Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 What a year!

This has been probably the most memorable year ever for me. It wont just be remembered for the cancer either. Some positive things can happen from negative experiences. I reckon I have experienced more in this year than any other. I am not going to lie though its been exhausting! Would I do so much again? Maybe not!

Lets start with the positives.

Hubby came home to live for a year.

We had our dream holiday to "San Francisco" (a week before diagnosis as I was expecting the worse)

We started a new business restoring Vintage Caravans

My eldest joined the Army, her dream job

My eldest passed her driving test and bought her own car

I ran my first 10km race

Hubby donated stem cells for "Anthony Nolan"

We had two brilliant short breaks in London

My youngest passed all her GCSE's even with all the crap going on around her

Started to embrace the whole vintage era

Had my first theatre experience

Learnt to sew using a sewing machine

Started my blog and made some fab new friends

Acquired a rather big workshop with tons of potential

I finally booked my first Skiing holiday which is only a few weeks away

I learnt to stop being so uptight, life is too short to worry about everything

Went to my first festival and loved it!

Oh yeah nearly forgot came through the cancer treatment

Not so good things!

Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Lost one of our dogs

Had two vehicles written of neither of which was our fault

Trying to run a business with a serious illness, not easy!

Do you know what, I can hardly think of anything bad that has happened. Looking at the list there are far more positives and it actually has been quite a fab year. Due to taking a bit of a back seat with work I spent more time with friends and loved it. 

If I have learnt anything this year it will be to have more fun, learn something new at every opportunity and not take life so seriously.

I am looking forward to next year and what it will bring.


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

My Vintage Christmas

I feel like I am beginning to find my Christmas spirit. I have found this lovely Vintage Xmas music which I have downloaded. I really do recommend it if you love Vintage, there is no comparison to the modern Xmas songs

This week has been very eventful for family and friends. My new baby nephew was born yesterday although it was nearly 2 months too soon. Sadly he is spending his first Xmas in hospital but he is fine otherwise. One of my best friends got engaged, congratulation Su and Paul. Finally another friend got her hubby home from Afghanistan today just in time for Xmas. 

I have watched two Xmas movies with a few more planned before the big day.

I have quite a busy week with work and social gatherings. Thankfully Xmas Eve is free to chill. 

This is a vintage cake carrier from the 1950's. Its from America and has taken ages to arrive. It took so long the seller actually gave me my money back. It was in a bit of a state, it needed a really good scrub. Its perfect for my homemade Xmas cake which I did not make but a lovely lady in Grimsby did, thanks Barbara.

We visited some special friends this weekend and my friend Jayne gave me a gift from my Fave shop ever. The Vintage shop in Shrewsbury is full of authentic items its so cool. She bought me these 4 authentic "Babycham glasses". They are so cute I love them. I know I am off alcohol due to my medication but I am going to make an exception just for these glasses.

Have a Happy Christmas everyone, hope its a special one.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

December blues

For months I have been saying How much I am looking forward to this Christmas and New Year. I really wanted to put this year behind me. December so far has been a really tough month. There is so much pressure for us all to be happy at this time of year and forget all the bad things. How exactly are you supposed to do that? I really want to have a fab Xmas for the sake of my girls. Its incredible but in the space of one week it has been brought to my attention that three young ladies with Breast Cancer have secondary Breast Cancer or recurrence. How crap is that? You try your hardest to escape from this Breast Cancer bubble but there are constant reminders everywhere pulling you back in. 

I know this is not like me to write like this. My intention is not to dampen everyone else's holiday spirit, I just wanted to be honest about how I am feeling. I am on new medication too which does not seem to be agreeing with me. I have spent the weekend on the sofa. I lie my hubby did take me to a cafe for lunch yesterday where I just played with my food as I do not seem to have an appetite. 

I think I have been a bit to optimistic really about this year. Maybe now I have got it off my chest my mood will improve. 

Monday, 5 December 2011

Its Christmas time.

We returned to London for 3 days last week for Darren to carry out the stem cell retrieval. Everything went really well and the quality produced was of a really high standard. The recipient will have had the transplant by now so fingers crossed.

London was great again but I was happy to come home after 3 days. I do love to visit towns and city's but I love coming home to the peace and quiet. My hubby wanted to visit the Natural History Museum and I was quite happy to go along with him. The first hour was great but after 3 hours I was losing the will to live. For me it was information overload. I know hubby could off spent several more hours there but he left to keep me happy. I know that sounds mean of me but its just not my thing.

