Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Going In

I might be a bit incommunicado for the next few days -- I'm not on-line in the Hospital (Nuffield charges are crayzee!) tho you can phone me there easily enough, if you want to ..
I dunno if B will up-date .. there might not be much to say .. S had a drip, still has a drip, S is doing more dripping ...
and hopefully no allergic reaction to the Avastin - which is why the doctor has to be on hand the first time you have it .. and why they changed my admission day to gather his "needy" patients at the same point ..

I just realised I never told you about a couple of nice things that happened this week:
Matt and Kasia came to supper on Friday and they bought round the most lovely present, from their holiday in Marakesh. It is a huge cotton (silk?) throw in heart-warming sunny colours that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. We love it .. many thanks...

We also saw their photos via the laptop - which is a good way to get vicarious pleasure ... I'm not that keen on long-distance travel for myself and think photos are a good way to do it!

Woolfie and Rahim
On Sunday we went out for dinner with Woolfie, to the Turkish restaurant, which I think is the first time I've been "out" in the evening for month and months! I love that place, and Woolfie is such a gent (with us, at any rate! hehe)
He had a companion with him who is raising money for medical relief in Kashmir in the aftermath of the earthquake. Rahim. He is a lovely young man, full of energy and total commitment (and success) in raising huge sums to establish a decent hospital and an skills exchange system. When I locate the website I'll post a link.

It was funny cos we actually already knew each other: Rahim being one of those rogue boys who probably doesn't think he was my favourite/best student, cos he used to skip my lessons regularly ... Despite only patchy commitment to English studies he still got into uni with his sciences, and is now working as a radiographer .. hats off to him, he is doing really well and he was a great entertainment over dinner.

this is the charity Rahim is helping:

Monday, February 26, 2007


From what I can glean from t'internet the drug Avastin that Dr Adab is putting into my mix was not accepted NICE in Aug 2006 so is not available to NHS patients .. depending on your Primary Care Trust, I guess, as some PCTs do allow use of drugs not agreed by NICE ...

It says on the Cancer Backup site that these treatments are "widely available in the private health sector" so it seems that BUPA pays for licensed drugs that aren't agreed by NICE .. which is cool for me ...

not so cool for other people ..

Saturday, February 24, 2007


funny how just a slight push can tilt your axis back into a better orbit ...
there were a few pushes today .. good phone calls with dad and then with mand helped
and then deciding to go out to buy a nice present for someone all helped me to feel more motivated..
and we had a nice lunch in town,
and browsed around town a bit together, which was so ORDINARY and therefore GOOD.

While we were out B's dad kept texting us news from The Valley and it turns our there HAS been football today, and maybe Charlton have turned the corner and can escape relegation,

so we are all smiles here and we have watched MotD with great enthusiasm tonight.


Friday, February 23, 2007


hi folks

Today we have been up to the hospital for blood tests in readiness for chemo next week.

I've had quite a busy week, what with several visitors, keeping up with daily doses of America's Next Top Model (series 2) and the new one .. plus collecting wee for 24 hours - which adds a certain "je ne sais quoi" to a lady's day ...

In point of fact - I have been a bit "blue" today .. no actual "thoughts" just ...... it has felt like there is a bubble of tears not very far from the surface all the time ... tho I keep them at bay with judicious application of mascara .. don't want a streaky face!

I think this (the moodiness, not the mascara) is making me a hard person to be with today -- I think I am being a bit snappy and hyper-sensitive - that would pretty much sum it up, really ...

I'm going to go and look after a little job Auty B set me and see if that takes my mind off feeling sorry for myself

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

photo gallery

Today's jaunt to Trentham to rendezvous with the MISTRY clan was enhanced by Aunty Barbara's joining us... and she got a couple of (rare) snaps of me and B side by side, which is a treat .


Brigid played with the boys on the zip-wire thing and all the shots I took of that were RUBBISH..
The boys both had a little cry when they were leaving .. and the aunties had a big cry as well, so that was a hard ..

we love each other so much, these nephews and these aunties ...


Monday, February 19, 2007

busy busy

Phew - been a busy day today.

Started off with one of our GPs - getting my "sick-note" .. she was pleased with my scar! (what is it with these ppl?) B and I feel we've been very well cared for by our GP surgery sicne the start of all this, and today was no exception.

