Monday 30 September 2013

The Penny Brohn Centre

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

I have visited this lovely holistic cancer centre a couple of times now. The Penny Brohn Centre is in lovely surroundings and was recommended by the Macmillan nurse at the oncology centre that Harry attends. 
Initially, I decided to go as Harry's helper/carer but it soon became apparent that it would benefit me also because I have been living in remission from cancer and have experienced all the difficulties and horrors that diagnosis and treatments have brought to my mind and body over the last four years since my journey with this condition first started.
The charity run centre helps people to live well with their cancer while using all the medical treatments that are available alongside the complimentary methods they recommend.

They use acupuncture, dietary advice and whole foods, exercises of various descriptions, relaxation, group therapy, one to one counselling sessions and many other therapies that help people to live a good life while experiencing cancer (in whatever stage it happens to be in).

As well as meeting other people in similar circumstances, eating a very healthy lunch, joining in all the activities designed to help, there are beautiful grounds to walk in, and advice on how to boost our immune systems and a wonderful short film watching cancer cells being eaten up by our own healthy white blood cells (speeded up and looked at through a microscope) which I thought this was really inspiring. Apparently this onslaught is happening all the time in healthy bodies. I believe it can be looked up on utube somewhere.
I'm hoping to go to the centre regularly as I feel its a truly marvellous place and I consider myself lucky to live in a city within reach of it.

I was very pleased to see that my brother, Eddie Bluelights, has put in a new post. I had thought that he might never be able to blog again as he has found things very difficult since last April, when his wife passed away. It is very difficult to lose a beloved partner of 40years and his lovely creative writing brought tears to my eyes and I found it was really beautiful. I think it is an excellent way to release his feelings and I hope that he will find it very healing to open up like this. So please pop over and give him your support.

Saturday 21 September 2013

A New Week

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

It is now the beginning of a new week since I put my pet rabbits into care. I obviously miss them like mad, but life goes on and they are settling into their new surroundings, according to their new foster mum who has phoned me a few times, knowing how upset I was to part with them.
I have kept busy which I find is always the best way to get over anything sad or upsetting.

One of the mad things I did yesterday, was to queue up for nearly two hours to see the 80 Gromits en masse in what used to be a very large department store in a better part of Bristol, at the moment lying temporarily vacant.
Bristol has gone slightly mad over these brightly painted model dogs previously scattered all over the city and surrounding areas, now collected up and put in the exhibition before being auctioned off in aid of the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity.
I was very impressed by the excellent behaviour of the many pre school aged babies and toddlers who queued patiently when I was in what must have been a thousand or so people in a long snake round the local roads.  Slowly we crept to the entrance as people trickled out of the exhibition in ones and twos.

 Apparently, visitors have come to see the Gromits  not only from the EU countries but from the far east, Australia and New Zealand and many other parts of our own country. Wallace and Gromit seem to be very popular everywhere. Of course, we are very proud of the fact that they were created in Bristol by Nick Park and his team.
I thought it well worth the wait.
I'm glad that I went to the exhibition yesterday, though, because Radio Bristol are now saying the queue started very early today and there is awaiting time of 6 hours. The exhibition only lasts for a few more days and school aged children only have this weekend to see them.
I am a bit puzzled as to how people are managing with no toilets at the end of the wait. Trust me to think of something like that.

Harry is now on the drug trial and so far he seems fine. While taking this drug, he has to avoid eating anything containing oranges, grapefruit and star fruit. It is surprising just how many manufactured foods contain orange extract of some sort, so we have to be very careful to read ingredients and to check out home made cakes.
Do you all use orange juice regularly in homemade cakes?

Sunday 15 September 2013

Heartbreaking Week

Sorry that I am really down at the moment. I had thought that I wouldn't blog anymore but I guess that would be over reacting.
I eventually signed my rabbits into the refuge yesterday and all their equipment went with them.
I know that it is for the best for them, but I am going to miss them so much as they lived in our home and they were very much a part of our lives.
The last week before they were taken, was the worst bit. As the countdown started, I got more and more depressed. The actual handing over was not so difficult but now, a day later, I feel as bad as ever again.
The weather is cold and rainy. Surely there is something good just round the corner?

Harry starts his drug trial this coming week and that brings about some really worrying thoughts because, as its not been approved yet, there are some nasty, possibly dangerous and unknown side affects. He has a two in three chance of getting the drug but he might be given the placebo and that will not be good either as he is getting tired and experiencing more pain as the wretched disease progresses.
I'm sorry that this is a depressing post, though you don't have to read it or comment on it.
I am very grateful for support and your comments though.
Hoping to be more cheerful as the time progresses and I get more used to things.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Summer Incentive

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

I've continued to go Gromit hunting throughout the summer and spotted this one......

 and this one..........

and this one.........  Altogether I think I visited about 66 out of the 80 scattered about our city and surroundings, so far. (Except that ones in London.)
This helped me to visit places that I would never have thought of going to before and I think I now know Bristol a bit better than I thought I did before.
I met young people who stopped to talk but far more older people, either alone or in couples. If anyone spies another person with a Gromit map in their hand, then a conversation strikes up. "Have you seen this one?"  "Do you know how to get to such and such a place?" "I can't find this one."
This project has attracted so many people and has given me an incentive to get out and about and I really enjoyed hunting them down.
The weather was extremely warm and dry, which helped.

However, with only a week or so before the wedding, I was battling with not feeling at all well and noticed a couple of lumps in my neck.
My own GP scared me by saying, if I didn't get to Oncology as an emergency, then they would ring from the surgery and book me in.  Of course they had to cover themselves because the nature of the cancer that I'd had previously in 2009, was in the lymph.
I had to wait almost a week to get into the Oncology Clinic and between my GP and the cancer nurse that I spoke to on the phone, I was convinced that I was definitely suffering a recurrence.
I was immediately worrying about how I'd cope with a sick husband and wondered who would be able to look after my rabbits.  (Not the easiest of pets to look after.)
With this in mind, I rang up a lovely lady who runs a small rescue shelter for rabbits and who had told me she would take my bunnies in if I got sick again. So it was arranged that they could be taken in with the possibility of being rehoused after the summer holidays when she'd finished boarding out rabbits.

I was rather surprised to hear that Oncology were not unduly worried about the glands in my neck as they were symmetrical in shape and size and the Consultant thought I was obviously fighting off some illness. She gave me a thorough examination and after finding nothing to be suspicious of, told me to come back in a fortnights time.

My daughter had promised to take Harry back to the east coast with her to give me a break before the wedding. Unfortunately it was the week that I had to wait to see the Oncologist so I was neither well nor relaxed while he was away. I forced myself to Gromit hunt though, so that I wouldn't be moping in the house thinking the worst.
Anyway, Harry came back home in time for the wedding but everyone had been worried and the preparations running up to that week had been tainted by the possibility of my cancer returning.

What will I do about my rabbits? Reluctantly, I have decided to let them go to the Rescue Centre because I believe in the long run it will be for the best. They stand a better chance of getting used to the great outdoors before the winter sets in and before they get used to the central heating in our house. They will be housed most of the time in the owner's huge shed. That lady is nutty about rabbits and has been doing this work for 25 years and is totally dedicated to the cause. She vets out all applicants to see if they are suitable pet owners and she gets everyone to sign a form to promise that they will bring back the pets if it doesn't work out for them and they wouldn't be passed on to a third party who might know nothing about rabbit care.
In the meantime it is breaking my heart and the precious days left with them are slipping away fast.
It is my greatest sacrifice for a long time because I know that sooner or later, I won't be so lucky health wise and I have to think of them longterm.......