Cancer Update: 2 Years Gone Already

This time two years ago I found a lump in my breast. It didn’t hurt but I knew what it could be.

A year ago I returned to work after the surgery and treatments. Boy does time fly.

In that year I have gone from being hardly able to walk to working my full hours and maintaining the garden, allotment and house as before, well almost.

You see, I had no idea how my fitness would be affected by it all. I am still struggling a little bit but at least I know the reason why. Mostly it has to do with sleep or lack thereof.

I am lucky though, I am still here and as far as I know clear of cancer. Can’t ever be fully sure until they produce a blood test like they have for prostate cancer. Until something occurs to make me think otherwise, I am happy to be here.

I have had my 6 month check up recently and got some good advice about taking the tamoxifen at night. This was about three weeks ago and things have definitely improved. The night sweats have reduced to waking me every few hours. Much better.

In the same vein my GP prescribed venlafaxine, an antedepressant that has the side effect of reducing the night sweats. I haven’t tried them yet. I will let you know.

Apart from the intermittent fatigue and general wekness still, all is good. I am in a good place mentally at the moment and am enjoying life.

I am even starting to think about proper excercise. this is in anticipation of going on the next drug, anastrazole, which may decrease my bone density, and because I have put on weight.  I was already well over weight but the sleeping issue has caused me to eat more.

So there it is. not much of an update as life has gone on as if nothing happened…………

which is fine by me.

 

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Current Themes – An Update

A brief look at how things are going and where I want to be with life.

Health and Fitness: Still having very disturbed sleep. I lost my Fitbit so can’t see how bad it is in black and white but certainly I am waling every hour. Happily i may now be on the road to improvement.

I finally got to see my GP a few weeks ago but I hadn’t taken the info I had on venlafaxine as a treatment for menopausal sweating. I finally got to see her again today and she has prescribed this antidepressant at its lowest level. This is not a route I would have gone down but nearly everything else affects oestrogen levels. Not a risk I want to take.

Overall, when I get enough sleep, by going to bed at 9pm usually, I am doing plenty and keeping busy. I have even lost a bit of weight.

Making Money: Still doing OK but slowed down. I am too tired to do loads of surveys plus its too nice to be stuck in on a computer. No big wins but over the last month earnt enough to pay for a storytelling festival I am going to in July.

Prepping: The events of the last few weeks have had me and DH discussing escape routes. It doesn’t take long to bung up Derby with traffic.

Decluttering and Minimising: Decluttering has slowed down due to being away a bit but also I am spending more time on the Allotment when I can. Energy levels have to be managed so that means one thing at a time. Frustrating but necessary.

Personal Growth:  The leadership course continues. I am in a good place right now and hope to keep it like that.

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Anthems For Our Times

The UK has responded to the last two terrorist attacks in the usual way.

I was moved this last week by the concert arranged so quickly and supported by so many to raise funds for the victims of Manchester and was pleased that The Red Cross started a fund for all the victims of these horrendous events.

The song of the moment was by Oasis, a Manchester band sung here by Ariana Grande and Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

 

Supporting victims of the Manchester attack

Here is a link if you want to donate to the Red Cross.

https://beta.redcross.org.uk/appeal/manchester-emergency-fund-concert

Robbie Williams ‘Angels’ also took on special meaning:

Thanks Youtube for the links.

 

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Money Stuff – Road to Freedom

One of the things I have been concentrating on over the last few years has been raising cash for projects. Initially it was to pay off my mortgage and take a year out from work.

As usual in life, especially mine, plans are only dreams until they happen.

The plan to go travelling is now on hold as DH has moved jobs.

The plan to clear my mortgage will be complete in 3 years in June, a full year before I can retire.

This is AMAZING. Five years ago I had no savings. If I wanted cash in a hurry I used a credit card or asked bank of DH. For personal reasons I would rather have borrowed money and pay for the privilege than borrow of him.

Five or so years ago I started looking at my life. What did I really want for ME as I approached 50. Once I had decided I wanted to travel and clear the mortgage it was like someone had switched on the proverbial lighbulb.

I now have the smug bonus of never having credit card charges because I would forget to pay in time. I pay no interest on my spending because I pay off in full every month whatever I put on credit cards. I then get a bit of a bonus because I only use cards that give me rewards which I can spend. So good all round.

This year I have managed to claw back from insurance companies about £400 and Child Benefit about £650 plus all the bits I have as rewards from surveys and cashback sites. It amounts so far this year to three months mortgage payments equivalent.

