Today is Mother’s Day in the UK, therefore Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there. I’m unfortunately not a mother but I’m a Godmother and Aunt so I’m as good as a mother on another level. I got a beautiful card from my Goddaughter H for Mothers Day. Thank you H 💕
Considering I was living in Canada for years, I’m still tuned in to Mother’s Day being in May, I guess its hard to switch off. This year all mothers are in lockdown so I hope all children have been very creative. I’m sure more thought has to go into gifts and trying to make their day as special due to covid restrictions.
I’ve already spoke to my mother today and she is lavished with cards & gifts. She said she was going to have a relaxing day and have some chocolate.
To all those children who have lost their mother’s, I’m sure it’s a very hard day for you. Nevertheless, I’m confident that all your mothers are smiling as they’ve never been forgotten by their loved ones.
Can I include pets as my children, I’m sure there is a lot of people who do. My pets Lottie (dog) & Hamish (cat) have selfishly absorbed all the love today with cuddles and belly rubs.
I hope all new & old mothers have a wonderful day. Love to you all. 💗
Thank you to friends and family for your continuous support. I have a huge amount of respect for people that consistently care and support Mr Zebrakat and I. Honestly from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything. Especially all the people who sent cards, flowers, plants, mags, chocs & sweets, biscuits and messages.
The year started with a trip to County Cork, Ireland to celebrate Aunt P, 80th birthday with family. It was was such a heartwarming celebration. Aunt P knows how to provide a party, we had it all, fabulous food, good company and magnificent entertainment. She’s a very courageous lady, she had literally just finished treatment for breast cancer and we were hopping on a plane. Thank you Aunt P for a wonderful time.
To my relatives in Ireland it was wonderful catching up with you all. We will be back when it’s safe to fly again.
Covid 19 played havoc with special birthdays, weddings and new baby’s this year. I’m sure these celebrations were as special as they could be.
Hamish & Lottie
Hamish has been part of the family now for 2 years. Lottie & Hamish are very much in a routine with toilet breaks, feeding and sleeping. Your more than likely to find Lottie at my side and Hamish sleeping on my bed blanket. I’m sure my neighbours must laugh at Lottie and Hamish when they are running into the house together from the garden. It’s quiet comical watching them following each other like sheep. They are known to kiss and lick each other first thing in the morning.
Hamish still looks like a lion and is slightly larger in stature to Lottie. Lottie can hold her own too, if Hamish tries to grab her. Pets are obviously very therapeutic.
We are still tweaking our current residence. It’s certainly changing in appearance and no longer represents a typical terraced house floor plan. We started in the roof space and now we are on the ground floor, working from the front of the property to the rear. I’m waiting for a replacement front door, which has been delayed due to covid 19. It’s been on the order since October.
I wanted to show you a cupboard that I’d designed earlier in the year and finally put into its place. I needed the unit to fit on a plinth in my guest bedroom. It’s made out of scaffolding boards. Anyone who knows me will appreciate I love a little timber in my decor.
The cupboard consists of doors, drawers and shelves. Behind the doors is some hanging space and some additional shelving. Its perfect for guests and now considered a new heirloom.
I’ve already discussed my health in previous blogs. I’m glad treatment is over for now, I’m hoping my body gives me a little respite from medical appointments and health issues. I’m planning to continue as I do, live life and be happy.
Travel this year has been a bit of a washout, however I’ve still managed a few places. I was able to fly to Ireland earlier in the year, which was amazing. I’ve also visited Bath & York, both historical cities. Bath & York are full of beautiful architecture, fabulous restaurants and quaint shops. I would recommend both cities a visit, magnificent gems of the U.K.
Mr Zebrakat is working from home and on site as he works in the construction industry. It is nice having him around. On a positive note, covid had Mr Z at home when I was going through treatment. He unquestionably is happy he’s working and is one of the lucky ones still working.
Mr Z is undoubtedly been my tower of strength going through treatment and family hospitalisations etc. Thank you Mr Z for always being there as always as usual, what would I do without you.
Reading, I did about 66 books last year, so beat my previous years record. Watch out for my next blog for my annual list of books.
