Archive for the ‘cancer’ Category

As you may have gathered from some of my blog posts this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationships with those in my family who sadly are no longer here, particularly my Mum. I’ve been listening to a lot of music this week too and came across the following song by Michael W Smith, which really summed up the day I said my final farewell to my Mum just a few months ago.

Welcome Home by Michael W Smith

I can’t believe that I’m here
Having to say goodbye.
And I can barely see you through
These tears I cry.
I close my eyes.

[Chorus]
I can hear the sound
As angels gather ’round
Saying this is where you belong
Welcome Home!

There are the days that my heart aches
wishing you were here.
But I know where you are
The hurt and the pain disappear.
There’s no more tears.

[Chorus]

Welcome Home!

[Chorus]

What a lovely sound
Angels all around
Saying this is where you belong
Welcome Home!
Welcome Home!
Welcome Home!

 

 

In so many ways I wish this wasn’t the end of 2015, as once again I find myself looking back over the last year with great sadness.

Mum 70thWhile 2014 had not been great as Mum was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, she had coped well with the chemotherapy so I had certainly started 2015 full of hope that 2015 would bring good news for Mum. Sadly my hopes were dashed early on, as we got the news in January that while Mum’s treatment had helped to a certain extent, the lymphoma had continued to progress so were told they no longer hoped to cure Mum, but still hoped to get her illness under control for as long as possible.

Despite a course of radiotherapy and then starting a course of oral chemotherapy, it was clear in July, Mum’s illness was progressing, and so Mum was admitted to hospital for further tests/treatment. after further scans/test we were summoned to meet with the doctors and Mum, and were told there no further treatment they could offer Mum as her illness was continuing to progress quite aggressively. After a few days of discussion with Mum and the palliative care nurse, Mum agreed to go to the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, initially just for a couple of weeks so we could all be sure she was going to be able to be safe if she went home. Sadly though, Mum never got home, as on the 6th on September she passed away peacefully in the hospice.

TiggerMum wasn’t the only member of my family to pass away this year, as in April we also had to get our cat of almost 20 years, Tigger, put down. We got Tigger as a wedding present on our 1st wedding anniversary, so he would have been 20 years old this July. There was a huge emptiness in our home after Tigger died as other than the first year of our marriage, he was part of our married life, so it was a big change for us not having Tigger around the house anymore.

That wasn’t the end of things either as another member of my family passed away from dementia/Alzheimer’s – my Aunt Vida, passed away in August less than 3 weeks before my Mum died.

I’m not quite sure how I’ve got through these last few months, particularly as this included clearing out my Mum’s house, which had not only my Mum’s belonging, but also many of my Dad and my Aunt Mae’s things too (they both died in 2013) – This was one of the hardest and most upsetting things I’ve ever had to do. I feel that in these last few weeks, that Mum’s death has really hit me hard, as prior to that I was so busy clearing her house and getting organised for hubby and I moving to my Mum and Dad’s house, I don’t think I really had much quiet or alone time to stop and think about all that’s happened this year. One thing I do know though is that my world fell apart when Mum passed away. Other than my hubby, Mum was the last of my immediate family who remained, so now Mum’s gone I feel so very alone – Mum knew how I was going to feel when she passed away as I remember her saying to me just a few weeks before she died, that she wasn’t ready to go yet as she wanted to be here for me. I really wish Mum was still here for me, but sadly her time here on earth was up, however I am reassured in the knowledge that Mum will now be with her Lord and Saviour, and that we will be reunited one day.

Just as in previous years, it’s not only been the bereavements that have been on my mind this year, as there have also been several other ongoing life issues to cope with this year which have added to the stresses and strains of 2015.

I’m finding life quite tough just now, as I really miss my Mum and continue to miss my Dad too. After my Dad and my Aunt Mae passed away 2 years ago there was one song that stuck in my head for a few months as it reminded me that no matter what I’m facing, and how bad life seems, God is there for me and He will always be there for me, and that song has once been going through my head again – so here is Kutless with Promise of a Lifetime:

So as you can see 2015 has been an awful year for me. I really hope and pray 2016 is a happier year for me and my family!

I hope 2015 has been a far happier year for you than it was for me, however if it wasn’t, I hope you have had the love and support of family and friends to help you through the year.

