Today is a day of rest

Not that I do much else now a days. I am looking forward to seeing Jem and my grandson Elliot later this morning. I hope she remembers to bring along my old Tiny Tears. Remember those dolls that cried and wet their nappies? I know Elliot will love playing with her as much as I and my girls did. Funny but Jem is not so keen on Elliot playing with ‘girls’ toys but as roles have so changed and merged now with many men staying at home to look after the babies I am not sure that there are such things as girls and boys toys anymore. Talking about stay at home dads my childhood friend Justin who is currently living in Moscow writes an excellent and very entertaining blog that is definitely worth a read. http://www.englishdadinmoscow.com/. Justin’s last blog post is particularly funny if you are a parent and can think back to the time you just wanted five minutes peace, even if it was just to go to the toilet. Thinking about children I am amazed how quickly they grow up into fully functioning adults. I still however find it difficult when I have to fill in one of those surveys that asks how many children I have. Do I say none because they are grown up or two because I still think of myself as having children even though they are 24 and nearly 26. It hardly seems anytime ago that I was imagining the unborn babies in my tummy walking and talking, never mind going to school, university or them having their own child! This has made me think of the excellent song Don’t Blink by Kenny Chesney.
Here are the lyrics:

I turned on the evening news
Saw an old man being interviewed
Turning a hundred and two today

Asked him what’s the secret to life?
He looked up from his old pipe
Laughed and said, “All I can say is

Chorus
Don’t blink, just like that you’re six years old
And you take a nap
And you wake up and you’re twenty-five
And your high school sweetheart becomes your wife

Don’t blink, you just might miss
Your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads
Next thing you know your better half

Of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years
Goes faster than you think, so don’t blink

I was glued to my TV, when it looked
Like he looked at me and said
“Best start putting first things first”

‘Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand
You can’t flip it over and start again
Take every breathe God gives you for what it’s worth

Chorus

No, don’t blink
Don’t blink
Life goes faster than you think
So don’t blink

Life goes faster than you think
Don’t blink

Isn’t this just true enough. I just love country music because the songs are about life and some of them are really quite funny. Try out this one called Marry for Money by Trace Adkins
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcUDqKsBgsk

Well today was going to be a short post but that’s what I thought yesterday and the day before! I write because I enjoy it and its one of the few things at the moment I can quite easily do.

Enjoy your sunny Sunday

I might take a break from blog writing tomorrow as it is a bank holiday.

But there again I might not!

Love Deborah x

Happy Birthday to…

…Colin and Sue, two of my most favourite people.  What do you buy a man who doesn’t want anything ……. Socks! But these weren’t any old socks, they were 23 pairs of the best Pringle Socks.

image

OK not very thrilling but Colin was pleased and getting out isn’t very easy, not that that’s an excuse as there is always the web.

Today we will go on one of our adventures. We won’t be travelling as far as we usually might, in fact we are only going about 17 miles away from home and parking up close to a hospital just for peace of mind. The weather might not be so good but inside our van it will be warm and cosy and full of laughter. We have a birthday cake, Prosecco and our two best friends what more could we ask for?

Yesterday was bright and sunny and that was just me. I was delighted to see our little grandchild walking a bit like a weeble ( those old enough will remember the ‘weeble’s wobble but they don’t fall down’). Mum and Dad, Kate, Lorna and Keith and Shirley also popped in with birthday gifts for Colin. No more socks luckily but some much appreciated scones, rock cakes and a birthday cake, all for our trip away. I get very excited about filing the shelves full of extra special treats and new magazines obligatory for a motorhome adventure.

Today is going to be another good day. We won’t allow a bit of rain to spoil our adventures.

Be prepared for a photo frenzy tomorrow!

Deborah xxxx

Para Proteins

If you have myeloma, your bone marrow starts to make abnormal plasma cells. These cells are known as myeloma cells, which produce an abnormal type of antibody known as paraprotein or M protein. Unlike a normal antibody, paraprotein doesn’t have any useful functions and can’t fight infection.

Myeloma cells are cancerous, meaning they grow in an uncontrolled way. They can spread though your bone marrow and bone, causing the symptoms of myeloma.

When I was officially diagnosed as having Myeloma on 8th January 2013 I had a score of 53 para proteins/gl

Four cycles of chemo later I have…..

ZERO. NONE. 0

Can you believe it? Yesterday I was told that I had had a complete response to treatment.

This means that at this moment in time I have no cancerous cells in my body.

