Saturday, 28 November 2009

thought for the weekend

this is a great version of a great song…I never actually search for music so I am not sure what it is about Nina Simone, but her music keeps popping into my life just when I need it. Sort of a 'wake up and remember what's important' kind of appearances.

Have a great weekend!

"I got life, and I'm going to keep it as long as i want it, I got life....."

Nina Simone

Thursday, 26 November 2009

when NICE is NOT nice

This morning I had fabulous news. My friend Nat, who is still battling ovarian cancer, has had the best news today. Thanks to Avastin, her tumours are FINALLY shrinking, and her CA 125 is the lowest it has been since she started her head to head with this hideous disease. Yes, she has a few side effects, but they are only due to the treatment itself and will stop when the treatment ends.

I think this will be the best Thanksgiving Nat has ever had! It certainly made my day. Please see Nat's blog here. It makes for interesting reading.

Having seen this result, and knowing what a difference this drug has made to my friend, it astounds me that we [and I mean ANY of us] can actually put a price on someone's life and deny them a chance of survival. How nauseating is that? And what does it say about society now? I am a bit startled by this article. And I notice they only say that it can be used for bowel cancer. No mention of the effects on ovarian cancer.

Then again, I think it's only the UK that actually HAS an almost free state healthcare service? I suppose we can't have everything. In the States they have cutting edge technology with regard to drugs and research, here we have to wait. But in the US they have to pay or die, here we get everything free.

So sad we can't have both. Cutting edge technology AND free medical healthcare for everyone. But then if it was a perfect world, no-one would have cancer in the first place would they?


New hope over bowel cancer drug  (UKPA) – 14 hours ago

"Pharmaceutical giant Roche is hoping to strike a deal with a health watchdog after experts rejected a bowel cancer drug for use on the NHS.

Avastin (bevacizumab), which costs about £1,800 a month, has been shown to shrink tumours in 78% of patients when it is added to chemotherapy drugs capecitabine and oxaliplatin. This could make them eligible for surgery although the drug is not a cure.

Avastin is suitable for patients with advanced (metastatic) bowel cancer, where the disease has spread around the body, and could potentially extend the lives of some 6,000 people a year in the UK.

Roche offered a patient access scheme to reduce the cost of Avastin, which would have seen a cap on its cost at 12 months and free oxaliplatin. Roche said this would have reduced the price to £36,000 per quality adjusted life year (QALY), above the £30,000 threshold used by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) which rejected the drug in a draft recommendation.

In a statement, Roche said it was "confident" it could continue to work with Nice to make Avastin available.

"The UK is now virtually the only country in the developed world not to provide Avastin for bowel cancer through the state healthcare service," the statement said.

John Melville, general manager at Roche UK, said: "We are in an unfortunate passport prescribing situation with Avastin whereby patients in Australia, Canada and most of Europe gain access, but patients in the UK, Latvia and Poland don't."

In clinical trials, adding Avastin to oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy typically increased survival to 21.3 months from 19.9 months with chemotherapy."

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Sunday Sunday…a Wellie day

the weather here is completely repulsive! I say this because this morning it was sunny and dry – perfect gardening weather, even though it's cold. But this evening we appear to have a Force 10 gale!! [+ rain!!] Whilst it was sunny I dug up a great big Phlox for my neighbour, George. I have three massive ones that I had from my Mum, as she doesn't like them, so we dug them all up out of her garden and relocated them in ours. I love them! They flower for ages, and if you deadhead them they flower again.

But George the Neighbour was concerned that I only had pink ones. He took it upon himself to split one of his red ones and bring me half. Then he bought me a purple one at the Sunday market. So the least I could do was dig up one of the pink ones and give it to him. And this morning was perfect for digging. After much sweeping of leaves mind you. In Wellingtons. The Wisteria is a plague in the Autumn – leaves everywhere, and not in a very organised fashion either – it takes weeks to drop all of them. The driveway was a nightmare, getting out of the car and wading through a metre deep of the beastly things. So lots of sweeping was in order. And I don't like sweeping – it does my stomach in. But probably it's good for me, so I do it anyway. Plus there's the danger of drowning in leaves if I don't!


