About Me

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I'm Carole, living in London, happily married and mum to two amazing boys.I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectal Cancer in April 2010. Surgery took place in November 2010 and I now have a permanent colostomy...Spinal mets were then diagnosed in October 2011...In January 2012 I was told of further spread to the hip area (multiple lesions)..My life expectancy is now 6-9 months. Walk alongside me on the last part of my experience with this..

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

10 Days in Rhodes ...........

As some of you rightly guessed, and some of you knew before, I decided to pay my sister Sarah a surprise visit in sunny Rhodes.

Me and the bag set off on Friday, 11th March and returned on Monday, 21st after spending 9 days in the (mostly) sunny weather. The days were spent sitting by the sea, climbing mountains (okay, that's a slight exaggeration - it was a very large hill that felt like a mountain), browsing in the few shops that have opened pre-season, visiting a few local attractions and just simply relaxing for the time I was there.

My sister had no idea that I was arriving. When I reached Rhodes airport on the Friday evening I telephoned M, her partner, and he came to get me without telling her where he was going.

He went into their apartment ahead of me and spun her a tale about having a customer in the taxi who needed somewhere to stay for the night. (I was hiding outside whilst all this went on)
Sarah point-blank refused to have some strange 'bloke' in the apartment whilst M returned to work.
In the end she agreed that he could come inside to eat before M took him elsewhere.
I then came inside the apartment and initially she didn't register it was me, but after a second look she just stood there saying 'Oh my God! I don't believe it! How are you here!' then burst into tears....happy tears I hasten to add :-)
I reminded her that I'd told her previously that one day I'd just turn up at the airport and call a taxi to get to her. Now she knows that I wasn't joking.

We spent the week relaxing, catching up, going for coffee by the sea & in town, visited the house that Hitler lived in for a while during WWII, went to Kallithea Springs, Rhodes Old Town...some pictures below.
It's very early yet for great weather in Rhodes, and the week before I arrived they'd had lots of rain and grey clouds. I wasn't expecting sun at all but that is exactly what we did get...sun, sun and more sun. It wasn't high temperatures (between around 19c/21c) but every day, apart from one, was a clear blue sky with just a scattering of fluffy clouds.

So, I took the sun to Rhodes with me and then I brought it back with me. Yesterday and today have been lovely here in London - I was outside with Dizzie cat earlier in a T-Shirt ....two weeks ago I was in heavy winter jacket and gloves here - and that was just to put the rubbish out LOL!

This is the view that Sarah wakes up to each morning......

Here is the chapel where Sarah regularly lights candles for many of you...

These next two were taken inside the chapel....

Two sisters enjoying the spring sunshine & relaxing with a coffee in one of the numerous great coffee shops in Rhodes........

How blue is that sea!................

We went up the mountain to see the house that Hitler lived in during parts of WWII.
On the way we visited a very old Chapel and outside there is a tree that is apparently 'thousands of years old'. The inside is completely hollow so obviously we couldn't resist taking the 'tourist shot'

This was the very pretty 16th Century Chapel - there were bee's nesting inside, the sound of their buzzing was really amplified once you entered.....

This is the remains of the house that Hitler had built for him...it's been left to rot on purpose

Halfway up the mountain

Old Town Rhodes, inside the Castle walls......

There are LOADS of stray ferral cats in Rhodes. This one has adopted Sarah and unlike the vast majority of cats there, he is confident about being around people. Sarah now feeds him daily and has named him Spanos.

The next few pictures are just random scenery shots...I want people to know that there is so much more to Rhodes than just the Faliraki nightlife and the beach...

That's it for now....I'll do a separate post about travelling with the bag & other stuff at some point.


  1. Oh, I'm so happy for both you and your sister. What a wonderful surprise for her!

  2. Beautiful women; beautiful place. Must go.

    Glad you had (what I knew would be) a great time with your sister - and she with you. Just what you both needed I suspect.

    Love you. And you too, Sarah luvvie! xxxx

  3. You look amazing. Your face has filled out, your hair looks great, the outline of your clothes gives no clue of what you've gone through.

