Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day


these things come around, don't they? This time last year it wasn't at all sure that I'd get to this one, so it seems extra special to be celebrating now.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve mostly on our own, although John, the guy in our street who lost his wife to breast cancer earlier this year, came over for a cup of tea in the afternoon. Such a sad time of year, really for so many people it is a reminder of what they have lost as well as what they have.

I always think of my grandad Toft at this time of year, when they used to have parties at "253" on Boxing day. He was a party animal. His daughter (aunty Barbara) told me the other day that he used to like making cocktails, which I didn't realise as a kid, but I am keeping on that family tradition! B and I had lemon drops for our treat last night, and a picnic of soked salmon blinis and asparagus and ham wraps .. lovely jubbly.

Later today we are toddling to Manchester and the lovely James will wine and dine us in traditional style and that will be lovely with several other friends there. B and I are very lucky.

I hope you all have a great time at Christmas, and spend the year carrying out the message of love and peace that Jesus brought to the world.

With Love


Saturday, December 15, 2007

new art

Woo - sorry I've not updated this for a while -- not been much to say, really! Now here is something groovy - we went to an Art Auction last night, had the most fun and bought some new art at verygood prices which are now my "Christmas present". Dunno how long the links will stay active, but these are the pieces we got from the cataglogue ...

this painting is very big, beautiful blue textures by Naomi Greaves.

this is one of two little ceramic nightlight pots by Perry Walmsly Pitts:

A photo from David Stubbs:

and this I don't know quite what to call it display of angel wings by Charlie Pi!
(this doesn't photograph well, but is a lovely thing!)

then there was the one that got away - which I really wanted but it got toooooooo dear!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

family and friends

Yes indeed I had a lovely time down in Dorset with the family, spent all day with mum and dad on Friday and the weekend mainly with the kids. Joe excelled himself at the County Gym Show by securing a bronze medal in his group for tumbling. Toby is specialising in music and I went to his piano lesson with him and his teacher says he is a "joy to teach". Unusually for me, I never took my camera out if its bag, so no images for these tales .. oops!

I was sorry to hear that two of the regular contributors to the blog have their own major health problems. I hope we can get together soon, Celia, just give us a call and I'll be right over. Big Hugs to "The Big Softy at College" too. (I bet she won't be off-line for long!)

I've been invited to a couple of work socials for Christmas. Does it seem odd to admit that I find the prospect really hard and have declined the invitations? It sort of feels like it's too hard to make small talk after the year I've had, and I CERTAINLY don't want to talk about that! I DO still like seeing colleagues, but as individuals rather than en masse.

People who were worried about my decision to start the ball rolling to get back to work can breath again, I still haven't seen the Occ Health, and I can't do anything official before that, so getting in there before Xmas seems quite unlikely!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

social whirl

Crazeee -- this rehab is hard work!

I've had a very busy weekend meeting various internet friends in various guises this .. nine of us went out for a Turkish meal on Saturday, then more ppl joined us to make it 13 for Sunday Lunch .. (btw I can recommend the Carvery in The Victoria on the Square in Hanley, sadly no website yet!) Then on Monday a few of us met at Trentham and moochd about there for a bit and then a select few gathered here for the old-faithful cocktails and Chinese Supper ..

Very nice ..

Yesterday was an anniversarty for B and I - we've been a couple for FIFTEEN YEARS now .. so we celebrated that together by having a few cocktails and a lovely meal at Blanc Brasserie in Manchester --- we went on the train! haha .. It worked in well cos B had a meeting in Manchester, and I joined her there in the afternoon ..

and now I'm whizzing off to Dorset ..


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I went into college for an hour yesterday and met one of the supply teachers who has had to pick up an AS language class. Felt good how the old brain kicks back in to remembering some of this stuff .. so thatI can support her , tho my short term memory still feels / is very shakey.

I am surprised how stressed I get when I have to do anything outside the littel routines I've been doing for the past 15 months .. so this is what rehab is all about .. gradually getting used to day to day stresses!

Friday, November 16, 2007


phew - this doing things is really tiring .. I saw my nana on Tues for her 93rd birthday. It was a substantial drive for me, on the motorway and I was glad to stop over in Coventry with my brother and family rather than do the drive back all in one day.

Had a nice time with them, and got hooked on Luke's Play Station FIFA game... haha! never played anything like that before .. I don't really NEED more time-wasting gadgets in my life, but I think B would enjoy the football one too!

I went to Sheffield Uni yesterday, also a long drive, but not so stressful cos the weather was lovely and scenery on that "over the Peaks" route via Monyash, and Bakewell is really stunning and made me very happy. While I was there I learnt about UCAS applications for English courses, and I think this is the first totally work-based thing I've done in ages. Enjoyed it.

I am very tired though. I guess it's a bit frustrating now, where I feel quite a lot better but I'm not really better!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mrs Hall

We went to see my surgeon on Saturday to discuss the reversal. She was quite re-assuring about it, but agreed that I need to pencil in at least 12 weeks post-op for getting total control over my body again .. I think it is worth it now.

I don't know yet when she will do the operation, it will be end of Jan or Feb sometime - she has to look at her other commitments and work out her holidays as well!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

express train

that feels a bit fast suddenly .. went to see "boss" yesterday .. and she was lovely and we discussed what I might be able to do by way of getting my feet back under the table. It won't be much, esp bearing in mind I could well be having more surgery after Christmas ...

Anyrate b4 you even CAN go back to work you have to get the all clear from your GP, so I popped in to make an appointment, and there was one for that very afternoon .. so I've seen my GP and she thinks doing a bit will be very good for me.

So now I've got to see Occupational Health..

Then I found a letter from my surgeon asking to see me on Saturday .. so it's all coming together a bit "fast" now .. and I was awake very early today thinking about it all. Yoiu hear some real horror stories about reversals .. but then, do ppl having an OK time of it write it up on the internet?

Monday, November 05, 2007


I have been up-dating my fitness blog quite regularly. I have had a decent week with quite a bit of walking, a 10 mile cycle and a reasonable food intake (albeit supplemented with a WRIGHTS PIE at the football on Sat!!)

That was the first sports event I've been to in over a year. They could have made more effort to mark the event, it was a dismal display from Stoke and if they don't buck up we wont be rushing back. The rest of the population must be feeling the same cos the gate was only 13,000 - the lowest I've ever heard in there ...

I'm going to the gym now, well for a fitness assement, one step at a time! Then I am going into work to meet the principal tomorrow morning. Trying to rebuild and establish some of my old life again.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

cancer in the news 2

I did post quite a rant here about the latest "news" about thing that can pre-dispose you to cancer ... in the end I decided not to post it, but I was mad ... really ... GRRR

cancer in the news

Dina Rabinovitch died this week of breast cancer, aged 44. She was a Guardian journalist who blogged her experiences and wrote in the columns of the paper. There were some extracts in the paper yesterday. It made sad reading ... especially the bit about how her son has stopped asking her if her cancer will get better. How hard that is for mothers to be dying with young children?

