Saturday, 31 March 2012


Just a short one to say I'm a bit zonked and achey today so have done nothing and have nothing to report (no change there I hear you say). 

The other-half went to watch his football team lose (yes, again) and so he doesn't have anything to add that isn't moany either.

Tomorrow is another day - stay tuned for excitement, fun or possibily more whinging.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Renovations all round


The painting and re-guttering has been finished – big thanks to N.  Here’s a picture of the newly painted front of house (note contrasting lintels please) for all to admire.  Now, while I’m sure N always does a tip-top job, he did have extra supervision this time to make sure the work was beyond compare.  One of the local cats, who we call Shouty Cat, (because he miaows VERY LOUDLY) spent a good time making sure that the work was up to scratch (see below).
Are you sure you're doing that right mate?
Not only has the house been transformed but I now have a wealth of scarves to cover my rapidly balding head.  My pal C came round with a vast and lovely selection (see below).  Not only that, but she’d washed all of them in woolite so they are lovely and soft!  While she was here (she is a fashion guru) I made her give her opinion on the scarves/hats I already have.  Poor woman!  Her opinion much tallied with big sis’s yesterday but C also discovered that I suit a side knot affair much better than a back of the head one.  Don’t mock this is important stuff.  I will be practicing knots and twiddly bits and probably have a new look every day
C, I promise I folded these all up nicely following the photo shoot!
After that I went out for another walk this time to stick a ‘congratulations on your engagement’ card through K and P’s letter box.  Congratulations you two lovey dovey love birds!

Amongst all this excitement I managed to squeeze in a hospital appt to the breast specialist who thinks all OK for time being but having CT scan next week anyway to find out more.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

My dad's ears

Forgot to take my camera out with me today, so you're getting a completely pointless but pretty picture of Scotland.  Enjoy! 

I’ve got my dad’s ears (not literally, that would be horrible).  My sticky out ears have been one of the reasons why I’ve had long hair most of my life.  I made a discovery today.  My wig hurts when I wear it for hours as it presses my flappy ears to the side of head.  When I went round to my sister’s today I hung the wig on the coat stand in the hall to give my poor lug ‘oles a bit of a breather.  Thankfully she had no other callers this afternoon – they might have thought she scalped people on entry to the premises.

My sister and I went for a walk in the park (wig in place).  She was on a bit of a mission to dead head the daffodils in the park.  OK I’m exaggerating; she dead headed about ten of the thousands of daffs available.  Nevertheless I expected a park keeper to pounce or interfering passer-by to try a citizen’s arrest.  Neither happened, which was just as well as I’d forgotten to take my camera and would have been very disappointed to have missed that photo opportunity.

Back at base the house painting has continued and it’s looking very spiffy.  Unlike my wig hanging on a coat stand.

In other news, I cooked dinner tonight for the first time in weeks and weeks and weeks.  And ate it.  Yay me.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Happy feet

Sunglasses on, people

This morning I went for more reflexology.  It was lovely.  This time Reflexology Lady rubbed my feet with oils designed to combat nausea (I’m slightly queasy after yesterday’s chemo).  I only get four sessions of this (it’s free) so if anyone would like to volunteer to come round my place and rub my sweaty feet for an hour a week (or more if you’d like) please let me know.  I expect to be inundated with offers.

I came back home to check that the workers (the other-half and his brother) weren’t shirking on the job – painting the outside of the house.  They were wilting in the heat, it’s boiling here!  I left them to it (well I didn’t want to interfere) and went for a walk in the sunshine.  It was so warm I nearly took my cardigan off, but I didn’t, you can take these things too far you know.  I walked further than I expected (sounds feeble but my energy wasn’t great after the last lot of chemo) and went to the local park which was in its full spring time technicolour glory (see pictures above and below).  I always think it looks like one of  those 1950s overly colourful postcards, but I love it.

I’m hoping that all this reflexology relaxation combined with exercise will mean a decent night’s sleep, although the steroids I have to take for a few days after each chemo session tend to play havoc with that.  I have to start the stomach injections again today too (for a week) to keep my blood count up.  They seemed to work last time so I’ll just have to be a brave little soldier, but sticking a needle into yourself goes against the grain somehow.  You should see how I carry on when I get a splinter.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Balaclavas and snitching

Other people's husbands would probably buy them flowers.  I get a second hand balaclava.
 Oh flipping heck (or words to that effect) I’m developing more and more bald patches. I think my going out bareheaded days are well and truly numbered.  But I’ve finally found a hat I quite like, and I like the name of the company that supplied it even more – Suburban Turban.  The other-half has also helpfully dug out his green woolly balaclava for my use (see above).  How ever can I thank him?  Answers on a postcard please.

