I recently told you that I was making up some simple, fabric bags to take to my surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK.
The reason, you may recall, was that when I was in hospital having major surgery last year I had a problem carrying the many drainage bottles which were attached to my body. The best solution at that time was to put them all in a pillowcase which left one hand free to keep my balance as I tried to walk - no mean feat ( or should that be feet? Lol.) Now I realise that, in the scheme of things, this is only a small problem, but with all the emotions attached to having life-saving surgery, worrying about my hubby and children who were so far away and having to travel for hours just to see me for a few minutes, and feeling frustrated about being such a burden on everyone, not being confident enough to go to the loo when you need to can seem like yet another mountain to climb.
Anyway, I decided that all it would have taken was a simple bag which I could sling over my shoulder to carry the bottles and I would have had my hands free to grab the nearest bed, door frame or whatever for support as I made my way down the ward on my very unsteady feet.
I made some of these bags and took them to the hospital last week, along with a written explanation about what they were for and why I had made them (also offering to make more if they were a success). Inside each one I popped a small, pretty card just saying something like "Hi there, I hope you're feeling a little better today" just to maybe put a small smile on someone's face. I also made them with various lengths to the straps so they could go across the body, over the shoulder or just hook onto a wrist, depending on the needs and comfort of the individual patient. My surgeon was thrilled and said they would be a big help to the patients. I hope he's right and would love to see the idea catching on in other hospitals - I, for one would love to make more and I'm sure that if there is a need for them at one hospital it will be the same at others.
I'm just grateful to be able to give something back - cancer is one of those illnesses which affects so many people - not just those who suffer from it, but the families, carers, medical staff - the list is endless! I'm lucky enough to be a survivor - it was five years ago that I was diagnosed and I still have to have the odd treatment or procedure, take painkillers and endure the ongoing effects, as well as having to give up my job - but I know so many people aren't as fortunate as me, and my heart goes out to them and their loved ones.
Hopefully these bags will be useful to anyone who has had surgery, not just cancer patients, and I think anything which makes someone's life a little easier has to be worthwhile!
Have a great week, and feel free to leave me a comment below if you get a spare minute. Take care,