Tuesday, 30 April 2013

My week

Soooooooooooo a week has past since my last post  ...... not alot has happened but here's a summary.

Yes I took all the nagging on board and accepted that I was a 'silly sod', 'prat' 'stupid' etc etc and took it easy.

As promised I took a back seat during cheesemaking on Wednesday, staying in bed whilst OH cleaned, washed and sterilised everything before swanning downstairs to add culture and rennet (so we didn't end up with anymore fuckwit cheese!) I did a bit of stirring when required and some of the washing up. Despite making less cheese than normal and not doing much to help I was pretty tired at the end of it.

On Thursday one of my lovely friends came over for lunch as well as bearing gifts, and apart from preparing a few cheeses for OH to take to the weekend markets I had a lovely relaxing day.

I kept away from the markets on Friday and Saturday but did venture out to Waitrose but (before you all shout) I asked for someone to pack the shopping into the car so I didn't have to lift anything! That little trip did tire me out so I didn't do much else.
As instructed on Saturday I stayed in bed but was then rudely awakened at 8.20 by OH phoning ...... when I phoned him back to complain he said I should have ignored it ........... for goodness sake the man's mad!!!

Sunday was a nice lazy day with the papers, a drink down the pub and bumping into some old friends  and a delicious lunch cooked by OH. The only dampner was having a big bust up with my mother on the phone but it was going to happen sooner or later so at least its now happened.... Onwards and upwards!!!

Now this is the bit where you're all going to shout and throw things but ............ I went milk recording yesterday afternoon and this morning! There........ I've said it, I went to work! In my defence I did phone the farmer and say that I thought the stretching would be too much for me and that perhaps we could reschedule but his wife offered to do the stretching bits which meant that I didn't have to do anything physical. I'm glad I did it ... it was good to get out and  I felt quite tired last night but I slept really well for the first time in 5 days!

We had a friend over for lunch today and OH cooked a lovely meal ..... I could get into this friends over for lunch thing.  It used to be quite a regular occurence for us many years ago but we all seem to be so busy these days.
Although I would have loved to have done some gardening this afternoon I didn't but instead supervised OH who planted some broad beans and mangetout.

So as you can see I have done as I'm told this week!

Although its Wednesday tomorrow there's no cheesemaking as its results day so we're back off to RD&E!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Post Op update

Today I am feeling crap ..........

Yes I know its my own fault and I can hear some of you saying 'told you so' but I had to find out for myself  ..... its me remember!

I don't think the anti-imflammary painkillers have helped either. For someone who always has regular bowel movements, its a bit of a shock and uncomfortable to be constipated so suddenly. Not only that but developing a mouth full of ulcers and an infection in the ladies department (menswear is on the second floor ....ha ha ) hasn't helped. After reading the long list of side effects on the pills I decided I didn't want to develop anything else so stopped taking them. BUT (before you all yell at me) will start again if need be!

Hoorah .... in the early hours I had an uncomfortable call of nature and then I was back to normal this morning....... just need to get rid of the other things now!

I was forbidden by OH to do anything on Saturday which drove me nuts ..... having to tell him what to do and then watch him do it was torture. It was lovely to escape to the neighbours for a cup of tea!

On Sunday I felt fine when I got up apart from being constipated so went with OH to Totnes Good Food Market, the plan was that I'd sit down take it easy and relieve customers of their money ..... in reality I took on my usual role of serving customers. (standing the whole time)  Although it wasn't very busy, it was very cold and draughty in our spot and so I got cold and tired.

Yesterday I sort of pottered about and was pleased to be able to wash my hair myself ...... no big deal you may think but we don't have mod cons here - its a case of leaning over the bath with a jug ... lifting a litre of water at a time and pouring over my head was easy ... no pain or discomfort. We popped out for a drink and snackette at lunchtime, followed by a bit more pottering and a friend popping in for a cup of tea!

This morning I felt fine when I got up and then within an hour went down hill. It was nice to have a friend drop by and have a chat and cup of tea but I've just slobbed around on the sofa all day since then.

Before you ask .... yes I'm doing my exercises but they take all of 2 minutes 4 times a day. Tomorrow I can add some more to the routine ..... yay!!!!

