Friday, October 4, 2013

A day for remembering

So here we are on Friday the 4th October 2013. And today 20 years ago I lost my dear wife Christine To Breast Cancer So Today,s Journal is for and about Christine.

I met Christine at a Youth Worker training weekend run by Hampshire County Council in 1972 in Brockenhurst in the New Forest.

Brockenhurst, Hampshire.
  Both christine and I were working part time evenings as youth workers, Christine was working at Portchester Youth Centre and I was working at Fareham Youth Centre and we hit it of almost immediately and so our romance blossomed from that point on.

Christine was living with her parents at Drayton just outside of Portsmouth and I was living at home with Mum in Fareham, however within  a matter of Months we had decided to move in together and rented a bedsit in Southsea,

Christine was working as a Clerical assistant with Portsmouth City Council and I was working as an instrument Technician at Portsmouth Aviation. after a year in the bedsit we moved into a Council flat in Southsea where we stayed until 79.

Where we had our flat in Southsea.
We had some wonderful times in our time here at the flat and still think of those memories if I ever go past it now. It was while we were here that we got married at Portsmouth Registry office in June 1977.

Portsmouth Registry Office 29th June 1977
 In 1979 we brought our first house in together in Prince Albert Road Southsea for the princely sum of £15,000 and set up home there until 1984 when Christine,s mother passed away and we moved up to her fathers Bungalow in  Drayton to look After him,

While we were at Prince Albert Road Our son Gervase was born in May 1981 and he completed our lives and everything seemed to be looking rosy for our future together, unfortunately this was when we were hit with the bombshell in 1983 when Christine was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
Hello Gervase.
 In 1982 I was made redundant from my job and that is when I went and trained and became a driving Instructor for the British School of Motoring, Christine had already left Portsmouth city council in 1979 and was working as a PA for Marconi.

Once Christine had her diagnosis she started her treatment and had the lump removed and went through her course of treatment and in 1984 after moving to Drayton Christine got the all clear, after which she decided that she would go to Portsmouth Polytechnic and train to become a Primary School Teacher, so we restructured our days so that I could Start my own driving school, Gervase was at Nursery school, Christine was at collage and  had the freedom to look after Christine,s dad while working the hours suit us.
Christine,s Dad 1981 with Gervase
 Christine,s Dad passed away in 1986 and we stayed in the Bungalow in Drayton until July 1989 when we sold the Bungalow and Purchased our home in Grayshott Road.

Pauline Graduated as a Primary School Teacher in 1988 with her Bachelor of Education Degree in 1988 and was appointed in her teaching job at Cumberland First school in Southsea which is why we moved back down to Southsea.

Cumberland First School, Southsea
  And so here we were back down in Southsea, The driving school was going well, Christine was happy at her job teaching primary school children and Gervase was at Portsmouth Grammar school so life was good and everything looked good for our future together as a family and then Wham we got hit again. in October 1989 we learnt that Christine,s Cancer had returned in the other breast so they removed the Breast and also it had got into her womb so they also did a Hysterectomy. It was long 4 years ahead, christine went through her treatment with a positive attitude which showed her character and also carried in working until june 1993 when it was discovered that it had got into her spine and from there on in it was diagnosed as terminal, I sold the Driving school as I  had promised Christine that I would look after her at home as she did not want to die in a hospital, and that is what I did until she passed away peacefully holding my hand in the early hours of the morning on the 4th October 1993. 20 years ago today.

Christine was a marvelous lady with a great sense of humour and determination and always though of Others, She loved Gervase so very Much and I am sure she is so proud of the man he has become. Christine retained her sense of humour right to the very end and it is that memory that has helped me to cope with this myositis. I love her now as much as I did when I first met her 41 years ago and think of her every day,so here are a few Pictures of Christine a very Brave and Lovely Lady.


And Christine,s favourite cat who never left her side 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

and so here we are into October.

I remember writing on my last journal on Friday that the rollator was made for walking but my legs were not, well a bit of a misquote there I think it should have read "But my Body was not" as I will tell you after welcoming you all to...................
I ended Fridays Journal saying that I was going to get dinner ready for Friday evening, well I had dinner about 7.00 pm and then from 8.00 until about 9.30 I spent between the lounge and the bathroom vomiting and bringing my dinner back up (not a pretty sight), I felt so ill that I even had to phone gervase and he came round to be with me for a couple of hours, I let Pauline know and she and Gordon wanted to come down but I said that Gervase was coming round, and we would phone if it got any worse and let them know.

