Sticks and stones and broken bones……..



July has been both an exciting and painful month.

Thursday 12th …..  Jo’s book launch at Waterstones.  It went off without a hitch.  Loads of lovely people turned up – Jo’s agent, editor and publicist ….. old uni girls …. friends and family.  Alex and Danny were charming,  doing a fab job handing round nibbles (in between playing in the Harry Potter cupboard under the stairs).  A HUGE ‘thank you’ to everyone who made the evening so special.  I almost didn’t make it.  Ready to head off to Derby, I fell downstairs.  And before you ask, no, I hadn’t been drinking.  High on excitement and anticipation mixed with peripheral neuropathy (thanks chemo).  There was no way I was going to A & E and risk not making it to the launch.  As luck would have it, I’d arranged to go to the launch with a friend who picked me up, bundled me in his car and got me to the launch and home again.  Thank you, Johnny Martin!  Painkillers, Prossecco, Arnica and a comfy chair meant I could sit back and enjoy the celebrations.  And I had to try the red wine too….. 01566751dd3bd1f3ff9293640841412808d149b0ba

Friday the 13th ….. I woke up with a swollen, painful foot (I’ll spare you the photos) and just knew I had to get to hospital.  Five stars awarded to Stamford Minor Injuries unit and my taxi driver, Helen Martin.  An hour and a quarter after arrival, I was on my way back home with a diagnosis of a fractured 5th metatarsal and fitted with a cumbersome big black boot.  But whoever ordered the new wheelchairs deserves the sack!  Even NHS staff find them difficult to push …. and the only way to ‘drive’ them is backwards!

My movements have been severely curtailed.  What a buggerance.  A big benefit of living at Rose Cottage is that the dogs can walk themselves.  The downside is no transport links, so friends are vitally important.  Big thanks to Gill, Ru, Caroline and Terri for helping with shopping, trips to the hospital, ferrying to Grimsthorpe Castle and Church.

July’s highs and lows.

Obviously, Jo’s book charts at Number One.  Following the launch, ‘Sticks and Stones’ has been reviewed in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, Take a Break ….. How marvellous is that!  Looking out for the article in Derbyshire Life.

At Number Two, it’s the Paul Simon ‘Homeward Bound-Farewell Tour’ in Manchester.  Both me and Ru thought it was even better than The Stones gig last month.  The final encore with Paul standing alone in the spotlight with his guitar, singing ‘Sound of Silence’ and ‘Homeward Bound’ made hairs stand up on the back of the neck.

Number Three equals good food and good friends. The support of friends ….. as well as those already mentioned – Dave and Jenny, Lucille and Andrew (all food connected!)  The Six Bells deserves a link and mention for excellent food and service.  And catching up with Stephan, an old lodger from my days with Roll-Royce, who appeared with Dutch gifts of chocolate and waffles was special. Finally, big thanks to Wai Lup Wong and members of the Cancer Clinical Imaging CRG for the beautiful flowers and chocolates.


Fitting in somewhere between highs and lows is Mary (Maz) Mazonowicz’s funeral.  Tony’s sister.  Once again it made us think about the Wolfarth family meeting up for something other than a funeral!  Great to celebrate the ‘nutter’ that Mary was, question her ability to keep a secret (a little worrying for work colleagues at GCHQ), and sob our socks off whilst attempting to sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

And the lows.

I guess Number One has to be the latest CT scan results. I’ve enjoyed 8 months of being cancer drug free and felt so well.  Unfortunately, the tumours in my shoulder are growing.  So discussions on options will be had late August.  Poo.  But on the positive side, no new metastases.

Number Two is the fractured foot. Aside from the discomfort: being on your own, unable to do normal stuff, and living in an isolated cottage is not easy!  Hoping that after my Fracture Clinic appointment on Friday I’ll be able to drive again.  Fingers crossed.