Archives For Ben

The 7th of April.

It’s been a day of marathons – crochet and Scandal. Although, I did start off with a blog post. Then, the crochet began. Had to create a pattern for the bunny’s ears, basically by trial and error, then made the second one. Once they were done, it was time for bunny assemblage. Assemblage, then lunch. However, I then realised I hadn’t made a tail, then I had to make it twice because the first one was disproportionately large. Attached that, and bunny was done!

Took a break to go upstairs and sort out my gym/leggings shelf in my wardrobe, because it is a mess. I really need to go through all my clothes, but at the moment it is just too painful. Once I am pain-free, I can chuck out many things.

Back downstairs, I started on a cinnabon I am making for Adam. It has been a palaver because the pattern has mistakes in, plus it is written by someone who likes to go off on tangents and tell stories that I have absolutely zero interest in. I’ve had to make the top four times! I am happy to have put it down.

The 8th of April.

I have had such a lovely and wholesome day. I went to see Elle, Ben and Luna at their house that I’ve been meaning to visit for over a year, but it has been repeatedly postponed for various reasons. Anyway! I finally got there, had to remind Luna who I was, then I introduced her to the bunny I had made her, who she has named Michelle. We’re not sure where that name came from but hey.

We started playing a game of Frozen snakes and ladders, but after about two and a half turns, Luna got hungry so we put that away. Lunch was a mezze, which Ben has to have for lunch tomorrow too. Baked cheese and bread, prawns, vegetables, fruit, crisps, all sorts of business. I coped with all the food okay, then when I took my Aciclovir, I choked on it and scared everyone (well, Luna didn’t notice). I thought I was okay, then the tablet popped out. It went into a tissue, then in the bin. Haven’t choked in ages! The rest of our time was very pleasant though – lots of talking and playing. I have to try not to laugh when they are doing active parenting – not because of anything they’re doing, just that it still feels odd to see my friends transition into grown-up mode.

Mommy and Daddy came to pick me up at about half three, and came in for some tea and to say hello. They’d gone to see some National Trust-type place with a house and garden, which it sounds like the Winnington-Coes will be visiting too!

The 8th of August. 

I have had the most fun afternoon. Elle came round with Luna, and later on we were joined by Ben who I haven’t seen for aeons, so it was just lovely. 

We’re nearly there on the pain management I think. 30mg of oxycontin plus some top-ups of the oxynorm seems to be taking care of 90% of it, and I think I can cope with the remaining twinges. 

At least on this regime I am sleeping – I think I am feeling the extra drowsiness from the oxynorm, but I don’t mind, it just means more coffee and I get to have sleep! As long as I’m not dropping off mid-conversation (as I have been known to do), I’m happy. So this morning I got up early-ish so I could get my blog done before going shopping to buy food for me, Elle and Luna. Got some picnic-type bits from M&S, then I spent the rest of my morning crocheting until their arrival. 

They got here shortly after two, and I was struck by how chatty Luna is now! I am “Kaffoon”, which I will take, and she was so good and polite, saying all her pleases and thank-yous. We had our lunch of meat and cheese and bread, then decamped into the living room. We played with some toys and she met Graham the hamster while Elle and I tried to converse. After a while, she started getting a bit wriggly and restless, and we resorted to Peppa Pig on Netflix. It’s amazing how she just goes into a trance, almost. No more chat, just pigs. It did mean we could talk properly, so that was nice. Swapping latest medical stories; there’s always something new! For a Peppa break, we went for a wander round the garden so Luna saw the pond (from a distance), smelled the flowers and played with the windchimes. 

Back in the house, we had a small snack, then more Peppa. She did say please every time and I couldn’t say no! Ben appeared, having finished work, and he and I got depressed about the state of the world. It’s hard being so left-wing. By twenty to seven, they needed to get moving because Luna needed dinner and soon it would be her bedtime, and they live on the other side of Birmingham. We packed up all their stuff, and I carried Luna to the car (which was surprising because she is heavy and I haven’t lifted anything for ages). Elle has just texted me at ten to nine and they’ve only just got home! Awful traffic. We’re watching the men diving and there are some beautiful specimens, which is cheering me up after our loss at the rugby. Bloody New Zealand.

The 9th of August. 

I have just had a very worrying hour and a half, wondering if I was going to be sick. We’ve been at the QE this afternoon (just for visiting; I’ll elaborate later) and in the lift down to the car park, I thought I needed some Rennies, but they didn’t seem to do much good. In the car, it seemed to be turning into nausea, so I covered my skirt with a waterproof, moved my bag and shoes out of the way, just in case, and I got one of Mommy’s handy carrier bags to use as a receptacle. I was also really sleepy from the oxynorm, and I always find closing my eyes makes me feel more sick, so I was fighting that too. I clenched my jaw all the way home. 

Thankfully when we got here, we had ondansetron (anti-sickness) so I took one of those, put my pyjamas on, and sat over a washing-up bowl while Mommy rubbed my back. I am very pleased to say it seems to have worked and I do not think I am going to throw up. Still, I’m just going to have a very simple tea.

