Archive for the 'Health' Category


Recent news

OK, enough from me in the whining “but this time I really am going to post more often” tone that you’ve all come to loathe, and that I hate myself for later when I break it. Let’s just take it slow and see what happens, ‘kay? 😀

The last number of weeks have been incredibly busy, I’ve hardly had a second to think about anything except for work and family.

Work, by the way, is now officially my ebay business. I left my job as engineering controller for a telecoms company about three weeks ago. It has felt a little like taking a running jump off a cliff and not really knowing if there’s water or solid ground below you for you to land on. I’m absolutely terrified by the fact that it’s not a hobby or an evening’s pastime now- I have to make it work. Signs so far are encouraging though. I’ve just achieved Powerseller status and also gained a Top Rated Seller badge- this was an amazing amount of hard work on my part, and maintaining that badge will be even harder. The standards required are incredibly high and it only takes a couple of assholes for you to lose it. We shall see…however, all is going (touching a whole great chuffin’ FOREST) pretty well on that front.

Me and Robbie have been home alone in the mornings since I left work and it’s been fairly harmonious. I have targetted myself on getting ten listings done per day. He’s quite happy to play in the background while I photograph the clothes and take measurements, and there’s lots of time left for snuggles in between. He is the most gorgeous child (not that I am biased at all) and very easy to live with.

So, that’s my mornings at the moment. Me and Robbie go and collect Ricky at 1.30pm and then we do something fun in the afternoon. It doesn’t have to cost any money- in fact 9 times out of 10 it doesn’t- we go to the park, for a walk or to the museum. I’ve had some really memorable afternoons with them already.

One afternoon in particular (I will curse myself for the rest of my life for forgetting my camera) it was an incredibly still and perfect, clear winter afternoon. I had made a chicken pie the day before and left my Dad in some of the spoils, before taking them to one of the many beaches near his house, at Kilclief Bay on this beach. We spotted seals on the rocks and in the water, examined the rock pools, and, despite the cold temperatures (though it was pretty mild), the kids waddled in the completely flat calm sea in their wellies. Of course, they both ended up totally drenched. It was truly one of those Calvin Klein-ad, perfect, afternoons, and it made me realise that there is NO comparison and that everything I am doing is for the right reasons at the moment. I will never get this chance again, and I don’t ever want to be able to look back at my life and think “what was I doing?” when I think of their childhoods, and my lack of involvement in it.

As you know, Robbie is now 2 1/2, so I’ve already missed years of that time. I’m not taking anything away from mothers who work- I did it myself and never thought anything would change that- I was very settled in my job (until June this year) and had no plans to leave. A variety of circumstances changed that. I think maybe dealing with cancer HAS changed me, and HAS changed my outlook on life and my priorities therein. So whilst all of this has and continues to scare the living shit out of me, the cancer has taught me- in no uncertain terms- to feckin’ well grow a set and live out my life as if every day was my last. I don’t spend nearly so much time these days worrying about what other people think, that’s for sure. Though I do still spend some time worrying about that. Old habits die hard.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve become a domestic Goddess since leaving work- that’s not going to happen, I don’t have it in me. However, I am definitely making slow inroads in terms of the house, and the kids have been helping me cook every day, which is both fun and frustrating at the same time. I’m fairly competent in the kitchen and a bit of a Prima Donna, so I am having to learn new levels of patience with them. Their enthusiasm is wonderful, though, and Robbie loves to clean too, so his job is hoovering the living room every day, ha ha! He actually manages to do a fairly good job, mainly because I let him have at it the whole time I am cleaning the kitchen… 😛 Maybe Robbie will be a domestic God. There are too few of those in the world.

I never saw myself as being much good at the stay-at-home and keep house and kids kind of thing, but it’s just “right” for now. Maybe I won’t be good at it. Certainly, doing this is MUCH harder work than my job was. I feel good that I am still bringing some money in whilst I do this.

