Together we will beat cancer


Hello from a new member of the family

13 Dec 2020 07:41 in response to Sheltie_Lady


Thats really sad re your neighbours loss, 40 is so young, I'm sure they know how much you'd like to support them and know that you care...and that counts for lots, and you'll be able to go mad with hugs, as we all will before Easter I reckon (don't forget my Nostradamus tendencies!).

Totally agree with you re people definitely upping their game on the festive front, I've been making the most of my very short and exceedingly slow shuffles around my neighbourhood to be the nosy old crone that I am destined to be and have a top and bottom 5 of tasteful decorations, in and outside houses, thankfully most houses have done a nice job, the more  'interesting' festive displays have been reserved for other, less celubrious neighbourhoods ...ha!!! I've had mine up since mid November, more to get personal value for money and to get it out of the way well before the op, and it does amuse me that the female cat likes to marmalise the tree...bl00dy idiot.  So I am glad you've seen all the festive light and have seen fit to go a wee bit Christmassy...well done!!

Im loving my mother (the agency staff as she's now referred to) being here and seeing to my every exacting need, she's quite rubbish at following directions though and can't make a cup of tea for toffee but beggars and choosers and all that.  My main issues remain, in order, being vvvv painful when coughing/sneezing (why is it so difficult to stop yourself coughing?), the annoyance of having to plan to go to the loo (the support pants are soooo cumbersome and if the band rests on where the magician tried to saw me in half I certainly know about it), our old friend constipation ( thus was also one of my worst aspects about chemo, maybe the worst actually) and now lack of sleep, hence sending this early on a Sunday morning. Sleeping in my back is not a natural position, and neither is being surrounded/elevated by 57 lack of much needed beauty sleep will start to show soon.

So as you can tell am actually doing very well! First appointment with nurse to remove bandage next Friday.

Hope your knee injection works this time Christine, I'll be thinking of you whilst gassing with the lovely chemo unit nurses as having my zolodex shot that day....nice to get out but not relishing the need to wash my hair's developing an 'interesting' look day by day...much like some of the dodgier Christmas decs above.

Id like to think that come the 20th Dec your house will be adorned with flashing lights, inflatable snow men, life size reindeer and one of those Santas climbing up the wall, oh and tonnes of icicles that light up from top to bottom....the whole 9 yards and a little bit more. I would personally be so worried about my electrical bill, such a tight northerner!!!

Stay safe but go mad.


Hello from a new member of the family

20 Dec 2020 11:22 in response to Yorkshire_defector1

Hi Girls,

I hope yesterday's news from BoJo hasn't knocked your Christmas plans into touch.  My daughter and I are not being affected by it, I'm pleased to say and we have our Chinese banquet booked for delivery on Christmas Eve, for us to zap the next day for our Christmas Day dinner. 
I was actually, very lucky to see my son the other day. He had to drive North to make a delivery to a customer so carried on to sunny Lancashire. Strictly he shouldn't have been allowed in, nor, God forbid, given a hug, but he was and I did!  He has been extremely careful during the pandemic because his partner is quite vulnerable.  I felt like my Christmas had come early because my daughter came round, too. We are in a bubble so that was quite legal, and sitting in my lounge with both my kids and all three dogs felt wonderful.

I'm going to make a confession to you guys, because I know it won't get back to them, but I lied to my kids.  I wanted to give them money for Christmas as my bank account was a lot healthier this year than last, due to not having done anything enjoyable and they had both had a lot of expense this year. My daughter had to have a new roof on her house and my son had had to spend a lot of money on trips to his in-laws to help out with a sick parent.  I spent quite a few sleepless nights thinking how to give it to them. I knew that they wouldn't accept it if I just tried to give it to them, so I lied.  I had a small lottery win, the week before, so I showed them the email announcing a win, but exaggerated the amount ( £3 became £3000) and paid a thousand pounds into each of their bank accounts. We have always shared any windfalls, so they were delighted to think this was lucky money!  I'm still smiling about it! I even switched on my Christmas lights while they were here!

I hope your discomfort post surgery is lessening, Sam,  the thought of that, alone, would be enough to put me off having reconstruction, fortunately I can use my age as an excuse for not going down that route. I don't like to try to sleep on my back, either, but find it helps if I have to, to put pillows under my knees as well as under my shoulders/head, to give a sun lounger effect.

