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Deb's Day
Are You Eating Your Broccoli? 
I didn’t tell you about how hospitable my body has become. I think I am naturally a generous person but my body has now officially become the ‘hostess with the mostess’. First it provides a welcoming home, it would seem, to a tumour the size of a nectarine…. And then next my body decides to host another intruder the size of a large orange!! My insides are a veritable fruit salad! Yes, it would seem that all those years of extremely painful and heavy periods were not without cause. One of my body scans showed my womb was enlarged so the oncologist referred me for an internal ultrasound (we women get all the best toys to play with!). This showed that my most obliging uterus was hosting a very large fibroid, and she couldn’t get past this obstacle to see whether there were any more! Whilst I have yet to have the outcome confirmed by yet another surgeon at the hospital, it looks like I am due for a hysterectomy as soon as my BC treatment is finished. Well, what can I say? There could be a nice opportunity here, I’m thinking….I am wondering if the fibroid (which is just a benign growth) could be transplanted to my left breast? Two operations performed in one! To be honest, I am not worried about the operation. But I am VERY worried about having to spend more time in that hospital, and then having to take the 4 to 6 weeks off to recover! As if I won’t have spent enough time ‘convalescing’ this year. Might book in a hip replacement as well. Just get every possible lifetime eventuality out of the way in one year….

I am reading a great book called The Breast Cancer Prevention and Recovery Diet by Suzannah Olivier. It is fascinating and is mostly devoted to the role nutrition plays in our health. “Many foods are now being described as ‘chemo preventative’ and it is acknowledged that certain foods have a pharmacological effect – items such as broccoli, soya, oriental mushrooms, garlic and live yoghurt. The problem is that these foods and nutrients can’t be patented and there is no money to be had in researching them, meaning that any research is motivated by academic interest rather than profit. Nevertheless the fact that trials are taking place at all is a strong indication of how seriously the role of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer is being taken.”

Anyway, it has been a great few days. Lovely weather for kids to enjoy half term. Last night I went to Body Balance and it was very relaxing (my abs are a little sore today but I’m sure they’ll be worse tomorrow when I have my head in a bucket).
Well, so long for a few days. Please, please, please keep all your fingers crossed with me that the nausea is controlled a bit better this time. I wish I could go to sleep now and wake up next Thursday. See you soon, Deb x

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Brunettes Have More Fun! 
Wow! What a busy weekend! And such amazing weather. Yes, just like you lot down under we had fabulous blue skies and sunshine for both days. Unlike down under our maximum temp was about 5 degrees I think, but who’s complaining! My weekend got off to a great start with a quick trip to a large hardware store to buy some flooring (we are doing a side entrance into the house – jonathan calls it the shoe and coat room but it will actually be the dog entrance when s/he arrives!) Anyway, whilst unloading the very heavy materials into my car, a rather tall handsome young man was passing and asked if he could help me. As you know, my pre-surgery, Body Pumped self would have said ‘Bugger off mate, I can lift these planks with my little finger’. However, my post surgery, chemo-weakened body decided against this. With a subtle flick of my long auburn locks (subtle because I was afraid my wig might fall off), I batted my rapidly disappearing lashes and said ‘That would be so kind of you….’ Mr Tall and Gorgeous started chatting and I am sure he was about to offer to come and actually lay the flooring (I said flooring Jane…) when Tess piped up from the back of the car, ‘Mum, Dad’s on the phone – he said can you get a paintbrush?’ Timing Tess. So Mr Tall and Gorgeous retreated rather forlornly – well, he may have just been keen to get to Tescos….

I went for a long walk in the woods in the afternoon as it was such a lovely day then last night a few of us got together at Helen’s for what was supposed to be a quiet drink or two. Jane came along with her karaoke machine, however, so quiet we were not! I really can’t say what happened but Jane has more reason than me to be worried about ‘YouTube’! Almost all of us proved to be potential candidates for the next series of Pop Idol, such talent in one room, and it proved to be a highly amusing evening (except for one incident which involved Jane wrestling me for the microphone with such desperation that she nearly pulled my wig off! God, some people will do ANYTHING for their 5 minutes of fame!)

