Thank you

Service Card

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks that so many people turned up to pay their final respects to Wendy. I feel bad that there were so many people that I never got to speak to everyone, it just became impossible.

It was a difficult and emotional day, but in the end I felt that it was also a fitting one. The hymns and reading were chosen by Wendy herself, so she got to do it ‘her way.’ The tribute by Darren Topp on behalf of BHS was so appropriate.

I know that we were all deeply moved by the tributes from Richard and Rebecca, and I so admired their courage in getting up to deliver them. I also want to thank our good friend Ian Morton for delivering the reading which meant so much to both of us. Wendy has excerpts from that reading as wall art about the house.

Yesterday I received a call from Juliett, the funeral director. She told me that you had generously donated almost £1,000 to Wendy’s charities on the day alone. Thank you all so much for this.

So many of you have let me know how much you all thought of Wendy. I too spoke on Wednesday, but I had to ‘tone down’ the emotion, or I would never have got through it. I often told Wendy how much I thought of her, but in her own self-deprocating way she would just say ‘you’re biased!’ But you have all shown me that she was indeed very special – it wasn’t just me. I was just the guy who was lucky enough to have her by my side every day, and I miss her terribly.

Yesterday, together with Judy and Rebecca, we took Molly for a walk in Hughenden – something I had done with Wendy many times. We stopped at a bench to rest and there was single daisy growing in the grass, which seemed very poigniant. I didn’t pick it, but left it for others to enjoy.

Today, I return to work. My employers have been very supportive, They let me work from home when Wendy needed me and they have given me the time and space I needed at the end. But I know I must pick up the pieces and carry on, I have to just take one day at a time.

Some while ago, I signed up to the Decembeard campaign. Wendy hated the idea of me growing a beard, but reluctantly agreed that I should be allowed to do my bit for Beating Bowel Cancer. I couldn’t start on the 1st of December, because I wanted to be clean shaven for her on Wednesday. But I’m starting now and will continue into January to make up for the late start. You can sponsor me here.

I still have a box of ‘Bostin Bums Calendars‘ to sell, please consider buying one if you haven’t already. We’ve lost our Wendy now, but sadly there are too many other people like her that need our help.

Finally, can I say a big thank you to some of Wendy’s special friends who are still helping and supporting me. You know who you are and I really do appreciate it.

 

Funeral Information

We have been touched as a family by how many people wish to come to Wendy’s funeral. We would love you to be there, so I am going to share the information here.

We are going to start by offering you refreshments from 1pm at the Oakley Hall. This sounds very grand but is in fact an unimposing building next to the church at 8 Castle Street, High Wycombe HP13 6RF. Unfortunately, the hall is upstairs and there is no lift (just in case anyone has mobility difficulties). There is a small NCP car park between the hall and the church, but it is expensive and might be full. However, the Eden Centre multi storey is only a short walk away. I have produced a google map which shows the layout and also the shortest walking route to the lifts in the Eden car park.

The church service itself begins at 3pm, and we ask that you take your seats in good time as family and close friends will follow when Wendy is brought in to the church.

The service will be followed by a Committal at the Chilterns Crematorium, Whielden Lane, Amersham, HP7 0ND. You are most welcome to come here too, and we will allow sufficient time for you to return to your car and make your way there.

It would be really helpful if you could let us know if you plan to come so that we can guage numbers.

In accordance with Wendy’s wishes, please do not buy flowers. Instead, we would ask that you donate the money to Wendy’s charities: Rennie Grove Hospice Care and Beating Bowel Cancer. You can do this via the links in the blog or hand your donations to the funeral director on the day.

Steve

Where to begin?

As I said before, there is so much to say. I think it would be overly ambitious to try to put it all in ‘one final post,’ as Wendy put it. I think that Wendy’s story isn’t over yet, so you may have to put up with a few posts from me. And besides, as soon as I hit the ‘publish’ button I will think of something else.

I feel quite dazed. This journey began back in January, and sadly became more and more difficult. Towards the end, Wendy had become progressively more dependent upon us. We had little time to ‘stop and think.’ When Wendy finally went to sleep in the early hours of yesterday morning, my feelings were so mixed. I was relieved that her suffering was finally at an end. But someone like Wendy leaves a huge void.