I pray that as we look ahead to 2016 you may go forward with confidence knowing that whatever situations you have to deal with, God is by your side not just during this Christmas season, but all year-long.

The Promise of a Lifetime by Kutless
 
I have fallen to my knees
As I sing a lullaby of pain
I’m feeling broken in my melody
As I sing to help the tears go away Then I remember the pledge you made to me  I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime Will you help me fall apart
Pick me up, take me in your arms
Find my way back from the storm
And you show me how to grow
Through the change I still remember the pledge you made to me
I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime  I am holding on to the hope I have inside
With you I will stay through every day
Putting my understanding aside I am comforted
To know your always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime.
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
Looking back at me
I know that you can see
My heart is open to the promise of a lifetime 

It’s been a very sad day today as we said a final farewell to my Mum

Margaret Jackson Watson Johnson (nee Gilchrist)

27/09/1931 – 06/09/2015

Mum 70th

I had hoped to write a tribute to my Mum today, but I’m afraid it’s just too soon for me to be able to write anything that would do my Mum justice, so I’ll save my thoughts for another day once we get back to some kind of normality (whatever that means!).

So today, I simply want to express my gratitude to everyone who has offered support and love to us during these very difficult days by phoning, visiting in person or by sending us cards or flowers. You will never know just how much your support has meant to us.

To those of you who have helped us get everything sorted out for the funeral today and helped with the funeral itself, a huge thank you.

To the many of you who shared with us today at Rutherglen Salvation Army and then at the cemetery before returning to Rutherglen Salvation Army for refreshments, thank you for taking the time to support us on this most difficult of days, we really did appreciate it.

Mum never liked making a fuss about anything, so I’m sure she would have been embarrassed by the number of people who came to say farewell to her today, as well as by all that was said about her. However, to me it simply shows how well-respected my Mum was and the huge impact and influence she had on many, none more so than on me!

Mum’s family have been a part of Rutherglen Salvation Army since the Salvation Army first started in Rutherglen, and Mum has been a soldier there for many years, so it was fitting we celebrated her life there before we laid her in her final resting place. Mum loved Salvation Army music abd she loved a “good old army march“, but as a member of the songsters (adult singing group) for many years she also loved singing. One of her favourite songs was Jesus Thou Art Everything To Me as it was also her testimony. So for you today Mum, here’s your testimony in song:

Mum you’re now at rest, and I believe you have been reunited with Dad. I miss you and Dad so much, and I will love and remember you both forever.

Rest in peace Mum xxx

Mum 1952

Looking back over my blog posts at the end of the last two years, I see my comments about the last two years were that they were pretty rotten years. Well guess what, 2014 has had some real lows but thankfully also some highs too.

So let’s start with the highs first:

glasgow_2014_commonwealth_games2014 saw us having 3 family weddings, the first ones since our wedding 20 years ago! Mind you they didn’t half make me feel old though, especially the last of the 3 weddings which took place just last Saturday, as it was the oldest daughter of one of my cousin’s that was getting married, and she was a flower girl at our wedding!

This year also saw my home city of Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games. As it’s unlikely to happen again in our lifetime we took this opportunity to attend a number of events during the games, and were so glad we did because we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. What a fantastic atmosphere there was at all the events we attended, Glasgow did us proud!

Onto the not so good stuff from this year:

The first family wedding of this year was in Keighley, Yorkshire, and sadly my hubby was unable to travel down to the wedding because of his health. So Mum and me travelled down to the wedding ourselves. It was a long and tiring weekend but one which we thoroughly enjoyed. In the following couple of weeks I didn’t think my Mum was quite herself and seemed overly tired, I thought it was just due to the wedding…

hospital2A couple of weeks after attending that wedding, I found my Mum lying on her living room floor, she’d been there for approx. 19 hours, but couldn’t get up and couldn’t reach the phone. Thankfully she hadn’t broken anything but she did end up in hospital for a number of weeks for rehabilitation. When she was discharged from hospital she was very tired and confused when we got her home, and didn’t last very long at home until she ended up back in hospital again – I found her on the floor again the morning after she was discharged from hospital! Mum was admitted to hospital again for a number of weeks. During her time in hospital time they found her infection markers were very high and despite numerous treatments they failed to come down, so further tests were performed and they showed Mum had cancer.

