Sunday, 20 May 2012

My Baby is 11 Tomorrow

Just looking at these photos now, I just cannot put into words the deep love I feel for my little boy. All those years ago he came quickly into our lives like a hurricane and now he is maturing into a caring and loving boy who I am so proud of.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Life is a Fragile Thing

I completed my course of radiotherapy at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd last Thursday and to say it is a relief is an under statement. I feel as though somebody has taken a weight off my shoulders and I can, at last get on with my life.

My skin isn't as sore as it was with my previous radiotherapy but I put this down to the fact that I started using creams from day one because I knew what was in store. The skin is pink in that area and sore but not enough to stop me from doing things.

The worst side effect is tiredness.

I forgot to get a repeat prescription of my lanzoprazole and I am paying the price with heart burn, one the the side effects of chemo.

I spoke to my oncologist very frankly and he has given his blessing for me to have my ovaries removed. This is good for so many reasons:

  • my fear of ovarian cancer
  • no more needles required 
  • birth control
Its what I want and I am glad he is letting me ask for that.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Malt House in Talybont-on-Usk

We have just returned home from a fabulous weekend away, my husband, friends and I. We travelled to South Wales in order to celebrate our mutual friends wedding.

We needed somewhere to stay and my friend found this Bread and Breakfast on the Internet.

The Malt House in Talybont-On-Usk was gorgeous. The house itself was old and full of character. It had a large living room which guests were able to use and watch television. There were french doors leading onto a patio and lawned area along with a pleasing water feature and a heated outdoor swimming pool available for use.

The River Usk ran next to the house which was pretty and relaxing to watch and listen too.

The proprietor Mike Bugler and his wife were friendly and accommodating, a real mine of information. They made their own honey and the gardens were pretty although we didn't have the opportunity to explore them fully.

The breakfast in the morning was served between 8am and 10am and consisted of a selection of cereals, yogurts, locally produced apple juice, orange juice, tea/coffee, toast with a selection of accompaniments such as nutella, marmite, marmalade and their own honey, and a full English breakfast. Everything was cooked to perfection and served pleasingly.

We definitely want to return here so that we can explore the area fully. The views were stunning and I would recommend this B&B to anyone wishing to stay in that area.

Friday, 11 May 2012

To Every Problem there is a Solution

Since I started radiotherapy, I have been suffering BO (Body Odour) but only to the side which has been receiving treatment.

I am fastidious when it comes to personal hygiene so it has been distressing for me to say the least, especially when required to put said arm up into arm stirrups and the smell permeates the air.

Apologies, apologies to the radiographers and mortification for myself!!!

Classic Deodorant
Until I discovered the baby above!!!

I was told by the radiographers to avoid deodorants containing metals or magnesium. You would be amazed because even the brands you would think to be natural and kind contain such nasties. The reason for this by the way is because these metals react to the radium.

So this natural product works by attacking the bacteria on your skin thus stopping the pong! It is natural, unscented and doesn't clog pores and best of all ................ it works!

Thumbs up for Salt of the Earth!

They also produce a body spray which I keep in my handbag for discreet applications.

So you see..... there is a solution to every problem you just have to look for it!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Bad Luck

I thought 2011 was a bad year for me with the sudden death of my much loved Aunty Heather, the tragic death of my best friend Poppy (dog), a so called friend turning out to be nothing of the sort and some online bullying and my fight with depression.

2012 has proved to be a right shiner so far and we are only five months in.......

I found out that I had a second breast cancer, my back has been killing me, my dog was seriously ill, the insurance company is turning down my claim for him, Cola hurt his back and Jason has dislocated his shoulder. I don't think I can take any more!

Having said that alot of good things have happened too so I  can't be all gloom and doom!

The first and best was the arrival of Snowy, our white miniature schnauzer and little monkey!!

The Gathering in Pontins was completely awesome and we met some fabulous friends.

....and I have some fab plans for the rest of the year!

I am off to a friends wedding next week and that will mean my meeting up with some superb people. I have gigs booked and am going with an excellant friend "Black Stone Cherry" and "Tyketto", quite possibly "Killing for Company" and I am walking up Snowdon to raise money for the Love Hope Strength Foundation.

Snowdon is one of my most favourite places in the world so I am looking forward to that very much.

