Sunday, September 30, 2007 now what?

It is now nearly four months since Gordon died. He had a peaceful death with myself and our friend, Mary, by his side; his funeral was wonderful and he would have loved the Triumph motorcycle and sidecar hearse!

I have done the Glastonbury Festival, visited friends, been to France and, most important of all, been back home to Dzogchen Beara where we scattered some of Gordon's ashes by the prayer flags overlooking the new Spiritual Care Centre where he had wanted to die...but now what?

Life stretches ahead of me; perhaps one more day, perhaps forty more years...all without the Love of my Lives by my side. Every day I turn around to find him no longer there...I miss his smile, his ready laughter, his love of the absurd and his joy of being. I miss holding him and feeling the warmth of his heart infusing my soul...every day.

Sometimes I'm surprised that I can keep breathing because it hurts so much; sometimes I'm surprised that I can still smile and laugh...and I know I owe that to Gordon too. Half an hour before he died, I promised him that every breath I took , I would take for him and that I would live the rest of my life for him; that promise has kept me going through some extremely dark moments. I know that the last thing that Gordon would want for me is to hurt as much as I do...I can't help hurting but I can help letting that emptiness define me; I love him far too much to let that happen.

This will probably be the last entry in this blog as my Velvet Peanut is no longer here with me...if anyone ever reads this, know that somethings are worth having your heart broken for.

For Gordon...always.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


...and so it's come to that time. It's so strange to feel that we have prepared for the end for two and a half years and had a great time doing it! Gordon now only has a few weeks left (the oncologist said two to three months) and we are letting the cancer take its course.

Gordon is quiet but calm; he can no longer stand or walk so the prospect of taking him to Dzogchen Beara has been missed now...the transition from him feeling poorly on May, 9th to becoming bed bound by May, 11th was so rapid that we were caught rather unawares!! Still, if I can't take him to Dzogchen Beara then I will try to bring Dzogchen Beara to him...the lovely Matt has sent us a couple of wonderful posters which now adorn the bedroom (on the ground floor with steps leading out to the garden and with views over the fields and woods); we have the room full of posters and items that he loves...the "Looks Like Me" image is visible from the bed as is the shrine with its items from the shop (all of which bring his conversations with Scott and Kate to mind!) I have brought flowers to the top step of the patio doors where they blend in with the flowers inside the room that people have brought for him; there are three strings of prayer flags fluttering by the window, butter lamps burning and the cds that Mark did for us on the sound system. Debbie from London Rigpa has been to visit as have several Sangha friends...and the wonderful Mary and Cliff have rung from Lerab Ling and Ally has rung us from Dzogchen Beara. With all this support, it feels as if there is a warm blanket wrapped around our hearts so, apart from the odd moment when it all comes crashing in on me, it is a very peaceful and loving time.

Rinpoche has sent word that Gordon IS in his mind (Rinpoche's capitals and colour, not mine!) and we have the replacement Amrit from Rinpoche's personal stash that was stolen in our burglary at the start of May.

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary...not quite what I had envisaged back in 2003 but I wouldn't swap one day of the time we've spent together for a lifetime with anyone else. Gordon brought sunshine back into my life after twenty four years of being beaten and cowed by an alcoholic bully of a man; he gave my daughters their lives and confidence back and turned this home into a place of laughter and joy...he has a light which shines inside him that is still undimmed by this cancer and I feel priviledged to share this last journey with him. He will be 52 next Monday...horrendously young for such a light to die but with the help and support we have had from so many kind people, Rinpoche and the teachings, I know that we will be fine.

Thank you to all who read this for allowing me to share this tale...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Time to go home!

Countdown to Dzogchen Beara! Thursday will see us off to Ireland for another wonderful week of peace and meditation. Gordon is suffering a bit from the after effects of last week's chemo but he's rallying now and the prospect of a trip "home" always cheers him up.
The site for the new Spiritual Care Centre is being prepared (hope it's not too noisy!) and Gordon will do some more filming for the fund raising/training group...then they'll have dark haired Gordon, Brown haired Gordon and bald Gordon to watch! It's weird to know that he's working to help establish a place where he'll go to die...but neither of us can think of anywhere better to be.
Do go to and follow the links to the Spiritual Care's worth it!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More than a bit fed up! brain lesions and a new load of chemo; Gordon's hair which had grown back so well, is now starting to fall out again. It's really hard to cope and be positive at the moment...for the first time since the diagnosis, I'm really scared about losing him. I don't want to be left without him after waiting for him for so long...and on top of that my nearly 16 year old daughter seems to have decided I'm the worst mother in history; I feel like jam that been spread too far on life's toast...running around trying to be all things to all people and succeeding at nothing.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pics...just click on this one to see!

Back from Ireland!

Got back from a wonderful time in Ireland filming for Channel 4. Pics to follow! Lots of visits, lots of laughter and tears plus a wicked Christmas dinner with crackers, hats, tree and carols.
The weather was beautiful for much of the shoot so it was a bit of a surprise to get back to freezing fog in Birmingham!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Round 2!!

Bad news from the last oncologist's visit in November...two of the brain tumours are active again and the lung tumour looks more lively than last time so it's back to chemo in January. Have managed to get the oncologist to consider Gordon for the Gamma Knife as he can't have whole brain radiotherapy again. However, he needs new MRI info first so we're off there on Friday...then it's off to Dzogchen Beara for the next week!!

