Tinker and Scrappy go on an adventure

08 December 2017
17 November 2017
18 October 2017
28 September 2017 | Sade before the lumber test... With big pants
03 September 2017
03 September 2017
13 August 2017
07 August 2017
31 July 2017
09 July 2017 | Harbour at Cassis
05 July 2017
19 June 2017
19 June 2017
16 June 2017
18 May 2017 | Photo of San Simplicio
26 April 2017 | Ostia, Rome
26 April 2017 | Ostia, Rome
16 April 2017

Chemo - Round 2

08 December 2017
Round Two of Chemo
I am glad to report that round two has gone very smoothly, no reactions and the anti sickness pills have been superb. Driving into hospital this afternoon was wonderful, with thick snow on the trees and perfect blue skies. Chemo into the spine is not until the 21st December, which gives us a little break.

Despite Jules working away and missing him like crazy we both have had a good month. We took our little caravan away and enjoyed mince pies, walking and watching the rugby in the afternoon. It all went so smoothly until we got stuck in the mud when we came to leave,but a very nice man came and helped us get out.

We have been walking in the local arboretum,thanks to a very kind friend who bought us tickets and have enjoyed the autumnal leaves. There is a lovely cafe for a pot of tea afterwards and we were able to order a lorry load of logs from there and have enjoyed the fire on each evening. After nearly five years on the Mediterranean we are struggling with the cold!!!

I have really enjoyed going to the cinema and catching up with the latest films, and had a terrific time watching Paddington, it made me laugh and cry in equal measures. Thanks to my friend, I have got rather addicted to salted popcorn whilst watching the films, and get in on the over 55 showing!!!

It has been great meeting up with so many friends who have spoilt me rotten and my diary has been packed with lunches,curries, Chinese meals, carveries and warm bowls of soup. I must be the only person going through chemotherapy who is putting on weight!! I have started attending classes again, and enjoy the coffee and chat afterwards. Wolverley sewing group have been wonderfully kind, and put together a basket of sewing things and materials as I have nothing at home.

I would like to thank everyone who has participated in our "Christmas Tree Decoration Challenge", we have had decorations from all around the globe and each has been given with a special message or meaning behind it. The tree was given to us by friends, and it looks magical with so many colourful decorations,each with a very special meaning which has made us cry at times.

The only downside of being at home with Jules this Christmas is his newly purchased violin. The one thing we aren't getting this year is a "Silent Night".

Chemo has worked its Magic

17 November 2017
Chemotherapy has worked its magic

The last two weeks have been an utter whirlwind of cleaning, painting and repairing. We got in the house three days before I had my operation and started treatment. We will never be able to get over the love and kindness shown to us by so many people - we had flowers, food, furniture, plants, clothes, candles, chocolates, beer, wine and all sorts of household furniture and equipment. We have also had so many kind offers to help us with decorating and sorting the garden, and will kindly take people up on those offers, but just need a little time to relax and chill at the moment.

The first round of chemo Is now over, so I am celebrating tonight with a glass of cider. It has not been without its hiccups - I reacted to the first drug and it ended up taking hours to administer, with me looking like a huge blister as I had serious hives. The next two days went well, and the anti sickness tablets worked marvellously. One of the things that people may not know is that anti sickness tablets are superb, but in order not to get totally blocked you have to take laxatives. Just the smell of the orange drink has me gagging, but the beetroot and spinach juice has done the trick!!!!!

Yesterday, I had chemo into the spine which went extremely well until I had a reaction to the 'happy' pill. I went a bit grey and very hot and clammy but the oxygen was rather nice and I did enjoy the wheelchair, as I was not staying in hospital accommodation overnight. I slept for 14 hours and felt as right as rain this morning. And the amazing news..... All six lumps have disappeared in my neck and my eye sight is fully restored. Five years ago I went to the Sutton Coldfield Cancer support centre and tried to get my head around chemotherapy. An amazing guy called Roy got me to see my oncologist as an alchemist, and the treatment as a magic golden liquid that would heal cells, and it certainly is working its magic on me.

