Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
- Honeysuckle - smells so good. Looks like tiny angel trumpets
- 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.
- 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.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
- 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.
- Strawberries, warm from the sun, picked straight from the plant and popped in your mouth. Not many things are nicer than that.
- 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.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
- Chickpea salad for lunch, with chillis and lime juice and a bit of onion. Lime and chilli is a great kick.
- Tea tastes good this week. There's nothing like a nice cup of tea.
- 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.
Call me crazy, if you like,
but I have decided
to save the world
and there’s a lot to do.
I’m in good company too.
There’s Tom, the gardener
in the park close by
rubbing his cold hands together,
carefully planting snow drops,
digging small holes in the rich Autumn soil
dark clay beneath his fingertips.
So that when Edith
takes a shaky walk around the park
she’ll see their brave heads
pushing their way
through the heavy snow -
and smile - properly
for the first time
since her husband died.
Perhaps Tom is saving the world.
And Mike from the ‘community service scheme’
paying back society for his sins
down by the neglected river bank,
pulling out old condoms
and half torn pages
of used up porn.
So that when Dave
takes his kids for a walk
(to give their Mum a break)
they can splash in the clear water,
dance for delight, clapping their hands
at this world of ours.
Perhaps Mike is saving the world.
And Andy on the computer
late at night and far from home,
back aching and eyes sore
from squinting at the screen,
tired and missing the comfort
of his warm bed.
Putting the last touches to his paper –
‘Prevention of world blindness
a way forward’
Perhaps Andy is saving the world
as a really special gift
for Maria Abalooha,
blind for twenty years,
so that she can see
her grandson born
and the sun rise -
all on the same day.
So I have decided
to save the world
in the only way I can;
I will take the tattered scraps
of impossible dreams
and stitch them into poems,
piece by careful piece
I will place together
their coloured edges
to make a patchwork song.
And I’ll sing it right out-loud,
in the middle of the street
and you can call me crazy if you like,
but I have decided
to save the world.
Which is just as well really
as there’s an awful lot to do.
- Enough by John Naish. We all live in superabundance. I do, anyway. This book is about how to stop over-ing. Overspending, overworking, overeating. I found 3BT from here. The message I got from it was that we have enough, we just have to learn how to appreciate that.
- (Which brings me neatly on to Terry Pratchett and the Wee Free Men, who believe that we have already died and gone to heaven - this wonderful, beautiful place that has everything we need. Their philosophical struggle is what happens when we die in heaven...)
- Siobhan M. My friend. Came down a few weeks ago and we had some good conversation, and a couple of things she said have really stuck with me. She talked about "eating mindfully" and "accepting the bouquet". I have kind of extrapolated from those images, but they really capture an essence for me.
- Doing the 29 day Giving Challenge. Interestingly what I have noticed doing this is much more about how much I am given by others than about how much I am giving. Gratitude again.
- CBT. Feelings, thoughts, behaviours, all influencing each other. As my daughter says "The things you do look after you." I don't want to nauseate people, but you can appreciate the good things in life even when there are bad things going on.
There is something important about living mindfully. When you concentrate on what you are doing and think about the consequences it is supposed to become a meditation in itself. I am sure there is truth in that. Relishing the moment. Relishing the small things, because it's not often that you have a perfect, fantastic, wonderful day, let alone a week, a month, a year. But if you relish a moment here, 5 minutes there, then you will find that they all add up.
I know none of this is new, but for me it is as if a number of things are coming together in a really productive way.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
S was a bridesmaid and took it very seriously. A guy from work, Mark, did the photographs, so I just had a sneak preview and S looks very serious through the whole service. F was just gorgeous and kept running over and kissing the bride. At one point he popped up from under the table, climbed onto her lap and gave her loads of kisses.
The team were all there. I dreamed I was sleeping at the office that night. Lovely to see everyone giving it heaps on the dance floor and great seeing them out of context.