It is quite hard to get my head around really but I never doubted that together we could do it. It is the best outcome that I could hope for.

Now it doesn’t mean I don’t have Myeloma as apparently I will always have that? My bone marrow apparently produces these abnormal cells but at this moment in time I don’t have any of them because the chemotherapy has killed them all off.

The next step is the harvesting of my stem cells. This includes a bit more chemo, approx ten days of injecting a cell growing drug and then the stem cell collection. These stem cells will then be stored in a big freezer until I need them.

I am visualising never actually needing them. I am told that the para proteins will rise again but I am going for about 15 years before that happens and by then I expect those very clever people to have found a cure so a transplant won’t be necessary.

The doctors aren’t quite as optimistic as I am and they like to give an average of about two years before they will be required, but even two years is a long time in the advancement of new treatments. This is why cancer research is so important and the reason for my Summer fund raising party.

Today will be a good day as I bask in the sunshine and the knowledge of a cancer free body. Sofa surfing will be a pleasure instead of a chore. Knowing I am in remission with just a little way to go before my treatments are all over for now is really comforting. The sun will start to re energise my tired cells and help to reduce the pain in my hands and legs.

Hooray for sunshine and Hooray for remission.

Thank you to all at UCLH, to the clever doctors, researchers and nurses and ….

Thank you dear readers for all for your help on this journey.

I hope your day will be as good as mine.

Deborah x

Back again

I suppose another trip down to London makes a change from which sofa. Another blood and urine test is called for. We will leave early to get it over and done with ASAP. Perhaps Janet will have my latest para protein results which will make the visit more worthwhile.

Yesterday I met a new pain nurse who is sorting out my medication so that I can try out a different combination that may help. I also got a call from the hospice inviting me down to a drop in on Thursday. I never imagined being invited to a hospice for a cup of tea. Apparently I can then get to know some of the other folks who go there but it got me thinking how long they are there for before they pop their clogs. I am not keen on going to a Hospice but there again I wasn’t keen on having a Palliative Care Nurse or having cancer, I suppose it’s just another thing I need to get used to.

At the moment I am imagining that the reason that they can’t seem to determine my latest para protein results is because a miracle has happened. They can’t find any sign at all of the disease. I will then write a book about my experience and travel the world talking at conferences, I may even appear on DayBreak.

On another note, I have just finished reading The woman who went to bed for a year by Sue Townsend. It was very amusing and definitely worth a read. Fancy going to bed for a whole year just because you fancy it. The chaos it causes for the woman’s hapless husband and obnoxious teenagers is just as you would imagine and worse. It is not something I would fancy doing especially after my recent sofa surfing experiences.

The sun seems to be shining here again today, I hope it keeps this up for our weekend away.

Have a good one

Deborah x

Campervan Heaven

In 1997 Colin and I bought Celestine our first VW Campervan. If you haven’t yet read, ‘The Celestine Prophecy’, I would highly recommend it.  It isn’t a particularly well written book but it is an exciting adventure  about coincidences  and as it turned out Celestine was the perfect name for our camper. We had many adventures in Celestine and she really stood out in the crowd. Our best trip was a tour around Europe, visiting France, Belgium, Germany, Austria Italy and Switzerland. I do however think we were lucky to survive the trip, as we went up several hairy mountain tracks we noticed many crosses marking the unfortunate folks who didn’t make it. It wasn’t until we returned to England that we realised the steering column had been welded with four spot welds and three of them had come off! We really did love that van but she cost us a lot of money to run and maintain so sadly we were forced to sell her.

Scan 2 IMG_1353DSCF9365IMG_1435

Ten years later and in slightly better financial position, we started to dream of getting another VW Camper. We both focused our and other people’s attention on camper vans as we constantly spoke about our dream of travelling again. Then something amazing happened, Kate popped round one rainy afternoon and said she thinks she saw Celestine in a field somewhere in Bedfordshire.  A few days later we decided to have a drive around ourselves to see if we could spot it, although we thought it was a bit of a long shot.  But there she was, it was pretty hard to see from the road but in the distance we caught sight of her bright yellow top. A couple of days later Colin went with his Dad to try and find her again and ended up knocking on the door of a farmhouse to whom the field seemed to belong. The farmer explained it had been abandoned there and he was due to have it picked up for scrap the following day.  Colin offered him £500 to take it away and Celestine was brought home. She was in quite a poor state having been left there under a tree for several years, but we thought it would be a bit of fun doing her up and Kate and Will kindly lent us their barn to do so.  What a coincidence it was to get her back and we even found some pictures the girls had drawn down the back of one of the seats. Colin  meticulously  took her apart photographing each part as he went along, until she was just an empty shell. He learnt so much in the process but the biggest lesson he learnt was the time and money it would take to put her back together again and meanwhile we were unable to realise our traveling desires. In the end we decided to sell Celestine’s shell and most of the bits we had bagged up. Surprisingly we even made a profit by selling her on ebay for £1000.

