Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cackelkine by Emma (age 13)

Guest post by my daughter:

CACKLEKINE by Emma Tobin

Age 13


I sat down on a cracked dusty pew in the abandoned Church in Edenville and bent over to examine my shoes while fighting back tears. I watched with fascination as they dripped one by one onto the floor forming a small puddle. My headache drummed a heavy beat into my skull, duh – dum, duh – dum.

The sound of a giggle shattered the silence around me. It began low, just a chuckle, but quickly escalated into a hysterical cackling that bored into every crevice of my brain. I stood up slowly, backed down the aisle and scanned the rows of empty pews. The laugh stopped as I desperately searched the mouldy interior of the Church for the source.

“Sweet, oh sweet human blood”, a voice too close to my ear for comfort said lustfully.

“Who are you? My voice sounded strange to me, too low and faint.

“Don’t worry, it won’t hurt a bit” the voice said.

I spun around and stared into the cold, clear, blue eyes of a hideous ……..thing, crouched cat-like on a nearby pew. It was wearing a straightjacket, battered prison combat pants and sandals. Its jagged, yellow teeth gleamed in the sunlight that streamed through the stained-glasswindow, and blood dribbled from its chin.

“They thought they could keep me locked up”, it mumbled as it approached me. I stood there, just watching, not running like I should have. Its wicked eyes seemed to stare right into my soul. I tried to scream, but I could only manage a squeak as I crumpled onto the cold ground, sapped of all energy.

“They put me in this”, it squirmed in the straight- jacket, “but they underestimated my feet”. It showed me a sandaled foot, with long sharp toe nails that looked like blades.

Then it said, “Now I will feed on the bones, flesh and blood of a human”. A strange calm had descended around me and I watched with resignation as it lifted up my pale arm and bit into it. I screamed so loudly it flinched. I squirmed and lashed out at the elongated mass of shadows that my world had become. The only thing I saw clearly was the drips of blood that were escaping from its mouth as it sucked my blood.

Suddenly it jumped up and staggered away from me. My world came back into painful focus.

“You, you, you”…..it said over and over as it staggered to the door. It made it half way down the aisle before it collapsed. It shook, convulsions wrecked its body. Then it exploded and blood splashed the stained glass windows as bits of it fell around me like warm, sticky, confetti!


Next thing I was aware of was footsteps coming towards me. My vision was blurred but I could just make out four figures dressed in crimson garments walking in tight formation up the aisle.

As I watched, one broke off and ran towards me and I shied away when I saw the glint of the blade that he………no she, carried.

“Rayne, I think I will need your help with this one”, she shouted back to the group.

My vision finally cleared and I saw a boy break away and walk towards me. “Who are you?”, I asked, feeling dizzy as I spoke. He ignored me and reached out for my arm. I slapped his hands away, hissing angrily in a way I never realised I could. “Ssssh”, he said.

He knelt down and reached out to touch my arm. I looked up at him, transfixed by his eyes which were every colour of the rainbow. I felt myself going limp as his cold fingers probed my wound. “Lorenzo bit deep”, he said.

“Don’t dawdle, just get the poison out, preferably before the human dies”, a new voice says. I felt a stab of indignation - who was he to call me human, he was too, wasn’t he?

“I need to know the extent of her wounds before I heal them”, Rayne hissed. “ Why don’t you two go clean Lorenzo off the walls or something and leave this to me”

Rayne suddenly raised his hand and hissed – “I hear human police”.

“Great”, the wall cleaner said happily, “let’s leave her for them!”

“What?”, Rayne exclaimed angrily, “ Have you seen her cuts - they have Leecher poison in them. She is going blue”.

A pair of ice-cold hands lifted me from my pool of blood. I cried out in pain and a voice cooed in my ear – “It’s okay”. I felt myself losing consciousness. Who are these people, I wondered numbly. Who………..


It took a huge effort for me to open my eyes. Rayne was unwrapping a blood-stained bandage from my arm, which was a light shade of blue. Seeing my eyes open, he smiled tentatively at me. “I fixed you up, but your arm will be blue for a while”, he said as he finished dressing my wound.

“Where am I”, I asked.

“Cleo will explain everything - she is waiting for you at the fire, Rayne said. I noticed how cute he was.

Rayne lifted me and as he did, I looked up to the sun as it filtered through the canopy of leaves overhead.

Rayne set me down gently at a crackling fire and sat down at the opposite side of the fire.

A girl of about 16, was sitting at the fire. She had long blonde hair and blue eyes and she smiled at me when I looked at her. I guessed she must be Cleo.

Cleo turned to me: “I am sure you have a lot of questions”, she said.

I blurted my questions in quick succession:

“Where am I?

“What was that thing?

“Why did it explode?

“Who are you people?”

She didn’t flinch as she replied:

“We are in a forest just North of Edenville

“That THING was a Leecher.”

“Like a vampire”, I asked.

“No, a Leecher is mortal like us but it feeds on human flesh, blood and sometimes souls.”

“Souls!”, I exclaimed, “then how come I am not an empty shell. Did it not get my soul?”

“No, but it did get a good deal of your blood which is why you feel so weak”, she said.

She paused and locked eyes with Rayne, who shook his head. I wondered what was going on. That glance between them must have meant something.

Cleo spoke again. “As to who we are we are known as the 22nd Cell of the Metro Police. We have powers which have been handed down since the beginning of time”, she boasted.

“Oh, that’s er ….. nice”, I stammered.

Cleo gave me a withering look and said “and you Sasha Hope, are one of us”.

As she spoke a blinding light shone out from her eyes and two beams struck me, one on my forehead and one to my heart. I screamed in shock and pain and tried to roll out of the way but a strange sensation pulsed through my body, a feeling of immense power.


“You are a pure blood” Cleo said, “and that is why the Leecher exploded. They can’t withstand blood so powerful. You are bound to the Metro Police. You are one of us!”

I shocked her I think when I smiled and said: “When do I start?”


Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sick Stuff Folder

I found it just now when I was tidying up in the spare bedroom – a brown manila folder with the inscription ‘Brenda illness 2007 – miscellaneous’. I really had no idea what was in it as I thought I had all of my ‘sick stuff’ filed away in one of the drawers of my bureau.

The fact that the folder says miscellaneous must mean that it is bits and pieces of 'sickstuff' that I never got around to filing away.
Going through the folder there are several prints of emails which were exchanged between myself and some of the girls in work. One of them is dated 11 April 2007 and it was sent from me to Noreen. It reads:
‘I am nervous about the transplant, even scared. At the moment I suppose I can take refuge in the fact that the transplant is ahead of me. There’s a certain sense of security in that. I’m not frightened about the actual process, I guess it’s what will come after. There are worries and concerns – being away from the kids for three weeks is one. The major concern I have is ‘will the transplant work?’

