Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas time

I went to the hospital yesterday for blood tests and to have the chemo pump of 5FU changed.  The whole extended family joined me, and both Isla and Esmé were the centre of attention.

My bloods came back and the neutrophines were 1.9, highest yet at this stage of the cycle. I will be finishing up this cycle on New Years Eve. 

Last night I had a beautiful Christmas Eve supper with family and some close friends and we sang Carol songs in between our courses, ( mostly vegan dishes prepared by Lein) thank you v much Lein, for cooking great food on Christmas Eve and a feast of gorgeous goodness on Christmas Day. 

It was an early rise this morning to see what Santa had left for us.

I have been thoroughly spoiled this year, thank you Marc, Lein, Duane, Mel, Chris, Isla, Esmé, Rommeij, Rikki and Cole for spending time together at Chez Margie and for so many beautiful gifts including a gorgeous silk scarf by Joules, 

spiced Apple Yankee Candle, ceramic candle holders, I gift vouchers for my favourite shops, a NZ spinning wheel and Dubarry boots.  

I wish you a peaceful and joy filled holiday season. 
big hugs, 
Love Margie ❤️

Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

My first week of cycle three was one of extremes, I had a good beginning to the cycle and then had a couple of days when I was exhausted. My mum has been so supportive, driving me to hospital and helping me out with baking and shopping. We made Vegan Christmas puddings and Vegan Christmas cakes in the last few weeks. 

I am so happy to have all my family together here for the next two weeks. We will be a cosy 12 people for Christmas Day dinner. I finally got to meet my second granddaughter Esmé. 

I have an appointment scheduled in Christmas Eve at the hospital to have blood tests and my chemotherapy pump changed, and the following visit will be on New Years Eve when I will have the pump removed. Surgery is scheduled for the end of January.  My CT scan results were good, showing no evidence of spreading. 

After four attempts to make New Years cards, I managed to complete 12, now to get them in the post!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and  a Happy New Year 2014.

Big hugs, 
Love Margie ❤️

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Third Chemotherapy cycle and crafting

I had good energy levels during the last week and I did some knitting and crochet. I started a Scandinavian pattern love heart hat for myself. 

I also made two crochet stockings one for Isla and one for her baby sister Esmé. Mr Margie got me these pretty two toned rose buds. 

I was back in hospital yesterday for the first day of my third cycle of chemotherapy. The week off the pump really build up my reserves, I gained weight, all my neutrophines returned to normal and I was in great form during the treatment, all the love and support I got from family and friends helped me through and I am so thankful to each and every one of them.
I walked for twenty minutes when I got home as I had numb bum for sitting so long during the treatment. I did not sleep well due to the anti sickness meds and steroids but the upside is that I was not sick. I walked again today in the afternoon it was great to be outside on such a mild day. 

Big hugs, 
Margie ❤️

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Crafting and Treatment update

My dear friend Linda called by for a visit on Monday, it has been eight years since we last met and it could just have been yeaterday, it was so good to see her, have a catch up and listen to her words of wisdom. I had not realised how much I missed her until she was standing in front of me. 
I have been working on a Christmas craft for a swap and finally got it finished last night ready for posting off today. 
I was back at hospital yesterday for blood tests prior to starting a Chemotherapy Cycle 3 pre op. I was home when I got the call from the oncology nurse to say my neutrophines were zero and my chemotherapy would be stopped until they rise. As my risk of infection is very high now, I am not having visitors.  I was looking forward to finishing the pre op chemo in time for Christmas, and was disappointed.  Having slept on the news and chatted over private message with my friend in Singapore I was in better form today, looking for the positives.  I will be able to wear long sleeved dresses while I am building back up my neutrophines and showering will be much easier now too. I am so looking forward to having my family all together for Christmas. 
I was back at the hospital today to have the pump removed and meet with my oncologist. I have another blood test next Tuesday. I
 plan to rest, eat well, take my supplements, craft and watch Christmas movies until then.

Big hugs, 
Love Margie ❤️

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Candle light, knitting and chemotherapy

I finally finished the Debbie Bliss Cardi I was knitting adding Cath Kidston cloth buttons, I am pleased with the 1950's look and plan to wear it over the holidays.
I was back at the hospital today for blood tests ( it's Day 15 of the second cycle) and again my immune system is low, neutrophine is .6 with white cells low, the haemoglobin is 11.6, so I have been asking people not to visit for a few days until I build up my resistance again. I have good energy during the day and have been sleeping and eating well. 

