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!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Thursday Moaning and Hattie's New Pants

I'm tired of being skint. I know that I'm a whole lot better off in many many ways than the majority of the world's population. But that doesn't help me feel better today, although it damn well should. I had to squeeze a measly £20 out of the cashpoint to put enough diesel in the car to stop the fuel warning light from flashing.

I can't find work and I can't see how I can fit work into the week along with the kids- but many many do just that I know. I NEED to earn lots through my writing. Is that too much to ask?

I'm feeling very very tired and am having strange pains and strange skin things going on. Underneath everything else I'm worried that the cancer has returned. I'm seeing my consultant in a couple of weeks - an appointment I'm already dreading.

And I'm toilet training Hattie. Cue total obsession with lovely, new, stripy pants - pulling trousers down to admire them approximately every couple of minutes, lots of theatrical sitting on potty complete with arranging hands on knees to best effect. Lots of jumping up declaring that 'nothing's coming!' and then wet pants and trousers a few moments later. She doesn't seem to have grasped that it's supposed to matter if you wet yourself and that you're meant to wee in the potty. To her - wet pants? wet potty? C'est la vie. It's all good.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Getting On and My Cat Bill

I wish I was as flexible as my cat Bill. He's just jumped high onto our wall with seemingly no effort at all. He has all the insouciant casual, unselfconscious grace of the young, as well as a completely wonderful long stripy tabby tail. I see this beauty in the children too (not the tail as well though thankfully). No achy backs, strange pains down the side of legs. They can fall asleep in the car with their heads at strange and wondrous angles to their heads, and wake unscathed ready to spring into action. No paracetamol for them just to get through the day.

In small and insidious ways - and some of them not so small and insidious - my body is hinting that I might be getting older than the 25 that I feel myself to be, inside my head at least. I realised the other day that my eyes weren't quite as x-ray like as they have been. I've been blessed with very good eyesight - have always wowed the optician if I go for a check-up. And I've always taken my good eyesight for granted. But although, heaven forbid, I think I'm some way away from needing glasses I think I can detect an almost imperceptible change. And not for the better.

I can understand why my 62 year old mother says that she can't believe she's 62. I imagine I'd feel that way at 92 - although if the creaky body continues to go the way it inevitably must, I'll no doubt look it. Quick - run to the Pilates class.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Christmas Comes Early

Yesterday I had to have my photograph taken with the kids to go along with my article which is coming out in the Christmas edition of Red Magazine. A more stressful and potentially humiliating activity would be hard to plan in my opinion.

The make-up artist(!! No, no heavy make-up!!), sent by the magazine, was due to come at 2.45, and the photographer travelling from London up to the North of the country just to take our picture, was coming at 3pm. The kids were due home at 3.30 and then we all were heading to the park, dressed in scarves and boots and hats, despite the warm weather, in order to pretend it was Christmas. I'd drafted my mum to come too for moral support, and bribed the kids' good behaviour (and mum's!) with the promise of pizzas and special yoghurts with special corners which are the current longed-for treat in our house.

I had been dreading this - by the time the morning came, I was in an agony of nerves. I HATE HATE HATE having my photograph taken. I don't know what to do with my face. My eyes start to water with the effort of trying to look 'normal'.

The photographer was lovely though and with gritted teeth I posed as best I could. Ed, though, absolutely loved it. He chatted/ flirted with the pretty photographer (yes, he's only 6) and posed and posed and posed. She paid him the ultimate compliment and said that he had a look of the young Mick Jagger! Wow, I hope my son grows up to be as beautiful as him. I cheered up immensely then. He seems a bit of a show-man too, my Ed. Oh dear.

Martha looked beautiful and Hattie looked beautiful and uncooperative.

Now all I have to do is wait with toe-curling anticipation to see how I look. Heaven help me!

Monday, 13 September 2010


I went to London this weekend to stay with a friend. I had a lovely time with no kids with me. I could do exactly as I pleased. Thanks Sophia.

But, just to remind me where my responsibilities truly lie...

This morning Ed woke with the biggest bruise into the muscle on his calf that I have EVER seen. It was hot and swollen and looked terrible. I swear it covered most of the poor child's leg. He tried valiantly to persuade me that he didn't need the Factor 8 injection which treats his haemophilia, but in the end (after taking him to school and then realising he really DID need his treatment, and bringing him home again to do it, toddler in tow) I gave him a big dose. I found the vein first time and all worked perfectly. This was only the second time I'd done this on my own without Rog for moral support, so I was very pleased with myself. I dropped him off at school and proceeded with my scintillating day which was as follows:

Go to supermarket in pouring rain with Hattie and do huge and horrifyngly expensive weekly shop.