In one of the entries she admits to feeling jealous of mums at the school gate who don't have cancer. It's not a proud thing to admit to, and I must say, I know what she means. I have felt that too, at times. You hate yourself for thinking it, but it creeps up on you.

I wonder now about Ann, the woman at hospital whom I made friends with, whose bowel cancer spread already. Sho has had to have chemo for a very long time. If I went to see her now, would she welcome me, or would it be hard to bear?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

scottish photos

Walking and cycling in Scotland ...
ppl who know me - know that I love to do this
I have to say that a year ago, I really, really, really could not believe that I would be taking part in the glories of scotland, ever again ....
and yet,
here I am, besides myself, really,
with joy and delight
rapture, even
to be there
to be stronger than I thought I could ever be again
to be walking, cycling .. let's face it,
breathing !
total delight
total rapture

Monday, October 29, 2007

Holiday Diary

Too tired to be very physical today. B went out on her bike and I did artist’s date .. spent a while on the internet and then did photography around the loch here and went off to explore in Spean Bridge. Ppl talk to you a lot when you are on your own!

Went to pick up B from the end of her ride (50 miles up the hilly side of Loch Ness!) It was very sunny by mid-afternoon and we sat on the loch side here watching the sun go down behind the facing hillside…lovely

Really exciting day – we got the train from Spean Bridge out to Corrour, the highest train station in the UK. There are no roads up there, it was built to serve the estate and in a way it still does, only three trains a day in either direction! We walked for about 90 minutes around Loch Ossian. It felt so wild and remote and was something I’ve wanted to do since I read about it one of our walk books. In fact the actual walking was far easier than what we did on Tuesday.. the terrain is estate track and basically flat around the loch! The train ride was magical in both directions.

Was sunny down here, but grey up there, tho it eventually cleared and the views opened up. Back in time for another sit on the Loch Lochy lochside to watch the sun go down.

Really lovely day – bright blue sky and sun from first thing till about 3 pm. Cycled along the Caledonian Canal from the Bridge of Ochy to Fort Augustus. Ten MILES! B running, of course, and me on the bike. Again it felt pretty easy. My legs are strong, but the cardio vascular side is less fit, just a small burst of speed will get my chest burning!
Had a big steak for tea….yummy!

B off early on her own for a couple of hours on the bike – it was raining, quite heavily and I was tired!

When she got back I spent part of the morning reading outloud from the Kate Atkinson book. Then we did a drive out up Glen Roy which is a lovely single track road with great views. Bumped into someone from B’s work at Spean Bridge!

Set off at about 9.30 am on, it is 370 miles, a little over 7 hours actual motoring and a bit added for pit-stops meant we got back about 5pm. Colder in this house than it was in the lodge!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bonny Scotland

This lodge is really marvellous - all glass on three sides so you can see the forest all around, the most amazing variety of tress in various shades of green and autumn, it is very beautiful ... there is also a waterfall in the grounds and a beach on the loch that offers fine views of hills in all directions .. so there should be plenty to look at through the lens when I venture outside later!

On Monday I got back on my bike for the first time since my operation. It felt brilliant, especially here in the great glen .. we drove downfour miles to the Caledonian Canal and pedalled in the direction of Fort William. Well I peddled, B was running! We were out for a little over an hour and it was magical, really just so great for me. And pretty easy. My muscles in my legs are still pretty strong, even if my energy levels are low and I didn't push myself in a heart and lungs type of way!

Yesteraday we drove out ot Kinlochleven where there is a lovely climb up, opposite the Pap of Glen Coe. It's part of the Highland Way and I wanted to do it cos it is a bit of serious uphill with no nasty exposed bits! I got more hot and bothered doing that than I did on the bike, but again it felt marvellous to be out in this beautiful place, with so much to delight your senses and using my body in a bit of a push.

I was dog tired last night, and pretty weary today so B has gone off on her bike and I am taking it a bit easier. One step at a time, eh?

I will go for an amble round the 12 acres of woodland that this place puts at our disposal in a little while. Bliss, really and very emotional for me, cos in my dark days I really never thought I'd be here again. All through my illness I have used memories of Scotland as part of my repertoire of mental "tricks" to keep me calm and rested in hard times ... it is just so special to be here and re-charge those images and sensations which have served me so well this past year.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

life in remission

I found a good article on tinternet about this .. if you are VERY interested .. here is the link:

If you're too busy to read that, here's part one of the digested read, made personal to me:

Dr Peter Harvey wrote it, he's Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Leeds Teaching Hospital.

He says now the treatment has finished I can begin, bit-by-bit, to deal with all that I have been through and all that is to come. I have had over a year of treatment by radiation knife, chemicals. Now is the time to heal, both body and mind.

He splits the process into three stages: recuperation, convalescence and rehabilitation.

RECUPERATION. One of the paradoxes of cancer is that the treatments made me feel worse, not better! I have been subjected to dangerous rays, had a 12" cut in my abdomen, been disfigured with a stoma, regularly injected with poisonous chemicals, all in the name of treatment.

The aggressiveness and power of the treatments is a reaction to the power of the disease and they placed enormous physical strains on my body. The treatments are harsh and draining. Added to this are the emotional angles - dealing with the implications of my diagnosis (initially I was told it was INOPERABLE!! .... then the fear and emotional stress.)

He reckons that however smoothly treatment went I now need time simply to recharge and recover - to recuperate . This is the necessary foundation on which to build recovery.

Once I have recharged my batteries, then I can begin to build up my physical and emotional strength. There are no set rules or guidelines for how long this can take, but HE firmly believe that to miss out this stage builds up problems later on.

I'll do REHAB in a later post!

Monday, October 15, 2007

well the mothballs were short lived


so much for mothballs

several regulars have passed the opinion that is it not a good idea to mothball my blog ..
so ..... you're not obliged to keep reading it, but I am going to keep writing.

In fact there is a school of thought that living with remission in more psychologically taxing than getting the first diagnosis ..

cos now you know a lot more about it the whole thing and
you know remission doesn't mean cure,
and you know you heard your oncologist's statistics
and you know ppl whose bowel cancer came back after three years
and you don't know what to do about "reversal" of the ileostomy
and you've "lost" your regular contact with the medics

and you're not well enough to do much else that you used to do
and "normal" is still a long way off
and you still need the care and attention of your family and friends

so I'm gonna carry on blogging ...