The whole thing is a massive life change, and while it’s really, really scary, it’s also exhilarating. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. That said, I’m grabbing it with both hands.


Tuesday randomness

I hate that my blog seems to have taken such a complete back seat at the moment! Some of you know that I suddenly find myself with extremely limited net access, which is the most spectacularly large pain in my arse…but that story is for another day.

I’ve had a lot of lovely emails recently from people who wanted to know how I am doing. I really appreciate these, thank you so much! J

I’m doing fine. I have been really trying hard not to think about the cancer at all, and now that I am feeling so much better, it’s been quite easy to do so! However, I got a letter telling me to come for some scans, and went for those yesterday. I felt very nervous about going. Every time I am forced to think about it all, I get that numb feeling in my arms and legs again…isn’t it funny how you can mostly feel fine, but blind terror apparently still lurks behind every corner!

If the tests show anything that looks dodgy, they’ll call me in very quickly. The next few days are going to be rather nerve wracking as I wait to see if the phone rings. They’ve said if all looks well, I’ll just see my consultant in September as planned.

In answer to a few recent questions- I still do not have “the all clear”, I am not in remission or anything like that. I still feel a bit in limbo as I wait to see if they can find any more of it. I’m not really sure how long you have to go with no evidence of disease before they will say you’re in the clear, I think it may be several years. In the meantime, I’m getting on with it! Time waits for no girl!

My business empire is, in the meantime, going really well! I’ve bought three bundles of clothes so far and all of them have sold for a good profit. I have my toe in the water! I have to say that this has been the steepest learning curve of my life- but a really good one. I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks and continue to learn every day. It’s been a while since I felt challenged like this, and it’s very exciting! So far I have made almost £400 which is not bad for a week or so’s part time work! It will hopefully let me spoil the kids rotten when we go on holiday at the end of next week.

My pony Morning seems to be responding fairly well to the treatment they’ve given her for the sore muscles. We’ll have to wait a couple of days now that the treatment is finished to see how she does without painkillers. I am going down there tomorrow night to see how she’s coping.

Robbie has suddenly developed an obsession with the horses! Carly (my other mare) is retired but still fine for the kids to bounce around on, and she has recently displayed patience which normally results in Canonisation…Robbie will charge down the field yelling “Hello, Ladies!!” at the horses (which is what he hears me say to them) before insisting on riding Carly. She’s very big compared to him, but he’s totally fearless! He just sits on her back with me holding him by the back and leg, and she potters around the field eating grass while he yells “Hurry up, horsie!” at her- he is the cutest thing! When we’re away, I will definitely pay for him to have a ride at the riding school across the way from our holiday house. They have small ponies there which will be much more fun for him.

Ricky is also doing well. He’s now finished at nursery school and can’t wait to go into P1 this September. Leigh’s daughter, and Ricky’s great amigo, Sophie, is going to be in the same class as him, to both their great excitement! Ricky tells me that he will sit beside Sophie in class. He’s also planning on learning to drive as soon as he’s old enough so he can take her out!!! Is it any wonder that Leigh and I practically have our hats bought already!

Actually, Ricky’s daycare had to have a “word” with me, which those of you who are parents will know is never a good thing. Apparently, there was an incident involving Ricky, “Little Ricky”, and a bunch of six year old girls. I have now appraised Ricky of the fact that “Little Ricky” should remain in Knicker Land at all times unless for scheduled appearances…either way, two small girls practically threw themselves at him on his way out of the daycare last night, so clearly they haven’t been left mentally scarred by this incident. If anything, it seems to have increased his popularity! 😀

I am heading out for dinner with my great friends Heather and Jacinta tonight. I think this will let me blow off some much needed steam! The diet has taken something of a bashing this week. I don’t think I’ve gained any weight, but I’m just lucky about that! Still, I am about 15lbs down on where I was six weeks ago, which can’t be bad.