It has been hard with Jules working away, but friends and family have rallied round. My sister in law has helped with my injections, Ruthy rings me on her way home from school each night, and my mom rings several times and sends cards most days. My aunt also sends cards each week, knowing that I love having post. Mom is on constant standby in case I need her here. Jules boss has been very kind, and he works from home on treatment days and pampers to my need for curry and more curry. Neighbours have been great and have offered to do shopping and look after the dogs. Friends have visited or taken me out and have rallied round with a sewing basket and material so I have plenty to keep me occupied. Friends have constantly messaged, text me and offered every sort of support. Tinker and Scrappy have been wonderful, when Jules is away, they won't leave my side, and Scrappy has become rather keen on sleeping on Jules pillow, whilst Tinker prefers the bottom of the bed.

I have one more request from everyone that reads the blog. All our Christmas decorations are on the boat, and have 24 years of meaning. When we first got together we had a red and gold decorated tree, but over the years have learnt that decorations from places, or given to us have far more meaning. Each one is labelled with a special memory and I shall miss them when we put up the tree. We could go to Asda and buy a bag of cheap decorations, but instead I would prefer a decoration from each of my friends. If as you go through your decorations you find one that you really do not like, I would love to have it, and it will be very special to me, as the tree will remind me of all my special friends and family..... Those of you whose love heals and nurtures my every fibre.

Leaving Yorkshire and starting treatment

02 November 2017
My time in Yorkshire has drawn to a close, and we hope to pick up the keys to our house tonight at 6.30pm. We will then have a few days to turn it around and get furniture, kitchenware, bedding and general household items. Sadly, a few days ago I started to have limited vision in my other eye, so treatment has been bought forward. We knew that delaying treatment was risky, but we are gutted that my diagnosis is now affecting my vision once more. So I have an operation to fit a port on Monday and my first round of chemo starts next Wednesday for three days.

Jules and I have a sailing bucket list, but we also like to experience new things. So last weekend we went and stayed in a Shepherds hut for a night. When we arrived the log fire was roaring, and the smell of fresh pine in the hut was very Christmassy. We enjoyed a cup of tea and a good book curled up on the bed together. At night the little hut was lit outside by solar powered fairy lights, and inside by tea lights. We sat on the decking wrapped in rugs enjoying a glass of wine until the cold became too much and we retired to bed for the best sleep I have had in months. Next morning, the fire had gone out, and neither of us wanted to leave the cosy bed, but breakfast called. Sandra cooked us a superb English breakfast in the farmhouse, and I enjoyed playing with the litter of baby Jack Russell's. Dave sat and kept us company and it was great to meet a couple who believe in showing love and kindness wherever they can. Dave is my sister's gardener and until a few weeks ago I had never met him. He and Sandra invited us to the Shepherds hut for a night of relaxation before my treatment started free of charge. Their kindness and hospitality was overwhelming and we will never forget them or their beautiful shepherds hut and hope to remain friends and repay their hospitality at some point in the future.

Last week, I attended my first ever auction. Mom and I went and bought a catalogue the day before, and had a look round and the next day we went along with the intention of bidding. Farmer Frank came with us and we had a great day out, disappearing to the tea rooms for lunch and afternoon tea. We arrived miles too early, but enjoyed the speed of the auction, and seeing the telephone bids that raised prices significantly, particularly for art work.. We were also surprised at the price of a box of whistles and fountain pens which went for stupid amounts of money. Then the Iranian rugs were up and Farmer Frank bid on my behalf and I got two huge amazing silk rugs for just over a hundred pounds. Everyone else had to hand over their number, but Farmer Frank was so well known by the auctioneer (who also runs the livestock auctions) that they had a bit of a chat in the middle of the auction, and the bid was just placed down as "Frank". There was no stopping me now, and with heart pounding I bid myself on a three hundred year old antique chest of drawers and Victorian mirror. I got both for well under the guide price, and just over the hundred pounds for both. I was so excited that it was a good job it was the end of the auction as they may have mistook my hand clapping as more bidding!!!! Farmer Frank also thought I might well need CPR if I kept on bidding!!!! The day got even better when we left the auction, and the paint shop in the square had a whole box of free paints outside!