Although bad has happened to me this year, good has come from it in a funny kind of way.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Choose Pet Insurance Carefully

Anyone who knows me knows how crazy I am about my animals. I make sure that they are cared for and as part of that, I make sure that they are insured.

Up until December 2011 I was with Direct Line Insurance for both of my dogs, had been with them for years. With pay cuts and costs rising I thought it would be a good idea to shop around and see if I was getting a competative quote.

I ended up changing my insurers to Animal Friends Insurance. Their colourful and friendly adverts pulled me in together with the fact that they donated to charity with each new policy. I felt safe.

In January my dog Wilbur took ill, I honestly thought he was going to die and his illness went on for weeks. I paid hundreds of pounds in vet bills until at last he needed an MRI scan and I knew that I would have to use my insurance company, who on earth can afford £2000 these days? I am going through cancer treatment for goodness sake and am not able to work!!!!

Wilbur was treated and thankfully made a good recovery! Sigh of relief?????? Yes and No!

The insurance company refused my claim on a technicality.

I have insured my animals for years and will continue to do so until they die. I have paid thousands and thousands of pounds in premiums but that was ok because I knew my animals would be safely covered should anything out of the blue happen.

How wrong I have been.

I have since read online reviews on them and wished I had done so earlier, I have learnt my lesson the hard way.

I have appealed against their decision but I dont think I stand a chance.

So I am left with a bill I can't afford to pay if I hadn't had insurance for Wilbur I wouldn't have gone ahead with the operation.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

There's a Terrorist in my Body

My family are wonderful but with this second fight against breast cancer I find that they are complacent, they seem to think that its mum, she fought it off last time she will do it again.

In actual fact I am still suffering the wounds of the last war against cancer and I am weaker than I was before.

This battle is more of a skirmish than the attack I was under last time but even so, it has affected me emotionally alot more.

"when's tea?"

"have you booked my haircut?"

etc..... etc..... etc.......

In actual fact, this time around I am more afraid.

OK, I am "lucky" its not that my "old" and nasty cancer has come back but this is a new and less aggressive one. Thats good news right?? Not to me thats for sure because to me, I am wondering where the little blighter will attack next and when, is it going to become more sneaky in where and when it pops up......yes folks! I feel as though I have a terrorist in my body!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


As part of my breast cancer treatment I am having 15 shots of radiotherapy to my affected breast. This means a trudge to Glan Clwyd Cancer Centre every day, the only consolation I get from this is the fact that I am walking in the shoes of my heroe, Mike Peters but for all the wrong reasons on both our parts.
The scan doesn't take very long to do, more time is spent on setting up and making sure I am going to be zapped in the right area.

In preparation for the treatment, I attended a "planning" session which is where they measure you up, place tattoos and carry out a CT scan. I was told that during surgery to remove the cancer, the surgeons placed metal clips inside the breast tissue to help the oncologist ensure the right area was zapped. That should be a funny one to explain at the airport!

The first session takes the longest as during this time they have to make sure it is correct and take x-rays.

So I have had 4 sets of radiotherapy now on a machine called Gorwel. Its a brand new department and machine and when I was last there having treatment I remember it being built. Apparently each machine has a life expectancy of 10 years. Gorwel replaced Aled which was sold for 1 penny and re-commissioned for use on animals.

Each visit, I change into a very sexy (not) gown and wait to be called in. I get up onto the bed, confirm my details and put my right arm up into some high supports so that the areas they are zapping are exposed.

I get written on again..........

I am quite taken by the lights and measurements on the machine, I can actually see the ruler lighing my breast.

When they are ready to go ahead they leave the room pressing a button as they go and I am left with a high pitched tone followed by some grinding noises then pow! first zap is over. The machine is repositioned to the other side and the process is repeated.

This time around I have been experiencing feelings of nausia which I didnt last time but then again I had been on alot of chemotherapy the first time.

I am not allowed to use deodorants, perfumed products or remove hair from the area they are targeting. This is because the radio is burning any cancer cells within in the tissue and the skin is damaged in doing so.

I can already see a change in the colouring of the area but only slightly and also my veins are raised. The surgery scars are very red and angry looking and I have already started to get sore.

Only 11 more to go though and then I can get on with my life.