It’s been an eventful couple of months. The broken foot has healed nicely although still a bit swollen and sore – I’m making sure I keep my physio exercises going. I can start swimming again, although to be honest, I’m a little less enthusiastic about that now it’s getting colder and darker. The broken foot has now been replaced by a broken tooth and a broken toe. The tooth will have to wait until after I’ve been back to see my oncologist – NHS dentists won’t do extractions or invasive work on areas that have been damaged by radiotherapy. The toe (although colourful) is not too painful! The one benefit I’ve discovered from having peripheral neuropathy – numbness – in my feet (post chemo side effect).
The appointment with Pam (oncologist) in August was not one I was looking forward to. But a late cancellation meant I could have an hour with Kirsty (clinical psychologist) beforehand. Tumours have grown by about 30% in a few months so staying off drugs was not an option on the table. We agreed I could go back on Anastrazole – it worked keeping the cancer at bay 15 years ago with relatively few side effects. So far, so good. Some side effects but soooo much better than Tamoxifen. No guarantee it’ll work again, but as Pam said, we’ve got time to give it a go – ‘it’s not life threatening’ – and we’ll see what the next scan reveals. Contrast CT scan in November (oh joy) and back for results December 8th.
Jo’s been a busy author appearing at the York Festival of Writing, the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling, Humbermouth in Hull and Ashbourne Library (and probably others that I’ve forgotten!) Bloody Scotland was bloody brilliant. A packed ballroom at the Golden Lion Hotel and Jo did so well, much more that ‘holding her own’ on a panel with two hugely sucessful and prolific authors – a vociferous American, Alexander Sokoloff, and the lovely witty Sophie Hannah
Taking full advantage of having Guillaume at Rose Cottage, me and sister Dottie pulled in 2 days of visiting Glasgow before joining Jo in Stirling. What a fab city! Free museums, cathedral, friendly folk, cheap trains that run on time and free parking. Too much to see and too little time. Definitely going back and we’ll stay in the same excellent Kincaid House Hotel It was so nice that Dottie got to meet the team behind Jo – her editor Jade, agent Imogen, and press officer Mia. An unexpected and unplanned brucie-bonus was the chance for the 3 of us to have a rare night together at Dottie’s home, sharing an 80th birthday present of a bottle of Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial.
Autumn is the time to call in the chimney sweep – this year it was a new guy recommended by the Grimsthorpe estate, who rocked up in his van sporting Sooty and Sweep puppets strapped to the bumper. After much tut-tutting and ‘who ever did your chimney last didn’t do a good job’, he looked at the crumbling fireback …… and ‘condemned’ it. No fires until it’s replaced. Merv from the estate came to measure up, and no surprises, it’s not a standard size. Nothing at Rose Cottage is standard. But a replacement has been found and, fingers crossed, it should be fitted next week. Merv’s anticipating that ‘it won’t be a simple job’. Nothing at Rose Cottage is simple.
Then yesterday the central heating boiler packed in. It does it at least twice a year, unsurprising at it is ….. years old. How Chris the engineer manages to keep it running is a miracle.
Highs and lows of the last couple of months. Where do I start??????
The day of my friend Frederique’s arrival for a holiday was emotional. I hadn’t seen her since Tony’s funeral and was really looking forward to meeting up again. An hour before she arrived, Baldrick took me to a place under the hedge where I found my beautiful puss Meecha, dead. Meecha had struggled a lot this year with feline asthma, and I think that’s what killed her. Known affectionately by some as ‘Tripod’, she was more like a dog than a cat, coming on walks with Baldrick and Coco no matter what the weather was like. She was the speediest cat on 3 legs. I miss her so much.
A highlight of Fred’s visit was going to see ‘The School for Scandal’ at Tollethorpe Hall. Well staged, fantastic costumes in a beautiful setting. Yummy picnic in the grounds before hand with friend Johnny. Definitely booking tickets for next year to see ‘Blithe Spirit’. Anyone up for it?
I’ve got a new ‘job’ ….. in August I was appointed as a Patient Rep to the NCRI CSG for Psychosocial Oncology and Survivorship. To try and put it simply, National Cancer Research Institute is the umbrella that sits over those organisations that fund cancer research. Most of the Clinical Studies Groups focus on specific types of cancer. The one I’m on doesn’t. It has 3 workstreams: Understanding and measuring consequences of cancer and its treatment; Lifestyle and behavioural change; and Interventions to improve outcomes in people affected by cancer. I’m off to Glasgow again in November to the NCRI International Conference – using Guillaume’s as a dog/cat/cottage sitter again!
Guillaume is a highlight. Having got his degree from King’s College London in Politics Philosophy and Economics (well done that young man), he’s back again, this time to do his Masters! So down to London again and back here most weekends. A special mention has to go to sister-in-law Jan who has given her VW Polo to Guillaume to use. Generous lady; lucky Guillaume.
Whilst mentioning Jan, I can’t let the opportunity pass without welcoming an addition to the Wolfarth clan. August saw the arrival of Finn Martin, Jan and Pete’s first grandchild. Huge congratulations to parents Jo and Eoin. He is gorgeous!
As well as visiting Scotland in September, a notable stop over en-route was Chorley. Not on everyone’s list of must visit places. But notable for being the home of long time friend and wedding cake maker Karen, my god-daughter Eleanor and sister Sarah. I cannot believe how grown up Eleanor is! A beautiful young woman. And Head Girl of her school. Can’t wait for her coming to stay in 2019.
And while we’re taking about Heads of schools ……. grandson Danny is Head Boy of Derby Grammar School and grandson Alex is Sports Prefect. How marvellous is that? I acknowledge that I may be a little bit biased but what excellent choices the school has made.
Jo’s book was released in USA and Canada on September 11th under a different title ‘The Exes’ Revenge’. Brilliant reviews!
There are only a few negatives ……. Rose Cottage disappearing off the radar as far as bin collections are concerned (rants to the council and formal written complaints ongoing) …… upsetting, unkind and unjustified posts …… and of course the loss of Meecha.
There are so many people out there who continue to be brilliant at helping me in one way or another. Family and friends, Church, Grimsthorpe, fellow cancer people. Apologies that I don’t keep in contact with you all as often as I would like (I’m rubbish). Thank you! God bless.