Relationships

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*

Just Us Box Wilderness date night

Our Wilderness date night box arrived from Just Us Box almost 3 weeks ago now. We still have not found time to have our monthly date night. March and most of April has already flown by. My Hubby was away on a 2 week course with work, then away in Barcelona for a weekend on a stag do. So we just haven’t had time. I know our next box Sensuality will be arriving in 10 days, and I don’t think we will have even had the time for our Wilderness box before then.

just us box wilderness date night

So this month I though I would show you what was included in the box. My Hubby was really impressed. As an outdoorsy person with a keen interest in bushcraft, he liked the concept of this box. Packed full of things for a date night in the ‘Wilderness’ in our garden.

Foraging for Food

just us box wilderness date night

This month we were give a link to a video to watch, which gives you all the details you need to make your very own nettle soup. Robin Harford is a foraging expert, I really enjoyed watching the video. He is full of knowledge about what wild plants you can eat. Have a watch then you can head out into the woodlands for a nice afternoon and forage for stinging nettles. Don’t forget your foraging bag, it’s included within your date night box. Did you know that stinging nettles contain 7 times more vitamin C than an orange and are 3 times more nutritious than anything else you can grow. So what are you waiting for? Head out and grab some stinging nettles and make some tasty soup.

Building your shelter

 

just us box wilderness date night

Included in the box is also a large tarpaulin, rope and pegs. This is for you to build your shelter for the evening. Find the perfect spot in the house or garden and set up your shelter. Inside your date night guide shows you 3 different types of shelter you can build.

Making your fire

just us box wilderness date night

If you have a log burner or open fire in your house then you are ready to go. If not, included within the box is Magnesium, a fire-steel and tinder (cotton wool) to make your very own mini fire and get your gel burner going. All the instructions are included within the date night guide. If you or your other half don’t fancy a bit of Ray Mears style fire lighting you can always reach for the matches.

Enjoy some food

just us box wilderness date night

If you have made your nettle soup, now’s the time to sit and enjoy it in the soup containers that are included. After that is time for desert. Once you have the gel burner going, you can make some s’mores.

Included in the box is everything you need to make these tasty treats. They are so easy to make. Add some chocolate to a biscuit base, then toast off your marshmallow over the fire. Once the marshmallow is all golden brown place it onto of the chocolate for it to melt in, then top with another biscuit. Enjoy…. they are super yummy.

Campfire Entertainment

just us box wilderness date night

A large part of being by a camp fire is entertainment, often telling stories, playing games and singing. So included within the date night box are some dominoes and a book of ghost stories. Your date night guide has a couple of games for you to play. Plus there is a ‘Knaughty Knots’ guide, if you fancy having a play with tying each other up for some extra date night fun.

Another fabulous box, packed full of treats for the perfect at home date night. I can’t wait to make our shelter, enjoy some yummy s’mores and try some new knots…

…It might bring out my wild side.

 

*I was sent this box for review, all thoughts and opinions our my own*

 

Mummy in a Tutu

 

International day of happiness. My life, My loves, My 10 reasons to be happy!

international day of happiness

The 20th March was ‘International Day of Happiness’ and the lovely Lucy at Real Mum Review asked me to take part in a 10 reasons to be happy post. Of course I was more than happy to join in the fun. I have lots of reasons to be happy, so I thought I would share them with you all.

It is a troubled world we live in, I’m always thinking about wanting something more. Bigger house, better car, new clothes, new shoes……………… so many material things. But when I sit back and think about what really makes me happy there are so many things.

♥ My wonderful Husband. I am so lucky to have a hard working Hubby. He provides for us all, so I am able to work part time and be at home as much as possible with our……

♥ Children. We are blessed to have a wonderful Son and beautiful Daughter. They are completely different in their personalities and attitudes towards life. However they brighten up lives and we are super proud of them both.

