Welcome to My Blog

A multi -faceted look at one Chinese woman's life. including musings about travelling and family life...

Sunday, 8 May 2016

My son is getting older...

Well...this is an important year for Ryan. In November he will sit three AQE transfer tests, which hopefully he will do well in..we hope he will get into a good grammar school. Ryan has the brains but not the motivation sometimes.  But that's where our role  is....to push him gently towards the right direction. My baby turns 10 in June and I find myself wondering....where has the time gone??

Yesterday I did my charity challenge for Action Cancer - both my sister Yvonne and I participated in the Zipline over the River Lagan...in Belfast.  I enjoyed it so much!! In total we both raised £545.00 for the charity - YAY!


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Happy Christmas!

Well, it's almost Christmas!  Four more days and it will all be over...I have been very well organised this year for presents/gift giving.  Starting early in January definitely is a recommendation - I can relax now without needing to run round the shops, dashing about like a mad woman!!

I am now two years cancer free....I am so lucky. On 19th Dec 2013 I was told the cancer was away....on the 18th Dec 2015 I found out my mum-in-law's lump in her ovary had turned out to be cancer after all. She'd had a hysterectomy the month before but they still needed to examine the lump - which apparently was the size of a grapefruit.   So they've given her a date for chemo - 4th January!!
At least she shouldn't lose her hair as she is getting a single chemo drug....poor woman. I remember my ordeal with chemotherapy all too well....not at all pleasant but then again mine was a very aggressive form of treatment - a combination of Cisplatin & Docetaxel....I suffered every side effect  under the sun from severe painful constipation, to hair loss to a mouth riddled with ulcers and I had lost two stone because of the ulcers.....Chemo is very very tough on the body.

RIP to the victims of the Paris shooting om 13th November 2015...it's so sad that these innocent people died....especially in my most favourite city of all time....Paris.

I really hope all readers will have a blessed and happy Christmas, and a fruitful and wonderful new year 2016!!     Take care - until my next post xxx

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

New Job, new start!

I am so sorry for not updating this for a while... it's been almost a year.    On May 7th 2014 I went for a job interview at my local university for a catering job. I got the job but didn't start  until 26th August 2014. What an experience that was..
Hearing I'd got the job was the most exciting news I had had for a long time...it was term time work. As I type I am still working there. Three more weeks then I will be off for the summer, and don't return until the autumn. It has all pretty much worked out for me.  Thanks to God and for the support of my family & friends, especially my mum....who still does quite a bit for me....I am only starting to process my cancer experience now. Yes ...almost 2 years later...tell you something interesting ...in February 2015, I put my name down for the Northern Ireland Hospice sponsored charity walk event and the hospice staff were keen to find out more about why I was doing it so I engaged in a bit of publicity. My story got published in two new local newspapers.  

My write up in the 'Newtownabbey Times'.

This picture appeared in the two papers.

Needless to say, I felt chuffed and I even got recognised by customers at work, so it was a good, good feeling!
At one point my article had more 'likes' on Cool FM's Facebook page than teenage hit band sensation One Direction!!

My family (Andrew, Ryan and I ) visited Salou, Spain for a week in August. We enjoyed it very much. I do feel so much stronger physically and mentally these days. My hair regrowth has speeded up....thinking of growing it long again..we'll see..
I was also following the Amanda Knox story in the media...just before Easter I sat tentatively beside my laptop on the AK online forum and the TV for the final verdict ruling by the Supreme court in Italy....to my absolute shock but sheer joy she was found NOT GUILTY and was EXONERATED!!!!  FREE at last!!   I felt so happy, upon hearing this news I cried like a baby. My partner and son were in the same room as me when it happened and they gave me very strange looks!! The poor girl, I knew she was innocent all along...and the justice system in Italy so far had failed her right up to that point. I couldn't even begin to imagine her horrifying experience of being in prison for 4 years for something she didn't do!!
My youngest sister has got engaged, well done Diana.....it was no surprise as she and her boyfriend Karl have been going steady and always seem very happy. I am happy for her.
Another night of surprises was Ryan's BB display night. my little son won not one, not two but FIVE trophies. What a proud parent I was that night!!!!!   Really wasn't expecting his name to be called again and again!!
Here are some pictures from Salou 2014 (except the last one which was taken in Glenariff Forest park recently): 



Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A little bit of retail therapy...

I've been meeting up with my youngest sister Diana on several occasions lately....we never used to get on but I am so glad we both have a better relationship now we are in our 30's!  Today we visited the Dobbies Garden Centre near Lisburn, Co.Down.

Some nice cakes at the centre:

Hello Kitty cake

What I bought.

The cancer is gone!

I am glad to announce that on 19th December 2013 I was confirmed cancer free by my oncologist.

