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..

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sticks, phones and plots......:)

Today I woke up grumpy and sore - poor Rab got the brunt of my foul mood before he left for work (I've since sent a text and spoken to him to apologise for my crap behaviour)....My back was so sore today and my hip area too - but on a positive note, the 'flu' or 'drug reaction' (whichever it turns out to be) now seems to have settled down and I felt like I was back on the right road today. Managed to get out for the first time in 8 days - all good :)

Once I'd got the pain meds sorted the rest of the day was better - am sure Dj was relieved once my mood lifted too. I can be a really moody cow at times - but I'm always sorry afterwards. I'm conscious of the fact that I don't want them to be 'relieved' once I'm gone - because I was such a grumpy cow to be around at times!

Late lunchtime I took Dj for a haircut - we need to get his passport updated and he was adamant that he wasn't having his picture done until his hair was 'sorted'. So, one haircut later he's now happy to be photographed :)
Popped into the supermarket and picked up a few bits for dinner - actually felt like eating today and decided that I needed something tasty to kick-start my appetite again. Decided to make a Thai Red Curry with Wild Rice & naan bread - yummy

Sarah and Manolis came over in the evening and had dinner with us so that was lovely. Dj even came out of bedroom hibernation to eat with us - then the pull of 'Minecraft' was just too strong, so he disappeared back again leaving us adults to chat and have a cuppa.

I told Sarah that I was having trouble finding a nice walking stick - I don't want a traditional 'older' persons stick, if I have to have one (which I do now really) then I wanted a nice one - but couldn't find anything that looked right. Sarah got online and found me one we both liked - snow leopard design - so that's now ordered and hopefully won't take too long.
Then she sorted out my mobile phone deal for me online as well - I've been MEANING to do this for weeks now but just haven't got around to it. She transferred me onto a new deal that means for £10 a month I get unlimited text messages the following month - perfect for me as 98% of my mobile use is by text only.
Thanks Sis, don't know what I'd do without you......well, actually I do....I'd continue to say I need to sort out my mobile deal and I'd continue to pay for all my text messages - I'd still be limping around saying I know I need a stick but can't find one....so, Thanks for organising me and sorting me out :-)

As for the 'plot' bit in the title above...this relates to burial plot.
I've been looking around and more or less decided that I've found the place for my burial - Epping Forest Burial Ground. It's a woody area, adjacent to Epping Forest itself (52 acres have been sectioned off to use as a burial ground) it's all very natural with trees, shrubs, plants etc and you can only use biodegradable materials in the burial.
You can choose to have a bird box, bat box or memorial bench put there in your memory - something I thought would really appeal to Dj as he really likes wildlife, birds, nature. I can think of nothing nicer than him visiting to find the bird box is being nested in :)
We had a chat about this recently and he had a look on the website, he said it looks such a beautiful, peaceful place and his only concern was why we couldn't have all three memorials - the bat box, bird box and the bench...because I'm worth it :)
I feel this would be a nice place for the boys to visit rather than a traditional cemetery environment. I don't want to be buried in a cemetery - even thinking about being buried feels wrong, being in a cemetery feels SO wrong. I like the woods better :-)


I'm going to go with the boys and have a look over the next few weeks and see if we all like it there. My Dad's only concern (well, not only concern, because obviously he doesn't WANT me to be buried at all)...was that as you have to use biodegradable materials 'the foxes might dig you up during the night'....LOL...
His other concern was that 'it's a bit far for some people to travel to'....again LOL.
I told him that if it was too far, people didn't have to come. I really don't think anyone expects me to choose a place that is convenient for THEM rather than me and the boys!
LOL Dad, you're soooo funny :)

Lastly, Happy Birthday to my little brother Eddie - have a good one bruv - much luv always xxXXxx


  1. Epping Forest looks beautiful - just stunning. So natural, peaceful, and a nice place to spend some time remembering.

    Yay for your sister... Being an only child it's nice to see how siblings interact.

    Thank-you for the update so full of realness and truth. My heart is thinking of you and your family. xoxo Erinne

    1. Hi Erinne,

      You summed up Epping Forest perfectly, natural, peaceful & a nice place to spend time :) So far it feels like the best option...but I'll see once we visit and then make decisions.

