Friday, 30 October 2009


Well, I had my BLUE day yesterday and I thought today just might be pink but its not, its YELLOW.

Why yellow?

I have noticed a pattern with my emotional fight with cancer and when I have a BLUE day which I actually call my day of "self pity" and "wallowing in self pity" it is followed by a YELLOW day which is when I feel as though someone has poured a bucket of freezing cold water over my head and I am washed with the realisation that.....bloody hell....... I had cancer....... what if it comes back!

I had such a feeling today and it put my day of self pity (my BLUE) day into perspective.

So I am going to deal with my YELLOW day and tomorrow I know for sure its going to be PINK!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Its a BLUE day

Today is a BLUE day for me. This means that I am weeping at the slightest thing.

I am battling with these side effects of tamoxifen, swollen fingers.... even my 3rd wedding ring is too tight now. I am bloated all over and despite watching what I eat I am gaining weight. I have never in my entire life been this unfit or over weight and its torturing me.

I have been trying to get in touch with the MacMillan Breast Cancer Nurses at the Shooting Star Unit all week to try and get some reassurance that all this will pass, this will not be my life for the next 5 years because I just can't bear it.

I am over whelmed by my cancer fight today. I am fed up to the back teeth of what cancer has done to my body, of what it has done to me physically and emotionally.

Today is a BLUE day but I think that tomorrow will be pink..... lets hope so hey?

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The Time of my Life

* I am still unable to view my blog and others while away. I will continue to try to gain access so that I can visit you, my friends but please be patient with me.
I have just finished reading the autobiography of Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi. It was fantastic. I have been a huge fan of his since he starred in North and South but the reason I admired him so much was because of his love and devotion to his wife, Lisa.
Reading his story, I found him similar to myself in lots of ways apart from one and that is going to change. He always followed his dream and worked through pain and injury in his strive to achieve his goals.
I read this book at a time when the anti cancer drugs I am on have caused my fingers to swell and I am battling with my weight. I was thinking of stopping Tamoxifen until reading about Patrick Swayzes life and I felt reinvigorated in my war with cancer.
I am going to leave you with some of my favourite quotations from this book.
Page 21 " Failure was simply not an option, so from that point on I just refused to even let that thought enter my head"
Page 150 " You might not realize it at the time but the struggle to achieve something is, in many ways, much more satisfying than actually getting it. The very act of striving is what keeps you alive, and it keeps you grounded"
Page 203 " When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you're going to take whatever lesson that person or animal was trying to teach you, and you make it true in your own life."
Page 222 "Everybody fails in life, but its when you cant pick yourself up after failure that you're in trouble"

Monday, 26 October 2009

I Used a Hair Drier!!!!!!!

Yes!!!!! Today........ I used a hair dryer for the first time since I lost my hair!!!!!!
(Ps: am at the caravan at the moment and my internet access is impaired, therefore for some reason I have been unable to view my blog and any comments left, I apologise for this)

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Second Wind!

My lovely blogging friends, I am so sorry I haven't been around much this last week, I have been busy "filling my boots". I hadn't realised just how ill I have been until I started to feel better and now I can't believe how I have got through the last 9 months!

I have been enjoying lots of long walks with my dogs, its funny how once you have faced your own mortality, you notice the beauty in life and the way each day changes the landscape. I love seeing the berries on the trees, I even like seeing the sloe berries on the floor, squashed and making a purple mess on the lanes!

I hit a wall of tiredness last Thursday and was totally exhausted so I have spent the last two days recovering. Thats the trouble with feeling well again, you think that you can do all the things you did before cancer, I am learning to take things a little slower you know the story about the tortoise and the hair?

I have missed everyone, I hope I wont be missing for so long this time.

Oh, as far as treatment is concerned, my radiation site is on the mend, most of the soreness has gone and my skin is itching now but nothing a good dollop of cream doesn't sort out. I am having some pains down my arm but I think that could be the nerves repairing, I still have numbness in parts of my arm and breast but I am used to the sensation now. The herceptin doesnt seem to have given me any side effects but the tamoxifen is affecting my weight and my fingers have swollen even more! My digestive system is slowly becoming normal and life is good. I am enjoying having more energy.

However, I do have a bad case of chemo brain! I can no longer multi-task and I have to concentrate really hard on what I am doing otherwise I totally forget.

So..... life is good!

Friday, 16 October 2009

First Dose of Herceptin

I went for my first dose of herceptin on Wednesday. I was given a bed on the day ward of the Shooting Star Unit and a loading dose of herceptin was administered via canula over a 1 1/2 hour period. My veins were still shut down on my left side so the canula had to go in on my affected side but it went in first time which was a relief.

