Sunday, 30 December 2007

Opioid Growth Factor

This is some interesting information and hopefully will help other meso sufferers

Wednesday, 26 December 2007


Well, It's been a busy Christmas day as I have been catching up with the holiday washing, taking care of a poorly little boy, cooking Christmas dinner, like any normal day really and I would not have it any other way. I am so pleased to be here watching my children open their presents and enjoying their Christmas.
Kieran was pleased that Santa delivered his Nintendo Wii and the Lego star wars complete saga game he asked for in his letter, Siobhan and Rich also had a Wii each and an iPod with docking station. Siobhan was saying even if she added all her albums to it, she couldn't fill the 80 gig memory!
They seem to have enjoyed themselves.

My sister will be out later for a bite to eat. We will be remembering my dad as this was his favourite time of year. He would make mince pies and sing kareoke and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He also liked his tipple of dark Rum.

I bought a "songstars" kareoke dvd for the PS2 and will put it on today and remeber my dad. (Merry Christmas Dad where ever you are).
I will catch up with the website after Christmas and new year. I am back to work tomorrow so Happy Christmas and enjoy every minute.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Christmas and a happy new tumble dryer!

I wish all my new friends I have met on here a very Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy your day tomorrow. I am so happy to be able to celebrate thisChristmas and I know a lot of my new friends know what that feeling is like.
A very merry Christmas also to some very special people, family and friends, who have supported me since I found out my diagnosis, You are amazing and I really appreciate your loyalty and friendship, Thankyou.
I went in town early this morning with my sister and got some last minute pressies and also went to visit a friend this evening to drop of some gifts for them tomorrow.
Kieran is a lot better today and managed to write a letter to Santa which I posted for him.
He has been so poorly and it is good to see him getting back to his old self.
He is looking forward to seeing if Santa has answered his wishes and brought him a Nintendo Wii game consol and the Lego star wars game to go with it.
I hope Santa answers all his wishes (I'm sure he will).

I will let you know tomorrow. Right now, I have to go to bed or Santa will not come......ssshhhh see you tomorrow.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Midnight dash

I took my youngest son, Kieran, to the out of hours doctors surgery last night.
He and Siobhan, my daughter, had started a cough on the last day of our holiday and Kieran had developed a very high temprature last night. He was vomitting and very lathargic. Siobhan still has a cough but seems to be han dling it better.
I was worried about Kieran and took him to the surgery which was in our local hospital were he was seen quite quickly.
He was given some Calpol, every parents favourite, as we had returned to late to get to a chemist. He had quite a good night and had a day of lazing on the sofa with his duvet and his new blanket he bought from Lapland, it has a large husky dog on it.
He seems a lot better today, he hasn't eaten anything but he has been drinking which is the most important. I am going to give him some flat cola as well as I had a GP who swore by it and it does seem to work in replacing fluids and sugars.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Back from ye North

The children and I arrived back home today after a trip to Lapland.
It is a very beautiful place.
I am going to add the full report about the trip in the holiday blog part of the site.
Thankyou for your many good wishes for Christmas and new year, it is good to know I have so many great supporters and new friends.
The ex had to get a new washing machine while we were away as we could not find anyone to fix the old one until new year! With holiday washing, that is not good. I tried the tumble dryer and it looks like that is on the way out too! Oh happy days... : )
I would like to take this oppurtunity to say Merry Christmas and a happy and wishful new year to all who log on. May all your wishes be granted for 2008.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Happy birthday Kieran

A very happy birthday to my little boy, Kieran who is 11 years old today.
We had a cake made by the hotel we were in which tasted wonderful. I broke my sugar rule for his birthday.
I bought him a camera for his birthday and he thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures.
Happy birthday sweet heart, I love you
Mum x

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Grease night

We had a brilliant night out last night. The evening was filled with great music, great entertainment and most of all, I went with some great friends and family.
We all dressed up for the night, we had cheerleaders, pink ladies, T-birds and some people, who were not with us, dresses up as Ninja's, Super Mario and some other crazy characters that were nothing to do with Grease! The picture is of myself and my sister. I look forward to the next one, Thanks guys.
Well, this is it, we are off to Lapland today, Kieran has a little play to do for the other children in the school and I will pick him up around 11:00am. I will do a holiday blog when I get back.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Happy Birthday Dad

It is my dad's birthday today and he would have been 70. I went to the cemetery and left a wreath and also left one for my cousin.
I am going out to a Grease themed evening tonight at the Holiday inn i Plymouth. I am going to celebrate my dad while I am there.

Dad, where ever you are, I love and miss you, you were taken too soon.
I believe you are with me every day.
I will toast you tonight and remember the wonderful person you were and still feel yoi in my heart and my memories.
As you always loved Monty python, I will quote a line to you that is very much the person you were and the very wise advice you would gave me.

"Always look on the bright side of life".

I love you
Debbie x

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Last day at work for a while

I have just finished my 3 day shift (the pod decoration is here) and am very excited about going to Lapland.
I am going out tomorrow night with my friends from work as we are going to a "grease" theme night. That should be fun. I will be off to Birmingham on Tuesday and ready to leave for Lapland on Wednesday which is also my little boys birthday, he will be 11. I am looking forward to Christmas this year, much more than I was last year.
I will add a post tomorrow as it is also my dear dad's birthday.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Christingle Service

Every Christmas my son and his school have been part of a Christingle service at a local church. The Christingle service is to remind the children of the birth of the baby Jesus. The children each have an Orange.

*The Orange represents the world.
*The red ribbon represents the blood of Christ.
*The candle for the light,
*The four sticks represent the north, south, east and west and the four seasons.
*The sweets represent the fruits of the earth.

This is the last one as next year he will be going to a new school.
My employers very kindly let me have time off to go as I am working 8am till 8pm today.
The service was lovely. He was called out to say a prayer in front of everyone watching and he was wonderful.
I am so pleased to be seeing the second one since my diagnosis as last year I was so upset as I thougt it was my last Christmas.

I am so proud of him.

Well done little bean, you were fantastic.

I love you x

Mesothelioma Survivor

I have had a link sent to me from one of the many followers of Meso and me. Suzanne finds amazing links and she found a link about a woman in Adelaide who has survived Meso for 10 years and she is pregnant.

Thanks Suzanne, I know a lot of people will be inspired by this. Keep them coming!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Next CT scan

My next scan is on 7th January. I will have my follow up appointment on 18th January. I am so hoping to get the same result and always have the same feelings before the appointment. The stress and worry of Theo growing is the worst. I don't want to hear that. I appreciate his efforts of not growing and he will hopefully stay as he is for a very long time. ITV have decided against running the story. I thought it was a little contrversial although the publicity would have given Meso another kick.
I am sure there will be oter times. I am off in town now to do some more Christmas shopping before the Lapland trip. I really wish I could get a private plane and give invites to all those that have supported me. Alas, that isn't going to happen so I will take you all in spirit.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Christmas shopping

My son's school organises a small Chrismas shopping trip for the parents who attend the coffee mornings at his school. This year we went to Trago Mills in Newton abbot, my sister came aswell and it was lovely. We had lunch and looked around the shops. There was a notice up at the little station which we found quite amusing. My friend took her son on while the train while my sister and I browsed the shops for gifts. I found a lovely little shop that catered for diabetics and bought myself some sugar free chocolates to put away for Christmas. We had a lovely day and I am taking my youngest son to the cinema this evening to see "Bee Movie" which looks fun. We will go for something to eat afterwards. What a wonderful day : )

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Christmas Assembly

This time last year I thought I was seeing my son, Kieran, in his school asembly for the last time. I am so pleased to be here and see him in this years performance. He sang 2 songs with his class and was wonderful. I now have a new target, next christmas!
He is looking forward to his trip next week as am I and my other 2 children.

I went to the funeral parlour afterwards with my sister and my friend and made my arrangements with the undertakers. I have sorted out as much as I can at the moment. I gave the poor undertaker a task which shocked him, I asked for a purple coffin with purple lining inside. He went away and made some calls and came back with a very positive 'yes'. I didn't like to ask if I could have dragonflies on it also!

