Wednesday, 30 January 2013

In the wars

Cyril after the fray

Cyril (the three-legged monster cat) is being tormented by a bully.  My money is on the culprit being Big Bad Brown Fluffy Cat (BBBFC), the local thug.  I know Cyril doesn’t look too distressed in this photo, fast asleep propped up on velvet cushions, but look at the gash on his nose.  I’m thinking of getting a second cat to act as minder, maybe one like this:

Picture from here
Our lack of heating and hot water saga continued, with the brand new boiler not working when it was finally fitted.  I'll spare you the long tedious story but suffice it so say that all is now sorted and warmth reigns at Discombobulated Towers.  Which is probably why the other half and I have come down with the lurgy and are coughing, spluttering, sneezing and generally being pathetic.  I'm sitting in bed in a lemsip haze.  I'm one of those weird people who love lemsip so things could be a lot worse.

Before being struck down I'd been as busy as anything with a panto, a party, the cinema and meditation class to name just a few of the highlights of my exciting life.  I can really recommend this early retirement lark.

I've also been to see the breast surgeon and it's all change on the treatment front.  As the crap in my lungs doesn't  seem to be growing at the moment (a relief after the scare from the last but one CT scan), the oncologist and surgeon put their heads together and decided to go ahead with surgery.  So I'm booked in for a mastectomy and full node clearance at the end of February.  Being a wonderfully deep and complex person, this feels me with horror and relief in equal measure.  At the moment I feel pretty calm about it all, but then it is a month away.  I reserve the right to go into meltdown as the operation day approaches.

Meanwhile my attacking-this-crappy-disease-on-all-fronts continues.  So as well as Herceptin,  Tamoxifen and shortly surgery, I'm meditating, visualising, reiking and experimenting with clean living.  The clean living thing went a bit haywire at the panto when I sat and scoffed my own body weight in popcorn and jelly babies, but I'm viewing that as a blip.  In fact my attitude to it all can be summed up as below (image nicked from a friend's FaceBook page, ta C).

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Dark days of winter and a chink of light

My central heating boiler, which had been temporarily fixed, spluttered to final leaky stop on Saturday and left us without heat or hot water.  I have been welded to the log burner ever since in an effort to keep warm.  Meanwhile outside the weather is like this:

The figure in black is me, practising for my artic expedition

These pictures were taken during a bracing walk at Attingham Park, but mostly I’ve been in front of the fire keeping warm.  It's jigsaw weather so, just like last year, Cyril (three-legged monster cat) has been lending a helping paw:

Thanks for nothing matey
 A new boiler is being fitted tomorrow, a day of national celebration is planned.

I went to the lovely warm hospital today for my three-weekly dose of herceptin.  The nurse gave me a sneak preview of my CT results from the scan last week.  No change.  While I'd love to see some shrinkage, no change is the next best thing, especially given that there had a been a question mark over the previous scan as regards possible increase in the growths in my lungs (or, to give it its medical term 'lung crap').  So, although I won't get an official update and future treatment plan until I see the oncologist next month, I am feeling pretty relieved.  I marked the occassion with spaghetti hoops on toast.  Jigsaws and spaghetti hoops, I'm living on the edge.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

For cat lovers only

Actually I don't why I've entitled this post 'for cat lovers only'.  Surely everyone has realised by now that the internet's sole purpose is the distribution of cute cat photos.  If you don't like cats you really have no business using a computer. 

I was on Twitter this morning (never let it be said I am frittering away my time) and came across this helpful chart on cat petting.

I can endorse the findings of this chart and have the scratches to prove it
The tweeter is Tom Cox, whose blog I follow.  For those (surely everbody) who'd like to see another cat picture I reccomend this post in particular. 

I am now off to do Something Worthwhile.  Like eat crumpets (it's still freezing here).

Friday, 18 January 2013

Apologies to all Australians but ...

Time for the thermal undies

I know, I know, you Aussies have got temperatures so high that I can’t even begin to imagine what it's like, but it’s bloomin’ freezing here. 