Right now I am listening to the howling wind and pouring rain. We have the wood burner on the go, so the house is lovely and warm – sometimes cold  days can be wonderful. Once you are snuggled up on the sofa by the fire anyway!

Every time I do things in the garden now, I remember this time last year, looking out of my office window and wondering if I'd ever have the energy to dig things up again. The body is a wonderful thing – only one year ago now, I couldn't manage to open a jar top never mind lift and wield a garden fork. Now I am back to normal. Almost – I get exhausted more easily, but then again, I am a bit older right? Plus it takes ages to get over being blasted by chemo. And I have been battered half to death by cancer first, then chemo second.

So, I feel I am doing really well. I feel GOOD as James Brown said…Whoa! I feel nice, like sugar and spice!!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

more photos…

Aj and I waiting…


Lorraine - working


me, getting sound


me. going home.


blogging and the comments

you know what I find amazing about blogging? The 'feed back'. The comments. It's the thing that makes blogging fun – the thing that makes us a big group; the thing that allows us to connect and interconnect. The thing that makes us friends, even though we have never and may never meet one another in 'real life'. This cyber life is amazing – I know [as in 'know'] so many women through my blog. I may never meet them. I would love to. But I don't need to. Not really. They are there for me even though they have never seen me in the flesh.  They remark on my ramblings, they support me when I am going crazy…they laugh at me when I am too serious. They talk to me when I am alone. They ballast me when I am drowning.

Thanks to all the women who comment on my blog. You have no idea how much it means to me.

Cancer is a revolting subject. And yet these women never fail me with their witty / meaningful / heartfelt / mad remarks. You rock girls. And thank you.

yay my scan appointment is here!

alice-with-bottle-2** image is copyright of Disney

And in the meantime, my CT scan appointment has arrived already. That's what's so amazing about the Exeter RD&E – they don't mess about when you have had cancer. They don't make you wait very long for anything, and that is so great, as waiting around for things tends to cause nightmares – even 'day mares' [is there such a thing?] – thinking horrible things that aren't real while you are awake. I think there is such a thing, as I have them. Hoovering the carpet, I am wondering if the cancer has come back on my bowel. Bah.

So the scan is in December – they sent me a little bottle of stuff I have to take, it resembles the 'drink me'  bottle Alice had. An innocuous brown bottle of diminutive stature. But I have been assured by The Girls that it tastes vile. Drinking iodine. Eww. I usually spray it on cuts! Hey ho, I don't care – it apparently makes the intestines and bowel more visible to the scanner. Can't be bad.  Roll on the scan! I still have the pain in my side, so it will be good to see that it's a 'nothing'. I am going to ask to see the actual scan too – that'll be entertaining – seeing your insides in slices? Gotta be good!

frantic week

The day after the check up we went to London to do the interview for SKY real Lives. We were collected by a taxi at 6.00, dropped at Exeter St David's, and took the fast train to Paddington. Another taxi collected us that end, and we shot off to our hotel, where we dumped our bags and promptly made for a pub. London pubs are still 'proper' pubs in the main. None of that cream paint all over the place. Fab.

Here's the pub. It had relief tin ceilings – yay!

black lion

Here's the hotel in Notting Hill. Tiny room but spotless, and the service was exemplary.


On Thursday we had to be 'on location' [chuckle] at 8.15. Which meant a mad frenzy to get up, organised and have breakfast by 8.00. The taxi text messaged me at 7.00 to say they were on the way, and at 7.30 to say they were outside! Deranged – they had to wait, as Aj had a rather scrummy full English. I had croissant and coffee and went out for a cigarette – met the taxi drivers, who were also having cigarettes. They didn't seem too bothered to wait, so everyone was chilled. We met one of the other women in the programme and her Mum at breakfast, Hazel. She is an amazing woman, and made me feel very lucky to be in the position I am in regarding my cancer. She is battered every day by hers, since she was a young girl.

