Sunday, 23 May 2010

Race for Life 2010 and Goodbye

Today has been a little emotional for me because the Race for Life means so much to me. I ran it in 2008 but because of my own cancer fight, was unable to do it in 2009. Being able to take part this year is sort of like being able to draw a psychological line underneath the whole fight with breast cancer. In the words of Mike Peters "I'm right back where I started from...." and that is good.
My life has been changed completely by cancer and not necessarily for the worst. Yes, I do still have side effects; acid reflux for which I have to take medication, flaking and brittle nails, aches, swollen fingers... but I am ALIVE, I am HERE, I am living this wonderful life that I have been allowed to keep.

I have made some amazing friends through cancer. I have met some pretty amazing nurses who have cared for me over the last year and a half. I am living life to the fullest each and every day and those days I feel fatigued, I don't beat myself up about it or feel guilty - I accept it and move on.

My treatment won't be finished until October 2010 but I feel that I really have got back to where I started. Fitness wise, I do have a long way to go because I can only manage a mile run these days compared to my 10K before cancer was diagnosed BUT weight wise I am back to my pre-diagnosis weight and within my BMI and all of my goals are achieveable.

However, I am no longer in a rush to achieve them now!
So on this note, I bid farewell to Cancer Ain't Gonna Beat Me, its time to move on with my life. I had cancer, I beat it and now I am fighting back.
My new blog can be found at I do hope you will follow me there.
Its been a blast so with tears in my eyes, I bid you goodbye, Hwyl dda xx

Thursday, 20 May 2010

I had my heart scan today at the hospital and its good news... I still have one and its still working well! I will only have one more heart scan in August now seeing as how I am almost at the end of my herceptin. I can't believe how quickly time has passed.

Summer seems to have arrived today and we hit a high of 23 degrees which is totally amazing. Poor old Cola still has remnants of his winter coat so he needs to shed that pretty quickly. He was a naughty boy yesterday, thought he was a stallion when we were out on our hack. I made him work his energy out though and today he was alot quieter.

Had a hair cut - yipee! Just a trim to the back because I am growing it into a bob and from there it may go down to my shoulders, I haven't decided yet.

Harrys birthday tomorrow and he is so excited. He has promised his teacher and his deputy head some of his birthday cake and a party bag! I will follow through because it is important for him!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


This cheeky chap is my youngest son, Harry Llewelyn (named after two great Princes). He is going to be 9 years old on Friday and I can't believe how fast the time has flown.
Harry was diagnosed with autism a few years ago and has help at school. He struggles with language and communication and this doesnt just mean the spoken word, it covers social language, gestures, the unwritten code of conduct... He also struggles with change so any change in routine no matter how minor will affect his sleeping patterns and his behaviour.
So as his birthday approaches, I have had a testing time with Harry. His behaviour during these periods of unrest push me beyond comprehension. Today, I am struggling with a tension headache and feeling sick, my tummy is all knotted up.
I know that a birthday should be fun and eagerly anticipated. Harry doesn't really know when his birthday is, he still isn't sure when his party will take place and this confusion leaves him anxious.
So only a couple of days to go and hopefully the storm will have passed.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Secret Post and Muleberry Show

I am lucky to be a member of Heathers Secret Post Club Once a month I am sent the details of the person I need to send a package too and my details are given to someone else. The idea is that you receive a package but its a surprise. My package arrived on Saturday from mamacrow and I was thrilled to bits because of the thought and care put into my package. Mamacrow had obviously read my blog because she has gifted me the most appropriate things: a nail buffer and nail strengthener for my brittle and splitting nails, a gorgeous book mark, a poetry book on horses and a packet of polo mints for our pony Cola - how kind! Thank you mamacrow from the bottom of my heart!

There was an Old Man of Nepaul
From his horse had a terrible fall;
Though they split quite in two,
By some very strong glue
They mended that Man of Nepaul
by Edward Lear (1812-1888)
Harry and Jason

Today we went to Muleberry show about half an hours drive from us in North Wales. Our friend was competing with two of her Shetland ponies and we decided to tag along for the experience. The only bad thing that went wrong was the fact that Harry lost his wobbly tooth and did actually lose it on the show ground. This is him crying with his dad. We have told him to write a letter to the tooth fairy and she will still visit him tonight!

Llinos with Mari-Ann and Eleri (her daughter) with Ernie
Llinos and Eleri did so well today bringing home over 10 rosettes with quite a few firsts. This photo was taken during the last class of the day for them and it was the championships. Mari-Ann is only 2 years old and up until last Thursday had never been led in a head collar before. There are alot of things that filly hasn't experienced but thankfully, she has landed on her hooves and has found herself a wonderful and caring home - under the careful handling and love of Llinos, this filly is going to shine.