I am keeping the candles lighting and the stoves are blazing also. I am so thankful for all the visits, texts, messages, calls, comments, letters, cards, flowers and well wishes from all over the world. From Australia, America,Singapore,Belgium, Norway, France, England, to name a few. I had a huge bouquet of flowers from friends of my daughters and niece in England arrive today. There are wishes in the post box everyday. I really feel so supported and loved, thank you all so much, I really appreciate each and every one of you. 

Big hugs, 
Margie ❤️

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Candle light and chemotherapy

Chez Margie is well wrapped up against the winter chill. Mr Margie keeps the log stoves burning and I enjoy lighting candles and watching them twinkle as I count down to Christmas.
Today is day nine of my second cycle of chemotherapy. My blood results were all good yesterday and the pump was changed at the hospital. The oncology nurses were so busy yet they never fail to smile and have a laugh. 
I am thankful for all the support and love I continue to have from all over the world. I had an email from a woman called Heather in the USA, who is a cancer survivor asking me to participate in her project of thankfulness, you can read about it at 

Merino cat has been keeping me company, bringing me gifts and absorbing as much heat as he can. 
Big hugs, 
Margie ❤️

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Living room make over, chemotherapy cycle 2, and knitting

My mum and Lein cleared out and revamped two rooms, the second bedroom and the living room. Mr Margie and Lein purchased new sofas for the living room and assembled them. It looks so nice and it's lovely to sit in and knit. Yesterday I began cycle 2 of my chemotherapy. I was exhausted during the hospital visit and fell asleep during the treatment, I slept in the car on the way home and when I got home and I even slept for 5 hrs last night despite the anti sickness meds that include steroids. I plan a walk this pm. My hair began falling out last week and reached excessive amounts on Tuesday.  My mum, Leiny my daughter, and my nephew Cole all rallied and cut it to just below my ears on Sunday and then shaved it off on Tuesday. I have decided not to get a wig at the moment anyway, maybe I will change my mind later.
I knit six hats and wear them if I feel the cold, but otherwise I love my new " pixie" look, there is some stubble but that is falling out daily.
I have such love, positivity, support and understanding from my family and friends, work colleagues, members of the Travelling community, hospital staff, doctors and pharmacists, fellow bloggers, Instagram followers, Facebook followers and fellow cancer patients. I am feeling so  strong and positive, thanks to all your support. I found someone in Singapore who also has stomach cancer, he is a few months ahead of me in terms of his diagnosis and treatment and is post op, his advice, support and strength, in short his solidarity has become so important me, together we are beating cancer. I am also following a support group in the USA called " No stomach for Cancer" , and November is Stomach Cancer Awareness month. 
Big hugs, 
Margie ❤️

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Knitting, crochet and treatment

Today is day 15 of the first cycle of chemotherapy. I had bloods done and the pump changed. My platlets are a little low at .9 but not low enough (above 1 is considered to be the cut off) to stop this cycle. Lein has come back from UK and is again working on my diet, she has discovered that flax seed oil and sesame seed oil, along with coconut water will all help to boost the platlets again. 
I finished the hot water bottle cover I started on my first day of my treatment.

About three years ago I bought some Debbie Bliss Aran Chunky wool at the knitting and stitching show and I started knitting a cardi for myself.
I also finished the hat I was knitting for when my hair falls out. I used a fairisle pattern from Debbie Bliss Celtic Knits book. 
Thank you for the love and support, 
Big hugs, 
Margie ❤️

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Baby Esmé

Isla became a big sister last Thursday October 24 th when her sister Esmé Margaret was born weighing 7lbs 7 ozs. I knit a little cardi for her
and I also knit some clothes for a rabbit I gave Isla a few weeks ago. 

