Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hare tales!

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven't been around. It's been a mad time with treatments and ops and all sorts of shtuff as we say here in Ireland.

I've had two chemos, missed a third because my blood counts were down but am doing well.  Have a totally awesome wig which is called Miranda.  When the lady told me it was a Miranda, she told me it was named after the woman in Sex in the City.  Having  never watched it all I could think off was Miranda the UK comedienne!

Wanna peek?

It looks better when it's brushed but it is a bit mighty.

It looks just like my hair when my hubby first met me!

Oh, and while the crafty thing I've done is a crochet hat for me to sleep in, I do have some more news.  As some of you know, I release stories about my characters in the cross stitch patterns.  Especially Holmsey Hare stories....and guess what?

No, you will never guess!  So I will show you.

Yes, Holmsey is being published and will even have a copy of his story in the British Library!
I've asked for the wording to be changed to say Written by Gaynor French, and Illustrated by Paula Hickman but oh my perfect is this?
Paula is an amazing illustrator...right up our crafting alley. She has a company called Bear Tails Illustration  and she is using mixed media to make her artwork.  It's awesome to watch: I wish I had half her talent.  Lookee perfect is this for a media for Holmsey pictures?
All of the illustrations are made this's amazing isn't it?  Using upcycled fabrics to make perfect pictures.  Holmsey is really pleased with the effects.
And there is another twist.  Sarah Paine from Paine Free Crafts has taken one of Paula's illustrations and converted it into a cross stitch pattern with both Sarah and Paula giving the profits to Breast Cancer research!
This is the illustration that is also now a cross stitch chart.  Pretty amazing. Holmsey will be getting a big head!  But it's all for an amazingly good cause so that hopefully, my grandaughter will never have to go through what I and my family are going through.

I've shut the website down, but am opening an etsy shop here;  which will just have instant downloads.  Bear with me, there are a lot of charts to go up.  I will be directing any sales to my grandaughter and while I will still design, it will be as and when.....I can't just stop even though technically I'm not running the business any more.  And of course ABC Stitch will still stock my charts along with a couple more USA shops.

So: that's it for now.  I've a busy day tomorrow with surgery in the morning and chemo in the afternoon..a lovely birthday gift haha...but will be back soon with some crafting to show.  My fingers are itching to do something creative!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Health update and then back to crafting!

Ok. Update. It is in my liver and my bones. Originally it was double positive; fed on hormones, so we got rid of the hormones and used a hormon blocker. Unfortunately dormant cells in my liver mutated and are not fed by hormones which means there was nothing to stop them growing.

I've had my first chemo; I have three weeks of chemo and then a week off. Scans all the time and a drug to strengthen my bones. The priority at the moment is to try and shrink it.

I will be getting a visit from palliative care, not because I need them yet but because they are all about symptom management and once I meet them I can build up a relationship with them and they will be 'normal' in our language and not scare my children with this new language. In my day, we only saw these guys at the end: that isnt the case anymore. They are all about maintaining a high quality of life from the start to the end.

I met with my oncologist who was amazing. He explained everything to me and we had a laugh and a joke. I trust him completely: he is amazing and if you can trust your medical team, then that is 90 percent of the battle.

He is hopefull that by changing treatments regularly, I can have some quality time. I didn't go into length because sometimes cancer is unpredictable, as we have seen. I had 80 percent chance of being ok. He reassured me that there was nothing at all I could have done to have prevented this: this is important to me as I need to look my kids in their eyes and say honestly that I did everything I could to prevent this but it was out of my control.

My outlook is positive. Mentally I'm in a good place. I let myself have a five minute wobble a day and it is always because of my children. I'm not afraid. I refuse to waste life being angry and bitter: it achieves nothing. There is nothing left to be afraid of; only when you are living with a cancer diagnosis can you understand the non-stop illogical and irrational fear which ruins every part of you life.

I get to help my family through this: the ultimate parenting lesson, showing them that death is natural, and it's ok. Saying that, I intend to be as naughty as I can in the time I have, and make loads of amazing memories and live life, every second of it to the full.

I cope by making sure my family is ok. So that means sorting out my business so it can 'run' itself: sorting out memory boxes, making sure they are ok financially and emotionally.
I know some people may find my attitude a bit weird. I budget my time but I cope by 'doing'. This is not something that is going to go away: it is not something that is going to get better and I refuse to pretend otherwise. To do so means when it rares it's ugly head, I have to go through the whole shock/fear/panic thing all over again.

I'm setting small goals: not because I am defeatest but because the upset I'm going through is not that I have cancer, but that I am putting my husband and children through this. I feel I have let them down and no logical explanation will ever change that view. I have broken their hearts: it's up to me to help fix them now, and prepare them for what is to come which also includes lots and lots of laughter and fun.

By setting small goals, I will lead a life filled with positive achievements. My first goal is to get my youngest son through his Junior Cert exams. That's 6 weeks. And in 6 weeks, I will come up with a new goal.

I aknowledge this disease, and will deal with side effects and issues as they come up but I'm not going to pretend it isn't there: denial just isn't healthy. I will just deal with things as they come up and make the most of every day.

It is a naughty child which frankly does not deserve the attention it is getting. So I will tell it to sit on the naughty chair and I will deal with it's tantrums as they come up.
Right: now that is me done. No more negativity. Tomorrow I'm going to have my photos taken before my hair drops out. I asked for photos which relate to me and who I am so we are having them outside. They will say ' This is the real me: this is who I am, not some shitty disease'. Hmmmm wonder if I should pull a mooney haha!

Well, lets hope for a good summer: at least I won't have to shave my legs rofl.

A few more plusses include no more mammograms and when I got home from the hospital last Thursday, I was in shock. Friday morning guess what came through the post? A bloody appointment for a smear test! Guess where that fecker went! haha, it's quite funny really. You couldn't make it up.
So. That's me done re cancer. Thank you all for your support. I'm looking forwards to getting home and doing some work on my garden xxx

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sad News

Hi everyone. I'm really sorry that I considered not even posting this here on my blog. 

And then I thought: I'm known many of you for ten years: first with my 'My Life and Vegetables' blog, and then with this one.  I've made firm frienships through my blog.  I've learnt new skills and shared my progress in the crafting world with many of you and you deserve the truth.

The fact is, 6 months before I would have been declared fully cured and cancer free, it seems cancer has done the sneaky and it is now in my liver.  As such it is unfixable.  I'm hoping to go on a trial that may slow it down but there is no cure.

My children and husband are, as you can imagine, really upset.  I feel so guilty for being the one responsible for breaking their hearts.  I only found out on Thursday and on Friday I had my funeral planned.  I'm busy transfering everything over into my husband's name and all I can say is that dying is very overated.  Seriously, is there really a need for so much red tape?

We are trying to focus on a day at a time and making continuous 'new normals'...quite difficult when you consider I probably wasn't that normal to begin with.

So, well, that is the news.

I'm going to be closing the business soon so I can spend what time I have left with my amazing family.  Thank you for being part of my's been a blast right?


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