Thursday, 26 May 2011

Dental HELLth

I wish I didn't like Haribos, lemon sherbets and dib-dabs. These fizzy, addictive delights have single handedly nacked one of my teeth. It has been slowly crumbling away - dissolved by the sugary sweets that I love to shove in my mouth.  I've completely ignored this tooth for a few years. Pretended it was fine. Why? Because I absolutely HATE going to the dentist. That's why.

This month, however, I have been exceptionally brave, and I have tackled the nacked tooth problem head on - booking 3 appointments with a local dentist who promised she'd sort it out. She explained at length what she was going to do. She even gave me a 'treatment plan,' typed out beautifully so that I would understand exactly what she planned to do with my poor tooth. Trouble was, during her detailed and kindly explanation, the voices in my head drowned her out 'LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!' and the treatment plan got hoyed on top of the microwave under all the other crap that lives on top of the microwave.

I didn't want to know what she was going to do. I just wanted her to fix it.

At the first appointment, she gave me an injection then set about digging and drilling. She didn't say a word, but through the trendy sunglasses they now give you I could see and hear all sorts of weird and wonderful tools working away on my tooth. I'm sure I saw a needle and thread, and then something scadding hot went past my nose -  I thought I was going to be branded - smoke came out of my mouth and I'm sure I heard a sizzling noise - what the hell was all that about?!

This morning I was due back for round 2 of the 'treatment plan.'

I lay back in the chair, and she switched the spotlight on. She loomed over me with mask and headtorch. I wanted to shout - 'I'll tell you everything! It was me! I pushed William off his bike in 1972!' ......but I didn't. I don't think she would have laughed. The little helper wore a welding mask. I suddenly wasn't feeling too good about what was to come.

I lay in that chair for ONE WHOLE HOUR. Once again, she didn't speak to tell me what was happening. But as far as I was concerned, in my mouth went the following - (and not all at the same time I might add)

The nozzle of a Henry hoover
A staple gun,
Some pliers,
A Moulinex hand blender,
Some hockey gum shields,
A hairdryer,
Some straighteners,
A bucket full of playdough (I thought the little helper was making a cake),
and a full assortment of drills with different levels of squealy, whiney noises.

I had to concentrate so hard not to 'gag' on the playdough-filled gum shields, and when she finally finished, I was handed a damp tissue to clean my face which was covered in pink stuff. I would have preferred to have been handed a big glass of Southern Comfort on the rocks, but again, I thought I'd better not ask for that.

It was HELL.

All through this torturous experience, I kept trying to do a Maria von Trapp - and think of my favourite things whilst the dog bit and the bee stung. But whiskers on kittens and schnitzel with noodles just didn't do it for me today. Not even a thought of garlic prawns and sparkly wine could make it any better.

I left the surgery feeling quite traumatised. Two rounds down and one to go...and I still don't know exactly what she's done to my tooth! NOOOO! DON'T tell me! LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Wanted...Olympic Torch Bearers

Seb Coe is asking for nominations for 'truly inspirational' people to be part of the relay that will carry the Olympic torch around the UK. He needs 8,000 of them.

Wow! 8,000 inspiring people.

If I was the English teacher of my son's Year 5 class, I would set this as a challenge for the kids.
'Who inspires you and why? 150 words by the end of the lesson, please.'

I wonder who they'd come up with.  Cheryl Cole? Wayne Rooney?...or 'that bloke that scored that amazing goal against Arsenal, then twirled his red shirt around his heed...but me mam says I'm not allowed to say his name...'

Kids always have heroes that are in the public eye. People who win a lot. People who are good looking. People who are just plain rich. They're blinded by the glitz, the sparkle and the fame.

So when kids are leading their ordinary little lives in an unglamorous and familiar setting, its hardly surprising that they might not even notice a truly inspiring person - right in front of their noses.

On Sunday, the 10 year old was playing cricket for his local team. I arrived towards the end of the match and caught the last couple of overs. I was told he'd had a stormer. He'd taken a few wickets and scored a few runs. I could tell - the way he was bouncing around like Tigger with his mates - full of himself.

The opposition were fielding, and out the corner of my eye, I noticed a young lad, dressed in full cricket whites like the others, on the boundary. But this little lad wasn't like the others - he only had one arm, and he was walking awkwardly. 'Prosthetic legs,' my friend said. 'He's amazing.'

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see this young lad play because the game ended at that moment, but Eddie, who had been umpiring the game, said that he had been outstanding. He had batted, bowled and fielded alongside his team mates, who had continually encouraged and applauded his efforts throughout the game.

