Current Themes – An Update


Health and Fitness: I have just restarted doing the Couch to 5k after my cough, cold and a holiday in Rome. I haven’t completed a full cycle of walk/run yet but hope to do so by the end of the week.

While away I found I was able to walk reasonably long distances; over 20,000 steps approx 10 miles on two days; but by the end of four days was pretty tired. I came back Friday and Saturday had a rest day. In fact I couldn’t keep awake. I didn’t fight it. Knowing when to rest has been keeping me going for some time. I was awake at the usual time on Sunday and did a few hours of work on the allotment.

I now need to work on my difficulty with inclines and steps. I frequently get puffed out on even short flights of stairs and mild inclines. Over the winter, and once the bulk of the work is done on the allotment, I hope to drag DH to the countryside and do some walking up and down hills.

Making Money: Since I last wrote DH and I have reviewed some of the family mobile phone contracts and our subscription to Virgin. In doing so we have saved ourselves several hundred pounds a year. We just researched what was available on other providers and rang Virgin up and requested a better deal. We also reduced our TV package to a basic one as we don’t watch it so much now.

DH is also working towards early retirement at 55 and is very on board with frugality and curbing uneccesary outgoings. He made a valid complaint to Argos this week and got a £50 voucher too. He probably wouldn’t have bothered in the past so this was a good win.

I have just restarted all the survey sites I was on until the summer as nights are dark and I won’t be going to the allotment after work now until spring.

Prepping: I restocked all my emergency bags with up to date essential medicines with long expiry dates and have recorded all the details in a paper notebook I keep for the purpose. I have swapped out  the cash as well as the UK has changed £10 notes, £5 notes and £1 coins in the last year or so. It was an opportunity to review the contents too, some of which were removed.

It is coming to winter so my winter car bag is being reviewed and the car is to be serviced. I don’t want it failing me on a cold night after work or first thing in the morning.

Decluttering and Minimising: Not much done since I last wrote due to poorliness, being busy and going away.  I will be back to it this week. I cleaned up the house before going away on holiday and it was a pleasure to get back home and only need to do my washing.

Personal Growth:  I am going to remove this heading for now but will add it intermittently if I have anything to report.

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Cancer Update: Oncology Review

I had my 6 month review with the oncologist today. After the usual prod and poke I had a chat with her about Tamoxifen as I had been told I may be starting on Anastrazole when I visited the nurse specialist 6 months ago.

I haven’t been on Tamoxifen for a full two years and so she will see me again in 6 months to swap over. Anastrazole stops cancer cells growing with evidence in post menopausal women showing promising results.

Recent research has shown that women should stay on Tamoxifen for ten years if they are to stay on it on it. There is no value for those on Anastrazole to be on it any longer than five years.

On anastrazole joint aches and pains may get worst but hot flushes may be reduced. Its all very vague because people respond differently to the drugs.

The only other thing of note is that my slow recovery from chemo may not be just about the chemo, that the menopause may be also affecting my energy levels.

So all in all, nothing much to report, which is good in itself.


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In Memorium.

20170705_Poppies for blog




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Current Themes – An Update

A  bit late  in the month. Lots of ther things going on. Now mostly sorted

Health and Fitness: So I started the Couch to 5K and had completed the first week. I was re-doing the first week before I went on to the second but developed a heavy cold, sore throat and a juicy cough. I am still coughing now but am just about better and hope to restart in the next day or so.

Despite the short duration of my first attempt I did notice some very quick benefits. One is that I didn’t actually want to eat so much, I had more energy and I found my walking speed improved. I wasn’t getting puffed out walking at speed either.

I had expected more joint and back pain but didn’t notice any real difference. I was running on hard surfaces too.

I have been over the allotment over the last few weeks. I am able to do more for longer including digging. We are in the process of doing it up as a lot of the jobs have had to wait until I was fitter.

Making Money:

Although I am not working to earn more money at the moment I am still keeping an eye on my banks and cards. Well worth it too as £380 was taken from my credit card for something I didn’t know I was paying for. Being the person I am now I dealt with it straight away and got my refund. Although its a lot of money in the old days I would have procrastinated for so long the moment would have passed. The charge went on and came off in two days.

Prepping: Nothing to report this month.

Decluttering and Minimising: I have cleared 10 bags of clothes, books and bric a brac in the last week.  I have given up hanging onto stuff to sell and am just distributing it to charity shops, MiL’s church events, work and people who need stuff. Its very therapeutic just giving it away and seeing space appear.

Personal Growth:  Nothing much to report here. I am just maintaining confidence and appearing on various committees which I have got myself involved in. I find it a lot easier to not be scared of authority figures now. I used to be so frightened to say anything, but now I am not. I don’t say that I don’t get an anxious flutter every now and again when I have to deal with someone who may be difficult, but it wouldn’t stop me now.

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Slipped Off the Radar Again

So where have I been I find you asking? Or maybe not.

Well I was doing OK. Had completed the first week of Couch to 5k and was repeating it to be sure when I  got hit by a heavy cold and my annual chesty cough. It was my own fault. I had been saying how I hadn’t been off for a year on my appraisal and the very next day along came the sore throat.

So I have stopped running until I am fully better, I have not gone out much but have managed to go to work. I was at my worst over the weekend before last, and have just about recovered now.

Life has gone on anyway and so I managed to get to the allotment to water the tomatoes, still going strong. Pick up my regular courgette (the same plant has been supplying two courgettes a week for months).