Hurrah!  My blood tests yesterday were OK so today’s chemo went ahead.  They’ve slightly changed one of the drugs I take.  I’m a bit concerned as it’s one of the anti-sickness ones (which worked so well last time) but I’ve been assured that the new one is just as good – I certainly hope so.  Watch this space.  

The other-half’s brother has been round today sorting out our leaky, wonky guttering.  He’s coming back over the next few days to paint the outside of the house.  This is all very lovely BUT he did snitch on me.  He told the other-half that I was sitting in front of the electric fire with two bars on.  Yes, I know it was a gloriously warm day but I was cold!  I shall have to get my revenge.  Maybe I’ll go outside tomorrow and wobble his ladder a bit.

Monday, 26 March 2012


Look what arrived today!  As you might have read in previous posts (and if not you should be ashamed of yourselves), I refer to my very young oncologist as the Anti-Doogie.  My nephew designed the above and had it printed.  I’m speechless (with joy of course).  The cat thought it was hysterical (see below).  

My nephew is daring me to wear it to my next oncology appointment.  Hmmm, we’ll see about that, maybe if I have a few sherries first.  Anyway, many thanks to nephew and his wife.  You shouldn’t have!  

I was up with the lark this morning, well for me anyway, and off to the GP for blood tests.  If all is well (fingers crossed) I’ll get my second lot of chemo tomorrow afternoon.  I also managed to get the date of my CT scan changed.  Par for the course the date given was about three weeks later than the oncologist advised.  I rang the hospital ready for another battle only to have it changed really easily.  I cannot help but suspect I’ll turn up on the new date and they’ll deny all knowledge of having booked me in … colour me cynical. 

After the early GP appointment I went to big sis’s house.  So not only is she providing meals on wheels this evening but she also provided breakfast.  I have to say she let the side down a little by not giving me a packed lunch to go home with, but I’ll forgive her.  I’m good like that.

So as it’s another warm day here I’m off to model my Doogie T shirt in the evening sunshine.  You wait, in six month’s time everyone will be wearing one.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Ducks and disappointment

Shrewsbury, yes AGAIN
The photograph above was taken from a footbridge over the Severn, while strolling back home from the town centre this afternoon.  It’s not the picture I wanted to take though.  While we were on the bridge a lady just behind us was pooped on twice by a passing duck.  She took it in good part (it’s supposed to be lucky after all) but, as much as I wanted to, I didn’t have the courage to ask her if I could take a photo.  That, I feel, would have been bad luck for me - I could well have ended up in the river.

After all this excitement the other-half felt the need for an ice cream.  Unfortunately the rest of Shrewsbury had beaten him to it.  There were about four lollies left in the corner shop and, after swearing quite a bit (I can only hope the shopkeeper thought he had Tourettes), he had to made do with a "disappointing" cornetto.  He was not impressed and insisted I take a photo of the offending article.
Can't see the problem myself
We had a welcome visit from the other-half’s twin brother and his wife.  There was wailing and gnashing of teeth over Wolverhampton Wanderers, discussion of the saga of the escaping cat and cake.

Tomorrow is blood test day and as long as that’s OK I’ll get my second lot of chemo on Tuesday.  Time flies when you’re having fun.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Hair today ...

Out of focus, but scrummy

Today we finally got to grips with the juicer.  When I say ‘we’ I mean, of course, the other-half.  I was still lazing around in bed while he girded his loins with cheap girders (copyright Spike Milligan) and read the juicer instruction book.  No mean feat.  The result, apple/celery/carrot juice was yummy even though it looked fairly disgusting.  So from now on we will be juice crazy and will be going on a veg buying spree tomorrow.  There are however two downsides to this juicing lark:  1)  When the juicer is running it sounds like a jumbo jet is taking off in the kitchen  2) Dismantling it to clean it (see below).

OK, the toaster isn't part of the juicer but daren't move it due to risk of crumb avalanche
It was a lovely warm, sunny day here in Shropshire.  We went to see our pals J, M and little N and had a good catch up.  Amazingly N (age 2 and a half) recognized me in my shorn state and what’s more didn’t run and hide behind the sofa in shock (neither did J and M).  Result!

