Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Itchy Xmas

A whinge to start off with, then I'll put my festive trousers on.

I'm two weeks into my new chemo combo (capecitabine and lapatinib).  I have been fortunate enough not to have had, as yet, any of the yuckier possible side effects (sickness, explosive visits to the loo etc) but I am pretty tired a lot of the time, am incredibly itchy all over and my nose and chin are covered in acne.  I am not impressed.  I've now got ointment, antibiotics and antihistamines so hopefully the skin rebellion will calm down soon.  Weirdly it's the acne that I hate most.  Thinking back, I hated going bald (on a previous chemo) and I hated losing a breast (the mastectomy) but I hate, hate, HATE having a face full of spots.  I suppose my attitude to a relatively minor side effect means I'm either completely barking or a deep and complex person.  Big prizes for the correct answer.

Miserable sods, like myself, who'd like more moaning can see my latest blog for an online breast cancer magazine by clicking hereFor happier souls let's move on to festive frolics.

Something very strange has happened at Discombobulated Towers.  Rather alarmingly the other-half seems to have turned into Kirstie Allsop.

First we had the homemade Christmas wreath

The other half looking uncharacteristically bashful
and here it is in pride of place

So far so good.  But then things started getting a bit bizarre.  He made me a Christmas card.  Aw, touching, I hear you cry.  Hold your horses!  First a little background ... A few weeks ago the other half and I were oohing and ahhing over a cute mouse who was helping itself to food from the bird table and then scurrying back to the safety of it's home (we guessed) under the garden shed.  He saw it a few times after that and commented on what a large, well fed mouse it appeared to be.  Gradually the realisation dawned that the cute little mouse was in fact a big, scary rat.  I say scary because even Cyril (the three-legged monster cat) ran away from it.  Anyway, the other morning I came down to find this Christmas card waiting for me

The other-half, age 49 and a half, had stayed up to two in the morning making this thing of wonder.  It says Happy Ratamas, is partially made out of an old sock and has an illuminated nose.  It also has a lovely stand (not shown) made out of the middle of loo roll.  Truly I am blessed.

I returned the favour and made him a card too.  However, I'm not showing mine because a) it's nowhere near as good as the other half's and b) it features a misplaced apostrophe (oh the shame!)

All of which brings us on to the piece de resistance.  Last Saturday saw the other-half's family Christmas party.  The brief was to wear something Christmassy, cue lots of festive jumpers etc.  The other-half decided to do something different.  He spent a whole afternoon constructing a hat made out of brussel sprouts, fairy lights and a light-up tree.  It involved a great deal of swearing, a lot of electrical tape and made the whole house reek of festering veg.  The completed article, as well as being something to behold, also weighed about two tons.  The other-half's neck is now two inches shorter.  Anyway without further to do, here it is, and a Happy Christmas to all!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Bad ideas

If anyone is looking for some bad ideas I have a few you could use:

1.  Lose the ability to tell the time

I woke up this morning, got out of bed, turned the heating on, made my morning cuppa and fed the cat.  Then I double-checked the time.  It was 3.30am.  

2.  Try to compete with the cat for warmth

Strangely enough, this afternoon I felt rather tired (I wonder why).  I decided to have a snooze in front of the electric fire.  Stupidly I failed to take into account what Cyril (three-legged monster cat) would make of the situation.

Della 0 - Cyril 1

3.  Give poorly liver a good bashing

So, what do you think would be a good thing to do on finding out that not only has the cancer in my lungs grown but has now also made an appearance in my liver?  Maybe double check my will, meditate like mad or increase my vile green juice intake?  Nah.  Instead I gave my liver a (very enjoyable) evening out and a thorough hammering with an exciting lager/wine combo.

4.  Behave like a 17 year old (with apologies to all sensible 17 year olds out there)

So what next after mixing several gallons of the grape and the grain?  Some damage limitation maybe, like straight to bed with a pint of water?  Nah.  Let's live dangerously, get the felt pens out, and draw on the face of my hapless friend who'd fallen asleep on the sofa.  Thankfully, the following morning, the pen washed off.  Otherwise I would not be around to type this today.

5.  Indulge in public nudity

As you can imagine I attend a lot of medical appointments.  Dignity is a thing of the past and I now peel off my clothes at the drop of a hat.  However, it really wasn't a very good idea to walk into a reflexology appointment on automatic pilot.  I was half-way through taking my top off when I caught sight of the poor reflexology lady's face and remembered that this was most definitely not a stripping off sort of appointment.

6.  Expect any form of co-operation from our feline overlords

This weekend I accompanied friends to the heaven-on-earth that is Shropshire Cat Rescue, where they were choosing which cat to adopt.  All of this is of course, a very good idea.  However I, rather optimistically, decided to take a photo of Pickle the soon-to-be-adopted cat.  My photographic endeavours were scuppered by Pickle's ginger and white cage-mate, Ed. 

I believe the young people call this photo bombing

7.  Experiment in interior design

I've included this one to make myself feel better, as this isn't my bad idea.

A loo roll cover seen in a cafe toilet in Alnwick.  The owner assured me that she'd won it in a darts competition and had not made it herself.

So, there you have it, a selection of bad ideas you might want to try yourself.  No need to thank me.  

I start my new chemo, capecitabine and lapatinib, next week.  Here's hoping that my cancer thinks this is a very bad idea and receives a good kicking from the combo.  Fingers crossed.

And finally, it's December now, which means I am officially allowed to mention Christmas.  So here, have a courgette penguin, as seen at the flower show in the summer. (Oh, OK a zucchini penguin then, if you don't speak English proper like what I do.)

Don't scoff, it's heaps better than the mawkish nonsense produced by John Lewis.  And if you don't agree with me see Charlie Brooker's view on Christmas adverts, a man after my own heart.  Happy Christmas!