A booby is a seabird with blue feet

  • Meeting The Red Devil

    For this appointment, I was allocated the very, very large armchair in the Day Unit. The one that might possibly make a person feel like royalty or a hippo, depending on their mood. In an effort to settle in nicely, I spread some friendly-looking clu...
  • Before The Red Devil

    Today is a milestone meeting – with The Red Devil, no less. I am ready for it in the same way that I might be for a car crash, after been told to prepare myself well in advance. It will be ‘interesting’ to see (and to feel) the afte...
  • Cold Cap Caper

    I do not have a cat. But if you came into my house, you might think that I do have one now. Or even several. And I would be extremely happy for you to believe this or to politely pretend that you do. (Thank you.) Another reasonably convenient lie mig...
  • Handy Tips from the SAS Handbook

    There’s always one unexpected horror at Halloween: I’ve learned to expect it.  (When looking back on the event. Which probably doesn’t really count at all.) My lesson this year was: Don’t open the door to just anyone, sim...
  • Hallo Halloween

    It’s Halloween. But I don’t want be a ghost this year, please. Not a pretend one and definitely not a real one either. Instead I think I’ll wear bright clothes and disguise myself as a really healthy person. Our pumpkins are going t...
  • Dot-dot-dot; dash-dash-dash; dot-dot-dot

    Yesterday I tried out an experiment on my children. I suddenly tapped 9 times on the kitchen table – 3 quick taps, 3 slow taps, 3 quick taps. Then I paused, waiting for reactions. Were they even going to notice? And were they going to see a mea...
  • Splitting Hairs about Losing Hairs

    Yesterday I noticed that I have probably started losing my eyebrows. I still don’t really want to be sure. Is it safest to know the truth and then to somehow conveniently ‘forget’ it? Yes, No, maybe. Having a few less than the ...
  • Still Alive

    This is another thing that I had not foreseen with cancer: needing to update people with news that I am very much still alive. Completely. Yes! There’s no cause for alarm! Even if I am not writing emails (or blog posts) every day anymore. The t...
  • Small Steps

    From the outset, sensible advice given to me by friends for dealing with cancer has always been: “Take small steps”. I just hadn’t expected to find myself needing to take those words literally. Because a few days ago, I suddenl...
  • Horrible 'Holiday'

    Symptoms for Day 2 and Day 5 after my first chemotherapy session have been like those of a horrible holiday. Day 2 involved a (short-lived) heat rash, as if I had been out in sunshine and got slightly burnt whilst wearing a sleeveless dress with a lo...
  • Life is a Taxi Ride

    The worst part of my first chemotherapy-and-cold-cap treatment was the taxi drive home. My session start had been slightly delayed, then unexpectedly it also ran over schedule. Unfortunately, the driver had arrived to collect me well before I was &ls...
  • Number 13

    Blog post 13. My armchair at the oncology ward for my first chemotherapy session was also number 13. Lucky or unlucky? Maybe both. Because I am and I not superstitious. Just like Stevie Wonder! As I walked in, I thought of how he might have sung &ldq...
  • Crazy Cars, Cancer and Questions

    Not so long ago, but in ‘my other life’, the one before cancer, I nearly died. It was a close shave (almost literally) but with a car. The exact time of it was at 4 pm on Sunday 14th February 2021: Valentine’s Day. Looking at it pos...
  • Words about Weirdly Wonderful Wonky Wigs

    I cannot keep my new hair on. No matter how gently I tweak my wig first one way, then another, then another, then another. I have been told that once I have no hair, apparently, the situation will be “better”: the wig should (somehow) att...
  • CT Scan Results – I Only Like Supermarket Scanners Now

    The results from my first CT scan are back and they were not exactly good. Not unless a lot of findings are considered at least ‘interesting’ (which presumably they are, in a way, to technicians and researchers). Before I had the CT scan,...
  • MRI: Not Waving, Not Drowning

    One thing that I didn’t mention earlier about my first MRI scan was my weird anxiety over the ear protection. Since I was already lying face down with my arms above my head, it didn’t occur to me – until it was too late – to t...
  • My New Wig: Hope, in a Box

    Yesterday I had my first ever wig fitting session. To be honest, it all felt pretty unreal to me. I am still going through the motions of another person’s life. (A person I don’t even know yet.) The experience was another small but signif...
  • Elephants in the MRI

    For me, one difficult aspect of the MRI scan experience was the struggle to keep both my body and my mind ‘perfectly, perfectly still’ for the images. If I am honest, it was barely tolerable. One twitch too many and the messed up scans wo...
  • The Right Shoes for an MRI

    Yesterday I remembered that Bette Midler once said: “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world”. I loved the sound of that advice! It was (dauntingly) ambitious yet still affordable and conveniently well-timed for my next...
  • Battle of the Bra

    Yesterday was yet another new experience: buying a non-underwired bra. This was actually a milestone (for me) because I had needed to overcome decades of resistance to the idea first. So I went off to M&S, where a suitable bra was pointed out to ...
  • The MRI Washing Machine

    The cheerful poster on the changing room wall claimed that the MRI scan would be just “like being in a washing machine”. This got my attention: I had never had an MRI scan before and I had never been in a washing machine either! The poste...
  • Maria von Trapp did not mention any of these in her song

    Hello everyone! I have not yet even started my cancer treatment as such, so I am getting prepared by 'learning the language'. It looks like I will be learning at least one new word every day. I am so worried about 'chemo fog' and the ...
  • Hearty Heart Ultrasound

    Hello everyone! Another recent first for me has been the heart ultrasound. I had not expected one, as I do not have any history of heart problems. But then these words popped into my mind: “not that I know of” and “yet”. (That...
  • The Giant Doughnut

    Hello everyone! Well, my first experience with the ‘giant doughnut’, the CT scanner, is now behind me. Admittedly, it is the only doughnut in my life that I haven’t been entirely overjoyed to be offered. But it was still actually qu...