Monthly Archives: September 2012
We set off at 7.15 am to cover the 15 miles or so to Chester. We’d never been to this particular venue before so I suggested Lady J used her sat-nag. Things did not go well. The Transylvanian voiced minx inside the box was having an off day.
When we go to Chester we start the journey by turning right and heading for the expressway. Ms Dracul asked us to turn left instead and head for the Coast Road.
Much to Julia’s chagrin I suggested she obey instructions as I had no idea which part of Chester the hotel was in. We were due to arrive by 8’am so the ladies could go to the hairdressers.
By 7.40 we had reached a point where the back road into Chester was close and I suggested we prepare, but no, the beguiling voice sent us left onto the motorway. As there is an alternate route into Chester I wasn’t worried until Vladina told Julia to go round the roundabout and take the third exit. Panic set in because there was a new roundabout ahead and the third exit took us onto the main motorway to Manchester. Strange mumblings came from Julia’s mouth as she took the road before I was able to shout “Ignore the wench, she’s playing with you.” We had got a few hundred yards when the voice with a throaty chuckle told us to “Turn round when possible”. We took the next exit( miles away) and out friend directed us back onto the opposite side of the motorway to retrace our steps. It’s now 8.15 and I’m having trouble keeping calm.
Back to where we were the disembodied idiot told us to turn right and approach the roundabout taking the third exit again. I knew it was wrong as I could see the Chester Road close by on the left but by now we were in her thrall. Right it was and the third exit loomed. Hoylake said the sign. We both knew that’s on the Wirral peninsula but we carried on until the fiend said “In one hundred yards you have reached your destination, you have reached your destination.” It was a lay-by near to a huge brick wall which somehow didn’t seem right. Reaching over Julia I gripped the sat-nag with the intention of throwing her out of the window but knowing the litter laws and the fact that police cars can hide behind an autumn leaf I just turned her off and suggested we turn the car round and I’d navigate. Ten minutes later at 8.30 we dew up at the hotel. Within 5 minutes I was esconced in our daughters room as they departed for hair-do’s and nail buffings.
All Wedding days have hiccups, so glad that ours were over I sat on the chaise longue and nodded off. Soon enough the distractions returned and I headed down to the bar for coffee. It wouldn’t take Julia long to change so she joined me for a cuppa and we laughed about the mornings events until it was time to get dressed. Back in the room the cameras were flashing as each new person appeared in their finery. Without noticing the time arrived for the bridesmaids and Julia to depart. Half an hour later the phone rang to say our car had arrived.A Rolls Royce no less.
The driver suggested taking a slightly longer route so we could pull up outside the church on the slide Yvonne would alight. We were pulling up outside the church when there was a lot of frantic waving for us to go round the block again. I saw sheer panic on Yvonne’s face for a moment that Ugo hadn’t turned up bu she knew that couldn’t be the case so rolled down her window. It transpired Ugo was patiently waiting our arrival but his mother journeying from London hadn’t arrived. Back up went the window and e set off to go round the block when Yvonne realised she didn’t have her bouquet. We dashed back to the hotel where I ran ( or limped) inside and shot upstairs shouting ” I couldn’t do it, I changed my mind” at the reception staff. The electronic key wouldn’t work. Back down, key registered and back up again for the flowers. Another dash back to the car to arrive at the church at 3.20 for the 3.00pm marriage. Word came that Mum was on the way so we’d give her till half past then we’d have to start. I used the time wisely, I stood beside the car and had a calming smoke.
At 3.30 we went in. Yvonne on my arm looking a dream. Mum hadn’t arrived but we couldn’t hold the queue up any longer or we”d be having joint weddings with the next couple. Even worse was he Best Man was now missing as he’s gone to find his mother and bring her. The ceremony was just drawing to and end as they appeared. ” Don’t worry Dad” said Yvonne, “It’s just African time, it’s much more relaxed than ours.”
It transpired that the car she was travelling i got lost and the best man went out to guide them in. For some strange reason they’d taken time to park their car and travel with the best man. Later as we went for the wedding breakfast there were spaces at the table as they’d decided to go and collect the car they’d abandoned. They arrived back just a we were finishing our main course and had to catch up.