      My mum is an only child and always regretted not having siblings - my sister is also one of my best friends, she's priceless and I'm so glad I have her in my life

      Hoping you get good news in your family Erinne and that mum is doing well

  2. Dear Carole,
    It is nice to know that I am not the only mom who has lost her sons to minecraft. I went and looked at the link for your answer to a cemetery. What a beautiful place and a thoughtful idea. I've never seen a lovelier place to end up and for your loved ones to go and visit you. I would like to have your red curry recipe, Steve and I both love Thai food. Sounds like you've had a busy and productive day.
    XoXoX Carla

    1. Hi Carla :)

      I'll email you the Thai curry recipe later this week. It is really yummy and when I don't know what I want to eat, this always seems to hit the spot :)

      As for Minecraft...what can I say....sometimes *I'm* the most important thing around - quite often Minecraft beats me - lol...but at least life is as normal as possible right now :)
      Hugs to you both xxXXxx

  3. Nice to read with only a small portion containing any mention of pain. That's the same stick I have. I struggled to find a modern one that was tall enough and adjustable for heels and no heels, snow leopard was just perfect. My daughter on the same contract/rolling month sim payg deal as well, great mins think alike. I'm going to look at your green site, mine is also an hours drive south of me making it much further for Derbyshire relatives, considering how much I see then sliver that was NEVER a consideration! Loopy369 x

    1. Sarah has since informed me that we ordered the Bengal Tiger one - so I've mixed up my cats! Either way, it sounds similar to the one that you've got and it was the only one I found that didn't say 'old' all over it...

      I agree that where you end up needs to be convenient for you and the kids - not for relatives who could have spent time with you when you were still here! It's all about what *you* feel comfortable with I think...

  4. Hi Carole i'm so glad youare able to get out and about a little, you're such an inspiration to us all. take care
    love stef xxx

    1. I don't think I'm inspirational Stef - I'm just plodding along trying to make sense of all this and trying not to be a complete Pain in the Bum along the way :)

      Hope your recovery is going well hun xXx

  5. It looks a wonderful, peaceful, beautiful place. And a bluebell wood, too. Absolutely the perfect choice. xxx

    1. Tis great eh Lou and yes, bluebell woods too - perfect I think.

      I just know that there will be such a great selection of wildlife there, it feels 'right' compared to the traditional alternative.

  6. Minecraft! Yup, J spent hours on that when he should have been revising. Luckily sense has prevailed and with A2 level exams 4 days away it has been deleted from his laptop.

    Loopy gave me some great links for 'natural' stuff, and I've looked them up and stowed them away to look at it in more detail. Our local 'crem' is THE most depressing place, and like you I want something more pleasant.


    1. I'm hoping that the pull of Minecraft wears off long before exam time!... but right now it's definitely the current obsession...

      I don't mind because I think it takes his mind off real life and gives him a place to go where he doesn't have to think too much. Good to be 'normal' and just forget sometimes.

      Our local cemetery is also SO depressing - there is no way I'm going in there. Everything about it feels wrong. I want the boys to enjoy 'visiting' me for the odd afternoon - not dread it because it's so sad, grey and depressing.

  7. 1) I get that you are sorting out burial plots and strongly believe everyone in whatever state of health should plan their life well and not just live day to day like we all do...that said I don't plan on you going anywhere soon and should continue to visit you in London and not Epping Forest for a few years yet!

    2) Next time you make a Thai Red Curry freeze me a portion and stick it in your freezer for when I next visit :-)

    3) Lets see a picture of DJ's haircut...he was telling me Saturday how his style was so easy to do....just wash & go!

    Much Love

    T xxxx

    1. Hi Tony :)

      1. I agree, it's something we should all sort out in advance. It's so much easier for those left behind if someone's wishes are clear from the start.
      I'm not planning on going anywhere just yet but then again getting cancer was never on my radar either...however, I'll be here as long as I can for sure
      2. Next time you visit, I'll cook it fresh - it's never the same once it's frozen
      3. It took him all of 30 seconds this morning to get his hair sorted..I'll see if I can get a picture on here soon :)

  8. So glad you back on track, kind of anyway. The curry was so nice that Manolis wants me to get the receipe from you. Great idea as I will cook it for you next time!

    PS, I thought I ordered the Siberian Tiger stick?


    1. Siberian Tiger? Bengal Tiger? Snow Leopard?...I can't even remember now - lol....but I liked it anyway compared to the alternative of plain wood style sticks/canes.

      Glad M enjoyed the curry - I admit to being worried that he wouldn't like it due to the coconut taste...It's so easy to do as well. I'll give you the recipe and you can practice on mum and dad :)

  9. You sound so much better and I am so happy for that. It is okay to be grumpy once in a while Carole, I think anyone with a lot of pain would get a bit moody, I know I would.
    I was sad to see that you are making arrangements yet I know you are being realistic. I think it is good to know what you want and what feels right though. Keeping you in my thoughts and sending big hugs...:-)

    1. Thanks Bernie - I really do try not to let the pain get the better of me, sometimes it takes over for a while and that's when I turn into 'grump monster'...I can't take it out on Rab though because he just doesn't deserve it at all.
      Hence my apology - even though I know I don't *have* to apologise because he forgives me anyway :)

      I think making arrangements in advance will make things easier for the boys afterwards. They will be in no doubt that they did what I would have wanted...
      Hugs back Bernie and keep warm in snowy cold Canada xxXXxx

  10. Carole
    What a beautiful peaceful place..I can understand how you would like this.
    I am glad you are getting yor pain under management. Sometimes I have thought og getting a walking stick, I have a cane that I sometimes use but if it were nicer likely more often.. Please take good care of yourself...Love Alli...XXX

    1. Hi Alli,

      I think if we've got to use a cane, it needs to be a nice one so that you remove the stigma of it being for 'older' people...I know I've needed one for a while now, just for general support really - but I've avoided it because they seemed so 'old'..
      Maybe treat yourself at some point to a nice one and take the pressure off yourself Alli?