Covid has allowed me to frame up & hang some travel pictures etc. I’v also been filling up photo albums with old photos. I still have numerous to do but I’m getting there. I’ll then move on to filling up scrapbooks with memories and mementos.
Hopefully 2021 will no longer be a year of doom and gloom. We all need to be vaccinated and getting on with our lives. Love to you all 🤣
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
I did an Ancestry DNA test a couple of years ago and I was 100% Munster Ireland. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never made soda bread until recently, yet I’ve eaten it all my life.
My grandma was a fantastic baker and she would make a currant soda bread too. I have fond memories of her baking. She would get out the homemade blackcurrant jam, irish butter and a freshly made soda bread.
All my aunts are fabulous bakers, yet my mum is not a baker. She’s an excellent cook but she’s more than likely to bring out a nice cake from the cupboard to have with your cup of tea.
The photo above was my first soda bread. Therefore I would like to share the recipe I used. Serves 4 – 6 people
450g / 1 lb Plain flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Salt
400ml/14 fl oz Buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 220’c/425’f/Gas Mark 7.
Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the buttermilk. Mix well together using your hands. The dough should be very soft but not too wet. If necessary, add the remaining buttermilk.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly. Shape into a 20 cm/ 8 inch round tin.
Place the bread on a greased baking tray, cut a cross in the top and bake in the preheated oven for 20 -30 minutes. When done it should sound hollow if tapped on the base. Eat whole warm, soda bread is always best eaten on the day it is made.
Please share your recipe with me? Is your ingredients different?
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.
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.
Sorry, it’s been some time since I last blogged. Life took over, covid -19 took over and PRRT symptoms took over. I don’t think anyone is going to forget 2020 in a hurry. I can’t wait to see what the history books say.
Let me start, by telling you I’ve had PRRT #3 last month and I will be having #4 is in October. My PRRT goal was to improve my daily symptoms and if it slowed down my progression that would be a bonus. I have been typical patient in respect of symptoms, hair thinning, pain, flushing and fatigue. It’s also true that your symptoms do indeed get worse as treatment goes up.
I was initially an in patient over 3 days but due covid -19 the hospital started to do the treatment as a day case. Personally, my preference is getting the treatment in a day but I don’t like the travelling home situation. On a good day it can take up 90 mins, nevertheless if traffic is bad it can take longer.
Once the treatment takes hold, I did endure tumour pain. As the tumours get inflamed, you know the treatment is on track. It can aggravate your carcinoid symptoms too, which intensifies your flushing or bowels. Lucky me, I was exposed to both. The next treatment had been delayed due to me sustaining bone pain. Therefore, we are allowing 12 weeks instead of 8 weeks I was doing, between treatments.
Covid -19, has been challenging for everyone and more so for many people. I personally think people has become complacent, ignoring the rules etc. I don’t understand people’s ignorance but I guess that will always happen through any situation. I would like to say thank you to all workers, key workers and the medical profession for working through a particularly hard situation.
During treatment and covid -19, my mother was diagnosed with a secondary cancer. She’s being tough, however she has suffered additional side effects and her chemo has been cancelled on a couple of occasions . She is fighting through the obstacles like a trooper. Mother & daughter going through treatment at the same time, just blows my mind. It certainly would make a great book.
I’m going to embark on my blogs again so please watch this space. Love to you all.
As I was recovering from surgery last year on a special birthday. My husband took me to London this year to be a tourist for a couple of days.
We experienced some amazing food, indulged in breakfast at Harrods, saw the Thriller Show and visited a couple of museums. We have spent so much time in London on medical visits and never participate in tourist delights.
Hamish is a year old this month. Its hard to believe my ginger tom has been with us nearly a year. He’s so content with us and Lottie. He loves to hide behind walls or furniture to jump out on Lottie and then the big paw comes out. There is other times when they are kissing each other. The photo above, I found him in my hand basin, he’s never done that before. The photo below is the love they feel for each other.
I lost an Aunt this month who was going to be 90 later in the year. She was an amazing woman, who had an interesting life. She was born In Ireland but spent most of her life in the U.K. She was 1 of 8 siblings and had 5 children in her family.
It was her time to leave us and to be reunited with her closest sister Auntie N. I’m sure they had a lot to discuss over a nice cup tea and a slice of cake. RIP Auntie M.