We all arrived at the house in Notting Hill [amazing house – and amazing CAT!! more about him later!]. We did lots of sitting around waiting, but the Tern TV team really looked after us, we had coffee and whatever we needed, and met the resident expert before we went on. He is super – but I can't tell you who he is. Boo. But I will in due course. Here we are waiting in the kitchen. Hazel is the blondie on the far right. Her mum, Gladys is behind her.


Went into makeup, which was more fun – I was lucky, and had the [yep, still a secret] interviewers own makeup artist. I wonder if I can buy her?? A ton of makeup later and I looked MUCH better!

Here I am getting painted up.


The interview itself was quite short, but it was an experience for sure. Isn't it odd that talking about ovarian cancer could be fun? Pretty surreal to say the least. Even more surreal to think that in February I will be on TV. Just because I had cancer.

So, it was interesting and I think we all enjoyed it. Apart from when they showed a clip of Aj talking about me – he was saying all these wonderful things about me, and I had to look away or burst out crying. NOT a good idea. I am so lucky to have a husband who has been so incredibly supportive [and still is] and who it seems, is still in love with me. What more can you ask?

The interview itself was over quite quickly, but it was fun to meet the person who interviewed me – much more down to earth than I would have expected. Rather nice actually!

They have included a picture of the actual tumour in the 'back story' – I have never posted it, as it is repulsive. But apparently that picture may make women think harder and be more aware of this disease. good. I hope so. If even one woman is diagnosed earlier from seeing this picture, this programme, I shall count the time well spent.

So, here it is. Tadaah. Showing some scale – i.e.: the tumour was bigger than my womb. Ugh.


This is a better picture I think. Getting wired for sound here, with Lorraine and the sound tech.


Afterwards we went and had lunch at Carluccios, then another taxi back to Paddington, train home, taxi to the house and collapse.

And in the meantime, I have fallen madly in love! With a cat – a Norwegian Forest cat to be precise – here's the one that was at the house – he was so friendly! And so pretty. Of course, fell for Aj straight away! Aj seems to be an animal magnet…


DSC_0028We now want to get two, but can't find a breeder in Devon. We've even chosen the colours already! It's taken me an age to feel confident enough with my health to even consider buying more animals – I still miss my two Persian cats that I had for 15 years. A different breed will be good, as I can't 'replace' my girls, but I CAN get new cats. And I am sure they'll be good for me. Anyone who knows where I can get some NFC kittens, please let me know!?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

yay – result!


Check up day – what fun [not]. Off to Exeter. Parked near the solicitors…you can only have up to an hour there, so that was perfect.

Wandered into the shops and had a mental aberration in Warehouse. Bought stuff [as you do IF you aren't looking for anything, which I wasn't – well, the shoes apart]. Looked for the shoes.

Well, the shoes were a BIG failure. After racing about Exeter town centre looking for the Kirk Geiger shop [and not finding it], I resorted to the iPhone and looked it up on the www. Oh yes…it was in BRISTOL that I went into that shop…stupid chemo brain. So, no shoes. YET!!

Then Aj rang and said he was home, so I went to pick him up to go with me to the RD&E. Thank goodness I did. The parking was a complete and utter nightmare. Aj dropped me at Force and went to try and park. I dropped the collection box in and got a new one. Everyone seemed very excited by the weight of the box. I also got some Christmas cards. Then went to find the DH. He passed me in the car, waving his arms and legs in hopelessness of ever finding a space. I merrily left him to it and went for a cup of coffee in the waiting room.  WAITING being the operative word! An hour late! Oh well.

Of course, as soon as I got really stressed and raced outside for a cigarette, I was called. Raced back in and assumed the position.

Right – First thing, the CA 125 is 8. Yay. Up 2 from last time but not actually 'up'. Relief there. Although I do understand this is not definitive, it's still a nice little control mechanism for panic.

Next; regarding the pain I have been having. Initially I had a dull pain under my left ribcage, almost straight after the surgery.  That has remained constant. And I don't worry about that. Maybe it's a scalpel or a hat that someone forgot. But for the last few months [since my last check up] I've had a new, more painful pain that runs down my left side just inside the hip bone. The last few weeks it's been going down my leg too. NOT conducive to cheery thoughts. Renninson said it is the large intestine, or bowel, and apparently it's backing up? He can feel it, and shouldn't be able to.

