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The 27th of August. 

Slightly better night. I definitely slept more, and my dreams weren’t upsetting. Improvement all round. 

Sunday Brunch this morning, although the only person I really immediately recognised was Tori Amos. None of the comedy pals were on this week. Wrote up a blog post, and exchanged messages with Sophie about her and Pete’s twins, which I can now talk about because they have been officially announced. They were born a week ago, both still in hospital until they get a bit bigger. 

Grandma came for lunch, after an appalling lunch yesterday – wanted to make sure she had a decent meal this weekend. She was given “lasagna” but it looks like sloppy leftovers you wouldn’t even give to a dog. Absolutely fucking atrocious.

After lunch, I went upstairs and watched the last episode of Doctor Foster, then Penny came to visit! She has come home for the weekend so came to see the kittens and had a lovely time talking to Harvey in a ridiculous voice. We had to leave when a poo happened, so we went and ate chocolate and toffee cookie cake in the kitchen. I haven’t seen her properly for years so it was really nice to hang out. She is a babe. 

The 28th of August. 

I had sleep, but the dreams were not good. I am not happy with my brain right now – so many bad dreams, this is not normal. 

It is hot. Even I am actually too warm; I have had to take my cardigan off. Very unusual. Most of my day has been spent with the curtains drawn, crocheting. I think I may have actually crocheted too much, because my left hand is very achy now. No more today. 

This afternoon, I made myself an iced coffee, and it was so painful. The standing up to do so, I mean. My appointment with Dr. Blaney isn’t until the third of October, so until then, I just have to suffer. When I do have to stand, or sit in an unsupportive chair, all I can think about is being able to rest, such is the agony. Penny asked me yesterday what it was like and it is so hard to describe – it’s like there is a knife plunged into my spine and if just stays there, never abating. 

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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!

The 18th of June. 

Too much warmth. Sleeping was not good. I have a sheet on my bed now so hopefully tonight it will be easier. I am not built for this weather. I prefer about eight degrees less than this. Low to mid-twenties is a good temperature. 

This morning was blog post and Sunday Brunch. Coffee, curtains closed. This afternoon, I’ve been counting down until kitty o’clock but now it’s here and they’re going to be late because another fosterer is delayed. Bahhh. After lunch, I started some new crochet (finished the doily last night but it needs ironing), then at 2 I went upstairs to lie in the dark and listen to Gardener’s Question Time because I’m very old. 

Back downstairs an hour later, crocheted until five, then found out about the hold up. Now writing, twiddling my thumbs. Dinner between six and seven so they can’t come then. I just hate it when people are unreliable. It’s not Shaki’s fault, but still it is frustrating. I want my floofs!

The 19th of June. 

Kitties arrived after dinner. They are super fluffy and gorgeous. The mum (Betty) is very friendly, she is very happy to be petted. The kittens (Brodie, Bree, Bailey and Betsy) are less forthcoming – will have to make them enjoy it. 

Obviously it is too hot to do much of anything. Last night was gross – my room is the hottest, even with the curtains closed and windows open. Bleah. 

For most of the day, I have been sat with the kittens, trying to get them used to me. Tennis on in the background, glasses of iced water. The kittens are bouncing around, exploring their new abode, having lots of pretend fights. I can tell which one is Brodie because he’s the only one with short fur. Betsy is the biggest, fluffiest girl, and she’s grey, so I think I can identify her. Bree and Bailey are both brown and look basically the same, but one is lighter. Which one that is, I am not sure. 

Wilting. Really not looking forward to bedtime. 

The 16th of June. 

I have a tiny bit of good news. I gave the ciclosporine eye drops another go last night, fully prepared for it to be awful again. But it was fine. It stung a bit, and first thing this morning was a bit tricky, but it was so much better than last time. So now that extra line of treatment for my eyes is up, let’s hope that helps. 

So it’s been a quiet day. I wrote up a blog post this morning and this afternoon I did some podcast listening and redid all the crochet I’d had to unravel. Now back to where I was, I can try to finish. Will have to do most of it tomorrow because on Sunday, new kitties come, so I will be super distracted. I need some tiny floofs. 

The more that comes out about Grenfell, the worse if gets. The Queen and Prince William visited victims today, Theresa May only went to the hospital where she could control the narrative. Then she goes to a church but nobody sees her and she sneaks out of a side door. No council-lead support; everything is being done by the volunteers. Everybody in power is doing the bare minimum, sometimes not even that. It’s inhumane. 

The 17th of June. 

So hot. So bright. Being on Voriconazole means I’m not really allowed to go in the sun (it majorly increases the risk of getting skin cancer and since we know someone who did get it because they didn’t know, I’m not taking any chances), so I can’t go outside and enjoy it, but even if I could, I’d be so photosensitive, I’d be blind. I miss being able to see without pain. 

It’s been mainly a day of crocheting. Want to finish the doily. And I’m doing very well – I’ve got one round left. Although focusing on tiny crochet hasn’t been great for the eyes. Finish a round, have a rest. Lots of drops. 

Very little to say. I iced some cakes and put sugar elephants and ducks on them. I climbed the stairs and it was fine. That was a really good feeling. It’s been so long since I didn’t need an immediate rest when I got to the top. 

The 19th of July. 

It is too hot for anything other than basic respiration. I have been outside a couple of times just to see what it was like. Thirty seconds was enough. I can barely breathe. 

I was up early because I was at Black Sheep at half nine. I started having a worry that I’d got my appointment wrong because I hadn’t had a text message, but there was no point in ringing because I was the first appointment, so we just went and if I was wrong then I’d just come back to the car. However, I was right, and I just hadn’t had a text because their computer system is throwing a wobbly. 

