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Saturday, 5 December 2015

It's all about the leaves

It feels like the last few months has been all about watching the changing landscape via the trees and their changing leaf colour - autumn moves slowly in these parts when winter weather holds off, which seems to be becoming the norm these last three or four years. It's now December and although all but one of the photos were taken in November (you know me, always trying to catch up), there are still quite a lot of leaves on the trees even now, albeit the vast majority are on our native oak, Quercus robur. And there are still plenty of flowers about!

Always expect lots of photos of my Liquidambar!

Back of the house.

Leaf mould bins, there is a three year cycle here!

Sycamore leaf.

Now there is more light, the lichen and moss
covered trunks show up more.

Sometimes just one leaf shows out from the crowd.

Or they all look wonderful together.

Smoke Bushes through the Lime leaves.

Butterflies were about regularly until mid November -
one of the last to be seen has been the Red Admiral.

And as always (also one of the first to appear in spring), the Speckled Wood.

Red Admiral again.

Liquidambar leaves again, with an oak leaf or two.

However the Liquidambars can't beat the native oak
with regard to the majesty of the tree itself.

Taken 1st December, the Prunus subhirtella is flowering like crazy,
but it's hard to get a photo of it against grey skies.

And to finish, my friends down the bottom of the garden.

Health Update

A mixed bag of good and bad - however any goods mean a step in the right direction! I had a colonscopy on Wednesday and I'm glad to say that nothing untoward was found, so I don't need to have another one for three years, which is great. To be honest the thing I find the worst about having one is the three days of bland low fibre diet beforehand. I had wondered quite how the laxatives and ensuing violent diarrhoea was going to work with a bag, but in fact it was a lot easier than I remember when I had an anus; there was no burning bum this time! Sort of amusing - after taking the first lot of laxatives the evening before, I fell asleep on the sofa for two hours, only to find upon waking the most enormously full to bursting bag.... phew, thank god the glue stuck, that could have been rather nasty! I told my OH off for letting me sleep so long! I also didn't have that worry about needing the toilet on the drive to the hospital - the previous time I had taken a bucket in the car, I kid you not!!

I'm taking a drug called Lyrica which is often prescribed for neuropathy, but in my case was prescribed for the nerve damage in my buttock and perineal scar area by a doctor who was unaware of my neuropathy (my body is a bit like pass the parcel at the hospital, I'm always being passed from one doc to another as no-one wants to take full responsibility, it seems). Anyhow I'm interested to see if it helps the neuropathy at all. I've had a few days here and there where it seems a bit better than others, and the last three weeks it hasn't actually got any worse. However typing this is a pain because I am having to edit so much.

There is good news though - I am sitting a lot easier, so something is working! Still using my donuts, but sometimes I can sit with just one, and I'm generally more comfortable and can finally sleep on my back again. Whether it is the Lyrica or just time that is working, it doesn't really matter, but it's coincided with taking the drug so I assume it's that which is helping. This is a really big step forward. :-)

But the bad news is that I am still down in the post chemo doldrums. Not sure what to do about that as it's seriously pissing me off! However yesterday as the sun shone all day long I did more than I have done in weeks - as well as wandering around taking photos, cleaning out the chooks and feeding them and the ducks (my old chores which I've taken over again to force me outside), I also spent a couple of hours gardening, and then came in and made scones. That's because Keith had been over to England again to sort through his parents' house, meaning he could hit Tesco again, this time bringing back, amongst other goodies, a tub of clotted cream. Bliss! 

Oh and I have put on a whole stone of weight (14lbs/7 kg) since I was at my thinnest in June/early July! 

22 comments:

  1. Such lovely photos again. I think most of Europe is the same this autumn, strangely mild. We need some cold but you can't help enjoying the fact that you can still sit in the garden comfortably.

    As to the doldrums, there is not much you can say really. But the shortest day is just around the corner and that is a spirit lifter as spring is but a few weeks away then instead of months and months. I'm sure you will feel better with a new year to look forward to. Big hugs, we are all thinking about you

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    1. Thanks Debrazzawoman - hope you are right about the lack of light etc. I don't generally like Autumn on the whole much anyway! But I've been out doing some bramble ripping out this afternoon which has made me feel a whole lot better, for now anyway.

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  2. Lots of leaves still on the tress here too. Hoping you feel better soon xx

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    1. Makes winter seem much shorter! Thanks CT xx

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  3. Good to hear your health update Mandy. You are a woman of remarkable courage and I'm sure the post chemo blues will pass. Great news on the weight gain!!

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    1. Cheers Steve for such lovely words. It's nice to see a bit of flab again. :-)

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  4. Beautiful leaves and trees. A few leaves left here although my beloved Whitebeam tree is bare and lacking in berries this year!

    So pleased to hear some things are slowly improving for you healthwise and I do hope the tablets help the neuropathy and its really good news re: the weight gain.

    I do hope the post chemo blues will pass soon. Sending a big hug your way and perhaps the arrival of the New Year may help in some way and at least the shortest day is fast approaching - I always feel we've turned a corner once that has passed.

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    1. Thanks RR for your kind words. I've put up with lots but the most difficult to deal with is depression! But as you (and others) say, it's hardly the best time of year as everyone feels a bit blah with the dark evenings and mornings.