Then I "braved it" to go into college and take the note in, in person. It was hard, and I only bobbed into personell (?? how do you spell that!) and out again, tho I had a brief chat with Sukhraj on the way out .. and Ann H on her way back from New York - tales of which I can't wait to hear more of.

I then went to get my hair tidied up again, so it is ready for the hospital stays. While I was just getting that finished the Mistry Brothers arrived .. WOW .. it gives me such a lift to see the boys.

It was funny cos they were there as the bill was paid, and Toby kept repeating the (shock) amount in disbelief and then he pointed at my hair " ... for that?"
haha - some revision of the charm school lessons obviously called for there, then.

Guess where we had lunch?
The boys followed in my footsteps and ordered smoked salmon paninis for lunch, ate their own portions and then demolished 1/2 of mine too ...

John and I then took the boys around town for a bit - mainly just to get the car, via Anadi. She was there, back from India, and delighted to see us. She gave the boys a little crystal each, and one for Luke too, so I was really pleased about that.

When we got home the family didn't stay too long, as I am still very weak, but I will see them again tomorrow, meeting at Trentham, if the weather is anything like.

Oh dear, I'm so predictable.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Take heart

Today's blog is written on the other one .. so you need to bob over there to see today's ramblings .. which are just a bit more profound and more worthy of being preserved than the usual stream of whatever it is in here!

I realised that I hadn't done any up-dates on that blog since before Christmas .. but there are two there today .. so off you skip ..


and don't be shy to comment !

P.S and no, of course I didn't forget it was my lovely sister's birthday yesterday .. tsk!
Happy Birthday Julie

Friday, February 16, 2007


Me and B had a "date" today, she took me out for lunch (Bella Napoli, since you ask) and then whisked me off to the jewellers for some shopping that was as far from boring as shopping can be..

For the past 14 years B has wanted to buy me a diamond ring, and I've always nay-sayed it
(It's a genetic thing, blame my mother)
But this time she decided not to ask my opinion and just to do what she wanted to do.

She has bought me a "forever" diamond ring with ~FIVE ~ beautiful, brilliant cut gems
(five is her lucky number).

It is an antique piece that has been restored by "our" jeweller, Skelhornes in Hanley, and I am absolutely delighted with it ...

It is surprisingly hard to take a decent photo of this ring -- but here's my best shots:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dr Adab's plan

Chemo Plans
We saw Dr Adab last night to find out what he is planning for me in the way of chemo now.

Obviously it is BAD NEWS that I have loose cancer cells swimming around in my abdomen and he is going to give them a major blast for SIX MONTHS!

The routine will be like before, three nights as an inpatient, every other week, starting at the end of this month. (Tuesday 27th Feb). He is going to give me the same as before, plus one called Alvastin, which works on my blood vessels .. cos tumours like to make fresh blood supplies for themselves, this drug works to deny them the blood vessels ... which you can imagine gives rise to a fresh lot of possible side effects, like high blood pressure, clotting, bruising, bleeding and kidney problems! Brigid says.....But we have every confidence in his magical drugs and could not wish for a more wonderful Dr to make Suzi all better.

Hey ho - if it all gets too much I can have a week or two off, but at the very least I am going to be having this treatment until the end of August.

Plenty of visiting opportunities there then!

Valentine's Day

We bought each other cards and these china mugs each with loveheart messages on them. (how cute are they?) They are made in England by Juicy Lucy and very girly...

Brigid also bought me an individually crafted glass coaster with a heart motif, which is just gorgeous. We had chocolate and red fruit for breakfast and we are going out for lunch later....

Celia's Visit
Yesterday was brightened by a visit from Celia F. She came bearing rainbow (multi-veg) soup for lunch, Welsh cakes AND a massive chocolate and orange sponge cake, all stuff that she made herself. If you are round here in the next few days make sure to ask for a slice of the cake, but you'll have to move sharpish ...!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Photos from Monkey World

Strange but true, Mark actually sent the snaps over --- wahay!
They speak for themselves, you can see it was sunny cos the group photo has us a bit bleached out.