Things moved very quickly then and before we’d really had time to take in what was happening, particularly Mum. Mum started her chemotherapy in September and was finally discharged from hospital at the beginning of October after being in hospital for over 3 months (excluding the 1 overnight she had at home when she fell again). Mum has continued to get chemo every few weeks, and hope to find out fairly early in 2015, how well this has worked.

Add to this, my hubby’s health issues, my own on-going health issues, and those of our 19-year-old cat, and you can see this year’s had some tough times for us.

Sadly this year I also discovered that several people who I had come to consider as good friends, sharing some private things with them, have turned out to be false friendships. As when things got tough in various areas of my life this year these folk have hardly spoken to me, taken other people’s side in disagreements without even asking me for my side of things. It’s been upsetting that they have chosen to believe the views of another and seemed not to even consider that this view was not an accurate reflection of events. This was made worse when I asked one person about something I supposed said, and they just laughed, suggesting they had no understanding of how events had hurt and affected me. They certainly haven’t shown any interest in me or my family or the fact that I’ve been struggling to cope with all that’s I’ve had to cope with over the last while…

So it’s been a stressful year with some highs and some lows. To be honest I’m not quite sure how I’ve kept going as, as well as working full-time, I’ve either been visiting Mum in the hospital, or looking after her at home very day. Between looking after our house, and Mum’s house, and making sure Mum has everything she needs, it’s tiring, and stressful to put it mildly! That said I know that in all these situations I’ve listed here, God has been there with me, and they have each been part of God’s plan for my life.

I’m finding life quite tough just now with everything that’s happened in the last year or two, but just like last year there’s one song that has been stuck in my head which keeps reminding me that no matter what I’m facing, and how bad life seems, God is there for me and He will always be there for me – Here’s Kutless with Promise of a Lifetime:

So as you can see 2014 has been a mix of highs and more lows, so I’m hoping 2015 will be the first year in a while that’s just full of highs…I can but hope can’t I?

I hope your 2014 has been a happy one, however if not, I hope you have had the love and support of family and friends to help you through the year.

I pray that as we look ahead to 2015 you may go forward with confidence knowing that whatever situations you have to deal with, God is by your side not just during this Christmas season, but all year-long.

The Promise of a Lifetime by Kutless
 
I have fallen to my knees
As I sing a lullaby of pain
I’m feeling broken in my melody
As I sing to help the tears go away
Then I remember the pledge you made to me  I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime Will you help me fall apart
Pick me up, take me in your arms
Find my way back from the storm
And you show me how to grow
Through the change I still remember the pledge you made to me

I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime  I am holding on to the hope I have inside
With you I will stay through every day
Putting my understanding aside I am comforted
To know your always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime.
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
Looking back at me
I know that you can see
My heart is open to the promise of a lifetime 

When you think of pain, what do you think of?

Do you think when someone is in pain it is always visible to others?invisible pain

Don’t be fooled by a common misconception that someone’s pain is always visible. In fact I would like to point out that there are many people who go through each and every day in severe pain, but because they don’t show it on their face or don’t vocalise their pain to others, it is invisible to everyone but the sufferer.

Not all scars show.
Not all wounds heal.
Sometimes, you can’t always see the pain someone feels.

 

Therefore, do not judge others or assume you know how they are feeling, just because “they look ok” – looks can often be deceptive!

How do you cope when…

  • You or someone close to is diagnosed with a serious illness
  • You are made redundant
  • You or someone close to is involved in a serious accident
  • A member of your family dies
  • Someone you trust, betrays your confidence

The best way to cope in all these situations is to trust God, let Him support you and give you the strength you need to get through each day.

Reminder: It’s when we’re finding life hardest that God can seem so distant and silent, but as I said in yesterday’s blog post, Teacher, God is still there, and He is looking after you and helping you.

Welcome New Year 2013

Welcome to 2013! I hope it’s a guid’un for you and yours.

I’m quite pleased to see the back of 2012, as just like 2011, it wasn’t the best year for me or my family.

So what about 2013, what am I hoping to achieve this year?

The main thing I’m hoping for this new year is that all my family and friends have a much healthier 2013 than 2012, but I guess I’m not going to be the only person hoping for better health for family/friends!