I have done it now, I don't want to have my children arranging it for me and especially want to put it behind me and carry on with the future I have.
I have got ITV coming over on Thursday as they have asked if I wil do a peice to camera about the bitter comments I had through a local newspaper. I will put across that the media had nothing to do with me getting the payment. It will aslo add a little more publicity to the awareness of Mesothelioma and asbestos exposure.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Funeral arrangements

I am going to a funeral directors tomorrow with a good friend of mine to make arrangements for my day when ever that may happen. It has to be one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but I don't want my children to have to do it. I love them so much and it breaks my heart to plan this and as I said before, I want t start 2008 with a clean slate. I want to put this behind me. I know what music I want and roughly what I want the service to be like. I am not a heavily religious person so will talk about the whole thing tomorrow.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Christmas Decs at work

My team mates and I have been busy making our work space into an ice palace. the theme for
the call centre work spaces and teams are Christmas Films. We have chosen "The nightmare before Christmas. I made the Jack and Sally figures for halloween and was pleased to hear we could use them again. My team mates have been making icycles with paper and it is like a scene from blue pater with all the paper and scissors around. We have 15 windows made from card board and the colour we picked for our team was black. I have really enjoyed making the props for the team.
One of my team mates is coming with me on Tuesday as I am going to make funeral arrangements for myself. It is not something I want to do but I want to end this year with the arrangements and start the new year fresh with a positive mind ahead. Putting the arrangements at the end of 2007 hopefully help all of us to move on.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Morning after

I enjoyed my night out although it was a shame that the venue was opened to the public at 10:00pm as it would have been better to have a little longer mingling and dancing with friends. I out danced one of the guys there which was a great feeling. I was so impressed with myself as I was dancing to some really upbeat tunes for about 20 minutes.
I haven't got any pictures as I forgot to take them. After the event, I went to a casino with a friend. I have never been in one before and didn't waste any pennies. I watched my friend lose his!
I haven't got a clue when it comes to poka and pontoon. I would be hopeless but at leats now I can say I went in one.
A lot of guys on the team are going down with ome kind of bug. I seem to be ok at the moment and feel like I can battle anything.
1 week to go before Lapland and counting!!! No illnesses please !

Friday, 7 December 2007

Orange Christmas

I am out with friends tonight at the Orange Christams party. I work for Orange, the mobile phone company and am looking forward to the night. There will be awards given to those who have done well in the call centre and it will be great to socialise with my team mates.
I also went out last night with some of my team mates and had a great time. I am still abstaining from alchohol, been about 6 weeks now. I was never a heavy drinker, I liked the occasional beer after work. I have put that on hold as it contains yeast and I want to see if it will make a difference.
I have also cut down on sugar, I admit to being a chocoholic and have kept away from that for more that 6 weeks.
I have not had any cravings and the worst thing I am trying to do is stay away from bread.
Yeast free bread is not as nice as normal bread and I find it hard to change that. I am going to start making soda bread.
I have done quite well keeping away from dairy.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007


Hampshire asbestos support and awareness group is run by 2 sisters who unfortunately lost their dad to Mesothelioma in December 2005. They have worked hard to raise awareness with this disease and I will be adding a link to their site if anyone wants more information. My daughter sees to all that and as she is studying hard for her illustration course, she will add it when she can.
In the meantime, the link is below :

Please take a look, I hope it is helpful.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

comments removed

I have had word that the comments on the website have now been removed. I am taking some very good advice and ignoring the person concerned.
I have just finished my 3 days of work and am going to finish off the decor for the work place and put it all up on Saturday.

I have booked the travel insurance through my work and have organised the travel to Birmingham.
I think I am looking forward to Lapland more than the children!
I will be adding a blog when we come back. I will add it to the holiday blog.

Thanks to my friends for their great support.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Targeted again

I have another comment from the guy who seems very bitter about my payment.
I have responded and have asked him to contact me directly and not go through the newspaper as he is becoming quite malicious in his comments. He is trying to say I blame my dad for my illness. I have never blamed my dad and loved him immensly. I am not sure if this a malicious attack by a family member as the person comments on my family all the time, assuming illnesses and how they feel. It's like it is an attack that is very personal.
This is the first letter (which was not from the malicious person):
I am very happy that Mrs Brewer has won a satisfactory settlement from the Ministry of Defence. I am sure that this settlement was only made possible by the attention of the press and certainly not through the benevolence of the MOD. Mrs Brewers claim that the disease was occasioned by the contact with her fathers overalls was perhaps a little tenuous when considered against the refusal of the Ministry of Defence to compensate service men for the same condition. A warship was only habitable, if that is the word,because of the vast amounts of Asbestos that was used to insulate the ships. Blue asbestos being sprayed onto baremetal surfaces to a depth of about 50mm to insulate from the sea. Machinery spaces where it was only possible to work day in and day out surrounded by asbestos lagging. The dust caused by that material being subjected to the vibrations of high speed machinery and the effects of rough weather caused many of us,who were proud to serve in the Royal Navy,to conract asbestos related lung disease. That is a fact and is not denied by the MOD. As we were serving personnel and not civilian employees or their dependants we as a body are barred from any compensation. Is this really fair?
John, Kelly Bray

The second letter is more personal :

I do agree with john , i believe Mrs Brewer has dragged her poor family and fathers name through the press to get the settlement i cannot imagine what her mother and her fathers other children are going through. I worked in the dockyard also lagging , i got a payment nothing close to Mrs Brewers , NONE of us have and i imagine her poor father was the same ,its wrong.
william j , plymouth

My Response :

I read, with interest, the comment left by William, I am sorry he has an asbestos related illness also. As I said before, I did not work with asbestos, I have had this disease through no fault of my own. I have not dragged my family through the media. I know that he probably gets an industrial injury benefit that I am unable to get and if he was in my position, if he had never worked with it and found he had been exposed, would he really sit back and do nothing? Don’t attack me as I am an innocent in all this. I was a child when I was exposed. I could do nothing to avert myself from getting Mesothelioma, if I could have then I would have. I have nothing but pride for my dad and he should never have been put through the anguish and trauma which is the same as William is suffering. It is a disgrace. My media attention had nothing to do with the claim but has had a lot to do with highlighting the wrong doing of the MoD. I am 48 years old and not sure if I will see my children grow and create their own families. That is so heartbreaking for me. I have a full time job and work to support my family. If I could rid myself of cancer, I would gladly give up that payment. Direct your anger were it should be directed, at those who have given us a life sentence. Contact me at if you want to discuss things further.
Debbie Brewer, Plymouth

And the third one after my response :

"Direct your anger were it should be directed, at those who have given us a life sentence." so in this case your dad? as he was the one who "gave " you the disease ? Another question , well , an opinion , surely your mother would have got meso from your father before you? very confusing. if i was in your position (which techniclly i am , i am dying )i would of done the same mrs brewer , however as john said , you have used your poor fathers name and reeped reward from the media . I am happy you got a payment from the mod ,its a blessing for you and your family however , i feel it was highly elevated due to media pressure and i feel for your mother and the rest of your family,it cannot possibly be easy for them . regards , will.
william j , plymouth

And my response again :
William, I have read your comment and do not understand your bitterness towards me. Is it the money? You don't know how much I got and are assuming an amount I am sure. Why should I blame my father? He, as you, did not know. I loved my dad and he would never have passed on this disease to me or any of his children. I am grateful that no one else in my familyhas it. I would appeciate it if you did not put words in to my mouth as I have never blamed my dad. I was referring to the MoD as you well know. You do not know my family and have no right to comment on any of them. You seem very bitter at having your disease, I am too and would stop at nothing to rid myself of it as you would. Attacking me for challenging a company who gave me this is very bitter. If you think the decisison was wrong then ask the MoD to lodge an appeal. They investigated fully, my work history where I lived and every avenue of my life. Media pressure had noting to do with it. I would appreciate it if you did not pretend to know my family and you have no idea about any illness my mother has or has not. Have the guts to contact me privatley and talk to me face to face. My email is I look forward tohearing from you
Debbie Brewer, Plymouth

I am still trying to come to terms with my illness and this person seems intent on attacking me. I just want to know why it is getting so personal? It must be the money, But why? We have the same illness. Who knows. I will wait and see if he agrees to speak with me personally.

