We Raced For Life

20/06/2015  

Its been a very busy hectic few weeks here, and I am finally able to sit down and concentrate on what’s been happening. I have a few things lined up for you, like my TuTu Tutorial, a give away thanks to the lovely people at Oilatum Junior, plus my usual day to day ramblings.

 

But before I get to any of that, I want to say a special thank you.

 

On the 20th June 2015, Emma and I did the Race for Life at Kempton Park. We walked (Emma rode and walked) the 5K course in just over an hour. It was an amazing experience. We did it in matching tutus. At the end of the race, I took Emma out of her trike so she could cross the finish line, and she got a really big cheer and a mention over the loudspeaker. She was so incredibly chuffed; as was I.

  
Thank you to Cancer Research for paying my entrance fee, and providing a discounted entrance fee for my readers.

Thank you to my lovely husband for his support and driving.

Thank you to my friends and family for their support and donations.

A very special thank you to the anonymous donor who doubled my sponsorship money on the day, with a donation of £250. We raised a total of £525!

   

We did the Race for Life for Sarah Hardie, a good friend and one of Emma’s honorary aunts and my grandfather Michael Pearce.

Hopefully one day we will eradicate this awful disease.

One Month

We have one month to go before our Race For Life event. We have exceeded our sponsorship target, which is great, but we won’t say no to more donations! So please do donate if you haven’t done so already.

I’ve made Emmas tutu today. I still have to make my one to go with it.  

 

Yes, it’s multicoloured. I chose to do multiple colours to represent the awareness ribbons of cancers that have affected us, as well as our family and friends.

Hodgkins, Cervical, Prostate, Bone and Thyroid cancers. I also put some silver in there to represent awareness for mental health diseases.

Emmas tutu also has 2 black streaks (mine will not as I’ve run out of black tulle!) these are for my grandad Michael and our friend Sarah; two people who we have lost to this awful disease.

I’ll be back with photos of my tutu, and a tutorial to show how I made it as well!

In the meantime, please share and donate, and come down to Kempton Park on June 20th to watch Emma and I do our 5k event.

Entered!

Thank you Cancer Research UK!
We are now all signed up for Race For Life.

Emma and I will be walking 5k on June 20th at 11am at Kempton Park.

We are raising money for Cancer Research in memory of my Grandfather Michael Anthony Pearce, who passed away on the 25th November 2012 and also my friend Sarah Louise Hardie who passed away on the 10th September 2014.

You can read more about why I’m participating in Race for Life here.

Cancer Research UK have approved me to give away 20 codes for discounted entry to a Race for Life event.

For 5k and 10k events it is usually £14.99 for adult women and £10 for children.
For the Pretty Muddy event it is usually £19.99 for adult women and £10.00 for girls aged 13-15.

With your code you will save £2 off of your entry fee.

These fees cover the cost of organising and running your event on the day. It does not contribute towards your sponsorship total.

To get one of these codes, just comment below, ensuring you fill in your correct email address in the relevant areas (your personal details will not be published or shared as per the privacy policy on mrsflams.co.uk)

I will select 20 people at random on Sunday the 1st of March and contact those people by email.

This giveaway will be open until 6pm on Sunday 1st of March 2015. Anyone can enter, providing they’re a UK resident.

Thank You Cancer Research UK, see you on June 20th!

If you want to donate/pledge funds for my 5k, you can do so here.

Currently I have raised £135 towards my £200 target. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who had donated so far.

Race For Life, because, Fuck You Cancer

In November 2012, whilst pregnant with Emma (Flump at the time) I got a call from my aunt saying that my grandfather had been admitted to hospital. They thought he was having a stroke. I left work, went straight to the hospital and straight into resus, to find my grandmother very distressed and my grandfather in a pretty bad way. He was admitted that evening.

For a week I travelled to and from my home in Feltham to the hospital in Woolwich, via my job in London. 6 months pregnant, it was exhausting and stressful and distressing. Eventually my doctor signed me off and demanded I rest.

You see, my grandfather had been diagnosed with prostate cancer a fair number of years beforehand. He delayed treatment (for reasons that still make me seethe in anger, silly gold digging fake wife) and it spread to his bones; a further diagnosis of secondary bone cancer. He started treatment, and it was all going well. Then it wasn’t. Then the hospital admission.
Scans showed that he hadn’t had a stroke, but the Cancer had spread into his skull and was putting pressure on to his brain, which is why his symptoms were similar to a stroke. His liver was enlarged and the doctors couldn’t do anything else. They made him as comfortable as they could. There was talk of a hospice, however, they then decided that it wasn’t the best option. Just after midday on November 25th 2012, my grandfather passed away.

