Friday, 11 July 2014

DCIS a ten month challenge

We are all busy but it's not until something big is thrown at you that makes you stop, then you realise just how busy and how much you manage to do in a day or a week.
I was recently diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), which are pre cancerous changes within the breast. Within a period of 6 weeks from when I first noticed a change in my left breast I had had numerous visits to doctors and hospitals. These culminated in a sentinel lymph node operation on a Friday followed by a couple of days rest at home. Then it was back to a different hospital on the Monday when the rest of the lymph nodes were removed and I had a mastectomy followed by immediate reconstruction. From this operation they found out that the pre cancerous changes had progressed to two small tumors.
When I started to feel better after the operation, which took a few weeks, I then had to face the next challenge...chemotherapy. Every three weeks I have had a session of chemotherapy. This is not as straightforward as going to the hospital on the day of the chemo. Two to three days before you have to have blood tests at the hospital. Now this is ok if the hospital is local. But for the first three sessions of chemo the journey by car or train was over an hour and a half away. For my final session I was transferred to a different hospital, now this was an easier a journey as it was just half an hour away.
The chemotherapy then gives you additional challenges, the side affects are numerous. But the worst two side effects that I faced were the extreme fatigue and the horrendous headaches that I faced. So for the week after the chemo I have been totally wiped out. The effort involved in doing the most simplest of jobs is unbelievable.
So I went from being a busy single working mum juggling school, work, home and play to doing quite literally nothing. In hospital my day literally consisted of doctors and nurses checking me, taking pills, having food (we'll sort of), sleep (again sort of) and visitors. Whilst recovering, my day consisted of very little difference from being in the hospital apart from going out for daily walks. Eventually I started to recover, then it was time to start the chemo. Whilst I have been having the chemo my life has got a bit more substance back. Apart from the week after chemo, when I have been totally exhausted and spent most of the day in bed. I have also been getting structure into my day by going back to work, all be it on limited hours because of the fatigue.
I am one of those people who always has to be doing something, always on the go. I do not sit around just mindlessly watching TV. I am always reading, at least one book a week, I enjoy crafting things, painting furniture up, tracing my family history, going out and exploring the world around us. Over the past few months I have done very little of any of these as I have not been able to physically do them or my mind cannot concentrate on them.
The hardest thing that I have found over the period of illness is letting others do things for you and standing by and watching because you can't do things. It's frustrating knowing that all you want to do is just move something from point a to point b but having to wait and ask someone to do it for you. I know I have to be patient with this otherwise I will not recover.
But the one thing I have found through this is how supportive my family, friends, work and work colleagues have been. This network of amazing people, have given me the support when I have needed it.
All I would say is just check, if caught early cancer can be dealt with. If you find something you are not sure about no matter what just get it checked out don't leave it and think oh it will go away......go to your doctors you will not be wasting anyone’s time.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Weekly Spending Summary - 6 July 2014

This weeks spending summary....well all I will say is no comment! Well at least I managed two no spending days.

Groceries ~ £12.88
Postage ~ £3.72
Magazine ~ £3.10
Passport Photos ~ £7.95


Groceries ~ £15.97
New Broom ~ £4.00
Silver Cleaner ~ £4.00

Groceries ~ £9.81
Tea Towels ~ £3.50 (using these to make a couple of storage bags as presents)

Groceries ~ £6.68
Alcohol ~ £6.96
Health & Beauty ~ £59.88 (including my haircut)
Birthdays ~ £17.14
Clothes Little Miss ~ £4.99
Clothes Me ~ £4.99
School Supplies ~ £1.99 (new calculator as old one broke!)
Drinks Out ~ £16.50 (friends birthday)
Lottery ~ £2.00
Paper ~ £0.90
Charity Shops ~ £4.49
Printer Ink ~ £47.98

Groceries ~ £10.41
Birthdays ~ £9.49
Clothes Little Miss ~ £52.40 (pj's and underwear)
Clothes Me ~ £60.53 (underwear, leggings and dress)
School Supplies ~ £4.00 (socks ready for new term)
Meal Out ~ £4.93
Travel ~ £4.30
Garden ~ £1.90 (plant pots)
Rope ~ £0.95


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Weekly Menu Plan - Monday 30 June 2014

This weeks menu is about using up as much as possible.

Monday: Leftover salad and meat from yesterdays BBQ

Tuesday: Sausagemeat plait and salad. Gooseberry crumble (freshly picked gooseberries from Mum's garden)

Wednesday: Tomato Pasta

Thursday: Noodle stirfry

Friday: Couscous salad

Saturday: Faggots and mash

Sunday: Cottage Pie (using up some veal mince from the freezer)


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Weekly Spending Summary - 29 June 2014

As part of keeping track of my spending I will be posting on here what I have spent over the week. Hopefully by having this written down it will make me take notice of areas of overspending!

Groceries ~ £16.84
Beauty ~ £10.45

Groceries ~ £2.09


Groceries ~ £11.07
Charity ~ £1.00

Groceries ~ £0.89
Alcohol ~ £4.99
Clothes ~ £16.99 (new school shoes for Little Miss, new shoes for me)
Drinks out ~ £6.90
Travel ~ £10.00
Newspapers & Magazines ~ £7.88
Sweets £5.42

Evening out with a friend.

Groceries ~ £11.05

Well that was better with two NSD's this week. I went over the £30 for the groceries, but that includes some items for next week already.


Monday, 23 June 2014

Weekly Menu Plan - Monday 23rd June 2014

This weeks menu is looking good. I'm getting back on the 5:2 way of eating.