Other than that, like last year I’m not going to make any new year resolutions as I always think they’re doomed to fail. Instead I’m just going to set myself some goals/aim for my year. This time though, based on how I found measuring my aims last year, I’m setting less goals this time and making them more prescriptive.

So here’s my list of goals/aims for 2013, in no particular order:

  • Lose another 11lbs
  • Spend 5 minutes praying every morning
  • Think before I speak! – It’s not so much what I say sometimes that’s the problem, but how I say it!
  • Play tennis at least once by Easter, and at least 10 times by end of August
  • Challenge myself to look at old things in a new way, and new things with an open mind

Come the end of 2013, I wonder how many of these goals I’ll be able to say, “yes I’ve achieved that”, only the next 363 days will tell!

Whatever your aims for 2013, or your new year’s resolutions, I pray your year may be one in which you experience God‘s love for you, your friends and your family… whatever 2013 may have in store for you.

Have a great 2013! God bless.

I don’t know if you’ve ever come across the song Christmas Shoes before, but it’s such a beautiful song with a great message for each of us, I want to simply share this with you today:

Christmas Shoes

It was almost Christmas time
And there I stood in another line
Trying to buy that last gift or two
Not really in the Christmas mood
And standing right in front of me was a
Little boy waiting anxiously
Pacing around like little boys do
And in his hands he held
A pair of shoes

And His clothes were worn and old
He was dirty from head to toe
And when it came his time to pay
I couldn’t believe what I heard him say

Sir I wanna buy these shoes
For my mama. please
It’s Christmas eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry sir
Daddy says there’s not much time
You see,
She’s been sick for quite a while And I
know these shoes will make her smile And I
Want her to look beautiful
If mama meets Jesus tonight

They counted penny’s for what seemed like years then the
Cashier said, “Son, there’s not enough here.”
He searched his pockets frantically
Then he turned and he looked at me and he said
“Mama made Christmas good at our house though
Most years she just did without, Tell me sir,
What am I gonna do?
Some how I gotta buy her these Christmas shoes.”

So I laid the money down
I just had to help him out
And I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said,
“Mama’s gonna look so great.”

Sir I wanna buy these shoes
For my mama. please
It’s Christmas eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry sir
Daddy says there’s not much time
You see,
She’s been sick for quite a while And I
know these shoes will make her smile And I
Want her to look beautiful
If mama meets Jesus tonight

I knew I’d caught a glimpse of heaven’s love as he thanked me and ran out
I knew that God had sent me that little boy to remind me what Christmas is all about

Sir I wanna buy these shoes
For my mama. please
It’s Christmas eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry sir
Daddy says there’s not much time
You see,
She’s been sick for quite a while And I
know these shoes will make her smile And I
Want her to look beautiful
If mama meets Jesus tonight

I Want her to look beautiful
If mama meets Jesus tonight

random acts of kindness

What a beautiful message isn’t it?

Why not do something selfless for someone in need this Christmas – not only will it help them, but it’s make you feel good too!

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
‘Cause we know our goodbye is not the end.
 

 

Revelation 21:4 (Amplified Bible)

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.

Another sad day, but another day full of hope, as we said our final farewells to another loved one.

I came across the above song on YouTube yesterday and it really touch me, and reaffirmed to me that death of a loved one, is not the end of our relationship, because we will meet again in heaven.

There’s only one thing in life that’s certain, and that is that we’ll all die at some point. Even so, it’s still difficult for us to cope with death when someone close to us dies.

I pray that when we suffer bereavement, we may find reassurance and peace knowing there is hope…hope, in the knowledge that our goodbye is not the end.

Revelation 21:4 (Good News Translation)

He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain.

Well known words from Revelation, but ones I’ve found myself drawn to several times in the last week or so. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found it quite reassuring knowing that those I love who have passed away recently are now free from the pain they suffered during their latter time here on earth.

don’t get me wrong, I’m still upset by their passing, and have shed countless tears, however knowing they are now pain-free and are at peace, somehow makes it a little easier to cope with.

The loss of a loved one is painful and upsetting, but please remember that whatever difficulties they may have had while they were with us, they have nothing to fear any more as they are at rest now.