In the few days before he died, I sat at the hospital with him, with my aunt, cousins, siblings, grandmother and his carer. I only ever left to get sleep, shower and food.

On the day he died, my aunt had said that she was going home to make her youngest son some lunch, her exact words were “I’ll be back later dad, I’ve got a pork chop to cook for Jaades lunch”
I don’t think my grandfather was impressed. Within a few minutes later his breathing changed. His blood pressure dropped, his heart rate slowed. The nurse checked him over and asked if we needed the priest called.

The priest came, gave my grandfather his last rites, and prayed for him.

I sat next to him as he took his final breath.

He was surrounded by family.

He was 73.

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M.A.Pearce

That was the first time Id ever sat with someone as they died.

I was sad. I was upset. I was angry. Raging in fact. Cancer. Hideous disease.

2 years later (practically) I found myself in the same situation.

I remember the day clearly. We’d gone to the pub to celebrate my husbands birthday in 2011. In she came, very matter of fact, “I might have Cancer”
And we were all, “………”

Treatment started, it was going well. Then it wasn’t. They moved on to the next treatment. I lost count of how many treatments she had. They moved to experimental treatments and she joked that she was probably worth a lot of money now, due to the amount of platinum (I think?) that was probably in her body.

We discovered we were having a baby, and there was talk of stem cell treatment. Id recently lost my grand father. I looked into cord banking, but only a few hospitals do it. I offered up mine/Flumps cord stem cells.

I lost count of how many times she was in hospital, how many times we wanted to visit but it wasn’t a good idea as she was in isolation due to being immunocompromised.

Sadly nothing worked, and each set of treatment failed.

She was due to celebrate her 30th birthday. However she was in hospital. So we went to visit her.

My mum looked after Emma. Daniel met me in London. We got burritos for lunch. Then jumped on the Tube to the hospital.

She was in the ICU, on a ventilator. She’d been moved into a private room since we’d last saw her. It was her birthday. There were party hats and cards on the wall.

There were a lot of machines.

About 4pm, the doctors wanted to speak to her mother and husband. We were about to leave, but as they came out her mother was very distressed. There wasn’t anything else they could do.
Immediately I was transported back in time, 2 years previously.

My husband and I set about to call friends. Handholding, fetching drinks.

Visiting numbers to the room were relaxed, as were visiting hours.

Friends arrived. Family arrived.

Her dad arrived. He drove from the North, getting there in 4 hours. In laws arrived, driving 2 hours from the South.

We talked to her, held her hand, joked with her and each other. Her vitals improved when people spoke to her, when they touched her. She occasionally opened her eyes. She knew we were there.

We said our goodbyes, and on her 30th birthday she passed away. From Cancer.

I remembered how much I despised this disease. My friend was now a widower. At 30. It was unfair. They’d been married less than a year.

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S.L.Hardie

I think about her and my grandfather every day. Every. Single. Day.

They are why I’m doing Race For Life this year. If I can raise just a small amount of money which will go towards Cancer research, so that, hopefully, one day, this awful disease will be treatable, and people won’t lose their loved ones to it, then why not. Why the hell not.

I’ll admit it’s not something I was going to do, but then they got in touch with me as a blogger and I wasn’t sure still. I definitely wasn’t running it. I don’t DO running. But I can walk it.

So this summer, I’m doing the Race For Life. With Emma. A 5k walk.
We will be wearing matching tutus, that I’m going to make using the colours of the Cancer awareness ribbons for the types of Cancer that my grandfather and friend had.

So over the next few months, I’ll be sharing more information about Race for Life, as well as tutorials for making the tutus, and posting the details for my fundraising page. Plus there will be other stuff, offers for those wanting to take part and I’ll be sharing on my Facebook page and Twitter account.

Thank you Race for Life for asking me to work with you. I’m looking forward to it.

Best start getting prepared!

Can I Help?

I don’t often write about my day to day job. I don’t often disclose details on here or Facebook or any other social media account I run.
Today is an exception.
Yesterday, I, with 3 other colleagues proceeded to board one of our services and carry out a full ticket check.

My job is basically to deal with ticketless travel, in whatever form it may come in. I’ve received extensive training, but mostly it boils down to common sense, customer services and ensuring you remain professional no matter what. A little compassion thrown in doesn’t hurt either, after all, we’re all human!