Monday: Risotto with fish 

Tuesday: Courgette pasta (5:2 day)

Wednesday: Homemade burgers

Thursday: Chickpea Salad (5:2 day)

Friday: Fish and homemade chips

Saturday: Being taken out for a meal

Sunday: BBQ


Weekly Spending Summary - 22 June 2014

As part of keeping track of my spending I will be posting on here what I have spent over the week. Hopefully by having this written down it will make me take notice of areas of overspending!

Groceries ~ £6.31
Groceries ~ £14.96

Drinks/Meals Out ~ £5.00
Garden ~ £15.00 (planter)
Misc ~ £20.00 (entrance and chair to go with writing bureau.

- Day out at Ardingley Antiques Fair, this has been planned for some time. The money spent was from selling items on Ebay.

Groceries ~ £0.33
Garden ~ £5.99 (compost)
Newspaper/Magazines ~ £3.10

Groceries ~ £2.41
Alcohol ~ £7.28
Drinks/Meals Out ~ £30.60 (meal and drinks with work)
Parking ~ £2.00 (at the hospital)

Birthdays etc ~ £7.10
School Supplies ~ £5.75 (pencil cases ready for September)
Newspaper/Magazines ~ £0.90

Groceries ~ £3.03
Clothes - Me ~ £13.00 (leggings, bag)
Drinks/Meals Out ~ £23.90 (in London for the day)
Newspaper/Magazines ~ £1.50
Misc ~ £6.75 (museum entrance)

Well no NSD's this week so it wasn't a brilliant week. Although I did manage to keep under £30 for the groceries.

We will see how next week goes not too busy so should be a lot less spent!


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Weekly Menu Plan - Monday 16 June

Part of the new budgeting system I am doing is going to involve menu planning.

I have gone through the freezer and done an inventory of what we have in there and we could easily live of what is in there for a couple of weeks!

Monday: Game casserole in slow cooker

Tuesday: Leftover casserole veg with melted cheese on top.

Wednesday: out for the day at Ardingley Antiques Fair so no cooking

Thursday: out for the day with my sister at Brands Hatch she's going to be driving a Ford Mustang. Salad when we get back.

Friday: out with work for drinks and Chinese.

Saturday: being treated to weekend away, but we don't know where to!

Sunday: again as for Saturday.


Monday, 16 June 2014

From My Home To Yours Swap

Oh excited as I've signed up to this lovely swap that Betty The Wood Fairy is doing.

You send 4 items (at least one must be handmade) to your swap partner. The items should be relevant to your country, county or town.

There is still time to sign up as partners won't be listed until 20th June. Pop over to Betty's blog and sign up.



Sunday, 15 June 2014

Weekly Spending Summary - 15th June

As part of keeping track of my spending I will be posting on here what I have spent over the week. Hopefully by having this written down it will make me take notice of areas of overspending!

Groceries ~ £13.31
Ebay ~ £10.85
Misc ~ £12.00 (4 X Men DVD's as Little Miss has really got into these).

- Not brilliant, DVD's were unexpected but we have been after these for a while and this has been the cheapest we have seen them.

Groceries ~ £13.21
Birthdays etc ~ £3.46 

- June is always a bad month for birthdays, I have Little Miss, my sister and a couple of other birthdays as well.


Groceries ~ £2.15
Drinks/Meals Out ~ £3.13 (pint at lunch with work colleagues)
Misc ~ £2.00 (World Cup sweepstake)

- pub at lunchtime with work colleagues was unexpected, but we have had some bad news at work this week and we all wanted to meet up.

Groceries ~ £2.94
Beauty ~ £1.50
Birthdays etc ~ £9.64
Clothes Me ~ £22.00 (lightweight rain coat)
School Supplies ~ £10.00 (bag ready for September)
Garden ~ £2.00 (plant pots)
Misc ~ £4.94 (bubble wrap, glue dots, 23 Ladybird books, sewing box)

- again more birthday items, my coat was on the to get list and Little Miss has got her bag ready for next term at school.

Groceries ~ £9.65
Misc ~ £18.25 (garden table, phone charger box, brushes)

- the garden table and phone charger have been on the to get list for ages. Just at last I have found the perfect table today.

Not too bad, but could do better as the school reports go! I am on budget with regards to groceries this month, and have managed two NSD this week. But there have been a few purchases, all though these have been for items we have wanted for a while.

We will see how next week goes as we have a very busy week.


Wednesday, 11 June 2014


I need to focus more on getting money saved for a deposit for a little house for us. Yes it is a lot of saving that needs to be done...but we will get there.

From now on this will be my mantra. 



Tuesday, 25 March 2014

February Photo Scavanger Hunt Pictures

Well I'm a bit late getting these on here! But here goes anyway......

F is for? - Family History folders all set up.
3pm - I was busy making these plate stands at 3pm.
Lamp - my lovely standard lamp in the front room.
Clock - a new alarm clock for my Little Miss.
Honey - love this on my yoghurt in the morning.
Round - my chemo warrior badge.

Fountain - this is only over the road from us.
Shadow - on and under our new (to us) table.
Group - of teddy crayons.
Repurpose - old tin cans painted and decorated.

Now to get March Photo Scavenger Hunt finished.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Photo Scavanger Hunt - February 2014

Hello, yes I have been missing in action for sometime now! I will update on here when I am ready as to why at some point....but for now I am just getting back into things slowly.

I have decided to do the photo scavenger hunt by Greenthumb. As I have so enjoyed doing these in the past.

February's List
F is for ?