My knee injection seems to have worked, I just get the odd twinge now, but am walking without limping! Yay!!!   Just before I had it my daughter reminded me that I had gone mad doing housework and gardening after the last one, while the local anaesthetic was still working, and she's convinced I bu@@ared it up, so I had to promise to rest up for a day. I did a grocery shop on my way to the hospital so I was able to just go home and take it easy after the jab.  I'm now trying to ease myself off the painkillers- no easy task. I've reduced the codeine to twice a day, and so far so good. I had a bad headache the first day, but not so bad subsequently, I'll go down to one a day from tomorrow. I have never been one for taking tablets and it has freaked me out taking15 a day with my Lansoprazole and Letrozole. I might hang on the the Amitriptyline, though, I love the way it helps my sleep!

Today is Smudge's tenth birthday! He still looks like a puppy but is slowing down a bit now, although you wouldn't think so if you saw the delight he showed when he got his Rupert Bear birthday present. He has chased it and chewed it all morning. He didn't appreciate my singing Happy Birthday on FaceTime though. 

Caroline, I'm sure you are busy with Christmas preparations, I was always quite a last minute person when the kids were young, working full time doesn't help, as well as being the family driver, so as well as getting everything organised I was the one going to pick up grandparents etc.  Christmas has got smaller and smaller as years go by and families get smaller, and this year I have really cut down on preparations although it was nice to sit down and organise my donations to my charities. I gave a bit more  to a few more, this year, rather than buying and posting dozens of cards and gifts people didn't really want and certainly didn't need, just from habit.  I did warn people that I was only giving to charity this year, and I hope they don't end up buying me something and make me feel guilty.  Not being able to have visits helps that, actually, 

Have a lovely Christmas despite the restrictions, and here's to a 2021 with a bit more normality!

lots of love

Christine xxx




Hello from a new member of the family

20 Dec 2020 12:41 in response to Sheltie_Lady

Hi Christine 

You are like me in so many ways, I too am a darn good and consistent liar and quite inventive with it too.  I mean I'm honest about lying, I tell the boyfriend quite regularly about my lieing prowess, he tells me that he really doesn't want to know...he's far too good and principled for me you know! But that's a lovely thing to do for your kids and so glad you got to see both of them.  Bring on some more, larger wins eh?

Boris has indeed ruined my Christmas plans...what a surprise!  That man is no good at managing expectations, something I tell the boyfriend is very important to me.  We were due to go round to some friends of his (who are very good cooks) for the day and dinner but alas no!  Not quite sure what we'll do now...I mean even if I was fighting fit I couldn't be bothered with the cooking palaver so the onus is on the poor, ever suffering boyfriend...I'd be quite happy with a pizza just be nice to be out of these (tier) 4 walls for a bit.  Christine your Chinese banquet idea is becoming more appetising as the days pass, late Boris news will no doubt mean that such opportunities have been snapped up but we'll see...

Recovery still doing really well, had the thick bandages off Friday and was told my scars are amongst the best ever seen, love to be teachers pet! The surgeons work is very neat & tidy and barely a scab to be seen. Am still slow and its cumbersome to move but getting quicker and easier every day. Thankfully sleeping better of late and bowels back in good order (nice!).  My father reckons I have his very quick healing genes, that may be so but I reckon my healthy lifestyle is a large contributory factor too.

Good news re knee, how long will the good news  last? Will it need topping up every so often? I think its a good idea to wean self off pain killers, I'm not a fan of drugs per se and made a point of stopping oxycodone soonish in hospital and am now also free of ibuprofen and paracetamol...luckily I have a very high plain threshold anyway so paracetamol does ****** all anyway.  And some of the heavy hitters cause my worst nightmare...constipation!  I think I may be on the lansaprazole too but want to kick that into touch too (not altogether sure what its doing but no energy to be that interested!).

Happy Birthday fluffy Smudge, am hoping Rupert was from Archie too or is Archie going to be giving his pal a special gift? You whatsapp'd a impressed with Smudge's grasp of technology.  Its taken me 2 weeks and the help of boyfriend and sister in Taiwan to fathom out how to post photos on facebook (for my DIEP group pals to see plastic surgeons fine work & needed to cover up body parts not permitted) was a technology challenge too far but finally succeeded.  I put up before and after photos and not one person questioned how the plastic surgeon managed to improve on perfection!! Ha!

Like you my father (who is doing well) gave money to McMillan rather than cards, its actually a blessing as his card includes an annual 'poem' which is always terrible but he thinks is quite good.

Caroline - hope naughty Eddie is good and not marmalising Christmas decorations (like my female cat), I think you're outside tier 4 so hope your plans aren't too affected for the festive period.  I was debating going to see the mother near you Boxing Day but Boris has put paid to that too (probably just as well, saves her cooking and the boyfriend worrying that we've passed on something).  How's your positivity? its **** that all that's going on is battering it and hope that the Christmas announcement hasn't further impacted it, I know how important it is as its carried me through since diagnosis.

