Lifestyle

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*

Making your house a home

Does anything beat the feeling of coming home at the end of a long day? After a busy day at work or rushing around ticking things off the to-do list, that feeling of sitting down in your own home offers instant relaxation and peace. Of course, not everyone feels this way particularly if you live somewhere temporary or haven’t had the time to make it your own. It’s possible to make any place feel like home, even if it’s only for a short while. Read these great tips to transform living space into a home.

Make sure the space is right for you

It can be difficult to create the sense of a relaxing, cosy home when you dislike the property you’re living in. Noisy neighbours, limited lighting, and poor layout can all make it difficult to feel happy in your home. If the space you live in doesn’t feel right, it might be time to consider a change. Browse different houses or flat for sale to see what else is out there and if you’re renting, do a thorough search to see if you can enjoy a better property for your money. Don’t feel like you have to settle for somewhere if it isn’t right for you.

Create a colour theme

Creating a colour theme in your home is an easy way to inject some personality and eliminate that cold, neutral feeling. Consider updating your living room walls with paint of wallpaper, or if you are renting you can experiment with wall art and other décor ideas. Invest in some cushions, throws and some small home accessories in your chosen colour to give your home a boost and help you to feel more at home in your surroundings.

Go Hygge

Hygge is a Danish concept which embraces all things related to feeling cosy and comforted. It doesn’t take much to create the feeling of hygge in your home, and it’s perfect for the long winter nights – which can drag out when you’re stuck in a place that doesn’t make you feel warm. Get some throws and cosy blankets, a good pair of slippers and dim the lights for easy hygge vibes that will help you to feel more relaxed in your home. Whether you unwind with a glass of wine and your favourite TV show or a cup of tea and a good book, surround yourself with cosy things and enjoy that great feeling when you come home at the end of a tough day.

Listen to music

Listening to music is a great way to add a bit of life into your home, especially if you live on your own. Invest in a stylish radio that will also make a lovely décor feature or some portable speakers to take with you around the house. Create some special playlists that you can play for when you want to relax, feel energised, and have fun. There are many health benefits of listening to music that can be calming and restorative, and ideal for creating a more welcoming atmosphere in your home. While the sound of silence can sometimes be welcoming, it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of background noise now and then.

Bring in plants or flowers

You’d be surprised at what adding some plants or flowers can do to transform your living space into somewhere homelier. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to maintain them then consider getting some artificial plants instead that will create the same effect, with no work involved! Take a look at suggestions for low maintenance houseplants and flowers that you don’t have to worry about taking care of to look lovely in your home. Buy some beautiful pots to put them in and you’ll have a lovely interior feature that will make your home feel warmer.

Play with lighting

The right sort of lighting can make a difference to your home and make it feel warmer and inviting. Bright ceiling lights can make you feel like you’re still outdoors or in the office, and aren’t always good for your eyes. Think about the sort of lighting that you like and bring it into your home. Investing in some floor and table lamps, some fairy lights or even some on-trend lanterns will change the lighting scheme of your home and make it feel much more like your own. Lighting some candles while you relax in the bath or sofa is another great way to adapt your lighting and give your home some ambience.

Set a fragrance scheme

If you’re looking to make your house or flat feel more like a home, then consider using fragrance to do so. Fragrances can evoke many different memories, and if there are smells that you particularly enjoy to help you feel relaxed and happy – you should bring them into your home. Scented candles, diffusers or oils can all help you give your home that much needed burst of fragrance, and you can adapt the smells depending on the time of year. Cool cotton and fruit scents are perfect for summer while warming spices are perfect for winter.

Declutter

If you’ve recently moved or even just have a lot of stuff, you might feel like your home looks cluttered and messy. If your home is full of clutter, it may not be the most appealing place to be which is why it can feel like your house isn’t your home. After all, who wants to stay in a messy room when you could be somewhere else? Taking steps to declutter your home will have benefits for house as well as your mind. Having too many unnecessary items around you could make you feel anxious or stressed, so having a sort out now and then is no bad thing. Investing in some more storage items could be another way to help your home feel less cluttered too, and you can find some affordable solutions in places like Ikea and Argos if you’re on a budget.

Show off your personality

A home is a place where you can be yourself, so why not fill it with things that represent you? No matter what your interests are, fill your home with bits of your personality to make the space more appealing to you and your tastes. Even simple ideas like putting photos up of friends or family can make your space feel more familiar. Bringing in some of the things that you like – be it fashion or sport or a particular film or TV series is a lovely way to feel more at ease in your surroundings and gives visitors a bit more of an insight into who you are as well.

Make some memories

If you’re feeling a lack of connection to your living space, perhaps it’s because you haven’t made any real memories yet? Think about when you were a child – you probably have some great memories that you associate with your childhood home of birthdays, Christmas and so on. A key way to making your house feel homely is to make memories there. Cook with your partner or kids, host a gathering for friends and family and make the most out of your space to help you feel happier living there.

Transforming your house or apartment into a home is something you can do no matter where you live or what your budget is. Whether you live alone or with others, it only takes a few simple changes to create a homelier feeling that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable, wherever you hang your hat.

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*