(Footnote) William never contacted me and all comments were taken off the local papers site. I would imagine that he is angry because he thinks I have received a great amount from the MoD. I didn't, I just don't want to reveal it. Some people get very bitter, It isn't a lottery win!
All I can say is you are welcome to the money if you take all the pain and anguish that goes with it.

Alimta battle continues

Yet another Mesothelioma sufferer is denied Alimta when this could extend his life by a few months. Victor Lamb is having to pay for his own treatment when it should be freely available on the NHS. When is this goverment going to take any notice of the voices who want the drug.
Victor was featured on the front of our local paper and the link is below.

It is an idividual choice and if it gives the sufferer hope, who are this company to deny it. I have never heard of any company or committee so inappropriatley named "NICE" they certainly are not.
The update on the Alimta appeal will not be available until later this year or early next year. For some people this is too late. The link below details a little more about the meeting/appeal.

Come on people the scottish have this drug free, we are run by a scottish minister, this is an unfair judgement and we all need to shout some more.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Lapland tickets

Yay !! I have the tickets for Lapland....I am so looking forward to it. It will be myself and the 3 children going. Now the panic starts with the passports and documents.
This is the part I don't like much, I will be fine when we are on the plane bit have this mad panic about the passports, tickets and documentation.
I would say I was OCD'd up but I was told I could not say that as I don't have OCD. What that means is I have not been diagnosed with it but still have the mad panic and sweats that occur with this condition.
It isn't pleasant and I do try and ask myself..what is the worst that can happen? That is why I panic, I am trying to stop that worse moment happening. I am going to sort out the insurance and travel to the airport tomorrow.
Any way...back to the main subject.......YAHOOOO!!!!!!!
: )

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Kieran's early birthday party

I arranged for my son, Kieran, to have an early birthday party with his friends as he will be in Lapland on his birthday. He will be 11 years old on 19th December. He had his party at the local bowling centre. He thoroughly enjoyed himself and his friends had a great time too. His favourite thing to do though was to go on a simulator ride in the bowling complex, I am sure he went on it 4 times! Good job I arranged the bowling !!!
He was so worried he would miss out on a birthday party as we would be away. We had a bit of a panic on the way home as my rear view mirror had decided to fall off. My eldest son, Richard had commented that it was against the law to drive with no rear view mirror, Kieran heard a siren in the back ground and panicked saying he thought the police were after me for not having a mirror. I calmed him down by pointing out the ambulance behind us and that I would get a kit to fix the mirror.
Panick over ....the mirror is now fixed! He is so sweet.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Well done Kieran

My little boy, Kieran got a certificate at school today. I bought him some new football boots a couple of weeks ago and has been so proud of them. He has taken them to school and played football. He got a certificate from his headmaster in his good work assembly, they have one every Friday.
He said he was in goal and was told he was very good. Considering we have no one in our little family that follows football, he has chosen it for himself. He brought home a medal that he was presented with yesterday and didn't want to take it to school today. I also spoke to his teacher about his school work and he was very pleased with the way he is progressing.
It has been such a busy day, what with sorting out the finances, assemblies, and holidays, I also went Christmas shopping with my sister and eventually sat down at 9:15pm.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Bernie Banton

Bernie Banton was a sufferer of Mesothelioma and sadly lost his battle with peritoneal Mesothelioma at 1am 0n 27th November 2007. He lived in Sydney, Australia and was highly praised for his tireless work with highlighting the issues surrounding asbsetos and Mesothelioma. The worlds first asbestos research centre will be named after him. The multi-million dollar centre is being set up to find new treatments for the disease. May I take this opportunity to say y thoughts are with his family.

The link below details more about Bernie and his campaigning.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

thinking of the future

We had a lady in work today who was selling usbourne books. I had a look at the books and picked out some for my little boy for christmas, he loves joke books especially the unfunny ones : ) One book caught my eye, It was a book about growing up and on the cover were questions.
How will I have my first shave?
Why are girls different?
What is testostorone?
I thought I would get it for him and then it hit me......Will I be here when he has these questions?
I left work and went to my sister's for a good, strong hug and to bawl my eyes out. It isn't often that I get a wobbly moment but this was a major one.
My sister was wonderful and told me I have every reason to feel like I do and listened to me blubber on (thanks Sis x).
I really hope I am, I am going to put it in his memory box as it will be really helpful to him anyway. I may well be here and will definatley help him with his questions, although, I do have to fight him for a kiss!

There are really lovely responses on the newspaper site this evening. Thank you for taking the time to write in. I appreciate it and all these negative comments will only spur me on to raise more awareness of Mesothelioma and Asbestos.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Thank you

I want to say a big thank you to all those of you, especially Suzanne, who responded in the paper and those who have sent emails of support and to family, friends and workmates who have supported me while I have been attacked for my payment.
I am rising above it and just thinking about my family and the future we have left.
I do appreciate any comments and I knew some people would not be happy but to be attacked in this way for getting an illness through no fault of my own is wrong.
Once again, thank you, I appreciate it.


Monday, 26 November 2007

Debate online - local paper

There has been a debate printed in my local newspaper concerning my pay out. Although I have not let out how much I have recieved, some people are not happy as my payment (they think) is in excess of what they would get. One person has accussed me of dragging my family through the press which I haven't. I don't feel I have to justify myself to anyone and have asked in the forum if the person/people complaining would honestly sit back and say/do nothing if they were in this position. I don't think they would. I am not entitled to Industrial injury benefit which is included in the link below.

I have a lump sum payment of 6 figures, that is all these people know. As I have said before, do not knock me, if you want to vent your anger, direct at those who gave us this life sentence.
The article is contained below.

On a lighter note, my eyebrows are growing back. I have been without them for about 10 months and have been thinking of having them tattooed on. I have lost them due to Alopecia and not chemo as I have not had any. They are pure white so I will be tinting them when the time is right.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

feeling unwell

I really gutted my bedroom yesterday. I have moved furniture, thrown out stuff that had been hanging around for too long and I think I did too much.
I am feeling cold and shivery and my poor little limbs are aching. I don't like anything beating me and have a persistant son who wants to see his friend today. I am also trying desperatly to get something to take to work tomorrow, I am helping to build our ice palace scene for Christmas.
I need another week off work to get myself ahead of all these projects. I have used up all my holiday and have to squish it all into 3 days. It is good to keep busy but at times I need to listen to my body when it says slow down.
It will all be fine tomorrow, I will try and lay off doing too much today.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Blast from the past

I was given some memorabilia today by my sister. It had been found while she sorted out boxes at our home we lived in as children.

I couldn't believe it was still in the house. There was a newspaper cuttings which had to be from the late 70's and a membership card to the "official David Essex fan club".
I was in love with David Essex in the 1970's, as were many other teenage girls, and was so much in love that I joined the club which made me feel a bit closer to him. He had the most beautiful blue eyes and that dirty cockney look, like a gypsy, which mesmorized me.
I had all his albums at one time which have since gone. I also have an annual somewhere which was from the 70's. I had it bad :)

The Bay City Rollers were my favourite band back then and I was in love with Woody. I was so in love with him that my sister, Wendy, had made me a white jumper with a big red"W" on the front which was very similar to the one he wore. Of course I had to have trousers to go with it so armed with a pair of scissors, needle and cotton, a white bed sheet and my mother's tartan skirt, I set about making them, all hand sewn I might add and I was so impressed that I wore them to someones wedding. Don't know who it was getting married but I sat at the back in my gear and must have looked a right fool! AAhhh those were the days ......

Friday, 23 November 2007


I am dedicating todays blog to Vanessa, Pamela and Wendy and their families. 3 wonderful ladies who have passed who were so passionate about life and helped to open a door that is so often closed.
Thank you to you and may you be remembered forever.
You have changed so many lives by giving up your precious time for the last 18 months and dealing with something that is usually so very private.. The support and information has been invaluable to me and hopefully, many others.
I also want to dedicate part of it to Dawn and Carol, may you conquer your battle and have many more precious years ahead.