  4. Thank you ladies :-)

    Debby it *was* a lovely surprise for Sarah and we both had a great time xxx

    Lou, yes you must go. You will love Rhodes and all the historic stuff there (and the weather and the wonderful company too of course)

    Fiona - thank you :-) And especially for the comment on the outline of clothing.
    It puts my mind at rest that no-one notices 'it'- even though I'm completely okay about it now it's still good to hear :-))

  5. Wow Carole,you look fab !!!!What a trip for you so soon after everything.I,m sure the sunshine has given you a boost,it has for me here in this gorgeous weather.You must be very proud of yourself.Huge hugs to you xxxxxxx

  6. Thank you Rose. The sunshine has definitely given me a much needed lift.
    Glad to hear that you've seen some sun as well
    Much luv as always xxxx

  7. Yes, it is handy that Manoli is a taxi driver and could pick you up in secret! I did think it was a bit of a cheek him even asking me let a customer sleep over for the night because they had no money! But what a surprise!!

    Thank you so much for the surprise visit! :)
    Just what I needed too and I was so sad to see you go. But hopefully will see you later in the year. Big thanks to DJ and Rab for holding the fort for you xx

  8. Not long til mum and dad arrive now Sis...less than 6 weeks :-)

    Thank you for a lovely time xxxx

  9. Oh, Carole, you and your sister look so happy!You can see that you are sisters!
    Rhodes is a beautiful place with loads to see.
    I am so pleased that you made it and had a good time!
    Wishing you both all of the best!

  10. Just look how far you have come. That awful time pre-hospital, in hospital and post hospital, and now look at you!!!
    Carole, for me, and all of us that have followed your story, it gives me so much joy to see the photos of you and your sister enjoying some good times together.
    You look so well, so fit and so much stronger. I LOVE the photo of you and your sis in the cafe.
    And as for the 'bag' - thats not it slung over your shoulder on the photo with Spanos the cat is it? Only joking! You look absolutely fab girl - WELL DONE!
    Much love, Shents xxx

  11. Shents, you summed it up perfectly. Thank you for putting it into words. Carole, it really is a joy to see these pictures and read about your adventure. You've done so well and come so far, and you've blessed so many others along the way. My hat is off to the lady and her bag.

    Much love and lots of smiles,
    Steve xx

  12. Nice one Carole, I absolutely love the story of you arriving!

    I look forward to hear about 'the bag' - did you get searched at customs? :-0

    T x

  13. Hi Tony....

    Did I get searched? OH YES!....:-)

    Hiya Steve, Thank you for the lovely comments, as always. Hope you're doing well at the moment xx

    Shents - thank you :-)
    I also love the one of me and Sarah by the coffee shop. It was such a lovely spring day and perfect for just 'chillin' out :-)

  14. Hi Carol,

    You should be resting not blogging :-)
    Thanks for the lovely thoughts.

    Rhodes is beautiful and a very relaxing place - if anyone needs a break I thoroughly recommend it.

    Hope your pain is easing somewhat Carol xxxx

  15. Wow! Just look at how far you've came. To echo previous comments, you look fab and so happy with your sister. Rhodes looks beautiful, which part is it? I have to confess I was deliberately looking for evidence of the bag but couldn't see it. That gives a little confidence to my Stevie for our forthcoming holiday. Judging by your pictures, said bag didn't stop you enjoying your holiday. Looking forward to reading about how you coped with the practicalities of travelling with it. You've no idea how much your blog helps other people Carole, thankyou so much for sharing your story. Much love, Nicky xxx

  16. Hi Nicky,

    Thank you for your continuing supportive comments. The 'bag' really didn't stop me or interfere with anything at all. It was a huge test for me to see if I really could cope with it outside of my 'comfort zone'.

    Sarah and M live just outside Faliraki at the moment. He also has a large town house in Rhodes Town itself but they are currently renting an apartment away from the hustle and bustle of Faliraki itself. The whole island is truely beautiful, sadly so many tourist do not venture outside either the Old Town or Faliraki itself.

    If anyone goes, get friendly with a local Taxi driver and they will do organised tours. They charge a fraction of what the organised tours cost and you have the freedom to go at your own pace.
    PS. I have the number of a very reliable driver if anyone needs it :-)

    I intend to do a whole post on my adventures with baggy, probably tomorrow.

    Much luv Nicky and tell Stevie he's in my thoughts.