Saturday 6 December 2014

Celebrate Moments - CSI challenge with S365-10

Welcome to my blog gentle people, it's lovely to have your company.
I hope you will find something to inspire you and perhaps
take the time to leave me a comment.
Here is the challenge for this week, you have until Dec 31st to enter.
To see what the guests and design team have created.
I find it difficult to achieve accurate colour when photographing white and ivory, so this looks a bit muddy - it's much better IRL
Because I had a lot of journalling I tried to keep 
the layout fairly simple and use lots of white space.
The mason jar is from American Crafts.
Some lovely Kaisercraft collectables, "On this day"
The embossed brick stamp is by Deep Red
Love the versatile words from Scrapmatts Words, 01 and 03
A few sparkly bits from Prima and it's finished.
I did have a whoopsy with the stamping,
so I just cut it out to the shape I wanted 
and stuck it on a new piece of card stock.

Embossing powder

I went to the Journal Jar prompts and chose to write about the most serious illness I have had.

This photo was taken around the five year mark, when I felt almost brave enough to hope for a future.  But the slightest thing could push me off kilter, extinguish the hope; send me down dark alleyways, swept along by fear and tossed helplessly on rough seas of despair.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, the story began years before, when the specialist told me I had Cancer, that I needed to have radical, invasive surgery and that the odds of survival were 50/50.

I felt angry and cheated that this could happen when I ate healthily, was not overweight and exercised regularly.  Why me? What had I ever done to deserve this?  I felt out of control, confused by different medical opinions and raped by invasive procedures.

Because of my nursing experience, I knew exactly what to expect and that increased my terror; I’d assisted at the surgery they proposed, which left the operating theatre looking like a slaughter house.

If I died, no one else would Mother my children as well as I could, nurture them with loving kindness and steer them on the path to adulthood. How would my husband cope with working and raising the children on his own?  

The post operative pain was beyond description, only eased by a superb night nurse who topped up my pain medication, before positioning me as gently as a new born.  I never saw her face, but I would recognise her soothing voice anywhere. The nights seemed interminable; once I recall sitting bolt upright in bed and screaming “I want my Mother!”  My body ached and my heart ached for her loving arms. 

We were blessed by the kindness of family and friends, who provided meals, did the laundry and collected children from school. They brought books and flowers and massaged my aching body.  

I have disabilities because of the surgery, but I have gifts too.  If someone had asked me, if I wanted to waltz with Jack Dancer I would have said a resounding NO.  But there are gifts which came with it. Previously a bit of a pessimist and inclined to melancholy, I’ve learned not to worry too much about the future, to enjoy each moment, to stop and smell the roses, to tell people I love them and to be grateful that I’m one of the 50% who survived.  My glass is always half full.   Journalling 5th Dec 2014  



  1. Beautiful layout Helen and what a fantastic story! I'm so happy that you are a survivor! :) Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for sharing your story with us!

  2. Aaah...then reading your journaling, how appropriate, as well as a lovely embellie, that jar becomes! I especially like the key dangling from it......& of course, you KNOW I simply have to mention your journaling looks fabulous right there on the page!!! What a journey. Oh, yes, I can imagine the terror of being a nurse & knowing what goes on in the theatre. ERK in the extreme. No idea you'd had such a big C scare.....& I am sooo glad it has been, in some ways, a positive experience:):)

  3. What a moving story Helen - and very brave of you to journal it on your blog. Glad that the outcome was successful.

    I really liked your layout with the space for journalling and lots of white space.

  4. What a beautiful photo of you Helen and what an amazing story - I'm sorry you had to go through this but I so admire your courage for taking the positives from it and moving on. Thanks for sharing this wonderful page with us :o)xxx

  5. This is so beautiful - such an amazing story of courage and strength! So glad you think of your cup as half full now! Fabulous!

  6. Such a deep, honest and open page Helen! have an amazing courage and tenacity for life! This page is testament to that! I love the softness and that beautiful photo of you! You are certainly beautiful inside and out and it certainly also was your plan to survive cancer and to spend a full life with your children! Strong, courageous, beautiful woman you are!!!! xxx

  7. Oh my, your journalling is so passionate and real, and your photo is so beautiful that the two things almost do not belong on the same page.. however it is so very very good to know you are in the best 50 % and your experience has made you a better stronger person.. thanks for sharing such moving moments from your life..

  8. OH HELEN , ANOTHER SPECTACULAR PIECE OF HEART FELT ART..... love the design, photo ( beautiful ) and the journaling .. you inspire me x

  9. Wow...your journalling is so raw and real. Thank you for telling your story and I am so glad that you survived and saw your children and now your grandchildren growing up, You are such an inspiration to me to "tell my story".

  10. Helen you are so brave, thanks for sharing your thoughts and story. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas season and memories with your family and friends. Hoping that 2015 bring many more joys and memories. big hugs XX

  11. Helen your story is an amazing one. The wonderful thing is that it's a survivor's story. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and your wonderful page.

  12. So effective! I adore white backgrounds!!

  13. Another spectacular layout - full of symbolism and hope. I have just come from CSI where I left you a message too. Your journalling has left me in tears as has much over the last few weeks and I am not sure why other than the obvious reasons. I have to say again that I am truly grateful that you are a survivor and that I got to make your acquaintance ... you have made my life and those around you too richer and full of gratitude. <3