We have had a couple of days out in York, which is just a superb city to walk around. We had chocolates in the Shambles, and Jules and I found a very authentic pub, complete with a 'snug' room, real ale and pork pie. Jules was in heaven. I enjoyed the vaulted cellars that I went into with Mom and Ruthy, where they had 6 different types of ciders, and I was given free samples. However, it was the carousel that was a first for me as an adult. It was a very old one, complete with colourful wooden horses and a musical organ in the middle of the carousel. It seemed to go a lot faster and a lot higher than when I was a child, but it was amazing fun. We all really enjoyed going on it, although Mom was a little offended when they came over to check "nana" was ok. Ruthy, my sister is sixteen years younger than me, and it took me right back to when she was born, and people used to think I was her mom.

On a negative note, I have also learnt how to catch and dispatch mice. Ruth seems to have an entire family living under her stairs, and she is next to useless when it comes to dealing with them. So far we have caught 16 in less than a week, and I have managed to deal with each of them. They are little field mice and are extremely cute, although I would not want them in my house.

So today I shall pack the car and head down to the Midlands, it is bittersweet. After nine weeks I can not wait to get the house back, but I shall miss my mom, Ruthy and Farmer Frank enormously. Yesterday we celebrated Ruth's thirty second birthday which was a fitting end to our time together. We had a superb meal at Cafe Rouge in York, Sparklers and Chocolate Birthday cake. I am hoping Ruthy gives me my elf freedom before I leave!!!!

We only have three days to get a house together before I am in hospital, but we can do it, even if we call upon a few of you to bring round paint brushes or gardening gloves. As for the treatment, I am both terrified once more, but keen to get it started, and hope and pray my eye returns to normal. Those of you who know me well, know I am terrified of being sick, so I shall be asking for the best anti sickness tablets, and I have a new mantra, "I shall not be sick, I shall not be sick..... All will be well".

Love and Kindness

18 October 2017
We are finally getting a little used to having our feet on dry land and are enjoying planning all the places we want to sail to once the next seven months are over and chemotherapy is done once more. We are still homeless, but will be back in our own home on the evening of the 4th November, after nine very long and agonising weeks. Treatment has been delayed and will start mid November, allowing us time to move back in and to get the house sorted and equipped with furniture. We received a solicitors letter stating that our tenants will only move out if they are not made to put right the long list of items we complied on our inspection, and if we do not take legal action regarding those things once they have moved out. If not the letter stated we would have to go to court to get possession of our own home, and it would take 6-9 months to go to court and to get bailiffs to evict. We agreed as it is not feasible to have treatment in the Midlands and live in Yorkshire. Nor is my oncologist happy for me to start treatment in a caravan with the risk of infection. So I am still waiting to start treatment, and am finding it very difficult as I would just like to get started now. I am sick of panicking when I get a headache or sore eyes. The delay also means I will be having round two of chemotherapy very close to Christmas, so I think Jules and the dogs will be feasting without me!!!

However, amidst all the heartache, fear and worry I have so much to be grateful for each and every day. Despite having a diagnosis of cancer, I am so well. I am jogging twice a day and walking long distances. I feel amazingly healthy, which is why having treatment is such a hard decision to take. I am also loving the autumnal colours and have missed them in the last four years. When I jog in a morning, the mist is lying on the fields, and spiders webs gently catch the rays of the sun. I have seen lots of wild deer in fields, and have had the odd barn owl majestically fly overhead. Tinker is beside herself with the smells of sheep and goats in the local fields, and I just love watching the red leaves fall to the ground. I try to visualise them as bad cells falling from my body once treatment starts.

