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Saturday 23 March 2013

Thank you, Laura

For badgering me into this.  I love you.  Just saying.

Thursday 21 March 2013


Thanks to the wonderful Maggies Rescue for this.  They do such a fantastic job of rescuing dogs and cats from pounds and rehoming them.

It is not a totally stress free job

"Man, I forgot how perilous it can having a puppy in the house. Mark, I think we are out of toilet paper :("

Go on - give them a like on Facebook.  You know you want to.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

What is the world coming to?

(M and I wearing the same shoes in the same size!)

Via the wonderful Chevese Underhill Turner of BEDA

"Just heard that CBS is going to require all employees to get their weight, height, and BMI measured and reported to them by May. Those who don't will be penalized $600 ($50/month)." Here we go -- giving Corporations more opportunities to charge their employees in an effort help with their bottom line. THIS is exactly why the BMI thing is not a good idea.

BMI IS NOT A MEDICAL PROTOCOL.  It is a population screen.  It is an average.  It is a measure of area not volume.

Hey, CBS, I've got a great idea.  Have a look at this page.  Perhaps then you should start to fine all people with larger feet, as they are more likely to wear the carpets down.

Treatment Update

New chemotherapy regime, as the last one nearly killed me.  I was supposed to start on Friday and had the clippers all ready for tomorrow evening for this.  My drugs are prescription steroids and some pain  killers which worked on the pain and sent me to sleep, but gave me serious muscle twitches, which woke me up.  I "fell down a hole" 14 times in my sleep, waking me up rather abruptly.  They are now off my prescribed list!

I have opted for a different regime, a weekly dose, rather than one every three weeks.  My reasoning is that, if I am allergic to this lot too, the lower dose is less likely to kill me instantly.

So 9 long weeks of chemo, a week off and then a CT scan to see how we are doing.  Followed by another 9 weeks of the same.  Not sure I am entirely looking forward to it.This means that my chemo actually starts on Tuesday 26th March, rather than the day after tomorrow.

In the meantime, the steroids are making all the difference and I have begun to emerge from a pain filled hole and start to do some exercise (walking the dogs) and even managed to clear up the teenagers' rooms today.  ( I am normally a "Tip 8" person!).  Onwards and upwards.

Sunday 17 March 2013

Graham vs Nunn

For me, Nunn wins hands down.  Can I secretly confess this is partly because of his biography at the end which made me have overwhelming brain crush instantly?

Notes on contributors
Philip Graham is Emeritus Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Institute of Child Health London. He was Consultant Psychiatrist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London. His books include The end of adolescence, OUP, 2004; Child psychiatry: A developmental approach (jointly), 4th ed. OUP, 2005; and Cognitive behaviour therapy for children and families (Ed.) (jointly), 3rd ed. CUP, 2013.
Ken Nunn was a breach birth to unrelated parents in post-second world war Australia and, though a rather odd child, managed to do well at a small and very parochial country school on the eastern seaboard of New South Wales, Australia. He developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of slightly inaccurate information. He struggled at university as a medical student and found most things difficult to understand but, once learned, retained things well. He has always suspected that at least a third of his knowledge is out of date but he was has also been unsure which third it is. He enjoyed all aspects of medicine and never quite under- stood that doing psychiatry meant that he may be compromising a perfectly good medical career. He then did child psychiatry and found that he enjoyed talking with children and families and has continued to do this for the last thirty years. He has always found the psychiatric diagnostic systems very unsatisfying to utilise, even though he kept thinking of himself as a medical practitioner. For some years now, it has become clear that he can no longer discriminate between social problems, criminal problems and psychiatric problems and seems to fuse rather fuzzily the sad, mad, bad trichotomy in his conceptual schemas. He currently continues to work on the aetiology of a range of mental illnesses, including anorexia nervosa but mainly sees young people clinically in out-of-home care. He aspires to be helpful to his patients, comforting to their families, encouraging to his students and slightly irritating to his much-loved mentors. 

Friday 15 March 2013

Guilty Pleasures....

I thought I would look for a Friday video to cheer myself up.  Going into YouTube, it came up with a list of recommendations

Supersize vs Super-skinny (always comes up with that because of C&M)
Endless music videos (the girls!)

and then this:

Don't feel obliged to watch till the end - nothing funny happens.  I know.  I have watched it.  The secret life of HWISO (who is looking to buy a new load all for the farm....)

Thursday 14 March 2013

Nuclear PS

As a good friend has just pointed, by the end of Monday, I will truly be a




I have a very busy day on Monday.  I have to have an injection at 9.30 and then wait 4 hours before I have a bone scan.  After my bone scan, I have to go on to Oncology to see my friend, Dr Woodward.

The appointment letter for the bone scan comes from the Department of Nuclear Medicine.


Will I glow in the dark?

