Saturday, August 30, 2008


I think I have Ikea-shoulder. You know, the condition that results from building too much Ikea furniture.... I've only been attaching the handles to the doors of the cupboards today - 9 of them, 18 screws and I Can Feel It In My Shoulder. Hopefully this endless assault by Ikea will be concluded soon and then maybe my shoulder will feel better. Maybe also, pigs will fly and I will discover that I am cured of cancer on Wednesday. Flap, piggies, flap harder! They're just Not Trying. Lazy hogs.

Pink Hebe just did a little '10 things I love' with the letter 'H' - because I am In A Hurry and can't wait to be assigned a letter because I want to blog it Now, I shall pick my own letter - 'B' is the first one to come to mind. These are not in order of loved-ness; they're in the order they came to mind.

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica - I've been working my way through the boxed set of BTVS since January and am just about to finish series 6; BG, I have been grokking out on the boxed set of this for the last 3 days - beginning Series 2 now. I like Buffy because it's humorous and female-empowering and mostly because I like anything Joss Whedon lays hands on (Why can I not download Dr Horrible!?!?!? Why, oh why? Living in the UK is Unfair.)

2. My mum's name begins with a B - and I love her A Whole Big Lot - Bigger Than The Universe in fact. She should have been number one - I blame the fact I'd just been watching Battlestar Galactica.

3. Books - I read A Lot. I like the reading of them, the owning of them, the perusing of them in shops, the smell of old books. I like books. The end.

4. Bloglines - it lets me read all the blog feeds I have very easily. On the other hand - it's naughty because it stops me visiting the actual sites and that's Not Really Very Nice of me. Sorry.

5. Bear. I have a teddy bear who I have since I was very small. He is yellow and rather matted-looking but very loved. I have never been very good with naming my fluffy friends so his name is Bear. I have other bears, they are also called Bear. I do have Brown Bear and Waistcoat Bear who has, wait for it, a waistcoat.....

6. Berries - I like berries - particularly raspberries, but also strawberries and blueberries. Blueberry muffins are good but raspberries with plain yoghurt and chocolate sauce is the best.

7. Bernie Bunny - you U.S. types may be aware of this and may call it Annie's Mac n' Cheese but in my family we always call it Bernie Bunny because it has a picture of a bunny called Bernie. Yum, but I can't get it here in the U.K. :(

8. The B-52's - what's not to love? The soundtrack of my adolescence (not time-wise I suppose) - Deadbeat Club, Tell It Like It T-I-Is.....I'm afraid I know all the words...

9. Brent-Dyer, Elinor - I used to pretend I was going to the Chalet School and fold up all the right clothes to pack..... yes, I was quite a sad little girl.....My favourite book is Carola and I have never the read the last bookin the series. I'd hate it all to end.

10. Baths - I like water, water is good for me. It soothes me. Baths, swimming pools, sitting by the sea. But a hot-as-you-can-stand-it bath with something fizzy and citrusy from Lush.

The Dear Other is miffed that I am not admitting to you all that he is doing monkey impressions - so he's turned over and turned out the light. Quite why he wants this on the record I have no idea but hopefully this will placate him.....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Satelite-link pause

Wow - I've actually been back for 2 weeks, but it feels like 2 minutes.....
I had a *lovely* time. Firstly the wedding of an old friend in York's Hospitium - which is a fantastic building. She looked absolutely radiant - her smile was pure joy to see and her dress was gorgeous. I was reading - part of 'My True Love Hath My Heart' by Sir Philip Sidney - it was nice to be asked since I've felt recently that people haven't really asked me to take things on. Which is probably right on their part - I'm not 100% reliable or even 50% reliable and I do let things slide without meaning to.


Days later...

I keep doing this; starting posts and then trailing off because I just don't know what to say. I'm bored with myself and what I have to say. It's just repetitive. And, I don't feel so bad now - or do I feel worse? I'm not sure. I've reached another plateau - there are so many. Flat, resting places, where things aren't 'good' but they're relatively static. I also have so many things to say that I can't cope with them all.....

I want to tell you about all the animals I met whilst I was on holiday and how healing they were - how astounded I felt when an animal wanted to be with me. How they demonstrated that whole unconditional thing; they don't know I have cancer, they don't care - they just liked me. And how I think I need an animal in my life. My own. I grew up with cats in the house - I can't really remember *not* having them but they weren't *mine* - not mine alone. And that's what I want. I want a donkey and a cat and a dog, and I want to go and swim with dolphins.

I want to share the pride and satisfaction I felt yesterday when I finally swam with my face in the water. Yes, at the age of 31 I've finally started to 'get it' - I finally started to see how the rhythm and breathing works. I stopped 'panic' swimming - where you avoid putting your face in the water and move frantically because you think if you stop then you'll sink. And I love being in the water. I've always been scared of it but have wanted to be in it too. And I finally managed a length of breast stroke at relaxed speed, bobbing with my face going in the water rather than fighting to avoid it. And I got to the deep end and I wanted to shout out loud, I was so pleased with myself; but I contented myself with muttering under my breath instead.

I want to tell you have I've been having pain in my shoulder and my hip and I don't know what it is - particularly my shoulder. I'm not sure if it's seized up again because I stopped doing my post-surgery physio exercises, or if the lymphoedema has spread round into my shoulder and back or if there's cancer growing in the bone or lymph system there. My hip feels like a trapped nerve or sciatica - but is it being caused by a tumour in the bone? I don't know. But, as a result, my 3 monthly CT scan was augmented with a full bone scan. The Princess Consultant says she's worried on a level of 1, out of 20. I just hope she's right. It's nearly a full year since we found the mets - I've survived a whole year. How many more years?

I want to share how sad I was that my favourite nurse in the chemosuite has gone home to Australia. She was the last of the little bunch I really loved who started after the chemosuite moved sites in the hospital. Now there are some nice nurses and some really adept nurses who are shit-hot with my veins (Cannula in first go for the last CT scan - thanks Ernie!!) but I haven't connected with them like I did with Megan and Martha and Celina and Melissa. So I cried when I said goodbye to Megan and she did a bit too. I gave her my email address and I hope she'll email me one day. She is the age now that I was when I was first diagnosed with cancer. She seems so young but so confident and so accomplished.

I wanted to tell you how confused I am about what to do about going back to work or not going back to work. I'm not sure if I want to go back, I'm not sure if I can cope with going back but I don't want to leave like this - by having virtually disappeared without a word a year ago; and now feeling so unconfident about my ability to work. But if I go back then I'd have to adapt to being back on a schedule not of my own making - timetables and work-hours and an office with 12 other people in it. And spending less time with the Dear Other - which he will be really upset about; and I will too. And I *know* - I'm lucky to have this dilemma, to have options, but making decisions is hard - what if I make the wrong decision? What if I get it wrong?

I'd like to share with you my quiet ambition to go back to playing Javanese Gamelan. I learnt and played whilst I was a student at university - on the Gamelan Langgeng in Northampton. I love the sounds and it's very therapeutic to hit things with the equivalent of hammers! ;) If you've watched the new Battlestar Galactica then you'll have heard sounds from the gamelan in the soundtrack.

Um, I think there were other things too - but I've forgotten them. Now you know...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Still on hols

Heat replaced by rain - cooler; but soggier.
This going on holiday lark is full of tricks.....
There are 2 lovely donkeys in the field opposite us - I have fed them carrots.
I have a horrendous cold - heuuurrrk, coff, coff, sniff.....