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!!!

Mental Health and TIME

A lot is written about mental health at the moment, the Royals have taken it on board and even this week Philip on This Morning has been talking about his own struggles – he says “Its surprising how you think you have a grip on everything and then your head takes you to a scary place”

Now there are few things I can relate to like Philip Schofield (well maybe my greying hair) but this week I could relate to this message. While we have different issues, when you feel that whatever you do or wherever you turn you still end back at the same place and that place is nowhere sometimes its a lonely place to be.

Everyone says they can understand what we are going through, I have had it said to me just this week but I have said until you have secondary cancer and walk a day in our shoes then you don’t know what its like. We are told that they can’t cure us and will just treat us – a lot different from Primary when they throw everything at it and say – WE WILL BEAT THIS!!

But things are not rushed – in my head everything is in slow motion and no matter how I want it to go faster I feel as I am walking in treacle, the only thing accelerating is the pain. Days with no proper sleep, watching the clock go round while I sit on the sofa in the early hours with only the dog for company.

Work was not something I could concentrate on leaving me in tears, trying to remain the happy positive person I have always been when inside I wanted to stay in bed and not do anything – bucket lists don’t get completed in bed!

Holly helped Philip as well as other close people, I reached out to my local Doctor, since diagnosis she had always advised that her door was always open – empty promises you might say but not so with Dr Green and her listening skills were second to none. It was great to off load to someone who wasn’t family/friend and medication for my hip pain was dispensed that day – TALKING was the first step SLEEP was the second.

Now just the wait for the MDT meeting on Thursday – 2 weeks after biopsy. Again not one to wait I phoned my BC nurses to be told I wasn’t on the list this week but could be next – told them this wasn’t acceptable and wanted to speak to someone otherwise I would phone Birmingham.

Then like the buses I mentioned in an earlier blog I got two calls one from my hospital and one from Birmingham confirming secondary Breast Cancer in the bone (which they knew in July) and they are referring me back to my local hospital.

Again TIME all that waiting, no reasons as to why they won’t operate only that its in my best interest and if it gets bigger they might. Oncologist appointment Monday, email written with lots of questions prior. While I understand they are medically more qualified than me only I know what’s in my best interest and I intend to fight to get more TIME.

So now to add to bucket list – have pinched from some friends

Plant a tree

Name a star in my name so when I am gone everyone can look up and see me sparkle

Learn Italian

Paint a picture

Birmingham, Biopsy and Bubblewrap!

I stare at the blank page, wondering what to write. Putting words down then erasing them – the last couple of weeks seem to have gone by so quick and so much has happened but at the same time I am still in the same place.

After having my breast biopsies under mammogram I have been given the best news that the results have come back negative, one less thing to worry about and more focus on the bone lesion.

Finally a date for Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital came and a COVID test was requested 72 hrs prior to going down, not the easiest thing to organise but luckily my BC nurses came to my aid and sorted a time and date at a local hospital.

As I wasn’t allowed to drive after the biopsy my brother-in-law Stephen took me down, it was a beautiful summers day unlike previous days. Half way there I received a phone call to say there wasn’t a bed on the ward – I said I couldn’t go back I had come so far! They seemed to have understood and we carried on.

Getting there early Stephen left me and I was glad of the sunshine as rules of the hospital were that we were not allowed in before my appointment before 16.30 – 2 hours to wait. Once I saw the specialist I really wasn’t any clearer of treatment that would come after the biopsy but got to see the scan of the lesion. Now to the ward…..

Ward 1 – staying in hospital can be a positive experience providing that the people you are sharing your time with are compassionate and have understand they are not alone- well one lady did pity the mother and daughter opposite didn’t! Nothing seemed to please them, they had expected a private room together as the daughter was 16 and not classed as child so mother got a bed with her (free) They were loud, rude to the staff constantly on facetime and despite the meals being the best I have ever had in a hospital ordered a takeaway at 10pm.

All our biopsies were to be done the next day so a second COVID test was done and I was told because of my diabetes I would be first down. Treatment never worries me but I am grumpy when I don’t get sleep so when the daughter started playing music (loudly) on her phone at 1pm I didn’t mince my words in telling her to shut up and get to sleep!

NIL BY MOUTH = what’s worse no food or no sleep or a mixture of both? Thank goodness I thought I will be first down and then can get the train home! All prepped in gown, paper knickers, arrow on my leg drawn, it got to 10am and the lady by my side went down and I asked the nurses when do I go….got to lunchtime and the curtains were closed around me and a bunch of doctors came and said that my COVID test hadn’t come back so they wouldn’t be doing it.