Realise I haven't had any breakfast, and feel very hungry while shopping, nobly avoiding the resulting temptation to fill the trolley with loads of unhealthy things.

Drive home and unload Hattie and shopping - still in the pouring rain.

Make Hattie her lunch and unpack said HUGE weekly shop while she eats it. Feel even hungrier but plan relaxing lunch once Hattie is in bed for her afternoon nap which she keeps forgetting to sleep through....but that's another story. Start to feel a bit weak through lack of food as Hattie slowly savours every bite.

Hattie finishes and just as I'm about to head bed-wards with her the phone rings. It's Ed's school. They're worried about his leg - can I come and check it?

I put Hattie back in the car and drive back to the school.

Poor Ed's leg looks even worse - It is clear that I can't leave him at school, go home and put Hattie to bed and eat my lunch. I need to take him to the hospital.

Off we go.

Two hours later, after having contained an increasingly hellish Hattie in a treatment room with high examination couches big enough to scramble onto and then fall off, expensive looking equipment to fiddle with, and taps which automatically turn on when you put your hands under - imagine the delight?!, we leave the hospital just in time for Martha to finish school. Ed has been fussed over appropriately and has been changed to twice weekly home treatment (hooray, more battles) and I STILL hadn't eaten....anything at all.

And I needed to give him another treatment before he went to bed. Before that I cooked the kids tea and once they were in bed, cooked our meal. Now Ed has just been sick all over his bedding - copiously! Aaargh.

It's 10.30pm and I haven't tidied the kitchen or done the dishwasher or put another load of washing on. Roger works well into the night most nights so he can't be depended on to do these things. And I'm writing on my blog - because I want to. It's the first bit of time alone I've had all day. But now it's getting late and I'll have to stop. I've exciting news regarding my article for the magazine, but it's going to have to wait.

By the way I've been trying to fix my comment form thing because I think it wasn't working properly and was annoying to use, but I'm not sure if I have! Is this better? If you can bear to leave a comment, please let me know!

Roll on tomorrow.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Can't Write... Just Can't

What I would like to know is..... why, despite reading lots and lots and lots, can't I write 2000 words in the form of a decent short story??? How can it possibly be so unbelievably difficult. Yesterday I sat down in front of the netbook (an achievment in itself) and wrote 750 words worth of rubbish.

F. Scott Fitzgerald I am not.

Damn Damn Damn.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

September - Can it Really Be That Time Already?

The kids went back to school today. They felt nervous - new teachers and new classes, and I felt nervous for them.

But for Martha her nerves were mollified to a large degree by her shiny new uniform. For Ed, fairly black and blue from haemophilia related incidents (ie Ed being silly!), I was worried all over again that I have to trust someone else with his care. I have to trust that the school have remembered and keep remembering that if he bangs his head someone has to pay attention. I hope his new teacher knows these things - I went in to see her this morning to quickly chat and she seemed dismissive, but I guess I should give her the benefit of the doubt on the first morning of the school year. Ed and I have such a volatile relationship, but I love him more than my life - he's growing up - 7 in November! - and he wants some independence and I have to let him find his way without cocooning him in cotton wool. And I don't. Ed plays football, climbs on everything, rushes around crazily like any other boy. But he does have such a serious condition and I worry that because he is so unconcerned and blase, that rubs off on the people around him who are responsible for his care.

Martha's new teacher is Ed's old teacher. She's great.... so that's alright.

And Hattie apparently doesn't sleep anymore in the afternoons. That's ok then. It's not as if I've been longing for the peaceful afternoons in term-time when I can catch up with jobs at home, write my blog and do my other writing. It's not as if I feel as if I'll go slightly crazy home with a bonkers 2 year old all day.

And that's about it at the moment. I've been a bit absent from blogland this summer- I'll try to post more often - even if I do have Hattie hanging off me.

Oh - and I have to go back to work - we're too damn skint. I need to try to find some teaching which will fit in with everything else. Hmmm. To fit in with the cooking, cleaning, washing and shopping and general child stuff which seems to quite satisfactorily fill the week on its own.