Back on track

After quite a ride on a fast bit of track on my roller coaster jaunt, I am back on board a much gentler ride, although who knows what twists and turns may be involved.

Yesterday’s hospital trip ran pretty smoothly and my lovely nurse even managed to change an appointment for me, so I fitted in a Skeltal Survey prior to coming home. This has saved us travelling up to London next week resulting in a whole week off. Whoopie!

My spirits are up and the steroids or some other excitement, caused me to indulge in some early morning browsing. I am so excited about planning our new bathroom. Yesterday’s post included some sparkly quartz flooring tile samples which look just perfect. Can you imagine waking up and entering a bathroom every morning glistening with diamonds? well that’s how it’s going to feel for me and I can’t wait. Next week we have a lovely guy coming round to help us plan and work out how he may be able to put my dream bathroom into action. Then I really will have very little to be miserable about.

I just love anything that sparkles, perhaps I was a Magpie in a previous life? I now own three pairs of sparkly slippers and if I had my way, I would wear them shopping to Lidyl this morning! I don’t have many diamonds but to tell the truth Swzorski crystals do the same for me.

Yesterday Colin thoroughly enjoyed lunch out with a friend from the village, a pub lunch and great conversation was just what he needed so thank you Patrick. When I got home he was full of the stories he heard and one that touched my heart was the Original Tea Bag Company. It has been set up in South Africa and has helped lots of people living and working in an impoverished community to find employment and a new lease of life. They produce art and crafts made out of used tea bags and they look wonderful. I do urge you to take a look at them yourselves by following the link below. The items for sale are very cheap in price but postage costs are pretty expensive. I am however going to email the sister of the lady who set it up, as she lives in the UK and see if there is somewhere more local we could purchase these items and do our bit to help these people and keep the company going.

http://www.tbagdesigns.co.za/about/

Right I had better get to the shop if I want to beat the crowds.

Have a good day and weekend just in case I don’t write again for a couple of days.

Deborah xxx

Yet more poor customer service from John Lewis

Yes I have decided to name and shame them. Until Thursday I was a regular and loyal customer of theirs. I would even go as far to say it had been one of my favourites retailers up to that point.
However following on from yesterday’s saga with yet more poor service, I felt aggrieved enough to send the following email and I now await a response.

Dear Head of Customer Services

It is with great regret that I am having to write to you and complain about the appalling customer services we received from your Welwyn store on both Thursday and today (Friday). As a health professional I have in the past received training about how to take care of your customers and I have been a loyal customer of yours for many years. It is not in my nature to complain but I find myself in this regrettable situation and want it to be adequately addressed.

It is not a good time for me at the moment as I have recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer and the treatment I received from your store did not help to alleviate matters. We came in as instructed by a very pleasant man on the end of the telephone, the number that we called was at the bottom of our web receipt. My iPad had developed a fault, it is something that I rely on using during my long hours of waiting whilst receiving chemo. The man on the phone checked with the Welwyn store and said they had a few iPads in stock and we could pop in and pick up a replacement, which we did after a long hospital visit in London on Thursday.

Here is the order of events.

Thursday morning my husband (Colin) called the number on the web receipt. In the first instance my husband got through to a lady who suggested we call the nearest store to find out what replacement items they had in stock and suggested we could swap it for a Samsung. She also gave my husband the reference number in the subject line above.

My husband rang again to confirm a few details and this time got a pleasant man who explained the procedure. He took down all the details including the order number, date and place of purchase. He stated we had two options. 1) a courier would deliver a new iPad and take away the faulty one. 2) we could exchange it at a store of our convenience. My husband told him that the Welwyn store would be the best and as previously stated he checked they had them in stock

On Thursday at approximately 7pm we came into the Welwyn store and were directed to Technical Support. Here a lady (Kizam) told us that she would have to send the iPad away as that was the policy. We explained our situation and our previous phone call but she kept repeating the 28 day refund policy and the procedure regarding warranty. We asked if she would check our records for the information we were previously given. At this point I had become a little tearful, as maybe you can imagine, it was not the service we expected to receive. Kizam went away to discuss it with her manager and returned saying she had found the record of the conversation and on this occasion we could exchange the item. She said the man on the phone must have thought we said we had purchased the item on December 13th 2013 but even if we had (he had all of our details) it wouldn’t have been covered in the 28 days she was suggesting. She stated we would need to return to the store on Friday with all the accessories that came with the original iPad. Her manner was curt, unsympathetic and at no time did we receive an apology of any kind. She acted as if she was doing us a favour and that we were in the wrong, telling us twice again about the 28 day policy.