Charming. A 'backed up' bowel? Eww. It seems I need to drink MORE water, and eat MORE fibre. Probably linseed oil. Which I always thought was for cricket bats [all important task of applying Linseed Oil to your bat...don’t forget the toe!]. Renninson thinks not. It's for bowels and I should have it at breakfast. Sounds suitably repulsive, but I shall try it.

And he's sending me for a CT scan. Result. So now I can chill out [between scoffing fibre and guzzling water and linseed oil] until the scan results. Hoorah.

Monday, 16 November 2009

what WAS I thinking?

Today was a bit odd. The plan was to go shopping for shoes. I need shoes. I have a fetish for Kirk Geiger right now. Although any shoe will do! Retail therapy. These are pretty kick ass.


And jeans – but I hate shopping for jeans. They are always too long. And I always have to try on about 50 pairs before I find anything that's remotely a good fit, and by that time I am in such a temper [plus HOT and bothered and looking like a maniac] that shop assistants run away and I can't pay. Anyway, I didn't do anything, as I went upstairs to get ready to go out, took one look at the bed and decided it would be altogether more sensible to just go to sleep for an hour. Fatigue – I don't get it so often now, but when I do…uff. Well, the hour became all afternoon, and having gone to sleep while the sun was shining in the window [nice!], I woke up to total darkness! It was only 5.15, but night time already.

But I obviously needed the rest, as I feel great now. It's been an age since I just allowed myself to have a rest – I seem to fight the idea of sleeping in the day for some reason. Maybe a kick back to being in chemo, when I HAD to stop and sleep in the day, whether I liked it or not. So tomorrow is now shopping day.

In the meantime, earlier on, I was deleting, replying and sorting a zillion emails in my inbox, outbox and blah box. And I came across one from Ovacome, full of useful information about statistics that I might want to know for Thursdays TV interview. So I clicked on the link – ah, stupid. VERY stupid. Today was NOT the day for looking at that [no matter how useful!]. Survival rates, how many women die from ovarian cancer, Ovarian cancer statistics table…blah blah. I have made a rule NOT to look at stats…so why did I do that? I did get rather upset.

But as usual, something happened to make me feel better [I find this happens a lot] – my step daughter Jen text me about bikinis. And holidays. And we texted back and forth, and I forgot all about the stats. She's working until 3.00 in the morning. She's worrying about buying a bikini for the holiday – she also had some encouraging words for me about tomorrow's check up. So I got involved in The Search for A Bikini. See? I have my priorities sorted :o) Bugger the stats, I have deleted that email, and the web site…



Sunday, 15 November 2009

a busy week

This week is going to be entertaining if nothing else. Monday I have a day off – yay. And double yay, as so does Aj! Amazing. A day off together? Woop woop!

Tuesday I have The [Dreaded] Check Up at 3.15. Yay and not so yay until afterwards when they've told me I am ok, and that there's still no recurrence of the blasted cancer. Which is what I am obviously hoping for [no brainer there eh?]. And it seems lots of other people are too, thank you very much all my crazy friends and family. If my results were taken only on my well wishers prayers and hopes, I'd never ever worry. A friend posted this quote this week, and I love it - "Good friends are like don't always see them, but you know they are always there..." Magic. And so true.

Thursday morning at 8.15 [8.15!! fogo!!!], I am doing the interview for SKY Real Lives, 'The Secret Guide to Women's Health' in a house in Notting Hill. Apparently Aj will be ensconced in the 'Green Room' – I hope it has food or he'll be most aggravating heh heh.

All rather organised, taxi from home to the train station Wednesday night after Aj gets home from work at 6.30  [yep, it's changed from Wednesday to Thursday – aaargh], direct train through to Paddington, another taxi waiting to take us to the hotel in Bayswater. We'll get there about 9.30. We have discovered a Brazilian rodizio restaurant right down the road from the hotel thanks to Google [love google!]. We will have dinner there and see if it's as nice as the ones in Portugal, which we LOVE. It is certainly far more expensive than Portugal, so it better be good! Or we'll complain ;o) I best remember to book that actually. Caipirinhas and picanha here we come!