Mind you I think even such hair as I have is well on its way out now.  This morning my pillow was covered in hair and I can see bald patches developing on one side.  Thanks again to C & C Hairdressing for Tuesday’s short back and sides, as my reaction to finding a lot of half inch hairs on my pillow was merely ‘oh look’, had they been six inches or so long I think it might have been more a case of ‘oh woe is me’.  The other-half has just informed me that my eyebrows are on the way out too.  Time to get practicing with the eyebrow pencil.  I think I might go for a Bert from Sesame Street look.  What do you think?

Friday, 23 March 2012

Cats, crops and celebrations

Watching him, watching me, watching him

After yesterday’s escapade Cyril is now only allowed in the garden under supervision.  It’s a bit like letting a prisoner out in to the exercise yard (I’d imagine) with me as the vigilant, hard-hearted prison guard.  Brown fluffy cat, who is leading my poor innocent cat astray with his wild ways, was nowhere to be seen.  Which is just as well as, if he carries on being a bad influence, I may well turn him into a nice pair of furry gloves should I ever manage to get my mits on him.

I went out again today wigless (to the chemist to collect a prescription).  I’ve found that people are really nice to you when you’ve got a ‘cancer crop’.  Today I used it as an excuse to walk into a complete stranger’s garden to fuss her cat and dog (she made the mistake of smiling and saying ‘hello’ as I walked past).  Also the pharmacist was charm personified.  Goodness only knows how people will behave when I’m totally bald, probably hand me kittens and wads of cash.  Well, I can hope.

Eight months ago today the other-half and I got spliced.  Yeah, OK I know you don’t get anything for eight months, certainly not kittens and wads of cash.  And eight months is especially puny when you consider that the other-half’s twin brother and his wife celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary this year.  However, I’m using it as an excuse to include the photo below and say thanks again to everyone who made it such a special day, particularly the other-half who made it completely unforgettable by getting my name wrong during his speech.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Falling in with the wrong crowd

Non-escaping cats
Well it didn’t take long did it?  Cyril, the three-legged monster cat, escaped from Fort Discombobulated today.  After all the fence extending and close monitoring, the little so and so must have sneaked out without us realising while the other-half was hanging out washing.  It wasn’t until about an hour later that we noticed that Cyril was nowhere to be found in the house.  So the usual search started.  This time I found him after only about ten minutes of looking.  He was in the gardens of the houses near the Very Busy Road.  This time I managed to grab him and march him back home (unlike last time when he gave us the round around for five hours).  He was most unimpressed because, yet again, he was hanging around with Fluffy Brown Cat.  In other words I showed him up in front of his mate.  The thing is that I don’t think Fluffy Brown Cat is the right sort of friend for Cyril at all.  He's a rough sort and Cyril is a nicely brought up boy.  I’m sure Fluffy lures Cyril away from the garden to get up to all sorts of cat delinquency.  How long before they start playing knock-the-door-and-run-away, mugging dogs and going joy-riding? 

I’m not sure I can cope with all this parental anguish!  I took the above picture at a garden centre this afternoon – would it be so terrible to replace Cyril with a cat terracotta army?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


I'm going to have to make sure I wash behind my ears from now on

So far I’ve been a bit cagey on this blog, not mentioning names or showing pictures of people.  But today I’ve decided to stop being such a wuss, bite the bullet and reveal myself in all my glory (if this doesn’t cause the number of visits to this blog to plummet nothing will).

Today two of my sisters-in-law came over and gave me a very, very short back and sides (see above).  I can heartily recommend C & C Hairdressing Services, they made what could have been a fairly traumatic experience into a good laugh.  Not only that, they brought home made choc chip muffins with them.  Sadly my hair won’t stay like this very long as it will all fall out but at least it’ll be half inch lengths falling out now rather than great long revolting stringy bits.  Thanks C and C!

This afternoon I went out in my wig for the first time (see below).  Very odd feeling and I kept worrying that it might slip but it seemed to work out OK.  It didn’t make any children cry, horses bolt or dogs whine.  

Look, no split ends
 The reason for going out this afternoon was for my first ever reflexology session (in a bid to relax a bit).  Now I’m a bit of a weirdo and actually like having my feet touched so it was absolute bliss.  I’ll be going back for more of that.  I was thinking of finishing this post with a picture of my (very relaxed) feet but you’ll be relieved to hear that I’ve thought better of it and will spare you (for now).

