Birthday Celebrations - PMR Uninvited Guest Be Gone!!!!

Birthday Celebrations - PMR Uninvited Guest Be Gone!!!!

So.... This weekend marked hubby's 60th birthday. How to celebrate, given my uninvited, unpredictable guest PMR would undoubtedly gate crash!!!!!!!!!!!!

Considered 'Bat out of Hell' show / meal in London with family (Hubby loves Meatloaf!) but what if PMR friend was 'showing off???? PMR doesn't like sitting for long periods, and though PMR will be silent he / she will make sure his / her presence is felt! Rethink..... Family meal at reasonably local (expensive but worth it) restaurant saved for special occasions only......booked!

But what about celebrating with friends??????............. Hubby doesn't 'do' parties since giving up alcohol post liver transplant a decade ago. I know..... call it an 'open house' and he won't know the difference! Food????? Platters from local cafe???? Ok no hassle, but expensive and picky bits won't 'fill up' guests. Don't want them going home hungry do we????? But remember what your virtual friends have said......It's all about pacing.....

What to do......Hmmmm. Pacing?????

Well everyone likes a Chilli (except Cath who is vegetarian). I make a mean Lasagne, Tacos and Spaghetti. It can all be prepared beforehand and makes a substantial meal ........ And so I have a plan......

But what about the day itself. Timing of 'open house'? 4pm - 10pm. That gives me a chance for the 'fresh food prep', a shower and also a nap if I need it!

Thoughts return to my absent virtual friends........ Don't be afraid to ask for help........ Michelle! (ex chef neighbour - chilli, baked pots and rice sorted!) Sons and son's girlfriend - shopping for the heavy stuff like drinks, ice and fresh food like breadsticks, gateaux, trifle etc.on the day- blowing balloons, setting up and serving - job done so well I beaming with pride at the wonderful complementary comments from guests about my youngsters!!!

Thirty guests joined us in our relatively small, (but exclusive, expensive, 'designer') mobile home! Fortunately a dry day with plenty of tables and chairs outside (some extras loaned from neighbours) to support eating from the flimsy paper plates ( a small concession when planning to avoid the washing up!)........ Enough food to sink a ship and very kind remarks received on how delicious and filling it was too!!!! sorted for next few days!

Hubby was chuffed to bits with his 'not a party' celebration. The 'ole boy network' (picture if you will the cast from 'Last of the Summer Wine' - can't make up my mind which one reminds me most of Compo!) took him out on his actual birthday, the following day, to England v West Indies. With hubby out from under my feet, I could clear at my leisure.

And what of my uninvited guest????? Ever present but subdued with an extra 2.5 mgs of pred on the day and the day after. So firmly put into his / her place!!!!!! Any remaining presence dealt with the day after clearing up with a lovely relaxing massage!

You are right my virtual friends. Life can be good. It's just about the adjustments, planning, pacing and enlisting support.

An excellent time had by all and a special birthday celebrated.

P.s. Still have special 'celebration' holiday cruise later this month to look forward too! Yahay!!!!

Last edited by

40 Replies

  • Wonderful! Happy Birthday to your other half! Good for those of us who are stubborn to hear how it should be done. Enjoy your cruise 🛳🎈

  • Marilyn, congratulations to hubby. And congratulations to you too for pulling off such an organised-sounding event for him in spite of PMR. Snap! with the celebratory cruise later this month (our's is for our golden anniversary - thought we'd push the boat out!!). Enjoy!

  • Unfortunate turn of phrase Celtic! Hopefully neither of us will be 'pushing the boat out' literally! LOL! Hope you enjoy. My first cruise, just hoping doc on board has plenty of sea sickness tabs just in case. Can't wait!!!!

  • Thank you, Marilyn. I've only been on a few short cruises of 7 and 4 nights and not needed pills thus far, although this coming one is for 14 nights. The choppiest waters I've ever encountered were in the Channel on a simple ferry crossing from Calais to Dover. Loads of passengers were badly affected whilst I and hubby were lucky and were fine. It was so bad that the ferry had major problems trying to dock. My aunt used to swear by those anti-sickness wrist bands but I haven't any personal experience. Best to be in a cabin mid-ships if seas become choppy, and the lower down the better. I will cross my fingers for calm seas for you, but I'm sure you will be fine, and if you enjoy it just half as much as we do, you will love it!

  • See - I can't abide being in the pits - too close to the engines, pooh! And however rough - if I can see the sea I'm fine. Bit more difficult overnight I grant you!

