Thursday, 27 August 2009

Approximately Two Weeks to go

Two weeks tomorrow the site for Relay for Life in Shrewsbury will be set up ready for the invasion of the Cancer Research UK Relay for Life Committee members, the following day the teams, survivors, volunteers and supporters will arrive. In 48 hours the whole event will be over.

In the meantime there is still a lot of preparation to do and I have been given a list tonight to do.
This will keep me out of mischief.

Tomorrow is the last day to register as a Survivor on line to ensure t-shirts are available to be worn on the day.

It is also the last day for teams to register for the event.

After this the main tasks are to sell raffle tickets, make sure candle bags are purchased and dedicated to each person correctly ready for the Candle of Hope ceremony which will commence at 8.30 pm this is a very poignant moment and is well worth attending the Relay just for this event in itself.

At 10 am on the Sunday morning the final lap is completed and the total amount raised announced.

This has been hard work since May and I hope all the effort put into it will make a difference.

I just hope all those that take part or visit really enjoy themselves.

Best wishes to everyone.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

An Uppy Downy Day that ends positively

I have had one of those days. Was not allowed to eat but I was allowed to drink as I was to have a scan at 6pm.

I arrived at the hospital in plenty of time to deal with the formalities of car parking and found a disabled space.

Then it was in to the League of Friends Coffee shop to have a couple of drinks in preparation for the scan. My darling husband had something to eat as he hadn't eaten at lunch time.

By 5.30 I was desperate for the loo but had to hold on until the scan was undertaken. Unfortunately I had to wait over half an hour passed my allocated slot as a consultant decided to use the ultrasound room to check some x-rays. Meanwhile I was wriggling and trying not to burst in the waiting room. My husband bless him patiently asked staff how much longer I would have to wait as I was bursting for the loo. This caused me to have tummyache.

In the end the staff allowed me to visit the toilet just to let out a trickle.

This happened half a dozen times before the scan was undertaken. Having waited an hour for the ultrasound room to become free I was on the verge of going home and told the staff I was fed up of this happening to patients undergoing ultrasound scans.

I am sure the nursing staff are "sadists" and wonder how long patients can hold on before their tempers fray.

Finally I underwent the scan. It appears that the ovarian cyst they discovered in November has been absorbed back into my body. Didn't know that this could happen. The radiographer said she frequently undertakes scans prior to an operation to remove an ovarian cyst just for this very reason thus saving a patient unnecessary surgery.

So today ended on a positive note.

I still have to attend hospital at the end of September but am hopeful I can now be discharged from one of my consultants. That will leave 12.

I have my fingers crossed with my writing ventures and had some positive feedback today about something I have proposed.

So am feeling much better than I was at the start of today.

Hope everyone else is keeping well.

Best wishes


Friday, 21 August 2009

Multitasking the reality of it

I know many of us multitask. I am no exception. This morning I attended a training centre in the hope that I would build my confidence to go back to a working environment. What!!! I hear many expletives coming from around me with numerous hospital appointments I know this is not going to be an easy task but I need to put my talents to good use and I am fed of feeling labelled "a scrounger".

Having had a very successful meeting and assessment of my skills I was then shown around the Training for Employmnent Now centre at Horsehay. I didn't realise this place existed or what services it provided to people with learning disabilities. It is certainly a good stepping stone for those that need to work part time to gain employment.

The woodwork room was fascinating. Here things are made and then sold on to Blists Hill Museum. They also make bird feeders and bird tables, benches and all their offcuts are sold as firewood for wood burning stoves or open fires.

I was surprised that not many people knew of the existence of this enterprise and commented to my assessor. He said that is the problem getting to be known about so that people who need their services can access them.

As I am a member of the Disability Forum at Telford and Wrekin Council I will certainly bring this up at the next meeting. Other organisations don't signpost people to the help they really need. When this doesn't happen a disabled person can feel isolated, lonely and depressed and turns to other resources like NHS for anti-depressants or Community Mental Health Teams so this really has an impact on other resources.

I was lucky enough to be referred to T.E.N. through social services but this took nearly nine months to achieve.

I was also informed that the Job Centres are aware of T.E.N's existence but the staff have very little time to refer everyone who needs this service on to T.E.N.

So having had my meeting I set off home feeling really positive and wanting to achieve things. Hopefully it won't be long before I get a chance to attend the courses I so long to undertake.

