Bags of Gratitude

Towards the end of last year I had a health scare and there was real chance that I might be seriously ill. There were trips to the gp, blood tests, a scan and then an appointment on Christmas eve with a consultant at the the hospital, who took a biopsy. In the end I was fine and there was nothing seriously wrong, but I had several very stressful weeks during which I hardly slept or ate… and, you may have noticed, did no blogging. Fortunately three very dear friends helped me get through it – without their support, love and reminders to eat (apparently it’s fine to have chocolate for breakfast in such circumstances), I’m not sure how I (and Mr Snail) would have coped.

The consultant reassured me, but it wasn’t until the results of the biopsy came through and I knew all really was well, that I was able to relax once more and my creativity (which had all but deserted me for the duration) returned with abundance.

So, how do you thank such good friends? I know they would have been there for me no matter what, but I wanted to demonstrate to them how grateful I am. I looked for presents to buy, but in the end I decided that I really wanted to make them each a gift… they all either knit or crochet, so I settled on my other main interest at the mo

I don’t normally name names, but I would, publicly, like to thank Sarah, Kt and Joëlle for their friendship… I love you ladies and I hope you like your bags.

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44 Comments

  1. Absolutely gorgeous bags, and I can’t think of a better way to be thanked. You have lovely friends and they deserve their Bags of Gratitude. We should all pay it forward so perfectly… And may I just say, I’m extremely glad to hear that all is well. In those circumstances, chocolate for breakfast is not only permissible but prescribed. Been there, done that…. Personally, I favour cake (except on chemo, when it tastes disgusting).

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    • I knew that the recipients would all really appreciate receiving something handmade. There was a point when I thought I was never going to get to the end of making them, but it was so worth it. Now I think about it, I should have put a bar of chocolate in each of them some everyone could have had chocolate for breakfast.

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  2. So glad you got good news after all that worrying.

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  3. Oh, gosh! Been there, done that. Unfortunately had cancer. Fortunately, it was easy to treat, and it has been ten years for me. Lovely, lovely gifts for those wonderful friends. How hard it is to wait for the news from a biopsy. So glad you are getting back into your creative groove.

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  4. Trish Longley

     /  February 13, 2020

    So glad to hear you’ve got the “all clear”; the waiting for the result must have been very difficult. What lovely bags as a Thank You to your supportive and caring friends, a little love in every stitch. Now you can enjoy life again and the coming of Spring

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  5. Joanne Harold

     /  February 13, 2020

    A great result from a health scare, what a relief it must have been for you to get the good news. I love the bags, I especially like the texture. 😀

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  6. So very gald this story has a happy ending. Two years ago we went through this with my husband Mr E- he did have cancer, but two years on, is still here.
    Your friends have been very good and your bags are a lovely way to say thank you.

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    • I know I would have had great support if the outcome had been different, but I am so happy that we never had to put that to the test.
      Enjoy every day you have with Mr E. life is a marvellous thing.

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  7. What’s not to love – your clever sewing, your lovely friends, and negative test results. It is indeed a horrible time to have to endure, so very glad all your happiness and creative spirit has returned ❤

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  8. Glad to hear that you’re ok now. Chocolate for breakfast, and indeed any other meal, sounds fine to me.
    I’m certain that your friends will be delighted with their hand made bags.

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  9. I have a friend who has just been through treatment for cervical cancer and has to wait a month or so to see if it has worked. I can only try to imagine how she’s feeling and am full of admiration that she appears to be carrying on with life as normal – i’d be a wreck.
    I’m so pleased for you, the relief must have been immense and your friends will be delighted with their beautiful bags now that you have your creative mojo back.

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    • I honestly don’t know how people manage just to keep on with their normal lives. All I could manage was a walk with the dogs each day – I couldn’t sleep or eat or even crochet (which is normally such a solace). Once I had been reassured by the consultant I did start to feel better, but it wasn’t until I had the letter confirming that there was nothing wrong that I could finally get back to my normality.

