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The 3rd of May.

I have been putting this off because writing it down makes it real.

It’s been a pretty quiet, mildly shitty day. I still have this stupid dry cough which wakes me up throughout the night, although my throat is less scratchy now, which I suppose is a plus.

We went into Birmingham this morning so I could pick up my copy of the new Jeffery Deaver novel, The Burial Hour. I also needed to get a thank you card to give James tomorrow when we have our last ever appointment, and Mommy wanted a blank card to put a cross-stitch in but couldn’t find one.

This afternoon, I phoned Andrew’s secretary, Emelda, again, but he hadn’t got back to her and there were no spaces in his clinics until the beginning or end of June. At this point I got upset and I tried to explain about the wedding. I didn’t do it on purpose, but she then said she’d keep trying for me and I’d hear back as soon as she spoke to him.

Mommy then went to Grandma’s, and I watched the new Pretty Little Liars and started the book. Mid-programme, Emelda called me back, and I’ve got an appointment for 25th May, so I will “go to the ball”, as she put it. I didn’t tell her that really I need to see him much sooner because she’s obviously pulled strings to get me in there, but I’m going to have to attend the wedding in my wheelchair, on oxygen and with a giant, swollen arm. I am so tired of this. My hateful body.

The 4th of May.

Nothing like bad news from a friend to prompt a reality check. Dean had his operation on Wednesday to remove the tumour on his rib. That part went as predicted, but what the had not expected was to find new tumours elsewhere that weren’t visible on his scan four weeks ago. Obviously this has been a shock to everyone, so they don’t know what the plan will be. I am just devastated for him, for Adam, and his family. I know how it feels to relapse but he hasn’t even been in remission yet. He knows I am here, for whatever he needs, This is the worst of days.

Up until hearing this news, I was having a pretty good day. I don’t think I have coughed so much today, but I won’t get my hopes up about improvement just yet. I had an appointment at Black Sheep to see James to re-tone my hair, my last session with him! I gave him his crocheted monkey and a card with a rainbow sheep on – I thought it was the most appropriate. I was not there for so long today, he was just going over the colour again, so now I’m a bit more vibrant. It has been our best work.

Home briefly, then back out, to the QE for my physio assessment. They were very on time, so I had barely started reading my book before I was called through. I filled in a questionnaire about my pain, then a chap came to see me. We talked a little bit about medical stuff and my current limitations re: oxygen, then he wanted to see what I could do. He had me stand up and bend forwards and backwards, then sit on the bed and twist left and right. Apparently I am quite stiff when going backwards and left. I then had to lie back and do some stuff with my pelvis and legs. Basically, he can give me some exercises/stretches to try out for a few weeks, then I’ll go back and we’ll see what progress has been made. He was very impressed with my enthusiasm and determination, which made me laugh because I used to be so terrible with physios, always pretending to be asleep when they came. I learned the hard way that that is not helpful.

The 6th of November. 

Tired. I got to wake up at a normal time but I had a weird night, having a Groundhog Day kind of dream but it was horrible. Happy to see daylight. 

This morning, after my blog post, I sat with the kittens all through Sunday Brunch to make sure they were okay (Ava was a bit off last night) and take some new pictures of Amy and Archie. Photos of Amy may not be entirely necessary as we now have a potential adopter coming to see her tomorrow. 

After lunch, I went upstairs to scan all the books I am getting rid of into the webuybooks.com app. Turns out they will accept a grand total of ten of my books for the princely sum of £6.01. Still no plan for the rest of them. Hmm. 

That did not take a great amount of time, so I spent the rest of my afternoon starting Anton the angel, realising I’d been using the wrong colours, unravelling it and trying again. Thankfully I hadn’t got too far. He is meant to be wearing white shorts and the different between the white and cream I use for the face is negligible. Going to have to come up with a way to make the contrast more obvious or he’ll just look naked. 
Oh god Trump cannot win. I just thought about it and felt my stomach physically plummet. 

The 7th of November. 

I was expecting to be woken up by builders this morning who are doing the roof next door, but thankfully they didn’t get the delivery of tiles until during the day. That does, however, probably mean they’ll wake me up tomorrow. 

I spent my morning finishing off Anton, so now I just need to attach some beads to Xaver and add the contrast to the outline of Anton’s shorts. Then they will be properly complete and I can take photos. They’re adorable. 

