Keeping away from everyone

social distancing

So a month since my last blog and now its only a week away from my gallbladder op. That means staying away from everyone in a socially distanced manner until Monday when I have my Covid test and then its proper lockdown in my bedroom for 72 hours. Good job I work from home.

Not worried about the actual op, just want it over and done with now and hoping that I will be in and out within the day and a week to recover. Worse case scenario – well it will be longer but not thinking about that option.

It was the Bank Holiday weekend and while I didn’t get any Easter eggs I did make sure I got some chocolate – maybe that’s why I missed Slimming World weigh in on Monday, wasn’t feeling the love. Hate how when everything thing is closed that all your aches and pains come to the forefront meaning you have to wait days to get in touch with anyone for that peace of mind that nothing is wrong.

Thursday saw me having a lovely day, sun was shining and I spoke to my palliative care nurse Vicky and she said how bright I was sounding and I actually did feel good. Times like this I forget I have cancer, forget that time is limited and that when I wake up in a morning that I am no different than anyone else.

Good Friday was my normal day off and I booked a holiday to Sicily for my birthday next May, I was so excited having had a Sicilian boyfriend for 3 years when I lived in Zurich and been there twice before I was so happy when Jet2 holidays decided to take this country onboard. Never even entered my mind that I wouldn’t be well enough – I was just so excited to think of going back to somewhere I had such special memories.

sunshine

Friday night I started with a pain in my back and I asked my Mum Saturday morning if she could feel the lump I could feel. With her ropey hands she couldn’t but I wasn’t going to to make a fuss and would just ride it out – if it was still painful Tuesday I would get it checked out.

Well the pain didn’t go and as I am limited to pain relief to paracetamol/codeine it was not sleeping on my side to help the pain. I could still feel the lump and the pain radiated all across my back. Monday saw a bad day at work when I burst into tears trying to do something while challenging for me shouldn’t have seen me cry. My team as usual were great and came to the rescue.

So Tuesday morning I called my doctor knowing she would alleviate my fears, as I said when I spoke to her its probably nothing and I hate wasting peoples time, she wanted me in straight away. She could see the pain I was in and couldn’t say that it wasn’t linked to my bone cancer so as I had no consultations mapped out because of my op she was going to talk to my team at the hospital and she about a bone scan. The thing is she listened when I talked.

I hate that my emotions are so up and down – one minute high next minute so low. That I will never be normal – that this is my new normal.

So I am going to try and remember the highs because when the lows hit sometimes its hard to remember anything else. So the ones so far –

  1. Andrew my brother got made permanent in his job at The Golden Lion, Settle which is amazing considering in the year of the pandemic he was furloughed and let go from one job, found this job a day later and then was furloughed again. We are happy to see him back at work.
  2. My garden is nearly finished, skip was taken away this morning, yesterday Stephen and Richard laid the patio – finishing touches still to do and the fence which seems a never ending job is still to be painted. The inflatable chair has had its outing with a gin by my side and Casey loves the artificial grass to chase his ball.
  3. Like I said booked my holiday on the maiden flight from Leeds Bradford to Sicily on May 4th 2022 with Jet2 Holidays to Taormina Mare a budget hotel but decided that I can just use it as a base, don’t intend to spend all my time inside.

https://www.jet2holidays.com/italy/sicily/taormina-mare/villa-bianca-resort

4. Although some days I feel really rubbish I still feel blessed to have the people in my life that make it easier for me. Know they have always got my back, sometimes don’t know what I do to deserve it but know if the tables were turned I would be there for each and every one of them.

5. Love my Casey – he just makes me smile. Tomorrow he will go from a hairy monster to a sleek 10 year old puppy again

Spring, kiwis and Masai Warriors

The last month has been a hard one mentally and physically seeing two stints in hospital and time off work. There seemed no way forward and no way out, I was bathed in gloom. But as I have been told EMBRACE every day as no one day is the same and with the signs of Spring so comes my health – for now at least.

Taking medication for pain can sometimes be counter-productive, giving you worse side effects than the pain itself and with me that was the case. Every medication was tried to alleviate the pain while giving the least amount of side effects. None seemed to work and the nausea especially was awful. So they were removed and paracetamol was my back up.