Tuesday 12 March 2013

The Upside

Bigger Boobs and a new hairstyle

A wonderfully humorous take on Breast Cancer.  A million thanks to Margaret for a good old belly laugh.

Friday 8 March 2013

Not a fan of CBT......

I belong to various groups on Linked In, some of which I participate in, some of which scare me but I love to read and some of which I generally ignore because they are full of s@$t.  Recently, I did notice that one group, whom I generally ignore, have been commenting a lot on this particularly good article from a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I would investigate.

In some ways, I wish I hadn't because it is full of, quite frankly, prehistoric guff and self-righteous indignation all rolled into pseudo-scientific justification - or as I like to call it, casting slurs on someone you have never met's parenting and then trying to defend the indefensible.  One of the loudest voices actually advertises herself thus:

My treatment approach is "object relations" which focuses on gaining insight into how we've internalized important people in our lives, and how we use food to deal (or not) with these people in our internal worlds

What the heck does that actually mean?

Anyway, the joy of this whole thing is that you do not have to be a member of Linked In to read this discussion.  You can Google:

Eating disorders in very young children: good piece on ABC news

or just follow this link.

What I am interested to know is:

  1. Do you think that the child's eating disorder had anything at all to do with her adoption?  
  2. Do you think the child's parents had something to do with her mean voice? 
  3. Does Stockholm Syndrome have anything to do with eating disorders?  
  4. Does psychoanalysis really deal with the unconscious?  
  5. Does psychoanalysis have any useful function in this day and age or is it so damaged by the blatant misuses and transgressions in the past, that it is a tainted therapy? 
  6. Is leaving the unconscious unattended damaging? (And what does that even mean?) 
  7. Does a 9 year old really communicate her defence against the loss of her biological parents through controlling her nurturing?
  8. Is anorexia a choice for a 9 year old?
  9. Is evidence based science a reductionist concept?
  10. Should we be relying on clinical observations to find an answer for eating disorders?
  11. Am I projecting my own issues on to this discussion?

Before answering these questions, it is well worth reading this because I like cherries....

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Should I write a best selling book on how to?

I knew that I had lost a bit of weight, so I got on the scales this morning (first time since Christmas) to discover that I had a lost a lot of weight.  A scary amount in a relatively short time.

To those of you whose immediate reaction is either "That's fantastic" or "Well Done", I have only one thing to say to you.

Sod Off

The longer version goes something along the lines of:

"My diet?  Oh, let's see.  Unbelievable stress, family upheavals, my mother dying, me having cancer, crappy self-care over the last 6 months, giving up the booze entirely, because it makes me nauseous (sob!), losing 100ml of blood and fluid every day into my shoulder drain, a major operation.  That about covers it."

Rapid weight loss is not something to be applauded or congratulated.  It is a sign of a physically or mentally unhealthy status.

And if anybody dares to even think "Lucky you, you can eat what you want", I always have.  I have never been on a diet and I have never not eaten something because it is "bad" for me.  I have maintained a weight that is within healthy parameters for my height for over 30 years now.

How's that for radical?

Monday 4 March 2013

Sometimes ...........

I wake up in the middle of the night because I am too hot, or my toes are sticking out of bed and have gone numb or I want a drink of water or the dogs are barking.  In those bleary seconds before I move, I forget I have cancer.  My life is simple, unremarkable, normal.

And then I move and the realisation that Life Sucks really hits me because it hurts to move and I instinctively use my right arm to throw off a blanket, full up the duvet, reach for a glass of water, turn on the light.

And my right arm hurts when I use it and there is now some tubing in it attached to a bulb and fluid draining out of it and the plaster which keeps the tube in place is over my scar which itches and in my armpit which means I can't wash properly and the tube is full of icky coloured stuff, which puts me off my breakfast (and lunch and supper!).

And quite frankly, this makes me all a bit snippy and cross.

I sometimes lie there wondering when I will die and what will happen if I do.  HWISO and I have had these conversations in the past, slightly jokingly.  Now, we have them in all seriousness.

"You are not to stay here" I say. "You have a tendency to shrineage and it will be impossible for another woman to live here after me.  It could be all a bit "Rebecca" like."

"But I don't want to get married again."

"You do, if you know what's good for you."


"Let's not talk about it."

I am not dying.  It is not terminal.  There is a lot of hope that I will recover and it will never reoccur.  This is a chronic condition, not a terminal disease.  For me.

For others, they have no choice.  That is why I support this campaign so very much.  Let's talk about dying and make sure your loved ones know what you want.

Dying matters.

Friday 1 March 2013

Two heroes under one roof

Firstly that lovely Professor Lask has launched a cool new publication:  Advances in Eating Disorders
Theory, Research and Practice

Secondly, Laura is in the first edition with her "Brain Disorder" presentation from ICED last year.

Suffused in warm glow.  Two of my fav people under one web address.