Saturday, 25 April 2015

Recovery and reflection

Wow, I just saw on Lynn's blog that my last post was 3 months ago! Time flies, hey?

So, what has been happening? Well, a lot! I'm going to start with the bad news and try to end well.

The bad news is, well, as bad as I have ever had in my life. My dad went back for his post chemo scan. It was supposed to be a formality, a final to check before moving on with life. It wasn't. The first week after finding out I cried a lot in the evenings, and in the car on the way to work. At work I kept myself busy and just about coped - though I only told the other team leads about it as I couldn't cope with people asking if I was OK. I wasn't. I'm not.

On top of my grief over it there is the higher grief of him not getting to see his grandson grow up. And the bigger one of his grandson is never going to remember his granddad. We do not know how long he has, but we are pretty sure that it won't be long enough for the little guy to form any lasting memories.

I had all 4 of my grandparents until I was in my early twenties. I thankfully still have 3. And it hurts to think that he won't have that. Maybe the loss is more mine than his, but it hurts, A lot.

I have now just about accepted it though. And am really trying to concentrate on making the remaining time as great as possible. Trips to them, lots of trips of them to us (we have already been asked if we mind them coming more often - of course not!).

And I am going to stop now, because I am getting upset again.

My recovery is going. there have been setbacks and emergency appointments at the hospital, but nothing too bad and all just about solved. The surgeons are happy with the results, and that means that I am too.

There is still a road to go. I have still not sat on a push bike since the operation. I have sat on the motorbike. Small trips are fine (and it feels great to release my inner biker hooligan occasionally) but when I went to work this week I realised after 40 minutes that it was too early. Just a shame that there was still 10 minutes left, and a whole trip home. That has put me back a bit - the bruising has made itself felt again and sitting has been less comfortable since - though it is getting better. I'm going to keep up the small trips, but the next commute to work can wait until June I think!

I'm busy learning new coding skills - AngularJS and .Net MVC 5. These are technologies we will be using over the coming years in the office. And whilst I do not code that much any more, I do want to have a working knowledge still. And it helped my confidence doing the training. I may not have the most up to date knowledge about our current code base, but when everyone was on the new stuff I was able to help others again - I'm not as rusty as I thought! I'm busy trying to get more  knowledge at home (not easy with a full time job again and a child of 14 months old!), and am building my own online application as a training exercise. Once I have something I may even post a link here and you can all laugh at my efforts :)

Speaking of the little guy, he is wonderful! We celebrated his birthday in February and bought him too many presents. Way too many presents. That many that we didn't even give them all to him and he was still that tired of opening them on the day that the last one he got he ignored almost completely!

He is about to start walking too - walking along the table, walking holding our hands (in his first real shoes - which for such tiny things are not cheap! They cost more  than some of my shoes!) and just today actually took his first step unaided. From my arms, letting go an going a couple of inches to his mama. It's going to be interesting when he really gets going!

He still loves his books (and is currently very interested in my old .Net 2.0 text book!) and can't sleep without a story. I just hope that stays :)

And he is starting to talk :) It's just amazing to watch him grow!

And finally... I'm busy working on my confidence right now. That is something I really miss for my job and I am trying to challenge myself more and more. Both with participation, feedback and just being me.

The most visible part of this is my clothes. I have spent the last few years being very worried that people are judging my clothes with thoughts of 'is she trying to hard?' And before I buy anything, or even wear anything this is a question I ask myself. Well, I'm stopping. I now have a couple of dresses from British Retro (really awesome dresses!). Full circle, below the knee swing dresses. With a full petticoat. I think they are awesome! They really, really stand out (though still pass Jenny's Tesco test - I shop in them!) and I feel great in them. I feel that this may be the staple of my wardrobe for the coming couple of years and plan to enjoy it!

Right, time to get back to another mini project - a window application that compares two folders organised differently and lets you know what the differences are. I'm sure I could download a tool to do it, but really, making your own is just so much more satisfying!