Now I don’t know about you but when I can’t sleep EVERYTHING seems so much worse. Normally I could be be seen on the sofa at 2am watching anything from SKY to NETFLIX and by the time the sun was rising I was ready to go to sleep.

So it was on one of these nights when I was downstairs that that I came upon The Truth about Sleep on BBC1 and the presenter Dr Michael Mosley who himself is an insomniac. I think he was willing to try anything and at that point so was I, so he took 3 people to take on some scientific challenges and with the power of google to see which were the most popular things people tried he chose 4 things (he was guinea pig for one)

So without going into too much detail – watch the show for that – I will tell you where the kiwis come in. One guy was asked to eat 2 kiwis a night for 7 nights and his sleep recorded. Kiwis – you are having a laugh right? Well they are rich in serotonin and antioxidants which makes you fall asleep quicker and longer. After the 7 days it was rewarded with a 7/10 and a resolve to continue with it.

So biting the bullet I went out and bought 2 days worth, in for a penny. And guess what, whether its psychosomatic or it is their magic juice they do work. I am getting at least 6 hours sleep and proper sleep. I wake up refreshed. I wake up positive. And now I am back at work I feel ready to take on any challenge.

So last night/this morning deep in sleep I was woken with someone saying my name – no not Molly but my Sunday name. Jumping up everyone was asleep and I could reflect on my very weird dream.

This involved a car crash although not involving me and no-one was hurt, travelling on the A65 from Coniston to Settle with an ex and 2 other people getting to Long Preston to leave the car alone in dark awful weather to walk home. Lots of people, fire, burnt grass and spears on the ground -hundreds from Masai warriors. Didn’t get to Settle because of being woken up. Has the kiwi fruit anything to do with it?

So as we go into Spring – my favourite season, the promise of things to come – new beginnings. The trumpets of the daffodils heralding the warmer weather, well OK not so hot here in Yorkshire but better and the little lambs in the fields. I still can’t eat lamb when I see them in our local fields so cute with their tails bobbing.

In the next couple of weeks I am having my garden done by my brother-in-law Stephen and nephew Richard (couldn’t wait for Mr Titchmarsh) a bit of fake grass and a patio will help make this my oasis while I am not allowed to travel after I have been called in for my Gallbladder op in April.

Even though I have to isolate from April 1st for 14 days meaning my haircut on the 13th has had to be cancelled (so gutted) I am optimistic for the future as it stands at the moment. Won’t look too far ahead, keep with me on this journey.

WRITERS BLOCK

I suppose that’s what I will call it but really there was for some time after Christmas and New Year there really was nothing to say. It was winter we were in lockdown and the world seemed to have stopped once again, except this time we couldn’t potter about in the garden or do the things we have been meaning to do for ages in the house, now we are really stuck 24/7 inside, rubbish weather with equally rubbish tv.

Well there was always hospital appointments, mostly over the phone but some in person and after a couple of weeks after radiotherapy my first line treatment resumed so tablets to take and injections to be stabbed. But I had been getting some niggling pain in my side and pain which quite frankly was taking my breathe away when I did anything. I mentioned to all my team, my oncologist thought I might have pulled something, I did say you had to actually do something to do that – my life is pretty sedentary at the moment, my Birmingham team who wanted to make sure that the cancer hadn’t spread as did the Leeds team.

A scan to see if the radiotherapy had kept me stable mable was due in March anyway so it was just a case of taking the codeine/paracetamol and oramorph until then. And just when you think that life can’t give you any more a letter to have a scan for having the pesky gallbladder out – a scan is a scan, have had dozens always go in on my own. No issues. But this one, full blown panic attack, cried for England and they couldn’t do it. Sent me home to get so drugs and another appointment for 2 days time.

Doped up scan was done but I was still not well, mentally or physically and when I started work on the Sunday morning I was in horrendous pain, couldn’t sit couldn’t function. Phoned my specialist team on HODU for advise and got the amazing Pat who said to come to A&E bring and overnight bag and they would be waiting for me.

Won’t go into all the detail about what went on but I stayed 2 days – should have brought more pjs – Pat has known me for a long time and said this wasn’t the person she knew. I was broken, know I still am. Its not just the pain now, its coming to terms with the diagnosis.

