2017 – The year I didn’t share with you

Sitting here now, reflecting on the year just gone, I really want to tell you that 2017 was every bit as wonderful as it appeared to be. I want to tell you that every snapshot we shared was a true reflection of our lives, that every beaming smile, every family photo, every moment where we appeared to be having the time of our lives, was completely real.

And yet I think should I sit here and tell you that, I’d be lying.

Because although our year has been filled with so many wonderful moments, it has been filled with so many terrible ones too. The truth is that behind those happy holidays and perfect family photos, I’ve been going through hell with an on-going battle with my health, one I’m certain which many assumed I had long overcome.

The reality of our lives isn’t that which you see on social media. The snippets I share are carefully edited, meticulously arranged, selected purely to look back on and remember the smiles, the laughter and the memories we made. And there’s nothing wrong with that, we all do it, but it’s not a true reflection of our year, not by any means.

My reality has been the hospital, sometimes two, three, four times a week, the long list of doctors and specialists I have frequented – neurologists, gynaecologists, rheumatologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, stomach doctors, liver doctors, orthopaedic surgeons, sleep specialists and a whole team of physiotherapy.

My reality has been repeated procedures, a gastroscopy, hysteroscopy, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI’s, biopsies and bloods. It’s been a barrage of back procedures, epidurals, cortisone injections, flailing around in hydrotherapy, gritting my teeth through acupuncture, limping to and from appointments.

My reality has been the cocktail of drugs I take each day, sixteen tablets just to function, each with their own side effects, none providing a miracle cure. My reality has been waking in pain, going to bed in pain, bone achingly tired but unable to sleep, wishing that I could wake up feeling like the old me, my diary clear of appointments, my thoughts free of worry.

My reality has been crying in carparks and doctors surgeries, holding my breath as I wait on more test results, terrified every time my phone rings or a letter lands on my doorstep. My reality has been feeling torn between wanting to read up as much as I can on an illness I don’t yet understand, but being terrified of the answers.

And yet with every bad day, and every appointment, I have returned home and left my fears, and my tears, at the front door. I have plastered on a smile, held the children in my arms, and protected them from a single moment of worry or upset, even when I’ve been falling apart inside.

And it’s been tough, I can’t pretend otherwise, even more so when I haven’t felt able to share this with the majority of people in our lives. I think if the last three years has taught me anything it’s that other people find it incredibly difficult to be supportive of an illness which they don’t understand and physically can’t see.

And I get that, I struggle with it too, and for that reason I simply gloss over my reality to those around me, make light of my ailments, act oblivious when they roll their eyes at the first mention of hospitals, laugh along at my own expense, shrug when they ask me, “So what exactly is wrong with you??”.

Sometimes it’s easier to just keep pretending, even to those I am closest too.

And I don’t tell you any of this for sympathy, I tell you because I want you all to know that there are parts of my life which I am unable to share for the sake of my children, for a 13 year old Lewis who is more than capable of reading my blog and taking on those worries and fears as his own. I tell you this because I want you to know that, as a Mother, I will do my utmost to protect my children from the thoughts which keep me awake at night, from a year of uncertainty and upset, from questions I’m really not sure I have the answers to.

I tell you this because I want to publicly thank those who have supported me this year – my parents who have dropped everything to be there for the children during my many appointments, my friends who never question when I have to cancel our plans or haven’t been up to answering my phone, who send me love and kind thoughts, support and understanding, who remind me that even when they are far away, they are never far from my side. And Gaz, who has been so positive, even when I have not, and who has fought to keep our lives as normal as possible, even on the days I have wanted to hide away from the rest of the world.

In that way, I have been incredibly lucky.

And I guess you’re thinking, why now? Why share this with you as the year is about to end? Well the good news is that, after months of worry, my latest brain scan has come back with no progressive changes since the last scan. I’ve been discharged from several of the specialists I’ve been under this year, have plans in place for my back, to build up my strength, and to regain my health both mentally and physically.

Whatever “this” is which has attacked my nervous system over the last three years, may not have a name, or even a cure, but the fact that all major tests have come back negative is, in simple terms, the very best we could have hoped for.

I’ve learned so much about myself this year, about how strong I can be when necessary, how resilient I have become with time, and how a mothers instinct to protect her children is truly immeasurable. I’ve learned that there is no shame in breaking down, sharing your fears, leaning on others, and accepting that it’s okay not to be okay.

And I think my proudest achievement this year is that regardless of how tough my year has been, I still gave my children the most wonderful year possible. If I achieve nothing else this coming year, I will strive to do exactly the same.

There’s a quote I love which I remind myself of daily,

“On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possible endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”

So as we wave goodbye to 2017 and welcome in the New Year, I shall be counting myself lucky to be surrounded by the most wonderful family and friends, to have the support of all of you who read my blog, and to be sat here, feeling positive, ready to face another year where anything is possible. 

 

 

 

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282 Comments

  1. December 30, 2017 / 6:18 pm

    What a beautiful read. You are indeed strong and I hope you will go from strength to strength in the new year. Sending you much love as always and hope that 2018 will finally be the year we meet face-to-face 💕

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:24 pm

      Thank you so much Nadia, you’ve been such a huge support this year. I so hope this is the year we will meet, infact I will make sure of it! xx

  2. December 30, 2017 / 6:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing this side of your life. It’s so encouraging. You have a beautiful family around you. Stay strong x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:23 pm

      Thank you Vicky, I really do. They have kept me going this year! xx

  3. December 30, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    You’re wonderful , brave and have such strength xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:22 pm

      Thank you so much, much appreciated. xx

  4. December 30, 2017 / 7:51 pm

    Sending love and hugs!
    What a beautifully written post!
    Wishing you all the best for 2018 xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:22 pm

      Thank you so much kim. Happy new year. xx

  5. December 30, 2017 / 7:58 pm

    Certain oh a tough year, but one which you’ve achieved so much with the blog and had great experiences with your children. All the best for 2018

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:22 pm

      Thank you Emma, absolutely! As a family we have done so much and achieved so much together, it hasn’t all been bad that’s for sure. Happy new year. xx

  6. December 30, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    So stunningly written lovely. I am so glad that you have had all of those negative results so that some of the worry can go away. I wish you all the best in getting your strength back but I know you’ll do it because you are the strongest of people. Have a great 2018 xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:21 pm

      Thank you so much. It’s been so reassuring, although with every negative there are positives. Thankfully I am feeling a lot better than I was a few months ago, I am positive that 2018 is going to be a good year for us. Happy new year to you. xx

  7. December 30, 2017 / 8:02 pm

    Beautiful, it’s nice for people to know that not everything is sunshine and roses and that we do break sometimes but stay strong to be able to be around family and the ones we love, I wish you all the best and happy new year to you.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:21 pm

      Thank you Joan. You’re so right, none of us know what others are going through. Happy new year to you. xx

  8. December 30, 2017 / 8:02 pm

    I am so glad to hear that you’ve had some good news (I know how few and far between that can be!) But I’m also sorry to hear how hard this year has been… I know how utterly exhausting, frustrating, and terrifying it all can be. You are so amazing xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:20 pm

      Thank you Amanda. It really is tough isn’t it? But to get that news just before Christmas was a really great lift and I feel positive going into 2018. xx

  9. December 30, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    So sorry to hear about this, you certainly hid it well!!! Best of luck for 2018, look forward to reading you again and hoping for more good news! X

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:19 pm

      Thank you, I think that’s half the problem, I’ve become adept at putting on a brave face! xx