However, it is to friends and family that I am most grateful to at the moment, and could not get through this tough period without so many wonderful people.

My hero, who has got a contracting job to tide us over financially before he receives his pension next year at the age of fifty. He has worn flip flops and shorts for the last few years, but has polished up beautifully in suit and charity shop shirts and looks rather sexy!!! He has a huge hotel room with a four poster bed as part of his work package, but drives back midweek (getting up at 4.30am to drive back to Worksop) just so we can be together. He is there beside me at every test and trip to the hospital, and supports me in any decision that I take. He is finding it so very hard living in a house and a conventional life and is missing the boat terribly. He looks as if he has aged ten years, but he never complains and is my rock. He is my best friend and my reason for living. We have this little dream that we will fall off to sleep rocking gently on the tide at anchor when we are 114, and I will not let him down!!!!

Tinker and Scrappy
They have been cleared of all wrong doing by the dog warden, and are just so adorable. On nights that Jules is away, Scrappy sees it as his job to keep me company in bed, (if he has not forsaken me for my sister as her bed is bigger). They are old and grey, but still behave like young pups. Their smiley faces and waggy tails still warm my heart, even at 6am when Tinker trots upstairs to warm her nose on my back!

I am currently living with my little sister Ruthy,. We have had a great month - singing our favourite songs at the top of our voices in her car on the way back from the shops; going out on a very fast rib in Scarborough and eating chips and fresh crab sandwiches on the beach after paddling in the sea. She curled my hair and applied my make up before we paraded around Pickering in our 1940 outfits for the War Weekend. We had a brilliant time, trying on fur coats, listening to War time music, watching the parades and dancing In the street. We nervously attended Vespers at the local abbey, where there was something completely magical and comforting in watching the monks assemble in their hooded cassocks, even if she was 'making eyes' at the younger novices. We had the giggles at the harvest festival, which led to some terrible face pulling by Mom, which set us off even further. We bid on beetroot and cheese scones at the harvest auction and were delighted that our organic box of veg got the second highest bid. We have enjoyed visiting local pubs and have rated them on their roaring fires, choice of ciders and pork scratchings. We both have a love for a good curry, and have enjoyed visiting the local curry houses. Sadly, being sixteen years younger Ruthy did not have to take part in Domestic Science at school, hence her cooking, ironing and housework skills are none existent She is however, good at management skills and has delegated all these roles to me, along with marking all of her school books and assessments whilst she lies out on the settee watching TV and texting friends!!!!! Now I know what it feels like to be Dobby the house elf!!!

Mom lives in the next village has been wonderfully supportive in so many ways. She has driven me all over the Yorkshire Dales in hot pursuit of charity shop furniture for me to chalk paint. We have had a giggle at her near misses in the car - there was the incident where she just managed to swerve round a lorry at the roundabout, the near miss on Morrison's car park when she shot forward into a brick wall and there was the grass verge incident near the coast!!! Having survived that, we have had some wonderful days out - walking along the beach, driving through spectacular scenery, enjoying little tea rooms and sitting through an hour of aged nuns singing which gave us both the giggles. She has cooked the best Sunday roast and has treated me to some stunning bone china tea cups and soup dishes. We have rated the Yorkshire tea rooms and old manor houses and have become addicted to cinnamon toast and pots of loose tea. Mom treated me at the iconic 'Betties' in Harrogate and we enjoyed bagels and wine. We had a fantastic day out in Sheffield visiting my aunt and never stopped laughing. We had a superb lunch and the most wonderful trifle, and I was given a stunning bracelet with jade stones which promote longevity and good health.
Mom is married to Farmer Frank, and he too has been wonderfully kind in so many ways. I have enjoyed visiting his bulls and bullocks, and had to resist naming the cute looking ones with curly hair and ginger coats. He shares my love of wild Heather honey, and bid on some for me at the harvest auction. I think I am in his good books as I have encouraged mom to give up M&S shopping in favour of Lidl!!!!! His choir have also volunteered to do a charity event for Samos Refugees.