Today my husband returned to the store; I stayed at home and called to speak to someone in customer services at WGC. The lady on the phone was very pleasant and apologised for the service we received. She said she was in the department and would try to catch my husband to ensure all went smoothly.

When my husband entered the store today he was again directed to Technical Support. Here he was yet again told about the 28 day policy. Very patiently he explained our situation and said he knew all about this policy, being well versed with it by now and asked the gentleman to check the records. He was at no time given an apology or shown any kind of empathy towards our situation. He did get a replacement but had to pay an extra £50.00 as Apple no longer produced the model I previously owned. Luckily he was home in time for my next hospital appointment.

When he returned home I retold the story to my friend and advocate who called the store again. She was promised a call back within 2 hours. This she has still not received, 9 hours have past now.

This is not the service we expect from a store of your calibre. Although I mentioned it on my blog ( which has received 47,000 hits to date) I did not mention your name as I wanted to give the store a chance to make amends. All it would have taken would have been a simple apology and perhaps a kind word from those working within the technical support department. Maybe they missed out on your training?

We are out of pocket but most of all we have had to suffer added anxiety to an already stressful situation. I would like to know how you are going to address this matter. If I am not satisfied I will have no option but to take this further.

Like I previously stated I am not the type of person to make complaints but this has been an exceptional circumstance.

I have since heard from Sue that they have offered me £25.00 in vouchers.

Do you think I was right to complain?

Am I making too much fuss because it just happens to have come around at a bad time?

And do you think £25.00 is fair compensation for a replacement of my beloved iPad, the model of which I was quite happy with before it became faulty, considering I had to pay another £50 as the original model was now unavailable?

Your comments would be much appreciated. I now don’t even mind of you wish you let your own feelings known on the John Lewis Facebook page.

Honestly all this would have been avoided with a few words of kindness from the first person we spoke to in Technical Support, I do hope they learn from this experience.

Your comments would be much appreciated.

On a much happier note, both Colin and I felt very supported and comforted at our meeting yesterday with the Psychologist and Palliative Care Nurse. This time around I am much better at accepting help and both Colin and I are booked in for some reflexology at the Garden City Hospice. There is a lot of good in the world. Yesterday we returned to a beautifully cleaned home and the smell of our favourite Yankee candles. Our two best friends had dusted the place with their magic dust. They really are true and precious friends and we are so grateful to have them in our lives.
I also received a “Cloud of Loveliness” in the post from a new friend and we enjoyed a homemade fish pie thanks to mum. So the day ended well.

You will have to wait until tomorrow for the unveiling of the pencil portrait sketched at the hospital on Thursday, as I think it warrants not being soured by the morning events.

Have a good weekend my friends and family. Xxx

Scores on the board
PH = 3 ( back pain is now well controlled)
MH = 4 despite the stressful last few days.

Another hospital appointment..

..but this time, I am excited to show my consultant just how well I am.

I am also feeling very confident that there will be no surprises. The cancer rats are deeply buried within my bones and I expect, feeling pretty sorry for themselves. There is no breeding what so ever, going on down there! The magic beetle juice has caused havoc with their libido, impotency and infertility is rife. I did warn them though! Didn’t I say, right at the beginning of this blog, that they had picked the wrong body to invade. Now, if they had just turned their backs and ran it would have saved everybody a lot of trouble, never mind time and money. Still now they are here I am very grateful for all the help I receive at keeping them in this hibernated state. There is much hard work going on behind the scenes at the University College Hospital, London and in laboratories all over the world so I am sure it won’t be very long now before new treatment methods and indeed a cure is found, for all types of cancer.

Talking of cancer, although I don’t like to dwell too long on the subject, I must say a big THANK YOU to the Cancer Hair Charity in Stevenage Old Town. They are a group of very generous ladies that provide their time, care and expertise to help other women who are or have been through treatment. They helped me cope as I started to lose my hair and have re-styled it as it started to return. I have also been on a couple of their pamper mornings where you can meet up with other ladies experiencing similar problems and enjoy being looked after. This week I came away with some very glam sparkly nails and even a goody bag. They really do make a difference.

