Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Today was a LONG day!

I left the house for the hospital this morning at about 8.05am.  I had a pre-surgical appointment at 9am and a consultants appointment at 9.30am.  The short story is: pre-surgical were running late AND that appointment takes approximately an hour anyway, so they re-booked me for 2.30pm.  I saw the consultants registrar who told me they had seen something 'else' suspicious on my MRI scan and were sending me back to ultra sound and possibly biopsy, which meant I STILL wouldn't have any results until about Thursday, but it wasn't looking good.  I'm cutting it all short as I'm very tired this evening and really need to relax, but that whole experience took a long time and stressed me out more than I can explain in words! 

Thankfully (Praise God!) I went for the ultra sound and they thought my second suspicious lump was probably a cyst, so they did a needle aspiration and indeed drained it - immediate panic (mine, not theirs) over. :)

I eventually got my pre-surgical assessment, after time out to shop for my mums birthday on Thursday, some meds as I have a bacteria on my skin swabs to clear up before surgery day and FINALLY got back home, very tired, very stressed, but back on track with hopefully the news that we wanted - That surgery will be on Monday, hopefully a lumpectomy and some lymph glands for testing and possibly home the same day?  And then will be recovery, results, radiotherapy and whatever else they recommend depending on what they find.

Photo of the day is one of my pre-surgery assessment that D.H. took and put on Facebook before I'd even left the room! LOL.

Thank you so much for all the support you've all given me.  I do appreciate it and it brightens my days no end.  I'm so sorry that I haven't had the time to get back to so many of you, I feel awful about it. I hope you'll forgive me.

Until next time
Much Love
Bev. xx

Monday, 17 October 2011

Weekend Bonding and Journal Stuff

I've spent this weekend doing a workshop led by Steve Crabb on Success with my older brother.  It was extremely well presented and thought provoking and I got to spend two days of quality time with my brother, which I haven't had the opportunity to do in a long time, so it's been a productive and happy experience all round, although now I'm worn out to begin the week! lol.

I'm also at the beginning of an online art journaling course at Wild Precious Studio called Elements, which I'm taking to try and inspire me to journal more often and hopefully help in some way to work  through my feelings and experience with my current illness.

This is the 1st page that I've finished working with the element 'Earth' and relationship to my body.
For the coming week, I have an appointment with my consultant on Tuesday morning to discuss how deep my cancer is and whether or not it's spread.  I also have a pre-surgical appointment to discuss my surgery (obviously) and any risk associated with it.

I think that's about all the news for now? My brain is tired now and fighting with me to concentrate, so I'll wish you all pleasant dreams, hoping you've had a happy and blessed weekend and I'll catch up again with you in the week.

Sweet Dreams
Bev. x

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Hospital Visits and Art

Good Evening.  Firstly I'd like to thank everyone that signed up recently to follow my blog in different ways and the love and support I've had on facebook from so many.  I've been overwhelmed by how kind everybody has been - Thank you, it means so much and helps make the days so much more bearable.

I'm also sorry that as yet I haven't replied to so many, I've found my life has transformed into an almost never ending circle of hospital visits and catching up with friends and family as well as the normal everyday round of housework, shopping, cooking, etc. etc.  I'm already exhausted LOL!  I can only imagine how I will feel once my treatment begins.

Today I had to go to the hospital to have my MRI scan to determine how large and deep my tumour is and if my cancer has spread or not.  Now again I  have to wait until Tuesday for the results of that.  I'm not the worlds best 'waiter' lol.

My doctor gave me some Valium for the MRI scan as I have a dreaded fear of being enclosed and just the thought of it had freaked me out.  The nurses are all so kind and patient.  I was quite proud of how brave I was being and what a warrior I was, until I came out to see a child of about 10, who had lost his hair to chemo and was standing with a happy smile for me waiting for his turn! Life has a habit of bringing reality sharply home to you sometimes.

My apologies for the lack of photos at the moment, I have to admit to being easily bored if things don't have pictures to look at lol, however I haven't found image appropriate content the last few days?