Had a very quiet morning, just a phone call to the nurse at the Women’s about the lubricant I got with my dilators, but then I got a call from the GP saying my prescription for the dilators (which I’ve already had) was ready to pick up. I’m going to collect it because I might get the right lubricant this time which would be helpful.

This afternoon, as I mentioned, we had a trip to the QE. Our friend Keith is up on the liver ward, being kept well while waiting for a transplant, so Mommy went up to see him and I went to YPU to see a guy called Dean who I met via BuzzFeed/Twitter. He’s got Ewing’s Sarcoma and is in for a week of chemo so I thought I would go say hello. 

We had a delightful time. Two of my favourite nurses, Tina and Laura were on so I got to say hi to them – apparently they had been talking just the other day about how they hadn’t seen me in ages, which is good! Don’t want to be seeing them really, because that would mean I’m poorly. I was passing on some handy hints for surviving hospital – things to pass the time, which he will need a lot of because he’s got eleven more cycles of chemo left. I was recommending My Dad Wrote A Porno and Like Minded Friends to keep him amused/sane; podcasts can be an excellent distraction from all the shittiness that is a cancer ward. 

His boyfriend arrived and was very sweet too, and we were also joined by a lady from The Little Princess Trust who provide wigs. It was interesting to chat about wigs for men because I never met a guy in treatment who had or wanted a wig, so I learned that actually, synthetic wigs are better for men because they can be cut shorter into styles that are more like what most men would have. We also talked a lot about scalp care (coconut oil) and how slow or fast things grow back, like eyelashes are much quicker to come back than hair. There’s so much stuff that you don’t really hear about if you don’t talk to other cancer patients; he’s going to have to have surgery that will put him in ITU for a couple of days where he’ll be ventilated and will have to have physio afterwards to move the crap that will settle on his lungs, so I was enlightening him as to what that’s like. All the phlegm. 

I left with the wig lady, and went up to the seventh floor to meet Mommy and Keith. Also in his rroom were his husband Gareth, a lady I didn’t know, and her partner/husband who is actually a doctor at the hospital in the thrombosis clinic who works with Gill who looks after me! We only stayed about half an hour longer, mainly discussing wedding hats and holidays. We really had to go at half five, and it was just as well because then I started feeling ill. 

I seem to be fine now. I had a boiled egg and soldiers for tea which has stayed with me, so I think I’m alright. It’s never simple!

2015 has been pretty fucking fantastic, overall. The beginning and past few days have not been ideal, but other than that, so many great memories! The crazy Valentine’s Day, when Josie, Josh, Joe, Tom, Romesh and Mat all came to visit, coming off steroids, Lyme Regis, the Comedy Gala with Aisling, Katherine, Sara etc, meeting Dawn O’Porter by chance, going to see Heidi, The Hand and Flowers and meeting Tom Kerridge, getting my electric wheelchair, going to The News Quiz and meeting Sandi, hanging out with Elle, Ben and Luna, Hallfield Day with Thor the raccoon, Padstow, Becky and James’ wedding, meeting Yaser Martini at Tom’s Kitchen, getting kittens, visiting Naomi and seeing Curious Incident, Duck and Waffle, my autumn of comedy and hanging out with Suzi, Josh, Joe and Nish, Death Cab, Christmas, now here we are!

I couldn’t be more grateful for such a wonderful twelve months and I am indebted to all those who made it possible. 2016 is going to have to be really incredibly astounding to beat it but let’s give it a go! I hope it’s just as good to all of you. Be kind to one another and yourselves.

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The 29th of November. 

I was thinking I might have a Zopiclone tonight having had bad sleeps recently, but after a visit from Elle, Ben and Luna, I don’t think I’ll need it. She is a tiny whirlwind human. 

This morning I busied myself with a blog post and the assembling of a crocheted thing. I am being vague about it in case someone finds out what their presents are. It took a good couple of hours because it’s quite a stressful process, making sure everything goes in the right place and is adequately stuffed. Got that finished, then lunch. The Winnington-Coes were supposed to arrive at half one but they were a tad late so I started sewing up another thing but didn’t quite finish it. 

Once they arrived, it was mild chaos. She will march off in any direction. Many things came out of the bags to entertain her, mainly musical books. We also spent a long time trying to get her to make a duck noise, and were suitably delighted when she did. The only word she can really say is “car”. Ben dearly wishes he understood her ramblings and one day they’ll make sense but for now it’s just noises and pointing. 

I didn’t get any smashy hugs this time, just a little headbutt. They headed off at about half four, when she got grizzly and sleepy, and took her new hat and mittens with them. She refuses to wear hats right now, but that’s fine because it’s a bit big so she can grow into it. 

I love watching her grow. I hope I get to for as long as possible. 

The 30th of November. 