This is me with the monkey that Luke bought for me... it realy looks a lot like the monkeys at the Forset
and we both have one so it is a sweet link between us:

Monday, February 12, 2007

monkey fun

Ooops - a bit late with today's update .. I've been busy on the laptop today, compiling a CD of uplifting tunes for a pal of mine. I couldn't access the editorial side of the blog until I came up here to use the p.c. and now look at the time!

Yesterday was great - Mark (my brother) got in touch and then drove up for the afternoon. Since it was a lovely sunny period we spent it at Monkey Forest. As usual the animals put a smile on my face and it was sweet to be with the family. They bought me a fluffy monkey-toy to bring home, which is sitting on the desk even now ... still making me smile. Maybe (haha) Mark will email me a couple of photos so I can add them here .............

It was a good day and I walked more than had before .. I was fair tired after that and felt pretty tired this morning too, but it's good to move about.

Azrini came round for a meal in the evening, which was a treat, cos she's been very busy of late and we've not seen each other much since my op. B made her "signature dish" a lovely rich risotto with chicken and saffron .. yummy ...

B and I went to Hanley this afternoon but it is really too dull to report on the shopping we did! The Chocolate Shortbread in the Lounge provided the highlight to the whole adventure.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

grey weather

grey grey grey
that's my combined weather report and forecast .. dreary innit!

Apart from the weather, I did have a day yesterday where I thought "I feel quite a lot better" .. I am moving well and slightly less sore in general.

I didn't dare go walking yesterday with so much slush and snow around, though we made it to the stoma clinic and had a chat with the nurse. We only had to wait an hour and a half for that, so do we consider ourselves lucky?

There was a Really Unpleasant Other Patient (RUOP) there ... who was terribly rude to a poor old dear who was telling us the various nasty troubles she was having with her bags, and the RUOP told her she hadn't got any sympathy .. jeez! It's too long winded to go into the whole conversation but it certainly didn't enhance the wait to be forced into RUOP's company.

One thing this experience showed me was how much better off you are if you are able to look things up on the internet and get other opinions on what is being done for /to you ... The old dear was not being given the best service, which I could tell from what she said and what I've found out myself in only four weeks of looking into these things. She was three months down the road from her surgery and totally unaware that their might be different options to what she was being given.

My internet pals have been such a great help to me and things are getting better now as a result of their suggestions for alternative approaches to stoma care. I know a little information can be a dangerous thing, but some different points of view to consider are always worth a look in this sort of situation.

Today we are hoping to see James and go for lunch at the Swan at Woore ... mainly cos they do great chips there! Sadly they dont seem to have a web-site, so I can't share it with you ...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

more snow

Spent a good day with Kate yesterday ... we worked on details for a couple of her job applications for a while and then switched to our favourite gossip topics after lunch... she was less than impressed with the vegetarian dahl we had to eat!

I really hope she gets one of these posts, but I will miss her, as we've got so used to spending time together a couple of times a week ..

Celia F is not coming to see me this morning, on account of the snow, which has settled deeply in the lanes by her house ... but we have fixed a date for next week and I am getting on with my stitching and await Mr K's arrival later this afternoon.

The snow isn't that deep here, in fact, and as I write it has actually stopped.

I'm scratching around for things to report on, erm .... I spent my first night back in my own bed last night? sorry, that's the best I can come up with!
Better go back to the needlepoint

P.S. @ jean .. I forgot to say in the email ... you DO know Mr Andy K - he was at our wedding - I think you sat opposite him during the dinner ... here he is being amazed by our Estee Lauder collection:

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Surgeon Speaks Again

Phew -- it was a bit tense yesterday, waiting to see Mrs Hall again .. as ususal I've not really entertained any ideas of outcomes in this situation, I find it so much easier to BLOCK these really big things from my mind (and put all my anxiety into worrying about sore skin around my stoma!) but still, at some level I knew this was big meeting ....

Mrs Hall was lovely, as ever, and basically said that there was good news and bad news.

The bad news
is that the cancer is quite aggressive and HAD breached my bowel into the ovary that she removed. It had also dropped itself into some fluid in my abdomen, and for these two reasons I will need further chemo to kill off random other cancerous cells that might be lurking around elsewhere in my body. This is what I'd expected anyway, so it didn't shock me.

