There's Nothing More We Can Do ...

I knew it was coming. But that does not make the words 'There is nothing more we can do' any easier to heal.

I was at Royal Marsden yesterday (Monday) for bloods and scan.

All blood tests bar one are ok. However my "bilirubin" levels have been rising which means I cannot continue with any trial or repeat my last treatment cycle.

We're reviewing options but time seems even more precious :-)


I don't care if you are 1, 20, 50 or 80. You are never ready to loose a parent.

My Dad was diagnosed with Bowel and Colon Cancer 6 weeks before my wedding in June 2012. Unfortunately, when diagnosed with Cancer, it was discovered that he already had secondary metastatic liver cancer.

He wasn't ill before his diagnosis. He had an accident on the bike that he purchased as part of his 'midlife' crisis and was taken to hospital to review the damage. He was subsequently given some pain relief and some tablets to reduce the inflammation. These tablets subsequently caused him to have a bleed. Not being too concerned, the doctor referred him to the hospital to check that actually the bleed was only being caused by the tablets. Unfortunately, it wasn't.

To be diagnosed with cancer is one thing. To be told that your doctors and nurses will never be able to get rid of it is another. I thought that this news was difficult enough to deal with. But, luckily, the N&N Oncology department are wonderful, and gave Dad the best possible treatment and some of the best medicine.

2 and a half years later, he's still here. Knowing what I know about terminal cancer and specifically about liver cancer, I know that he's done incredibly well to stay as healthy as he had for the last few years.

But suddenly, in the last few weeks, his condition has deteriorated massively and unfortunately, he can no longer continue the trial at Royal Marsden in London, and cannot go back to the treatment he was having In Norwich. His liver is failing and there is nothing more they can do to help him.

His skin is yellow ... he has lost a considerable amount of weight ... his skin is itchy ... the whites of his eyes are yellow ... his belly area is swollen ... He is still, despite everything, in incredible spirits. He's an amazing man. And he's my Daddy.

When I found out he was ill, I thought there was a chance he wouldn't make my wedding ... then when I found out I was pregnant, I thought he wouldn't see my child ... then when Isla was born, I thought he wouldn't see her first birthday. But he's seen all of those. And the relationship he has developed with Isla is second to none. I am so very grateful for the time he has been given with us.

But my heart aches, and I can't hold back the tears.

I went to see him yesterday and asked if there was anything I could do. He response almost killed me.

Love me. 
Pray for me, in your own way. 
Deal with it with some sense of humour. 
Forgive me when I become confused. 

They haven't given him a time - certainly not that he has told me. But in my heart of hearts, I don't think he has got very long. Isla's not ready to loose her Grandad.

And I am so very not ready to loose my Dad.

I love him more than he will ever know ...

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Isla's Naming Day - Part Two, The Ceremony ...

The actual ceremony for Isla's naming day was incredible. Even better than we had hoped it would be! We lucked out with the weather - it was so incredibly warm! 

While neither of us are particularly religious our family friend John, who is a lay preacher of the Christian Church, offered to lead the ceremony for us. I met with him before hand to discuss what we did, and didn't want from the ceremony, and luckily he was more than happy to do all that we wanted him to. Because of the fact that he is a Christian, it seemed only fitting to let him include some references to God in the ceremony. He also asked whether he should wear his formal attire - which we completely agreed on. 

We had decided early on that Isla would have two 'Godparent's'. There were so many other people that we wanted to ask, but Brian and Susan are almost like second parents to both of us. When you read the description of what a Godparent 'should be', it seemed to fit them perfectly. We wanted someone Isla could go to if she felt she couldn't turn to us, someone who would set a good example to her, who would teach her new things, take her to new places. We're very sure that we've made the right choice!

We both wanted to do a reading during the ceremony, and also wanted to ask our friend Simon if he could also do a reading. He's always been a close friend of ours, but has surprised us in the level of feeling he has for Isla - he clearly is besotted by her, and we wanted the third reading to be by someone who truly cared for Isla, almost like his own. 

I researched the internet thoroughly for readings that were appropriate. We wanted them to have a pretty powerful impact, we wanted them to show how much we care and love Isla, how much we want for her in the future, without being too 'sappy'. I absolutely adore all three readings and am so pleased we spent the time trying to find them. 

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Isla's Naming Day - Part One ...

Even before you were born, we knew that we wanted to do something to celebrate you and your safe arrival. While neither of us are particularly religious, we knew we wanted you to have 'Godparent's' and that we wanted to give you some kind of Christening. That's when the idea for your naming ceremony came about.

We decided to hold a ceremony in the garden at Nanny and Grandad's in Poringland, and have our family friend John Pountain (A lay preacher) reside over the service. We decided to do it on Saturday 17th May when you were almost 9 months old, and somehow picked the nicest day of the year! It was so incredibly warm and sunny - almost too warm! - with bright blue skies and not an ounce of the rain that was predicted.

We had a beautiful ceremony space, complete with the arch under which we said our wedding vows, a marquee, lots of amazing food and drink, the most beautiful setting and the most incredible friends and family to celebrate with.

We invited just shy of 70 guests in total so the garden was pretty full! We had all the tables and chairs set out in different seating areas and different groups of people gathered in each different area. The garden is so stunning, especially at this time of year - we could have been in a hotels grounds - it was so well laid out. We had an areas set out in the shade of one of the bigger trees for all the children - they had a swing and ball bit and a load of noisy brightly coloured toys to play with.

It makes my heart jump into my chest a little bit when I think about just how amazing these people really are. We are so very lucky to have such a wonderful bunch of people to share our lives with.

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