Today we had friends for lunch and I did the full Sunday roast with (are you ready for this Mum?) a genuine, homemade Pav! What a ripper! Then I decided I had to mow the lawn as the sun was still shining. So as I am a bit knackered now I better go to bed! Still three more priceless days of wellbeing before the dreaded bed and bucket confinement….I will certainly be making the most of EVERY minute. Must tell you tomorrow about the bonus part to my body that will also require surgery this year…think I better move closer to the hospital; it would save so much time….Deb x
Photos to follow!

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Love Is In The Air! 
I am sick. A bad head cold which is quite miserable and keeping me confined to the house because if I get a temperature I have to go to A and E due to my white blood cell count being wiped out. There is no way I am spending any more time in that hospital than necessary so I am resting and eating loads of oranges. Even though I feel pretty gross, I am not complaining because it is no where near as bad as a chemo-induced sickness.

Next week is half term and I was due for chemo on Tuesday but after a bit of begging I managed to delay it to Thursday. At least I can spend 3 days with the kids before another close encounter with the bucket.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day so I hope you will go out and spread the luuurrrvvvveee!
I used to think Valentine ’s Day was just a global commercial attempt at getting us to part with our money (probably initiated by Hallmark) but this year I think – GO FOR IT! Go and buy those flowers or chocolate, go out to dinner, send a card (or maybe a few) and have some fun! Hug everybody you come across and justify it by saying ‘today is the day of love’! Even my daughters have bought cute little teddies and chocolates for their ‘boyfriends’ and when I asked them what they’d bought for me (well, it doesn’t have to be romantic love – any love in your life will do) they both said they needed to go to the shop tomorrow! So spoil someone and have a LOVEly day. I can’t wait to get my HUGE card and romantic treat!!!!! Will keep you posted. Deb x

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Sink or Swim? 
Hello all! I haven’t written much because I have been out being ‘normal’. Went for a few walks and met some friends and it was extra lovely to be out of my house socializing. Something fantastic has just happened in my next door neighbour’s garden. Wendy and her family are all avid swimmers and spend a lot of time at a swimming club. They have just had an endless pool built! I went for a 40 minute swim today and it was excellent. I am a bit knackered as swimming against a current means you need to keep up a consistent pace. I had lots of breaks but it was great fun and I got a real workout. Wendy, as always, has been so kind in letting me use the pool and it will be so convenient to have it there on my doorstep. I would hope to swim most days when I am feeling okay so I should be able to maintain some degree of fitness. I hate to think what this whole process is doing to my metabolism though. I spend four to five days confined to my bed, not eating a thing, then a week slowly eating more and starting to go for walks and do some other exercise, then one week eating continually and trying to fit in as much exercise as possible! And as it was such a beautiful day here we took the children for a walk in Bedgebury Pinetum this afternoon which was just beautiful.

I am coming to terms with my ‘omelette’ by avoiding mirrors. I can hide behind my wig if I go out but I have ventured out several times lately with just a bandana (a buff actually – what a great invention; to all chemo patients out there you must get some as they are soooo much more comfortable than scarves or hats). I often forget that I am a ‘cancer patient’ but many people still stare which I find most annoying. I really will have to speak to Jane to get some choice scouser retorts to throw back at the starers who almost always have a full head of glossy, thick, shiny hair!

I have a funny story that Lorna sent me that I will include here because I am too knackered to say anything even remotely funny.
This has to be read, laughed at and passed on. There is not a woman alive today who won't crack up over this!

Faye was due for a smear with the doctor later in the week. Early one morning, she received a call from the doctor's office to tell her that she had been rescheduled for that morning at 9:30 am. She had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45 am. The trip to the surgery took about 35 minutes, so Faye didn't have any time to spare.

As most women do, she liked to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time she wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So, she rushed upstairs, threw off her pyjamas, wet the facecloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave herself a quick wash in that area to make sure that was at least presentable. She threw the facecloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to her appointment.

She was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when she was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, she hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that she was in Paris or some other place a million miles away. She was a little surprised when the doctor said, 'My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?'

She didn't respond.

After the appointment, Faye heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal - some shopping, cleaning, & cooking.

After school when her 7 year old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, 'Mummy, where's my facecloth?'

Faye told her to get another one from the cupboard. She replied, 'No, I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my glitter saved inside it.'
NEVER going back to that doctor ever!!
See you later, Deb x

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