Perhaps, just perhaps….

…..the other evening was the peak my consultant keeps talking about. I certainly felt as if I had reached the top of the mountain. Yesterday evening (when things are usually at their worst) was much better. Now is that because of the hourly doses, I had been taking of Oramorph during the day, regardless of whether or not I really needed it? Or because of the threat of going into the Hospice? When Colin called Louise (my pain nurse) yesterday morning, she reported that she had done all she could in the community. She suggested that she referred me to the Hospice for a 24 hour stay in order for them to administer medication that she was not allowed to give unless first given and monitored in the hospital. Hmm now it has taken a lot of courage for me to go along for the odd cup of tea and foot massage to the Hospice but going in overnight is a whole different matter. I am not keen to be lying in a bed next to dying people. I also don’t want to be at the point where they try out possibly fatal drugs and then come out the only way I imagine in a box! No the Hospice, as nice as it for some people at a time for a restful end, is not where I want to end my days!!!! (Sorry uncle Jack). Suddenly I find myself feeling much brighter perhaps the patches are starting to work?

Yesterday was also pretty busy. The morning started (after the near fatal call with louise), with morning coffee with Ed and Betty and a take home jar of the famous marmalade. We love seeing Ed and Betty and conversation always flows so easily with them that it seems as if we have known them for years.

We arrived home to see our regular gardener hard at work. Mum really is doing an amazing job but the weeds seem to grow at a much faster rate than the flowers she’s kindly planted. After lunch I went for my obligatory afternoon nap in the motorhome, to be woken some time later by our best friends holding out croissants and offering to bring in a cup of tea. Sitting together in the motorhome, all be it in the drive, is like being on a little holiday. We were soon joined by Patrick (the retired vicar, and good friend) who always joins in so well with the conversations going and has a giggle with us all. Not long after his departure Michael (my ex husband) dropped in for a cuppa and very kindly presented us with a gift of a lovely photo of Jem and Elliot.

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Then a little later Keith and Shirley popped in as the last of our visitors for the day.

As the evening approached with anticipation I am delighted to report that the pain did not reach its usual peak levels. Hip Hip Hooray just perhaps we are on the way down. so please can it be a fast descent with a soft landing.

Today will be a hunt for more bottles of Oramorph as I have quaffed more down than expected and am rather low on supplies. This is something dear reader, unlike chocolate peanuts, that you can’t come and provide me copious amounts of.

Enjoy your weekend as I surely will do, in the knowledge that I am not spending Saturday night at the Hospice (Sounds like a line of a song).

“Saturday Night at the Hospice,
who care’s what bed that your’e in,
when your hugging with your pillow,
no guessing what pills they’ll pop in

Oh Saturday Night at the Hospice
isn’t the place for me
I am all of a sudden
on the path of recovery”

Or is it meant to say Saturday Night at the Movies?

I can feel another new career coming on

Love Deborah xxxx

A trip down Memory Lane

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Me and Jarvis

Leafing through old photo’s with Uncle Ken and Aunty Judy.

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Me, Rebecca and little sister Kate

We had such a lovely time it was a shame to leave and Colin felt that the trip had really helped him as we talked about the effect of me having cancer was having on him, on the drive home.

We stopped on the way home for the lovely picnic lunch Aunty Judy had prepared. I then had an hour and a half’s sleep before we carried on with our journey home.

Picnic lunch provided by Aunty Judy

Picnic lunch provided by Aunty Judy

We arrived home at about 5pm to a very excited Frodo who has been well behaved for Kate.

Pain wise, how does one tell when one has reached the peak? My pain just seems to be getting worse and I really want it to start reducing now. The Fenytl patches make me feel much less dopy but the pain is worse so I must talk again to Louise and find out what our next step should be. Other than that there are no other plans for me today as yet.

Best wishes

Deborah

PS.
Scores on the board
Mental health = 5
Physical health = 8

Bloody Pain is preventing me in doing much more 😦

Waking up to the pitter patter…

…no not of a new baby or puppy dog I’m afraid (well I would be if it was, especially the first of those) but the rain, not so much pitter pattering but rather more heavy feet dancing on the roof of our tin can. Both Colin and I slept extremely well except for the interruption of an Oromorph top up at about 1.30am.

