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Deb's Day -

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We Walked The Ribbon! 
We did it! We did it! We finished the Ribbon Walk! We started at 9.30 on Saturday and crossed the finish line at about 5pm! It was a very long 20 miles with many hills that we hadn’t really counted on. There were 7 of us in our team; Kerry, Lisa, Vicky, Heather, Lorna and my cousin from Australia, Louise. Neither Lorna or Louise had completed any training walks so they did amazingly well. There were a few blisters and rashes but all in all, we did very well. The most uncomfortable part was the heaviness of the backpacks as we had packed some gourmet lunches and enough chocolate to cover ALL eventualities (like getting lost in the bush for 3 weeks). Lou had eaten most of the chocolate by mid-morning though, so we were considerably lighter!

It was very exhilarating to participate in such an event and Breast Cancer Care had organised the whole day exceptionally well (although there could have been a few more porta-loos at some points!). Between us we have raised over £4,000 which is amazing…..If you haven’t already sponsored me you can still do so at http://www.justgiving.com/deborahwinchester
So please support this cause as I can personally vouch for the amazing support Breast Cancer Care give those of us who have to deal with this disease.

We may even be featured in a UK magazine as we were interviewed and had lots of photos taken – I will keep you posted. I have been trying to keep a low profile (like Kylie) but it would seem the paparazzi just seem to find me…..Sometimes you can’t escape the media attention….

I am sorry the blog has been down – a few problems with technical support south of the border. Hopefully it has been sorted.

Back to reality today and off to Maidstone soon for my 4th week of radio. Next Monday it is my LAST day of treatment. I am still deciding how to celebrate. I will definitely be booking the Ritz soon. I have decided to join the Bannatynes’ BodyPump team for the launch of the new release next Monday night and am looking forward to that! SEE YOU THERE!!!!!

Well I better go and make a coffee to wake me up (it’s decaf of course, with Rice Milk, but the placebo effect works wonders now that I have such incredible powers of visualisation!).

I am personally proud of my weary body’s efforts in walking 20 miles at this stage in my treatment, but I am more proud of my lovely friends who walked with me, and for me. Words cannot express what it meant to have those special people with me on the day. And I know so many of you wanted to be there also. A million thankyous to all of you who have helped me in so many different ways. We had to write on a pink ribbon why we were doing the Ribbon Walk which were then displayed in a huge wall of ribbons. I wrote…….’so my daughters, and their generation, can live a life free of this horrible, devastating disease. Please find a cure’. No parent could want their children to have to go through this. Any chance you get to help Breast Cancer Care or Cancer Research UK, please offer your support – financial or otherwise.

Keep adding your comments. They are so funny to read. And I know that more than one of you has been desolate when you couldn’t get on the blog – poor Maree was missing you all so much, she kept texting me! Love to you all, Deb x

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Two Roads Diverged..... 
‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I….I took the one less travelled by….’ Anyone remember the poet? It was one of my favourite poems in High School. I could make this a guessing competition as Jane so cleverly won the 'Guess Mr Bush's first name' competition but i am sure you would cheat by using the internet.Well, this road less travelled by is a bit lonely sometimes and I would prefer to be on the busy street with all of you but hopefully one day I will agree with the sentiments expressed in the last line of the poem….’I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference.’ The thing about being on this road is that there is no-one ahead of me to follow. Apart from a few obscure maps I find along the way, which all seem to contradict each other anyway, there is no clear route to follow. There is no-one on this road to guide me. I have to use my own judgement and choose the direction I take. It is all very vague and no-one can guarantee the destination. On the positive side, my road has many supporters cheering me on….and little Labrador puppies bounding along either side of me, chasing chocolate Lindt bunnies who are trying to escape (see later reference to visualisation).

Speaking of roads, the one to Maidstone is pretty familiar now. I have had 7 radio sessions and despite the boring 2-3 hour round trip every day, it is all really a walk in the park compared to the chemo. I am using Yuri’s powers of visualisation when being zapped and use my time under the machine to transport myself to a secluded sunny beach in a land where there is no disease or illness (but an abundance of organic dark chocolate and Lindt bunnies). Unfortunately I continue to wake up in Maidstone hospital with people drawing on my chest in marker pens and muttering statistics whilst aligning the green lasers with my lovely tattoos!

