Almost Here…

22 years ago, I was diagnosed. Whisked into hospital, I began 2 years of treatment that would invade my immune system, change my moods, strip me of my hair and change the course of my life forever.

20 years ago today, I was still being treated. 20 years ago on Saturday 19th April 2014, I will have been ‘All Clear’ for exactly 20 years.

It’s been an emotional roller coaster of a week and I anticipate that it’ll get worse. I feel joyous for my health, grateful for the future I have but feel fear of what’s to come. I feel warmth from the fond friends I made, sadness for those I lost and guilt for not being with them…nobody prepares you for this part.

I feel proud of what I’ve achieved.

I never used my illness as an excuse , as a ‘get out of jail free’ card or as a method of gaining attention – I am very much the opposite. And as I write the speech for Ladies Night, a fundraiser I’m holding on Saturday for NECCR, I feel uneasy…a feeling of not wanting the spotlight on myself – instead, I want to take it and shine it upon those who have shown such incredible kindness. My best friend Ana, who is providing catering, helping with organisation and helping me to celebrate too! To Mel, Marie, Carla, my mam Carol, James, Emma, Steven and Alex who are to be part of the evening…to Simply Bespoke Events go have given me 100 chair covers and table centres because they ‘want to help’. Aren’t people just amazing?!

My illness 20 years ago opened my eyes to people. Although I’ve seen immense cruelty first hand, I’ve been touched by the kindness, generosity and warmth of both close friends and complete strangers. For every 1 person who stared at the little girl with no hair, there have been 20 who have stood beside me through all kinds of things – for every stranger who didn’t bat an eyelid, 10 stood up to make a difference…

For those who will be there on Saturday, prepare yourselves for an evening of fun mixed with raw emotion – an evening of celebration paired with the certainty that the money we raise will help others and inspire more

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Tonight, I’m Feeling Proud!

Most of you will be aware that I am currently in the full throws of fundraising for www.neccr.org.uk who cary out research into Childhood Cancers. 20 years ago on April 19th, I was given the all clear after fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and the landmark really made me think about how research saved my life and gave me the opportunity to have the 20 years some never got…

Northumberland Run

On Sunday 16th March, my husband Paul (front) and friend Ben ran the Northumberland Run, a gruelling half-marathon around the stunning Kirkley Hall in Northumberland. Whilst the views were picturesque, I didn’t envy either of them and even with sponsorship of over £200 the realisation set in that this would be no easy challenge.

The two of them queued for the bus up to the start line, discussing their training (Ben had thought that the run would be a 10k and so looks slightly more uneased than Paul…but he did an amazing job in difficult, windy conditions!!!)

They even decided to snap this ‘Startline Selfie’. We cheered them on from just outside the car, which I had dumped in a country lane to get a good view (and to allow us to stay warm in such blustery conditions too…I admit!)

Northumberland Run2

Unfortunately, due to an injury he’s had before, I had to rescue my husband at mile 7 and drove backwards around the course to let Ben know…despite the conditions, and having never run a half marathon before, Ben kept going and did an amazing job!!!

He was able to finish the course in 2 hours 6 minutes and we were all there cheering him on at the end which was amazing!!!

Thank you to both of you for the sponsorship you raised and to Ben who has already started planning more events!!!

A week later and we were all at it again!!! On March 22nd, I held a table sale at Roker Methodist Church in Sunderland with items that had been donated by many people supporting our campaign. The church hall was filled with books, clothes, baby essentials, household items, gift sets, toys and of course cakes!!! A special thank you goes to my amazing friend Anastasia Goldsmith who arranged the venue, made the cakes and managed to make tea and coffee, paint faces, sell raffle tickets and bake and sell over 100 cakes too!!!

I know...they look yummy don't they???

I know…they look yummy don’t they???

We also drew our raffle at the table sale and gave away 8 amazing prizes!!! But the main news, was what happened when we rang the lucky winner of the SAFC signed shirt – he donated it back to us to auction to raise more money for the charity! So, taking to social media, I began a facebook and twitter auction over a 24 hour period and was thrilled when at a minute to midnight I received an offer of £201, taking our weekend fundraising total from £608.50 to £809.50!!!

A huge thank you to EVERYONE who supported us at the weekend but particular thanks to Marie Cooper, Lee Cooper, Kevin Cooper, Anastastia Goldsmith and Mam Anita, Carol Bestford, Paul Roddy and to our amazing family and friends who supported us – well done to our lucky raffle winners and we hope to see you all again soon at Ladies’ Night in April!!!

www.justgiving.com/kelly-roddy

Bump Buddies – Meeting The Osbornes

Back in 2012, when I found out I was pregnant with Emelie, I thought back to how much support and advice I’d had from the online community the first time around and started to look for a group where I could speak to other ladies who were due around the same time – it was in ‘Due in December’ on Facebook that I met Lesley!

