Posts Tagged ‘depression


Various things

Visiting my much-neglected blog earlier, I felt really sad that I’d let things slide so much. Could it really be so long since I blogged? Life has been insanity recently. There are no hours in the day, for anything, it seems!

So much recent news. My business is great- I’m working so, so hard, but there’s lots of quality time with the kids too, and the rewards are infinitely worth it. I’m earning more than I did when in my old job, for fewer hours, WAY more flexibility, and, best of all, I get to see my kids grow up. On the downside, oh…wait…there isn’t one.

The house still looks like a shit heap, but what am I gonna do. :p


My pony, Morning, had to be put down, three weeks ago. I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it yet, and it’s really too painful for words.

I know a few of you will be wondering why I am so upset over the death of a horse- I would say to those people, you’ve clearly never had a very special animal in your life. To my family, animals ARE a part of our family.

Her legs gave up. She was pretty well in herself, but she had been having some mobility issues, and this Friday she just couldn’t get up in her stable. The vet discussed it with us, and we knew it was time to let her go. She was 28- quite old for a horse. I don’t want to go into the process too much. She was too big for an injection. The vet shot her. I knew that this is how it would happen, but it was just awful. I don’t think I’ll ever really get over it.

Morning had been with me since I was eleven years old- a child. We grew up together. We were partners in crime; like minded people. She loved to jump and hated flat work- so did I, though we grudgingly worked at it.

We didn’t know very much about competing when we bought Morning- but through my teenage years, we had huge success in the fields of eventing and showing. She was so beautiful, and so clever. She also could be a complete bitch if her mind wasn’t on the job, or if she felt like taking the piss.

We had a lot of success, and I owe her a lot. I’ll always remember her most for her sense of adventure, though. We’re going to Donegal in a few weeks and the beaches there will be filled with the ghosts of Morning, my Mum and our dog Jamie. May they all be running together somewhere better.


The kids are gorgeous; I am so, so lucky, even though they make me crazy sometimes. Rob’s speech is spectacular, for a two year old, and he’s hilarious. Ricky is just sooo beautiful, and boy, does he know it!

Here are a few pics, from St Patrick’s Day. We took the drive up the stunning Antrim Coast Road and stopped at Ballintoy Harbour, which has chalk stone on one side and some kind of igneous rock on the other- the world famous Giant’s Causeway is only a few miles down the road and you can see the similarity in the rock formations (finished Suzy, lamely, having forgotten all of her 3rd form geography lessons).






You can nearly feel the lava below the surface there!



They’re pretty good kids. 🙂



I have a new website, I’ll share it in due course, though most of you know about it already. It’s still in development, but I am very excited about the year that’s to come.

Love to all of my friends out there who have been horrendously neglected recently. I am truly sorry.


A long story about my babies

WARNING- there are some people who are very close to me who say they don’t often read my blog because it makes them cry. Whilst I am sorry my appalling writing has this effect on you, please don’t read this post. OK? 🙂



I think the chemo has put me into the menopause. I understand from my dr that about 30-40% of people go back to normal after they stop the chemo, so this may well be the case for me, but I am surprised by how fine I will be with things if it doesn’t happen for me. I am absolutely certain that my family is complete now.

Child bearing has not been easy for me. I wanted children for a number of years before Ian was on the same page, but he was never in “that place”, so when I got to my late twenties I was starting to wonder if I’d ever get to have any. It was one of those situations where if he really hadn’t wanted any kids, I would have agreed not to have any, but I know I would have resented him for ever over it, and I wonder if in the long term our relationship would have survived, because I think I would have been very bitter about it.

In October 2003, Ian broke his ankle whilst playing rugby, and had to take some time off work to rest his leg. He spent a lot of time with his foot up, and had as he puts it, a lot of time to think. It came hot on the heels of him catching me crying because one of my colleagues had announced her first pregnancy, and, pathetic though it may seem, it made me feel devastated and sick with jealousy. Also I was furious with myself for having feelings that I felt were unworthy of Ian and me. He of course couldn’t really say much to comfort me, but I think it made him realise that this was a very big deal to me.