'But as these cocerns and fears float around in my head, my philosophy kicks in – be positive and take it a day at a time. That is all I can do.

'I hope you had a good Easter. There were and still are so many eggs in our house that I don’t know if we will get through them in time for next Easter.

'It’s late so I will sign off……’

There are several other emails between us – catching up and filling each other in on what was happening. Work was in freeze frame for me at that stage and I honestly never knew if I would be able to go back.

As I flick on through the folder I find a hand written list of all the medications I was on – this was a list I brought everywhere with me in the early days after my diagnosis as I very quickly got used to rhyming off the names of the drugs and the doses to whichever nurse or doctor asked me:

• Nuseal 75mg per day (aspirin)

• Valtrex 500mg per day (keep away viral infections like shingles)

• Diflucan 30mg per day (keep away fungal infections)

• Zoton 30mg per day (for my stomach)

• Alfacalcidol 0.25mg per day (for calcium)

• Zylorix 100mg per day (can't remember!)

• Calcichew D3 Forte per day (for calcium)

• Thalidomide 300mg (6 tablets) per day  (this was the main drug used to fight the myeloma)

• Septrin (2 per day every Monday and Tuesday) (an antibiotic)

• Pamidronate 30mg intravenously (bone strengthener)

• Vitamin B12 injection every month (for anaemia)

• Dexamethasone (steroids = massive amounts 4 days a month) (worked in combination with thalidomide)

Aranesp was another injection - I had to give myself two of these every Wednesday. Straight into the tummy. I was black and blue.
Finding this list brings back memories of so many many tablets of so many different colours which I used to line up each day. I had two plastic cups – one for the morning dose and one for the night time dose. Thalidomide had to be taken last thing at night as it made me very sleepy. The steroids sent me a little crazy and a little bit weepy once a month.

Thankfully I do not take any more tablets – I am off everything which is amazing really.

Flicking on I see the letter from St James’s Hospital in Dublin which was dated 5 June 2007.

"Dear Brenda,
A note to give you the dates for your admission and transplant. We hope to procveed with stem cell reinfusion on the 9/7/2007. Therefore your chemotheraphy will need to be administered in Tallaght on the 5th and 6th July. You will be transferred to St James’s Hospital on the 9th as a day patient for reinfusion of your cells. ...."

I remember opening that letter and it was the best and the worst news in the world for me to receive. I finally had the date that my transplant would take place on – 9 July 2007, but I also knew that the 5 and 6 July were the dates assigned for me to have the high dose chemo. That chemo would challenge me almost to my limits. I sat down on the kitchen floor in shock and excitement and dread and numbness.

There are a lot of photocopies of medical sick certs and weekly disability benefit forms - even when I was ill I kept my filing system up to scratch!

I keep looking through the folder and I find a letter dated 30/5/2007

"To Whom it may Concern: Brenda Drumm is currently receiving chemotheraphy here and requires a wig. "

That was the letter officially telling the wig people that I would be in need of their services.

Further on in the folder there's a handwriteen foolscap page on which is written:

‘Difficult days come unexpectefly like a flood. You cannot plan for them, neither can you prepare for them.

Every morning you have an option – you can choose to be discouraged or choose to hope. ‘

These may be the words of Pope benedict for the World Day of the Sick – I must have read them somewhere and they spoke to me at that particular time.

Then in the middle of the folder a little drawing catches my eye. It’s a picture of Bob the Builder which has been traced and it has been coloured in by my son Cathal who would have been two at the time I was sick. It says "To Mammy, from Cathal" and I assume this was written for him by his big sister Emma who was 9 at the time.

As I move on through the folder I am suddenly faced with a picture of myself – printed out in colour on an A4 page. I am bald, bloated, ugly. My eyes are raw red and swollen, bloody and bruised. My nose is caked with dried blood. I look like a man – the Michelin man. That picture was taken on 18 July 2007 in the middle of the worst part of the transplant process – I had been in hospital for just under two weeks at that stage and I was in a very bad way. Seeing that face looking up at me shocks me.

I think it may be out of place (so much for my filing) but there is an article in the folder on road safety. I have no idea what it is doing there – maybe I clipped it from a paper.

I find a 12 page letter written by hand to a friend of mine in London who has just caught up with me after about 5 years. I was trying to fill her in on five years of my life and it took me twelve pages to do that. I had the time to write twelve pages because I was off work.

The last page in the folder is a letter from my consultant in Tallaght Hospital dated 10 December 2007 which read:
‘I am writing this letter on the request of Brenda to confirm that she has finished her treatment. Her disease is under control and she is recovering quickly. I feel that she is ready to return to work. There are no specific limitations but it is reasonable to reflect the level of her energy and to avoid direct contact with people having an acute mainly respiratory infection.’

I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma on 10 January 2007. I had been through massive doses of chemo, had my own stem cells harvested, received a stem cell transplant and spent 10 weeks in total in hospital and then on 10 December 2007 I was being told I could get back to my life - well my work life anyway.

I am glad I came across the folder this evening. I may file all the sickstuff in its proper place and then again I may just leave it as it is – like a snapshot of a year in which I came very close to being just a set of memories on pieces of paper.


Friday, October 29, 2010

A Weighty Issue

For a lot of my adult life I have worried about weight and I have been every size from a 12 to a 14 to a 16 to a 20. For my wedding I was a svelte size 12 and on both my pregnancies I was all bump with a little bit of extra padding just to balance things front to back.

In recent years I have always been a size 16-18. People are surprised when I tell them that because I am tall and I can get away with it just a little bit more.

It was a nice surprise for me then in December 2006 to be suddenly told by a lot of people that I had lost weight. In the early part of 2006 I was a size 18 -20 dress and jacket. My father in law Eamon had the strongest reaction when he saw me for the first time in a few months. He and my Mum in law had come for the weekend for some shopping. When i got home from work and went into the sitting room to say hello he was visibly taken aback and commented on all the weight I had lost. I was still in size 16-18 so I didn't really think there was much of a difference.

No woman I know has ever complained when she lost a few pounds! Then to have someone notice it - well for a lot of women there's nothing nicer to hear from someone that the words - HAVE YOU LOST WEIGHT?

The reason for the wight loss became clear on 10 January 2007 when I was diagnosed with a cancer of the bone marrow called multiple myeloma. I was not expecting that to be the cause of the weight loss - I was 38 and otherwise very healthy.