After the TV interview [which is, by the way, with a very FAMOUS person – but I can't tell you who now! Wait with baited breath please…all will be revealed] and with an eminent Professor of Medical Oncology too [also to be revealed – sorry!]. And, my favourite TV person will be there, Lorraine, so I am not TOO nervous! Amazing – that I will meet someone who spends his entire life trying to find a cure for ovarian cancer. Probably [definitely!] I should hug this man and tell him how really grateful we all are – without people like him, men or women, I'd be dead. Thank goodness they are out there. Pretty tedious to die in the middle of things!

Lunch time on Thursday we take the train home from Paddington, and in the evening I am off out with a bunch of cancery types like myself. I am sure by that point Aj will be rather glad to get shot of me. We girls are having dinner at the Port Royal just for fun and to have an evening of nattering. Elly is doing us a special meal, and of course there's a quiz going on, so it should be rather lively. Looking forward to that, as by then, everything else will be done.

One way or the other.


I can't believe it!! It's sunny! Hoorah - off into the rather soggy garden...amazing how a bit of daylight can make one feel so much more cheerful. About everything!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

four days to go

I am sure  a lot of people reading this blog must be thinking "oh for Gods sake, she's not on about THAT again?" and they'd be right. it's boring for people who don't have to have check ups like this – it's nothing for people who are 'normal'. Good. I am pleased about that. And now I am going to bed. exhausted.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Ovarian Cancer Takes to The Stage – quoted from the Whisper Network

Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine

"While it’s been reported five to 25% of cancer patients experience depressive symptoms at some point during their illness, research suggests the prevalence of clinically significant depression is at least 20% for ovarian cancer patients. In fact both depressive and anxiety symptoms appear to occur more frequently in ovarian cancer patients than in patients with other forms of cancer.

There are myriad possible reasons for this. But before I get to them I want to say this post is by no means meant to depress you or make you anxious. Quite the opposite, having spent many years researching depression and anxiety I’ve found over and again those suffering these ailments are much relieved to learn there could be a physiological component to their experience, at the very least much comfort has been afforded by learning they are not alone.

Certainly there are obvious psychodynamic reasons why women with ovarian cancer might experience more psychological distress: frequently the diagnosis comes late in the game when prognoses are not great; just as often there have been months – or more – of symptoms which have gone misdiagnosed and the resultant rage and betrayal that evokes can leave one feeling helpless and depressed; once diagnosed many women are shocked to find medical professionals still scratching their heads regarding adequate forms of detection and effective treatment of ovarian cancer; as mentioned in a previous post, all of the above has resulted in a public reaction of horror and discouragement upon hearing someone has been diagnosed with the disease (i.e., having your friends and loved ones gasp or tear up rather than take your hand and tell you success story after success story doesn’t help to boost one’s mood); and of course when a diagnosis of ovarian cancer comes before a woman has had all of the children she dreams of having there is that additional loss to bear.

But I have a theory there is something else at play. Other research suggests gynaecological cancers overall result in higher rates of depression, anxiety and adjustment disorders than do other forms of cancer. What do all gynaecological cancers have in common? A hysterectomy. It seems quite possible that the hormonal impact of losing one’s ovaries (and therefore oestrogen) could quite reasonably trigger depressive and anxiety symptoms (to say nothing of the pre- and peri-menopausal women for whom a hysterectomy leaves them unable to bear children as well as in sudden medical menopause). And of course for those women who experienced depressive or anxiety disorders prior to their diagnosis, battling cancer can very likely trigger further symptoms or a worsening of pre-existing ones.

