Saturday, 27 May 2017

Various Updates

Kitties

Nicholas with Phoebe and Beatrice 2 2009

Since losing Phoebe on Wednesday, Beatrice has been very subdued and is obviously missing her. She spent the first day looking for her in the garden and wouldn’t come in, and since then, she’s been sleeping in Phoebe’s favourite place under the hedge in the corner of the lawn, somewhere she never went before. It’s as if she’s hoping she’ll come back to claim it. Today she seems a bit better and has accepted cuddles from us, but she wasn’t so keen yesterday. We are trying to give her as much love, attention and reassurance as we can at the moment, until she gets used to the idea that Phoebe has gone and isn’t coming back. Seeing her obviously grieving is quite distressing – we are both missing her so much, too.

Beatrice with Paperclip 1 19 Oct 10

Oncology Appointment

On Thursday morning I had my six-monthly oncology check-up appointment. I saw a different consultant this time, who said she was helping my regular one at the moment – she was called Dr. Medley and she was very charming and pleasant. My bloods are good, with no cancer markers. I asked her if they had the results of my recent CT scan yet, and she said they did, and that it didn’t reveal a hernia as such, but that there was a little gap and some fat had come through (nice!) but no gut. She will be setting up another appointment for me to see Mr. Pullan, my surgeon, so that we can discuss pros and cons, and risks involved in either having further surgery or not. Now I have got the support garments, he may feel it would be better just to leave it. I certainly don’t want another obstruction, and I’d rather have planned surgery rather than another emergency operation.

She also said that the recent CT scan showed no cancer, but of course it was only of my abdomen, and they would have preferred it to be of my whole trunk, because metastases from bowel cancer are usually in the liver or lung, so she is going to book me in for another scan, which will probably take place in a couple of months’ time.

I have got to go back in 6 months, and the appointment is on 30th November, exactly 2 years on from when I was given the all clear. After this, all continuing to be well, they won’t want to see me for a year. I really do believe they got it all out, and the chemo put paid to anything else that might have been lurking around.

Diet

It is now nearly 3 years since I started my 5:2 diet, also known as the Fast Diet. This diet has really worked for me, because for most of the time you eat normally, and only restrict your intake to a maximum of 500 calories on 2 days of the week. This means that it is easy to stick to, because anyone can cope with 2 days – it’s the diets where you are constantly restricting yourself and never having any treats, that you get bored with and give up, and the weight piles back on again. With a little help from 2 major operations and hospital stays, and despite being stuffed with mammoth portions by my hubby while he was looking after me (haha!), during that time I have lost nearly 4 stone. I need to lose just over half a stone more, in order to reach my target weight, and after that I shall continue monitoring it, and having a fast day maybe once or twice a week as necessary in order to maintain a constant weight.

People are now constantly noticing that I’ve lost weight. I am now able to get into clothes that I haven’t worn for years, which I couldn’t bear to part with because I liked them! It’s like having a new wardrobe again. I feel very much better for having lost the weight, not just physically, but emotionally too – having a sense of achievement is a very positive thing.

This is me, taken in the summer of 2013. I think I probably gained some more weight after this, and after our holiday in 2014 I was shocked how much I weighed, which is when I started the diet.

16 On the Balcony

Latest selfie.

27-5-17

A definite improvement I think! Unfortunately I shall probably never have a flat stomach again – after three major abdominal operations over the past 20 years (2 in the last 2 years) the muscle tone is pretty much gone! Having the support garments to prevent the return of my parastomal hernia probably help, though.

Kitchen

09 Ventilator Plaster Completed

The carpenter came round on Wednesday evening as arranged, and had a good look, and saw my sketch, and got a good idea of what I wanted. He was pleased that I still had the original Howden’s computer designs for the kitchen on my computer, and I was able to tell him the name of the design, which they have unfortunately discontinued from their catalogue, but he said he could probably source some old stock to make up the doors for my new pantry. If not, we agreed that it would be better to use something completely different rather than something similar but not exactly the same. After all, the original cupboard had white panelled doors, and we could do likewise with the new ones.