We had planned to go to the beach on Sunday, but everyone was tired and grumpy, so we just went home and got out the paddling pool. What a good decision. We spend all this time, effort and money on living somewhere lovely and we don't spend enough time there.
Karla's face coming up the aisle (to Zippadeedoodah)
The light in the field and F running across it.
S in her gold dress, delighted with herself.
Sitting under the elder bush, the smell of the blossom all round, dropping a few flowers in S's hair.
Avocado and bacon. Made for each other.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I guess I feel much more comfortable giving than receiving - and I imagine that is normal. Siobhan talked about accepting the bouquet - most people find compliments hard, but help is even harder. Asking for help. And then someone will come along and do something small and gracious and you feel so supported.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
3 beautiful things
1 Pea shoots starting to come through - almost fluorescent green
2 Walking into a greenhouse full of stocks - the scent was amazing
3 S being a kind big sister and letting F have the binos, with no debate or discussion. She is a sweetie at times.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
2 Sitting in Julie's garden for lunch. First lunch outside this summer. And we ate the salad leaves she had grown, so she was really happy.
3 The smell of the first pink rose this summer. A big fat rose with a big fat scent.
Friday, May 23, 2008
It was supposed to be crap weather today, but it was actually quite sunny. I took F over to Tess's this morning and she looked after him while I went for a gynae appointment. She was potting up seedlings when I got there, and I had taken her a couple of strawberry plants and a couple of sweetpeas, from Smallridge. Would have taken more but I had run out of change.
The boys had a great time and F came home laden down with weaponry. The gynae bit was not much fun, but Alice was the nurse and that was nice. She looked better than last time I saw her - she really is a pretty woman, much better looking than Miss Thing - and it was nice to have a quick catch up. Her kids are settled in their new school - and doing French and Spanish, which made me jealous.
Picked F up and had a quick bowl of soup with Tess. Brought him home and did a bit of weeding and played football with him in the garden. He's quite good at saving goals, and quite good at kicking, but he falls over whenever he kicks the ball. He seems to think it is obligatory.
It was nice to do my giving, and get some lovely responses on that website. Judging from the time differences they are mostly American. Haven't seen anybody else from the EU on there. It is an interesting thing to be doing. I guess doing anything positive in a mindful way is good. I suppose the people signing up are likely to be nice, generous people anyway. Their comments are all nice, generous comments. Warm.
Aussie and Aaron are doing well with the wall. Aussie is so meticulous. There is a possibility of another long term contract in the offing, which would be fantastic. It makes it so much easier to be organised.
Susi rang last night. If she reads this she'd better leave a comment. She has been sadly neglectful!
F is tired and fractious and needs to go to bed.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
2 Hilary's nails. Hilary is the nurse who does my dressing every week and her finger nails always look reassuringly clean and well scrubbed.
3 I was stuck in a queue of traffic behind an articulated lorry on a winding country lane, and then the lorry driver pulled into a lay-by and let us all past. Good one!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I'm not going to die of this. I really don't think so. I know I'm not. But even though I've done so much - travelled, lived abroad, done wild and crazy things, enjoyed myself so much - I don't want to miss out on more. And I think the difference is having children. My objective quality of life could be minimal but I would still get so much from them, so much enjoyment, so much love. Does that sound cheesy? Always difficult to talk about emotions without sounding cheesy (how English is that?).
And when I think about what I want from the future, a lot of it - most of it - is about them - I want to see what they look like as adults, I want to see them have adventures, I want to see them in love and happy, I want to see what they do. They have so much potential at the moment.
Which doesn't mean I think my life is over - far from it - there are things I want to do at work, improvements I want to make (things I've learned from this), things I want to do at home, still places I want to go, still experiences I want to have. But that is all less urgent.
The muscle and joint pains have gone now, but my gum seems to be flaring up again. My cough is still around, but easing off. It's amazing how effective our immune systems are. I mean, when they are working properly all these things just wash over you and are gone, you would never know you'd been at risk of infection, but when things aren't working, you just seem to get hit by everything.
