The Ball of Balls – Let’s Talk About The Boyos

Last night, we attended The Ball of Balls in the beautiful Harvey’s Point in Donegal Town.

This innovative and brave event was created by a group of friends, born from a conversation where they all agreed that Men need to talk about cancer.  The committee who brought The Ball of Balls to life was made up of Joan Gallagher, Peter Barry, Deborah Cunningham, Moya O’Leary and assisted by Adrian Pollard.

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We enjoyed a champagne reception to beautiful Jazz music, before moving into the ballroom for a divine meal.

Noel Cunningham was host for the evening and spoke passionately about the importance of cancer services in the North West.

Gabriel McCole entertained the audience with his honest and no nonsense account of his own journey with cancer and powerful speech delivered by Deborah Cunningham as we sat to dinner, repeated the line “Men need to talk about cancer”.

And last night, we did.  We spoke openly about the importance of checking and going for checks.  And I truly hope that every man left the ball with the thought that maybe he should check himself!

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It was a wonderful uplifting evening, and the dancing continued long after we had left.  We were further entertained by The Bluestack Chorale Choir and the band who kept the floor full all night were The Lock Ins.  (If you have an event coming up, check these guys out!  Superb!)

Two things shocked me last night:

  1. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 15 to 34.  I wonder how many 15 and 16 year olds would even consider themselves at risk…

      2. There is NO screening programme in place in Ireland. 

And so, alongside the money raised for Cancer Care West last night, the most important success of the night, was the raising of awareness that not only to men need to look after themselves more and talk about cancer, but the women in their lives ALSO need to up our game.

We need to talk to our dads, our brothers, our partners and our sons, whatever their ages, about the importance of paying attention to themselves.  We need to normalise talking about men’s cancer issues, just as much as how freely we talk about women’s.

I hope that this event will become an annual one.  Bravo to all involved!  Job well done.

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There is great information on testicularcancer.org  and on the Marie Keating Foundation website.

What to look out for

Cancers which are found early are the most easily treated. It makes sense to know how your body normally looks and feels and this includes your testicles. This will make it easier for you to notice any changes. A swelling or lump in one of your testicles which is not usually painful is the most common sign of testicular cancer, however there are other signs to look out for:

• Small lumps or hardness on the front or side of a testis.

• Swelling or enlargement of the testis.

• An increase in firmness of the testicle.

• A sensation of dragging or heaviness in the scrotum.

• A dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin.

It is important to note that most lumps are benign (harmless) but others may be cancerous and should be treated as quickly as possible. It is unusual to develop cancer in both testicles at the same time, so if you are wondering whether a testis is normal or not, you can compare it with the other.

 

You is My Baby

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You is three.
You is clever.
You is strong.
You is beautiful.
You is brave.
You is kind.
You is sensitive.
You is stubborn.
You is headstrong.
You is frightening.
You is craycray.
You is scary.
You is manipulative.
You is powerful.
You is exhausting.
You is expensive.
You is strong … strangely strong.
You is hilarious.
You is cute.
You is a monster…


But you is OUR monster.

You is Me and your Daddy combined and we have no one to blame but ourselves. 😂😂

We is exasperated and we is proud and we is always behind you and your glittery wee wellies.

Go Baby, go.
You’ve got a world to change.

 

So Not Trendy Mammy

Notions.

This Mammy is full of them.

Oooooooh lookit! Look at the pretty floaty girly dress which would look lovely with heels or flat sandals,

Look at the patterns and colours and floatiness of the gazillion samey dresses in all the shops.

Mammy could pull that off.
Mammy could look as smashing as the Holly of the Willybooby in these dresses.
Mammy could begin to wear patterns even though Mammy knows full well that patterns swallow her up and make her look like a 1970s curtain has puked on her.

Mammy will look boho and chic and funkiful and cool.
Mammy may even try to match it with the white runners that everyone is looking so fablis in all over the instaworld…

And then Mammy TRIES ON one of the summer floaty stunners, and promptly turns into Nora Fuckin Batty.

“That’s GORGEOUS on you!” goos the 11 year old shop, impossibly beautiful assistant, through her perfectly puffed up lips. “You could try it with white runners? They are so in right now!”

(Yeah… they were in when thirty years ago too Lovey, and even then I knew how impractical white runners were. They wouldn’t last a day on me… And I’m pretty sure that if I added them to this get-up, I’d look like my 8 year old self, dressed in handmedowns from my older cousin which hung on me like curtains again too!)