Wendy fitted that classic description of someone who could ‘light up a room.’ She was vivacious, enthusiastic, funny and passionate. She had an enormous heart and gave of herself endlessly. I feel truly privileged to have spent fourteen amazing years by her side. They have been fourteen years filled with love, joy and fun. What has been wonderful about the blog is the way in which some of her personality transferred onto the pages. You get a real feel for the kind of lady she was, and as a result, you have taken her to your hearts even if you didn’t know her.

I have read and received so many tributes to Wendy via these pages, Facebook and in person. So many that I just haven’t any chance to respond to them all individually. Please know that I read them all with pride and gratitude and your words move me.

I have also been moved by the way in which she has been treated by nurses. I understand now what kind of a special person it takes to be a nurse. During the last days she was tended by nurses in Ward 10 at Stoke Mandeville who have left me in awe of the way they could look after so many patients, and yet still smile and tend to my wife’s needs patiently. They pulled out all of the stops to get Wendy home when it became clear that nothing else could be done medically. Wendy’s wish was to spend her last days at home and they made it happen for her.

We discovered a wonderful charity called Rennie Grove Hospice Care (formerly Ian Rennie) who supply nurses to help with end of life care. I cannot tell you how many times they were there for us when we needed them. In Wendy’s last hours she was tended by Ian Rennie nurses with such tenderness and respect and I am so grateful to them.

Wendy also had some true, special friends (you know who you are) who have been there for us in the difficult days. Whether to just come and sit with her, or run an errand or help in so many ways, you proved your true friendship to Wendy.

She had the good fortune to be employed by a really special company. BHS have helped and supported us as a family in so many ways that they didn’t have to do. They stood by her and repayed the loyalty that she showed them in ways that are truly remarkable. These included buying her a special bed and offering to pay for carers to stay at our home. They also made it possible for her to attend the company conference, and senior people have visited Wendy at home and in hospital. Finally, they fully backed and funded the Bostin Bums calendar (I do hope that you have one).

While I feel a deep sadness right now, I also feel tremendous gratitude. Wendy and I packed a lifetime into fourteen years. She truly was a wonderful wife, and I have also lost my best friend. The years that we spent together I will never forget, and the love I have for her still burns inside me. I have been blessed.

Many of you have asked about Wendy’s funeral arrangements. I know that so many of you would like to come and pay your final respects, and you will be very welcome. Fortunately, we talked about this and Wendy wrote down her wishes for me.

Wendy’s funeral will take place at All Saints Church, High Wycombe at 3pm on Wednesday the 9th of December, followed by a committal at the Chilterns Crematorium in Amersham. As this is quite late in the day, we are planning to offer people refreshments before the service instead of afterwards. This will allow people with long journeys to arrive relaxed and refreshed (we will provide more details of this in due course). She has also chosen her favourite hymns, so please arrive in good voice! Finally she has stipulated NO flowers apart from the single arrangement that she has requested and we have ordered for her. She would love it if instead you donated the money you would have spent to her two charities: Beating Bowel Cancer and Rennie Grove Hospice Care. You can do so via the links on the blog, or hand your donations to the funeral directors on the day.

Wendy is also survived by her mum Judith, and two children Richard and Rebecca. They have all shown incredible dignity and strength throughout this journey. I am very fortunate to have gained these people in my family through Wendy. They all need your love and support too. We will stick together, and I will continue to regard them as part of my family forever.

A few days ago, Wendy said to me ‘I’ve lived a lifetime with you.’ I feel the same way. I have so many precious moments to look back on. We were lucky, we learned the importance of picking daisies when we had the opportunity. If you have an ambition, don’t put it off – do it soon. None of us know what is around the next corner, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Whether that’s swimming with dolphins or riding a motorbike naked in the sun. We picked our daisies and you must too.

Steve

The struggle is over

This morning, our beautiful daughter, wife and mother lost her struggle with bowel cancer.

Wendy asked me to write a piece for you all when this time came, and I will. There is so much I want to say, but I will need a little time.