The best Christmas present EVER!   I really am truly so lucky to be given another chance in life. I survived chemo. I survived a very risky operation to remove my entire left lung (and was on morphine for many days after)!  I thank GOD most of all.   It almost seems surreal this whole experience...I experienced a myriad of emotions throughout my cancer journey.  Finally three weeks ago, I received my first ever haircut since I went bald after getting chemotherapy. Right then I decided I don't need my wig anymore. It feels so good to walk out my front door without worrying about my appearance!

My first 6 month review will be this month. I have been wondering what the tests will be - hopefully there will at least be a CT scan.  A standard X ray would not detect everything.  

Fingers crossed x

I'm back!

So sorry to all of you, for not updating this last while....been very busy with life....you know how it is.

Firstly may I say I was overjoyed beyond belief to know my old, old friend Mayling was coming over from Hong Kong to visit N.Ireland. I had not seen her since I was a very immature 6 year old. We'd been friends and used to play with each other whilst growing up in Larne. So I jumped at the chance to arrange a meeting when I found out Mayling would be over here for 2 whole weeks!!

We met up for lunch at the local shopping centre - and boy, had she NOT changed!!

Two friends reunited after 32 years!

Mayling's little son - so adorable!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Life changes.....

This may come as a shock for all, it is no longer a shock for me...

On July 29th 2013, a date which I will never forget, I was diagnosed with stage 2b lung cancer.
After going through so many tests and appointments, I finally found out the results - having been kept waiting for the biopsy results for almost 10 days. My memories of 29th July were of my mother and I in the  consultant's room, sitting listening as he told us the bad news. My mother's eyes were all red from crying days before. I was told I have ''cancer''...I didnt want to believe it myself...so much so I asked him could I have a second opinion. He said I couldn't...the next few days were a daze ...overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, some days I would cry for no reason, I was  so scared. I could have only a year left in my life to live.
I was put straight into chemotherapy on 8th August, within a fortnight of being diagnosed.  I can't tell you how awful that was -  definitely the hardest part!   I had all the worst possible side effects. Couldn't eat for days due to multiple mouth ulcers forming in my mouth, lost 2 stone, felt extremely tired...and severely constipated.  The 2nd chemo - 3 weeks later -  wasn't so bad....and the 3rd one made me feel more nauseous than the 1st two!

My family & friends have been so supportive of me......I have recently went for a CT scan and it was revealed that the tumour had shrunk...I really hope that I will continue to improve...

I have come out of the chemo stronger than before, lost all my hair...and I will have to have a pneumonectomy next month. So I've to go for preassessment tests on Tuesday coming. May God be with me and keep me strong for this , please?

Monday, 22 July 2013

My health is most important!

Apologies for being so quiet lately - I can explain...basically I have been undergoing many tests. In March the doctor at my hospital where I was treated for pneumonia last year told me he'd found a lump in my left lung. I have had a CT scan, a broncoscopy, a PET scan and currently waiting on the results for a biopsy! I can't even begin to describe the myriad of emotions I have been feeling lately!!! From scaring myself by reading books on cancer to imagining a possible death sentence! What is happening with me? I used to be a very positive person.  I've cleaned up my diet....I have a feeling my results will be due tomorrow or Wednesday..
I am worried to say the least. Really finding it hard - had to decline overtime at work , fortunately they all understand...
I have got to the stage where I have just placed all those sad thoughts to the back of my mind and take a proactive approach by eating much more healthily which I discovered is known to be a big help if GOD FORBID, I did have that C word disease!
I still wheeze every now and then...I'd just put that down to the pneumonia I had last year!
Pray that I will be ok ( my sister reassured me so, dear love her)!!
 We had a magnificent time in Krakow, Poland. We were there for a week, first week of July there.
What surprised me was the cheapness of the food, and everything else!!
Watch this space for photos etc...

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Study , study , study!!!

Since the end of January I have been doing a new course with the Open University. It is a level 3 course , which means it's the equivalent of a year 3 course at traditional uni.    So far - I am 'taking in ' the contents of the course without much difficulty..however I will have a end of course project to prepare for , something which I don't feel entirely confident about! But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

My old high school (Class of 1992) has a reunion coming up!!    Not sure if I will be persuaded to go - I have my reasons!  Even though the day I left school was the saddest of my life at that time.  To be honest I was painfully shy back then ...and in a way I am still very reserved....I just don't really feel 100% comfortable about opening that particular can of worms of my past!

My work is so so.  Could be better.   Much better.

This time next week I will be at the Stereophonics concert.  My sister Yvonne is coming with me.....I managed to get that day off work so I wont need to rush about the place getting ready...they are a Welsh band. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Operation Christmas Child Project

I don't know how many of you have heard of this project, I found out about it from my cousin's wife...

The charity Samaritans Purse organises this project and it's basically a scheme whereby you fill a shoebox for a child (toys , stationery, hygiene items etc) and it gets sent overseas to needy children, to a variety of under-privileged places.

