Just back from an amazing week away in Cardiff celebrating everything Nathan Pithers. This past weekend was so busy with a dinner out with his besties and mates. Louise and CJ, Matt, Eve, the Sarah’s (Chainey and Springer), Simon and Kaley and Rachel Bliss and Dan. Was a great night out in Cardiff Bay which started at Salt then moved on to Cote Brasserie then back to Salt lol. This will be the most memorable birthday and I am so pleased I was able to be with him the whole time. I still remember my 40th, it was a surprise party and I really hate surprises, but in the end I had a fab time.


Sunday was another Pithers gathering with his folks Vanessa and Bryn, brother Matt and his son Iestyn, sister Sharon (first time I had met her and I loved her!) and some friends of the family, Jan and Allan. Jan was asking me all kinds of questions (interrogation as I call it!) as you do… and about half hour later she asked if my accent was from Manchester haha! Not quite I said, I’m such a Canadian sometimes! Strangely enough it was where I first lived when I came to the UK many years ago. Literally thought that was the funniest thing someone ever said to me. American accent I get all the time.

Nathan’s dog Bentley has come home for good. He came home on Friday night and I am sure he will be happy living with Daddy 1 full time and Daddy 2 on the weekends in Cardiff and in Crawley. Bentley is so loving and well behaved. I am not a dog person normally but have grown to appreciate the unconditional love they give. I even bought him a posh new bed and he took one look at it and he was straight in there. It made my day. Nathan bought him some new toys and loads of good food. Need to get Bentley used to the train ride from Cardiff to Gatwick πŸ˜‰

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Loads of FT chats over the weekend with Karen, Cynthia and Thora. Constant messages from friends on how I am doing and I really feel that people are there for me. It’s just overwhelming sometimes. When it was time to leave Cardiff Monday morning I had to hold back the tears. As Nathan was hugging me I just felt like everything was about to change.

So much going on in my mind since meeting with Dr Marcus again yesterday evening at the LOC. Once again I had the honor of having Bernie with me and we were anxious to hear what the doctor had to say. I had an idea so it didn’t come as a complete surprise. Bernie asking me if it was ok to ask questions, got to love her, has to know everything, in detail πŸ˜‰ Can he continue working out at the gym through this treatment, yes Dr Marcus says. Something normal at least.

I got the appointment time wrong (nothing new for me), so we ended up being very early. Not a single bag of builders tea in the joint, much to the disappointment of Bernie. Only posh tea I’m afraid. Dr Marcus came out to the reception area to call me in himself, nice touch. One thing was certain, I was very stressed and nervous about what I was about to hear. Dr Marcus of course had spoken to me earlier about the results, so I knew it wasn’t going to be what I was hoping for.

Dr Marcus is worried we are in between the decision to do 3 x CHOP chemo course and radiotherapy and the full monty which includes more intense chemo and a Stem Cell Transplant. The thought of that is definitely making me shudder. He then says we can probably get you in next week for the first treatment….oh wait I remember he says… you are going away…yes I say we are back on the 6th of March from Florence. Well then how does 7th and 8th work. I ask Dr Marcus if that is ok to wait until after the holiday and he says not an issue. Back home from holiday and back to reality in the true sense. Book me in. Nathan will be with me for those appointments and I am really grateful as it means him taking some extra time off and he is a busy boy.

One of the lumps on neck is now causing me discomfort and it makes this all so real. I’m actually wanting to get on with this now as I was to rid myself of this horrible disease which has invaded me. A cancer so rare it seems, why am I so bloody special lol.

In order to prep for the CHOP chemo sessions Dr Marcus wants me to see a Cardiologist to check my heart. The chemo puts a lot of strain on the heart apparently. This is serious shit! Then I need to attend a Chemo talk by one of the nurses and meet Dr Marcus again to sign a consent form. Treatment will start the next day, then again on March 29th and April 19th (day before my birthday – lovely!) The another PET scan to follow and then some decisions to make once again. Do we or don’t we.

After we left Dr M’s office I had to do bloods and that is so routine now, bearing in mind I used to be terrified of needles. Ha, walk in the park now. You have good veins Mr Hollands-Martel, thank fuck for that! The Bernie and I went to meet Cynthia for a drink at the Reunion Bar, I really really really needed a drink. I was just a little lost for words. So different from the last visit the LOC.

Kirsty from LMC has been so amazing throughout this process and is checking on me constantly, making sure I’m ok with all the arrangements being made. How did I get so lucky? I feel like I know her so well already. The universe does sometimes send people at the right time when you really need them. Does anyone else believe in that sort of thing? Thank you Debbie and thank you Kirsty and team. ❀

Back in the office today and catching up on things and with some of my colleagues. I am not sure how many people know about my situation and it really isn’t a secret. Spent some time catching up with Diane and she is super supportive, as is Russ my boss. Just let us know what we can do to support you. It’s at a time like this you appreciate working for a good company. It makes all the difference.

Hey only 3 more sleeps and I will be back with my boy. He is my reason.


  1. Hey there handsome!

    What an amazing team you have with you …. it is just fantastic … for one that lives SO bloody far away and wanting to be there for you…. I am just so pleased that you have so many amazing people / supporters around you! It brings me to tears with joy! But, hey, you are a star and we all love you for who you are and what great joys you have brought to all! You Rock Mark! πŸ™‚

    I have to agree with you, people come along our life’s paths at the right time – embrace them all!

    I would love to catch up on FT with you soon and please let me know when suits πŸ™‚ ….. Would love to chat to Nathan too ..and sing for him! LOL! Happy Birthday tune .. both in English and Icelandic .. gosh he is lucky hey! LOL! It is great that you guys have had such a fun time celebrating his birthday!

    Hang in there my beautiful friend! Keep blogging and try to keep that upbeat, positive attitude that you have always had – amazing how that can conquer all. A good cry is always healthy too… don’t forget that!

    I love you to the moon and back! Missing you loads and sending you a load of BIG hugs and kisses across the globe!!!

    Yours KJ


    1. KJ your words are so very precious and uplifting. We will arrange to FT this weekend and you can sing Happy Birthday in as many languages as you like to Nathan and I am sure he would love that! And I won’t forget to cry that I know how to do my darling and it’s good for you. I Love you heaps and heaps XX Mark


  2. You are just amazing dear friend. Enjoy every moment on yr holls with Nathan. Gather strength and determination. You CAN do this and WIN!!!


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