Lesley is admin for ‘Bump Buddies’ which was renamed this when our due dates began to differ from the standard December and the more we chatted, the more we realised we had in common! Lesley has always been a huge supporter of the blog and when she saw I’d started my fundraising campaign, offered to come to take part in our Welly Walk.

ryan and emelie

Not only did I get to know Lesley, but our children played so wonderfully together which was lovely!!! Ryan was very keen on little Emelie, although as can be seen by the photograph, she was much more interested in the post-toddle snacks on offer! *much to the relief of her over-protective, anti-boyfriend father!!!*

Bump Buddy Group Pic

 Orlaith, who is now amost 3, had a great time with Lesley’s older children, Sam and Jodie; she now calls them her best friends and we’ve also started writing letters so the kids can keep in touch regularly and form friendships…

This photograph was taken right at the end of the day, but despite the smile, I have to say I was really sad to see my friend travel home to Sheffield!!!

I’ll be blogging about the Welly Walk soon, so look out for how much we raised, as well as copies of the media coverage in the Fundraising section of the blog!!!

 

Thank you Lesley, Jamie, Jodie, Sam and Ryan for travelling so far to get involved in the Welly Walk and for your continuing support; maybe one day that dream of living closer will come true!!! We can only keep buying those lottery tickets! xXx

Pirate Week!

Orlaith is becoming increasingly difficult to occupy! She’s an April baby, which means that where her busy little mind tells her ‘it’s time we went to Nursery’, she cannot in fact start until September!!! To try to help her to get used to how nursery will be structured, I decided to create a theme for the week last week…

PIRATES!

Firstly, we gathered some materials to make some pirate related objects – cue mother scurrying around in cupboards with scissors whilst holding 1 year old ‘child 2’ at arm’s length!!!

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My yummy ginger tea box came in handy and I must say, that although we love crafting, with a 1 and a 2 year old, gold old PVA glue and spreaders can be too much hassle at times – notice instead, to help Orlaith’s development, I allowed Prit Stick to be used for some sequins, but in case things just got too out of hand, I managed to track down some ‘jewel stickers’…they’re rather like those 1990s stick on earrings we all had? yes…we ALL had them…we can all speak openly here 😉

So there she was, concetrating with everything she had and of course, I used the opportunity to put Emelie down for a nap, make a cuppa and snap some pictures!!!treasure map 1

 The treasure map did need some motherly intervention and admittedly this was where things went slightly wrong…it wasn’t too bad; all that were involed were flames, the kitchen sink and a few open windows! Oops!

treasuremap2

Then, came the ridiculous stickers and huge amount of sequins!!! As I said, I gave her a stick of glue to avoid the mess, but found that this also did wonders for her co-ordination so technically, I can pass it off as a developmental tool right?!?!

As a side note, how cute is it when kids do that ‘open-mouthed’ look when they concentate? I love when my images capture all those little things I love about being a mother!

All in all, I have to say we really enjoyed ourselves; so much so that we went on to make a telescope out of loo roll tubes and tin foil! Pirate week can now live on forever in our ‘Dressing up and Role Play Box’!!!  Does anyone else do themed weeks?

It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day…

and it’s a new blog name too!

Finally, I get around to making everything make more sense! The blog now matches my twitter account, making it much easier for me to be found (again!)  *not sure if that’s a good thing or not?!*

I’ve missed blogging and have lots to catch up on…I found it difficult to devote the attention to my blog as I wasn’t managing it to the best of my ability – now, I have a plan in place and have dedicated time slots to scheduling posts!!!

I’ll be preparing a few ‘catch up’ posts in the comng days to bring you all up to speed on the wonderful tales of Orlaith and Emelie. Emelie is still doing great in terms of her diet and has had no further reactions (other than the dreaded measles jab, which I’m planning to cover!) Orlaith is now full on with phonics and is really enjoying the rewards of learning to read *which do include biscuits, I will admit!*

My charity work is going extremely well and I still have a few events to go before the end of my campaign in September – we’ve already reached our £1992 target so I’m now pushing on to raise as much as I can!!!

Looking forward to getting up and running again!

xXx

We’re Back!!!

So…weve been away but now we’re back!!! Most of the reasons I left the blog behind have bow been resolved one way or another and so I wanted to share with you some of the things we’ve been up to!

I’ve been working hard fundraising and will publish a post on last weekend’s toddle soon, where we raised over £1300 for The North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund, smashing our fundraising target!!!

Emelie walked. Daddybear and I had a few nights out over Christmas. Orlaith became much more independent. We got a cat (aptly named Kitty!)…we realy have got a lot to catch up on once Ive edited the blog slightly to reflect our new direction 🙂

I look forward to catching up with you all!!!
xXx

This blog pressed using Tinydesk

A Fond Farewell…

I’ve contemplated this post for the last few days but have finally come to a decision and here it is: Mammybear’s Blog has come to an end.