I have had lots of assurances from friends that I would be fine and I was. It was weird lieing there expecting those sensations relating to chemo but not getting any. I was surrounded by lovely nurses and people and some friends came to visit which broke up the day nicely.

I am on day 2 following the herceptin and (touch wood) no side effects so far!

It was my gorgeous little boys birthday yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating being 11 with him.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Come for a walk with me and my dogs......

Please feel free to click on any of the photographs to enlarge, I have imported them as small pictures because there were so many. I apologise for the blurring and colour issues but it was quite difficult to take photographs with 3 naughty dogs in tow! So this is the start of our walk, coming out of Lavister Walks.
We enter onto Darland Lane. When we first moved to Lavister Walks almost 15 years ago, there were no houses on the left but now it is quite built up.

These are my walking companions. Left to right: Wilbur, Pickles and Poppy.

We pass lots of blackberry bushes on our walk, some blackberries have past their best but others are still waiting to ripen. I must pick some to make some blackberry brandy for Christmas, its really lovely and makes nice gifts for friends.

These are the out buildings of Gamford Farm, it used to be a pig farm but has stopped working for a long while now. There were animal abuse issues and the place was closed down thankfully. I used to be able to hear the pigs squealing from my house and it wasn't pleasant.

The old sign for the farm which is as decrepit as the building itself is becoming over the years.

We walk quite a way down the lane before we come to the first set of cottages which is called the area of Trevalyn. Very pretty cottages but I wouldn't like to live in one because alot of commuters use the lane as a short cut and I think they think it is a race track!

We leave Gamford Lane and re-enter Darland Lane. There are fields full of horses and ponies, this one whinnied at us and alarmed the dogs. At this point, Pickles is allowed off her lead because it is a very narrow and quiet lane and she is a good dog..... Wilbur and Poppy are not to be trusted!

Trevalyn Farm, a really old farm house which has recently been restored. They converted the barns and outbuildings into flats and houses presumably to raise money for the refurbishment. The development is sweet but I think it has robbed the old farm house of some of its character.

I could not pass this hedgrow without taking a picture because the berries were in abundance and so pretty.

Here are my PINK sheep! I think the farmer must have either been drunk when he marked these sheep or it was raining and the colour has run!

I found this freshly dug hole in the hedgrow. It kind of turns off to the right. Not sure what sort of animal it belongs to but probably a rabbit.

One of my favourite trees along Darland Lane. Ancient oaks. One could stare at this tree the entire day and still wonder at its beauty and find different patterns, textures and life.

Sloe Berries, great for making Sloe Gin. I usually pick lots of these, freeze them then use them for my gin, again, another nice Christmas gift for friends. These should be picked after the first frost but as the weather has changed here in recent years, I prefer to pick them and freeze them myself.

We are approaching Darland Woods now, Pickles is checking that we are going the right way. The woods are on the right.

Just what the dogs have waited for. This is the entrance to the woods where all of the dogs are allowed off their leads. I am climbing over the style at this point while they have bounced off to sniff some smells.

Poppy has been squirrel and duck hunting and is about to re-join her "pack".

Wilbur sporting his leather head collar because he pulls so badly, a headcollar is a great way to control him without pressing on his neck. He tends to cough easily so I am concerned about any restriction put around his neck.

As we passed the lake, the sun hit the leaves of this tree and it looked so pretty, I had to take a picture of it.

We leave Darland Woods at this point and enter the Golf Course. It is a "pay as you go" golf course and has been in existance for almost 10 years. I remember it when it was agricultural land and one would hardly meet anyone on this walk, now you bump into golfers and other dog walkers so it has lost some of its charm for me. At least the golf course are planting trees and enhancing the environment but they have culled all of the rabbits and I have found some disturbing mole traps.

The entrance of the golf course and the exit for us! This is where the dogs go back onto their leads for safety because the main road ahead has a tendancy to be extremely busy.

Here we are on the main Chester Road, about 5 minutes walk from home and the end of our walk. The dogs are tired and so am I! So, I treat myself to an iced latte (skinny of course) with a dash of vanilla essence..... blissful x

Monday, 12 October 2009



I had a wonderful walk today with the three dogs; Pickles, Wilbur and Poppy. It was a beautiful autumn day, the sky was blue, the sun was shining, it was just perfect.

While we were out on our walk, I marveled at all the wonderful things around me. The old, old Oak trees, holes in the ditches which must be somebodies home, blackberries on the bushes, elderberries and sloes.... it was lovely.

I have decided, that if I am blessed with another such day then I am taking my camera with me and I am going to take you all on my walk, so that I can share some of the lovely things I have seen.

I bumped into my friend Rachel with her daughter and their dog Molly so we had a lovely chat. I also saw Dave Golf, the greensman at the golf course and had a chat with him. It is so nice to be getting back to normal again.