The views from the show ground were stunning as it was located at the base of Rhuallt hill.

The sun was shining and although it was still chilly, it was a glorious day, a perfect day for showing! When we get our trailer fixed up, Cola will be competing at this show, lets hope he wins lots and lots of rosettes!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

12 down 6 to go

I have just come home from Wrexham Hospital following number 12 of my herceptin treatments - only 6 to go!

The sister always canulates me because my veins are so small and quite damaged with chemo and canulisation. I worked out today that so far, I have had 24 canulas inserted and that doesnt include the times when I have had more than one or two attempts. Its when you think like that, you realise just how battered your veins are.

My oncologist is retiring this month so I will be in the hands of a new oncologist. However, as I am almost at the end of my treatment I am not really concerned. I have a heart scan booked for next week but I don't anticipate any problems, its seems that I am made of strong stuff.

It is so good getting my energy back. I feel as though I am back to normal most of the time. I am on the go constantly and enjoying riding Cola, walking the dogs and generally just having the energy to enjoy life.

What I don't have the energy for is people who tick me off! Not many people annoy me but those who do just aren't worth the bother.

I am going through a transition at the moment and pretty soon I will be posting my last post on Cancer Aint Gonna Beat Me and I will be moving to Sara's Fight Back. So watch this space...

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Road Traffic Collision

Yesterday I had an RTC - a road traffic collision! They used to call it RTA - Road Traffic Accident but the word accident had "implications" re blame etc so they changed it to collison.

We were cycling home from Cola, Harry was in front of me because I have to keep a close eye on him. Cycling behind Harry is precarious enough as it is and last night... he got me. We were almost home and suddenly he swerved out in front of me and caught my front tyre. There was nothing I could do to stop myself so the bike fell and I skidded on the tarmac.

I lay there startled for a bit and Harry started getting upset, he wanted me to get up and off the road in case a car came and squashed me so he said, so he helped me get up. No damage to my bike, Harrys plastic mud guard was snapped off and all I can say is that it was a good job that I was wearing my riding jacket because I scraped and bruised my elbow and hip and blood was seeping through my jeans at the knee. Nothing major it just means that I will be more achey for a few days and of course I was badly shaken.

The fall really messed up my mojo but what messed with it even more was the fact that I discovered that I had lost my weight watchers pedometer. The boys and I searched and searched but it was gone. It sounds really daft, but the pedometer is what has got my weight loss going and since I had it I lost half a stone so I became really down and started to think about comfort food.......

However, my weight watchers leader is a friend on facebook and I contacted her and as a result I was able to call at her house to buy a new pedometer and she discounted it for me. It gave me my mojo back and I stopped thinking about comfort food.

In addition to this, Harry and his little friends hatched a plan to sell their unwanted DVD's to raise money to buy me a new pedometer.

So it was a nasty do but goodness and kindness came out of it in the form of those I care about helping me.

On another note, thank you for your support on my changing my blog. Hopefully I will get it up and running in a few days and I already have an idea for a final post on Cancer Ain't Gonna Beat Me.

Restless Feet

I haven't been blogging regularly for a while and I have been thinking about this issue. I am extremely busy these days now that my energy is back and I don't have much time to sit down as I am constantly on the go and loving every minute of it, after all, I have alot of making up to do.

However... I am begining to feel like moving on from Cancer Aint Gonna Beat Me because I feel as though cancer is in my past. I had it, I kicked its butt and now its almost time to move on. Blogging on Cancer Aint Gonna Beat Me has been a blast but while I continue with this blog I feel as though I am being caged by cancer.

Don't worry, I am not leaving the blogging sphere! I still take part in the Friday My Town Shoot Outs and I am in the process of starting a new blog but I am having a few technical problems, trying to put badges on etc, I have forgotten how to do it. Once these hitches are sorted I will be moving over to that blog but don't worry, I will "tip you the wink" before I do.

Phew! So what has been going down in my busy life? I have been enjoying my pony Cola more than anything. He is my therapist and my personal trainer! I have lost half a stone in the last couple of weeks just by cycling to see to him, mucking out and lots of riding or walking. It is down to him that I have my strength and mobility back in my shoulder. He is the best thing that could ever have happened to me.

I had my teeth sorted out a week or so ago so now I have the smile I always dreamed of, three years of brace work and pain was certainly worth it in the end even though I had to delay the restorative work for a year.

The herceptin is going well, I have had 10 treatments so far so only have 8 more to go! My fingers are still swollen and my nails are flaking and splitting but that is such a small detail!

I am back to my support group Talk 4 Talk for parents of children with speech, language and communication problems and I am back in control. I have already found out about a service that my son can get access to in order to help with his reading. He is 9 next month and he still has the reading age of a reception pupil. I have told the school about the service he needs access too but as usual they are dragging their heels. Therefore I am putting my request in writing and copying it to the Local Education Authority and seeing as how it is election time, I may copy my letter to some MP's - yes! I am back in the driving seat!