Once he was recovered somewhat, we came home from a lovely night out with some of our closest friends and Ian completely astonished me by announcing that he wanted to try to start a family. For the first time ever, he completely caught me by surprise, my jaw hit the floor, I couldn’t speak. We’d both had a few drinks, so the next day I told him that if he wanted to reconsider, now was the time to do it, because if he changed his mind later, I’d be very, very hurt and disappointed. He said he had given it a lot of thought and wasn’t going to change his mind. I was completely ecstatic.

We aren’t married and have no plans to do so for now, and I knew this would be a problem for some of my family, so I thought the kindest thing to do was to warn them before I got pregnant that we were going to try. This went down better with some of my family than with others, but I am really glad I did it, because I think it softened the blow somewhat!

I got pregnant almost immediately, and was overjoyed. I didn’t get sick, felt great and was cocooned in happiness.

When  I was 13 weeks pregnant, at the end of January 2004, the reason for my lack of symptoms became clear and I started to bleed. A number of devastating trips to the hospital revealed that there was no real baby growing in there, just a clump of cells which had gone wrong at some basic level. My hormone counts were going down and I was going to lose the baby.

On 2nd February 2004, I had a miscarriage at 14 weeks. The bleeding seemed to slow fairly quickly, so I thought I was over the worst of it- Ian and I tried our best to comfort each other, we had a takeaway and a bottle of wine, and watched some tv (insane though it sounds). We even looked into taking a few days away to try and come to terms with it.

Later that evening, I haemorraged in the bathroom and passed out in a pool of blood. Ian luckily heard me hit the deck and was able to call an ambulance. Everything was dealt with quickly, I had a D&C and was able to go home the next day, but the experience left me deeply traumatised and weakened.

The next couple of months passed in a blur and I think I came very close to having a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t believe that this baby, which I had been so desparate for, and had been so happy to be expecting, had been taken from me. I didn’t know if I’d ever have children. Emotionally I was a mess, and cried for no reason and all the time. Ian must have wondered what the hell to do, but he was grieving too, just in a completely different way, he shut down and didn’t want to talk about it.

We decided to try again, on the understanding that if I had another miscarriage, we’d decide not to do it again- I didn’t think I could take the pain.

Once again, I got pregnant right away- and to my joy, I was as sick as a dog almost from day 1! 😀 We went for a scan at 12 weeks, and there was Ricky. (I think actually it took me about ten scans between the two of them not to cry every time I saw them on the ultrasound, such was my overwhelming relief that they were kicking their arms and legs, and that their little hearts were beating!) My pregnancy went well, though they told me he was quite large and I could hardly walk by the end.

Ricky was born on 17th January 2005- at 10lb 14oz. I laboured for 52 hours before having a c-section- I just don’t think my 5ft 1 frame was equipped to deal with such a big baby! 😀

I look like shit in this picture, which was taken shortly after he was born. Does he look like a newborn to you?? 😀


I think Ricky saved me from a serious, full scale, brain-is-melting-down, I need a trip to the mental institution style breakdown. And it’s kind of a strange one, because if I hadn’t had the miscarriage, Ricky would never have been. I can’t believe that. I guess maybe things happen for a reason. He was (and is) so perfect and beautiful. Everyone on the ward wanted to hold him, he was so big that the nurses kept bearing him off to show people, he was a star! Maybe that’s where he began to develop his massive superiority complex, I don’t know! 😀

He’ll be four this Saturday. I can’t believe time has gone by so quickly, and yet it feels like he’s always been there.

With Robbie, we decided when Ricky was about 18 months to try for another baby. Once again, I was lucky to get pregnant right away (we have been SO fortunate with that). Owing to Ricky’s size, I was very closely monitored with Robbie and had scans every two weeks or so. I also kept getting really sick, and was admitted to hospital twice during the pregnancy when I couldn’t keep anything down and got really dehydrated. I had several minor bleeds, and they found that I had a low lying placenta. They were estimating that Robbie’s birth weight would be around 12lb! I did not want to try and have him naturally at that weight, so we decided to go for a planned c-section for him. Of course, when he was born, it emerged that he just had a big noggin, and was a comparatively normal 9lb even. If I’d known that, I might have tried to get him out myself! 😀

Here’s another one of me looking like shit with no makeup on, just after my section. Robbie looks MUCH smaller than Ricky!!