Being strong is a great attribute to have and I applaud those that who can remain stronger through greater adversity but it wears you down when everyone thinks you are this person that you are not. Plus I don’t look ill, the cancer meds just like steroids did before have given me a wonderful line free skin – oh to have this skin and a body 20 years younger.

What I am trying to say is looks are deceiving, I look like a swan gliding on a pond but most days underneath my legs are frantically trying to stay afloat, Hospital monitored me gave me medication and the scans to show that the cancer hadn’t progressed and wasn’t lurking in any other organ. They also sent me home with a bunch of meds which made me horrendously sick and I can’t take.

But the most important thing they have set me up is with the Palliative Team at Manorlands a local Hospice – now I know a lot might think end of life and while it is I assure you I am not going yet, but they also deal with pain relief and just talking – I need to talk to someone who doesn’t know or judge me. I always thought I could get through this with family and friends – I realise that I am not being weak by asking for a little extra help.

Two things before I end

I had my first Pfizer vaccine with only a sore arm can’t believe to date there are over 16.5 million people being vaccinated in the UK alone – amazing

After a lot of persuasion I watched Bridgerton – can’t wait for the next series and I don’t like period dramas

Hopefully by the next blog we will all be getting there.

Will it get any better…?

Sorry that I haven’t posted for a while.

Treatment has been ongoing, that luckily didn’t stop with trips to St James Hospital Leeds for SABR radiotherapy which finished last Tuesday. What has followed that is a wave of lethargy which I cannot explain, it grabs you, envelops you and then spits you out the other end.

Travelling there and back plus treatment was a good 7/8 hour day with work in-between, well except one day when I just couldn’t make it out of bed. Finishing it before Christmas was a blessing and I thought I would be back to normal right after but once again I was wrong – not just physically but mentally.

Christmas Day came and went and we had a lovely time just the 3 of us, I cooked a turkey dinner and after went to bed for a nap. Boxing Day was the same except we had beef…..seems that my 84 year old Mum has more energy than me.

Sunday I was back at work and booking holidays – people still want to take a break and I still want to take them there but because I find it hard still to sleep at proper times ( the sofa is usually my best friend in the early hours) doing a full shift can be hard even if its not a physical job.

I had to check in with the hospital Monday morning regarding my next treatment on the 7th and mentioned that I had a “pregnant” belly which while wasn’t painful was really uncomfortable – seems that this watermelon had grown overnight, A check-in with Leeds to make sure it wasn’t a side effect from SABR meant a trip to my local hospital for a once over. They don’t know why belly is so big – one nurse did ask if I had over indulged at Christmas and I burst into tears.

watermelon belly

I came away with orders to rest – take time off – and that’s what I have decided to do. Do nothing for a few days, catch up on sleep, listen to my body and not to worry that I am letting everyone down – which I do daily.

Its coming to the end of 2020, we have just gone into Tier 3 and Andrew has just been furloughed again. I want to remain positive that 2021 has to be better than this year and with the Oxford vaccine being approved this week along now with the Pfizer vaccine I am sure that it won’t be hard for too long. We just need to put our positive pants on and look forward.

So for all my friends and family HAPPY NEW YEAR Stay Safe

Side effects

Well you would think that when the treatment stops that it would be happy days and that any adverse reactions you get to your medication would stop. WRONG, some only increase and I am here at nearly 2.30 am not being able to sleep yet again on the sofa watching TV! Insomnia wins yet again – I have tried creams, lotions and potions and while they seem to work short term along with the additional side effects doesn’t make for a great nights sleep.

Ft

For the last few nights I have also been fighting a crazy itchiness – like you have creepy crawlies under your skin, particularly bad on my stomach and legs. Next week I am starting Radiotherapy so all medication except Letrozole has been put on hold until January 7th and this tablet is the source of all my problems.

It is also the one that is hopefully keeping my cancer spreading so I will just have to pretend that I am a campmate of I’m a Celeb and tomorrow I am off to the chemist for antihistamine!

We are out of lockdown this week but still in Tier2 but the cold and snowy weather today hasn’t made me want to go out any further. Glad to see that the bars and restaurants are back open and that my brother is back at work after another month furlough albeit on reduced hours. When will things get back to normal?