♥ My friends. I have a group of amazing friends. Some who I rarely see or hear from, but when we need each other we are a there for each other at the drop of a hat. My 2 closest friends Charlie and Becky along with my my sister have been my rock over the last few years. I love them dearly.

international day of happiness

♥ I’m going to be an Aunty. Just before Christmas I found out my sister will be welcoming her first child in the summer. I cannot wait. I love babies and I can’t wait for cuddles with the new addition to our family. I’m excited to be part of this little ones life, just as my sister has been to my two.

♥ My Family. I came from a traditional Mum, Dad two children family. I have a wonderful Aunty, Uncle and cousins that I have remained close too even though they are now living 200 miles away. My Hubby’s family is very large, with 2 brothers, 3 step brothers and 1 step sister. Plus 2 nieces and not forgetting partners. So, family events around at the Father-in-laws is always a lively occasion. Although we don’t often see each other, when we do get together it is alway a happy event.

♥ Fresh Flowers. They make me happy, very simple. At the moment we have an abundance of beautiful daffodils in our garden. My little girl loves to pick them for me, well she loves to pick any flowers. Sometimes ones that are not even from our garden…… haha.

♥ Afternoon Tea. The Hubby and I have had a fare few afternoon tea’s in our time. Although we haven’t been for a while now. It is something we both really enjoy doing together and also with the children. Tea, tiny sandwiches and cake. I mean …… hello, who doesn’t love tea, sandwiches and cake.

international day of happiness♥ Champagne and Cocktails. I’m not sure I need to explain this but I love them both and even more when it’s a champagne cocktail. An evening out with the girls drinking a few cocktails and having fun always makes me happy.

♥ Woodland walks. We love to get out on the weekend for walk in the woods with the children and the dogs. We have 2 crazy cocker spaniels and they drive me mad, numerous times a day. However they love the children and the children love them. Taking the family out for a nice walk is always good fun for us all.

♥ My blog. Although it might be small but I think it’s beautiful and I love it.

It wouldn’t be international day of happiness without sharing some blog love. So, I’m tagging these lovelies to see what 10 things make them happy.

Lucy : Each Peach Pear Plum

Roxanne : Every Cloud, Mummy

Jo : Intrepid Bebe

Stephanie : Renovation Bay-Bee

Laura : Mumma & Co

Amy : The Mommy Hideout

Valentines date with Just Us Box

Just Us Box

‘Just Us Box’ is a monthly subscription date night box company. They are revolutionising date nights. Just Us Box want you to spent some quality time with your partner each month. Where you both put down your phones and spend some time reconnecting with each other. Each month Just Us Box will send you a themed date night box straight to your door. So, all you have to do is pick a night that suits you and enjoy a date. I have been working with Just Us Box over on Each Peach Pear Plum since they first started back in July 2016.

Our date night

just us box review

Our ‘Lovology’ date night box arrived in perfect time for Valentine’s day. This box was all about cocktails and gin, two things we both love. It contained 3 mini bottles of gin, a cocktail shaker, a spin the bottle game, a small hip flask and various herbs and flavourings for the cocktails.

As the Hubby and I met while working in a bar that specialised in cocktails, I already had an idea of how to mix a mean cocktail.

Just us box review

Luckily I had opened up the box before the date night and had a read of of the date night plan. If I had not have done, I wouldn’t of known about infusing the dry gin or making up sugar syrups. Having read how to do this in the date night plan, I found the sugar hiding in the cupboard and made up the thyme sugar syrup and the lady grey sugar syrup. Leaving them both in the fridge overnight to infuse. I then opened up the dry gin and added the lady grey tea leaves and left to infuse over night.

