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The 28th of September. 

Nobody has more phlegm than me. My throat seems okay now, not really needing the Strepsils. I just cough a lot, and it is my signature cough that I have to do continously until the junk moves. Sometimes it takes a while, and I get a bit lightheaded. The ribs are coping today, I am just really tired. Praying it calms down by Sunday. 

This morning, I woke up early, and did a blog post, and coughed. Just coughed, up until about half eleven, when I finally seemed to get some rest, so then I got Simon’s hat out and started work on that again. 

After lunch, a couple came to view the kittens. I don’t think we’d been in the room even five minutes when Amanda said she was smitten. Not surprising – Harvey just wants to be pals with everyone immediately and Hugo is gorgeous, if less forthcoming. He became a bit more interested once we started playing and they were able to see what he’s like when he’s relaxed. 

They stayed about an hour, and left definitely wanting them. They can’t pick them up until next weekend but that’s fine because it means I get another week of petting. 

The rest of my afternoon was spent finishing Simon. I’ve still got Heinz the Stag to do, but I must do Chloe’s seal first. 

The 29th of September. 

I have a headache, I suspect from lack of oxygen during all the coughing – I checked my sats while I was having a fit and they went down to 92, and my heart rate went up to 140. It’s not great. 

I had a more reasonable sleep – my alarm actually woke me up today which is the first time in a while. We’ll see if that happens again or if it was a fluke. 

This morning, once I’d got through all the morning phlegm, I started crocheting Chloe’s seal. So far, he has a face. It’s going well. 

After lunch, Mommy and I went into town for toy stuffing, returning of Zara jumpers, and to purchase some baked goods from this place called Medicine Bakery which is only open on Fridays and Saturdays. Sadie went when she was home the other week and she approved. I bought a Nutella and s’mores kruffin, plus a cinnamon bun and a blondie. 

OH GOD SO PHLEGMY. 

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The 16th of September. 

I have to keep reminding myself that today is not Saturday for some reason. It just hasn’t felt Saturday-like to me. 

It should have been obvious to me from the start, because I spent the morning in front of Saturday Kitchen. For a lot of it, I was consulting with Emma on her suspected skin GvHD, then writing up a blog post. Couldn’t remember if I had to do that or not until I checked. Brain wasn’t at home today. 

Then again, it kicked in as we watched Only Connect over lunch, because we got several points outside of our normal remit (missing vowels). Then this afternoon, I did a bit of podcast listening, made a couple of visits to the kittens, and finished off the scarf I started yesterday while catching up on Celebrity Masterchef. Finally, I am free of Lesley Garrett. Quite glad to be rid of the Reverend Kate too, because she was becoming rather infuriating. 

Last night, Hugo remained sat on my lap without being constantly fed treats. This is a major win. Henrietta, however, made me bleed again. 

The 17th of September. 

Right, today is Sunday. Definitely. Woke up mid-Sunday Brunch because it started early, and had just got downstairs when Mommy and Daddy were came back from taking Grandma to church. I had my breakfast, then went back upstairs to make myself presentable for going out, as we were going to Birmingham Independent Festival at Aston Hall. 

They waited for Grandma to call once she was done with coffee, then I was to be ready to go out upon their return. I petted the kittens (got some actual audible purrs from Hugo, yes!), put my boots on and off we went. 

We’d almost arrived, when Mommy realised she’d forgotten the tickets. Thankfully, she was able to forward me the email and we could just show the attachment to get in. Phew!

It was pretty much all outside, and the weather was nice, so we looked around at all the different food stalls, trying to decide what to eat. I played it safe and went for a margherita pizza which was a good choice because it had a really soft, doughy crust, just how I like. I found a place to sit and eat while I waited for my parents to join me, but first I was checked out by a wasp. It decided to fly really close to my face and land on my glasses, then come round and land on my ear, right on the tragus and I started to get genuinely worried that it might sting my face or crawl in my ear. My tactic is usually to stay really still, because if one flails about while in a wheelchair then people think you are having some kind of episode. It eventually flew off, and I was texting Christine about it when it came back and landed on my finger. Fuck’s sake. Thankfully, Daddy came along then and it went away for good. 

