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One thing nobody tells you when you get sick - or, at least, nobody told me - is that cancer smells. I mean literally in this case, although, obviously, figuratively too. It doesn't matter how often I bathe, I can't get the smell out of my skin. Judy says she doesn't notice, but I'm acutely aware of it.
This means that I have to do laundry more often - I may be living my life mainly in my nightie, but I do not have an inexhaustible supply of nightdresses and knickers - and also change the bedclothes more regularly. (Which reminds me - the missing pillow case I was wittering about on Warped the other day? It never did turn up, god knows where it's gone.) And all of that, of course, just makes me even more tired than I already was.
Which is still pretty damn tired, even though the lung's supposedly okay now. I'm still very short of breath, and frequently make what I am sure are highly attractive gasping noises.
My, what a delightful picture I am painting of myself. Throw in that I'm also now almost entirely bald and, gosh, you'd think some lucky fellow would just come along and snap me up, wouldn't you?
Anyway - all of this is to say that I am having a lot of trouble keeping up with the things I need to do, or want to do, or have invented to do to fill up the few hours of the day when I'm not sleeping. I've said before, I think - you will find that I repeat myself quite often. Could be old age, could be chemo brain, could be the baked beans - I can really only do one thing a day. Site-wise, that means I can either blog, or I can answer comments, or I can comment elsewhere. Maybe two of the three; not all of them. To which I say: meh. Also, predictably: poo.
(Predictive poo. Now, there's a thought.)
So, I haven't updated my blog in quite some time, which rather invalidates the whole purpose of having a cancer blog. Fortunately, however, this has been a quiet week: no hospital or GP appointments - why, I haven't even had to give a blood sample! - no crises, no dramas. Just me and Mr Crab, skipping along our merry way. Well, I say skipping. Trudging.
Stuff has happened, of course. Our friend Penny came for a short visit at the end of last week. It was lovely to see her, and I don't say that just because she arrived bearing four bars of choklit, a punnet of grapes, one mini rosebush, one mini orchid, and a lovely scarfy/shawly/blankie/wrappy thing that she had knitted with her own fair hands, well, and a pair of knitting needles. I am afraid that I spent a large part of her visit being sociable where values of 'sociable' = 'wrapped up in duvet on sofa asleep' but, luckily, Penny is capable of entertaining herself. There was Domino's pizza, which I managed to eat with no disastrous effect, a trip into Bicester so that I could look for head coverings in the various charity shops with which the place abounds, and then a further trip out to the garden centre, which did not so much involve gardens as Hobbycraft (to Judy and Penny, Hobbycraft is an Aladdin's Cave of wondrous treasures; to me it's "Eeeeew, what is all this tat?!") and Lakeland (which is an Aladdin's Cave of wondrous treasures that I cannot afford and, at present, have little use for).
We did our routine grocery shop in Buckingham this week, mostly for a change of scenery. I don't know what we bought, exactly, but it managed to come to over £90 - rather worrying, as it didn't even include cat food. Much more of that, and we'll be forced to resort to Lidl. I only ever set foot in a Lidl once, and it scared me, but ... needs must when poverty drives.
I said a while ago that I needed boots. I now have boots, courtesy of the Clarks outlet in Bicester Village. Of course, even buying boots can't be straightforward, not in my world. The ones I ended up getting (quite nice flat ankle boots with a solid sole and a buckle) (two of each, actually, one for each boot) were size 6, and a perfect fit - I take size 5, and every other size 5 I tried on fitted just fine - and they also had no price on, which meant we had to find the same boot in another size, one that did have a price tag, and take that up to the counter. I felt pretty stupid, queuing up with three boots in my hand. I have a lot of problems, true, but I am not Jake the Peg!
Side thought: what a lot of shitty songs I do know, to be sure.
Yesterday my brother came for his currently weekly visit, and this time he brought Michelle, my lovely sister in law, who is still recovering from breast reconstruction surgery. She still looks quite drawn and tired, and I hope the round trip from Bristol didn't take it out of her too much, but it was nice to see her. Also, she brought a bag of wigs with her, from her own baldie days, and we played with those for a bit. Verdict? Wigs are exactly as hot and scratchy and uncomfortable as I'd thought, and do, indeed, make me look like a bloke in drag. And I don't mean someone who's cross-dressing in any sort of serious way: I mean the local rugger scrum half at a tarts' and vicars' party. (Rugby players always come as tarts. I have long ceased to ask why.)