I've found my current situation to have had a plus side already, something to perhaps be grateful for.  My art is a powerful release in my life and recently I've done very little, I've been 'stuck' somehow, with few glimpses of inspiration and doubts about if I ever make anything that can be considered 'good enough' (for 'what' exactly I'm not sure?)  Anyway recently I've signed up for some on-line classes that I'll try to link to later, when I have a working brain cell to try and figure it out.  I'm slightly concerned that I've put my name down for about 5 courses that all start around the same time and will come in time with the beginning of my treatment.  Maybe that was a little optimistic?  But I tend to be an all or nothing person anyway and the courses are mostly self paced, so I'm hoping it will be a blessing and not something to stress about.  I've already found though that my creative side is 'speaking' to me more clearly and that, I love!

My Thanks again to you all, your presence means the world to me and I really hope and pray you'll pop in and stay a while with me occasionally and perhaps I'll get to know some of you so much more over time.
Love and Blessing to you all
Bev. x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

This time I DO have a good excuse!

I've not done too well so far with keeping current on my blog.  I'm by nature a 'real book' person.  By that I mean, I never really got on with electronic organizers, I'd rather write in a filofax.  I don't really enjoy reading books on-line or on any 'device' - I'd rather have strokable, turnable pages, that I can mark with real pens and I never really took to the blog, I'd rather journal and glue my ticket stubs somewhere, so I've had a real challenge even trying to remember sometimes I have a blog!  For anyone that is patient enough to actually follow me, I'm sorry.
Anyway, now I do finally have something to write about.  Is that a good thing?  I guess we can only answer that with the wisdom of being able to see the 'big picture' or with hindsight.
I found out on Thursday 6th October that I have Breast Cancer!
Now anybody that knows me, would tell you that I'm a born pessimist and a bit of a panicer, so you'd imagine that I'd be beside myself with worry or grief or something?  So far that hasn't happened.  Maybe this is so big my head has shut down?  I really don't know?  I feel sometimes like a bit of a fraud when I say "I have cancer".  I think: "That's a bit dramatic" like I just made it up or something, then I have to remind myself it actually IS true!
I have an MRI scan on Thursday this week, to determine how big and deep this thing is and also whether or not it's spread.  I'm guessing once I find out and then have surgery of some kind and start treatment, somewhere along the line the reality of this nightmare may sink in?  For today it hasn't yet.  I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not?
Anyway, as you see, my blog has taken one of those unexpected crossroads in life and I guess this will be focused a lot on my journey with cancer.
Just for Today, Thankfully I still feel well and I've made a journal (a real strokable one!) to art and write and scream, cry, celebrate - whatever, the days ahead.  I'm planning to be sharing that journey, as much as I'm able, here also.
Hang around, say Hi, share the ride, pick me up when I fall, I'd value the friendship. Let's not face this world alone.
And so begins - My journey with Cancer........

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I made art

It's been a busy time and sometimes very hard emotionally as well, getting my head around being single again.  Plenty to sort out and new decisions to be made.  I've been trying to keep up with Kelly Rae's group that I joined but it's been hard work. I have to admit I am behind.

However - I made art!  I can't remember the last time that I honestly had the energy or the motivation to get on and feed my creative spirit. I had a canvas with flowers on it that I bought at a car boot sale and I loved it, but it had a scratch in the middle of it and I always had plans to paint over it.  I've had it about two years and it never happened!  I actually nearly chucked it out once.  At last I got on and started (and finished) it.  I had some problems, the canvas has some kind of coating on it, I didn't realise that before I started painting, but as I was putting paint on, I was also pulling it back off again.  Still, after much trial, here is my new mixed media creation.

Here's to happy beginnings :)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Starting Over

No more excuses about why I haven't written in so long.  No more excuses full stop!

I'm in a transitional period of changes.  I'm starting over and if I'm honest I'm scared.  After much thought and hesitation and fear I signed up for Kelly Rae Roberts e-course Flying Lessons I'm enjoying it a lot although I have to admit, there's a LOT of information and I seem to have slipped behind a little already.  Plus Kelly gives you life time membership to a private facebook group of fellow students and I'm such a facebook addict!  I have always loved Kelly's work and I'm happy to be doing the course.  I'm hoping this may be a new beginning for me.