I got done just before lunch, so after I’d eaten, it was back to the gym for a shorter than usual session so I could leave at four. I was very productive though, upping most of my weights, so I’ll probably hurt tomorrow. That’s okay, the only thing I have to do is take the cats to the vet for their second jabs. 

I wanted to finish at four because at five, I had a lady coming to see Amy. She has been and gone, and I think it’s going to work out. They got along, she’s had cats like Amy before so I’m waiting confirmation but I think it’s going to be a yes. Then it’ll just be Archie!

The 30th of August. 

Well I have at least left the house today. We had a trip into Sutton this morning, mainly so I could get a new top coat to try because every one I use goes gloopy, and other things were incorporated. I also needed some more hand cream, but Boots (where I got the top coat) didn’t have mine, so we then had to go to Superdrug where they did. Then we went to Waterstones so I could get The Bone Clocks. I didn’t realise Slade House was a companion book to it, so having read that, I wanted to read the rest. Last thing was a TV Times for Grandma and we were home in time for the end of This Morning. 

After lunch, I assembled the cat I’ve been making, watched the VMAs (I am living for Beyoncé’s performance) and the penultimate episode of Zoo, then crocheted two granny squares with leftover bits of wool while Christine was on the phone, regaling us with a tale of the enormous spider she encountered this morning. We have not had any horrors yet and I am really hoping it stays that way. 

The 31st of August. 

There is only so much crocheting one can do. None today. 

This morning, I wasn’t sure what I’d find when I woke up because Daddy felt shit again last night (apparently he ate an evil biscuit which was the culprit) but he was just off to work so obviously feeling better. It seems gluten can affect people with Ménières so he’s got to avoid that now, which sucks for him. I love bread so much, I would be devastated if I had to give it up. 

Instead of crocheting, I watched the summer finale of Pretty Little Liars and started The Bone Clocks. So many questions (spoilers): Spencer’s dad was banging both twins? Classy. When did Jenna teach Noel Kahn and Charlotte anything? How was Sara Harvey involved? Is Toby dead? Is Alison pregnant with Emily’s eggs that went missing? What’s going to happen now Nicole isn’t dead? So many questions to be answered in just ten episodes! I better be fucking satisfied. 

Less questions about The Bone Clocks. I’ve just finished the 1984 chapter. 

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. 

The 20th of May. 

I am feeling very excited about this weekend. Tonight is Katherine Ryan, tomorrow off to meet the Wilder-Heritages and Sunday is X-Men!

Today has not been particularly thrilling. Blog post this morning, then let the kitties run around and be mental. Lots of playfighting today. I tend to let them carry on until there is crying or growling, then I intervene. 

After lunch, I decided to go to the gym. However, that turned out to be kind of a bad idea because a) it was very busy and b) there were lots of people there who irritate me. After an hour and a bit, I’d had enough, so I binned off the rest and went home. 

Since then, I have got changed, made myself presentable and re-done my nails. I shall update after the show. 

[Time passes.]

Such a fun gig. When you enter a venue to the calypso beats of Sorry by Justin Bieber you know it’s going to be good. We were gifted an extra set of 45 minutes by her support, Stephen Bailey, who is very funny and delightfully filthy. He was not fazed by a staunch defender of Blackpool. In the interval I got taken backstage by Annie the tour manager for a brief dressing room hang, where I presented Katherine with Violet’s elephant, and we talked about my blog, how no one hits on me at the gym and the fact that we have zero chill. I always have such fun with comedy pals, and Stephen is now a member of the cool gang. 

Katherine’s set was excellent as always, and she dealt very well with the drunk chap in front of us. He was very irksome. But now I must go to bed because I have a very early start tomorrow. 

The 21st of May. 

I love it when a plan comes together. 

This morning we drove down to Ashford so I could meet Robyn, Stu and Herbie. We left at eight, stopped briefly at South Mimms for coffee, and we arrived shortly after twelve. 

Robyn was making our lunch, so Stu and I chatted and I gave Herbie his Moomin and Stu the cookies we made, which reminded him of the gift he’d got for me. It was was a magic/joke kit, from the John Lewis haberdashery because the only other thing there he could find was a make your own pants kit which he didn’t really feel was appropriate, and I concur. Besides, endless fun to be had with fake insects in ice cubes. Herbie was very shy of me at first, but soon enough I was being presented with Lala, Al Fox, books, and even his light-up shoes. I am definitely in there. 

