Monday, 11 February 2013

Monday 11 February 2013

The family would just like to thank all of those people who gave so generously to the St Elizabeth Hospice via Meredith Greengrass and anonymously at the Church. You raised a further £552.61. Thank you Lee Roper, Mary Lee Roper, Nick and Jeanette Thomas, G. E. Miller, Kathleen Hill, Alice Lester, Denis, Patsy, Kathryn, Richard, Rebecca and Ingrid Aldersea, Brian and Shirley Scrivener, D. T. Millet, Jill Golzen and Sheila Overholt.

In addition, over $500 was raised in the US and was used to pay for 50 flood buckets, relief packs to be used by families caught out in last year's hurricane season.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Monday 17 December 2012

The funeral was a wonderful send off for Julanne. The church was full, as was the pub afterwards and we were able to eat good food and remember her. Willa, Kate and Harry would like to thank everyone for their help, support and kind words over the last few weeks. 

You can download the order of service and tributes using this link:

Order of Service and Tributes

and don't forget to leave your memories (and perhaps donations) at:

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Saturday 1 December 2012

Mum died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday 25th November 2012. The funeral will be held at St John the Baptist Church, Needham Market on Monday 10th December 2012 at 11am.

The family would like to thank all of the staff at the Baylham Care Centre for the support they gave to Mum over the last six months.

A tribute page has been set up in her honour and is available by following the link below:

Sunday, 26 February 2012

26 February 2012

Birthday cake made by ten-year-old Isabel for Harry's 45th yesterday.

Good news at the hospital on Friday: my blood analyses were fine and a chest x-ray showed only the tiniest bit of growth to the lung tumour. So I continue with no chemo, and my next scheduled appointment with Dr Podd is not until the middle April.

Meanwhile, during March I'm attending workshops at the St Elizabeth Hospice on Thursday and Friday afternoons. I hope to visit Janet and Margaret in Gloucestershire for a few days, and Kate and Harry along with a number of friends, are much in attendance. Willa arrives after Easter for six weeks, so I have lots to look forward to.

I get awfully tired very easily but can still manage to walk up the street to the grocery store for milk and enjoy being driven out to lunch or a movie. The weather has improved over the last couple of weeks, although I haven't written off winter yet.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

12 February 2012

There's been no word from me for a long time -- no blog messages, emails or Christmas cards. Many thanks to all of you who have kept in touch regardless, because it hasn't been the best of times.

I got more and more tired when having chemo every two weeks, so Dr Podd has given me a six week holiday, but it doesn't seem to have made much difference. I hope to see him soon.

I have had numerous problems around the house (tv, telephones, central heating, roof leaks, mice) and dealing with transportation for all my medical appointments plus the collapse of my old car that Kate has been using to visit me. At least the weather was unseasonably warm until recently (see photo of my back garden taken yesterday). The worst thing was that I had to have my beloved Dizzy (about 16 years old) put down two weeks ago. At least I don't have to worry anymore about what would happen to her after my death.

Kate and Harry ensure that I have house guests at least on weekends. My friend Audrey who now lives near Vichy will be here for a couple of nights this week. I spent last week in Manchester with Harry and family after a nine hour car journey from Needham -- three hours of which was spent stationary, in the dark, on the M62 in the snow just about 10 miles from Harry's house!

I have recently attended a series of introductory sessions at St Elizabeth's Hospice in Ipswich, where I hope to be taken care of eventually. It's a really wonderful place -- even the food is reasonable!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Monday 31 October 2011

Thank heavens it’s over! I made it to my 80th birthday on Tuesday, 25 October, with proper celebrations. The whole family gathered gradually over the preceding weekend and the temperature picked up until noon on Tuesday, when we were joined by just a few local friends. We began with champagne and nibbles and then trooped down to the Barn CafĂ© at Alder Carr Farm for a main course, then back home for coffee and birthday cake.

There were two stands of goodies – a pile of meringues topped by the number ‘70’, and a collection of cupcakes by ‘80’ – as we were marking 150 years: Willa’s birthday this past January as well as mine.

Willa was here for the past 6 weeks and helped me with all sorts of tidying up of papers, pictures, household things, etc. We had some nice excursions around Needham, plus visits to Manchester (Imperial War Museum North, BBC Media City, City Art Gallery) and Woking (Wisley RHS garden, Winkworth Arboretum, the Watts Gallery – the Surrey Hills are incredibly gorgeous just now). Willa flew home yesterday and I miss her awfully.

I continue to be very lucky in my response to the chemo I was changed to in June (Gemcitabine), which I have every 2 weeks and which isn’t debilitating. I get tired very easily but can usually recharge with lots of rest stops during the day and can manage to sit up talking for hours. But I am planning ahead for difficult times, so looking into carers for when I can’t manage for myself anymore and visited St Elizabeth’s Hospice in Ipswich for an introductory session today. See a picture of the Halloween mask I made during the craft session on my Skype profile.

Meanwhile, Kate and Harry manage to visit Needham regularly on weekends and lots of friends come for a night or so. Janet and Margaret were here in August for 2 ½ weeks. So anybody is welcome especially if you are prepared to go to the fish and chip shop or prepare a meal.

Thanks for all the cards, emails and gifts that I carefully saved to open on my birthday (unlike Roy, who was always an immediate opener). They were greatly appreciated as all your messages, prayers, phone calls, etc have been over the past 3 years. I’d like to acknowledge everyone personally but just can’t manage it and hope you’ll accept this apology for not doing so. Please keep the messages coming in.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Saturday 7 May 2011

What a weekend! We gathered in front of the TV watching the royal wedding from about 9am on – we being Willa & me; Kate & Chris; Harry, Helen, Isabel (who at 9 has been a bridesmaid at least 2 or 3 times) & Gabriel (at intervals from his laptop games). On Saturday we read every word in the newspapers & looked at the photos & all agreed that it was an impeccable affair unsullied by anti-royalist considerations.

We were joined by Janet & Margaret on Sunday, when we visited a lovely bluebell wood near Needham Market. (See photos) This was yet another beautiful day typical of the unbelievable run of warm, sunny days we’ve had for a month or more (surely our summer season). Willa & I especially spent much of Monday watching breaking news of Bin Laden’s death, as we have continued to do daily. Indeed a memorable weekend, full of spectacular happenings as well as lots of joy & happy times together.

I had an MRI scan recently for something new that seemed to have developed; fortunately it was okay. But a regular chest x-ray showed a slight increase in the size of the original lung tumour, indicating that it is no longer responding to the protein-inhibiting Tarceva that I have been taking since last June.

On Thursday I saw Dr. Podd, who has recommended that I return to an intravenous chemo (gemcitabine) similar in effects to the vinorelbine I took for 18 months after my diagnosis nearly 3 years ago. These effects did not destroy all my quality of life, although they were not as easy on me as the recent Tarceva. (For instance, I didn’t lose my hair although it thinned considerably, & I was terribly tired ). Other good news is that the steroids are keeping the polymyalgia muscular pains under control. I may make 80 in October yet!

Willa is here for another month, during which there are possibilities of all sorts of excursions, including a visit to Manchester. So I hope to report on more jolly times soon. Please keep me in your thoughts & prayers.