I have no pain in my boob or underarm, although if I touch the wound under my arm it feels a little sore. Earlier both op sites were itchy so I think that must be the healing process doing its stuff .... I hope so!

Tomorrow is cheesemaking day and we are just having half the usual amount of milk to see how we get on as I can't do any lifting and don't know how well I will be able to stir......... I will definately be doing as I'm told ........

I promise!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

No more glamour modelling then!

When I was discharged from hospital I was given a list of instructions of what not to do including do not bath for 24 hours.

After having been in the hospital for 23 hours I had got hot and sweaty waiting for things to happen, the fetching white stockings made me very hot and after the op I still had blood on my boob from where the wire had been put in and no dressing put on.

I really would have liked to have washed when I got home but obviously I had to abide by the rules.

As advised I'd also kept my bra on .....in bed as well.

The thought of having a bath last night was lovely but I was also going to have to take my bra off and look at my boob. I wasn't sure whether I was ready to or wanted to...... not sure what it was going to look like. I'd seen my underarm which  is just covered in a waterproof dressing with blood underneath but my boob????

Well I took my bra off and ........... well I think my glamour modelling days are over !!!!!

My poor boob has taken a battering! I couldn't bring my self to look too closely and of course being blind as a bat without contacts I couldn't see too much either. Just as well me thinks!

Lovely to have a bath though.

....... and then I put a bra on again.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Operation Day

So the waiting is over and I've had the operation to remove the bastard cancer!

We got up at 5am yesterday and all I was allowed was a cup of black tea .... yuk!
Then as instructed I had a bath whilst OH phoned the ward to check that I was still expected. Thank goodness they said yes!
We arrived in plenty of time and OH's lack of lane discipline in Exeter didn't freak me out too much. There were plenty of spaces to park but it cost £8 ..... 8 quid!!

After finding the ward .....( you need a satnav to find your way around RD&E its huge) the start of several long waits began. I was the first of 10 ladies to be called in but then they all got seen to before me .... at least the anaesthetist came to talk to me as I was begining to feel left out. He said I was 3rd on the list so the op would be around 11am.


The nurse then got to me and went through the admissions procedure including 'are you still having periods?' 'Yes' 'well I really need to do a pregnancy test for you' 'No I'm really not pregnant' 'But I need to do a test as you're under 53' 'No I can assure you I'm not preganant' 'how do you know?' .... and it went on .... it would probably have been easier to have agreed to the test but I'M NOT PREGNANT!
So I signed to that effect.

She then said that as I was on the afternoon list I could go and wait with OH. eeerrrr I thought I was 3rd on the list? oh well perhaps it had changed.

Then my saviour, the cancer nurse came in and as we chatted in front of the day care nurse she said ... not long to wait you're 3rd on this morning. No said the day care nurse she's on this afternoons list

Turns out there were 2 lists ...... suddenly my preparation shifted up a gear!

Gown on, some rather fetching white stockings and then my dressing gown and bright pink slippers.

The registrar was summoned to do the consent form and draw an arrow on me!

Then I had to go to Nuclear (walking through the hospital in my fashionable get up!!) and have radiation stuff injected into my boob ..... bloody hell it hurt!
Then they took some scans and drew on my boob.

Next stop was Breast Cancer care where I had ultrasound scan to locate the lump and have a wire inserted so the surgeon knew where the bastard cancer was.

As I was next on the list and the theatre was next door they kept me in the department instead of sending me back to the ward.

The wait then began......................

The radiographer was brilliant and made several phone calls to find out what was happening. Eventually two and half hours later I went to theatre.

My monthly disposable contact lenses became daily disposables as my case and solution were still on the ward so then everything and everyone was a complete blurr. I could just make out the clock at 1.20pm before the anaethetist did his thing and I felt like I'd drunk too much....................

I was then waking up in recovery. I have no idea how long I was asleep for but it was definately the best kip in ages! My underarm felt very painful so I was given some instant pain relief.

Back on the ward I had tea and toast .... one of the best meals ever after nothing for 21 hours!

Then blood pressure tests etc ... a pee which as promised was blue!!! and then allowed to get dressed and sit with OH for 2 hours. Finally at 6pm I was discharged.