I have had cards and well wishes from so many other members of the family, some who are also dealing with their own diagnosis and treatment. I had a very, very kind gift from across the sea and have been blessed by Facebook pictures of autumnal colours in New England, a place we dream of sailing to. I am truly stunned, and lost for words over such kindness and help. It makes me feel so humbled and loved.

I am wowed continually by my all of my friends. Our dear friend Ross just turned his house over to us for a month in Bridgnorth whilst he was doing Charity work in Samos. Friends have offered houses for us to stay in for the duration of my treatment, whilst others have offered to turn part of their house over to us, or to move out of their home for seven months. These offers have been so generous and kind but I just want to have treatment in my own house. Several friends are having a tidy out of kitchen and household goods for me and others have gone out and bought gifts. We have had offers of cleaning and painting parties, and other friends have offered to keep me entertained and well fed when back in the Midlands whilst Jules is working away during the week. I have had inspirational gifts with kind words and beautiful butterflies. We have been bowled over by everyone's kindness and support and we are just so appreciative of everyone.

My oncologist and nurses
I am so very lucky that we have continued with my private health insurance, as the treatment I am receiving is just superb. Prem, my oncologist is an amazing person, and never complains about my long list of questions, refusal to have all the treatment on offer, or balancing conventional treatment with my holistic ways. We have decided to take the 3 day FCR chemotherapy every 3 days in a 28 day cycle for 6 months and chemotherapy into the spine once a month for six months. However, at this point in time we see no benefit in having the chemotherapy which will hospitalise me, but will keep it on the back burner in case I need it. It is never too much trouble for Prem to answer my emails, or to fit us in whenever we want to see her. As for my nurses, they are brilliant fun. Last time we had a complaint on the ward, that we were making too much noise giggling and laughing!!!

Total strangers
Those that know me well, know that I love to talk to anyone. After receiving the solicitors letter I was beside myself with anger, rage, upset and hurt. I was out in Harrogate and I noticed a tramp sitting on the pavement in the biting wind. I went over and gave him some money and a big hug, which was warmly received. I had a chat to him, and it put things in total prospective, I have nothing to complain about compared to him, he was cold, dirty and alone and I have a roof over my head, a full stomach and surrounded by the love of others.

Yesterday, my sister had a new gardener arrive, I had a chat and cup of tea with him and he was asking all about why I was staying with Ruthy. When he came in from mowing the lawn he asked me to google a luxury log cabin in an idyllic setting in the countryside. It looked beautiful, and he then told me that he owned it, and wanted me and Jules to have a night free of charge in it before I start my treatment and breakfast at the Manor House the next day.

There are some wonderful people in this world, and I am lucky enough to know so many of them. That love and kindness will carry both Jules and I through the next six months and it makes us realise we are truly blessed.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Quite a tough month

28 September 2017 | Sade before the lumber test... With big pants
A difficult month by Scrappy Doo.

The last month has probably been the worst in my life. I have discovered that I have the same problem as Auntie Ruthie... when someone strange is staying in our house we can be constipated for a week!!!! When Mom and Dad returned to the UK and left us in Spain a lovely Belgium couple looked after us on our boat. They cooked beautiful food and took us walks, but I could not go to the toilet. Then one night I exploded all over the carpet and settee, there was poop everywhere. From that moment onwards they locked me outside on the deck of Leslie Frank day and night and I knew what it felt like to be homeless. Mom and Dad arrived in the car to find me curled up on the back of the boat looking pitiful and feeling very sorry for myself.