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Escape plans and sophistication

OK, can I leap out of the garden from here?
Well how about getting under here then?
Hmm, tricky, maybe I'll just try giving her The Look
Cyril the Devious is at it again.  I let him out in the garden for half an hour (under strict supervision) and he seemed to be investigating escape routes.  I suspect he may try digging a tunnel or building a glider in the loft when we're not around.  I wish I'd never let him watch The Colditz Story with me the other afternoon.

Meanwhile I continue to leave a trail of hair behind me, so tomorrow two of my sisters-in-law are coming over to give me an extreme short back and sides.  It's very good of them, but I will be double-checking that they don't shave swear words into the back of my head.

Tonight was another meals on wheels night.  Shepherds pie - hurrah.  This time we let the cook eat with us (I know, my standards are slipping) along with out mate T.  T had brought a bottle of advocaat with him so we had pre-dinner snowballs (and it wasn't even Christmas).  Truly my middle name is sophistication. Afterwards I caught the other-half in the kitchen supposedly washing up but with this head in the dish eating the last scrappings of shepherds pie.  As others can testify, this isn't the first time this has happened.  The things I put up with.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Meals on wheels

Big Sis Catering presents ...

Today was the other-half’s first day back at work.  So, given my iffyness about food at the moment, Big Sis Catering came into force.  She very kindly cooked us chicken and leek pie for dinner.  It was fantastic.  We both had two helpings.  She now has a job for life.  The cat wanted some too but he didn’t get a look in.

Less happily I found out today that my cancer is HER2+ which isn’t great news (although not a huge surprise) but this does means that herceptin might be effective.  Hey ho.  I’ll find out more at my next appointment with the oncologist.

Also on the grim side, my hair has really started coming out now (and my scalp is incredibly tingly).  I’ve been frantically ordering scarves today.  I think I’ll be calling on the services of the sis-in-law who said she’d help with the head shaving pretty soon.  I hope the offer is still on!

On a more positive note I have undertaken a scientific experiment and my findings are that the stress caused by finding out I’m HER2+ and that I’m going to be bald soon was combated quite well by diazepam, a dark rum and ginger beer and two helpings of chicken pie.  Also if the scarves don’t arrive in time I always have a beautiful hat (see below) which my nephew gave me last Christmas.  See every cloud has a drug-fuelled, rum-soaked, green monster-hatted lining.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Bath-time frolics

Yes I know, brass taps but a silver plug ... that's the kind of rebel I am

I had a day at home flopped on the sofa making up for all the recent activity.  Sorry not to have been able to make N’s christening but it sounds like a good time was had by all.

After a long sit on the sofa I summoned up the energy for a bath and Cyril, as he so often does, decided to supervise.  It’s not the most soothing experience having a three-legged cat wobble about perilously on the side of the bath while you’re trying to relax in the water.  On slip and he’d be in the water, instantly transformed into a mass of panicking claws.  He didn’t fall in, this time, but found another way to torment me.  He sat on the drawers facing the bath and did that weird staring into space as if he could see-something-spooky-that-humans-can’t-see thing that cats do sometimes.  He was staring at the open bathroom door behind my head.  I don’t usually let this weird cat behaviour get to me but there was no-one else in the house and he made me feel distinctly uneasy (little git).  Of course, when I got out of the bath there was nothing lurking behind me and Cyril immediately stopped behaving like a portent of doom.  In fact he went back to wobbling about on the side of the bath fascinated by the water going down the plug hole.  I was tempted to give him a bit of a push to get my own back but I’m far too soft for that.

Then I did some more sofa sitting and dozing.  Well, all that bath-time excitement took it out of me.   

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Viva la revolution

This does NOT belong to me.  Honest.

The other-half and I strolled into town again today and met up with big sis, nephew and wife to mooch around shops and have lunch.  All of which was very jolly even if now, a few hours later, my lunch is repeating on me (hmmm salami sandwich, the gift that keeps on giving).

All this recent activity has been great but a bit knackering.  So I have returned home to spend the afternoon (and probably evening) stretched out on the sofa with the cat.  The other-half has gone to visit friends in Bridgnorth.  (Sorry I couldn’t make it for further trumping conversations, but I’m truly shattered). 