I asked the 10 year old later about what he had thought of the young lad.

'Yeh, he was good,' he replied. And that was it. He was 'good.'

I suppose the young lad himself would have been delighted with this answer. Considered by the opposition as just plain 'good.' No mention of disability, just another cricketer on the away side who was a canny little player.

For me though, this little lad was a tad more than good - he was a 'truly inspiring person,' even though my son, his team and a load of other 10 year old kids might ask the question, 'why?'

Forget the twaddle on Twitter - we are surrounded by truly inspiring people that turn up when we least expect.

Only another 7,999 to find...

Monday, 16 May 2011

Walking the Walk

When I reluctantly agreed to do the Moonwalk a few months ago, it did cross my mind - 'what the hell have I done? 26 miles in the middle of the night with 17,000 mad people in decorated bras in a big party atmosphere with everyone uniting against breast cancer...' my idea of hell. It wasn't the walk that bothered me particularly, it was the idea of the 'all sisters together with their boobs out' thing that didn't appeal....but then, I can be a bit of a miserable bugger like that sometimes....

I was feeling a little like that miserable old bugger when I walked into the massive pink tent a couple of hours before the start of the walk. The music was booming, and every square inch was covered by women and a handful of blokes dressed in feathers, tutus, and all other manner of sparkly bits on the theme of 'walking on the wild side.'

I was reminded of the many occasions as a student - when I'd walk into a night club, trying to be cool, knowing that I wasn't, pretending I was having a great time, but wishing that I was somewhere else - somewhere more quiet and civilised - anywhere but there!

A sea of pink hats in the noisy pink tent.
I found a space, sat down on the floor and listened to the celebs whipping up whoops of enthusiasm. Jennifer Saunders, Ruby Wax and even bonny Prince Charlie all had something to say. 'I wish we could just get on with the walk now,' I grumbled to my long suffering friend Karen.

I gazed around and noticed that the young girl sitting next to me didn't seem to be with anyone, so I struck up a conversation. She was only 19, her friend was supposed to be doing it with her but had let her down at the last minute. 'I'm doing it for my grandma,' she said, shyly.

'Good for you,' I smiled, and instantly felt bad for being so grumpy. Behind all the feathers and the fancy costumes, everyone was there because they had been motivated to try and make a difference - everyone had their own story, their own experience, and wanted to be part of an event that 'united against breast cancer.' Exactly what it had said on the tin.

And so, as grumpy pants walked her way into Hyde Park 7.5 hours later, just after dawn with 200 yards to go, she cried. Surrounded by other people's family and friends clapping and cheering, surrounded by fellow walkers all with their own tales to tell, and surrounded by my own lovely just kind of hit me a bit.

Somewhere in the middle of the night in London
We managed to see the young girl again afterwards looking as tired and as bedraggled as we all were. We all gave her a big hug before she left for home. She had done her grandma proud.

Thank you to all those who sponsored me and the team, and others who gave us so many messages of support. We've managed to raise over 2,500 quid so we're absolutely delighted.

Oh, and if any of you are wondering whether or not I'll be doing this inspiring, uplifting, emotional event again, the answer is simple...

...not bloody likely!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Ready for the Off

Well, this is it! I'm all ready! Lemon sherbets packed, bra decorated (thanks mum!), hips oiled, feet vaselined...

This is us in the paper yesterday...

And this was me this morning - surprised by my kids with a special energy boosting breakfast in bed...I'm holding the little good luck card that accompanied my lovely nosh. Inside it said, in the 10 year olds best English, 'Dear Mum, I really have to say thank you for being such a nice mum. I wish you all the best in the Moonwalk, Love T and L'

THANK YOU everyone for all your kind words of support and encouragement, and thank you everyone who has chucked a few quid in to spur us on and help the cause - as you can see, the total to the right is very impressive, and we're all very grateful.

Will let you know how we get on as soon as I recover!


Thursday, 12 May 2011

Champagne Moments

The champagne cork from my pocket.
I found a champagne cork in the pocket of an old jacket of mine this morning. I haven't worn it for ages, and even though I've racked the depths of my brain, I can't for the life of me remember what I had been celebrating last time I wore it!

There are loads of other 'things' that remind me of moments in time, however. My pockets are always full of them - sea shells, acorns, sweet wrappers, socks, cheese strings........but there are other more subtle things -

The smell of wild garlic and the sound of oystercatchers reminds me of the little cottage we stay in on the west coast of Scotland.