From January to August 2007 my weight was constantly monitored. I attended the hospital every two weeks and every pound that I lost was monitored. I started new drugs including steroids and I put on weight - I had a moon face and went back up a size or two.

Then in May 2007 I had my first dose of chemo and I lost weight after receiving it as I was off my food for over a week and puking a bit.

In July 2007 I had high dose chemo and a stem cell transplant and I was so sick after the chemo that I could not eat for 4 weeks. even when I did start eating I lived on a yogurt a day, graduating afterwards to a cup a soup.

While I was in hospital for the transplant for the month of July I was so bloated that I did not notice how much weight I had lost. I was not very mobile and I had no interest in looking in the mirror as I was so sick. I was so ill some days that I can't remember large chunks of time.

I was discharged from hospital in early August and it was a few days before I realised that NONE of my clothes would fit me. I had lost weight but I had no idea that none of my clothes would fit!!!!!!

I was still quite weak and sickly but we decided to get out of the house and to take a trip over to Kildare Village, the outlet.

My husband said I should treat myself to some Levis. Levis - sure you have to really skinny to look good in those and I would always avoid the shop like the plague as they have American sizes and I never knew what size and they all looked really small.

I went into the Levis shop and looked through some of the jeans. I picked up a couple of pairs and took them into the changing room and they were huge. The assistant came in and she said: What size are you? I said I was a 16 or a 14 and she said: Eh I don't think so. She left and I thought - what a cheeky cow! How dare she say I am fatter than that.

She came back minutes later with a size 14 and I tried that on -way too big.
She came back then with a size 12 and I tried them on - way too big.
I smiled as I realised she could see my new size, long before I could!!!! I apologised to her in my head!
She came back in with a size 10 and I tried those on and they were too big also!
She shook her head and I said that it might be the styles.

I looked at the pair of jeans which was on the mannequin and I asked her about the style. She said that was the only pair she had left. She went over to the mannequin and took the jeans off it and handed them to me. I shrugged thinking there was no hope that a pair of jeans from a mannequin would fit me. I tried them on and they were perfect.

I was in shock as I realised I had gone from a size 18-20 to a size 8!!!!!!!!

I took the jeans off and held the little waist of them in my hands. I was a stick insect.
I did a twirl in front of the changing room mirror and I could see ribs sticking out where they had not stuck out before. I went in for a close up on my face and my bones were sticking out there too. I was gaunt, sickly and stick thin. I felt horrible.

All my adult life I had wanted to be thin - but not like this and not because of sickness!!!!!

I bought the jeans and I wore them and looked good in them but I missed my curves and my womanly shape.

The new diet which was imposed on me soon saw the return of a curvier and healthier me. I am not too skinny and I am not a size 18 anymore - I think I am just right.

I still have those jeans. I take them out every so often to look at them. They are also a reminder to me of how sick I was. They are a reminder to me that being stick thin is not all its cracked up to me and besides in 2010 having curves is the new black so I am well and truly in fashion.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Remission - I looked it up just now in the Collins Gem English Dictionary and it's not even there. How can remission not be there when it's such a huge huge word? I looked instead under good news, relief, happiness to see if it was there instead but it's not!

Three years ago, yesterday - 26 September, I was told that I was in remission! Having been through a bone marrow transplant for multiple myeloma in July 2007 and suffering a month of hell - I was told I was in remission.

The following is based on my diary from that day:

Wednesday 26 September 2007:

I cant describe how in bits I was this morning. I was up at 5.30am walking around the house, pacing really, unable to sleep anymore. When the alarm went off at 7.30am I got very emotional with the kids - couldn't help it. I felt really uptight and nervous and I could hardly speak.

I delayed when I was dropping the kids off at school and Chris's house and I took my time going up. The good luck texts started very early as all the gang knew what today meant - results, results, results from my bone marrow biopsy which would show if the transplant had worked or not. Or not was not an option I could even verbalise. I decided to go by myself to get the results, despite several offers from friends and family to come with me.

It was the usual routine when I got to Tallaght - bloods taken, hot chocolate and muffin and then up the stairs to the haematology day ward. I collected my chart and dropped it into the nurses. They were kind of giving me knowing glances and I sort of knew that they knew my results but they could not say anything.

I wasn't kept waiting very long - my consultant arrived and called me into the consulting room. I sat down and I felt really breathless. How are you etc etc. I am not sure what I said, I was sick with nerves. My right hand was shaking so much, I had to sit on it. I was trembling.

He turned to the computer and I had to close my eyes - my God what will I do if the transplant hasn't worked and I have to have another one? What happens if the myeloma is so aggressive that nothing will work.

My consultant cleared his throat and he hmmd and hawed and then he looked at me. I looked at the computer screen and I thought I saw the words 'no myeloma present'. I thought maybe I was seeing things - hallucinating what i wanted to read. Then Dr Jiri said it - no myeloma present, the transplant was successful.

I jumped up off the chair and punched the air. I wanted to scream but I was afraid to upset other patients so I just laughed and cried. I didn't hear anything that he said after that - something about maintenance treatment, but I didn't care.

I had done it.
All the awfulness of the previous 9 months had been worth it
All the sickness during my transplant had paid off
All the misery and suffering after the chemo was over

Today was the first day of the rest of my life. Today I can hope again. Today I can see a future for myself.

I thanked the doc and left the room where I ran straight into one of the nurses and I told her and she said: I KNOW! She hugged me and I cried and then she got me and put me inside a quiet room and told me not to leave the hospital until I was calmed. She handed me the phone and said Dial 9 for a line out and call your family.

I sat down and thought - who do i call first? There were so many people waiting on me. I took out my mobile and started to write a text. I deleted it by mistake as my hands were shaking so much. I called my husband and he was on voicemail and I said to call me that the news was good. Then I called my mum and I hung up on her by accident. She was in bits with the nerves.

Over the next half an hour I called and texted all the family and friends who had been on this arduous journey with me and I shared the good news. My phone was beeping with congratulation messages for hours.

I cried with some, laughed with others and literally floated on air, on top of the world around that room. I wanted to run down the corridor screaming; I did it! I did it! I couldn't because I was aware that there were others receiving very different news to what I had received.

It was the best day of my life!

I was allowed to leave the hospital after I calmed down and after a chest xray as they were concerned about a bit of a wheeze that I had. I was given a prescription for antibiotics as I had an infection. The reminder is always there I thought. I am better but I will never be fully out of the woods.

This was brought home to me in a big way just two days later when I developed shingles and I had to be admitted to hospital for treatment.