  10. December 30, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    I’m so very sorry that you’ve had such a tough time of it this year and before. Wishing you and your family all the very best for 2018. xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:17 pm

      Thank you Hayley. Happy new year to you too. xx

  11. December 30, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    sorry to hear about what a hard time you have been having. It certainly is easy to hide behind things and think all is rosey with other people, so thank you for sharing this. Here’s to a happier and healthier 2018 x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:17 pm

      Thank you Rebecca, I know the last three years has taught me to be more mindful that others may be fighting their own battles we know nothing about. xx

  12. December 30, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    Bloody hell Laura – I had no idea. I am sending you my prayers and support and anything I can do to help just ask xxxx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:17 pm

      Thank you Linda, that’s so kind of you to say and much appreciated. xxx

  13. December 30, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    It sound like it’s been a tough year. You’re such a strong lady. Wishing you a happy new year x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:16 pm

      Thank you Jo, and happy new year to you too. xx

  14. December 30, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    You have had such a tough year health wise, I really hope 2018 is a better one for you x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:16 pm

      Thank you lovely, here’s hoping! And for you too! xx

  15. December 30, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    Oh I am so happy you finally got good news! It must have been an awful year for you and your whole family but thankfully it has passed. It is true – on social media and on blogs we do show the good things don’t we. Much less of the hidden painful things xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:15 pm

      Thank you. It was a huge relief for the latest scan to show no progression on the lesions. I’ll have annual scans unless something major changes before, but for now I am feeling positive, xx

  16. December 30, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    What an horrible few years, I remember your post from a few years ago when you wrote about your worries about MS, and I had wondered how you were doing. I really hope that 2018 is a much better, healthier year and that you find some answers somewhere. You are one incredibly strong lady, sending love xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:15 pm

      Thank you Hannah. I think most people assumed that I had just got better, but sadly that wasnt the case. I just felt unable to share it when everything was still so up in the air, at 13 Lewis is a real worrier and I had to put him first. I’m feeling positive for a happier, healthier 2018, and for you too. xx

  17. December 30, 2017 / 10:38 pm

    You are an amazingly strong woman Laura. I am sorry you have been going through this. I am so happy to hear your tests came back negative thats great news. I am wishing the most positive happy and healthy 2018 xxx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:12 pm

      Thank you Tanita, its been a rough ride but we made it through. Wishing you a happy, healthy 2018 too. xx

  18. December 30, 2017 / 11:47 pm

    I am sorry to hear you have been through a rough 2017. I too have a health condition, more a disability really, which causes chronic pain but cannot be seen from the outside. So I completely get it. I wish you all the best for 2018.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:12 pm

      Im sorry to hear that Amy, it’s just awful isn’t it when other people can’t see it? I feel as though I spend my whole life pretending to feel okay, it’s exhausting! xx

  19. Margaret GALLAGHER
    December 30, 2017 / 11:48 pm

    Lifes journey is filled with many highs and lows
    Two options -1 self pity and make others sad
    2 hold your head high and smile

    I take my hat of to you
    Great respect and love
    A great achievement
    There is always HOPE
    Hope many people read this
    You are an inspiration to us all x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:11 pm

      Thank you Margaret, you are so right and option one was never an option for me. Happy new year to you, and thank you again, much appreciated. xx

  20. December 31, 2017 / 12:05 am

    wow what a courageous post! just stay strong and 2018 is a new year!

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:10 pm

      Thank you so much, let’s hope it’s a great year for all of us! xx

  21. December 31, 2017 / 12:50 am

    I do think this blogging world is a funny one. We tend to presume that because we regularly read a blog, everything is rosy. Yet I know the year I was losing my Dad, I continued writing but not a word about him. I have so many friends that are disclosing health ‘secrets’ about now & really hope I can be of help. I’m so pleased that a major source of worry has been alleviated for you & wish you ongoing improvements. Lots of love x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:10 pm

      Thank you Helen. I totally relate to that, sometimes the hardest things we go through are the toughest things to write about. I know for a lot of this year I was in denial about the things that were being tested for, I was far too afraid to put that down in writing! xx

  22. December 31, 2017 / 2:23 am

    So true! Social media only shows about 5% or so of our lives. No one truly ever knows anyone and what someone puts up on social media might have nothing to do with their actual feelings. Thanks for sharing!

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:09 pm

      Yes! I think it’s so important to remember that. It’s not that I have been deceptive, I have alluded to the fact I have had health problems, I just wasnt able to go into any detail for the sake of the kids, it’s been a relief to share that now though! xx

  23. December 31, 2017 / 6:52 am

    I can very much identify with the feelings that go along with waiting for a diagnosis and having a condition that other people can’t see. I hope that in 2018, you’ll find the answers you need.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:08 pm

      Thank you Kyla, Im so sorry that you can identify with this though. It’s so hard when others can’t physically see you struggling, it just so happens they don’t see me on the days I am so bad I can’t leave the house. xx

  24. December 31, 2017 / 7:34 am

    You’re such an inspirational person, even with all your worries you still put everyone before yourself and gave your children the best year ever. I wish you all the best for 2018, pray the results are always clear and hoping for a full recovery from whatever it is.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:07 pm

      Thank you Anosa, I think all parents want the same for their children don’t they? Happy new year to you too. xx

  25. December 31, 2017 / 7:58 am

    Oh Laura. All I can say is I’m so glad you’ve received positive news and a more positive end to the year. Sending hugs and wishing you all the best for 2018 xxx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:07 pm

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate that. Happy new year to you too. xx

  26. December 31, 2017 / 8:11 am

    I’m so glad that your scans don’t show any negative changes! That’s great news. Happy New year and take care xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:07 pm

      Thank you Katy – me too! It’s a great sign, although still not out of the woods, but for another 12 months it’s a great sign. xx

  27. December 31, 2017 / 8:12 am

    I am sorry to read that you have been struggling with your health. It must be frustrating not having a diagnosis but please to here that your tests have come back clear. Lets hope 2018 is a much healthier year x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:06 pm

      Thank you Kara, it’s incredibly frustrating. Unexplained illness can bring so many worries, sometimes I think it would be easier to just know, whatever it is we are facing! xx

  28. December 31, 2017 / 9:08 am

    This sounds so tough and you have been very strong for your little people…I am not sure I could have held it together sso well with them. Here’s hoping you have better health in 2018 x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:06 pm

      Thank you Sonia, Im really not sure how we have got through some particular bad days but we did, and that’s worth celebrating! xx

  29. December 31, 2017 / 9:19 am

    Huge love and respect to you for sharing this with us. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018 x x x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you Cassie, and to you too. xx

  30. December 31, 2017 / 10:03 am

    This is such a lovely post and as someone who has also struggled with ‘invisible illness’ over the last year, I can really empathise. Sending kind thoughts and wishing you better health in 2018 x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you, Im so sorry that you too have struggled. It’s so hard isn’t it, appearing to be well and yet struggling with poor health. I hope that 2018 is kinder to you too. xx

  31. December 31, 2017 / 10:27 am

    Oh Laura, what a tough year! Glad you’ve had some more positive news to end it on and all the best for 2018 xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:04 pm

      Thank you Susie. It’s been hard but we couldn’t have ended it on better news. Fingers crossed for a better 2018! xx

  32. December 31, 2017 / 10:53 am

    Its so good to reflect on the year and be grateful for everything you have. Hope next year brings you good news health wise.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:04 pm