Anyway, I flopped onto the sofa turned on the TV and found that the film ‘Cromwell’ was on.  I know it’s historically inaccurate.  I know it’s a bit iffy (to say the very least) to show it on St Patrick’s Day (given Cromwell’s behaviour in Ireland).  But I do love this film.  It’s a good thing the other-half is out as I can relish the film (and defeat of the monarchy) in peace without him (being a complete royalist) ruining it for me.

As you can probably imagine the solar-powered waving plastic queen (yes, really), pictured above, belongs to the other-half not me.  He is threatening to display it in our front window during the Diamond Jubilee, whereas I will, of course, be constructing a guillotine in the back garden.

Friday, 16 March 2012

City slickers and a foul mouth

The Royal Oak, Cardington
Today we’ve been showing off the delights of Shropshire to my nephew and his wife.  They both work in London (crazy young people!) and are used to fancy-pancy delights like double-decker buses, i-phones and electricity.  So we gave them the rural Shropshire experience, but softy style (you know how easy it is to scare these city types).  We had lunch at the Royal Oak in Cardington and it was delicious (again) then went off on a drive around the countryside with a couple of stops – Langley Chapel and Acton Burnell Castle – for full isolated, squawking-crow atmosphere .  We have now released the poor couple and I think they plan to make up for today with some serious shopping in Shrewsbury tomorrow.  Stand by shop keepers!
Acton Burnell Castle
And now for something completely different.  Yesterday I came across a couple of kids dismantling a fence next to an industrial unit.  The other-half was remonstrating reasonably with them when all of a sudden, much to my own surprise, I waded in, calling them ‘a pair of little shits’.  I’ve decided sudden, uncontrollable and aggressive swearing is an (unlisted) side effect of chemo and that I’m not responsible for my own actions.  Anyone want to ****ing well argue with me about it?

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A bit mixed

View from Applecross, Wester Ross

Today’s photo is one we took in Scotland last year (be warned there are millions of others) and it’s supposed to represent the worry/relief combo which was the result of today’s visit to the oncologist (otherwise known as the Anti-Doogie).

Firstly, not to miss the chance to blow my own trumpet, the Anti-Doogie congratulated me on having fought and succeeded in getting my chemo date changed (he had tried and failed).  I felt very full of myself and am considering renaming myself and only answering to ‘Champ’. 

Less positively the Anti-Doogie noticed some new symptoms that I hadn’t.  These may just be a reaction to the chemo but need to be watched.  This means that he is moving the next CT scan forward by about a month and that my chemo (after the next one) may need to be changed.  At least, as my mate F pointed out, he’s on the ball.  Trust me not to notice new symptoms that need noticing.  Yet I did notice that the Anti-Doogie was wearing a really horrible pair of pointy shoes.  Nothing like getting your priorities straight is there?

More happily the Anti-D assured me that some of the other symptoms I’d been experiencing must be anxiety related rather than lung related (as I feared).  As a result this afternoon I walked into, around and home from town for the first time since having chemo.

So there you have it, a bit of a mixed day – the photo says it all. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Espalier – there I knew I’d get it in somehow

In my very first post I mentioned that my favourite word is ‘discombobulated’ with ‘espalier’ coming in a close second place.  I also said that I doubted I’d ever be able to use ‘espalier’ again in this blog – well I obviously underestimated my resourcefulness for I have risen to the challenge!  Today I went for a walk around Attingham Park and took the above picture to show how spring-like it was, and correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that tree espaliered?  Give the girl a coconut.

We strolled around Attingham and got some veg planting ideas from the walled garden (see below) which is about a gazillion times bigger than our allotment, but we can dream.
The other-half also bought a second-hand hoe (that’s a gardening implement, you mucky-minded lot) so it’s all systems go on the grow-your-own front (that is if you don't include getting the seeds and planting and all that palaver).

As if he hasn't got enough to do what with gardening, building cat defences and catering to my every whim, next week the other-half goes back to work.  He has had some time off to run me back and forwards for assorted medical appointments and also just be generally marvelous (don’t tell him I said that).  Anyway once he’s back at work my big sis has very kindly volunteered to cook some dinners for us as my appetite is a bit rubbish at the moment and if I start preparing food I find I really don’t want to eat it (well that’s my excuse for the other-half doing all the cooking at the moment and I’m sticking to it).  Big sis has asked what sort of meals we’d like, so if anyone has any ideas for something really complicated do let me know, I’d like to see the look on her face when I ask for something like lobster thermidor (whatever that is).     

