Time marches on

May 06, 2016

I can't quite believe my last post was in January. It seems an age away, but time marches on.

Looking at the blog we’ve missed out April and there’s been good reason, life settled back into some sort of routine. I’ve noticed Julia’s previous post was on mothers day, March 6th. The post made me smile because of the happy picture of Imogen with her “tackle monster” badge. A few hours after that photo was taken, I headed off to A&E with Imogen who was suffering from concussion after an blow to the head in a ruck earlier that day. Luckily, it was just a mild concussion but a confused and eccentric Imogen in the A&E waiting room is something I can chuckle at now.

Looking back now at February, it was a hard month. Lots of low points. As Julia’s pain is bought under control, she had to stay at the Garden House Hospice. However, life tries to be balanced and there were some good memories to! Julia’s birthday was one that comes to mind, a nice cream tea at Tapps and then Julia and I went out for dinner at The George. The amount of morphine swishing around her, meant that Julia couldn’t make it to pudding but it was good for her to get out the hospice for a couple of hours.

This neatly brings me back to the Garden House Hospice, what an amazing place. I didn’t really have a clue about such places, Julia’s initial reaction to the suggestion of going in to get some care was not positive. It shows how little we knew, quite simply they have been brilliant. They quickly got Julia’s pain under control and offered support for the family as a whole. That support is still ongoing and has and continues to be amazing. I’m so glad that such places exist.

Julia was back home from the Hospice with pain meds aplenty. These pain medicines have all sorts of side effects. The single worst being the smell that MST can make a person produce, at times it’s bordering chemical warfare grade. The first night back from the hospice, I was nearly gassed out of the bed! Thankfully with home cooking this side effect has settled, although there are times when in the supermarket when Julia suggests we quickly change aisle!

Mike and Julie visited lots in March and April, their support was phenomenal and allowed me to get work and home life back on track. I can’t say thank you enough, those two little words don’t seem big enough. Over the Easter holidays we headed up to Cullercoats to see Julia’s family. The kids and I enjoyed plodging in the sea on Tynemouth Longsands and kicking the rugby ball about. We got to see Grandad’s boat before it was apparently nearly sunk in an incident that had been colourfully likened to an act as high sea piracy. Julia got to see her family and catch up, and although fatigue meant we had to return home early it was a good trip. The road trip also turned the kids into avid Archers fans as we listened to an Archers omnibus there and back, the rural intrigue kept them very quiet.

The fatigue we saw up in Cullercoats unfortunately has hung around. Julia rested for a couple of days then attended a weekend course for young people with secondary breast cancer in a hotel in London. It was hard for us both, her being away for the night. I found myself in a melancholic mood, missed her terribly and thought it a glimpse of the future to come. This was the result of being overly tired, something I try to avoid as it doesn’t help ones mood. Happily, it was only for a night and Julia was back home and very tired. I think she slept for the whole of Sunday.

I’ve missed out many things really in this catchup post but the main theme is, February was hard and sucked. March was much better and quickly rolled into April where life felt pretty normal. There have been ups and downs and Julia’s recent fatigue curtailed her ability to potter or take the kids to school. But as much as we can we’ve cried, we’ve smiled and laughed together.