Mind you, I over did things yesterday and now my breast and arm are aching and throbbing. I have taken it easy today, lets hope things are better tomorrow.

Oooh, almost forgot to mention.... I saw some pink sheep today as well! Hopefully I will be able to get a picture of them tomorrow!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Sorry all


I am sorry that I haven't been blogging much recently and I haven't been checking in on my blogger friends either. I am hoping to get back into the swing of things soon. I found that the radiotherapy visits really upset my routine and this week.... I have felt so good, I have been busy doing lots of other things. Until this week when I have started to feel more like myself, I didn't realise just how ill I have been.

My breast is still sore following the radiotherapy and bled at the weekend. I am maintaining my breast pad covered in cream routine and that brings me some relief but I will be so glad when it is all repaired and I can start running and swimming again.

The dogs have been happy because I have been able to walk them and we have had such a fun week. Today, I was a bit sad though because Pickles has broken out in an excema rash on her tummy. I clipped her (not too short) then bathed her in my Gorgeous Guineas shampoo and have been applying cream regularly to the affected area. Maybe she is having a rash in sympathy with me??

So this week I am not looking forward to my first dose of herceptin. I have to go in at 9am and stay all day. Apparently because herceptin is so expensive, they do not make it up for you until you actually arrive at the unit. The drug itself takes about an hour to go in via canula then I have to stay in hospital for 6 hours after the infusion to make sure that I do not have any bad side effects.

It is my little Joe's birthday on Thursday, I cannot believe that he will be 11. It only seems like yesterday that I had him all 6lbs 1 oz of him. Tiny, tiny little body, face I couldn't take my eyes off, wow! love at first sight or what and now he is going to be 11. All he wanted for his birthday was crystals so thats what we have got him together with a carved wooden box to house his precious gems. He wants to use his crystals to heal and takes the matter very seriously.
I also go to Darland School on Thursday to check out the High School Joe will be going to in September.

I am still waiting for news on my big surprise this month. I can't wait!!!!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

My Herceptin Date Pulled Forward!!!!!

The date for my first round of herceptin was 4th November 2009. That date suited me just fine because it meant a month off cancer treatment for me, also some extra weeks for my veins to recover. My Oncologist wasn't too impressed with that date and told me that she would "work on it". Secretly, I was hoping she would forget or wouldn't be able to do anything about it. I have not been so lucky, this morning I had an appointment through for next week, 14th October, the day before my little boys 11th birthday. Hopefully there will be no side effects so Joes day won't be spoilt!

I had managed to get a seasonal flu jab rescheduled for 15th October because I didn't want my flu jab before I started herceptin. I will forgo that date now and re-apply the old date of 3rd November. My doctor explained to me this morning that they have delayed the seasonal flu jab so that they can administer the swine flu jab at the same time.
Hmmmmmm Swine Flu Jab! The jury is still out on that one..... I am 80/20 per cent sure that I don't want the injection because it hasn't been tested thoroughly enough. It speaks volumes when 60% of nurses are refusing the jab!! I just feel that my poor body has been through enough this last year!

Last year, I was attacked badly by a German Shepherd dog whilst out running. I had to have a tetanus injection and 2 weeks later when I went for my asthma check, the nurse persuaded me to have the pneumonia jab...... result...... celulitus. So you see, I don't have much faith in jabs!
So, I am a bit hacked off to say the least, I was hoping for a cancer treatment free month. I felt liberated and free even if it was just for a while. Now, next week, I will be back to the bump and grind of cancer treatment. Ah well......

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Sleep! Sleep! Where for Art Thou Sleep?

I thought that because I was feeling good and more myself that sleep would return....... How wrong I was!!!!

The last few nights I have been awake despite trying to prepare myself for sleep such as reading etc which usually works a treat. Last night I was awake until 3.30am - I kept looking at Jasons bedside clock wishing the time to pass. Harry joined us then which would have made sleep even more impossible so I put on my dressing gown and took myself off to Harrys bed which, at the moment is a mattress on the floor because we are having new carpets fitted.
I managed to fall asleep at around 4.30am then up at 7am to sort out the rooms ready for the carpet people.

So why can't I sleep? I have vivid nightmares/dreams too. They evoke real emotions within me which I find disturbing when I wake.

Lets hope this phase will pass hey.
The new carpets are being fitted as I type..... I am so excited!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Radiotherapy, sore boobs, Tamoxofen and Feeling Good

Considering the last year has been so awful, over the last few days I have been feeling more and more like my old self. I dont know whether it is the relief of finishing the radical part of my treatment or that chemo was 4 weeks ago. Yesterday I cleaned my house and carried on all day without hitting that tiredness wall that I was used to with chemo.