I am looking forward to the Race for Life next month although my training has been hampered. I am still running and I can manage a mile but I have the rest of my life to get back to where I used to be and as long as I enjoy running then I will keep doing it.

So life is good, getting better and better with each day!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Back Again!

Back again after another break but I can't tell you how busy I am these days! The children are into their second week back at school and I am able to do all the things I am not able to when they are around.

The good news is that at my Weight Watchers weigh in last week, I lost 4lbs! I had to get on and off the scales 4 times before I would accept the reading and then I jumped up and down for joy, the other members must have thought I was bonkers. I am keeping on track with my diet and exercising alot. Rather than use my car I am walking or cycling and its amazing what an impact that has had on my weight loss.

Cola is wonderful! We took his rugs off last week. We still put his stable rug on at night because it tends to be chilly but during the day he is comando! You can tell the spring grass is coming through because he is totally fixated and is chomping at the bit to go out to grass rather than have his bucket feed which he normally enjoys.

The boys and I spent the weekend at my friends house on the top of a mountain. We camped in their back garden but oooh it was cold at night. Luckily I had quite a few glasses of red wine so the cold didn't get to me too much!

I have left my camara at my friends though so my blog will be pictureless for a while until I get it back unless I can find any appropriate pictures in my archives.

More herceptin on Wednesday; dose 10 out of 18 so I am over half way there.

I am part of the Secret Post club and I received my parcel last week which was so touching! However, I want to share the pictures with you before I tell you more and the picture is on my camara so you will have to bear with me for the next few days.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Almost a Week!

I can't believe that its almost a week since I last posted a blog! How quickly time flies now that I am feeling better!

Well not quite!

My nails are snapping and flaking and I have an infection in my right index finger. The infection has been there for almost a week now and it is getting better but so very slowly. Such a small thing but so much pain. I started to come down with a cold today so all in all, I feel pretty rough.
We managed to get Harry a new pair of riding boots. Buying clothes and footwear for him is so difficult because of his sensory problems, he feels every stitch, every label so it is difficult, very difficult. Anyway, he loves his new riding boots because he says that they are so soft inside.
The boys had a lesson off me in the menarge today. Boys includes Jason. They all did very well but its 30 years since I gave lessons or did any schooling or dressage but it is coming back to me slowly.

I went to the Breast Cancer Support Group meeting last night and was relieved to find out that swollen hands and feet seems to be a side effect of herceptin. Well I am half way through so at least it wont be forever.

I have been back on my weight watchers diet, eating well and concentrating on getting my B vitamins so I put spinach in everything..... Spinach in my soup, in my ghoulash, in my chilli..... you get the picture! I have been trying to snack on pumpkin seeds too which are high in iron. I must say that since my reiki and vitamin B supplements, things have got slightly better! My bloods all came back as normal but I dont know whether to be relieved or worried.
Apparently, the most critical time for re-occurance of breast cancer is the first 2 years after treatment. I suppose then, I am in the "comfort" zone because I will be having treatment until October 2010 so the clincher years will be Oct 2011 and Oct 2012!!! Nah!!! it aint coming back.
I went to look at a Shire x Cob with my friend on Bank Holiday Monday. He was lovely but had a pastern injury which showed. The owner assured us that it would improve with work but £500 was alot of money for a horse which really may not be used again. He was a darling though and if I could afford the upkeep of a second horse I would have made an offer myself because he would have been a good ride for Jason being slightly taller than Cola. Mac, my last horse had a bone spavin so I am used to horses with leg injuries.... As the old man by my school (Mr Jones) used to sing to me "kay Sera Sera, whatever will be will be"..... funny..... he would give me a sweet and ask me my name, I would reply "Sara" and he would sing that song.... same ritual every time....

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Secret Post Club

In March I joined the secret post club.

I sent my first package out and it was received with happiness. Today, I received my own package. I had a beautiful fairy card with a hand written message from a fellow Sara together with a tiny leather book which I can fill with my thoughts and notions and keep with me or under my pillow I thought. I also received the prettiest book mark, silver with pink beads, this is such a useful gift for me because I am always reading! (oops! sorry, I uploaded the picture without editiing it so you will have to cock your head as you look at it!)
So thank you to Sara at

I have received details for Aprils secret post and I have already put a few bits together but I shall say no more because I don't want to spoil any surprises.

Here is a little bit about the club. Each month you are matched up with someone and the details are sent to you privately. You then put together a package along with a little note and send it out to your recipient before the 15th of the month. If you want, you can then blog about your secret post experience. There is a £10 spending cap on the package but alot of the secret post members make their own gifts and it is not a requirement to spend lots of money. It is about making others happy not "keeping up with the Jones".