I have lots of 'new beginnings' happening, my husband (of 15 years) and I have just separated and I find myself alone again at 46, I have 2 of my 5 beautiful children still living at home, a grandson turning one in September and another due in November.  I'm currently in turmoil about whether or not to re-home 2 of my 3 beautiful fur babies as I had a scare with one of them needing treatment last month and I'm wondering if I can afford to give them the best anymore?  I also need to get a smaller, more economical car and until a few weeks ago I didn't even know how to put Diesel in it! And I'm wondering whether or not we should move to a house without a garden as I find mine too much to cope with alone.  So many choices!  Part of me thinks it's not the time for making big life choices, but life has a habit of going on whether you feel 'ready' for it or not.

I'm trying desperately to see all this as an exciting opportunity for change, when the fear inside me just wants to believe life as I know it is over and I need to curl up in bed.

I would love to make the effort to keep up with my blog, kick start my art, make some new friends, get up, brush off and move on.  Really - I need support, I need cheering on and some days, some minutes, I need lots of it.  Here's to new beginnings and the courage to let go of what is, to make room for what's waiting for me.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

I'm hopeless - I apologise!

Yet again, I've been away from my blog far too long.  I'm sorry, I MUST learn to come here more often!
I'm sooooo excited, I have a new filofax! :D  My 1st EVER filofax!  My husband says I'm way more excited about it than is normal lol.  I LOVE it so much!  It's all pink and leathery - look!

I also made myself a new on-line friend :D  (truth be known I probably stalked her ruthlessly on youtube lol) but today she sent me a filofax starter kit as a gift!!!  How cool is that?! Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU Imogen! - Mwah!
Look at what I got!

The pink pen is limited addition and I wanted one SO bad, but couldn't find it anywhere near me :(  PLUS she sent me a matching pencil, some cute mini highlighters, sweetest ever coloured paperclips, filofax inserts, handmade To-Do lists, instructions how I can print my own, gorgeous moo cards, sooo many lovely things!  Thank you! Go visit her blog imysworld and see how cute she is! Or watch all her great videos at imysworld on youtube.  I'm sooo happy!
There's a few other things I've been up to lately that I want to share, but my kids are hungry and complaining so it will have to wait until a little later.  I promise to come back! ;)
Yay for new friends and filofax's :D  Thank you - Did I say?

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Forums, Journals & Studying

I've been giving my art quiet a lot of thought recently.  I use the word recently fairly loosely as actually my thought process has stretched itself painfully over years!  I always feel somehow like a drifter, unable to focus and jumping almost randomly from one thing to the next.  My depression and, well, my life seems to get in my way a vast amount of the time and I've seemingly ended up back at the start line again (or behind it)

If I slow down for a while and allow myself to imagine that in everything there is a plan and I don't always, in my wisdom see the bigger picture, then just maybe I'm still on course to wherever it is I'm headed!

My friendships on Facebook have almost accidentally led me to open my own forum today! I have to smile, ME, the person who doesn't know the first thing about the technicalities of the web has her own forum!

It's called healing art journals and is, you won't be surprised to learn a place for us to explore the relationship between art journaling and emotional, mental and physical healing. It's a subject I'm passionate about and at the same time realise fairly ignorant about.  So if you want to head over there looking for some kind of enlightened guru you might be looking in the wrong place.  I'm simply an explorer willing to learn and hoping to do just that with like-minded people.  I expect to fall sometimes along the way and I hope there will be others there to pick me up, dust me off and cheer me on!  Healing is something we could all use in different degrees and this new journey both excites and scares me.

I intend to record most of what I'm doing here and on my flickr also.  I expect there will be some things that I'm not perhaps ready to share and that will be OK but I want it to be as honest as possible because I know without honesty there will be little growth.

If you'd like to join in, I'd welcome you!  I'm not intending necessarily for there to be great mater pieces to critique, that's not what it's about.  Some of the pages probably may stay unfinished as in life, they will be works in progress waiting for the next chapter.  I'm not aiming for correct form, or colour or correct anything.  This is about feeling, connecting, working out and listing, observing, noticing the patterns life draws and learning from them into freedom.

If you'd like to watch it unfolding or to write your own chapter you can follow me here or come over to the forum and say hi.  I'd love to sit a while and drink coffee with you and talk about your day.