This week much talk has been whether we would go for the Pfizer Covid vaccine now that it is the first on the market and available in the coming days. Time will tell whether it will be suitable for me being a cancer patient on treatment or whether I will have to wait for one of the other ones on the market but my I know for sure that my name will be down as soon as I can. Not just about looking after yourself but looking after others and maybe in time it will be something we will all have to have before travelling abroad – like a Yellow Fever jab to some countries.

So now is the wait until next Friday and a trip to Leeds again. Have most of my Christmas shopping done and the tree is decorated just in case of any gremlins in the works nearer the time. Treatment should be done by the 21st and #happydays Christmas. Two days off for the holidays too.

Finished for now but think sleep is going be a long time coming!

When things just come together

The tortoise or the hare – which ones comes out first? I have never been quick, you have should have seen me in a race always one of the last, when I did the London Marathon I think I could count on both hands how many out of thousands that were behind me. I was always embarrassed at my being slow, now I know that it didn’t matter, I rarely gave up no matter how much I hated it.

I was contacted by St James Hospital in Leeds to speak to me about having Radiotherapy. She actually said that I had been mentioned in quite a lot at meetings because of the type of cancer I have to my pelvis and the risk of fracture whether I had treatment or not – nice to know I am not forgotten!

There was a choice of two types, the standard where its would be done over 3 weeks Monday to Friday or a new type called Sterotatic (SABR) which is targeted and there are 5 treatments over 10 days. Not many hospitals in the UK do this treatment and I am lucky that Jimmy’s do but I had to be within their parameters.

After another consultation with Birmingham where the surgeon said that at the moment surgery is not an option I was advised that SABR radiotherapy was the way forward in the hope it would shrink the lesion and relieve any pain. This Friday I go for markings, scans and to have a beanbag impression made – I know this is a new one on me. A mould is made so that everytime I go I lay in the same position. Treatment should be finished by Xmas.

So with things moving forward I decided to put some plans in place – everyone wants something to look forward to and even if they may change last minute at least I know at this moment in time they are things I want to do. So one rainy Saturday I rebooked my Lanzarote holiday to Sandos Payagayo in May just before my birthday. I upgraded to an ultimate package for 24 hour All Inclusive, bed turned downed at night with chocolates. They also have an area just for ADULTS – bliss. This is going to be 7 days of heaven. Just in case I have more mobility issues than now I have contacted the Special Assistance team and they will support me at both airports – hope I get to go in one of those buggies. Plus my crutches will always come in handy!

https://www.jet2holidays.com/canary-islands/lanzarote/playa-blanca/sandos-papagayo

Mum and I had a short break to Switzerland cancelled so we rebooked to go back in April. Since leaving there over 16 years ago I haven’t been back and I long to see family and friends – remember guys don’t put off things. Only 4 days but sure if I can’t visit people they can come visit me! Again can’t wait.

Countdown to Christmas is on and while its not normally my favourite time of year this year I really want to celebrate it with family or friends even if virtually. My first Christmas party is with my work team on Thursday (TL going on holiday for most of December so we are getting in early) Games, food, fancy dress all in the comfort of your home.

I have bought Andrew and Mum a Lindt Advent Calendar but have decided I will do a reversed one. On December 1st I will start adding one item in a box ending on the 24th but adding in a present for the 25th and giving it to a foodbank to give to a family in the area. Even though I am going through a lot I still feel I am luckier than a lot, I feel blessed to have fantastic family and friends, a great job and a roof over my head.

So who has put their decorations up early – last years real Christmas tree has had its lights on since September – in a pot flashing to the milkman everytime he delivers. Netflix is on constantly with Christmas movies and oh the joy at every new Christmas ad – which is your favourite? This year nothing is ever too early and I can’t wait to celebrate the end of 2020!

When sometimes there are no words!

Not often I don’t have a lot to say but for the last couple of weeks I haven’t really.

Treatment started back at a lower dose and no major side effects jumped out, this i was eternally grateful for.

Lockdown came into effect on November 5th and we were placed into confusion again. My appointment at Birmingham Orthopaedic Hospital where I was to stay overnight in a premier inn was to be changed, X-ray quickly done at Airedale hospital and telephone appointment this Tuesday.

