June has been an absolutely fabulous month. Mostly.
1st June rocked up with Jo having the ‘Debut Author’ slot on the opening day of the Derby Book Festival. She was on BBC East Midlands News and did an amazing job – unfortunately the link to the interview was only there for a day so don’t try looking for it. Although she was convinced that few people would be interested in coming to see her on Friday evening, the studio was packed! Seeing the book in print at last and Jo being a proper author signing them was a goose-bumps moment. One proud mum fit to burst. Made even more special with Uncle Mick and Aunty Mary Jakeman being there, my mum’s sole surviving sibling.
19th June was the much-anticipated Rolling Stones gig at Twickenham. Never having seen them before (I’d always been more of a Beatles fan), the opportunity to see them in the future might not be an option! Me, Ruanne and Marge were mere youngsters compared to some in the audience …… and those on stage. James Bay was the support act, a bit of a disappointment. But it must be a hard job performing whilst 55,000 people are waiting for the Stones. And the wait was well worth it. Mick Jagger’s voice is as good as ever – and so are the moves and the energy. You forget what great guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Woods are, but then they have had more than 50 years of practice to get it right. Charlie Watts has the smallest drum kit in the business and his dead-pan expression never changes. The sound of 55,000 people belting out ‘I can’t get no satisfaction’ – the last song of the night – would have lifted the roof off Twickers (if it had one). The journey back was a nightmare. Problems at Waterloo meant Twickenham station was closed. Major delays with so many people trying to get on shuttle buses or walking to other stations. Finally got home at 3.20 am. But a truly a-maz-ing night.
20th June saw Jo sharing the bill with Anton du Beke at a book event in London. She thinks she’s peaked. A-maz-ing!
June has been a month of bites, stings and ‘sharp scratches’. I shouldn’t have ignored the unmistakable high pitched whine of a mosquito in the middle of the night. In the morning I had 9 big bites …. which became infected. So a course of antibiotics prescribed. Then I was bitten by a neighbour’s Rottweiler! Normally a friendly girl. It was a nasty one, so back to the doctors for a tetanus injection. I learned something new – if you’ve had 5 tetanus jabs, you’re covered for life. My 3 monthly CT contrast scan was booked for last week. As no one could find a suitable vein to inject the contrast dye on my previous appointment, I was booked into the chemo suite to have an expert fit the canula. Hmmmm. That didn’t work; 4 nurses, 1 doctor, 2 hours and 7 failed attempts. No scan. The receptionist couldn’t reschedule my scan ( I had attended my appointment, so another referral was required!) So I was impressed to get a call the next morning with a new appointment for 4th July. Less impressed that I would go through the same palaver again. Chemo suite, various staff trying to insert a canula etc etc. Well, not exactly the same again – this time with different staff who would hopefully have more success!!!!! Preparing to ring my oncologist and have a rant, I got another call. I’d been beaten to it and Pam had agreed to a consultant being on standby should I need to have an ultrasound to guide the canula in. Bracing myself for more ‘sharp scratches’.
It’s been a while since I last ‘blogged’. Having exhausted the therapies St Barnabas had on offer, I started Tai-chi. Unfortunately, due to my numb feet, I was concentrating so much on not falling over that I wasn’t learning the moves. Frustrating. So I tried yoga. That only lasted for a couple of weeks. My back pain got worse. So I thought I’d try swimming and joined Bourne leisure centre. Unlimited access to pool, sauna, gym and classes. I had to miss a week while my mossie bites healed – I think I would have been thrown out of the pool. Now back on track and the pain is easing.
Pros and Cons – Highs and lows – Endings and Reconnections.
Getting older isn’t much fun but …..
I used my Senior Railcard for the first time this month – £26.00 to see the Stones, £16.50 to meet Joy in Birmingham for lunch. Bargain!
Senior Membership at Bourne Leisure Centre £20.65 per month. Bargain!
Since I ditched the cancer drugs and antidepressants, I’m sleeping better, have more energy and feel so much sharper and positive. Kirsty, my Clinical Psychologist, has been brill (although every time I see her I tend to end up in floods of tears!)
After 14 years, our Peer Review patient group has been closed down …… we did not fit with NHS England Patient Public Voice processes and structure. The thing we were most proud of was the ‘My Cancer Treatment’ website, developed with Macmillan funding and supported by cancer charities. It didn’t fit with NHS Choices …… and it was removed. No notice. No consultation. Me and Sian Hallewell (co-chairs of the national group) remember 2 former members – Keith Foster and Steve Brothwell. They put so much energy and passion into the website. Sadly they, like the website, are no longer with us.
I’m taking more time to re-connect with friends who I haven’t seen for ages; Karen, Catherine, Cherylyn. There are others on the to-see list! And the last couple of months have been busy for meeting and eating – Heidi, Nat, Joy, Caroline, Helen, Pete and Jan. Great company, great food.
Another blog coming soon ……. after Sticks and Stones is officially launched on July 12th