Archives For August 2016

The 28th of August. 

No vomit sounds this morning and that’s the way I like it. I had a slow start, bimbling about in my pyjamas, and had just gone upstairs to get dressed when Becky texted to see if it was alright to come round. I asked for fifteen minutes, then put some clothes on sharpish. Ready with moments to spare!

She’d brought us a lovely cake stand to say thanks for looking after their kittens, and we caught up on life. I haven’t seen her for ages because she was poorly before they went away, so there was much to discuss. My pain and painkillers, their bathroom (it’s nearly finished and soon they will be able to shower at home!), Nadia’s reluctance to leave, and their holiday which was slightly marred by the noisy neighbours. 

This afternoon, Rachel (the lady I spoke to yesterday about Nola) came with her mother and daughters to see the kittens. I think had they not already decide on Nola, they would’ve gone for Nova because she was showing off. Nola was a bit shy at first, but she soon came out of her shell and let them stroke and play with her. They actually wanted to take her today, but that’s not allowed so they’re coming back for her on Friday. 

Rest of the day has been taken up by crocheting. I have finished the sheep and now I’m working on the cat. I’ve done the head and ears already, so I don’t think it’ll take long. 

The 29th of August. 

Bank holidays mean nothing to me; they are no different to most days of my life apart from sometimes there is a good film on. Tonight, Thor: The Dark World is on and it doesn’t seem two minutes since I saw it in the cinema. I remember looking at Asgard and thinking that if there was a heaven, I would like it to be like that. Or Rivendell. It hadn’t been long since the doctors had said I couldn’t have another transplant and I’d probably die soon, so you can understand why it was on my mind. Yet here I am, nearly three years later, hanging on by the skin of my teeth. 

The most exciting thing to happen today was that a man from down the road came to borrow some sand because Daddy had offered him some for his drive. When I answered the door he said something about my husband and I very quickly said “Oh you’re the sand man, I’ll just go and ask my DAD where it is!” because seriously what the fuck was he thinking? Shut that shit down. 

I just finished crocheting all the parts of the cat; now it just needs assembling. 

The 26th of August. 

Today did not begin brilliantly but has greatly improved. I woke up super early for no discernible reason, so I put on the Today programme which usually sends me back to sleep, but then more NHS cuts was the main story and it just made me so mad that then I was awake. 

I watched Zoo on Netflix until it was a socially acceptable time to get up, then I spent my morning writing a blog post and avoiding the news. I cannot listen to it because it just enrages me so. 

Sadie is home for the bank holiday, so I met up with her at Yorks for the afternoon. We had a great time discussing her housemate’s very-swiftly-moving relationship, the saga of getting Nadia in the cat carrier, Bake Off and The Chronicles of Nadiya. She is like a Nadiya in her family, as since she has been backpacking on her own, now some of the other women in her family have been able to go travelling (but only to places she’s been). She loved the Cookie Jar Cat and can’t show her dad because he’ll be jealous and annoyed that it’s not for him. When he specifies what he wants, I’ll make him something!

Mommy picked me up, and on the way home we stopped at Tesco so she could get some orange jelly because she’s making Jaffa Cakes, and I bought ice cream because reasons. 

The 27th of August. 

Woke up today to the sound of Daddy throwing up a lot. That went on pretty much all morning, until Mommy went to see the pharmacist who gave her some travel sickness tablets which seem to have worked. He has this thing called Ménière’s disease which is a disorder of the inner ear. Usually he just feels a bit off-balance and it affects his hearing – he’s felt a bit sick before but never had the kind of severe vertigo and vomiting he was having this morning. He’s downstairs now, has had some toast and is now going to have an egg because he’s wild. Good thing we had no cinema trip planned!

I have had a quiet day of mainly crocheting; I’m making a sheep for one of the daughters of Philippa, who is the Youth Worker for the liver team. Then I’m doing a cat for her other daughter. I’m also supposed to make Oo Oo the monkey from Raa Raa the noisy lion for the son of James, my liver consultant, but there are literally zero crochet patterns for that on the internet so I don’t know what I’m going to do instead. 