We ate our lunches, got some coffee from Faculty, then I got a beaver tail from Cake Doctor, which is dough, deep-fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar. So good. There were then craft stalls inside to look at, but they ended up not being really anything we wanted. In fact, there was more food, so I bought a chocolate custard doughnut for later. I am full of sugar. 

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The 15th of August. 

Quiet day in the Cartwright household – I’m on my own because Mommy and Daddy took Grandma up north to see Aunty Audrey, so it’s been a day of carbs, crochet and crime drama. Well, only a little bit of crime drama but I enjoyed the alliteration. 

This morning I did a blog post and watched the last three episodes of Glow. I finished off the little teddy, but because the wool is mainly pink, it looks more like a pig than a bear. 

I sorted myself out some lunch, and had got engrossed in trying to de-pig the bear when the doorbell rang. I had a chap coming to view Betty and had completely lost track of time. I let him in and took him to see her – very much your average viewing, as she is an excellent kitty and showed herself off to the best of her ability. They’ve had a cat for twenty years so I know they can look after one. Just got to confirm, but I’m pretty sure we’ve found Betty a home!

Since then, I have been trying to write a blog post for tomorrow. It will be ten years to the day since I was diagnosed with leukaemia, since this all started. What a decade it has been. 

The 16th of August. 

Happy 10 year anniversary to me!

It has been a lovely day. I had a good sleep, woke up at an acceptable time, and had my breakfast and coffee while I put together a blog post about the day. I put my new charm on my Pandora bracelet, which I think we can now say is full. Convenient – ten years is a nice round time to stop. 

I wanted to make cinnamon buns, so when Mommy got back from Grandma’s, I printed out a recipe I’d found to make them in 45 minutes and we gave it a go! To be fair, Mommy did most of the work, and I did the easy bits, like sprinkling the cinnamon sugar all over the dough. When they came out of the oven, I poured the icing over the top, and let them cool while we ate our lunch. We tore them apart for pudding and have to say, they have been a success!

This afternoon, I went to Black Sheep to get my hair dyed. I had taken inspiration from Love Symbol #2, the colour Pantone released to honour Prince, and mixed it with a dark teal. I have unintentionally matched my glasses and sunglasses. No bleach today, so it didn’t take very long, so there was time to come home and get changed before going out for dinner. 

We went to Water’s at Resorts World, because we’ve known Andy for a long time and know he doesn’t do weird food. I ordered a peach and passionfruit bellini, and set about perusing the menu. I decided to go for a saffron risotto with chorizo and deep-fried squid to start, and a marinated duck breast with spring onions, creamed potato and pak choi to follow. While we waited, we were given tiny tomato soups as an amuse bouche which was delicious. I love bonus food. My risotto was really good, although quite filling, so I had to leave more than I would have liked because I had more food to fit in. I was very glad I did, because my duck was excellent, soft and pink, and I’d been worried that it might have been spicy but I had no trouble. At this point, I had to stop – there was no more room in my belly. I think if we go back I’ll skip the starter and have a dessert instead because Mommy and Daddy were both delighted with theirs. 

I’m very tired and very full and very grateful to be alive.

The 30th of July. 

Not quite one’s average Sunday. The morning was fairly standard – Sunday Brunch, blog post. This week’s comedian pal appearing on the show was Joel, who ate some chips in order to make Nish lose a wager. 

After taking Grandma home from church, Mommy and I went into Sutton to get Pandora charms for today and August. I also got a chocolate dreamcake Krispy Kreme because it’s a day to celebrate. In the end, I went for the anchor charm at Pandora, because they describe it as the “symbol of hope” and hope was all we had at that point. My chances were 20% of 20%, which works out at 4%, and yet somehow, nine years since my second stem cell transplant, I am still here. 

When we got back, we had lunch, and I spoke to a girl who is interested in adopting Betty. She actually happened to be very near my house when we talked, so she came round straight away. Betty was her usual charming self, coming straight up and purring away like a champion. It seemed to go well; she’s gone away to think about it and fingers crossed she wants her. 

The 31st of July. 

My brain was very busy in the night, dreaming about all sorts of things. 