Over the ditch Dan kindly let me try some of his curly kale. It had white fly but once scrubbed it was lovely, like cabbage. my daughter wasn’t too impressed by the caterpillar that fell out of one her leaves though.

I have been playing with my dehydrator again and found that it makes curly kale VERY crisp. DD tried it and dried cabbage in a Chinese stir-fry. Her judgement is kale great, cabbage not so great.

So that’s it for now. Will do my monthly update in the next few days.

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A New Start : Free at Last

Last week my daughter started university. Until now I have always had this invisible bungee umbilical cord that keeps bringing me home just as soon as is humanly possible from wherever I am. I kept at it even when she turned 18, until she left last week in fact.

The title is a bit tongue in cheek but although I miss my daughter I am looking forward to not being tied down so much.

So what will I do with my new found freedom?

Well seeing as I am still tied to paid work I don’t suppose I will be running off into the sunset cackling madly and waving my arms.

What it is is an opportunity. I have only one really great need right now, and that is to get fitter. This is a priority I have put off because I always felt I had to run home. Interestingly I didn’t feel half as guilty eating out sometimes five times in a week. Aah, my excuse has gone off to educate herself and there is no where to hide.

To get fit I have to think about several things.

My current level of fitness is abysmal. I can walk on the flat for quite some distance but my joints are creaky and muscles ache. I was a bit like this before all my treatment but it seems to be worst now.

If you ask me to walk up a mild incline or some stairs I get very  puffed out. Although my sleep has improved my fitness levels haven’t for some time and I have put on weight.

And in that statement lies another issue. I love love love cake and biscuits, anything sweet. At this time of year even I turn to pies, spuds and stews. I love the carb rich diet that is so bad for you but I really can’t face salad in winter.

So I have come to an agreement with myself; I am going to slowly lose weight and slowly build up my exercise.

From tomorrow I am going to list all the food and try and work out the calories and fat etc. I have used Spark people for this before so may go back to that. I know my triggers as a rule and will avoid them.

I will weigh myself once a month on payday (the 27th) but I hope to notice the difference in my clothes .

As for exercise I have been inspired by a very good friend to try the Couch to 5k, (C25K). Its one of those things that even I can do. In fact it is designed for people just like me, as in very unfit. I wouldn’t call myself a couch potato most of the time. I tried it for the first time last night and I managed three 90 second runs although the last one was not so good. I was tempted to do a pre C25K as in walk normally then walk fast but it seems pointless so I shall stick to the plan.

couch in couch to 5 k

Getting fit and losing weight is not just a nice to have aim. I have a family history of diabetes and heart disease. I have been overweight or obese for the whole of my adult life. I am tired a lot and although I can put some of this down to my treatment its not all about that. I may actually live longer than my predecessors if I look after myself. I may actually get old. Besides I don’t like the way I look or feel. Getting breathless just bending down to  pick something up is no fun.

Finally I have already told the office at work and will tell my lovely MiL as she often brings cakes and goodies round. Got to love her for it but it doesn’t help the old waistline.

What I really want is to look as fab as my friend of course and maybe even go for a run with her one day. Wish me luck.

couch to 5 K





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Current Themes – An Update

A month comes round really quickly. Life has been very busy here, blogging is taking a back seat; normal service will resume soon.

Health and Fitness: The Venlafaxine continues to work and I am sleeping a lot better. It also helps that the weather has cooled down a bit. Now that I am sleeping I have been getting a better picture of my overall health. I am doing ok and can walk on the flat with no problem but going up even slight inclines causes me to be puffed out. I am also still not very strong but hope that will improve in the next few months.

Had my mammogram this week which marks the second year since first surgery.

Making Money: Although I am not doing surveys etc I have a plan which will earn me about £700 over the next year for a few hours work. This is to do with opening bank accounts and rotating money around. Fiddly but worth it.

I paid a chunk off my smaller mortgage last month. It won’t be long until it has gone.

Prepping: Doing two sorts of prepping this month.

First DD is going off to uni so we have been getting what she needs together. Nearly everything is done. I have also done her a sewing kit, care kit and first aid kit. We are putting together a tool kit and a bag for emergencies in case she gets woken by fire alarms in the middle of the night. It will contain food and water, cash and phone numbers plus foot wear and clothes.

Also this month I have been through my various emergency bags putting in water with a long expiry date, tablets also with long expiry dates and replacing old £1 coins with new ones as they are out of date in October.

Decluttering and Minimising: In the last month I have cleared DD and DN’s (nephew) rooms. All bags of clothes and knick nacks have gone into the spare room. I will be sorting that room last. Once DD has gone to uni I will be deep cleaning her space, DN’s is already done.

I also cleared the shed on the  allotment. It looked like it had been burgled. I think, like DDs and DNs rooms, it may be over two years since I did this. It was really messy and took three hours.

Measuring up this month for a new kitchen and small remodel of downstairs.

Personal Growth:  Its been busy at work as someone has been on holiday from the team most weeks over the last few months. I have caught up with piles of paperwork however and feel better for it now my ‘to do’ pile is minimal.

Since coming back off hols myself a few weeks ago I have got involved in several projects, all inter related. Two of thse are projects I have wanted to do but never got started due to time commitments and lack of confidence. However someone else has had the time and energy so I am tagging along and putting in my two pennys’s worth.

My Learning Set’s project also meets for the second time this month with the management lead. I am very happy that this has started getting off the ground as I felt that nothing would change.

I cannot tell you how much all this means to me. I have more confidence and know I have the ability to influence things in a positive way at work. If you has asked me only a few years ago I would have avoided it all despite my wanting to do good.

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