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Well, the holiday didn’t go entirely to plan.

It started well – I kept getting one-word texts … “Wow!”
They were enchanted by the beauty that surrounds us.

Then she began to feel unwell – before she left, she’d had a pain in the centre of her chest – just below her rib cage. The oncologists thought it was either heartburn (medication didn’t help), or a side-effect of the chemo (in which case a holiday was a great idea).

It seems they were both wrong and half way around the Island there was a mad dash made to Christchurch Hospital where she stayed for two days. The doctors there think it is more a surgical issue (not cancerous – which is a relief), but she can’t eat without massive pain. And because the pain is so bad, she won’t eat – and has no appetite anyway.

So they returned home last night. Tomorrow she will contact the hospital here and try to get to see her surgeon. Hopefully something can be done.

We are all scared. But, while it is sad her holiday was spoiled, it is nice to have her closer.

Thank you all so much for your kind comments about how the holiday came about. They were all the sweeter because my ‘real’ friends thought it hilarious that I would win a competition and yet get nothing for myself – completely missing the fact I DID get exactly what I wanted – a special holiday for my sister. I need new friends.

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Holiday

Late last year I entered a competition on a nationally syndicated radio station. “Win a Wish for Christmas”.
My wish was that Sue would be able to visit the South Island – the only item on her “bucket list”.
I won.
They gave $3,000 towards her trip.
A stranger… a complete stranger… heard her story and was so moved he donated a further $500.
Her friends, colleagues and family donated too – money, petrol vouchers and vouchers to various attractions – whale watching, gold panning etc.
She has been blown away by the kindness she has received. She wept for days that people would think she was worthy of such a treat. She got clearance from her oncologist to take a break from chemo,
and she has been counting the sleeps till she and her husband,Nigel,were due to leave.
That day is today.
On a glorious, utterly beautiful Monday, they boarded the Ferry in Wellington and headed to Picton, at the Top of the South.
From there they will pootle their way around the Island. They plan visiting beaches, paddling in rivers, checking out garage sales and second-hand stores, picnicking their way around.
Entering that competition has already been the very best thing I ever did.
All going well, they will be away a month.

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Rainbow Bridge

My Poppy died today.

Poppy

Poppy is missing.
She was unwell for a couple of days. We took her to the vet on Friday.
She hardly ate a thing yesterday.
She wouldn’t come in last night – which is not unusual for her.
Today she is gone.
We have been around the neighbourhood calling her.
She came when I called (quietly, just after midnight) – was friendly, but still would not eat.
We haven’t seen her since.
We are hoping she has gone to ground till she feels better, but realistically we think she has gone away to die.
We have cancelled our New Year break. Neither of us can bear to be away just now.
If you have time and could spare a wee prayer (or whatever comes closest) it would be very much appreciated.
Thank you. XO

Great News!

Sue passed!
She has earned her degree.
We are so proud of her, we could burst 🙂

Also, talking to you made me feel better. I have had several nights of really good, drug less sleep.

Thank you. XO

Update

I must apologise.
It’s been so long since I posted, and you have been so supportive over the last year. I owe you an update.

Sue has been having some very severe side-effects. Side-effects are to be expected, of course but these have worried her oncologist in their severity.
She was hospitalised overnight recently because she had diarrhoea that wouldn’t stop. Diarrhoea causes dehydration. They did control it eventually and gave her a week ‘off’ chemo, to give her a rest and help her recover.
The change in her was amazing. She was just so much better. Chemotherapy – as it turns out – is poison :-/
Her next chemo is tomorrow, and another next week. That will be the end of this cycle of chemo. She will then have a CT scan to see if there has been any lessening of her cancer.
Depending on the result of that, the oncologist will make a plan for the future.
She has plans of her own.
She has completed her study and depending on the result of her last assignment, will graduate in March and is DETERMINED to walk across the stage unaided.
Before that, there is Christmas of course; we have a annual extended family picnic, and our dad’s 80th birthday at the beginning of February.
Her son, Ben, will turn 21 at the end of November next year. She wants to be there.
If attitude makes any difference at all to outcome, she will outlive us all.

We’ve had an up and down year here. Rick had an ‘issue’ at work that could have ended in disaster. It didn’t. But the stress levels amped up enormously. It is resolved, but I am still on sleeping pills. I hate them, but I simply cannot sleep at the moment.
Our Percy had more issues with his waterworks and had to have an operation. He now pees like a girl (don’t tell him!), but he will not have a blockage problem again… and really, we do not NEED an overseas holiday – lol
Poppy is firing on all cylinders, no sign yet of a return of her allergies. I am still making a raw food mixture for them, and they are all enjoying it – though Pops is making it her mission to rid the world of mice and is bringing home at least one a day. She tortures them outside and usually eats them all up… good roughage which she has not yet barfed up on the carpet… Phew!
Yoshi is doing well, but will be much, much happier once the fireworks season is over. He has been very distressed this year, and because the fireworks go on for days… and all hours (the latest were let off just before 5 this morning) it is impossible to medicate him. University exams finish soon, then the kids will go home and leave the city in peace for a few months. Can’t wait!
Other People’s Children make me LONG for a cabin in the wilderness – surrounded by a moat… and a drawbridge… and gunships (or sharks) …
I am getting very grumpy in my old age. And it is my birthday today 🙂 – more birthdays, more grumpiness lol.
On a house-keeping note (if you are still reading), I am having trouble commenting on some of your blogs. Some of you have an anti-spam code thing that I need to complete before you can get my comment. I have figured out that autocorrect changes the codes… humph! Please be assured I am still checking up on you.
You help me get through the day.
Love you lots
Janet XO