Tuesday, 16 September 2014

An opportunity for Scotland

My latest blog post for Vita (the online magazine for Breast Cancer Care) is available here.  Be there or be square.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Ismena


First Fig
By Edna St Vincent Millay

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes and oh, my friends-
It gives a lovely light!


This morning the lovely and inspiring Ismena died of secondary breast cancer, aged just 40.

I never met her in person but knew her through a marvellous Facebook group, of which she was a mainstay.

You can read about her in her own words here.  I think this post in particular has something to say to all of us regardless of the state of our health.

Thank you Issy.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Win-win

It's August again, which means ... Shrewsbury Flower Show.  I went along of course and got more photos of the children's veggie art entries to inflict on you.

August was also CT result time (which comes along every three months, although it feels like every three days to me).

I had double cause for celebration.  First of all there was no change to the cancer.  So I remain stable.  Hurrah for my chemo, TDM1 or Kadcyla (which I receive as part of a drug trial), and boo for it not being generally available in England and Wales (the jury is currently out in Scotland)

The second cause for celebration was that I seem to have a new oncologist.  I wasn't keen on my old (and now semi-retired) onc, Dr Oily, as I found him patronising and, to be honest, I haven't forgiven him for his attitude to his department's cock-up (in my view) in my care last year.  Anyway, the new bod introduced himself, didn't speak to me as if I was seven years old and was pretty upbeat.  Top marks so far.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Nasty NICE

Last Friday the National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) confirmed their decision not to approve National Health Service use of TDM1 (trade name Kadcyla), the chemo I've been having for over a year courtesy of a drug trial.  The decision is purely down to cost.  It pissed me, and a lot of other people, off.  I didn't bother whinging about it here because you've heard it all before.

Today NICE continued in the same vein (pun intended) and turned down a drug for advanced prostate cancer.  That thudding you can hear is the sound of people throughout the country banging their heads against walls.

A writer at The Telegraph sums it better than I ever could, so I'll stop going on about it here but if you do want to read more and get an idea of how disappointed and angry many people are then please read this.(By the way, if you do read it, maybe stay clear of the comments section as there are some right-wing nut jobs on the lose.  Apart from my mate Tim that is, who valiantly took them on!)

I've been having a whale of a time lately with friends and family visiting, meals galore and the annual trip to the Shrewsbury Flower Show.  It's just that all the craptasticness from NICE and my impending CT results (next Wednesday)have left me feeling a bit like this Flower Show exhibit:


Ah well, tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Me again

Just a short note to pester you with the fact that my latest burblings for Vita (an online magazine for the Breast Cancer Care charity) can be read here. 

Not the cheeriest of reads so here, have a free photo of Cyril, the three-legged monster cat, to be going on with:


Now, if you'll excuse me I've got things to do.  I want to finish this excellent book before this excellent film comes on in an hours time.  It's all go go go.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Ta dah!


And also wa-hey and any other self-congratulatory noises you can think of.  I have finished my pyjama bottoms.  No self-congratulations on the very poor photograph but I'm sure you get the idea.  Here's another crap photo just to make sure


The process was relatively painless (apart from standing on a pin with bare feet) so Coco Chanel had better watch out.  I'm not sure what will be next but keep your eyes peeled for more creations in the understated and elegant discombobulated style.

Not much in the way of health news.  I had a bone density scan recently but apparently it takes about nine light years for the results to come through.  However it's CT scan time again soon so stand by for the usual tetchy nervousness as I await the results.

In the meantime I've been enjoying the weather and earlier this week went on a jaunt to Leominster with Sisses 1 and 2 and Mr Sis 2 (otherwise known as The Sainted One, for putting up with Sis 2 for umpteen years).  We trawled the antique/secondhand shops and I indulged in my addiction for books, pictures and embroided bits and bobs.  If I acqure any more junk the house will burst.

Yesterday I went for an evening drive across the Long Mynd with the other-half.  The heather was out and all was lovely.  We admired the views


and watched the sunset


athen, predictably enough, we headed for the pub.  Night night.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Monkey business

Three years and one day ago the other-half and I got married.  

aah look, love's middle-aged dream
Yesterday to celebrate, and for reasons to complicated to go into, we went to the pictures to see Planet of the Apes.  I looked up 'third anniversary' and there seems to be some debate as to whether it's leather (oh I say!) or glass.  I think both are wrong  Given yesterday's cinema trip the third anniversary is obviously monkeys.  Incidentally if anyone is feeling the heat in the current lovely weather, may I suggest a trip to the cinema, the air conditioning was so intense yesterday I nearly got hypothermia.

Anyway, as yesterday was my wedding anniversary, today is the three year anniversary of my husband telling me he now had nothing to look forward to (as he'd enjoyed the wedding day even more than me, and that's saying something).  Romance eh?

For even more whinging my latest blog for the online breast cancer magazine, Vita, is now available here.  Have fun!