I am delighted to have a clear scan, but B and I are very much seeing it as a "treatment break" and planning to use the same calm sense of balance that kept us level during the last year to see us through the next one.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Time, Gentlemen Purleez

That's it, drink up and move on,

this site is now officially IN:

I am officially IN REMISSION.

My scans are clear and there is currently no cancer active in my body and my oncologist has made an appointment to see me again for a scan in April.

Tra lalalala

thanks for everything !


clock watching

aye Julie - clock watching, well today at any rate.

Yesterday was lovely .. the sun was shining and we went out towards Tittesworth but then decided to ring the changes and go UP and walk along the Roaches instead. Good decision, very fresh and bright with lovely views out all around. Pity I had no camera with me, and even more outrageous: my STEPPER STOPPED. So all that yomping and no mechanical evidence for my fitness blog!

Good news - the tea rooms up there have re-opened. "Under new management" but nothing else has changed and we sat munching our hearty food and looking out onto hovering kestrels and a gallumping hare. B has recently seen a huge bird of prey up there, and the manageress says it's a peregrine falcon which perches on her wall sometimes.

It's enough, this sort of thing .. there is no more wonderful thing in life than to be able to be outside with your bestest mate and seeing the natural beauty in our own back-yard. One of the other women in there was saying to some ppl from Essex, "Oh I take it for granted,living here..." and B and I looked at each other and I know we both thought "Well, we dont ... " cos we never have, we always blather on about how great it is here, and get great pleasure from the area we live in.

Meanwhile, I ate loads ... on the CT scan appointment it says "Eat and drink normally" so I felt sort of obliged!

The scan thing was running pretty much on time and the RMO found a vein for the drip-thing really easily so that was all fine. We also bumped into Ann, the fellow-patient whom I talk to quite often in the Nuffield. Ann's bowel cancer started years ago. She has had various liver and lung surgery since, and is on "maintenance" chemo now. She is a very nice person and interesting cos she is my main source of knowledge about how this cancer can spread and take over your life .. but also my point of reference for how one can live with cancer, as she does.

I hope I don't have to go through what she does, but I also think she is inspiring as to how it IS possible to "live your life" with it.

I'm not sure what we'll do today .. it is pretty grey and rainy. I don't take this as an omen but I do think hill-walking is not on today's agenda. B is out running just now, and when she comes back we will decide. I might need a bit more retail therapy!

My appt this afternoon is at four, tho funnily Ann said she was expecting to see him about 4 pm too, and I doubt he is going to do a joint session! I'll update this as soon as I can after we get to see him.

It will be so great if today's update can be the end of this particular chapter and that this here blog can be put into mothballs for a while, indeed, mothballs for ever would be good ...

I think it's served its purpose well and I really do feel the kindness of everyone who reads it, especially the ppl who comment, cos comments keep me cheerful ... tho I know plenty of others read without ever mastering the comments thing, and that is fine too!

fingers crossed, then, folks, and thanks for all the texts and oteh messages of kind thoughts that we will take with us to Dr Adab today

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

distraction ....

.... is the name of the game this week. My friends have been keeping me engaged and I am mostly OK. B will be with me tomorrow, for the scan. We then see Dr Adab on Friday. I'm glad she's got the time to be with me.

I'll either post myself or get one of my family to post a comment on here when I've seen the doctor and have the latest news.

My guess is that we wont be answering the phone for a few days, whatever the outcome we need to just be together and take stock. We're going to Wales for a bit.

cheers fols and thanks for all the support

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Matthew Bourne rocks.

I went out last night to the theatre, the first time all year I've been to a show of any kind. I was determined to go cos CarMan is a show I've seen before and absolutely LOVED and wanted to see again, especially since it was on locally.

I think part of the reason I've not been anywhere else, either sport or theatre that I'd usually do is the fear of picking up bugs in a big crowd, or not wanting to sit still for that long, really .. but it was sooo worth the risk.

CarMan is a superb show, highly entertaining. That must be about the fourth version of Carmen I've seen now ... cos I've seen it "straight" and in a "film within a film" version and also On Ice! This dance thing blows me away ... really maximises the drama of the music ...


This week I am reminded of feelings I last had over 25 years ago, that waiting for results thing. It reminds me of waiting to know what sort of degree I'd got, and the fleeting fantasy of a first, and the surge of excitment that went with that notion ... or the alternative gut-wrenching fear of complete failure and the horror of that idea.

Generally these days I try NOT to anticipate things in this way, but waiting for cancer scan results seems to have flipped me back in time to that sort of habit.

Today, telling B I felt his way she said she had no idea what this was like .. apparently she always KNEW what degree class she was going to get. Imagine that! Perhaps that's about the certainty of studying science compared to the unpredictable nature of marking in Arts subjects. Perhaps just a difference in our personalities.

In any case, if you know what I mean, I'm in under-grad action replay at the moment!

Friday, October 05, 2007

home 12

Here I am again. Post-chemo-hazy and hoping it really is the last time.

It seems impossible to celebrate the end of the course and it was a tearful drive home last night. We so much want this to be the end of the treatment and I gave out boxes of chocolates around the hospital on the basis that I've had my last treatment there.. but part of me cant stop fearing the news that I have more treatment to come ..
I get into a strange sort of double think ...
"...yeah but no but yeah but no..." perhaps sums it up!

Anyrate, today has brought a beautiful blue sky and I will try to wake up enough to go out and take the air somewhere today. It must be the first totally clear sky I've seen in about six months .

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Last One?

Fingers crossed that this IS the last one.

B and have read all your comments below on my last post -- many thanks to you all for your support .. and in any case we're certainly NOT stressing about this all the time ...

As usual I'm putting off the packing and dillying about doing other stuff ... like drawing using Photoshop Elements ..
hey ho -- I've drawn y'all a big hug!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

hardest so far

this is
this is the hardest so far.

Only one chemo to go .. and I feel as though my life is in a sort of limbo ... I'm scheduled to have chemo next week, 2-4th Oct then the SCAN the week after, Oct 11th, if it all goes to plan.

.. basically it feels like we're hunkering down together and waiting for the next stage of our lives to announce itself, probably on Oct 12th (day I should see Dr Adab for the scan results).

We're going away to Scotland for 1/2 term, whatever he says, and then the rest of our lives will kick back in, either full of renewed hope and planning to recover from the last year or resigned to more and more treatment ..

For B, back to work after 1/2 term is going to mean a difficult time at school cos her boss has got to have some surgery and will be off till Christmas..... it would be so nice not to be adding any more to her "work-load" ...


Part of what makes it hard is the fear that if this scan brings bad news the situation so far will have been a breeze compared to entering a phase of having cancer as a chronic condition.

I am afraid of that.