On Valentines day we started our date by cooking a meal. It’s something we do every Valentines day. I set about making the first cocktail while our starters were cooking.The first one we sampled was a ‘Lady Grey Mar-tea-ni’. Reading the recipe, I wasn’t too keen when I saw I needed to use the white of an egg. I have a thing about stuff not being cooked properly. Particularly eggs… haha! However I made it up as per the recipe:-

Lady Grey Mar-tea-ni

just us box review

Ingredients

  • 50 ml of Lady Grey infused Anno Distillery Gin. (I had infused the Gin over night, basically just tipped the lady grey tea leaves into the Gin and let it infuse for a good couple of hours)
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 25ml simple syrup (which I made up the night before)
  • 1 egg white

Instructions

  • combine your lady grey gin with lemon juice, sugar syrup and the egg white in your shaker.
  • shake well
  • add ice and shake again – this will chill the cocktail down.
  • strain into your cocktail glass. We used Martini glasses but if you don’t have any then any glass would do.
  • add lemon peel to garnish.
  • ENJOY

It was a yummy sweet cocktail, with hints of bergamot and citrus flavours. Followed by the warming feeling of gin. I wish I had enough to make another. We had this along side our starters of seafood.

While the main course was cooking I made up the ‘Cranberry and Thyme G&T’.

Cranberry and Thyme G & T

just us box review

Ingredients

  • 50ml of Anno Distillery Cranberry Gin (this smelt amazing on it’s own)
  • 25ml of thyme sugar syrup (made up the night before using the instruction booklet)
  • Tonic water
  • Cranberry sugar
  • Lemon Juice

Instructions

  • Rim your glasses with cranberry sugar and fill it up with ice.
  • place the gin and thyme sugar syrup to your cocktail shaker.
  • add ice and shake
  • add in the tonic water
  • strain into your glass.
  • ENJOY

I made this up in a martini glass as, just because I love they way cocktails look in these glasses, although a long glass would have been perfect.

First tasting this cocktail at first was very very sweet, but delicious. That cold sweet cranberry flavour which a hint of thyme was really lovely. Quite a surprisingly nice combination. We had this along side our main course of turkey poulets and vegetables.

On to the final cocktail, which I have to say I only made for the hubby as I don’t like the flavour of cloves, it reminds me too much of mulled wine which I cannot stand.

Gin Skin

just us box review

Ingredients

  • 50ml of Anno Distillery Sloe Gin
  • Long squeeze of lemon juice
  • 3 cloves
  • spoonful of honey
  • boiling water

Instructions

  • place your honey into a warm heatproof glass or mug (this is IMPORTANT)
  • add the cloves and lemon juice
  • top with boiling water and stir until the honey is dissolved.
  • allow to cool before adding the the sloe gin.
  • stir and add your garnish
  • ENJOY

I followed the instructions, more or less, however disaster struck when I heard a crack and my lovely glass mason jar split in two. The honey and hot water went everywhere. Clearly, my glass jars are not heat resistant like I thought. Luckily I had some more honey in the cupboard and hadn’t used any of the sloe gin already. The hubby loved the ‘Gin Skin’ cocktail said it reminded him of winter nights in front of the fire.

Sloe Gin and Prosecco Cocktail

I’m a Prosecco lover, so with the left over sloe gin (I wasn’t giving my half up for the hubby) I made up a lovely Prosecco cocktail. It’s simple, just put the sloe gin in the bottom of a champagne flute and float the the Prosecco over the top. Using a little tip I learnt in the bar; Pour the Prosecco over the back of a teaspoon which is held just above the Gin.  The Prosecco floats on top, giving you a lovely layered effect.  It tasted amazing!

just us box reviewWe didn’t play the spin the bottle game that was included, we opted for an early valentines night instead……

As we both love cocktails this was a great date night for us. I enjoyed that I made up all of the cocktails and the Hubby enjoyed drinking them. He did help clear up the mess I made when the glass broke though. I usually make a mess so i think he was prepared!

This month Just Us Box helped with a marriage proposal, so if you have any special requirements they will go out of their way to help out as much as possible. The March date night box is ‘Wilderness’ I have no idea what to expect but I can’t wait for it to arrive.

If you fancy trying next months ‘Wilderness‘ box, then make sure you place your order by 15th March, you can use the code EACH10 to give you a 10% discount on your subscription.

*Thank you Just Us Box for sending me out this fabulous date night box!*