Monthly Archives: July 2015

Absolutely made up

Decree Absolute finally here…I am absolutely well shot…both of my marital home and my marital partner.

Now in my new house, which, with dedicated shoulders to cry on plus lifting, shifting, schlepping, organising, arranging, cleaning, vacuuming, primping, preening, arranging, re-arranging, drilling, filling, shopping, attaching, fitting, rubbish clearing, supporting, encouraging, gift and card sending as well as champagne (and food) laden friends and family (who are OF COURSE far more than just “friends” and family) – is already my new home, or…will be tomorrow when the cats come “home”.

I have been well and truly reprimanded for my Armageddon food, cleaning products and toilet paper stockpile,which, I gather is far more than comprehensive…I am guessing that the implicit suggestion is that I do not need to worry about the state of my fridge this year. Who knew? I am taking it with a pinch of salt! …but…maybe with an oven the size of a grill pan, I may (or may not!) use less ingredients.

Cats,carpentry and plumbing (with a inter-city bagel interlude)…then back on the cancer hamster wheel on Monday…


Moving swiftly on….

After a very, very, very anxious, stressy and sleepless weekend when the judge had ruled (on Friday afternoon) that my divorce settlement was unfair to my husband, sorry, ex-husband. Today when my (very expensive) lawyer explained the situation, (in court) he changed his mind and I am now AT LAST (whoo-hoo..)


(do listen to the Dolly Parton link!)

…and I can move house…in less than 48 hours…I am about to become my own person, once again…hallelujah! Sod cancer!

Tracy Island

I seem to be in that stomach churning mix of organisation, total pandemonium and sleepless panic…It’s – Moving Day Minus 4.

I think of things to do and by the time I get up to do them, I have forgotten what task I had set myself..My brain is fried…I keep welling up at the prospect of leaving my lovely home and I want my (dead) friend here to hold my hand and walk me through the legal minefield that decided to hurl itself at me yesterday. Oh yes…that well known Friday afternoon time bomb.

…and so, in this setting I trip over one of the black bags around the place. It speaks…really? I try to open the bag but it is very firmly knotted and I hear the “voice” (?) again..By now I am tearing the bag apart to discover….Tracy Island! I don’t remember Tracy Island speaking and, bizarrely, once I had discovered the contents and laughed, didn’t investigate further…maybe another task for today…Thunderbirds may be go, even if I’m not! Tracy Island is obviously moving with us….

A last gasp denizen of Iffley Fields

My hair – which I am not complaining about…I will never again complain about a headful of hair, however blowsy. However it seems to have arranged itself in a style which reminds me (and others) of a poodle. It has been doing this for several days and I wonder why (only in passing of course!)

More worrying however is the complete insomnia being caused by the ever diminishing freezer and fridge contents in readiness for my house move next week. This is not an area that can be defined by “less is more” and I am very troubled.

The freezer still has an eclectic mix of items which challenge my culinary imagination: Fish fingers; ice cream; potato croquettes (only 3 years past their best before date); a variety of flavoured breadcrumbs I have made; pancakes for crispy duck and enough butter puff pastry to allow for endless “tart” mistakes, and then some!

The fridge – I am doing less well with. It remains well stocked but not really with ingredients for doing anything very interesting with…and then I rummage – ah yes…6 bottles of wine, pickles, butter, mustards, relishes, fruit juice, nail varnish, milk and of course stuff from the freezer that I defrosted to eat and instead I look at it…but phew…there is, wine and tomatoes so I will be fine.

Back to the hospital tomorrow which I had forgotten about until a cheeky text popped up yesterday to remind me. Heart this time, it may be broken but hopefully the beat goes on…

Free totty…

I may not be using totty in its truest sense, but being a colloquial word, I think I have poetic licence to do as I will…

…and what I have been doing is full-on canoodling  with summer fruit which is one of my passions. Daily, I have been visited by generous friends and neighbours with allotment gluts. Redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries, cherries as well as chard, peas and courgettes…Lovely jubbly!

…a level of anxiety creeps in at leaving my hugely supportive community BUT…hopefully a new bunch of friends to meet…I am trying to be positive about leaving my lovely family home (and…oh yes, the old concept of family) but the wobbles poke me from time to time. I try to stop in my tracks – work it through and then go back to focusing on the future, rather than the past.

