As the friend who got me started (Where it all began!) it seemed appropriate to grant her the first, of what I hope will be many more Guest Spots!
"Well, my Trollbead journey began when my friend Karin mentioned them to me. I had told her that an ex pupil at the school where I used to work, had arranged a collection for me when she found out I had cancer, and asked me what they should buy.
Karin immediately suggested a Trollbead bracelet! I mentioned it to Molly and her mum, my friend Sascha, and the kids bought the bracelet and a basic clasp, and Sascha and Molly bought me a bead to go on it too! The thing about Trollbead bracelets is that the bracelet itself is gorgeous, even without any beads!
As I have told Molly, she started something special when she organised that collection for me. Actually, just DOING that collection was so very special!
The bracelet and the trollbead mean such a lot to me. I have told everyone the story of how the fact that a bunch of teenagers, who always get a bad press, donated money to save up for a gift for me, and I KNEW they were all brilliant, in spite of the grumps and the glares, and because more than that, I remember the smiles and the laughs and the whispers and the fun we had in the classroom, and that bead reminds me of a bunch of bloody lovely kids each time I look at it.
So, what was the bead? A Turquoise Ribbon, of which £3 goes to Cancer Research. Gorgeous swirls, and little did I know that nearly a year later, we'd be raising money for the same charity in the Race for Life!
And so more of my friends started buying me beads, and my family too, and each one is therefore is special, because each one has a connection, and a story of its own, and they all gave me strength to keep fighting, because it made me realise that I was loved, and people wanted me to stay around!
And I think it helped people, because they couldn't always help me, physically or mentally, because some live miles away, some live abroad, or some maybe couldn't communicate or express what they wanted to say, but they had a way of showing me they were around, and were thinking of me.
Of course, friends who live closer to me helped out in many ways, babysitting or cooking or just hugging, and my bonkers but gorgeous family did so much for me too. But the Trollbeads appeal to so many it seems, and because people knew I loved them, it gave them a way of showing support and having some fun too! I also started a journal of my cancer journey, which really helped, getting it all out of my system, and having something to look back on, because we don't always remember everything... and I have mentioned them in there sometimes too!
As a result of my journal/blog, I soon had a 2nd bead - Fantasy Elf, from Tiina in Luxembourg. Wow! Officially, he's supposed to sit on a Trollbead necklace, but until I've saved for one of those, he's helping look after my bracelet ;) 3rd - Cells (also mean "infinite possibilities") as a surprise gift from Karin when all we were supposed to be doing was having a coffee and window shopping for shiny things! Appropriate, as I had 'bad cells' as I had described it to my youngest (7 yrs), AND, I focused on my options being infinite, and positive!
4th bead, an Xmas pressie to myself - Rainbow - another positive good omen I felt. For Xmas (5th and 6th), my mother and stepfather gave me the gorgeous Silver Trace, Green - Turquoise, very pretty, and later that day I had the Belly Chakra from my father and stepmum. I felt very spoilt! Then a Lucky Knot (7) from Louisa! I am hoping to collect all the silver knots, so this was a great start!! By then, I had to replace the clasp: basic ones cannot hold the weight of many beads, and I was intending to eventually fill up the bracelet so I just *had* to treat myself to a new clasp... I chose the Troll Tree :)
Next was #8 ... Purple Flower from Michelle, who wanted to give me a gift to say sorry for living too far away basically! Bless! Number 9 & 10 arrived again from Luxembourg!! Capricorn goat (something about being stubborn eh? haha!) and a beautiful amber, Maple Syrup.
Then Jo held a 'pre-transplant' knees-up for me, and the mums from Cwmdu school gave me a Throat Chakra, (11) which was lovely, and Jo gave me Three Siblings (12), another I had on my 'wish list', and obviously appropriate as I have 3 daughters, about whom I was really worried before I went in for the stem cell procedure... as an early Mother's Day pressie, prior to admission (I would be in for Mother's Day), my eldest gave me my 13th (lucky for some!!) Hugging Heart ... so very touching and a special bead for me.
Then I had my birthday party/festival (another story for another time!) and it seems my friends, prompted by Mars, had conspired to buy me 3 beads!! The very cute Crab (I am Cancerian), Three in One (another knot!) and Organic Hearts - Mars says they chose that because I am surrounded by love *gulp*. And on the same birthday, Mike and Trish bought me Iron Wolf, another stunner! 17 beads in a much faster time than I had expected. Feeling very spoiled indeed, and then Mars sends me links for a stockist with a huge sale on, and 2 more of my wish list are in it! Thankfully I had just been paid haha! So I *had* to get them both... Pumpkin because it's a stunning colour... reminds me of sunsets and Autumn which I love, and Green Eye which is the Eye of Protection... I think this is relevant in this stage of remission!
Here's to continuing the Trollbead adventure, and keeping cancer's arse well and truly kicked!"