It is lovely to be here in Sheffield and we were treated to one of Aunty Judy’s famous roast Sunday lunches with proper home made Yorkshire puddings yesterday, even though it was a Monday. Being here is like being wrapped up in a warm cosy duvet. It is very homely and we are so well looked after. After lunch Colin and I retreated into Helga our Hymer for an afternoon nap, (I blame the tablets), before joining Uncle Ken and Aunty Judy for a Yorkshire brew and home made flap jacks. Chatting away, swapping stories and me learning more about my early childhood. The parties with Jarvis and Saskia, homemade dresses carefully sewn by Big Nannan, who was actually quite small, but bigger than my great grandmother who was known as Little Nannan. It was a lovely afternoon full of laughter and topped off by a very kindly thought of, a bowl of chocolate covered peanuts, in front of Coronation Street.

The signal of the open curtains this morning lets us know that the breakfast lounge is open so I must finish off here. I have been promised a lovely warm bath and a variety of breakfast options.

Have a lovely day and take a moment to remember just how important family are.

Love Deborah .

Lazy Sunday

Yesterday we decided to move on and be really adventurous. This time we drove all the way to…..Peterborough, approximately 50 miles from home and goodness knows where the hospital is?  That’s a sign of confidence in my fellow travellers as to how well I am appearing. This time last week it was touch and go if we were even going to get away together at all.

Last night we were joined by William (my brother-in-law) for a fish and chip supper. Last weekend him and Colin cycled together around the lake here. I must admit I haven’t ventured much further than the toilet block but apparently we are on part of a very pretty nature reserve and next door to the Neve Valley Railway which runs a steam train every few hours. (luckily not thoughout the night!).

Today will be a lazy Sunday, sitting around reading magazines and enjoying a cooked breakfast and probably yet more scones with clotted cream. I am sure I would never get away with this if it wasn’t for the cancer. It’s funny because it wasn’t long ago I was complaining of not being able to do much other than lie around, somehow this has always been much more appealing in the motor home. Perhaps it’s being away from home where your not surrounded by all the jobs you think you ought to be doing. The slow release morphine tablets I am now on, are doing a really good job of killing the pain so I am feeling much brighter in myself which maybe you can tell through my writing?

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I look forward to being well enough to travel abroad again and I am hoping that will be sometime later this year. I may find out more when I see the consultant on Tuesday. I am certainly hoping to get a date for the stem cell harvesting.

Every time I think of the stem cell harvesting, I want to sing ‘We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land’ The Miranda moments are returning, a true sign of my current mental health state! I wrote to Jarvis a few weeks ago, whilst high on steroids and whilst being fully immersed in Miranda mode, quoting songs I was going to sing him whilst standing on the table, funnily enough I haven’t heard from him since!

Next week party plans will be full steam ahead and the invitations WILL be prepared and sent out, bar any further health problems. Feeling a bit brighter I think I will enjoy a period of convalescing and maybe even get back to that painting I started, which seems such a long time ago now.

Short and sweet

So far we have done what we usually do when we go away ….Nothing! Well except for eat , drink, chat and laugh a lot. This post isn’t going to be the picture frenzy as promised but here is a quick look inside the van this morning and Colin with his first cup of tea of the day.

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The campsite here is pretty quiet and we both slept very well as usual when we are away. We haven’t met up with Sue and Angela for our morning briefing yet, but it won’t be long as both our signals that act as an alert that we are open for visitors, are up.

Being away together, which we do quite often in various parts of the world, usually constitutes a lazy breakfast, perhaps looking at maps to sort out our next route or just general chit chat followed by maybe another rest (chatting can be so exhausting ) or moving on to our next destination, then a chat and another sleep, depending where we are in the world. Together we have been to Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Prague and many places in the UK. It also usually involves quite a large consumption of the local beer or wine. Unfortunately this trip has constituted being near a hospital and no alcohol, well not for me anyway.

Both Colin and I find the whole getting ready for and going away very exciting. Maybe we are just simple folks! We love stopping off at the local service station first to choose our new books and magazines for the trip and filling the cupboards with all sorts of holiday treats. So far I have eaten my way through a whole packet of chocolate covered peanuts a separate packet of chocolate covered raisins and a bar of whole nut chocolate. We have also indulged in birthday cake, scones with jam, clotted cream and strawberries and home baked rock cakes. So I must say a big thank you to Lorna and Shirley, the home baked cooking was much appreciated by us all.

Not sure where we will be going or what we will be doing next.

SUCH FUN!

Xxxxxxxx

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.

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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

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.

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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!

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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.

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Have a good weekend.

Deborah x

PS I had that Friday feeling after all

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