The day itself was wonderful. The weather had saved it’s best for us and the wedding party all looked great in their assorted finery.I confess that Julia and I were both glad to change into easy flowing African outfits made for us when the dancing started.
Today I’m as proud as punch. No, not because I’ve been in my first ever jacuzzi with my wife, the bride to be and her matron of honour but because when Julia and I got home the proof copy of her book had arrived. You might think I’d be blase about proofs by now but the truth is I’m not. Also this is the first time I’d seen or read the book as I didn’t want to seem interfering. I had to let Julia handle the writing of this as she wanted even if it was badly written as it would at least be badly written from the heart. I was in no position to tell her how she actually felt at the news of her cancer nor how she felt when told it was inoperable. Though I’ve tried to be with her every step of the was and be as supportive as possible ( no more so than Yvonne and our nieces Karen and Joanne) at no time could I put myself in her shoes. Probably I’ve had times where I’ve been selfish and looked at things from the viewpoint of how I’ll cope without her.
Ju has been keeping a journal of sorts at all the major stumbling blocks and had made them into an ongoing blog. My sole involvement was to suggest perhaps she made a book that we could always refer to. When the idea of promoting a new Riding school for the disabled in our area was mooted I thought maybe she could sell a few copies to help raise funds. She jumped at the idea and with the help of a friend in the U.S. who is herself a writer, the book was put on Lulu. Having agreed the proof copy it has now gone on sale. The book is called Hello, My name is Cancer. This title was chosen because Ju felt that after the diagnosis people looked at her as the illness and not the person. Since we’re currently beating the prognosis by quite a way we’ve proved the person is still there, As strong and as brave as ever. Currently Ju is back in some breakthrough pain again and we’ll have to arrange to have her medication reviewed. The MST ( morphine) is now inadequate.But tomorrow with the wedding of ouur daughter Ju has achieved her most important bucket list wish.
The link to the book is http://www.lulu.com/shop/julia-prosser/hellomy-name-is-cancer/paperback/product-20380013.html and it’s available now at £5.98 per copy with all profits going to the Pennant Park Wishes fund.
The author (Ilil Arbel) who helped Julia edit the book and put it on Lulu wrote this for the back cover…
Hello My Name is Cancer is a most unusual book. It was written to encourage cancer patients on their difficult road, but it is much, much more. The book tells about the author’s relationship to her beloved horses, to family, to friends; it shows how life should be lived no matter how much time we think we have or not have. It is a story of pain, courage, loyalty, and the way to self knowledge. This book must be read by anyone who is undergoing difficult times – which happens to almost everyone – because no matter what the trouble is, the story would help the reader regain balance and perspective.
If you buy it I hope you enjoy it and that it inspires you as the author does me.
I suspect that many people thought like me that the Olympics was over for 2012 with the closing ceremony of the Paralympics. Well it seems we were wrong from my observations today.
As many of you know I have a routine in the morning when I get up.
I collect Oscar’s dishes and take them through to the kitchen.
I give the girls a chocolate drop each, except the degu’s who because of diabetes risks get yoghurt drops
I feed the fish, fill the kettle, grab a handful of cornflakes to feed the girls before going back to scald Oscar’s dishes and refill them with fresh food and water. Then I go on to take my meds and make drinks for myself and Ju.
This morning I didn’t get as far as the girls treats before panic set in. Amy came for hers, Penny was there and so was Priya but why wasn’t Bernie coming for hers? I could see she wasn’t in their favourite tube at the top of the cage. They’ve eaten so much of it there’s no place to hide. I couldn’t see her on the mid-level anywhere which only left the ground floor. There are two long flexi- tubes there which they occasionally nap in. Calling her name constantly I prodded the tubes through the bars to try and wake her. I confess that Bernie is my favourite ( though Priya is a very close second) and I was scared by now that something was wrong with her. That is until I turned round. There on the settee, looking up at me as though saying “I’m here daddy, you called me”? I was overjoyed though a little puzzled and worried when she didn’t seem to want her chocolate drop, I can see why now however.
