Today was definitely cooler, but we made the most of the weather yesterday, when we basically sat out in the garden and read the newspapers and books. So a very lazy day but one I had been looking forward to all week. We even celebrated it was Friday with a glass of champagne.
It was also a good time to toast my new water feature( move over Charlie Dimmock) which Ray installed this week. It’s a sphere with water coming through the top, it doesn’t need topping up , so should be fine even with the hosepipe ban coming in next week.
So far everything looks as though it has made its way through the winter other than my thyme, which doesn’t look too good.
Ray is feeling Ok at the moment, although still has the usual pains around his shoulder and diaphragm, but he feels it is manageable without resorting to painkillers. Then again was reading all about aspirin and cancer this week , so we were wondering if he should start taking the 1/4 tablet a day they suggest.
Today have been doing some general tidying up, his mum and dad are coming up next weekend and I feel slightly as though a royal visit is in the offing so will be out unrolling the red carpet later this week.
With Easter coming up fast we have a busy couple of days , with our trip away just after Easter and family due over for dinner the following weekend. Not as busy as Debbie with her trip to LA, how cool did first class look in her update. Meanwhile I see there are some forecasts that suggest snow is on its way, so a bit too soon to pack away the winter wardrobe.
Just when you think everything in the garden is lovely, life comes along and says not so fast. My little courtyard is doing really well in all this sunshine and very unusually for london isn’t overlooked. Have just found out that the house next door has been sold to developers and they are looking to convert into flats, so will have potential planning applications to look at , noise , nightmare parking, loss of privacy etc etc
The garden wall in between the two is my wall but has become overgrown with their ivy, i dont mind as it softens my garden but tbey have already been round to tell me they are cutting it away, as it is now holding up the wall, i can see even more hassle ahead. Am normally much more positive but i really do feel upset by this, which I know is silly when you put it in perspective with terminal cancer but for some reason it has really put me on edge. How silly am I?
Now I know Spring is here, our friendly blackbird from last year has arrived. He entertained Ray through the chemo, becoming quite tame , he was a great provider for his brood , having a definite liking for welsh cakes.Looking out yesterday , who should fly into the garden and up to the window but blackie. For cynics who doubt it’s the same blackbird, he has deformed tail feathers so is very distinctive. Good to see him looking really well and glossy. By the end of last year , he was looking very ropey having lost a lot of his feathers , he started to look quite bald. Ray thought it might be in sympathy with him.
Managed a reasonable walk of around 5 miles on Saturday , along the River Test on the Mill Trail, which means you go past around 5 beautiful mills, now mainly in private owenership. Quite strange to be in t-shirts and shorts with bright blue sky , daffodils and no leaves yet on the trees. Weather totally crazy at the moment, still it’s a wonderful tonic.
We were hoping to get out and about today but Ray is feeling in his words, as though a steamroller came up the stairs last night and went straight over him in bed. So will probably take it easier than we planned.
Thoughts today are with our fellow meso warrier Mavis, who is getting her chemo reviewed. Her and her husband are truly inspirational and we are wishing them both well.
River Test at Wherwell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What a great run of good weather, all the bulbs are out in the garden, although I do appear to have a very high percentage of non-flowering bulbs!! Probably next door’s cat peeing on them all winter hasn’t helped.
Car insurance renewal though yesterday, do we want to renew for 6 months or a year. Major bit of positive thinking from Ray , who said damn it I’m feeling reckless lets go for the whole year.
Overall he is feeling OK at the moment, hasn’t needed a return to the painkillers since last week and as usual we are planning some walking over the weekend, he was even talking about possibility of taking the boast out sailing , which he hasn’t done since pre diagnosis. We have a full week ahead planned, there’s a get together with friends planned on Tuesday at a local quiz, followed by dinner and theatre in the west end later in the week, off to see Hay Fever, the Noel Coward play , sticking to our vow of only light hearted ones after the Eugene O’Neill misery fest.
This weekend also sees the great Apple upgrade, been trying to get everything backed up this week, ready for the memory upgrade ( the computers not mine unfortunately , although how handy would that be to develop). As this involves me unscrewing the back of the apple and replacing some bits, I may be off air for some time
Just booked another trip away for the middle of April, this time it is a trip to the cotswolds,apparently a really nice part of the country but not somewhere we have explored. Got a deal through time out, at what looks like a lovely old country house, there are only about 12 bedrooms , it has very pretty gardens which should be in bloom by April. There is also a highly recommended pub within walking distance so that’s dinner sorted as well.
Now we just need the weather to be kind.
Ray spent yesterday fitting some new lights at the base of the kitchen units, so it now looks like a very funky restaurant area at night. He also sorted out some new lights in the garage, funnily enough the first time he has done any electrical work for ages. Though he did notice it took him twice as long as previously, I’m hoping he is on a DIY role and I might yet get my shelves. Although he has pointed out that he is a qualified electrician rather than a carpenter.
The soreness seems to be in retreat again, although he did have to resort to painkillers the other evening to help him sleep. So other than the usual aches and pains around the centre of his chest and his diaphragm nothing new to report which is always a positive.
Here’s wishing all the best to other meso warriers on chemo and trials. Let’s hope spring brings good news as well as some sunshine.
