Blog No 167 – 2020 Reading List

My goal for 2020 was to read more than 46 books. If I could beat my previous target of 46 books or more, I was going to be happy. I achieved 66 books in total, therefore I superseded my target and averaged 1 book a week.

Here is my reading list: –

  1. Girls in Tin Hats – Annie Murray
  2. Villa of Secrets – Patricia Wilson
  3. Hold on Hope – Jean Fullerton
  4. Perhaps Tomorrow – Jean Fullerton
  5. Sisters of Gold – Annie Murray
  6. A Glimpse of Happiness – Jean Fullerton
  7. I Owe You One – Sophie Kinsella
  8. The Teashop Girls – Elaine Everest
  9. No Cure for Love – Jean Fullerton
  10. The Secret Midwife – Katy Weitz
  11. The Volunteer – Jack Fairweather
  12. Permanent Records – Edward Snowden
  13. The House Across The Street – Lesley Pearse
  14. Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas – Adam Kaye
  15. The Whitechapel Girl – Gilda O’Neil
  16. Christmas With The Teashop Girls – Elaine Everest
  17. Finding Freedom – Carolyn Durand, Omid Scobie
  18. Royal – Danielle Steel
  19. The Orphan Twins – Lesley Eames
  20. The Rag & Bone Girl – Maggie Ford
  21. Going Hime to Liverpool – Kate Eastham
  22. The Country Bride – Dilly Court
  23. Liverpool Daughter – Katie Flynn
  24. A Springtime Affair – Katie Fforde
  25. The Light in Hidden Places – Sharon Cameron
  26. Goodnight Sweetheart – Pam Weaver
  27. Memories are Made of This – June Francis
  28. Pack Up Your Troubles – Anne Bennet
  29. How to Make it Happen – Maria Hatzistefanis
  30. Official Secrets – Marcia Mitchell & Thomas Mitchell
  31. A Daughter Ruin – Kitty Neale
  32. A Village Scandal – Dilly Court
  33. Many a Tear Has to Fall – June Francis
  34. Mothering Sunday – Rosie Goodwin
  35. It’s Now or Never – June Francis
  36. Walking Back to Happiness – June Francis
  37. The Spitfire Sisters – Margaret Dickinson
  38. Love Letters in the Sand – June Francis
  39. Shadows of the Past – June Francis
  40. Her Father Name – Beezy March
  41. How to be British – Tim Benson
  42. The Jones Family Food Roster – Alison Jones
  43. The Man Who Didn’t Call – Rosie Walsh
  44. An Ophran Christmas – Katie Flynn
  45. Diagnosis – Lisa Sanders
  46. The Orphan Thief – Glynis Peters
  47. Mind Over Clutter – Nicola Lewis
  48. The Prison Doctor – Dr Amanda Brown
  49. An Orphans War – Molly Green
  50. A Strong Hand to Hold – Anne Bennett
  51. Time To Say Goodbye – Rosie Goodwin
  52. The Organised Writer – Anthony Johnston
  53. The Christmas Wedding – Dilly Court
  54. Rag and Bone Christmas – Dilly Court
  55. For Better or Worse – June Francis
  56. The Winters Promise – Rosie Goodwin
  57. The Orphans of Halfpenny St – Cathy Sharp
  58. A Daughter Duty – Maggie Hope
  59. Do The Birds Still Sing in Hell – Horace Greasley
  60. Dilly’s Sacrifice – Rosie Goodwin
  61. Dilly’s Lass – Rosie Goodwin
  62. Dilly’s Hope – Rosie Goodwin
  63. The Mill Girl – Rosie Goodwin
  64. Will You Take Me Home – Julie Tottman
  65. The Convent – Maria Hargreaves
  66. Home Front Girls – Rosie Goodwin

Here’s a reading Q&A

What is your favourite time of the day to read.

I tend to read when I go to bed. I can read everything from 10 pages to 100 in a night.

How many hours do you read a day.

I can read anything from 15mins to 2/3 hrs. It all depends how tired I am.

What is my favourite genre.

Historical fiction is my favourite, however I’m trying other genres.

Which author did you first get obsessed with.

I would say it was Lyn Andrews then Katie Flynn

Who are you currently obsessed with.

I would say Dilly Court and June Francis. To be fair my obsession is growing with many authors.

Can you read multiple books at one time.

Yes I can, nevertheless I think two is enough for me.

Which book/books was your favourite this year.

I did love “Rag n Bone Christmas” by Dilly Court. I also enjoyed “Will You Take Me Home” by Julie Tottman. This was a true story, which involved a Yorkie dog, therefore I brought the book for my goddaughter too as she’s a reader.

Who was your favourite author this year.

I would say June Francis because her characters in her books follow through her books, which I loved.

