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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Scream Your Head Off - Make The Seven Exhibitions of Yourself!

I don't know if it's an Irish thing or whether its across the board but do we Irish sit back and take crap....sometimes yes....but not always..

Its funny how one can go into protection mode when one of their loved ones isn't getting the care they deserve.

My mother was a teacher for 15 years when she was diagnosed.  She taught Art and Literacy.  She worked every day to provide us with the things we needed.  She was a hero.  She paid her taxes and was one of the most honest people I have ever met.  She was the type of woman who walked into a store, got too much change and always handed it matter how small or large the denomination.

When your a carer and you know how generous and honest someone is it totally infuriates you to think that they are being screwed..and that is what happened my mom.

Not far into her diagnoses she was told she was to have chemo.  Grand..we can deal with that.  Because my mom earned a salary and at the time there was no drugs payment scheme she was not entitled to a medical card, which meant that any treatment she had to have or drugs would have to be funded by ourselves.

Now my mom was a teacher..not financially flush by any means but she earned a living and provided for three kids all her life, paid a mortgage and put food in our mouths and clothes on our backs so when the chemist told me that the monthly prescription she was going to have to have was going to run upwards of €1000 I nearly dropped dead..

She didn't have that much, she had a few thousand in savings but at this rate that would be gone due to the fact that  she had to pay for her meds, (she didn't have private health insurance ) and I wasn't going to stand for it.

When I told her she was like "well we will apply for a medical card and I will pay it until we get that"  I checked and these things could take about 3 months to get...then they told her she wasn't entitled to one because of her earnings the previous year... I ran amok!!!

I contacted Bertie Ahern, the Irish Prime Minster at the time and caused ructions...he informed me he would look into it..weeks passed and no luck...made threats to call Gerry Ryan..local radio host at the time...Bingo...Medical Card in the post.

The same happened in the hospital, mom got a call to go in for this new treatment...when we arrived they told us there were no available beds, we left and went home, mom was like "oh, well probably someone worse off needs it" a call the next day and off we went back up to the hospital, they told us they had no beds...

I lost the plot, I started screaming and shouting about playing with peoples emotions then took out my phone and told the doctor "grand, I have a friend who works for Gerry Ryan" I started pretending to dial the phone I don't have a friend who works for Gerry Ryan...then I was like "Mary, yeah, we are back here again and they are telling us they haven't a bed...yeah I'm willing to go on live" the doctors face dropped and within fifteen minutes my mom was tucked up in the ward...

I probably went overboard but sometimes you need to.  I respect Doctors, I know they have a job to do, but their job is to help those in need..I know politics doesn't help and it isn't personal for them...but it is for us...its very personal, its the difference between life and death!

My advise to anyone dealing with anyone is fight fight and more fight...threats threats and more threats..its the only way to get anything done.  The more embarrassing you are the better...

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Tradition

At Christmas time people have a tendency to think a lot about people they have lost.  I know it's a time of Joy and Peace and all that but everyone misses someone.  When it's buying the gifts or wrapping the presents or putting up your tree.

Myself and my mom had a couple of Christmas traditions.  One being from as long as I can remember, on Christmas Eve, mom would open up a bottle of wine and we would sit by the fire and eat chocolates and she would let me have a little glass too.

And I am talking very young.  Now I was only allowed a tiny little glass but now that I think about it, this was probably to knock me off to sleep.

Anyway, one year we were sitting there in front of the fire and mom was drinking a bottle of Blue Nun (lol) gross, and I had my little glass, I think it might have been a sherry glass, I still have them.

So there we are watching some crap, she sitting beside the fire eating a box of Roses, now I should tell you that my mom had two false teeth, they were lost as a kid, right in the front, and she was always cleaning them, so when she opens the purple wrapper and low and behold throws her false teeth in the fire instead of the wrapper.

She jumps up and starts screaming at the fire trying to poker them out.  Then she looks at me crying 'oh sweet Jesus'  she puts her hand in the fire and pulls out her teeth, she drops them on the carpet and we are standing there looking at them.

The best was when they cooled down and she tried to put them in but they were all twisted up...I fell around the place laughing, she then bet me around the place with her slipper...good

Now my mom is very fond of her appearance, she is traumatised.  You cant imagine what this did to her.  It was the quietest Christmas she ever had..We went to our Aunts on Christmas night and she wouldn't even open her mouth.

Later on in life we started exchanging Christmas bawbells to each other.  In our family its become quite the tradition.  I have one bawbell on my tree now that her mother had on her tree when my mom was born in 1950, and a bawbell that was on the tree when I was born in 77, and a mix of wonderful bawbells from my partner and sister and aunts.

I think Christmas traditions, however small make Christmas what it is supposed to be about.  Love, Family and Memories.. It's the only time of year when all families get to see each other..from all over, you meet with cousins, friends, aunts, uncles that you might only see that one time a year.

