Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Meeting friends.

I am off into town to meet a friend of mine today. I haven't seen Maryann for a few months now and am looking forward to catching up with her and chatting about whats new. Mary is wonderful, such a great spirit who has had a lot to deal with in her life. Foremost, spinabifida which disables her, it never disables her smile though. She is alway happy to see me and never complains about aches and pains and I know she has many.
Tomorrow I am going to see my little nephew who has just turned 1. I am the only one in the family now who doesn't have grand children. I would like them but know I would want my children settled and happy before they have children. It is such a lot to think about for them as the mortgage deposit for a house would £20-£30,000 before they even think about looking for somewhere. They are happy, that is the most important thing. My time will come when I have the joy of a little one around again : )

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Happy Birthday Mavis x x

Happy Birthday Mavis x x x

I would like to wish my lovely friend, Mavis, a very happy birthday today. I hope she has had a fabulous day and has many more of them. Many of the warrior birthdays are milestones so passing another one is always an achievement.

It has been quiet today. Kieran is with his dad, Rich is still in Ireland and Siobhan and I are at home. Her boyfriend went home today, she will see him tomorrow. We had a take away as neither of us felt like cooking.
I dyed Siobhan's hair today but it hasn't come out the colour she wanted so will do it again when she gets the colour she wants.
Mine is growing back very slowly. I took 2 wigs into a shop in the city centre last Tuesday to be altered. They are still there, no phone calls or message to say they are ready. I won't be going back there again, very disappointing as when they were in another store, the wigs were altered on the spot.
Siobhan's friends are visiting tomorrow, I can't believe it is a year ago that we went to their wedding and when we came home, we decided to get another kitten and Amber moved in. How time flies. : )

Friday, 26 August 2011

5 years gone by : (




It is the anniversary of losing my dad today. He died 5 years ago after a battle with cancer and having to live with pleural plaque. He was far to young to leave us all and had so much more to give. I still miss him as much today as I did before he died. It seems like it was yesterday that my sisters and I looked back at the hosptital ward he was in and saw him lift his hand from under the bed covers and wave goodbye to us as we left after our visit. We didn't know that was the last time we would see him.
The next morning all his family were around him as he took his last breathe and left us. 5 heart broken years later and it still hurts.

Dad,
if you are listening, I love you so much. There is so much I want to talk to you about and here your wonderful advice. You were always right, always knew what to say. I want to hear your voice once more and feel your arms around me, hugging me tightly and telling me everything is going to be alright. I will always miss you as all of us in the family will. That is one thing we do agree on. I will remember you with love and hope that you will guide me through the dark days.
I love you so very much.
Debbie x x x x

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Fawlty Towers Indian style!!!

Before I tell my tale of the Indian resteraunt last night, I need to update to the current number one son situation. Rich got the bus to a bus station in Ireland to get another bus to take him to the terminal to get home, Only problem was the bus was caught in traffic so when he got to the airport, he had missed checkin. No flight home as there is only one a day so Rich decided to stay another night with his lady. He arranged with me to get the flight home the next day. A few hours later I get another phone call from him, he is coming home on 6th September as the ticket prices were cheaper. So, number one son is still in Ireland!

Tandoori night!!!

Last night was great. I was going to go to my friend Chrissy's house and have a take away. This turned into a few of us going out. We made our way to the resteraunt we had been too before, got a drink and were sat at a table. Chrissy asked for a cocktail called a baby elephant which the waiter mumbled something about not knowing how to make it. We were offered poppudums and relishs which we sat with for about 20 minutes, we asked who was going to take our order,
Not much interest in that one!!!
After another 15 mins we asked again about taking the order, the waiter went up to the bar and hung around a bit more until eventually another waiter took it. The meal came out, Chrissy and her daughter, Rachel had king prawns which they said tasted over cooked, rubbery was the word they used (when your paying £16 a serving, they should be cooked properly).
Avis, my other friend has pashwari nan which is a fruit laced bread. Plenty of nan but no pashwari so the waiter was informed of this. The duly brought out another king prawn and a pashwari nan, not after much shouting and swearing in the kitchen though, I might add!!
The waiter who was asked about a cocktail was asked again. After much huffing and puffing said, in a mumble again, something about not knowing how to make it.
We had our meal and waited again to be served. Chrissy asked again about the baby elephant cocktail and was met with "I don't have the old menu here, I don't know how to make it". So there was no cocktail. He then brought the bill over, no offer of dessert or coffee. Much banging, clattering and swearing going on again in the kitchen with another waiter coming out and saying the 'F' word. After asking to speak to the manager, we were told he wasn't in.
We got the bill, some of us had cash, some cards. Oh no!!! now the cash machine isn't working.
Well, we won't be going back there again. It was like something out of Fawlty towers. At the end of the evening, we were the only ones in the resteraunt, the music was turned off, this was about 9:30 - 10 pm. I am not sure but it could be that it was to do with Ramadam, there was something on the door about it. I don't think Ramadam should affect a business so badly.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Wig shop today.