I also had a phone call from Sheila about a potential adopter for Nola. I’ve rung her and she’s coming round tomorrow!

The 24th of August. 

No poo-watch today. Instead, it’s Bake Off day! I am ridiculously excited. Love Bake Off so much. What insane things does Mary Berry have in store for us this year? I already have my favourites: Andrew, Rav, Selasi and Benjamina. Watch them. 

Not so much crocheting today either. This morning I had a phone call with Ben from Anthony Nolan about the event I’m going to at the BMA in September; he wants me to speak a little bit so we were mainly just talking about what I might say and what is going to happen. Mainly networking. 

After lunch and the new episode of Pretty Little Liars, I had a trip to the dentist and hygienist. Liam (the dentist) and I had a lovely chat about flossing, then the hygienist poked all my gums and gave me a score of zero which is the best! Still can’t cope very well with the abrasive floss/polishing strips though. Bleah. 

Since getting home, I have only had time to crochet the neckline of my jumper and a sleeve. Just the other sleeve to go and it’ll be finished! Having tried it on a couple of times, it’s definitely going to keep me warm. 

The 25th of August. 

I woke up from the most horrific dream in which I had squished an enormous spider (its body was the size of a two pound coin) with my hands and it screamed, and when I awoke I was in the position I’d been in in the dream and I really didn’t want to move. 

This morning I was at the chiro. I told Trine about the MRI and asked if she might be able to pull a string or two with Mr. Harland, then she crunched my upper back and my neck a lot. When I came out, the most ghastly duet was playing on Radio 2. I got dressed so fast. I have never heard it before and I never want to hear it again. 

After lunch, I crocheted the other sleeve of the jumper, and now it is finished! It doesn’t look great in a photo because it’s oversized and slouchy. When it’s cold enough, I’ll wear it and it’ll look better. 

Not long after I’d finished, Nadia’s adopters came round to take her home. They’re back from holiday so couldn’t wait to have her. We got all the paperwork done pretty quickly, then it just took us about forty five minutes to get her into the carrier. In the end, there was some tricking and we had to grab her a little bit. The other two were only too happy to get inside but she was not getting involved. I was so of of breath. Still, we got her there in the end and it was a very short trip to her new home. I am sure she’ll be fine. The other two don’t appear to have noticed. 

The 22nd of August. 

It feels weird not having any sport on tv now the Olympics are over. I watched the closing ceremony this morning and Tokyo looks like it’ll be great fun. I do hope I’m still alive in 2020 to see it. I realise that’s not a normal thing to think but it’s something that concerns me. 

Another thing that concerns me is the Paralympics still to come in Rio. They’ve got no money, are dismantling stadia and cutting things like transport which disabled athletes obviously actually need more of. There were hundreds of empty seats already – I can only see it being much worse for the paras. 

I have finished crocheting the front (or back) of the jumper and am about halfway through the other side. I am so very productive. 

The 23rd of August. 

Well it’s been another very productive day – crocheting interspersed with going to see if Nova had been sick or done a poo. Last night she was sick twice after I gave them new food and didn’t seem able to do a poo, no matter how many times she tried (I know you come here for this kind of information). So today I had to keep going in and somebody has used the litter tray but it’s a mystery as to who. Will have to watch them tonight and see what happens. Such a life of glamour I lead. 

Mommy took Grandma to see Prof. Clarke (her Parkinsons consultant) who asked how I was, and when Mommy explained about my back and mentioned Mr. Harland, he got quite excited and said he is “the best” and he’d want him to operate on his spine of that were necessary. Everyone is so positive about this chap! Now if I can just see him asap. His popularity makes me suspect his list is quite long though. Sigh. 

When not checking for kitten poo, I have been crocheting and watching the two Big Fat Quizzes that have been recently broadcast. Finished the front and back and stitched them together, so now I just have to do the sleeves and then all the final tidying bits. I shall have myself a jumper!