    Had an overnight North Sea crossing once with the cabin along the length of the ship in the pointy end. Up, up, up, up, p'dom down, up,up,up, p'dom down... Head touching the top, slide, feet touching the bottom. So went out for a walk - no-one to be seen except the security guard who was loving not having to sort out mini-cruise drunks ;-) We had a long and peaceful chat :-)

  • I assume that 'exciting' North Sea crossing was in your pre-PMR days, PMRpro! We're on Deck 7 as close to mid-ships as we could get.

  • Don't think it was to be honest - it will have been in the years we had this flat before we moved here so must be in the last 12 years - and I've had PMR for 13 years.

  • That must had made the crossing even more "exciting" - NOT. Ouch!

  • Happy Birthday to your other half and very well done you. 😁🛳

  • Hi,

    Well done you, and your little friend for behaving itself on the day.

    See life does go on despite PMR, just needs more planning -we ladies are very good at that, and delegation - not always so good at that one, but you learn!

    Enjoy your cruise, you deserve it! All I can say is "watch out Captain!"

  • Genius! All of it! Hats off to you! No wonder your dragon was subdued, you thwarted it, pre- empted and defeated it at every turn.

    A seminar on how it is done. Take a bow.💐

  • Well done! Sounds as if a good time was had by all - which is all that matters. And I envy him his trip to the cricket.

    Would you like to drop by on Friday and do me a 65th? ;-) Was supposed to be at daughter's and then a friend where I usually get a birthday dinner when we're over in the UK but OH's radiotherapy has put paid to that :-(

  • Oh what a shame PMRpro. Perhaps 'bank' it for a double celebration when OH's treatment finishes? Are you currently in uk for your birthday or in Italy? (Think Italy is where you retired to?) What neck of the woods do you stay when in uk?

    Re cruise - I hope I don't have issues with my head and feet touching slide since I am only 5ft!!!! If I do I shall be asking for a refund, even if I do get to dance with the captain!!!!!

  • I'm barely over 5' in my socks! Don't think they refund for weather somehow - it's an act of god or something...

    I'm in Italy. Since it is impossible to go away here in August (too hot and far too many tourists) we usually come to the UK instead. But I have to say - the weather here is rather better! Not further south though - somewhere is said to have clocked 46C today!

    Where do we stay? Nowhere long: Whitby, Fife, sometimes Preston area and Dorset and Portsmouth area. Used to call at Farnborough but my SIL died just before xmas.

  • Think we might have had our summer here! Hopefully I am being pessimistic and there is more good weather on it's way. Never been to Italy. It is on my to do list since I love the food, architecture, culture.

    Interestingly when my sister had a place in Spain she didn't like to be there during height of summer season due to tourists, traffic etc 46 degrees is soooooo hot!

    Make sure you drink plenty of fluids!!!!!!

  • Oh so sorry PMRpro about your 65th B-Day celebration being maybe , just put on hold until better times come along ☹️! Hope your hubby is holding his own concerning his cancer treatment.


  • It all feels a bit fraudulent - he's got no symptoms at all. That'll change when the r/t starts I imagine!

  • No symptoms??? Hmmmm. I guess this must be a very long , long story for the two of you. Just hope that all turns out ok in the long run for hubby and for you PMRpro . Hopefully , you will atleast have a "happy" but belated 65th Birthday celebration when his r/t is successfully completed !


  • My patients say to me that they can't have cancer because it "doesn't hurt" and they don't feel ill. You probably know from the last experience with OH that it's the treatment that makes you feel ill. My patients tell me it's overwhelming fatigue with radiotherapy and sometimes bowel and bladder issues with pelvic radiotherapy.

    Thinking of you both...

  • By the time he got to r/t last time he'd already had chemotherapy and surgery - so had plenty of feeling VERY ill! And a LOT of pain. The marker had fallen and then popped up again so the oncologist decided it was time for surgery now the tumour was so much smaller (tennis ball sized as opposed to a rugby ball) but she would do one more lot of chemo. After the 3 days he said if the first had been like that he'd not have gone back for a second - he was very aware of how ill he felt despite the amnesic medication. But by the time he got to surgery there was no identifiable viable tissue so her attempt had worked. The r/t then was the velcro to go with the belt and braces...

  • Really feeling for you both. Sometimes it's worse for the loved ones who go on the same "cancer" journey. They don't get the side effects, but often get the backlash from tired, irritable, uncomfortable family members. They go to all the appointments and have to make sure they're listening to everything that's said and think of all the relevant questions to ask. At least you've got those long journeys to and from the hospital to "debrief" together.

    "Downstaging" chemo is helpful in reducing tumour size and can have spectacular results, although patients are often desperate to have the surgery as they want the "alien" out of their bodies and in the bucket!