We had a delicious pasta bake for lunch (no mushrooms) which Herbie was not enormously impressed with, but he did then enjoy lots of blueberries. He is full of anti-oxidants, that boy. Much better at fruit than me, evidenced by our pudding of chocolate cake.

After lunch, Herbie got a bit grumbly and tired so Stu took him upstairs for a nap, and Robyn and I swapped medical stories. Stu came back down and we talked about some of the weirder things that have happened, like my hallucinations, and we have a title for my imaginary future book – I Don’t Want To Be A Scone (The Waiter Only Takes The Fancy Bedpans). It’ll all make sense when it comes out, worry not. When Herbie woke up, I showed him the Moomins song on YouTube and we took some photos while I tried to get his attention by making cat noises. 

It was time to go too early; I was having such a lovely time. Meetings with Twitter friends never last long enough. 

The 6th of May. 

Last night, I had a dilemma about which of my new books to read. That’s fixed, as I have spent my day reading The Girl on the Train. I figured that I could get it done in a day and I was correct – I sat in the kitten room all afternoon while they ran around, until Freya started eating the cable ties on the cage and I had to put them back in or I worried she’d hurt herself. 

This morning I mainly lounged around in my pyjamas, wrote up a blog post, and I rang Dr. Robinson’s secretary but had to leave a message as she wasn’t there. When she rang back, I explained what had been going on and that I would really like to see Dr. Robinson before my appointment in January. The first time she could offer me was in September which will not do, but she can’t overbook a clinic. However, she has given me the number of the clinical nurse specialist who I can ring on Monday and she can add me to a clinic so I feel happier about that. 

That is all, really! I just read all afternoon for hours, which I rarely do anymore. I used to read so much more when I was younger, devoured books when I was in hospital, but stopped for a long time. It’s good to get back to books. 

The 7th of May. 

Christ, my back canes. We’re going to Wales on Thursday and I don’t even want to think about how it’s going feel after three hours in the car. 

My day did not go as planned. I was informed last night about a chap who was interested in one or two of the kittens, so I gave him a call this morning and we arranged for him to come round to look at them this evening as I was going to be out this afternoon. 

Daddy and I were going to see Florence Foster Jenkins at half past two, but that got derailed. I went into the kitten room to let them run around for an hour before we went out. I’d been in there for forty minutes, and Frieda had gone to all three litter trays more than once, but not left anything in them. I rang Shaki who didn’t pick up, so I rang Jen, who said to keep an eye on her but as the rest of her behaviour was normal, she might just be practising. However, just after she hung up, Frieda left some blood in a tray and fortuitously, at that moment, Shaki rang me back. I told her and she happened to be 5 minutes away so she came round and we found more bits of blood in other trays. We decided to ring the vet, who told us to bring her in. 

When we arrived, there was just us and a boy, about sixteen, with his dad and their Westie who was just lying in his bed, evidently unwell. The boy was in obvious distress, so I took over some tissues because he didn’t appear to have any. The dog’s name was Chipper, and his kidneys were packing in. I could sympathise, because that was Oscar’s problem. I just crouched by Chipper and stroked him while they talked. I think it helped? To talk about happier times. Then the vet came to take them through so I gave him another tissue and went back to Mommy, Shaki and Frieda. We talked a bit about the chap coming later, and it wasn’t long before we were called in and the two guys came out, both fighting back tears. Losing a pet is the worst. 

Not sure what’s the matter with Frieda. Cystitis or colitis but we can’t tell and can’t treat both. The thermometer didn’t have any blood on but that’s not confirmation. She’s had a 48 hour antibiotic injection and another worming tablet, and she’s been super sleepy all afternoon. Since I was back early, I rang the potential adopter to see if he wanted to come early, so they did. Just as we had a very heavy, thundery shower. He and his two sons came, and Frieda and Freya were conked out on my lap. Freddie played around, and Freya allowed them to pick her up, she even climbed up onto the older boy’s shoulder. They really want lap cats, and I think they’re going to take both girls. When Frieda is better.