“Black clouds lumbered off westward like ghosts of buffalo”

How perfect an analogy is that? Despite the fact that I have a funeral to attend; a house to pack up; a decree absolute to wait for; another hospital appointment to attend alongside a fridge of diminishing content AND extremely grumpy cats…it does feel like the fog is lifting. I find that I do, finally, have the impetus to start looking at the future with delight rather than staring at the abyss of the past with disbelief, anger and despair.

I can do this…I am doing this…I continue to give attention to my own mental and physical health, I have bought a house on my own, sold a house on my own, prepared a “moving book” (full of lists which prompt me to do the stuff that I keep forgetting) as well as getting on with the rest of life. For the first time (in my now short term memory) I am teetering on the edge of believing that there may be a “rest of life”. I am now ready to grab it , wallow in it … and do some celebrating, laughing and living. (OK…still on full-whack of anti-depressants..but moving in a better direction!)

Too skinny…what’s that about?

The ritual hospital parking nightmare…no spaces….park somewhere…worry exponentially about being clamped/fined/tarred and feathered (or…all of the above). Then, I sit in front of the oncologist and wait for my results to load…shift about in my seat, sense erratic breathing and then and only then the “only bad” news from the CT scan is that I am “too skinny…” ONLY? BAD?

Fancy that?

House sale/purchase exchanged today….semi-house clearance today….scans clear…too skinny…WHAT??? too skinny hey…there’s a future! Bring it on…

The Full Monty

The week has grown more and more stressful – my varying problems combining to make me forget (until I was called to be reminded) about my Herceptin treatment on Monday. Maybe forgetting is good…normalising the abnormal…?

I am (despite daily glitches, delays, arguments, cage rattling and professional incompetence) on the cusp of divorce and house move whilst continuing to deal with life threatening illness, bereavement all exacerbated by insomnia…and the answer is…? version of events involves trying to forget how I feature on the list of top life stressors of which I only seem to be missing “death of spouse”  and “imprisonment”  hmmmm.. are they related? Will safely “park” the former in the non- applicable spot and ignore the other (for the time being!) Instead I indulge in the age old female remedies of retail therapy (window shopping anyway!), supping chilled wine in the sunshine whilst putting the world to rights with friends and of course, my own particular default setting – burrowing myself away into a good book. All done, of course, whilst taking the maximum anti-depressant dose.

Something I read the other week rang a bell whilst working my way through this mire…I can’t remember the exact words..but something along the lines of

“I’m not actually dead, I’m dormant”

Living in a box

Packing up a house and dissolving a marriage was never going to be easy. Every day I discard an endless amount of both clutter and treasures. I thought I had long since hurled sentimentality into the backwater along with my wedding ring but it seems not…The procrastinated sorting of 22 photo albums was today’s task. I laughed, cringed and cried…and down came my house of cards all over again.

My airbrushed life is now packed away in a (very tasteful) lime green box with the lid firmly on. One more thing to cross off the list if only I could find the list!

Next week back to oncology…wish that could be crossed off the list

The Killing Fields of East Oxford

Whilst I plough on with packing up the house, one of my cats seems to have come up with the plan of dispatching every form of wildlife on her patch before she relocates. There are now all too regular “gifts” of mouse heads at the bottom of my bed in the morning – 8 to date…as well as assorted body parts in various locations. The garden has been scattered with a range of corpses of un-identifiable small furry creatures and now….she has moved on to birds. Huge dead pigeon in garden this week…and another today…and overnight the kitchen has become a scene of feathers, wings and …..eeeew!…beaks!

I wonder if this is my fault and it is a reaction to the mouse I taxidermied (if that’s not a word, it should be) a few weeks ago, something I never believed I would do..but it was a fascinating insight into the Victorian world of diorama and stuffed seagulls. I think that the cat must have taken offence at the anthropomorphic accessories and is, perhaps demonstrating her distaste..?

No corpses..or none visible at hospital today…I am such a regular for the CT scanner that they no longer ask if I need to change into a gown as they know me and that I come “CT ready” with no metal about my person. As I slide in and out of the machine following the disconnected mechanical voice instructing my breathing, I try and think of a time when this was an unusual pastime. Then the cannula goes in…then the contrast dye…then the feeling of inner warmth quickly followed by the sensation of urinary incontinence…How many times now? I can’t even remember…there was a time when I could count on the fingers of one hand..but hey…once more, with feeling! Results in 10 days