Happy Families…

daffs

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…

Picture 020

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.

Picture 136

The Results Are In…

awards

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…

plaster

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…

Abberton-WestMersea_grey

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…

merry

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…!

Making Things Happen…

Featured image

It can be extremely nerve-racking doing things that are way out of your comfort zone, but if you want new opportunities to open up in your life you have to make them happen.

Even though I already have a part-time job, I’d noticed a chance for some lucrative casual work; ideal for someone self-employed like myself. Rather than worry about not being right for the role or getting stressed out over how to fit it in around my main income source, I’ve bagged myself a highly sought-after interview.

Maybe I won’t be one of the lucky few who are offered a position…. but I’ve already overcome the first hurdle by getting a foot in the door. Whatever the final outcome, I’m confident that this is the start of something exciting.