Whilst going through the train, I came across a young woman, who was visibly upset. She was wiping away tears and obviously trying her hardest not to cry in public. I’ve been there, it’s hard and embarrassing and a tad humiliating, and you worry people are staring at you, judging you, making assumptions.
Before you ask, yes, she did have a ticket, yes it was valid and no I didn’t make her cry!

I asked her if she was ok, and she mumbled something, wiping her tears with a tissue that she had just fished out of her bag.
I sat down next to her, and I asked her if I could help with anything, and she shook her head and said that she’d be ok.
That’s when I looked down and I saw a bunch of leaflets littering her lap, all about cancer and cancer treatments and cancer support services.

This woman, like many other people around the world, has to deal with cancer and it’s heart wrenching affects.

The likelihood was that she had recently been diagnosed, but it is possible that she’d been with a loved one who’d been diagnosed. Either way, it’s shit.

I told her that if she needed anything, where to find me, and asked if there was anyone I could call for her.
She said no, but thanked me.

In reality I didn’t actually do anything for that lady. But I showed compassion to someone who was in a vulnerable position.

Cancer is an absolutely horrible disease. I hate it with all my being.

I lost my grandad to Cancer. It was horrible and traumatic. I was 6 months pregnant. I commuted to the hospital to be with him every day. I sat with him when he took his final breaths. I helped arrange his funeral, register his death, and I did a reading at his funeral. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss him or think about him.

People die. Sadly that’s the way of the world. We cannot all live forever. However dying because of cancer is horrific. It’s a disease that doesn’t just affect the person who has it, but their family, friends and colleagues.

At this moment in time, I have a friend who is battling Cancer. So far every treatment hasn’t worked. Her positivity is amazing and I admire her greatly. She is 30.

It’s not fair.

Cancer, I hate you and I will rejoice on the day that there is a breakthrough in eradicating you. Hell, I’ll have a god damn street party!

That said, back to the lady I encountered.

I hope she will be ok.
I’m glad I took the time to ask if she was ok or if I could help her.

If you see someone who is upset or looks vulnerable, please don’t just look and walk on by. It only takes 2 seconds to stop and offer help or ask if someone is ok. That 2 seconds could mean a lot to someone. Hell, in some cases that 2 seconds could save someone’s life.

Compassion is a great skill to have. Please use it. It doesn’t cost anything.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

It’s been 68 days since my grandad lost his battle with cancer. Life has gone on, grown a bit more and people have carried on with their lives.

I’m 33 weeks pregnant today and suddenly incredibly sad that my grandad won’t get to meet my Flump. I’m sad that the husbands grandad who passed away 4 1/2 years ago won’t get to meet our Flump.

I’m sad that so many people across the world are fighting this horrible disease. I’m sad that so many people have already lost their fight. It’s not fair.

Today my friend posted a video to a mutual friend who is battling cancer, she is also pregnant and due (like me) next month. I sent the same video to another friend of mine who is undergoing treatment.

I truly and honestly wish with all my heart that they win. That they stay strong and positive. That they kick cancers ass. They are both strong wonderful women. They deserve to win. Everyone with cancer deserves to win.

Hard

I’ve never had to do something this hard in my entire life. Sitting at someone’s bedside, waiting for them to die is absolutely soul destroying. And it is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced.

I’ve been to funerals before, gone to see poorly people in hospital, sent words of love and support to others, but I’ve never done this. I’ve never sat and waited. It’s not like it is on TV shows, that’s for sure. There’s no Melinda Gordon waltzing in with messages from the other side.

I don’t know what to do with myself. Sit still, stand still, pace, cry, not cry, give hugs, make tea (this is what us Brits do in any time of crisis).

I’m currently pacing the hallway outside of my grand fathers private room.

Lost. Waiting.

Hug your loved ones, tell them you love them, no matter what your differences, whether they’ve wronged you, whether they’ve been mean or horrid or rude or unfair, because once they’re gone you will never ever have another chance with them.

Why I Love The Elderly.

There are two reasons as to why the 1st of September 1939 stands out for me.
The first is that it’s the day that WW2 kicked into action, with Germany invading Poland.
The second is that it is my Grandads birthday. Technically he is a war baby, although at the time of his birth it probably wasn’t apparent to his parents that WW2 had began.