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Winter is Back

Winter is back or so it seems! The last day of March has been a memorable one, snow on the hills, sleet and snow here and freezing gales. I turned Cola out into his paddock but was worried sick about him. I needn't have been because when I went to check on him mid day he didnt want to come in and he was warm and dry under his rugs.

I had my 9th dose of herceptin today so I am officially half way through, only another 9 to go - yipee!

I was a tad fed up with my body and the weather though because my plans to ride and/or swim were scuppered by both - typical.
Off to the dentist tomorrow to get my front tooth sorted out and made to look pretty. I should have had it done last year but my cancer treatment delayed things slightly!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Happy Days

Urgh the rain has really got on my nerves over the last few days. Mind you, I havent changed my plans much because of it. I still go everywhere on my bike, I just have to tog up in my waterproofs and walking the dogs?.. hey.. I might look daft but thats what I am, right?

So the boys have gone for an overnight stay to their Nans in Llandudno and I am home alone with my animal buds.

Plans for tomorrow?

  • Cola early - feed and turn out
  • Meet Poppy
  • Cola, muck out and ride
  • ?????? possible swim
  • dog walk
  • hospital - MORE herceptin
  • home
  • Cola bring in, feed and bed down

Sunday, 28 March 2010

In the Pink Again!

Pictures courtesy of Google Search

I have not blogged for a week mainly because I have been in a bad place. Those of you who read my previous blog will probably have guessed this. I have been coming to terms with the fact that once chemo was done with all the side effects would be done with too. Now, I have accepted this and have made steps to work with it.
I had a "taster" session with a nutritionalist who checked me for vitamin deficiencies and I came up as being short of folic acid, B6 and B10. Funnily enough, B6 is a vitimin required for turning food to energy. I have bought some supplements along with some Metatone tonic because it is that time again.

I arranged to have some healing Reiki and that was done today. Some of my chakras were not working and others were spinning out of control. My friend re-alined my chakras and the reiki was great.

I felt warmth traveling from my neck into my head and shoulders then down through my back and pelvis. The warmth then turned to tingling which was kind of like an energy pulsing around my body. When the Reiki was finished I felt so relaxed, positive and energised.

So as a result of these things, these minor adjustments I have made in my life, I am back to being in the pink again. I am feeling positive, in control and up beat.

My nails ARE going to grow back strong and I AM going to lose that weight!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Feeling Fat!

Oh my goodness!

Thats just how I feel.

I am so fed up of being overweight, tired all the time and bloated. I want to wear my own wedding ring again, I want to have some energy, I want to lose this blasted weight so that I can feel good about myself.

I want my nails to be nice, they are splitting and peeling and theres nothing I can do to stop it.

I focused so much on getting through 2009 I didnt bargain for side effects into the new year. Well here it is.........

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Raining - oh no!

First day of spring and its raining!


I have organised a 40th birthday bash for my husband at home and I dont want it to rain, well, not tomorrow anyway. I bought a gazebo, we are going to light the chiminea and I have a chilli simmering away! His birthday cake has a picture of Y Ddraig Coch (the red dragon) our welsh flag! I have the beers stashed in the childrens playden so shhhhhhhhhhhh dont say a word.

Just pray and pray and pray that it doesnt rain!

Friday, 19 March 2010

India Day at School

Harry had an "India" day at his school today. The idea was that the children could dress up if they wanted and they made Indian decorations, played Indian music and sampled Indian food. Even the staff entered into the spirit of the occasion with their saris. We purchased Harry's outfit from the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, the young assistant was so helpful and so not only did we get a costume sorted but our money was spent on a good cause. Harry liked his turban the best which was one I used last year when I lost my hair. I used this one the most because I loved the colour red and it is well worn. I think its lovely to see it being used for something not related to ill health.

Harry did have a problem with his snack at snack time, the change in routine can be confusing and upsetting for children with autism. He was choked up and emotional when he came out of school but I spoke to his teacher and we got to the root of the problem and all is well.

I had some sad news today. My mums dog Al has been taken ill. He has liver problems and is on a drip at the vets, it is touch and go as to whether or not he pulls through. Al is an integral part of mums life, her faithful friend. As for me, he represents a wonderful part of my life with motherhood and baby/toddler trips to Erddig and Nains river. I only saw him on Monday and he was so happy, its hard to hear that my little friend is so gravely ill.