      Thank you, I think so too. I’ve been incredibly lucky! xx

  33. December 31, 2017 / 11:22 am

    Sounds like it’s been hell, and I can totally appreciate your reasons for not blogging. I’m so glad that you are ending the year on a positive path and I really wish you the very best for 2018 – without the pain and worry you’ve had in 2017 xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:03 pm

      Thank you Jenny. I feel really positive about 2018, I hope its a good year for all of us. xx

  34. December 31, 2017 / 4:16 pm

    So sorry you’ve had such a tough time, onwards and upwards for 2018 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:03 pm

      Thank you Clare, absolutely. Got to keep on going! xx

  35. Cassie
    December 31, 2017 / 4:20 pm

    Wow you are an inspiring, strong woman! So sorry that 2017 was a rocky road but I pray that your 2018 will be full of all things positive. Happy new year! Keep conquering the world 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:02 pm

      Thank you Cassie. I really do feel positive that 2018 will be a better year, fingers crossed hey? xx

  36. Tina
    December 31, 2017 / 4:25 pm

    Your posts are always searingly honest and beautifully written, never have I wanted to give you a big hug more, lovely lady. You really are the bravest person I know and you certainly deserve some good news. Protecting our children is instinctive to us Mums, but to achieve that when faced with overwhelming challenges as you have been is testament to the truly remarkable Mum you are. Love to you and your wonderful family and best wishes for 2018. We will get our cuppa, chat and big hug very soon. Xxx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:02 pm

      Ahh Tina, thank you so much my lovely friend. You have been such a huge support to me this year, I really can’t wait to sit down with you and have our long awaited hug very soon. Sending you lots of love of a happy, healthy 2018. xxx

  37. December 31, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    I’m sure many others had no idea as didn’t I. I’ll be remembering you during this trial in your life as you take on the new year. I hope all gets better for you.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:01 pm

      Thank you Terri. It’s been hard wanting to share what I’m going through and not wanting to put my children through any more worry and upset. They will always come first, I guess that is always going to be the case! xx

  38. December 31, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    This moved me a lot. This is an inspiring read. I 100% send you my best wishes and happy new year to you and your family.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:00 pm

      Thank you Alan, I really appreciate that. Happy new year to you and yours. xxx

  39. December 31, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    What a huge challenge for you to face, your post is beautifully written. I really wish you happiness and health in 2018 xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:59 pm

      Thank you Sarah, wishing the same for you too xx

  40. ROsey
    December 31, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    I’m sorry you are having such a struggle with your health. I wish you a very healing new year.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:59 pm

      Thank you Rosey, I really appreciate that. xx

  41. December 31, 2017 / 9:32 pm

    What a beautifully written post. I’m sorry to hear that you had such a rough year. Hearing your story puts a lot of things in perspective that no matter what we show on the outside, so many of us are struggling on the inside. It’s awesome that you manage to maintain a positive outlook.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:58 pm

      Thank you Melanie. I think that’s why I wanted to share this, to say that although on the surface our lives look pretty perfect, there is always more going on beneath the surface. xx

  42. January 1, 2018 / 12:23 am

    Oh wow I can imagine this must be really hard – being healthy and then struggling with something so debilitating must be hard on so many levels. I developed a heart condition after having my first son and I have moments were it’s all too much for me and I cry in carparks. Sending sympathy and hope you get some relief soon

    Laura x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:57 pm

      Thank you Laura, Im sorry that you can relate to this. I also developed all of theses issues after having my son, it’s crazy how one minute I was fit and well and the next so poorly. I’ve got a few heart issues since having him, it’s terrifying but we just have to keep positive! Love to you! xx

  43. January 1, 2018 / 1:48 am

    It’s a catch 22,isn’t it? On one hand you’re scared of what you may have and then as all the major players are eliminated like cancer,Parkinson’s and ALS….the fear of the unknown comes in. At least if you had a condition that you can see and learn about,you feel you have a little control. But the bouncing about to different doctors who can’t find anything is equally tough. Been on both sides of the fence and it’s a hell of a place to be. Keep your chin up and have your pituitary gland checked. Lori spent three years looking for an answer on why she felt so crappy before her pit tumor was found.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:56 pm

      Thank you Patrick – you totally hit the nail on the head. On the one hand you fear being diagnosed with something terrifying, but at least a diagnosis would end three years of uncertainty and fear. I think my pituitary gland has been checked on the brain scans, I will definitely double check that though as I did have a lot of textbook symptoms of that. I guess I have to trust that these doctors know what they are doing…it’s hard though! xx

  44. January 1, 2018 / 3:23 am

    Dear Laura, you are so brave to share your story with the world, and inspire many more to do the same. My best wishes for a happier, healthier and worry-free 2018 for you.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:54 pm

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate that. Happy new year to you too. xxx

  45. January 1, 2018 / 4:36 am

    This is beautiful. I know it’s been a tough year, and I’m sorry you weren’t able to reach out and share that with us — even if you wanted to. But I’m also really glad to hear that things are doing well now, too, and that you got some good news.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:53 pm

      Thank you Adam, I appreciate that. I would have loved to share it with you all but couldn’t risk my eldest reading and being any more worried than he already was. It was lovely being able to tell him that my latest brain scan showed no new lesions, its been a great Christmas. xx

  46. January 1, 2018 / 7:54 am

    Oh my goodness, I have been reading you blog had no idea you have been going through such a difficult time. You certainly are an incredibly strong woman. Wishing you luck for the 2018, I hope you have a wonderful year.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:52 pm

      Thank you Emma. Its been so hard because we really did have a wonderful year in so many ways, but for me personally it’s been really tough. Im glad to be starting 2018 with a few more answers. Happy new year. xx

  47. January 1, 2018 / 9:57 am

    I really had no idea you were going through all of this. Pleased you ended on some happy news and can’t wait to see what 2018 brings. Happy new year x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:51 pm

      Thank you Karen, I wish I could have shared it over the last year but with so much uncertainty and some really terrifying diagnosis being thrown around, I just couldn’t risk documenting it for Lewis to read. Im so glad everyone has been so understanding of that. happy new year. xx

  48. January 1, 2018 / 11:10 am

    Amazing that you have been supporting your children and running your blog whilst coping with your illness. I wish you all the best for 2018 and I hope you get some answers on the cause of your symptoms. x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:50 pm

      Thank you Rachel, I think that sometimes keeping going is the best way to cope! Happy new year to you. xx

  49. January 1, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    I read this heartbreaking post with surprise because being a regular reader and loving your posts and family photographs I would never have suspected that this was all happening at the same time. I was so pleased to get to the bottom to find out your latest scans were positive news!
    I hope that 2018 is a better year for your health and look forward to reading more of your adventures xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:50 pm

      Thank you so much Tanya. I did share my illness a couple of years ago in a post and I think many assumed that I had simply got better, I guess I just stopped talking about it because it was very hard to keep talking about it when I really wasnt sure what we were dealing with. It’s been a tough year but we got there, I can’t wait to start 2018 afresh, here’s to a happy, healthy year all round. xx

  50. January 1, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    You are one brave woman. I admire mothers who would give everything to their children. 2017 had been hard on you and hopefully 2018 will be better. You have lovely kids and lovely people around you. You are blessed. Happy New Year!

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:49 pm

      Thank you so much Bianca. I feel incredibly lucky and positive that 2018 is going to be a great year. Happy new year to you. xx

  51. Dalene
    January 1, 2018 / 1:33 pm

    I’m so sorry for the tough time you had in 2017. But they say fake it, till you make it! It’s inspiring to see you this strong, no wonder God has seen you through! What a cute family you have! Your 2018 will for sure be a breakthrough!

