Effervesce.

When life knocks you down, calmly get back up, smile, and say. "You hit like a bitch."


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Support.

We have the best Family and Friends. Throughout this whole transplant journey, with the ups and downs, the devastating news, the good news, the support we received was amazing. When I told people our first transplant was cancelled, people really rallied around, we were phoned and comforted and everyone cried with us, it wasn’t just contained between the 4 of us, we all got support from our various family and friends, it was such a devastating blow. When we got the good news, everyone was overjoyed with us.

In hospital on the 21st of May this year, waiting for our surgery, we were phoned, sms’ed, e-mailed, whatsapped and there might have been some smoke signals from New Zealand too! Hahahahahahahahaha!!! Stian’s family sent sms’es to Elize and Stian, their friends phoned and texted, our Family from all over the globe sent texts and e-mails, Pete’s sister Cathy has been such an amazing support for us, her and her husband Chris has been there for us through thick and thin. When I started dialysis she would phone Pete all the way from NZ almost daily, she was so worried about us both, but she very importantly let Pete talk, he was going through such a tough time and his Sister was very much there for him, he really needed it. Then Pete’s cousin Jean in England Whatsapped us quite a bit, she would send messages and prayers, it was so good of her. Pete’s other cousin Bridget in Natal was also such a sweet support for us. My Mom couldn’t be with us at the hospital so she phoned alot, sent messages and was just there in spirit. She was the taxi driver for the day, had to take the boys to hockey and to music lessons. She was a great help that day. Pete’s parents are quite old and dealing with some serious health issues at present so we didn’t ask them for help, they were dealing with enough as it was. But they phoned often and always asked how we were doing and how we were holding up. They were so excited to hear we were going to finally have our transplant.

Then there are my friends, my best friend Tanya is such a sweety, she’s always BBM’ing to see how I’m doing, can get rather heated if she feels I don’t listen! Hahahahahaha! But she was so supportive the whole time. Her husband Steve actually showed up at the hospital when Elize and I were in theatre, Pete and Stian really needed it, they were freaked out of their minds because we were gone so long, so him showing up at the hospital was a real Godsend.

I have some very special friends in Cape Town, Brenda and Luke, they BBM’ed me lots on the day of the transplant, and kept me busy when I was seriously bored in ICU. They were both so supportive while I was in hospital, when I had a scare they would be there on my phone talking me through whatever I was feeling. They haven’t met each other, so when Pete and I go to the Cape again we are all going to have lunch or coffee together. My oldest friend in Cape Town also sent me messages of encouragement, it was so sweet to hear from all my friends. I would have loved to see my CT friends in hospital, but it’s a bit far you know!

Then we had great support from Pete’s best friends, Leon who lives in New York and Matthew and his wife Isobel who lives in Canada, they e-mailed and Facebooked and generally encouraged us through all of this. It’s hard when good friends are far away, sometimes you just want to hook up and have a visit, but we will have to make a plan with that and go see them some time.

Then I have a friend in Australia, Donald, he’s such a sweety, he’s always on FB liking this or commenting on that. And Mike, always been supportive of Pete and I he’s also been with us through thick and thin, such a sweet person really.

And Effie, our sweet Greek teacher and Essie our friend in Mauritius, they have been so sweet through  this whole journey.

And then there is my little Sis, Simone, she is a true warrior that one, feisty and always there, she wears her heart on her sleeve, and even though she has gone through some major crap in her life, she will put it all aside and be there for us. She is such a part of our daily lives.

And my Sister Elize and her husband Stian, they are our rocks, we know we can always rely on them no matter what. WE as a family will be eternally grateful for what they have done for us, it has been such a privilege to have them be such a huge part of our lives. Greater support we could not ask for. On a later date I will post what my Sister has gone through for this transplant.

I would like to thank each and everyone who is a part of our lives, and our journey from the bottom of my heart, without these people in our lives, it would have been pretty lonely.

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”- John Henry Jowett

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Reflections

I haven’t been blogging a lot, I have lacked inspiration these last few weeks. Hopefully things change in the near future!

