Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Me and Mine (June)

Wow. What a month June has been. I really thought that this month this would get easier for us and would start to get better. I've had a lot of personal this issues for the first 6 months of the year which now seem to be sorting themselves out ,so I really thought June was going to be 'our month' How wrong I was.

We didn't start the month off too great to be honest. I had to go to hospital on the 5th for a colposcopy as my smear test had come back abnormal. I was so scared and didn't know what to expect. Since then I've been back in hospital for the LLETZ procedure. You can read about my experience here. It's been a stressful time to say the least.

On the 6th, Michael and I celebrated our five year anniversary. I can't believe we have been together a whole five years already. It's flown and been the best five years of my life and I can honestly say he is my absolute rock and I don't know how I've have got through this year without him. I keep meaning to write a post about our journey so far, but it's still sitting in my drafts, I must get round to it.

The week later, Alfie was really poorly. I picked him up from nursery after his Monday afternoon session and he was sick everywhere just as we were leaving - including covering me too! Nice! He's not a sicky or poorly child, so I knew he must have felt really poorly. Turns out he had chicken pox. From having a handful on the Monday night / Tuesday morning, he was absolutely covered in them by Wednesday morning. I've never seen them so bad and I really, really felt for him. He was so miserable and out of sorts and bored by being stuck indoors. Which meant he acted up a lot as he hates having to stay in. On top of my health issues, Alfie being so poorly has made for a really tough couple of weeks. Poor Michael has really had it hard taking care of both of us. We had planned to go out with our in-laws for a meal on Father's day, but we had to cancel as we couldn't take Alfie out. We went to theirs for a meal instead, but because Alfie felt so rubbish, I didn't even manage to get a picture of him and Daddy on his special day :(

Thankfully, we have ended the month much better than we started it. My sister turned 20 on the 25th, so we had a little birthday tea at my parents for her, which was lovely.

And the weekend just gone, we surprised my sister and brother in law at their caravan and spent the afternoon with them and my inlaws and all three kids. It was just what we needed. Some down time in the fresh air and Alfie was  in his element running free and playing outside with his big cousins and Daddy.

This months photo was a very last minute job which was taken this evening in the back garden. Thank goodness the sun was shining and please excuse the quality!!

Here's hoping July is a much better month and hopefully the good weather will stick around too!

I'm linking up to Lucy over at dear beautiful. Head over to her blog for more gorgeous family photo's.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Meal Planning Monday #14 {29 June}


I hate to say it, but this week I've totally lost my mojo. Usually, I look forward to meal planning and I will research recipes and look over my slimming world book to see if there is anything new to try. This week, it felt like a bit of a chore though and I can't put my finger on why. We have had a tough couple of weeks as I had to go in hospital for a small procedure (which you can read about here, if you are interested), and Alfie also had chicken pox. So it's been exhausting and I think I'm just taking a while to get back into the routine. 

So, meal planning this week was done rather quickly whilst sat at the laptop trying to order this week's shopping as we didn't do a shop at weekend. 

Here is what I have come up with: 

Monday: Burgers with wedges and salad
Tuesday: Ragu - we had this at my parents last week and it was amazing! 
Wednesday: My cousin is coming for tea, so we are having a cheese and bacon pasta bake
Thursday: Chicken, mash and veg/salad
Friday: Chicken enchilada's or fajita's

Hopefully next week, I will have found my mojo and our meal plan will be a little more exciting! 

As always, I am linking up with at home with Mrs M and you can also follow on twitter - @madamding or using the hashtag #mealplanningmonday

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Monday, 22 June 2015

No Fear, Go Smear

Last week was Cervical Screening Awareness Week (CSAW), so it seems pretty apt for me to write this post. 

On the 13 May, I went for my smear test. It was only the second one I've had done and whilst it's not something I relished the thought of, I knew I couldn't miss it, so I made sure to get it booked and attend. 

Whilst the nurse was doing my smear, she said she had trouble finding my cervix, so I had to position myself differently. Once it was over though, I thought nothing more of it. I guess I just took for granted that the results would be normal like they were the last time. 

I was wrong. 

I received a letter in the post about two weeks later to tell me that the results had come back abnormal. I had high grade dyskaryosis and would need a colposcopy where they would do a biopsy to take a sample of the affected area. It was scheduled for the following week. 