Debbie x

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Tearful TV

I watched the Mummy diaries and I am left feeling with mixed emotions, sad because 3 of these wonderful ladies have since passed and warmth as I have learnt so much from it. Vanessa, Pamela and Wendy have, sadly, lost their lives this year. It is with sorrow that they will never know how they have helped other families deal with this worst of dilemmas. Thanks also to Dawn and Carol for also taking part. A lot of what was said was like listening to my thoughts and feelings spill out of the TV. It was brilliant. I would love to see channel 4 do a follow up in 6 months to see how all the families are coping and hopefully lots of positive news.
Thank you channel 4.

Wish upon a star
My call centre has very kindly said I can put up a Wish Upon a Star Starscape to raise money for the Winstons Wish charity that was involved in Channel 4s documentary mentioned above. A Starscape is a midnight sky wall display on which you, your friends and colleagues can stick a star, which is dedicated to somebody who is - or has been - special in your life. I am selling the stars for £1 or more if the person wants to, for more information and how to get your own starscape is in the link below:
Or if you want to buy the stars from me from me please let me know by emailing me and we will sort something out. I will add them to the starscape in Plymouth.
Ice palace
On a lighter note, my colleagues and I are decorating our part of the work area as an ice palace. I am painting all the stalalmite icycles ( Stagmalites as my friend Charlie calls them!) and also making lyrics of Shaking Stevens Christmas song " merry Christams every one" which will go around the area. I will add some pictures when it is done.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

The last Mummy diary

Tomorrow night (22nd November 2007) is the last in the series of the mummy diaries.
It is an amazing programme so beautifully made and respectful of the families taking part.
I have been in touch with Dawn and she will be featured tonight and she has her own website which is featured below :

She is so brave and positive, She and the 4 other mums have helped to bring this subject, that is never talked about, to the forefront. It is made with dignity and love.
Well done channel 4, it has been really helpful asI have now got memory boxes for my children and they are using them.

Just a footnote: my daughter has been chosen to illustrate the contents page of a local magazine. It is called 24/7 and is a music mag for the south west region. (link below)

I am looking forward to seeing it when it comes out in December,
Well done Siobhan, I am so proud of you. x

Compensation feed back

I have spoken to my solicitor and also to the person concerned. The person needs to get as much information as possible about the work history and get statements done. The person contacted my solicitor and he was very helpful. Hopefully something will come of it.
I have had some good news from my work place, they are allowing me to have unpaid leave to go to Lapland with my children. I am looking forward to it so much. I will add more details when I know more. We will be going the week before christmas.......yahay!!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Information for compensation

I have someone who has got a second family member with this awful disease. The person wants information from a spouse of the first victim to continue with claim. The spouse is unwilling to forward any information and as time is of the essence, it is important that the person has this information.
I am adding this to the website in the hope that someone out there who could help with this?
If so, it would be appreciated if you could please reply on thread in message board or email me at
Thankyou in anticipation of a response.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Meeting in Plymouth

I attended the Lowe family meeting today. It was very informal and we discussed issues surrounding Mesothelioma, claims and fund raising.
At the end of the meeting, a gentleman said he felt like a fraud because he has plueral plaque.
I told him that my dad had plueral plaque and he should not feel a fraud. Plueral plaque is caused by asbestos exposure and is not recognised as an industrial disease by the goverment to the joy of the insurance companies. This should be turned around as the person who has the disease can only get it one way, through exposure. This website is to support anyone with an asbestos related illness. I hope it is helpful and it is called Mesothelioma and me as it is about my illness and how I cope with it. the site is still available for support to other asbestos related illnesses.
We discussed Alimta which is up for appeal on 23rd November as it is available, at present, on the NHS in some areas and if the patient is recieving it before it was passed a few months ago. The appeal will hopefully overturn this ruling and it will be available anywhere to anyone who requires it.
More information can be found in the link below :

We discussed claiming when someone has asbestos illness. If the person recieves compensation for the illnes they have been compensated for, they have to pay back benefits that were paid out previous to the claim. This includes DLA, Attendance allowance, Incapacity benefit,Industrial injury benfit, Constant care allowance and Severe disablement benefit plus many more......(sounds like an ad for a CD!)
It all seems a little unfair but that is the law of the land.
More information can be found on this site :

We also discussed Action Mesothelioma day and what Plymouth should do. Jackie Lowe thought of the enviroment and releasing balloons would not be an option. I suggested we have a fund raisnig awareness day and to start it we have a 2 mins silence for all those who have perished to Asbestos related diseases. It was also suggested that we could get some fish food type items, like flowers or leaves I suppose, to put on the water, something like the confetti for birds to eat.
Any ideas,please contact the Lowe family at :‏ and the website address for the Lowe family and their campaign is :

or myself at

It was a quiet meeting (apart from the little ones playing :) ) and the second one was talked of. It may be after Christmas as we are getting very close now.
Any feedback will be gratefully recieved.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Meso meeting in Plymouth

The Lowe family have organised a support meeting in Plymouth on Monday 19th November at Tuscany's, Legion Lane, Brixton 11am-12noon.
Anyone interested is welcome to come along. Any questions I would be happy to take to the meeting with me.
The Lowe family have started a campaign in Plymouth.
The Roger Lowe Asbestos Mesothelioma campaign and was set up to bring awareness and support to those who need it.
The website address is :

update on my diet

I started a yeast free, dairy free, sugar free diet o 26th October and I have to say it is quite hard. I thought it was going to be easy asI was a vegetarian but it isn't. The hardest part is going yeast free. I have tried soda brade and gluten free bread and they are not good. In the end I went back to bread and limited myself to 1 -2 slices a day sometimes less than that.
The sugar free has suprised me as I love chocolate and I haven't wanted it at all. I have also stayed away from alchohol.
I have started taking another supplement, B17 ( known also as amygdalin or laetrile). It is a vitimin that occurs nauturally in a lot of plants/vegetation all over the world. I take 1 100mg capsule a day.
B17 was reccommended to me by an ambulance attendant a while ago now and I have just got some and will see what happens. I also have 2-3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed in my juice every morning. This also contains B17. It is like drinking a glass ofjuice with bread crumbs in it but it is bearable and I have felt healthier since takin it. I have been taking the flaxseed for months. It is a good form of omega 3 and fibre.
I buy mine in Tesco's and it is expensive as is the B17 but if it works I don't mind.
You can find out more about these supplements on the links below.

B17 link :

Flaxseed, this site is selling the product. I have added it for information only.

I hope this is helpful and if anyone has any other helpful hints please let me know and I will post it on here. I do think that taking the supplements has made a big difference to my immune system. When I am at work I am surrounded by people with colds and coughs and I know I have had my flu jab and that helps a lot but feeling in good health when having a sore throat has been wonderful. I don't have that run down exhausted feeling like I did before with colds. I am hoping that it is to do with the supplements and boosting my immune system. Immunology is the way to go for well being I am sure. Saying that, my hair is a mess..I have had alopecia for 4 years and have lost my eyebrows early this year since taking immune tablets, its a small price to pay and the wigs I wear take the worry away.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Vaccine for non--small cell lung cancer

Below is a link for the trial of BLP25 Lipossomal vaccine (Stimuvax) for non-small cell lung cancer

I posted this on my website back in April and at the time the trials had not started.
I see that on the site it says they have now begun. It will recruit about 1,300 people with stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer from various countries around the world. BLP25 is a new and experimental, and is not licensed as a treatment yet. It is not currently available outside of a clinical trial. An international phase 3 trial is now open in a number of countries. While this trial is recruiting patients in the UK. It doesn't look like it is available for Mesothelioma at the moment but I would like to find more information about it.
If anyone finds anything about this trial, please let me know and I will post it here.

boots for Kieran

I went in to Plymouth city centre with My daughter, Siobhan and my little son, Kieran and it was lovely.
We had lunch in one of our favourite places, Hobbs coffee shop in Mayflower Street.
We then went and bought some new football boots for Kieran.
He has just started to play football at school and is very proud of his new boots.