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:48 pm

      Thank you Dalene, my family have really been the most positive influence, it’s hard to stay down with those little faces looking up at me that’s for sure! xx

  52. January 1, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    What a beautiful family you have. I get the not sharing with the world to protect your family. Sometimes I’m shocked at the lack of a filter on what some people post. I think we all paste a smile on our faces despite the background problems regardless of the severity of the problem. I know some people would like to know , read and could relate to those issues but I also sometimes have a problem internalizing other people’s problems which also makes me glad not to know everyone’s troubles. I hope that 2018 gives you the answers you need and that your pain is more controlled.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:48 pm

      Thank you Rose. I think you are so right, and I wanted to share this to show that despite how wonderful our year appeared to me, you never know what is going on beneath the surface. xx

  53. January 1, 2018 / 2:07 pm

    wow you sound like such a strong woman! I hope I can be this strong for my family in times of distress when I have kids. You have such beautiful and happy looking kids by your side. I truly hope things progress quickly for you in the future!

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:47 pm

      Thank you so much Kaitlynn, I really appreciate that. Happy new year to you. xx

  54. Hannah MArie
    January 1, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    It sounds like it has been a roller coaster ride year. You are right, we hide stuff like this in social media. Nevertheless, as long as you are happy you must be doing the right thing for you.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:46 pm

      Thank you Hannah, I feel really relieved for being able to share this with you all, it’s always hard not to share a huge part of my life! xx

  55. Hannah
    January 1, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    This year has been such a tough year hasn’t it. I hope 2018 is great though x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:46 pm

      It really has, for so many of us. I hope that 2018 is kinder to us all. xx

  56. January 1, 2018 / 3:00 pm

    I am so glad that your scans have come back with no progressive changes and hope 2018 is a more positive year for you. 2017 must have been a struggle for you, you are very brave,

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:45 pm

      Thank you Rebecca, it’s been really tough I can’t lie but I feel really positive going into this year. Happy new year to you. xx

  57. January 1, 2018 / 4:45 pm

    My beautiful friend, well done for writing and sharing this I know it wasn’t easy. You are an inspiration to me, I know the year you’ve had and yet you’ve still made me laugh and smile every single day. With everything going on in your life you are still 100% there for your children, your family and friends. I don’t know how you do it! It was the best end to the year getting those results and I couldn’t be more happier for you and your family. I can’t wait to see you next week, to squeeze you and celebrate xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:44 pm

      Ahh Laura, I genuinely could not have got through this without you!! You have been an absolute rock to me this last year, our daily chats have kept me going and distracted me from everything else going on in my life. I have laughed so much with you and I can’t wait until next week when we get to spend three whole days having all of those talks face to face! Love you! xxx

      • January 6, 2018 / 9:33 pm

        This made me smile. You will never know how much our chats help me and mean so much to me. You are so special to me and I’m so excited to spend time with you in person in only 2 sleeps!!! Popping back to say Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove xxx

        • Laura Dove
          January 7, 2018 / 5:55 pm

          ONE MORE SLEEEEEEEEEEP!!! xxx

  58. January 1, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    I’m so sorry you’ve been having such a tough time and I’m even more sorry that some of those that you are close to haven’t understood or been supportive. I know you don’t have a light at the end of the tunnel right now but I truly hope that things get better for you. Your attitude is incredible. Wishing you a very prosperous new year! Nikki x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:42 pm

      Thank you Nikki. Its hard for others to really get it when I don’t even get it myself, but I have felt let down by some people this year. That’s never easy is it? I hope that this is a better year for all of us! xx

  59. January 1, 2018 / 4:55 pm

    A lovely brave and strong post. If you can make it through the tough times, everything else means so much more. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2018.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:40 pm

      Thank you Cristina, you are so right. I plan on really making the most of every moment of 2018. Happy new year. xx

  60. January 1, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    What a lovely read and fab idea to post something like this because social media can be really misleading. Wishing you the best 2018 lovely x

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:39 pm

      Thank you Romeca, I think its important for everyone to realise that not everything we see is the full story. xx

  61. January 1, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    Well done for being such a great mum! What you have been through this year wasnt easy but what you have done is ensure that when your children look back on it they will do so with happiness!

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:39 pm

      Thank you Star. That was all I wanted to achieve, to keep our live as normal as possible and make sure my children felt happy and reassured. Here’s to a healthier 2018. xx

  62. January 1, 2018 / 5:59 pm

    What a lovely blog post, that was really nice to read. My gosh, 2017 was harsh for you – hopefully, 2018 will be better for you. Happy new year. xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:38 pm

      Thank you Anna, I do hope so. happy new year to you too. xx

  63. January 1, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    After seeing this post on your Facebook page I read this a couple of days back and my eyes filled with tears and my heart ached for you. Not because I pity you but because you unflinchingly and bravely open your heart to us and share your stories with us. You are right that social media is only a snapshot of our lives but it often does not show our followers and readers the full story. To them you might be someone who is endearingly honest but they can never know the pain you are in and I get that it is not something that you would want to share on your blog as you said your son reads it. But I think he would want to know, because being in pain or being ill does not make you weak, far from it. I know we have not met in person, but I feel like you are one of the nicest, talented, most strongest people that I know and I thank my lucky stars that I have been let into your world. You have been through so much, but despite the obstacles here you are fighting on. You are a warrior and should always believe in yourself. I wish that you didn’t have to be in so much pain though and wish that I could take away your suffering. Here is to a pain free 2018 xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:37 pm

      Ahh Ana, thank you so much. Your message had me in tears, your kindness and support never fails to move me. I think if Im honest I worry a lot about coming across as though Im moaning if I share what I’m going through, obviously I am well within my rights to complain about being in pain but I also know that life could be a lot worse, and it is for many. The children know that Mummy is in pain but I do shield them from the other parts, the scans and the tests and the waiting on results. At 13 Lewis is so mature, but he’s also had a lot to deal with this year with his grandad very ill, thankfully he now has the all clear and I feel we can all start 2018 with less worry and more confidence of a happier, healthier year. I really hope so. xx

  64. Hannah
    January 1, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    Sorry to hear about all of this. Hopefully 2018 will be better for you

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:34 pm

      Thank you Hannah, me too! Happy new year! xx

  65. January 1, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    I could relate with your post. Although my health is not the problem, I struggled with my relationship which at times left me feeling like I was living a lie too. I am hoping that 2018 will be much better for us both.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:34 pm

      Im sorry to hear that Stacey. I think its always hard for us as bloggers as we want to be honest but sometimes it’s not always that easy. I hope that 2018 is kinder to you. xx

  66. January 1, 2018 / 8:10 pm

    Aw hun – I can totally relate to everything you said as I too suffer with my own health problems. Wishing you better health for 2018 xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:33 pm

      Im sorry to hear that Nikki, I hope that 2018 is a healthier year for us both. xx

  67. Vanessa Das Neves
    January 1, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    I’m feeling very sad for read what you having been through, it’s not sympathy is because I know what is it to a mom to hide this kind of thing from her children, my mom do the same to me because I’m far away from home and I recently discovered that she was really sick. I wish all the best to you 😘

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:32 pm

      Thank you Vanessa. Im sorry that your Mom is sick, I think as parents we always want to protect our children. xx

  68. Vanessa Costa
    January 1, 2018 / 9:29 pm

    I’m feeling very sad for reading what you having been through. You are a very strong person! I wish all the best for you and your family!