Kieran has gone out with his friend today, they are going to see Spy Kids 4D which he has been asking to see. I am sure he will have a lovely day. I do have to try and not be so protective of the children. I love them so much and don't want anything to happen to them. I know I have to let go but it seems harder with Kieran.
I am off in to the city centre today to get a couple of wigs fixed. One needs altering and the other needs the fringe steamed as it is flicking out and looks daft. I am getting bored of the dark brown one I have, although it is lovely, I need a change.
Tomorrow Rich should be home. I have missed him but know he has had a good time in Ireland, what happens next, who knows?
This week contains the day that will be my dad's 5th anniversary of his death. I have been getting a little tearful as I miss him so much. I would love to hear his voice again and feel his arms around me, telling me every thing will be alright. Some day I feel so lonely, I don't have a close family so battling on my own is what I have always done since diagnosis. I am lucky to have my wonderful daughter who has been so supportive and do worry about her taking on all the misery that goes with Mesothelioma. the boys are good but don't always see things the way I do but I do get plenty of hugs from them.
I don't intend to let Theo take over, I think he knows I am in charge of this journey, I am happy for him to be a passenger but that it is, he will not be taking the wheel!!!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Nearly back to normal.

Rich comes home on Wednesday after a few weeks away in Ireland with his lady friend. Kieran came back home on Saturday, it was good to have him home again, I have missed him so much.
I have started to feel tired again and my back is aching, on the right side. I think I could be having my first chest infection for a few months. I am hoping it goes on it's own but it probably won't.
Kieran is travel training today, he is going to do the school route.
Tomorrow I am getting a wig altered and getting one steamed on the fringe as it is a bit awkward looking at the moment.
My hair is growing back slowly. I think it is going to take a while to get it back as it was.
I am so pleased to have a reprieve from the CT scans. 2 of my warrior friends have been having the CT blues. Mavis and Ronny are so brave, they are so very positive about things. It is a big knock back when you get a bad diagnosis or can't have treatment. They have picked themselves up and come back fighting harder, well done girls, you make me so proud x x x
I am also thinking about Rod and Julie in Australia. Julie is not well at the moment, Rod, her partner, is a rock for her. Every day is precious at the moment. Sending love and strength to both of them x x

Friday, 19 August 2011

Back home.

The Old Hall Inn where I stayed a very comfortable night.
Judith, Keith and Dorothy, Mesothelioma is a rotten illness bit it does have a positive side, I am meeting the most amazing people in the world. Keith is also seeing Prof in Germany.
The view from Dorothy's front garden.


A very proud Dorothy with her snowdrops : )

Only 2 bunches left, what a coincidence.
When Dorothy and I spoke of me coming to see her, she said I should come and have a cuppa on a bench she had bought in memory of her husband, Reg. Well, here it is at last : )
Reg's bench, Dorothy bought it in memory of her husband. It is so weather damaged only after a few months outside. such a shame. Hopefully she can find one that will last.
Dorothy and I on Reg's bench.

