Archive for January, 2009


Chemo is finished!

Hey everyone

I am sorry I have been so MIA this week. There has been a lot going on with me that I can’t blog about, and it’s been taking up a lot of time the past week or so. Whew!

I won’t get a chance to read or comment on anyone’s blog for another couple of days. I am very sorry, and really miss everyone. Please bear with me and rest assured that I still love you all, ha ha! ๐Ÿ˜€


I did finally get my last round of chemo yesterday, and am feeling completely wiped out today. I am so very glad it is over and done with!

I start my radiotherapy on Monday, every weekday for four weeks.


Ricky’s speech- we are going to get the referral to get his speech checked out. Better safe than sorry!


My brothers have very kindly chipped in to send me and Ricky to Edinburgh, Scotland for the day which we’re doing at the start of March. Ricky has wanted to fly somewhere for ages, and I reckon the short half hour flight will be perfect for his first go.

Plus, I love Scotland and it should be a fun day out. Edinburgh has a great zoo, so the plan is to fly in at about 9am, spend a few hours at the zoo, which is only 4 miles from the airport, and then fly home again that afternoon. Ricky is BEYOND excited about it!


I have removed the headscarf! I’m still a bit baldy, but there’s enough hair on my noggin to get away with it. I got fed up with all the pitying smiles in the supermarket. ๐Ÿ˜›

That’s pretty much it for now…you probably won’t hear much from me until next week now, but you all know where you can find me anyway!


Friday Fortune

This week’s reading is for my friend Leigh, who is a regular commenter here. Leigh prefers that I don’t post pictures of her hands- as a nurse she spends her time washing them and she feels they look too wintery! ๐Ÿ˜€

The usual disclaimer applies- this is for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken too seriously. I am not a professional, far from it- it’s a hobby and a bit of fun. Please treat it in this manner!

What your hand says about you-

  • You’re mentally pretty tough and you prefer an action packed life. Sitting around doing nothing is not for you.
  • You’re pretty artistic and are excellent at crafts and making things.
  • You sometimes lack self confidence in expressing your opinions to others, but have great self belief and trust your own judgement.
  • You’re really flexible and adaptable to change. Your employers love you because you learn easily and, more importantly, want to learn new things.
  • You’re willing to take responsibility in the workplace but get bored easily if you feel you aren’t developing yourself.
  • You have a very good memory!
  • Your supportive family is possibly the most important thing in your life. If you’re feeling down or worried, you happily share your concerns with them and their opinions are extremely important to you.

What the future may (or may not) hold-

  • You’re going to have some back trouble in your middle years.
  • Your health towards the end of your life will not be as good as the earlier parts of your life, however until old age, you’re pretty healthy!
  • You find pregnancy straightforward and have no problematic labours or childbirths.
  • You have one marriage line.
  • Your marriage is one based on stability, you don’t fight very often throughout your marriage. Friendship in your relationship will always be the most important thing to both of you.
  • Your partner will never disappoint you, and your marriage is always happy, because of the levels of closeness between you.
  • You have three child lines! ๐Ÿ˜€
  • I never know whether to put this stuff in because it makes me feel uncomfortable and like a bitch, but there is a major bereavement late in life. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  • You find yourself questioning your career direction at the end of your middle years. This is the subject of endless discussion in your life with those close to you. They willย ultimately help you make a decision on your future. I actually think that you’ll decide to stick with your existing career and won’t change.
  • Your family love you SO much! Any time you have a problem, or don’t feel well, they rally around you and this will always be a huge source of comfort and support to you.
  • You’re never going to be rich, but you’re never really stuck for money either. You’ll be “comfortable” all your life!
  • I think you are going to take a VERY long trip- possibly a round the world one- it’s not lots of short breaks to lots of different places (though there are some of those too) but one trip in particular which will take you a very long way and take a very long time. Good news though- it’s a massive success, you have a wonderful time with no difficulties, despite the fact that it’s a massive undertaking.

There you go, Leigh! I hope you enjoyed it! Please tell me which bits you thought sounded accurate and which don’t! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyone who would like a free reading should email as clear a picture as possible of the front and back of the hand they write with to and readings will be done on a first come, first served basis. I aim to post one a week on a Friday, but sometimes life gets in the way, so please be patient!


I guess I really WILL have to do something!

I have somehow found myself entering this year’s Race for Life, so my ass is definitely going to have to get moving now! ๐Ÿ˜€ This is a really worthwhile cause, raising funds for Cancer Research UK to try and help improve treatments for people like me.

I wanted to start some kind of fitness program, and am working on the diet, so this seemed like a good impetus.

It’s on 31st May at Stormont Park- if anyone fancies joining me there, let me know! It’s only 5km so I reckon even in my completely out of condition current shape, I could somehow manage to stagger that far. I really want to be able to run it though.

I am not expecting anyone to sponsor me, so please don’t take this as a request or threat, except maybe for immediate family and close friends, who will be shot if they don’t donate, but if anyone has a few spare pennies (yeah, I know there’s a credit crunch!!) then you can click on the link below to sponsor me.

You will be rewarded by many moaning blog posts about how much I hate running, and some unflattering and sweaty pictures at the end of May, featuring me with lank hair and a red face. ๐Ÿ˜›

Wish me luck!