      Much luv Alli xXx

  11. Hi Carole...you sound so positive .....! I hope that you are feeling as well as I imagine when I read your post!!!!
    Your choice of place of burial sounds fantastic, and you are quite right, it should be at your convenience...I am sure that people who can't get there to visit will be compensated by having you in their heart, where I am sure you are. Everyone that knows you will have a piece of you in their heart.....I certainly feel you there!
    Hugs, Carol

    1. Hi Carol,
      I'm generally feeling quite positive - some might say this is 'denial'...LOL
      Accept the diagnosis but not the prognosis eh :)

      To remember me, people don't have to be able to physically get to that place you're right...I still think of two people daily and there is no way I could get to their resting places, but yes they *are* etched in my heart always

      Hope you're doing well Carol...always thinking about you hun xXx

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  13. Hey Mrs Grumpypants

    You haven't been suffering from writer's block recently have you, lol!

    Good to catch up with all your news and thoughts - even though you had me laughing and crying all the way through your epic posts.

    It was completely wonderful to spend time with you, Dj, and the rest of the crew. It was wierd how I felt I'd known them all for years - just like I feel I've known you and Tony for years. The twists and turns of life never cease to amaze me. I know that Tom is fascinated by the whole amazing-ness of it all too. I think he must have wondered, (whilst shooting the hell out of Justin Beiber in your back garden,) about how and why he got there...(and I don't mean on the train and tube lol), but how cancer had brought us all together - not just you, me and Tony - but all our families too...anyway..

    Epping Forest looks fantastic. :-)
    I'm glad you got sorted with a stick - I just hope I'm not allergic to it.
    I think you should post the Thai curry recipe on here for EVERYone, and maybe we could all arrange a Thai curry night where we all make your lovely sounding tea on the same night.
    Lets see Dj's hair. I bet he looks lush :-)

    That's all for now.

    Thinking about you all, and sending you love and hugs as always

    Lisa xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Hey Lisa,
      No not writers block - just side effects again from the drug that doesn't give you any side effects...sigh...back at square one again :(

      LOL @ the boys and Bieber...Dj can't wait to get the new one out there and blast him some more..he really genuinely likes Tom and it's so great that they just gelled, just like the adults :) Perfect :)

      When I'm feeling better I'll sort out the Thai recipe, on here - as so many of you have asked for it now - LOL

      My daff's are looking great, more opening every day - thank you
      Much luv always xxXxx

  14. Hi Carole
    Another absorbing,heartwarming,and so honest post from you.
    Even the way way you admit to being grumpy with your husband!
    I love the way your youngest keeps on doing all his normal stuff,just proves what a fantastic Mum you are,with all you are having to endure.
    Warmest regards
    Mimi xxx

  15. Hi Mimi,

    I can't deny being a grumpy cow sometimes - I'm much less grumpy than I used to be funnily enough, but when I AM moody, Rab really gets it in the neck and he SO doesn't deserve it at all.

    Dj's doing well being Dj - keeping himself busy on either Minecraft, Roblox, his ipod or various ongoing school projects. As James has said 'the time for grieving isn't now, mum's still here' ...and I *am*, even though they keep pumping me full of things that don't agree with me at all - still here and still concentrating on getting better asap for as long as possible :)

  16. Just wanted to send you lots of love and a huge hug. Love Alice xxxxx

  17. Hi Carole,
    Still keeping my eyer on you!
    Hope that you start to feel a great deal better soon.
    Looking forward to catching up.

  18. Carole,
    Hope you're well.
    Sending you love and wishes for a nice weekend.

  19. Dear Carole - I just wanted to comment that I work for the Woodland Burial Park that you mention. Feel free to get in touch and I can arrange for a guided buggy tour around the park for you and your family. The woodlands are a beautiful place for those who want to feel connected in that way and with two beautiful ceremonial buildings we can make sure that when the time is right we can take care of your family and loved ones too. I wish you well on your brave journey. Our thoughts are with you. Contact me via the website if you need any more information.

  20. Hi Carole

    Just wondering how you are, worried about you as you've not blogged for a while. Sending hugs and love

    stef xxx

  21. Hoping everything is ok (well as ok as ok can be given the circumstances)as you've not blogged for a while.