Kate's Blog

Follow me if you will as I try to navigate through the ups and downs of my world.

I'm writing this blog to help me make sense of all that has happened - from my diagnosis with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while pregnant with my third child in May 2008
, through to my reflections on chaotic family life as I try to pick up the pieces of my life again.

The kids are so small, and I'm working hard to keep us all safe and to stay in remission.

Stay with me - it won't be all doom and gloom I promise!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


I know that I'm really neglecting my blog at the moment.

Life seems to be getting in the way.

I'm doing lots more writing which pleases me immensely even if it'll quite possibly never see the light of day. I'm also working on a project - looking through an aquaintance's book to give my considered opinion(!) It's become quite a lot of work although I just really agreed to read it as a favour and now I'm in the awkward position of needing to be honest. But, what the hell do I know?

I have a really sore lower back too. It's my old problem giving me hassle but still in the recesses of my mind I'm worrying that it's really a tumour forming around my spine. Nice image - and one which stays with me a little too clearly in the middle of the night. I'm having some physiotherapy for it tomorrow so hopefully that'll ease it, and put my mind to rest too.

But I'm managing to go to the gym, or go swimming at least twice a week and I'm starting Pilates tomorrow evening. A more flexible me is just around the corner!

I'm waiting for a positive result from one of my 30 letters that I sent out to local high schools, asking for a couple of days work in September. On the other hand, I'm enjoying my time with Hattie and my days have a nice peaceful rhythm to them with a good afternoon patch to write in before the kids come back from school and while Hattie has her sleep. Long may Hattie's afternoon sleep continue in such a satisfactory way.

Maybe I can find work in the New Year instead! No-one can accuse me of not trying. Is it my fault that there're no vacancies at the moment.....?

I'm kind of getting the feeling that Hattie needs me at home at the moment. I get a wierd impression that she kind of senses all that we missed out on together when she was born and she needs to make it up now. On the other hand, that could be a convenient thought to justify staying away from teaching just that little bit longer.

Inconsequential I know, but do you have a bread-making machine? I have just got mine and I LOVE it. Some weeks I'm almost making a loaf a day.

And, have you read 'Kafka on the Shore' by Haruki Murakami? It's compulsive, deep and thought-provoking but also amazingly readable. I'm planning on finishing it tonight. I think it's one of the most interesting books I've ever read.

Saturday, 26 June 2010


Wish I was at Glastonbury. I'll have to make do with watching it on TV. Not quite the same. How good are 'The Scissor Sisters'? Not sure they're exactly Glastonbury style.... but never mind.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

New Boy

I have a new nephew!

He was born this morning at 9.10am. Now there are 7 cousins, all born in the past 6 and a half years. Phew. Kind of exhausting. But I can't wait to see him - hopefully I'll manage at the weekend. It's a four-hour round drive - but I reckon a new nephew is worth it.

Just thought I'd let you know.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Football and Wine

Oh.... I'm neglecting my blog at the moment. I'm trying to write lots of different stuff, find time to use my new breadmaker and do all the other myriad things which seem to soak up time. I have a whole novel to read before my book group meets on Tuesday! Hmmmm!

And the football! As I write, Rog is glued to the boring and very very loud England vs. Algeria match. Apparently it needs to be so loud so that he can hear the commentary. But all I can hear is the awful trumpet things - voovoozalers (I have no idea how to spell that word). I really dislike football - or rather I can tolerate it for about 5 minutes and then I want to scream. But in the interests of marital harmony I won't scream - even if we weren't able to go out tonight (yes, we had the rare offer of a babysitter - can you believe it?) because of the football.

I think I'll open some wine - alcohol is possibly the only way forward.

Monday, 14 June 2010

What's Going On?

So, what's going on with me at the moment?

I want another baby although I spend most of my time being absolutely overwhelmed with the children I have. Not being able to have any more children - after the hideous chemotherapy thing - doesn't help. It's not good to think that your body doesn't work like it should do/used to do just 2 years ago.

I want to go back to work for a couple of days a week because I'm feeling overwhelmed and at times isolated and frustrated by all the endless repetitive duties at home. I'd love some chat and a good giggle with new colleagues. I'm good at getting on with people and am quite sociable. It'd be satisfying to have an existence separate to my family which takes place out of these four walls. Oh, and we badly need the money. But.....