In 2010 we bought Lady Marmalade for £5000. We spotted her for sale sign at BugJam, a VW show.  We offered £50 less then the asking price and shook hands leaving a deposit of £100. After all as the seller said nobody in their right minds would come along with that sort of cash, little did they know that we had taken money out of our mortgage the day before and Colin had it taped to his chest underneath his sweatshirt!

DSCF8979 IMG_0661

Lady Marmalade was beautiful and always made folk smile. I loved sitting in the passenger seat listening to Mr Blue Sky as we drove around the countryside. For our first camping experience we went along to one of the VW raves and parked up next to other campers ready to get out and visit the many swap shop. and hippy  styled stalls. After about half an hour we decided to go back and have a little nap before the evenings entertainment which didn’t start until 10pm. We felt so cool and trendy, however the reality of our aged bodies soon sunk in. By 7pm we had already drunk our bottle of sparkling wine and felt too tired to join in with the festivities. Struggling to go for a wee in the toilet hidden in a box between the drivers and passengers seat had somehow lost it’s appeal. The weather wasn’t great and as the rain hammered down on our tin roof we decided to pack up and come home.

We sold Lady Marmalade for £10,000 making a good profit and bought Helga who may not look quite as trendy but provides us with much more space, and the luxury of a toilet and shower behind closed doors.

Last year we visited Belgium, Germany, Holland and France with our friends Sue and Angela who have their own rather upmarket motor home. It is great fun to know how easily we can pack up and go and if it wasn’t for my stupid Cancer getting in the way we would probably be abroad somewhere hot right now. Still we will go out together for the day today and probably visit a garden centre as the over 50’s do. So like I said yesterday if you see some odd folk in an even odder looking motor home give us a wave.

photo

Have a good weekend.

Deborah x

PS I had that Friday feeling after all

IMG_1111

Great News, Happy Birthday and Good Luck.

I am practically in remission hip hip hooray! I haven’t yet got my para protein results but they should be through in a few days and I am hopeful the magic numbers will have decreased again. Maybe they will all be un-quantifiable, which is as good as it gets and is called complete remission. This is after only 3 cycles of chemo so the doctors are delighted.

Not to put a damper on the great news, but unfortunately the side effects of the Velcade are causing some considerable pain and according to the doctor yesterday, likely to get worse. I have been given more medication to cope with this, including if required, Tramadol which I am reluctant to take unless I really need to do so. It appears that the Velcade has disrupted some of my nerve ending and I have lost some feeling in my arms and legs. It is because of this I am having a two week break in my chemo regime and we will then see what happens. The doctor did reassure me at this moment in time I will remain on the PADIMAC trial, which is good news, I think.

The doctors would like me to receive another cycle of chemo to give those few remaining cancer cells a blast but we will have to wait and see what happens. The side effects if you are not careful can be irreversible hence the reason for their caution.

All this means I get to keep my renewed sense of taste for a bit longer and perhaps my hair might grow back a little. Unfortunately I am, still likely to feel quite tired as my HB levels remain fairly low and fatigue is a side effect of one of the new drugs they have put me on.

All in all the news is fantastic and better than I could have dreamed of so thank you all. What a great job you have done in partnership with the medical profession and all the well researched drugs I have received.

We are winning the battle!

Those naughty cancer cells didn’t stand a chance and like I said right at the beginning they picked the wrong body to invade.

Myeloma is such an individual cancer and I appreciate that not everyone has such a good outcome and I feel very sorry and sad about this. It is why it is so important for me to raise as much money as possible for Myeloma Research. There are many young people out there with myeloma and a cure needs to be found soon. I am not about to run a marathon but I hope I can raise quite a bit from the sale of tickets to my charity birthday party, I shall have to think up some other ideas too.

So I am excited for the doctors to confirm that I am definitely in complete remission. Then the hope is that I stay in remission for as long as possible therefore delay the need for the inevitable stem cell transplant.

