Back to Work


This weekend marked something of a landmark.  It was the first weekend that the Captain and I had booked in to trade at a canal event this year.  When we sent off the forms it was unclear just how much I would be able to do, given that it was still fairly close to my surgery.  However, I am pleased to report, as returns to work go, it was a triumph.

I did need to have a few nap-lets during each of the three trading days.  And it is true, I did have a minor meltdown as we came to set up for our first day.  But it felt really good to be back and doing something so normal.

We launched our Not Second Rate Raspberry & Rhubarb Jam in support of Breast Cancer Care’s Secondary Not Second Rate campaign and it went down a storm.  Even the lovely Richard Parry, CEO of the Canal & Rivers Trust, bought a jar and went away clutching his Taking Care of Your Breasts leaflet.  Two pounds from every jar we sell goes straight to Breast Cancer Care and at the end of the year, I will tot it up and announce the amount raised on our website & Facebook pages.

Finally, the Captain managed to make it into the local paper.  If you want to read more, see here.  I think I may need to remind him who’s business this is … 😉

New pills please!

new prescription

Yesterday found me once more at the Breast Clinic.  My Letrozole holiday was over and it was time to shake the sand out of the hormonal sandals and review where we were at.  Brainy Spice was as fab as ever.  The news in was that all my muscle cramps have vanished but my hips are still stiff.  It was enough of an improvement for Brainy Spice to suggest a change.  So I will be starting on Exemestane just as soon as the pharmacy has made up my prescription.  As with all these drugs, the side effects are very jolly sounding but needs must so I am hoping to be one of the lucky ones.

In other news, my relative quiet on here has been reflective of sheer busyness elsewhere.  I am recovering with great alacrity and feeling better all the time.  My newly trimmed rack is simply marvellous and I am loving the lack of shoulder and back ache!  The Captain and I are poised to take to the waters next week and will be peddling our wares at a canal near you very soon.  Expect photos of our new Breast Cancer Care jam to follow in another post.

Otherwise, I think you can take the infrequency of my posts to be very good news indeed.  Life is happening.  And it is good.

Happy Easter!

So long, 2016!


It was quite a year.  And one that I am not alone in being glad to see the back of.  So 2017 dawns, grey and rainy, and I greet it full of snot and with a hacking cough.  My plans for the new uber fit me are temporarily on hold.  But I shall return to them.

My efforts to date have seen me shed all of my chemo weight – hurrah!  The Captain has given me a fitbit for Christmas so my new obsession is going to be increasing my steps and activity levels.  I still have a fair way to go before I reach my health BMI range but I will get there.  This stupid cold is not helping.  My crappy immune system means I am picking up pretty much everything going.  I only got rid of my last cold the week before Christmas. But at least I did not succumb while going through treatment which would have been far worse.

Christmas itself was delightful.  I pretty much grinned the whole time.  To be fit and well enough to be with family and celebrate was so special.  The Captain and I have even begun to plan our boating itinerary for this year.  And more to the point, I am even beginning to believe it may actually happen!

Thank you to everyone who made 2016 bearable.  It is never going down as my favourite year, but it is definitely the year when I realised how loved I was.  And that is a precious gift, my friends.  Thank you x

Travelling in Style


We have gone boating.  We have shunned the land.  We are at one with narrowboat.  So at one that the current deluge is doing nothing to dampen our spirits.  I say ‘we’ … I am currently draped full length across our very comfortable sofa while the Captain mans the helm.  It is very English summer holiday weather: grey, drizzly, a tad chilly but obviously we are dressed in tee shirts and shorts.  On the towpath, pedestrians huddle under bridges or hurry by head down in brisk fashion.  Cyclists spray dog walkers with mud as they hurtle past.  Fishermen hunker down among the reeds with only imaginative dreams to accompany them No, really, it was THIS big!

Beyond the towpath are hedgerows packed with pink rosebay willow herb, bindweed trumpeting her flowers and creamy meadowsweet vying for space.  Honeysuckle spills over hedges.  Tall stinging nettles grow up to greet low hanging hawthorn, ragwort splashes sunshine colour next to cow parsley bobbing under raindrops.  Along the water’s edge red clover reaches down into the canal,  greater celandine peeps out of the brickwork, graceful reedmace stretches skywards.  Then carpets of yellow water lilies are paddled through by families of ducks.  A solitary heron stands sentinel.  Another narrowboat is moored, its roof lined with winter timber.

All this I see through the soft focus of my rain dappled window as I sip my rooibos earl grey from its china mug.  The woodburner squats comfortingly in the corner of the cabin.  It is not lit but still creates an illusion of warmth to the room.  Our night will be spent near a pub where we will enjoy the food and possibly a bevy or two.  And then our watery home will rock us to sleep.

You can see the appeal.

Gone Boating – Day 13

Hatton Flight BF1

I could almost have Nina Simone singing alongside me today because once again I’m feeling good!  It is true that I am more tired and I did not sleep brilliantly last night so I’m looking like I could pack for a week in the bags under my eyes.  However, since nobody is looking at them, because they are all transfixed by my baldness, I can get away with it.  The policy of loud lippy is definitely paying off.  I have had so many compliments.  I do not even care if it they are said with sympathy.  I am just happy to have them.

Today I took my naked head out for a test drive.  We had an appointment with a shrink to discuss the whereabouts of my marbles.  I suspect if we do not find them at some point, she may practise her head shrinking powers.  Which could ruin my look entirely.  It probably comes as no surprise that I have been having trouble locating my marbles.  What may be a surprise is that I have any left whatsoever.  This was my third trip to Ms Shrinker.  And I like her.  I am always slightly concerned that I may trip over her at some point and crush her entirely.  For she is tiny.  Kylie is of Amazonian stature in comparison.  Having a diagnosis of cancer is mad, so I say take all the help you can get.  Be bonkers enough to get a psychology referral.  There is no shame in it and so far, my tiny friend has proved very helpful.  She has to be good.  She liked my head.  So obviously a woman of taste and discernment.  Even if she is lacking in the height department.

Following this, the Captain and I have shunned dry land, untied the ropes and are chugging along the Curly Wyrley for a night at the pub.  It is almost as if normality has been resumed.