      Shame about your tree! I think the birds have eaten any berries round here already. :-) xx

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  5. Really good news about the colonoscopy, the fact that you don't need another one for 3 years must mean that the cancer has gone for good!
    Hopefully the new drug will help too, so strange about the lack of communication between different specialities at the hospital though.
    Great that you've re gained so much weight and your energy levels sound better than mine! Yesterday the weather was awful, I did a bit of gentle housework in the morning and then I lay on the setee most of the afternoon in front of the woodburner watching ET and other rubbish TV!

    I'm sure you are enjoying the clotted cream, we take it for granted here in Devon and I never make scones, I buy them, so well done to you.

    Philippa xx

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    1. Thanks Philippa. I think the colonoscopy results just mean that my colon is healthy with no pre cancerous polyps, but cancer is just as likely to come back in the liver or lungs, or even other places, hence the 6 monthly scans or ultrasound to check on that.

      We've used your ferry code twice now so thanks for that. And you are retired now so can laze on the sofa if you want to! :-) xx

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  6. The 6 monthly scans or ultrasound will hopefully give you peace of mind Mandy. Good that you are being so closely monitored really.

    Re the ferry code, I think it is only you and K that use it these days, I'll donate the £10 we get each time it's used to cancer research.

    I had a busy day not lying on the sofa as we are doing a Children's playground in the garden with a swing and slide for the Grandchildren.
    We managed to move several loads of bark chippings etc... pretty tired now! xx

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    1. I get my chemo port taken out on Friday - can't wait! Thanks for your generosity donating the £10s to cancer resarch, after all the two reasons for travelling were relating to K's mum's breast cancer. Yesterday I mostly laid on the sofa by the way but it was drizzly and horrible. Did go to Hyper U in Combourg and saw two deer in the lane up the road from here which was a nice sight. Apart from that life is so interesting. Not! Well done you getting some work done outside! xx

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  7. Gorgeous colours and images of Autumn Mandy. You seem to have had it a little better than I experienced locally. It started beautifully here but then lots of leaves fell before there was time for a good show. I just love that Red Admiral on a stick photo too! ;-)

    Read your health update. I take Lyrica as well (for nerve damage) 300mg per day currently. Oh and don't concern yourself too much with feeling 'pissed off' I feel that way most of the time ;-)

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    1. Thanks JJ - I have dozens more photos and a load still on the camera. Just finding it hard to get in the mood for anything, like blogging or photo sharing. I have no problem going out taking the photos though!

      Interesting you taking the Lyrica too. I don't think it is going to help much with my fingers and feet but I'm only taking 150mg and you can go up to 600mg a day. I might talk to the Cancerologue (whatever that is exactly, a cancer specialist/Oncologist I guess) lady who was very nice and said the dose could be upped. Just complicated cos it was the Proctologue who prescribed them.... in case you hadn't guessed, an Ologue is an Ologist. :-)

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    2. Oh I know that feeling so well too. I can take photos til the cows come home, but finding the time and enthusiasm to post is a different matter these days.

      About the Lyrica? I was on 50mg twice a day for my pain and then saw a different doctor and was complaining that it didn't seem to be helping and he said roughly what you have said here. the dose was too low and even 300m is relatively low as some are on 600. I have to add that since I have been on a higher dose...nothing has really changed! Maybe he'll up it again when I next visit in a week or so. Anyhow, I do hope it helps for you.

      JJ.

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    3. So nice to find a lethargic pissed off soulmate..... :-)
      Who also takes Lyrica! well it seems to br having an effect on my bum nerve probs sofor methat is prob more impiortant than the neuropathy, although a y9u can see from my tyuing it would be nice to have fingers that felt oproperly. And this is me kooking at the keys! Never mind, at least I don't have a sticky G key. ;-)

      I am sorry the drug doesn't seem to be working for you; maybe a higher dose might work. It seems to be quite a contraversial drug which works for some but not for others, can have awful side effects (I have none) and I read also that it is very addictive and hard to get off. Hey ho.

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  8. Great photos Mandy, and fantastic news about putting on weight and also sleeping on your back. Thing is everything takes time and we always want everything back to normal once the all clear is given. Take each day as it comes and enjoy the season and K. Sabine xxx

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    1. Thanks so much Sabine. One problem though - I now weigh more than I have for several years so I have only one pair of 'fat' jeans which fit out of 20 odd pairs of jeans and trousers. Dammit! I am happy to buy a larger size but I tried on 3 pairs in Hyper U (same size, haha) but each was a different size (as is always the case) and I came out with nothing. Thank goodness for expanding waist dance pants. :-)))))

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  9. Lovely photos as always Mandy. That's great you've put on weight and also that you're more comfortable sitting and are able to sleep on your back.
    I'm sending you loads more positive vibes to get rid of those chemo blues.;-)xx

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    1. Thanks very much Deb. Every little step forward is a good step in this slow process of healing and recovering. Cheers for the vibes! xx

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  10. Lovely photos and I am jealous of your neighbours at the bottom of the garden!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting The Caked Crusader, and the cattle are rather fun as they do like to watch me garden when they are in the field next to my veg patch! :-)

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