He was not to keen on getting laces as he has dyspraxia which is an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. It is an immaturity in the way that the brain processes information, which results in messages not being properly or fully transmitted.
He was so pleased to find some velcrow boots!
Siobhan only had a pot of ink...... I am sure she will have something else in the future. It was so great to see the city centre getting ready for Christmas.

Comment on payment

I have just read a comment posted on my local papers website.

The guy who commented thinks I only got the payment due to media coverage. This is not the case, I got the payment through the hard work and perserverance of my solicitor and the MoD admitting liability. If they thought for one moment that this payment was not backed up they would not have paid out.
The guy worked on warships and is angry because he cannot get a payment. He has every right to be angry and I am sure there are campaigns around that are fighting this corner.
I am sorry he didn't get his rightful payment but saying mine was due to media coverage is wrong.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Unhappy day

I have not had a good day in work today. I don't know if my home life is leaking into my work life but I have felt so tired and miserable today. I feel unsupported at times.
This is hard to deal with when I am stressed. It is a shame because I like my job but at times it is difficult.
I got my memory boxes yesterday and gave my 2 older children theirs. They do not want to talk to me about what is happening and I can understand that but I sometimes need to break out of the mum image and talk to them about the future.
I feel very lonely at times as I don't think anyone can understand the horrors in my head apart from the friends I have made who are going through the same thing. I have some very good friends who are supportive and try to see my point of veiw and it must be difficult for them.
I want to have a miracle, like all terminally ill patients. I have to realise that this is not going to happen. I would love to have 3 christmas wishes.

*1 - to abolish all asbestos from the 1800s to the present, that would mean going back in time and my dad would still be here and myself and many other people would have our future back.
*2 - to have a cure for all cancers.
*3 - I am not sure about this one but am sure I can think of something.

I am not sure how to approach my youngest but I think I will leave things as they are and focus on our time we have now. I don't know how long I have got and maybe I have got more than I think I have.
I really don't know what time is the right time to talk about the situation.
I will wait for them to talk to me first.
All I know is that I love all 3 of them so much I could explode and Idon't want to leave them.

Thursday, 15 November 2007


I would like to say a big THANKYOU to everyone who has sent emails and messages of support to me these past few days.
I really appreciate the comments and have responded to those who have contacted me.
The website has been a great advantage and I am meeting so many wonderful, brave and positive people.
Please keep in touch and let me know about any issues you feel could be of use to others in the same position.
Once again
Thankyou x

Alimta appeal

The Mesothelioma cancer drug, Alimta is not available for use on the NHS unless the patient already having treatment. On 23rd April there will be an appeal to reverse this decision.
More information can be found below.

Personally, I am not having treatment at the moment but if I did decide to go through that avenue, I would choose Alimta.
I find it a disgrace that people who do not have the disease make decisions for people who do.
Mesothelioma sufferers have little or no successful treatments as it is...surely they are entitled to one that gives a litle hope..
Come on all you Local Primary health cares....turn it around and give the people who want a little more life a chance of that.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Staying awake!

I was up at 5am this morning and went TV studios in Plymouth to do a link up with GMTV in London.
It was so quiet outside. It is such a beautiful part of the day.

I had a coffee to give me a kick, I haven't drunk coffee with caffiene in for a while and I have given up on the caffeine free and stuck to green tea, so this was a first for a long time.
I went in and did the first slot at 6:15am, still realing from getting up so early! I was so tired I got the dates wrong for when my dad worked for the MoD. It was 1963 - 1966 and I said 1961 - 1963..!
I then had to wait until 7:40am to do the next one.I was entertained by the guys there as they were showing me around the studio and explaining their jobs and I watched as they did their stuff with the buttons and TV screen....amazing to the novice, very technical. I looked at the green board and the news room where the lovely Richard Bath (our presenter in Plymouth) sits.

I then left there and got to work for 8:00am start. WOW......I am so tired!!!

I finished at 8:00pm this evening and am ready for my bed.
The guys at the TV studio very kindly copied the interview for me.

It was another adventure for me and will hopefully get some people looking into this subject and get some more awareness out there.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


I have just had a call from GMTV.
I am going to the Plymouth studios and will be on at 6:10am and 7:10am (and as I am writing this, they have just rang up and changed the times!) It is now 6:15am and 7:40am.
It is going to be an early start tomorrow.
I had a call from local radio earlier and did an interview for them.
Apparently the story went on BBC news 24. This will hopefully help bring more awareness about Mesothelioma, asbestos and the whole subject in general.
I will write more tomorrow when I get home from work


ITV have come out to do a piece to camera concerning the MoD payout. It has been quite busy here with phone calls and friends wishing me well.
All in all it has been a very positive experience. I would like to direct myself into campaigning for more awareness about asbestos and also helping others in my situation.
I would really like something done about the Plueral plaque payouts as this has been stopped by the goverment and should be turned around. How anyone can say that Pleural plaque is not an industrial disease is beyond me. My father would not have had that illness if he hadn't worked with asbestos.

He was lucky enough to get the payment but that all changed in 2006. My father had Pleural plaque, we watched this strong, happy, positive man struggle to breathe, He has a walking stick and it did disable him. It took away the years he should have had and it removed him from our family. Like me, He should never have gone through it. One thing it didn't take was his character, he was so good to be with and loved his old black and white Charlie Chaplin films.
He had a great sense of humour and was always very wise.
I miss him and so do my children.

BBC and One year on

On 13th November 2006 I was given the confirmation I didn't want to hear, That I had Mesothelioma.
I had my 2 older children with me when I was told. My sister, Wendy came with me as did my good friend, Helen. They ave never left my side and are always avilable if I need them.

The BBC have been around to film this morning as I have made the news that I got my claim through official.
Hopefully all this publicity will focus on the wrong doings of this country and change minds about Mesothelioma and Plueral plaque payments.
I am lucky as I have no pain with my illness. I am relativly healthy apart from the odd breathless episode.
I have my family who keep me busy and I do try and keep things as normal as possible and to be honest, as I have said before, I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR CANCER.
I want to start again when the money comes through and enjoy what is left of my life with those who care about me. I can't jump for joy with this payment as it is not a lottery win. It is what I would have earned if I had lived a natural life. I have always tried to keep myself fit, never smoked, vegetarian but my downfall has always been chocolate. I have now stayed off chocolate and beer for 2 weeks. I am a chocohalic and like the occasional drink and even I have impressed myself! Well done me : )

Monday, 12 November 2007

Smoking and asbestos

This is very interesting. I came across it in an auction site and have found more info. I can't bring myself to add the word of the smoking utensil as I have a phobia with the whole thing but apparrently, America used to put Asbestos in filters in the 1950's.
I will let you read it for yourself.

Winstons wish

I wanted to include this site on my blog.
I am so impressed with the mummy diaries and the families involved that I am going to take the advice on board and create a box for each of my children.
It is going to be hard but seeing these brave, courageous families face up to what is devastating news makes me want to put it in place.

I do need to speak to my youngest son the most as my older children (especially my daughter who was sat beside me when I was told I had 6-9 months) have been involved by coming to appointments with me and supporting me when I feel down although we never talk about the situation as I am unsure of how to approach it.
My youngest son is also autistic which makes it harder to explain in a language he understands.
All in all they are wonderful children and I don't know how they feel as we don't talk about it.
I don't want to keep bringing up the fact that I am dying. It is something I hate talking/thinking about as I break down and cry every time. I don't want to pull them down and be on a misery mission. I want to live and to be posistive. Having Theo (my cancer) has changed my world.
I do my best to keep things as normal as possible and if not talking about it is going to help then, that is what I will do. I have ordered my memory boxes, one for each child and will fill them with thoughts and memories that my children can look at when ever they want to.
This is a wonderful service and I am sure that Winstons wish will benefit from the documentary.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

1 of the mummies from the diary

I have just found another blog written by a cancer patient.