I have had a lovely couple of days with Dorothy. I met Judith and Keith again and saw a little of the beautiful place that is Yorkshire. I spent my first night in the Old Hall Inn as Dorothy had Judith and Keith at her house. The second night I stayed at Dorothy's house.
We had a meal at the Inn, Judith and I are veggies so we ordered the veggie curry. She asked the waitress if it was mild and she said 'yes'. It wasn't, we were both smoking at the mouth after a few bites of it. We had ice cream with our desserts ...... that felt much better : )

Dorothy took Judith and Keith home the following morning and picked me up afterwards. We have a lovely day which started at the local garden centre. As we walked around we came across some snowdrop flowers in silk. There were only 2 and it was like they were meant for us.
Of course I had to buy them and gave one of them to Dorothy. That was the highlight of our day, we didn't stop talking about it.
We went back to Dorothy's and had a cuppa before going out agin later in the day for a bite to eat at the Old Hall Inn again. After a good nights sleep it was time to pack to come home. I intend to come back again, not sure when but I will be back. Dorothy is a lovely lady who still misses her husband, Reg, so very much.
Dorothy took me to Skipton station to make my way home. I was very nervous about getting the connection train from Leeds to Plymouth as on the way up I asked a member of staff at Leeds station where the platform was for the Skipton train and he sent me the wrong way. I was so out of breathe rushing to get it. Dorothy asked if I could have assisted travel and arranged for someone to meet me at Leeds station. I was met by a much better member of staff who took my case and led me to the platform for the Plymouth train. He even waited for the train to arrive!
It was one busy train, I had my suitcase sat between my legs with my bag on top and then my coat, crammed in a little space, the train was packed. I was like that all the way to Plymouth, 5 hours of children excited about their holiday club break, babies crying, people telling others they were in their seats and even one woman getting very cross and told the children to be quiet as her mother had diabetes and needed her rest. I am so glad to be home now and am looking forward to seeing Kieran tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Breakfast with friends.

Amber moved into my seat......
...... and Stork into my suitcase : )

Kieran has gone to Dunstable with his dad today. I will miss him so much. He had a choice to come to Yorkshire with me or go with his dad. He chose to go with his dad as he will see some friends there. I hope he has a wonderful time.

I am getting ready to go to Yorkshire tomorrow, I am looking forward to seeing Dorothy, Judith and Keith. They are wonderful meso warriors. Dorothy lost her husband, Reg, to the disease and Keith is fighting it. He has been seeing Prof Vogl for a while and seems to be doing well. Judith, his wife is a great support to him.

I packed my bag today and turned around to sit in my seat, Amber was in it!! turned back to the case and Stork is in it!! They are so cute but very cheeky. I haven't got the heart to move them.

I saw 2 of my best friends today, Tina and Carolyn. We had a catch up as we have all been so busy we haven't seen each other.

I won't be on the bloge till Friday as I am not taking my laptop so will catch up then with some pictures : )

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Saltram with Wendy and Gill.

Wendy's Gladioli laid in memory of her brother.
Gill's flower laid in memory of her husband, Keith.

Guinea fowl, took us a while before we knew what they were : )
Gorgeous ducks at Saltram.
Wendy and Gill beside the tree, a very emotional time x x

I had a lovely afternoon with Wendy and Gill. We had lunch at the Lord Louie at Plympton and then onto Saltram to see the Meso tree. Keith, Gill's husband and Wendy's brother, had mesothelioma and this was Gill's first time of seeing the tree. It was very emotional for all of us. We left some flowers at the base of the tree and then went and had a coffee in the cafe. The sun was shining beautifully, I am sure Keith was smiling down on them both. We looked at the ducks in the pond by the cafe and were trying to work out what the other birds we saw were. We found out they were guinea fowl.

A BIG HELLO TO WENDY WHO WILL BE READING THIS TOMORROW!

Thank you so much both of you for the lunch and the afternoon out, it was wonderful seeing you both. I hope we meet up again very soon, you are special people who I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with today x

Searching for the ugly dress!

Avis in her ugly dress looking like Shania Twayne....don't think that impresses Chrissy much : )

Chrissy and I in our ugly dresses, I can see why Chrissy was given mine free of chrage at the shop, it is pretty bad!!
Chrissy in her not-so-ugly dress, she is going to get another one as she looks far too gorgeous in this one, mind you, she would look great in a bin bag!!!
Chrissy and Avis's ugly dresses, or are they???