On a different note, I gained 2 1/2 lbs this week at weight watchers but I am not worried or stressed about it. Looking at the size of my fingers and the fact that I still can't get a wedding ring on I reckon that if I could stop the drugs I would lose half a stone in fluid alone! The main thing is that I am still going to weight watchers and if I hadn't been going I would be alot bigger than I am now.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Chester (Y Gaer)

Today my husband and I met his mum in Chester, the nearest city to us about 6 miles away in the country of England! It is a Roman city with quite a few roman remains and it is pretty. Alot of tourists visit there and do touristy things but we like to go there for some nice food and a bit of retail therapy.

We ate at Chez Jules which is a french resteraunt and was gorgeous. The food was beautiful! I enjoyed a chicken and bacon salad followed by a chargrilled pork chop with vegatables, mmmm delicious! It was nice to have some adult time with Jasons mum without the kids fighting or arguing or demanding...

Chester has lots of different resteraunts; mexican, spanish, italian, french, brazilian to name but a few and we are lucky that they are of a high quality so theres always lots of choice.

My shoulder has given me a little more pain today but the medication from the doctor is helping.

The boys have just returned from school with a "Finger of Fudge" - I sang the old advert song to them and Joe got quite annoyed!

but the advert is from my childhood and it brings back happy memories, plus the song is really cute don't you think?

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Aches, Pains and Tiredness

The last few weeks have been quite difficult for me really because I am fighting fatigue together with an all over stiffening and aching of my joints made worse by the fact that my shoulder which was injured before Christmas is really hurting because I am using it more for mucking out, changing rugs on Cola etc etc.

Now before you feel too sorry for me, I must hasten to add that my shoulder was injured when I tripped over my dog Wilbur in a quest for crisps. I had had rather a few glasses of wine at the time so needless to say, the injury was of my own doing! It doesn't make it any the less painful though!

So I saw my GP today, Dr Happs; very nice doctor he is too! He checked my movements and they are all fine and suspects soft tissue damage. The fatigue he suspects is down to the herceptin so he has prescribed some strong painkillers, voltorol gel, refered me for physio and sent me off for some blood tests!

I have at last found a bra that doesn't hurt me, but it is a mastectomy bra. I know that I had a lumpectomy but out of desperation I thought I would give it a go and it has worked. It is padded and shaped in such a way that it gives support and I don't get hurt. I am a 32G these days and my shoulder has been better after a day of wearing that so it makes me wonder if my lack of support has been aggrivating the shoulder injury! I was fine up until I had radiotherapy and since then I have had a huge problem with bras.

I also find that I am still retaining fluid. I still can't get my wedding ring past the first part of my finger and my bra size has gone up from 30FF to 32G even though I weigh less so I feel as though I am slowly starting to explode.

On the plus side, we did have the first spring day today and it was wonderful being able to go out without a coat!

I have been busy preparing a small party for Jason's 40th at the weekend. Here's the plan but shhhhhhhh its a secret! I am going to try and get him to take the children to the pictures on Sunday afternoon and while he is gone I am going to get my friends over to fix up a gazebo, decorate the place, put a big pot of chilli on the hob, jacket spuds in the oven then when he gets home he will have a big surprise!

I will blog about the party after it has been and gone. I have ordered the food and drink online with Tesco so they will deliver on Saturday while he is at work. I have ordered a birthday cake with the Welsh flag on it - tidy!!!!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

More Herceptin

The nurses and even the Sisters at the Shooting Star Unit refer me directly to the doctors for canulisation. I have tiny veins and they are frightened of hurting me. I did explain to Dr Gordon that the veins on my left hand were collapsed and he would get a line in but it wouldnt work. These doctors all know best and he tried my left arm first anyway!. The result was a swollen and bruised wrist! So he canulated my right arm anyway with no pain, no discomfort and no bruising!

My little boy Joe was with me because he had an appointment at ENT. He was great at offering me some distraction and it was a good experience for him too. He thought that all I did was go in, have a quick injection, he didnt realise just how much was involved. He helped the doctor as well and he enjoyed that.

Herceptin is drip fed into your system over an hour with a saline flush through at the end. Apparently pretty soon they will be authorised to drip it in over half an hour. I have mixed feelings about this...... on one hand it will be nice to reduce the amount of time I am sitting receiving treatment but on the other, it is quite nice to recline your comfy chair and relax for an hour!

Side effects of herceptin...... my fingers are still like tree trunks and my bones ache like mad especially my lower back. My right shoulder where I fell before Christmas is giving me alot of pain too and I am not sure what to do about that!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Spring is Approaching

L-R: Joseff, Harry, Cola, Jason and Margaret

This time last year, I didn't know what the future held for me. I was recovering from a lumpectomy with a haematoma and facing my first round of chemotherapy. It was a scarey time because I didn't know how I would be affected.

This time last year I would never have believed how different my life would be. I am physically weaker than I was but emotionally stronger, I am hoping that with time I will become physically stronger and fitter once again.