We had a lovely trip back to the UK. I slept for 36 hours mostly on Mom or Dad's lap. I missed the Pyrenees, Southern France and the Eiffel Tower, but as long as I was getting cuddles I really did not mind. Dad was very scared at Calais when they struggled to find my micro chip, but finally it registered and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief. Having driven over 3,000 miles in 48 hours Mom and Dad were shattered, so we found a dog friendly hotel near Dover and relaxed for the night. It was perfect, it was a family room, with enough beds that we could all have one !!!! Whilst Mom luxuriated in the bath I tried out all the beds and chose the one by the window where I could watch the squirrels. I have not seen one in four years, and had forgotten what fun chasing them could be.

Before we knew it, we were on the way to Yorkshire to stay with Mom's sister, Ruthy. We have been looked after really well, and fed like kings. Ruthy takes us walks before and after school and Grandma Jane and Farmer Frank come in during the day and bring toys, treats and custard creams ! We have been a bit bored during the day and have got into a bit of trouble. Firstly we played tug of war on Ruthy's bed, and before we knew it we had torn up her duvet, she came home to fluff everywhere. Then there was the episode when I knocked into a cupboard and a box fell on my head, so I demolished it. Auntie Ruthy has a child's piano and the only way I could stop Tinker from playing it, was by taking a bite out of it. One evening Auntie Ruthy had a bath, and wrapped a towel around her, whilst she shut the curtains. As she lent over we pulled the towel off her, giving a man in the street a naked surprise. And finally, there was the incident that involved the dog warden. Grandma Jane let me out of the front lawn, and a naughty dog came running up the drive. I head butted the fence, broke through and chased it down the road with Tinker hot on my heels. I gave him a bit of a nip before he ran away like a coward. Tinker and I then blocked the High Street and stopped the cars with people trying to catch us, it was such good fun!!!!! The dog warden was informed, and mom was beside herself with worry. Luckily, Grandma Jane dealt with the dog warden and convinced her that we are just missing our mom and we got a stay of execution. Apparently if we do it again we get an ASBO, something Mom says we should not be proud of getting. Today Mom and Dad have arrived, and we are delighted. We have been so well looked after, but nothing is like falling asleep with your head on your Mom's lap and crawling into bed when you feel cold.

Mom and Dad have had an extremely busy four weeks, they have loved staying at Uncle Ross's in Bridgnorth and now want to move there. I think it has something to do with the Railway Inn which serves a great beer and bags of scratchings. They have secured "Leslie Frank" as best they can in Spain, have bought a car and have spent a lot of time fetching us from Spain, driving up and down the motorway to Yorkshire and to various hospital appointments. Dad has got a contracting job and starts on Friday. It is not ideal as he will be based in Mansfield during the week and Mom and Dad hate being apart.... but it will keep us in custard creams! They have also been trying to sort out accommodation. Sadly it has meant a family fallout and a lot of swear words and screaming from Mom as Grandad Pauly and Auntie Abi could not move out of our house within a month and so Mom and Dad had to serve them their two month notice period. This means that we can not move back into our house until the 4th November which has really upset Mom as she wanted to move in and start treatment. Mom and Dad then spent days arranging a bridging loan to buy a property in Bridgnorth which would have allowed her Dad and sister to stay in our house. With the help of a very special person they secured the finances, and were 99.9% certain of the deal going ahead, and moving in within 3-4 weeks. However, on the off chance it did not happen Grandad Pauly and Auntie Abi wanted more time, so when Mom said no, they decided they will move after all. Without their rent coming in Mom and Dad can not pay the bridging loan interest, so are back to square one, waiting until the 4th November to go back into the Wallheath house.