Oh, BTW there is a password protected post in the pipeline in the next few days. I will be using the same password as last time- if you need it, please don’t feel weird about asking!!! 😀

I had a lot of dreams last night about Donegal- we’re planning a holiday there for three weeks next month (YEE-HAAAAAA!!). You probably won’t remember THIS post, but I can’t wait to get to that beach, go in to the water and do exactly what I described in that post. You’ll think I’m insane, but one of the rocks has a smiley face on it- it’s clear as day- and every time I’m in the water there, I look at that rock and can’t help but smile too. That’s my main focus at the moment. Smile, and the world smiles with you. Stick your grumpy frown on, and that’s all you’re ever gonna get back!!


For you want-to-lose-weight types

My great blogfriends Kim and Laura have set up a great new blog based on shared experiences of folk who want to lose weight, get fitter, improve their diet and generally have a bitch about how hard it is to do all of these things!

I am lucky enough to have been invited to be one of the co-authors on this new blog, and it’s very exciting! Well, technically I think I might have kind of forced them to let me be one of the co-authors, but we’ll gloss over that for now… 😉

So, if you’re interested in that kind of thing, head on over and check us out! There are seven authors, all with very different perspectives, and all with very different objectives. There’s a lot to learn from everyone!

I’m honoured and excited to be taking part! Go, us! Woot!!! 😀


An update on the hair

OK, OK, so I wussed out.

I was all set to dye my hair last night, but when I look at it without my wishful thinking goggles on, it’s still a little bit too short and thin. I’d probably end up simply dyeing my scalp and looking like an even bigger freak.

So, sorry to disappoint those of you who have been waiting with bated breath (ha ha!! as if!) but it will be another few weeks.

I do still plan to leave the scarf off when on holiday next week, so you may find that the odd picture of me creeps in, minus headscarf, when I get back.

It’s a bit like leaving your stabilisers off your bike for the first time when you’re a kid.

Last time the hair grew back, I tested the water at the local shop.

I quickly realised that having very short hair doesn’t necessarily brand you a cancer victim the way wearing a headscarf does. Noone batted an eyelid, and there were none of the usual INCREDIBLY irritating sympathetic smiles, the ones where people tilt their heads to one side when they smile at you. These sympathetic smiles are doubled in strength if you have small children in tow.

I know people are trying to be nice, really I do, but it has been frustrating for me.

At least with short hair, people can just think you like your hair that way. I actually kind of do like having short hair (not THIS bloody short, though!!) and might keep it short for a while.

The hair dye is on my bathroom shelf for now. I still can’t wait to feel like I have enough hair to actually break it out! That day is coming soon though. 🙂


Nothing-to-say Tuesday

I’m having a sucky day in work, which thankfully doesn’t happen all that often. Stress levels are high and tempers frayed! The result is probably that this will be short and rather pointless.

The time change seems (touching wood) to have improved the kids sleeping. Robbie had been going to bed at 8.30pm or so and getting up at 6am. Now, he’s still going to bed at 8.30 but is staying in bed until what is now 7am. This makes me feel less cheated!

Ricky is FINALLY out of nappies at night! It’s been four nights now, and he’s been dry each night. I’m so proud of him for making this step, and he’s proud of himself. I know most of you out there will be incredulous that a four year old could still have been in nappies at night, but he was late to toilet train and it’s been an uphill struggle, so I am very pleased.

I’ve now been for a brisk walk in my two lunchbreaks so far this week, and am pleased that it is going well. I plan to introduce a little running next week, but don’t want to banjax myself by going too fast too soon, so I reckon I need to walk before I can run, so to speak! 🙂 I already seem to be 4lb down on the horror that was last Friday, so hopefully I am going to make progress quickly, which will give me the incentive to persevere!