It's hard this is,
it's the hardest so far.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Heard on the news there have been some tornadoes in Central England today .. it certainly has been blowy here, but after torrential rain first thing I've been able to catch a bit of sunas I went for a walk round my favourite gardens.

I bought some new walking boots too - tho it's so hard to tell if they are right or not, when my fingers are too numb to do the laces properly and my toes feel very strange all the time! hey ho .. they are men's sizing so they are a bit wider than women's boots and I reckon they'll be OK for my limited walking needs...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

home again

This chemo was not so bad without the oxyliplatin .. I feel far less sickly and quite alert compared to previous levels of tiredness. I enjoyed a good bunch of visits and send my thanks to Woolfie for bringing me home on Thursday. *mwah*

All being well I'm back in again on a two week schedule, and that's the last. Then the week after there is another scan. Trying hard not to think about the scan. I sooo much want a break now .. a bit of time without the chemo-fog.

B is asleep - managing to actually STOP herself from scurrying around in a busy busy whirl. That's good. I'm going to make us meatballs for tea, also good, so it's all good here!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chemo 11

here I am back in the hospital. Not feeling too bad cos the doc decided not to administer the oxilyplatin this time (due to the numbness in fingers and feet) this means no need to take piriton (so not so knocked out) and less side-effects:
less sleepy generally, less nausea and LESS TIME in here, cos I dont have to have the 9 hours of fluids to replace minerals when I don't have the "poxy-oxy" as it's affectionately known!

We had a chat about getting stressed about the next scans etc and he was very sweet. He says we have to put worst-case-scenario thoughts out of our heads, but it's only human to get a bit upset sometimes, he says even ppl who've been clear for years get stressed when they have to comeback for scans and checks ...

I was also upset talking to John about Annette, the neighbout who died of cancer last week. She was 55 and her breast cancer came back -all through her body. I didn't really need to know quite so much about what dying friom cancer was like for her .. that was, after all, why I didn't go so see her in the hospice .. but I enjoyed talking to him in other respects and I plan to go to her funeral on Friday .. a good cry will be fine .. I do quite a bit of crying about "other ppl" - it's easier to stop than if you start crying for your own situation and immediate family's distress...

B has struggled with the return to work - it's always such a tiring time of year cranking back up to work-pace, and added to that the fact that this is now a whole year of pretty relentless treatment and illness it has taken its toll on both of us this last couple of weeks. However, she seemed a lot more calm yesterday, so hopefully she is hitting her stride again!

Saturday, September 15, 2007



I've had a busy week with Ann from Bristol and doing a few chores but I tell you - I'm bone tired


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This (slightly out of focus shot!) shows SOME of the bouquet sent to me by my college friends. There were more roses than this and LOTS of pink lilies which I split up and spread about the house. The smell is lovely, and in fact, even the roses have a scent, which is unusual for shop-bought ones! I am very grateful for these and all my other presents. Thank-you!
I've continued to see lots of people. We saw James, Chris and Woolfie on Saturday, then Sam came round later in the afternon. In the evening Andy and David came and we went for our meal at Bella Napoli. They were madly busy in there but it is a great place for good food and Pepe gave us a free tipple of limoncello at the end and a bottle of Prosecco to take away .. which makes you feel like he values our custom!

On Sunday I was predictably tired, but managed a stroll round the Italian Gardens and a pop-in to Kasia's on our way back.

Yesterday I cooked a simple Italian meal for Azrini and today I am awaiting the arrival of Ann from Bristol who is staying up here for a couple of nights and we are going to be tourists .. which is a thing I like to do ..

PS ... I recently up-dated the other blog (take heart) if you've stopped checking it due to its static mood for the past few weeks!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

There was a miner, forty-niner

So here I am, a 49-er!

My siblings will remember us playing that tune on the little electronic organ we used to have! LOL

I enjoyed my trip to M/C and seeing Mand yesterday, but was, quite frankly SHOCKED at how tired it made me. I get complacent about my energy levels cos I do *so* very little and in such small amounts that I didn't realise how big a deal this trip out was.

I was absolutely shattered and had to doze when I got back, couldn't face any cocktail (I know .. very hard to believe) and fell asleep in front of the fire by 9.30! Still, we enjoyed our chinese meal and B put the massage table up so I got a top-class neck and back massage to relax me .. which was lovely!

Today we have a few pals popping in this afternoon and we are going with Mr K and David to the Italian tonight ... hope I don't nod off into the minestrone!

I had lots of lovely cards and pressies to open yesterday, special thanks to the THREE people who sent me cards with pink shoes on them ... lovely!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Birthday Girl


As my dad's electronic card said -- "How old are you?"
"Eeeeeeekkkkk .. time to start lying about your age!"

Although, really, I prefer the Gloria Steinam approach: when told that she didn't "look her age" she retorted, "This is what 50 looks like"

... (tho I'm not 50 yet and that's not a lie!)

My plan for today is to go to Manchester (on the train) and spend a couple of hours with "my mate Mand". We first met each other on our first day of secondary school, so it's always our "anniversary" at this time of year too! She has been my mate for 37 years, and we STILL find things to talk about!

B will collect me off the train and we'll come home and have a cocktail or two ... while I open my cards and pressies, she has bought me lots of things and wrapped them all up really sweetly!

There are lots of cards here already too. It seems that many of you have been super-organised this year and got early posting done.

We will probably have a Chinese delivered for our meal, crispy duck and pancakes I reckon ... sounds good to me!

Lots of love and thank-you so much to my lovely family and friends for your kind thoughts, support and love today,

and everyday ...

you mean the world to me.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Sorry about that last post - I was feeling a bit worn out with it all ... normal service starts here: B is back to work, which presents challenges for both of us anyway, but I don't feel too bad and am trying to plan a bit.

My next Chemo will be on the 18th Sept. - Dr A had lengthened the gap again to see if my numb finger tips will recover. I can now see all this typing as "therapy" cos it stimulates blood supply to the fingers! This means I've got a "good" week next week and a pal of mine from Bristol will be coming up Tues-Thurs which is great.

We've made a date for this weekend to celebrate my birthday as usual with the legend that is Mr K ( he's promised to be less inebriated this year!!) and the weekend after I'll be seeing Kate and Sam on Sunday. We might even go away on the 14th -15th - but the hotel we want in Llandudno is full so I will research The Quay again - otherwise I'd rather stay here!

I was very impressed today when my NHS GP phoned me to see if I'm OK (she's done this before) and has given me her mobile number cos she's having a month of unpaid leave and she wants me to be able to contact her! How great is that?

Tralalalalalalalalalalala - and the sun shone nearly all day today!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

home again

I've lost count now - this was the tenth post-op chemotherapy course but I reckon I've been an in-patient at the hospital 17 times in the past 12 months, what with the operation, infections, pre-op chemo etc etc .. Then there were the "investigations", various scans, regular blood tests and 30 sessions of radiation on an out-patient basis.

