For my last blog for the year, it is only fitting that I start off by thanking all of you. You who have supported my first foray into writing. Be it with a heartfelt comment, sharing my stories with others, to sharing your personal stories with me, each one of you has spurred me on from week to week. I appreciate you all, and I am really thankful for all the encouragement. May you stick with me next year as I continue.
It was cathartic to put my thoughts on paper and deeply helpful to have them so well received. My most popular story to date is still “Mental Health Days.” I always get people reading that and then sending me messages to say that they will now do that with their children. If I am remembered for nothing else I will be so happy, it’s for that.
I have had quite diverse “traffic” to my blog web page too. Bulgaria, Mexico, South Korea and France just to name a few, made it very exciting for me. The power of social media is always incredible.
So looking back on this year a lot of good things have happened.
My boys have had really successful academic years. Jesse has finished his three-year Uni degree. He worked really hard and did so well. We celebrated his 21st birthday the day after his last exam and for many weeks afterwards. It was the party that kept on going (nearly killed Andrew and I, but what a way to go!) He now plans to take 6 months off and do some travelling and just revel in having nothing to study for, no deadlines, no pressure. Very well deserved.
Matthew completed Year 11. He did hardly any work and did so well. (Insert facial expression that is an eye roll, restrained smirk, frown and gritted teeth!) He says he realises he will have to change his approach to learning for Year 12…………………..watch this space. Until then he is “living the dream” (his words) with a gorgeous girlfriend, his own car, less than 5 hours driving until he has his license, and 7 weeks of school holidays. Lucky boy.
My health has improved so much since August. Other than my hands and feet, most of my bone pain and in particular all the issues I was having with my shoulder have gone. Yep. Gone. Nausea is gone. That really is beyond awesome. The downside is that this is all because I finished my hormone treatment. The treatment thrust me into menopause and all the crappy issues that came with that, and, my body………………..well it has now decided to come out of menopause and go back to where it was before breast cancer came along when I was 49 years old and interrupted it. Surprisingly I am still sane and haven’t had mood swings that would cause me to kill or maim any of my men……..yet. This means that I am producing oestrogen in a body that had an oestrogen positive cancer. Should be doing my head in but I am not going to let it. I have complete faith in my specialist, I am back to 3 monthly checks, and I am so bloody happy to be feeling good again. Here’s to that continuing.
There have been babies born this year, one darling little boy to my cousin who really has lit up social media with his infectious smile. I love starting my day looking at him.
There are babies to be born. Namely, a baby girl I affectionately refer to as “whatshername” in my quest to trip up her Mum, my friend I work with, in accidentally telling me her name. Mum has had a very challenging time before and during this pregnancy so February cannot come soon enough for everyone. What a happy time that will be.
My friend Tracey who spent many months in hospital this time last year has made a fabulous recovery to good health. She is a living, breathing miracle woman who was last to leave Jesse’s 21st birthday party. Who would have thought? She is the absolute highlight of 2017, and we will kick off 2018 with celebrating her 21st anniversary of her lung transplant. What a day/night that will be.
We have had a Bali 50th birthday celebration for my much-loved brother in law, and a dear friend had his 60th birthday on one of the “Unforgettable” houseboats up the river just a few weeks ago. Significant milestones that came with heartfelt tributes from their respective family and friends. Lovely to be part of such special occasions.
Then just three weeks ago we got Remy. A black and tan German shepherd pup full of sass and mischief. It has been wonderful (and tiring) having a puppy again. You may remember we lost our beloved Izzy suddenly back in April and our house has had an enormous void since. The saying, “a house is not a home without a dog” really rings true for us. She has already brought much joy to us all, and she is a beautiful focus for us as a family to enjoy. Many evenings already we have all been outside together really relaxing and watching her explore her new world. It will be great when she stops biting our ankles because other than that she is pretty perfect.
There has been some really sad news this year too. A friend passed away quickly and unexpectedly in September leaving her beautiful family shocked and devastated. A more beautiful, kind lady you could not wish to meet. I feel privileged to have known her in the small way that I did. There were three of us Mum’s who met through our three boys when Jesse started in Year 6 at Cabra. Now as those boys each turn 21 I am the only Mum left, both lost to cancer. Unbelievable.
I still have friends fighting some serious health battles one of whom was diagnosed only last week with breast cancer. My wish for them is that 2018 brings good news and respite.
For the rest of us, may the New Year bring continued good health, lots of happy times and lots of time out. Let’s not get so busy that we don’t take the time to do nothing – just be. For years I have put lines through weekends in my diary. It’s to make me not plan anything. To have a weekend at home with family or to do whatever with no pressure. “Mental Health Weekends” for adults I guess. I plan to have lots of those in 2018 and together with Andrew and Remy we plan on heading off in the car and doing lots of walks. Exploring what we have in our own backyard so to speak.
We are also looking forward to my cousins coming out from England/Wales early next year and spending a few weeks with us. Can’t tell you how excited we are about that.
We have a 30th birthday tonight, Christmas with family and then a dear cousin’s wedding next weekend. 2017 finishing on a high.
So, until the New Year, its bye from me. I will again look forward to sharing what life brings my way with all of you. You make it safe to do so, and for that, I am so very grateful.