He said it would be no problem at all to get a bit more of the laminate flooring, which is still in Howden’s catalogue, and that he would be able to fit that. He will also add a new skirting board inside the cupboard, to match the rest of the kitchen.

He isn’t quite certain how to deal with the top part yet but he will be giving it some thought.

When I suggested adjustable height shelves, he said there wasn’t often much point, because one never adjusted them! However, he took the point that until I start using the pantry, I shan’t know exactly how high I want them, and it would be frustrating if I couldn’t get certain things in where I wanted them. I said that if they were only adjusted once, it was still worth it! I said that I wanted a stone slab, and this, and the shelf level with it to the side, would obviously have to be fixed in order to support the weight, but the others could be mounted on tracks with brackets and it wouldn’t be a problem. He suggested making each back shelf and its corresponding side shelf as one, so that it would be easier to adjust them together, and it would also make them stronger.

Regarding the doors, he agreed that the wall-mounted unit on the wall to the right is a bit of a problem, and I said I definitely didn’t want to lose that, as it held the glasses and all my recipe books. He thought that rather than having bi-fold doors, it might be better to have a single door, slightly narrower than the opening, and have a narrow panel to the right, behind the wall-mounted cupboard. He said he could install small shelves on the inside of this which would give me a bit more storage space, too. He thought that mounting my spice rack and other compact things on the right-hand wall inside the pantry was a good idea. The shelves at the back of the pantry, above and below the stone slab, will be deeper than the ones at the side, but they won’t be as deep as they were in the original cupboard, which was hopeless because I could never get at the stuff at the back.

It is all coming together now, and I think I am going to end up with a brilliant space which is going to be usable, convenient, and fun. Bringing the front up to the level of the front of the oven is going to give me double the depth I had before, but with narrow shelves along the left-hand wall from top to bottom, as well as better shelves at the back, will give me more storage space than I had before, which will also be a lot more accessible. As it was, the space in front of the old cupboard was dead space, and this is now going to be used.

Consulting his diary, he thought he should be able to start in the middle of next month, which is only about 3 weeks away, which is very good news. I thought I might have to wait for months until he was free! He’s got a kitchen to fit after that, but doesn’t think my job will take more than a few days (worst case scenario a week, but he thinks that is highly unlikely) – he says it’s a fairly fiddly job but it certainly shouldn’t take too long. So hopefully it will be in before the end of June!

I am really looking forward to moving all my stuff back from the flat kitchen, and sorting my new pantry, and organising the storage of the food. Once this is done, I will be able to start using my lovely kitchen again. The flat kitchen is fine, but it is very small, so I can’t do anything very ambitious in there. We are very grateful for it, though, because most people whose kitchens are out of order have to resort to camping stoves, and washing up in the bath!!

4 comments:

  1. Hi Shoshi. What a change you have made to your weight, well done. I bet you must be feeling pleased being able to wear clothes you really love. Take care and have a great week, Angela xXx

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  2. So sorry about the loss of your Phoebe! It's hard to lose one of our furry family! Sounds like you are doing OK physically...and looking fab! Please be gentle with yourself! ♥

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  3. Lovely to see photos of you! So sorry Beatrice is missing Phoebe. It will take a while of adjustment I think and lots of extra love and cuddles.

    Good news about your appointment! So glad everything is good. I always get a little nervous when my Mum's comes up again. She's got another one soon. I'm glad they keep such a good eye on her. I think if 'it' comes back they will catch it early again.

    Good news about the pantry! Sounds like you've got a great, usable space planned.

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  4. I think cats have more emotions than we give them credit for! It must be heartbreaking for you to see Beatrice missing her companion. Your weight loss is absolutely astounding Shoshi and I REALLY don't think you need to lose any more! If you absolutely must lose more weight - can you lose a stone for me please LOL! I have no doubt that the 5:2 diet works - and I find your weight loss story very inspiring! You look great - I don't even recognize you in your old photo!

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