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 9:31 pm

      Thank you so much Vanessa, I really appreciate that. Happy new year. xxx

  69. January 1, 2018 / 9:57 pm

    Oh Laura I’m so sorry to hear this! Wishing you strength and a return to good health soon xxx

  70. January 1, 2018 / 10:45 pm

    Kudos to you, for fighting and enduring all the pain and struggles. At the end of the day, you will always have your family to support you and help you 🙂 Happy New Year and wishing you a good health 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:30 pm

      Thank you Laurence, I totally agree, my family have been wonderful and I’m very lucky to have that. happy new year. xxx

  71. Stephanie Sherlock
    January 1, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    Happy New Years Laura. I am sure writing this post was not easy, nor do your days sound easy. I wish the best in HEALTH, WEALTH, HEALING, and HAPPINESS in 2018 and will keep you in my prayers. Send you love hugs and positivity. You are a beacon of courage and I wish you a year of God’s mercy, love, grace and healing.

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:30 pm

      Thank you so much Stephanie, I really appreciate that. It was hard to write, I felt sad looking back at a year I feel quite cheated of, but at the same time my children had a wonderful year and we made some amazing memories. Here’s to 2018, happy new year to you. xx

  72. January 1, 2018 / 10:55 pm

    When people share posts on their blogs and social media how right are you in saying that behind the cheery post there might just be an a aching heart. You are indeed a strong person and I admire you for your strength and courage. I will pray that 2018 brings good results for you.

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:29 pm

      Thank you Nayna. I think it’s important for us all to remember that there is always more beneath the surface than it appears. Happy new year to you too. xx

  73. January 2, 2018 / 7:21 am

    I’m so sorry you’ve had all these horrible health problems. 🙁 Fingers crossed that in 2018 they finally give a name, and an effective treatment, to what you are suffering through.

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:27 pm

      Thank you Elizabeth. Here’s hoping, its been a long three years of uncertainty but I am feeling as lot better than I was this time last year, so that’s a real bonus. xx

  74. January 2, 2018 / 7:57 am

    You are so strong to be able to even put all of this down in words and share your story. We never really know what is going on behind the pictures. I wish you health and love for 2018.

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:26 pm

      Thank you Sheri, it was a huge weight lifted to share it with you all. Happy new year. xx

  75. chichi
    January 2, 2018 / 8:03 am

    I can’t agree more how social media even though reflects our life but not in its full fledged self! One never really knows the whole picture!!!! Have a great 2018!

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:26 pm

      Thank you, happy new year to you too. xx

  76. January 2, 2018 / 10:28 am

    Oh Laura, what worry you must go through. You hide it well through your amazing blog and family life but I can’t begin to imagine the pain and struggles. Hugs. Su xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:25 pm

      Thank you Su. It’s been tough I won’t lie, but we made it and I’m certain that 2018 will be a better year. xxx

  77. January 2, 2018 / 10:43 am

    So sorry to hear about how rough last year was for you. I hope you regain your strength physically and mentally and have a terrific 2018.

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:24 pm

      Thank you so much, here’s to a happier, healthier 2018! xx

  78. January 2, 2018 / 11:19 am

    WOW! This sounds very intense and taxing. I’m glad you opened up about what was really going on. I wish you great health in the new year!

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:23 pm

      Thank you Dustin. Happy new year to you too. xx

  79. January 2, 2018 / 11:47 am

    Thanks for sharing this. It was a beautiful read and I can’t imagine the pain you must be going through, but from your blog, I can see that you are a strong person and a strong mother. We all have blessings in our lives, sometimes we just have to see through the pain in order to see the goodness within. Take care and big hugs, you’re doing a fantastic job! #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:23 pm

      Thank you Nita. I think that’s what gets me through, to know that I have been through worse and I survived that – and will survive this. Here’s to 2018, I hope it’s kind to you and yours. xx

  80. Cassandra Mayers
    January 2, 2018 / 12:23 pm

    Really well said and a brave post to share after not sharing for so long.. I don’t really celebrate New Years Eve unless I have a real reason to think that i’m leaving a tricky year behind and I often don’t. I think for you saying goodbye to 2017 like this is brilliant and I really mean it when I say Happy New Year and I wish you all the best.

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:22 pm

      Thank you Cassandra, it’s great to see the start of another year and one I am sure will be wonderful for my family and I. Happy new year to you too. xx

  81. January 2, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    Thank you for sharing it with us, I know it’s hard for you even to share this experience. Thank you for giving us your trust. On the other hand I want you to know that you’re not alone, be brave and stay brave, you have a lovely family beside you and beautiful kids. Let’s turn the page and be happy for everything that we have, just put in mind that everything, every single things that’s happening happens for a reason, there’s a purpose for it. I’m proud of you for your braveness. I wish you all the best and more blessing to come this year 2018. Cheers!

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:21 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Alexine, that’s so kind of you to take the time to comment. I’m feeling positive about this coming year, its time to get myself better! Happy new year to you. xx

  82. January 2, 2018 / 2:23 pm

    Public self and private self are not always the same, its great that you have a good support network because it makes a big difference. I wish you good health and wellbeing for 2018 and beyond.

    Be good to yourself.

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:20 pm

      Thank you, I think that’s very true. As much as we bloggers try to share as much as we can, sometimes we need to protect ourselves and those we love and limit what we share. xx

  83. January 2, 2018 / 3:01 pm

    I think it’s really brave of you to post this, it’s crazy to think that we share so much of ourselves on our blogs and social media but when you look back on it there’s so much that is still hidden. I had a lot of health issues this year and I got my heart broken and I finally posted about it all and everyone was so surprised and shocked to know I’d be going through everything but coming across so much happier and stronger online. The strength you’ve had through everything is incredible and I’m loving the quote you remind yourself of. Happy New Year, I hope you have an absolutely amazing 2018

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:19 pm

      Thank you Tanya. I completely agree! I found it very hard as I pride myself on being very honest and open in my posts, but that doesn’t mean that I share every single aspect of my life. I think there will always be parts I do not share, and parts I cannot share, but I hope my readers respect my reasons for that. Im sorry that you had your heart broken and had health issues of your own, wishing you a happier, healthier 2018. xxx

  84. January 2, 2018 / 3:05 pm

    Laura I’m so sorry for the struggles that you’ve had to face and I can only imagine how difficult the last year must have been for you at times. I have so much respect for your strength and positivity and the incredible love that you have for your family, and I’m so relieved to read your positive news. Thinking of you and sending love for 2018. x #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:17 pm

      Thank you so much Dawn. It’s been tough for so many reasons, but not being able to share it has also been hard. Lewis had such a difficult year with his Grandad very poorly, I think as Mums we are always trying to protect our children and keep them from worry. Here’s to 2018, it’s going to be a good one. xxx

  85. January 2, 2018 / 5:53 pm

    And I’ll say it again. Exactly this is why you shouldn’t stop blogging x

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:15 pm

      Ahh Tina, thank you so much my lovely. xxx

  86. January 2, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    Oh huni I know we spoke briefly but I had no idea on the extent. You are a true inspiration and incredibly brave. I am so pleased that finally there is positive news and I can’t wait to celebrate with you in a few days time. Thinking of you and the kids and wishing you all the best for 2018 I hope it’s an incredible year for you all xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:15 pm

      Thank you lovely, I think I just tried to bury my head in the sand and get through each day without going insane, something I’m amazed to have managed! I can’t wait for us to celebrate next week, it’s been a crazy year. Here’s to 2018. xxx

  87. Joline
    January 2, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    You’re an awesome mom and such a brave woman for sharing your story. I’m glad your tests have come back OK. Wishing you a healthier, happier 2018!