    Such a shame that having beaten the first one, you're both now back on that journey again.

    I hope you can do something to celebrate your birthday. What was it that you, MB and DL were saying about something pink and sparkly...? And I don't mean jewellery, although that would be nice too!

  • Hehe - I live in Italy, currently I have an Austrian pink and frizzy in the fridge for dinner... Cheaper than our local pink - and it doesn't come with fizz...

  • Reading your post, Marilyn, is a cheery beginning to yet another rainy, windswept morning here .. I'm a bit late to this party but a lovely, positive result after all your delegation and organising skills came into their own! Keeping the 'bad fairy' off the guest list is quite an art, you've got it well sussed, well done you :-)

  • Having managed 800 7 to 11 year-olds, this must have been a walk in the park! No wonder he was chuffed and everyone enjoyed the 'event'. Another triumph of your organisational skills.

    Enjoy every minute of your cruise being fed, watered and entertained, as much or as little as you like. (Food a-plenty, but hopefully not enough to sink the ship this time!)

  • What a lovely start to the morning, reading your positive, upbeat post. It must have been a daunting task planning the celebrations, but you pulled it off in style. Well done!

    Regarding cruising, people find that they either love it or they hate it. I've been cruising for many years and have met many first-time cruisers who either say "never again" or "can't wait to book the next one". It's not just about the sea sickness, and I still have a tendency to suffer (the wristbands work a treat if worn correctly), but about whether you enjoy the lifestyle on board. It's definitely not a floating Butlins nor is it like a cross channel ferry (the stabilisers are huge on a cruise ship), and it's fantastic to get out your posh frocks, although not obligatory on most cruise ships nowadays. I love cruising, mainly because I come from a seafaring family and it's in my blood, so I love all the navigational aspects, but nothing beats going from one amazing location to another and not even having to pack and unpack a suitcase! Your cabin goes with you.

    If you have a tendency to motion sickness and you're worried about sea sickness, you get plenty of notice that things might get rough and you're offered tablets and injections from the medical centre (for a fee). The ship's shop also sells over-the-counter tablets, but the best way is to buy some before you go or get stronger medication from your GP. I'm not great with tablets as I get the side effects, so I stick with alternative remedies such as the wristbands and ginger. Regarding where best to sit when it's rough, I tend to walk about until I feel comfortable, which is often midships low down, or out on the deck, but not if the waves are coming up over the side... If you ask a member of staff, they'll say as close to the medical centre as you can get, as they aways try to position that in the most stable part of the ship.

    Do keep us updated on the how the cruise goes and whether you and hubby enjoy it (I really hope you do), and make sure you tell your PMR friend to maintain a low profile! I went on a British Isles cruise a few days after my PMR first kicked off (almost a year ago), before any investigations or treatment and I couldn't work out what was happening to me! I had my mum in a wheelchair and I couldn't work out why it was getting increasingly difficult to push her over the plush, deep pile carpets. I had to keep telling her to get out and walk!

  • ...and she wasn't putting on weight!! Apparently the average weight gain for cruise passengers is 7 lbs a week! Oooer....

  • The ship bit was the bit I liked, was a bit rough a couple of days, no problem - it was the social stuff that left me totally cold. We were lucky - by accident we ended up upgraded to Concierge class (cost a lotto) from the level we'd intended going on and had a load of posh bits but without dressing for dinner (that was the bit I'd dreaded) as it was all smart casual. The dining room was excellent and we were at a table with a lovely Canadian family - a pharmacist and non-scientist husband and their orthopaedic surgeon son and his wife. They were perfect company - but had I been at most other larger tables I'd have been in the queue for a table for two. And they told us how relieved they had been when they met us! We did all laugh a lot. But 75% of the population were NOT my cup of tea at all.

    But HOW can you spend an entire week shopping - even the destinations were cheek by jowl jewellery shops - or in the casino? I mean, REALLY???? I'd do it again for the destinations - but not the rest. And frankly - only 7lbs? There was one family who spent almost all day in the posh cafe - where you got free cakes with your included coffees. She was already in a scooter ...

  • I know what you mean about the social stuff... It's sometimes preferable to go along to the buffet and you can pick and choose who you sit with or sit at a table for two. I've had some disastrous table companions and some great ones, like the group of people you had. I would definitely have liked your table! I like the passengers who make you laugh and have interesting lives.

    I don't tend to do a lot of shopping, so sniff out the interesting places to explore, but I know that many of the passengers come back to the ship with dozens of bags!