Mammy looks at her unfortunate self in the mirrors, sees her Great Great Great Grandmother staring back at her.
She’s laughing.

Mammy smiles politely at the shopchild.

“Naw, it’s not really me. Thanks anyway!”

“Really? I think it looks AMAZING on you!”

(Of course you do.)

“I look like Nora Batty.”

“Heeehehehee! I have no idea who that is!”

Of course you don’t… FML

Mammy gets back into her tracksuit, with her NOT white runners, and run-walks out of the shop, wondering if Last of the Summer Wine is on Netflix and if that dress would look better with curlers in my hair.

White ones obviously.

Notions I tell you.

*that dress is beautiful Obviously. On her!

She’s Hard Work She Is…

Cripes alive Sis, She’s hard work today.

I know. She’s not herself.

Maybe she’s hungry. When did we last feed her?

Mmmm. We’ll get her a snack?
Yeah.

She slept all night last night too. She shouldn’t be tired.
Ah I dunno.

Maybe she’s got a wee temperature. It’s not like her to this cranky.

A wee drop of the magical pink elixer of life might do no harm…

Maybe it’s us. Are we doing something wrong?

It’s not us.
It’s just her.

It’s just a phase she’s going through. It’ll pass…

Chripes she’s hard work today though isn’t she?
Yup…

Wouldn’t change her for the world though, would we?

Well…
😂😂😂
😂

Stop Asking Questions Mammy

“Did you have a nice day at school?” yeah
“Any news for me?”  No
“What did you learn today?” Nuthin
“Did you learn anything new today?” Nope.  
“How are your friends?” Grand…
Bad Mammy, asking Lazy-Mammy questions. 
Don’t you know there are lists of Perfect Parenting question hacks, and higher-order clever-Mammy questions, that we can ask in order to engage our minions on the journey home or when they get in?
Yeah, whatever Jacinta. 
Trust me, even if I were to ask “Can you tell me one new thing you learned today?” I’d still get “Nuthin”.
Or
“Tell me one thing you found out at school today?”  “Nuthin”
Or
“Did Teacher tell you anything interesting today?”  “Nope!”
Or
“Is there anything exciting that you’d like to share with me today?”  “Yeah… silence”.    
Ok, maybe she wouldn’t SAY this, but I’ll bet she’s thinking it. If she could articulate properly, she’d probably tell me she wants a big fat cup of shut the feck up Mammy… 
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She MIGHT say “I’ve just spent the whole day answering questions and concentrating and listening and translating in my head. I’ve been Good-Me since 8.30am. I’m now in the car, safe and back with you.  I want to NOT think.  I want to sleep.  I want to watch TV.  I want to cry.  I want to throw a tantrum so that I can eventually spill that I had a fight with my BFF or that I got hit by a ball again… But right now, I need to adjust.  I need to go from being my public-at-school little self, to my actual self.  Much like you take off your makeup and stick your hair in a bun and throw on your PJ bottoms and one of Daddy’s teeshirts to switch off from YOUR job-job, I need to transition too. So, a mummy Dearest,  if you’d keep your prattling, repetative questions to yourself until my brain has a chance to catch up, we MIGHT have a chat then.”
The wobbler one?  
I try.
I try I do. 
I waste my time there too.
“Did you have a good day?”… Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
“What did you do today?” … “Paw Patrol”
“Did you miss Mammy?”…  “Pawpatrol”
“What do you want for dinner?”… “I don’t WANT dinner. I haved dinner alweady!”
“Did you do anything nice today?”… “No!”
She thinks    “Mammy’s home.  I am sooooo done keeping my little shit together.  I must now scream and huff and growl and eyebrow-furrow and stomp, and howl “Paw Patrol” enough times to make Mammy either turn ON Paw Patrol or huggle me and squeeze me and…oh look, my big sister is huffing  and staring out the window.  I shall do that too.  Oh look, my big sister is crying.  Not sure what she is crying about, but hey, it looks like it might feel good and possibly punish Mammy a little, so I shall CRY TOO.  Why am I crying?  Feck knows, but hey!
Mammy is sighing and muttering letters under her breath. Me not know letters.  
Mammy should stop annoying me and Big Sis wif silly questions on our way home.
Does her not know by now, that we will both keep ALL of our stories and excitingful information until 5 minutes after bedtime?
…Or until 3.15am, when I shall stick a finger up her nose to wake her to tell her dat Johnny bumped hims head on hims croissant. 
Sssssssh Mammy…”
#fml