I had very big bleeds after both sections, with Ricky I lost 1 litre of blood, and with Robbie nearly 1300mls. They told me after Robbie to really think long and hard before I tried for another baby. I was done anyway- unfortunately I am not one of those people who loves pregnancy and finds it easy to hulk a baby around- so it was a no brainer.

So, to sum up, it’s all Ian’s fault for playing a dangerous sport like rugby. 😀 I am so, so grateful for my beautiful children, and am very relieved I had them when I did- if I’d left it any later, who knows? Breast cancer makes you think about these things too much!

Sorry for the slightly depressing, but I hope ultimately uplifting story! I know this isn’t something I have discussed on my blog before. I was just thinking about it all too much last night- between my chemo ending today (or not as it turned out), Ricky’s birthday on Saturday and the end of my first pregnancy anniversary creeping up, I guess it weighs heavily on me at this time of year.

I look at my two golden, shining sons and realise how sweet life is, and how short it is, and how it sometimes isn’t that easy to come by or maintain, and I realise that if you can’t see hope and happiness in that, it’s not a life worth living. I am very fortunate.


Treading Water

I haven’t been feeling quite as bad with this cycle of chemo, probably because of the 20% reduction of dose that they were compelled to implement.

I certainly haven’t had the complete brain-gnawing depression which typified the first week to two weeks of the previous cycles, and I am very, very grateful for that. It is by far the hardest side effect to deal with. If you even read back through my blog posts over one cycle, you can easily see when I am feeling that way.

As someone who has never suffered from depression, it’s been a total revelation, and a hard hitting one at that. I will be totally honest. When someone I know and love has suffered from depression in the past (not just feeling a bit low, but clinically depressed) I’ve outwardly been sympathetic, but internally have found myself filled with irritation and impatience. WHY can’t they pull themselves together?

So- finding myself in that boat has come as something of a shock. Some days, I have been very withdrawn. I haven’t wanted to talk to anyone. I’ve been totally aware that the feelings aren’t normal, but can’t do anything about them. And this is coming from someone with a degree in psychology, lol!

When the depression lifts, I feel almost euphoric- it’s the most peculiar thing.

I feel bad, very bad, for my previous attitude (however internalised it may have been) towards friends who have been depressed. I’ll never have those feelings again.

When I feel down- this is what I try and visualise to myself. It might sound very bizarre, but helps me relax.

I picture myself in the sea, slightly out of my depth, on a still day, with a sunny sky, mountains around me and rocks to either side. It won’t come as a surprise to most of you who know me to find out that the place I’m thinking about is in Donegal. 🙂 In my daydream, I am treading water peacefully, with no past, present or future. I am just immersed in the moment.

The activity in my daydream is a favourite summer pursuit…or at least was pre-child. It doesn’t seem fair to leave Ian on the shore with the kids these days whilst I daydream in the water.

The daydream feels golden and warm. I think that is why it gives me peace, and seems to ease the depression somewhat.

I feel very grateful that the depression I feel is temporary and drug induced. I am so blessed.


Well, this pretty much SUCKS

Ugh, chemotherapy has got OLD. I’ve been feeling really unwell for the past nearly-week, since getting my second dose of FEC on Tuesday. I wasn’t too sick until Friday, but have been feeling as rough as the proverbial badger’s arse ever since.

I do feel a little better this evening, but it’s a slow road. The chemo definitely has affected me psychologically too. It was the same in the first cycle- I felt very uncharacteristically down in the dumps for about a week. I absolutely hate feeling depressed (not that anyone LIKES it, you know what I mean!), and this is really new territory to me. I hope it will be like last cycle and I’ll start to feel mentally stronger soon.