Hope your decorations are filling you with festive cheer, I'm loving the extra effort made in my neighbourhood (well apart from some..), my effort is comparable with previous years, don't want to overdo it plus just more for the boyfriend to take down in Jan (see, I'm thoughtful like that...yeah right!!).

Right, have a good festive Chinese with the daughter Christine and Caroline with the family (and maybe others - you lucky lady!) XX

Hello from a new member of the family

20 Dec 2020 14:31 in response to Yorkshire_defector1

Hi ladies,

Lovely to hear how well you are both doing - knee wise, new boob wise!!! We are tough cookies aren't we!!

Sam, yes we are narrowly avoid being in tier 4 by the skin of our teeth, half a mile up the road are not so lucky. My mum and dad made the decision a while ago, not to come down for Christmas, which I am gutted about but understand. Haven't seen them since New Year. My sister lives in South Wales and was due to come and visit on Boxing Day for the night but that has now been cancelled. I thank my lucky stars that I do have my kids and husband here so not alone. 
Eddie is ok but we had a major scare on Thursday when he had a funny turn. Lost his sense of balance, had the shakes and lost bladder control. Came on very suddenly. So we rushed him to the vets and they suspected sepis/meningitis and told us he was in a very bad way and to prepare for the worst. We had to rush him to a specialist neurologist vets near Winchester, for tests and an MRI. They rushed him in and then came back out 20 min later with a normal looking dog!!! Walking normally, tail wagging! They didn't do an MRI as couldn't see any reason to do so!! And touch wood, since then he has been his normal little **** self!! 
I feel very sad that everyone has had Christmas plans cancelled but I think a quiet Christmas / New Year will be time for us all to appreciate what we have. I feel sad for people who will be alone and whose mental health is going to suffer. I think if you need to break the rules in order to help someone's well being - so be it! My friend's mum has terminal cancer and might not be here next Christmas. I've told my friend to go round to see her - just maybe stay in the garden.

Christine, what a lovely gesture to your kids!! And very crafty!! 
Well, I need to crack on with some housework - so if don't catch up before Christmas, have a lovely, quiet and chilled one. Lots of walks and pj days I reckon. And a peaceful New Year and to hopes we can party again next year!!!

Love Caroline xx

Hello from a new member of the family

1 Jan 2021 13:49 in response to cazrosie

Hi Girls,

Happy New Year to you and yours. I'm working on the belief that it must be better than last year, but actually last year was better than 2019 because that's when we all got cancer!

I hope you had a nIce Christmas and New Year's Eve. It was my birthday yesterday and it was just me and Archie because my daughter was snowed in. I planned a lovely quiet reading day as I am so over the rubbish TV we've had over Christmas. Did I manage that? No! The world and his wife decided to telephone or FaceTime or text me. I felt like I'd been to a party by the time night came. Then my neighbours decided they were going to have drinks at the end of their drive at midnight and put it on our friends and neighbours Messenger group, so People were replying and commenting and making jokes all night. Each time another one replied my iPad would ping, so even though I went to bed at my usual 10 - 10.30, I couldn't get to sleep. Then the fireworks started. Fortunately Archie isn't bothered by them but sleep was totally out of the question for another hour or so. 
My daughter lives in a small village on a quiet, narrow road where houses only line one side opposite a fishing lake. She phoned me about 9.30 to tell me a police car had cruised slowly up and down her street. We laughed our socks off because most of her neighbours are pensioners older than me and they never see a police car from one year to another. I bet the police were cruising all the quiet areas looking for parties they didn't want to find rather than where they would be guaranteed to find someone breaking the rules. I don't blame them but I warned my neighbours that they were about.  That would be the worst end to the worst year, wouldn't it, getting fined for having a drink at the end of your drive!

I have my next checkup on Tuesday. I got the letter yesterday telling me not to go to the hospital, it would be a telephone checkup. Whoopidoo! I am supposed to be going to the gym at the hospital to continue the keep fit course I started last year before lockdown. I suspect I'll be getting a phone call cancelling that, too.  

Sam, I hope you are more comfortable now, and up for your usual active life, and Caroline stay safe, it is harder for you to stay home, I guess, so be really careful. 