Which new authors did you try this year

I would say June Francis and Jean Fullerton were the most popular as I had read a few of their books.

Which book touched you this year.

It has to “The Convent” by Maria Hargreaves. The true story was about the horrific cruelty to children by a nun in a care home in Oldham, U.K.

How many books do you intend to read in 2021.

I’m not sure I’ll reach that target again but let’s see what happens.

Blog No 165 – PRRT & Covid 19

What a year, with covid-19, I don’t think anyone is ever going to forget 2020 in a hurry. Did you achieve something positive through lockdown? I did, I hung up some pictures, sorted out my photo albums and filled them with lovely memories. If we hadn’t gone into lockdown those empty photo albums would still be there, looking empty.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones this year, as my cancer treatment continued in London throughout lockdown etc. The hospital had experienced numerous cases of covid-19 patients and precautions were put into place for the safety of staff and patients. I was required to have a covid-19 test locally prior to travelling to London. A negative result was vital in order for treatment to continue. I would like to thank all those individuals who were involved with my treatment at the Royal Free Hospital, London. Thank you so much.

My mother had a tough year after being diagnosed with a secondary cancer. Her cancer treatment continued locally throughout lockdown/covid 19 with a few hospital stays. We both had finished our treatments within 2 days of each other. She is doing much better now but she’s not still 100% as yet. She’s a tough cookie. X

PRRT treatment – everyone has a different experience but we all have similar symptoms. The treatment procedure is not that bad, the only symptom you may experience during treatment, is nausea. The medical team will give you anti nausea meds prior to treatment. They can also control the flow of treatment so you don’t experience nausea. The more treatments I had, the worse post treatment symptoms got for me. What’s funny is, I can’t face pasta since the last treatment. The thought of pasta in any form still makes me gag. I’m not sure I will ever tolerate spaghetti bolognese again.

I’m so relieved that we have finished treatment for now. We are 9 weeks post treatment and my bloods are still not to normal levels. They won’t exactly be perfect due to the cancer, nevertheless they still need some improvement. My Oncologist is keeping an eye on them for me, I’m in good hands. My hair has thinned a lot since treatment but it will grow back I’m sure. During my treatment my hearing was affected and it’s certainly not a known side effect. Yet it can’t be dismissed either. I’m also experiencing dizziness but we don’t know, if there’s a connection to the hearing or if it something else that is going on. I’m starting to get terrible migraines again so I’m monitoring that for the Neurologist. That’s the problem with an illness, it can lead to other problems.

My daily quality of life, I would consider has definitely improved. At the end of the day there is no cure for my cancer, therefore I wanted a quality life whilst I was living, that’s not too much to ask

The latest results following results following my recent CT & MRI scans was that I am stable. Stable means no new growth of cancer in other areas. This is a little questionable for me, because I only found out that I have tumours on my lungs whilst going through treatment. In my eyes that new growth but in their eyes it’s tumours over a certain dimension. I’ve obtained all of my records as I don’t like being kept in the dark. This latest scan gave me the dimensions of the new tumours in the lungs so I can monitor the growth. Even though I’m consider as stable surely the lungs is a new site of cancer, I have cancer in the peritoneal, pelvic area and liver and a couple of other questionable areas. My Oncologist is going to send me for cancer (Ga68) scan in April. This may give me a true reflection of what is really going on, although my scans don’t always reveal everything. I personally don’t think it will be long before I have another op on my bowel. You heard here first lol.

My ultimate goal with treatment was to improve my daily quality of life and I do feel we achieved this. I’m so grateful for my new found freedom in lockdown lol. Thank you to my friends & family who have always supported me through my treatment.

Just one more thing, I was giving support to another patient going through the same treatment. I will call her SC, she was a wonderful lady and I had found another loyal friend experiencing this same cancer. I have a few more cancer friends and ladies, you know who you all are. X SC was suffering from a lot of pain and I personally don’t feel she was getting the support she needed. Clearly there was more going on, therefore I was devastated to learn from her husband that she had passed away. I do believe that I’m still here because I do my diligence and I’m very persistent. I would say to any patient of any illness, go with your gut, and fight for you health. Rest in peace SC you will certainly be missed by me. X

Blog No 157 – Happy 10th Birthday Lottie ❤️

I can’t believe we’ve had Lottie for 10 years. I can still remember the day we got her. If you didn’t know already, she’s my little Canadian. We drove towards the USA border in whiteout conditions. The snow that day was very heavy and visibility was poor. We met the sellers in a Tim Hortons (Coffee Shop) car park and exchanged money for our wee bundle of fluff.

She was a tiny little thing and the rut of the litter. I didn’t care as her advertisement photos were just adorable. She got the name of Lottie from me as I loved the name. She was the cutest thing ever, her legs were so small the actual stairs were bigger than her. She was toilet trained to go to a pee mat, which was a blessing when she arrived.