It's weird being on such pally terms with the staff there now - and no disrespect to them I hope these relationships are not going to be any more protracted.

One year on from my first diagnosis I guess this might be a good time to come clean with readers about my prognosis.

I've told my immediate family and few friends, but the chances of this cancer coming back have been described as "high risk" by my doctor. The clear scans we've had so far are just the first step .. what we are watching for is two years .. and in the first year there is a two in three chance of the cancer returning ..

Then the odds drop to half that in the second year, and drop to 10% risk of return in the third year.

That's what he means by "high risk".

We are trying not to dwell on these stark statistics. They ARE only statistics .. and I've just got my own chance .. but just now, a week from my birthday it's hard to be "brave "and to believe that I will make it to 50 next year ....



Thursday, August 30, 2007

from the hospital

Cannula trauma
The doctor has put my cannula needle on the UNDERSIDE of my left wrist.. which means I cannot bend it at all....

Car Trauma - my gear box has exploded. New gears, casing and clutch now required .. hey ho - it's only money!!!!!!


This is me enjoying my web n walk internet access (also modelling the handcuffs they tie me down with in here!)

And here is Nurse Connie - modelling the fairy wings we crafted this week - Dr A was highly amused to see us at work on these - never seen him laugh so much:

Note the two layers of wing and excess of dangly bits on these!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

web n walk

thanks to the kindness and generosity of one my lovely friends I now have a T mobile web n walk USB thingy which means I can access the internet on my laptop in hospital -- all being well!

I can send txt using it too - which is so much easier when typing rather than fiddling with that silly phone-key pad and it's all included in the price. It was so easy to set up - in fact you don't have to do anything! Technology, eh!

So going back in tomorrow is very much brightened by the potential to use my messageboards etc ... I've got a grin like a Cheshire cat ...

And a new hair do -- well ,old style just re-done and it looks better than usual too!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunny Sunday

Sunny day out at Biddulph Grange - feeling loads better - I can hire out this camera to anyone who needs a flattering picture taken - I'm sure I don't look this smooth in real life!

It was very busy there, so we had to skip the tea shop treats - but in the shop they sell VERY nice cookies with raspberry in which almost qualifies them as a health food .. it does in my book anyrate! *yum*

Earlier this week I was stressing cos my hands felt really numb and my feet had been extra sore which is a regular side effect of my chemo ( you DO read some dire experiences of this "peripheral neuropathy side-effect) .. so I was getting a bit depressed cos it was getting worse .... I then started wondering "why is it getting WORSE just now? It's a while since the chemo finished. " thus embarking on one of those worse case scenarios: "Is the cancer growing in my spine?" ( the sort of reckless thinking that cancer patients are famous for!)

Later I was talking to my faithful sister about one of my antibiotics - flagyl - which you're advised not to drink with. I mentioned this prohibition and she said that she thought this was cos it magnifies the effect of the booze (and that's a BAD thing!?!?! ) .. On the other hand my dentist had previously told me that the booze ban is cos it can make you sick ....

so I toddled off to netdoctor to get to the bottom of this puzzler ...

Sad to report the drink-ban with flagyl thing is about nausea so I decided to let the cocktail habit rest ~ but I also read that peripheral neuropathy is one of flagyl's main side effects .. YAY
it might be a nuisance but at least I can stop worrying about a tumour in my spine!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

news flash 2

home again
this latest infection wasn't as scarey this time as last time, and if I told you all about it you'd all cry out "too much information" - just trust me it was yucky ..... but hopefully on the mend now.

Sadly we've had to cancel the Wales trip, but will enjoy the sun and our own garden.

Thanks to all who sent messages etc etc ..

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

News Flash

Temperatrue is rising -back to hospital

B's mobile will not be available tomorrow cos she's switching providers


Monday, August 20, 2007


Hi - we had a weekend in MANCHESTER.

Woolfie picked me up in the afternoon and took me to James' ... (B was at football with her dad and didn't feel too bad that Stoke beat Charlton!) She joined us in the cocktail bar later.. It's a really groovy place, called ROOM: http://www.roomrestaurants.com/restaurants/

We stayed with James that night and then he made us an enormous lunch, inviting a couple of the bois who were out with us the night before help us eat the mountain of food he'd made!

After that B went to the International Hockey which gave her a second chance to hook up with her dad and a rare opportuity to see her brother. http://www.eurohockeymanchester2007.com/

Meanwhile I spent a few hours with Manda and Pete but I ended up feeling really over-tired and had to come home to crash. None the less, a very sociable weekend, and a happy time.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Working Girl

For two days running I've been into work!

If you enlarge this one ^ you can see our lovely new pot and its fuschias on the wall!

Results Day
It was great to be in college "as usual" on results day, especially since the dept has sustained our excellent record on results and provided a brilliant service to our students! I really pleased.

It was also good to go in when the focus wasn't on "me" cos everyone is so busy with their own stuff on results day. None the less I chatted to a lot of people and got hugged many times, so I hope I've not picked up any bugs *eek* .

Everyone keeps saying how well I look. I keep saying "Estee Lauder" - lets face it, I was still putting on my lippy to go for the sixth week of the radiation treatment; it is a good disguise! It's good psychology for me, anyrate, to look as normal as possible (.....good job my sister is away and not able to insert cheeky comments at this!)

Interview Day
On Friday we were interviewing for the temporary teachers to cover for Matt and me. It was interesting and engaging. I got a real buzz from talking about what we do in the Department.

One of the interviewees asked me if the college is a happy place to work, and I said yes, particularly because the teachers in the English Dept are very committed to what we do .. e.g. there were four of us there, yesterday, all strictly speaking on holiday! It was lovely to chat with "my" team again and it reminded me of the banter and comraderie that I have been missing this year.

Sukhraj and Celia were both wearing high-heeled, red shoes, so I can report that standards are being maintained at all levels!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Domestic Bliss

Warning - Instrument of Torture Images enclosed ..

Well that's what my sister (bless her) exclaimed when she saw this appliance fixed up in my study the other day ..

So here is B modelling her domesticity and also her new jamas that her dad got for her ..

It's actually a Charlton thing - with no red on it ... strange but true!

And yes, this is me, hoovering the patio today!

I don't look all that ill, do I!?!?!?!?!

Frog itself

I dont have any recent pics of the oldest frog -which is now a GIANT - due to eating all the slugs in our garden .. but here is one of it that I took a couple of years ago -- the two new ones are more this size now

Home 9

Ninth set of chemo over and done.

I felt pretty rough while I was in .. but feel immediately better once I get home .. YAY!