Mom has been on a complete roller coaster with her diagnosis, and has had PET, CT and MRI scans. She has had various opthomology tests, was fitted with a mask to have radiotherapy and then the lumber puncture showed that the CLL (cancer) cells have crossed the blood/brain barrier. It is extremely rare, and in nearly thirty years her oncologist, Prem, has only seen two cases. Prem has offered various different versions of treatment, but obviously would like her to take the hard core stuff, involving periods of hospitalisation. It would involve nine months of treatment for an undetermined amount of time in remission, before the next batch of chemotherapy and perhaps stem cell transplantation. We are lucky to have such a lovely oncologist who has given Mom and Dad a few weeks to decide what course of action they wish to take, and it is so hard when Mom feels so well and her eye has completely healed, and the mass behind her eye did not show up on the PET scan. There is no data that actually shows the hard core treatment is better than other options, and Mom firmly believes that the body has the ability to heal itself. So Mom and Dad want to look holistically at what modern medicine to take which will go well with her alternative approaches. So we are all trying to chill at Auntie Ruthy's in Yorkshire for a few weeks before seeing Prem again on the 11th October.

Mom and Dad feel as if they have aged a lot in the last four weeks, but they are still smiling and laughing and making the most of every opportunity. They are disappointed they have seen very little of any friends, but are overwhelmed by their good wishes and offers of help and support. Mom and Dad simply can not believe the generosity and kindness of so many people, and it is that love that holds them up when they need it the most.

Many friends have asked how they can help. When Mom and Dad sailed away four years ago, they were so relieved that Mom was in remission that they wanted to give back and gave everything away to charity and so are starting all over. So, if anyone has anything they want to get rid of, it will be very gratefully accepted as they don't have a can opener for my tea, a kettle for a cuppa, let alone a settee for me to cuddle on. Also custard creams are always very welcome! They will be back in the Midlands in a few weeks, and hope to see you all soon.

Cancer Returns

03 September 2017
Life is so precious and sometimes something can happen overnight to change things. I feel so happy and well and full of life, but last week I had some serious problems with vision in my right eye and ended up being admitted to a Spanish hospital. After being discharged to fly, Jules and I left the dogs in the care of friends in the marina and got on the first flight back to the UK for tests. Apparently CLL cancer cells like to hide at the back of the eye, and my oncologist has put me through a whole series of tests and scans and has concluded that I have a cluster of those little blighters there.

I am writing this on a ferry bound for Cherbourg where Jules and I will take it in turns to drive the 1300 mile journey to pick up the dogs (as their babysitters can only stay until Sunday), in order to get back to the Midlands for the start of the next lot of tests on Thursday morning. The oncologist is checking that those blighters have not travelled elsewhere. I am looking down the barrel of radiotherapy and Chemotherapy once again. We have Option A which involves targeted radiotherapy to the eye and chemo injected between the spinal bones and Option B which I don't want to think about at this stage, as it means it has spread and become critical rather than chronic. We are simply hoping and praying that it has not spread and it is Option A. It will be a few weeks until we know that level of detail, but regardless the chemo will happen on the 14th September.

Life as you can imagine is a bit of a whirlwind, and we are begging and borrowing from many lovely people. We are still smiling and laughing. We have each other, two gorgeous dogs and the love of so many friends and family. Yet again, I have been blown away by the love we have been shown, and can never express my thanks to those who have offered or helped in so many ways.

Life is just fantastic, and this is another blip we have to face, and we will be even stronger at the end of it. Our motto is ' to be thorough and determined', and we are both determined I will overcome this battle, and thorough in the ways we can achieve that. But it is knowing that I am being held in love, prayer, healing and positive thoughts by so many of you that will get us through this with as much humour as we can.

' ...all will be well, and all will be well".

Vessel Name: Leslie Frank of Bursledon
Vessel Make/Model: Moody Grenadier 134
Hailing Port: Southampton
Crew: Jules and Sadie , Tinker and Scrappy
About: KEY ROLES Jules .. skipper Tinker .. first mate Sade.. master and commander Scrappy .. ships boy
Extra: A continuing journey of exploration and adventure with our two adorable dogs
Leslie Frank of Bursledon's Photos - Main
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Two small black dogs turn pirate. Click the photo of the van to see more photos
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