Today, my breast is still sore from radiotherapy. I have been advised to cover my breast in E45 cream or diprobase and let it sink in and to do this a few times a day. The worst part is the nipple area which feels like it did during the early days of breast feeding. You know the soreness? When your baby cries and your toes curl at the thought of feeding.

Anyway; I have discovered a way to ease and soothe that area! BREAST PAD.... the ones you have when you are nursing. I cover that in diprobase and not only does it keep the cream in place but it offers padding. So if you are reading this and are facing radiotherapy following a lumpectomy.... GET YOURSELF SOME BREAST PADS!
My next dilema is Tamoxifen.

I picked it up today and I will start taking it tomorrow morning. However, crazy though it seems after 12 rounds of chemo and 15 of radiotherapy, I am scared stiff of the side effects. I suppose it is because I will have to take this tablet for 5 years. I am dreading swelling or weight gain. I already have 2 + stone to lose.

Incidentally; these particular tablets were made by CP Pharmaceuticals in WREXHAM. I went for a job there once as a buyer and was shortlisted to 2 - didn't get it though.
My friend Dennise called on me yesterday and brought with her the most beautiful bouquet of flowers as pictured here on my bed and below in my Portmeirion jug in my bedroom window. They are so gorgeous but the reason I love them so much is because they are not shop bought. Dennise carefully selected each flower and stem and tied them together in such an artistic way. She wanted to give me something to celebrate end of treatment and wanted something to reflect the time of year.

These photographs do not do the arrangement justice. Dennise also has breast cancer and has her last round of chemotherapy in a weeks time.

I also received another gift from a my friend Sherry which is delightful. The picture is handcrafted to reflect both our battles and our connection to each other. This picture is going to be placed into my shelving unit with my two collectors teddy bears.
How kind friends are and it is kindness such as this that brightens a persons life and can even save a life. Thank you all.

Oh.... I forgot...... Mike Peters and his team reached the summitt of Kilimanjaro yesterday! Well done guys!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Livestrong Day and Kilimanjaro Rocks

Sorry - no Friday Shoot Out for me this week! I got all mixed up last week and haven't had time to retake pictures.

The pictures off this page are courtesy of the Love Hope Strength Foundation. These pictures were taken TODAY as the team continue their journey up Kilimanjaro in aid of worldwide cancer funds. What strikes me when I look at the video and pictures is just how up beat they are and smiling - amazing really!

If you want to follow the team on a daily basis then you can go direct to or follow them on facebook.

Today is worldwide LIVESTRONG DAY and this is the team holding up the yellow prayer flags which bear the names of cancer fighters, survivors and those who haven't. They are showing their support for LIVESTRONG DAY to raise world wide awareness of cancer. My name is on one of those flags. As they filmed this they all sang "Love Hope and Strength". I supported Livestrong day by wearing my band and of course, my horrible yellow hospital robe for my last round of radiotherapy.

My heroes: This man has fought cancer twice, he is in remission and not only has he founded the Love Hope Strength Foundation, he has rocked Snowdon 3 times, Everest, The Empire State Building and now Kilimanjaro. In my opinion, this rock star couple are THE Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi love story of the rock world. Such nice people.

As promised in yesterdays blog, I am featuring items that you can purchase to raise money for Breast Cancer. It is Breast Cancer Awareness month so guys and girls check those bazukas! I quite like these little rubber ducks so I may be buying some myself as Christmas gifts. Available from Breast Cancer Care.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

OCTOBER - Be Breast Aware

As it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month I have decided to try and feature something about this campaign on each blog. Even if it is just an example of some of the lovely gifts that they have on offer, I just want to highlight the fact that when you give a gift you can also make a difference to thousands of women (and in rare cases, men).

I have just sent my good friend a box of flowers from local florest Greens and Things as she is recovering from a minor op to her leg. I wish I had known that Interflora had hooked up with Breast Cancer Care to produce a flower shop which donates 15% of money spent to the charity. I will bear it in mind for future gifts! Follow the link below for the flowershop information.

On my front, I had planned to paint my nails yellow for Livestrong Day which takes place tomorrow on 2nd October but sadly, I have been unable to locate polish that colour. Instead I will be wearing my Livestrong wrist band and my horrible yellow hospital gown for my last dose of radiotherapy (yes the last one is cheating a tad!).
Personally, my mum has been fantastic taking care of the children and me all week. She has been a complete and utter star, staying over on an air bed in Joe's room and making sure I got enough rest. Thank you Mum, I love you xxxxx

Jason is busy decorating our room. The new wardrobes are fab, we have chosen our new carpet which is going to be fitted next week and our new bed will be delivered shortly afterwards. I am so excited. I will try to post some piccies but you must understand that our bedroom is so tiny, they may not turn out so well!!!

In the meantime, I am off to paint my toenails PINK!