The decorations are up, I just love this time of year. This is my small tree I have in my hallway which has only vintage baubles on. There are fairy lights coming out of every plug socket, not looking forward to my electric bill next month. 

I have been very crafty today and made homemade crackers (the pulling kind not the biscuit). I had a little help from my cat Guinness who is actually more of a hindrance but he was to cute to move. He managed to throw most of the stuff on the floor which my dog thought would be a good idea to eat.

I have been spoiling myself again, I could not resist these two cute items. I know they will not be every ones taste but I love them.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Some presents for me.

Had a brilliant long weekend away at a friends wedding. It is so good to catch up with mates. 
As we were in Yorkshire we decided to visit a little town called "Holmfirth" you may know it from the TV series "Last of the Summer Wine". Its a really pretty old town,  there were some lovely little shops and I did manage to buy myself some little pressies.

The cushions below were from a little vintage shop. I love the colours and the pattern. There is so much detail on them, not sure where they will go but I had to have them.

More roses (can't resist)

A cute little vintage style jug.

I have also bought a few original vintage pieces recently. Our linen basket was disintegrating to the point it was no longer a basket. I decided to buy a "Lloyd Loom" original one to replace it. I was looking for a while until I found a really unique one with a domed top. It is slightly smaller than our old one but a lot prettier. I will probably take it to the workshop soon and paint it again, although it is in great condition.

Finally my Xmas vintage buy was a box of 1960's baubles. They are so pretty, Can't wait to put the tree up and all the decorations.

My vintage piece from America still has not arrived, hopefully some time this week.

Friday, 18 November 2011

End of one chapter, start of a new one.

I saw my Oncologist this week and the good news is I start monthly injections to put my ovaries to sleep for a few years. It was not that straight forward with him though, I had to prove to him that it would benefit me. I know he would of agreed to the treatment but he just wanted to make sure I understood  what I would be taking on. I am so relieved, just thinking that some time soon I will be pain free, it is so exciting. I shall deal with the menopause issues as I go along, who knows I may sail through it, my mum did apparently. This will hopefully cut back on hospital visits, I am hoping soon it will be just one trip a year for a mammogram.

Its has been an uplifting week for me all round, yesterday I ended my counselling sessions as I am in a good place now. I had 6 sessions as I felt a few months ago I was not coping well. It is amazing the difference now, its like a chapter of my life is done with. I have done my grieving, I have talked everything through, I am happy now. We did not even finish the last session as I did not think there was anything left to say.

Darren my husband who had been selected to donate his bone marrow passed the last and final stage. This now means he starts his treatment next week to grow his Stem Cell's for transplantation in 10 days time. Its great news, so we are back off to London for 3 days. It will not be as hectic as last week though as he will be very tired. It may be that he just wants to rest in the hotel, which is absolutely fine. That is one of the reasons we did so much last week. Maybe I will go off on my own Xmas shopping and let him rest.

I am spending this weekend with some of my Best friends at a wedding, I am really looking forward to it. I am going to have some fun with a bit of glamour.

I have some more vintage finds that I shall post next week. One is on the way from America, it will hopefully arrive in the next few days.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

London was Fab!

Before I talk about London I want to say thanks for all the comments left on my last post about the menopause. Hearing other women's experiences is helping me to make the right choice.

We returned home last night from London after 2 brilliant days. I am not going to forget about the reason we were visiting because that is really important, but it was fun. 

I really don't like using OMG to describe a situation but that is exactly what I thought when we went to to hospital in London. Its a very posh private hospital, not like anything I've ever stayed in or will ever I am sure of that. The security guards wear suits as do the waiters, who bring your food and drink on silver trays. Its was so clean and brand new. I have paid to go private, I still had the same hospital ward, same nurses, same food I just went up the list a lot quicker. This was on a completely different level. Anyway the medical went well and hubby had a lot of blood taken out of him. We wait now to find out if he goes ahead with the stem cell transplant in 2 weeks. The sad thing is that the recipient has only got a 10% chance of survival at the moment, hopefully the transplant will take him to a 50/50 chance.

London was amazing, it has become a great city. "Blood Brothers" the musical was amazing and Marti Pellow is very sultry and sexy in it. It's a very emotional drama, I really do recommend it. 

The Country Living show was great as usual. I did come out of there with lots of bags with lots of pretty things inside them. I cannot show everything because some are gifts for xmas. It was nice to see some Vintage stalls this year selling unique pieces. I can't lie though and say its a pleasant experience shopping in the show. There is a lot of pushing and shoving, it gets hot and frustrating especially around the popular stalls. There are lots of people crammed into a small space but I really think its worth it.