This morning, I worked on the panda head while communicating with Philippa to find out if James had sent my referral to the lymphoedema clinic. She said it had definitely gone, so then I rang the clinic who confirmed that they’d received it, but I won’t get an appointment until October! SIGH. I’m going to have to find someone else to see because I can’t do nothing for another two months. 

After lunch, I went up to the QE to see Dean. He was starting his chemo today so it was a good day to go before he starts feeling too ghastly. Although he wasn’t feeling wonderful today, bless him. Issues with chemo timing hadn’t helped, and pharmacy were being dreadful – his chemo was meant to be at one, but it still hadn’t appeared on the ward when I left at twenty to five. He is taking his mum to see Miss Saigon tonight and I really hope they got there because he’s been looking forward to this for ages. It was nice to meet his mum and younger brother; I have heard much about them so it was nice to have faces to put to names. 

Tonight I’m off to Denise’s for a Cats Protection meeting to try to work out what we’re going to do about homing. 

The 22nd of July. 

Writing this on Sunday morning because I was not exactly in a fit state last night. 

This morning, after breakfast and coffee, I had a lot of typing to do – two long blog posts done. When I have to write very long ones, I use the laptop, but it’s not good for my wrists. My body is so broken. 

I had some lunch, then got myself ready to go to Becky’s for her birthday barbecue. When I arrived, I was presented with a glass of rosé and took a spot in the garden, under the gazebo. It wasn’t super warm, but it was at least not raining. All of the usual gang were there – Chris, Alison, Jamie, Lorna (and her boyfriend Will), Micky and Stuart, Michael and Barbara. Other people were going to come and go as the day went on. 

We managed to soldier through the first shower, but after about 5 o’clock, it was getting a bit chilly and we decamped into the living room. I sat next to Luna, one of the cats, so I always had someone to talk to. We played Cards Against Humanity, which I have not done before, but I won three black cards so I was pleased with myself. 

By the time I had started my third wine, it had got to about half past nine, and I was quite sozzled. Decided it was time to go home – I needed carbs and water, and if I’d stayed, I would have continued to drink and things could have ended rather messily. 

The 23rd of July. 

Hmm well rosé does not agree with me. The last time I had it was at Jill’s when I also had Four Loko and some kind of apple shots so the hangover could have been attributed to any of those. Today I haven’t been hungover, but I’ve had really unpleasant heartburn since last night. Had some Rennies today but it still isn’t 100% gone. Ugh. 

I had a nice morning watching ol’ Nish on Sunday Brunch, writing about yesterday and trying to ignore Rita Ora. I don’t know why, I just find her incredibly irksome. Grandma didn’t go to church, so she came to us for lunch, which we actually had at lunchtime, not mid-afternoon. 

Afterwards, I went upstairs for an hour or so to have a lie down and stretch of my stomach, give it a bit of a rest, while I listened to some podcasts. I came back down to say bye to Christine, and crocheted some more of the minion while the cricket was on. Then I went to see the floofs, and watched one episode of Orphan Black. I’ve got two episodes left of season 4, then I’ll actually be on the current series. 

Grandma has gone home, and I’m starting to think about some tea. More carbs, I think. 

The 20th of July.

Second trip to London this week! So much wheelchair – my bum is not going to thank me. Left much earlier today, as the train was at half ten, so we could have lunch in Covent Garden before the show. We went to Timberyard because it’s my favourite, despite them not doing crodoughs anymore. I had a ham and cheese croissant, a chocolate chip brownie pie and a flat white, after which I was very full and had to undo the top button of my jeans.

We had to pick up the tickets from the Donmar at two, then we waited for Christine to arrive inside the foyer. The rest of the audience seemed to be elderly people, but then again, what can one expect for a Thursday matinee? Anyway, once she appeared, we went to find our seats and settled in for Committee (or The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee takes oral evidence on Whitehall’s relationship with Kids Company). We went because Naomi was involved in the development, and we were intrigued to see how it had turned out. It was a musical developed from the transcripts of the session in which Camila Batmanghelidjh and Alan Yentob were interviewed, plus testimonies submitted for evidence. Considering the material, it is interesting and entertaining. The set is very smart, and the performances of the singers are really remarkable. I’m not sure I entirely grasped the point, but I enjoyed it.

