Sunday, January 24, 2016

The pea paddock











We spent the morning on a friends farm in the pea paddock. Big juicy peas as far as the eye could see, and whirring around us was the huge pea harvesters, podding in the paddock as it went along. 

Rory couldn't get enough of the harvesters and Alexis couldn't get enough of the peas, her little fingers must have podded over a hundred in the paddock. While Poppy slowly worked on filling her bucket, picking the plumpest, juiciest peas she could find.

We chatted about how the peas grew, where the water came from and where they were headed, in less than 24 hours they would be washed and snap frozen ready for the supermarket freezers.

We picked three big buckets and took them home to pod, some we would eat fresh (we made this delicious salad), and some we would freeze for winter. 

Tonight we all have green thumbs from podding and bellies full of delicious peas.

xx

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Strawberries

We usually have a few strawberry plants in to keep my three happy all summer, but with our move and my bad health I haven't had time to get our garden organised yet (I also have no idea where I will be putting everything). So yesterday we headed off to the Hillwood Strawberry Farm about 30 minutes from home to pick a bunch for some baking.


There were strawberry plants as far as the eye could see and they were all so plump and juicy.



 We chatted about what we would make with them? Strawberry cake? Ice Cream? A pie? or a Strawberry Short Cake like the girl on Alexis' bathers?





So far we haven't baked anything, I've been busy with Doctor's appointments and the usual, but I don't think these yummy strawberries will go to waste.





Maybe tonight we will have them with a bit of cream.

Yum! x

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Update

Hello, firstly I would like to say I'm sorry, I kind of left you in suspense after my Melanoma post. I have been spending way to much time at Doctors and Hospitals since my last post, and frankly I'm not sure if I'm Arthur or Martha, if it's Thursday or Sunday or if I'm coming or going.
Luckily I've had my beautiful family and friends to help me get my shit together, watch the children, do loads of washing, make dinners and be there for a laugh or fifty.

I have been back to the plastic surgeon and I'm really pleased to report he removed all of that nasty tumor from my right arm, the whole tennis ball sized nastiness. Which in return has left a humongous whole in my arm, but over time that will heal, of course I will be left with a large scar, dent, hole or what ever it may be, but that is the small price I have to pay, I'm lucky to have my arm, and even my life if this horrible cancer had gotten it's way.

Once again I want to say thank you for all the lovely messages of support and care, There is still a long road from here with many Doctors appointments filling my calendar, but that's ok, life can wait for a minute, it's not going anywhere soon, and that's just the way I like it. 

Happy Sunday x
 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Camping

 We had planned this camping trip months in advanced, while endlessly pulling nails from floor boards, painting walls, stacking bricks and other renovating chores it was always the light at the end of the very messy tunnel, lazing on the beach with a cider, riding the quads, sitting around the camp fire and enjoying time with great friends and family, we could not wait.


 When I was diagnosed with Melanoma it never really crossed my mind that we wouldn't still go, as long as it worked out around my doctors appointments and operation I had my mind set on going. I'm so glad we did, In hindsight it was probably more relaxing than staying at home, the children were constantly on the go and we all had the most amazing sleeps.



We were away for five nights including New Years Eve with about six other families and had other family come down for a night or two, or some came for day trips. On New Years Eve we had all chipped in for some fire works and had the most spectacular display.



On one of the nights we set off the sky lanterns which we had gotten in Bali on the most gorgeous still night, it was beautiful to watch them float over the dunes into the orange sky.










 Poppy had plenty of use from the motorbike Santa had brought for Christmas and the twins loved riding the mini quads.




We couldn't have asked for a better way to bring in the new year and say goodbye to 2015.


....


Big love for all the messages, emails, texts, prayers, comments and well wishes from my last post.

xx

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Melanoma


13,000 Australians were diagnosed with Melanoma in 2015, around 35 people per day, and a week before Christmas, I was one of those people.

I had gone into my local GP to simply have a prescription written and while the Doctor was typing away he asked if there was anything else I wanted him to look at, to fill in the time I showed him the freckles on my arm, the ones that I had showed two Doctors before who had said they were fine. The young Doctor looked concerned and said he would rather they came off than stayed on, so I booked to come back in three days and have the spots removed.

I had, had a few spots removed before and even though it wasn't nice, it wasn't the end of the world, the nurse chatted away about the holidays and before I knew it was over and the surgery would call when the results from pathology came back.

I left the surgery and went about my day, shopping for Christmas, wrapping presents, getting the house ready for guests and attended Christmas drinks, the usual busy time before Christmas, even busier as we were still unpacking our new home, and finishing off renovations. 

It was the next morning when I had a missed call from the Doctors surgery that I knew something wasn't right, they needed to see me right away, so I organised the children and Tom and I went in. It was horrible, waiting to see just how bad the results were, when the Doctor called my name he had a somber look on his face, I sat down in the chair and took a deep breath and got ready for what was about to hit me, "I guess you've figured out the results from pathology weren't great, and you have Melanoma" he said, from there the rest of the appointment was a complete blur, there was talks of plastic surgeons, hospital stays, a full body spot check was done and before I knew it we were leaving with instructions to wait until the hospital called with a time to see the plastic surgeon. 

If Tom wasn't there I would have forgotten the whole appointment, The Doctor told me he thought the cancer hadn't gotten into my Lymph Nodes (glands), which was good because as soon as it does it spreads through your body at a rapid pace, he also told me I would probably have about a 6cm diameter removed from my upper arm (where the original spots where), along with some muscle, which would then be tested and hopefully come back cancer free.

The next day I had an appointment to go and see the plastic surgeon at the hospital, I popped in by myself on the 22nd of December, because I was sure he would look at my arm, explain what was going to happen and book me in after Christmas. 

He didn't. He sat down with me, told me my cancer was a "four out of five" in regards to how bad it was and cleared his schedule to have me be his first patient in surgery in the morning, once again another blur occurred, he sat with me for an hour explaining the immune system, the cancer itself, how much he would remove, the skin graft he would do, how it effects the body and what would happen if it was to reach my glands. He sent me off to a special chemist to start some Melanoma specific immune drugs and I was to come back to the hospital in an hour to sort through pre-operating procedures.

Two days before Christmas I woke up early and headed into the hospital with my brother while Tom tried to make the day as normal as possible for the children. Talk about scary, I still hadn't had enough time to get it all clear in my head. As I was wheeled into surgery I looked at my right arm for the last time as it would never be the same again and I thought about seeing my family in the afternoon, who loved me for me and not what I looked like. When I woke up I was surprised to feel my leg was bandaged up, I had originally been told the skin graft would be taken from my left arm so I felt relieved that it had obviously been taken from my right thigh. I was in pain and ready to see my family.

After one night in hospital I checked out in the afternoon of Christmas eve and was relived to be home with hopefully the worst behind me. The excitement of Christmas was a great distraction and even though I was in pain, (skin grafts are a killer, so much pain!), it was impossible not to feel the excitement and joy that the children felt when leaving out food for Santa and even more so when finding out he had been the following morning.

Where to from here? I wait, wait until Tuesday to see if all the cancer has been removed and how my arm is going to look after being through a pretty major surgery. 

So there is my Melanoma story, unfortunately it's not over yet, and probably wont be for a few years, but if I hadn't had it looked at when I did, It wouldn't have gone so well, and I'm so thankful for that. 

For now, wish me luck, and remember on these hot, not hot, overcast, windy or rainy Australian summer days, to slip, slop, slap and have a spot check. 

xx