They brought cookies, too. I'm just saying. You know, it's no wonder I'm not losing any weight in spite of the chemo ...
The mail today brought confirmation from my hospital insurance company of my claim for my ten-day stay in the Churchill. They're paying out a lot more than I'd expected, but I suppose they know what they're doing. If they don't know what they're doing, let's hope they never notice.
So, what does the near future hold? Next week it'll be back to the medical routine: consultant on Monday - so we had better be sure to change the clocks this weekend, or we'll be there an hour early. (? Late? Brain the size of a planet, and yet I never can work that out in my head.) Pre-chemo blood samples at the GP on Thursday. And chemo on Saturday. Is everybody happy? Like buggery we are ...
I really do know all the crap songs. Why, god, why?
Before all that, we have an exciting Sunday lined up: we are going to Sunday lunch with a friend. A friend, mark you, who I know only through Facebook, but she breeds Maine Coons, and suggested that KITTENS would be an excellent form of cancer therapy. And, you know what? I bet she's right.
PS: These are just kittens for looking at, not taking home - sorry! Our current lot would never accept a new kitten, or forgive us if we got one, we can't afford a fourth cat, and we definitely can't afford a pedigree!
Pictures of mittens please :) Bet they're not small either.
Vicky would agree on the wigs, I think she wore hers twice and more for the benefit of other people lest they be dismayed by her lack of hair; berks! I can bring cat food on Tuesday if needed as I have lots & lots that the little treasures aren't eating at the moment.
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE KITTENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! she's right, she's right.. do it do it do it!
Ok, now that's over with....
Smell. The only time I cried during treatment. P came in and said it smells a bit in here, I am going to open the window... It was me and my burnt skin that smelt. That was the only one that got me. I smell. I did have a good laugh about it later... but I am with you on the smell thing. Of course I also smell in other ways too ha ha hello dear baggy...
Kittens..... Maine Coon kittens. I am just staring into space and making pfffff noises... I love kittens.
My dearest 20 year old cat seemed to come out in sympathy with me and died on the day I was diagnosed. Of course we have 2 others, but we have to replace him. So I was promised kittens... (cos you can't just get one of course) Wait till treatment is over, wait till we see if you are going to be alive long enough... wait till we move house, wait till we have had the noisy work done.. blah blah blah. I want my kittens now . Can I come with you?
I think your pillow case might be cavorting off somewhere with my car document I can't find. Maybe they eloped and didn't tell us..
I am concerned about your taste in music. it is truely appalling... with the wooden leg diddle iddle iddle um....
Oh, do the clocks go back? Oh poo. I also can't do that... must be the brain and planet thing... Oh hang on, that isn't poo... its hurrah. I worked it out.. we get an extra hour in bed! Of course for you and your hours in bed, an extra hour isn't probably very exciting but for us mere mortals who are supposed to be able to do a bit of work again and have to get up 3 days a week... hoorah!
My reply will be longer than your blog at this rate... so a big big hug to you and
Little My xxx
ps they need to stop giving you chemo on Saturdays. In my book that is unfair. In radiotherapy land you get the weekends off. i always thought that was rather civilised of them. Having said that, what they do to you Mon- Fri every day is rather uncivilised... hmm maybe that's why... I just argued out my point. Forget it. Still think you should not have chemo on Saturdays though. Mind you what day would one want to have chemo on? err the Neverday? Or Wednesdays if you have to. They sound like a chemo sort of day to me.... oh look I'm blabbing shite again... must stop.
Ah yes, I was just thinking about that this week - no matter how many times I change my bed, my bedroom smells of chemo. I would usually open the windows AND burn incense, but can't burn much at the moment without feeling a bit icky. I wonder if the Missing Socks kidnapped your pillow case??
I have a friend who lives in Bucks, in the Chalfonts. We use her January birthday as an excuse to catch up as a group of girlies, minus any partners or kids, as we are all over the UK now. Actually you can get some good stuff from Europe in Lidl or Aldi, so I sometimes supplement my food shopping with little treats from there, but they ARE odd places to shop in!