It wouldn’t be so bad but my heating broke down on Sunday and the heating engineers have been so run off their feet that they haven’t been able to get out to me until this morning.  They’ve fixed the problem temporarily and have placed an order for a new thingummy for the do-dah, which will solve all my problems.   Anyway I have central heating again at last.  This means I can stop wrestling with Cyril (three-legged monster cat) for the prime position in front of the log burner and use of the hot water bottle.

The local cancer centre (I’m sure there’s a nicer description than that but I’m too idle to think of it) is running a free meditation course.  I was due to go for my first session today but it’s still snowing, snowing, snowing out there so I’ve wussed out this week.

However, as part of my new attack-this-crappy-disease-on-all-fronts scheme, I did try Reiki this week.  It was a very strange and pleasant experience.  I will be going back for more.

On a more conventional note (and conventional medicine is always going to be my first port of call) I had a CT scan this week but have to wait a bit for the results.  Cue chewing of finger nails.  If only I could console myself with sherry.  However, I am staying strong (and boring) and am remaining a booze free zone.  Although I do feel deprived.

Last weekend I went to an antiques/junk fair and bought an old bottle.  

Looks prettier in real life, honest
The chap selling it told me it was an absinthe bottle from around 1910.  Yesterday I took the stopper out and had a good sniff to see if there were any traces of absinthe left.  Not that I'm desperate or anything you understand.  I couldn’t detect anything but if I suddenly go blind and/or mad you know what’s happened.

Anyway, Australian pals, I hope you get the forecasted dramatic drop in temperature and I leave you  with a picture of a three-legged, half-tailed cat being very unimpressed with the snow.

A nanosecond after this picture was taken Cyril was back indoors

Friday, 11 January 2013

It's been a funny old day

I went to The Haven in Hereford (a centre for people with breast cancer) to meet up with some fellow secondary breast cancer bods.  It was a mixture of interesting/reassuring/little bit scary, but I’m glad I went.  That wasn’t the funny bit though.

The train journey to Hereford was interesting.  Firstly the guard was unusually jolly when checking the tickets.  Then the cleaner came along and asked if we wanted our table cleaned.  When I said “yes please”, he handed me his spray can and cloth and said “I only asked if you wanted the table cleaned, I didn’t say I’d do it”.  Then the refreshment chap pushed his trolley through the carriage crying “snake venom, albatross, squirrel on a stick”.  Truly it was the comedy train.

Then to finish the day off on an even higher note I came to find a belated Christmas present had been delivered, and here it is …

Yes, really.

Watch out anyone with a birthday soon, you'll be getting your very own cat hair finger puppet.

And now I'm off for a lie down.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Thursday, 10 January 2013


This picture doesn't do the true murky-green-brown colour justice
As I said in my previous post I have taken up clean living for the New Year.  I've starting juicing again (including sensible vegetables like broccoli and spinach as well as the yummy stuff like apples and pears), making (most) meals from scratch, abstaining from the demon drink and generally being as dull as dish water.   I did warn you.

Clean living does not, however, seem to have improved my capacity for rational thought.  I ask you, what sort of dimwit orders two new sofas, signs on the dotted line, pays a deposit and then goes home to measure up only to discover, predictably enough, that the sofas would be way too big?  I'll tell you what sort of a dimwit does that, me.  It's all sorted out now (different sofas ordered) but it was embarrassing going back to the shop to explain myself.  I thought they might make me stand outside the manager's office to think about the error of my ways and how I'd let myself down.

On the health front it's a CT scan next week.  Then I have to wait the best part of a month for results.  Although I have been promised that should anything needing urgent attention turn up the hospital will call me in earlier.  I'm a bit worried about this as the last scan, in November, revealed a possible increase in the size of the little buggers in my lungs.  I shall wait a week after the scan then start making a nuisance of myself by phone.  Well, being a nuisance is as good a hobby as anything , and one at which I feel I can excel (unlike knitting).