Finally managed to get some planting done in the veg patch. It's looking OK. Need to put in more lettuce and carrots this week, and there are some onions I might still have chance with. Dad gave me some tomato seedlings and I bought some at the WI sale on Sunday.
Bom and Sue came down for the weekend. I made jambalaya on Saturday - very tasty and surprisingly easy. Made it from the Larousse, which is a slightly scary place to make things from, as it assumes that you know what you are doing. Julie and Aaron came over for dinner.
On Sunday we went to Welcombe, to the beach. Lovely and sunny, but a bit of a breeze. Aus and S went in the water - S looks like a real surf chick in her wetsuit. Then for lunch at the Bush, which was heaving, and had run out of roast, but the burger was good. Then dashed home, said goodbye to Bom and Sue and headed over for the WI event.
Still haven't got anything to wear for Karla's wedding.
Parents' evening last night. Don't want to brag, but Mrs L says S is one of the most intelligent children she's ever taught. She is in a bright year group as well, which is good. There are 3 of them who stand out, S, Brooke and Harry, so she will have a bit of competition all the way through. But of course we also had to talk about the fact that she is really stressed out at the moment. Wet the bed 3 times last week, has problems getting to sleep, gets into a tizzy over nothing. She was crying when I went to pick her up yesterday - Mrs L had had to tell her off for leaving the classroom without telling her. I don't think she even told her off angrily, but S just dissolved.
She told Aus in the car last night that she would like to have some time alone with me. The problem is F, who makes himself so difficult for anybody else, if he wants. Need to find a way for him to be looked after.
Aus is really stressed. We are all stretched. This goes on and on and on and on.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Looking at Them Asleep
When I come home late at night and go in to kiss them,
I see my girl with her arm curled around her head
,her mouth a little puffed, like one sated,
butslightly pouted like one who hasn't had enough,
her eyes so closed you would think they have rolled the
iris around to face the back of her head,
the eyeball marble-naked under that
thick satisfied desiring lid,she lies on her back in abandon and sealed completion,
and the son in his room, oh the son he is sideways in his bed,
one knee up as if he is climbing
sharp stairs, up into the night,
and under his thin quivering eyelids you
know his eyes are wide open and
staring and glazed, the blue in them so
anxious and crystally in all this darkness, and his
mouth is open, he is breathing hard from the climb
and panting a bit, his brow is crumpled
and pale, his fine fingers curved,
his hand open, and in the center of each hand
the dry dirty boyish palm
resting like a cookie. I look at him in his
quest, the thin muscles of his arms
passionate and tense, I look at her with her
face like the face of a snake who has swallowed a deer,
content, content—and I know if I wake her she'll
smile and turn her face toward me though
half asleep and open her eyes and I
know if I wake him he'll jerk and say Don't and sit
up and stare about him in blue
unrecognition, oh my Lord how I
know these two. When love comes to me and says
What do you know, I say This girl, this boy.
The veg patch is looking good - clear and ready to plant. Wondering about getting some black stuff to stop the weeds. Have pepper and chilli seedlings coming through and have planted some sweetcorn.
My oestrogen receptor results have come back moderate to strongly responsive, so they will be giving my tamoxifen. Aus says this is very good news, so hooray! Julian had his MRI scan yesterday and that came back OK. He won't need a repeat for 4 months, so hooray, hooray!! I know he was in a state about it. His best mate's dad died of cancer last week, and then there's been me and Granny, so I think he's felt a bit under seige. Sighs of relief all round, and we can shelve that worry for the next 4 months.
Email from Jane Duffy, with cute photos of her (very blond) boy. It seems like ages ago that F was so small. He started his induction at school yesterday - looked so smart and grown up in his uniform. He was so excited the night before he hardly slept, went back to bed for a sneaky snooze in the morning, had his lunch, put his uniform on all by himself (because that's what schoolboys do), and once we got to the playground S came rushing over, gave him a big hug and the pair of them charged off together. Apparantly he was very good, sat nicely at carpet time and was very quiet. We'll see how long the quietness lasts. He came home exhausted, which is probably why he slept so late this morning. We'll see how long that lasts.