One of the books I'm reading just now is Art Journals & Creative Healing.  I've only just started this book and I also have the tendency to dip into more than one book at a time but the photographs of other artists journals are inspirational and I intend to use some of the ideas in my own journal which I will post as I go along.  You can see more of this lovely book and others reviews on Amazon by clicking the link below.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

This makes me so sad

I'm talking about the on-going 'dangerous' dog debate.  I have listened to many arguments about this and had many discussions with my own friends.  Here in the UK we have a dangerous dogs register.  Banned dogs that we aren't allowed to keep because they are potential killers.
I fully understand that some dogs are strong, powerful, some are trained to kill by their owners, all dogs are at the core wolves and all have the potential to attack (It's likely I know more humans with that potential though)

It seems to me, we go through phases of the latest 'in the news' dangerous dog.  There have been: German Shepherds, Dobermans, more recently Rottweilers and Pitbulls to name a few. 

It seems to be one of those debates that people have strong views about one way or the other.

Here is Amos:

Here also is Emily.
Amos used to be my dog.  He is not a Pitbull, he is an American Bulldog (no, they are NOT the same thing!)  I loved Amos, he was one of the best dogs I have ever lived with (not counting his puppy chewing habits when he got bored)  I also love Emily.  This is how 'dangerous' Amos was/is.
I re-homed him.  Not because he was dangerous, or I thought he might 'turn', or because I couldn't trust him (except the chewing thing) he wasn't schizophrenic or dominant.  I re-homed him because my husband has arthritis in his elbows and couldn't walk him without pain.  I also have a Yorkshire Terrier, Amos was bullied daily by him! I really miss living with Amos.

The truth is 'dangerous dogs' are trained by their owners to be that way.  At the moment I have a potentially dangerous Chihuahua! (really! I'm working on it)  Admittedly a Chihuahua is never going to kill anybody and a Pitbull could, I get it.  But it is STILL the owner NOT the dog.  Let's crack down on dangerous owners keeping dogs that are strong enough to kill people.  Ban THEM.  Licence dogs again if we have to, responsible owners are willing to do this.  Register them, tattoo them, do what we must, but PLEASE don't try to kill out the breeds, please don't ban the dogs, and PLEASE don't put down healthy, friendly dogs because they are on a dangerous list somewhere.  It makes me SAD.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

January Art Journaling

Although this post probably says 4th January as it technically is, it is actually still 'my' 3rd January - 2.30am but I still haven't gone to bed yet, which means whatever the time it's not yet my 'tomorrow' (did you follow? lol)
Today has been a fairly busy day for me with family and life and I have only just finished my art journaling for the day!  I'm a proper night owl, this is actually quite 'normal' for me.

My art journal prompting today was to carve my own stamp to use.  This is something I haven't actually done before, so I don't have any carving tools.  I tried carving a potato, which I vaguely remember my Mum doing for me when I was a child but I failed miserably.  Eventually I cut out recycled cardboard shapes and glued them onto a cardboard base.  This of course wasn't really 'carving' but I did still make a workable stamp, which made me think I could probably make one of a kind craft stamps out of other things, which of course would make my art more unique and save tons of money as well (and of course recycle, which fits in nicely with my projects for this year)

All in all then, quiet a productive day I think!

Here are some photographs of the creative process in ... process :)

Let me know what you think.

This is my recycled pizza box.  I cut two equal sized squares and cut shapes out of one and glued to the other to make my stamp.

I used a recycled newspaper (black page) ripped in random shapes and glued to my journal page. Added white acrylic paint to my handmade stamp to cover my newspaper background.

And this is my finished journal page with a white scrap paper journal box for me to write in later.  Here are the close up elements of the page:
Play January Art Journal at milliande.com

Saturday, 1 January 2011

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." - Oprah Winfrey

What a wonderful quote!
I don't appear to have been too successful with my blog last year.  The whole blog scene is really new to me, I'm really not too sure I 'get it'?  And I clearly haven't shown enough commitment to it.  For the people that were kind enough to follow me, I'm truly sorry.
I plan to focus much more on my art projects this year, journaling, saving money and the environment by refashioning my wardrobe, living more simply and making 'Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without' my motto for the year.

I would like to learn to make PDFs (I really don't have a clue) Pay more attention to my blog and hopefully start some kind of social website.
What will be will be and again I step out into "another new year and another chance for (me) to get it right"
Blessings to us all as we continue on our journeys

This is my new art journal page to start the new year.  I have joined Milliande's Art Journaling January 2011 group.  Pop over there and have a look, it looks like lots of fun!