Health

Loosing my Mum to cancer…… 5 years later

cancer

Today is the 5th Anniversary of my wonderful Mum passing away. I thought I would share my story with you all…

How life changes in a few little words…

The 8th March 2012 was a day my life changed, everything seemed to stop. This was the day we were told that my Mum had cancer. As a close family of 4 we cried, planned, prayed and hoped for 24 hours until we were told by the consultant that the cancer was terminal. How is that even possible?? My Mum……… My MUM!!!!!

By now my beloved Mum was very poorly and just wanted to be at home. Having been in hospital for around 8 weeks we were told she had Diverticulitis then Crohns disease, seeing a diet specialist……. how wrong they were!!

I’m still angry at the hospital for not finding out earlier, she been in hospital a few times between the October and March and yet it still took them so long to diagnose her!! In fact 5 years on I have so much hatred for what the hospital put us through. With all of the tests, scans and cameras they used on her how could they not see it was cancer?

5 days after we got the ‘I’m sorry it’s terminal’ we got Mum home. She had decided that she did not want to be prodded and poked by the hospitals anymore. So she would not have more tests or any treatment. It was believed that Mum had secondary bowel cancer and we had been told the primary cancer was likely to have been lung cancer. Not that Mum had any symptoms you would believe for lung cancer. No cough, no coughing up blood, no chest pains or shortness of breath.

The next couple of weeks at home we met the wonderful Macmillian team and the Nurses and Carers from the local hospice.

Mini Bucket list

We made plans as a family. A mini bucket list. Horse racing, sea-side trips, family weekends away. My cousins wedding was 6 months away. My Mum was amazingly proud of her niece and very close to her, it was one of her goals to make it to her wedding, though it was not to be…

In fact over the next couple of weeks Mum went down hill fast. We made it to the point to point horse racing. But that tired Mum out so much we were then unable to do any of the other things we had planned. It is one of the many reasons I’m still angry with the hospital. If only they had diagnosed earlier we would have been able make lots more happy family memories and completed these few things Mum wanted and lots more. Even if the outcome was to be the same.

Soon we changed the house around, setting up a hospital bed in the living room. With either my Dad, sister or me with Mum at all times. Mum wanted to be at home with us, she didn’t want to be in hospital or a hospice and we didn’t want that for her. We wanted her at home, with all of our family memories around her. My amazing Dad became her carer along with the brilliant nurses and carers from the local hospice, Macmillian Nurses,  Marie Curie Nurses,  and my sister and me as much as possible.

My little boy was my Mum’s pride and joy. She had cared for him while I worked, from him being 7 months old. He loved her and they had such a close bond. On Mum’s poorliest of days whenever he visited (which was as much as possible) her face would light up even when she could no longer talk.

6 weeks to the day of being told Mum had terminal cancer she passed away at home, with my Dad and sister at her side. I couldn’t be there as the Hubby was working nights so I had to be at home with my son. I took the phone call at 03:05 and just knew she had gone. My heart broke. I cannot even begin to explain how I felt getting that phone call in the middle of the night. My life just seemed to stop.

Yes she was very very poorly. Yes she was in pain and I understand she no longer had a good quality of life. No, I did not want her to suffer, but still it was my Mum. A constant in my life. An amazing inspirational lady who never asked for anything. Who did everything she could to help others, she lived for our family, my Dad, her girls and of course my little boy.

Suddenly taken away, how can that be fair? Why her? Why my Mum?

Life goes on….

I couldn’t understand how this event for our family was life changing. Yet everyone else’s life just carried on as normal, going to work, school, shopping. Yet, here we were. Lives seeming to fall apart, the person at the centre of our family gone. How could we carry on? How would my Dad cope on his own, married for 30 years, to a woman who did everything for him.

As the days passed in a blur of sorting things out. I never knew there was so much to sort out when a person dies. On the lead up to the funeral people seemed to care asking how we all are, how my Dad and Sister were doing, but this stopped shortly after the funeral. As though we would all be ok…

No. It was not ok. Yes, we all returned to work. Yes, we all tried not to break down in tears. Yes we carried on, but for me on the inside I was breaking. Trying to be the best Mummy to my 2 year old and help him understand that we could no longer see Nanny. Explain that she was now a star in Heaven.