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:14 pm

      Thank you Joline. Happy New Year to you too. xx

  88. January 2, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing so openly and authentically. This can’t have been easy for to write. sending you and your family much love xxx

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:11 pm

      Thank you so much Amanda, it felt good to have it all in the open though, I’ve had so much support and it’s always appreciated. xx

  89. January 2, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    In the midst of your struggle you still inspire others, you are truly an inspiration! I’m sorry that you got through the hard times, but I’m happy that you ended the year of 2017 with more positive news. Be strong! From the bottom of my heart I really wish you a healthier and happier 2018. Bless you!

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:10 pm

      Thank you so much Rose, that’s so kind of you to say. Wishing you a happy, healthy 2018 too. xx

  90. January 2, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    That …
    “On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possible endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”
    …is a wonderful quote
    you’re family is beauiful and you are one tough cookie.
    hoping that 2018 is kinder on your health xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:09 pm

      Thank you Berni, it’s a great quote isnt it? It’s got me through some tough times. Happy new year to you. xx

  91. January 2, 2018 / 10:26 pm

    Quite a ways back, you hinted at sme medical issues, and I havebeen hopeful that you not mentioning them is due to a well deserved fix. I am so sad t hear you have been thorugh all of this, and I am hopeful and grateful, as are you, that you will do well. What I do know, you are ONE STRONG MOMMA! #dreamteam #a bei gesunt! Go in good health! xoxo

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:07 pm

      Thank you Lisa, I think I just stopped talking about it as it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to improve any time soon. Im hoping 2018 is the year I get my health back. Happy new year to you, and thank you again. xx

  92. January 2, 2018 / 11:11 pm

    You, your posts and your blog always inspire, Laura. You have been through so much but continue to be the pillar of strength for your children…
    Sorry to hear about your illness but glad to know things are looking better – hope 2018 brings you good health in abundance.
    #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 1:06 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Nicole. I really appreciate that, sometimes I feel like Im failing them on my bad days, I guess we all feel that way. Happy new year to you. xxx

  93. January 3, 2018 / 1:31 am

    You’re an amazing mum to an amazing family. I had no idea what you were going through and I hope you continue to get stronger. Much, much love to you and happy new year xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 12:53 pm

      Thank you Emily. I’m feeling way more positive and so much stronger, here’s to a great year. xxx

  94. January 3, 2018 / 4:58 am

    You are a wonderful mother and a very strong person! I’m sorry this was such a hard year for you and I hope that you have a much better new year and that your health issues are resolved!

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 12:51 pm

      Thank you so much. It’s been a difficult year but my children have had one of the best they’ve ever had. I think that thought really kept me going! xx

  95. January 3, 2018 / 5:26 am

    How beautiful and straight from your heart this post is. True that what we put on social media is not the truth of our lives. I’m glad that you are so brave and have put across smiles how ever tough circumstances may be. God bless you n beautiful family.

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      Thank you Jhilmil, Im feeling positive about 2018, this is going to be a better year Im sure of it. Happy New Year! xx

  96. January 3, 2018 / 10:29 am

    I just can’t put into word how emotional I felt reading this. I hope that 2018 will be a better year. You’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of finding. And I look up to you, having had to deal with some mental health problems myself.

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 12:49 pm

      Ahh Sophie thank you so much, that’s made me quite emotional reading your lovely comment! It’s been so hard not sharing this on here, especially given I share so much of our lives, but the support I have received on this post is over whelming. Thank you, and I hope that 2018 is kind to you too. xxx

  97. Ruth I.
    January 3, 2018 / 8:53 pm

    You are strong! Your past years have been tough. I pray that this year will be the best for you and your family and I wish you all success.

    • Laura Dove
      January 4, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      Thank you Ruth. Im hoping that 2018 is kinder to us all! xx

  98. January 3, 2018 / 9:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing this side of your life with us, it only shows how strong and brave you are 💛
    I wish you a very happy 2018 with a lot of love, success, health and peace of mind.
    xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 4, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      Thank you Mei. I really appreciate you reading, happy new year. xx

  99. January 3, 2018 / 11:09 pm

    What a beautiful story of persistence! Best of luck to you in 2018, thoughts and prayers for a healthy year!

    • Laura Dove
      January 4, 2018 / 12:10 pm

      Thank you Katie, happy new year to you too. xx

  100. January 4, 2018 / 1:24 am

    What an inspiration!You are such a strong mama to face all these life challenges.These pictures are really beautiful.I hope you all will have a wonderful year!

    • Laura Dove
      January 4, 2018 / 12:08 pm

      Thank you Amila, wishing you a wonderful 2018 too. xx

  101. January 4, 2018 / 5:04 am

    I can relate to your story! I have been there, in the hospital numerous times getting so many procedures I have lost count, having to take 21 pills a day for the 1st year of recovery just to live. I live with a non curable disease I was born with and almost lost my life to 5 1/2 years ago. I will live with it and maintain it for the rest of my life. Anyway, enough about me!
    I love that you shared your story and that it was pure and hopeful. There are two ways to live life after a traumatic experience, one is to play the victim role and give up on living life with love and vigor, the other is to count your blessings and be happy and grateful every morning you wake up and thankful every night you go to bed.
    I love that you know the importance of life (people) and know how lucky you are to have such an amazing group to support and love you! Some days it isn’t easy living with the appearance that nothing is wrong but not feeling well. there’s an extra challenge to living with health problems, but it’s worth all the struggle and hardships just to see, hear, and love those kids! (I know for my situation, the only reason I was able to fight and live on was for the love I have for both my kids, I’ll never give up on them… and I think you’re the same in that respect!)
    I wish you good health and to be a miracle ; )
    take care
    PS: sorry this is long!

    • Laura Dove
      January 4, 2018 / 12:07 pm

      Ahh Eloise, thank you so much. I am so sorry that you have been through hell with your disease, I can’t even imagine how you must feel each day. I think you are so right, if it wasn’t for the children I would have gone to bed 3.5 years ago and I’d probably still be there now, they give me a reason to keep going and to see the positives in each day. I think having a positive mindset is so important when faced with long term health problems, I am trying so hard to focus on that and remind myself that there are people far worse off than me. I hope that 2018 is kinder to you, gentle hugs and thank you for your comment. xxx

  102. January 4, 2018 / 6:43 am

    Such a beautifully written reflection. Thank you for this and I pray for more strength and a better 2018 in all aspects of your life especially your health. As I was reading this, it made me think about appreciating life and being less critical of friends I didnt hear from throughout the year. You never know what they are going through. Thank you!

    • Laura Dove
      January 4, 2018 / 12:05 pm

      Thank you so much. That’s such an important thought isn’t it, that maybe others we know are going through their own battles and just haven’t shared that with us. I guess none of us know what someone else is really dealing with. xx

  103. January 4, 2018 / 11:36 am

    I think it can be so scary when there’s something wrong, but you don’t really know what it is or how to deal with it. I’m so pleased to read that despite a tough year it looks like your coming out the other side of it

    • Laura Dove
      January 4, 2018 / 12:01 pm

      Thank you, yes `I think that’s the hardest part. Not knowing is such a worry! xx

  104. January 4, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your illness and so glad you are better now! You are indeed very brave and strong to have gone through such hardships and yet keep smiling for the sake of your children. I wish you the best of health and happiness in 2018.