But I didn't care. The transplant had worked for me. I would get over anything that was thrown at me. I was almost out of the woods.

I could start to plan things again
I could start to imagine a future
Imagine going back to work
Imagine going on a trip somewhere
Imagine living life again

I give thanks every day for the gift of life
the gift of love from my family and friends
the gift of the many talented doctors and nurses who looked after me
the gift of time - albeit borrowed time - but I intend to make the most of it.

before I could send it

see a future

Monday, September 13, 2010


I really don't like Monday mornings. Start of the week, kids are hard to wake up after busy weekend and back into lunches and dinners etc.

I was up nice and early this morning and I had everything done in jig time. There were no dramas of missing books or locker keys and breakfast was eaten without any complaints.

It was all going too well really as we were in the car for 8.10am and reversing out of the driveway seconds later. As I drove round the first corner in the estate, I felt something odd about the left hand side of the car. I pulld into the kerb and got out. The left back tyre on the car was flat as a pancake. Bloody puncture and as I said that, it started to rain.

I emptied all the crap out of the boot (and there was a lot of crap - books, newpapers, clothes and jackets, scout stuff and a display banner). I lifted up the spare tyre and got the jack and the wrench. I checked the time - if I could change the tyre in ten minutes I should get the kids down to school ahead of the traffic and still make it to work in time. I can do this, I said to myself.

The car is new and I hadn't had to change a tyre on it before so I knew the nuts would be tight. I just didn't realise how impossibly tight. One of the nuts on the wheel looked odd and I had a bad feeling about it as the wrench didn't look as thought it would fit. I started to loosen the nuts and it was unbelievably hard - I was pulling and pulling and blooming thing would not move. I jumped on the wrench to see if that would move the nut but
the wrench flew off and hit me in the shin! To say the air was coloured blue is an understatement.

I loosened the first three nuts and then looked at the wrench and the last nut. It was round while the others were hexagonal. There must be something special for this one. It must be a lock to protect my alloys being stolen. Where was the attachment? had a look in the boot but there was no sign of anything else - well there was another funny looking hook thing but I have no idea what that was for. I got the instruction book for the car and it gave me all sorts of advice:
1. Don't change the car tyre on a hill - CHECK
2. Make sure the handbrake is on - CHECK
3. Make sure the wheels were straight at the front - CHECK

Then it showed me a diagram of some sort of nut that I had to attach to the wrench. Where was the nut? I searched the boot again and checked for secret compartments or loose bits on the jack. No sign of it. At this stage several cars had passed me by - two women stopped - all the men drove past - nuts!!!!. I realised I would have to 'jack' it in or the kids would be late for school. Our next door neighbour arrived and we all piled into her car.

The kids got to school on time - with seconds to spare. Then my lovely neighbour drove me down to the train station where I collected my hubby's car so I could be mobile. I drove to the garage to see what they would advise me to do - I must have breakdown assistance I thought as it's a new car. At that stage my hubby had phoned the garage. Just as I was parking outside the garage he phoned to say there was a special attachment and that it might be in the glove box. It should be in the boot, but try the glove box. If it wasn't there it would take a week or two to order it in.

I drove home muttering to myself all the way - of course it was in the glove box, sure why would it be the boot with all the other bits. The glove box is the obvious place - NOT!

The rain was coming down heavy at this stage and my shin was bleeding from where the wrench had hit it. I grabbed a jacket from the house and went back over to where I had abandoned the car. This time I searched the glove box and there was the little locknut safely tucked up in the corner hidden behind some melted chocolate! Lovely!

I loosensed the normal nuts and the special locknut with the special attachment, then jacked her up and removed the nuts. I struggled with the weight of the punctured tyre but I got it off the rim falling backwards onto my arse on the grass verge in the process. A few more cars passed and I was ignored. That's fine, I thought as the rain streamed down my eyes - they didn't stop because I obviously looked like I knew what I was doing!

I got the spare tyre on and replaced the nuts - for good measure I jumped up and down on the wrench to tighten the nuts. I put the punctured tyre in the boot and drove off.

I decided to take no chances and to get it repaired straight away so I took it down to the local tyre repair centre. They saw me straight away - I looked like an emergency. The tyre was whisked from me into A & E and I was taken into the famil room to wait!

Then I saw a familiar face through the office window and realised that I had worked with him at the Ploughing Championship in 2006 when he came to do the special balloons for us on the diocesan stand.

I waved and he waved back and I knew he didn't know recognise me - that may have been because I was wet, dirty and bedraggled or it may be because the last time he had seen me I was three stone heavier!

He came in and I told him my name and when he realised it was me he gave me a bit hug and sat me down - I managed to hold back the tears as I was fairly agitated at this stage. But we had a chat and a laugh about the locknut. Crazy things he said as no one is taking tyres that much anymore.

The tyre was repaired and they put it back on the car for me and tightened everything up so I had peace of mind that the tyre wasn't going to fall off. I took out my money to pay and it was refused by - no way, he said, sure it was only a puncture! What a lovely man!

He waved me out safely and I was off. I was two hours late to work, filthy, knees in bits from kneeling on the road and a large chunk taken out of my shin.

I learned some things today:

(i) There are still good Samaritans out there - my neighbour Therese, and the other two ladies who stopped to help, and Noel, the tyre man who would not take any money.

(ii) What a locknut is!

(iii) How to change the tyre on this particular car (not that I want to make a habit of it)

(iv) There never seems to be the right nut around when you want it!!!!

Happy Monday everyone - the week can only get better from here!!!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

School Daze

Growing up we had a lot of first days at new schools as we moved around a bit as a family (five children all born in different counties in Ireland).

I remember one particular first day in a new school vividly. I was 11, tall, gangly and skinny and at the age where I was uncomfortable with what was starting to happen to my body. I was very self aware.

The town we moved to was very small and my two sisters and I had been the subject of much speculation amongst the boys – well three new girls in a small town! We had also been the subject of much speculation amongst the girls – oh no, not three new girls!!!

The first morning we were starting school it was utter chaos in the house as my Mum lined us up for our morning ritual and one by one we stood fidgeting in front of her as she plaited our long hair – three sets of two plaits. We were going into 4th, 5th and 6th class in the local convent school and my My mum kept muttering to herself – everything has to be perfect.

To make matters worse there was no school uniform which meant clothes went flying in all directions in the bedroom as the three of us tried to decide what we should wear.

I knew we were missing books and I was worried that we would get told off. I also worried about whether we would be accepted into the school community. We were blow-ins after all.

I could hear my Dad out the front, impatiently revving the engine of the car. I could put it off no longer so I grabbed my spotless new bag and opened the front door.