Huzzah for insurance paying out! That's worth an extra cake at least!
Ooh kittens! I once had two white kittens as a present for my daughters some years back (when I had 2 not 3 kids) and I left them in the dining room, and put a trail of clues round the house up to the door, and the last 'clue was a note from 'Father Xmas' ... they loved them! :) Yes, get kittens, but don't be a mad cat lady as I was in London when, having 3 cats already, I let in a stray who then had two litters who then had a litter each before we got to the vets........ 9 adult cats and 20 kittens in one house, whilst I was pregnant and couldn't empty litter trays :D We did find homes for all the kittens and got the former stray and her clan to the vets pronto!
Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee - kittens!! They can play with your spare shoe.................
Stuart - I imagine it would be bad netiquette to link to Caro's Facebook photos, but she has a website here - http://www.hearthrug.co.uk/kittens.htm; I hope I shall meet Errol and Tangle.
I trust your own dear little kitties are okay and just being awkward, rather than off their food. We're fine for cat food, thank you - we didn't buy it because we didn't (for once) need it. Probably just as well. Tescoseses do seem to vary in price. The Buckingham one is expensive, and we should stop going there, novelty or no novelty. The chav Tesco in Boston Road is much cheaper, maybe because it doesn't stock much one would want to buy!
I'm pretty sure that wigs are mostly for other people, although I was reading a hair loss thread earlier where people did seem quite upset about being bald. I may wear a scarf in polite company (thought: do I know any polite company?), and I'll need things to wear outdoors if it gets cold. Oh! Judy found a hat she'd forgotten she had and passed it on to me, one of those squashy velvet ones that were fashionable a few years back. So I'm starting to acquire a collection.
Hobbycraft and Lakeland, what bliss! Though as I'm currently getting huge hints from my beloved that my stash of stuff-that- will-come-in-useful-one-day should be downsized because the spare room is unusable for its official purpose, perhaps it's just as well we live miles from any shops as fascinating as that.
Yes, cancer does pong. For me it was the all-pervading odour of chemo, I could never seem to shift it. Only ever set foot in a Lidl once; it was on a par with Kwiksave. I'll say no more.
Maine Coon kittens? You jammy beast! If that's not the proverbial silver lining ... save one for me!
Back to the excruciatingly tiresome knitting this evening, but... my/our silver lining is the large bottle of Smirnoff I got in Sainsbury's for £14 today. As we already had Galliano & orange juice, it's Harvey Wallbangers all round and sod it!
Love & hugs,
I thought it was only me that had the bad smell thing,I really only noticed when I gave up smoking and thought it was because all the badness was coming out of me...and as for the nighties..or in my case PJs I do try to get out of them daily if only for a couple of hours,but sometimes they have to be surgically removed.I have never been what you would call a shopper,but these days when I am out I am looking at nightwear not fashion LOL
Okay, clearly I fell into the rookie writer's trap of assuming that, because I knew what I meant, everyone else would, too. Sorry, people, we are not getting kittens, we're just going to play with some kittens. The reasons we are not getting kittens include our current cats, who came as a set of three with a single hive mind and would not welcome outsiders, the fact that we can't afford a fourth cat (not just food and cat litter, but insurance and vet's bills too), the fact that I'm not well enough to keep up with a kitten woe), and, most pressing of all, the fact that these are pedigree Maine Coons that cost £400. That's four hundred good reasons right there. £100 per paw! Though I suppose you get the tail free. Our mogs are pure-bred moggy, straight out of the gutter - literally - and came from the CPL.
Plus four cats is teetering dangerously on Crazy Cat Lady territory, and I should know, I are one. (Ems, you evidently slipped over the edge - in fact, never mind slipping, you plummeted - at one point there, but I'm glad you managed to get that lot re-homed, which must've been little short of miraculous.) We had five for years and years, but we were younger when we got them, and by the time we became aged and doddery, so had they.
Right, now that's cleared up ... the smell. I wish I could blame the chemo, but I first noticed it pre-chemo. I wonder whether it's something to do with the ascites? I base this on the fact that - oh, there's no non-embarrassing way to say this - *mumble* wrong-smelling wee *mumble*, okay, that's enough about that.