I don't want to go back to work. Hattie's only just 2 and I missed out of loads of good time with her in her first year. Teaching English in a secondary school is pretty exhausting and demanding - especially teaching those younger kids. Bring on the A Level is all I hope and pray! And there's work to do in the evening. Back to the issue of feeling exhausted and overwhelmed with looking after 3 kids, two kittens and a house. Returning to work has to add to that pressure - what with Ed's haemophilia (yes, that's still going on... he has a bleed in his ankle at the moment, the school rang me today and I fetched him and injected him) and Hattie being bound to experience the whole gamut of childhood illnesses the moment she's ensconced in nursery.

I want to go to bed really early every night to indulge my old passion.... reading that is. But I want to stay up late enjoying the peace once the kids are in bed, watching rubbish tv and writing my blog.

I want a dog because I'm feeling broody and the kids would love it. I don't want a dog because I'd have to look after it and I'm tired of looking after things and people.

I want a campervan for totally fun family holidays. I want to ride a motorbike or a horse across Mongolia ON MY OWN.

I could go on but I imagine that you catch my drift.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Happy Birthday Martha

It was my beautiful daughter Martha's 5th birthday yesterday.

Today she had her birthday party - she was confident and polite and glowed through the whole event. I'm so proud of her - so pleased that we could focus on her properly and happily. Her past two birthdays have been, for me anyhow, connected with so much angst and worry. At her party there were parents who didn't know that I'd been ill - to them I looked like any other slightly harrassed mother trying to keep things going in a party-like direction. And that's how it should be.

Over the past two years I really didn't ever imagine that I could ever really be free of the legacy, even as far as my appearance was concerned. But now I look tanned from the totally amazing weather in Scotland last week, and apart from needing to tone up and continue to get fit (and lets face it, one doesn't need to have cancer to get a bit out of shape!) I don't think that I look much different to how I looked before I was ill.

She's an amazing little girl, Martha, and she's had a truly tough time - a tough time before she was even old enough to start school. But... so pretty and carefree today in her new birthday dress, she looks like a girl who has a happy future. And that's my birthday wish for her.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Scotland, Sun and Seals

The weather is fantastic up here. There is a huge garden into which the kids can be shoved (or encouraged, should I say?) as early as they like in the morning. The house stands on its own in the middle of nowhere with a fabulous view, so we don't have to worry about the kids making noise too early outside, the way we do at home in our street if they want to go out and play in our tiny garden.

I haven't got the lead for my camera to put my photos on the computer so I'll have to post the photos when we get home. But it is really really beautiful and the weather is HOT for goodness sake, right up here in the north of Scotland.

I'm walking a lot but I'm also eating lots of good things too - well, I am on holiday! I'm hoping that the walking will cancel out the calories and replace the gym for the week - but really, I don't care that much I've just realised. 'Wolf Hall' is nearly finished as I'm managing to fit in quite a chunk of reading in the afternoon while Hattie sleeps - at home I've always got so much to do. And Rog and I are enjoying having some time together with the kids away from all the hassles of home.

Last week was a bit stressful - I got a bug which made me feel so unwell that I becme convinced all over again that the cancer had returned. I had such a heavy feeling in my stomach that I was really worried that I had a tumour in my liver. The cancer can return in any organ which isn't very helpful or easy to live with - and this is guaranteed to make even the most laid-back person worry. Although I have been feeling much more confident recently that my health might hold out, and I might just make that magic 5 years in remission - it really shook me to realise how close to my heart that anxiety still is. Anyhow - I feel lots better now as you'll have realised. It was just a bug.

Our friends are arriving to stay with us on Thursday evening. I'm really looking forward to see them - they're old university friends so they've known me for a very long time, right back to those free student days. But we haven't seen each other for three years - before we had Hattie and before I was ill - because they live far away from us on the Isle of Man, so a visit requires a flight or a ferry journey. It'll be lovely to catch up and we can enjoy playng host in this lovely house of my mum's. We're planning a boat-trip around some of the most remote islands to look at the seal colonies and the sea-birds. I hope the sea is not too rough - and Hattie isn't too much of a pain.

By the way, Hattie was pretty awful on the 9 hour car journey on Sunday as expected. We arrived with her voice ringing in all our ears - having strained ourselves to listen to Harry Potter on audio-book over the noise for some of the journey before giving up. There's only so many raisins, fruit-bars and bananas one small girl can stick in her mouth in one day we discovered. Helpfully, she slept for a total of 20 minutes all day compared to the 2 and a half hours she can easily manage at home. Looking forward to the return journey.....

Anyhow - I'd better finish 'Wolf Hall' before our friends arrive. Off to bed with my tea then.