Christine xxx

Hello from a new member of the family

1 Jan 2021 16:01 in response to Sheltie_Lady

Hi Christine and Sam,

Happy New Year!! Your New Years Eve story made me chuckle!! We are in tier 4 here so more or less locked down and then one of the boys tested positive for Covid on the 27th after losing his sense of smell and taste. So we have ended up in isolation!!! We are locked up until the 6th. But it's not been too bad. We have a big garden and a field that we rent at the back, so have been able to walk the dogs daily. We had spent Christmas Day with my in laws and sister in law, so they are also having to isolate. 
We had a lovely New Years Eve. We played on the wii, darts, pool and family fortunes with all the boys, but then I crashed and burned just after midnight. 
Well, let's hope this is the year we can all get back to seeing friends/family and travel again!! I wish you lots of happiness for 2021. 
Have to shoot off, as my sister's birthday is today and we have a zoom quiz to attend!! 
Caroline xx

Hello from a new member of the family

1 Jan 2021 21:01 in response to cazrosie

Hi Caroline,

Sorry to hear you're having to isolate, but at least you're all together. It sounds like you're really making the best of it. Hope no one else tests positive! Enjoy your quiz!



Christine xx

Hello from a new member of the family

2 Jan 2021 08:13 in response to Sheltie_Lady

Hi and happy new year & all that!!

I'll just be happy to keep my body fairly intact this year and not lose the odd (albeit mainly naughty) bit to the surgeon's scalpel...that said will hopefully be having symmetry surgery to the god given boob at some point but that will be a walk in the park vs ops in 2020.

Christine - glad you had such an eventful new year & Happy Birthday!  Am quite jealous all round of your virtual social life, probably just as well those coppers are patrolling the quiet backwaters around you...ha!

Hope your hospital appointment goes as well as it can and that face-to-face is soon resumed, its so annoying isn't it.  I'm lucky in that I have pretty much a full week of hospital appointments mid Jan which all require me being there in person so get it all over & done with, hopefully no side effects from 2nd bisphosphonate and good school report/sign off from plastic surgeon, suspect will need some physio however and not sure that will be face-to-face but we'll see.

Caroline - glad you're ok with isolation and you have sizeable garden/fields at your disposal, always a big plus of living out of the big city - and something I hanker for..

Hope you haven't got any symptoms, I've got a couple of pals whose kids at school have contracted the lurgi and are now self isolating, its no wonder the covid rates are going through the roof re schools.

All good here, moving better and think I am actually upright now at times though still have an Ozzy Osbourne stance & shuffle after sitting down.  It will be 4 weeks post op on Tuesday and am getting decidedly antsy here...will try some gentle yoga gubbins next week to break the monotony of my daily walk.  I love walking but with the amount of people walking down here who generally have no respect for one another its not as enjoyable as it should be, it would get better when schools return of course but god knows when that will be mmm..I have however, as am a positive and proactive person, invested in some well-sexy gaiters enabling me to walk the REALLY muddy footpaths that others tend to it! And only fallen over once ( well it was a very slow slip but did end in quite an impressive muddy ar5e!), no wet socks yet so hurrah.  And as I look so 'interesting' with my gaiters, 20 yr old lavender ski jacket (now with a muddy bum), pink leggings and hair that is now a mash-up between Nicholas Parsons & Jeffrey Howe's spitting image puppet lots of people naturally avoid me...happy days!

So its Dullsville here, I do need to finish a really good book (Mudlarking) as the neighbour who lent me it in July 2019 (you know how long it took me to make my initial cushion cover--these things just can't and shouldn't be rushed!!) is moving house on inconsiderate these good neighbours leaving, he provides me with veg from his allotment, brings my bins in and always stops for a good chin-wag...I'll have to explain my expectations to the new lot early doors to make sure they're fully up to speed in a timely fashion.


Good to see you're both in good spirits, are you both classed as extremely vulnerable by govt?  I am as it was early days post chemo when first list pulled together that the govt doesn't seem to have updated ( I do wonder how they are adding new people to it who are going through chemo & other treatments now), my GP has told me to stay as is given soon after surgery so I now want to join Lionel Blair at the Epsom racecourse vaccination centre...nice to know I'm in good company...


Sam X

Hello from a new member of the family

13 Jan 2021 09:25 in response to cazrosie

Hello both

Just checking in that you're not having too much fun mmm?

All good here, am now upright (hurrah!) and able to stomp around my woodland muddy puddles at quite a pace ( doesn't do my legging much good re mud splatters) and haven't fallen over recently so who can hope for more eh...

Busy week here, out & about every day (get me!), dentist Mon (all clear yay!) in advance of 2nd bisphosphonate later today and blood test for that yesterday.  Then I have first post op appointment with plastic surgeon Thurs, a few questions await him (he's quite used to the interrogation now).

