Friday, March 30, 2007

home 3

Yay - another lot of chemo completed.

Rather bad news is that my white blood count has finally tipped very low, and it was touch and go whether I could have the cycle this time. I've got to have some injections next week which are supposed to build up my bone marrow and thus my white blood cells and thus my immunity ...

I'm a bit nervy about catching anything now but going to skip off to Lyme anyway .. TOMORROW!

My mouth and hands are very sore - but I look very cute with little silk gloves on to protect my hands .. I bought these gloves as thermal layering for on the bike, and they are doing a good job now allowing me to continue typing!

I'm TIRED ...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


hi - I did a lot of walking yesterday, which was very groovy. This included a visit to the GP then a good stretch around Trentham with Kate and then a walk down to Finney Gardens pub in the afternoon with B (this is why I missed you Po - I tried to call you in the morning, but you were out - and I've got visitors mapped in while I'm in The Nuffied this week).

B and I are thinking of buying a Motor Home .. so traipsing around the UK can be made easier and spontaneous while I am doing this chemo ... to maximise the days off ... Good Idea, eh!

This sunshine inspires that sort of idea, of course, but I've been a happy camper for well over 20 years and only recently got totally fed up of camping in a tent, so the Motor Home thing seems the obvious next step .. hmm!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Golden Anniversary

24th March 1957

Ahh, don't they look lovely?

Legal Bit!

Aunty Barbara features here at a bridesmaid - 2nd from left.

(left to right) Grandad Toft, Nana Toft, Dad, Mum, Nana Astbury, Grandad Astbury and I think that's Granny Bloor on the end -- but mum can tell us later!

Mum, Dad and my mum's brother, Kingsley

Rather fabby cake - made and decorated by Grandad Toft.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I love Thursdays .. when I am at home the worst of the chemo yuck has worn off and I feel quite chipper .. (ie like today)
and when I am in hospital they soon start putting "clear liquids" into me, rather than the cytotoxic stuff, which hurts less .. and then it's only one more sleep till HOME TIME .. which is always good ...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blue sky

It's so bright and blue here today .. really lovely (thos still icey cold).
I had a decent day yesterday .. mooched about on tinternet for a bit... dozed a bit and then went out to town for an hour with Kate ..

B even got home form work at a decent time, which was good, and we watched Jean on telly in the Dispatches programme about domestic violence ... grim. 9the topic, not my very own lovely Jean!)

I've got visitors planned for today, and will doze in between, though I really need to get out and stretch a bit .. which is very important too ..

Monday, March 19, 2007



That pretty much defines the day I had yesterday .. couldn't seem to shake off the bad-belly (nauseaus and diah... however you spell it - you'd think I'd learn, really ...)

I felt so tired all day - no energy for even a short burst of something ...

I was certainly not good company, poor B!

This is how chemo can get to you ..


On the other hand
Keeping going the retro photos theme (which has proved a winner with some readers) dad has been scanning and emailing old photos ... if you've got some at home you think I should use, please do the same! These put a smile on my face ..

Julie, how old were you here in this glorious mini-skirt and sensible shoes combo?

Dad says it was 1974 ... Julie's first day at High School in her new uniform
That means I was nearly 15 in this shot - that's Year 10 in new money. Note the platform shoes.
Mark would be Year 9 .. he looks it, doesn't he!

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Forgot to say earlier, but when Liz picked me up from the hospital on Friday we went to Trentham and walked by the lake .. we saw LOADS of herons. They are amazing .. so BIG and still able to get into the trees to perch/nest.

We counted as many as eight at one time. On the info. board it says there are 42 pairs nesting there!

These aren't my images - but they give a good idea of what it was like.. (except the trees are still bare up here, obviously) Hence you can see the birds in their nests and watch how they manage to land, folding in their huge wingspans in some feat of engineering

Friday, March 16, 2007

Home 2

Another one down!

Gosh it's nice to be home, and good to catch up on my email and posts in here. It's great to be hearing from my old school pals --- I'm going to root out a photo or two .. hahaha .. that's worried them all!

This time I've not been so nauseous, but my fingers are hyper-sensitive, not only to cold (which I've had before) but touch generally - so this typing is a bit of trial, but it wont stop me .. this side effect is called peripheral neuropathy.

Here's a scanned snap from 30-odd years ago --

we were on holiday in my Grandparents' caravan ..

I feel I should make an effort to get in touch with Glenda Gayday, does anyone know how to?

In this one you can just see my nana in the window, and alongside us is the famous Grandad Toft, who is oft cited in this blog as an inspiration to me in dealing with cancer.

I can't find a picture of Mandy S at this time ... apart from her wedding one!

Oh well, in for a penny ...

Monday, March 12, 2007


Hey ho - we had a decent weekend, nothing dramatic (of course) but peaceful and cheerful. Rini came round last night for an hour or two which was fun.

I've slept a lot during the day today - if I exert myself there has to be a pay-back, it seems.

Other than snooze I have started to sort out what we can do at Easter to get a little holiday down South .. looks like we can get a van in Lyme Regis.
We really fancy the idea of being by the sea at Easter...
April 8th is our first wedding anniversary -- I think it's safe to assume that we're never going to match mum and dad, who clock up 50 years together at the end of the month!

and thinking of weddings leads into ....