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  10. Ann Pole

     /  February 13, 2020

    I had no idea. I’m so glad nothing serious is wrong, and glad you had amazing peer support. The bags look lovely. Love and wishes for you both. 🙂

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    • I kept very quiet – I only told a total of six people because I just couldn’t cope with talking about it. My stress levels were through the roof for two weeks and quite high after that until I got confirmation in writing that I was ok. I think the worst thing was not knowing, so I didn’t want to share too widely until I had some concrete information… and then the concrete information was that everything was ok, so it was all over before most people knew there was anything wrong.

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  11. Isn’t it amazing what we go through! Your three lovely friends probably don’t feel as if they need thanking – but those bags are really beautiful and will be a wonderful reminders of the joy of seeing you come through your scare with flying colours! I really do wonder what was going on in the air at that time, I was deep in my own health issue then as was my best friend with her breast cancer. I am glad you are well and back to blogging ❤

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    • I hope that you are over your health problems now. I’m trying to be grateful every day that I am well.
      Your are quite right, my three lovely ladies all said that they did not feel that I needed to thank them this way, but I really wanted to show how much their support meant to me, I trundled around looking at potential gifts to buy to begin with, but that didn’t feel right… making something is so much more personal, and it means their bags (although similar) are unique.

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  12. They are gorgeous Jan (as is the one you made earlier for yourself. I am so glad there was nothing seriously wrong. Welcome back to making and blogging.

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  13. Nikki

     /  February 14, 2020

    In times of hardship (of whatever form), nothing strengthens us more than the support of kind and understanding friends. May we all remember to appreciate the wonderful people in our lives – how’s that for a healthy alternative to Valentines?! Nikki xxx

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    • It made me realise what amazing friends I have… I try not to take my friends for granted, but I’m sure we all do sometimes. I know they were all happy to help no matter what, but it felt good to spend time making these gifts as a way to express my gratitude in a tangible way.

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  14. What a wonderful way to celebrate friendship – all three bags looking so splendid and like sisters. So very glad to hear all is well Jan. ❤

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  15. I’m relieved to know that you’re OK and back on top of your blog.
    Massive Hugs

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  16. Sarah

     /  February 14, 2020

    I lurve my bag, thank you 😘😘😘 I’m very grateful I was able to be there for you, as you are always for me 😘😘😘

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  17. The bags are gorgeous!

    It looks like there was something in the water at the end of last year, as I’ve just been through something similar…

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    • Oh goodness – I hope all is well with you now and that you had supportive people around you. I found the worst thing was not knowing what was wrong… uncertainty is like a huge hole that I fill with all my worst fears.

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      • Yes, the uncertainty is very stressful! I was in panic about who could look after my daughter if I needed an operation… and the list goes on. The flip side now of course is that getting good news at the other end gets rid of those nagging doubts that took me to the doctor in the first place. I hope you also now feel a sense of relief.

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  18. I’m so pleased to hear you are well. Health issues have derailed my life several times, and it does sap your energy to do the things you love (and chocolate for breakfast is fine. As is cake, and spending all day in your jammies). May your good health continue!

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  19. There is nothing more important than a strong support group in stressful times ~ and it sounds like yours was the best! Not knowing is such an emotional drain. Once you know, even if the news is bad, you can deal with it. Was it John Lennon who wrote something like “How can you go forward when you don’t know which way you are facing”? Not knowing is a swirl of negativity and ‘what ifs’. I am so pleased that you got the right result.

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  20. Kt Shepherd

     /  February 15, 2020

    My bag is so beautiful Jan – so pleased that my talented and equally supportive friend doesn’t have a serious illness – lovely blog post too x

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  21. What beautiful bags! Priceless friendship and gifts.

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  22. I’m so glad all is well with you. Health scares are terrifying. I’m sure your friends love the bags. They are really beautiful. It must have been so freeing to be creative after all that worry.

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