It was a normal day. Daddy forgot his glasses again so we were taking them to him, then doing a couple of jobs in town. I took back one of the purses I’d bought for Mommy to House of Fraser, then went to John Lewis to get my wrapping paper. Doing a red and white theme. 

They didn’t have the sort of ribbon I wanted, so we went to Paperchase because I knew they would. We were moving through Selfridges, and there was a man dawdling in front of me so I swerved and overtook him. The next thing I knew, I felt this man’s full weight on top of me, one elbow in my head, his other hand on my bag. He used me to push himself up, and I asked him if he was alright. He didn’t extend the same courtesy to me, and walked away. I buried my face in my scarf, breathed deep, willed the tears back into my eyes. I know I make jokes about being invisible, but I’ve never been fallen on before. I was in front of him and he claimed he didn’t see me. It really hurt, physically and emotionally. It made me feel like nothing, no one. It’s like I live on the cusp of a normal life. I know that when I’m in the chair, all people see is the chair, but today they didn’t even see that. I don’t have anyone I can talk to about this. Nobody I know could understand.

The 20th of February. 

Ah a bit of baby-squidging can fix me every time. I woke up and did not feel brilliant because I’m extraordinarily full of fluid today so I’ve got a ridiculous amount of chins and my arms are getting painful. I didn’t really feel like going out this afternoon but I thought seeing the Coe-Winningtons would make me feel better and I was right. 
During the day I have finished and made update Winston so he will be ready to go to Heidi’s! Now I begin Jamie and Georgia’s monkey and bear. 
So yes, mid-afternoon Mommy took me to meet Elle, Ben and Luna. She is getting so big and fat which is my favourite kind of baby. Speaking of babies, also in Starbucks was Greg Rutherford with his baby! His baby was quite angry though. 
We spoke to the QE regarding my line. They need to talk more, we have to monitor my temperature, if I feel at all unwell we have to ring 625, and on Monday morning we have to ring back. I bloody hope they form a plan because this is becoming intolerable. 
The 21st of February. 
I had a double Zopiclone night. I was fine, then when going to brush my teeth, I was coughing so much, I got really out of breath and upset about my arms, and how I’ve been wanging on at my doctors for weeks about this, and it’s taken so long that now the line is infected and it’s even more complicated to fix. Essentially a lot of “it’s not fair” self-pity that got me rather worked up and incapable of sleep. 
I got up at ten, and after watching Saturday Kitchen, Mommy washed my hair and I’d just finished drying it when Aunty Hilary and Uncle Jeremy arrived. Yesterday they found themselves with a suddenly free day and asked if they could come and visit. We had nothing on, so up they came! We had a nice catch-up, Mommy roasted a chicken and we watch some athletics. Plus the saga of Taid’s phone (it’s as exciting as it sounds), bless him. He makes his life so much more complicated than it need be. 
They were on their way at about half four, so since then, we have taken down all my cards (83 at final count) and I’ve started on Benedict the Chimpanzee for Jamie. 

The 4th of November. 

Well I slept until half nine, but I was awake in the night and I couldn’t get back to sleep until I put the electric blanket on ’cause I was so cold. 

Today I basically crocheted all day, working on the current scarf, taking breaks only for lunch, blog updates and a quick trip to Sutton to go to Boots, M&S, WHSmith and Starbucks (peppermint mocha yaaay). 

That is all I have done today really – I painted my nails this morning? It’s not been a particularly exciting day, in terms of activity. I went through Olive and Delicious magazines, marking all the recipes I want to eat. Christmas food magazines are the best. 

The 5th of November. 

Today has been non-stop! We had our flu jabs at quarter past eleven, but we didn’t get called in until quarter to twelve. That would’ve been fine but I had the hygienist at ten past twelve. I hate the waiting room at the GP; it’s disgusting and I breathed through my scarf. Don’t touch anything. We got to the hygienist on time (just) and she was very pleased with my teeth and gums, so there was minimal abrasive flossing. 

From there, we went straight to town where the Bullring car park was really busy, but then the Starbucks in Selfridges was very empty! Which was a good thing. I got a steak and gorgonzola panini and a honey and almond hot chocolate which was covered in chocolate whipped cream and gold glitter! Jo arrived after a stressful meeting, but calmed down with a triple cheese toaster. She has been having some super fun times (not), bless her. She had to be back at work for half two, so she left and Elle, Ben and baby Luna arrived! Oh she is so cute and tiny. Three weeks old tomorrow. She was very sleepy, just happy in my arms for a few hours. She got a bit squirmy but then had some food and was better, apart from a tiny bit of sticking. When Mommy came to pick me up, she had a little cuddle too. I want her to get fatter! Need to squidge. 

Traffic home was not great, then we had tea, then Becky came to collect her snood and just general chat. She’s got her knee surgery on Friday and I was trying to explain what it’s like to get put under anaesthetic. I really enjoy it, but I’m not sure that’s the same for everyone! I just like knowing I’m going to have a nice sleep. Cosy.