This is when I had a mini meltdown thinking that I was being somehow treated differently as the others had primary cancer and we all had our tests done at the same time. Totally irrational but the waiting had really got to me and this had tipped me over the edge. I had also been told earlier my another specialist that they wouldn’t operate if it was secondary cancer but would if it was primary – had a waited all this time for nothing!

Think they were all taken aback by my distress and later on was told that another nights stay in hospital would be required and biopsy would be done on Friday. Unlucky for me my noisy neighbours stayed for another night so by the time I went down to have my CT scan I fell fast asleep and it was over! Because of the trauma of the day before they laid on transport to bring me home and by 8pm Friday night I was home. Now the wait for results.

Sunday was Macmillan Coffee Morning organised by The Sandholme Possey – normally I would have organised something like this myself but asked Emma, Erika (my Sis) Jean and Wendy if there was something they could do – to say thank you to the nurses for all their help.

Although windy the weather was kind and the residents of Sandholme Close came out in their droves, its also part of the river walk way so the odd person stopped by for coffee and cake as well as taking part in the raffle – so many prizes and I had my eye on the Leeds United bottle of Vodka not just for the contents but the exquisite decorated bottle to make into a lamp later on.

The day was a success over £500 raised and while the bottle was won by Jean she gave it to me and I went home with lots of other prizes very happy. Time to take the dogs out plus Sky my next door neighbours collie and this is where the wheels fell off…

Half way round with Sky on the lead and my dogs pottering off the lead we headed to the small little park. Didn’t expect another dog (not on his lead) to lunge for Sky and in this instance pull me over bang straight over on my bad hip. I dropped all leads and luckily there were people there to get them apart and get my two although Casey was severely distressed.

I managed to get up but couldn’t walk, had no phone and had 3 dogs to get back home. Luckily for me a friend was having a evening walk with her husband and he went back to get the car. Fast forward a trip to A&E, X-Rays then 4 hour way then CT scan as doctor thought I might have fractured hip to be sent home with pain killers and crutches. Bubble warp is now being ordered until the next time I have to go to hospital – and to think they didn’t want me running!

Wonder when the good times will roll…

You know those buses….

You are waiting and waiting and then they seem to come at once – usually in 3’s, well that’s how its been with my hospital appointments after stressing that I had been forgotten the letters have been dropping and the telephone ringing constantly.

When 3 hospitals are involved with tests and the major one is a four hour drive away then its been a case of waiting – and not only is it frustrating but worrying. So last week I was able to speak to one of my Breast care nurses Denise who advised that a meeting was in place for Thursday and I would be told that day of the outcome.

Wednesday I had an appointment for a biopsy under a mammogram to make sure the calcification they found is negative along with the other biopsy results and then they could rule out breast cancer – this is the 20% chance +/- Any woman who has experienced a mammogram know they are not pleasant BUT they are a necessity, now I was having a needle gun taking samples of the calcification while my ample bosom was squashed within an inch of its life!

Another phone call on the Monday from the hospital informed me that the machine was broken and that it wouldn’t be mended by Wednesday but Friday was a go – more waiting but this one was OK as I knew that even if the result was positive treatment would be on hold until after Birmingham and my hip.

Then Thursday came and the call that I thought was from Airedale was from Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital to say that an appointment had been made for September 9th for a hip biopsy – I will be in overnight and results would be two weeks later. I could have cried but this time with joy!

Now for the tougher part – isolation until the op and a COVID test which I had to organise BEFORE going down there and how to get down there when I am not allowed to drive BACK and not allowed to take PUBLIC TRANSPORT. But where there’s a will there’s a way-I have a great brother-in-law Stephen who will take me there, the BC nurses sorted me out a test and as I now have a direct line to Birmingham they are going to give me some extra info regarding discharge so I can organise my return.

Yesterday had my breast biopsy and have already another appointment in week for the results so you see the buses just keep coming!

So my holiday for this week and next wasn’t the expected time off I dreamed about at the start of the year, first it was Lake Como in Italy – until Shearings went into liquidation, then I rebooked to go to Lanzarote but decided to cancel as didn’t know if company were going to keep me on after my probation – travel industry was in such a mess at that time – then decided to go an see some friends in Hartlepool and Scotland instead but that had to be put on hold too. Managed to get a voucher for a flight to Switzerland Mum and I had booked for December as this looks doubtful too and will just get a last minute depending on treatment. Looking forward to 2021!