Yesterday a friend called round to fit our stair carpet. Ours has been worn out literally and our neighbours are having an extension so their old stair carpet has now become ours. What better way to obtain one than recycle one. This friend looked at the project and advised that we take our old stair carpet off the stairs (what remains of it) and get the stairs prepared properly for the carpet to be fitted.

Having had a disaster with painting the house in 2007 when the paint I had put on the walls had peeled off in sheets (thanks to the damp proofing not being put back correctly by a home improvements company and being corrected last year) the wall still remained bare of paint. I therefore persuaded my husband to go out with me to get some sealant and some more paint.

My idea last night was to seal the wall and then paint today but heyho what happens to plans they go out the window. So this morning. I set to work to seal and paint a small bit of wall at a time. This way nothing will get wasted and a proper job will be undertaken. Well a bodged one in my case as I am no expert. I therefore set to work with the sealant and tested an area to make sure it was ready to take the paint. To be honest what I have achieved so far looks ok. I know the wall has been sanded down and smoothed over but at least the paint has stuck and it looks fresh.

My plans over the next 24 hours are to finish painting the wall not quite sure how we are going to manage the tall bits. Undercoat and gloss the stairs, bannisters and door in the living room then hopefully have the carpet fitted on the stairs.

My mottos is "Don't worry what you can't achieve concentrate on what you can".

I have done about half an hour at a time on the wall so far but ended up so tired with my back hurting that I had a nap. This has now re-energised me ready for the next tasks. Working out what to have for tea, preparing it and then getting my husband to cook it.

This morning has inspired me to achieve things not only for myself but others too.

Best wishes to you all.


Thursday, 20 August 2009


Having signed up for the Wrekin Writers Retreat this year I looked around the Wrekin Writers website at previous retreats. I came across one held in Builth Wells so investigated further. Why?
I used to live in Builth (rhymes with filth says Terry Wogan) Wells so wanted to see where the retreat was. It is strange that when living in an area with loads of attractions locals very rarely visit them except on school trips and things like that. The same can be said of me unfortunately.
Sometimes life is just too busy but I know I should get out more and explore what is on my doorstep and in the future I intend to do so.
I can remember going up Builth Well's castle mound several times when I was little but cannot place where the gun pictured in the retreat pictures is.
The retreats look like good fun and a good chance to get some writing done.
So I am really looking to my first ever writers retreat. I certainly have been made to feel welcome and glad I joined a writing group.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Another Good Day

This week is going well so far (or perhaps I shouldn't say that in case fate turns). I have had letters printed in The Sun on two consecutive days and one in the News of the World on Sunday. Not bad for an amateur.

I must say a quick thank you to Di Perry whose email has supported me to keep going. It is nice to know when someone sees something and is inspired by it. I had no idea my blog would have that effect. So thank you Di for letting me know.

October looms large and extremely busy. Good job I am not getting married this year. Don't think I would have the time to plan and organise it. Not sure how I managed to do it all last year but we did.

I have two visits to London in October for two days with a gap of approximately a week in between each one. Will let you know more about those in a future post.

I am off out with my husband to day playing at being posties delivering letters to the local residents near to where the relay is to be held. It is like holding a party you have to invite the neighbours!! So our printer has had a battering yesterday to do these for us and it ran out of ink in the process (luckily I had some spare).

So I had better dash catch up with you all later.

Bye for now

Best wishes to you all


Friday, 14 August 2009

Power Cut

Strange how when something is missing you realise just what it means to you.

A power cut occurred tonight. Having received a telephone call from a friend to go out with them. I thought I could do with having a shower. NO. It then dawned on me to turn on the shower you have to pull a cord which means it is run by electricty.

Not able to microwave food.

Leave the fridge freezer shut to ensure freshness of food.

Gas hob is ok except to light it there is an electric spark but so long as matches are available problem solved.

Cooker that is electric so no go there.

Grill that is part of the cooker so no luck with that.

Lights all of which are run by electricity.

TV that is electricity

Laptop so long as battery is charged up not a problem so long as you do not want to connect to the internet

Main computer that is a no.

It just goes to show how reliant on electricity we have become.

I wonder what else we would do if we didn't have electricity.

It has certainly made me think tonight.


Thursday, 13 August 2009

A tiring Day

I have had a busy day today. I was meant to attend a photoshoot this morning at 11am but yesterday I received a telephone call to say it would be put back to 1pm.

This made it easier for us as I had an appointment prior to the photoshoot and timing was going to be crucial.

I ensured I had everything I needed with me for the shoot. It was to help raise awareness of the Relay event and was done by the Shropshire Star so hopefully we will be able to recruit more survivors and support for the event.

