Hi everyone again – a wee summary to get up to date again.
On 1 June 2013, I was told I had brain mets (widespread tumours over 20 – greedy bitch). I was successfully treated with radiotherapy to the head and significantly reduced the tumours. Good results.
After being given 2 months. I successfully settled into my life and started the gym and walking – everything going great – even booking holidays etc. On Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 I went to the school for my last time and just to up-date them on my excellent progress.
Next day, Friday, 31 Jan 2014 my mother and younger brother Gavin came over to Central station where I collected them in good spirits. As soon as I got into the car, I had flashing lights on right hand side of my eye. I have had it before indicating a drop in blood pressure – not too concerned...
I had lunch from Greggs and then straight to bed. We had planned to go to Tony Macaroni's for a meal. By 4.00 pm my head was splitting sore – I knew it was time to get to hospital...
I was taken right away into A&E. I was groaning for f*****g pain killers – but they needed to assess me and get a line into my arm to administer the morphine. They couldn’t the get a line in.
4 bloody attempts – 3 nurses and 1 doctor tried – veins are crap now because of all my chemo treatment.
My progress was getting worse because of the time spent trying to get a line in. I was asked questions like “What day is it?” “Who is the Prime Minister?” I answered the questions but could not get the words out but I knew the answer I was suffering from dystop??? and a sidie (losing control of communicating). I could still shout “F**k, F**k several times to get pain killers. The doctor asks the Big man is this normal cursing – “oh yes”.
I was eventually given 16 mg of steroids, morphine and an anti sickness drip. Within 30 minutes talking away as normal – thank God. After the anti-sickness drug I was sick into 2 bowls and pissed myself (full bladder emptied) relief.
I told the male nurse I didn’t need the toilet anymore – I just laughed it off and got clean hospital clothes – then up-to the Ward 3 in Hairmyres in East Kilbride
Next day, I got a CT scan revealing the tumours were bigger by 1 1/2 times. I then decided to go home – couldn’t stand an old 85 year old complaining over nothing I have been given a 5 month death sentence and she still moaning.
But you guys all know – I do not do time lines because no one knows only God – so my life is in God hands and he has been good to me. I very much believe in miracles and Gods path for me.
0n Wednesday, 5 Feb 2014 I started a 10 day radiotherapy treatment. Last time, it was over 5 days more intensive treatment.
I also had a CT scan, Tuesday 18 Feb 2014, to check that it’s not spread to my bones, blood, chest, pelvis, kidneys etc.
I am seeing my consultant on Thursday, 20 Feb for the results and organize what the next stage in drugs I will be given.
Remember, I couldn’t get the drug lapatanib (Trial A drug) I got the other trial drug – capecetabine (Trial B drug) that was no good thats why my tumours have increased 1 ½ times.
Before the trial began, I asked the consultant if its was his wife what drug would he give her – Lapatanib, from the horses mouth. I accepted the only drug available and left it in good hands because he knows best.
What ever is thrown at me, I am ready to keep fighting with a strong, Irish dignity because I will continue to keep light hearted and positive and putting my total faith in God gives me my total strength, acceptance and peacefulness. I do cry every night in bed quietly when Jim’s sleep – my wee personal time – it helps relieve the stress of the day. I am only human and don’t think about how I cope because I only know one way that is being positive and a fighter from Belfast.
I have been on steroids for the last 3 weeks, started from 16 mg a day for 1 week, then 8 mg, then 4mg and then 2 mg. I promise I have not went haywire this time – the only problem not sleeping but I can sleep during the day – not really a problem.
I can’t wait to get up in the morning and get my house DIY (of course the Big Man does not let me lift a hand but I certainly organize him) did you know that the big man is my carer. He gets £56 a week.
The steroids have now blown my face up (puffiness) not worried about going out – I just don’t give a shit. It will die down over the next couple of weeks.
Hair loss is now inevitable, so in the next 3 weeks it will be gone – not a problem – it will be my 3rd time. Baldy.
My Big Man is amazing, talented, protective, caring and does everything for me – therefore I have been spoiled totally but I do organize and tidy up.
Jim and I over the last few weeks have redecorated the full house:
Carleen and Orlaiths’ room
The reason why we never had money spare to buy rugs , curtains, lights because we always got the cheapest. I am still getting quality stuff because of the January sales – fantastic bargains.
I want my house to be a warm, welcoming, friendly place for my family, friends and neighbours.
All organized with The Co-Operative Funeral care in East Kilbride. I want to have a say in all that happens and cost:
Coffin Traditional Oak £380
Hygienic Treatment (make up) £75
Professional Services £280
Mum flowers (yellow) £100
Order of Service (100 colour copies) £144
Memorial Cards (100 colour laminated) £74
Notice in the local News Paper £125
12 Yellow roses for the burial £25
Reception into the Church £150
Hearse & personnel to conduct funeral £705
2 limousines £360
Interment Fees £76
Collection of my body & £485
Adice, support and liaison with arrangements
Open coffin in the funeral home (Rosary in Hall)
We paid a £1,000 deposit and over 12 months interest free at £276 a month – a good deal.
Remember this is not a negative process – its has given me comfort that the Big Man has no worries and all my wishes are met and that Jim and I have agreed. And very contented its out of the way. Never to be looked at again.
Rustic 3ft Head Stone – black. Grey
Deposit on my head stone £200
3 plot - only allocated on death. £1,070
Picture (me) £ 112
Inclusive of Vat & cemetery fees
To celebrate the Wonderful life of
Annette O’ Connor
“I told you , I had a headache”Big Man LoL
Loved by all
My 3 daughters, husband, twin,
sisters, brothers, mum & dad, family, friends and pupils.
Sleep in peace Mum
(Jim’s wee bit)
I have printed leaving letters for my children, friends, nieces, nephews. I just need to do Jim, twin, sisters, mum & dad. I went into the town centre Starbucks and wrote them all. Very emotional to my children.
I did not asked to be popular with so many good friends – and I mean they are good decent people – I've just been blessed with lots of friends and neighbours – so lots of letters.
Yes – I am planning a romantic holiday for the Big Man and I to Ireland – Letterkenny 5 days trip in April 2014.
We are going on a Caledonian bus trip costing £240 each that includes:
Pick up from Hamilton
Ferry to Belfast straight to Letterkenny
Favourite Hotel – Mount Erigal
4 evening meals and bed and breakfast
Day trip to Giants Causeway
Day trip to Donegal. – getting pissed
Not to miss out - older sister and husband are coming down on the Thursday night too get pissed and then the Big Man and I travel home on the Friday to my kids.
MY brother and sister-in- law are kindly looking after my children for the 5 long nights – kids will be out at school and nursery all day. So not too bad.
When I was told that the tumours had increased, we asked Father Ness from St Brides Church, East Kilbride to come to our home. He came straight away to our house on the Sunday evening.
I firstly apologised to Father Ness for not being a regular mass goer.But I told him that I have a deep faith and do pray daily. I told him that I think God has chosen me to go younger (early forties) but I still have lots of fight. God know what he has planned for me and I accept it and I simply am contented and enjoying my life fully.
I spoke to the priest about acceptance from day one – and I have peace and contentment with my family.
The priest commented that he was here 7 months ago and he couldn’t believe that my home life has not changed in atmosphere, everyone doing well and that the home was charmed with grace. He told us other families have crumbled (I totally understand the pressure).I told him acceptance has given me so much peace that he commented I was a unique person.
I absolutely loved the very special compliment.
Please leave a comment - I love to hear your thought on the blog. Annette O'Connor Bredin
ps don't worry about grammar or spelling - enjoy blog readers