On another happy note, today is my baby daughter’s 24th birthday. Of course she is now a fully grown woman but in my eyes she will always be my baby girl. It really seems like no time at all since I was pushing her around in a pram and now she has her own little baby boy. I am so proud of how she is bringing up Elliot and what a good mum she is. I look forward to our lunch together today.

Happy Birthday Jem xxxx

Poor Colin won’t be able to join us for lunch, as he is very calmly and bravely going in for his Angiogram today. Colin doesn’t like anything medical especially if it is happening to him and at one point I thought he may back out, but he has jumped put of bed with a positive mental attitude. He knows that this could result in an improvement in his life and is hoping for increased energy and a new sense of get up and go! Oh dear will I be able to keep up with my new man? Perhaps with me in remission and his new vitality we will both be dancing under the stars naked in the rain. God forbid!

I think today is going to be a good day.

I hope yours is too.

X

Today is …

..NHS Change Day, and I am feeling good.

I am proud to be a nurse.

Today I pledge to continue to honour my profession and use my skills and passion to improve the mental health and emotional well being of all I come in contact with.

I pledge to support my organisation in improving the mental health of our staff in order for them to act as good role models, feel comfortable to talk to patients about mental health and in turn improve the general health of our community.

Hertfordshire Community Health Service can feel proud of its staff who really want to make a difference to the health of their community.

As a patient I pledge to talk to the staff, who are treating me for myeloma, about my mental health and emotional well being. I shall demonstrate it is good to talk about mental health and the difference it can in turn make to physical health.

Today I appreciate all that life has given me and YES that does include Cancer. I thank the cancer cells for the challenge to become stronger and the opportunities that have been presented to me since the diagnosis. I thank it for teaching me how better to live in the moment, for inspiring me to write the blog, for the wonderful people I have met on my journey and for opening my eyes and ears to all that is good in the world.

I appreciate life and thank God,The Universe ( including the Parellel one!) science, human kind, evolution, dinosaurs, consciousness and whatever made , brought about, contributed to life today.

Being emotionally and mentally healthy doesn’t mean never going through bad times or experiencing emotional problems. We all go through disappointments, loss, and change. And while these are normal parts of life, they can still cause sadness, anxiety, and stress.

The difference is that people with good emotional health have an ability to bounce back from adversity, trauma, and stress. People who are emotionally and mentally healthy have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook. They remain focused, flexible, and creative in bad times as well as good.

So who wouldn’t want to help others to feel emotionally healthy, what a privileged position I am in.

In order to maintain and strengthen your mental and emotional health, it’s important to pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Don’t let stress and negative emotions build up.

Try to maintain a balance between your daily responsibilities and the things you enjoy. If you take care of yourself, you’ll be better prepared to deal with challenges if and when they arise. Remember the blog about the importance of looking after yourself.

Here are a few tips for improving your mental health today:

  • Do something today that has a positive impact on someone else. (I am sure you all do this everyday anyway , just become more aware of it). Being useful to others and being valued for what you do can help build self-esteem.
  • Practice self-discipline. Self-control naturally leads to a sense of hopefulness and can help you overcome despair, helplessness, and other negative thoughts.
  • Learn or discover something new today. Think of it as “exercise for the brain”.
  • Enjoy the beauty of nature or art. Studies show that simply walking through a garden can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Physical exercise releases endorphins, powerful chemicals that energize us and lift our mood.
  • Manage your stress levels. Stress takes a heavy toll on mental and emotional health, so it’s important to keep it under control. While not all stressors can be avoided, stress management strategies can help you bring things back into balance.
  • Limit unhealthy mental habits like worrying. Try to avoid becoming absorbed by repetitive mental habits – negative thoughts about yourself and the world that suck up time, drain your energy, and trigger feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression.
  • Appeal to your senses. Stay calm and energized by appealing to the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Listen to music that lifts your mood, place flowers where you will see and smell them, massage your hands and feet, or sip a warm drink.
  • Make time for contemplation and appreciation. Think about the things you’re grateful for. Meditate, pray, or simply take a moment to pay attention to what is good, positive, and beautiful as you go about your day.

As we know, everyone is different; not all things will be equally beneficial to all people.

Some people feel better relaxing and slowing down while others need more activity and more excitement or stimulation to feel good.

The important thing is to find activities that you enjoy and that give yourself a boost today you never know you might fancy doing it all again tomorrow!

I will get back on track tomorrow about ….which therapy, I just wanted to honour and share in the NHS Change Day today.