Bernie had found a flaw in the catch at the top of the cage and after applying a little pressure had forced her way out. None of the others had managed this. The 1st Rat Olympiad was to have just one competitor. so…
Manipulation through a small space goes to…..Bernie
Rappelling down two stories to a convenient surface goes to…..Bernie.
The Long Jump to the coffee Table goes to……Bernie
The Marathon from coffee table via floor to settee goes to…..Bernie.
Then came the event I didn’t ever expect to see become an Olympic event because of health issues. Number One because it could make you fat and Number 2 because My wife could chop off your tail when she finds out.
Bernie had found Julia’s stash. She’d obviously enjoyed the mint chocolate aero since she’d made quite a dent in it. The coffee biscuit wrapper didn’t stand in her way for long and that was left a pile of crumbs but the most dangerous of all…… the lollipops….ah what an error, 4 of those she bit into and one of the sticks was chewed through, not even I could cover that one up. So, I did the only thing I could, made Julia a cup of tea and got her up telling her all about Bernie as I did so. When she came through she was almost forgiving.
The girls are got out two at a time in the mornings to play for half an hour so as Bernie was already out Priya was allowed out to join her. I noticed a strange reluctance on Julia’s part to allow Bernie into her robe or to kiss her, and she didn’t seem to regret putting the Olympic Star back in the cage after half an hour. Personally I don’t bear grudges ( well, they weren’t my sweets) so I’ll quietly celebrate her achievements. Penny and Amy have had their break now and it’s the turn of the degus, mother and daughters rolling around in three separate balls. I wonder if that will be part of the competition in four years time.
OK. If you want to be pedantic, yes, yellow is a colour. But it’s not the colour I prefer and anyway Julia always says yellow makes me look ill which must be why all my yellow shirts disappeared when they went down for the wash. Anyhoo, as usual I procrastinate to fill as much space as possible. It’s a miracle. Had I not see it with my own eyes I’d have had trouble believing someone could change colour in the way Julia has. On Friday we went shopping and as we sat down for a coffee in the supermarket ( one day they should open a cafe ) Yvonne said “You’ve got some lovely colour back to your cheeks Mum”. She was right too, Julia’s cheeks were back to normal and this time she couldn’t say it was because I’d slapped her either.( though I’m not sure where her either actually is).
My chest has been terrible recently and I’m afraid to let Ju know that it’s partly her rats, partly her degus and partly her cat Oscar who has taken up residence in my room and is actually sitting staring at me now as if to say “Get on with it Longlegs”. OK. OK. I have COPD and the brain of an idiot since I still smoke so I can’t blame the animals totally but the condition has steadily worsened since they came to live here. I only mention this because Yvonne with wedding plans up the yazoo still found time to tell Ju she should reconsider the animals. Bless her. On Thursday after scrabbling on the floor for runaways (my fault-again) we finally got the degu babies to the pet shop for sexing. Not that they needed much help since they seem to have been trying it out for themselves before I threw a towel over the cage in case the vicar came. They were days over 4 weeks old. My prediction was two girls and three boys. I blanched when the girl came out and announced four girls and one boy. From the activity in the cage I’d say there were some confused females in there. Any way we arranged to leave the boy behind to be adopted. The girl then asked what we wanted to do about the girls and I panicked as I’d told Ju she could keep any females t keep Saffy company. In the end she chose to pass two girls to be adopted too, though we’re pretty sure a member of staff who was also looking for a female ( female degu that is) will take them. So now Saffy has just two babies left and she seems less harrassed. I can’t say the same for me though since Saffy rolls around in her big ball
tapping slamming into ankles and now there are two smaller balls rolling round at the same time. If I ever get bored I can go bowling. This is Saffy’s third ball. Number one she ate a small hole in and broke the joints where it holds together. Number two she ate a hole in big enough to escape through and this one which was only bought on Saturday she’s managed to chew through the majority of the pieces that the ends clip on to. Another day or so and the end won’t fasten and ball number four will be needed. I wish they made them from see-through steel.