These are guesses on my part as there has not been sufficient research done to investigate the psychological impact of cancer on women, never mind why ovarian cancer patients in particular struggle with increased rates of depression and anxiety. The good news is standard antidepressant treatment is effective in treating these symptoms, and certainly talk therapy, and support groups can be enormously helpful.
It seems important to acknowledge this trend not to scare women but to affirm their experience and bring into the open this possible dimension of the ovarian cancer journey. Just beginning the discussion will bring many women peace of mind."

bloody hell! therapy? er – I don't think so…I am so lucky to have all my 'girls' world wide to talk to – perhaps that is therapy in itself? Fellow bloggers, women on Ovacome, women on Facebook. I would run a mile at the thought of lying on a couch and talking to a person who has NO IDEA of what we are going through. And I certainly wouldn't pay for the privilege!

I really MUST fill my scrip for 'happy pills'..before I become depressed!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

five days to go

Delete Key 

Hmm – so busy ranting about the STOLEN 'A board' [that made me SO cross! thieving is so disgusting. yes, chop off the hand] that I forgot to update The Worry List.

Worry 03: Delete [thud…]

The drive home from Gatwick was ok, as far as driving for hours on end in billowing [yes, 'billowing' – not 'normal', no that'd be too easy – but it least it wasn't freezing fog] FOG, tipping rain and pitch darkness goes. Traffic wasn't as heavy as I'd expected and the trip was uneventful [love that word] apart from the usual halfwits who can't drive even in daylight. So I had an early night after a lovely chat with the FH. So good to be home and see his little face. Yay!

Worry 04: Delete [another resounding thud]

This morning, up nice and early, unpacked, slapped the laptop into sync mode with the pc and raced off to have my bloods taken. Yay -the phlebotomist is also my GP's secretary. No exploding pumps or problems at all. It seems the veins in my right arm [only one lot of chemo went in that arm, which may have helped the veins – less mustard gas is possibly a good thing] are now recovering. So my blood is now en route in it's little tube to the lab for scrutiny. I'd quite like to see that lab. When my blood is there. So I can get my results immediately.

Yes, I need therapy. Anyway, the rest of the list:

Worry 02: under construction…well. what can one say?

Worry 05 [and Worry 01]: bah. I keep thinking I am dying. Full of cancer. Every ache or pain I become distraught. In my head. Here. I try to deal with that. I am sure I am gaining ground, even though sometimes the people around me seem to forget where I am...just one year out of chemo. I am not sure if the shock has worn off even now – although I am VERY good at ''appearing'' normal. Perhaps TOO good. Maybe sometimes I should collapse on the floor. Screaming. Just so people can see what's really going on in my head. But then again, that wouldn't be very professional; now would it??

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Thanks for your help and support!

i don't believe it! robbers in Torquay!

I happily published some bits and pieces about Aj's new business opening last week. In the post there is a photo of an 'A board'. Well, guess what? Since the shop opened, it took just ONE week for some cretin to actually steal it! It cost over £150.00 – plus design and artwork…and WHY would anyone steal it? Are they opening a shop of the same name and just couldn't afford their own? We could have loaned it to them had they asked…grr

If you see this A board anywhere, please ARREST it!! And also the person who stole it – whom, I might add, I am rather hoping will drop it on his toes and have to have foot casts for a month.

What kind of person does this kind of thing to a brand new business? I am sure I have lots of descriptive words that are suitable, but not publishable.

Mutter mutter.


Tuesday, 10 November 2009

one week to go

Seven more days and I have my next check up. Uff. That'd be Worry No: 01.

I have plenty of other things to worry about, but that’s the thing that keeps pushing it's scary little face to the forefront of my mind. It makes everything else seem quite irritating and gnat like.

Worry 02: I am quite keen to get a new contract sorted out here in Portugal - the 2 months notice period has come and gone, so ideally, if the company wish to renew it for another year we will resolve that before I return to the UK. That's in, and under consideration. If they don't I will need 4 hours to say goodbye to everyone. If they do renew, that will be one less thing to stress about.

Worry 03: Drive home late tomorrow night. I am always concerned at my tiredness level - Gatwick is three and a half hours drive. During rush hour. In the dark [and probably the rain] Oh joy.