What an interesting series of entries on my last post – I have learnt what a Liverpool Kiss is, what Mr Bush’s first name is, that Jane’s 36 double Gs double up as a cushion and what movies and books I should be reading. Thanks guys! Never a dull moment. Looks like it is going to be a great blogger’s party some time in the New Year.Last chance to sponsor me for the 20 mile walk which is next weekend. We have a practice walk tomorrow from Battle to Rye which is about 15 miles. http://www.justgiving.com/deborahwinchester

This next bit is mostly for my family in Oz who I can’t ring at the moment because I am spending my life in cars or hospitals……
Things are all go in the Winchester house at the moment. We are re-decorating some rooms and doing bits to the garden. The children are all well. Tess is spending every available minute in her room standing on her head. She has decided she wants to win Britain’s Got Talent next year and is teaching herself to breakdance. After finding some ‘Teach Yourself Breakdancing’ videos on YouTube she has taken the step by step instructions very seriously. The first video was in Chinese so she was contorted in very odd positions until we found one in English. Jacob is now so obsessed with cars that he will even stop strangers in the street and ask them what type of car they drive – a little embarrassing at times. Ali has only 7 more weeks at primary school so is working hard on the ‘please buy me a mobile phone’ front. She set up a car wash here the other day with her friend Grace so they could raise enough money to rent a horse! Thanks to the generous Pembury boys they raised nearly 20 pounds and a bar of chocolate! See you soon, love from Deb x
PS Where is Lisa REALLY going? And who is Bob Cratchett?
PPS When are you coming over Maree?????
PPPS Off to see Sex in the City tonight and I will be wearing my groovy red shoes and pretending to be Carrie....pass me a Cosmopolitan please?

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Getting Ready To Glow! 
It has been so funny reading your daily comments on my last post that I didn’t have the heart to ruin that particular thread….but as you are asking how I am…..
I am loving the clues to Mr Bush’s name – no-one close yet but some good thoughts there Jane, I’m well impressed with your logic, had you been drinking? When Maree sets her travel dates we will set a date for the party of the year for all bloggers.

This has been a very busy week for me as I have tried to fit in everything I will not be able to do for the next four weeks due my daily trek to Maidstone. I start on Tuesday and am not really too nervous about the radiotherapy except that I am worried about the tiredness. I am still feeling tired from the chemo so don’t want to lose any more energy. Weird residual things from the chemo keep happening, like my fingernails are just about to all drop off and I am having hot flushes more frequently. The Americans call them hot flashes and I am liking that a little more. Kind of sets up an image of me roaming around town naked, except for a trench coat, feeling an impulse to flash every time my body temperature rises! A bald, peri-menopausal, naked woman flashing unsuspecting shoppers would not be that odd in this town, given all the medieval people I saw wandering around the High Street today. (It is Medieval Fair in Battle tomorrow with Maypole dancing on the green).

Once again I have found myself on a see-saw of emotions these past few days. We are re-decorating two rooms downstairs and it is all quite stressful trying to get the plasterers in on time before the carpenter does his bit, after the electrician does his bit, etc, etc. Curtains and lights are giving me a headache! I am getting frustrated that my hair is not growing back and I still can’t draw on any proper eyebrows. I thought I saw an eyelash this morning but sadly there was nothing….I am still wondering how I will actually get back to living a normal life, once this is all over, without the fear of cancer returning…..There are so many questions and very few definitive answers. More on that another day.

Friday night was the highlight of the week for me. I went to Pump!!! I crept into a class in a gym in Hailsham and tried to pretend I was just like every other normal person there. It would have worked had it not been for two things – my bandana instead of hair raised a few eyebrows, and the fact that I knew the choreography better than the instructor also raised a questions (yes, I know fruity Jeff, unusual for me to get it right!) But IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!!! It was like coming home after a long absence. He played all my favourite tracks, including Walk on Water, and I loved every single minute of it. Even when he told us that the tricep track had some press ups in it, and everybody moaned loudly, I still had a silly grin on my face (they must have thought I was completely mad). I felt on a complete high for hours afterwards. The good news was I managed to do it all, but had light weights on for the upper body tracks. It will take some time to rebuild my muscle mass I think and I am going to have to go very slowly so I don’t develop lymphoedema in my left arm. BUT I will continue to swim and work on my upper body steadily so as not to cause any problems. I am hoping I can continue to exercise during radio. Our Ribbon Walk team is still in training – only three weeks now till we do our 20 mile sponsored walk. Thank you so much to all of you who have been so generous in your donations. If you would like to contribute you can sponsor me on my ‘Just Giving’ page at………. http://www.justgiving.com/deborahwinchester
See you soon, Deb x
PS Maree, I will send you some mangetout when it is ready!
PPS The prize for the best explantation as to WHY these Pommie men take off their shirts when the sun shines goes to .....Mike, for a very clever scientific explanation which is entirely plausible...closely contested by Jo and Deb!

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