Saturday was fun. I met up with Avis and Chrissy at Chrissy's place where I found them dressed up in some really bad dresses. I wasn't sure if they were for real and was very diplomatic about it. When they started laughing, I realised they had ugly dresses on. Phew!! what a relief, I thought their dress sense had left the building. We decided that we are going to have an ugly dress evening. We went to some charity shops to look for some dresses. We had a real giggle and did find some monstrous ones!! I found and ugly one as the one chrissy got me didn't fit me. She saw it in a shop and it was so bad that the shop assistant wouldn't sell it to her. I can see why!!!

Busy weekend.

Kieran and I at the cinema.

Kieran's friend stayed over Thursday. I took the boys to the cinema to see horrid henry, which they loved and then came home and got them take-away pizza for their tea. They were very good, hardly knew they were in the house. Kieran asked if his friend could stay again, this is a definate yes!!! Friday evening he stayed with his dad. He is off to Dunstable next week. He had the opportunity to come to Yorkshire with me but declined. He has friends in Dunstable and is looking forward to seeing them.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Alan.


Alan and his wife Jenny on the left of the picture with Margaret beside them, another loss to our friendship group.
From Left : Jenny, Alan, Margaret,Me, Pam, Angela, Tracey....at the front, from the left, Lise and her mum, Judith.
I heard today that one of my many mesothelioma warrior friends had passed away.
Alan faced his disease with a smile and a very courageous heart. He has left behind a wonderful family who should never be saying goodbye so soon.
Todays blog is dedicated to Alan who I had the pleasure to meet and talk to. An inspiring person who will continue to work even though he isn't physically here.
Condolences to Jenny, Paul and Andy and daughter-in-laws Claire and Louise.
He will never be far away from you. x x x x

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Todays lazy day.

I ambled around today, the cats woke me up at 7 am this morning for their breakfast, thanks kitties!!!
I got myself dressed quite late in the morning and made my way to Derriford hospital to speak to Kate, our specialist nurse about how Germany went. We also had a chat about the support group and how it could help carers as well as patients. Carers get easily lost in all the information for patients. They are the most important person who is the support for the patient. It would be great to have something in place for them too.

Tomorrow I have an article in the "Full house" magazine. It is a small article under the heading "silver lining". I am looking forward to seeing it.
I am going to lunch with Ann and Pam tomorrow and then home to meet Kieran's friend who is sleeping over for the night. I am taking them to the cinema to see Horrid Henry. Kieran is so excited, he doesn't often have a sleep over but as he is growing up now he needs to be with children his own age.

I felt sorry for poor Kieran, he was so worried about going into town because of all the riots going on in London, Birmingham, Manchester and other places. I have assured him that the people here seem to be sensible as there was a fool trying to get a riot going who was shouted down by many. Surely there is more to life than stealing?

Bit of catch up going on.....




The hotel room had no air conditioning, Jeanette asked for an extra fan which completely messed up my hair!!!!
My arty farty shot of a puddle in Frankfurt : )
On the way to the University Clinic, beside the river Main.
My nervous pose, about to have the procedure. I am quacking in my polythene blue shoes!!!
Super powered shoes, for the super hero in me : ) They match my varicose veins beautifully.
Jeanette and I in our favourite place, Romer.
THE BIER BIKE!!!!!

Our favourite indian restaurant.
Gladioli again, and Jeanette's favourites, Elephants.
Enjoying a beer to celebrate the 2-3 mm that has reduced.
A German wedding we came across while exploring Romer.

.... I am going to put some pictures up from Germany at the weekend. Sorry it has taken so long, no excuse, been sat on my butt reading facebook comments and catching up with friends and how they are. Jeanette and I enjoyed our stay in Frankfurt. When we go we like to get as much out of it as we can, treatment permitting. We cam across the bier bike again, such a wonderful creation and what struck us the most was that there is beer everywhere in Germany but no drunk people being abusive on the streets, no rubbish, everyone is respectful. Why can't the UK be like that?
I don't think the bier bike would be a good idea on the Barbican in Plymouth, those cobbles would be a real nuisance.
We saw a German wedding which was lovely. Buskers were playing outside the place were the couple were married which added to the atmosphere. Jeanette gained 4 euros for 2 glasses that we didn't pay a deposit for. The hotel we stayed in was lovely apart from there being no air conditioning. Frankfurt was very hot with a very heavy down pour of rain in the afternoon.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Back home .....