"Small World"
funny thing - Ian called us last night to say he'd just been in Brum and met a couple of guys whom WE had met on our honeymoon in San Fran! Maybe they'll pop in here when Ian tells them the address

hi there Donald *wave*

There is also something a bit sad about thinking about San Fran, cos we had the most fantastic time, and met some lively ppl but it was also when I first noticed the symptoms which eventually got this diagnosis..

a quite other sort of annniversary ..

Saturday, March 10, 2007

race for life

A couple of friends I've made on t'internt, who are also dealing with cancer, are asking for sponsors in this year's Race For Life. If you would like to sponsor them, then this is their link:

If you want to know more generally I've also put a permenant link to the Race For Life site in my links alongside here -------------->

I know a gang of women from work ususally involve themselves in this massive fundraiser for Cancer Reserach, so when I find out their space I'll post a link to them too.

Friday, March 09, 2007

nice at the back

@ Julie - re mum's coiffure -- I know - I did raise "NVGBC" with her on the phone, but she insisted it is nice at the back ..

And, on the topic of celebrity coiffure ... the woman in Estee Lauder complimented me on my hair colour today
hmm, at this point you might wonder why I'm in Estee Lauder territory at all, but you know, sometimes you just NEED another lipstick, and I specially like their everlasting ones -- cos they do everlast, or at least more than 1/2 a day --- and they did have one of their free gift deals on again ..
*shrugs in a powerless fashion*

And while I was feeling quite chipper for an hour or two today I thought I may as well do MORE shopping and I have invested (great word that) in a classic Spring Coat from M&S..
(more @ Julie, dja remember when you were trying on a very silly, very short, bold check skirt in Hanley, many moons ago, and the sales-lass said it was an investment piece and you said "What I'll leave it to my kids in my will?" )

Which was almost as daft a bit of sales-pitch at the woman who told me I could wear my totally sequin covered toreodor jacket "anywhere" ... tho I obviously fell for it, while you spurned the lovely little skirt...

Just to prove it, here is a pic of me "anywhere" in said sequin number .. this must be Christmas about 14 years ago -- see mum equally dolled up in her best beads and dad setting a sartorial standard all of his own!

Indeed you might appreciate two shots of this investment piece -- which of the boys would most appreciate it as an heirloom?

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I have spent all day in hospital for a ten minute procedure! Left home at 9.30 and got back at 6.00pm

cos the list was running late ~ I didn't go down until 90 minutes after my scheduled time, and then I couldn't come home when I came round, cos the surgeon had left the building and I had to wait for him I to come back to talk to me ....

and the news was BAD .. cos he hadn't been able to do the job due to (surprise really) that bit of me is TOO SMALL even for his expert techniques to deal with ... so that solution is OFF and he's gone away to think of something else ...

hey ho - the only bright thing about this is that cos we decided to pay for this ourselves to make sure we had an expert (well my folks are paying actually cos BUPA don't cover it) --- that plan could be said to have paid off, cos there could have been serious complications if a less expert doctor had forced the issue and maybe damaged my innards ...


following on from Mark's comment on the previous thread - oh I dont mind you portraying me as super-human, and generally all this stuff doesn't get me down, but I'm not going to pretend it's all hunkydory all the time ... sometimes I feel a bit sad and certainly the chemo makes me feel battered and, well lets face it, poisoned!

Part of the "sadness" is an effect of losing my ovaries and hormones to the cancer .. so hopefully the progress made on getting my HRT will help me there anyway. I've got to go back into the hospital today to deal with part of that as a minor surgical procedure.

Yesterday was lovely .. I was a lot less poisoned feeling for a start! I went to my GP again .. tralalala we're all on first name terms up there ... and then I had a couple of hours at Woolfie's house. He is such a good listener ... or at any rate let me talk almost non-stop for the whole time!

Sam them came to whisk me off for lunch. The Lounge was MASSED out so we had to revert to plan B - Fat Cats,which I still like - haven't been in there for months. Since I'm supposed to be avoiding food poisoning (and not really eating out!!) I decided that CHIPS would be the best thing to have to eat .. potatoes aren't a know carrier of nasty bugs and they are cooked at very high tempertature, and probably just scooped from wire basket to plate without human contact. This is a great excuse for eating chips, eh!

Me and Sam had a great talk about all sorts including religious ideas and I took her round to Anadi's to get a book about Yogananda. I hope she likes it!

Sam has also bought me and B a lovely present -- a "pamper day" at a Marriot spa which is valid for over a year so we can go and have a luxury day when the medical treatments are all over .. how cool is that??!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

too much detail

hi - it is hard to know what to post without going into too much detail for the general readership! I am very much "the patient" at the moment, rather sickly, decidedly tired, easily overwhelmed and with another new procedure in the pipeline I seem totally taken over by a medical model.

However, in addition to the new stuff I've been sorting out today (HRT related)I've been able to rest quite well and have got plans to see ppl this week, in addition to the medical stuff.

I do believe America's Next Top Model will be on soon, too .. so I'll toddle off and see!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Home 1

So, the first lot of post-op chemo has been imbibed ...I feel not too bad.

Celia D gets special mention for the flowers she sent in: pinky white tulips and purple anenomes in a beautiful presentation box, which just encapsulated the spirit of Spring. Everyone who came into the room commented on how lovely they were, thanks very much Celia!

Had lots of visits from Brigid, Little Mummy and Big Dad, as well as Liz, Kate, Aunty B and Cliff - I didn't even have time to write any cards which I had thought I would do. I guess I was tired too, seemed to doze quite a lot when I was alone.

It's good to be home . and the sun is shining.

The images don't really do justice to the real thing - but these are the flowers that Celia sent!