Question for you fit folk out there- do any of you have one of those heart rate monitor watches? If so, what make/model do you have and what are the pros and cons? I am considering buying one, and want one of the ones which beeps if you go above or below a certain heart rate when exercising. It would be nice to get one which also tells you how many calories you’ve burned and how long you’ve been going. A lot of them look way too complicated for me, though, and a lot of them are massively expensive, which I can’t justify for me doing a quick jog round the park.

Spring is definitely in the process of arriving. The weather is lovely and mild. I hope it lasts for our break at Easter, especially as the holiday house doesn’t have central heating!!

Not really much else to say today- hope everyone is well! 🙂


The training begins!

Leigh and I met up this morning for a walk at Stormont Estate, which is where the Race for Life will be taking place at the end of May- we’re both taking part.


It’s a lovely day here, sunny and not too cold, so conditions were perfect.

For those of you outside Northern Ireland, Stormont is home to the Northern Ireland Assembly (local parliament). It’s set in beautiful park land, with the paths leading through the woods.



My cousin Astrid recent emailed me saying she heard that the Race for Life route makes you run up the hill to Stormont- it’s quite steep, I can’t really see me making it all the way to the top without having a coronary (though Leigh’s a nurse- I’ll be in good hands) because even walking it is still puncturing me!

View from the top of the hill-


I feel like we had a productive walk today- we probably walked most of the route we’re going to be (cough) running in May. It’s fun too when someone is with you- we had a great laugh.

I did take some pics of me and Leigh, but was under strong instruction not to post any pics of her that were less than perfect. The pics of us two were far from fabulous, as I was using Ricky’s camera, which doesn’t have a view field that can be turned around when you are doing self portraits, so am sad to report that none of the ones of us have made the cut!! 😀

I am starting my new take-trainers-to-work program tomorrow, so maybe in another week or two, the hill at Stormont will start to be a source of less dread.


I’m doing a five mile walk at Castleward next weekend with my Dad, and am meeting Leigh again next Sunday at Stormont.

My ass will surely HAVE to start shrinking soon! Go, me! 😀


Affirmative Action

So, from getting on the scales this morning, I am now officially the heaviest I have ever been, to my utter disgust. I don’t think I am eating all that much, but I must be! Yikes!

Getting exercise fitted in has been a bit of a struggle. The evenings are still too dark for me to get out on the roads around our village after work- we don’t have too many footpaths, so I’d have to run on the road. Part of it’s laziness too. I get home from work at about 5.30pm, and we normally have the boys in bed for 8.30-9pm. By the time Ian and I have dinner, it’s nearly 10pm and it’s all I can do to stare at the tv for an hour before bed. LAZY!

I also feel guilty if I leave Ian to feed/bath/get the boys to bed on his own, and certainly don’t think it would be fair every night, just for the sake of me losing a few pounds.

I rarely take a lunch break in work- just stuff a quick sandwich into me very quickly- but I think that the only solution is that I take a change of clothes into work and at least go for a walk in my lunch break.

I’ve decided to give this a go next week and see what happens, because something clearly has to be done! I am disgusted with myself for letting it get to this stage. I was pretty slim until I hit my early 20’s, but when I moved in with Ian, quickly gained weight. I think this was partly as a result of having no competition for the good (read fattening) food when there was only me and Ian, as opposed to me, my two brothers and my parents when I lived at home! Also, I bought my own car, which meant I wasn’t walking everywhere any more. And, let’s face it, my portion sizes went through the roof too. To sum up, it’s entirely my own fault and as much as I might want to blame it on a bad metabolism, I just need to eat less and get my ass in gear.

I am meeting Leigh (who comments here as Layla) for a walk on Sunday, and am hoping she is just as unfit as me! We’re doing the Race for Life together at the end of May, and it would be nice to be able to run just a little bit of it, even if it is only down the hills with the wind behind us!!! 😀

I’m also (F*CK!!!!!!!) going to have to start calorie controlling again. GRRRRRR.

Therefore, as of Monday, you can expect me to be in a very bad mood. 🙂 Good times ahead!!! 😀

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