For 8 quid I thought that the car might have been valeted but sadly it still looked rustic! The drive home was a dream and OH's lane discipline was exemplary .... must have been the drugs!

Phone calls made and then supper made by OH as instructions from the hospital were no cooking, no alcohol ... I think my face was a picture!! no signing important documents, no making important decisions, no bathing, no driving etc etc

I didn't sleep well but at least it wasn't because of bad dreams .... just too much sleep on the operating table!!

I can't thank the staff at RD&E enough for the fab treatment I received, they were all fantastic and their customer service is second to none!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Nearly there.....

Less than 34 hours to go .................. not that I'm counting, well, not much anyway!

Had another crap nights sleep last night with odd dreams and waking up frequently so looking forward to having a good kip on Friday during the op!

This morning I started to feel twitchy but before I could get too worked up OH put rennet into the wrong batch of cheese so after a lot of swearing I suddenly had to focus and try and rectify the situation and stop him from dumping it ............. so we now have a cheese aptly labelled 'fuckwit blue' only time will tell if its turned out ok!!!!

The rest of cheesemaking was pretty full on so no time to dwell and then before supper I had to get everything ready for milk recording tomorrow morning so no time to dwell.

I have been overwhelmed again by all the messages of  love and support  from so many lovely people and all the positive vibes being sent my way is amazing. Thank you everyone I really appreciate it xxx
Hopefully this bastard cancer will get the message!

Roll on Friday .........

Monday, 15 April 2013


The nerves started the moment I woke up this morning. It didn't help that it was 5am either but I'd had another night of odd dreams and when I dream I feel as if I haven't slept at all and always wake up early ....... and then feel crap! I dozed for a bit but everytime I came too the nerves were there.

Just as well that Tilly was play barking and wanting to be let out of the barn

Over tea in bed OH and I discussed what we were both planning to do today .......

Then suddenly the realisation that after Friday I have no idea what I will be able to do or even know how I will feel is  becoming very real.

Shit I need to clean the cheeses for Totnes Good Food on Sunday, normally a job for Saturday

Oh god the house badly needs cleaning, always low on my list of prorities but now worrying me as it seems Miss Havisham has been in residence for years

Then there's the veg plots ... bugger ... the veg plots, left to nature last year due to the weather and now completely covered in weeds.

What about the seedlings that are still in the seed trays desperately needing to be pricked out ...

shit shit shit

No time to get nervous then??

Wrong ...... the nerves came back at breakfast.

Thank goodness for BBC Radio Devon then .....

When the phone rang just before 10am the last person I expected to be speaking  to was a journalist from local radio, but I was and I was asked to talk to a presenter about being positive whist suffering from an illness.

Blimey thats one way to get rid of nerves!

I had to pop out for an hour and then did the chat when I got back ........that was the morning gone.

Getting on with other stuff and listening to Radio Devon proved to be great therapy this afternoon along with  pricking out the seedlings and then ..........

over the last 6 hours I've had loads of messages of support via text, e-mail, twitter and FB so definately there's been no time to entertain nerves!!


Thursday, 11 April 2013

This and that

Is it really a week since I last blogged?? How time flies!

Actually I did write a post on Friday but then decided against publishing it .... for the time being anyway. I felt alot better for writing it and getting things off my chest though.

I haven't had any more lapses of concentration thank goodness, but I am still getting annoyed at silly things which in turn is making me annoyed at being annoyed aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrggggggg.

Not sleeping well is this weeks problem....... having odd dreams and waking up almost every hour is the norm at the moment. OH is having bad dreams too and even woke himself up the other night as he was gouging his back with his nails. So we're both pretty knackered.

However (yes I know ... never start a sentence with however!!) we are still getting so much love and support from friends old and new, fellow traders, twitter friends, facebook friends and even customers which is really getting us through this. Thank you!

On the food front we are on now eating oily fish 4 times a week, the brown rice has  been opened and after I'd had it three times and cooked basmati rice for OH instead he has now joined me in the brown rice revolution!!! 

