Monday, 20 October 2008

50! Not Out

A beautiful arrangement of David Austin Roses sent me by my Sister-in-Law 'Ben'

Some of you will know this already, some of you wont. My 50th birthday last week was supposed be spent in South Africa. We had a long held dream to celebrate both mine and the iGit's October birthdays. He had announced his plan to do this a long time ago, in the interim between his and my 50th years. The timing would be perfect, both the children would be happily ensconced in University, we had heaps of credit with neighbours on the cat sitting and garden care rostas, and felt confident to leave everything for a week or three.

A few of the many Giraffes munching their way through their hay ration in the Giraffe House

Spring starts in September in South Africa, the Fynbos erupts and this is what I wanted to see so much along with the Botanical Garden at Kirstenbosch. Of course we had planned a Safari too, a trip to the Kruger National Park to see all the large animals, a balloon trip, and various other delights. Sadly, my current circumstances got in the way, and all has been put on hold until next year now.

A Sand Cat, the size of a domestic moggy and equally cute patrols his territory

Not to be beaten, we went on a miniature Safari of our own, to Marwell Zoo. I pass the brown tourist information signs for the Zoo each day on the M3, as we make the 80 mile round trip between home and Southampton Hospital for Radiotherapy. The gods smiled on us and granted me a perfect sunny autumn day for my jaunt to celebrate my birthday. So the iGit and I made our way to the Zoo for a gentle afternoon walk amongst the Zebra, Giraffe and various large cats. I also got the chance to try out my brand new Digital SLR Camera, that my clever husband had bought me, it will be a while before I am able to take full advantage of its wonderful optics and functions, but I made a start, and learned a lot whilst we ambled around oohhhing and ahhhing at all the fabulous beasts.

The most stunning Snow Leopard, normally found in the Himalayas , not the Hampshire Downs

Just a quick update on the treatment aspect, as I know some of you want to know how I am doing. I had my 9th Radiotherapy (RT) session today, I saw the Oncologist afterwards due to the radiotherapists concerns about the size of my breast, and now have to see my Breast Surgeon tomorrow afternoon in Basingstoke, after my RT treatment in Southampton. The Antibiotics don't seem to be clearing up the infection properly despite taking two courses back to back. I now have what I refer to as my 'Comedy Boob'; very swollen, more than twice its normal size; very red, and quite uncomfortable. The monstrosity bras went out the window as they wont go anywhere near me anymore. That situation suits the Radiotherapists, they don't want you wearing one anyway, but I know I shall get a ticking off by the Breast Care Nurses tomorrow for not wearing one when I go to see the Surgeon. It's one area where I am frequently given conflicting advise. The outcome of tomorrow according to the Oncologist is that I will be probably be admitted to Southampton Hospital so that I can continue my Radiotherapy whilst having antibiotics and whatever else I need intravenously to clear the infection up. I suspect I shall be silent for a few days again, so please don't be offended if I don't reply to emails I won't have access to the Internet in all probability.