Well, the lounge decorating is almost complete so it’s now time to get back down to some serious work and return to a more structured routine. I do wonder how I ever fitted work around my busy lifestyle, although previously my busy life consisted mostly of work (pre January). Not that I am complaining, you all know how much I loved my previous job. Having said all that I may have to allow myself just one more week of respite, my diary is pretty full this week with some exciting events yet to come.

Yesterday I took my lovely grandson, who will be two in a few weeks time, to sing and rhyme at Letchworth Library. It was like stepping back in time as I don’t think a thing has changed since I last visited there with my own toddlers. I even remembered all the old songs, as I sat there among thirty or more babies all rowing boats and flying five little flying saucers around the world.

Today, on the way back from London, I am really excited about catching up with an old friend and colleague. One of the great things about working in the caring profession is that you are surrounded by so many really loving and big hearted people, who are passionate about and share with you the privileged position of being able to help others. Sharon is one of those very special people who touch other people”s lives with her warmth and generosity and on top of all that she gives the best hugs, and I am long over due, a real rather than virtual Sharon hug.

The excitement continues as Wednesday starts with looking at new sofa covers, OK I agree that’s not up there with the top ten of exciting things to do on a Wednesday morning, but it gets better. I am then off to my local spa (the one set in my old home, that once, not that long ago, was a psychiatric hospital) for a relaxing massage and facial before putting on my glad rags for a big night out. It’s awards night, a black tie event held within a big aeroplane hanger at Duxford. The best part of all will be meeting up with a few of my trust and team colleagues. I feel honoured that they have chosen to nominate me for this prestigious award, but I already feel a winner, having had the privilege of being part of such an amazing team.

Thursday is a day off, (of sorts)and on Friday I get to catch up with another old colleague and good friend who is always a pleasure to chat with.

And I have so much in the pipeline at the moment! A publisher has asked me to submit some proposals for my books or work materials. There is an opportunity for me to design some client information booklets for various mental health issues. I have my main book to complete as well as several short children’s stories. I have also discovered iBooks which I can’t tell you how excited I am about. It means that once I can figure it out the BrainBox can become an interactive Ebook that can even contain a demonstration of how it works.

The world is my oyster, there are no more selfish shellfish in my life (a previous delusional thought whilst in the throws of chemo) and I am well and truly back, perhaps a little battered (cod). What is this with the aquatic theme? There are lots more starfish out there just waiting to be saved, so I am ready to once again flex my creative muscles, whist having a whale of a time in less stormy seas.

Miranda Hart gets all her material from my blog, don’t you know 😉

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Have a good one.

Deborah xxx

WOW what a night!

Firstly I must apologise for the delay in posting but it has taken a couple of days to come back down to earth.

July 13th, was an evening to remember. It all started the day before as Production Plus an amazing events company, arrived to put up the staging, lighting and most importantly the disco ball. As the Friday evening drew in, some lovely friends, Ann and Patrick, arrived with bunting and some waterfall lights to make the set look even more spectacular. Tables and chairs were put out and the scene was set and who knew what would happen on the night of the party.

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Well the evening party to celebrate my 50th and raise money for Myeloma research, really couldn’t have been any better, as friends and family arrived laden with their picnics. Seeing our relatives from Sheffield was very special to both Kate and I, as was catching up with Jarvis, his sister Saskia and mum Chris. So many happy memories were shared and all seemed well with the world. As a surprise, friends and family had all learnt one of my most favourite songs and flash mobbed it for me. I wasn’t quite sure what was happening as a friends husband pulled me on to the dance floor but as it slowly sunk in to my alcohol filled head, I felt very honoured that new and old friends and family had all learnt my favourite song, ‘I hope you dance’ and were singing it especially for me. Then to top it all my childhood friend, Jarvis, took to the stage and sang Disco 2000 along with the amazing CC Smugglers, to me, for me, about me. How could that happen? I will never forget that moment for as long or as short of a time I have left on this planet. Thank you David for this footage.

http://www.facebook.com/l/IAQHaue9qAQHvBsnWsxH5MtxGLRbpMo60TZl_m2YQAYBubw/m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=FV_lzerVqDI&desktop_uri=%252Fwatch%253Fv%253DFV_lzerVqDI%2526feature%253Dyoutu.be

I am not sure how to express in words my gratitude. Thank you to you all just doesn’t seem enough but it’s a start so here I go, please accept my apology in advance if I leave any one out, it certainly won’t be intentionally.

To start with…

Thank you to you all for coming along and helping make the atmosphere just perfect. It was especially good to meet and make new friends some who I have made contact with through the Myeloma network and others from neighbouring villages.