Just as we were about to get into the car, Mum called out for us to wait – a Kodak moment she said. So we posed for the picture looking into her camera which was one of those with the external flash bulbs.

Flash! As we pulled up outside the school I was still half blind from it.

Dad said 'good luck, behave ourselves', and one by one each of us got out of the car.

I could hear the screams and laughter of the other children before I saw them. There was a narrow gate into the school that we had to push in, squeeze past, and then push out again and it could only take one of us at a time.

I checked my watch to make sure that we weren't late and the three of us walked together up a tunnel and stepped out into a sea of colour and children.

There were children running and laughing, some playing catch and another group playing camogie.

We didn't know what to do, so we just stood there staring up at the dark, grey, unwelcoming building. Is this it?, I thought, as I remembered the colourful, bright, modern school we had left behind us in Ballybay.

A nun appeared in front of us and said: “Are you the three Drumms?" I giggled, thinking of three musical instruments standing in the yard.

She said: “I'm Sr Finbar, the Head Nun”, and then she asked us who was who – so she obviously had a note of our names already.

A bell rang and within seconds the yard was empty. That's when the butterflies started in my stomach.

We were told to follow her and we did, obediently. The smell that hit me as we walked into the school hall was a rather odd mixture of fresh bread and toilets!

We were shown exactly where out coats were to be hung, told about wiping our feet, no running on the stairs and no shouting inside the school. Shouting, i thought, Shouting! I doubted I would ever be able to speak at all!

We were taken up a dark stairway, like something you would see in an old horror film.

We were brought to our classroom - 4th, 5th and 6th classes were all in the same room! So 36 sets of eyes turned to stare as we stood frozen to the spot at the door.

Then Sr Finbar said what I was hoping she wouldn't: “Here are the three Drumms!”. The children erupted into giggles and laughter, but then who could blame them.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A monthly reminder

Once a month I make the trip to Tallaght for blood tests and treatment to protect me from the side effects of the bone marrow cancer (Myeloma) which I have been living with since 2007.

I have been going to the haematology day ward in Tallaght for at least once a month since January 2007 (sometimes twice a month, sometimes twice a week, depending on what is going on).

I have fallen into a routine. I leave Newbridge at about 8.40am , having dropped the kids to school, checked that I have my blood forms and made sure that I have enough petrol in the car. It usually takes me 30 - 40 minutes to drive there and as I turn into the avenue up to the hospital, I stay in the right hand lane as this is the one for the multi storey car park. I am on auto-pilot at this stage and rarely bother to glance at the ground floor level for spaces, instead making my way to the first and sometimes second floor before I find a space. I park the car and grab my things - laptop, books, notebook and iPhone.

I always take the stairs down, because I am well now and don't need the lift.

I arrive in the front door of the hospital, listening to the automated voice telling me that 'this is a non smoking hospital'. Sometimes I take the revolving door and sometimes I take the ordinary door to the right. I immediately use the hand sanitisers and turn left down to the blood clinic. Large queues of people line the corridor, all waiting to have bloods done. I bypass all the queues and take a special yellow ticket, which means I am urgent and I get to skip the queue. Sometimes there is a queue of urgent people so I may get delayed by a few mins.

I sit in the blood chair and I confirm who I am. Then the vials are plucked out of their holders - two red, a blue and a green mostly, but sometimes three red, two blues, a black and a green! The phlebotomists are experts at taking the blood and I rarely feel the small scratch which they warn you is on the way. All finished and I thank them and leave.

Next, I head for the shop and get The Irish Times. Then across to the volunteer cafe where I get a banana and walnut muffin. Then I make my way up to the first floor, again taking the stairs, as this is proof to anyone watching, of just how well I am.

Into the office then to collect my hospital chart - the staff all know me now and my chart just comes out automatically. I am on volume three of three charts now and its cover is looking very faded and tattered from use.

I drop the chart into the nurses in the day ward and ask is there a space for me - most tmes there is a chair free, but sometimes there is a small wait in the chairs in the hallway.

Blood pressure, temperature and pulse are checked immediately. I never ask anymore if they are okay as I can read the results now as well as the nurses.

Then Sharon or Christine or Roisin or Aine (I know all the nurses by name) arrive over with the pillow for me to rest my arm on while they insert a line. Another small scratch but my veins are good and this usually goes without a hitch.

Then I sit and wait for my blood results to come back. As I do I look around at the other people sitting in chairs like me and those lying back on the beds at the opposite side of the room - a lot of familiar faces that I have come to know, and all the time there are new faces - new cancers being diagnosed. I watch the fear on the faces of those people - overwhelmed with news and results and complicated sounding names of diseases and drugs and treatments.

I sit back and wait and sometimes give a knowing smile and nod to them, as if to relate 'I know what you are going through - I know the sheer terror you are feeling and the million and one questions that are racing around your brain'.

I close my eyes as I wait for my results. Some of the doubts and questions start to play out in my mind:
  • Will this month be the month when things go wrong for me?
  • Will this month be the month when they tell me I need a bone marrow biopsy as some of the levels are off?
  • Will this be the month when they tell me that there are signs that the myeloma is on the march again?
Questions, questions, all the time.

I check my email and flick onto my Facebook and Twitter pages, letting people know where I am and reading all the good wishes and good luck messages that come dilligently each month from my wonderful circle of family and friends.

Then Sharon comes over and tells me that my results are very good today - so I breathe a sign of relief. I am off the hook for another month. She attaches my treatment to my line and I sit back for the couple of hours that it will take to go in.

I text to let family know that all is well with me. Then I open the Irish Times to see what's happening in the world, because I know that all is well in mine - at least for another month anyway!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Being vs Doing
a short poem by Brenda Drumm
I am supposed to be 'a
human being
not a human doing!'
and yet,
I am so busy doing,
that I have no time
for just being!
August 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A case of mistaken confectionery

Last Friday 18 June 2010 was a big day for me - we had the launch of Myeloma (bone marrow cancer) Awareness Week 2010 at 12 noon in the Mansion House in Dublin which is the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

We had been working on the launch for months, weeks and we were anxious that everything would go well.

The day started well for me - I looked out the window first thing in the morning and there were two magpies sitting in the garden. I quickly recited the rhyme: "one for sorrow, two for joy". Whew, I thought, two for joy, I am okay I thought.

I was hyper as I had not been able to sleep the night before - partly because of the excitement and partly because I am on steroids. I guess I was also just anxious that everything would go well.

I showered, dressed, changed outfits, did my make-up, decided - bare legs or tights, made my son Cathal's lunch, got his school bag ready, put breakfast out, woke the kids, supervised the morning school routine.

