Counting My Blessings…

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I’ve enjoyed some quality time with my family this week and it’s been extremely rewarding. At the weekend I spent a whole afternoon with my gorgeous twin daughters; putting the world to rights and catching up on all their news over cups of hot, sweet tea and fancy biscuits; and today I’ve spent several hours with my elderly mother celebrating her birthday.

I met mum off the bus in the town centre and we had our usual browse in shop windows as we passed them en route to the local park. It’s mild for the time of year so we were able to perch ourselves on a bench overlooking lovely autumnal scenery while enjoying a good old natter about anything and everything. As the town hall clock struck twelve we sauntered towards a nearby cafe for coffee and baguettes, and once sustained off we went again for a further wander through the town until it was time for her to catch the bus back home.

I’m so lucky to have my mum still with me and even luckier to have produced such beautiful, intelligent and caring children. I really do feel extremely blessed…

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Happy Families…

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What better way to spend a day off from work than to meet up with both the older and younger generations of your family for a few hours catching up with each others news. I’d arranged to spend time in town with my elderly mother, but she had no idea that her twin granddaughters would also be there to greet her. The look on her face was priceless when she stepped off the bus and saw three smiling faces. The sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as we walked around the park admiring literally thousands of glorious yellow daffodils, while laughing at the antics of the resident grey squirrels.

Lunch was provided courtesy of a quaint little independent cafe in the town centre, where we ate delicious freshly made sandwiches and paninis washed down with coffees and milkshakes, before a leisurely stroll around the shops. By mid-afternoon it was time for mum to catch her bus back home, so we waited with her until it arrived. Then it was hugs all round before plenty of manic waving as her bus pulled away. I really do appreciate how lucky I am to still have my mother here, and that I have extremely loving and caring children to share her with. Some days I really do feel blessed.

Lucky for Some…

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Despite the uncertain weather forecast and the fact that it was Friday 13th, when an opportunity for a road trip presents itself when you have a day off work, it would be churlish to turn down the offer, which is how I ended up in a lovely old town with a quayside looking at gorgeous boaty things.

It’s great exploring shops with your mates because you can simply relax and be yourself, and nobody judges you when you sniff an incense stick a little too hard and end up with a runny nose. Despite a distinctly fresh breeze it remained dry for the most part, which led to numerous photo opportunities in close proximity to churches, wildlife and rather large statues.

Lunch was very welcome and really tasty. I scoffed down a rather delicious veggie chilli, returning a couple of hours later to stuff my face with a gloriously indulgent and scrumptious scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam! Some folk may be a tad wary of such an ominous date, however, if today was anything to go by, Friday 13th is actually extremely lucky for me.

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The Results Are In…

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After weeks of hell, not knowing whether the lumps I have on my neck are cancerous, or not; all the scans, xrays, blood tests, a rather challenging morning at the cancer clinic in the haematology department followed by day surgery for a biopsy, I finally have a diagnosis…. I DON’T have cancer (phew!) I DO have ‘reactive lymph nodes‘ that will need further investigation, but I can’t tell you how much weight has now been lifted off my shoulders. To top it off, I’ve just seen my cardiologist and although he confirmed my heart murmur there’s no immediate need to operate (another phew!!) I’ll need to have annual scans but that’s easy peasy.

I am a very lucky girl indeed, and it’s things like this that make you sit up and take notice; appreciate what you have and focus on living life to the full. Right, I must now book my travel insurance – España, aquí vengo…!

Should re-name this blog Life Begins at Fifty Three and a Little Bit…!

Day Surgery…

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Even ‘minor‘ surgery can be an ordeal, not just physically but emotionally as well. I’m so lucky to have wonderful friends around me who offer up their valuable time to take me to hospital appointments, even at the crack of dawn, and who are also kind enough to stay with me throughout the entire procedure.

It’s not just the hideousness of going under the knife that’s hard to deal with, but when it’s a biopsy the mental strain of knowing that this is going to be what decides whether you have a potentially life-changing disease, or not, is a lot to take on board.

I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to face this scary day on my own, and I know that although the two week wait for the results is going to be mental torture, I’ll be well looked after. Some things really are priceless, and genuine friendship is one of them…

A Very Happy Birthday…

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The sun was shining, the sky was blue, so off we went on a pre-birthday trip to the coast! As I’m an outdoorsy person there really was no better way to celebrate than to be treated to an entire day of all things boaty and watery. We laughed at novice windsurfers, ate lunch in a fancy restaurant and walked miles along the sand; discussing everything from beach hut colours to wondering what the mini-pontoons were for, while avoiding stepping on jelly-fish.

Being chauffeur driven to lovely places and spoilt rotten all day long was an exceptional treat indeed, and a happy memory I’ll always cherish. I’m so very lucky to have such wonderful friends, and it doesn’t go unappreciated. Sometimes, the best gifts don’t come wrapped in fancy paper…

NHS Merry-Go-Round…

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It’s not easy dealing with unexpected medical woes while trying to avoid taking any time off work, not to mention maintaining a busy social life, but somehow I’m managing, despite undergoing more tests and xrays. An emotionally challenging appointment with a lymphoma consultant this week means I’m now on yet another list; this time waiting for biopsies. Well, that’s something new and ‘exciting‘!

I’m fully aware that I’m extremely lucky to have the support of my wonderful friends and family during this particular saga, who cheer me up when all I want to do is mope. Endless blood tests have made my veins a tad sore, but thanks to ‘Team Karen’ I’m actually in a really good place mentally. I’ll give you all a great big hug … once my arms are better.

Now, my birthday is looming and someone mentioned cake…!