Weekly Blog No 84 – Rio 2016 Olympics 

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It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years since the London’s Olympics held in the UK. London was a magnificent host and the country proved to be a huge success. This year the hosting nation is Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and has already provided an amazing opening ceremony.

Great Britain is hopeful for a few medal winners this year. Here’s a few of the names to watch out for and their Olympic metal history

Athletics 

  • Mo Farrah – 2  Gold Medals
  • Jessica Ennis – Hill – 1 Gold Medal
  • Greg Rutherford –  1 Gold Medal
  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Boxing 

  • Nicola Adams – 1 Gold Medal

Cycling

  • Lizzie Armitstead – 1 Silver Medal
  • Chris Froome – 1 Bronze Medal
  • Jason Kenny – 3 Gold & 1 Silver Medals
  • Laura Trott – 2 Gold Medals
  • Sir Bradley Wiggins – 4 Gold, 1 Silver & 2 Bronze Medals

Equestrian

  • Charlotte Dujardin – 2 Gold Medals

Golf

  • Danny Willett

Gymnastics

  • Max Whitlock – 2 Bronze Medals
  • Louis Smith – 1 Silver & 2 Bronze Medals

Rowing

  • Helen Glover and Heather Stanning – 1 Gold Medal

Swimming

  • Adam Peaty

Tennis

  • Andy Murray – 1 Gold & 1 Silver

Triathlon 

  • Alistair and Jonny Brownlee – A 1 Gold Medal & J 1 Bronze Medal

Good luck to all the sportsmen and sportwomen in Rio, 2016.

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Challenge No 83 – Movies

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Today as I’m starting to feel a little better than my NORMAL, so we decided to go the cinema to see Jason Bourne. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to leave the house due to symptoms. I managed to get through the whole movie without any serious symptoms. I am very tired but it is butt dart day tomorrow.

The cinema experience is very different in Canada, far more leg room, comfy chairs and amazing food choice. Unlike the UK, less leg room, semi comfy chairs, unlimited food choice and seriously overpriced. However Canada doesn’t do sweet popcorn it’s either salted or butter, which has never appealed to me or Mr Zebrakat. Armed with sweet popcorn, pick & mix and cold drinks, we were ready to go and watch some action.

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Matt Damon aka Jason Bourne has never failed in his action packed movies. Another great story and I’m sure he’s going to be back again at some point with another sequel.

 

Weekly Blog No 82 – Favourite Colour. 

Most people have a favorite colour, whether it be blue, green, red or even pink, only to name a few. I’m not sure all of us would wear our favourite colour but we are likely to buy a product in our favourite colour. I love colour, yet there is colours I just wouldn’t wear because I feel they wouldn’t suit my skin tone. I won’t always buy a product in my favorite colour  either as I do prefer the colour to suit the product. I don’t think a yellow iPhone would necessary look great or a black bar of soap. 

 I chose baby pink for my wedding theme colour but I wouldn’t wear the same pink or own a purse in the same  colour. My mother has a passion for emerald green (it’s an Irish thing) therefore she is both likely to wear and purchase an item of the same colour. Mr Zebrakat likes blue, yet I’ve only see him purchase a couple of items of that colour, like an expensive pen or other stationary items. I have yet to see a blue Audi. 

I’m so weird in respect of colour as I don’t think I have a favourite colour as such as I like various colours. My colour choice will be dependent on my purchase. I will give you a few examples below of what I like:-

  •  Silver cars
  • White bed sheets
  • Red or orange purse
  • Red stationary items 
  • Pink/red lipstick/nail varnish
  • Silver saucepans
  • Brown belts
  • Pink flowers
  • White/cream everyday kitchenware
  • Photo albums in warm colours, reds, oranges, yellows etc
  • Green/red mobile phone covers

That is only a few examples colour choice verses product, it does seem I’m not a lover of your blues & purple. Yet I know I like to include blues and purples in the garden. 

The meaning of colours. 

Red – energy, passion and action

Orange – adventure and social communication

Yellow – the mind and the intellect

Green – balance, harmony and growth

Blue – trust and responsibility

Indigo – intuition, perception and the higher mind

Purple/violet  – imagination and spirituality

Turquoise – open communication and clarity of thought

Pink – unconditional love and intention

I guess that explains alot about my colour choices for certain items. I know some of my friends have favourite colours and I can relate the above meaning of colours to their individual personalities. 

 
Written in UK English. 

Weekly Blog No 81 – Chocolate Toothpaste Tart

Completed 1 Tart

Another UK school dinner favorite, although I’m not a huge fan. I’m sure chocolate lovers will love this recipe, as no baking is required, especially if you purchase a ready made pastry case. I assume the name chocolate toothpaste comes from the consistently of the filling representing toothpaste.

Makes 1 Tart

Ingredients

  • 70g margarine
  • 150g sugar
  • 20g instant hot chocolate powder
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 230g dried milk powder
  • 1 ready made pastry case
  • 150ml warm water

Method 

Cream together 70g margarine and 150g sugar until smooth. (I used caster sugar as the granules are smaller)

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Add 20g hot chocolate powder and 20g cocoa powder to the margarine/sugar mixture and cream together.

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Mix 230g dried milk powder and 150ml warm water together in a separate bowl until smooth.

