Monthly Archives: August 2012

A date for the op.

Huzzah. Today we’re told that they’ll perform the operation next Tuesday  4th September. They’ll keep Julia in overnight as she’ll be sedated during the operation. That was a job I offered to do ‘on the cheap’ but to my surprise both Julia and the hospital refused. We have to phone on Tuesday morning to ensure there’s still a bed. Perhaps any empty ones are taken away and sold by the porters during the night? I hope having this operation now leaves enough time for Julia to revert to a normal colour.

Last night was a poor night for me. I managed little sleep with my chest. It was quite difficult to breathe and I was having loud coughing fits- mainly with the intent of keeping the neighbourhood awake with me. I was getting no relief from the sprays I use. I got up at 3.30 anyway to start my emails but found it hard to concentrate. At 6.00am I went through to feed the creatures and put the kettle on. I woke Julia and told her tea wouldn’t be long. The rats and the degu(s) each had an appropriate treat then some loose cornflakes which they love until Julia came through to give them their morning exercise. Saffy into her ankle crunching ball and Bernie plus Priya to play on the settee. I fed Oscar after cleaning his dishes and then took my meds. For one I wasn’t able to let the girls climb through my dressing gown and kiss me. ( Bernie’s a devil for giving me tongue). I could’t face breakfast. After half an hour Julia put Bernie and Priya back in their cage and bribed Saffy to return to her noisy children. It was time for Amy and Penny to take centre stage. Penny loves to pull the rim of your cup down and delicately scoop tea/coffee into her waiting mouth.

By 7.30 the girls were away and we were getting ready to go out for our main weekly shopping  expedition. We have to go early before the shops get crowded.It’s a Jack Sprat thing, Ju can’t do the shopping on her own and I can’t face the people. It was hard today as my breathing was so bad. The shopping trolley was more there to support me than bear the packets of yoghurts, bacon and the bread and milk. We got home about 9.30 and unpacked. I did a little more mail then lay down and slept for a while until Julia woke me to tel me she was worried about my breathing. I suggested lack of breathing is more the thing to worry about. Anyway, she went horse riding at about and returned by to find me asleep again and had a problem waking me. We had to go to hospital to have some bloodwork taken for next Tuesday and the time out of the house was actually beneficial. We’re back and I decided to come through to deal with messages at so this will be the first time I’ve not been to give the girls a treat and to talk to them all.

Time to try opening a window I think and see whether that will help me breathe a little better tonight. I want to be OK tomorrow as our nieces are coming and If I’m not well it will be lecture time. We’re looking forward to seeing them since they’re both very entertaining and could tell tall tales as an Olympic event.

I’m delighted we have the date for Julia’s operation and look forward to a clear run now up to the wedding.


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Yay. Yesterday we heard that the scan showed Julia is suitable for the stent operation. My daughter has had the job of harassing the Oncologist for his information as promised phone calls haven’t materialised. The only problem is that we have no date yet and the wedding is just over two weeks away. I shall be reminding the team that as Mother of Bridezilla LOL, Julia wants to look her best on the day.

In all fairness I must point out that Yvonne is the most relaxed bride I’ve seen. I have to find out what she’s on and get some !!

We started the fund off last weekend for Pennant Park Wishes and already have over £300 in donations. I haven’t seen Carl at the stables yet to see if any of the big Supermarkets have had the manners to respond to my letters but the Paralympic opening ceremony was last night so maybe it will kick start a few. I’ve made requests to Asda, Sainsbury’s  and Morrison’s. When Julia goes to the stables again tomorrow I want to suggest a charity auction and a raffle. We have two collecting tins to go in local shops as well. Since we just heard that British Aerospace at Broughton have just won a new contract and jobs are safe it may be a good time for an approach there, especially as they sponsored the electric hoist in the RDA School Julia uses near Wrexham.

You can imagine I’m delighted that the stent is to go ahead. I’ll keep everyone informed as to when it happens and how it goes. Thank you all for caring.


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The Story to Date.

This week Julia has contracted yellow jaundice and we find it’s another of the little treats pancreatic cancer comes with. On top of that she’s suffered some distress with her digestion that’s had her going to the toilet as a matter of urgency. It really gets her down and at times like this she can’t travel far in case she needs the loo. Seeing herself in the mirror she says it’s like she lost a battle with a bad fake tan bottle.