After a dreary, drizzly day yesterday, today is another bright Spring day, just right for Mothers Day. We are off to Ray’s mum for lunch, have got her a framed photo of Ray, so hope there are no tears. not surprizingly she took the initial diagnosis hard. No parent expects to outlive their children.I think she just felt so useless.
Now, I think that like me, we both just hope for the best, but in the meantimevwatch him like a hawk for symptoms. We both try very hard not to let this show to Ray, his dad seems to manage it better, although he has been known to do the odd gaffe .
Yesterday was a sporting day via the sofa as we watched the rugby. The tennis was good fun but paid for it the day after with extra pains , we both know exercise it recommended but even walking seems to make the diaphragm pains worse.
Anyway, today he is feeling better, so lets make the most of today
Gorgeous spring day, daffodils are well and truly here , even appears to be warm enough for a gentle tennis warm up later this afternoon. The morning has been taken up with my visit to the genius bar at the apple store- genius applying very much to the apple employees rather than the customer in my case.
My old mac is starting to be left behind in the big game reserve that is mac operating systems. Apparently I need to move to lion, but haven’t yet got through snow leopard. One look at my mac and it became clear even this level of big cat was beyond me at the moment. So a memory upgrade is now on order, after which apparently I can move on to snow leopard and work by way towards Lion, before achieving access to icloud. I left the store feeling as though I own the mac typewriter equivalent, but hopefully will soon be updated.
Obviously a day of technology as my telephone has stopped working, I now have no screen so whilst I can pick up a call , can’t make calls, see texts or do anything else useful. New telephone is now on order.
About to head out to walk to tennis, Ray will take it easy obviously but always gives us a good idea of his breathing as we last played just before the pneumonia. His stiff neck is slightly easier although still has the same aches in his chest, so will take it easy and see how it goes.
Thoughts are very much with our oxford meso warrier and scans , so wishing them well, Also hope those battling with chemo get to enjoy some of the weather
There’s more evidence that cancer researchers might do well to spice up their mesothelioma clinical trials.
A team of researchers at Keio University in Tokyo report that curcumin, the primary component in the spice turmeric, can effectively reduce the viability of human mesothelioma cells in the laboratory.
“Curcumin, which has a long history as a dietary spice, is known to suppress the growth of multiple cancer lines, but the effects on mesothelioma cells are not well-defined,” observed principal investigator Y. Yamauchi in Phytotherapy Research.
To test the role of curcumin in fighting mesothelioma, the Japanese team exposed ACC-MESO-1 cells, a human mesothelioma cell line, to the compound in their laboratory. The curcumin increased the cancer cells’ expression of the proteins LC3B-II/LC3B-I and triggered an increase in autophagy, the process by which cells naturally break down and recycle their own components. “From these findings it was speculated that induction of autophagy was at least in part involved in the reduction of cell viability by curcumin,” says the report.
The new research appears to at least partially confirm the findings of a 2011 study that demonstrated that curcumin has a damaging effect on human mesothelioma cells in the lab, as well as on live mesothelioma cells in mice. In that study, conducted at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit, curcumin was found to disrupt the cell cycle and promote apoptosis (cell death) whether added to cells in a dish or fed to mice that had mesothelioma.
While the new study stopped short of saying that curcumin could trigger apoptosis in mesothelioma cells, it did find that autophagy in treated cells increased with an increased curcumin dose. Curcumin has been shown to have an impact on a variety of cancers and has many advocates in cancer centers around the country.
So curry for us tonight
Just got back from the New Forest, we had a great couple of days.Stayed at the Rhinefield House hotel, which was lovely. Really friendly staff and good food, they did have a fitness centre which we managed to avoid. After all in the middle of such a lovely area we decided to do our exercise outside.
Day one we went out and about for a 5 mile walk, over heathland and through some wooded areas, saw quite a few ponies, some running free others with their riders. Much sunnier than we had thought it would be so had a great time with good views and not too tiring. Although we were both a bit pooped by the time we walked back to the hotel, aching just enough to know you had definitely been walking.
That evening we had a couple of glases of champgane to celebrate getting here, it was one of our targets last year that of somewhere we would go after the chemo. Taken us a little while to get here, but here we are and worth the wait.
The next day , feet were still aching ( and a bit of a hangover) so a shorter walk in order and we went round a nearby arboretum, so only about 3 miles in total, but we felt very virtuous. Lunch and then home.
Today time to tidy the garden ready for spring and plan our next weekend away, only one slight concern in that Ray is aching so much today he is thinking about starting on the painkillers again. Plus he has had a couple of nights of sweats, which he got when the cancer was first diagnosed. He got them again with the pneumonia but we knew what that was about, so a couple of clouds always seem to be hovering.
We have been very lazy the last few days, with nothing much happening. we did attempt to go for a walk but it was so windy and cold it took our breath away a bit, so it was a case of a walk to the shops for the paper then back home again.
Ray has had a very sore neck and shoulder the last two days and of course as this was the very first symptom of the meso, it always makes us both very nervy. You do try to keep things in perspective – after all we all get stiff necks and sore shoulders, sometimes just from the way that we sleep.
99% of the time, it really is just a stiff neck but the problem is once you know just how these types of pain can mean something so much bigger, it’s hard not to panic and focus on every little niggle. No doubt one day it may well be something else but given today he is feeling much better after changing his pillows , fingers crossed this time he is firmly in the 99% category