Less than a month to go now before the event commences.

I just hope we can get everything we need to do done.

Best wishes to everyone.


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

It has flown

This year has flown by. It doesn't seem that long ago that I got involved with the Cancer Research UK Relay for Life in May this year. Now it is only a month away from the event.

This doesn't mean that I am idle far from it. My husband and I are busy collecting clothes and bric a brac for the donation station to help raise money for this event. We attend committee meetings regularly. Last month we finally obtained the printed raffle tickets. Each and every committee member has been busy securing raffle prizes.

We are busy raising awareness of the event, recruiting teams, survivors and raising awareness of the Candle of Hope ceremony and selling candle bags for the event.

I just hope this event comes together and the weather is much better than the last two years when the event was held in Telford on a May Bank Holiday.

Our living room has looked a complete mess at times but been tidied up and bagged then taken to the Cancer Research charity shops.

If anyone thinks organising an event is easy think back to organising a wedding, table planning etc and then finding out a few days before people are attending or not according to various circumstances. On top of that risk assessments have to be carried out together with first aid cover. All we can do now is our best and hope things run smoothly and everyone enjoys themselves.

The main thing to focus on is that we make this a fun event for everyone involved and above all else raise money for a very worthy cause.

So this month is going to be busy for both me and Steve. It certainly beats moping around.

Best wishes to everyone.


Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Hospital Again

I had a bronchoscopy today during which they took various samples including biopsies of my lungs.

I felt pretty ok when I left hospital but when I got home I was sleepy following the sedation. I went to bed and dozed on and off taking sips of cold squash from 1.05 pm. I was hungry as I hadn't eaten since yesterday afternoon.

When I felt able to I had a sandwich with the crusts cut off to prevent me choking. Steve has been good support as ever.

At 7 pm I got up as I felt a little better but weak by the time I got to the bathroom I was sweating and felt faint. To make myself feel better I had a cold shower. This certainly helped.

I am now having cold drinks and sipping ice pops to cool my throat down.

This feels like an enforced cold and won't last long. My first reaction was to want strepsils but that is not a good idea.

I just have to wait for an appointment to come through the post and then it will be back to the hospital to get the results.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

This week has been an interesting one to say the least.

I had a letter published in The Sun on Monday and another one published on Thursday.

This boosted my spirits before I went to audition in Birmingham for Countdown. I arrived really early, an hour early to be precise. Someone else was heading for the auditions too. I didn't realise that they were holding auditions on the hour for at least a couple of sessions. So I followed the guy who had arrived at the venue the same time as me and headed into the lift and to the room set aside for the auditions.

There was no one around to direct people or to let them know where they should sit and wait so I just followed everyone else like a lost sheep.

The Producer went round the room ticking names off her list, some people hadn't even bothered to turn up, nerves or a horrid travelling experience possibly. After she had completed calling out names she looked at me and asked who I was I explained I was early. She said not a problem and just put 11 am by my name and allowed me to sit the audition early.

Knowing I was early and had messed up the schedule made me more nervous. I had been practising over the last few weeks while watching Countdown. I had been advised that there would be no visual aids and that I just had to listen to the letters as they were called out and the same when it came to the numbers round.

As the numbers on the show are called right to left I had chosen to write them right to left when practising and this seemed to help. A word of warning. This is not what happens in the auditions the numbers are read out as they come with the larger numbers first. This completely threw me.

Each time I have watched the show and a phantom letter has appeared I could not understand how or why this had happened. Well it happened to me in the audition. I thought there were two Es and there were not. This happened in the first few rounds of the letters game and made me angry with myself for doing it.

I knew the audition hadn't gone well for me but the producer did explain at the outset that many contestants on the show have two auditions or more before they are accepted into the show. One gentleman in the audition I attended was on his fourth. He did really well and got good scores in every round.

Well the letter hit the mat this morning informing me I hadn't got through.

As Steve had dropped me off at the hotel and was expecting to collect me at 1pm I was going to hang around and wait. The lady sat next to me in the audition asked me how I had got to the hotel I explained and she immediately lent me her mobile phone to telephone Steve to collect me. I thanked her and we chatted outside the hotel.

She had informed me that she may not attend for another audition I said she ought to give it a go as she had come this far and now knew what to expect.

I knew how she felt though I had felt the same way during the audition too.

Now the letter is here I know I tried and have written proof of that. I wonder how many people see something and think I could do much better but never attempt it?

Life is for taking challenges and I certainly do that so I can be proud of myself for having had a go.

Best wishes to you all.