Thank you to my soul mate Colin, loving sister Kate. mum Jill and best friends Sue and Angela who have not only helped to make the party a success, but who have been by my side every step of the way, witnessing the pain and tears, sharing the laughter and just holding my hand both literally and metaphorically. Without you this journey would have been even harder to bare. You have lifted my spirits when I have felt lost and supported not only me, but Colin and each other. I know this won’t stop here and I have confidence that you will be with me forever I love you all so very much.

A special thank you to Sue and Angela who contributed the wine for the party and to Kate who payed for the Porta Loo’s meaning even more money could be put in to the charity fund.

Thank you to my two lovely daughters Pollyanna and Jem who continue to make me proud. And to my lovely grandson who made, whoever met him on the night and the day after, smile. Thank you Pollyanna for contributing the sweets and nibbles and for buying so many raffle tickets!!

To my lovely brother Toby and his partner Jo for contributing the luxury Fortnum and Mason’s hamper to the raffle.

And a very special Thank You to Sebastian my lovely nephew who I love with all my heart, not only for all his contributions to the raffle but for flying over from Los Angeles to be with us all. Not to mention my rather extravagant sunglasses!

To the rest of my family, Charles and his friends, the family from up north, Jack and Jeremy who shared their time with us all, either before, at, or after the party.

Thank you to Production Plus for providing the staging and lightening at no cost, and a special Thank You to Andy who gives the best of hugs and for his and Vicki’s generosity .

Thanks to Ann and Patrick who put together the finishing touches the night before the party.

To Barbs and Jo who organised the flash Mob, and especially to Barbs for organising and chopping (with help from Kate and Kendra) all the fruit for the Pimms and strawberries for the desert. And to Jo who arrived very early on the Sunday morning and who had cleared up much of the mess before most of us got out of bed.

To Heather for all her help with buying up Costco’s and to her and her husband from
www.hertsfireplacegallery.co.uk
for providing the fire in a box which is a great idea for your garden especially on chilly evenings.

To Sonia and her son for lending us bunting and putting it all up.

To my very caring and thoughtful sister in law Lorna and her husband Gig, for helping in so many ways before, during and after the party. Along with Sophie who made all the cup cakes and helped with the raffle.

Thank you to Colin’s parents who also helped out before, during and after the party. With a very special Thank You to Keith who spent most of the evening taking pboto’s and filming the event. I can’t wait to see them all. He really is a fantastic photographer.

Thank you to all the other people who contributed raffle prises.

A very big Thank You to my good friend Allison who has not only been a great support to me but who baked me this amazing birthday cake, each flower was handmade. We rather reluctantly cut into it on Sunday and it tasted as good as it looks!

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A big Thank You also goes to Allison and Chris’s son Nick who very kindly contributed his time and skills to sort out all the electric’s in our barn so we could plug in the lighting and freezers

To David Mills,an amazing singer and I hope now he won’t mind me calling him friend. So many people commented on how good he was and he finished off the evening perfectly as the night drew to an end and we sat by the bonfire attempting, rather unsuccessfully,toasting marshmallows. If you need a singer for a party, wedding etc drop me an email and I will pass on his contact details or just google his name etc and you should find him on YouTube.

Another big Thank You to the CC Smugglers who really made the night especially when they backed up Jarvis Cocker and sang Disco 2000. They are such a talented group of lads but not only that, they are really nice guys who generously gave their time up for free so that we could raise even more money for charity. You can get hold of them or buy their CD by visiting their web site or Facebook page. Just follow the link below.

http://www.ccsmugglers.co.uk/

Thank You to Jarvis who not only turned up to my party with his mum Christine (or Aunty Christine as we used to call her), his son Albert, and beautiful girlfriend Kim and his sister Saskia and her very handsome son Felix. He actually, now this just made the night, sang Disco 2000 on our stage, at our house, to me. Now how cool is that! It was lovely to catch up and I was very grateful for my gift of a frame filled with old photo’s of us all as kids playing together. Thanks Aunty and thank you Jarvis for my book which I shall treasure forever.

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Thank you all as well for all the gifts I really didn’t expect to receive. To start with on Friday I received a parcel of a lovely teapot and selection of tea’s from Wendy and Sharon. It is perfect as both Colin and I love our cuppa, but after thanking all the Sharon’s and Wendy’s at the party, all of whom said it wasn’t them that sent it I am at a loss of who it came from ?