The wine carrier is new as is the vase and the gorgeous roses which are not real. I cannot resist really good artificial roses, it is my weakness.

A gorgeous vintage roasting tin for £5. I already have one but could not resist.

A 1950's original sugar dispenser.

A cutlery caddy for my vintage cutlery.

Finally these 2 handmade wooden stockings. 

I have also been busy pickling as we are all pickled onion nuts in this house. 

Some of the jars on the dresser.

And more in the kitchen. I have nearly 20 jars in total and some are very large jars. We are all on countdown with 3 weeks remaining till we can start eating them. Can't wait!

Friday, 4 November 2011

A small setback.

I know I have not mentioned the cancer for a while, that is because I do not have cancer anymore. It took at least 2 month after radiotherapy for my energy to return. So all in all everything has been going as planned. There has been changes though in the last few months which are not life threatening but a big problem for day to day living. 

The reason I was diagnosed was because I was having long term treatment for breast cysts, my surgeon told me after diagnosis that the good thing to come out of all this is that Tamoxifen (breast cancer drug) would stop the cysts. For the first 3 months it was fantastic, no lumps or pain. Unfortunately that did not last and they have started to return but actually a lot more painful. I was scanned by my surgeon yesterday who found the cysts and tried to syringe some without any luck as they are to deep. The syringing and examination were very painful and I did cry. I think the nurse and doctor were surprised at how much pain I was in by just touching. My breast nurse was lovely and said we know your not a wimp Clare we can see how bad this for you. The reason why my damaged breast is so painful is the cysts are growing in the scar tissue and muscle, which is affecting my movement.

So an appointment has been made to see my Oncologist again to make some changes. I have 2 options, have my ovaries removed or change the drugs and have injections in my stomach. Both will put me in the menopause but going down the drug induced road it can be reversed one day at the end of all this. I will become pain free so there is no doubt I will be doing one or the other. I personally do not want to do either option, but because of the cancer I have no choice, it is my only protection from cancer returning. I have a couple of weeks to do my research and figure out which choice is going to be best for me. I am fed up, I am tired, I just want some normality.

Friday, 28 October 2011

I am off to the show.

This year through pure fluke I am able to visit the show again. I visited 3 years ago and loved it. It must be the same feeling a child gets when they walk through the gates of Disney Land. I did look months ago about getting down to London to visit and it was to complicated and expensive, but things have changed now. 

My hubby and I have been on the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow donor for over 10 years with very little activity. Hubby has now been matched a donor after a summer of lots of blood testing. We are both off to London to start the first part of the process while the show is on. Due to the fact you cannot get to London and back in a day from our home we are staying in a hotel. I cannot believe the coincidence of it all. I also booked 2 tickets last night to go see "Blood Brothers" as I never been to a London show and Blood Brothers has fantastic reviews.

I am really proud of hubby for what he is doing, he dose not see what the big deal is but I think that's because he's a bloke. I was informed sadly yesterday that I have to come off the register due to having cancer. He will not get to meet the recipient or find out how the actual transplant went, we just have to hope it works.

Monday, 17 October 2011


I just wanted to show some photo's my daughter took for a project she is doing in 6th form. She is only 16, I think they are pretty amazing.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Vintage workshop is ready

The new lock up is now ready, its been hard work but I am really happy with it. It is now a space I can definitely work in.

This is actually one of the pieces of furniture I bought to do up but it looks good in the kitchen so after a paint job it might stay. It has the original spice jars too, thats what the red knobs are.

Even the kitchen cupboard got a make over.

Refurbished table and chairs

The only reason I am showing the toilet is to show my new purchase which is a vintage hand towel rail which I think is perfect for the age of the building.

Another dresser from the 30's which need some TLC.

Hand made  by myself lined curtains to hide an ugly corridor.

There is plenty to do as one of the caravan interiors is nearly ready so I have lots of curtains and cushions to make. Its so handy though because the caravans are in the next room. 

I wasn't going to show you my hubby's games room which is also linked through another door but we have put a lot of hard work into it so I will just this once. Its for Warhammer and war gaming which I know nothing about or ever wish to for that matter.

Me and our friend Paul enjoying drinks at last nights opening.

All the chairs were bought from an auction. We then painted and recovered them all to match the red and black theme.

So all in all its pretty perfect and only 500 yards from our home.