It was extra-noticeable when I was in the Churchill; the hospital beds stank anyway - rubber mattress covers + disinfectant - so when you add in waking up a bit sweaty and the extra smell ... ewwww. It's lucky I had easy access to a shower all the time I was in there, even if I did have to take my bucket in with me!
The pillow case remains AWOL. I've asked St Anthony, I can do no more. LM, you might try asking him for your car form. Sometimes he coughs up.
LM (again) - how appallingly cruel of the bastards in charge, having your poor old cat die just when you were already at a low ebb. My own timing wasn't quite so sucky: I had to go for a CT scan the day Judy was delivering her viva voce, and we had the news the following week. "Huh," I said, "you get a doctorate, I get cancer!" Sucky, much?
It isn't my taste in music that's the problem, it's my overly-retentive memory, which seems determined to store nothing but crap.
It's also a mental problem, my inability to work out the knock-on effect of clock changes. I know spring forward, fall back - that's peasy - but what I can't do is work out whether, if we failed to change the clocks, we would then be ahead of or behind the rest of the world. When I try, my brain goes scratchy (this phenomenon may never have happened to you, as you are a Bear of Very Great Brain); there seems to be some kind of genuine block there. I don't know why, I'm not entirely stupid, and I can even do maths - well, I have an O-level, for what that's worth!
As for chemo on Saturdays - you know, we really don't mind it? With Judy retired and me currently too sick to work (don't you like the 'currently'? As if it were likely to change), one day is much like another. We don't have to fight commuter and school traffic. The hospital staff car park, where Judy can park free, is almost empty. The ward itself is quiet and peaceful, with only a handful of patients. All in all, it works out pretty well. Of course, I have to have chemo, which takes the shine off it a bit, but you can't win 'em all.
Ems - my parents had white cats, long, long ago. Blanche and Snowball. My parents were sadly lacking in imagination!
Opinions are divided on Lidl - one of my friends says she shops there and it's not so bad once you get used to the non-brand names, while another says it's like shopping in the Third World (I am pretty sure it is not, but I did not get all PC on her ass. I like to keep the friends I have). I say, the least we can do is try it for ourselves. We are going to have to be careful with money, that's for sure. We may even have to get over our overweening snobbishness and go to Iceland!
And cake? Yes, please!
Annie - downsize the craft stash? Blasphemy! Next he'll be suggesting you use some of it!
I'm not a crafty person, though sometimes I wish I were. The trouble is, I can't see any use for most of the things one can make. Making one's own clothes would be good - I was, sadly, put off this at school by one of those awful, hectoring old-lady teachers - and I'd like to try jewellery-making, but that one's out of the question - in fact, they both are - at the moment, I'm much too shaky. Being snobbish again, though, I think if I did craft I'd want to use more exotic materials than you get in Hobbycraft. Penny turned up with some hanks of wonderful bright yarn from Uruguay in her bag, for example, and another friend used to make jewellery from Victorian glass beads.
Everyone's drinking but me! It is so unfair! (I said that in the whiniest voice imaginable.)
Shivsmum - I don't know about you, but in between Mr Crab being in my tummy, so that I don't want to wear anything tight, and especially not anything with a waistband, and the fact that I could currently sleep for England, most days getting dressed just isn't worth the effort!
Hils - I did totally plummet into crazy cat lady mode for a while. We were left with 9 cats for a while, which is probably still quite dodgy.
I do some crafty stuff when I have time - I used to make lanterns from paper and willow, different shapes, etc. Now I print my photos off and make cards to sell. I love photography :)
Oh goodness me, something ELSE to remember- clocks changing!
ICELAND? Oh goodness me! *goes to lie down* ;)
back from being a party pooper and head tilter dodging...
I think I knew you were just going to look, but my problem is that the words 'just looking' and 'kittens' always results in some coming home with us.... so assumed you would end up the same.. Mind you, i have always 'just looked' at free moggies... £400? you must be joking! We thought old cats would not like new cats but after a few days sulking they do... and are now friends so no excuse now for being a mad old cat lady... we currently only have 2. ... And I have been promised a sympathy 'you were in hospital for your birthday and got cancer' kitten and of course he will have to have a friend.... so back to 4 soon I reckon. I also think 4 is the brink of which I will not go over... mind you, it used to be 3...
