Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January brings the snow

Actually, it brings the frost, but driving to work this morning (and yesterday) I could see snow on the moors in the distance.

A lot has happened since my last entry. Mark's wife died. About 6 weeks after diagnosis. Mark was off work, back at work and is off again now. I think his kids are OK. One of the trash magazines contacted him after she died and offered him £50 for his story. How pathetic is that?

I kind of stepped away from the computer after that. The world seemed like a bad, scary place. And I wanted to feel real paper, experience textures and sensations.

I had a mastectomy. They cut off my right breast. I have quite a neat scar, but no breast. I had a wound infection afterwards and ended up back in hospital. S revealed last week that Ivy (about a year older than her), who came to stay while I was in hospital told her "lots of people die of breast cancer and you may never see her again." She didn't tell anyone, until she told me 6 months later. Poor girl. She is a natural born worrier as it is.

I had radiotherapy. 3 weeks of journeys to Exeter. I 1/4 hours each way. I had a team of volunteer drivers, and in a way it was quite nice spending time with different people, but it was tiring.

And now I'm back at work, trying to get back to normal, and come to terms with the fact that normal now is going to be quite different from normal 2 years ago.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Horrible news. Mark's wife collapsed on Sunday and has cancer with bone and liver mets. Terrible. 

So how bad am I? Nothing in the great scheme of things. And I have been so brave, so inspirational - and I have nothing to be brave about. Not compared with that.

I've texted him, but he hasn't told us the details yet. It's a crap time for it to happen, too, they are still renting, waiting to move back into their house. 


Sunday, June 29, 2008

28 June

A week and a half into goat phase.

Saw the surgeon on Wednesday - it will be a mastectomy, with lymph node clearance. It's what we were expecting, but I was still upset afterwards. I think I had parked it all, decided to concentrate on the chemo, and suddenly had to face it. 

They gave me a leaflet on prostheses. Full of pictures of OLD WOMEN. Not very aspirational and nothing that I could identify with at all. "I can wear most things", but all the pictures showed necklines up at the neck. It really upset me. I cried that night and the next night. 

I just got the Amoena catalogue, which is much better. Quite nice underwear. I will go into Marks next week and get myself measured up, and then do some shopping...but I am absolutely certain I will have a reconstruction next year. 

I look at myself in the mirror and I can't imagine what it will look like. 

1 F was kneeling in front of the telly waiting to turn it off, and his feet were under him. Dirty little feet because he's been running around outside with no shoes on. I always like to see them with dirty feet in the summer.

2 The radishes have gone mad and it's so nice to pick them. They pop out of the earth like shocking pink torpedoes.

3 Picked my first sweet peas today. Pink and purple. They smell delicious.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

22 June - Wild and windy

Aaron came over with Rollo,  the grumpiest dog in the world. The kids are delighted to see him, giving him biscuits, dragging him round on a lead. I suppose he can't be THAT grumpy.

Took the kids taking the dog for  a walk down the lane. It was lovely - wildflowers everywhere. We picked a little mixed bunch which F presented to Aaron. S demonstrated her nectar sucking technique on the honeysuckle. 

So here are my 3BT

  1. Honeysuckle - smells so good. Looks like tiny angel trumpets
  2. Dropping daisies off the bridge into the stream and then watching for them coming out the other side - and S not minding that none of her stuff ever did. 
  3. F working out how to make a  pulley out of a skipping rope and a bucket for holding pens, and being so proud of it he had to show everybody.
Patio wall nearly finished - thank goodness. 

Saturday, June 21, 2008

21 June - the longest day.

So they decided to give me more chemo on the 19th. My wedding anniversary. My first chemo was on Valentine's Day, so there's some kind of cosmic irony going on there...

This is the hard day, when the steroids drop out and I'm left just feeling flat and low and wanting to be left alone. Hard for all of us. And it's rained all day. Still, that means I don't have to go and water the garden tonight.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday in the park

  1. F, S and Alex running round the paddling pool in the park. They all looked so fit and healthy, and were having such a good time.
  2. Strawberries, warm from the sun, picked straight from the plant and popped in your mouth. Not many things are nicer than that.
  3. I love the way S prefers peaches and F prefers nectarines. She likes the fact that they are furry. They both feel around in the fruit bowl until they find what they want.
It was a lovely day today. I woke around 6.15 and then fell back to sleep until F came in at 7.20. In our house that is a serious lie-in. A took S to school so I didn't have to rush, so F and I just pottered round the house, hung the washing out, mooched.

We headed over to Barnstaple to see Alex B, F's best friend. S is fascinated by the fact that she is a girl. "Are you going to marry Alex?" "I might and I might not". F says he wants to marry Joanna. "I will have to choose".

Had lunch in Alex B's new house. Three storey Victorian, not unlike our Bristol house. Needs a LOT of work, but they say they enjoy that. Then to Bideford park, where the kids had a great time in the playground and then Ann looked after F, Alex and Amelia while I went and picked up S from school. They splashed around in the paddling pool, got cold, warmed up, ran around, laughed a lot, fell over a few times, Amelia lolled around in the sun looking like a kid about to fall asleep, and then we headed home via Mr Hocking's van. We are so lucky to have them as our local ice cream providers. And my taste buds are back to normal, so everything tastes fantastic.

S did a few blasts on the trumpet when we got back. I really hope she gets into it. We agreed this morning that we would both try and be extra nice and good at bedtime, and it worked - though I don't think she is asleep yet...

Thursday, June 12, 2008


  1. Chickpea salad for lunch, with chillis and lime juice and a bit of onion. Lime and chilli is a great kick.
  2. Tea tastes good this week. There's nothing like a nice cup of tea.
  3. There are the first tiny baby green tomatoes on the biggest tomato plant.

I didn't water the vegetable patch last night, but it rained in the night, so that was OK. We ate salad leaves last night - some from the batch my Dad donated, some from the hearting mix and the first of the chard. Chard is so brilliant - it looks fantastic, tastes great and just keeps on going. What more could you ask for?

I had to clear some caterpillars off the cabbage plants yesterday, so that needs to be a regular job for a bit. But this time of year is wonderful - everything is growing so quickly. The patch looks really good at the moment, much better than last year.