The 20th of August. 

It has been a really good day. 

I got up at a normal time, and the pain I had while making my breakfast was mitigated by the fact that I knew I was having my MRI this afternoon and soon we will know things. I had an email from Sheila to say that the lady I was going to ring had phoned her this morning to say she definitely wants the cat she saw last night, so she wasn’t going to come and look at Nova. Fine with me!

Went out at half eleven to meet Rachel for lunch at Yorks at twelve. It was the one on Stephenson Street which I hadn’t been to until today, so it was nice to see it in person. She was already there when I arrived, and brought me some water which was secretly infused with cucumber and the taste was very confusing. We had coffee, then I ordered eggs benedict for my lunch which was really good, and I only stopped when I choked on a tiny piece of egg which tried to go down the wrong hole. It was my own fault; I tried to talk before I swallowed. I gave her the flowerpot kitty, which might upset their budgies but hopefully they don’t attack it. We just had a really nice catch up, talked about her PhD, my kittens, fun dogs, and watching people outside in the ever-changing weather. 

Mommy came to pick me up about twenty past three to take me for my scan, asking everything moved very quickly! No time to even get my book out, let alone read any. I got changed into a gown and went into the room having answered all the questions, I lay down, and they put a support under my knees and gave me some earplugs. They put the alarm button in my hands incase I had a panic (I never do), and they put some blocks either side of my head and a cage (it’s not a cage but I can’t think of the right word) around my chest to keep me still, then put a blanket over me because I was a bit cold. 

Then I just lay there, eyes closed and cursed silently when my leg would spasm. Listening to all the different noises, imagining all the waves moving through my body. I was in there much longer than I expected, and I was really hot when it was over. So glad to get that blanket off. I was pulled out by two new people who’d taken over, and I put in a plea for the report to be done asap. We can but hope!

The 21st of August. 

Normal service has resumed; back to doing very little. I was able to have almost a normal amount of orange juice this morning, so that consistent treatment of the ulcer on my tongue must be working. Right after we’ve got a load of Difflam. Still, it lasts a long time so I doubt it’ll be wasted. 

Sunday Brunch all morning, which today involved retriever puppies and Miles Jupp whose cackle I just adore. Grandma arrived towards the end having been picked up from church. Daddy fixed my wheelchair because it has been misbehaving a little, but suddenly came over all weird and spent a lot of the rest of the day in bed. It happened on Friday evening too and we can’t really work out a trigger. It’s very mysterious. 

We had pheasant for lunch, then I have spent the majority of my afternoon crocheting the jumper. Twenty two rows of fifty stitches takes a good few hours, and now I’ve got to the end of the end of what I’ve deemed the first section. When I’d got to the end of row 32, I started Slade House by David Mitchell, and have got through the first two chapters. I don’t think it’ll take me long to finish. 

Just had Taid in the phone and his helper woman has just quit without warning and actually without word at all – he’s had to ring her son who has spoken to her and she’s just ignoring the situation completely. She has, in effect, ghosted on him and I’m so, so appalled. I’d like to call her up and ask her who the hell she thinks she is. 

The 18th of August. 

I finished the book last night, and I’ve just started Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. I didn’t know the main character’s last name was Cartwright. Always a tiny bit weird when that happens. I also finished the blanket this morning! I was going to shower first thing, but the boiler man was coming to clean it (the boiler, not the shower) or something so I thought I’d wait until he’d been. To pass the time, I wrote a post, then got on with the end of the blanket. By the time he left, I was so close to the end, I figured I might as well finish, and I’d get in the shower after lunch. 

This afternoon, we baked some chocolate chip and sea salt cookies and a marmalade traybake because we had no cake left in the house and that just won’t do. While they cooked, I worked on a jumper I’ve started, and have just begun my new book. 

That’s all! Tomorrow will be longer; actual things are going to happen. 

The 19th of August. 

I have done things! Too many things, some might say. More about that later. 