Every Christmas we put up our tree and with each bawbell we put on we have a story..This one is from so and so, this one is from me to you, this one is your moms, some of them might be old and raggedy but it makes for a totally one of a kind tree.....It's totally my favourite Christmas tradition.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Mom had so many problems with her chemotherapy over the course of her treatment I don't know where to begin.she became allergic to the first batch of drugs which caused her an emergency stay in HDU...she ended up getting a dose of that MRSA and not to mention the sickness she endured after she had it... Today I am going to include an excerpt from her diary which deals with one of these little mishaps..

"Went back Mon 17th August for Chemo on the 18th Anne had arranged for Maura to bring me and Sharon to Collect me.  When I arrived for the Chemo it transpired that I hadn't been given the medication to take beforehand.  I was absolutely devastated and frustrated...I gave out hell to the nurse.  Anyway went back the next day and received it on Wednesday 19th.  It went OK.    Here I am back down in Wexford, I sit on the caravan steps as I write this in glorious sunshine".

Basically what she was saying in this was on the 17th she went to the hospital and they told her she was having chemo the next day...that would have been fine if they had of given her the pre-chemo drugs she was supposed to have 24 hours prior to having the chemo...she had mentally physicked herself out for chemo..its something she used to do.  It took so much out of her that she totally had to prepare herself for it so when she arrived to have  chemo and they had forgotten to give her the medication she was supposed to have she was totally pissed.

Todays Quote:                         Nature has given us one tongue and two ears.
                                      That we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

So Your Mom's Got Cancer!: Happy Birthday Mom!!!

So Your Mom's Got Cancer!: Happy Birthday Mom!!!: Happy Birthday MoM!!! Today would have been my mom's 61st Birthday...So I am going to share one of her time honoured traditions with you....

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Happy Birthday MoM!!!

Today would have been my mom's 61st Birthday...So I am going to share one of her time honoured traditions with you...

In our family it is a common occurance to try and humiliate and frighten half to death a member of our immediate family...

My sister has a huge talent for this, putting in many hours to complete her task and on several occasions made me pee joke.....but she comes in second to my mother...

I arrive home one day, put my key in the door and hear the usual.  The T.V. is on in the living room and I can smell a stew going...Yumzer I think to myself..I love my mom's stew..there is nothing better....

Anyway...I walk into the living room throwing my belongings on to the couch and make my way into the kitchen to steal some stew...

I say steal because It's a known fact that myself and sister will sit there with our civilised bowls of stew with a piece of vienna bread and a glass of milk while we observe my brother sitting there with a half loaf of buttered batch and a pint glass of milk with can only be described as a casserole dish size bowl of stew on his lap...He proceeds to then lash his bread into the stew a whole slice at a time while ramming the whole thing into his mouth...boys will be boys...

So there I am with a nice small bowl of boiling stew wandering into the living-room delighted with myself for two reasons, one I have coveted a delicious meaty bowl of stew before my brother and two I get full control of the remote as I am all alone...or so I thought..

I step into the living room balancing the stew in my hands with a spoon dangling out of my mouth when all of a sudden my mom throws herself out of the cubby hole under the stairs armed with a very large knife and sporting some sort of foam like substance all over her mouth....

Of course the first thing I do is throw the stew all over myself and the room scalding myself in the process...then proceed to choke on the's at this point that my mom literally starts choking with the laughter.  As I am crying with the fright she has to run off to pee cause she is so delighted with herself and her achievement... I remember at that point thinking there is something wrong with our little family...

As I sit here on a Sunday morning writing this, knowing that even though every single time she got me with one of her terrifying jokes I wished she wouldn't, I wish she could jump out from somewhere and frighten the living shite out of me more time...

I suppose that if she did that now it probably 'would' frighten the living shite out of me, what with her having passed on...but anyway I know she's out there somewhere watching and that everytime I get a fright she has a laugh about it.............Happy Birthday Mom..I miss you every day!

Friday, 2 December 2011

So Your Mom's Got Cancer!: Day Three After Surgery - My Mom's Diary Entry

So Your Mom's Got Cancer!: Day Three After Surgery - My Mom's Diary Entry: This is an excerpt from my mom's diary, only she can explain how this felt: "Well I have had the tests, I've even had the op. Ovarian Ca...

Day Three After Surgery - My Mom's Diary Entry

This is an excerpt from my mom's diary, only she can explain how this felt:

"Well I have had the tests, I've even had the op.  Ovarian Cancer.  I don't know if I can even spell it right.  It's invaded my body and I'm not sure how to spell it correctly.  For two days I've planned my funeral in my head.  It looks pretty gloomy.

I've a malignant Tumor on one overy, a growth on the other.  the cancer has spread to some fatty tissues that runs across the stomach. they will remove the overy and the fallopian tubes and the womb.  The problem may be that the Tumor is stuck to the bowel.  After the op I feel fine.  I don't feel as though they have taken much.  They haven't...not even one overy.

I'm to have eight sessions of chemo in-between they will try to operate again.

Todays Quote:

This is the true joy of life
Being used for a purpose
Recognised by yourself 
As a mighty one
Being a force of nature
Instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances
Complaining that the world will devote itself to making you happy