Then I loaded the car - six boxes of our mugs for myeloma for our fundrasier, two banners, laptop, projector, camera, handbag, change of clothes, high shoes (as I can't drive in them), make-up, briefcase with all the literature and my speech, a scissors, sellotape and a birthday candle.

We dropped Cathal off to school and my daughter Emma (our helper for the day) and I drove straight to Dublin to the Mansion House. We made good time and we parked in one of the spaces that the staff had very kindly reserved for us. We unloaded and started to get the room ready. We had the use of the formidable Oak Room and the drawing room behind it for the day. Very impressive space the drawing room, all mirrors and plush furniture and drapes and nice paintings. There was a baby grand Steinway piano and while it was still just Emma and I in the room she played It’s All About You by McFly. It sounded amazing.

Then we got to work and my co-ordinator of Myeloma Awareness Week arrived with balloons to be blown up and with a gigantic projector screen. All the piecees of the puzzle were soon in place and all we were waiting for were the guests and our birthday cake which we were having to mark our website’s first birthday – oh and our guest speaker Miriam O’Callaghan,

While waiting out the front of the Mansion House and having some pictures taken a man approached with a box and said: "Do you know anything about a birthday cake?" "Yes I said, we are expecting a birthday cake." So he handed me the box and walked off. I put it inside under the table ready for the moment when we would formally mark the first birthday of our website http://www.mymyeloma.ie/ .

In the meantime we had some more pics done and as we were taking them I looked to the right and saw two magpies on the lawn of the Mansion House. I recited the rhyme again: "One for sorrow, two for joy". Whew, there were two and we were okay!

Miriam arrived – she had been delayed in RTE. She was immediately wonderfully warm and enthusiastic and dived into the middle of the photo session in the garden. There was no awkwardness or formality – a warmth and a instant ray of sunshine.

Pics done we went inside. I was MC for the event and we had about 80 people. My Dad was first up to speak about what it was like for him to live with the fact that I have a serious illesss. I had told him in advance not to say anything that would make me cry. As he spoke I got emotional and Miriam came over and stood beside me and put her arm around me.

She heckled my Dad a few times trying to ecourage my him to tell us the things I had told him not to say as he had just told the audience that there were things that I had told him not to say!

Miriam spoke, she used no notes, no prompts – it was from the heart. It was wonderful and she just added such a wonderful lift to the whole event. Then we had some medical professionals including the wonderful doctor, now a Professor, who saw me through my stem cell transplant.

Then the talking was over and my daughter Emma was called up with the cake – a giant, pink cupcake with little white stars dotted around the top. It was stunning and the photographers started to take snaps of the cake. Miriam was handed it and she pretended to eat it as did Emma and I. There was a lot of flash bulbs going off. Then we left the cake down and went in for refreshments.

I must admit I thought it a bit strange that when I went into the refreshments room thre was another cake in there – an enormous one with the words Happy Birthday My Myeloma on it. That’s nice I thought, the Mansion House must have given us a cake also for the day. I preferred the cup cake as it was much more striking so I took a few of the stars off and ate then and Emma had a couple too.

There was mixing and mingling and a wonderful hope-filled atmosphere as patients and family members shared stories. My Dad’s speech was the star attraction and people queued up to shake his hand. I was immensely proud of him and I could see that my Mum was too. It was effortless for him although he told me after he had been nervous.

A journalist called on the phone for an interview and asked to speak to my Mum. I gave mum my phone and left her to it, having pre-warned her that she was talking to a tabloid newspaper. Ten minutes later she gave me back the phone.

"How was it", I said,

"OK", she said.

What did she ask you?, I said.

I don’t know Mam said.

What did you say, I said

I don’t know, she said! I forget.

Guess who is dreading the tabloid newspaper on Monday.

People started to trickle away as the event ended and as I looked around the almost empty room I noticed that the pink cupcake cake was still there. It had not been cut or touched. I placed it back in it’s box but not before Emma and I had one more star each from the top and took some more silly pics of us pretending to eat it. Then we left it with the rest of the things to go to the car/van as no one else wanted to take any cake home with them.

We were saying our goodbyes when a very stressed looking girl came out and said: “Does anyone here know anything about a large pink cupcake, cake?” Emma and I looked at each other and immediately sidled out the door to retrieve said cake from beside the car where it had been deposited with all the other bits and pieces from the launch. On the way in we met my colleague who told us that the cake was not ours after all, that in fact the one we had cut and eaten was ours. "Oh I said, no harm", and I brought the cake in and handed it to the girl and the Mansion House manager. "ER we can’t seem to find the lid of the box", I said, and "er, I am sorry that the bottom of the box is wet, I spilled some water."

"Who owns the cake?" I asked.

"Well the Lord Mayor is having a birthday party tonight for her sister and this is the birthday cake", she said.

Well Emma and I almost choked on the stars we had taken from the top of the cake! We then went on to try and explain how the delivery man had just handed me the cake on the side of the street and walked off.

We laughed about it – not a case of mistaken identity but a case of mistaken confectionery!

"No harm done", I said to Emma as we walked out to the front of the Mansion House to the car. "No harm done at all and what’s a few little icing stars between the Lord Mayor and one of her citizens, sure no one will ever know we had her cake!"

Then suddenly it dawned on me – the photos that the photographers had taken for the papers – what if they end up on the front page of tomorrow’s newspapers – how will the Lord Mayor’s sister feel about her birthday cake being mock eaten by complete strangers. A few frantic calls later and we had the reassurance that none would be used. We said our goodbyes and drove away from the Mansion House tired but very satisfied.

As we left Dublin and headed for the N7 in bumper to bumper Friday evening traffic my eye line was drawn towards a signpost which had two magpies sitting on top of it. "One for sorrow, two for joy!", I recited again. Whew - there were two of them, we were okay.

Friday 18 June 2010 was a truly joy-filled day. But then some scientist had said that that particular day was the happiest day of the year.


Friday, May 28, 2010

A brush with treasure

I am not sure when it started but from the time my son Cathal was about one he used to get a hairbrush and go around brushing his hair and then my hair. At the time I had long, thick hair and it used to kill me as the hairbrush would get stuck in all sorts of tangles and it would end up just hanging there in some part of my mop.

As he got older he used to watch me doing Emma's hair, adding clips to it as I got her ready for school in the morning. When he was about two year's of age he began to add the clips after he brushed my hair. Most of the time the clips would be stuck in my head rather than my hair and there would be a lot of ouch and aagh coming from me.

