Monday, October 13, 2014

Health update and recent travels

My most recent CT indicated I had fluid in my abdomen. A biopsy of the fluid tested positive for cancer. I can't begin to tell you how devastating this news has been for me, Mr. Margie, Mel and Chris, Lein and Duane, my parents, mother-in-law, aunts, uncles, and cousins near and far, also my dear friends, all of whom have rallied and supported me in the last few weeks. 

I had a PET scan last week, and the results show the cancer is confined to the fluid in my abdomen. As a result I start palliative chemotherapy on Wednesday 15th October. I will be on Folfiri, a cocktail of drugs that have proven to be effective for stage 4 cancers particularly of the bowel and stomach. I will have six 14 day cycles, taking about three months to complete, all depending on how I react and respond to the chemotherapy. My dear friend Ming in Singapore has been on Folfiri since September 1st when he was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer also. The good news is one of his two tumours has disappeared after two cycles of the drug. He is my hero, providing me with all the research he completed on options he compiled when he was diagnosed and a daily account of the side effects of the drugs. 

As soon as I was diagnosed Mr Margie and I took the next flight to the uk to have a few days with 

Mel, Chris and girls before they relocated to Boston, and to hug Lein and Duane in person, and we were so delighted to

have a beautiful meal to celebrate PC Jess passing out and becoming a policewoman. 

We cried and laughed, discussed and planned, looked for solutions and used expletives, and most of all we shared our love of being together.

I had my chemo prep last week and my weight is now 42 kilos, not a bad weight to start with. 

I have been eating well and juicing in prep for it.  The garden has proven to be prolific thanks to Mr Margie. 

I started making raw cakes too. I have also been walking a few miles two or three times each week. 

I hosted knitting group, made family lunch, had friends over for elevenses homemade scones, foraged with Nunny, shopped in charity shops and designer shops, chatted and listened to beautiful music love in my kitchen, lunched out with friends, chatted to Uncle Tony from Australia,

 attended uncle Pats 70 th birthday, locked out Ciaran and Domonie in the rain for forty minutes! and loved living each day.

 I am feeling strong and thanks to family and friends I have kept positive. 

Last weekend Mr Margie and I went to the UK again.

We saw the Ritz, got caught out in the rain, visited a beautiful golden 

Laudree shop, delighting in the macarons ( I don't eat sugar anymore, but Mr Margie enjoyed one) 

and were in awe at the delights of Fortnum and Mason. 

Lein and I volunteered for the UK handknitters Association at the knitting and stitching show in Alexander Palace. We had a wonderful time. 

Mr Margie and Lein worked on Lein's Morris Minor (MoMo), then we polished it up.  

We visited Kenwood House 

with our dear friends Maria and James, and Ollie and Alex. We walked in Hampstead Heath.

Duane cooked tasty pasta bakes 

and I even made my signature pancakes.  I really enjoyed the chats, the support and the love. Thank you all so much. 

Big hugs, 
Love Margie ❤️

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Makeover and relaxation

The garden is providing an abundance of vegetables at the moment, 

the dwarf French beans are ready now and the courgettes are marrow sized and the round ones look like pumpkins. 

Mr. Margie planted potatoes with Chris and Lir, they will be ready for Christmas dinner. The carrots look so funny, like they are cuddling, as one of my Instagram followers commented. 

I can't keep up with the harvest at the moment. The meals I have are full of fresh produce.

Last week my mum, Sheila, my two aunts, Rosie and Essie, and my friend, Sandra, and I, all went to the Heritage Golf and Spa Resort. We all needed a little rest and relaxation, and boy did we get it. We spent a few hours in the Spa, relaxing and resting, our skin felt like silk after and we were all so refreshed and chilled. 

We retired to the lounge for afternoon tea, a selection of mouth watering sandwiches of egg, smoked salmon and chicken wraps, accompanied goats cheese tartlets, tapenade swirls and deep fried prawns, along with mango and passion fruit mousse, double chocolate cake and macaroons, and to top it all off there were scones, cream and jam, too much for us to finish. 

We went home smiling from ear to ear and so chilled and relaxed, promising to return again in a few weeks. 

While I was having chemotherapy I lay in bed looking at the bedroom furniture. The wardrobe, which came from Belgium over 25 years ago as part of a set, gave me the most grief.  It had been accidentally sprayed with metal cleaner a couple of years ago, and looked desperate. I kept thinking "when all this is over I am going to paint that wardrobe". 

I spent a week washing, rinsing, painting and waxing not only the wardrobe, but the bed, bedside lockers and the chest of drawers also. 

What was and still is a mix of furniture 

styles has now been unified using Annie Sloane chalk paint. The best thing about doing a bedroom project is the opportunity to have a lie down when the energy levels drop!

Thanks to Kay and Catherine at "Before and After" paint stockist in Carlow who were so excited to see the finished results, and impressed with the scale of the work too. 

I had a positive meeting with my surgeon last Friday. He said I could try drinking and eating at the same time and begin to introduce some different food and drink. I tried my first tea in eight months, it went down well but I paid for it later. I will try again in a few days. 

I was so happy to complete the project and to celebrate I baked chocolate end cherry jam cupcakes and a pear and plum dutch cake, for afternoon tea on Sunday.  

Mr Margie and I were joined by out dear friends Sandra and Des, who brought me beautiful roses. 

We drank tea and watched the rain from Hurricane Bertha pour down outside. 

Big hugs, 
Love Margie ❤️

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Steam rally and health update

Last Sunday Mr Margie and I went to the Stradbally Vintage Steam Rally with my Mam and Dad in my 1968 Morris Minor. 

We wanted to recreate a photo taken in 1966,

when all three of us posed in front of a steam engine. 

We gave our vintage party clothes another wear. 

I made a picnic lunch and brought my crochet project along.

I am currently trying out the 'V' stitch, 

the crochet community are all going wild over it, and I was eager to give it a try, it is easy to do, works up quickly, and looks so nice. 

Yesterday the garden at Chez Margie was in use again when some dear friends called by, a spot of afternoon tea, 

I baked some sugarless, dairy free chocolate and sugar free cherry jam cupcakes and a rose water and raspberry cake. 

Chats and some more crochet and knitting with them and Merino cat was just the perfect way to while away the hours. 

I visited the hospital again last week for blood tests, port flush and had a weigh in too. I am happy to report that I have put on two kilos since completing the chemo. I am meeting my surgeon on Friday and the next three month CT scan is scheduled for early September. 

I was sad to say goodbye to Isla, 

Esmé,Mel,and Chris this week but was glad that we got to spend time together

at the National Stud and the Japanese Gardens with our dear friend Bernie. 

I have also been nominated for an Irish blog award and am included in the long list under the personal blog category, not sure how it all works but I will keep you all posted. 

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog. 

Big hugs, 
Love Margie ❤️