Can cancer that has spread not only into her liver but also into the cavity behind her breastbone ever be considered good news? Well it seems so ... when what she has been dreading more than anything is that the cancer had spread into the bones themselves.

I love my mother. For all the complexities and difficulties in our relationship, still ... I love her. And I love the fact that she tried to cheer me up in the face of the news this week. I've always admired her strength. I know that there will come a time when the need to show strength when feeling anything but strong will come. And I know that I want to be there to offer whatever strength I can muster.

Gratitude is a strange word to use today. I will have to follow my mothers' example in this regard. You know, I don't talk much about AA on here or anywhere else really. Which is kind of odd given how instrumental it continues to be in my journey towards wellness. One thing I've learnt from listening and sharing with others dealing with lifes curve balls is that there are times when "keeping it in the day" can really help.

5 things I am grateful for today;

That the cancer is not in my mums bones.
20 months sobriety.
That the sun will rise tomorrow.
That mum and I are very likely to see the sunrise of another day.
That there is life beyond diagnosis.

This time of year

I am not the worlds best photographer that's for sure but even I can spot that there is something rather special about roses. Not only do they remind me of a rather special blogger friend, but they fill the whole area at the front of our home with a heady fragrance at this time of year. It's almost overwhelming and is just so so lovely.

I know nothing about flowers. I know they are beautiful though. And I know that looking at them reminds me of important things. Pausing to appreciate the delicacy of a flower petal ... watching as the days pass ... seeing the inexorable transformation from almost bare twigs, to leaved plant through buds all the way through to full blooms. How amazing nature is. Truly it is just breathtaking.

Take a look at these beauties ...

My mothers health has taken a turn for the worse. She goes back into hospital on Thursday for tests on a mass that showed up on her scan last week. A few months ago she started feeling increasingly unwell but this last month or so the affects have started to become all too obvious ... very marked weight loss, low energy, loss of interest in things, lack of appetite, general listlessness, more than usual confusion etc etc. Hence tests and more tests. Mum tells me that she believes the cancer has spread into her liver (the area in which the mass has appeared). She may be right but we shall wait and see.

Some days it is particularly important that we take time to pause ... to look in wonder at the beauty all around us in the world.

A Bit Of A Blow

Well we have come home from our camping trip unexpectedly early due to some inclement weather that played havoc with us ... and with our tent ...

... quite a "difficult" night was had with winds gusting up to force 9 but we came through relatively unscathed for which I am very thankful indeed. Trev was a total superstar and despite being soaked to the skin remained cheerful whilst we salvaged almost everything from the tent in the morning. We had had about an hours sleep all told. Normally this would precipitate loads of sniping and griping as we'd try to hold one another responsible for each of us feeling below par, I think we were both a bit subdued by the experience of sitting out gale force winds under a flimsy bit of cloth tied down with some rope and held up by a few fibre-glass poles.

Anyway it wasn't all gloom and doom by any means! There were some fantastic days on the beach with my two best surfer boy buddies ....

Oliver looking every inch of his newly 9 years of age ....

... and William looking so pleased with himself that just looking at him makes me feel warm inside. He is such a surfer boy you wouldn't believe the waves he wanted to try for!

Unfortunately my surfing days are behind me since my ear problems have affected my balance but not to worry as body boarding is a "no skill required" sport ... blimey I mustn't tell William that as he thinks himself highly skilled and who am I to argue with the flawless logic of a 6 year old?

All in all a jolly good time. I am glad to be home in one piece that's for sure.