Oh there I go blabbing on about cats again.
I make unusual things. I make my own felt and leather slippers. I love doing green wood carving... My favourite thing to make is my own knives. I don't think they sell that sort of stuff in hobby craft... ha ha. I do not have much use for all the big knives I make either and one day I might get mistaken for a weirdo and get arrested or something... currently they are sitting looking at me half made cos I don't have the energy or the sausage keeping in capacity to make them. Ho hum.
Actually, I also can't work out what would happen if we didn't put the clocks back... brain freeze I call it. It hurts and I try not to think about it. I am happy just knowing that P will start changing some this afternoon and not others and confuse me no end and I will somehow get some more sleep which I seem to want these days. Can't imagine why... I also may end up having to listen to the godbotherers on radio 4 waiting for the Archers if I don't do more sleep, which is also quite likely.
Lidl do good loo roll. I used to get through a lot of loo roll pre- baggy so started going there for it instead of going bankrupt. They do some good qulaity German stuff cheap . It just looks horrid.(the shop, not the food) Iceland? never ever ever do it Hilary... please. If you get that desperate, phone me and I will come round with food parcels. I am not so poor now I have 'downsized' and am feebly pretending to work enough that they pay me something... I would gladly feed you and Judy than have you going to Iceland. Call me a snob if you like, (others have) but you have a Mr Crab and need to eat properly and anyone who can make 500 burgers for 50p, well, processed to fuck. Mind you, it might cause Mr Crab to surrender and that muck is probably as poisonous as chemo... nuff said.
St Anthony??? I obviously wasn't listening that day... does he find stuff for you??? Wow! Can he find me some money as well i wonder.... oh and an essay already written? Oooooh. what fun.
I have a really bizarre urge to go for a swim. I am hoping if I lie down, the urge may pass... if not, I might have to go and may frighten small children with sausages... ewwww.
ps I don't really drink either ...In the last 2 months I have had 2 halves of lager. In the last year, add a few g&ts whilst in Sweden in the summer with almost no G in them and that is it. I make a night out last a year. it seems... I just join in sometimes to pretend I am not as sad as I actually am.
Ems - I have been into Iceland a few times, in the dim and distant past, but they mostly sell freezer stuff - duh, hence the name, I suppose - and, when Mr Crab is not making my life difficult, I'm fairly particular about cooking properly, and using fresh ingredients. My current impression of Iceland is that it's full of slappers in can-can skirts - with Jason Donovan (I think) running round with a whip as ringmaster, nice feminist image there - which, if true, would really be too frightening to face.
Your crafty stuff sounds like the sort of crafty stuff I can get behind. I like original stuff; I don't see much point in painting, or embroidery, by numbers. But, I suppose, the main thing is that the people who do do it enjoy it, not whether it lives up to my super-precious aesthetic ideals. Especially as I have no talents in that direction myself!
Yup, clocks change tonight, or tomorrow morning, depending on how you look at it. That's going to raise tomorrow's lunch to a new level of interesting. Bets taken now on who will arrive at midday, and who will arrive at one. Or possibly eleven.
Nine cats is definitely quite a handful. Several handfuls, in fact. For the time being, three is all we can deal with, I think.
LM - I hope you enjoyed the PooBaggers' Picnic, and we'll all look forward to hearing about it, after you have written your essay. Seriously, 500 words? I suppose they're 500 words that have to make sense and stay on topic, though, so that's me screwed.
The 'just looking' might, *cough* would have been harder if we'd been going to visit a CPL lady overrun with needy cats desperate for homes, but I don't think Caro is going to have any problems finding buyers for her Maine Coons. And I shall try not to steal one, tempting as it might be. That would be baaaaad.
See, your crafty stuff sounds good, too. Now I'm going to have to go away and find something I'm good at, besides wittering on for hours to no purpose.