James and I had a chat and we went much more vibrant because I want it to last longer, but we don’t know quite what will happen because my base is so light. We shall see! Mainly purple with pink fringe and pink back. It is not subtle. 

Went to the gym on the way home so I could take in my letter from Andy Toogood so my membership can be paused for free. Vlad tried to be funny about my hair change and asked if I’d had my glasses painted to match. I flatly shut those down. Do not make jokes about my appearance. I will not laugh. 

This afternoon I have stayed inside, drinking water from the fridge and updating my blog. Tomorrow I can have a day off!

The 20th of July. 

I really don’t want to complain about the weather, especially when I am so often freezing, but it is literally difficult to breathe and it appears that nowhere in our house is cool. 

I managed to get to sleep last night without too much trouble, surprisingly. I swear, the last time I was this hot was in Majorca, when I had leukaemia and didn’t know. Not great memories. At least when we were there, we had a pool I could cool off in. 

This morning I got to have a break from writing. I, like the kittens, have flooped. We have all wilted. I have been pouring extra water on their food to make sure they’re not getting dehydrated. 

I got a lovely card in the post today from Anthony Nolan to thank me for last week. Bless them. Tomorrow they deliver the letter about 2nd transplants to the Department of Health, and I so wish I was going too! Then again, if I were to speak to anyone, I would have to work really hard to not get too angry. Probably best I am not there. 

The 17th of July.

I do love summer, but it’s too hot in the sun. I enjoy being able to wear my dresses though. There are not many days a year that I can, so the next few might require outfit changes so things get worn. 

Got up earlier then usual for a Sunday because Victoria and Isobel were coming to look at kittens at half ten. They were very prompt and I ushered them in, so the kittens legged it to the other end of the room. We stayed where we were, and slowly Nova, Nettie and Noelle all came to say hello. Isobel was very indecisive (as 3 year olds are), stuck between Nettie and Noelle. I think the decision was made for her when Noelle really took to them both, having a great time playing with their fingers. 

They left after about an hour, and they’ll come back to take her home when they are back from holiday in a couple of weeks. Her name will be changed to Sophie so we’ll have to start calling her that. 

After Grandma had been taken home from church and we’d had lunch, Mommy and I went to the Cats Protection Garden Party and took some cakes for them to sell. We saw Jen and Lee, bought some cake, jam and raffle tickets, but couldn’t stay long because it was roasting and I needed to get back to feed the kittens. 

For the rest of the afternoon, I’ve been photographing the kittens for the website, filling in my Anthony Nolan expenses forms and composing an email to Mark Tami about mental health post-transplant. I will update my blog, I swear. 

The 18th of July.

More writing. I think this must be how actual writers feel, doing essentially nothing but. I didn’t get any done this morning because there wasn’t really time before I had to go out. I had my breakfast and coffee, fed the kittens (who are much friendlier now we’ve taken the cage down), then it was time to go to the gym. 

I was meeting with Vlad because now I’ve had this news about my spine, I don’t think it is wise for me to be putting any extra strain on it until I have seen the surgeon, know what’s going on and what we’re going to do about it. Mr. Harland might say it’s fine to exercise, or tell me what I can and cannot do, which would be great and I’d go back immediately, but it hurt every time I worked out and so for now, I will not be gymming. He asked how my diet had been, which I think is funny because I will not be changing that for anyone. It’s taken my entire life for me to cultivate a relatively normal relationship with food, and any obsessive monitoring of what or how much I eat will only end badly. Sorry but not sorry. 

After lunch: writing/blogging. I’ve written up two out of three, with the second one scheduled to be published tomorrow morning, and I’m going to try to do the third one this evening, because tomorrow I’ll have another one to do!

The weather is too warm. I cannot go outside because it just feels too close. The air feels heavy. Sleeping tonight will be a challenge. Daddy’s just got in from work and I remember just how gross the train home can be in this kind of heat so I do not envy him at all. 

The 4th of July.

It took me ages to get to sleep last night – I was cold (probably the only person in the country but still) and I had a terrible pain in my abdomen, and was slightly concerned that infection might be back. But I’m okay, no fevers materialised. 

I managed to write a blog post (I’m still one behind) and read half the paper before Mommy and I went out to Hallfield Day! I took the new chair out on the grass which was interesting. We had a few minor hiccups with ledges but generally, I did quite well. Fiona, Nick and Phoebe came, and she isn’t a baby anymore! She just goes off on her own, no longer small enough for me to sit and squidge. I ate a scone, we watched the fire display, and there was an animal man who did falconry, but also had raccoons, meerkats and a snake! I got to hold Thor, the twelve week old raccoon. After about two and a half hours, the heat was getting to me and my leg was swelling up so we said our goodbyes and came home. 

I had some more food, finished the paper and my leg is back up on a stool. Thinking about engaging Igor’s services one more time before he leaves. 

The 5th of July. 

I woke up from a really bizarre dream in which I was watching a really bad musical starring Cilla Black and at the end, she got Blind Date back on our screens. 

Sunday Brunch, hair wash, lunch, then I decided to try the gym again. And it went much better today! I managed to get through my entire normal routine, just not with as heavy weights as before. I didn’t want to push myself too much and feel sick again. 

That’s all I’ve really done today! I got back from the gym at about half five, so I’ve sat down, watched some athletics and here we are. The chiro tomorrow is going to be painful – I think I’ve brought the whiplash back. My neck is really stiff.