Had an early start because Daddy was taking me to Worcester for an Anthony Nolan thing. I had to go to the head offices of one of our corporate partners, Parkwood Leisure, to officially receive a cheque and have some photos taken, say some words. They had a big cricket match, followed by a quiz and an auction which raised £2450, and they’re nearly halfway to their target of £25,000 which is great. I was presented with the cheque, we posed for the photos in which I may have had lipstick on my teeth, then I said a thank you and talked a little bit about where the money goes, and that was it!

This afternoon was fairly quiet, then Christine came home and got to meet the kittens. They were all very sedate and allowed her to pet them; well, Nova and Nola did, Nadia wasn’t having any of it. They are not sedate now. They are mental. 

Tonight, we went out for dinner at Cau. We’d said we’d go back there with Christine so to do it now to celebrate my diagnosis anniversary seemed the perfect opportunity. Started just with bread which I covered in spicy butter to my regret, then I had tapa de cuadril, which is very thinly sliced, flash grilled steak and it was really good – I would recommend. In-between courses, I had a phone call to talk about a potential adopter for one of the cats who wanted to view them this evening. When I told her I couldn’t because I was out for dinner with my family, she said “You know Kathryn, you do live quite a life for someone who…” and then quickly changed the subject. 

Who what? Is disabled? How dare I go outside and eat food with other people? Why am I not sitting at home all the time being ill? Man, if she only knew some of the other things I do, it would blow her fucking mind. 

ANYWAY. Then I had some churros for pudding and they were excellent so I am happy. 

The 16th of August.

Today is nine years since I was diagnosed with leukaemia. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Mommy, Daddy and I were taken from my bed space on Ward 9 to the nurses’ staff room, the only private place, to sit down with my doctor, Mark Velangi. He told us that from the tests they’d done that morning (a bone marrow trephine and lumbar puncture), they had found leukaemia cells in my bone marrow. I looked at the wall and started to cry. 

Today has been very different. We didn’t get off to a great start, finding just before we went out that my chair was still in Daddy’s car. Then, when we went to collect it from him, he was late in appearing, which made Mommy late for her blood donating appointment. They wouldn’t let her donate in that session, so she was going to have to go back at 12.30. To kill time, we had coffee at Joe and the Juice, then browsed in Foyles until she had to leave. I bought three books that were on offer: The Invention of Numbers by Peter J. Bentley, Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, and The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. Then I had a bimble round John Lewis where I looked at wool which I liked but had no use for, then got two cute cat pins that were reduced and a Levi’s shirt that was on sale too! By that time, I thought Mommy would soon be finished, so I went to find a table in Crêpe Affaire, where we were going to have lunch. It didn’t take her long to arrive, and soon we were having tasty pancakes. I had a crêpe florentine, she a superveg and they were really good. On the way to the car, I bought a Nutella doughnut from Krispy Kreme to eat at home. 

That too was incredibly delicious, not too much filling which I like or I find them a bit sickly. And apart from eating that, all I have done is crochet because that is what I do. 

The 17th of August. 

I have stopped reading my book at a critical moment to write this. Like, a child is about to get shot. Or not. Hopefully not. I’ll find out soon, but it’s 6 o’clock and therefore writing time. 

It’s because of clinic this morning that I’m so far into the book now – just over halfway through. We sat around in the exceptionally busy waiting room for two hours before Ram called me in. I wasn’t in with him long, just updated him on all the pain relief I’ve had and he suggested that we just wait for me to see Mr. Harland before doing anything else. I wonder if I ask the chiro, whether they can get him to chivvy me up the list a little? Although the MRI will have to be reported on first. Anyway, then he prescribed all my drugs for the next three months, and we went to sit in pharmacy and wait for those. 

On the way home, we went to get some toothpaste and hamster food (from different shops), and I saw a small girl carrying a pug puppy in her arms and it was so hard to not rush over and wrestle it from her. So. Cute. 

I have spent the rest of my afternoon crocheting and reading. There is not a great deal on the Olympics tonight that we want to watch so I will probably get through a lot more pages then.