So now we have a magnificent pony in our lives. Coca Cola, a native Fell pony who is a complete and utter darling.

Photo taken by Harry of Cola

I have a Mini Cooper and a pony - wow! I could never have predicted that!

So, spring is approaching. I can see that by Colas moulting coat, the longer days, the crocus bursting through in the garden. I am excited by the prospect of better weather and longer days and all the joys they will bring with them.

My Harry
So a year on and I am living a different but much better life. I don't get phased by stuff like when Harry exploded his jelly ball all over the new carpet and made some stains on it! What is the point, they are things, they can be replaced but people can't and love can't.

Saturday, 6 March 2010



I look down at my scars..................................

and for the briefest of moments.....................................

I wonder....... "how did they get there?"

I feel like it has been a dream

How can cancer have happened to me?

Monday, 1 March 2010

Ghostly Ghost Hunt - The Tower, Mold

On Saturday I took part in a Ghost Hunt in aid of Wrexham Hospital Special Care Baby Unit. Collectively we raised about £1500 so it was a good achievement! The ghost hunt took place in The Tower, Mold. The building is dated around the 13th century and it was a welsh family home. Apparently there was a fight between Mold and Chester (welsh and English) and the home had prisons within it! I picked up my friend Paula and we drove there together which was good really because I didn't relish the thought of driving there and back on my own.
This picture was taken in the Hall and this is a stuffed parrot and an old gun which looks as though it has seen better days! We didn't communicate with spirit in this room but I think we had tired them out by this point.
This is the Hall - incredibly cold house despite the heating and a big fire.
This is a portrait of a spirit who visited one of the teams. His name was Thomas and he was 6 years old when he died. Apparently he drowned in his bath and he was terribly upset because his parents had already crossed over and he was unable to. The team were in tears. Thomas was crossed over to the light so that was a really positive outcome for the night.

This picture was taken in one of the bedrooms and you can see an orb just above Trudi's head. I took another picture a few moments later and the orb is gone!
We communicated with a lady in this room who had been childless and lived a very sad life. Her husband was cruel to her and she was afraid to speak out. I had a feeling of saddness in this room but when the spirit left (we had a seance) I was taken over by a feeling of anger and the words "who do you think you are" came into my head. I wanted to kick the furniture, I wonder if this was the spirit of the abusive husband and that is why the lady left us!
In the other bedroom we communicated with a spirit called Christine who died in child birth. She had 4 daughters and one son but then she said she didnt have any sons so I wonder if she died whilst giving birth to the son. She had a happy life but died when she was around 30. She got a bit upset because her portrait used to be in the bedroom but it had been moved. She was happy to communicate with us and didnt want to stop!
It was an amazing experience, not frightening at all. Some rooms and at some times I felt nothing but then at others I experienced "feelings". I would love to do this again!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

First Year All Clear

I had my visit to the Oncologist and Surgeons yesterday but lucky for me they decided to combine the appointments so I didn't have to waste my whole entire morning in the Shooting Star Unit!.

The good news is that I have had my first year all clear. My mammogram was fine showing only scar tissue which "did not look sinister" in the words of the surgeons!

My swollen fingers and achey joints are all down to herceptin and the oncologist asked me if I still wanted to go ahead with a years worth to which I replied "hell yes I don't want to risk having to go through this again".

I am not feeling very good this week. I have no energy but that is down to pmt I think. Yes, my onocologist is amazed too, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, tamoxifen and herceptin and my body is still in working order so to speak!

Tomorrow I have a saddle fitter visiting Cola and I so fingers crossed we find a saddle to fit as I am itching to start riding him properly!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

New Life

This time last year I was recovering from my lumpectomy and lymph node sampling ops. I could barely move, a massive haematoma saw to that and the anesthetic knocked me for six. Everythiing I ever did was stopped; my mobile dog grooming business, swimming, running and all the races I had planned..... I really couldn't see beyond the day in hand let alone dream of a future. The thing that kept playing in my head was the conversation I had with my surgeon "I have just about ruined this year for you, but the next 40 are going to be great..." I didnt believe him at the time.. about the next 40 being great!
A year on, my life has changed beyond recognition. I don't get stressed like I used to.... whats the point? So what if the kids play up? So what if things go wrong? In the whole scheme of things, I have been to hell and back. I have looked death in the face and walked away.
I have a fab new car - my mini cooper and a wonderful addition to our family in the shape of Cola. I am running and swimming again and even doing some yoga!
Anybody reading this who may be going through cancer treatment right now.... believe me, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Life will be bigger and better!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Cola is Here

It has been a mad few days since Wednesday! We traveled to Uttoxteter in our rented horsebox to colloect our little man. It was quite emotional for his owner Karen as she clearly loves him to bits. He loaded beautifully and we took our time on the return journey because of our precious cargo. He seemed so relaxed on arrival and enjoyed the fuss Joe and Harry gave him. The owner of the yard said that he checked on Cola at 11.30pm that night and he was very relaxed.

