Monday 31 December 2012

A hair-raising year!

Dear 2012, what a God awful year you’ve been. I won’t be sorry to see the back of you!

So much has happened in the last twelve months, it’s hard to remember how I felt at the end of 2011. I know I had been to the doctor and been referred for hospital tests but I certainly couldn’t have anticipated just how things would progress.

But now, although my life is different in many ways, it is also (nearly) back to normal. I’m looking forward to 2013 with a renewed sense of optimism. Indeed, Mr P. and I have already got a variety of trips and activities scheduled - well into next summer!

However, I will certainly remember this year. And despite the challenges and the disappointments, I will never forget the support of our friends and loved ones and how it helped to carry us through in the most difficult of times.

I will also never forget some of the more ridiculous moments: Mr P. with surgical socks on his head; being diagnosed with ‘small breasts’; or lifting my wig in a road-rage incident to make the other driver get out of our way! The C-bomb has never been dropped so effectively. ;-)

But that was then and this is now.

So 2012, if you don't mind, I'd quite like you to F*ck Off!

Monday 10 December 2012

Christmas comes but once a year …

And thank, God. I don’t think my liver could cope.

The festive celebrations are now in full swing for me and Mr P, heralded at 1am on Saturday by the birth of Niamh – Mr P’s niece. It’s all very exciting but now I’m busy trying to work out what she might like/need for Christmas.

We’re also preparing for another new arrival. My new cat. We’d popped over to the Mayhew Animal Home to drop off some items that our drama group are lending them for their charity dinner this evening and Mr P. suggested that I might want to look for another feline friend.

I used to have a lovely little cat, called Ellie, who I adopted from the Mayhew in late 2008. After a testy start and some wilful biting (her, not me) we settled into a very nice life together. We became the best of friends and I loved her dearly. Then one day, (Aug. 2011), she just disappeared.

She wasn’t the sort of cat to stay out for more than 24 hours, so obviously I was distraught. An army of friends (including Mr P.) put up posters, knocked on doors and scoured the area for any sign of my “little mate” – but there was none. And there hasn’t been since. She was less than five years old.

Suffice to say, I have often thought of her: the way she would jump onto the seat beside me and lick my hand while I stroked her paw, and the annoyed way she would come into the bathroom and ‘miaow’ when she thought I had been in the bath too long. She was a funny little lady.

But now, with my hospital treatment in its latter stages, I do feel ready for another house guest – and my new lodger (currently called 'Bubbles', but her new name to be decided) will move in after Christmas.

Saturday night was therefore quite a celebration with a new baby, a new cat and a friend’s birthday to toast. It was great fun … what I remember of it. And then on Sunday, Mr P. and I were invited to a ‘fizzy wine tasting’, where my friend (an award nominated wine blogger) educated us in the different types of sparkling wines and how they are produced.

It was a hilariously drunken way to spend a Sunday afternoon! In truth, I was probably just topping up my excessive Prosecco levels from the previous evening, and warming myself up for the Mayhew’s ‘Tinsel and Tails’ fundraiser tonight, but it was a great start to the week.

After all, if you can’t celebrate with ‘Bubbles’ at Christmas, when can you? ;-)

Saturday 1 December 2012

'Tis the season to be jolly

Blimey. It's December already. Doesn't time fly when you've been having fun ...?!

In many respects my life is settling back into the old routine while, in others, I'm still getting a few surprises.

The main 'surprise' is just how crap I still feel. Not physically as my chest muscle is improving, but mentally and emotionally. I'm on the verge of tears quite a lot of the time

It's hard to know how much of this is provoked by the Tamoxifen and how much was there already but, suffice to say that, the insomnia, hot flushes and now high cholesterol are really getting me down.

I've had some body hair fall out too which, after only 2.5 weeks of taking Tamoxifen is a bit concerning. Hair thinning is cited as a risk but I wasn't expecting it so soon. Maybe I shouldn't put the wig up the loft just yet?!

Fortunately, I do have a Counsellor at the 'Marsden and my GP is very supportive. And, of course, I have my lovely Mr P.

Ultimately though, I do have to manage this for myself and come to terms with the residual issues that are bothering me as well as the hormone-related changes that have been induced.

That said, I should also make a point of saying how supportive my company and colleagues have been. The return to work did cause me enormous anxiety but - with special thanks to AW and the HR team - my confidence is slowly coming back.

And I've also got a lot to look forward to this month: assorted shows, gigs, gatherings and parties ... Not to mention a new niece or nephew for Mr. P.

So while I won't be sorry to see the back of 2012, I do plan to enjoy what's left.