A surprise call on Thursday from the oncologist/radiologist at St James hospital Leeds threw another spanner in the works when she mentioned that I was a candidate for Gamma knife radiotherapy or if an op was now offered by Birmingham standard radiotherapy. To have any of these I would be coming off my tablets- just after I had started with no issues!

Still I will know next week the treatment plan – no more waiting….

Friends have come up trumps again and my friend Gillian Cannon made me a mini Milo from his jacket that he hated wearing despite the weather – he sits with me on my work desk keeping an eye on me making sure I don’t work too hard….

No photos this blog, computer is having health issues so doing this on my phone!

Next week I am sure I will be back to my chatty self…computer willing!!

Mighty Oaks……

Coming to terms with everything that happened last week wasn’t going to be easy, in fact I sat down and wondered how I could carry on. I always said that “him up there” must have given cancer to only strong people because weak ones would never cope with everything that is thrown at them but I reckon he is having a laugh when he doses out secondary cancer because he must think we are superhuman!

I am lucky that I have a great support from friends and family, medical team and work who have very quickly this week let me adapt my shifts to suit me so that I can have a rest in the afternoon – that makes such a difference. Best advice I was given from my doctor was just take one day at a time, my grief for Milo and for the situation I am in will come in waves, no one day will be the same. Embrace the good days and don’t beat myself up when I have a bad one.

Yesterday was such a lovely day, I laughed – after a week of so much crying at first I felt guilty but with the words EMBRACE ringing in my ears I did just that, there will be other days to cry.

So why did I laugh?

Well you would if you saw three ladies in wellies (well I had boots) carrying a tree (that was Charlotte) trudging over a field to dig a hole (again Charlotte) to plant said tree! You can see that neither Liesl or I were doing any of the physical stuff and it was lovely that even though I had never met Charlotte before yesterday she took time out of her day and transported the tree in her trailer.

So back to where it all began! My bucket list – PLANT A TREE – got a message from Liesl a friend who I worked with for years at Cottages.com to say leave it with her. Then another message to say the Woodland Trust who have a wood at Cleatop in Settle had given exceptional permission to plant a tree there and a list of trees which could be planted. I was drawn the oak – They are a majestic tree (bit like me!) wise (again bit like me!) and support more life than any other native tree species in the UK (well maybe I lack on this one) So now it was getting a sapling or tree and that’s where we got lucky.

Cleatop Wood

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/english-oak/

Liesl spoke to Al at Mail Order Trees to ask him about prices for a tree and whether he would give us a tiny discount but they did one better and gave us a tree and not a poxy small tree but a big beautiful tree, this one was built to last not to be eaten by the dear that roamed the woods. In these times of COVID where things are hard for most companies great customer service says such a lot and this company went above and beyond.

https://www.mailordertrees.co.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIk97H4cXK7AIVyrHtCh3rfwnuEAAYASAAEgK5rfD_BwE

A reckie was done by Liesl and her dog Ella to see where best to plant the tree and a video posting of this saw the tree named Cedric – hearing does go with age and when Liesl mentioned “said tree” I took it as Cedric and now he has a name.

The name Cedric is a boy’s name of Celtic origin meaning “bounty”. Cedric was invented by Sir Walter Scott for the noble character of the hero’s father in Ivanhoe, presumed to be an altered form of the Saxon name Cerdic

Charlotte
Liesl
Me and Cedric

Cedric’s home is above the A65 in a quiet place near a babbling brook, he will stand strong for many years, long after you are I are here. To celebrate and to continue the laughter we headed for the Courtyard opposite – a small retail outlet, as they had let us kindly let us leave our vehicles there and went for tea – well I had Yorkshire tea, they had coffee and we all had scones, jam and clotted cream. We all agreed that this year had been hard for all of us and special moments like this had to be grabbed – with one old friend and now with one new friend.

I cannot thank Liesl enough, she has helped me a lot with my crazy charity fundraisers previously, getting up in the early hour of the morning in the freezing weather to do a couple of car boot sales – her gung ho attitude always got us more money and free tables to put our stuff on. She will be the first to admit that we have clashed sometimes at work but the test of a good friendship is that you can overcome minor things and be there for each other when needed. Bucket list 2 has now been ticked off!