  1. A post of good and bad news. First off, I'm sorry to hear about your dad's condition. I hope you get to spend as much time, as you can with him. Memories help, I think. I lost my sister in a road traffic accident, so that was very sudden, whereas my uncle had incurable cancer and the inevitable long..... not sure what words to put here :-( Long end, I guess. If you feel the need for a chat, you have my email address <3

    Good news about your son. He does sound full of beans and is there such a thing as too many presents when you're little? Oh, and shoe costs? Worth every penny and no doubt you'll master the parental poker face, when the sales clerk tells you the price. "But... that's almost half the price of a weekend break!" :-)

    Trying too hard? Oh, f--- that. Wear what you like and knickers to what people think. Some may judge, but many more are probably wishing they had the courage to break away from the corporate uniform. Fab choices of dresses, BTW. Not that you should take fashion advice from a part timer. ;-)

    1. From my point of view there isn't such a thing as too many presents - I think once he appreciates just what presents are there will never be too many :)

      The shoes are completely worth it - he walks so much better in them, and can practice a lot more as he can walk outside! They look like they are made well, nice and supportive etc. Just a shame that they will be too small before they are even close to worn out!

      I know that is the attitude that I should have. But should and do are not always the same thing :( But, I'm trying! This afternoon I am (maybe) going for the colour I have wanted for a while (think Alison Hannigan) and I have decided to put on hold the plan for lots of trousers this year and stick with dresses with a couple of jeans thrown in instead!

      As for your fashion advice, you always look fantastic!


  2. Hi Stace.

    I'm so, so sorry to hear about your Dad's post chemo scan. Stay optimistic and hope for the best.

    Nice to hear that the little guy is doing good. I read to mine every night but I must say that I never read from an IT book. Now that is funny!

    Calie xx

    1. Thanks Calie. He is doing really well, hand eye co-ordination is coming along (although so has his first real fall now - teeth through hip upper lip, I'm sure it won't be the last time!) and he is such a happy little boy!

      Bedtime reading is more Gruffalo and Room on the Broom than coding :) One night Dutch, the next English. He also has The Cat in The Hat (but after trying it a couple of times we decided to leave it until he is a little older - it's just too advanced to keep his attention right now!). And he has a great collection - 15 months now and 40+ books on his bookshelf :)


  3. Hi hon,

    I'm so sorry about your father. I'm thinking of you all and and sending my best wishes.

    I never knew either of my grandfathers; both died long before I came along. I've been told they both were huge baseball fans like me. I think we would have been close. Hopefully your little guy will get to know him.

    As we've discussed, I adore those dresses! So much so that I am definitely going to order several. I'm on the disabled list at the moment here with a sore back; I suspect I lay at an awkward angle a bit too long at my last electrolysis appointment. In any event, I'm holding off on running for a few days until the stiffness is totally gone (lessons learned the hard way). Anyway, once I finally get rid of the last of the steroid weight, those dresses will be among my purchases. :c)

    Wishing you and your family all the best, hon. Take care.

    Hugs & love,

    P.S. Only a developer's child would want bedtime stories from a coding book! You code jockeys are clearly born to it. :D

    1. I love them to bits! But the weird thing is that I was so nervous wearing them for the first time! I'm guilty of worrying about other people thinking that I am trying to hard, and so that has a major influence in my purchases. I know it shouldn't - but I'm sure I'm not alone in it!

      Anyway, the first time I wore the dress to the office I was more nervous than the first day I went as Stacy - I was almost too scared to get out of the car! As it is I love them, I got compliments on them rather than comments and it has boosted my confidence a little (and so more will be coming - I have found another website Unique Vintage that ships world wide and can be searched by style decade, 1950's here I come!).

      Now just to have the nerve to colour my hair as I want! I have an appointment for today so it may happen soon!


      PS To be fair, it's more pre dinner reading to work up an appetite rather than bedtime :)

    2. Hi Stace!

      Good for you for following your heart and wearing what you love! I'll make pledge: once I've run enough to shed the last of the steroid-induced weight, I'll buy one as well *and* wear it to work. Already looking forward to it! :c)

      So, what hair color are you considering? As one who changed hers, I can tell you it's a *lot* of fun. I was clearly meant to be a redhead all along and just never knew it!!! :D

      Hope everyone is well, hon. Take care!


  4. Very sorry to read Stace. I hope that you can fill whatever time you have with happy memories.

    As for the recovery, I have always heard that it's best not to run before you need to. I bet I don't follow that advuce though.

    Glad that life otherwise is going well.

    1. In the words of my surgeon when I asked what I could do: try it gently. If it works you can do it, if not then don't! Though I was advised not to run or cycle for at least three months... Running is fine (when I'm not full of cold), cycling still has to be attempted! (And being in Holland, I need to try!)


  5. Thanks for the thoughts all. We are going to take our vacation in Scotland, obviously, and do as much as we possibly can. And they are going to come here more than we planned over the year as well. Of course it is all going to be bitter sweet (and no doubt there will be tears), but we are going to make sure that we concentrate on having a great time whist we are together.