When I arrived at the hospital, I was really nervous as I didn't know what to expect and I was of course worried that there could be a possibility of cancer. When speaking to the doctor before the colposcopy, he seemed quite certain that I would need further treatment after the biopsy. Something which I wasn't prepared for. I did worry as at that point I thought it could be cancer. He advised that because the cells had shown up as high grade, they would need to be removed, either by the LLETZ (also know as the loop) or by a cone biopsy. However, he seemed pretty certain that there was no cancer there. He told me that there are about 20 different types of abnormal cells and only one of those is cancer. This did put my mind at rest a bit.

So, a colposcopy is where the doctor or nurse will do a more detailed examination of the cervix with a microscope to see any abnormalities which would be not be visible to the naked eye. The doctor or nurse will dab vinegar and iodine on the cervix with a cotton bud to highlight any abnormal cell changes. If areas of abnormal tissue are found on the cervix the doctor or nurse will take a small sample(s) of the tissue to be sent away for testing. This is what I had done. 

The procedure itself was quite uncomfortable, but I wouldn't say it hurt. The nurses who were there with me were fantastic. They kept me informed what was happening at every stage and what I could expect to feel - the biopsy was described as plucking your eyebrows, an initial sting that soon goes. 

After the biopsy was done, the doctor explained in more detail what the loop and cone biospy's are. The LLETZ (large loop excision of the transformation zone) is the most common treatment for abnormal cells and carried out under local anesthetic and is carried out as an outpatient procedure. It's done using a thin wire loop that is heated with an electric current and it removes the area of abnormal cells and heals the wound back up. 

A cone biopsy is a minor operation and therefore carried out under general anesthetic and a small cone shaped piece of tissue is removed from the cervix using a scalpel. The tissue is then sent to the lab for further observations. 

The doctor told me they would write to me within 3 weeks with my results and what further treatment I would need. 

I tried not to think too much about it but after 10 days I got a text with a confirmation of an appointment at the hospital. I was instantly worried as I hadn't even received my results yet. I thought the worst. I had it in my head that the only reason they would call me back so soon is because it was bad news. There was no other logical explanation in my head. 

Thankfully, I was wrong about this. The day after I called the hospital who advised that they'd booked me an appointment so soon as the original doctor who had done my biopsy was going on holiday, so they needed to get me in for the LLETZ within their timescales. As they'd had a cancellation, they had booked me in for the 1st available appointment and their automated system had sent me a text reminder 1 week before. It just so happened that I got this before my letter with the results, which had been sent in second class post.

The nurse told me over the phone that my biopsy results showed I had cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) stage 3. This is the highest grade before cancer. I'd been booked in for the LLETZ to remove these cells. 

My appointment was this afternoon and I'm very thankful that Michael was there with me to hold my hand. It was the same set up as a smear and the colposcopy where a speculum was used. I was dreading the injections for the local anesthetic, but I didn't actually feel any of the 3 injections I had to numb the area. The procedure was a relatively quick and whilst it wasn't painful, I could feel pressure which was uncomfortable. 

So now it's a waiting game. I will get my results within a month and hopefully, it will confirm that the all the abnormal cells have been removed. The nurse said 95% of the time, the results do come back clear. After that, I will need to go back for another smear test in 6 months and if that comes back as normal, I will go back to having them every 3 years again. 

To say the past couple of weeks have been stressful, would be an understatement. There have been times where I have feared the worst an thought about leaving Alfie and Michael or having to fight cancer. I dread to think what could have happened had I not have gone for that smear test. I would be sat here none the wiser and there could have been a very real chance that I would have developed cervical cancer in the future. 

Please ladies, if you've not been for a smear, or if you are over due to go for one, please don't delay and put it off. A few minutes of being uncomfortable could save your life. 

Meal Planning Monday #13 {22 June}


It's safe to say, last week didn't not go to plan. AT. ALL. I'm so disappointed as I had really thought about last week's meals and even got hubby involved. 

When I picked Alfie up from nursery on Monday night, I knew there was something wrong. He was lay down outside and burst into tears as soon as he saw me and clung to me asking me to carry him to the car. Something he never does. Before we had even got to the car, he was sick everywhere. By everywhere, I literally mean all over me, it was down my top, on my arms, in my hoody.... all over the floor. He was sick three times in the space of five minutes. I felt so, so sorry for him. He not a sicky child and he was so upset at being sick :( Luckily, my mother in law was in the car so she came in to help and spare me some embarrassment of being covered and sticking of sick. Great first impression to make on some of the Mum's I'd never seen before! 