She’s never been any trouble, ok she does get excited when people come in. I think that’s normal for most dogs and she yaps again when people stand up to leave. I think that little habit came from when she was a puppy. People would love to pick her up as soon as they came in and again when they left because she was so cute.

She’s been by side everyday and still to till this day she is all over me. Mr Zebrakat will spoil her with treats, yet she favours me. She is wise too, I know when the cancer is being naughty again as Lottie will sit on the spot. She loves snuggles and when I sleep, she will sleep too. Here’s some facts about Lottie

  • She still only weights about 4lbs
  • Her favourite drink is water
  • She loves a walk
  • She has no interest in toys
  • She loves cheese and ice cream
  • She paws you for belly rubs
  • She loves snow and the sun
  • She hates rain
  • She’s doesn’t have a go at the postman
  • She’s smaller than Hamish the cat

She’s been my most loyal pet to date. I would be lost without her. Happy Birthday Lottie!!! Thank you for 10 years of snuggles and happiness. ❤️

Blog No 154 – Sywell Aviation Museum

Sywell Aviation Museum, Northamptonshire,

This weekend we had our 10 year old niece (M) over for a sleepover. She’s a beautiful girl with impeccable manners. She is always dancing and singing. She has a comedian type personality with multiple one liners. She’s guaranteed to make you smile and everyone laugh.

Airport Tower

We took (M) to Sywell Aviation Museum, a place of local interest . (M) recently had done a history project of WW2, therefore she would see some artefacts mentioned in her project.

Sywell Aviation Museum is in a nissan hut and is full of wartime artefacts. The entry fee is free and so is car parking. You’re able to make a donation at entry. The museum is managed by a majority of unpaid volunteers who have served in the armed forces.

The nissan huts were originally POW camp huts from Snape Farm, Derbyshire and used to form the museum. The artefacts are British, American & German. Here is some photos of artefacts, I didn’t take photos of everything, nevertheless it gives you an idea.

I understand the aerodrome was used during the wartime as a training ground and for doing repairs to aircrafts.

Weekly Blog No 141 – Giving Back

Last month, I had a meeting with a gentleman who’s trying to drive awareness of cancer in the construction industry. His father had passed away from cancer and he wanted to give back by starting a new charity.

I had made contact with him to see if I could participate as my mother, as well as other family members and myself have all experienced cancer. I know first hand the devastation cancer has on a family and all that goes with it.

I’m hoping that this charity will be able to advise people affected by cancer, where to obtain the additional support, whether its financial, emotional or physical.

One of the biggest impacts of cancer is the financial burden, no-one is ready for the financial loss that you find yourself in. A loss of income is hard, unless you have a critical insurance policy. Not everyone considers such a policy because of the additional monthly costs, whether you’re employed or self employed, it is something that people should consider.

There are organisations that offer additional support and provide you with the tools to access further guidance or assistance, which you maybe wouldn’t be aware of. For instance, if you are a cancer patient, you’re entitled to free prescriptions. These are little nuggets of information that you may not be aware of, however it’s one less stressful item to worry about. Free prescriptions actually save me a minimum of £1700 a year, which doesn’t include my cancer treatment costs.

Hopefully this charity will endeavour to reach out to both trade people and professionals affected by cancer, provide some onsite medical screening within work time that can be followed up by a GP or Consultant. Promote cancer awareness, especially skin cancer. There is so much this charity could do, therefore I hope that I, can make a difference to someone’s life.

Weekly Blog No 131 – Cancer Friendships

Copyright ZebraKat 2018

When you start researching the disease, you start to develop friendships with people who have been diagnosed with Carcinoid Cancer around the same time as you. They’re also learning the implications of living with rare disease, therefore you start to gather knowledge from each other. Even though you can live miles apart, there is a special bond that is hard to describe. You share information and support each other through thick and thin. You’ve formed a friendship like a pen pal or should I say a cyber pal. The friendship can progress to private messages, cards or even telephone calls. Through illness we unite and friendship blossoms.

Nothing prepares you for when they die. You feel the heartache that their family and friends are going through. Nevertheless you feel a sense of loss, a friend who has travelled your journey with you. Furthermore there is a niggling thought in your head at each passing. Is your time on this earth coming to an end soon. I don’t think that there, isn’t one person on this journey who doesn’t have the same thoughts.

This year, I have witnessed a lot of friends who have departed to hopefully a symptom free resting place. I have many friends who continue to travel my journey with me. I would like to personally thank you for your continuous support. There has been many friends that I haven’t been able to thank personally, because it was too late.

Make sure you thank your cyber pals, let them all know you are grateful for their support and guidance. To all my cancer friends that have passed, you will be forever in my thoughts. ❤️