The house renovations are starting to take shape. We provided a beautiful sized bathroom. Created a walk in wardrobe for our clothes etc. Additional storage for books etc in the hall.
The photo is only a small section of the wardrobe, it’s actually 4m long. I designed the wardrobe and Mr Zebrakat & my brother built it.
We are currently snagging the loft room(Office), 2 bedrooms and the bathroom on the first floor before making big changes on the ground floor. We have achieve a lot already, ripping the house up to its bear bones. Let 2020 make the ground floor spectacular.
This was a fantastic month because I met fellow cancer friends K & H and their husbands. We decided to meet centrally due to my problems, therefore we met in Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire.
It was an exceptional weekend with excellent food and good company. We intend to do something again this year but H and I are currently having PRRT treatment. I will blog and update over the next couple of days.
Ciao a tutti
We were in Rome this month for the first time in our lives. OMG everyone should go. You have everything in this city, weather, food, architecture and history.
We were going to surprise our American friends who are like family. They are two very amazing people with big hearts. We gelled with each other as soon as we met. The surprise was priceless and a memory we will remember for ever.
This was the month of hospital appointments and visits. Pain was revealing itself in various locations of body. My spine was even getting in on the act but I will blog about that separately.
We went into Kettering, Northants one day and found this amazing restaurant that serves great food. The building interior is so amazing with the perfect ambience. It’s very laid back and has a mixed demographic.
Lottie become 9 years old, it’s hard to believe to be honest. She’s more clingy than ever. I also feel she knows when tumours are having the time of their life inside my body. She tends to sit on the exact spot. She’s such an intelligent dog and I can’t fault her. She’s honestly helped me through my illness.
As I’ve been struggling with symptoms, I’ve decided to go vegan. I do have an allergy to cows milk anyway so 70% of the time I been having alternative dairy products anyway. Mr Zebrakat & I both started together then someone said to watch Game Changers on Netflix. Although I had made the decision to become vegan prior to the programme. The programme definitely opens up your mind.
However being vegan definitely makes me avoid cows milk in products. I feel we have both benefited from the change of diet. Not only does it have an impact on our health, we feel we are contributing to animals and the environment.
There is so many supermarkets doing vegan or plant based food to substitute meat/fish products. Restaurants nowadays are providing vegan menus with fabulous choices. I personally don’t miss meat etc and feel that I’m making a small contribution to animals and the environment including my health.
This month we went to a stunning wedding in Cheshire. J the bride is the daughter of my best friend. I have known J since she was a small child and she’s grown into a beautiful woman & caring mother. We never expected to go to her wedding and we feel completely honoured to be invited. It was a stunning day and a wedding never to be forgot. J married the handsome R, her soulmate and I’m sure they will be happy forever. Congratulations to you both ❤️
Following a recent scan and some tests results, My Net Consultant telephones me and informs me that I’m about to embark on PRRT treatment in February 2020. I will blog about this separately.
Yesterday we celebrated our wedding anniversary. Another year has passed, yet it only seems 5 minutes ago we got married. It was such a perfect day we celebrated with family and friends.
We’ve done so much in our married life, I hope there is room for more adventures to come. Mr Zebrakat told me last night, wouldn’t it have been good, if I had taken you back to our honeymoon destinations. He said he was going to hand me flight tickets to Miami and then on to the Bahamas. I would have been shocked but it wouldn’t be the first time he had surprised me with a trip. I just remember the heat in Miami this time of the year was unbelievable temperatures. How I would kill right now for a blue sea, an ocean breeze and sand in my flip flops.
Instead my sister in law invigorated me with coffee aroma and sweet bakes. Basically speciality coffees, plain scones with butter and jam preserve. The last couple of days especially Tuesday, I was so ill, I feel like I’m starting to get a bowel blockage again as I have the typical symptoms. Them dam pesky tumours won’t leave me alone, they are always wanting a nibble of my fine dining.
Mr Zebrakat gave me a beautiful bouquet in our wedding theme colours and took me to a local Italian restaurant. We both started with drinks as neither of us wanted a starter. Our main course choice was the same.