For now, please forgive the short update and grant us some time to come to terms with our loss.

Steve

 

Finally at home!

Evenin’ all!
Rebecca here again!

So, it’s been a stressful couple of days for all of us but I thought I’d update the blog.

So mum returned home on Tuesday, which is great because that is where she wants to be. We are happy to have her finally home. It’s funny to know that her love of the McDonalds Mocha Frappe hasn’t disappeared she still asks for them!! Richard and his friend Tom helped put mums part of the bed downstairs in the dining room where she can have a lovely view of the outdoors in the daytime and peace and quiet for when she needs to sleep. So thank you boys for helping with that much appreciated!!

At the moment mum is still very tired and weak due to the medication she has to take and from the spread of the cancer. But knowing she gives us a smile here and then tells us she is happy to be at home and in our company :).
Also she can watch I’m a Celeb and Strictly on the TV instead of the laptop woohoo!

Today we had Rita, Amanda and Janine come over to visit mum I’m sure she enjoyed seeing your lovely faces! Thank you Rita for the help earlier!

Now I’m going to be honest with you all as I know mum always on the blog would share her problems, worries and just have a general talk with you all. It’s very hard for all of us family and friends of my mum. To know that this is the stage we are at now after all the strength she has shown throughout this year since being diagnosed in February. My mum is one in a million, a true hero. I’m so proud of all the donations from everyone to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. To know even though we are still on this path everyone has been so supportive and helpful in their own ways and if it wasn’t for those people we as a family would have been lost.

It’s worrying, frightening you feel helpless at times as you don’t know what you can do to help. It’s even with the smallest of things for example I can’t lift my mum up the bed as I’m not strong enough to so I feel helpless with that, luckily my brother is very strong and has helped with that so that’s good!
Knowing that we take everyday with our heads held high with all the thoughts swimming in our minds is exhausting. But knowing people are there if we need them really helps, just a small message, a call to ask how we are takes us away from those thoughts. So thank you to those people.

It’s very difficult to know what fate has install for us, but we as family and friends have joined together through this and have come out on top and created so much!

Have a nice evening, speak soon!

Rebecca xxx

 

Quick update from Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Rebecca here with a quick update from Mum, who is still in Stoke Mandeville Hospital. I am writing it for her as she tells me what to write.

She is getting stronger everyday. If this continues, mum may be allowed home if medically possible.

I’m sure when mum is home and settled she will continue with her much loved blog and connection to you all.
Mum knows you are all thinking of her, but she still needs some space for a few more days. She appreciates the messages from you all.

 

Rebecca xxx

Weekend and Wendy update.

Hey all, Rebecca here.

I am the postie today (if you call it that) as Steve has the man flu.

On the Saturday Steve headed to the Isle of Wight’s BHS with the Beating Bowel Cancer calendars. They made Steve feel very welcome and managed to sell loads in raising money for the charity.

WELLDONE TEAM WIGHT!!

Here are some photos of the day:

While this was going on our family friend Nicky Jones came over to help my nan with the patient haha (I was in London). Thankyou very much Nicky it was really appreciated!

So the update on my mum (Wendy), she is still recovering from the chest infection and has been taking the amoxycillin to help this. Today she has started to drink a protein drink called Ensure Plus chocolate and strawberry flavours yum yum! It’s great that she likes them and we can finally see her getting the needed vitamins.
At the moment she just needs to relax and rest as much as she can so she can fight the chest infection. The nurses are due tomorrow to do the blood tests and a general health check.

Last night, a reader of the blog a lady named Sue dropped by our house to deliver some food for my mum which was really generous of her, so thankyou Sue very thoughtful of you! :)

Also, a BIG BIG BIG THANKYOU to everyone who has continued to read the blog. It’s lovely to know there are a lot of people supporting the family and my mum in their own ways. I know it’s been a bit slow recently but hopefully things will get back to normal and I’m sure mum can’t wait to start it up again!
A big thankyou to those who have also brought our calenders, all the money given goes to raising money for Beating Bowel Cancer is amazing! We have raised £6,689.00 that is amazing!! It’s all down to your generousity and support!

