Posted by: raker | 11 July 2010

Two-thirds of the way through

So , I’ve just come through chemo 4 of 6. This one, Docetaxel wasn’t so bad, at all, compared to the FECs, which were foul, on mature recollection…

This one has had very little nausea, just associated tiredness. but that might be as much to do with the heat here at night making sleeping a bit difficult for both adults and tiny mammals in the room next door. Also, some silly bint screamed in the rec ground behind the house this morning at about 1:30, and I was awake ready to pass on details to the police, until she started giggling. Grrrr,  Bloody Jazz Festival, always puts me on edge.

I haven’t had to take any anti-sickness stuff this time round, just mega does of steroids, which are bizarre, in terms of making you want to rush around and sort out the world whilst making lunch and  sterilising bottles. You are invincible and no idea is too silly. However, I’ve just taken my last wind down does until the next session, and I’m having a bit of a slump, while I roast some of my sister-in-law’s homegrown rhubarb in preparation for making a nice rhubarb and custard cake for after this evening’s barbie.

We went to the Wiltshire County Show at Barbury Horse Trials this afternoon. Seemed silly not to, as it’s only down the road. It was a bit quiet – first Wiltshire show in about 30 years or something, but not a bad basis for next year. It was awfully hot though. Tom is now sitting in his nappy finding grandma’s foot the most hilarious thing in the world, and Kitty has collapsed in bed still wearing her gorgeous , now filthy, French linen dress and cheetah facepaint.

So this time, side effects are only tiredness, steroid madness, and that fould bitter afftertasete in my mouth tha is going to prevent me fully enjoying Simon’s lovely barbecued lamb, my lovely taboulleh and this bloomin’ cake.

So, all in all, not so bad.

Ultrasound update – although shrinkage was not as dramatic this time around, only to be expected, apparently, there are definite areas of white spots, which is supposedly calcification of dead tissue in the main lump, and of my 2 suspect lymph glands, one is still dark and swollen, but not as bit, and the centre of the other has returned to a clear colour, looks like it’s going “normal”. So that is good, obviously!!

Posted by: raker | 27 June 2010

Feck off, FEC

So, now halfway through chemo, things going well. Although this is solely due to the intersessions of the Poor Clares on the Cliftonville Road in Belfast, if my mother is to believed, and nothing to do my with my fabulous body’s response to the fantastic cutting edge cytotoxic drugs administered by my fabulous and glamorous oncologist…

Anyway, the tumour has shrunk by about 50 % on first 2 FEC sessions, will see the results of third round at next week’s ultrasound. It’s weird having tumorous ultrasounds in the same room I had lovely healthy baby ones…

As I keep telling people, this tumour is messing with the wrong person. Doesn’t seem to realise that I’m from Belfast, and thus am genetically programmed to bear a grudge for, oh, centuries, if necessary, and will outlast the idiot primitive cell forms. Heh.

So after a rough week, first really bad reaction to the chemo (bound by the bowels, tethered by the toilet, etc.), we actually went out last night. Had a babysitter and everything. Lovely Lucy from work is in France this week and sensible girl, having block booked a babysitter on Saturday nights when Ben was a few months old, gave us her babysitter’s slot, and paid for her too, bless her, as a cheer up gift last night.  It worked. Simon says I Mmmmed out loud with every delicious mouthful, but to be honest, I hadn’t kept anything down (or more accurately, yet vilely, in) since last Sunday afternoon, so it was a novelty!

And today is almost unbearably hot – I’ve had to expose my scaldy scalp to the world because it’s too hot to cover up, and Kitty’s in a miserable mood.  Tommy, sensible boy, has been napping for the last 2 hours in the only cool room in the house. And there is deadly silence outside – stupid sassin’frassin England game means that the great unwashed of Wiltshire have put down their cider and crop circle tools to go and grunt unintelligibly at those grunting unintelligibly for their country.  How did Charlie Brooker describe football   –something about  “…twenty two millionaires ruining a lawn”

Right, must go and find my camera cable and sort out some recent photos of my feral children. And prepare my ravaged body for half a shandy this evening once they’re in bed!!

Posted by: raker | 12 May 2010

Bollocks. And boobs

well, it’s been a while. What a lot can happen in 10 months.

Kitty very grown up, Tommy has arrived and is perfect and gorgeous and smiley and cuddly.



Ductal carcinoma in situ.

Cheers universe, just what you need with two under 3’s

Posted by: raker | 20 July 2009

SO, frugality…

I’m trying again on the frugality thing.  I was really, really god a few months ago, sold stuff, bought nothing, was in complete control of the kitchen. Not quite sure what happened – possibly being quite ill with this pregnancy (losing interest in food, buying it, eating it, thus going down the way of takeaways/Simon going bonkers in Waitrose trying to pick something to entice me; going back to work 4 days a week, and refusing to spend my 1 day off with Kitty doing ONLY house stuff; just being exhausted all the time…), plus realising that as much as I love the idea of my restricted maternity wardrobe, it’s the wrong season round this time, so I’ve been purchasing stuff on ebay. Not expensive, but it only took a couple of purchases before I was back on the searching/spending trail again. Also I bought a new nappy bag, which was not cheap, but about half the price of the one i thought I was interested in, so at least have now stopped thinking about it.