Nom Nom

SAD NOTE AT THE END

On the 17/10 a friend Michelle Richardson lost her brave fight with cancer. She leaves a devastated family who were also trying to come to the terms with the loss of her father weeks before again with cancer. I knew Michelle through running and later through our treatment journey. Michelle loved Christmas and wanted to celebrate it with her family – This year my lights on the tree will shine brighter and that star on the top will be dedicated to you. Sleep well my friend no longer in pain.

Living on borrowed time

There is only two certainties in life – one is that we are born and that we will at some point die. Nobody ever knows if we are going to have a short life or long one, we just hope that it be fulfilled and be full of love.

Love comes in many forms – the love that parents give their children, you give your husband or partner, for siblings and friends and for me the most special the love you have for a pet.

They give you that unconditional love, never judge if you are having an off day, always there with a wet nose to comfort you when you feel sad or will snuggle up when you feel like a duvet day is the only option.

Wonders Big Boy (his KC name) but to us Milo came into our lives on May 6th 2011 – and as he name denotes he was a chunky monkey. He was the biggest of the two litters, mainly because he was greedy and would get to the food first! It was love at first sight and this little man was to make a huge impact on my life in years to come.

He was also very sensitive and his half brother Daydream Dakota – Casey came 2 days later when Milo couldn’t hack being on his own. So different but so alike they knew that they had us twisted around their little paws and that their wish was their command- I didn’t like to think they were spoilt just well looked after but being fed on gold rimmed plates is maybe going a bit too far!

Life with the boys as EVERYONE called them was OK until they were 4 and Milo has his first fit -out of the blue and very frightening. The local vets Dalehead Surgery were to become Milo’s regular home while we tried out new medication and different doses. Nothing seemed to worked and for the next 5 years he would have either 1 fit one month or 2 another on around the 6th or the 26th. No rhyme or reason!

I even took him to another vets for a second opinion – the one thing when you love someone/something is that you will do anything to make that person/pet better. But I found that the help and the care I received at my local vet was second to none and I am so glad I did.

Borrowed time – Milo would always be living on borrowed time the next fit could be his last. He slept in my bedroom as his fits were more regular at night and I could sense when he was going to have one. Milo was always my baby Casey was totally in love with Mum – going through my primary breast cancer 5 years ago Milo would not leave me, staying in bed with me when I was poorly.

Having started treatment again last Thursday but having a reaction to the meds Milo was again sleeping with me, giving me the comfort I so needed. It was like he had a sixth sense, I drew all my strength from him. When I had to go back into hospital this week he patiently waited for me to come home.

But Thursday when I went in again hooked up to a drip he wasn’t going to be home when I got back having gone into a massive fit at around 4pm and this time he wasn’t coming out of it. The vets came and tried everything, he was heavily sedated so that he was not in any pain but his stats were horrendous and they were worried of the brain damage he would have after.

By this time I was home from hospital and waiting for updates – the final one came around 7pm they thought it was kinder for Milo to put him to sleep. I might not have been there when he was born but I would be there when he went over the Rainbow bridge. Sharon the vet cradled Milo in blankets and put him in the boot of my car, his soft whimpering as he was coming round from the medication that was keeping him pain free. His eyes which were normally so alive were vacant as though he had already left and was holding on just to say goodbye. I held him while he took his final breathe and held him to me after…..

I have had a few pets and we still have Casey who I do love but Milo was so special and my heart is truly breaking. I really thought this year couldn’t get any worse but it has. I will take some time out to grieve as my treatment has been halted because of a reaction to the meds.

Milo was and always will be my best friend. Good night baby.

RIP MILO 15/10/2020

Here comes the Battle Bus

How things change in 5 years! You look back on what you were doing, clothes you were wearing, TV programmes you were watching and even mobile phones you were using and everything is different sometime scarily so.

Yesterday I went to sign my consent for treatment at my local hospital Airedale near Keighley. Google says its 20.7 miles one way and 38 minutes – Google has never driven on the A65 and had to contend with caravans, tractors or at the moment the roadworks that are a plenty, this is a long journey when you don’t feel well.

Knowing that this was going to be a regular haunt of mine from now on for treatment did fill me dread but what can you do. But as I said things change in 5 years and I have seen that cancer patients locally have been given the option to have treatment in our local supermarket – well the carpark, not amongst the apples and pears!