We saw the oncologist on Thursday and I’m sure he was disappointed that there were just three of us there. His fan club weren’t able to make it because of work. He explained that the tummy problem was exacerbated by the jaundice and was to be expected, but to Julia’s dismay he also pointed out her weight hasn’t increased and she needs to start trying to eat FOUR times a day and taking the tablets with the digestive enzyme. During this next week he’ll arrange for her to be admitted for minor surgery to place a stent in her bile duct to relieve the jaundice.
      All of this concentrated my mind on the problem of Pennant Park. We really do need to try and get the arena enclosed and a hoist fitted. Once done they can apply for RDA (Riding for the Disabed Association) accreditation and Julia will only have a small distance to travel while she still can, but the place can bring pleasure to untold numbers of disabled people as well.Maybe they’ll be able to train riders for the next Paralympics in 2016. Since there are so few RDA stables in North Wales it will be ideal for riders to get here. It’s going to cost around £20,000.00 but a start has been mad with the first £60.00 given on Friday. I’ve now written to some of the local Supermarkets looking for sponsorship and designed a few small posters to go up at the stables and in a few factories and shops locally.It was lucky that a piece I wrote for the local paper was taken up and Julia was photographed last week. She found it quite a shock to walk into a store and see her picture plastered all round a news stand. From that came a request for a radio interview which she did last Wednesday though we don’t know when it will be aired yet.
      I don’t know how long I have Julia for but I’m determined to make every moment count for her in bringing her ‘bucket list’ to fruition. Any bright ideas welcomed. Her Number 1 was to see our daughter married which takes place in September, and her 2nd was to take part in a dressage competition which she has…and Won! A new RDA closer to home is her third and the hardest. I don’t want to be defeated.
Most annoyed today as we had to go to hospital for an ultrasound scan to see if Ju is suitable for the stent. Why make us believe it was the next step if there may be obstacles in the way. And what happens IF she isn’t suitable? She becomes Marj Simpson? Monday is a Bank holiday so the earliest we can hear anything is Tuesday. Another long weekend.


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Unexpected arrivals

It’s been about a month now since Julia grovelled at my feet in the shop and told me “But David, I Neeeeed to have her”, her being Daffy, a degu up for rescue in a pet shop. Steely eyed I refused and pointed out that with 4 rats we certainly didn’t need another rodent in the house. At the same time of course I was extracting my wallet and signing on the dotted line. Because rescue pets are a donation to charity I couldn’t really refuse to give less than one would have cost. She was a sweet looking little thing and I was told about 6 weeks old. She’d been brought in with some males for sale and had to be separated.
The wallet was getting lighter and lighter as I viewed the articles on display for degus. We had to be careful of the food and treats as they’re prone to diabetes.

I bought a new cage which was a very tall bird cage but which could easily be converted into a three storey degu cage with plenty of levels for her to jump about on. Last week I finally had to admit defeat when the hole she’d chewed in the plastic base was big enough for an escapee from Colditz Castle. Out came two older cages where the metal wires ran as deep as the base to prevent her getting at the plastic. One Heath Robinson job later and the two cages were now one multi storey one which you have to be a contortionist to get your arm into to replenish the food.

Saffy as we renamed her since Daffy reminded me of the duck is sweet. She loves to be handled and she loves to trundle round the floor clipping ankles in her ball. She especially loves breaking the ball open and going for a casual stroll.
Part of my daily routine is to give her a treat when I first get up and feed cornflakes to the rats. This morning as I entered the room it was like being in Gremlins. I could hear this singing sound and thought Saffy was talking to me as she often does to Julia, though I don’t normally hear it very well. It was a really lovely sound. Julia has accused me of over feeding Saffy treats as since she’s been growing older she’s become rather rotund. Anyway, as soon as I rustled the treats bag for the girls, Saffy appeared in her cage. No way was I going to refuse her after the tune so I gave her a yoghurt drop and she retreated.

I mentioned the singing to Julia when I took her cuppa through and she reminded me that she’s asked the pet shop to let us know if any more female degus come in as they’re very gregarious animals and love company. I said as my memory is marginally better than hers I remembered then got out while I still could. As Julia came through the singing started again which was good as she’d now realise I was neither hearing things not hallucinating. She brought Saffy’s ball up to the cage door and Saffy climbed aboard and took off. ” How fat she’s getting David. You have to stop the treats” she said. “Maybe she’s pregnant” I said jokingly. Then the singing started again and it was still coming from Saffy’s cage though she wasn’t there. Julia leaned over and the little section f the cage where Saffy had made a nest of a rope she’s disintegrated was heaving.
“She’s had babies” I heard.
Julia rapidly got Saffy out of her ball and back into the cage to her babies. So far today we’ve counted four but I don’t know if that’s all. I’m just hoping it’s not the twelve they can have.
As they become sexually active at six to seven weeks and gestate for 90 days she must have been made pregnant very quickly between becoming active and being separated from the boys. We now have to wait till they’re about 4 weeks old to sex them so we can get the boys out and find them homes. Julia wants to keep at least one female ( if there are any) to keep Saffy company. So today I’ve had to order a new cage- all metal- ready for the new family. Oscar is going to hate this since Saffy hisses at him but shows no fear if he’s close and maybe her daughters will be the same.
I think I need to move out.


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