I wasn't sure  exactly what a portion of fruit and veg consisted of ...... well I knew the basics, an apple, orange or pear was one portion but melon, mango or grapes which I often have for breakfast I wasn't sure about. Then how much purple sprouting or kale makes a portion.
After looking it up I found that before this bastard cancer I was more times than not eating my 5 a day. So its been quite easy to do the 9 a day except on market days and early milk recording days ...... fruit makes me want to wee every two minutes!!!!

The surprising thing was that more than one portion of chickpeas, lentils, pulses etc doesn't count so OH is overjoyed that we're not eating chickpeas morning noon and night!!

Anyway only a week to go until the op.......................

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Concentration lapses

Today I've had terrible lapses of concentration ...........

I'm not conciously thinking of this bloody cancer but I think it must be hovering somewhere in the back of my mind.

Not only that but the simplest thing has got me annoyed which hasn't been too pleasant for OH.

I couldn't even cope with OH asking me a question whilst I was doing something else .....
normally I'm brilliant at multi tasking!!!

I love making cheese and Thursday is always part 2 of cheesemaking (apart from the disruption of hospital appointments) but today I forgot to switch on one of my little vats, then I couldn't remember if I'd put starter in both of the Forda Ash, and then once they were in the press I discovered later that I'd not put the pressure on . In turn this got me annoyed. (on the flip side I could have a new cheese!!)

The post as usual didn't arrive until 3pm with a first class letter from RD&E that took 2 days (lazy postman didn't bother to deliver yesterday)   but brought confirmation of my operation date along with information about going into hospital. Oh, and an appointment for a pre assessment ...... On Wednesday next week

Noooooooooo thats cheesemaking day.

Shit! didn't I have that done last week?

They called it a pre op then and it was done to save me treking all the way back before the op.

I don't know why but I got completely stressed out about it. After I'd given myself a good talking to I phoned the appropriate person but had to leave a voice mail message........ still waiting for the call back.

OH had popped out shopping whilst this was happening ........ I know I was being good but thank goodness he came back with wine!!

I think the penny is finally beginning to drop .... I've got breast cancer and I've got to go and have an operation in hospital.


Monday, 1 April 2013

Foods to fight breast cancer

I like to think that I eat healthly and after being diagnosed with this bastard cancer I googled 'foods to fight breast cancer' . The same ones kept coming up ................ so how did I do???

Broccoli - I hate the awful calabrese heads that are commonly sold as broccoli and served in every pub/restaurant all year round but adore purple sprouting ......... tick

In the same group sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. I hate sprouts, always have done, as a child I was only exempt from eating them on Christmas day!!......cross tick tick
Tomatoes -   until recently I only ate these in season but as we love greek/turkish salad with our feta I've been buying foreign ones ..... tick
Yellow veg - peppers, melon, squash ..... tick tick tick
winter squash, carrots .... tick tick
Sweet potato - I just don't get on with this .... cross
 Fruit especially blueberries .... tick
Spinach, kale, swiss chard ..... tick tick tick
Brown rice, well its in the cupboard ..... cross
Bulgar wheat ... tick
Wholegrains ..... tick
Oily fish, for many years I rarely ate meat, prefering fish but to be honest these days we don't see a fishmonger very often so fish is a once in a while meal. cross/tick ??
Beans and lentils, as OH will testify I adore chickpeas so they appear at least three times a week !!!!! lentil salad and soup is another regular!!!....... TICK
Mushrooms ... tick
Nuts, flax seeds, green tea, turmeric - I love nuts but rarely buy them because they get eaten too quickly and are calorific! never tried flax seeds or green tea and cook with turmeric but around once  a month ........ probably a total of one tick!

Looks like I'm doing well........right?


I should be eating 9+ portions of fruit and veg a day and 2-3 portions of oily fish a week plus more   wholegrains to inrease my fibre intake.

In the last week I have started to make changes - blueberries for breakfast, makerel and salmon, four times, purple sprouting every suppertime and beans/lentils everyday which has made for a very windy household!!!!

The only spanner in the works was 3 markets on the trot this weekend so along with hospital visits, cheesemaking and preparing for the markets my inner domestic goddess failed ....

No healthy meals prepared then!

Infact downright unhealthy ........

Tomorrow is another day!