Talking of kindly sisters, one of my sister-in-laws has said she she'll help me with head shaving when the time comes.  It's really appreciated as goodness only knows what sort of a mess I'd make of it.  As I type my scalp is feeling distinctly prickly I wonder if that's a sign of the start of the hair loss.  That, or maybe it's just nits.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The cat's whiskers

Looky look what I was given today.  An original Louis Wain sketch.  Many, many thanks to R, M, A, A and, of course, Molly the Cat.  I absolutely love it.  The photo doesn’t really do it justice due to the reflecting light problem (oh how we photographers struggle).  It probably would have been better to wait and take the photo in daylight but pah to that, I wanted to show it off NOW.

On to more mundane subjects.  This morning I had a visit from the Macmillan nurse.  She told me that there is somewhere a bit more local where I can access the same sort of services (ie complimentary therapies) that are available at the Haven, so I might give that a go.  Last night I took two sleeping tablets but still woke up at 3am.  I did manage to get a couple more hours later on, but I think it’s fair to say I could do with some help relaxing and/or controlling this crappy anxiety (medical term).  Any chloroform dealers out there?  On a more positive note the nurse said that the anti-anxiety medication I’m taking probably hasn’t started working to full effect yet (she reckons it can take a couple more weeks) so maybe the drugs will do the trick yet. 

And that’s about it for today (if you can say that about a day when I got a Louis Wain picture).   

I could tell you about my trip to Telford with the other-half to collect the car from its MOT and service but I really don’t think you could handle the excitement. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Here there be dragons

Today was one of those days when the Anxiety Dragon was blowing fire in my direction and I quailed like a wimpy damsel in distress.  Fortunately St George made an appearance in the guise of an Aubery Manning DVD (ta T), some trusty diazepam plus a welcome visit from S + J.  Equilibrium was restored.  By the way, I already had the diazepam – I didn’t mean to imply that my visitors were dealers.

The other-half trekked off to the allotment where the weeds were as high as an elephant’s eye and restored order there – ready to grow lots of healthy veg for summer.  Dragons hate veg, it’s a well known fact.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Spring is sprung

 Hawthorn in blossom on today's walk 

This afternoon, as the sun was shining and spring was in the air, we went for a walk round the scene of the Battle of Shrewsbury of 1403 (Can I resist saying ‘oh that's nearly five past two’?  No, obviously I can’t.)  We walked through fields to the Battlefield church.  It was all very lovely apart from the pylons at the start of the walk which were huge and crackling like crazy - not very atmospheric.

Anyway I reckon I walked about a mile and a half .  I feel a bit tired now but at least I got out and about in the sunshine for a while.  It was all very spring like, the blossom was out and the birdies were singing and most dog owners on the same walk even picked up their mutts’ poo (but not all of course).  Anyway we celebrated the lovely weather by strolling around a site where thousands of people had been killed in a bloody battle (albeit 600 years ago).

Talking of warfare, I’ve now reached peak possible infection time (when my blood count can be apparently at it’s lowest).  However I think I may be in greater danger of the other-half’s wrath.  I am constantly and unnecessarily reminding him to wash his hands after touching anything.  That noise you can hear is him grinding his teeth.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Memory lane

My big sis baby-sat me today while the other-half foolishly went to watch football.  Ta big sis.  I wasn’t on form as I’d had a bit of a ropey night but we had a good look through some family photos that had come from my parents’ house a few years ago.  So I was able to admire hairstyles (especially mine), outfits and home decoration of the last umpteem years.  Were the early 70s entirely brown and orange?  Was it illegal not to have a moustache?  And how did my sisters manage to tuck all their clothes into their knickers to go paddling in the sea? 

Because I’m (rightly) terrified of all my family, the picture above is of the older generation (my parents’ wedding) rather than of anyone who might come round and punch me.  Spiffy photo isn’t it?  How they managed to put on such a show in 1946 (with clothing rationing still in force I think) I just don’t know.

Now I await the return of a very depressed other-half who has just watched his team lose yet again.  I keep telling him to support a good team instead, but he doesn’t listen.  You just can’t help some people can you?

Friday, 9 March 2012

The sweet smell of freedom

The defences have been put up and the barricades manned.  Or to put it another way the other-half has finished fitting the trellis to the garden fence which will hopefully stop Cyril, the three-legged monster cat, from further escape attempts. However, we do have doubts that he may use the trellis as a sort of cat-ladder, so the trauma may be far from over.  Anyway Cyril got his first spell in the garden today for a good few days and I think his expression in the photo sums up his pleasure at being outside.

