Archives For December 2013

The 28th of December.

Good sleep. I think the steroid-waking is wearing off, finally I have a lot of sleep to catch up on.

This morning I watched Saturday Kitchen and read the paper. I also booked tickets for Daddy, Christine and I to go and see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty this afternoon at quarter past three.

Until then, we watched a couple of things on the box and had lunch, and I finished Alex. Another book I started but paused the reading of is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I’m not sure I’ll go back to that right now – it all hits a little bit too close to home right now. Plus at the moment I don’t really like the main character; she’s kind of annoying.

Walter Mitty was also kind of annoying. I don’t know if I just wasn’t in the right mood – there was just a bit too much implausibility and little things that irked me. My favourite part was the last half hour when he’s back in America and eats a cinnabun. Cinnabuuuun. I don’t know. It frustrated me. And Kristen Wiig sang in a British accent which was weird. I liked her jumper though.

A lot of it was filmed in Iceland. I’m so glad I got to go there. It is my favourite place.

The 29th of December.

I woke up angry this morning and I don’t know why. I can’t blame hormones because they’re carefully regulated by patches and tablets. So then I was annoyed because I was annoyed, but a combination of caffeine and Sunday Brunch seemed to placate me.

After Sunday Brunch, I watched The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year which I didn’t see the other night ’cause I went to bed, then I had lunch and watched 21 on Channel 5. Oscar decided to come in in the middle of the film and wee behind the Christmas tree, even after I pleaded with him not to. Thankfully, he only urinated on the carpet and not on any of the stuff in the vicinity of the tree.

When the film finished, I sat and read The End of Me and the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin. It’s very America-centric but almost makes you believe that women have already taken over and basically won. I do hope Ms. Ronin realises that this is not the case.

Tonight after dinner, we played Sherlock Cluedo. I won! Becky and James came over mid-game with some macarons that she made (very good! With home-made lemon curd!), but left us to it as it was quite tense at that point. It was Irene Adler in The Tower of London with the lead piping. It was a better ending than last year’s QI board game when I won and yelled “HAHA FUCK YOU” at my sister. In a loving way.

I’m going to watch 8 Out of 10 Cats in bed as I want to go to sleep straight after. I need an early night.

sherlock cluedo

The 26th of December.

For the first time in ages, I was sleeping really well, then the app on my phone that I use to track my sleep decided that eight hours of sleep was enough and it was all very loud. So I got up at twenty to nine and was promptly visited by the cat, who is trouble because he stood in one of the Christmas cakes. Thankfully it was the secondary one.

I spent my morning writing about yesterday and trying to get on the Mulberry app/website, which according to Twitter, had been having issues since last night. Mommy went to get Grandma again, Daddy went out on his bike and Oscar was sick.

We had Boxing Day lunch of hare at about two, and we had the Christmas pudding today, which Daddy ended up finding disappointing. I had ice cream. In between courses, I managed to get on the Mulberry site, and had an adrenaline-fuelled few minutes of sale rush. I got a slate blue grainy Del Rey that I’ve wanted for over a year, so I win!

I wrote up a blog this afternoon, then I started reading The October List. It’s weird because it’s backwards but it’s good – I’m nearly halfway through already! I also went over to the Easts’ to see the painting James did for Becky and watch him attempt to fly his helicopter. It’s not going well. The painting is really good though!

Now I’ve just had a small dinner of meats, cheeses and bread and Christmas cake. God I love Christmas cake.

The 27th of December.

Another decent sleep! Maybe this will continue. I hope so. Being knackered all the time is very dull.

Most of my day was spent with words – I wrote up my blog post of Christmas day, then spent much of the afternoon finishing The October List. Jeffery Deaver is so good. Clever man. So now I’m finishing Alex by Pierre Lemaitre. I have ordered seven books from Waterstones so I need to rattle through several books I’ve started. January is going to be an intense reading month, which I think will be good for me. I watch too much tv.

I’ve put on a pound and a half this week which is good! I’m nearly back at the weight I was pre-cholangitis. Speaking of livers, one of the surgeons at the QE apparently branded a patient with his initials? Thankfully, it’s not one I’ve ever had or even met.

oscar paw

The 25th; I am the luckiest.

December 27, 2013 — 4 Comments

The 25th of December.

Well if this was my last Christmas, I think I’ll consider it a triumph.