Iceland will only happen if the only other option is picking food out of restaurant dustbins. After all, their motto is 'We sell cheap so Kerry Katona can buy crack' - although this worked for Pluto Sheringham in 'Dat', which is probably the only hit record ever to document someone breaking his dietary laws so he can afford dope - and that can't be good.
Okay, let's try logic. If it's 1.00 tomorrow morning, and we put the clocks back to 12.00 midnight ... then when we think it's 12.00 noon tomorrow, it will really be 1.00 in the afternoon. Does that sound right? It may or may not be, but it actually, physically hurt to work it out. Not much, mind you, given that Mr Crab clearly got jealous when I PMed you yesterday and is now impersonating a period pain!! Oh, god, I hope he behaves tomorrow.
Yup, St Anthony finds lost things, although not, to date, my pillowcase, but you have to get the right St Anthony (of Padua). St Anthony of Egypt is the patron saint of pigs, and gets a bit sniffy if you confuse him with the other one.
No drinking for me whilst crabby, alas. Whilst Mr Crab is a greedy bastard, what with wanting steak and chips at four in the morning, I'm pretty sure that booze would kill him - which would be good, but he'd take me with him. I'll play it safe.
Hilary, I just wrote my essay like a good girl hooooooorah! Are you proud?? Are you? (mind you, you didn't read it!)
Steal a cat. Go on. You know you want to. You can do baaaad things. You have cancer cards to play. I think you can get away with murder even. I offered, but didn't try in the end. She left him instead...
You are v .good at keeping me happy and that is a rare talent indeed. Don't distract yourself from that with frippery of making crap noone wants. (please)
Wish you had told me about the other Saint Anthony earlier... I have a pig at my back door and a disgruntled Saint on my hands now. I knew I should have stayed not listening... no good ever came of it so far.
Your calculations made my brain hurt. I couldn't follow it and it hurt so I stopped. I think I am dyslexic with numbers like that, which might account for my son being madly number dyslexic.... All I know is tomorrow I will lie in bed as long as is possible without being accused of being a lazy idle good for nothing tart and you are going to steal a cat. Hoorah for Sunday.
And tell Mr Crab I've got a baseball bat and I'm not afriad to use it so he'd better stop turning you back into Lady Pains again or he'll have me to deal with. Ok? I'm not sure a Little My has ever really scared anything yet, but if you say it sternly enough he may believe I am fierce. He also sounds a bit like Mr Hefty who wanted kebabs and pies and meaty junk food galore... luckily I was happy to indulge him on that one.
No she didn't !
Gosh what a lot you wrote when my back was turned. Hilary, drivel I understand, advanced mathematical calculations about time shifts hurt my brain too. And I can do calculus (well used to, but I can still spell it) so there!
Yes, I've done the 2 hours early for a bowls match. Hoped the others wouldn't notice, but I usually arrive only just in time (=late to everyone else) so they did notice!
Ah Ems, photography! I love photography too, but my son's the real photographer. He's had two exhibitions at Leatherhead Theatre, and also makes and sells cards at Craft fairs and his wife does arty things with Jewelry (is that the right spelling, don't do jewels myself). I love helping out on opening nights at exhibitions (free food - bit no free drinks :-( ). (That's complicated punctuation there - is it right?)
I have a cousin who shopped at Aldi (or was it Lidl?) once, but overstayed her welcome and had to pay £80 parking fine! Not cheap.
LM I'm pleased you've done that essay thingy and hope you didn't put too many llllllllllllllllllllllllllls in it. Remember, if St Anthony can't find something as large as a pillow case, he doesn't have much chance of finding your small V5. I wonder, is he any good at finding cars in multi-storey car parks?
Hilary those kittens sound gorgeous! I don't know how you could walk away without one .... er .... except for the little matter of £400 of course. Mind you that is nothing compared to Vet Bills. My Brother in Law is currently paying out nearly £200 per month for a dog he inherited from his mother in law. The poor dog has cancer and he hasn't the heart to have it put down. At the moment the dog is responding to the palliative care (How quickly we learn how to spell long words when we get cancer).
Jax what a lot of trouble to got to say just 3 words, but I'm intrigued - what didn't she?
I ain't got chemo brain, but I can't remember what anyone else said, so apologies to nnie and others,
Colin (psst LM, it's Odin) xxx
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