Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

December 1, 2017

Dust…

Just to let you know, I got to the end of my jar of muesli and had a bowl full of dust but I ate it anyway.
It does not work like fairy dust…I am still not a princess.

MuesliDust

You’re welcome

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November 9, 2017

Letrozole, sunlight and socks

Every day I take a small selection of drugs, all cancer treatment related. One of them, Letrozole, has many side efects, several of which I experience, but one of which is pretty rare. One in a thousand patients suffer this rare affliction and I am soooooo flipping special that I am one in a thousand.

I have developed an allergy to bright sunlight, all year round, indoors and out! I’m ok if it’s cloudy but if the sun actually shines on me, whether directly or through a window, I’m on fire…the pain is really rather something. So I have replaced my love of a strappy vests with long sleeved t-shirts, jeans, leggings, long swishy skirts or short skirts with thick black tights or thigh high socks. Sandals have become boots (because socks and sandals have no place in my world!). My hair has to cover the tops of my ears or I wear a hat. I have also learned that not all colours block the sun, so it’s lucky I already have a wardrobe full of black and navy. My face seems immune (probably due the make-up without which I don’t leave the house) and my fingers seems a little less sensitive but thank goodness for antihistamine tablets…they don’t stop it but they make it less painful.

But after dark…oh, that’s when I shine and dance naked across the fields

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September 5, 2017

Birds!

My garden is only 12 feet wide and 30 feet long and paved.
I wanted wildlife in it so a few months ago I bought a bird feeding station
and have just bought a second one and now have 16 feeders.

Feeders

It’s been a gradual process but regular vistors now include House Sparrows, Starlings, Goldfinches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits, Wood Pigeons, Stock Doves, Collared Doves, a Robin, a Chaffinch, Hedgehogs, a squirrel, a mouse, slugs and snails. And yesterday, briefly and probably never to be repeated, an Osprey!

 

I’m chuffed to bits to have my own little Nature Reserve.

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June 26, 2017

Peas, pied and poppies…

TB and I walked nine miles yesterday.
It was a beautiful day and he took some lovely photographs en route.

June 14, 2017

Foxes, dogs and sunshine…

During my cancer treatment I received so much support from many people, some of whom I’ve never met. My gratitude knows no bounds and as I’ve always been a big believer in paying it forward, every year I draw four or five portraits in aid of charities.

So far this year I have given three (Waltham Forest Cat Protection, The Fox Project, Boston Pilgrim Stroke Unit) and have two more scheduled (Lincolnshire Dog Rescue and The National Fox Welfare Society). Take a look here

It’s not entirely selfless. It makes me feel I am giving something back and that is a good, good feeling. So, on this beautiful sunny morning I am smiling like a mad thing as I trawl through photographs of foxes and dogs. Life’s pretty darn fine!

 

 

June 12, 2017

Crumpet and the Fox Project

This portrait of Crumpet, drawn by my good self, is being auctioned
in aid of the Fox Project.
(And here’s their Facebook Page)
The outside measurement of the frame are 54.5cm x 44.5cm.
Crumpet’s story and how to bid are below.

Crump 3ACrump Frame

Crumpet is the smallest adult fox that The Fox Project have had in, in a long time, weighing in at just 2.76kg.
Crumpet has front leg deformations and is possibly mildly brain damaged.
It was decided that for her own safety, she could not be released back
into the outside world, so she’s gone to someone that The Fox Project knows who takes non-releasable foxes and now lives with three others in a very large, naturalistic run.

Bids can be place here on Bren Hopping’s Fund Raising Page

Go, people, bid…let’s do Crumpet proud.

May 5, 2017

Couch to 5K…

Today I told Sarah Millican to f*ck off!

She kep telling me to run. Every 90 seconds she told me to run…and I did.

I’ve downloaded the NHS Couch to 5K app and have just survived the first run of week one. I chose Sarah to bully me. Thank you TB for running with me at the slowest pace known to man, woman or beast :)

I’m a seasoned walker but now it’s time to run.
TB was a triathlete so he can already do that running thing and cycling and swimming. Really though, walking and running will do for me.

Go me!

October 31, 2016

Ooh, baby, baby…

Oh my goodness…I’ve only gone and done it!
My Baby Gorilla drawing won first prize in the Ruddocks of Lincoln Annual Art Exhibition. Chuffed doesn’t cover it. The prize, of course, is wonderful but the recognition is beyond words. Thank you so much to this year’s judge, Toni Watts.
The little chap’s WIP video is now here

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Also, four years ago I heard about The Spires and Steeples Challenge, a walk (or run if you’re mad!) of 26.75 miles across Lincolnshire countryside. At the time I was in the middle of chemotherapy so it was not going to happen but this year, TB and I blooming well did it. The heavens opened and the fields and footpaths were slippery, squishy and in places like quick sand but we did it…in 9 hours 46 minutes. I feel like King of the World.

ss16
This was pretty much the only dry path.
See how nicely coordinated we are, Frodo and me?

April 7, 2016

Back at it…

I’m drawing again and it feels good.

Click here to take a peek!

 I also have new string to my bow and a new website here

You can’t keep an old bird down  ;o)

February 18, 2015

Damaged but never broken

A couple of days ago I saw my oncologist. It’s been a year since I last saw him. He told me I am cancer free. “Am I cured?” I asked. He said no, I am considered cured after being cancer free for ten years. But hey, cancer free.
I’m CANCER FREE!! Now f*cking stay away, you, cancer cells.

I have been reflecting on the price I have paid to be cancer free and it’s a high one. There’s the obvious crazy fake boobs but really that’s the most minor and visible. Having had my ovaries removed as a preventative measure I have had a surgically induced menopause and as my cancer fed on estrogen I am not able to have Hormone Replacement Therapy. But the hot flushes I get are not menopausal, they are a result of the daily Letrozole I take; as is the constant joint pain (worse in the morning, I’m like a ninety year old crawling out of bed), the debilitating tiredness, the hair loss (though unlike during chemo, my hair constantly regrows but is patchy). What the menopause has caused is the sudden ageing (I’ve aged ten years) and the atrophy of my lady bits. (Luckily, lady bits are not confined to the lady bit so we do just fine! TMI? Sorry, but this is an honest post), dry eyes making my contacts painful after just a few hours…
I could go on.

The permanent damage caused by chemo, radiotherapy and Herceptin…numbness in my left foot, reduction in bone density (I take daily drugs to help with this), heart damage (I am still monitored for this), internal scarring (still forming), lethargy…
I could go on!

I was told of a lady who chose not to be treated. She opted for ten years of normality over two years of hell followed by thirty of ill health and there are days when I understand her decision and admire her bravery. Quality of life is everything but we all have different tolerances and while I do have those days when I feel cheated and angry and cry for what I’ve lost, what TB and I have lost, I have many, many more days when I am simply glad to be here, albeit as a lesser version of myself…
but with more boobage!

So whilst I am cancer free, I am never free from the damage and fear caused but there are people worse off than me, there are people with no hope, no home, no love. In reality, I have everything and for that I have to thank the nurses, my chemo guy, my surgeon, my gorgeous, beautiful, wonderful toyboy husband, my son and his amazing wife
and my friends in the real and virtual world.

This posh old bird will now get on with the next forty years

EDIT I forgot to mention having to take exceptional care of my left arm because of the lymphodema risk as I have no axillary nodes on that side. You see? There’s always something else…

As you were  :o)