Blend both mixes together until smooth and thick .

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Pour into a ready pastry case and put in the refrigerator until set.

I apologise for the messy edges to the pastry case, I wasn’t having the best of days.  Enjoy

(Written in UK English)

Weekly Blog No 80 – Cancer Update

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I have not been keeping up on my weekly blog due to ongoing issues. My symptoms are relentless sometimes and can be from morning and continue throughout the night.

2 weeks today, I had a colonoscopy and I am waiting for the biopsy results. The bowel prep wasn’t wonderful but eating lighter meals for a few days before the procedure certainly helped. In Canada, you don’t remember the procedure that you had, which I thought was amazing. In the UK, even though the right drugs are given, you’re very much awake and you can feel some discomfort. I would love to be time machined back to Canada for this procedure. How can 2 country’s be so different. The GI Consultant knew I had a bad experience before in UK and he saw it, as a challenge to wipe away my bad experience. He was amazing and very compassionate.

The following morning I was seen by a Net Consultant not my usual Net Consultant and I will say he was greatly missed. Let’s just say fish & chips can work in harmony, where this one was more of a case of salad & chips, not so harmonious.

After digesting my salad & chips appointment, I did telephone the department and ask for a fish & chips in future.  I don’t need to be considering side orders if  it has no beneficial impact to my health or immediate care. You may think a side order of beetroot is good for me but it’s not advantaguous to me

I did walk away armed with medication and more investigations to be undertaken. I will start scans again next weekend, let’s hope there is a positive outcome

In the meantime, the Net Specialist Nurse arranged for a Macmillan Nurse to see me for symptom control. She was a breath of fresh air. More like caviar & chips lol. She has made further changes to my meds, including ones I already commenced last week.

She is arranging for a Specialist to see me at home to explore some more of my symptoms. The Macmillan Nurse is going to check in with me again early this week. I did thank the Net Specialist Nurse because local support is required when symptoms are ongoing.

My Family Physician has also referred me to be seen by a Gynaecologist on the request of the Net Team. I had a hysterectomy early 30’s but retained my ovaries. I’m having some pain in the pelvic area, we know  I have disease in the pelvic area so we going to investigate carcinoid ovary or it could just be a case of cysts on the ovary’s. Let’s see what happens.

Overall there are lots going on, I definitely  feel like I’m declining, however I look ok. Appearance is not everything. My medication represents a very sick person but it’s not out on show. Therefore there is no telltale signs. I like to think I just get on with it but having the Macmillan Nurse acknowledge your illness certainly makes you more aware that you really are ill and that is why these people are here. I will stress these visits are only for symptom support not end of life support.

Here’s a link to the Macmillan Nurse and the service they offer. They are the most compassionate caring people. My Macmillan nurse even  hugged me goodbye on out first meeting. She wanted to keep Lottie too but that wasn’t going to happen. Lol

Weekly Blog No 79 – Aunts

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I am lucky to have my many Aunts in my life. My Aunts have always been good to me in one way or another, however I have consistently maintained contact with my Aunt P who is also my Godmother. For years we have kept up the snail mail service with cards etc. (I do believe I have every letter and card she has ever sent me) I know, I’m a sentimental hoarder. We have also developed the art of a long phone call, it’s so easy when conversation flows. 

She is a wonderful, caring and supportive individual. Her love has never waivered and I’m truly grateful to her and her family. I have learned things over time from her, how to make good roast potatoes, my love for terracotta pots, teapots & tea leaves and finally good authors.

Yesterday my aunt and cousin came to visit me. It was such a lovely afternoon, we ate a cold lunch followed by cake. However on this occasion, no teapot was available as its still packed in my Rocky Mountain of Canadian boxes. As per normal, our conversation was flowing like we’ve never been apart. Three woman putting the world to rights. 

Thank you to all my Aunts. Im lucky to have so many amazing inspirational woman in my life. Love to you all. ❤

Weekly Blog No 78 – Cancer Appearance

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This is just my line of thought but I am sure there are other people who can identify with this. Carcinoid Cancer can be a blessing in regards to your appearance as the majority of us patients don’t experience the physical signs of cancer, weight loss, hair loss and generally looking unwell. I use the word ” blessing” because in my eyes it is a blessing, however people make assumptions reflecting on your appearance.

I have gained weight due to the cancer and the overload medication hasn’t helped. I recently had to get my wedding ring cut off and resized due to weight gain. Whats more I was shocked and on the other hand not surprised that it had to be increased in size by 6 ring sizes, yes 6.  I’m lucky to have long blonde hair that I can style. Furthermore I have black rings under my eyes but that can be concealed with make up. I do have a tendency to not dwell on my illness, therefore its less obvious to some people.

I believe unless people can see the physical signs of a generic cancer you don’t have an illness. I do have a small network of people who thoroughly understand what I am going through on a daily basis.Trust me, I’m feeling the daily effects of cancer and no day is the same, a good day in my eyes maybe completely different to you. I can get excited over achieving the laundry or writing an email to someone. Tasks that I was more than competent on doing with my eyes closed.

This is not about my daily struggles, this is about people assuming your ok because of how you look. Dont make assumptions, communication is key, speak to the patient, and learn what they are having to deal with. It’s the same in regards to interpretation of support but I will save that one for another day.