I think it used to soothe him to sit behind me on the couch, brushing my hair, while we watched telly.

In June 2007 I lost all my hair as a result of chemo I received as part of cancer treatment. My hair had thinned considerably and I had a bald batch, so I decided one Friday it had to go. While the kids were at school I shaved what was left of my hair.

I collected Cathal from his creche and Emma from school, wearing a hat to hide what I had done. I had tried my best to prepare them and I was able to show Emma (aged 9) and sort of have a laugh with her.

I was more concerned about how Cathal would feel. He didn't know I had cancer - cancer would not mean much anyway to a two-year old. I had told him that my hair would fall out because of some special Mammy medicine I was on. He would shrug and just run off again and play.

On the day of the reveal I sat him down at the table and we had a drink each. I told him that my hair was gone and I asked him if he wanted to see. He nodded and I took my hat off. He looked and me and said: 'put your hat back on Mammy'.

That was that. No tears. No look of shock or horror. He went off about his business.

The following night we were all sitting down in the living room, watching TV. Cathal came in with a hairbrush in his hand and said: 'Mammy, can I brush your hair?'. I remember looking over at my hubby in shock. What do we do about this? I panicked and then froze.

Cathal came over and said 'take off your hat Mammy', which I did. He sat up behind me and brushed my bald head. He didn't bat an eyelid, he never said: 'Where's your hair?' He didn't bother with clips, just sat there brushing. It all happened so fast that I barely had time to react - which was just as well.

I was shocked really by how natural the whole thing was. For him, it was no different, he didn't look at me any differently bald than he did when I had hair. He saw the big picture - just me, his Mum, and not a stranger with an egg head. He took comfort from the ritual that he had been doing for months.

It was one of the most emotional and poignant moments of my whole cancer journey and I will treasure the moment forever.

That particular memory all came back to me this evening - three years later, when out of the blue Cathal came up and asked me if he could brush my hair. I have hair now, it grew back thick and strong - not that it would make any difference to Cathal anyway!!!!


Friday, April 23, 2010


My weakness has to be fashion - clothes, shoes, make-up, handbags and accessories! I love it all. But I am not a slave to fashion, I never just go with the trend – thankfully, well can you imagine me in a puffball skirt at age 41? No, I didn’t think so. I am not a lemming to the slaughter (albeit a well dressed lemming), I make my own styles.

My best friend Sara will tell you that I was doing the ‘wearing a dress with trousers’ style before anyone else was – certainly before any of the designers were. I didn’t do it because I had a vision that it was the next big fashion trend, no, I did it because I hate wearing tights and because on that particular day I was just too darn lazy to shave my legs!!!!!!

I am not saying that I don’t sometimes make mistakes – last weekend an RTE cameraman asked me to take off my coat as it was too loud and was ruining his shot! The coat was rather loud for wearing inside a cathedral now that I think of it – especially when everyone around me [all priests] were well men in black.

Dresses are my particular weakness - I have a kaleidoscope of different colour dresses in my wardrobe – I just can’t walk past them in the shop and I know that having 20 LBD’s (little black dresses) goes against the laws of fashion as there should only need to be one LBD, but they were all so yummy looking in the shops!

Now don’t assume that I am up on all the fashion lingo and names – I am no Sara Jessica Parker and I certainly don’t have the luxury of getting a brand new wardrobe of clothes each time a season changes!

But I often think of how different things would be if I was made Taoiseach! One of the first things I would do (after doubling whatever wardrobe allowance Brian Cowen has) would be to create a Department of Fashion Affairs with a Minister for shoes and handbags, a Minister for trends and accessories, a junior make-up Minister to keep an eye on all that side of things and an Ambassador for Irish Fashion – imagine the junkets to Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks!

Walk-in wardrobes would be compulsory in all new houses and I would introduce a scheme whereby older houses could get a grant for having them retro-fit!

I would have to introduce a new National holiday to give people more time to shop and of course there would have to be a new element to An Garda Siochana – in that I would have to introduce a new division to them – yes a fashion police. We could call them the GunaĆ­ Gardai!!!!!

There would have to be a new tax relief introduced on the purchase of handbags and shoes – the more expensive - the higher the tax relief. I would make sure that the State would underwrite all credit card splurges on clothes and shoes etc. In fact, in the case where girls were under threat of having their credit cards taken away, we would even write off some of the debt as bad impulse buys! I would call that agency FAMA – Fashion Asset Management Agency!

The country would probably be in just as bad a state as we are now – but gosh we would look and feel great!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Top Gun Saves Brenda Drumm

I have a habit of driving around on fumes – I don’t know why because it doesn’t cost any more money to keep petrol in the car than to drive on fumes.

On my old car I had an alarm that used to go off when I had 100 km worth of petrol left. I always ignored it and would often drive in a panic to the petrol station when I suddenly noticed that the gauge was at 000!

My husband goes mad – he can’t understand why I just don’t keep the car full or at least fill it when the alarm sounds.

I got a new car this year and of course I am getting used to it so I am still not sure when the alarm goes off and tells me I am low on petrol, what it actually means! It sounds when there is 80km worth of petrol left in the car and of course I say to myself 'now does that mean I have 80km worth of fuel left or does it mean I have 80km worth of fuel left and then some fumes?'

The alarm sounded on my way into work last Monday and I ignored it, intending to get fuel on the way home from work – of course I never did!

On Tuesday morning I was driving to Tallaght Hospital for treatment and just as I was at the turn for Baldonnell, my car started to feel strange. I was in the slow lane so I sort of egged the car on as far as I could and then I pulled in to the side of the road. I knew immediately what was wrong. The dial was at empty, there was a big fat 0km staring at me from the petrol gauge. In fact if my car had the ability to show minus in terms of petrol – it would probably be reading minus 10km.

I was stranded and it was totally my own fault. I couldn’t ring my husband – well daren’t really! Well he couldn’t help anyway, being all the way up in Dublin, and he would have said ‘I told you so!’ and he would have been exactly perfectly right!

I do have breakdown cover and I know that one of the most common things that they attend to on the roadside is a person running out of petrol. Not much consolation to me though as I sat at the side of the road with no idea where the nearest petrol station was and with cars whizzing by so fast that the car shook each time.

But then a car drew up alongside me on the hard shoulder and the driver rolled down his window. ‘Are you alright?’ he asked. Mortified I sort of laughed and said ‘eh…. well I have run out of petrol’. He said: 'Where are you going?' and I said ‘Tallaght Hospital', adding for good measure 'for treatment’. I totally played the helpless card.