It was so hard organising the logistics of getting Cola home, I totally forgot that I had a herceptin infusion due that day. Luckily the staff at the Shooting Star Unit accommodated me and allowed me to change my day to the Thursay morning at 9am. So I left Jason, Joe and Harry with a list of instructions and Cola was fine.

I have had 7 infusions of herceptin now so only 11 more to go! The doctor tried my chemo arm first of all and although he got a line in and was able to draw out blood there was no flush back therefore the vein wasn't able to support an infusion so my compromised arm it was (again). I have been suffering with really sore eyes recently and he was so kind, he prescribed me some eye antibiotics. That saves me a trip to the doctor which I am glad of considering the fact that I have 3 hospital appointments next week, one to see the Oncologist, one to see the Surgeon and the other for my heart scan.

So today we turned Cola out into the paddock for the first time and he was eager to get out there. He has suffered with bouts of laminitus over the last 2 years so as you can imagine I am quite anxious as to how he will get on with the grazing. We will be going back there in an hour to put his bed down, get him in, clean the poo from his paddock and feed him. We are loving Coca Cola so much!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Searching for someone

I am desperate to get back in contact with a very old friend of mine. We were penpals as children but lost contact with each other when I moved away from my home. It was a turbulant time in my life, I had just lost my brother, my parents went through a nasty divorce and my fiance was cheating on me.
Her name was/is Maria De Jesus Perez and she was married to Antonio. Her first son was called Rolando Cruz Perez and they lived in Salinas, California, USA. Maria would be around 43 now and Rolando would be about 26 or 27.

We were such good friends and used to write lots to each other. I have heard in recent years that she had tried to get in touch with me via my old address but nothing has been forwarded to me.

If anyone recognises the details or the faces then please could you let me know. I know that this is a long shot but I have put the photos on Face Book as well and you never know.....

It would be so nice to be in contact with Maria again but most importantly to know that she is happy and healthy.

If you can help, it would be so great!

I Am Back!

Sorry I haven't been around much but I have been so busy arranging things for Cola and to be honest with you I had the worst case ever of chemo brain. By Friday my head was completely fuzzed, I wanted to cry but couldn't, I couldn't organise my thoughts, I was forgetting words mid sentence........ all of you who have had chemo know the score, I don't need to explain! Yesterday I spent the day scanning old photos so I have decided to share them because they are special. The above photo is of me aged 15 about to go away on a school trip.Going through the photos made me think alot really. First I thought "how old am I?" because I have had so many body shapes, hair do's and parties! I also felt really sad at the people and pets I have lost and that was quite difficult to deal with but I had some good memories too. The above photo is of me and my neice Emma Louise taken in 1991 - hard to believe that she is a full grown woman now about to have a baby of her own.

This is me aged a couple of weeks old. I remember that chair too. Mum had me at home and apparently I was an easy baby from day one. Wish I had had one of them!

This was taken in my back garden, I am the one with the long hair and the other girl is my best friend Karen Scott. We had such laughs together. This is the only photo I have of her and I really treasure it. Karen was killed in a car crash when she was 17. The first time ever her dad had not picked her up from the disco, she begged him to let her come home with her friends. Then the friends got into a car race on the industrial estate and the outcome was the death of a vibrant, kind, fun loving and beautiful girl.

I have had many parties in my life and this was a fun one, very well planned indeed! Yes we had party rules and we covered the carpets with plastic and stored the furniture - it was a fun party.

Taken in 1992 in Liverpool City my friend Julie and I having fun. My Swiss Italian friends came over for a week so we did alot of sight seeing and alot of silly things.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Where Did the Week Go?

Phew! What a week! Where did it go?

I have spent the week trying to arrange the logistics of horse transportation and at last, I have it sorted. Cola will be joining us on 17th February. We have hired a horse box from Halls Horsebox Hire and Jason will be driving to Staffordshire to collect him with me. We have arranged his stable and ordered hay and straw and bought all the tools we need: brush, plastic shovel, poo picker, wheelbarrow, buckets, grooming kit and hay nets and my best buy was a PYKLE (hay fork). These are like gold dust these days and as I learnt to muck out using one, I didnt relish the idea of using a normal fork for the job. I am happy.

I have registered Cola with our vet and once he has arrived and settled the vet is coming out to see him and make sure that we have everything covered. I have even ordered a name sign for Cola's stable!

We are all so excited!

Mind you, this week has been a hard one for me as I have had a bit of a set back in my health. I have just felt achey, stiff and tired so I have taken it easy and tried not to do so much. I am recovering nicely and will be back to running next week.