I had the usual five hours of broken sleep, then sat up in bed, listening to Scott Mills and playing games on the iPad to pass the time until Christine came in so we could open our stockings together. In mine I got tissues, lip balm, little glasses that fit Boo perfectly, a sausage dog pen, a little Lindt bear, socks, a thing I can plug into the car to charge my phone and some dry shampoo. We went downstairs in our pyjamas to wait for Daddy to get up, then we had Christmas breakfast! Obviously delicious, and I made myself a triple shot latte in my Christmas Harrods mug as I thought I’d need the caffeine. My Christmas coffee has run out now! I’m glad I didn’t start it any earlier.

Then we all went to get dressed, and I sent my Merry Christmas text and ended up with the Deggs on the phone and Donna telling me how she’d opened all her presents and everything she wanted so that was nice. Then I finished getting ready while I listened to Woman’s Hour, and went downstairs. Mommy and Daddy went to get Grandma, and we all took up our positions around the living room. The Moët came out (my favourite – it’s so quaffable) and I began distributing and opening presents. That is my favourite part. Watching everyone unwrapping parcels and the glee on their faces, the intrigue when they get something oddly-shaped, the noises of “ooh!” and “aah” as the meaning/reason for each present is understood. I got lots of lovely gifts; a Christmas pillowcase that Auntie Hilary made, duvet slippers and a Lindt bear from the Hudsons, £50 from Taid, some Jelly Babies (fatal), Haribo Gold Bears, Minstrels, socks, hand-warmers, cookie crumble truffles and the Letters of Note book from Christine, the unicorn Pandora charm from Grandma, and from Mommy and Daddy I got a jumper, an elf that I’ve named Buddy, some Kinder chocolates that came with a penguin, a Rob Ryan calendar, a scarf with dogs on, a dress-up Boo mug, a Little Prince moleskine diary for next year, the candy cane Pandora charm, The Little Black Jacket book by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfield, The October List by Jeffrey Deaver, a decorative spoon with a cupcake on from Villeroy & Boch, a Stack subscription, a toiletries bag with French bulldogs on, and a muff that Mommy managed to make in secret!

Once everything was opened, Mommy and Daddy did things in the kitchen, and the rest of us stayed in the living room and amused ourselves until food was ready! The crackers got glitter everywhere and we donned our hats, served ourselves and dug in. I love parsnips. I had seconds of them and pigs in blankets. However, we didn’t have Christmas pudding because Mommy hadn’t realised it couldn’t be microwaved and needed to be steamed for an hour and a half! Quel désastre! Fortunately, there was a panettone pudding to be had instead, and I had some warmed up peppermint chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, so I was happy anyway.

After lunch, we returned to the living room to watch Toy Story 3, which I had forgotten is really traumatic pretty much the whole time! So Mommy and I held hands really hard to keep the tears in but a few leaked out. But that was all the crying. No sadness.

Mommy and Daddy took Grandma back at about six, and the Easts came over to watch Doctor Who! We also exchanged gifts – I got an IQ test book for the cat, some Simon’s Cat books and a Pandora giftcard. We all agreed that Doctor Who was quite shit. The only bit that got me was when he was dying – obviously I can relate.

The Easts are basically my second family. As we sat around the fire, watching the tv, I felt so safe and happy. I am loved. This might be my last Christmas, but actually, that’s the case for everyone, all the time – for me it’s just been thrust in my face a bit more. And it was perfect. I wanted to freeze it, to stay in Christmas Day forever, eating Christmas cake with Wensleydale and feeling the sense of pure contentment that comes with the glow of love and a slight drop of alcohol. But I can’t do that, and things will continue to happen. They have to. I might not be the most fortunate in terms of life expectancy, but in degrees of love and happiness, I am the luckiest.


breakfast table








The 23rd of December.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! I had a good five hours of sleep, I woke up at quarter past three and that was it for me. I got up at eight-ish, got dressed and had my breakfast and coffee while watching White Christmas. I also decluttered the round table in the living room, as we need space for chocolates! I had to decant a couple of emptying boxes into one.

This afternoon, Daddy, Christine and I went to see Frozen. It was really good! Surprisingly funny and the original songs are so bouncy and catchy, I find myself wanting to buy the soundtrack. It’s not very Christmassy though. I need a bit more holly and sleigh bells in my festive films.

But it was nice to watch a film about sisterly love with my own. She is my best. I give her big squidges.