I started the blog a year ago when we began our journey with Emelie’s intolerances and now she’s better, I can’t really predict the direction the blog will go in.

Aside from that, I’d like to address my googlers, who have spent some months visiting this blog to spy on the life of me and my family, a life they’ll never be part of – there’s good reason for that and I’d thank you if you now stopped the stalking and got on with your own lives.

To those I have met through blogging, I’ll still be around on twitter, but my account will now be private.
I have welcomed the love and support during the first year of Emelie’s life and value the friendships I have made; you’re all very special to me.

I’d like to say a special thank you to Emma, Caroline, Stacey and Spencer who have supported me so much. Thanks to Ilumi, La Tasca, Orgran and Frankie & Benny’s for working with me over the past year and for their support and commitment to food intolerances and allergies.

With all my love, to all of you
Kelly
@Mammybear84

Christmas Crafting: Handprint Wreaths

Yesterday, we got even more festive making these lovely decorations for the family! I saw the idea on twitter yesterday and decided to give it a go with Orlaith first! Here’s my step by step guide 🙂

1. To start off, use green painted hands to make handprints on white paper – it works best if little fingers are spread right out!

2. Draw around a dinner plate onto green card, or any colour if you plan to use lots of hand prints! Then draw a circle inside it with a tea plate and cut out.

3. Stick the hand prints onto the ring you’ve made in the same direction, either overlapping with fingers all facing the same way or outward like ours. Decorate how you wish.

4. Place 2 holes in the top and thread through string.

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Ours could’ve done with a few more, but I was also supervising my 1 year old!! I know, I’m brave! Haha!

This one went to Daddybear’s office, but Emelie will be helping make the family’s by offering the 2nd layer of prints tomorrow!!!

When your toddler becomes a child…

I had to post this – today we’ve hit a milestone with my oldest daughter, Orlaith. It’s hit me like a pan in the face (I assume, as I’ve thankfully never been hit in the face with a pan!)

she’s growing up.

There. I said it.

We live on a new estate and in August, Sainsbury’s opened our local store in the new development opposite us. It involves crossing a busy road, where there is thankfully now a crossing with the green man, which has helped us enormously with teaching road safety to Orlaith.

So off we went this morning, to stretch my legs to get rid of a back ache I’ve had for a few days and she walked without holding hands, listening to everything I said, stopping when I said so and crossing using the green man!

When we got there, she chose her own magazine, her own chocolate lolly and walked independently towards the tills. She then joined the queue, turning to me to say “I’m waiting my turn, mammy!“. She held her things until it was her turn then placed them up on the counter, holding her pennies tightly. The only hitch in her grown up approach was when the man asked her name and she replied, ‘Orlaith Goose’ rather than ‘Orlaith Grace’!!!

She put her magazine and lolly in the basket of Emelie’s stroller and thanked the man, saying bye to other customers too…his response?

What a little diamond!

I couldn’t be more proud of my big girl!!!

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What are You Thankful For?

I received a wonderful email this week from a lovely lady, Heather Von St James. In 2005, at the age of 36, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Heather had given birth to her beautiful daughter, Lily Rose just 3 months before.

After reading my blog, Heather reached out to me to ask me to help raise awareness of the illness and as a fellow survivor, albeit of a different form of cancer, I was happy to help.

Having exchanged a few emails, Heather asked me to write a post about something I’m thankful for and immediately, my girls sprung to the forefront of my mind – but I’ve spent the last 24 hours digging a little deeper than that…

What am I really thankful for? What really defined the life I have built for myself today? Not bravery, as @crazywithtwins had mentioned in her post this week…as she put, when you have cancer, being brave isn’t an option! You either lie there and allow it to beat you or lie there and allow it to be treated – you lose control of your body and yourself for a while and come out at the other end. I was of course therefore thankful for having that control back…but that wasn’t it.

Was it others around me who helped support my journey? Well yes, of course it was, but then I always feel a certain degree of guilt at how many people’s lives were changed as a result of me…

What I’m really thankful for, is strength. through all of this, I’ve realised that the ability to be strong carried us through that entire journey all those years ago and my own body’s strength allowed me to accept the treatment, develop no long term side effects, stay healthy and have two wonderful children. I was strong enough to try for a baby, accepting that it may have never happened. I was strong enough to leave home and marry my husband, putting my care into someone else’s hands so to speak, after years of being protected and cared for by my mother.
It was strength of mind that gave me the push to begin writing my story, to help others, to put myself out there for all to see in the media and to push my past to the back of my mind and focus on living my life!

Heather’s attitude is amazing and despite facing an awful battle with mesothelioma 7 years ago, with a very young baby, her focus has become raising awareness to help others which I really do admire – you can read Heather’s story at her blog which is here and please help to raise awareness by writing a post on something you’re thankful for, tweet the link to me @mammybear84 and I’ll RT and link to Heather, who will do the same.

I’ll also copy a link to your post here 🙂

Ethans Escapades