Monday, 13 June 2011

..and there was a cast of thousands......

Well, morning, everyone - notice the absence of "Good": call me picky, but I expect the middle of June to bring sunny, warm weather, not this damp, rainy, overcast autumnal weather we are having.

The good news, however, is that my infection seems to have cleared up. Hopefully this means that when we see my consultant tomorrow, we can look at setting a date for my radiotherapy. We will also be getting the pathology results from my operation - it will be good to have some certainty about what exactly I have/had and what the next stage is. I got some really helpful information from our son's friend's mum about radiotherapy for my particular kind of cancer - she is a radiographer and has also had cancer herself, so it was very good to talk to her and get her insight, both as a fellow cancer patient and as a health care professional. We now have some good information to discuss with my consultant tomorrow, about my radiotherapy. Before we see him, however, I have my weekly appointment with pain - otherwise known as the physiotherapist! She is lovely, actually, but she makes me do things that hurt - I know why, and I know it has to be done, but I am beginning to realise why some people refer to them as "physioterrorists" :-)

What have I been doing over the past few days? Well, on Friday I had a visit from two friends - although they are from different parts of my life (one I know from running and one is a work colleague) they actually know each other from having been part of the same quiz team for one of our daughter's fund-raising events last year, so they co-ordinated their visits and arrived at the same time - less exhausting for me! It was good to see them and have a bit of a gossip and catch-up, although I have to say I am a bit disappointed in the amount and quality of gossip, boys!! Please try harder next time.....

I wanted to start to share my new face with friends, so after a fairly quiet day on Saturday, yesterday was the day for meeting up with lots of people, starting with Neil's mountain-biking chums. After their weekly Sunday morning mudfest, they go for coffee in one of the many cafes we have in town. Neil and I went down to meet them, which meant I saw about 20 people in one "hit". Such a nice bunch and it felt good to do something pretty normal, just having a cup of coffee (well, strictly speaking I had a skinny chai latte with extra cinnamon, but it just takes so long to type....oh, hang on.....). Immediately after that, we went straight to my church - not to the service (the music always brings my emotions to the surface so I am not yet ready to sit through a service) but to the social event afterwards. One of our members is moving house so this was her last service as a resident of our town and she had baked a huge cake and brought along some fizzy to mark the occasion. She particularly wanted us to come along if we could so we slipped in just as the speeches were about to start. It was a great way to reintroduce myself to everyone, as it was a social event and the focus was on someone else, not me - although lots of people came to talk to me. I felt better for having done it - and it was nice to have a small glass of fizzy (luckily I had finished my anti-biotics, eh?). Just doing "normal" things helps me feel I am on the road to recovery.

So tired afterwards, though - the sheer physicality of talking tires me out so much. I think my mouth is having to work much harder to make sure I form my words correctly, because half of my mouth doesn't move - it's the weirdest thing, because my brain is telling my mouth to do what it's always done, and it feels as if my mouth is moving as normal but when I see myself (usually when we're talking on Skype to our daughter) I realise that my mouth isn't moving as normal. Anyway, I had a rest afterwards and am taking it easy today.

Early morning walk with another friend from church, who was walking her dog in the fields opposite our house. It's good to get out and do some exercise - my physio concentrates on my shoulder and face, so getting out for a walk is important to get my legs moving and, as I get stronger, I can step up the pace and get some cv benefits. I think I was over-optimistic thinking I might be back to gentle plodding already. The thought of any movement that will jar my neck and shoulder is a bit overwhelming, so I fear it may be many months before I return to plodding and then I will be like a complete beginner. But that's fine.

What does the rest of the day hold? A lot of relaxing and resting!! I might try to do some watercolour painting - Neil brought down my paint set and pad and it is waiting for me in the conservatory. I have some talking books which Sue brought round at the weekend and I might pop one of them on and just stretch out on the sofa for a couple of hours.

I'm checking out broadband, tv and phone deals - anyone want to make any recommendations? We are with Virgin Media at the moment and I think we can get a better deal elsewhere, but it's not only price but reliability and quality so I'd be interested in what other people have. From a purely aesthetic point of view, I am drawn to BT because their home hub looks so cute :-)

Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, thank you for all your support and positive thoughts. They help.



  1. I have BT home hub and it is indeed cute :-D

    You've collected some very useful friends there Ali!

    Sounds like you're doing just the right amount of relaxing and recovering and socialising. Hope tomorrow goes well x

  2. Esther British Home Stores14 June 2011 at 06:19

    I have always had bt, since broadband came to our island in 2005, because of our remoteness, any other provider has to rent the line from bt, so I thought we might as well just go bt to start with, it is probably not the cheapest, but it has been very reliable and I have to admit, their latest hub is very cute,

    I am loving this blog, I have just google streeted your town centre, so I can have a feel for the area.

  3. Definately don't go with talk talk. We have had endless problems with them and are about to change - probably to BT.
    Good to hear you are out and about but make sure you do plenty of relaxing as well (that's the ex nurse speaking!)