In my excitement cards got detached from presents and I am not sure who to thank for what. So I must apologise but a big THANK YOU to you all. I do know that I got the most amazing bouquet from Natasha, and a lovely basket of goodies from my good friend Julie Nash. I also received a lovely photo frame, candles, chocolates, slippers and foot creams, a perfect leather bound journal which I can’t wait to fill and a hamper of all my favourite things from my gorgeous cousin Mathew and his lovely wife Clare. Both Colin and I can’t wait to meet up with them again sometime soon.

July 13th really was a very special day. It was made special by all who were involved and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

I hope to be able to add more photo’s and video footage very soon. If you took any photo’s or film on the night I would be very grateful if you could send them to me at deborah.bone@mac.com

Thank you once again to all you lovely people

Deborah xxx

Living a decadent lifestyle.

Look whose joined me in bed this morning. imageFrodo is not usually allowed on our bed or even upstairs but seeing that we have stolen his space and are still camping out downstairs, I think he can be excused.
Yesterday I spent the whole day in bed, well I have got cancer you know, not that I need an excuse but laziness is not a trait I have or am comfortable with. It is good however to lay in bed when I don’t really need to and it’s more out of sheer naughtiness. So laying in bed yesterday (and you never know, if I dare, perhaps again today) was out of choice and I really appreciated that. As I laid here I watched the world happening around me. Colin busying himself with trying to fix the ride on mower again, thinking he had achieved it, triumphantly waving from the field only to do one lap before puffs of smoke (coming from his ears not the mower) prevented any more and in sheer frustration he started to push the petrol mower around, taking him about three hours to finish. Mummy arriving with moss and plants to fill the hanging baskets and then planted beans and wandered around with the watering can. All this as I lay rather guiltily eating chocolate peanuts and reading my Jerry Springer style magazine. Later cheese on toast was presented to me in bed, followed by the last but two of Kate’s rather lovely home made rock cakes. Then Kate popped by and joined me on the bed as we giggled like naughty sisters do, and checked plans for the party noting who had and hadn’t yet purchased their tickets. If we were going by purchases alone we would only be having fourteen people turn up! I do however know the other hundred or so of you will get round to it very soon. The retired vicar was the next to pop in and share a cuppa and the last of the rock cakes. I then put on a hat (as you do when the vicar arrives) in rather a jaunty fashion as he photographed me, whilst siting up in bed and interviewed me for the next edition of the Village Voice. It all happens here in Hinxworth you know. The next to arrive were Colin’s parents, Keith and Shirley. Shirley bought a food parcel consisting of a homemade toad in the hole and accompanying vegetables, fruit crumble and cream, some rice, cherries, apricots, half a bottle of wine, a bottle of beer, a couple of onions,carrots and potatoes and a tin of fruit. Maybe she knows something I don’t, or is just hankering back to the day she was evacuated from London during the war? Oh yes and I mustn’t forget she bought a very welcome, tin full of homemade rock cakes (just in time as we do hate to be without in case the vicar calls again). Now you might think that was it for the night as by this time it was approaching 7 pm but no our next very welcome guests were Sue and Angela with their little dog Hattie. Colin and Sue went off on a long dog walk whilst Angela and I roared with laughter together, over wine and more kindly donated packets of chocolate peanuts, at the odd and very scandalous stories in the Real People magazine. “Soul Mates – when Angela went clubbing she met a disco diva with a difference” in the story Angela 29 stone and in a wheelchair suddenly realised she was a lesbian as her eyes met across the dance floor with 6 foot tall and 20 stone Cherilyn. Honestly I only bought the magazine for the competitions in it! At an offering of two thousand pounds per story, I suppose people will go to any lengths to get their story published. Instead of writing a book I ought to be thinking up a story I could submit for publication. This is a normal magazine not one of those top shelf (if they still have such a thing)or brown bag saucy mags! Well that was it for the night Colin and I finally settled down to our hot chocolate and still in the same bed in the conservatory I slid further down the duvet for another night of indoor camping.

This morning the sun is shining brightly and the view has only been improved. Why would you get out of bed? Perhaps it wouldn’t be considered as being so lazy if I actually got down to writing a chapter or two today? If this is what retiring is going to be like, bring it on!

I hope all you lovely people, who are going out to work, have a good day. And for any of you who are ladies that lunch please feel free to pop round and share a chocolate peanut or two.