Brigid's been busy planning how our life will be when I am back at work ... cos I am expecting to be part-time she's got my list of chores well mapped out .. getting her breakfast, preparing her lunches, doing all the food shopping ...

She tells me I "can't" put this on the blog --- face facts - domestic goddessing seems to be my future.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

frog spotting

My brother, Tracy and Luke were here over the weekend, and then Julie joined us on Sunday and she stayed here with me for three days ... which was lovely. Also, gave B a break to go off and visit her own family members in London and Kent. I'm back in hospital again tomorrow ...

These shots show the main highlight of my garden - frog spotting, well there's no frogs in the shot, just the family looking at the spot where the frogs are. We've had a big frog for many years, and now there are two new ones, much smaller and very happy in this damp undergrowth and tiny tiny pond!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Holiday Snaps

Here are a couple of shots of the "typical " scenery around Pembrokshire:

This was the view from our hotel balconey in Saundersfoot.
When the tide was out we walked for miles across these sands.

This is part of the Bishop's Palace in St David's. Yes the sky really WAS that colour - not filled in by Photo-shop!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Creoso Cymru

We had a great WEEK away - courtesy of Dr A (my oncologist) having a holiday ~ I can't have treatment while he's away so I've had more time off!

We couldn't believe how lucky we dropped with the weather .. which has been glorious in Wales and it seems most other places too -- how great is that for us all!!??

We had three nights in Saundersfoot in a really marvellous hotel with stunning views out ~ and we did loads of beach walks there ~ which were great ... then we went to St Davids but the hotel was a right let-down ~ more up-graded YHA than the luxury spot it billed itself, so only one night there for the discerning tourist

Then two nights in another swish place up on a hillside in Barmouth ~ I surprised myself this morning by doing an impression of a mountain goat up the hills behind the hotel

We came home via Portmerion cos B's never seen it .. and just got home an hour or so ago and now we're both planning family stuff .. me with my brother and sister doing a rota of visiting me here, and B off to see her family in London, Canterbury etc, partly in the company of the one and only Mr K!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

holiday time

Brigid is enjoying not being at work ... we've had a sort of "at-home" holiday these last couple of days ..

but only after she had got the "domestic goddess" routine out of her system and spent the complete first day of her holiday in the garage - moving everything off the three decrepit shelving units, rationalising and tidying; then constructing the three new shelving units she had bought ... and putting everything back.

I have to admit it looks great - but what a whirling dervish she is!

I didn't do much myself on Monday cos I was still pretty weedy ..

Tues was better - we toddled off to Trentham, round the gardens, even managing to catch a little sun. We had cake for lunch .. not a good thing. We also bought a new raincoat for me.

Raincoat sellers must be the only ones pleased with this weather .. and wader manufacturers. How many of you have waders at the ready for the event of flooding? And how come so many ppl on the telly always seem to be equipped with the right gear for the unfolding drama? Do the BBC take the rubber kit with them from props and fix the story like they do with faking phone-ins? .. I guess we'll never know!

Weds was a sociable day.

We went to Little Moreton Hall like real tourists. It was busy there, in fact. Then off to The Egerton Arms in Astbury where they were having a Shellfish Month and I ate langustine for the first time since I had them in The Outer Hebrides .. strange but lovely. I used to work in that pub when I lived in Congleton, 25 years ago. It's changed totally inside and the"new" landlord is really excellent .. he's been there for 12 years.

We went onto Sandbach after lunch - it always seems to be all traffic there to me,
tho the old ancient crosses and the three pubs on the adjacent sides of the old square offer a calm space in the melee.

B stayed there to meet Celia H and I went over to see Azrini and then to the Simcocks' place - all of which offered an interesting variety of conversations.

Today saw us off to an early start to meet "our" interior design woman at John Lewis. We're all excited about getting new curtains for the lounge and she had some great options to show us in the range of fabrics there. We then drove ot Central Manchester for dimsum at Little YankSing .. which wasn't exactly the YankSing we were looking for, but it was lovely.

We added a bit of culture by dropping into the Art Gallery then home to pack for our weekend in Wales ..


Friday, July 20, 2007

home 8

Have had a more than usually sleepy time in hospital this week ..but alleviated by some good visits ....

Aunty B did her usual tour of duty and took me in on Tuesday. Then Mr K came over in the evening..

On Weds, Mandy came for lunch, followed by Sam in the evening..
Matt came by on Thurs, but it was perhaps as well Liz was too ill to come in the afternoon, as I was very sleepy and hardly stirred all day, and for the first time during chemo I didn't even get showered / dressed .. *eek*..

Celia D picked me up this morning and spent a couple of hours here - this weather is tedious in the extreme .. I feel like a prisoner with it, really ....

Next chemo will now be in three weeks time, due to Dr A being away. He is also starting to think a three week cycle might be best for the last few treatments since my white cells went so low last time...

Monday, July 16, 2007


~ Turned out fine - the hotel was fine - marvellous bay windows with great views and the food was marvellous, but ...... the rooms are very small for the money so we wont STAY there again. ~ Tho we would certainly dine there .. maybe it is a place to replace Churches / 64 for dining out for birthdays etc? .. Mr K are you reading? Go see what you think (and the murals in the Terrace Dining Room are of Lake Como ~ Hilda Ogden eat your heart out!)

We got sun and had a glorious day on Saturday -- we were outside nearly all day: strolled along the Pier, then up the front of the Orme, through the lovely gardens there. Later we sat outside for coffee and after a late lunch we wandered along the beach looking at the British @ Play - it was marvellous .... all in the warm and sunny weather. B actually got burned cos her emergency sun cream wasn't in the car and it took us a while to veer towards a chemist, by which time the damage was done!

I was reminded of the old days when we went there en famille to Llandudno. I told B that we'd sometimes get a picnic and sit on the edge of the Orme there, tucking in .. but I had very clear memories of having to fight off the seagulls there who seem to think they're entitled to a share.

I don't think she was paying me much heed .. but the truth of my observations came later ..

Walking along the prom, I noticed a fellow eating a sandwich and waving his hand about to point things out to his g/f. slightly behind the fellah but in front of us, I saw a seagull ..

I said to B "Look, that gull's eyeing up that guy's sandwich ..."

No sooner were the words out of my mouth than the bird swept up and snatched the sandwich from the guy's mitt. We were all in hysterics.

The guy was quite shocked, of course, cos the bird had swooped in from behind in an ochestrated raid ... but he managed to laugh a bit! The bird just sat there, only a few inches away ... with his stolen sarnie swelling out his neck ~ the way they do when they've swallowed something too big for them.

Friday, July 13, 2007


It seems that Grey is this year's sun!

