Week of 23 October

”It’s all cake, holiday, cake, holiday!”, joked Jeremy.  Yes, guiltyyy!   This simple formula plus the therapies, supplements and exercise is working though.  I’m still here and approaching 19 months since the prognosis and 11 months since chemo with still no physical symptoms. Hurrah! Sadly, this week 20 years ago my father died of bowel cancer aged 60.  But since then, I see from the Future Learn online cancer related courses, that science has and is moving in leaps and bounds.  I keep an eye on trials for one I could qualify for and there is plenty happening for the 200+ cancer types around. This is great news for the future generations.

The other ‘C’ word is cake! I was at the hospital for my CT scan; they had trouble finding a vein, ”your veins are very thin”.  The rest of me isn’t!   I got a puncture in both arms in the end and got through it visualising the chocolate cake I was going to treat myself to afterwards.  It was the gooiest triple decker I’ve had in ages. A bunch of enthusiastic dentists sat at the next table discussing teeth health. I heard: ”Your teeth are nice” ”Oh but I like yours”….Note to self: brush teeth 30 minutes after eating cake. Is that practical?

Saw Alan the hypnotherapist this week for a new visualisation. I had a positive test for RAS wildtype last year and it was this week I learnt, on my online course, that the pesky protein had been promoting cell division resulting in the tumour.  The online course lecturer described it as ‘a switch stuck in the on position’.  A great concept for a visualisation.  I was early for our appointment and went to the Sefton Tea Room first.  I tiptoed up the stairs to avoid disturbing the horses in training, closed the door of the café behind me and the waitress said, ”good morning, how many of you are there?”.  ”Err one!” ”Well you can sit where ever you like”.  So I can – it’s empty!  I chose a slice of the rocky road cake which looked better under its dome…

Well, Carolyn and I had a catchup and celebrated her birthday at the Tea Cosy.  Here we are.  I chose a slice of The Friday Cake!  YUM! Really YUM! And yes it was on Friday.  I only had space for soup when I met Anne Marie later for lunch at The Flower Pot.  We both had the healthy and hearty vegetable soup.

                       

Also this week was the Didcot Food festival organised by Christine Wallace from GBBO.  (We’ve been to her house for Bake with Me sessions). She had her friends from GBBO, Great British Menu, Masterchef and BBC Oxford there.  It was very well organised with a variety of stalls and non-stop demonstrations. 

Julia and I were the first to arrive and met up with Sue and Janet later.  Here we are tucking into Red Velvet Cake  and 6 hours later finished the day with a cuppa before heading home.  The demonstrations were fab, we had front row seats and I got to meet the wickedly funny Candice.  Neither Charles nor Jeremy knew of Candice but they know of Caprice!!  Funny that..

So I uncovered a sermon written by my grandfather and published in October 1938 which I have posted under Wellbeing.  Even though it is 80 years old it has resonance today-about taking pleasure in silence.  I feel so lucky you know.  I met some people on a focus panel this week still taking anti-depressants years after their cancer diagnosis. ”My body’s let me down”.  No, your brain has….

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Week of 8 May

Do you ever wonder what food is in season?  So much is available all year round and nutritionists say that, as well as better flavour, there are more nutrients to be had if we eat vegetables and fruit grown in season.  Makes sense as it has not been forced and grown with all the processes that come with year round production.  Here is a useful website:

https://www.nourishbyjaneclarke.com/pages/whats-in-season

I have met some interesting people on this cancer journey that I wouldn’t have otherwise met.  Now this week I met with a lady who calls herself a Diviner and Dowser living in Porchester.  She comes recommended by the way. It was a lovely sunny day to visit the south coast, see the Castle fortification, have some cake and coffee and pop to Freddie’s house.  I’d sent her a hair sample and a drawing of the ground floor of our house, that she could examine energy levels and re-balance them.  Every surface in her study was covered with stuff: dried concoctions, perfumes, oils, stones, crystals and pendulums for dowsing.  Not sure who’s the most barking – her or me for visiting!  Here’s a chocolate cake (Mary Berry recipe) made by a volunteer at the local church tea room – who happens to be allergic to chocolate. Really?  And a  very nice recipe it was too.

                                      

Whilst out shopping in Newbury I called into the Flowerpot Café and had a slice of gooseberry and lemon cake.  The icing had been made with icing sugar, a little butter and milk  and big splashes of lemon juice which gave it a shiny topping! Delicious!

I’ve not been for a long time but I went to the Pink Place for another free session including a neck, shoulder and head massage plus nail painting.  The volunteers there are amazing and a parachute jump raised £6,000 so that we can continue to get pampered.  And of course there was a nicely arranged plate of cakes:

It’s Christian Aid week from 14 – 20 May and it will be my fifth year organising collectors.   Lets hope for another profitable year…..

Week of 20 February

I feel really well.  Just like the old days.  There is an element of disbelief that I even have stage 4 cancer, but then I didn’t know I was going through stages 1, 2 and 3 either.  wp_20170223_001

I feel lucky which is odd to say and Penny and I laughed about it when we met for coffee at the Flower Pot where we had lush Carrot and Courgette cake with soy butter topping.  And we laughed about how I qualify for a Motability car.  So I get my lapis blue mini cooper seven on 13 March.