The good news
is that because the radiation and chemo I've already had were so successful they think it is a cancer that responds well to treatment. She also has reports that the bits of bowel she joined up are totally cancer-free and there were no cancer cells in my lymph nodes on the bowel section that she removed.

The cancer on my ovary is not "ovarian cancer" it was definitely an extension of the original bowel-beastie, and she is pleased that she took both ovaries out because now I cannot get a particular sort of ovarian cancer that can follow on from bowel cancer ...

Treatment plan
We wont know exactly what chemo Dr Adab proposes for me next until I see him nest Tuesday night, so watch this space for further details!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Yes, SNOW!!!!
we have had some - but it didn't last long and it is very bright and blue again now.

We went for a little trip out to TG yesterday, and bought some lovely big primroses in a pot which were surprisingly cheap. Luckily B put them in the shed rather than straight out to get snow on them, so they will be nice to look at when the snow has passed.

I've had a visit today from Pam who works in the PE dept at college, she bought me some alternative T bags, a jar of free trade honey and a pile of books, so she's got her eye in on a convalescent's needs!

It was good to mull over a few things; Pam and I started at college together (along with Andy K and Cathy to name two other famous recruits of that year!) 16 years to reflect on! haha ...

Now they are nine.
Here is a picture of my lovely nephews tucking into their birthday Chinese Takeaway (yesterday)...

It is wierd cos when they were born I hadn't planned to zip down there to see them, but then I just HAD to go and here is a pic of them within hours of their arrival to this world:

look - how tiny they were back then
(Joe on the left, Toby on the right)

.. now the boot is on the other foot, and Julie is wondering whether I will need her here when we go back to the surgeon tonight. I'm hoping not, cos I'm hoping there will be no "shock" news ..

but it is a comfort to know that if we need her Julie would be on the train and with us in a blink

Monday, February 05, 2007

Three weeks

ago I was in the hospital for my operation.

I am trying to focus on what a good thing that is for me! I have had a few miserable moments dealing with the new body-image and stoma side of things, but otherwise I'm doing OK and my mates are doing their level best to distract me.

Mand took me out to Trentham on Saturday and I walked a bit further into the Italian Gardens, this weather is such a bonus and we had a good time together (B was at the Stoke match!!!!)

On Sunday Kate came down and forced us to learn about Rugby! Mainly I did my tapestry while that was on. I might need at least a year more sewing to get that finished - it is a slow hobby ...

We had a "new" recipe for tea .. inspired by Kasia's idea that Polish convalescents are nursed with broth made of veal bones B tried to get some from the local abbatoir. He didn't have any just bones, but he sold her some slices of bone with meat on, and we made osso bucco with it... (i.e. I did a bit to assist in the kitchen for the first time in 3 weeks)
Osso bucco is a great recipe and I'm sure the nutrients in it are rebuilding my cells even as I type .. it was really tasty and something we'll have again...

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Yesterday continued to be a lovely day, capped off with a visit from Matt and Kasia, which was really lovely. B surprised herself by doing the catering (usually MY job) and Matt was on top-comedy form, so we were all well entertained.

Today B is going up to see Stoke with Matt, and Mand is coming to see me for a couple of hours this afternoon. With the sky/sun like this I feel like I would benefit from another jaunt out .. I always feel a bit tired the day after a hectic day, and yesterday WAS hectic, so I'll have to judge my energy levels!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Lovely day

Wooo - it is SUNNY today! Me 'n' B have had a good day: we had planned "a date" earlier in the week that we would actually go out together today, and we have done. No prizes for guessing where we went! The coffee in Cafe Davide is worth going out for and I managed a few steps into the Italian gardens as well.

Trentham a great place to go - there are lots of benches so I can perch for a few minutes and as I get stronger I will be able to see myself walking further and further into the Gardens and eventually round the whole lake again. Monkey World opens at 1/2 term too, so that is another treat for as I get stronger.

We also went to see my GP today. He is such a a star, we were in there for nearly 1/2 an hour, so the ppl behind me were probably quite exasperated, but I was really happy and appreciated his care and attention.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

aesthetically pleasing

OK - there's absolutley NO reason for this pic except that she's just lovely and makes a nice change from my current usual list of topics!