Worry 04: I get home, unpack, go to sleep, jump up Thursday morning for work, then race to the GP to have my bloods taken. I still hate needles even after all the stabbing and prodding that's gone on over the last 2 years. But I have wised up and no longer allow this appointment to be made with a nurse - I much prefer the phlebotomist thanks. Pumps exploding off the needle and black and blue arms have taught me a lesson. My veins still suck [well, they lay low that's for sure] and need an expert to find them without everyone ending up looking rather pale. Not to mention feeling rather cross.

For the last few weeks I have had a horrendous cold and cough  [thankfully the cough is no longer forcing me to bend in half and the cold is gone] but I haven't wanted to ask for any antibiotics in case they affect my blood tests. Yes, I know…stupid. But there you go. So once I've had the blood drawn, if I am still coughing my guts up, I shall shoot off to the GP and get something for it.

Worry 05 [see Worry 01]: The Check Up…tadaaahh…why am I not used to this by now eh? Although I definitely feel less demented so far, there are still 7 days to go. Lots of time yet for mass hysteria. And I don't think I'll ever get used to it; maybe it is expecting too much to even try. It's like 'getting used to' being hit by a car - I suppose you probably just don't. Though I wouldn't like to have to prove that…

And last but not least - I haven't done ANY Christmas shopping at all! Useless! After Tuesdays check up and Wednesday's TV thing, that is going to be the order of business methinks. Although next Thursday night we're off out for a girly dinner, so it may have to wait until I recover from that…perhaps I'll simply grab Aj and abscond over Christmas? Now there's a thought…

Monday, 2 November 2009

not much thinking going on

I have 'forgotten' far too many things recently. Well, not recently – but generally since being chemo-ed. Some things were quite very serious but hopefully will be resolved. This memory thing plus the 'I can't prioritise or FINISH things' thing sucks. 'Constantly baling out water – but I still feel like I am going to sink'; that's me. And it's hard to explain – there are no 'good' reasons that make one forget, neglect or avoid doing IMPORTANT things. It's getting better – the book 'Your Brain after Chemo', has helped. What a relief – I am not the only person like this. There are a LOT of us. Maybe we should start a club, as our normal friends probably shouldn't have to put up with this crap.

Multi tasking now involves palpitations and lists. I am getting quite good at using Excel [there's a programme I detest!]. I need to be very organised or feel like I might scream.

Hardly surprising, with everything that's been going on. Aj has relocated his business. Relocating a tile shop involves masses of heavy lifting, so he has been at it from 7.30 in the morning until 8.00 at night for about 3 weeks. And dealing with all the legal side of it, banks, solicitors etc during the day [in between hauling pallet loads of tiles, stands and stuff] has been making him crazy. He has been mainly falling in the door every night, then almost straight to bed.

My evenings have been spent working on all the advertising, the website and signage. This weekend I was painting floors blue and carrying horrible hand boards about in an attempt at organisation of chaos. I hate painting floors. We are both exhausted. But today the new shop opened! Yay!




And the other good thing: I haven't had a second to think bad thoughts for weeks. Well, apart from the fact that this hideous cold I have had has now moved to my chest and I am worried about it becoming bronchitis. I am coughing myself awake at night. But drinking cough medicine and sitting upright seems to help.

On the the 14th we were supposed to have the swine flu shot – seems Aj has to have it too in order to avoid getting it and giving it to me. But we have been moved to the next batch, which no-one knows the arrival date of. Apparently they do the Swine Flu vaccination in batches of 500. They will send us an 'invitation'. Uh?

I got my GP to sign that form that gives cancer patients free prescriptions. Gotta reap some benefit from this horrific disease right? Still waiting for that to arrive.

In the meantime I am going to Portugal to work again. Need to leave at 5.30 in the morning. The day after I return I go for my bloods. On  the 17th November I have my next check up. On the 18th we are off to the SKY studio for yet another interview.  Then we are off to see Rodrigo Y Gabriela [something to look forward to – yay]. Then to Brighton to drink cocktails on my friends rather posh seafront veranda. Then the kids are down for the weekend…

Actually, now I come to think of it, no wonder I'm confused and forgetful. Roll on the Christmas break!