I went to a workshop organised by Berkshire Cancer Rehabilitation and we discussed stress management, sleeping problems and fatigue – none of which I suffer from and perhaps in hindsight I didn’t need to be there.  But hearing from the others (none of which had a terminal diagnosis) they have all sorts of issues – so I look at them and think how lucky I am that I can get out of bed and get on with  life. My diary  has multiple entries each day – not all cake eating by the way but there’s all the therapies and sporty activities I do..wp_20170220_001
Anyway, back to the workshop, when we stopped for lunch that day we went over to the church where the village deli and coffee shop are based.  What a great way to make use of a church building.  There I had a slice of chocolate cake with some old fashioned silver balls on top!

I met Ruth this week – we meet every year to celebrate our birthdays which both fall in December.  Our waitress at Darwin’s, Fenchurch Street was really bemused by this ”you mean one time in a year”.  We were very restrained and didn’t eat cake.  I was still thinking about the huge portion of pavlova I had at Marion’s the night before.  .

Jeremy and I waited 1.5 hours for Mr Cecil, the surgeon, who was delayed on a train and after 30 minutes of absorbing all his options (which I have added to the 2017 page), we went to the hospital’s Blue Café for something to eat.  wp_20170224_001-1They had set up for lunch so Jeremy had a colourful salad and I had a tasty cabbage soup (I’d have never made that choice once upon a time) followed by a celebratory slice of sticky toffee cake….The next day we did the first of the Wessex White Horse Walks – Uffington.  I was ready for a sit down but we still had about 2 miles to go! I’ve created a Walks page for the 9 Horse Walks under Wellbeing and Exercise.

 

 

I’ve also created a page a new Favourites page for my favourite Classic FM Music.

Week of 6 February

wp_20170210_001-1We had part 2 of our Nutrition course at Maggie’s in Oxford with Jennifer from Pillar of Health.  We heard about dairy, carbs and sugar this week. It’s been really interesting.  Still not keen on the healthy cakes though.  We had ‘chocolate brownies’ made with red kidney beans. Yuk!   But in the last week I have started going organic with the veg.  Anyway, applying the 80:20 rule I can be bad 20% of the time…..Can’t I?. Shirley came over to discuss our trip to Milan and she brought with her some scrumptious home made cup cakes: Gin and Tonic flavour complete with a slice of lime and coffee with Bailys in the icing.  Delicious!  We reminisced about Celia Imrie in the  Calendar Girls!!   wp_20170208_003

wp_20170209_003Julia and I went to the Lightbox at Woking and after sharing a coffee and walnut cake at the café there we saw the Henry Moore exhibition. It was fascinating to see the pebbles he took inspiration from to make his giant sculptures.  Did you know he was a war artist?  I didn’t.  We stayed in Woking for lunch and had a healthy Lebanese meze at Jeita.  Just thought I’d add that in……

I had lunch with Sue while I was in Oxford at the Roof Top restaurant at the Ashmolean and we didn’t eat cake!!  But I would like to thank her for the Donny Osmond’s swp_20161017_004ignature she got via her neighbour who works for Jimmy’s fanclub.  We both agree that the afternoon tea we had last year at the Folly in Oxford is one of the best we have experienced.  See for yourself:….

 

I met Anne Marie this week at the Flower Pot for lunch.  It was great to talk about training and Myers wp_20170207_001Briggs.  The old memories came flooding back.  Here am I looking a little flushed after eating some tasty home made tomato soup  followed by a dainty slice of chocolate cake.  But it did have the right proportion of sponge to icing!  Like I know:) Haha

Mum and I met for coffee and shared a rock cake at the Yew Tree garden centre – I don’t mean to put here at the end but it seems that we go out at the end of each week….Not as good as her rock cakes!

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Week of 9 January

wp_20170109_001This week I went to the Treats Day at The Pink Place in Basingstoke where we heard advice about nutrition and finance which was very useful.  I surprised myself as to how much I knew about nutrition since I have been studying Health and Nutrition with Newbury College.  We had a super lunch provided by Sainsburys but the cakes were homemade.  It looked a lovely spread!  My favourite cake was the gingerbread with salted caramel topping! Yum! It’s good to meet people going through the same process and the ink Place is great at making you feel at home when you arrive.

I met up with Shirley in Hungerford and we had cake in Eliane’s where there is a fantastic selection of cakes.  Shirley had a Hummingbird cake – never heard of such a thing but it contains pineapple – and I had a Chocolate and Orange cake.  It rained all day so we spent most of the time in the antiques centre and so we plan to meet again there.wp_20170113_002

Overnight there had been a sharp frost but I met with Penny and we drove out to Hurstbourne Tarrant to the Tea Cosy and had  a slice of Lindor cake!  My favourite chocolates! Scrumptious!  Just look at it.  Heaven!

I walked into Newbury on the sunny, crisp Saturday afternoon and popped into the cosy Flower Pot to warm up.  The windows were covered in condensation but it was very cosy inside. And of course I had to partake in a slice of their Carrot and Orange cake which was my award  before walking home!  I do like their toppings!wp_20170114_001