I love my Grandad. He is awesome (if a bit crotchety now as he gets on in life) and when I was little he told me fantastic stories.
He told me that he was in the war and it was hot and dry and he used to fry eggs on the tanks for the soldiers because they (the tanks) got so hot. Turns out he was in the army, but as a chef. He never saw a tank much less fried an egg on one! Needless to say, the war was imaginary, something told to a little girl to keep her imagination alive. And demand more!
He also told me stories of his friends Merlin and Arthur. Stories of Merlin and his amazing magic and Arthur and his sword Excalibur. I told EVERYONE that my grandad knew Merlin and Arthur. To me it was amazing.
Everytime I saw my grandad I’d ask him to tell me the stories of his adventures.
To clarify (in Case it’s not clear, my grandad didn’t know Arthur or Merlin)

My grandad often played the My Little Pony and Sweet Valley Middle School board games with me. He ALWAYS let me win.
To me, my grandad was amazing. I still think he is.

Once I showed my friends a photo of my grandad when he was younger. He was holding my mother as a small baby, and my friends were adamant that he was Elvis. He looked like Elvis. He can even do a very good Elvis impression. He used to tell my friends and I, tales of him and his friend Elvis and that Elvis often used him as a body double.
His imagination was wild.

Over the last few years my grandad has been rather poorly. He has diabetes. He has prostate and secondary bone cancer (both under control). His balance isn’t great, he’s going deaf and losing his sight and he has severe arthritis and muscle problems. But he copes.

On Wednesday I called my Aunt and during the start of the conversation she asked me “have you heard about your grandad?”
As a general rule, most of the time, my family forget to tell me things. So I responded “no. What’s wrong with him?”
The reply? “he’s in the hospital.”
To be fair, that was the reply I was expecting. Most of the conversations that start with “have you heard about your grandad?” often end with “he’s in the hospital”
Last time he’d had a nasty fall.
So I said to my Aunt “what’s happened now?”
She told me. It was not pleasant (mind you, any reason for being in hospital isn’t pleasant!)
Basically my grandad has been in hospital since September 28th. Apparently having an infection that doesn’t clear up can lead to gangrene. He was due to have surgery today to have a toe amputated. It’s been postponed. So he gets to spend more time there. Lucky him.

My grandad is and always has been an outspoken man who takes no crap. He doesn’t care about whether his words will offend anyone. He calls it like it is. Much to the embarrassment of my grandmother (who is divorced from him). He has since remarried (a story for another day!)
This evening whilst sitting with him we were having a conversation about the facilities. The nurses are trying to convince him to use the urinal bottle. They gave him an in-depth explanation of how to use it (he’s old not stupid!) to which he replied “I know what I’ve got to do, however I can’t find my bloody dick. I’ve seen bigger whelks down at the seaside!” yep. I talk penis sizes with my grandad. Classy! I must say I did laugh though, classic look on the nurses face!

My grandad is awesome.

I hope I’m like him when I’m old (just not poorly!) so that I can talk out loud about vaginas and dicks and not bat an eyelid about who is listening.

Old people rock.

…and that’s when it fell off in my hand.

Yesterday was mine and Daniels first anniversary. 1 year. 1 whole year.
It was really sweet, I got a single red rose, in a vase, with chocolates delivered to my office. When I got home I was made an amazing 3 course meal, homemade Brushetta, home made pasta with pesto and cream, and homemade blackberry cheesecake. sooooooooooooooooooo nice.

Today I went to see my gorgey nephew. he is very sweet and loveable. however he’s started teething! at 6 weeks old! normally first teeth don’t arrive until 5 or 6 months. i bet his mum is thinking, if he takes such a short amount of time to get teeth, I hope it’s the same as when he starts to potty train!! he is gorgey though. smiles a lot, which is so awesome to see.

Today I also got some very not so good news.
My grandad has had cancer for a while, 2 or 3 years now, but it was all in check. About 4 months ago he was told that he had to have an MRI scan and also some radiotherapy. So he had his scan, and it came back that his cancer had spread, so he had to have the radio therapy pretty quickly. He had another scan recently and was told the cancer has spread quite widely now, and has now reached his head. He’s been given two options.
Have chemo therapy and possibly live for another 2 or 3 years. or. Don’t have Chemo and have only 6 weeks left to go.

I’m sad. I mean I knew my grandad had cancer, and was being treated, and obviously we all die at some point, but he’s not even 70. I didn’t expect it to happen this quickly. I’m all over the place. 🙁