Anyway, during the great Chicken Pox outbreak of ’09, i started reading frugality and simplicity blogs again and it has reawakened my interest. I’m also looking in overwhelmed horror at the amount of STUFF that is in the spare room.  Kitty and the baby will be moving into the spare room together,  and Kitty’s little room will become the new spare one — but there’s only enough space for the double bed in there, so no storage for a massive bookshelf full of books and magazines, all my craft stuff, most of Simon’s clothes, etc.

So it’s time to regain control of the house and the stuff in it, and more importantly the stuff we keep bringing into it and the money we spend on it.

Anyway, I’m finally starting to feel a bit more energetic/motivated/pissed off at going over our limit on the House account (that’s never happened before, and is just stupid but now we’ll have a load of fees and charges resulting from it. GRRRR).

SO: today I have listed a load of stuff on eBay (but HUGE piles still to go), given a big bag of stuff to whatever charity was kerbside collecting today (Make a wish?), and bought most of the food for  the week according to the meal plan I made yesterday, using my GH Family Meals for a Fiver book.

Dinner tonight was a v.tasty potato & chorizo tortilla (used the last of sister-in-law’s organic eggs) which cost about 90p, and we will have some Fru cheesecakes as a one-off treat later.

Lunch for tomorrow/Wednesday  is lemony couscous salad, and Simon’s even agreed to it too. Tomorrow evening we’re having one-pot chicken, Wednesday meatballs and the last of my tomato sauce from the freezer, and Thursday is broadbean and lardon risotto. Friday will possibly be pizza.

Whole week’s shop (inlcuding bread, loo roll and OBVIOUSLY another 4 pints milk), with organic meat and milk, came to £32.27 in Waitrose. Did a MySupermarket comparison when I got back, and it would only have been £3.26 cheaper in Tesco – not that I would buy meat in there anyway. It might have been slightly cheaper if the greengrocer was open on a Monday and I would shop there instead.

Right, back to the non-stop eBay listing madness…

Posted by: raker | 20 July 2009

house clearance

Inspired by Shoestring Alley, I’ve finally started to list a load of craft stuff on ebay, in order to start clearing the spare room for the imminent arrival of Booboo no. 2. Well, if “imminent” means November, that is.

Realistically, it’s not actually that far away, though…

I got off to a great start in December, cleared most of my Rowan stuff, and decided last week that I’m DEFINITELY not going to have time in the foreseeable future to get stuck into those lovely Ottobre patterns.

So lots to list today, hope Kitty actually has a nap at some point or I’ll never get it done…

I’ve also made a meal plan for the week and added a couple of £2 coins to my mystery box. Off shopping in a minute – wish the greengrocer opened on  Monday. So Waitrose today, Aldi after work tomorrow.

It’s just all glamour, all the time

Posted by: raker | 14 April 2009

easter sunday 3

easter sunday 3

Originally uploaded by raker_blog


Posted by: raker | 15 March 2009

I think there are some more teeth coming through. We were playing “take turns at sticking a small green sticker on the end of our noses”…

find the teeny tiny sticker...

find the teeny tiny sticker...

find the teeny tiny sticker …

stick it carefully on Mummy’s nose …

that's funny, Mummy

that's funny, Mummy

But how long will I remain this amusing?

She has just been such a dote all weekend.

This has included stopping the recent waking at 2:50 nonsense left over from the gastroenteritis episode. YAY!

Posted by: raker | 12 March 2009




Posted by: raker | 28 February 2009

And now we have…

viral gastroenteritis.

Poor wee thing isn’t at all well, at either end. For the first time in ages I had the old “entire semi-digested contents of morning milk cup deposited down the inside of my V neck” routine to deal with first thing this morning.

Despite immediate wiping and an almost immediate shower, I cannot shake the smell. It must be psychological – it was over 15 hours ago.


We’ve taken it easy all day today, but our weekend trip to East Dulwich was cancelled, for fear of infecting our host’s toddlers.  Simon still went though – his yearly pilgrimage to worship at the shrine is seemingly not affected by runny bums. Poor mummy…

Posted by: raker | 24 February 2009

We have walking…


Having mastered standing by herself on Friday afternoon, she came staggering towards me after the Shaking Hands song at Music with Mummy yesterday morning: 8 steps, unsupported, finished off with a headlong tumble into my lap. FINALLY, lazy little madam – there’s nothing wrong with her balance.

Actually there might still be, it just looks like it’s all finally clicked this weekend! She was so pleased with herself, then for the first time I’ve ever noticed, she turned really shy. Everyone else in the class clapped her and she just burrowed her head down on my lap. Funny little thing… I knew that as soon as I got a hospital appointment confirmed for her she would be able to walk in and make me look like a panicky first time mummy. Little beast – good job she’s still so cute.

Plotting. And dribbling

Plotting. And dribbling

I got lots of lovely video of her playing Ring a ring of rosies at Tring Rugby club on Saturday with Charlie and Calla on my lovely lovely new phone, which I pulled, tragically, out of the washing machine just after Music with Mummy. Turns out my phone insurance doesn’t cover my new phone (SWIZZ) and our Contents insurance has an excess of £100. So the phone is on the radiator in the kitchen and I’m praying for a miracle.  So between  soggy phone and a walked on laptop screen, communication with the outside world has all gone fuzzy…

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