you all I think and wow 6.30 am, so I’ll just go for my next tablet, coffee, a fresh packet of fags and of course as a reward 1/2 a biscuit.

Steve worries that the changes or additions to the house when I’m gone will be source of pain for him and I worry about this too. Daisy Den is this massive project of love for me so that I can happy, the hot tub will be for Steve a reminder of my pain. I hope not I tell him as I’m planning fun times in there too with everyone. Now for years and years I have always insisted that ‘The Rose’ by Bett Milder is played at my funeral, I told my kids and mom of these wishes and I have been adamant about it and Steve has always hated the idea and hates the song coming on. I have written already what I want hymns etc at the funeral and our dear friend Ian will help Steve ensure all my wishes are followed. One thing we are going to do with the pension money is to pay for both our funeral plans so that the stress of ‘what would she want?’ is not an issue for anyone. So there will be no pop music, and no flowers apart from one family one. If anyone wants to buy flowers they should buy them for themselves and take pleasure in their beauty. I love daisies because of the ‘picking the moments’ thing. They are for me a flower that grows everywhere, they are free, you don’t have to have money to have them. You can see them in the grass everywhere in summertime, you can make chains of love with them, you see them wild and free spreading smiles for people like the buttercup, who hasn’t held a buttercup up to their chin and asked a friend ‘do I like butter’? Free precious moments of growing up, lazy summer days in fields with picnics surrounded by daises.

For anyone who doesn’t know the song which I have attached it. For me it means so much about life and I cry when I listen to it as it reminds me so much of the sad time when I lost my Dad. I used to play it full blast in the car and drive singing and crying at the pain and suffering he endured with his battle with Pancreatic cancer. Anyway that subject needs a whole post of it’s own. Please listen to each word and think of yourself, your life and I hope that it touches you as if I could send a message of pain, love, despair and then hope it’s all in this song to you all from me.

The wonderful Marina from Ian Rennie came for a home visit, she is so lovely. We discuss pain relief  and how I am getting on. She is referring me to a pain specialist for a review as I have less than a week now on these new tablets and then they have to stop. What then as I can’t go back to the pain I was in. They will co-ordinate with the Oncologist team and together help me to be as comfortable as possible. This is a charity, it amazes me that they are driving this, where is the NHS care? This subject is a whole post on it’s own with my frustrations so I won’t go on about it now. Where would the NHS or I be without these wonderful people, thank you Marina.

So hot tub is being delivered tomorrow and I will film it going in via the crane so you can share the moment. Mom has had to go home and she is sad about this but agrees she needs a break and some quiet time. Mom and I met up with Mary and Ann from the BHS High Wycombe store for their lunch hour. It was so lovely to see them and talk shop, talk Christmas Shop going in. I hope that they weren’t too shocked at the state of me with my stick and cut lip. Then back home to prepare tea as BFF and Andrei are coming for tea, so loaded with pain killers Steve and I cook together whilst Rebecca takes Molly for her daily walk. I am so excited to see them and so I’ll post this up and take photos later and tomorrow’s post will be an update on the evening.

The sad thing about about tomorrow is that the famous Chemo Gazebo will come down to be replaced with the hot tub. It’s given me so much pleasure throughout the summer but it has to come down. £20 well spent.

And fiIMG_4822nally to make you laugh, Rebecca is on a diet and this morning whilst making her packed lunch the cucumber appears slightly ‘phallic’ so I took a photo just for fun. My poor daughter, the things I make her do for me hey!





Hope you all had a great day and catch up with you all tomorrow.





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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.

35 thoughts on “Life’s Stages”

  1. LibDem here! Saw Paula today. You are allowed to be bossy and tell us all what to do but you are not allowed to try and do it yourself!! Maybe see you some time on Saturday xxxxxx?