Tonight I will have an early-ish night. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and Muppets Christmas Carol and yay!

The 24th of December.

It’s Christmas Eve! I had about five and a half hours of sleep, got up at about eight. I had breakfast and coffee in my pyjamas, then I got dressed in my favourite Christmas jumper, and I put on my Santa socks, reindeer necklace and penguin earrings, so I was fully Christmasified.

This morning, I watched The Muppets Christmas Carol with Christine and sang along while I wrapped the Easts’ presents. I took a break for lunch, then we watched It’s A Wonderful Life for the first time while I finished. If I’m honest, I was expecting it to be better; it is not as heartwarming as Elf. Maybe I’m biased.

Mommy has a cold which is incredibly shit – why is it choosing her now? Stupid cold. I want to be able to give her hugs but she won’t let me. Bastard germs.

We just put all the presents under the tree, and the first fire of the season is ablaze, and everything is right (apart from Mommy being poorly).

I don’t want any sadness tomorrow. Just our usual Christmas, for everyone to get things they like. If that’s all that happens, and that’s my last Christmas, I will die happy.


The 21st of December.

It’s a lorazepam night. I feel beyond exhausted. I’m at the stage of tired where I want to cry and eat everything. It’s not fun. I was awake at quarter to three, then again at five…ugh. I can’t remember how long it takes to wear off.

Elle was supposed to come over today but she is full of flu so stayed at home in bed. Bless her. I sent her a picture of her present and Grumpy Cat to cheer her up. I have put all the ribbon on my presents now and they look exactly how I pictured them, so I’m really happy. I don’t want to put them under the tree in case Oscar wees on them though! The other night he came into the living room and just stood in the corner and started weeing so I do not trust him around the presents.

I also did loads of boring things with podcasts and photos on my phone which was time-consuming and tedious but it’s done now so that’s that. Becky and James came over and we swapped Christmas cards and ate Christmas biscuits, seeing as yesterday we made three different recipes’ worth which now need eating. The post came while they here, and I got cards from the Caldwells, Amy and the Bottrills, Angela (along with some gorgeous photos of us), and Hannah from Harrogate has sent me a Rob Ryan notebook! People are brilliant.

Today was the fifth anniversary of my liver transplant. Usually I am so thankful, but today I almost feel…why couldn’t it be easier? Why couldn’t her stem cells have just stayed where they belonged? But I know that it’s futile; if this hadn’t happened, the cancer probably would have come back anyway.

I wish this wasn’t happening to me.



The 22nd of December.

Lorazepam is a nice drug. It had me cosy and asleep until half past nine. Sleep good.

So this morning was somewhat hazy – my hair got washed and I got dressed. I watched Sunday Brunch on delay, and I ate lunch. I can tolerate salt beef and grapes now! This is promising!

Mommy made some vanilla cupcakes so I decorated them differently – all with white buttercream, then I put candy canes on some, gingerbread men on others and penguins on the rest. Christine came home mid-decorating and she made me do one of the cakes with a tree made of gingerbread men.

Then I was just making a coffee and Penny came round! I haven’t seen her for so very many years, my Pennyla. We watched A Very Merry Muppet Christmas and Alice in Wonderland while we ate Christmas biscuits and chatted about life. Being with old friends is so comforting – there are no awkward silences. I am so glad she came. She had to leave at about six to get home for dinner, so I gave her a big hug and I hope I’ll see her soon.

Tonight I did eighteen consecutive sneezes, painted my nails in a Christmassy fashion, and am watching Harry Potter until The Choir final is on, although I’ll probably watch that in bed.

cake collage


The 19th of December.

Well I woke up at three, was awake for a few hours, then I think I had maybe two hours more that took me to about eight. My body overrode the steroids.

This morning I finished wrapping all my presents – I was supposed to meet Sam for lunch but he was poorly so we postponed. Mommy went to town to do the shopping she would have done while I ate, and I did some iPadmin.

I had a muffin for breakfast! First time in weeks. It was a great novelty, to change from porridge.

And I’ve had two mysteries today – first was an envelope from Handsworth – what were school sending me? A Christmas card from Mrs. Wager! Random, but very kind. And a cute one from Rachel!

The other mystery was an enormous box I have been sent from Kirstie Tancock who sends people “hospital survival kits”. I can’t even list everything in there but let’s just say I was overwhelmed. Gobsmacked. Shaking.