When I hear Lionel Ritchie singing 'All Night Long,' I'm sitting on the coach to Switzerland, aged 14 on a school ski-ing trip.

When I drive past a particular spot next to my old school, I can see myself putting a red ice-pop down Liz's back. She didn't speak to me for 6 months after that, and I don't blame her really!

When I taste garlic prawns I'm in France - on holiday - relaxing with friends.

The fresh-cut grass smell, and I'm sitting on the school field supposedly revising for exams, but really eyeing up the boys.

And so it goes on. Moments in time, and the 'things' that remind us of them.

Today, I did a final training walk before Saturday around the 3 mile loop that circles our village. I've done this walk so many times over the years.  My 2 kids have wailed around it in their prams, we've scootered along there umpteen times to look at the cows in their shed in the winter, we've spent hours gathering blackberries along there, with poor Eddie getting sent into the prickly brambles to get the big fat juicy berries that we can't reach....and last year, it was the walk I did whenever I needed to clear my head and get some fresh air during chemo.

I thought about all those things as I marched around the loop today. All those moments in time.

Its going to be weird on Saturday doing this Moonwalk thing. I'm really not sure how I'm going to feel. I know how my body will feel - bloody knackered - but I don't know how I'll feel inside - surrounded by everything that will remind me about breast cancer. Did all that really happen last year? On the night, all the boobs, bras and everyone 'uniting against breast cancer,' will soon remind me that yes, Lisa - it really did.

Whatever happens I think it will be an emotional night as I walk the walk and talk the talk with my lovely friends over 26 miles. Family and friends have helped us raise over 1800 quid up to now, so when we finally cross the line at the end, it will definitely be a champagne moment - and one I will definitely NOT forget!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Perfect Day

A wonderful was day had by all at my younger brother's wedding.

The groom and his beautiful bride
The 7 year old scrubbed up well as a bridesmaid (I only missed a little bit of biro on her arm) and the 10 year old looked splendidly handsome.

It was magical to see my 2 kids and my older brother's 4 kids together - looking so smart and happy.

As for the bride and groom, the pics say it all - happiness beamed out from them all day.

Best man brother with mum

My gorgeous gal

Whose are these lovely kids? Bloomin heck! They're mine!

The cousins with my 2

Happy Couple

Lovely bridesmaids
Me and my handsome bloke

Thursday, 5 May 2011

May the 4th Be With You

When I started writing this post it was Star Wars Day - May the 4th be with you.

On this very day 12 months ago, I had been felled by my 5th round of chemo. I had taken to my bed for the first time and I felt awful. I was feeling sickly, I was totally hairless, my mouth was full of ulcers and I couldn't be bothered to lift my head off the pillow - much to my 7 year old's (then 6) frustration. She sobbed that day, complaining about the 'bloody lump' that had made her mum incapable of even playing a game of draughts. I told her to be patient that day....'Mum'll be fine again soon......'

Its my brother's wedding this weekend. My 7 year old is a bridesmaid, and Chris is marrying a really lovely girl. It will be a fabulous, happy occasion and I'm really looking forward to it....
The next weekend I'm doing the Moonwalk in London - me and my gorgeous friends are raising money for breast cancer - it will be a challenge, but I am so looking forward to it too.....
Oh, and the cricket season has started and the Angels have had their first game!....yeh, well, we lost, BUT it was brilliant being out there with my team mates - scoring runs, taking wickets and scoffing the delicious tea afterwards...Can't wait for all the other games....

....I am SO fine again after my brush with cancer.

And I am SO grateful to be so fine again.

So many people are going through awful times with sodding cancer. My cricket coach has just lost his wife this week to sodding cancer. My boss's wife is struggling against sodding cancer, 3 other mums I know have been through the nasty treatment for sodding cancer but are thankfully doing well and some of my lovely cancerchat forum friends are also struggling against sodding cancer at the moment...

"I got off my bike at the tea room, and I cried," said my neighbour and friend who has just finished her chemo. Before the sodding 'c' she used to go on a bike ride with friends every weekend to this canny little tea room - not far from where we live. During chemo, she didn't have the strength nor the desire go biking, but last weekend, when the chemo was all done and dusted, she did. It took her a bit longer than normal, but she did it - and I know exactly why she cried....

I may have had a little glass of something tonight that's making this post sound slightly sku-wiff, but y'know - basically what I'm trying to say is, I'm going to carry on enjoying and appreciating every bloomin day...

May the 4th be with you.

Shents xxxx