    1. You bet I’ll be there, mrs bossy and then I will have to leave as Richard is coming home and I want to be okay for him as I haven’t seen him for 3 weeks and we all love him being around. See you Saturday morning :-))) xx

  2. the song, so beautiful, it’s made me upset, I’ve never heard it before,
    I do wish they could sort out your sleep and pain,
    glad your moms den is finished, I love new carpet , the smell , the feel of it under your feet, it’s lovely,
    Don’t spend too much time in your hot tub, you’ll be all wrinkled up like when we were kids when we had a bath and didn’t want to get out, well with all the bubbles know one will know if your trumping will they,lol,
    I do hope it will ease your pain,
    Love to you as always and listen to your loved ones and take it easy,

    1. Oh Tammy mate I’m just too excited and I’ll try to be good I promise but I want to enjoy it all 🙂 hot tubing and getting all wrinkled but being pain free 🙂 Glad you like the song xxx

    1. Hey boss, glad you like it, I love it but listen to it without the viseo footage as that was the best one available on the internet that Steve could find. Next time you pop round, bring your swimming shorts too hey lol xxx

  3. It was lovely to see you Wendy and your lip didn’t look as bad as I thought it would. If I you hadn’t told us on your blog what had happened I would have been very concerned about what the other person looked like. Lol. Other than looking tired, which giving what you’re going through is not surprising I thought you were amazing. You really are one special individual always putting the feelings and care of others above yourself. I know it’s hard for you to take a slower pace but it’s so important that you don’t over do things and rest, It was lovely to meet your mum. Wow you’re like two peas in a pod. Hope you have a more restful night and it’s my treat next time x

    1. Thank you Ann as I know I’m starting to look too tired. Accident to my face could have been so much worse, so I’m lucky. Lovely to see you too today xxx

  4. I have tears again and I’m sorry for feeling sad when you are being so humbling hopeful and honest you are for me playing the story of my life with bette midler star role from previous posts I too love the film beaches and cry every time I watch and The Rose is the most beautiful song I listen to every word but I’ve always been soppy like that & my promise to you is that I will always try harder to be positive as I put you through one of the most negative times of my life when you too were struggling but we were young, and hey look at our beautiful gorgeous children now who make us prouder every day and we love with every piece of our hearts I love you for making me smile, cry, scream and despair then sit up get a grip and be thankful for the precious moments good and bad xxxx
    Enjoy the bubbles with your Mr wonderful I hope your weekend is a daisy chain of love and fingers crossed a little less painful even just for a moment you really are very special
    Xx love & Juddy hugs xX

    1. Oh Teresa my old dear lovely friend, we shared so pretty sad times together didn’t we, no money, broken relationships and broken hearts and dreams but in friendship it’s just life and I’m glad we had that time together and we can say we were there for each other. Our children will never know the depth of our love for them until they are parents too. Thank you for everything throughout the years, the love, laughter, dancing, singing and best of all just being mates. Feeling the Juddy loves always xx

    1. I know mate, it’s okay. And next visit which I hope will be soon bring your swimming costume as there are fun times to be had here not all sadness, precious memories to have with precious people. So see you soon I hope and we can go wrinkly together lol xxx

  5. Hi Wendy it was so lovely to see you and your mum. Always nice to have a catch up and we will definitely do it when ever you are feeling up to it. Oh that song makes me cry every time I hear it such meaningful words but then as I have told you before so many songs make me cry. For me music is one of the most powerful thing that bring back good, bad, happy and sad memories. I hope your mum got home safely. So it should be hot tub day tomorrow that will be so good for you and hopefully all the family will find it helps to distress them. I hope you have had a lovely evening with your friends and manage to get some more of that deep sleep you had this morning. Sending you love and hugs to you all XXX

    1. Lovely to see you too. Mom home safely. Glad you love the song and you are right music helps us feel emotions that we try to suppress. it’s good to feel the pain of losing and rembering the people we loved and lost. Had a lovely evening, details tomorrow I promise xx

  6. I know your hot tub is going to improve your pain no end. Just be careful if it’s warm that you don’t become light headed when getting out. I go in a jacuzzi most days at the gym after my swim and it does ease my knee pain. Xxx take care. Xxx

    1. Good tip but I tell you what I’ll live in it and my tea can be brought to me lol, my skin will take on a whole new look, just my head looking normal, fabulous lol xxx

  7. Thank you and Steve for bringing up the simple truth that sometimes a caregiver needs a break away and the person going through the struggle also needs a break as well. So many folks feel guilty if they voice these feeling and you stating that there is “no shame” in it hits the nail right on the head! The raw honesty of your blog is what drew me in to begin with, your warts and all attitude is so refreshing. Much better than some sticky sweet or sugar coated version! Life ain’t always pretty but you never back down whilst always showing your truths. I just have one question please. WHO bought the cucumber? 😉