Other than that, surprisingly, not a lot going on...arm exercises still progressing (are you both still doing yours?  I've never stopped since mx) and planning on a gentle bike ride next week (it will be 6 wks post op), that's if the bike is up to was on its last legs the last time I rode it with transition to the gears that you need to get up hills proving challenging, far from ideal in the surrey hills but think it will be some time yet before they are part of my routine.  Been watching loads of TV that I had recorded (just as well as lots of repeats on now - I mean as much as I love Jessica Fletcher...ha!) and lots of gruesome horror films (love em).  I even did a bit of sewing the other day - mending holes in stuff, I really resent throwing stuff away nowadays and buying new will the economy cope?

Am loving that the bulbs are really poking through now, I even have alliums that have a lot of leaf growth, hope it doesn't get too cold for the purple bee loving beauties!

 I'm still feigning weakness so the boyfriend is doing many of the household long can I keep it going this time I wonder?  He's such a worry pants he'll do it forever (the fool!), I told him I'd have a go at driving next week (which I will) and the response was 'I wouldn't, give it another month or so"..ha!  Its not like I actually need to drive anywhere (or have anywhere to go until next zolodex shot mid Feb) just want to check that I can, plus with my memory want to check I can remember how the car (as well as me) works.

Hopefully out of some support gear next week too, think I can stop wearing chest high pants & bra overnight.  It will be odd without them though, I imagine that my body will do a very relaxed Nutty Professor and all the currently bound up flesh will just that would be a picture.

How's your lymphodema Christine?  I'm massaging twice a day and in the compression garments 24/7 but would really like it to be gone by summer when short sleeves would be nice as well as fewer layers, particularly when those blummin hot flushes abound...not looking forward to that combo.

Right, hope all is well with you, your hounds and loved ones XX

Hello from a new member of the family

13 Jan 2021 20:14 in response to Yorkshire_defector1

Hi Girls,

Sam, It's good to know you are up and about again. Crikey, all that having to go out in lockdown.  I'm quite happy to stay home again. Although, having said that, I drove the long way round to my daughter's today - emergency assistance needed - and came back the long way, too, to give my car a bit of a run to give the battery a boost as it hasn't been off the drive for weeks.  We have had snow since before New Year until Tuesday, so I haven't even tried to drive anywhere!  I was needed today, to take a tiny screwdriver round to fix her glasses that had popped a lens while she was cleaning them. She thought she had one but couldn't see to find it. She also needed me to actually screw the side together for the same reason! It was quite funny, after she had FaceTimed me to ask for help she then called again to say, "Do not pass GO, do not collect £200 and do not go anywhere else! ".  She doesn't trust me!  I have used necessary journeys as an excuse to do a bit of shopping on the way, in the past, but I'm a bit more wary this time as the infection rates are getting scary. I was supposed to be going to the hospital Women's fitness class on Monday, and last week I was waiting for a phone call cancelling it, but none came.  In the end I phoned them at nine o'clock on Monday to ask if the class was still going ahead at ten and they said, yes! I asked to be excused! It didn't really seem a sensible thing to do and the physio agreed with me. She said they had been waiting for it to be cancelled, but the hospital is supposed to be a Covid safe environment and it could go ahead.

I haven't bothered with arm exercises since last New Year, I had full movement very early on.  I still do the lymphoedema exercises, though, although I haven't seen any change for months, not much swelling and the ridge that is the scar is so hard it looks like I'm stuck with it. I will be getting some arm exercises to do on my right arm, this week, from a physiotherapist. I was referred after an ultrasound showed arthritis and torn ligaments, unfortunately, it has taken so long to get any treatment,  I think the ligaments have healed themselves, although I still get pain when typing - as in NOW! 

You are being trendy mending clothes. Apparently not buying new clothes is really good for the environment!  I won't need to buy anything new for years, except for leggings and fleeces, as that's all I seem to have worn for the last year. 

Caroline, I am hoping you haven't succumbed to the lurgy and have got back to normal, or what passes for normal these days. My friend has just got a new puppy, having paid an obscene amount of money for him and is now going through the joys of potty training and trying to keep up with him. He's very cute though!   She is exhausted!  Archie is getting better and better as he grows older, I can't say it was worth all the things he destroyed and all the times I had to redecorate etc, but I'm glad I've got him.

My telephone checkup was short and sweet  The nurse just wanted to know if I was still taking the Letrozole. I have another one booked for April.

I hope you get your questions answered, tomorrow, Sam, and you continue to improve at a rate of knots. Don't go too far for your bike ride, you might get fined!!!

Take care, both of you  

Christine x