If you are a health professional or patient please make a pledge today by visiting:

http://www.changemodel.nhs.uk/pg/groups/33183/NHS+Change+Day/?community=NHS+Change+Day

A Special Request…

I would really appreciate it if you could share your pledge with me through your comments on this blog – Come on i know a lot of you read the blog now it’s your turn – Thank you

Scores on the board:

Physical health = 5.5 ( the leg pain is improving or at least kept at bay with the pain killers)

Mental Health = 2 It feels good to have my positive mentally healthy head back on!

Mental health (a bit of a passion of mine if you hadn’t already guessed!)

If I asked you to write every thing you know about mental health I have no doubt that most of you would think and write about mental illness, funnily that doesn’t happen when we think about physical health. So what is mental health, how can we acheive it and how can we help our children acheive it?

The world health organisation describes mental health as, ” a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”

I think Wikipedia puts it nicely as being “a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience, an expression of emotions, and as signifying a successful adaptation to a range of demands.

When talking about mental health to large groups or individual clients I use “the long and winding road” to demonstrate how none of us are mentally healthy all of the time.

road with me on

As you can see I have placed myself on the road a little way down from being 100% mentally healthy. Who is a 100% mentally healthy all of the time? Most of us if not all of us have mental health problems at some time. I mean we wouldn’t expect to be physically in top form all of the time would we?

We are all up and down the long and winding road, here are a few facts and figures about the prevalence on mental health in the UK :

  • 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year
  • Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain
  • Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men
  • About 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time
  • Depression affects 1 in 5 older people
  • Suicides rates show that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide than British women
  • Self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 population
  • Only 1 in 10 prisoners has no mental disorder

Luckily we talk a lot more about recovery nowadays.

But what sort of things are likely to bring us down the road perhaps more importantly back up again?

Well I of course believe having our LAMBSS (see previous post) met in balance is a good start.

Here is a list of some of the possible life situations or choices that can take us towards mental illness:

Substance misuse
Bullying
Bereavement
Financial worries
Stress
Family break-up
Physical ill health

And some factors that can bring us back towards being mentally healthy

A good support network (friends and family)
Talking to someone
Meditation/mindfulness
Personality (in built resilience factors)
Positive attitude
Confidence
Good self esteem
Prescribed medication

How do we ensure our children have these, what can we do as parents to reduce the likelihood of our children developing mental illness?

Again these are my personal beliefs built on my experiences and map of the world.

I beiieve in order to have mentally healthy children we need mentally health adults that can act as good positive role models.

So take a good hard look at yourself and see what you are role modelling.

Are you demonstating how to manage stress?
Having a good work/life balance?
How to manage Anger?
Good self esteem?
confidence?

Hmm, now here’s your starting point………. YOU

It’s not always easy as we are all human and fallible, but if we really want to make a difference to our children’s mental health it’s where we need to begin.

posterchild change copy

I think we all want our children to be happy.

For those of you who haven’t yet seen or heard this young 13 year old boy speak (if you follow me on facebook you  may have seen it there), here is a very inspirational young man who can teach us a thing or two.

http://youtu.be/h11u3vtcpaY

Enjoy your day.

Deborah x

Lets succumb together…

I have my man home and it feels good. Today I am choosing un-eventful. I am happy to succumb together with my husband. We will read the Sunday papers, catch up on our recorded TV programmes and have a good old fashioned Sunday.

Does anyone else remember Sundays before the 1994 Sunday Trading Act?

I have fond memories of black and white films being watched as a family, bellies full of Sunday roast and someone usually snoring in a chair in the corner.

Today will be one of those without the Sunday Lunch. Instead I must find a recipe for using up left over loin of venison. My lovely brother brought us this yesterday and I must admit I cooked it to perfection (searing it quickly in a pan then 8 mins in the oven), with a red wine jus, not that I could quite honestly taste it but I was delighted to see it being enjoyed by Colin.

I think we lost something valuable as a country when Sunday became a normal shopping day rather than a day for family, rest and relaxation. The freedom of some to shop or use other services on Sundays comes at the expense of those who have to work to serve them when they might want to spend time with their families.

In todays society do we really need everything open 24/ 7 ? We are living faster and more intensely than ever before, surely we need a sanity day when it all shuts down and we are forced to take a days rest?

Do you think the current work, work, work lifestyle we have is too intense, is not good for your health, and is detrimental to family life?