Beef Involtini Stuffed with Parma Ham, Pine Nuts & Basil in a Rich Tomato Sauce with Linguine & Garlic Buttered Green Beans
And for dessert, the top plate is Rhubarb and Custard Semifreddo with Poached Rhubarb and Pistachio Cream
The bottom plate dessert is Elderflower Infused Panna Cotta with Raspberries & White Chocolate Crumble and Peach Syrup.
The meal was excellent. A very quaint restaurant in the town and even though it was a Wednesday night the restaurant was fully booked and they had to turn people away.
Mr Zebrakat thank you, thank you for absolutely everything you do for me. You are an amazing individual with the kindest heart and I couldn’t wish for a more dedicated husband. Happy Anniversary ❤️ Now leave me alone to continue dreaming about blue seas……..
On the first Bank Holiday of May in the U.K also Spring Bank Holiday. We decided to go to East Carlton Country Park in Leicestershire, with the family and our two dogs, Lottie & Dave.
Dave is a cocker & shih tzu cross (cock a tzu), a black chunky dog with cute white markings on his chest & paws. Dave is still a puppy & Lottie is 8 yrs old yet she’s a lot smaller than Dave. Lottie & Dave are fine together as they’ve already bonded.
Off they ran amongst the grass and daises. They even met some cows from the adjacent field.
Around the park there is many wooden sculptures like this one.
Adjacent to the car park is another building, with it’s mixed use is. Cafe, shops and craft workshops.
The building in the first photo of the blog known as Carlton Hall built in 1870 for the Palmer family. It’s architecture is Italianate style with French pavilion roofs.
The Hall came into the Palmer family marriage in 1408 of William Palmer to Anne a daughter of Nicholas Warde owner of Carlton Hall.
In 1920 the Hall was leased by the Firth family to Sheffield Steel. It was sold in 1934 to Stewarts and Lloyd and used for offices.
I was informed whilst I made enquires about the current use of the Hall. The Hall is owned by an Italian. It appears to be his second home and for the last 12 months he’s been renovating the building. No one knows what the intended future used is.
I’m falling behind again in my blogs due to symptoms. However I’ve made another birthday, how amazing is that. I have currently reached 5 birthdays since diagnosis, what an achievement.
Last year my birthday was post op, Mr Zebrakat decided to make my birthday this year a little bit more special. He had organised a weekend in London. Although it’s quiet difficult for me, I was up for the challenge. Who doesn’t like a change of environment and to feel normal again.
We stayed in a beautiful hotel in South Kensington adjacent to the museums. The hotel treated us like VIP guests. They also left me a bottle of claret, a gift box of spa products and a nicely handwritten card from the Hotel Manager. The hotel decor was stunning, the cleanliness was immaculate and the customer service was impeccable.
We went to V & A Museum, there is no way you could view all the exhibits in a day. The venue has 145 galleries, therefore an incredible amount of exhibits. From architecture, furniture to sculpture. Well worth a visit and a walk through history.
On my birthday we went to see a West End show called “Thriller”. A spectacular show of Michael Jackson hits. The resemblance of MJ was unbelievable. The hits just kept coming and coming. The dancing phenomenal throughout the show.
We also visited the Imperial War Museum, Lambert, an insight of war history. The museum exhibits WWI, WW2, The Cold War and the Holocaust and much more. I’m not sure if the Holocaust exhibit is a permanent exhibition but its anniversary is on my birthday, which I will never forget.
One lesson that I had learned from Canada was we don’t explore our own country enough. In my past life, any opportunity for a break away from work. I would jump on a aeroplane and leave the country for sunshine & culture. Clearly forgetting that there is so much to see in the U.K. Canadians are fantastic at exploring their own country. I’m starting to realise now the U.K. has a lot to offer but it’s not always cheap. You need to shop around and grab online deals when you see them. It’s unbelievable that a city break in Europe is sometimes cheaper than a weekend in the U.K.
On our final day, we went to Harrods for breakfast. What a wonderful experience that was, the service was errorless. The food was of the highest quality, served on china. The tea set was silverware. The ambience of the room was art deco with background music of the rat pack. A divine experience on how the other half live.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my family & friends for cards, gifts, balloons and flowers.
To my awesome husband, for making memories, treating me like a queen and always putting me first in life. You are one of kind and I won’t let you forget that.