I have also been consistently able to save about a third of my monthly wage, even managing to save for the first six months off sick from 2015 to 2016. One thing I didn’t worry about was money while I was off. This is in sharp contrast to my previous experience 18 years ago  when my back gave up the ghost after having my DD.

It has took a lot of hard work and some scrimping on my part but I have managed to save enough now to pay off a chunk of mortgage and still have enough savings in the bank to last me 6 months if I lost my job tomorrow.

I think the reason this has worked  is that I have been consistent with saving a regular amount as soon as my money comes into the bank. I have an allowance (fun money) which although I am not rigid about I spend about the same each month.

If I had known when I was a teenager what I know now I would have cleared my mortgage a long long time ago. In fact I could have bought a property outright on how much I earned in the two years before I left home at 19 years of age. That factory job, babysitting and fruit picking money added up.

The thought of being completely mortgage free in a few years plus saving all that interest I would have paid makes me very happy. It has given me choices I might not have had.

I am now educating my children to think about saving a regular sum, even if it is only a few pounds. That an emergency fund is a neccessity not an add on. That they can have fun and save.

This is especially important for my DD who goes off to university in debt before she has even started. She has accepted it easily and didn’t want us to pay but I don’t want her to be weighed down by it for the next 25 years.

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Manchester

The last few days have been awful. How else could it be when people, especially children, die this way.

As a mother of a teenager I am touched more than usual by this event. My heart goes to the parents and families of the dead and injured. I also feel for the unnamed thousands who got away unhurt with all the emotional fall out that that can entail.

Well done to the emergency services, the people who helped even in small ways, and even the Beeb who I feel handled this so much better than usual.

Take care friends.

 

 

 

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Decluttering and Minimalism

Just recently I have had a bit of a breakthrough with my attitude to the clutter and collections of stuff I have. My house is heaving with craft stuff, books, ornaments, clothes, stuff other people gave me to get rid of…..which I hung onto, just in case.

We are about to start the process of replacing the kitchen and our DD is off to uni in a few months time. This means we can thnk about down sizing. To do that we need to move a lot of stuff.

My relationship with stuff has been a life long affair. We didn’t have much as children but boy could we shop…….at the local jumble sale. Charity (thrift) shops were too expensive.

Over the years I have upsized and so has the amount of stuff I hauled about. I arrived in Derby with a suitcase and a carrier bag, and a lot of the case was taken up with books and pictures for my wall.

My house is now four bedroomed with large shelves all over. Things are stashed in nooks and crannies, under beds and sets of draws, in and on wardrobes across the whole house.

I can’t blame any one else, nearly all of it is mine.

Soooo things are achanging. With DD leaving and may end up living abroad after uni, I am realising that some of the stuff I have has been sitting around for an awful long time. It is time it went. Which is the problem.

I am not a thrower. I can let things go well enough but items have to go somewhere usful or be recycled. I have rubbish sheets I can’t let go because I don’t want them to go to landfill. Old quilts well past their usefulness but sitting waiting to be rehomed; you get the picture.

A few weeks ago we cleared the garage and emptied out most of the loft. This was a great thing to do. We got rid of a load of rubbish to the tip but was left with a few choice items.

Since then we have listed a load of stuff on Gumtree. I never bothered before after my experiences with ebay. I grew to hate selling online. Well things are going out the door fast, and for real money. I can’t believe it.

 

Dummy1Round Mirror2

A set of drums went to a requester on Freegle.

drums

In addition to larger items for sale I am finding homes for lots of craft stuff. The hospital dementia care team have taken card, buttons and ribbons. Wool I gave to my MiL is going to make fiddle muffs, also for dementia patients.

This is the sort of thing:

handmuffs-1

A load of fabric items like sheets and shirts are labelled up to go to my local Cancer Research shop labelled as rags.

I gave my MiL four bags of bits for her church summer sale and a further four to the local charity shop.

Most charity shops won’t take old sci fi and fantasy but a local church hall has agreed to sell them for the upkeep of their building.

I know I sound all excitable but it really is a relief to not have this stuff rotting away, dying in storage or just gathering dust.

The best thing is that I have missed nothing that has gone so far. This shouldn’t be a surprise but it still annoys me that I took so long to get started.

 

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International Nurses Day

 

Image result for royal college of nursing nurses day

A friend posted this so I thought I would pass it on to you although its a bit late. I am a nurse and proud of it. I have also been a patient in the last few years and have received care that is second to none.  Each day I see my colleagues going above and beyond to make sure everything is done the way it should be. Power to your elbow friends. The NHS is a great organisation despite its problems made so by the people who work in it.

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