Rebecca xx

 

Wendy Update

So on Wednesday night, Wendy discharged herself from Stoke Mandeville. They had done a CT scan which did not appear to show any spread of cancer to her liver, which we were obviously very glad to hear. Also she appears to have beaten the blood infection (sepsis) that she had had.
On the downside, she has a nasty chest infection and is feeling very weak. She is taking amoxycillin for this, but it is expected to take several days to work. She will have new blood tests on Tuesday, and in the meantime the plan is to rest up at home.
Readers who have been concentrating will know that she was planning to be on the Isle of Wight at the weekend, but she simply isn’t well enough to travel.
As I know Isle Of Wight store have been great supporters of Wendy and Beating Bowel Cancer, I plan to make the journey by myself tomorrow and turn up with the calendars. Secret Biscuit Agent will also be there. The planned launch time is 3pm and the local press will also be there. Only 200 calendars will be available – so make sure you don’t miss out.

Steve

Wendy back in Stoke Mandeville

Just a quick update. Last night we noticed that Wendy had become jaundiced. The Ian Rennie nurse, Suzanne arranged for our GP to come out. Then I received a call from Stoke Mandeville to say they weren’t happy with her blood tests and I should take her back. The jaundice and increased liver function markers can be a side effect of the antibiotic, but because she has bowel cancer we cannot just assume that. She will undergo full tests including a CT scan in the morning to pin down exactly what is going on. In the meantime, she will stay in Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Steve

Another good day :-)

Long may these good days continue hey! So last night I had to sleep on the Dream Machine chair as I gave up trying to sleep upstairs. Not long now anyway until the Dreams bed arrives and I can finally sleep with Steve again after months apart :-)

I slept for 4 1/2 hours which again is fantastic for me. The day planned, shower dressed and off to the Post Office to post Uncle Peter’s Calendars to Australia as promised, so Peter you should get them soon :-).

Returning home before 11 am as my treatment is planned everyday between 11 am – 1 pm. Intravenous drugs done, they also took bloods to check my white blood cells. Now all being well my treatment at home should stop on Thursday depending on the blood results. If they are okay all treatment at home  finally stops and off to the Isle of Wight we go :-) If more treatment is needed then the nurses have confirmed  that I can still go but they will have to contact the District nurses there for treatment to continue. So it’s all  fingers crossed that my blood results come back okay.

As mom and I returned home for the 11 am treatment my Cousin Nicky, my Aunty Shelia and Danielle arrived for their planned visit. It was so lovely to see them, just to have them here again was lovely and we all enjoyed 4 hours together. I was knackered after the visit and had to rest again but it was so fabulous seeing them I wish I had the strength to have continued to chat as I know we could have talked all day to catch up.

I should have taken a photo of them in the Daisy Den, which they love  but I didn’t and as  we ran out of time they also didn’t get to go in to the ‘Love Tub’ but we did get a photo all together in the dining room.

IMG_5023
Me, Danielle, Aunty Shelia, mom and Cousin Nicky :-)

More good news  is that DFS are delivering the new furniture early and it will be here on Thursday not Friday as planned and finally in the evenings we can be together as a family again :-)

Back to Calendars and as I thought they were on sale in High Wycombe BHS thanks to Mary from 9 am this morning. The other nominated stores are:

  1. Kingston Upon Thames x 100
  2. Staines x 100
  3. Bromley x 100
  4. Harrow x 100
  5. High Wycombe x 50
  6. Chichester x 150
  7. Isle of Wight x 200
  8. Woking x 50
  9. Uxbridge x 100
  10. Hanley x 100
  11. Merry Hill x 200

No other BHS Stores will have stock of the Calendars so if you don’t have one close to you then you can always still order them  through the blog, just follow the  link.

Thanks to Jacqui and James at BHS Head Office these stores will have stock by Wednesday and as they already have the promotional packs, thanks to Leanne then Calendars will be available and on sale for you all on Thursday :-) happy shopping. The process in stores in that it will have to be cash only, so you have been warned, go armed with your £7 cash.

So finally a massive thank you to BHS and the Head Office team for making all this possible by paying for the total print run of these Calendars as it’s appreciated so much, we couldn’t have done it without you.