After the show, we went for a drink, then dinner at Hawksmoor. I didn’t really have much room in my belly, so I decided to go for some lemon chicken with Béarnaise sauce and buttered greens, while Mommy and Christine had steak/a burger, then panna cotta. I just wanted a lie down.

We paid the bill, then we had about an hour before we had to be at Euston, so we decided to walk/drive back. The weather was nice, so why not?

The 21st of July. 

Everything hurts. My butt hurts, my legs hurt, my back hurts, my neck hurts. Sitting in the wheelchair for two out of three days is very bad for my body. 

I gave myself a lie-in this morning because I was awake until two, burping. I don’t know why – another mystery of my fucked digestive system. So there wasn’t a huge amount of morning left after breakfast and coffee, and I spent what remained watching BBC Newsroom and writing about yesterday. Tomorrow I will write two very long blog posts. 

After lunch, I started crocheting the minion I am making for Herbie, while I watched Orphan Black. Three episodes done and most of his yellow body. I have much crocheting to do, so I will have to have some industrious days. 

The 20th of June. 

It has been slightly less hot today. It didn’t feel like it this morning – I had to get changed after going upstairs to put on minimal make up because I was so sweaty. It was very unpleasant. 

I was meeting Sadie for waffles at one, so Mommy dropped me off in the Bullring car park and I went up in the lift to Selfridges so I didn’t have to deal with any blinding sunlight. I was early, as always, so I got a table and waited for her while perusing the menu. We decided we would have just waffles, no room for milkshakes too. I went for the Seriously Cinnamon, but without all the whipped cream and stuff they normally put on top. Just cinnamon and syrup for me please. 

I got to hear all about the debacle of her stolen phone, her dealings with the book eater (Matthew Goodwin, her PhD supervisor), and she got to squeeze my fat fluidy arm. A fair trade. Still no venoplasty date, by the way. Once we’d eaten and paid (neither of us could finish our plates), we moved to Starbucks for cold beverages and comfier chairs. Amazingly, sofas became available just as we ordered our drinks! How fortuitous. While there, we saw two children riding around the toy section of Selfridges on these houses that move around like real ones. They’re incredible and I want one. 

Back home, I managed to get the kittens to play a little bit. They will play with me, as long as I don’t make any sudden movements. Sigh. 

The 21st of June. 

Today has been the hottest. And I had to go outside. Bleah. Oxygen clinic at ten, where we saw Ben, who was very happy to see me without tubing on my face and looking much brighter. He also wanted to know what was going on with my venoplasty/PICC, and when we told him that nothing has happened, he said he would email Andrew to try to speed things up. 

Had a slightly longer appointment with the oxygen nurse, just because I had to explain everything about the pneumonia and my stays in during the past six months. She stabbed me in the ear and my oxygen levels were a bit lower than last year but that is only to be expected and they weren’t terrible.

Went into town before going home, where I bought three books (Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, The Power by Naomi Alderman and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), an eyeliner and mascara from Boots, and a fan brush from The Body Shop. The lady who served me had to go and find one from the stock room, and came back with several which she put on the counter. I paid, and she brought my receipt and change round the counter to give to me, but not the brush. I assumed she had just forgotten to pick it up so asked for one and she thought she’d given it to me but I didn’t, so she handed it over. Then we went to Starbucks so I could get an espresso frappuccino. While I was waiting, I happened to look in my bag and saw a brush, which confused me because I was sure I’d put it in the Foyles bag with the books. I checked, and there was a brush in there too! I had no idea how the one in my handbag got there, so I got my drink and we went back to The Body Shop. I went up to the counter, where the lady was, and handed her the extra brush, apologising for my accidental thievery. She was very surprised me but congratulated me on my honesty. Sure I could have kept it, but what would I do with two? Seriously no clue what happened. 

This afternoon, I think I made some progress with Betsy and Brodie – we played games with my fingers. They don’t immediately run away from me now. 

I had an appointment with Trine at the chiro at half four, and it was much better than last time. No hospital bed makes such a difference!