    1. LOl Steve did, I don’t think he even noticed when he selected it. He was shocked when he saw the photo but it made us laugh. So glad you appreciate the warts and all approach as sometimes it’s hard tell say when things are bad but my story has to be told and I only know my way so I just ramble on hoping that it makes sense.
      Every carer needs a break and I have to give them all that, I wish I could take one too but it’s okay I will just have to face whatever hand life deals me and go with it, no choice as normal, that’s shitty cancer for you xxx

    1. Hi Ian, yes I hope so too and can’t believe that soon I will see you, looking forward to it so much but my god I’m going to need a bloody bucket full of tissues xxx

  8. Wendy I am always lost for words when I’ve read your blog. You write so well.
    I would love for your journey to be pain free, that is my wish for you. Love to all xxx

    1. Thanks so much Nanny Jan, Thanks for being their for my mom, you help her so much through all of this when she is at home. I know you will go and see her and it means so much to us both. A live time of friendship in one street wow all those years, you saw me and Julie grow up, shared moments that my mom loves reliving with you xx

  9. Yet again Wendy you have my emotions in shreds! Thank you for reminding me of that song – has always been a favourite of mine & Bette is the only one that sings it the way it should be sung. Enjoy the delights of the hot tub & have a good weekend. Always in my thoughts – love & hugs. Morag xxx

    1. Sorry and glad you love the song, I cry every time I hear it. I’m so excited to have the hot tub for the pain, photos to follow on tomorrows post. Can’t wait :-))) fun times are a coming :-))) xxx

  10. Wow beautiful song, it’s is so you 🙂
    I understand why you selected it my lovely xxx

    I hope you’ve had a wonderful evening with BFF & Andrei they will have cheered you up no end I bet. x

    What a dream to have, bless your heart . It is so hard to believe that you are faced with this horrific disease, it just beggers belief x
    It also doesn’t surprise me that you have planned ahead little lady you are like myself A Controller lol x Janine confined that the day we met all that time ago at the HR workshop 🙂

    Loving that the Judy Den is nearing completion, happy days xx bless her heart. Give your mom my love as she holds strong for you. Moms are amazing aren’t they xxx

    Exciting time for tomorrow with the delivery of the hot tub I have visions of my Trendy Wendy skinny dipping lol enjoy it my darlin, just enjoy it.

    Now what are we going to call it??????
    I’ll have to give this some thought 🙂

    Love & Hugs to you & Yours xxxxx

    1. HI my angel, yes your right it needs a name. I feel a challenge coming for you all. Mom was so sad to leave me it’s awful but she knows she has to have a break. BFF and Andrei all details tomorrow, had a fabulous evening too, details again tomorrow. We are planners hey so tomorrow depending on hot tub I’m also looking forward to our chat. Speak to you tomorrow my angel xxx

  11. Sending you big hugs and Kisses Wendy! I always have a smile when I think of our past times together……..loads of love xxx

    1. Hi Stud Muffin, I always smile too, I’m so glad we had all those times together and you always treated my the same, you are family always will be xx Love ya xxx

  12. I have a theory that your mum didn’t want to go home because she wanted to be first in the hot tub! 😉

    I’m half expecting to log in tonight to see you, Steve, Rebecca, the delivery men, Molly, Tia the ungrateful cat, a representative from BHS and the squirrel in there.

  13. Hi Wendy. OMG Reading your blog early this morning about you making plans, etc and listening to words of The Rose, watching the video, brought tears to my eyes!! You are so honest about you all needing a break. I look after my 37 year old daughter that had special needs, and love her but having respite care allows me and my hubby to recharge our battery’s from time to time, and that helps us care for her on daily basis. I’m sure you will love your Hot Tub and pray it helps with pain. Your one amazing person and I pray for you every night! God bless xx

  14. My friend, my inspiration, no words can express the strength you give me to enjoy the life I have, to truly appreciate my amazing gorgeous husband and wonderful kids, bless you and thank you x X love always X X

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