    I laughed about the family in the posh cafe! Yes, I think that would be a case of having to buy new clothes.

    Marilyn, are we getting you in the mood..?!

  • Hi Claire,

    Reading what you and PMRpro have written, I think I am quite fortunate in that I have had to mix with all sorts of people in my line of work. I am hoping that the resilience and tolerance I have developed, coupled with the fact that I like to people watch, will stand me in good stead for any 'disastrous table companions' situations. Having said this am I right in assuming that we wouldn't have to always sit on the same table with same people if things were not working out?

  • It will all depend on what "class" your cruise is. We had only one fixed demand when we booked - a cabin with balcony - and all the allocated balcony cabins for the company we booked through had gone. Yes, we COULD have what we wanted - 500 euros each extra but with no details! We had to go on that cruise if we were going to go at all so coughed up with a sharp intake of breath! It wasn't until we got there we found we had been seriously upgraded as a result. It wasn't really worth 500 euros each - but we won't be there again, so it was OK.

    We were in the "posh" included dining room - like a top-class restaurant with full waiting service. But the Canadian couple said they would have asked for a separate table if we had been awful and they had cruised a lot so I assume the management would comply if possible. We were actually all slightly surprised a couple had been put onto a family table - it had potential for a lot!

    If you are on a lower-cost option then the dining may be a buffet - we had that option too and always used it for lunch and there you chose where you sat and whether anyone else was there was up to you. But I'd have put up with a lot to eat in the dining room - the food was superb. The wine waiter was worthy of a top restaurant, really knew his stuff and didn't really need to ask - he had always identified what I would want!

  • Hi PMRpro

    I do believe it's Happy Birthday today!!! I hope you have a lovely day, despite the change in plan for you and OH.


  • Hi Marilyn

    I'm getting really excited about your cruise! When do you actually go and which company/ship are you going on? I usually cruise with P&O and they don't do a class system, although companies like Cunard do, which some people prefer. Regarding evening meals on P&O ships, you can choose "Club" dining, which is allocated seating at 6.30pm and 8.30pm, "Freedom" dining, which is in a restaurant, but the head waiter seats you when you arrive and you can choose the time you dine and the number of people you sit with. If either of those don't suit, and you would usually have chosen when you initially booked, you can opt for the buffet. I'm sure all cruises have similar systems in place. Like PMRpro has said, the food and service are superior in the dining room/restaurant. I once sat with an incredibly rude woman and ended up going to the buffet as I started to dread the meals, but I could have asked to move to another table.

    Like you, I love to "people watch" and and am very interested in people, so it's not usually a problem. You will find that on a cruise, you can pretty much do as little or as much as you like. You can hide away and relax in a quiet area of the ship, barely seeing anyone, or hang around in the public areas making new friends.

    The entertainment is varied with big West End style shows, comedians, singers or magicians, for example. Some cruises charge for the entertainment, but with P&O it's included. Sometimes you'll have Michael Ball, Bobby Crush or Jane McDonald or a Strictly Come Dancing themed cruise.

    Apologies to those following this thread who have no interest in ships or cruising...! 🚢

  • They don't have to read... ;-)

  • That's true...! :-)

  • *in a quiet area OF the ship. Oops.

  • You know you can edit? Click on the right hand box with the downward pointing arrow...

  • So happy it all went well your Gorilla was tamed for the occasion! Stay strong. Your virtual friends support you!

  • Good morning Marylin1959,

    Thank you so much for your post. It is a master classs in planning and executing a big occasion whilst in the grip of a serious systemic illnesses. Well done you and a very happy birthday to your husband xx👏

  • Another congratulations Marilyn! Wonderful to read your post and see the thought processes, planning and how you managed your day. Gives us all ideas and strategies to employ. So pleased too that the unwanted guest stayed at bay. Have a wonderful holiday!! As an extra too do hope that everything goes well for your husband PMRpro. You spend such a lot of time commenting and giving advice to others that it is easy to forget that you have your own personal and family challenges too. So will be thinking and praying for you both as Your husband goes through this next course of treatment.

  • Thank you all.

    Jackoh has hit the nail on the head in the reply above. I posted this post to illustrate that I have taken on board the advice of all on this wonderful online community, putting it into practice to make the event happen. Certainly the motto Together Everyone Achieves More (Team) came into play from inception to implementation. Wouldn't have been able to do it, in the way that I chose to, without you guys and girls, or friends and family. So thank you one and all.

    Keep smilin' and working your way through for 'Tomorrow Belongs To Those Who Prepare For It Today'. There is light even though we might have to wait for tomorrow to see it and feel it!

You may also like...