Back to my bucket list – last night I watched a travel programme 48 hours in Vienna and I want to go on a hotrod sightseeing tour. Luckily my friend Karen has said she will come with me – there is also a sausage tour!

https://www.hotrod-tour-wien.com/homewien/seite124/

Its been a lazy few days and I have been catching up on recommendations of films and programmes but one which I made me want to get out running again (even though I can’t) was The Terry Fox Story https://terryfox.org/terrys-story/ In the 80’s and at 18 he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and had his leg amputated. This did not stop him wanting to run across Canada to raise money for Research and he nearly did it had the cancer not returned.

This was a truly inspiring film and when a FB running friend posted that she still have some spaces left for a virtual 5k/10k race I knew that I had to do it – even if it was just walking. Garmin now charged and because I am hurting today it will be done tomorrow. Love donkeys!

Cry me a River…..

They say that crying is good for you – I cry when I am

Sad

Frustrated

Mad

Terrified

Happy -really happy

Well I am cried enough to fill a rather large bath these last couple of weeks and none of them were happy tears, not since going to South Lakes Zoo which I try to remember is my go to “happy place” when I am feeling low but its not been happening.

I have been in hospital again with my gallstones – 3rd time in 6 weeks, pain from hell with no treatment until they get on top of my cancer. Luckily this time one of the paramedics was Emma and she got the worst of my blubbing on the way to the hospital. Oral morphine did the trick after a couple of hours and I was back at work later on but maybe not at my finest with so little sleep.

Having had 2 appointments where I was supposed to sign my consent for treatment cancelled and another appointment with my Breast doctor cancelled and a telephone consultation made instead, when I was told that Birmingham needed a bone scan (to be done at Bradford Hospital) and this was going to take 4 weeks I went into meltdown. More waiting and still no treatment and another letter through the door for yet another CT scan. So I cried – frustration, anger but frightened that if it gets left any longer the cancer will no longer be in one place but will decide to put its clogs on and start dancing all the way round my body.

Luckily someone heard my cries and decided that I probably looked quite a mess with all those tears drowning out this corner of Settle and called me back to say she had got me an appointment for the next week – some light in a very grey day.

My boobs are also going to have another bashing as the original biopsies came back negative BUT I have to have some more done but instead of an ultrasound they will do it with a mammogram – its going to hurt. The doctor was on holiday so another wait until next Wednesday.

Monday saw me being radioactive (children and pregnant women beware) while I had a bone scan – travelling down to Bradford the sun was shining and I had Magic Soul on the radio and normally I would have enjoyed the time on my own but I could find no joy in anything and when I got parked and couldn’t find the department because they had closed all the normal entry points – I cried – and I cried again when I found it and when the student nurse stabbed me for the 3rd time trying to find a vein I cried again!

This week I asked myself why me? Never before as I always thought why not me but I couldn’t see a way forward still trying to find out where it is even today but hoping that now the majority of the scans have been done that they will give me some news even if its to say what they won’t do. Waiting is for people with time and I haven’t the luxury, want to do things go places and can’t while waiting.

Haven’t really done anything else other than work, hospital and work but I have taken the time out to try and catch up on “Million Dollar Listings” that my brother put on Sky planner for me. The escapism of watching the guys in New York sell these amazing apartments I know that if I wasn’t selling holidays this is another dream that I would love to sell – the commissions are also great. Loved this before Selling Sunset and much less bitchy!

Tomorrow is another day and it doesn’t do me any good being miserable so time to get rid of the head wobble and try to focus on some new things. I have a holiday coming up in over a week and although I was originally going abroad I might still go out with the boys on days out and see something new sights and they get to sniff something else. I refuse to let this control me as it has the last two weeks – WATCH THIS SPACE!

Crying Picture Quotes, Famous Quotes and Sayings about Crying with images |  Quoteswave

Talking to the animals

Never would I have thought in the early hours of the morning on the 4th July when I was writing my Bucket List that just over a month later that with the kind help of my friend Lorraine Oliver and the wonderful Josephine at South Lakes Zoo that I would be ticking off one – and what an experience.