    • Laura Dove
      January 5, 2018 / 4:37 pm

      Thank you so much. I really hope that 2018 is kinder to all of us. xx

  105. January 4, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    I’m very sorry that you had such a bad year. Still, I’m glad you got out of it all. There are things that I also do not share with my readers, at least as long as they last. I’ll write about them when they pass. I wish you many nice days in 2018!

    • Laura Dove
      January 5, 2018 / 4:36 pm

      Yes I totally agree, sometimes it’s easier to share what you’re going through once you are reassured that everything is going to be okay. It’s scary to face your fears and writing it down makes it all the more real. Happy new year to you. xx

  106. January 4, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    How very brave of you to share this with us all. I am truely awestruck at how well you have coped with everything life has thrown at you. Love to you x
    #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Laura Dove
      January 5, 2018 / 4:35 pm

      Ahh thank you Ali. It felt like a huge relief to finally get it all out! xx

  107. January 5, 2018 / 8:06 am

    Oh my gosh, this is to terrible! I can imagine what you feel like since I’ve been very sick a couple of years ago when my daughter was still young – which gives health a whole new weight. I’m deeply impressed that you are sharing this here since – as you point out – on the social media it’s always all peaches and cream. I almost feel silly commenting on something as deep and personal and then go and comment on some new beauty product. I honestly don’t know what else to say – or one thing: all the best to you and your family; and this is coming from the bottom of my heart!

    • Laura Dove
      January 5, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Renata, I really appreciate that. It’s been hard as I pride myself on being very honest and open, but I was unable to share this for the sake of my eldest son who at 13, is very capable of having a read of his old Mums blog! I feel really positive going into 2018, I think this is the year we will finally get our lives back on track. Happy new year to you. xxx

  108. January 5, 2018 / 8:36 am

    Sure seems like you have some serious inner strength. Thank you for opening up though and being so honest. Sharing life on-line is a challenge. Sahre only the good and people just, share the bad and people don’t want to read it. But THAT IS LIFE. I have a chronic condition, I mention now and again but I just deal with it mostly and focus on teh positive. I don’t cut it out of my online persona full stop, I just don’t make it a big deal – that’s my way of coping I guess. All the best.

    • Laura Dove
      January 5, 2018 / 4:24 pm

      Thanks David, I feel the same! It’s hard to find that balance without looking too positive or too negative, when in truth there are times I do just want to come on line and have a good old moan! I’m sorry that you have a chronic condition, I think had my eldest not been such a worrier I may have shared more of what I’m dealing with, but as parents we always put our kids first. I hope that 2018 is kinder to you. xx

  109. January 5, 2018 / 11:23 am

    What a beautifully raw post and I sincerely hope you at least get on top of managing things this year so you can get back to some sense of normality. If its any consolation you still look gorgeous. Im sure Id look about 100 if I were in your shoes. Lots of love #thatfridaylinky

    • Laura Dove
      January 5, 2018 / 4:21 pm

      Ahh Fran, thank you so much. That made me laugh! I feel like I look horrendous and it amazes me when anyone says they hadn’t realised I had been ill, perhaps they are just so used to me looking this way! Ha! I hope 2018 is kinder to us all, happy new year lovely. xxx

  110. January 5, 2018 / 11:28 am

    What a beautifully written post , and so honest. I hope your health improves greatly in 2018 must be so tough being ill like that with the little ones to care for x #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Laura Dove
      January 5, 2018 / 4:20 pm

      Thank you, it hasn’t been easy but Im feeling more positive than I was last year so that’s a good thing! xx

  111. January 5, 2018 / 3:52 pm

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I really hope things improve soon. #sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      January 5, 2018 / 4:17 pm

      Thank you Claire, I really hope so too. xx

  112. January 6, 2018 / 1:20 am

    I’ve no idea how or where you find the strength to endure all this, raise those kiddos and run a hugely successful blog with all that it entails. Just amazing. Wishing you strength and BETTER health in 2018. xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 7, 2018 / 6:03 pm

      Ahh thank you Prabs, I’m really not sure either to be honest. My blog has been a godsend in a lot of ways, it’s kept my brain ticking over when the medication has tried to turn it to mush, and it’s given me somewhere to look back on how far I’ve come. I’ve been through worse times, and I’ll no doubt go through better. Happy new year lovely lady. xxx

  113. January 6, 2018 / 10:55 am

    Here’s hoping 2018 is better for you brilliant post as always which is of course why you are one of all time favourites xx Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    • Laura Dove
      January 7, 2018 / 6:01 pm

      Thank you so much Nige. I really think that it’s going to be a better year for all of us. I’m looking forward to catching up in May! Happy New year! xxx

  114. January 6, 2018 / 11:15 am

    I have been reading your blog since I started blogging… I love that you raise awareness about your chronic pain and illness even though there has been no official diagnosis. You are a wonderful mother and I, who also suffers from several disabilities, most of which are invisible, do the same… although you are struggling on the outside, share your life through the Internet, you want to put forward your best foot… More so you can look back in weeks, months or years to come and remember the good times instead of the negative. Xxx
    I am always here if ever you need someone to talk to, and if ever you want to write about your illness in a public or anonymous way, my blog is always open to you.
    SassyXxx

    • Laura Dove
      January 7, 2018 / 6:01 pm

      Thank you so much. I really appreciate that and may well take you up on that offer as sometimes it’s hard to be totally honest when there is the chance my son may read it. I have lots of plans in place of the year, starting with the rheumatologist in a few weeks time and more tests to see if we can change my medication to help with some of the pain. Im so sorry that you go through such suffering, let’s hope that 2018 is kinder to all of us. Lots of love. xxx

  115. January 6, 2018 / 11:49 am

    What an utterly heart-wrenching and honest post. I am so sorry to hear of your struggles but am very happy that your scans are all coming back negative. One day they will have a name for your illness and I hope that day is soon so that you can receive the very best care and treatments to feel yourself again. It’s truly amazing that you are able to give so much to your kids even on your toughest days. #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      January 7, 2018 / 5:59 pm

      Thank you so much Heather. I think not having a name for an illness is always quite tough, especially to explain it to others. Im hopeful that this year will be a little easier for us all, happy new year to you. xxx

  116. January 6, 2018 / 7:09 pm

    Ah, Laura, in the busyness of Christmas I totally missed this post, I’m so sorry! What amazing news to end the year on, I’m so so pleased for you, that must be a weight off your mind. I hope you can start 2018 with a fresh start. I’m always amazed by how strong you are, and I know you’ll make 2018 an amazing year. And I can’t wait to meet you this year and get to chat properly rather than a snatched hello! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      January 7, 2018 / 5:57 pm

      Thank you lovely. It was a great way to end the year after so much worry. I’ve had a great start to the year with already being discharged from two specialists, I really hope that this time next year I can say I am feeling a little like my old self. I can’t wait to see you in May! xxx

  117. January 6, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    Laura, I had no idea of what you’ve gone through! The fact that you were somehow able to keep smiling through it all is a sign of your strength rather than one of deceit. I hope 2018 turns out to be a much better year for you. #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      January 7, 2018 / 5:54 pm

      Thank you Tim, I really appreciate that. It’s been an amazing year in so many ways but always with that constant feeling of worry and illness. Im hoping that 2018 is kinder to all of us. Happy new year. xx

  118. January 6, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    Oh my what a year with so much uncertainly over your health. Thank goodness for those negative results at the end of the year and the most beautiful family you could wish for. Wishing you every health and happiness for 2018. #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      January 7, 2018 / 5:54 pm

