Weekly Blog No 86 – Happy 6th Birthday Lottie

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Lottie’s annual message.

Wow it’s my 6th birthday. Let me tell you about my last year. I’ve been back in the UK for over 12 months now and I have adjusted very well. Can’t say I love the rain, I still prefer the snow. Who invented rain anyway and what is it’s purpose? I still don’t like my coat getting wet, I hate looking like a drenched rat and half my size. They should do dog umbrellas!!!

I attend doggy day care for socialising, whilst my human mum attends her hospital appointments. I have a few friends now at the kennels. One of them is Mitzi, she’s a chihuahua. I do a lot of chasing with her. Boy am I tired after, its like a months workout for humans.

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I have developed an obsession for neighbours cat (Timmy) next door. Timmy likes to cross over my garden to get to his. He leaps over the fence and makes me jump out of  my skin. I do see a cat at the local car wash but that cat doesn’t bother me, we just do a stare off. Timmy on the other hand insists on teasing me through the patio doors walking over my territory. Dam cat.

I love my groomer Sophie, she does a great job and makes me smell beautiful, however my dad has a habit of going too far with my haircuts. My human mum likes me looking adorably cute and my human dad gets carried away on the hair on my face being too short and trying to make me look like a Jack Russell.

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It’s quiet funny hearing my human mum say after a haircut ” what have you done to my dog, poor Lottie”. However to me it means more fuss and I’m not going to say no, to more snuggles and cuddles.

As you know, UK drive thru’s are not much fun, like they were in Canada. Therefore my human dad does take me to the local bakery on Saturday and the women adore me. Therefore I go into my cuteness mode and walk out with a sausage every time. I do get heaps of cuddle & fuss.

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I’m still all over my human mum, she’s my snuggle blanket, however my human dad is the Santa of treats. They do eat some exciting stuff, my nose is constantly being tormented by my human mums cooking. I do love chicken though and if I had springs on my paws, I would snatch the chicken away. Why does chicken taste so good.

That’s all for this year, maybe I will get some chicken as its my birthday.

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Weekly Blog No 85 – Cancer Update 

 

AWOL

I seem to have disappeared off radar but I’m very much here dealing with the challenges of health.

I’ve had tests, scans and even seen Specialists. It’s an ongoing cycle, which you learn to adapt too. No one prepares you for a full-time role in the delights of medical facilities. If I had known this was my life plan, I would have done a bit more travelling. I only had one continent to do and it was Australia. Never say never.

During this period of disappearance. I’ve had bed rest and when I am awake I enjoy the pleasure of reading. I’ve read a few books but one in particular got my undivided attention. Mr Zebrakat couldn’t even speak to me when I was reading this book.  Usually i am great at multi tasking, reading, listening to the television or radio and conversing with him. On this occasion bless him, he got nothing. The book was called “Finding Tipperary Mary” by Phyllis Whitsell. You all know I have a passion for Irish stories especially true stories. Thank you Auntie P.

Finding Tipperary Mary

I’ve had some friends over entertaining me. What enjoyment they are, you know who you are. I have to say they are the best medicine, I’m always giggling at something or some memory we had. I am always grateful to the people who put themselves out for me. I know I’m not always the instigator of communication nowadays. As it can be quiet challenging maintaining contact with everyone. I tend to be reactive than proactive. Therefore I do appreciate the people who acknowledge my illness and make the effort to keep up contact. To all those people who put themselves out for me. Thank you.

I know I’m on Facebook but sometimes I am just to tired to respond. I will always respond when I have a spike of energy. Please don’t think I don’t care because I do.

My biggest achievement this month is being able to visit 4 shops. I know that may sound nothing to some people but that is huge for me and without symptoms. The latest tablet increase has made a difference. The only problem is when I experience more freedom I get my back issues.  I recently had an MRI on my spine and even though I’ve had 4 ops, my spine is a complete mess. I am waiting for a Neurologist Appt, there appears to be a waiting list and I may not be seen until Oct. My GP Referral was made in July. I’m back to London for Oncology Ga68 scan at the beginning Oct.

I will continue to do what I can when I can. Whoop whoop to managing another blog.

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

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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