Living in Maintenance

On a random, uneventful Thursday evening this September, I had the most momentous emotional meltdown ever.  Looking back, it had been swelling inside me for a few months but that one evening, the stars collided causing a tumultuous wave of emotions to come flooding and......

I initially started writing Mrs Brown’s Blogs to make sense of my son’s leukaemia diagnosis in January 2016.  I wrote because I couldn’t talk.  I interacted because I couldn’t listen.  I shared because it was tearing me up inside.  In a unique twist of turns,......

This is written with sincerest of apologies.  How I have neglected my blog in recent weeks!  Obviously, this is a sign that life is getting in the way of my musings and thoughts which on the whole is a positive thing indeed.  Childhood cancer is......

Please bear with me,  I am writing this with apprehension.  Not because of the content or feelings it may evoke – purely because it is my first blog on the new website. Now, whilst I love change and challenge, getting to grips with a new......

I’m not sure if a one-year countdown is really in the true spirit of a countdown but I’m already getting excited at the prospect of Felix finishing treatment. We are not 100% sure of the exact date yet, this will be confirmed by our consultant......

My blog has always been a means through which I have tried to make sense of this crazy world we live in.  Whether it is exploring my feelings and experiences of having a child with cancer or a personal view about a current issue or......

So, 2017 was all about being human, simplicity and leukaemia … still.  The leukaemia is always there but I consciously try not to give it the attention it craves.  Instead, I want to celebrate what it means to be human and the simplicity of this......

So this year, we are very much looking forward to a lovely imperfect Christmas.  We won’t be sharing out Christmas day with aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces and nephews as is depicted on those oh so wonderful Christmas adverts.  We are not spending endless evenings with......

In the last 24 hours, another family and community have been ripped apart by the devastating news that a young girl has died from cancer. The statistics tell us that cancer in children is rare – it feels far from that at the moment. I had......

It’s been so long since my last blog and this has been a conscious decision following Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  The response to my #ablogaday was phenomenal and thank you to everyone who contributed and all who engaged with it.  What I was not prepared......

Doing the dishes is something I hated doing, it made me feel like a non-stop washing machine I felt anything but human while doing this despised chore.  Oh, how I loathed a full sink no matter how many times I cleared it the sink would......

When we’re born it’s all about our firsts.  Our first poop, our first smile, our first sleep through the night.  Then we celebrate the first step, the first word, the first day at school.  It’s all about firsts. As we get older those firsts dwindle......

Such a simple message but one which often gets overlooked in our busy and hectic lives.  The older we get, the more we seem to miss the wonder and awe in the world around us.  Find the Wonderful in Today is the family motto of......

I am running. Yes, I am running.  Not very fast, not very elegantly, but I am running. I often forget to breathe, have a constant runny nose and it probably looks like I may well collapse at any moment. But I am running. I am......

I feel as though I need to apologise for my lack of commitment lately.  I haven’t blogged for a month which is a sure sign that life is returning to some sense of normal with a bit of crazy stuff thrown in! A year ago......

Since when did it become OK to swear so readily?  Why has our use of language become such that it is deemed to be acceptable to profoundly swear when writing about everyday occurrences?  I am by no means innocent when it comes to swearing.  I......

So, as it turns out, men don’t read my blogs.  To be fair, I don’t think my husband reads them.  He dutifully likes and shares them but I don’t think he gets much past the first sentence. With this in mind, this blog makes me......

This was the most valuable parenting advice I ever received.  It was a nugget that someone gave my sister and continues to help me when things seem hard. Whether it’s a bout of teething, relentless early mornings or teenager tantrums, it will pass. Don’t relax......

The oohs and the aahs from his friends when my 8-year-old rocked up to school with this lump of ice yesterday gave him Ice Man status for about 3 minutes.  Boy, did he relish those 3 minutes.  The devastation when he realised that he would......

OK, so we are slowly meandering towards the year anniversary of Diagnosis Day.  How do I feel about it?  A little bit weird actually. It’s not the date of 28th January so much, but the sensory associations that are paramount at the moment.  There is......

This is what being a finalist in the UK Blog Awards 2017 means to me. It is a celebration of the goodness and kindness in people all around us and a recognition of the difference that exists among us. This difference is often overlooked and......

