Friday, May 30, 2014

This Moment

Joining in with the spirit of Soulemama for This Moment.
John has had surgery to remove as much of the tumour as they safely could. We will hopefully return home next week to recuperate before any chemo or radiotherapy treatment starts.
On the day of the operation, as an attempt at distraction, we visited Aberdeen Art Gallery, and when we entered, I noticed this neon sculpture. It conveys perfectly, all that I feel about this wonderful online community that I am part of. Thank you for being there xxx

Friday, May 23, 2014

Moments from the week.

Living from moment to moment on this roller coaster week. We flew off to the hospital in Inverness on Monday, and John has had a series of tests to determine the source of his cancer. It was been so very difficult, as you will imagine, and not everything has gone smoothly. I have been sustained by knitting and the perfect audiobook, but most of all, the wonderful supportive and loving comments here, (and elsewhere) from the practical help from friends and family, and all the amazing spiritual help too. I cannot thank everyone enough. I read all your comments out to John over the week, and we have been so comforted by them.
So - where are we now?
The tests and scans show a large carcinoma in the spine, and a small lesion on his left lung. A biopsy has been taken to determine the type of cancer, but preliminary results indicate an adeno-carcinoma. If this is indeed the case, he will go to the neurosurgery unit in Aberdeen early next week, where the large tumour will be removed and two titanium vertebrae will be inserted. After recovery from that operation he will have intensive radiotherapy on the lung. It all sounds very simple.... but we know we have a long way to go yet. A precious weekend now beckons us, and we will spend some quiet family time together before jumping back on the roller coaster next week. xxx

Monday, May 19, 2014

Corners of my home

This is my rather messy corner of the living room. Here I sit - usually in the evening, doing a bit or knitting, reading or watching TV. The table has a few favourite family photos, and a green glass fish ornament that I love, alongside a drink coaster and headphones for listening to my latest talking book. I sit here and chat with my family and friends, cuddle my grandchildren, sip cups of tea, or glasses of wine. It is a cosy spot, my little corner.
But it was here I sat on Thurday evening when my world collapsed around me, as I listened to our GP tell us the xray showed that my husband's back pain was not the arthritis we had originally thought, but was, in fact a secondary bone cancer. I felt the chair envelop me and stop me from melting onto the floor, as her words swam around in my head. From this chair, I heard her quiet voice as she answered my husband's questions. He had a feeling about this from the onset of the pain...
Today we are flying off to the oncology unit on the mainland, for tests and beginning of some treatment. Family and friends are rallying round, and we feel very held and supported by them. It's a road many have gone down before us, but not a way we expected to go ourselves. Who does? If there is a way through, we will find it. Until then, can I ask that you remember us in your prayers, and thoughts. xx

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lambing 2014

Our lambing season is over. Late this year, because of our travels, but it was an exciting thing to look forward to on our return. We lamb outside. These hardy Blackface sheep are well used to finding the best places to shelter from the worst of the wind and rain. Thankfully, it has been a decent spell of weather, and my trips back and forward to the lambing field have incorporated a fair bit of sitting in the sun, just appreciating my surroundings.

Our first arrivals were a gorgeous set of twins for Mhairi. I arrived down at feeding time to just miss the birth of the second lamb. Of course Mhairi had to get a special feed after all that effort, away from the rest of the ravenous mamas to be. The newly born twins (boy and girl) wait patiently until she has eaten. 

We had to wait a few days before the next arrival. Many anxious visits were made to the field, watching - trying to guess who would be next. Agnes and Maddie both looked likely on several occasions, but in fact it was Calumnina who produced this fine big ewe lamb.

A week later, Maddie Beag came trotting proudly up the the feeding trough with her new ram lamb. This was her second lamb, and it was amusing to see the difference a year had made to her confidence as a mother. Last year, she and her first-born were absolutely inseparable, and they hid themselves away from the flock for months. This year, she was right in among the feed, leaving her son baa-ing away from the sidelines. Only for a short time though, and soon he was back with his mum, tail wagging delightedly, as new lambs do.

Then, on another trip down to the field at feeding time and we had just missed the final birth by minutes. Agnes still licking her brand new ewe lamb, seemed totally unphased by the event, and came to the trough, membranes still trailing. She is one tough cookie!

So - that was our Lambing 2014. Nice and easy - experienced mothers - no interventions, and five fine thriving lambs.  They are now firm friends, and our evenings are now spent watching the lamb olympics as they race and leap around the croft.

Friday, May 9, 2014

This moment

Sharing a moment that I want to remember. No words, just a single special image. Joining in with Soulemama for This Moment. Wishing you all a fulfilling weekend xx

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Seven Days

Such a lovely start to the week - glad to be outdoors as much as I could. We had such a dry spell that the cattle needed watering more often - and they certainly let me know about it. The weather turned wetter midweek, as we headed over to Stornoway to see the Channel 4 news programme being broadcast - and we were on telly! Sadly it was all prearranged, so I didn't get to speak, but at least my visual message went out.*

We were doing a bit of dogsitting for our neighbour - Buster is a great dog - so friendly and playful. He likes a game of football and actually chases sticks! A great novelty for us, as Mick doesn't do play. Oh, and I made the absolute best butternut squash soup and cheese croutons from this recipe. Friday was a day off school and it was sunny and warm - off to the beach - where else? yay!
And, finally, another arrival down in the sheep field - a fine big ewe lamb.

Wishing you all a great seven days ahead. xx

* I am planning to write up my thoughts about the news programme and other Referendum issues on The Independence Diaries.

Friday, May 2, 2014

This moment

Sharing a moment that I want to remember. No words, just a single special image. Joining in with Soulemama for This Moment. Wishing you all a sunny weekend.


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