The site belongs to Dawn, one of the very courageous ladies featured in channel 4s new series "the Mummy Dairies".
It is a brilliant site and is very informative. She is raising money for treatment abroad as she cannot get the treatment she needs in the UK.
NICE (calling them NICE grates on me as they don't seem to be) Withhold many treatments which is wrong when they are freely available in a lot of other countries.
I hope she gets what she needs to survive and I hope the goverment watches the mummy diaries very closely as there are too many needless, premature deaths in this country.#
Good Luck Dawn.

And here she is.....

Introducing little Alisha-Leigh, born on Friday 9th November and weighing it at 4lb 12oz.
She is so tiny and looked beautiful in pink. Mum, dad and baby are doing well. She was 4 weeks early so is being watched closely. She had a most of her tubes removed today and just has one left for feeding her.
My sister and her husband are so proud and rightly so.
they have their hands full as their little dog had puppies, 5 of them!
They have little ones all aroung them. The puppies are around 2 weeks old now.

I was a little upset today due to negative comments from a family member and I am trying to move forward and be positive. Everyone is still hurting from losing my dad as we really miss him and have had a lot to cope with this past year.
I hope some issues can be resolved but I think I am being too optomistic. I don't think this can ever be fixed. I need to concentrate on making things as normal as possible for my family and stay positive for them as they never asked for all this heart ache.
I am going to be as positive as I can and focus on my children and the family and friends who really care about me.

Another great neice

Congratulations again to my sister, Wendy, and her husband, Chris, Who are, once again, proud grandparents to a new baby girl. Their son, Chris, and his girlfriend, Caroline have had a little girl. I am going to the hospital to see the baby today and will post more here when I have seen her.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Still waiting

I am still waiting for the MoD to let me know about the payout. I am hoping that there will be official documentation next week.
It will be such a relief to be finished with it as it has been 10 months now and with Christmas and new year around the corner, it would be great to have that chapter of my life closed.
I want to concentrate on my children and what I have left of my future.
I still have to sort out my own funeral as I do not want my children to have to do it and that is going to be so hard.
I have a very good friend from work who has offered to help me and I am sure I will need it.
There is one more thing, I want don't want to be remembered for how I died but for how I lived and this life isn't over yet!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Hard day at the office.

It has been quite hard in work today, not just the 12 hour shift but the echoeings of last nights programme "the mummy diaries".
I have been really thinking about what I need to do for my babies,
I need to leave a memory box and a book as I want them to feel I am still here and still nagging at them even if it was from the pages of a handmade manual.

When I came home from work, there was complete uproar as the little one had had one of his outbursts and my older son had clashed with him. I come in and have to find some order in it and I do wonder what would happen if I wasn't there to hold it all together. Like all families, mine relies on me heavily. Shopping, driving, paying bills ect...I really don't have time for cancer!
I sometimes find this exhausting and feel I have no escape, only the predictable one.
I love my family to pieces and really want to be there as long as I can for them. I don't feel I can promise that and it hurts so much when I think about what will happen.
I have got a lot of anger also, anger that I even have to go through this. I know I will get the payout but that is worthless compared to what I am going to lose. I don't want to sound ungrateful as there are an awful lot of people with plueral plaque and Meso who will get nothing and that is something I would like to change.
I am going to start again when I get the payment...a new life with my children no matter how long it is.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

The mummy diaries

I have just finished watching a programme on channel 4 called the mummy diaries.

It is so beautifully made and has 5 very brave women talking about their illnesses and their families.
I broke down while watching it as it is something I need to face up to. I have to talk to my little boy about my illness and about the inevitable. It is something I cannot bring myself to do as I do not want to leave him. Maybe in my mind, if I don't tell him, I will stay. I don't want to admit it as I don't want to go anywhere. I want to be here for all of my children. I want to see my talented, beautiful daughter acheive her dream. I want to see my handsome, 18 year old son get a job and become independant and succeed in life and I want to see my gorgeous little boy grow up into an amazing adult.
Why is life so cruel? why now? why ever?
This series is so touching and I will be watching it again as it will help me talk to children about the future and what is going to be one of the hardest things we will have to go through.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Christmas shopping with my sis

I have had a lovely day out with my sister. We went into Plymouth city centre and started our Christmas shopping. I bought a fibre optic snowman, decorations and some gifts to wrap up.
We met up with another friend of mine for lunch and ambled around the shops for the rest of the day.
I have been in touch with my solicitor and there is a rumble in the jungle. Hopefully I will hear next week just what is offered. I want to get it all behind me as that way I can wipe the slate clean and begin to enjoy what I have left of my life. It may well be years, which I hope, whatever it is, this will help me rebuild and create a new future and come to terms with the illness.

Jehova anger

I am so angry this morning. I have just watched the news and saw that a woman who gave birth to twins has died as she refused a blood transfusion due to the beliefs of the Jehova church.

When asked if it was a kind of suicide, a spokeman for this church said that it was not suicide and equated it with a cancer patient refusing chemo.
This really angered me as it is a completely different illness. She would have had life, a life with her 2 children but she seems to have put her religion first. It has to be said It cannot even be compared to cancer and chemotherapy as some cancer patients don't even know if they will have a life after treatment. If it would have taken a blood transfusion to change a diagnosis, cancer patients would be lining up for it.
I do feel sad as she has left behind 2 children who will grow up motherless. She had a choice and she chose scriptures in a book.
I refused treatment because it would not have helped me and I feel I made the right decision as I have had extra time I didn't think I would have.
I recieved a letter from the Jehova church when my story hit the media early this year and they said they could cure me if I repented for all my sins as sinning is why I got my illness. I didn't respond to this idiotic letter and carried on with my life as I have never agreed with the Jehova way.
I wouldn't disrespect anyone for the path they take in life.
I have many good friends who are religious and who respect my views and I respect theirs.
If someone wants to be a Jehova witness that is their choice but it has no comparison with cancer and that treatment.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Happy 21st Birhtday

I would like to say a very happy 21st Birthday to my daughter, Siobhan.
She was born on 5th November 1986 at 08:51am and wieghed in at 6lb 15oz.
Her Birthday last year wasn't very good as I went into hospital on 2nd November 2006 to have the VATs op, we lost my dad and my diagnosis succeeded in turning it into a really rotten time for her and the family.
I ended up staying in hospital for longer than anticipated, it ended up being a week which meant I was still in for her birthday.
I gave her an Apple mac for her birthdaythis year and I have also bought her a top she really wanted in 2 different colours.
When I was 21 someone made up a box of gifts for me and I thought it was great and never forgot it. I wanted to do the same thing and had a box with many gifts in which my son, Kieran helped her unwrap.

Siobhan built this website and is studying hard at college with graphic design and illistration.
Her website link is below :

She will be going for a meal tonight in her favourite Japanese restaraunt to celebrate her day.
Happy Birthday Siobhan, I hope it is one of the best you have had this time.
I love you x

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Auction site result

I have had a message from the auction site and the asbestos chrystal I mentioned has been removed from sale.
The seller is not happy about this and has sent me a message telling me so. He said I am ruining his business.
What a shame he can't give anyone else this gift of a short life.
I do not feel bad about it at all. He gave me some names of other minerals on there and I appreciate that and will get them shifted also.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Asbestos on auction site

Asbestos chrystals from a mine in USA/Cananda is being sold on an auction site. It is also being offered for shipment to the UK.
There is also an asbestos apron which does give a warning that the material can cause asbestos related illnesses.
I have written to the site and asked for them to look into why the items are for sale in the USA. Also why offer shipment of this toxic rock to the UK?
I think it is irresponsible to sell this stuff and to ship it to somewhere where it is banned.
There is a general rule on the site about selling hazardous substances but asbestos is not mentioned.
I will update sthe blog when I hear anything.

No news yet

I have not heard anything at all from my solicitor concerning the MoD claim.
I thought I would have heard this week but it is silent.
I will contact my solicitor next week and see if there is any news.