We got him home and noticed he had a few more spots, which were like warts. I had noticed a few red spots on him over the weekend but they appeared to be just , but spots or a little rash, but these were warts. So off to the pharmacy we went and the Pharmacist confirmed our suspicions. It was chicken pox. For the rest of the week, he was really quite poorly and out of sorts, not himself at all. So our meals were quick one's I could make or pizza's and the chippy (oops). 

I'm pleased to say that he finally seems to be on the mend this week and I think we are definitely on the mend. 

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. With Alfie being so ill, and it being Father's Day on Sunday, we didn't do a food shop, so we are eating up what we have in. Needless to say, this week isn't great. 

Monday: Smash pizza
Tuesday: Turkey breast, rice and veg
Wednesday: Chicken and bacon pasta bake with side salad
Thursday: slimming world spiced chicken and potato wedges
 Friday: We will probably have nacho's, fajita's or enchiladas

What are you eating this week? 

As always, I'm linking up to at home with Mrs M. You can also link up on twitter using the hashtag #mealplanningmonday via @madamding

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Monday, 15 June 2015

Meal Planning Monday #12 {15 June}

Monday again? That has come round so quickly! I can't believe we are already half way through the year. Crazy! 

I had a really, really bad week last week food wise. I just wanted to eat everything that is bad for me, so I decided to have a week off healthy eating and not worry about counting calories or syns.(Mother Nature has paid a visit which explains why I wanted to eat everything in sight). It was refreshing being 'off' the diet as I am so very bad at dieting. I am a fussy eater and I don't really like much fruit and veg, which makes it very difficult to eat healthily. That's probably why I'm the size I am. Speaking of which, I am becoming more and more unhappy but I can't seem to get in the right mindset. I thought over the weekend is there much point in trying so hard to lose weight when we are planning to have another baby and I'll put it all back on again... I think I was just looking for another excuse to be honest. I was huge by the time I had Alfie - I put weight on everywhere despite eating loads of fruit and as much veg and salad as I could. Looking back on pictures from when I was 37 weeks (he was born at 39 weeks), I am huge and I think that's why I never lost it all after I'd had him. So, I'm not going to use the fact that I want to get pregnant as an excuse as to why I can't lose weight now. 

Anyway, I digress. 

This week, I did our meal plan whilst sat  in Starbucks, drinking peppermint tea and pouring over my slimming world book for inspiration. My hubby actually had an input in this weeks plan as I gave him the book and told him to choose some meals as I was getting bored of making the same things. 

So here is what's on the menu this week: 

Monday: Sausage casserole and mash / sweet potato mash and veg
Tuesday: Lamb vindaloo for Michael and burger in a bowl for me
Wednesday: Slimming World spiced chicken with sweet potato wedges and salad
Thursday: Griddled turkey with rice and veg
Friday: slimming world hot dogs
Saturday: Slimming World curry

For lunches I'll be having salad on the days I'm at work and the days I have lunch at home I'll be having leek and potato soup, smash pizza and a picnic on Friday with Alfie (weather permitting).

As always, I'm linking up with at home with Mrs M and over on twitter (Madamding) 

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Monday, 8 June 2015

Meal Planning Monday #11 {08 June}



I can't believe it's already Monday! Where has this weekend gone? The weeks are flying by at an alarming rate!!

I've really struggled with my meal plan this week. On Saturday, it was our 5 year anniversary, so the last place we wanted to be was in a busy supermarket, meaning we haven't done a proper food shop this week. I did a very quick one online last night, to be delivered by 8pm tonight.

I also find I struggle as the weather gets warmer. My hubby won't eat salad, so whereas on warmer evenings, I'd probably opt for a big chicken salad or something similar, I'm finding that I'm still having to cook a proper meal, which can be torture when it's so hot outside. Can anyone else not be bothered cooking when the weather is so nice? 

Anyway, here is what I am planning to make this week:

Monday: Cheese and bacon pasta bake
Tuesday: Chicken in a herb sauce with rice and veg/salad
Wednesday: Sausage, mash and beans
Thursday: Lasagne with side salad but the sauces will be sw sauces, no jars here!
Friday: Chicken fajitas with lots of lettuce and peppers loaded on mine
Saturday: Slimming World curry 

What's on your menu this week? I would love some inspiration!

*As always, I'm linking up to at home with Mrs M  and you can join in over on on twitter - @madamding
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