      Thank you Fiona. I’m very lucky to have these gorgeous babies of mine to keep me smiling! happy new year to you! xxx

  119. January 6, 2018 / 11:27 pm

    You have had quite a year and you have done so well to protect your children from the worst parts of it. I hope 2018 brings better health and that all the moments shared will be truly good ones. #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      January 7, 2018 / 5:53 pm

      Thank you Rachel. I really do hope so, happy new year to you too. xx

  120. January 7, 2018 / 1:37 am

    You are one brave momma! Stopping in from #ThatFridayLinky xoxo

    • Laura Dove
      January 7, 2018 / 5:52 pm

      Thanks lovely xxx

  121. January 7, 2018 / 12:36 pm

    You brave, brave lady to share this with us but for living it whilst still being there for your family. I cried at your reasons for not sharing too. Stay strong and take care. I hope 2018 is s better year for you. #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      January 7, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Sophie, I really appreciate you reading. I feel a lot more positive about this coming year, I think we are long over due an easier time of it! Thanks again. xxx

  122. January 7, 2018 / 8:46 pm

    Oh hun what a year you’ve had and you’re right social media and your blog would never tell. I’m so glad to hear that you’re latest results have come back negative, so fingers crossed for a good 2018. You’re so brave and strong for sharing this post with us. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    • Laura Dove
      January 12, 2018 / 12:41 pm

      Thank you lovely. It’s been a hard few years since it all started but last year was particularly difficult as I was never away from the hospital. Im hoping that 2018 will see lots of improvements, fingers crossed hey! xx

  123. January 8, 2018 / 1:54 am

    It takes a lot of courage to share your pain like this. i wish you improved health for 2018

    • Laura Dove
      January 12, 2018 / 12:39 pm

      Thank you Ingrid, much appreciated. xx

  124. January 8, 2018 / 8:58 am

    You are so strong and so brave – not only to soldier through this tough time with a smile on your face for your children, but for being so honest about it here. I really hope that things will be easier for you going forward. #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      January 12, 2018 / 12:39 pm

      Thank you Christy, I think it’s been important for me to keep things as normal as possible! xx

  125. January 8, 2018 / 3:04 pm

    oh Laura im sorry to hear you’ve had such a rough time. And keeping up with the blog as well as a busy family. you’re doing amazing. I love that quote too. something to keep in mind as we all go through 2018 xx #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      January 12, 2018 / 12:36 pm

      Thank you Emma. It’s been a long couple of years, I feel as though 2018 is going to be a better one though! xx

  126. January 9, 2018 / 9:38 am

    You are so very strong lovely in the face of such hard times. Well done for keeping going despite what a dreadful pain you have been experiencing. I really hope this is a better year for you. Well done for sharing such an honest post, it can’t have been easy x #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      January 12, 2018 / 12:34 pm

      Thank you so much, I haven’t felt very strong this year but I feel I have come through it and am ready to try and get better in 2018. xx

  127. January 9, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    It sounds like you’ve had a really tough year, hope 2018 is much better for you gives you all the answers you need! Thank you for linking up with #KCACOLS hope you can join us again next time

    • Laura Dove
      January 12, 2018 / 12:27 pm

      Thank you Tracey, here’s hoping! xx

  128. January 10, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been through such a tough time, I really hope things improve for you in 2018 x

    • Laura Dove
      January 12, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      Thank you Sarah, so far things have been looking up, xx

  129. January 11, 2018 / 7:20 am

    So sorry to hear you’ve had such a difficult time, well done for sharing- I’m sure it will help a lot of people knowing they aren’t alone. #sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      January 12, 2018 / 12:20 pm

      Thank you, I hope so. I think we are all guilty of sugar coating our lives every once in a while. xx

  130. January 11, 2018 / 9:58 am

    You go through so much but never fail to continue to be an amazing Mummy and produce a fabulous blog too. Lots of love. Sarah #sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      January 12, 2018 / 12:20 pm

      Ahh thank you Sarah. The kids and the blog keep me busy, I’ve been grateful for that over the last few years! xx

  131. January 11, 2018 / 5:44 pm

    Such a strong lady. It’s inspiring that you’ve kept smiling and done everything and more for your children. Here’s hoping for a healthier 2018 #Sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      January 12, 2018 / 12:19 pm

      Thank you Amy. 2018 is set to be a much better year, we are long overdue one! xx

  132. January 13, 2018 / 11:32 am

    Yes I guess you can never really know what’s going on in peoples lives just by the photo’s they post. I don’t allow myself to get too drawn in as no one knows what goes on behind closed doors, so to speak. Even with friends. It’s so honest and brave of you to share your incredibly difficult parts of the last year. I would love to open up on my blog more about so many things about myself and my life but I can’t because I just don’t want certain people knowing. People I know. Well I’m so happy for you that all the tests are not showing anything sinister and hope you have a much healthier 2018 xx #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      January 14, 2018 / 4:55 pm

      Thank you Carolynne. I think that’s always hard, not being able to share the things you want to write about due to people reading, but sometimes it helps to just write them down and not share it. I hope that 2018 is kind to you, much love. xx

  133. January 15, 2018 / 1:20 pm

    Oh bless you lovely. You are such a strong and beautiful person! Your children are so lucky.
    No one knows what truly happens behind these photos we post. Well done for writing this.

    #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      January 15, 2018 / 4:48 pm

      Thank you Beth. It’s been a difficult year but equally, it has been wonderful. Here’s hoping 2018 is kinder to us all. xx

  134. January 16, 2018 / 10:47 am

    Back again, to see you beautiful smiling face, from #kcacols xo

    • Laura Dove
      January 16, 2018 / 12:02 pm

      Ahh thanks lovely xxx

  135. January 16, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    You are lucky and strong woman. I know 2018 will be a better year for you! Keep it up! Surround yourself with happy thoughts and smiles of your children.

    • Laura Dove
      January 16, 2018 / 5:14 pm

      Thank you so much Emman, I hope 2018 is kind to you too. xx

  136. January 16, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    Such a brave brave post Laura and i totally get it, there is so much we choose not to share and I relate more than anyone would know but you are the most amazing Mum and I hope more than anything that this year is kinder to you aswell as those beautiful children of yours x #SharingTheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      January 16, 2018 / 5:13 pm

      Thank you Laura. It’s been a tough year, well a tough three years to be honest, but I feel positive about 2018 and these babies of mine keep me smiling. I hope that 2018 is kind to you too. Much love. xx

  137. January 17, 2018 / 9:22 pm

    Good luck with your health this year, I hope it continues to improve. My mum has had a similar year with the same sort of ending – a good brain scan. #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      January 18, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      Ahh sorry to hear that, Im glad her results were good. xx

  138. January 18, 2018 / 5:40 pm

    This is such a brave post to share and I hope that this year will be better got you and your family. #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      January 18, 2018 / 8:51 pm

      Thank you Kelly-Anne, I really hope so too. xx

  139. January 19, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    I’m sorry you had such a tough year, I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been dealing with all of the pain and worry and having to get on with your life as normal and put on a brave face for your children. That takes a lot of strength. I’m so glad you’ve now had some good news, I hope things keep getting better for you and that you have an amazing 2018. #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      January 19, 2018 / 5:27 pm

      Thank you so much Ruth, I really hope that 2018 is kinder to all of us. xx

  140. January 19, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    I love that quote as well, everyone tries their best to show a picture perfect life even though we all have our struggles. Thanks for sharing this, sending lots of positive vibes #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      January 19, 2018 / 5:25 pm

      Thank you so much. xx

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