As I look back on this past year, I realise that I  have been reflecting all year long already. I’m not the type of person who reflects on each anniversary every year. I do a year maybe 2. There will always be more anniversaries in the making. But this year has been one, long anniversary. As I think back I see how far I’ve come in2012.

January 15th: My 39th birthday. The last of my 30’s. And I am sad to see the end of my 30’s. I know there are better things waiting for me in my 40’s, nonetheless, I really enjoyed my 30’s.

February 21: It’s been a year since my diagnosis with renal failure. I remember thinking”Wow! It’s been a year already!” I was full of hope for a transplant, little did I know how badly wrong it will all go. As it turns out, it wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

March: March wasn’t a good month at all. I was very low, and all sorts of things went wrong. But again, turned out to be a good thing in my life.

May 2nd: My eldest tuns 15! In 5 years he will be 20! Almost unbelievable! But there you go,Pete and I didn’t do an altogether bad job of raising our boys. He’s an intelligent, charming, well mannered, helpfull, kind, generous and very supportive person. I couldn’t be more proud if I tried.

My Eldest, Timothy.

My Eldest, Timothy.

August: The boys started a new journey. More on that next year.

October 20: My youngest tuns 14. My baby is all grown up! I look at him and can’t believe he’s so big. But again, not a bad job on our part. He’s an intelligent, sensitive, sweet, charming, well mannered, kind, generous and supportive person. Again, I couldn’t be more proud. We also went on our first holiday with my dialysis machine. Quite a landmark in my journey. And a new one begins.

My youngest Phillip.

My youngest Phillip.

December 10th: We put up our Christmas tree.  I stood doing the very same thing a year ago, reflecting on how I  felt the previous year this time. And how I felt last year this time. 2 distinctly different people stood there decorating the tree. And this year, I feel so well.  So different to 2 years ago, so different to a year ago. I’m so much better.

December 21st: Ok, so the world was supposed to end today, but didn’t. Big surprise! The world did not end, but I broke my left wrist and got myself booked into trauma ICU. Pete and I were running late, I had my 3 monthly renal blood tests to do, Christmas shopping to finish and I had a nail appointment with Valentine. So we were rushing, I got out of the bath, walked too fast into our bedroom, slipped on the wooden floors and broke my wrist.  Pete rushed me to hospital, the Dr gave my wrist one look and said “Admit her.”

Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!! It’s Christmas on TEUSDAY! So into high care I go. A few blood test later and I get sent to trauma ICU. The Drs don’t like to operate when renal patient’s chemical levels aren’t perfect. So for the first time in my life I use my fistula. Not a happy moment for me. The Drs operated on me on Sunday. Apparantly my wrist was in a mess. Broken in 5 places. Took the Drs 2 hours to fix.  Anyway, long story short,  I got myself out of hospital in time for Christmas, against both my Drs. advice. but they don’t know me yet! Everyone thought I was going to spend Christmas in hospital. Wasn’t gonna happen! I moved heaven and earth and I got what I wanted!

December 25th: Christmas! I’m home! We had my parents in law and my Sister and BIL, over, they had a last minute change of plans and we included them on Christmas. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without them anyway! We had a really fun time! My Sister had a blast trying to make animal balloons! it was pretty funny watching her, deep in concentration trying to get the balloon to comply!

My table was different this year. i usually have a colour scheme, but this year I wanted something colourful, all different colours.

A table setting. I believe in lots of crackers!

A table setting. I believe in lots of crackers!

A completed table seting.

A completed table setting.

The whole table.

The whole table.

No party is complete without balloons! I LOVE balloons!

No party is complete without balloons! I LOVE balloons!

Anyway, HAPPY HOLIDAYS! And I  truly hope that 2013 is the best year ever, for all of us! We need to show those Myans how to live!

Wishing everyone happy holidays and a fantastic 2013!

Wishing everyone happy holidays and a fantastic 2013!

Norman Vincent Peale
One of the greatest moments in anybody’s developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is.


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A big thank you to my Brother-in-law!