S found out that Karla has asked her to be a bridesmaid. Much excitement. Tried the dress on last night and looked absolutely lovely. It is a gorgeous dress, and she did look lovely. Predictably she has completely fallen in love with the shoes, even though I think they may be a tad small. Certainly tight widthways, though the length is OK.
Heard a guy on the radio yesterday - "the main task of parenthood is to make them not need you any more".
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Just reading a BMA blog by Anna Donald, who had breast cancer 5 years ago and whose CT scan "lit up like a Christmas tree" in February. So she's having desperate treatment and expecting to die. Which is awful, and obviously is my fear, but what's interesting is that even with that, you still function, you still get on with things. Or she does. And what else can you do? You have to keep going, someone has to buy the toothpaste, do the washing up, get the kids to school on time (late this morning, actually).
I still have this cold. I'm a bit worried I won't shake it off before next week and they won't do me. I need a surgery date, I need to get myself organised. Aussie says it's just logistics, and we will sort it out.
It's raining and I want to be planting. My chillis are coming through.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
David rotavated the veg patch on Saturday, and I managed to rake over about 1/5 on sunday. It is exciting to see all that bare soil and I am itching to plant. Bought pumpkin seeds and sweetcorn yesterday with F. We will have lots of peas. We have been eating our own winter salad and my mixed salad leaves in pots are coming through. I would be so bereft if we had to give up the veg patch! I get much more excited about vegetables than flowers. We need to sort out the strawberry patch too. I put in 2 gooseberry bushes and some rhubarb, and the raspberry canes are looking good.
Aus took the kids swimming on Saturday so I could rest. Poor me with my sore throat and snotty nose. He ended up with S, F and Joanna and stayed there for ages - they were in the water about 1 1/2 hours - came back knackered. F had his swimming lesson yesterday and he's getting really good, though he does like to stay under. If he came up and breathed a bit more regularly he'd be swimming across the pool.
Mum and Dad took him last Monday, so I didn't get to see him. I slept. (So tired - I could sleep anywhere, anytime, anyhow). Mum came back and saw me without my hat. I knew it would upset her. Said she cried afterwards - "What have they done to my little girl?". I suppose I am her little girl.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Mum and Dad took the kids down to Rodger and Sue's for the weekend and I think they all had a good time. Took the dogs to the beach, went to the zoo, children behaved well, came back brimming with news and excitement. I lolled for a lot of the weekend, and have to say I am feeling tireder this time, and also have really unpleasant muscle ache. Am taking paracetamol and feeling lucky because some people have unbearable muscle ache. The paracetamol takes the edge off, but I'm not sleeping well.
S sleepwalked into our bed last night, curled up on top of the covers, had to be dragged in and covered over. I ended up in the spare bed because I needed to squirm, because I just couldn't get comfortable.
The weather at least was sunny today and I planted the gooseberry bushes (2) and then had to rest. It is so frustrating to have time off and not be able to do anything with it. It is so frustrating not to fell well. Not that I feel ill exactly, but I have no oomph. Missed an exciting meeting at work. So frustrating.
I suppose at least now I realise how much I enjoy doing stuff and how much I enjoy work. I do like getting things sorted out.
The veg patch is still unattacked. Don't see how we're going to grow anything this year. I suppose it is only April, but the year seems to be going...
Aus attacked the big thing. Stone feature. Don't know what it is, but it takes up loads of space on the patio and is not at all attractive. Doesn't seem to serve any sort of purpose except to look generally rustic. Wants to extend the patio, maybe this weekend. I feel like he is surging on and I am just a big saggy bag of bleurgghhh.
Cathy rang today to see how my aches were. Told me that after her first chemo a colleague had asked how she was and she said "Truthfully? All those people who've come in here year after year and said 'I'm fine!' - they were all lying". Made me laugh and feel OK about feeling rubbish.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
F gone swimming with nursery today and S at Nell's. Nell had her new glasses on. Not sure why I am working today, but F is delighted to be going swimming - and to be taking a packed lunch! He chose a marmite sandwich and lots of fruit - very healthy. I have to go and get him some school trousers today because it's only a couple of weeks now. My baby!