I think one of the compounding factors was on Friday night, I took a shower, and SOOO much hair came out. Sure, it’s been falling out a lot, but about half of what I had left came out. I’m left with weird patchy clumps everywhere, and it looks horrendous. I cried my eyes out- how pathetic am I- and can’t face looking at it now. I’ve been wearing a headscarf permanently, and can’t bear the thought of anyone seeing my head. It’s weird when I thought I was OK with short hair- but short hair and complete baldness are apparently two very different things as far as my brain are concerned. I actually think it will be easier to deal with once the hair is all gone. But for now, it’s hard.

Yesterday was also the first anniversary of my Mum’s death. Ian looked after the kids and the rest of us went out for lunch to one of my Mum’s favourite restaurants, The Cuan in Strangford, before going to her grave. It was THE most revolting day, bucketing with rain, as if my Mum was giving off stink for being dead!! Wonderful family friend and regular commenter here, Bernadette McP, had very kindly come all the way from Trim in Co. Meath on Friday to do flowers for Mum’s grave. Bernadette, they are absolutely stunning and I can’t tell you how touched we are by them. You are truly a very special woman and a great friend.

I miss my Mum terribly, especially when I’ve been so sick. She was a doctor, and would have been filled with advice for me. Maybe though, when she’d been so sick herself, it would have just been too much for her to bear. I know she is at peace.

I have no doubt that soon, I’ll feel better again. Days like this though, you can feel the weeks and months stretching out ahead of you, and wonder if you’ll ever feel back to normal again. It’s the thought of brighter times ahead that are making me keep my eye on the prize.

The prize my eye is on, apart obviously from being cancer free, is a family break to the house in Donegal at Easter. Maybe by then I will be through the chemo and radiotherapy, and will be back on the road to being Suzy as we all know her, once again!

Thanks for reading my self-indulgent moan- if you got this far, you get a special cyber Gold Star! 😀


Still working on this…

I didn’t have such a good day today. I stupidly did something I said I wasn’t going to do, and looked at some searches on the internet and some of the sites recommended in literature I’d been given.

I ended up feeling washed out and upset. It’s strange too- every last feeling of tiredness or mild ache anywhere and you suddenly find youself wondering if it’s a symptom! Personally, I blame the kids for keeping me awake last night! 🙂

One of those sites in particular (as recommended by the oncology department, I might add) made me feel so depressed about what is going on and I actually feel really pissed off with them, because what I’ve read since makes it look like they are really concentrating on the negatives. I am planning on using a positive attitude as part of my bid to get over this, so it really annoys me that they ONLY seem to be giving the “bad bits”, where other sites give a lot more information beyond the “first five year” prognosis.

I did find some sites which had a lot more to offer in terms of practical advice and I feel better this evening. Plus my lovely neighbour Lynn invited me in and gave me a shoulder to cry on (not literally, she more supplied me with a vodka and coke and didn’t dance round the issue!!)

My bothers Marty and Brian took the boys out this afternoon for us, which was wonderful, and Ian and I went for a rare lunch together at Balloo House. We went there for our anniversary back in April and had been dying to go back ever since. The meal was lovely! We had a great time and I think we needed that time by ourselves with no phones ringing and me not applying my OCD streak to the internet!

I have done a lot more reading today and realise that I know absolutely nothing of what is to come. I have a grasp of the basics now though, I think. I reckon I need to take a few deep breaths now.

My friend Cheri wrote to me and told me to take it one day at a time. I never thought of myself as needing to apply that principle to my life, but I realise now just how true it is. I’ve felt absolutely fine all week, emotionally, but I need to accept that some of the time I am going to hit bumps on the road.

I am so, so fortunate to have so many people rooting for me, both online and around me. Some of my very best friends are people online who I have never met, and a lot of my non-web best friends are scattered around the world now. My family and friends have been wonderful, including my work who are some of the best guys ever, and who haven’t been “weird” with me at all, which was a big concern for me.

So, for now it would appear that most of the time I will want to get on with it, and some of the time I will need to have a panic attack. Bloody women, eh?!!

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