I have the best brother-in-law. He always helps me with anything IT related. Heck he just always helps. Whatever we need whenever we need it. He’s the most patient (he’s REALLY very patient) kindest, sweetest guy.  I changed my blog theme, I’ve had the same theme for years, and being very fussy I never really liked the themes WordPress came up with, until I found the one I’m currently using. But being the techno turd I am I had no idea how to size photographs. So I asked him for help. And he didn’t hesitate to jump on his PC and do what I wanted. He sized the 3 photos at the top of my blog header to fit. I’m so impressed with him. He did it so fast and so well. Now I love my blog header. He’s just the coolest guy. My boys adore their Uncle.

So here’s a big thank you Stian. You are a dedicated guy. We love you so much!

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you. Desmond Tutu.


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The In-Laws are coming!

Ok, so in September Pete’s Sister and family will be visiting us. And we really love them, they are a great family. She’s been such a good Aunt to my boys. Always sends a card for their birthdays and when they visit they bring lots of pressies for missed birthdays and Christmasses. But with them comes the forced visits with Pete’s brother and his wife. Note I don’t call her my Sister-in-law. She is FAR from any Sister of mine. We have had our fair share of family ups and downs, and this woman goes out of her way to make things worse. I’m sure most family’s have one of those creatures. I won’t say anymore, she is not worth my time.

It’s always a whirlwind visit with Pete’s Sister. We try and put so much time in when they are here. We are going away for a few nights with them. And we have to do a lot of visiting. And when they leave it will be sad to see them go. We are desperate to visit them in NZ but I just don’t want to travel with my ball and chain. So I need kidney function to travel. Know where I can buy some?

When we do get to travel again, it will probably feel like I’m a whole different person, I try and imagine what that would be like, but I can’t see past “this” know what I mean? We used to love travelling, and planned so many trips, but that’s all on hold. For now.

Anyway, I have to come up with a few things to do with the kids. Pete’s niece and nephew are still young and full of energy. I organised a treasure hunt for them 2 years ago, with maps and buckets. And now I don’t know what to do. I will buy some kiddy X-Box games for them to play, I looked at a few and will buy them this month. But other than that, I’m not sure what to do with a 9 year old and a 5 year old. Will have to put my thinking cap on!

I just hope there isn’t a big hoohaa this time. I’m SO tired of family drama. All I can hope for is that their trip will be smooth and everyone behaves.

“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.” 


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Just because we can!

On Saturday we had my Dad over for tea, he’s really looking forward to moving to Natal, I must say, I don’t second that notion! But he’s really not very well, he’s looking tired and ill, so the change of pace and weather will do him the world of good. Then we had Elize and Stian over for a braai later in the afternoon. It was our “Tri-nations final” braai. Off course SA won, so we had to celebrate our country’s victory! It was one the best evenings we’ve had in a long time! We always have fun with them, but Saturday night was just amazing. Pete made a big bon-fire and we sat outside untill 11pm. We were toasty warm next to the fire. I can’t wait for those balmy summer evenings, when it’s actually warm at night, those are my favourite!

 Elize and I were discussing our lives and where we are with everything. How our lives are quite similar in many respects. When I was diagnosed with this aweful disease in 1994, the Nephrologist  who diagnosed me said I would probably not live beyong age 30, and here I am at 36. I should probably go and show him I’m still around. My own Nephrologist has his own opinions about life expectancy, and I off course have my own expectations. I don’t plan on falling off my perch until I’m really old! I do believe that God will heal me and I’m holding onto that. Without our faith in God we really do have nothing.

What strikes me about life is how it just carries on. It doesn’t matter what we face, life is quite unstoppable. Even though there were times when I would have wanted it to stop, but just for a short while. We need to do our best with what we have been given, and that’s what makes life worth living.

I’m truly excited for the future. There are so many things still to come. Even the unexpected, past hopes and dreams will be realised and surprise us all. I love that. It makes me want to jump out of my skin with excitement! I also have a little something in the pipelines, won’t say much now, but soon all will be revealed.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”