Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Granny's funeral

This is the poem I read:

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

Postitive stuff

When I started this I did say to myself that I wanted it to be as positive as possible. And it seems to be a bit whinge whinge whinge. So here are some positives.

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.


  1. The sun is shining
  2. The little daffodils in my pots are coming out
  3. F slept til 7.30 am (amazing!)
  4. The kids are funny:
  5. 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?)
  6. S (when told Great Granny was very poorly): "Is it blue tongue?" - spending too much time with farmer's daughter...
  7. Email from Jane inspired me to get down Philip Pullman again. And made me happy.
  8. The treehouse is nearly finished.
  9. Spring is sprung.
  10. 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

Thinking about my body

You know what? I have always been quite relaxed about being naked, and now I feel a bit uncomfortable if i don't have a hat on, let alone everything else. I do wonder if I'll ever feel comfortable being naked again.

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.

Looking forward to next week already...

Well, it's Tuesday, I'm feeling OK (hungry - is that me, or the steroids?).

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

Second chemo

Second chemo yesterday. Not so sick - they gave me more fluids and I made sure I drank a lot when I got home and had some proper food.

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


Just back from seeing Granny. She had sub-acute obstruction, they couldn't tell from the outside what was going on, so opened her up on Friday night and discovered ovarian ca. Told her yesterday.

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

Home again

Spent the morning at a study session - brief solution focussed therapy. It was so good to see everybody and have a bit of a laugh. I skirted around the exercises, though. Then occupational health, and we have worked out a revised timetable that I think will get me through. Minimal clinical work, as much other stuff as possible and as much work from home as possible. So we will be a really well audited service (in theory) if nothing else.

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.

Going bald

Well, had my hair cut short last week, but now it is definitely falling out. Handfuls in the bottom of the shower, little clumps coming out every time I run my fingers through it. I don't mind too much, but it's so messy. It looks like we acquired 6 old English sheepdogs - the whole house is covered in hair. I was drying it this morning and you could just see strands flying off around me.

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.