People kept saying time is a great healer. I think this is true, we got on with life, the tears slowed down but there was an ever present empty space in our lives. Even now I still want to phone my Mum up for advice only a Mum could give. I want her to see her wonderful grandchildren grow up.

Each year we spend the 20th of April together as a family. We often talk about Mum, now with less tears but just as much emotion. Mum was taken away from us far to soon, we will always remember my wonderful Mum. I still talk to her photos now. Mum will always be with us and we will share her memory with her Grandchildren, so they know lots about her.

My Mum always said that when a Robin visits, it is a loved one coming to make sure everything is ok. I have a lovely Robin who often visits my Garden. I always think of him as my Mum coming to say hi.

Have you struggled to deal with the loss of a parent? Did you find some support? I was luckily to have my wonderful Hubby, family and friends around me, I’m not sure how I would have done it on my own.

 

*My Mum loved flowers and the garden, hence these beautiful images*

What is Hygge Living?

what is hygge living?

Everyone is talking about Hygge living, but what is this Danish concept that we all need in our lives?

Hygge pronounced ‘hoo-gah’ in English simply translates as ‘cosiness’ although it means so much more. Think, cosy home, candles, soft lighting, lots of natural materials, wood, wool and leather. The Danish are known as some of the happiest people, they believe it is down to their firm belief in Hygge living. Believing it contributes to their psychical and mental well being.

what is hygge living?

The concept behind Hygge is to make the ordinary things, such as a cup of tea, special or meaningful. Enjoying your surroundings and the company around you. For you to benefit from Hygge you need to disconnect from your phone or lap-top and turn off the TV and other electronic distractions  Start to enjoy and embrace the simple things. Things that happen around you everyday yet you just don’t enjoy or see. Light some candles to create a cosy atmosphere, purchase some flowers to bring the outside in, or drink some tea from lovely china cups. All very simple things that help to lead to happiness.

Hygge is all about simplifying your life, a feeling of comfort and cosiness. Being aware of the good moments as they happen. Enjoying time with friends and family. Stopping and thinking about the simple pleasures in life.

what is hygge living?

With all of the cosiness that comes with Hygge, it would seem very much like a something to get through the winter months. Which I guess it is designed to do, as in Denmark their winters are long and very dark. However, the concept of Hygge can be applied through the rest of the year. Grab a bike and head out into the countryside and enjoy the sounds and scents that are all around you.

what is hygge living?

Helen Russell moved to Denmark from the UK, she wrote the book ‘The Year of Living Danishly’. She describes Hygge as ‘Complete absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming’ with ‘a focus on togetherness and prioritising the people in your life’ Sounds so simple when you think about it. It’s what we should all be doing, with busy lifestyles it’s not always easy.

Your Hygge living essentials

  • candles
  • open fire
  • warm socks
  • books
  • hot tea
  • cosy blanket
  • snug bedding
  • calming colour scheme

Having these few items in your life, will lead you on the way to a happier more relaxed lifestyle. Or so the world of Hygge believes. On a Sunday evening we light the log burner, get a nice hot drink and sit together reading. It is just lovely. It helps us both to relax after a busy weekend. So perhaps Hygge living is a style that suits us. So grab a cup of tea, light some candles and snuggle down with a good book.

What are your thoughts about Hygge living?

 

Home Etc

 

TravelShades for travel sickness relief

travel sickness relief

As a child I, along with my younger sister, experienced travel sickness. Unfortunately she still suffers now. Like most childhood motion sickness cases I grew out of it. For adults it can cause concern when travelling in everyday circumstances but also when wanting to travel on holiday. Cars, boats, planes and trains can all be a struggle for suffers.

TravelShades travel sickness relief

We all know someone that can read whilst travelling as a passenger in a car, with no ill effect. Yet others suffer terribly. It is thought that motion sickness occurs when there is a conflict between what your eyes see and your inner ear balance. Both sending different confused messages to the brain, leaving that feeling of motion sickness.

