A 2014 New Years Resolution to “Blog Weekly” has been Revived!

Hello again…. and Happy 2016,

It has been almost two years since my last blog.  A blog with a promise to write again in a month.  Well,  24 months later,  I sit before a blank page and wonder what to write.   Although I continued to daily journal I hesitated to blog,  for various reasons and too many to list.  All I can say is “Life,” and all its complexities seemed to get in my way again.  In this blog I hope to catch all of you up on a bit of my life, the “Magnificent SEVEN” Grandsons, and the journey of A Moment in Connemara, An Irish Love Story.   I have every intention to blog more often,  (however I  will not promise a specific time frame).  I welcome each of you to the ‘Bit of Blarney’ blog and I would love to hear from you with thoughts, questions, or ideas.

2014 was another interesting year.   A year full of normal events, birthdays, holidays, weddings, “sleepovers with my Grandsons,” and our Fabulous Fourth of July celebration.  But in the midst of all the ‘normalcy’ my life took another twist on April 30th, 2014.  During my routine mammogram a small lump was found.  Within the next few days and months my life was again thrust into the world of doctors, surgeons, hospitals, lab tests, biopsies, and breast cancer.   I was surprised as anyone to have Breast Cancer again, after all it had been 13 years since I had first entered the world of cancer.   The good news, if you call getting breast cancer again good, was it was a NEW breast cancer and my previous cancer had not reoccurred (which means it was not in other parts of my body) but centralized again in the lump, and possibly a few lymph nodes.   I had surgery in June and began chemotherapy again in July.  I had to have chemotherapy again as this breast cancer was faster growing.  To go back into the world of breast cancer is a difficult journey.  I did write daily to my family and friends on the Caring Bridge site.  I kept everyone up to date on my surgeries, treatments, medicines, and also how I felt during this time.  If any of you are interested in reading my Caring Bridge blog you can go on the Caring Bridge website, type in Annie Quinn, and the site should direct you to my blog.  On later blogs I might quote some of the feelings I had during this time, but I am not sure.  My family rallied round me again and this time I had the added loving support of my Seven Grandsons who had not traveled this road with me before.   My chemotherapy was from July to October with a monthly shot of Faslodex for the next five years.  I am doing well, my hair has regrown, my health continues to return,  and I have survived breast cancer again!

To say the least, my travel plans were put on hold during 2014.  I had to cancel my planned trip to Ireland in August 2014 for the wedding of Mags McGrath.  It was the first year, in 15 years,  I had not returned to Ireland.  I missed seeing all my family and friends in Ireland and my home in Ballycotton.  Luckily I spent three weeks in July of 2015 in Ballycotton.  Mags’ sister, Susan McGrath, was married and I was able to sit in the beautiful Ballycotton Star of the Sea Catholic Church and marvel at my great fortune of being surrounded by my “new Irish family,” friends (Irish and American) and my daughter Heather, her husband Derek, and one of my grandsons, Declan.  As I sat in the church, ready for the wedding to begin, I recalled my first meeting with Noel in 1998 and all the steps it had taken to this moment in Church.  It was a surreal melancholy moment … so happy for Susan and Denis, enjoying all the moments in Ireland, feeling surrounded by Love, and yet missing Noel’s presence.  I am still amazed that I  met Noel in Connemara in 1998 and our Journey has led me on a path that I would never envision.

Over the next few blogs, and hopefully within the next few months, I will discuss various topics.  I will tell you the amazing  journey my book, A Moment in Connemara, is still on,  adventures of a Gramma with Seven Grandsons (now aged 5-13 years),  closing up the family business of over 50 years, and beginning a publishing company.  So many topics, adventures, comic situations, and fun.  I just want to thank each of you for following my blog and reading “A Bit of Blarney from Ballycotton.”  I appreciate each and every one of you and would love to hear your questions, comments, or recommendations.

Enjoy the Moments