I hate being late and knew it was around an hour to get to the Zoo so after taking the boys out for their morning walk VERY early and having some breakfast to fortify me I set off at 7.30am for a 9am meet. Those that know me will know this has happened so often, Sat Nav decides it doesn’t like the postcode and I am there eagle eyed looking for Elephant signs that denotes that I am on the correct path.

Well that worked for so long and the I ran out of elephants! Had to make do with an attendant at a local service station and also a man walking his dog when I actually drove straight past the car park. I can get anywhere! Ended being 15 minutes late.

Masked up waited in-line with the already building queue until I could tell them I had arrived. Staff were lovely and attentive and it wasn’t long before I was met by Keeper Michael who had been at South Lakes 3 years and deals mainly with the carnivores but knew everything about all the animals (or so it appeared to me)

All the animals know Michael by his dulcet tones and the rattle of his feeding bucket and certainly reacted to it. We headed first to the Reindeer and they were eager to be fed first. A young girl with her family asked “are they going to fly?” well honey not for another 4 months and hoping they fly over this part of Yorkshire.

When Jo emailed me and asked me what was my favourite animal was (in a zoo) I said elephant not realising they didn’t have any there, Michael explained that its all to do with space and they need such a large amount so I struggled to think which animal would take my heart. Well the next animal did it.

The White Rhino – White rhinoceros are the largest extant (non-extinct) rhinos in the world. Their name is a misnomer, as they are a very similar colour (grey) to black rhinos, but instead were likely named “wijd” rhinos. “Wijd” means “wide” in dutch and would have referred to their wide lips that they use for eating grass. Black rhinos may have simply been named after the opposite colour, and have pointed small lips.

I was allowed to get up close and personal with the females of the herd and they are so gentle wanting rubs of their thick leathery skin. Their eyes were big and doleful and I had no fear as I might have in the wild – maybe the fence had something to do with it but I sensed that they knew their place in life at the Zoo and it was somewhere near the top so had no need to to be angry. The males on the other hand behind me seemed slightly different……but then they are male!

Walking to our next feed we were met with another keeper with a wheelbarrow – well lots of animals lots of poo and I didn’t think anything about it until he picked Lou up – a massive tortoise and when he put her down boy could she run! I mentioned she was just like one of my friends with the same name!

Bears I have always felt sorry for because I associated them with a lot of cruelty, being kept in cages and being made to dance for tourists. We came to feed the bears (the ones that would have been Paddington) and one was on its legs dancing to see us. Michael said that they discouraged this when feeding, making them forage for their food.

Birds are not usually my biggest loves and I am quite nervous of things like Swans, Emus geese, well anything really with a beak – think its because I saw the film The Birds when younger and its never left me. But all the animals and birds were so well behaved -maybe I should walk round all the time with a keeper!

The next on our list was one I had the pleasure to feed in 2006 when I was in OZ and I can remember them being totally laid back then and this was the Roos – Red and Grey Kangaroos. Today was a scorcher so I could imagine them lying there thinking of Life Down Under…

Sticking to the path wasn’t on our agenda as we were allowed to wander everywhere and saw the primates that were allowed to run free in the trees with the younger generation always trying to get one over on the older only to be severely reprimanded.

The penguins were doing what we all wanted to do in the unusually hot Cumbrian weather they were having a dip in the pool, first dipping their toes then fully immersing they black and white bodies into the cool water. Not feeding time yet but they knew what was to come.

And then came my boys…..a little nervous at first, didn’t know whether to come or just stay eating what they had or take the juicy leaves that we had to offer. The GIRRAFFES!! But come they did and they didn’t hang about. This ended the most fantastic experience.

I was supposed to be feeding penguins at 2.45 but after a lunch of fish and chips (and not forgetting the 99 ice-cream) which showed my blood sugars were low and my hip was painful from about 4 hours of walking I decided that all the animals that I missed and there were loads would still be there another day.

Camera that I took with me died a death before I even got the South Lakes and my iphone battery even on 100% died after 2 hours so need something more reliable for all future memories. Once again I am so grateful for everyone for making this possible. Whatever peoples pre conceived idea of what zoos are like this is a fantastic one with great staff, please support it.

Can’t wait to go back.

IF ALL THE BEASTS WERE GONE, MAN WOULD DIE FROM A GREAT LONLINESS OF SPIRIT. FOR WHATEVER HAPPENS TO THE BEASTS SOON HAPPEN TO MAN.

ALL THINGS ARE CONNECTED

Chief Seattle