It can be caused when:-

  • Motion is felt but not seen
  • Motion is seen and not felt
  • Both seen and felt but detected by the brain in different ways.

Motion sickness can give the sufferer many different symptoms: dizziness, nausea, vomiting, cold sweating, headaches, extreme tiredness, increased saliva and rapid, shallow breathing. So dealing with this is not a pleasant thought when planning a holiday, especially your honeymoon.

Imagine planning your honeymoon around your motion sickness or never being able to go on a plane to your dream destination. Well, TravelShades are a new product that are designed to help relieve or in some cases cure your travel sickness. It means no more travel sickness drugs to take.

TravelShades

travelshades

TravelShades are a sunglasses style product that has one translucent lens. It allows light illumination but you are unable to see movement. The TravelShades are also designed so they can be flipped upside down to allow for the other eye to be covered. By doing this it can help to prevent symptoms of motion sickness. Sounds very simple when you think about it.

TravelShades advise you to try them out for 2-3 days at home, before going on your journey. Putting them on for 3-5 minutes at a time, several times a day. This will allow you to get used to having the reduced sight but giving you the best chance of getting results.

There are 3 different TravelShades available to buy:-

  • Horizon and Horizon Junior models can be worn over your own glasses.
  • LoLight are designed for low light travel conditions, like night time.

TravelShades also provide protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, but as with most eyewear they should not be used to view the sun directly.

TravelShades

While wearing these glasses your vision will be restricted so no driving is allowed. It is recommended that you do not walk or run, consume hot drinks or hot food, be careful when handling fragile or breakable items and make sure you take care when judging distances.

TravelShades have an rrp of £39.99 for the adult models and rrp of £29.99 for the junior. With a 30 day money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose.

My sister is looking forward to trying these out on her next trip away, to see how they help with her travel sickness.

travelshades

So, with these new travel sickness glasses launching February 28th it will allow people to make more exciting travel plans. Planning your honeymoon now may not be quite so restricting. The world is your oyster. Full of fabulous destinations, with a travel sickness free journey!

Where will you travel to?

*Thank you for sending me out some TravelShades in exchange for this post*

Gluten Free Diet

gluten free diet

I often hear people say “I’m on a gluten free diet” but what is a gluten free diet?

Gluten is a type of protein, it is found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Therefore avoiding these grains makes things gluten free. People with gluten allergies or those suffering from Coeliac disease must not eat gluten as it can cause intestinal damage along with other health problems.

gluten free diet

If you are eating a gluten free diet then you must always check the labels on any food products you buy. Some products do not clearly state wheat, rye or barley, but have malt or hydrolysed vegetable protein written on them. Which both contain gluten. In the UK common allergens in foodstuffs should be listed, in the ingredients, in bold type.

No-No foods when gluten free

gluten free diet

Just about all bread contains gluten because it’s made with wheat flour. However there are some alternatives out there that have been made with rice or potato flour instead of wheat. Lots of cereals contain gluten, but there are gluten free options, just make sure you check the packaging. Pasta is also a big no-no, but you can get pasta that is made with rice, corn or quinoa. Rice cakes are a great alternative to crackers for lunches. Watch out for breaded foods though, people often forget they contain gluten.

Beer is high in gluten so needs to be avoided. If that seems awful to you don’t worry! Wine is fine to drink. As are spirits, as all traces of gluten are removed during the distillation process. Whatever your tipple make you drink responsibly.

What can you eat when gluten free?

gluten free diet

Even though you will have to make changes to the things you eat, there is still so much you can enjoy. Eggs, fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and milk products are suitable for you to eat. So it opens up a world of yummy things to try.

It isn’t always easy but for those of who need to be gluten free, instead of those who make the personal choice. It is getting easier to find products, as most super markets now have a dedicated ‘free from’ area.

So whether you are gluten free through choice or need, there is an amazing amount you can eat. After a while of checking products it will become instinctive and will no longer seem like an impossibility, but something completely ordinary.

Do you have a favourite gluten free alternative?