Today has been the sixth anniversary of my first bone marrow transplant. Mommy bought me the owl charm for my Pandora, because Christine likes owls. I love my big sister. She doesn’t know how wonderful she is.

photo 1


photo 2

The 20th of December.

Ugh I am really tired. Plus I think my tac level might be high as I’ve been feeling a bit shaky and weird so I won’t take that tonight. I might take some lorazepam tomorrow night if I still feel this weary. I woke up at a relatively late five o’clock today too. Gah.

This morning we changed my arm dressing and Anne-Marie came to flush my line which worked fine; always a relief.

This afternoon, Lauren came over! She finally got to meet Oscar (on his 19th/93rd birthday no less) and he decided she was acceptable. We swapped presents (she gave me chocolate, some pretty earrings and Christmas pug socks!), then we ordered pizza from Domino’s and watched The Grinch. Tiny Taylor Momsen is vastly entertaining.Then there was angst at DPD as they were shit at delivering and responding to queries (the man arrived 1 1/2 hours after the end of his 1 hour window that I was told) and no apology; it was pathetic.

I got a lovely surprise Christmas card from The Glee Club today! They have given me a voucher for two tickets for any show I choose! Bless them. I’ve booked for a few things and had to cancel ’cause I’ve been in hospital and I think that’s why.

photo 3

The 17th of December.

I woke up at half past three. So the steroids go “Oh, you’re going to use drugs to help yourself sleep? Then we’ll just wake you even earlier!” Pricks.

This morning Daddy started talking to me about a book (normal volume, didn’t say the title) and how he didn’t think it was out in the UK yet, and I asked what it was called so I could look it up, then Mommy came in and I was still talking about Amazon and this book, then only when she left did he tell me it was meant to be for her! So I absorbed some wrath even though I was thinking WELL IF IT’S A GIFT MAYBE WHISPER OR GIVE ME SOME SORT OF CLUE.

Anyway. We went into Sutton to run a couple of errands before going to the chiro, where Trine worked on the bits that I’d been expecting her to find. Then we went to Starbucks where I was served by blast from the past Carl Atterbury, so that was a delightful surprise, before going to Bad Apple to get my hair cut. I’ve had my fringe and layers softened but it’s still pretty similar. I just needed something less angular so when my face gets round it’s not quite as obvious.

This afternoon, I ate a corker (a brownie baked inside a cookie, invented by The Brownie Bar) while watching The Biggest Loser in a very schadenfreude-esque way. Then I made a hot chocolate in my new Christmas mug, gathered up my stuff, grabbed The Polar Express from the DVD collection, and went to do my very best Bryony (the wrapping elf from Arthur Christmas) impression. I sat on the floor of the gift wrapping room (which is what we’ve re-christened Grandma’s old room, and by having one we’re basically Richard and Emily Gilmore) for six hours, just wrapping and watching the film/subsequent tv.

I did have a break for dinner (fishcakes – I’m coping with food much better now, thank goodness), but went straight back to finish. At quarter to ten, I’d done all the paper and tags, and decided that was enough. My back was killing me, and my bony bum wasn’t thrilled.

Tomorrow I will finish wrapping (ribbon) and write my Christmas cards. Work out what I’m going to watch on tv over the festive period. And try on the six potential Christmas dresses I got today.



The 18th of December.

Twenty past three. This is going to be such fun. I got up at seven and got a hug from Mommy because that is all she can do. Lorazepam isn’t an option for a while as there are no days I can afford to lose, so methinks I’ll be drinking a lot of coffee.

I had endocrine clinic at 10:15, so we went and got coffee and a paper, only about two pages of which I managed to read before Andy Toogood called me in! I do like that he runs to time. Waiting for Nick was what took ages! There were lots of complicated prescriptions, apparently.

We came straight home and after lunch, I finally chose my Christmas dress (after trying on all six that were hanging up)! I am glad that saga is over. Then I went back to the gift-wrapping room to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and attach ribbons and tags. But disaster! I’ve run out of ribbon! Have panic-ordered twelve more metres. I have ten presents left to do! So when that happened, I got up from the floor onto a chair and wrote my Christmas cards.

This evening I wrote a blog about the anniversaries I have coming up, and I gave Mommy and Daddy their Christmas cards. And the star is on our tree! So we are nearly ready.

Must finish wrapping.