Week of 24 April

It’s been a week of many high points. Non-health and non-cake was seeing Natalie and Ian from Strictly in their fab show at the Corn Exchange.  It was Mum’s birthday present and we thoroughly enjoyed it!  They have so much enthusiasm and its great that they come down into the audience.

Then the non-cake highlights include a free consultation with Patricia Peat from Cancer Options, courtesy of Yes to Life.  I have a lot of really useful information including new supplements, new therapies and new drugs.  Dr Jackson, who we saw this week too for a review, wasn’t so sure about the use of their listed drugs as they ”weren’t mainstream oncology”.  Like Mr Cecil, Dr Jackson can’t advise on the next stage – (surgery that won’t cure me or no surgery but chemo later).  Plenty to still think on…..

Jeremy and I did another of the white horse walks although the Marlborough horse is more of a foal!  It was a lovely walk through the green, purple and yellow Wiltshire landscape with  a coffee stop at the Food Gallery and a lunch stop at St Peter’s church café.  In fact I had reiki, reflexology and 3 yoga sessions this week.  No wonder I feel so good…

So turning to cake, Jeremy and I shared a chocolate tart for dessert at the Blue Café – he’s looking a little bashful as the hospital restaurant was busy…  Then there was the scrummy Black Forest cake made by Lucy’s Mum at the Mug and Brew…And the Matcha  (Japanese Green Tea) cupcake – so that makes it a  detoxing cake:) – made by Debbie at the Pineapple Palace.  You’ll see some other cups and cakes in the photo belonging to the Supper Club ladies who do coffee mornings too…


I read Lynda Bellingham’s book: There’s Something I’ve Been Dying to Tell You.  She had bowel cancer that had spread too but I must say she had a far worse time of it than I had and am having now.  Long may it continue….


Week of 17 April

This week is about disappearances!  Our new chimney  was finally completed (the bricks were spawling onto our neighbour’s drive).   Mick the Brick’s noisiest days were the ones I was in hospital.  Lucky me.  Not so lucky for Jeremy as he had to deal with it all. On the first day, M the B’s ‘mate’ disappeared after 30 minutes never to return – didn’t like the ladder – and when he found a new ‘mate’, he didn’t turn up on his second day!    Don’t they want to get paid?

I can happily report that the giant bagel left by the laparoscopy had deflated (another disappearance).  I can’t believe 2 minute incisions create such discomfort – they must have had a good rummage around!  One incision is in the belly button and one 5 cm below – on the zip line!  I can wear jeans now and, great, the old muffin top has disappeared too!  Onto nicer things: cake.  I met with Penny this week and we went to Mochachoc for a catchup sharing holiday tales.  We had one of Silvana’s Uruguayan treats – little cinnamon tartlets covered with white icing which disappeared (haha) down the hatch very quickly..

Also this week, whilst shopping, I popped into Angelina’s and had a rather nice vanilla and raspberry chocolate brownie cake.  Never had anything like it before. Two cakes in one. Fab!

Well there was more tea and cake (in aid of the Royal Marsden) at the Dunsborough House Tulip Festival.  I’ve had an entry carried forward in my diary for 2 years to go to this annual event and it was worth the wait.  Tulips are my favourite flower and to see so many varieties and colours in the tulip meadow was really uplifting.

This is non cake but I met with Alan for a second hypnotherapy session. The problems he has helped people with are astounding – just by going back in the unconscious mind to the cause of the issue and making corrections.    It’s fascinating. For me, we are following Simonton’s method of  psychoneuroimmunology!  We are using visualisation on the unconscious mind to change the chemistry of the cancer cells so the immune system can identify them and destroy them.  Another disappearance!  And one we want to happen!  Only I have to wait for the results of the next CT scan to see if it works for me!

Do you know, it was a year ago this week that we met with Mr Cecil to hear him dismiss  surgery due to the amount and spread of the cancer.  We can remember it like it was yesterday….

Week of 10 April

Happy Easter! This was a momentous week.  The hope and new beginnings we speak of at Easter seem to me to be a portent of good things to come. Mr Cecil would only have agreed to the laparoscopy if he felt that surgery was a possibility.  And that procedure now confirms it is.  So 2 days in hospital gives me a taste of what to expect when I have 2-3 weeks in hospital later on.  The food, when I was allowed to eat it, was good.  The little ensuite room very cosy and the staff lovely.  Lying in bed the view from the window was of the sky.  Did you notice how many crossing plane vapour trails there were on the 11th?  When we left the house at 6.15am there was a giant, billowy X in the sky which followed us to Basingstoke.  It didn’t disappear and I saw more that day out of my hospital window as I twiddled my thumbs.  Never noticed perfect crosses before; it felt like someone was sending their love….

