Friday, 24 February 2012


Yes – I know. It's been an absolute age - lots of reasons, but I shan't bore you with them.
Great result – I found Bear – not so great, she had been hit by a car and her pelvis was smashed and separated from the sacrum – she had to have surgery and a rather large screw inserted to hold everything together. But she is recovering well. Whilst Lily lies about being magnificent, Bear has been on 'cage rest' for 6 weeks. But this week she is out and about [but still house bound!] and seems to be managing quite well. Yay!

Lily being magnificentLilybear in her cage Bear

Apart from that, I had my 50th birthday! Yay! I am so grateful to be here -  so many people whine and whinge about being 50. Well – the alternative sort of sucks don't you think?? I had a KINDLE from my family – wicked present! I am still working out how to do everything but it's fab. One of those things you want but never afford for yourself – thank you! I can now take a million books everywhere, without my suitcase weighing a ton :) Gotta be good – plus you can read it in the sun! If we ever get any …


Some of the lovely cycle girls came down for curry, wine and we did a lot of 'blahing' about Cuba. Lots of my friends travelled miles to be here which was wonderful – some people who I would have loved to be there, well they just couldn't – I missed them. The curry was amazing – cooked and given as a birthday pressie by Shaun and Chris – great pressie!! :)

I was given a Pandora bead…hmm, now I need a Pandora bracelet! Excellent! And loads of other lovely pressies and flowers…

My 50th birthday was amazing – it started on Wednesday 25th January ended Tuesday  the 1st of Feb!

a DSC_0010 my Olive tree plus Lily

2012 001flowers from Cath

2012 003 flowers from Judi

2012 005 flowers from Lins

a DSC_0007 flowers from the FH

I had more flowers too, but forgot to take pics! Gorgeous – the house smelt divine. Thanks everyone for making my 50th birthday a day to remember.

goodbye 2011 – bring on 2012

new-year-2011_2 What a year. Lots of good things, some very bad things and some interesting things. A normal year! Thank God for that. Nothing TOO horrific happened to me or the FH. Yay.

The Kenya Cycle was incredible – for me, an amazing achievement. I am still so pleased about it, the funds I raised, the awareness, and the mere fact of doing it at all…I am still astounded. And all the wonderful women I met? Well, that's the bonus no-one mentions when you sign up. The experience was incredible.

I did the Force cycle, the Great Shakespeare Ride, I had two check ups that still have me in remission [*sigh of relief* – bloody excellent thing!!] my CA 125 is still at 10. Raised again, but one point is barely an issue. For now.
I raised funds with random events, eventually raising over £5000, I joined the BNI and am now getting work that doesn't involve scrubbing floors or painting conservatories. That's also a VERY good thing.

This year I have registered for the London Nightrider with a load of the Kenya girls – a 100km moonlit ride past London’s iconic landmarks. And we're doing the Force Century again. And then, the Great Shakespeare! So, training starts soon. It better, as I have gained a load of weight since Kenya and need it off! You get used to being able to eat anything while you're training…hmm, bad idea when you're not!

Cycling is actually fun. I AM amazed. Exercise never really interested me but team bike rides? Bring them on! Torture? Yes. But the satisfaction of achieving a goal is quite an interesting thing. It's not something I have ever really been that bothered about, I am not competitive – but being able to walk away knowing I have done something I didn't ever expect to A: be able to do, and B: be alive to do…well. What can I say? Plus there's the great fun of doing it with other people.

Next post – I am doing it again..cycling Cuba this time. Yet another minimum amount of K3 to raise though…aargh. Watch this space :)


Here we are, Group 1 of the five Cycle Kenya groups. At the finish! The five cycles combined raised over 1.5 MILLION pounds for research!  Not to mention the amount of awareness generated along the way.

Fabulous right??

Friday, 17 February 2012

Cycle Kenya

Yay! Look at this – it's Group 4 cycling in Kenya! GREAT! On TV!

For more info on this kind of challenge to raise money for research into ovarian, cervical and breast cancers and awareness for these women's cancers, see here.

Who knows, doing something like this could change your life – or save someone else's! I am about to embark on the fund raising for another cycle myself – this time, 400km across Cuba in October 2013. 
Please sponsor me here if you can? Thanks!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

'Holding Onto Hope' photographic exhibition

March is nearly here!! Time for a bit more effort into spreading awareness of stupid Ovarian Cancer.

With that in mind, please support Ovacome at their 'Holding Onto Hope' photographic exhibition at the Menier Gallery in London on the
1st & 3rd March.
Admission is FREE – and they would love to see you there!

Ovacome are also holding an auction at the launch party of the exhibition with lots including a stunning 'Phillip Treacy' hat [woop! hat!! Everyone needs a hat at the moment – freezing!].

To see the lots and find out how you can BID go to this webpage:

To bid via email, sitting on the comfy sofa – go to this page:

I quite fancy Lot 8 myself, an 'Isabella' menu lunch for four at Detmar Blow's Hilles country house in Gloucestershire? Lovely!