I am a very creative person and the thought of doing shoeboxes filled me with excitement, so much so that I hardly slept a wink last night thinking about the joy I could bring to a child with these shoeboxes!!

This morning I went out and bought toys, pens, stickers, gloves and hat, sweets etc.. for my shoeboxes.....the list goes on!!  The most important thing is to get yourself some standard sized empty shoeboxes (about 30 cm x 18 cm x 13 cm ), so that no child will get a smaller one than another...

The scheme also lets you print a barcode which you can place inside your shoebox - and the charity will email you to tell you which country your shoebox will end up in (usually around December - February time)

To find out more and/or take part  click here for link

I hope you will find this as exciting as I have!!

Happy Shoe boxing!!!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Post holiday blues...

It's obvious I need a holiday when I start buying travel guidebooks by the handful.....I went into 'The Works' bookshop today and came out with five books & a Rome dvd at a bargain price. I mean who would pay £17.00 for a book that I paid £1.49 for??      Talking about holidays , we had an amazing time & did lots , went on boat trips , coach trips ...sightseeing , the highlight of the trip had to be .....YES!! I met Kerry Katona!!   On the first day we arrived, we were relaxing by the hotel pool...then I noticed Kerry sitting several sunbeds away. I went to approach her , my partner tried to stop me as he believed she was just her double, I'm so glad he didnt....

Me with Kerry Katona

Ryan & daddy at our hotel pool

Souvenir stalls

On way to Formentor

Magaluf's  famous Western Water Park

Formentor beach

Tip of Formentor

Our hotel pool

Flamenco dancing at our hotel

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Gosh - it's been so long...

HI all,

My lateness in updating is unforgivable I know, life has been really happening lately...
I have a new blog - it's a craft blog (www.craftyjen8022.blogspot.co.uk) .. take a wee look when you have time.

Looking back at the last few months I have come through a lot - I overcame pneumonia, thinking back now it is still quite scary...but I feel so much better now.

Going to the garage tomorrow morning to see if the 'dent' that happened when I reversed into a lamp post can be fixed - really wish it hadn't happened!  Am now kicking myself as it is a brand new car - well nearly new. A Chevrolet Spark 1.0+, I actually saved about £2000 because it was a showroom car.  Lovely vehicle, silver. Not my first choice of colour but I fell in love with the style of the car straightaway.

My son is on his summer hols at the moment , he's been staying up with me most nights... can't believe my baby is getting SO big now!  Bought him a scooter today and he loves it.

My Mandarin course has been quite challenging lately - managed to get my 6th assignment done, going to send it through to the Open Uni. online submission system before I go on holiday- not even half ready for it , we are going to Majorca in less than 2 weeks time!!

Monday, 28 May 2012

I hate being sick!!

Ever since I had a cold 2 weeks ago I haven't been feeling the most energetic...then last Monday I was having severe pains in my left side, something was wrong - didn't know what -  so my OH rang the out of hours doctor and got me an appointment. It turned out it was caused by a chest infection.  The next night the pains came back & the doctor says it was due to pneumonia (SHOCK HORROR) I have never had chest problems in all my life, and to be told that!!!    Anyway a few days later I got a chest x ray done & the results showed an abscess on my lung....OMG!!     I was so scared , what if it is cancer?  My OH says I'm a hypochrondriac, but during the first few days of the pains in my side I truly believed I was going to die. Lying in bed, I'd never known such pain - in fact it was worse than childbirth.     I cried and cried, because I missed my dad. If he was here he'd make everything alright....reading the book Dear Sebastian, made it even more emotional for me.....

Monday, 30 April 2012

I think this is an extremely underrated song, loved Oasis and do still listen to them. Anyone else a fan?
Meeting Noel Gallagher was my ultimate claim to fame!!!

Have you ever wanted to write a book?

I wonder how many of you always wanted to write a book?    I've always loved to write, whether it was updating my diary when I was in my teens or writing to penpals all over the world.    Blurb.com has brought a whole new dimension of possibilities to my writing.   Since September 2009, I have had four books created with them.  They are a 'self-publishing' online company and the way they work is they provide you with basic templates (for anything from photo books to wedding books, even facebook & blog books!) - you have full control of creative content and they just publish it for you.  

Here are the following great benefits of designing a book with blurb.com:

Cover:     Hardcover , Softcover, Image wrap & tons of cover layout options
Paper:     High quality of FSC-certified papers available in matte, lustre or
               gloss finishes
Printing:   Bookstore-quality four colour printing
End sheets :  Standard and pro line sheets to frame your book beautifully
Creative layouts :   Huge range of creative & customizable layouts
Binding:   Durable, professional binding built to last .

Why not visit www.blurb.com now to make your first book?!   You could even create a personalised book as a gift idea for a friend or loved one. 

Here are some photos of the books I have made:

Ryan sings......