Yesterday (Sunday) we took our wedding outfits to Yvonne’s ready for the big day. If she forgets to take them to the hotel they’re staying in Friday night we’re in trouble. On Thursday we have the rehearsal, on Friday we’re booked at a spa where I’ll sit in the hot tub all day while the girls have terrible things done to them by the staff.
On Saturday, THE BIG DAY, Ju will drop me at the hotel as they go off for hairdo’s so I can change at leisure and practise my speech. Then I get to ride in a Soft top Rolls Royce to escort my beautiful daughter to get married.
But that’s a tale for another time.
I was up at 3,ooam today. There’ll be flood of sympathy if I say it was because of Julia and ‘The Day’ but in fairness it was more due to my cat’s senility and his ever empty stomach. Anyway I was up so it was a good time to clear my emails and to do Oscar’s Blog nice and early in time to tweet it. Oscar’s had his own blog since May 2011 and I swear he knows his fan club is bigger than mine.
Anyway, with the op being due at 2.00pm I wanted to get Ju up a little early to have breakfast.She was not allowed to eat for 6 hours before the op. I doubt anyone will believe me when I say I’m good at maths and renowned for it in the family. Having said that, I told her she was OK to eat up till 10.00am. Duh ! I woke her with a cup of tea at 7.30 knowing she wanted a shower but would want to get the menagerie out to play for a while first. Amy and Penny for half an hour followed by Bernie and Priya for half an hour. Saffy gets a twenty minute roll in the ball between the two, or thirty minutes as it was today when we saw the size of the hole she’s chewed in it.The reason we saw the size of the hole is because Saffy walked across the floor in front of the settee where we were playing with Bernie and Priya. The hole was so big she’s squeezed herself out. I had to follow her to the kitchen and bribe her with a yoghurt sweet to climb back into the ball for long enough for me to transport her back to the cage.I felt sorry for her, the babies are at her all the time and she’s reached a time where escape is necessary.
At about 8.30 Julia phoned the hospital to see if there were any beds available and was told ” Not yet” but they were going to an allocation meeting and they’d call her back later. At 9.00 she had her shower and decided it wasn’t meant to be today after all. She was bitterly disappointed. Then she checked her emails and found more disappointments in that her book would have to lose all the photographs she wanted in order to make it affordable to people. With the pictures it would cost about £25.00 and who can afford that. So, ‘Hello, my name is Cancer’ might have to wait a while to be re-done without the pictures. To take her mind of it we nipped to the shops which didn’t take long. Once home again we checked but no phone messages. I suggested she check once more just to make sure she’d be OK to have lunch. They confirmed they’d allocated a bed on a different ward and could she verify she’d had nothing to eat OR drink since 8.00am which is when we found my maths is faulty. Fair play though she hadn’t had anything to eat but she had as usual been drinking constantly and hadn’t mentioned that prohibition to me. Again the nurse said she’s have to check and phone us back. She did…..and as Ju hadn’t drunk much since 10.30 they’d put the op back if she booked herself in by midday. That gave her half an hour to get there and it’s not close.
When we got there tonight to visit she was sleeping peacefully. I should have brought the cat as he’s have sorted that out no problem. Anyway, a discreet cough in her ear did the trick and while we all said out hellos she managed to dry the ear out and stop her head ringing. She was in rare good humour and complained only of a pain in her shoulder. She said she felt fine. Our two nieces turned up as well and so we had quite a gathering, myself, Yvonne and her husband to be ( Ugo), Karen and Jo.Somehow the subject came round to conjoined twins and Yvonne told us of one pair where one sister sang but the other didn’t take part. Curious. I mentioned the originals Chang and Eng having got married which led to some strange thoughts until Karen joked, I wonder if one ever answered the phone and it was creditors for his brother, could he say “Sorry but he’s not in ” and get away with it.
We left at 8.00pm and Ju was going to settle down. Sleep won’t be difficult since she could win if they made it an Olympic event. I’ve got high hopes that she’ll be home tomorrow lunchtime and will already be starting to regain her colour a bit.Once this is over and the wedding is out of the way we can get back to battling the tumour again.