Edited to add- crap! I forgot I had no hair to look lank!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€


Another no-go

Well, as suspected, they cancelled my chemo for today again. I’m disappointed but not surprised.

I had a chest x-ray which confirmed that I have a deep seated chest infection, but thankfully nothing more sinister is at work.

So- two different types of antibiotic to take simultaneously, and hopefully that might shift it!

We’ll try again next week. The dr is hopeful that my radiotherapy won’t need to be postponed, which I am delighted about. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s all a bit frustrating!


Quick hits

Ricky’s birthday was on Saturday, but it was completely washed out by the weather. The morning was pretty quiet, but there was one heck of a storm in the afternoon, torrential rain and very high winds. The kids were basically stuck inside all afternoon as a result- I wouldn’t have wanted them to be out in the car at all- too dangerous. Our neighbour’s fence blew down and Ian kept having to rush outside to rescue his motorbike, which kept threatening to fall over!

I did have to venture out, as the weather was too severe for my horses to be out in. The drive to my Dad’s was absolutely terrifying, I was seriously concerned that a tree would fall on my car. Then, when mucking my horses out, I was becoming increasingly alarmed that the roof of the barn they live in might actually come off. The noise was incredible. The horses were miserable and delighted to be rescued, but they intensely dislike loud noises, so it was fun getting them to come in!

I made it home in one piece, luckily, but a tree fell on a car on the road my Dad lives on, literally two minutes after I drove down that stretch of road, killing the woman inside. From a phone call received in work today, she was the daughter of one of our customers, and most of us here had met her. She leaves two very young children behind her- I can’t stop thinking about them today. If I hadn’t been lucky, it could very easily have been me. A tragic loss.


I have to go and get my bloods taken this afternoon with a view to getting my last round of chemo tomorrow. The chest infection is still on the go- I might as well have wiped my arse with the antibiotics for all the good they did- and I do not feel very confident that it will go ahead tomorrow.

This is really frustrating- I just want it over and done with.

I am due to start my radiotherapy on 2nd February, but wonder if it, too will have to be postponed if I miss my chemo again tomorrow.


We bought our kitchen tiles yesterday- at long last!! Ian is going to tile the kitchen this week, I will be sure to post a picture once it’s done.

It’s been a LONG time since he started working on the kitchen, but it’s finally starting to look like the lovely family room I had in mind… ๐Ÿ˜€

Well, that’s about it- will post an update later after my appointment at the hospital.


Pearl Barley & Mushroom Risotto

As you know, I am trying to learn more about cooking with grains and pulses as part of my new anti cancer regime, and I had the idea this morning when looking through my cupboards to try making a risotto with pearl barley instead of arborio rice. I have to say, it’s been a huge success! The results are very similar, and nutritionally it kicks the ass of any rice made risotto- about one third of the calories and carb content, lower in fat and higher in fibre. This is a great recipe for the vegetarian who is keeping an eye on what they eat, or for anyone who wants to up their veggie intake. I’m serving it with pork chops tonight, but I think it would stand up perfectly well on its own, maybe with some nice garlic bread on the side, or an interesting salad.

I did add chilli which gave it a kick, but this is obviously optional. You could throw in any number of ingredients depending on what you have in your cupboards.

Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side dish or starter.

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (other herbs like coriander, thyme or marjoram in season would be lovely too)
1 25g/1oz pack dried mixed mushrooms
100g peas
150g dry weight pearl barley
25g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 dsp half fat creme fraiche
1 tbsp olive oil
100ml white wine
1 vegetable stock cube

1. Heat the oil in a large pan, and saute the onion over a medium heat for five minutes, until translucent.
2. Boil a full kettle- put dried mushrooms into a bowl and cover in boiling water. Leave to stand.
3. Add garlic and chilli to the pan, and cook for a further minute.
4. Add pearl barley to the pan and stir well. Pour in white wine and cook until absorbed.
5. Strain off the liquid from the mushrooms into the pan. Add the stock cube, stir well and simmer until absorbed.
6. Add boiling water to the pan, a ladelful at a time, until barley is fairly tender but still with a bite to it. This will take around 20 minutes.
7. Add the mushrooms and peas, stir well and cook for a minute or so to heat through.
8. Add cheese, creme fraiche and parsley. Stir well and serve immediately.

Sorry for the crap, dark picture! ๐Ÿ˜€



This time four years ago…

I was in labour with Ricky. Not an easy process as you now all know! ๐Ÿ˜€

Ricky had been discussing his birthday with his friends at school earlier, and when we were in the car tonight on the way home, he said, “Mummy, Jonathan says babies come out of your bum when they’re being born.”

I was, I am prepared to admit, a little taken aback by this somewhat unexpected conversation.

Me- Hmmmmm….yes, they do.

Ricky- (slightly horrified) So I came out of your BUM?!!!

Me- (bemused) Well…no.

Ricky- So?

Me- (preparing to go into far more detail than was really needed, as ever- I never know when to stop) Well, I tried for ages and ages to get you to come out, but you wouldn’t. So after a while…

Ricky- You EXPLODED!!!!!!!

Yeah. This is me. Four years ago.


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