He unlocked his car and said hop in. I rummaged around in my car, making sure I had my bag. Before I sat into his car I also made sure I had my phone – well he could be an axe murderer and I had always been warned not to take lifts from strangers.

Just before we pulled out into the stream of traffic I said: 'Hang on I need to make sure that my car is locked!' He looked at me and said: 'Well it’s not going anywhere is it!!!!!' 'I suppose not I said', burning with embarrassment.

I had a look at him and he was very good looking – he also had a sort of a sensible/safe look about him so I relaxed a bit – I still kept hold of my phone though, just in case.

I apologised to him for making him late for work. He said: ‘It’s fine’. I asked him had he far to go and he said: ‘I am on my way to Baldonnell Airforce Base’. 'Oh I said',wWhat do you do?' He sort of smirked and said ‘I am a pilot’. Well, all I could think was wait until I tell the girls in work. I run out of petrol on the N7 and I am rescued by an airline pilot! It could only happen to me!

As it turned out I could have walked to the petrol station as where I broke down was just around the corner from a huge petrol station. I told him I could make my way back to the car – he was reluctant to leave me to my own devices. 'It’s okay', I said, 'I am well able for this, I am a scout leader you know'. He looked at me and said: 'er isn’t the motto of the scouts to be prepared?'

When I got over the shame of his parting words to me, I did text a couple of the girls to tell them what had happened. It was a lesson well learned though.

So the moral of the story is: ‘Do what your hubby says and keep your car filled with adequate petrol to guarantee to get you from A to B or A to Hospital! But I prefer this one: The moral of the story is - if you run out of petrol, make sure you are on the N7, just at the turn for Baldonnell Air Base, so as your knight in shining armour might turn out to be an airforce pilot.

I still haven't told my hubby what happened!



Monday, March 1, 2010

Time to Talk

My 12 year old daughter asked if she could bake a cake the other evening, so I said 'yes', on condition that she also tidied up after herself i.e. wash up and put all the ingredients away. She was making marzipan cake (it tastes nicer than it sounds).

I hovered in the kitchen, lending a hand here and there and when the cake went into the oven she set about tidying and washing up. We have a dishwasher which is usually filled and emptied by one person. It was already on a wash cycle so we decided to clean up the old fashioned way.

'I will wash and you dry', I said. As I said that I had the most vivid flashback to when I was in our small kitchen at home in Cavan, either washing-up or drying the dishes with my Mum. There was only room for two of us in the kitchen so it was a half of hour of my Mum's ear, during which we would chat - well I would talk and she would listen.

It struck me, as I was filling the basin with hot water and putting in some washing-up liquid, how much time-saving, modern appliances have almost destroyed a lot of the natural, everyday opportunities that parents, mothers especially, have with their kids!

It took us about 45 minutes to wash, dry and put everything away and during that time my daughter and I had a good old chat about all sorts - well she talked and I listened. It is often during these impromptu chats that concerns and worries get aired and shared, and these moments are so very valuable.

Don't get me wrong, we do talk, but sometimes it's a contrived almost un-natural way, because we live our lives in such haste! It really made me think that I will have to start building in more natural opportunities like that to chat with her and her brother as they grow up.

It's really good to talk, but it's so much richer to listen, really listen to your kids.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Tag Line

I suppose I should have explained the tag line that I have underneath the title of my blog. The line - Just a girl writing about her life and not asking you to love it or even like it.

It is a play on one of my favourite lines from a movie. The movie is Notting Hill and the original line is in a scene quite close to the end of the movie when Julia Roberts is trying to persuade Hugh Grant to maybe consider spending some time with her, after all that has happened. He declines and she talks about the fame side of her life in the movie and then she says: 'Also I am just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her'.

Such a lovely line. Aawww!!!!!!

Just thought I should explain that the line is borrowed.


Monday, February 1, 2010

i i

My letter eye on my laptop has been playng up all evenng. I have to ht t really hard but t stll doesn't appear and eye use t so many tmes n a sentence that eye am really lost wthout t.

But, then eye read somewhere recently that people are able to understand a sentence and a word even when a lot of the letters are mssng. Our brans are just able to compute the word and make sense of what we are seeng.

Hmmmm...not sure that eye beleve that really.

Eye mean does the above text even make sense wthout the letter eye?


Monday, January 25, 2010

Protect me from Passwords

From the moment I turn on my computer in work each day, I start the password remembrance battle. What's my password? Type it in - hoping it's the right one..........Error message - incorrect password. You see our system in work automatically looks for the password to be changed every so often for security reasons, so depending on what day and month it is, the password is different. The worst thing is that you don't get a reminder that the system has changed the password to one of your two chosen passwords!!!!! Aaagh!
Then lunchtime comes and I decide to check my gmail account for mail and once again - what's the username and password. Now this is a lot more straightforward as it's just the one username and password - Bobs your uncle - email checked, no problems there!!!
Then I get a call to say I emailed you last week about the night at the cinema and realise that people are still sending mail for me to my old Eircom Account which I had to stop using because of the amount of spam I was getting. So then I think, maybe I should check that account just in case something has come in that I need to see. For the life of me I can't remember the password - is it the cat's name? Which of the three cats? Is it something to do with the kids or is it a name of a book? Did I use something from Harry Potter as the password? Then I see the 'forgotten password' option so I click on that, only I can't remember the user name I used to use! I give up on that one - if the mail is really important, it will find it's way to me.
Then I get thinking that I should check my old hotmail account that I had for the Children's book Club I used to run - oddly enough I remember the username and password for that one straight off, but it has been so long since I used that account, hotmail have deactivated it and it's a huge deal to re-activate it. I give up on that one!
Home time and I decide to leave the computer on so as I don't have to fight with it over the password the next day. Not a good idea I know as it wastes energy, but what about my energy each morning?
Home at last and all the chores done so I decide to have a go on facebook. I have several accounts on facebook for things that I am involved in and it's just so easy to get passwords mixed up with the wrong user name. I should do a list but then what if it falls into the wrong hands? What if some facebook hacker gets into my laptop and steals my identities? No lists!
I think to myself passwords are everywhere - the house alarm, my credit card pin, my laser card pin, facebook, twitter, websites, email, pc's.......AAGH!!!!!
Even this blog - another password to remember - I picked an easy one different to all the others - now if I can just remember what it is..............

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A different Drumm

Always wanted to blog and just thought today, what the heck - just do it. So here goes.

I am not even sure what category I want this to fit into - none perhaps.
I don't want this to be All About Me either - no really I dont!

So why bother blogging? Well I will have to get back to you on that one, when I know the answer myself.

Yah - my first blog done and dusted - now that wasn't too bad at all.