From the left : Ronny, Alison Richard, Moi and Robert, Ronny's husband.

It was so good to see my pillow at 3:30am this morning. Jeanette, Mark and I were shattered and I am sure they felt the same when they got back to their home. We left Birmingham airport around 11pm and Mark drove back home. I am so lucky having such very special friends.

Well, back to why they drove me home at that hour, I had my 9th treatment in Frankfurt. I was disappointed to find out that the Prof isn't using Alimta after all but good to hear that what he did use has reduced Thoe a little and, in the Prof's words, "Is drying out".
Sounds like Theo has gone to a clinic to give up the drink!
I was happy with my nes but this was saddened by the news that my gorgeous friend, Ronny, has bad news. She is such a wonderful person and is still going to fight. Ronny has been told by the Prof that he will give her the embolising agnet to stop the tumour spreading and her oncologist may let her have another chemo. She already has kidney failure so this is why it has been difficult to have the chemo. What ever Ronny decides, she has a massive band of people behind her because we love her, the same goes for Mavis who is another wonderful spirit who has had bad news. We are all going to fight this together.
It was lovely to meet Alison and Richard in Germany. Richard has had his 3rd treatment and was looking very well.
I will add some more pictures tomorrow of mine and Jeanette's adventures. Today is for Ronny x x x

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Blood cross match.

The support meeting in Plymouth was wonderful. We had a great chat about nutrition and met some new patients who hadn't been before.
I left there after arranging to meet Pam, Ann and Bill for lunch next week.
When I got home from Derriford, I had a message to go back as my lovely oncologist, Dr D, had arranged for me to have a cross match blood test done as the transfusion will be done on Monday.

I am nearly ready for Germany, still panicking about forgetting things and checking that date!
I am in good hands though and so lucky to have a great friend in Jeanette. She really looks after me and sticks with me all the time, even in the theatre. I hope this time the canular is done first time as it can take 5 attempts and that really drags me down. I will be meeting Alison, Richard, Veronica and Robert in Germany. Such a shame we have to meet in these circumstances.


posh muv muv ..... (very funny Kieran!)

Kieran wrote the title this morning so I thought I would keep it, cheeky monkey.

He is out travel training this morning. I am off to the Mesothelioma support group meeting at 11:30 in Derriford Hospital, Mustard tree. I was so pleased to hear that the Action Mesothelioma Day event raised £550!! Wonderful. Today we are going to discuss where the money should go.

When I get back I will be getting ready and packed for Germany. I will do the usual, Jeanette knows what I am like, I check my passport to make sure the date hasn't changed. It is due for renewal next year but I still panic about it not being in date. I did write about how OCD'd up I got about it and was told that I couldn't say that as there are people who actualy suffer with it. Well, I do get it a little, so there!!!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Wheel of Plymouth with Kieran.


On our way up to the Hoe.

Kieran by the wheel.
My gorgeous 14 year old with his ticket for the wheel of Plymouth.
Drakes Island, Smeaton's tower, the war memorial and Good old Sir Francis looking out to sea.
The view from the pod.






Sir Francis Drake and Smeaton's tower.
Kieran holding Smeaton's tower in his hand.
Having lunch.
The Norrington Fountain.

I had a lovely morning with Kieran and have realised, at last probably according to Kieran, that my baby boy is 14 and may feel to old to go places with his mum. Saying that, he enjoyed the wheel. I was a little panicky at first but managed to not squeal like a big girly : )
Kieran was afraid I would embarrass him if I screamed but I held it together while gripping onto the seat in the pod.
The view was lovely, it was a perfect day, the sun was shining and we could see for miles.

After we got off the wheel we went for lunch at the cafe on Plymouth hoe. We had cheese sandwiches and a drink with Kieran having a donut afterwards. We saw the Norrington fountain which was a drinking fountain presented to the city of Plymouth by Mayor Norrington in 1881 in memory of his wife. What a wonderful gesture.