Gordon was asked to get involved in one of the "Three Minute Wonders" documentaries for Channel 4 and so they're flying us out there, giving us a car and paying for our should be shown in January and Gordon just hopes that it might touch someone else who has been touched by cancer and show them that there is another way to deal with it; he is such a wonderful man!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

The velvet peanut...continued!

The velvet peanut

So much has happened since the last post!! We had a blissful two weeks back "home" in Dzogchen Beara in August, an amazing blessing from Sogyal Rinpoche in September closely followed by news that Gordon's last CT scan showed his cancer was is good!

We also managed to raise some pennies for the new Spiritual Care Centre in Ireland and are hoping to rise some more soon. Gordon is determined to survive until it is built so that he can die in the peace and beauty that is Dzogchen check out its site and get involved if you can!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Star Garden at Shambhalla

Next visit due...

Back at school still...back from a wonderful stay at Shambhalla in Glastonbury (and a fantastic picnic courtesy of my sister as Gordon's birthday present!) and girding loins for the Oncologist on Thursday. Visiting Matthew Manning the day before...which is always a great am hoping for good news!

We had a letter from the hospital recently saying that his last blood test showed normal results for his liver & kidney fingers crossed!

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Have just got back from sister' nephew V. cute!! House in one piece and letter from oncologist saying that Gordon's brain scan shows a good improvement and is very encouraging...many, many hurrahs!!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The velvet peanut

The velvet peanut

So now it's April...the chemo is done, he now has two brand new pints of blood inside him and we can rest until the next appointment on 1st June...if "rest" is the right word!!

In the meantime I am getting less pissed off with the fact that I have had to "give up" my Head of Department role due to Gordon's illness and the absences they have caused me...I'm sure this must be against some employment law but life is too short to worry!!

Good things to come are another visit to the lovely Matthew Manning on Monday, a gig with Dara O'Briein on Tuesday...that's us going to see him not actually performing with him!! Then off to see my sister & family on Wednesday for a couple of days...more hurrahs!!

It will be strange being back at school in two weeks after so many weeks away but part of me is looking forward to it- plus it's then only five weeks till half term and a visit to Shambhalla in Glastonbury for Gordon's 51st birthday and our 3rd wedding aniversary...fab!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Healing afoot...

What a wonderful world this is that we live in!! Have had great support and encouragement from the "Mind, Body, Spirit- the Holistic Way" group on the fabulous site many lovely people there!!

Plus we have had fantastic healings...well, Gordon mainly! Matthew Manning in Suffolk is outstanding ( ) and has helped Gordon to regain his eyesight; then the Coping with Cancer charity in Leicester put us in touch with Ali Ladak...another wonderful healer who does a seated Japanese accupressure treatment- amazing stuff!!

All of which girds the loins for the 4th ( and, hopefully, last for a bit!) chemo course on Thursday...the oncologist couldn't see any further growth on the last x-ray of Gordon's lung tumours- hurrah!! But we are both looking forward to a break from the old Gemcitabine/Cisplatinum routine...

...and so I decided to get our my backside and do something to commemorate this moment and get myself and Fran ( now 18 year old daughter) to do the Race for Life in Loughborough in June...check out page for details etc. The lovely Chuck, who is a record producer in America and has re-released two of Gordon's albums, responded straight away...double hurrahs for Chuck!! As I said, what a wonderful world we do live in!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

These things I love...


Friday, January 13, 2006

resting at Dzogchen Beara...Ireland

gorgeous with hair...

The misplaced genius of a velvet peanut...

So...why the velvet peanut?

It is now two weeks since the long, flowing locks of my husband were pulled out after radiotherapy. I have to admit to some shock at having gone to bed when he had hair and got up to his being bald...but managed manfully to hide dismay! He has kept the hair he dislodged in a large plastic bag for me to keep before shaving the remaining tufts. His favourite nephew told him that his head resembled a peanut...once shaved and moisturised it felt surprisingly smooth and velvety to the touch...hence the velvet peanut!

I told my bass playing 17 year old daughter that The Velvet Peanuts was a great name for a band but was informed that people would just assume it had something to do with we kind of left it at that.

Had read bits of the cancergiggles blog and realised that the place for me to keep my random musings on the vagaries of being a cancer wife was here on the net where my husband couldn't find it and be upset at my makes it quite hard to be completely honest when you think that someone you love could see how much pain their condition is causing you by picking up a conventional journal!

So, this will be the place to be electronic, virtual "Dear Kitty" deal...only without all the hiding in attics from Nazis and certain least that's the plan!!

Chemo is due to start next week so we will wait and see how that develops...we have spent a veritable fortune on infusions of mega doses of Vit C etc and a strict regime of diet and supplements...all of which were working well until the money ran out. Six months later and the lung cancer has now spread to mets in the eye, brain and liver...why can't this at least be an option on the NHS? The oncologist's reaction to a good diet was " Why bother?" which felt rather like being given a death warrent...still at least we have stuffed the 50% chance of making 12 months deal Gordon was given. But now we are back to conventional treatments and all the complications of a chemo induced anihilation of his immune system!

On a groovier note though, our local hospital does give aromatherapy on the NHS and he loved that yesterday!! They are doing another session next week before the chemo which at least will ensure that he is relaxed for the whole thing!

Anyway, any other thoughts will be added as and when...wish us luck!