Monthly Archives: February 2012

February Ends.

Well, for a short month February hasn’t been without consequence.  Many  of you will know that the pancreas is part of the digestive system, and as a result of having the cancer and also of having the splanchnicectomy ( yes, I’m just showing off that I remember what it was called) Julia’s digestion has been somewhat erratic to say the least.

There have been days of pain with constipation followed by the relief of her meds working to relieve the problem. There have been periods of great distress where the bowels have been working overtime and often without warning. This has also meant some pain, often for me when she screams down my ears “Not again”!!!!!!!!!!! The letter part of last week and the weekend were like that and her mood was very low. She becomes quite maudlin about her parents though she doesn’t want to leave us yet. To brighten her mood I decided to treat her to a hairdo (Thanks Groupon). I was just praying she’s be OK on the day.

The day arrived yesterday and with fingers crossed( and legs) we left the house to do a little shopping for an ‘Urgent ‘ Christening dress ( due in May), a new hat, lunch out and the hair ! Everything was going swimmingly and the weather was nice. Dress and hat nicely bagged ( though we we’re still in Wales and had to pay for the carrier bags) we set out for lunch. Crossing the car park to the pub we’d chosen I heard a sound like a frantic sewing machine approaching at speed. Almost diving out of the way in case a young learner had lost control of a moped I looked round but the only person in sight was Ju who was reddening by the second. It seems some trapped wind had just been released. The meal was nice and we got to the salon in plenty of time for her 3.00 pm appointment. Taking a seat I noticed they also cut men’s hair when they have free time so I took the opportunity to get a crop of my Santa white beard leftover from Winter and a grade 3 haircut. I couldn’t believe how much was coming off. While I was in the chair listening to the young lady tell me all about her father ( probably younger than me but at least it was better than football and politics at the barbers) Julia took her place on the chair close by. We’d been expecting a three quarters of an hour treatment for ‘lowlights’ and a cut to get rid of some of the hair weight that was causing her hair to come out. We left the salon at 6.10 pm and found she’d been given a full colour with lowlights. ( If it sounds like I know what I’m talking about with these technical terms forget it. I learned them parrot fashion). She looked wonderful and her mood was going up off the scale. Brilliant.

Today we had the opticians and learned we both needed new glasses. ( I’d like a pint of bitter in mine please). Varifocals for me and bi-focals for Ju. We were leaving the shop when I noticed that in order to try and fit the new frames the staff had moved her hair. I was left with a dilemma. Did I tell her that she had a very red ear as a result of the dye or did I leave well alone. I decided to mention it…” I didn’t realise that the colouring yesterday included your ears as well as your hair Sweetie” I said. It was suddenly my fault that I hadn’t noticed earlier and warned her before the staff had seen it. That mistake cost me another lunch out.

Recently Julia decided to change the colour scheme in the kitchen. Red kettle, red toaster etc. If she goes in there later I’ll lose her with her hair that colour now.

We see the oncologist on March 8th so I’ll keep you up to date with any news then as to whether there’s any more treatment on offer.



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February Continued

Julia hasn’t been well these last two days so we’ve been in a lot and watching the characters of Penny and Amy develop.Penny is larger and has a pale grey stripe running down the length of her back. Amy is a much darker grey and much less boisterous than her sister. On Monday they seemed to be fighting and because of the disparity in size I thought it best to separate them. So, when Ju was cleaning the cages we put then girls back differently. Penny was put in the bottom cage and Amy the top. Penny was given an igloo to sleep in though so far she has preferred to drag everything she can into a play tunnel and sleep there. Amy was given the little house they had both used previously and this was put on a higher shelf in the top cage. The only show of disgust we’ve seen from Amy happened then…she didn’t like the bedding material we placed on the floor of the house and promptly kicked it all outside the front door before dragging in some tissue and gong to sleep.

So as not to restrict the girls, access between the cages has been left open and there are ramps and ladders connecting the levels.

I hope the picture will give you an idea what I mean. On Tuesday morning Penny came out full of the joys of spring…I must turn the heating down a bit. She made a huge run up her ramp, through the roof door of the bottom cage, up the hole in the first level of the upper cage (light green), across the wooden footbridge, picked a piece of food from Amy’s food dish and scarpered back the way she’d come. Pretty good since she’d never tried it before unless of course she plotted the route out  during the night. Amy didn’t twitch a hair, but having decided Penny shouldn’t be able to pinch Amy’s food at will  I moved the dish up to the top layer where the house is.

Today I’m getting a much better idea of their nocturnal activity when I see that Amy has acquired some nice cotton wool bedding from somewhere . Since Penny had quite a bit and I haven’t seen the signs for a sale anywhere locally I have only been able to draw one conclusion. Small she might be but cowed she’s not. Both girls are a delight to watch and they’re definitely becoming less wary of hands since both are happy to accept treats from between our fingers. In fact both are very polite and ladylike in doing so. No snatching and no biting the hand that feeds them either. We’ve also found that when it’s time to clean cage, it’s easiest to put the girls in those big plastic balls that hamsters seem to love. I don’t think rats care for them in the same way since they both sit in their own balls looking puzzled and just rocking occasionally until it’s hometime again. Since spending all that time looking for Amy after ‘The Great Escape’ we’re not risking another runaway session.  Maybe when the girls are a bit tamer we can just let them sit on a shoulder till we’re done or if they want to play with Oscar we’ll put them in a pen together so he can’t get away. ha ha


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Well the month has started slowly. Julia has been forced to sell her horse Tango which has hurt her terribly, but she is no longer able to groom her. Personally I’m glad though it may sound cruel but Tango is now away from the stables I didn’t like, where there were threats of what would happen to Tango if Julia could no longer continue to care for her, and she’s safe on a new farm. As it happens the new farm already had Tango’s best friend so they’re reunited happily.

Two nice things have happened so far this month. One is that after a long period of appeal the section that deals with Disability benefits has finally reinstated my allowance from last August. Second is that Julia was up on a horse again this week for the first time in a long time for a proper ride. It was so nice to see that I sat freezing to death at a picnic table in the rain to watch her. After counting my toes at the end to check none had fallen off with frostbite, I decided it was worth it to see Ju so happy again. Tango couldn’t be ridden since a previous owner had over-raced her and the damage to her tendons was immense. She was a rescue horse and just to be cared for when Ju had her.

Julia has bought two rats. Grey and white they are very pretty. They’ve been christened Penny and Amy after two of the characters on Big Bang Theory which is the funniest comedy on TV today. Penny is the more dominant one who leads Amy astray much as in the show. Penny was also the first to draw blood after Julia’s hand invaded Penny’s space. Amy tried it on me ( shhh, don’t tell Ju as I just told her I have the magic touch) without success as my skin is like the rhino’s. We now have a cage with various levels decorating the lounge but so far they don’t seem too adventurous. We also have to get them used to hands because they’ll be handled quite a lot. If anyone has any metal gauntlets going spare please contact…….


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