Today is day 8 of my first 21 day chemotherapy cycle and I had the pump changed. The pump is connected to a port I have implanted on my chest and the chemo is administered according to my heart rate. I am on three chemo drugs during the cycle, two of which are only given on Day 1. My bloods, liver and kidneys were all good today. 
Thank you to Edel, Karen, Susan, Deborah, Stephanie and Paula for your lovely comments and support on my last post, it really means so much to me. X
Big hugs
Margie ❤️

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My ill health and diagnosis

On September 6 th I collapsed I. Work throwing up blood, I was taken to my doctors where it proved difficult to find my blood pressure at one stage there were three doctors around me trying different equipment, they got a cannula into arm and hooked me up to a saline drip while the ambulance took me to the nearest hospital,  
I had an endoscopy next morning where a bleeding ulcer was injected and biopsies taken. These biopsies proved to be inconclusive. The next few days saw my haemoglobin levels yoyo and I was eventually allowed home. I was weak again on Thursday 12th a d was re admitted on September 13 th, the morning of the 14 th I suffered a seizure when my haemoglobin dropped to 7:9.
I got two blood transfusions the next day and had another scope on Thursday the 20 th, with further biopsies. I had a CT scan that came back normal. My haemoglobin was still like a yoyo going between 9 and 10, I went home on Monday 24 th.  I returned to see my consultant on Friday October 4 th to get my biopsies results, I have stomach cancer, the ulcer is cancerous and has come from the wall of my stomach. My haemoglobin was 8:9 that day and I returned to the hospital for two more blood transfusions the following Sunday. My case has been referred to the top IG surgeon in the country Professir PAul Ridgeway, Senior Lecturer at Trinity College Dublin. I have been told my cancer is treatable and I am young enough and fit enough for it. I have remained positive and strong throughout, knowing I have faced many challenges in my life and I know I can do this. I met my oncology team, and had a port put in. I had a laparoscopy and staging done with a washout. Yesterday I started ECF chemotherapy, the first day of a twenty one day cycle, I am on three doses, two administered at the hospital and one on a pump will pass through over the week.i will get that changed every seven days during the 21 days. I am on lots of anti sickness meds and am likely to lose my hair. I will have three of these 21 day cycles befor surgery and three after. Results of washing came back all negative. I plan to take this one day at a time and would welcome your support. I did some crochet yesterday when I was hooked up to the chemo. I am not sure how much crafting will go on here. I have changed my diet for the last few weeks eating small amounts often, six meals a day, I cut out tea, alcohol, sugars, cakes, crisps, biscuits, dairy, I have not eaten meat for 25 years, I so eat fish, I am enjoying smoothies, raw kale pesto  twice or three times a week, porridge with almond milk, rice pudding and semolina with soya milk and honey, beet root in various ways, fish stew and quorn bolognaise,I had raw wheatgrass shots also and I am drinking lots of water too. 
Big hugs 
Margie ❤️

Monday, August 5, 2013

Garden party

All the family were together last month to celebrate Isla's 3rd birthday and my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary.  Mr. Margie, Leiny, Mel, Chris, and I "pulled put all the stops" and put together a garden party for 65 people. Leiny went in to baking overdrive and gave the two ovens a good workout in the days before the party. The sun shone all day and everyone was in high spirits. 
The Gustavian bench Mr Margie and Lein designed and built when Isla was born was dusted off and taken outdoors
My collection of white sheets were used to cover chairs, and the arbor took a central place in the long garden
Car boot sale garden furniture were given an upcycle and my singer sewing machine was whirring and humming making covers
Leiny made paper roses from her fav book pages as well as a wreath and two balls which were hung in the trees along with my homemade bunting and paper lanterns 
There were 400 cupcakes of various sizes and shapes, hand iced and filled (all vegan)
My collection of vintage cups, saucers and plates were laid out on polka tot table cloths and the tea party was set
A day to remember ❤

Hope your summer is going well
Big hugs, 

Margie ❤

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Happy Summer Solstice

Carcassonne, France also known as La Cite, on the longest day of the year.  Hope your all enjoying the solstice. Big hugs, Margie ❤

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Making Bunting

I am making bunting for Isla's birthday in July.  I have chosen a vintage fabric and have cut 42 triangles with my pinking shears today. Hope your enjoying a fine Sunday afternoon.  Big hugs, Margie ❤

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Birthday cupcakes

Leiny made vegan lemon and lime cupcakes for her birthday, she made lemon curd filling and lime frosting, I put the sprinkles on,
Happy Birthday Lein ❤

Big hugs,

Saturday, February 16, 2013

New project

I am using black and grey King Cole merino blend dk wool with size 4 needles for this new project. It feels good to be trying out blogging again.

Big hugs

Margie ❤