On the side of the bus it says Hope for Tomorrow . Thats what we all need HOPE. They can treat 20 patients a day on board. In these days of COVID its saves the risk of going to a large hospital, less stress with all the travel and the biggest thing it reduces the waiting times for cancer patients receiving treatment in hospital.

I have been told my next treatment will be on the bus 5 minutes from my house in BOOTHS car park every Thursday. Our bus is called Linda and was launched in 2018 and name on behalf of Linda Conley who died from cancer and was a supporter of Hope for Tomorrow.

Now I shouldn’t get excited about it but I am as its the START, 3 weeks on medication 1 week off and an injection to help strengthen the bones. Blood tests are even to be done locally instead of the hospital so I can still work with hopefully little impact.

http://www.hopefortomorrow.org.uk

In the weeks and months I will be featuring the people who have made it possible for me to get through all of this. Many were with me at the start of the treatment and a few have been friends for many years prior to this.

Today my focus is Aileen and to some extent her other have Dave as they always seem to come as a package. Now if my memory serves me right and this is where usually I need people reminding me as I have a rotten memory, Aileen and I were in on-line running group called RUN FOR FUN. The only thing that I found fun was the people I met as I had a ball meeting people at races even though I didn’t do many.

Aileen was there when I had finished treatment in 2016 and wanted to do a whole load of races for charity, both turning up unexpectantly cheer me me on at the end of the York 10 mile – I was in such a daze I didn’t hear them shouting when I ran or rather hobbled straight past!

But she came into her own in the September of that year when she offered to run the Great North Run with me. As we stood together waiting for the race to begin the Red Arrows flying over I knew that I couldn’t have asked for a better friend to be running what is for her a local race.

When things got tough and it did, the effects of the chemo and radiotherapy still there, an invisible hand was pushing me on my back and words of encouragement were wildly spoken. When at the roundabout of mile 10 I was with the medics and it looked that this was the end it was she who helped me up and got me down to the sea to receive my proudest medal. Not quick but fast doesn’t always win the race and I was a winner in much more things.

I will gloss over London Marathon 2018 when she came down to surprise me but I ended up on the medics bus from mile 3 and she had to wait 7 hours for me to get to the end! Most people would have gone to the pub!

Aileen is a nurse and from what I have been told a bloody good one, she never pulls any punches with me, no sugar coating but is honest and when I was told in July of my diagnosis both Aileen and Dave booked to come to Settle so that I could talk – face to face. This made such a difference.

Now she has gone and done it again. Bucket list number 2 is going to be ticked off on November 20th . I am going to be a bride – well without the groom and without the church and massive party but I am going to try on dresses!

We are going to Ashleigh Richards Bridal in Nottingham.

GIRLS NIGHT APPOINTMENT NOW AVAILABLE Not getting married?! No problem!!!You can’t beat a good girls night with your besties and what better place to spend it than in our beautiful bridal boutique 🥰💃 Available Monday to Saturday 💃🥰 £80 for 4 people 🥰Includes;❤️ exclusive use of the entire boutique for 3 hours (7pm – 10pm) ❤️ bring your own alcoholic beverages (glasses provided) ❤️ beautiful buffet including savoury and sweet goodies ❤️ use of all our gorgeous bridal gowns for a fabulous fun filled photoshoot (take as many pics as you like) make memories to forever treasure whilst having lots of giggles with your girls ❤️ Props for pics during your appointment❤️ Music, disco lights and a dancefloor Make it even more special and order in your fave take away (not included in the price) Get dolled up or come in your comfies, have a pj party…the choice is yours 🥰Enjoy a safe fun filled night with the girls stick to your social bubble with your besties and make magical memories together to treasure!!!

As this was a bucket list that 2 friends Denise and Anjie said they were interested in organising I asked if they wanted to come unfortunately due to other commitments Denise can’t (we will send you the photos) and Anjie is our official photographer. Now to get hair and make up sorted!

One thing that this has taught me is that despite COVID time is precious, to make the most of it and all those special time with special people. I am lucky that I have so many around me. Aileen is one of them.

Watch out for your names in lights!!!