Not much more happening apart from my B17 tablets arriving today.
I am running my own survey by trying out different diets and remedies that are promoted on so many reputable sites. It will be interesting to see if there is any change in Theo (my cancer) meaning him getting smaller.
It will be a miracle but I am not holding all my hopes on it. If Theo stays the same size I will be happy with that.
I am like everybody else who gets this awful disease and I do not want to die yet. Unfortunatley there is not enough help for people with Meso and this is all some of us have.
I cannot sit back and do nothing and what I am doing will hopefully help others now and in the future.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Proud parent

I am very proud of my little bean, my son, Kieran.
He got his first swimming award today. He swam 12 metres and also won another award for top table.
The top table award is given to children who are polite and eat their food well. My son has a packed lunch so he has to wait for the children who have school meals to sit down before he can have his. His school website is :

Well done Kieran...I love you x

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Red meat,alchohol and cancer

I was glad to see that cancer research have admitted that red meat, especially bacon and ham, and alchohol can increase the risks of some common cancers. What they haven't said is to avoid these things when you have it. Unfortunatley Mesothelioma doesn't come into the catagory of comon cancer. A common cancer is like Breast cancer and Bowel cancer.

I am still convinced that avoiding these things are intrumental in how I feel today.
I have been a vegetarian since I was 14 years old. I have never smoked as I have a phobia concerning that subject. I have never been a heavy drinker, just the occasional beer. All these things, I am convinced, have made a difference with my cancer.
I had my first symptoms and was told by the consultant at the time that I had scarring on the lungs back in 1994. It had also been diagnosed as Pluerisy and asthma.
I am certain that this was the start of Mesothelioma. Some professionals would disagree as I was only diagnosed last year so as far as they are concerned I have had it for 1 year. My pain has never changed, it has been exactly the same for 12 years. Last year I had the VATs op and the pain has diminished. I know it can erupt at any time but being pain free as been an absolute bonus for me.
The yeast,sugar,alchohol and dairy free diet is going well.
It would be so good to find health foods that do taste and look appetising though as some that I have found are disgusting. I bought a loaf of soda bread at my local supermarket so that makes things easier with lunch for work and toast.
I saw the 5 guys again today who are making a 10 minute documentary about Mesothelioma. I really hope they do well with it as they deserve to.
I haven't heard anything from my solicitor concerning the final settlement.
I will call him either tomorrow or Monday and find out if there is any update.
I will keep looking :)

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

100th blog and halloween

This is the 100th blog. It is hard to believe I have written 100 entries.
I was visited by 5 students today who are making a 10min documentary about Mesothelioma and the affects on families. One of the students has lost her grandfather to it and has a clear interest in the subject.
All five are absolutley lovely.
They will be returning tomorrow to get some more coverage.

I went out trick or treating with my son this evening. He thoroughly enjoyed himself. We spent the evening with his school friend.
He wanted to be a werewolf and looked very fierce!
There was one house we went to that had a bucket of gunge with treats in. The children had to put their hands in and find the sweets, they loved it. My son wouldn't put his hand in, he said it was disgusting :)
One of the children said it was the best house they had gone to.
It was a lovely evening weather wise.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

It's up!

The christmas tree I bought early this year is up!
It is something I did not think I would see. I set myself a challenge and with determination, have succeeded in seeing my tree up.
I have put it up early as I want to make the most of it.
It is lovely and I have also put on a couple of decorations I bought.
The next challenge is to enjoy a great Christmas with my family.
It is such a good feeling seeing my tree up.

Bank loan sharks

I have a loan with my bank which I took out a few years ago due to having a credit card. This was consolidated with some other debts and was agreed as at the time I didn't know I had cancer.
When I found out about Theo (my cancer) last year I asked the bank for a break in payments as I wanted to have a good Christmas with my children. I was given 6-9 months and thought it would be my last one.
They agreed and a plan was set up. I have since brought payments up to date with my interim payment and asked for the agreed plan to be removed.
This is now the second month that they have taken the actual payment and the agreed payment.
I am going into my bank with my McMillan nurse to sort it out.
This is so stressful. I was so upset about it yesterday as all payments going into my account will be swallowed up by the payments as I am now overrawn and they will try an charge me for that.


I have sent a letter to the banks customer support centre detailing all the problems I am having. I have sinc had 2 letters from the bank. One asking for direct debit details to be added to the acc which is definatley not going to happen. The second is asking me for my ususl payment which has alreay been recieved by them.
I am waiting for a respose from the letter which ws sent by special delivery. It has to be signed for and is logged. It does cost a bit extar but is worth it for recording every detail of this issue.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Feeling sad

I am on the last of my rotational shift today and will have 3 days off before I start again.
I felt so sad today, feeling very sorry for myself. We had a fund raising awareness day at work. It was all geared to breast cancer, Which is a great charity and a wonderful thing to do.
I am not against any fund raising as it is needed and is not always supported by the goverment. I bought some raffle tickets and felt absolutely gutted. Why do I have to die? Why can't I and people with the same cancer as me be afforded the same chance as someone with another more high profile cancer?
Unfortunatly this cancer doesn't affect the rich and famous, if it did, it would be high profile too. That doesn't mean I want someone to go through all this because I don't but Mesothelioma and all asbestos diseases need a face and a voice, something that it can be related to.
Steve McQueen was a high profile sufferer and not a lot is heard about that.
I have decided to do raise awareness on Mesothelioma action day and hopefully get the same support as the breast cancer charity did. This isn't sour grapes, I just want to live as do others suffering from Mesothelioma and all associated asbestos diseases.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Halloween at work

I had a good day at work today. I forgaot to put the clock an hour forward and ended up getting up an hour earlier.
That gave me a plenty of time to muck around with getting ready for work.
I dressed as a zombie bride and also helpe to do up the pod. I am a Tim Burton fan and copied his characters onto paper an stuck them on some skeletons. We hung them around the pod.
We had the corpse bride characters, Jack and Sally from nightmare before christmas and Beetljuice.
It was fun making it.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Dress up at work

I am busy readying myself for a dress up day at work. I am dressing as a zombie bride and will take some pics to add here.
I would paint Theo (My cancer)on the outside of my costume but I think that a lot of people at work may find it in bad taste so I have changed my mind.
My ex is organising a raffle to raise money for June Hancock fund and for our son's school, Courtlands in Pymouth.
Hopefully he will get a good amount to share between both charities.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Yeast free diet

I am now looking into a yeast free diet.
I will add more information when I find it.
I am going to drastically change my diet now. That means no dairy, yeast (mainly bread), sugar, red meat (I didn't have that anyway being a vegetarian).
I am still taking my flaxseed granules and my vits which are Tesco's own immune defence pills, vege omega 3, pomegranate and b complex plus my one I have to take, thyroxin.
I feel very well and leaving out yeast is only going to help with my condition I hope.

I will not be able to have my occasional beer because of the yeast but that is no heart ache. I am sure I will cope and will find a yeast free alternative if there is such a thing!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Day out with my son

I went out to Plymouth museum with my youngest son today and it was lovely.

(the pic is our from Florida trip but it is one of my favourites and I wanted to include it)

He has been after a game for his Playstaion 2 console and was talking about it as we looked around the museum. We went for lunch and then went into the games shop and found it,
It's about creating a theme park and fun fare with roller coasters.
Way above my head : )
On the way back home we were talking about our day and after telling me his favourite part of the day was the museum, he asked me what was my favourite part. That was easy to answer, it was when I told him he could have his game today as an early birthday present.
His face lit up and he was all smiles and so pleased he didn't stop saying thankyou.
It was such a precious moment and well worth the money spent on the game.

James Halsall
I met a gentlman who has been featured on the front page of the local paper.
James Halsall, He has intestinal cancer and has been refused a treatment that could help him. I signed his petition and wished him good luck.

It is so wrong to tell someone you can't have something that could save you.
Good luck to you James, I hope you get the treatment you need.

T'is the seaon to be fluey

I had my flu jab last week, just in time me thinks :)
In my work place, some of my team mates have been showing signs of the dreaded flu bug.