A and S had a great day yesterday - went down to Bude, went to the pool with a wave machine - S very excited about that - and swam in the sea. Came back tired but happy...
Once I get this damn line out I will swim and swim. How long will it be before I get irritated by the never quite getting dry afterwards and the chlorine smell? Maybe I will never be irritated by it again, maybe I will always count it as a blessing! We'll see.
We are excited about expanding the orchard. I bought a couple of gooseberry bushes on Monday - additions for the fruit garden. The rhubarb seems to have died. Might see if my Dad can divide some off for us.
Read a really nice article about Jenni Murray in the Guardian on Monday. I've stolen it for here, because I found it so refreshing and so helpful after my stressy time of feeling maybe I wasn't taking it seriously enough. So this is a direct quote: "I suppose after I'd done it [told the audience], I thought I had to be careful that I don't just get drawn into being seen just as somebody who has cancer. And so I was very careful about what I wrote and who I wrote it for, because there are so many nonsenses written about it."
When people talk about women "battling" breast cancer, she gets angry, she says. Some people have cancer that will kill them, some people do not. "It's absolutely the luck of the draw which kind of cancer you get. And I thought, if I can communicate that kind of idea then I'm doing a reasonable job. And what it's like to lose your hair, how shocking it is, how you can help yourself deal with it. Then that's useful stuff and I was prepared to do that - and now I prefer to forget about it really."
So I'm just getting on with it as well as I can.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
You see, she is changing her diet, going completely organic, cutting out red meat, cutting down on dairy, avoiding soya. (She's been to the Bristol Cancer Centre). And she's not working. I came off the phone feeling like she is taking it really seriously and I have been trying to see it as a minor inconvenience that I can get through.
I guess it is all about feeling in control. I have faith in the statistics, I need to keep the rest of my life going as normally as possible - maybe it's having kids as well, I need to keep things normal for them, minimise the impact - damn it, I love cheese.
But there is a little bit of me thinking "Have i got it wrong? Am I going to die because I love Brie?"
But before this I used to feel really angry with places like the BCC that made people feel responsible for their illness in ways that there is little evidence for. (Soya, there is evidence for soya - but I've never indulged in soya - partly for that reason - partly cussedness - how has it got away with being a health food?). And I don't think my diet is too bad. A bit too much sweet stuff the last few weeks, but I'm getting back to normal now. Plenty of fruit and vegetables.
It is all about control. I guess everybody does it differently.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Back to nursery and work today - S at Granny and Grandad's - Dad picked her up from the health centre this morning and F came in to see the nurse with me. I am sure my line has moved out of my arm a little bit, which is a bit of a worry.
Woke in the night last night worrying about pension, stuff at work, lift home from chemo next week...none of it major, but I think I'm just stressed and stuff pops up that I can hook my anxiety onto.
We all got into our bed for stories last night. Big cosy time. A really lovely day.
Monday, April 7, 2008
S is going great guns on her bike, but whinged a bit on the return leg. F was on the tagger bike - standing up on the pedals, pedalling backwards, keeping up a running commentary on the whole proceedings, lots of criticisms of Dad's speed (lack of) and wobbling (excess of).
To the park today with Brooke. Warm until the sun went in. Bought ice creams from Mr Hocking - S and B managed to trap S's between the car door and the next car along so I had to buy another. Total despair from S. Nell came over in the afternoon. Wouldn't go up to the tree house, but they boinged on the trampoline and then watched Hoodwinked...
Friday, April 4, 2008
Still, all's well that ends well and she had a nice time with Nell, better than trailing through to Barnstaple to pick up F. And today I got up to the hospital and discovered that the appointment I thought was for today was cancelled until May. So stupid!
A looking really fit at the moment, and I feel like a big saggy blob.