I'm so tired of the relentless clouds ... I hope it brightens up a bit over the weekend. We are off to Llandudno later! A very over-stuffed and muralised hotel near the pier -- St Tudno
plenty comfy seats if the weather is poor, anyway!

I'm just toddling off to get my blood test. All being well I'm back "inside" next week.

Met a pal from tinternet yesterday, which was lovely. She found me through this very blog and our shared experience of cancer etc etc. We've spoken a lot on the phone and get on very well so that was a new thing to do. *waves to jan*

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Le Tour - Stage One - Canterbury


It was so exciting to watch Le Tour pass through Kent, and past the end of the street where B's grandad lives in Canterbury .. He had the good sense to toddle his 92 year old frame down there and declared it to be "rather fantastic" .... we wish we could have been there with him. All our trips to France start with a stay with Faff and he knows we love Le Tour.

David Millar did such a great solo-ride, I think he really meant it when he said he rode up front to thank the British public for turning out in huge crowds along the way to cheer on the cyclists. He managed a great personal feat and clearly enjoyed it all the way. It was a real bonus that he got on the podium with the King Of The Mountains Jersey!

It is a BIT sad cos me and B would have soooooooo BEEN THERE yesterday and today if I was not too weak to embark on that sort of jaunt ... but I've enjoyed it on the telly and been very pleased to see an international crowd of fans out lining the route on both days

allez allez allez!!
Vive Le Tour

Le Tour - Stage One - Race For Life

I sort of double posted this heading .....

it's a big day cos Le Tour is in England, and that excites me enormously .. but also it's been an emotional day cos there have been runs for Cancer Research under the Race for Life banner today, and to my knowledge at least two people have run with my name on their backs.

Bless you, Glossy, up in Glasgow, bearing me with fortitude ...

and bless you my lovely little sis, down on the South Coast, doing the race for life with my name on your back ... I can't pretend that I wish you DIDN'T have to put my name on your back this time, but I do appreciate what (both of you) have done for several years now to raise money for this charity

Bless you, both, tonight ....

The rest of you - I hope you've contributed to the Race for Life and if you haven't, you can do it on line:


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Le Tour

Yay - the sun is shining on Le Tour de France prologue in London right now -- I'm getting such a thrill from just the fact that they've brought it over here and planned such a cute route through London ...

And it's still possible to believe that Millar or Wiggins (British riders) could actually win today's stage..

Allez allez allez!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

At home

It is slightly strange being here when I expected to be in the hospital this week. Andy came to visit at usual on a Tuesday, but it is the first time we've been in the house together for months, cos he usually sees me wired up to the drip.

We were talking about the Tour de France and the Gormley show being in London and Andy was encouraging me to go down, and I said I just can't.

I think seeing me at home, or hearing me talk about weekend breaks gives a false impression of my capabilities at the moment. In reality we walked to the post box and back and I was breathless .. my tiredness is through the floor at the moment. Being driven to a seaside hotel and lounging around for a weekend is one thing. Coping with bustle of a city centre, walking more than 1/2 a mile and the general lack of hygeine out and about in London put any ideas of such jaunts firmly on the back-burner!

I am getting excited about the Tour though, and would really LOVE to go and see the prologue down in London ... well, the telly will suffice! Especially if it's still raining! I'm going to see if our newsagent can get L'Equipe (the French sports newspaper) for me for the next three weeks. I'm not optimistic though, it taxes his resources having to get The Guardian for me!

Monday, July 02, 2007


This chemo business is SO frustrating.

I've just been told I can't go in this week cos my white blood count is too low .. which in itself I sort of cheer about, cos going in to hospital is never great (even tho they ARE lovely there ...)

BUT - it means the two hotels we booked for the weekends when I am "off" the chemo may now fall on the weekends when I am ON chemo and I will be feeling shite cos I just got out of hospital..

BUT then again they might not, cos we can't be sure I'll be well enough to have the treatment next week anyway .. and I dunno yet, whether he wants me to try again next week or whether I can just plan on another two week break and keep my holiday plans ...

Oh it is frustrating ..

But then, this is part of what cancer does. It robs you of any sense of certainty. This thing now is just how I feel most of the time, sort of in a microcosm of the whole thing .. always uncertain!

Honest to god there is tippex nearly an inch thick on my calander, as the chemo dates have been on / off this month so many times!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

lost it

confirmation, if such were needed, that I HAVE totally "lost it" .. I've taken photos of my shoes and posted them on the interweb ...

there's no excuse

look away if insanity distresses you


Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I've still not got the photos you're craving

but you'll be pleased to know I 'm OK .... but perhaps more tired/breathless than previous chemo treatments have left me ..

Saw Kate briefly this morning, and went to town, also briefly, this afternoon. I've also been busy sorting out financial matters, and good news is my 1/2 pay from work has longer to run than I thought it did!

I'm going to do my best to look after B at the moment - she had had to cope with so much, and she needs something back from me, now I've had the clear scan .... things are different in my head ..

ppl who can cope with lesbian love poetry can see the poem I just recently wrote for her over in the Take Heart blog ....

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Unexpected side effects of cancer

Do you think that buying coloured shoes could be an under-reported a side-effect of cancer?

I'm not really the Imelda Marcos type, but since this diagnosis I've bought two pairs of high heeled satin shoes with sequins, IN THE SAME STYLE, one pair black and one pair pale pink.

Then I found the purple moccasins, often admired by women of good taste (e.g. Kasia). These were quickly followed by the much maligned mulitcoloured deck shoes (which I now can't wear because my lovely sister described the colour on the top as prosthetic-pink !!!! )

Then only yesterday I invested in a pair of minnie-mouse high heels in dusty-pink suede!!!

What is going on?

If some ppl weren't so cheeky I'd post a photo - but I'm hiding their light in a discrete bushel (unlesss the weight of public opinion demands an expose, of course!)

Friday, June 22, 2007

home 7

Here we are again, home from the 7th Chemo ...

Don't feel too bad, tho obviously ~I am feeling the usual "sick and tired" .. the sensitivity in my hands is less than it has been and my arm isn't too sore from it all.

Thanks to everyone for all the kind messages you sent on the last post .. it's been a hard couple or three weeks for us, B especially has found it hard to keep going, and I got a bit weepy myself this week .. but hey ho .. things move on ...

it's the weekend!

Mum and dad were up this week, but have set off home now, after gathering me and my big belongings from the hospital this morning. It was very wet!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


So the story goes:

and the infection got worse
and my temperature went up
and I dozed
and the path lab identified the bug
and the doctor said we cannot do the chemo
and he made me stay in hospital
and gave me antiobiotics from a drip
and they couldn't use the hickman line cos it had moved
and the other doctor had to take out the hickman line
and my temperature rose
and the RMO looked stressed
and I was stressed
and Brigid was stressed
and I cancelled most visitors
and I slept
and the first docotor said you've got to stay in
and my temeperature rose
and the RMO looked more stressed
and sweated some more
and chest x-rays were taken
and swabs were taken
and samples of fluids were analysed

and then the antibiotics kicked in

and now I am home again.