Deborah xxx

PS Apologies for the return of the explanation marks, Uncle Jack!

And the winner is…..

..wait for it

Deborah Bone Role model of the Year Hip Hip Hooray.

I told you yesterday it was going to be a good one!  The evening started off with Bucks Fizz and canapés. Colin, Mum , Kate, Sue, Angela and myself all huddled around a table as we watched more and more people arrive. As soon as 7pm arrived we went into the beautifully laid out main room and found table number eight. Unfortunately tickets had run out and poor Sue and Angela were relegated to seats at the back of the room, but they were happy enough just to be there and share in the experience. The venue was perfect and we enjoyed a light ploughman’s supper before listening to a local young girl, Roxy Searle, sing a couple of songs brilliantly. The evening was hosted by the very handsome (just thought I had better pop that in as he is likely to be reading this post!) Sky Sports F1 presenter, David Croft. Actually he did a very good job keeping us amused throughout the evening especially when it came round to the raffle. There were twelve awards to be handed out throughout the evening from, Young Achiever to a Good Neighbour Award. For each award the winner was announced by the award sponsor and then to a room of applause the winner came up on to the stage to be presented with a glass trophy and a framed certificate. The other short listed candidates were then called up onto the stage to receive their certificates before returning to their seats. But there was no quick get away for the winner. They were interviewed by Crofty (as he is known in the blurb provided) for what seemed like an eternity. At this point I was almost crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t win. I wasn’t looking my best having struggled to find something that fitted me to wear, which Crofty kindly pointed out, having read yesterday’s blog, and I blamed it on the tablets although secretly I knew it was far too many cream cakes! When the Role Model of the year was announced I listened to the few words spoken about each of the shortlister’s (ok I know there isn’t really such a word but there is now) and was quietly confident that at least one of them were more worthy of the big prize. But then it happened out came my name and up I shot waddling towards the stage drugged up to the eyeballs (legally of course) with a glass of Bucks Fizz to add to the mix, wondering if I would remember anything I would say and thinking this wasn’t such a good idea after all. Of course crafty old Crofty had read all of yesterday’s blog and reminded us all of bits that I had written. All quite embarrassing because I couldn’t remember a word of it. However I filled any possible silences with references of Russell Brand and Jarvis Cocker, of course Crofty hadn’t read that far back. It all seemed to be over pretty quickly and I returned to my table to see the tear stained and proud faces of Kate, mum and my darling husband Colin. It wasn’t too long after that, that the evening came to an end but not before the raffle. This consisted of two spectacular prizes, a rather large left over chocolate Easter Bunny and a night for two at the very exclusive Ibis Hotel in the heart of Stevenage. Well you know by now how I love a raffle, and the proceeds were going towards the Hospice I am frequenting nowadays, so we just had to buy a strip or two. I am however rather glad to say that this time we weren’t so lucky to win one of these elusive prizes but Crofty did an excellent job of making the process very amusing by trying to get the Stevenageimage councillor to point out the tourist attractions in Stevenage. So the evening ended with hugs of congratulations with Sue and Angela and a smooth drive home from Kate who herself deserved at least one of those prizes or at the very least the two night stay in the Ibis!

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For full coverage of my winning speech I will try to upload the video Kate kindly took and share the embarrassing moments with you all.

Yesterday was good but I have a funny feeling today is going to be even better. Roll on Postie we are awaiting here whilst snuggled up under the duvet.

Enjoy your day, you too Crofty.

Love Deborah x

The good, the bad and the downright ugly again…

The good from yesterday was that having a blue badge meant shopping in Canmbridge was made so much easier and I was able to pick up a few bits and pieces for Pollyanna’s birthday. It is however a shame that I got a blue badge because of my inability to walk very far which struck true once again yesterday.

Another bit if good was seeing Amanda, one of my nurse colleagues and a kind friend. It was good to catch up and I really appreciated her gifts of cream cakes and a lovely fresh loaf of bread, plus the best wishes she brought with her from other work colleagues.

The bad is the news that as from June 7th I will be put on half pay. I need your help a bit here please. If I went off sick on the 7th of January, when would you therefore calculate my six months was up? I think I have worked the date out differently than HR so I would be interested to see your calculations. Anyway the bad thing is that we will have to try to manage on half the salary or I will somehow need to try to get back into work, although my Stem Cell harvest only finishes on June 4th. If they have got the date wrong I will be in a much better position and hopefully recovered enough to make a phased return.