I have got my first of my 3 days off today and I can feel a little tickle at the back of my throat.
I am pumping myself full of vitamins and immune defence pills and taking my flaxseed granules and am hoping this will kick the backside out of the flu bug.
I am not feeling under the weather like I usually would and am hoping that the pills and diet have helped with the immune system.
I also have auto immune diseases, Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) and Alopecia (hair loss) my head looks like a map of the world and I have lost my eyebrows since taking the vits.
That is the east of my worries, 11 wigs (not all at the same time!) and an eyebrow pencil puts that all in the back ground. My immune system will hopefully kill off the flu bug.
Theo (my tumour) has been very kind lately, he hasn't grumbled at all since the last time which was a couple of weeks ago and I think that was a temporary pain as it hasn't come back.
All in all it is going well. I have a couple of students coming around to see me tomorrow as they are doing a short documentary on Mesothelioma as one of them lost her grandfather to it.
I will add a blog with more info about the documentary. Hopefully they will do well with their project.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Dr Etienne Callebout

I have been in touch with a couple who are going to see Dr Etienne Callebout.
Dr Callebout is a Doctor of Integrative Medicine which means he is works with the alternative treatment for cancer. He works in Harley street, there are costs involved.
Obviously I can't reccommend him as I have never met him or had any treatment from him and it is a good idea to consult with your oncologist or speacialist nurse before considering this therapy.
I am putting this information on the site as it maybe useful to others.
The link below details more about him and his work.

I am also adding some information about B17 as this crops up in lots of articles.

I hope that this will be of use.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Nutritional facts for Cancer Cells

I had some information sent to me concerning nutrition and cancer. I am detailing some of it in the blog but if anyone wants the full sheet, please email me and I will forward it on.
The title is Nutritional facts for Cancer Cells and is information from the John Hopkins Hospital in the USA.

An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.

Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soya milk cancer cells are being starved.

Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer

Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water.. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in intestines become putrified and leads to more toxic buildup.

Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in colour. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.

My Email is: Please contact me if you want the full sheet.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Justice for Asbestos Families

Members of the Mick Knighton self help group ( ) are asking for the level of bereavement compensation paid to families of Mesothelioma victims in England and Wales to be increased to match payments currently made in Scotland.

Scotland currently pays £30,00 to spouses. Other family members can also qualify for a payment for losing their loved one. The payment is between £10,00 and £15,000 for each family member.

England and Wales pay £10,000 to the spouse, family members are not included in any compensation claim.
This meeds to be changed.
I fully back this petition and would ask that any family touched by Mesothelioma and losing a loved one to this disease signs it too. I have added a link below.

Thankyou for your much needed support.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Team work

I have done my 12 hours today and Jeanette and I gave the team some London eye biscuits.
I am busy making Halloween themed pictures to decorate our pod which is our work space.
Unfortunatly, my son, Richard, lost his job in Orange and he is now looking for another one. It was his own fault as he was not turning up for work.
Siobhan, my daughter has not been well and stayed home from college today. Kieran went to the doctors as he has excema on his leg and it has got quite sore he has some different cream to use.
All in all things are pretty much for the chilled weekend : )

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Mesothelioma UK The conference

The picture opposite is the conference room which was so professionally laid out. I have never been to a conference before so I was impressed. The speakers were all very informative and there was a lot of very useful information given and most of all, it was very posistive.
There was a welcome from
Helen Clayson who is the medical director at the Hospice of St Mary of Furness in Cumbria.
Mick Peake who is the National Lead clinician for lung cancer in Liecester was the first to speak.
He talked about Specialist Multi Disaplinary Teams (SMDT). This team would be made up of specialist doctors, surgeons, cancer specialist doctors, specialist nurses, doctors specialising in diagnosis from tissue specimens (histopathologists), physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, dieticians and any other health professionals. I found out that I can ask who my SMDT is. That will be a question I will take with me. He also said that by 2008 every hospital should have specialist MDTs as Plymouth already as a team as it is a hotspot for meso. I did question this as I had gone for a second opinion as I was not satisfied with the information my first Oncologist gave me.
Mick talked about improving services and also said that Mesothelioma had been included in the British Thoracic Society and Dept of health Lung cancer advisary groups. This was changed in Feb 2007. He asked everyone in the room to put pressure on local goverment were Mesothelioma is concerned.

Jeremy Steele Consultant in Oncology St Bartholomew's hospital, and chair of Mesothelioma UK explained how cancer created damaged genes, genes tell your hair to grow and that intersted me as I have Alopecia and wondered is that was the reason my hair comes out. He had a lot of very good information.

John Edwards is consultant thoracic surgeon northern general hospital, Sheffield. He urged everyone to write to thier primary care trusts and ask for funding for research as a matter of urgency. There is liitle or no funding for research into Mesothelioma and for trials and treatments. This pressure would hopefully urge the trusts to acknowledge that Mesothelioma is here to stay for the moment and it matters to the peoplre it is affecting.

Helen Clayton talked about minimising the symptons of Mesothelioma and maximising life. She was also very informative and was a great chair for the event. She kept all the speakers in check by letting them know how long they had left and was very professional.

Tony Whitsun is with the greater Manchester Asbestos victims support group and advisd the sufferers and their families about their rights with benefits. One benefit few of us knew about was the CONSTANT ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE. This benefit overlaps DLA and AA and is available to anyone who claims Industrial industry Disablement benefit.

The link below has more information.

Another benefit is Exceptionaly severe disablement benefit which you can get if you recieve the CAA benefit above. The link below will detail more information.

Careres Allowance is means tested and you will lose it if you earn over £87 week. More info below.

I also found out that the John Hutton proposal to compensate all Meso sufferers with IIDB will be brought into force in early 2008.
At the moment anyone who has an asbestos related condition cannot get IIDB if they have :

* Enviromental Exsposure

*Self Employment

*Work/Clothes contamination through third party (family member)

The new rule will hopefully put an end to that rule.

Laurie Kazan-Allen described by Helen Clayton as a " TOXIC RADICAL" as she campaigns to get asbestos banned everywhere and showed some shocking pictures of asbestos factories, schools and wastelands with people standing/working with little or no protection.

One picture showed a manager asking the journalist "what are you worried about" as the manger stood beside his workers in an asbestos filled area. The worst countries are India, Pakistan, Kazakstan, Brazil and the shock one was CANADA. Canada supported the pro asbestos lobby.The link will give more information.

The first recorded case of Asbestos/Mesothelioma was in 1906.

Graham Sherlock Brown Graham is a surviver of 5 years and had an EPP (Extrapleural pneumonectomy) which means he had his lung removed. He uses PETAL which is an acronym for
P = Positive attitude

E = Eating and excercising well, (Graham does pilates)

T =Targets

A = Adapting to change

L = Living your life.

He was very inspirational.
Graham presented Meso UK with a cheque for £5,000 as he had a ball to celebrate his 5 th anniversary of survival.

He looked very well and it was good to see the positive side of Meso instead of the negative.

Natalie Doyle Nurse consultant rehabilitation royal marsdon, London. She talked about the psychological and emotional well being after diagnosis.

She also came out with some very inspirational quotes. "People first cancer second" and "Those who were not here will never know how it is to have survived". She was very helpful with comments and advice, she said that every building has an Asbestos register and anyone could ask to view it.

This was a wonderful,informative day and I learnt a lot more than I anticipated. I met a lot of wonderful people there, a lovely lady who was unfortunate to have had an Asbestos board in her class room and Heather and Alan who are a wonderful couple and
are regular readers of the website.
All the people there were so positive and focused, it is a great boost to find we are all striving for the same goal, to survive. I would like to say thanks to my friend Jeannette who was a great support. Also to Rick and Fiona cooper. Fiona is writing a paper on Mesothelioma and the information carers want/need and what is available. Anyone interested in talking to her can get in touch by emailing
Just a little foot note for FIONA
I am now Licenced to F*A*R*T !
One of the side affects with cancer is that the digestive system slows down and creates wind.
It also apparently makes the suffere sweat, I have not come across this at the moment.

I hope all the info has been helpful and please email me with any questions at