The exhibition features celebrities holding a picture of a person close to them who has been directly affected by ovarian cancer. Featured celebrities include Jenny Agutter, pictured below with Ovacome’s chief executive Louise Bayne with her daughter Eleanor.

Prints can also be ordered for as little as £1 from:

Ovacome hopes the exhibition will raise awareness of the disease. If you can't go, consider an email bid on one of the lots [or all of them], and please tell your friends?

ovacome poster

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Talc Use Linked to Ovarian Cancer Risk

This article is a little bit technical, but the long and the short of it appears to be – don't use talc in the vaginal area. It may increase the risk of invasive ovarian cancer.

This should be a warning on the pack maybe? It certainly wouldn't do any harm would it? And as a matter of interest, I used talc for years as a teenager. Image:

This report is part of a 12-month Clinical Context series.

By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: April 07, 2011

Reviewed by Vandana G. Abramson, MD; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt
University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee and Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner

Action Points

  • Note that this study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Note that the use of talc-based powder increased ovarian cancer risk by 30%.

ORLANDO - Use of talc-based powder significantly increased the risk of invasive ovarian cancer in a large case-control study that confirmed other analyses performed over the past 30 years.
Overall, talc use increased ovarian cancer risk by about 30%; however, the risk increased by two- to threefold among women reporting long-term frequent application of talc powder to the genital area, as reported here at the American Association for Cancer Research.
"I have always advised gynaecologists, if they examine a woman and see that she is using talc in the vaginal area, tell her to stop," said Daniel W. Cramer, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "There are alternatives. This study strongly reinforces that advice."

Results of more than 20 epidemiologic studies have supported an association between application of talc-based powder to the external genitalia and ovarian cancer, but the findings have met with considerable scepticism and criticism, in part, because of a lack of evidence for a dose-response effect, said Cramer.

The biologic plausibility of the association also has been questioned. Cramer previously hypothesized that talc had an effect on cancer risk similar to that of asbestos. More recently, he has come to believe that the association involves up regulation of heat-shock proteins, mucins, and other molecules that predispose to chronic inflammation.

Inadequate cleansing after use of talc, particularly frequent use, might allow the powder to migrate into the lower genital tract and initiate an inflammatory reaction, Cramer speculates.

Talc particles have been found in lymph nodes and other tissues of ovarian cancer patients, he added.

In an effort to resolve the uncertainty surrounding the talc-ovarian cancer association, Cramer and his colleagues analyzed data from a case-control study involving more than 2,000 women with ovarian cancer and a similar number of women without the cancer.

All study participants resided in New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts. History of talc use had a reference date of one year before diagnosis for the ovarian cancer patients and use at the date of interview for the control group.

Logistic regression analysis examined the association between ovarian cancer and regular use of genital talc and from the perspective of total number of talc applications, estimated from patient-reported frequency and duration of use. The investigators adjusted for age, parity, oral contraceptive use, tubal ligation, body mass index, smoking, alcohol use, Jewish ethnicity, and family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

They performed separate analyses for all cases, nonmuscinous invasive cancer, serous invasive cancer, and serous invasive cancer unlikely to be familial.

For all analyses, talc use was associated with an increased prevalence of ovarian cancer; the magnitude of the difference between users and nonusers ranged between 20% and 40%, most often about 30%.

None of the analyses yielded significant differences among premenopausal women.

All analyses produced statistically significant differences for all study participants and for the subgroup of postmenopausal women, who accounted for 60% of the study participants.

Adjustment for clinical, demographic, and histological factors had minimal impact in analyses of the overall population or the postmenopausal subgroup.

For example, analysis of all histological subtypes yielded a hazard ratio of 1.30 in all participants (P=0.0003) and 1.31 for postmenopausal women (P=0.003).

Analysis of serous invasive cancer by menopausal status and after exclusion of women with Jewish ethnicity and family history of cancer resulted in odds ratios of 1.39 (P=0.001) and 1.35 (P=0.01) for all participants and postmenopausal women, respectively.

Analysis of dose-response associations by total applications (quartiles of none to ≥8,400) showed a significant trend for all women (P=0.002), premenopausal women (P=0.05), and postmenopausal women (P=0.02).

The trend held up in most of the analyses by histological subtype and by differences in demographic and clinical variables.

The significant trend for dose-response effect persisted whether women reporting no talc use were excluded or included (P=0.001).

"Menopausal status has a striking effect on the dose-response for the association," said Cramer. "Premenopausal women with frequent use may have more than a threefold increase in their risk for invasive serous cancer of the ovary. Repeating these analyses in existing data sets may help clarify the association between talc and ovarian cancer."

Cramer told MedPage Today that the association between talc and ovarian cancer has led to a lawsuit against talc manufacturers by a woman in South Dakota. Depositions are expected to begin later this year.

The plaintiff's attorney previously represented patients with mesothelioma in successful lawsuits and settlements involving asbestos manufacturers, Cramer added.

The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute.


There is another article here.