Just took my naughty rabbit Ralph to the vet as he has an ulcer on his eye and a scratch on his other one! Alot of money later and we are home!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Coca Cola

Introducing Coca Cola, soon to be our new member of the family! Cola is a Fell pony which is native to this country. Thick set and rugged, built for enduring harsh moorland winters. He is such a handsome chappy, I may even get Jason to do some inhand showing with him while the boys can do ridden showing.
I am so excited! I just need to sort out the transport and we will be all set!

Saturday, 6 February 2010


Yesterday was a really long day! I went to weight watchers for my weekly weigh in and I have lost half a pound which is great considering the week I have had! I got called for a private chat with a WW lady and she has found a lump...... I gave her the best advice I could which was to call the hospital directly and get a date for her consultation which she has and we will take it from there.

We travelled to Staffordshire to see the Fell pony and I am in love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are having him. He got bitten on his muzzle and so couldn't have a bit in his mouth so I rode him in a headcollar and he was fab fab fab. He responded perfectly to my leg aids and when we went out on the lanes he didnt bat an eye lid at: dogs, fire, hedge cutting, cyclists, tractors, vans..... It convinced me that he is going to be perfect for my boys. His name is Cola!

I went to the school PTA Quizz Night and we lost but hey! We got a consolation prize which I am keeping for a party in the spring yay!

Life is good!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Gathering Part 4

The rest of the weekend went way too fast for us! We enjoyed the Battle of the Bands during the afternoon when the bands played against a panel of judges to decide who would be warming up for the Alarm that evening. The evening gig was amazing but sadly, I fatigued and had to sit out but we could still see the stage and hear the music. We didn't make it to see Children of the Revolution at midnight or the punk rock kareoke but we loved what we did see. I keep forgetting that I am still recovering from chemo.
At 10am on the Sunday we met in the Love Hope Strength Foundation suite and after a speech from Mike and a collective sing song of Love Hope and Strength we took a stroll to the beach. Somebody forgot to check the tidal times because the waves were crashing against the barriers when we got there. Mike stood on the wave barriers and gave us an acoustic performance of Rain in the Summertime as he was splashed by the sea.

Back at the site, after a full english breakfast we met Mike and Jules and he gave me a personal message "Never give up without a fight". Jules thanked me for the care package I sent her and she was so sweet.
Today I had my mammogram. It wasn't pleasant as the scar tissue hurt when under the machine. Now I have to wait until the end of the month before I know the results.
February is an eventful month for me! On Friday we are going to look at a Fell pony in Staffordshire, I am doing the school quiz on Friday night in aid of the PTA, the week after we are going to the Take That Tribute Night (a year to the day of my operation), I have various hospital appointments and on 27th I am doing a sponsored Ghost Hunt at the Tower in Mold in aid of Wrexham Maelor Special Care Baby Unit. Phew! Will I manage it all!!! Yes I will!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Gathering - Part 3 - The Acoustic Performance

The Gathering 2010 was officially opened by Mike Peters at 7pm. He gave a rousing speech and I was lucky enough to be at the front so I was able to get some good shots.
We got to the acoustic stage in good time and I managed to get a place right at the front. Jason insisted on taking photos of me so I decided to comply!
This is the acoustic set stuck to Mikes guitar. He opened the gig with "Love, Hope and Strength" a beautiful ballard which says it all when you are fighting cancer! Blaze of Glory was the final song and I swear, I am going to have that played at my funeral as the casket goes out to the cremation chamber!

Mikes roadie did a fantastic job of looking after him. He made sure that he had a bottle of water near each side of the small stage, he poured him a glass of juice and made sure he had access to that, he was on hand with spare guitars and plectrums, the harmonicas were laid out nicely. He did a sterling job!

I wanted to get a shot of Mikes jeans because they were frayed at the bottom. I wanted to do this to show the world that Mike is not just a celebrity, he is a normal, down to earth family guy.

I was so lucky to be up front. I was standing next to one of Mikes neighbours who was there with his 7 year old daughter. They thoroughly enjoyed the gig. I liked "people" watching while I was listening to Mike play..... I got almost as much enjoyment from that as I did the concert. I clocked the expressions on the faces of the fans and only one word can describe them all and that is adoration!

This guy is 50 years young, this guy has fought cancer twice and is currently in remission and this guy can sing, play and perform with amazing energy! He is my inspiration.

Young, older we were all united in our love for Mikes music past and present. The one thing I couldn't understand though was the fact that a few of the fans were well under the influence of alcohol and while I enjoy a drink as much as the next person I felt that they were so inebriated that it would have taken the enjoyment away from the concert. I loved every minute of that session for so many reasons; the energy, the music, the close proximity so a guy who has helped get me through 2009, and people......