It has been a hard and scarey week.
Brigid has struggled with it all.

AND now he wants me back for chemo on Tuesday ........
and to re-insert a hickman line the week after
and more chemo as usual the week after that

so June turns out to be quite a month in hospital for me ..... for info if you are going to visit at any time!

Tues 19th - Fri 22nd June ~ BACK IN FOR 7th LOT OF CHEMO

25th - 30th June~ mainly at home, PROBABLY GETTING NEW HICKMAN LINE on Thursday 28th.

Tues 3rd July - Fri 6 July ~ BACK IN FOR 8th CHEMO

9th - 14th July mainly home and open to offers.

Monday, June 11, 2007

conwy update made with


Conwy was grand - the weather an absolute treat and the room as luxurious as before, though actually a different suite, this time with the bedroom having an estuary view as well as the lounge bit ...

I was poorly on Sunday. I had absolutely no energy, kept dozing off on the way home and didn't want to eat much (which of course is a very rare symptom for me, and thus quite alarming!) My temperature had crept up to 38 as well, which is quite a jump on my normal temperature. We decided to pop into the hospital on the way past cos I am petrified of the danger of septicemia. The doctor there gave me a once over and phoned my consultant to check what to do with me.

The decision was: to take a blood culture, give me antibiotics and tell me to come back if my symptoms worsened. They've not called me back, so I assume the blood culture didn't show anything too alarming.

I was so tired when we got in that I went to bed and never even logged onto the computer, which is almost as shocking as me not eating much ..

Anyway, I passed a feverish night but feel a lot more alert this morning and temp has gone back to normal zone, so fingeres crossed!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Good News


Dr Adab just phoned to say that "it's all good" ~ the scans are clear!!!!!!!

Which is not only good news but an excellent service - I only had the thing done 5 hours ago and he said he knew we'd be worried and that's why he phoned straight away ~ bless him!

I can hardly take it in, to be honest, I've been so scared this week..... well now we can really enjoy the week-end!


Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I've had the central / hickman line put in today ....

more info on same here: http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/help/default.asp?page=2586

it hurts a bit and there is a sloosh of wet blood in the area -- but I think it's ok ..

I'm back in there for a blood sample tomorrow so it aint right, they'll know ...

and if it IS right .. tralala la ... everyone says chemo is easier by this sort of line :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

chit chat

so me and b are having tea tonight and she enquires about who's been in touch with me today.

B : Have you heard from your sister?
Me: Yup
B : She OK?
Me: Yeah, think so, she's only been on the blog, not on the phone
B : Was she cheeky?
Me: Strangely ... no she wasn't!
B : Are you sure it was her?


Monday, June 04, 2007

back to work ...

.... for some of you.. but not me!

We had a great break in Lyme, I tended to spend extra hours each morning in bed, while B bobbed about running up cliff-fronts and along the Cobb. I dunno if it it real exhaustion or just habit and laziness (as a certain caring sharing sister erm, "hinted" !)

We met up with the aforementioned sister and her men-folk most days and had some good meals and chats together, which was lovely. I also saw mum and dad a couple of times and detoured off for lunch with my internet mate in Bristol on the way home.

Today has been a bit busy. Our stupid freezer had been open while we were away and filled up with ice and frost so it needed de-frosting. I had to put on my silk gloves and rubber gloves to protect myself from the cold in order to do it today. It proper wore me out.

Then I had a lovely visit from MORE internet pals, Glossy and her missis, in town on tour with the Opera, *dahling* .. oh it sounds glam doesn't it? I hope to see Glo again as she is here all week.

Hospital Dates and other stuff
NOTE NOW CHANGED - red colour shows latest update 17th June
As far as I know I've got this schedule:

Weds 6th June - minor op to insert the Hickman line for future admin of chemo
Thurs 7th June - CAT scan (trying not to think about this - scared that there might be more tumours growing in me)

Friday - buzzing off for another weekend in Conwy! YAY - NICE - and this DID happen!

Tues 12 - Fri 15th June ~ back INSIDE chemo, 7/12 NOT DONE DUE TO INFECTION

week 18th - 22nd June ~ Home Alone, open to offers - BACK IN FOR 7th LOT OF CHEMO

Tues 26th - Fri 30th ~ back INSIDE chemo, 8/12 PROBABLY GETTING NEW HICKMAN LINE

week 2nd -6 July ~ Home Alone and still open to offers BACK IN FOR 8th CHEMO

And so on ....... alternate weeks for the next two months .... blood counts permitting!

Tho there will be less of the home alone in August cos B will be on holidays too !

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Half term


I can't tell you how great if feels to be at 1/2 term and be able to spend it with my happy little mower and my sister et al rather than in hospital (as per the original schedule). There is a massive sense of liberation about it.

Last night I went out to get some rosemary for the roast-veg and the sun was shining and I didn't hurt anywhere, didn't feel sick, didn't feel tired

.... and suddenly I did feel an overwhelming sense of happiness ..

you see that's all you need, a bit of nature, good domestic things and ppl you love .. it's more than enough and it made me smile.

I must just report that my colleagues at work can be relied on to be as cheeky as anyone else I know .. It's Matt's considered opinion that my deck-shoe post shows that I have "lost it" .. as in " I thought to myself, oh no she's lost it, she's totally lost it .. "


@ Cathy
sorry I've not sent you an email - tho you obviously keep in touch with me, and I DID appreciate your tip-off re Consall Hall gardens - had a nice couple of hours there this week! Hope you get a restful 1/2 term, well that goes for all teaching collegaues who've pegged it out to here, well done!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tra la la

Day to Day
I've certainly been less ill this week than the last post-chemo week .. which has been a treat.

I bumped into our lovely GP in town this week and she said "You just look so well, no-one would guess too look at you, the scale of what you're going through."

So there we have it .. the doc agrees I'm doing great.

I went out with Cousin Pauline to Consall Hall (as recommended by Cathy) it was lovely and I think P and I will do more little trips out after 1/2 term. I got a bit tired though .. so I do have to be careful.

Brigid's birthday
I couldn't believe it I heard she'd been telling family members she planned to spend their b.day money on a lawn mower .. anyrate .. she was serious. I researched it on Which? for her and here it is, their "best buy" for small gardens. She is chuffed to bits with it and got both lawns done in an absolute blink.
The big improvement on this over the old one ~ ~ ~ this one CUTS where the other one mainly just flattened!