After 2 days indoors I became stir crazy.  So on day 3, tanked up with paracetamol, Jeremy and I went to the Pineapple Palace for coffee and cake.  The parking there meant it is only a short distance for me to shuffle from the car to the café.  I was told I would be sore but hadn’t expected so much inflammation in the abdomen.  Dresses and skirts are the most comfy to wear and luckily I have some spongy shoes that when lumbering along absorb most of the jarring from hard ground.  Here’s me celebrating with Debbie’s carrot cake with lime topping which was delicious. Jeremy had a flapjack.

I have created 2 new pages: Favourite Food and Drink (very little is plant based, I add:) and Hypnotherapy under Wellbeing, Complementary Therapies.

Have you noticed I used the exclamation mark only once in this week’s post?  Jeremy said I should rein in the use of it. I’m using it too often he says.  So I’ve been re-training my muscle memory not to do ‘shift 1’!! Oops

Home Again

So very nice to be back home!  Thanks for your good wishes. I had a 10 hour wait which was very unfortunate as it meant I had arrived at hospital 7am having fasted.  But at 9.30 I was permitted a slice of toast and coffee. However,  by 4pm when the registrar and anaesthetist came to see me in my little room I was famished, weepy and wobbly.  Jeremy wasn’t permitted to stay so I had been on my own.  TV, radio and a book hadn’t helped calm my mind.  Mr Cecil did only the laparoscopy in the end – he decided he wouldn’t be able to remove the ovaries and all the cancerous tissue surrounding them.  The major surgery (earmarked for end May) would do that.  But on a positive he had a good look around – I was ‘out’ for 2.5 hours!  He found nothing that would prevent his team doing major surgery.  Naturally I’m rather sore and not venturing very far….

Week of 3 April

Had a really varied week this week with 2 visits to Basingstoke Hospital and yes 2 visits to the Blue Café – to support the Ark Cancer charity of course! The chef had been very busy and the display of cakes looked super under their gleaming domes.  The fudge cake was really fudgy and just hit the spot after having completed my pre-op assessments – which I passed, I add.  The second visit was for the blood tests ahead of surgery next week.  But we won’t dwell on that.

Much nicer was the visit with Helen to Kensington Palace where we lunched in the Orangery amongst a lot of people having their afternoon tea!.  The guinea fowl was very tasty and lunch set us up for the tour around the Palace which culminated in the Diana’s dresses exhibition.  There was a queue but the numbers into the exhibition are controlled so you see the 25 dresses close to.  Would love to have seen more!

Staying with the royal theme, Marion, Judy, Lindsay and I went on a Spring Bulb tour of Highgrove.  (Another favourite place added to the list).  The ensign was flying above the house so Charles was at home yet the press where still referring to him being with Camilla in Italy!  We never saw him but we really enjoyed walking around his garden even down the thyme path which is out of bounds later in the year.  We ate some of his delicious braised beef for lunch in the Orchard Restaurant and the chocolate brownie which was gluten free was the best – made with ground almonds. New chef apparently.  Lush!

I’ve slipped up! I have few photos this week!  Christine and I went to the Pineapple Palace where Debbie has taken over the cafe.  I had her carrot, parsnip and ginger cake which tasted much scummier than it sounds.  We sat outside on the deck in the warm morning sunshine and commented on how nice it was not to be working….

If you are waiting to hear about the clinical hypnotherapy – it was fascinating to hear Alan speak about how we can be governed by deep thoughts and early experiences without realising.  At worst, it affects our health but our sub conscious can help. My objective is to change the chemistry of the cancer cells so that the white blood cells can identify them and destroy them.  I’ve not been hypnotised before;  it was very relaxing for my body and my mind was very active as it listened to Alan and visualised his words.

So I’m off now to keep that visualisation going….

Week of 27 March

Shirley and I went to Milan and Lake Como for  short break this week.  We had lovely weather as you’ll see from the photos.  I was looking forward to seeing Leonardo’s Last Supper, on our walking tour, as it was on my bucket list!  I wasn’t disappointed.  Whilst there we sampled everything typically Italian: prosecco, prosecco and prosecco.  Only joking! The surprise was the salty and custard filled croissants not together, I add!  We visited the beautiful Lake Como on two days by train tearing ourselves away back to Milan each evening after visiting Varenna, Bellagio, Como Town, Moltrasio and my favourite Brunate (high above Como).Yes I’ve updated my favourite places. Our cake eating was very restrained.  We noticed Italian’s are into little pastries – just mouth size like these two here.  (But they are big on ice cream!) Just before we left Milan on the train we had a coffee and pastry in a cafe we enjoyed eating at on a previous evening: The Cat Café (direct translation) or Bar Gatto – much more romantic sounding. It’s near Loreta metro station and our hotel Adi Doria Grand which was perfectly placed for the central railway station and attractions including Milan’s canals which are worth a visit on a Saturday.

I would like to go back and take Jeremy and stay at the Bellavista in Brunate – the food, view and staff were fab!