Apparantly it's going to get really cold this weekend, so no point doing any planting until after that. We just got a tree catalogue, so we can expand the "orchard". All these local varieties of apple and cherry. Lots of Landkey based ones - must have been a big orchard area at one point. There is a cherry tree road on the new estate just before nursery, but not much other evidence.
A working an extra day today. I pottered around, had lunch with Anne Tat (accidentally), then came home and had a nap. Mike just turned up to do the field so S is up the tree house with his boy Kieran. Nice email from the Duffys - lovely hippy Jane. Must email her back.
Still tired this time. Is it a cumulative thing or just the new meds? Was having a prod last night and I do think it's smaller, but am worried about getting obsessed.
Spoke to Tess and Jen has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Just had her first chemo. She is 42 too. What is going on?
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
A is going great guns with the tree house and has dug out a couple of beds and I just loll around like something out of a Victorian novel and could quite happily spend the day in bed, except that when I'm there I don't really fell comfortable. Whinge whinge whinge.
Poor little S has a sore neck. She's really having a bad time at the moment. Stressed. F made me a card at nursery yesterday "to make you feel better."
S did a scrap book page for Great Granny. "She was kind and helped me and I loved her". If she gets a cat she says she's going to call it Phyllis May Rawlinson. I suspect by the time she does get a cat she will have reverted to Princess Snow Crystal or Sugar Sweet Pearl....
So I'm just struggling on. I keep telling myself it will be worth it in the end. My finger tips feel a bit numb, which I think is a side effect and my skin is so dry. Never used so much handcream.
This is just a big grumble, isn't it? I'm sorry. I don't feel very upbeat. The sun is shining and i should be out there revelling in it, but I just want to flop. It did start out misty, so I should be very grateful.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Jewels in my hand ~ by Sasha Moorsom
I hold dead friends like jewels in my hand
Watching their brilliance gleam against my palm
Turquoise and emerald, jade, a golden band
All ravages of time they can withstand
Like talismans their grace keeps me from harm
I hold dead friends like jewels in my hand
I see them standing in some borderland
Their heads half-turned, waiting for my arm
Turquoise and emerald, jade, a golden band
I'm not afraid they will misunderstand
My turning to them like a magic charm
I hold dead friends like jewels in my hand
Turquoise and emerald, jade, a golden band
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I suppose part of the problem is that the negatives are pretty big at the moment and the positives seem to be the day to day boring sort of stuff.
- The sun is shining
- The little daffodils in my pots are coming out
- F slept til 7.30 am (amazing!)
- The kids are funny:
- F looked at the ironing board (A was ironing a shirt) and said "You could surf on that" (Have we been in North Devon too long?)
- S (when told Great Granny was very poorly): "Is it blue tongue?" - spending too much time with farmer's daughter...
- Email from Jane inspired me to get down Philip Pullman again. And made me happy.
- The treehouse is nearly finished.
- Spring is sprung.
- Bought a new hat - turquoisey blue with a bit of bling. All cotton so it's good for work because it doesn't make my head itch.
Amazing what a difference the sunshine makes.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
A's doing a load of swimming. He looks fitter all the time. And I want him to be fit and look good, obviously, but there is a part of me that is really jealous.
I'm now officially bald. S was singing this song she got from school that started off "Be bold, be strong, because the lord your God is with you, be bold, be strong, because the lord your God is with you, I am not afraid, no, no, no, I am not dismayed, no, no, no..." and has changed the words to "Be bald, be strong..."
I finally got it shaved off last week. Got sick of the little silver whisps - looked mangey - if I was a stray cat I wouldn't let myself in the house. Sally did it when I took the kids to get their hair cut. I think she was quite upset about seeing me like that. The lovely bit was this little old lady next to me who whas having her hair coloured and set, and who leaned over and said "Actually, you probably don't want to hear this, but it looks quite good. Was it Sinead O'Connor who had her hair like that?". And just before I left she told me about her sister in law who lost her hair when she had chemo, but it grew back beautifully. I felt really reached out to.
