Les poissons en France

Monday, September 27, 2010


Whilst we are coming to terms with John's hospital regime we have a friend Irving staying with us. I knew him from my junior school days at Bovingdon so we go back a long way. When he arranged to come and see us we did not know that John was going to start his treatment, so I am sure that his stay has not been quite what he envisaged. However we have benefitted enormously. He has prepared the courtyard lawns for seed sowing, tidied the irises and the veg patch and he's still got 10 days left!!

However as usual here a funny thing happened whilst we were working in the potager the other day. I decided to turn the contents of one of the compost bins to check that it was ready to use. As I did so I felt something go up the leg of my trousers. Irving said I screamed the place down as I thought it was a snake, all be it a little one. Eventually the trousers had to come down but just a bit of earth fell out so I calmed down and continued working. After two or three minutes I could feel something again, so down with the trousers once more and out jumped a tiny little mouse. He was thoroughly traumatised, well wouldn't you have been, and froze for ages before eventually returning to the adjoining compost heap. Irving said he would not have believed me if he hadn't seen it.

I just have to show you my sweet potato crop. You will recall that I began growing them in my bedroom in January from a supermarket "potato". They have been eaten by furry wildlife all the time they have been in the potager, so quite honestly I did not expect to find anything in the ground when I dug them up. However.... hey presto I was delighted. Out will go King Edwards next year in favour of "les patates".

So Far ...so far

The marathon has started ... or so I have now realised!

We have gradually arrived at a fuller understanding of what will be involved in the treatment of my 'problem'. Those of you who know me well will appreciate that I like to understand exactly what is going on. So it has been exasperating that, everyday, it seems that I've been told something different. Before I went in to hospital, I'd been told that I'd have to stay in hospital overnight for the first intravenous injection. Then I went for an assessment prior to my admission and was told that I'd have to stay in for 3 days. Once I was actually in the hospital, this then became 4 days. Then having seen a specialist haemotologist, who is actually in control of my treatment, I was told that I'd have to stay in hospital at least 5 days for every 2 injections.
The problem seems to be that there is a failure of communications between the haemotologist who is controlling my treatment, and the Nephrology department, who are administering my treatment!
At the moment, I will have to have 4 intravenous injections of 'chemo' in conjunction with a large dose of steroids, over 2 weeks. Then I should have 2 weeks at home. So each cycle takes a month, and I will be having 9 cycles .... which takes us through to about next June!!!! My fear is that, once I'm fully in to the treatment I'm going to find that I won't be up to working in the house, and the thought of a 'wasted' 9 months is somewhat depressing. Still, no going back!
More news to come when we get told something different.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Autumn Harvest

Our latest visitors have coincided with a cooling off of the weather. Autumnal temperatures seem to have arrived a little earlier this year and we were concerned that we would have a frost last night! So Wendy and John gave us a hand harvesting; no point in losing the last of the vegetables for the sake of picking them early.

We perhaps were a little too worried because the temperature this morning is only 4 degrees so we've escaped the frost! I won't be getting out the thermal underwear just yet.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let Sleeping Cats Lie

I was shocked to see our two cats sleeping together out on the dining room terrace. They were soaking up the autumn warmth even though, as far as Diana is concerned, there are problems if they're breathing the same air!!!
Most of you know now that I'm finally going to start a course of treatment for my little medical problem. I'm off to Toulouse Hospital on Friday for an initial assessment, with a view to starting chemotherapy next week. Should be interesting.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Decorating Crew

The weather has cooled off a bit and we've both been able to consider pushing on with the new bedrooms. Sue suggested that we ought to paint the en-suite of bedroom 3 before I start laying the tiles (easier than having to clean paint off the tiles!)

Whilst she was rollering away, I've been continuing to fit plasterboards in bedroom 2.

I'm sure you can see the signs of the 'arty-farty' interior designer Anything to keep her happy!!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Busy Squirrel

Today we had our first 'proper' rain since the beginning of June ..... the gardener is delighted evenlthough it really is too late now. However, for some reason, our local squirrel decided that it was a good day to start collecting walnuts!

'He' spent most of the day coming down from our tree alley, across the rear courtyard, over the wall into JJ and Nadine's and off, we think, to John and Lesley's garden where there is a walnut tree. We think that's where he's going as it's the only walnut tree in the vicinity. Certainly, it's walnuts he's after as he does the return journey with a walnut in his mouth!

PS I had a phone call from my doctor this afternoon saying that I should expect a call from Toulouse hospital. It seems that they've finally sorted out what my problem is, (very rare), but they are ready to start a course of treatment. We'll see when we get the call!!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

More Help

September is turning into a busy month. We've got our friends Paul and Jennifer staying with us for a few days and they'd like to help us, although we're quite happy to relax with them! However, we have used their services in the evenings to water, especially as we're watering JJ and Nadine's garden as well as our own whilst they've gone off for a holiday.

Paul has also been useful in the kitchen .... opening bottles!!