About this Blog

This blog started as an online diary and place for me to rant about annoyances in my family.

However since July it has become a place for me to catalogue and express my views and opinions on the treatment I have recieved following the diagnosis of a potentially cancerous tumor in my bowel.

On 3rd August 2011 I was told that it was cancerous. In April 2012 I was given the all clear.

October 15th 2013 I was diagnosed with peritoneal disease and liver metastases. The cancer was back and this time it is inoperable.

It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.

It is NOT about individuals or the nursing profession. It is about some of the inadequacies in the system and the way the NHS is failing some people.

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Sunday, 29 July 2012

How to feel completely normal

Its been said on here before and I will say it again, but last summer was pretty crap for me. In fact this time last year, although I had had a large amount of my colon removed and felt pretty rubbish I still didn't know what was wrong with me, or the fact that the ordeal was only just beginning.

Fast forward a year and I have a guaranteed way to make you feel normal again. In fact, scrub that, not even normal, but almost super human. 

So do you wanna know what it is....

You do, don't you...

Shh, it's a secret.

OK then here it is, are you ready, there's a special recipe

Take 10 scout aged children - boys and girls, both are equally valid and as much fun as each other, 
a selection of adults, some of whom will be there all week and some who won't,
2 toddlers,
An immense amout of food,
some tents
and mix together on a sunny campsite just north of Devils Dyke

Yep, it was Scout Camp time of year and I had the honour of being asked to cater for summer camp this year and I accepted with a little bit of trepidation and a lot of inventiveness.

The menu was varied and included such delights as chicken, rosemary and tomato parcels, sausage casserole, tomato and chorizo pasta hotpot. As well as much maligned deserts - Fruit Flan, Dream topping and one of my personal favourites Angel delight.

The highlight of the catering has to be something I never thought you could cook on an open fire... Pizza. The children made the dough from scratch, then cooked it over the embers, before topping it and returning it to the heat. They were a little overcooked on the bottom, but honestly it was so much fun. This was followed by a 'guiding' classic chocolate & marshmallow bananas and chocolate oranges.
Pizza dough cooking on the BBQ
Chocolate & Marshmallow Bananas and Chocolate Oranges

As a given on any scout camp there were the activities as well. We, and when I say we, I mean, me, Isaac and Imogen and the scouts went hiking down Devils Dyke, Caving, and or course there was the obligatory rope swing.
After caving
After Caving

 Playing with the rope swing

A well deserved drink while walking down Devils Dyke

I have to say a massive thank you to the 4th Worth Scouts who came on Summer Camp, yeah you teased me about being a Guide Leader, but you ate everything I told you to cook & more importantly you looked after my children wonderfully. I was nervous about leaving you with them & them with you but the two of you who took Isaac on the treasure hunt know who you are. The rest of you made them feel so at home, & Isaac has already asked
'How many minutes til the next Scout Camp, mummy?'

Roll on WS 2013

Friday, 20 July 2012

Cancer, one year on

Ok, so not strictly one year on as I didn't get the final diagnosis til 3rd August.
But never the less this last week has been really hard for me. I have been coming to terms with the fact that this time last year we knew there was something wrong but not what. In the last year I have undergone 8 hellish cycles of chemotherapy, been told that potentially I might not be able to have any more children and have lived with the very, very real fear that this might come back. 

It is certainly easy to say think positive but I defy even the most positive of people to not have their down days. This week has been a down week. 

There have been some lovely memories made this week. The olympic torch arrived in Crawley and we headed down to see that. A friend actually got to carry the torch in East Grinstead and Tony managed to get his hands on it too. It has also been Isaac's last week at pre school. 

Now that is quite significant for me. In my downest moments last summer I occasionally thought that I wouldn't get to see him start pre school, let alone graduate. But I did, I fought the cancer and saw my brave little boy graduate from pre school, and now we have the next big adventure, Infant School. He is so excited about the new challenges and adventures ahead and so am I. I am entering the world of lost jumpers, reading books, homework and lunch boxes. On top of all of that I am so proud of the way that he has coped over the last year. I don't know if the children understood how significantly ill mummy was, but I do know that last summer was probably a bit of a let down for them.

So this year we are going to have the summer of our lives. 

Tomorrow we are off to Scout Camp for a week, then there will be at least one trip on the Bluebell Railway, the Tulleys Farm Maize Maze, hopefully some picnics with some very good friends who have supported me massively over the last year. Then there are 2 massively significant events. 

Beautiful days Number 10. Last year it was all I kept asking my surgeon 'Can I go, Can I go?' So we went, it was hard work but I felt normal. This year will be awesome. I am planning heart bunting, heart t shirts and a fab menu.

Then there is Jo's Jump for Beating Bowel Cancer. If you haven't sponsored her yet, I urge you too. I will be there, albeit on the ground cheering, taking photos and generally being there for her as she has been there for me over the last year.

Beating Bowel Cancer have been a huge support to me and continue to support me even now and every penny raised goes towards raising awareness of this disease.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Baking wednesday

To counteract the miserable weather this afternoon we dusted of the spoons and bowls and came out with these. (Isaac's are the round ones, Imogen got more adventurous)

The biscuit recipe is great, no refrigerating, not sticky and like playdough. Its on my pinterest cakes board do take a look.

I also took advantage of a bargain in coop earlier and bought some very cheap bananas which are currently being baked into a gorgeous smelling banana cake.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Technology - Bonus or hindrance

Welcome all to more of my nonsensical ramblings.

This weekend has been pretty epic.

We have had our first camping trip of the year. A lovely couple of nights in the tent about 5 minutes from home at the Scout Hut. Yep we camped in Crawley at the scout hut. 
It might seem silly to camp so close to home but just getting away from home for a couple of nights was lovely. I was going to put getting away from technology but that wouldn't be true.

The scout hut has a wifi connection. I have an iPad and 2 toddlers can you guess what happened. 

BBC iPlayer has been a bit of a babysitter. 

Now, just to make things clear, the children did not sit in front of the iPad watching cbeebies all day. They spent a lot of time running around and causing havoc but really when you need 5 minutes to try and pack a picnic or make their breakfast then being able to stick them in front of something you know can entertain them is a godsend. It also helps come bedtime. 

It's July, which means that it doesn't get dark til about 10.30. Try explaining to the children that it is sleepy time despite the fact that they can hear the other children running about and, in Isaac's words 'I can't sleep until the moon is up mummy'

So you stick on a couple of episodes of Octonauts, or Mike The Knight, read them a couple of stories and bargain insanely and finally they snuggle down in their sleeping bags and eventually after much delaying they fall asleep.

Then you have to rescue them from between the two airbeds or the airbed and the side of the tent. Then you have to be as quiet as is possible when you leave the tent and go and have adult conversation. Repeat as quiet as possible when you come to bed. 

I digress. The main reason I took my iPad was to watch the Andy Murray match on Saturday night & to entertain the children when they woke up at stupid'o'clock in the morning. 

Andy Murray YES
Children awake at stupid'o'clock NO

Yep that's right the children slept like logs and both mornings we woke them because we had to get up to go to the toilet not them!!

So was technology a bonus or a hindrance?

Well actually a bit of both. It makes life easier especially when packing the tent away to be able to keep them out of harms way, but did we need it?



Would I take it next time we go camping. Absolutely