Nothing matches or coordinates but I love our Christmas tree and all that it symbolises.  The kids and Dad would love a tree that is coordinated: Felix would love a tree adorned with silver and white whereas Dad would love a ‘Red and Black’ theme......

Wow, what a night. Such an honour to attend the National Fundraising Awards 2016 which celebrates excellence in Fundraising.  We were there because of the efforts of Felix and all of those wonderful people who have supported him and his amazing fundraising efforts since his......

As autumn turns to winter, change is taking place all around us.  The leaves that are changing colour and fluttering by, the warmth in the air that is giving way to the crisp and cold mornings and the imminent expectation of the festive season.  Life......

OK, so that all sounds very dramatic but it popped into my head the other Monday morning whilst negotiating the school run.  This is how I felt, like I was beginning to rise again from the chaos and uncertainty of the past. I can pinpoint......

I have always loved the number 44.  It’s a bit out of character for me really as it’s just a number, how can you ‘love’ a number?  No idea why, I just have a thing for the number 44.  So, as we welcomed the New......

When the world around us seems to be spiralling out of control, we need to keep in our minds the good in our lives if we want to avoid getting dragged into the momentum of hate and violence.  In the last few days, we have......

We’re going to miss it this year, Felix and I. As a household full of kids and teachers, this time of year usually symbolises the ultimate in hysteria, panic and excitement.  As I type, I can sense the feeling of utter disbelief and euphoria as......

Whilst pottering around the other morning,  I heard a snippet of a TV programme discussing the idea that schools should be teaching children how to be happy.  I nearly spat my coffee out, I was speechless.  Really, it’s that easy, kids if you’re not happy,......

Well, that was quite a week wasn’t it. On reflection, the emotions played out have been as unpredictable as the British weather.  There have been spells of utter happiness, interludes of stress with a huge front of sadness and disbelief.  In hindsight, I wish I had......

Today is EU referendum day.  At last I hear many people cry.  But what has it meant for me? One thing for sure is that my children have become more politically aware which is something I am grateful for.  In the past, the complexity of......

As Father’s Day comes around again, I know it won’t only be different for us this year but it will be different for many other people as well.  Whilst I used to think it was lovely to celebrate days such as Father’s Day, I now......

“For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part”… This was all far too traditional for us 14 years ago so we made our own vows up as many people do now. I think the idea was......

They don’t come along very often but when they do they are like crawling, jittery insects. And I know what it is, it’s because I’m tired.  Simple as that.  I’ve always had worry nights as most people do.  Sunday nights feature quite regularly in the......

Well, I didn’t think I would ever write a blog about the end of the football season and the sadness it brings.  It feels like a never-ending void is ahead of us, much like the end of a long-term relationship that was once full of......

What a change this has been for us. As a family, we have always been regimented and ordered, even when came it to our leisure time.  With both of us working full-time we’ve had to be.  From routines in the morning to what we do......

Chemo, chemo, chemo. Before Felix’s diagnosis, I didn’t think I had the right to casually abbreviate chemotherapy to chemo.   Bizarrely, I felt that it was only those people who had cancer or were directly involved with cancer, who had the right to use the......

Boy oh boy, this was the best piece of advice we were given at diagnosis. I can remember, when we first came home after his first block of treatment, he hadn’t really washed for two weeks.  His battered body still had remnants of the iodine......

Driving is when I have the opportunity to gauge my stress levels. As a full-time teacher and Mum of three, I have always enjoyed a busy and hectic life.  There are always points in the year which are more stressful than others.  For us, this......

This is one of my  conscious thoughts when I am in hospital with Mr Felix. Whilst I am in hospital with him, there is the constant anxiety regarding the life saving treatment he is having, the risk of infection and the psychological impact of his......

Cancer silences and isolates,  this is why I have so much to say. I am fortunate to have a wonderful support network of family and friends who all take their time to make sure that we are loved and supported.  I have people to laugh,......

Football gets bad press. And why shouldn’t it?  There have been scandals galore, both on and off the pitch.  From the players to the governing body there have been allegations of drug abuse, fraud, child sexual exploitation, match-fixing and so on.  Football provides the media......

This is the dichotomy I find myself in. I had ruthlessly cleared the shed of tins of paint, broken but hoarded gardening equipment and a variety of plastic garden toys and made my way to the local tip.  It was a bright and sunny Sunday......