Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Breaking news

You know how there's been endless news reports lately about horsemeat finding its way into products supposedly made from beef?  Well, the scandal is about to get much, much worse.  Today I went to Llandrindod Wells and look what I saw in a butcher's window:

Pet mince!  You heard it here first.
I'll be keeping Cyril (three-legged monster cat) well away from that butchers (although maybe that is where his missing leg ended up).

So, tomorrow is mastectomy day.  I'm beginning to get a bit nervous now but the other-half has been distracting me by taking me to Wales today, swearing at other drivers and buying bags of chocolate covered raisins (food of the gods).

On the way back from Wales we stopped at one of my favourite places.  Mitchell's Fold, a Bronze Age stone circle in South Shropshire.

More atmosphere than you could shake a druid at (if you were that way inclined)
It had been a grim and grey day in Wales but true to form the sun made an appearance as we returned to Shropshire.

View from Mitchell's Fold, told you it was atmospheric
I'm not sure how long I'll be in hospital for, but it will probably be a good few days before I next get to post here.  I bet you're missing me already.  So I'll say goodbye for now and warn you to stand by for a lot of whinging on my return.  The photo below was supposed to be a lovely shot of me waving as the sun sets.  The other-half informs me I looks like a Martian. 

Greetings Earthlings.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Boggle blues

I have given up online Boggle for Lent.  This has made me grumpy (but not as grumpy as my inability to find a photograph to illustrate my fed-up-ness with the deprivation).  The other-half reckons I was addicted, just because I used to shout at him if he dared to speak to me, or indeed breathe, during my two hour long Boggle sessions. 

Fear not though, I’m still finding reasons to shout at him even without the irritating Boggle interruptions.  The other day I informed him he was ‘relentlessly annoying’ so he told me he was giving up being married for Lent.  I should, grudgingly, also point out that he cooked a surprise Valentines breakfast (scrambled egg, smoked salmon accompanied by red rose).  We don’t usually ‘do’ Valentines Day so this was a big deal.  Mind you since then he has blotted his copybook by repeatedly pointing out that I didn’t get him anything in return and how much he would love to receive a massive Easter egg.  Dream on matey.

Since I last posted I’ve had another Herceptin top-up, a pre-op assessment (surgery scheduled for 28th February) and an appointment with the oncologist.  Yet another new one, Smokey (he looks like Smokey Robinson).  Smokey was upbeat and even spoke about the monitoring procedure should the disease remain stable for a couple of years.  This is the first time any oncologist has mentioned the possibility of me being around in two years time so I’m a Smokey fan.  (For any long term readers Smokey also informed me that the Anti-Doogie has left the hospital and gone to Kuwait.  And he never even said goodbye).

Happily to fill the time previously taken up by Boogle I have found (via Useless Beauty) a brilliant blog called Streetmogs.  I suggest you rush there now for an immediate cat fix. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

King of the world

Me?  Blowing my own trumpet?  Never.

I have been doing battle with my ex-employer (the local council) and I have emerged victorious, yay me.  The ratbags* decided to make deductions from my notice-period salary as I was also receiving a state benefit (Employment Support Allowance).  I checked with the Benefits Bods and the Citizens Advice Bureau and both advised me that my employer was wrong, wrong, wrong.  There followed an exchange of emails between the ratbags and I, where I gamely bandied about phrases like ‘custom and practice’,‘unlawful deductions’ and ‘employment tribunal’.  After some initial resistance, a white flag has been waved and I will be getting a full refund.  Disco Del 1 – Ratbags 0.

(*I should point out that my ex-employer was only a ratbag about this one particular thing.  When it came to sick leave, sick pay and early retirement they were helpful, kind and cuddly.  So they’re not all bad.  Look at me being all magnanimous in victory.  I hope you’re wearing sunglasses as my halo must be dazzling.)

Anyway the refund will go towards the new kitchen.  If it ever happens.  We are still waiting for quotes from a couple of builders.  If they went any slower they’d be going backwards.  Makes you wonder how long it will take them to actually build if merely quoting takes this long.  The other-half is tearing his hair out.  I am rising above it.  Although it’d probably be more truthful to say that I haven’t got enough space in my addled brain to worry about builders and my forthcoming surgery.

My latest brain melt down has seen me lose a whole box of Tamoxifen on my way home from the chemist on Friday.  So I have been without medication all weekend.  I’ve phoned the doctor and groveled and hope to get a replacement prescription this afternoon.  I will guard it with my life.

In other tales of stupidity, all my previous talk of healthy living came to naught over the weekend, when I slid off the wagon.  A friend rather selfishly had a birthday (you know who you are!) so I had to drink champagne and red wine, it’s the law.  The next morning was not great.  I am back on the wagon again.

It’s still chilly here but on Saturday we put on a thousand layers and went for a stroll.  And look, the snowdrops are out!    


So maybe spring is just around the corner.  But just in case it isn’t and you’re in need of cheering up, here’s my latest YouTube find.  The best clip of a cat riding on a sheep’s back you’re ever likely to see.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Trying to find a balance

Oh alright the photo's a bit dark.  The lighting crew were on lunch break.

The trouble with my Attacking-Cancer-on-all-Fronts scheme is that it can end up making my life all about cancer.  Or, to put it another way, I'm in danger of doing my own bloody head in. In between meditating, visualizing (and I visualize my main tumour as a sort of malevolent cocktail sausage just in case you’re interested), juicing, cooking from scratch, reiki-ng, taking the medication, reading up on the disease (which includes a lot of trying to sort the wheat from the limitless bloody chaff),there doesn’t seem to be a lot of brain-space left over for other things.  Like cat-worship, husband-baiting or continuing my bitter feud with the allotment Nazis.  I just did some on-line shopping but even that was for pyjamas for my hospital stay (mind you that was essential as I don’t want to disgrace myself by wearing my usual threadbare jim-jams). 

I can imagine you rolling your eyes and saying ‘well stop doing all the cancery stuff then idiot’.  But ‘aha’ I reply, ‘there’s evidence in something I read somewhere (what do you expect? Academic footnotes?) that patients who do more than sit back and leave everything totally in the hands of the medics survive for longer’.  So I’m between a rock and a hard place and on the horns of a dilemma.  It’s a good thing I’m wearing reinforced knickers.

Have you noticed the new, improved blog design?  Actually I’m not sure that it is improved but it’s different anyway.  My apologies to anyone who saw it during its change in a brief putrid peach incarnation.  I hope you’ve managed to get the vomiting under control and that you find dreary grey less distressing.

And now, in an effort to restore some balance to my life, I am going to do a rash, dangerous and non-cancery thing.  I’m going to Tidy The Cupboard Under The Stairs.  Here’s the magnitude of my task:

Somewhere in there is the camera charger.  I hope.
 Wish me luck.