He did spot a possible escape route straight away – see photo below.  But rest assured this gap will soon be filled.

 Earlier on he was a very snooty cat indeed.  My cat-loving friend K visited (with lovely malteasers) and Cyril ignored her completely.  Sorry K, what can I say I’ve obviously brought him up all wrong.  I am responsible for a delinquent cat.

Still feeling pretty tired so didn’t get up to much today.  I’m now reaching the phase (about a week after receiving chemo) when you apparently become much more at risk of contracting infections.  I’ve been told to keep an eye on my temperature and if it goes over 37.5 degrees for longer than half an hour I have to phone the hospital.  So I’m wandering around with a thermometer being moderately neurotic.  Not a hobby I’d recommend.  On the whole I reckon escaping over fences would be more exciting.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The big wide world

Lovely, lovely Shrewsbury 

Well what do you know, I’ve been outside – and the world is still there.  This morning I went for a 5 minute walk round the block. And I have to say it made a change to be touring the neighbourhood without panic in my heart looking for an errant cat (he was safely at home). 

This afternoon we drove into town and had a mooch about buying birthday cards and the like.  It was a little bit tiring and I knew I wasn’t quite myself as I had no desire to nip into any of the trillions of pubs in Shrewsbury (I must be poorly) but it was nice to actually get outside.

Then it was on to the doctors to collect the note that signs me off work for the next 18 weeks.  When the oncologist heard where I’m employed he said that I shouldn’t work at all during chemo because the place is full of stinky-germ-bags.  Oh OK OK, he didn’t say that.  What he said was that the size of the place I work at is a problem given the number of employees and therefore the risk of exposure to infection (chemo plays havoc with the immune system).  He meant stinky-germs-bags though I reckon – and you know who you are! 

Oh for goodness sake!  The other-half has just read this and says it's rude to my workmates.  I say they wouldn't expect any different from me but just in case my work chums take it the wrong way and storm round to my place mob handed (possibly demanding the kindle back, it's too late for the Easter egg though) - I don't mean it.  You're all lovely and not remotely germy (no matter what the oncologist thinks).  

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


See, even the cat has been boring today.

This is going to be an exceptionally dull post even by my standards.  As today fatigue has hit home.  My sum achievement was getting up, washed and dressed, sorting some paperwork and then sitting about.  I can imagine the people I work with saying “well that’s more than she ever did at work, apart from the sitting about bit” but I shall rise above it or maybe just lie on the settee under it.  Anyway, all this is par for the course according to the list of possible chemo side effects, so no huge surprise.

Sorry this is so very dull.  But both the other-half and the cat have been boring today too – so it’s not all my fault.  

Thanks to C and T for their welcome visits - sorry I wasn't my usual dazzling and scintillating self.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Grounds for divorce?

How's this for an exciting photo?  Come with me and I'll show you the world

 Surely it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that a washing machine which is, correct me if I'm wrong,  designed to wash things would also clean itself?  Well apparently not, or so I was told this morning at some length.  The other-half loaded the machine today and took the opportunity to inspect it.  Apparently the dispenser drawer and drum were thick with filth and I am in disgrace.  On the bright side I am hoping that I will be deemed too irresponsible to ever take charge of the washing machine again.

In other news the after effects of Monday’s chemo still seem to be fairly minimal.  I’m wary of typing that in case it tempts fate and I’m struck down by everything on the scary hospital list.  But other than some queasiness, not sleeping at night but dozing during the day I don’t (thankfully) have a lot to report. 

Whilst I’m talking scary I had to give myself an injection in my stomach today (one a day for six days to keep my blood count up).  I, true to form, worked myself up into something of a lather about it (just had to follow instructions I hadn’t had a trial run with a nurse or anything).  Anyway it seemed fairly straight forward, once push came to literal shove, and as soon as I’d done it I celebrated with tea, a hot cross bun and a snooze. 

Much as it pains me to write something nice about the other-half after washing machine incident, he has been hard at work all day on the Cyril Proof Fence.  This was apparently very complicated.  I know because it involved a lot of swearing.  Hopefully it’ll be completed tomorrow (weather permitting) and the three-legged cat can be released into the garden once more to practice some more escapology.  Can you bear the excitment?  I'm not sure I can.