The ugly was the standard letter I received informing me of all of above. This luckily turned into something good or at least not quite so ugly with an email, following my concerns from our chief exec who has given me the opportunity to try and help make sure this doesn’t happen again. On the whole I work for a very caring organisation but just occasionally areas for improvement pop up. The letter has caused me unnessesary upset which I could do without right now but it has at least definitely highlighted an opportunity to make changes and ensure this doesn’t happen again and is quickly being addressed.

Maybe I am rather Pollyannerish but where I can I do like to change a negative into a positive and with a little practice it’s not usually that hard to do.

Today I am having a telephone consultation with ’employee assistance’ which I think are a private company who I presume try and support employees find a solution to a particular difficulty that may have arison through work. It will be interesting to find out anyway.

This is followed up by an assessment of need at the Hospice and then a consultation with the doctor there. This will all be enough to finish me off for the day.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank a rather special lady (she will know who she is). She regularly emails me always stating she doesn’t expect a reply, but sends me words to cheer me up and make me laugh or to remind me that she is thinking and praying for me. It may only seem a little thing to do but it is making a big difference. I don’t know this lady particularly well having only met up and worked together a few times promoting the MacQueen Awards that are presented yearly to nurses, health visitors or nursery nurses who can demonstrate excellence in practice or research. I was luckily enough some time ago to be one of those nurses and I won enough money to get a number of the children’s book ‘Sticking Plasters for Children’s Souls’ printed and given out or sold to make more money for resources. So again a big THANK YOU to this very special person.

That has reminded me to keep the funds flowing in I do think I need to write another book. I am thinking of writing one called ‘When to worry or Not’ providing a short easy to read guide to what is normal at different stages of a child’s life and when it maybe important to seek professional help in relation to children’s mental health and emotional well being. What do you think of that idea for a book?

From my bedroom window the sun appears to be shining although yesterday I was shocked with how cold the weather had become again. It does seem ridiculous that some parts of the country are getting snow in May.

Well despite the coldness I hope today provides enough heat, from the kindness you experience, to keep you warm all day long. The kindness is there if you just take a moment to see it.

Take that moment today

Deborah x

Book Proposal

I thought today I would share a book proposal I put together in 2004 (I can’t believe it was that long ago), the idea was to send it off to a publisher. If I decide to finish this book I would bypass a publisher and just self publish. One of my best friends has done just that and is earning nearly £100 every month. OK thats not enough to pay the mortgage but it’s a start.

I would be grateful for your thoughts, please be honest as I have other book ideas and don’t want to waste my time on this one if you don’t think it’s worth it.

So hear goes:

Welcome to the Meday Concept

An inspirational guide to taking control of time that will change you’re life forever.

Written for all those busy people who think they haven’t the time to read it!

Because….Smart People do Lunch!

What is ‘Welcome to the Meday Concept’ all about?

‘Welcome to the Meday Concept’ is a self help guide to improving emotional wellbeing. The term Meday is being used to illustrate a moment in time taken for oneself. This book is for anyone struggling to balance the demands of the workplace, school or family life or for those who just want to step off the treadmill and claim back some time for themselves.
The concept is accessible to anyone regardless of age, culture, religion, or gender. Very soon the idea will become common practice and people all over the world will be taking a Meday. Employers will encourage staff to take a Meday as they start to recognise its contribution to increased productivity and its ability to reduce stress. Single parents to busy executives, children to grandparents will soon be talking about their own unique Meday experiences.

This book will discuss the importance of the Meday and how it guarantees to change your life. Packed with invaluable advice, checklists and action plans it will provide a simple easy-to-understand guide on how to achieve the perfect Meday.
Taking small steps and periods of time out from a busy schedule will allow individuals to revaluate their strengths, and put some balance back into their lives.

The concept uses a solution-focused brief therapy approach by focusing on solutions rather than investigating problems.
It can be used by the reader alone or with the help of a therapist either way; by investing time in ones emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing the improvement in quality of life can be unbelievable.

Who will buy this book and why?

This book is aimed at anyone interested in improving their emotional well being. Self help books have become increasingly popular over the past few years. The strongest target group most likely to buy this book will be women who want to make sense of their lives and slow down. It will also be of interest to professionals who want to explore its concepts in order to increase productivity in the work place and therapists who want to use its ideas in their own work.