A sad weekend because Granny died. At the moment it just seems terribly sad, but I suspect we'll look back and think it was not a terrible way to go at the end of a very long life. She was 93, she was living independently until 2 weeks before she died. I suspect the operation probably didn't slow things down any, but it had to be done. She had ovarian cancer that was blocking her bowel, and just never recovered from the operation. She died in the cottage hospital, where it was nice and peaceful
Friday, March 7, 2008
I am not herceptin responsive, so won't be needing that. That means my chemo regime will be a bit different, but same side effects...
Hair virtually all gone. Look like something out of Belsen. Am very tired - amazing how it takes it out of you.1
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
She looked pretty good on Sunday and I was thinking well, the old girl is as tough as old boots, looks like she might have dodged the grim reaper again, but yesterday she looked awful, vomiting up that vile black phlegm-y stuff, pale, knackered, and wandering in her mind a bit. She looked marginally better today, but was still vomiting. She's back on nil by mouth and has tubes everywhere, and couldn't remember that I'd been up yesterday.
I spoke to Clare last night and said I thought Julian should come down. I have been wrong before, but I think he would feel so bad if anything happened and he hadn't been down.
Reading "Little House in the Big Woods" to S. I must have read it so many times as a kid, I remember it so much better than things I read last week. S is gripped by it, and it is interesting to see her having ideas about completely other ways of living.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
My mouth has settled down and I can open it wide enough to eat properly now, which is a relief. I am really annoyed that I missed that first 24 hours of effective antibiotics - it really got a hold then. It's still a bit sore, feels bruised more than anything else.
After occ health, went to see Granny. They told her this morning that she has ovarian cancer and she has taken it really badly. She looked terrible and seemed a bit confused, which was unexpected. I suppose she's out of her home, she can't see very well and she can't hear very well. She was vomiting some pretty vile black stuff and apparantly they did an aspiration after I'd gone and she got more comfortable and was a bit more lucid. It's awful though, and terrible for Mum and Dad -as if I wasn't enough to be going on with. And I can't help as much as I would like because I have to be careful of infections. My white cell count was really low - neutrophils 0.36 - if it doesn't pick up they'll defer chemo, which would be a right pain.
So now I have to decide wig or no wig. An NHS prescription wig costs £57. Which I suppose is a bargain if you're going to wear it every day. I can't see myself ever having long hair again so I was thinking of getting something funky so I could wear it on special occasions. But the thought of a wig seems so cheesy...
I quite like the thought of some new hats.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Woke at 5am with a sore mouth - infection in my gum. So after my appointment with the nurse - flushing the line, putting a nice white bandage on - saw MP to score some antibiotics. It hurts. It's not fair.
The good news is that my scans were all clear. Hooray, hooray, hooray.
books i have read while i have cancer
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
This is what I was reading when I got the diagnosis. I took it with me, unstarted to the first appointment. It hit a chord - that feeling of slipping into an alternative world, not quite connected to the real world, or at least the world that everyone else is in. For a long time I felt as if I was behind a pane of glass. That's such a cliche, but when you get to extremes of emotion, perhaps cliches are all you can use.
Bought them for S, read them myself. Gentle, melancholy, not really children's books at all.
There was a programme on the radio about therapeutic reading groups and the woman talking on it said that light, cheerful literature was rubbish for depressed people. I think she's probably right - tried some chick-lit and just got irritated with the light-weight, self-obsessed heroines. Have reverted to 14 year old boy mode - lots of page turning fantasy. Aussie bought me "Le Grand Meaulnes", but I can't quite make a go of it.
The glass book of the dream eaters
Can't remember the author, but it was a good romping page turner.
I did think I might do something beautiful and creative, but I don't seem to have any creative juices. (I can't think why!). Did obsessively make paper stars for a bit (S: Mummy, why are you making so many of them?). Something kind of mindless for the hands to do. Some knitting would be good, but I can't for the life of me think what to knit.