Anyway this went on for about 2 hours until it started to settle down at about 10.00 ish, at which time I thought that Gervase had spent far to much time with me and that he needed to get back to Leanne , as the poor lad had not even had time to have his evening meal. so after much nagging from me he went back home after making me promise to phone him if it started up again, anyway once Gervase had gone I phoned Pauline and gordon and then went off to bed feeling very old and fragile.
 It was a very restless night,s sleep and when I eventually got off to a decent sleep, I slept through until about 9.00 am when I received a text from Pauline to see how I was. The good thing about it was that I was not feeling "Nauseous" but the muscles in my lower chest and stomach were really Sore and Painful, I had certainly put some strain on them last night, so It was going to be a couple of days of rest for me, anyway I made a cup of Twinings fruit tea 

and had a small bowl of cereal for breakfast and then  settled down to rest and watch some TV. I also took a couple of co-codamol which helped to ease the pain and soreness.

well Saturday passed very uneventful, I kept my food intake down to a minimum and upped my fluid intake to stay hydrated and got through Saturday with no more bouts of sickness.
Pauline and Gordon came down to see me and to make sure that I was OK and to see if I needed to have the bathroom cleaned or anything, but that was OK, They also brought me my paper and some milk with them, anyway they stayed for an hour or so and had a chat and then made there way back to Waterlooville, Gervase phone to see If I wanted him to come round but I said that was not necessary as I was going to spend the day watching Movies. and so that is how my day went, I had a couple of scrambled eggs on a slice of toast for lunch and some chicken soup in the evening and also a complan, and then had an early night. at least I managed to keep my food down on Saturday and was feeling slightly better by saturday night.

now on Reflection I think that I had just really pushed my body to the limit over the previous few days and was now paying the penalty for my stupidity. I had walked far to much in such a short period of time and also was eating far to much as well. Through all the trauma over the last 2 years with the myositis diagnosis and the chronic dysphagia and the slow rate of improvement it was easy to forget that I was also diagnosed with a twisted stomach (Cup and spill stomach) and I need also to take that into account as well.

I slept pretty well on Saturday night and Sunday was much the same as Saturday, I was feeling better but on reflection I have decided that I need to eat 2 smaller meals in a day instead of one larger one so that is what I am going to do, Gervase came round and we went out in his car and did a little bit of shopping, we went to Marks and Spencers where I got  6 mini meals for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and then we went up to sainsburys where Gervase did his shopping I took it very easy with only a small amount of walking.  
M&S Mini Meals for one
So apart from shopping I spent most of the day recovering from the last aches and Pains from Friday, Friday night I slept pretty well and got up at about 9.00 on Monday.

Monday was again a day of rest and taking it easy, I am still making sure that I am taking it easy and pacing myself better throughout the day. I walked round to get my paper from the new spar shop and the lad that served me was on his mobile phone and did not stop talking even when taking the money for the paper, How rude is that, I certainly wont be shopping there again 
The worst shopping experience ever, really rubbish
anyway spoke to Pauline and Gordon and then just spent the day pottering around the house and catching up on episodes of Bonanza and Gunsmoke. Tuesday was also spent much the same way except on tuesday evening I went to see Gervase and leanne for a couple of hours, Leanne,s dad Dave was there as well and gave me a lift back home about 9.15, I am certainly feeling a lot better now but that was really a rubbishy last few day,s.

So Now we are at Wednesday and it is shopping day with Pauline. having two mini meals a day rather than one large meal has certainly been beneficial to my digestive system, so I will carry on with that regime at the moment, I will contact my speech therapist in the next few weeks and have a chat with her as it is getting near the time when they will need to do a follow up  Endoscopy to see if there has been any change in my cup and spill stomach.

Pauline and Gordon arrive about 11.00 and while Pauline and I go down to the city centre Gordon will spend a couple of hours doing my weekly flat clean.
Get a move on Gordon
Once down town we go to the bank and then boots the chemist, before heading into M&S to get 8 mini meals to take me through until Sunday, we then go to Morrisons in the Victory Retail Park to get the main shopping before getting a taxi back home.
Morrisons Victory retail Park. Portsmouth
once back home, we get the shopping put away and then we have a sandwich and a coffee for lunch before Gordon and Pauline head back home about 3.00. so that is the end of another day, suffice to say that the Rollator stayed at home today and I took the wheelchair, I have certainly learn a valuable lesson over the last few days and that is that with this Myositis, no matter how well you feel take it easy and do not overdo things as it is always lurking in the background ready to pounce and give you a reminder.

Anyway I am feeling almost back to norma again now and I really think the 2 mini meals a day is benefitting me so we will see how that goes, and certainly a bigger variation in my diet so hopefully less laxatives, but thats another story. So Until my next Journal I will say a fond goodbye.