Many people don’t, most surveys show people actually want the current 6 hrs shops are allowed to trade on a Sunday to be extended.

I must admit I do occasionally shop on a Sunday and find it as crowded as any other day of the week. Perhaps going back to the olden days is a restriction on people’s freedom and not in line with today’s society, at least here in the UK.

This could promote quite a debate.

The Bone household will however be having an old fashioned Sunday at least for one weekend only……

……Oh but does that exclude shopping on line?

Try and have a day of rest and enjoy some family time.

Happy Sunday

X

Scores on the board

Me
Physical health = 5 ( cold, sore throat and aching bones contributing to an increase in rating).
Mental health = 4

Colin
Physical health = 4 no further chest pain to report thank goodness
Mental health = 8 the anxiety of the thought of having an angiogram and then possibly a stent plays heavily on his mind.

I fear some therapy may be in order …….. Kate where are you? We are in need of your far superior hypnotherapy skills.

Please see top of page for scoring system explanation.

A date for your diary…

March 22nd from 7pm.

Village Secrets will be hosting its first ever exclusive girls night in.

I have been busy shopping (well someone’s got to do it ! ) for the best designer gear at knock down prices. I have sourced shoes and boots from Prada, Karen Millen, Russell and Bromley and I think I have a Gucci pair coming. And clothes from Dolce and Gabbana, Jaeger, Stella McCartney, Hugo Boss, Boden, Coast and other top knotch designers.

The first night will be a bit of a trial run but i can promise you It’s going to be a fun night, with glasses of Prosecco and nibbles at the ready, as well as a few other delights to tempt us.

Further details can be obtained by emailing me on deborah.bone@mac.com (I don’t want to put address details etc out on a public forum) I would really appreciate your support, can I count you in?

10% of the profits from the night will go to cancer research.

I must admit I never imagined setting up a new little business to be so time consuming but it has been fun and acts as a distraction.

Distraction is the name of the game today as it’s results day. This is always a pretty tense time as we await to see the consultant for the next bit of news.

I have set up some good distractions today though. On the way home I get to pick up three mannequins from a shop in Marylebone Road and then I am meeting up with an old colleague for a catch up over a cuppa. Both of these I am really looking forward to.

Colin, however is nervous of the mannequins ( huh?), apparently they remind him of an episode of Dr Who. I have tried to reassure him by letting him know they are headless but I’m not sure it has done the trick!

I have been wondering, when the time comes how I am going to fit work in. One thing is for sure I will certainly have a much healthier work , life balance.

I can see you all smiling to yourselves now (well definitely my work colleagues), as you say to yourselves, haven’t we heard that before? This time it will be different I mean its not every day a girl gets diagnosed with an incurable disease. That really does make you think differently about what really matters. Not that I’m not passionate about my work because I most certainly am and whilst there is breath in my body I will continue to try and make a difference to mental ill health in some way or another.

So on the subject of mental health and generally feeling good I thought I would share my top 10 favourite books.

On reflection looking at the list they are not all about feeling good but books I remember reading and enjoying at the time.

Parenting teenagers:

Get Out of My Life : But First Take Me and Alex Into Town -Tony Wolf and Suzanne Franks (I can’t tell you how many copies I have bought of this book for friends and colleagues).

Now I Know Why Tigers Eat Their Young: Surviving a New Generation of Teenagers-
Peter Marshall

NLP/ self help

NLP Workbook: A practical guide to achieving the results you want – Joseph O’ Connor

Get the Life You Want: Foreword by Paul McKenna. The Secrets to Quick & Lasting Life Change – Richard Bandler

How to be Brilliant: Change Your Ways in 90 Days! – Michael Heppell

Human Givens: The New Approach to Emotional Health and Clear Thinking: A New Approach to Emotional Health and Clear Thinking – Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell.

Making the Brain Body Connection: A Playful Guide to Releasing Mental, Physical & Emotinal Blocks to Success – Sharon Promislow

How to be a Bad Christian: .. and a Better Human Being – Dave Tomlinson

The Secret – Rhonda Byrne

Fiction (this is a mixed bag)

Germinal – Emile Zola
Bookends – Jane Green
The Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Cheaper by the Dozen – Frank B., Jr. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
The Amityville Horror – Jay Anson

I’m not sure what that collection says about me!

Do you have a favourite book you could share I am looking for sonething good to read?

Scores on the board
Physical health – 3
Mental health – 4
Remember 0 is good on my scale and 10 is a shout for help as things have got pretty desperate.