This book is just the beginning and will be followed by more books on the subject such as; ‘365 Meday Ideas’, ‘Celebratory Meday’s’, and ‘How the Meday concept changed my life around’. There will be a range of Meday products and services for sale. The Meday concept is revolutionary and will change lives forever.

The Meday Concept will be talked about on morning TV and late night shows. The author will travel the world giving conferences for business professionals to women’s institutes.
I have no doubt that this books willing formula will make it a best seller with many by-products, making its author and publisher a household name and a tidy sum of money.

Contents

Chapter 1 – Introduction
Explanation of the Meday Concept
Why we need it? – Research into effects of stress on physical and mental health.
Benefits of following the Meday program
How it will work
Who this book is for – Check list with tick boxes

Chapter Two – Why taking time for yourself has never been so important
Living in today’s busy world
Juggling time
Pressures and its effects both long and short term

Chapter Three – What is a Meday and how it can help change your life
Taking time for ones self
Lunch breaks
Weekends
Annual Leave

Chapter Four – Recognising the signs/When to take a Meday
Symptoms of stress

Chapter Five – How to plan the perfect Meday
The importance of planning
Ideas for the perfect Meday
Charts to help you successfully plan your time

Chapter Six – How to help others achieve their perfect Meday
Using the concept in a therapy setting

Chapter Seven – Noticing the changes within yourself
Recognising the differences you’ve made to yourself and the effects on those around you
Sharing the secret

Chapter Eight – Lie back and enjoy the sunshine
Recap
Reflection
Evaluation

So there you have it, I have written quite a bit already but will need to hunt it out because all I could find so far was the above book proposal I put together.

Happy Tuesday another day we need to wrap up warm unfortunately.

Deborah x

The week ahead

Luckily the pain in my side is being well controlled by the double dose of Tramadol and except for a visit to the hospital on Tuesday I have a free week ahead.

So how shall I spend my time? I do have a little job I want to get on with for our Chief Exec at work which could be quite interesting, I have my book to write, my painting to finish, a spa day voucher and a facial voucher (two different places) to use up, my stone painting day to go on and so many TV programmes and films to watch.

How could anyone ever be bored?

I would love to be a columnist for a newspaper or magazine but unfortunately I didn’t hear any more from the editors I contacted. 😦

I don’t know how I am ever going to return to a full time job but unfortunately finances dictate and I will need to return at the end of my six months on full pay, otherwise I go down to half pay. The problem is, I worry that I won’t be well enough because my days are so unpredictable. I also have my stem cell harvesting to go through once my chemo has finished. This is also worrying me a little because I have to inject myself with a growth hormone for about ten days prior to having my stem cells being removed. It is a shame because I love my job but may need to consider other options for the future. There is the possibility of cashing in my pension early due to ill health but that won’t last long and I will still need to find some work. Perhaps I could do some private mental health training or therapy?

So many things to think about, I think I just need to take each day as it comes because with myeloma you never seem to know what is going to happen next.

I think I will just have a lie in this morning then sort out all the clothes and shoes left over from Village Secrets and put them on eBay or something.

I hope you all have a good day, don’t work too hard!

Love Deborah xxx

One minute I am perfectly OK the next…

… I am doubled over in pain, in my right side just under my ribs. I think it is just the nature of myeloma and/or the effects of taking so many drugs. I was doubled over and in agony scoring myself 10/10 for pain. I didn’t know what to do with myself and I was so surprised as it came on so suddenly. It was very frustrating as the last thing I wanted to do on a snowy Saturday was to visit A&E but following a call to my cancer specialists and an increased dose of pain killers this was the advice given. So I opted for a trip to Addenbrooks and after a 3 hour wait I eventually got to see a doctor. He couldn’t have been kinder or more professional. I had a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia and my bloods taken. All were OK and after a discussion with my cancer doctors and a dose of Oramorph it was agreed that I could go home as long as I promised to come back if the pain increased again and I would see my cancer doctors as soon as possible next week. I was so doped up on medication I could hardly keep my eyes open and managed to get a good nights sleep without the help of my sleeping tablets.

This morning the pain is still there but not nearly as bad, so I think today will be spent resting, as you know by now not my favourite thing to do, but yet again I must succumb!

I am so annoyed as I really need to help Kate out and clear up all the Village Secrets stuff that is still scattered around her house. Never mind I know she will understand.

Whatever will happen next?

I hope you all have a restful Sunday if that’s what you desire.

Much love

Deborah