19 September 2013


My lovely stepdaughter is getting married in November, in Australia, and it’s really sad that her father is unable to attend because of ill health. So what we've done is to give Rosanne a wedding present that we can all enjoy. A video, professionally done, of the whole occasion, the wedding and the reception. I just know we'll be choked up when we see it.

Without going into too much detail, I’ll just touch on the various appointments with doctors and hospitals. After one of the yearly ‘well man’ blood checks our local doctor was worried about Joe’s kidneys, and that led to numerous hospital appointments and the discovery of a cancerous tumour on the bladder. A failed attempt was made to fit a stent to move it away from the kidney and another one was planned.

In the meantime an emergency visit was made to our surgery where we were seen by a new-to-us doctor, Dr Begum, believed to be a locum. Dr Begum, a lady of Asian [presumed] descent, was apparently a former surgeon. Since then she has telephoned twice to see how Joe is and to offer assistance in the form of explanation about what goes on inside the body and what the operation attempts to achieve. Bearing in mind she is not the doctor we are registered with, I think it was very kind of her to take time out of a busy schedule to check on Joe’s welfare.

So the BIG C hits home. Not something you plan for under normal circumstances, is it? However, whilst Joe is not overjoyed at the news he is being level headed about it and I know that as reality sinks in he will face it and the future optimistically. There are two choices on which medical route to take, surgery or chemo plus radiotherapy. Both were fully explained so make a decision easier. At the moment we’re thinking about surgery, since there is a chance the cancer will grow again after radiotherapy. However, the final choice may well be influenced by the outcome of the next scan (known as nuclear medicine). It’s definitely a wait-and-see game. 

Right now Joe is back in hospital having had an operation to fit a new stent. Please God this works.
View from the ward window
View from Joe's bed
Needless to say my blogging time is limited. However, Joe and I are indulging in the good wishes of friends. My heart overflows with all the kindness, concern and encouraging words.


To give me something to do while spending so much time at home I’ve been sorting out all my writing and getting it printed. Yes, I’m having everything turned into books by a great printing firm I found on-line. Not overly expensive, either. It was something I had wanted to do for years to pass on to the family.

 I’m half way through the operation and enjoying it immensely. Several copies of each book have been ordered and I’m donating one of each to the WI to raise funds. We have an auction coming up soon so it will be interesting to see if there are any bids! I’m actually enjoying this more than when I put stuff on Kindle, and the print is more accurate than Kindle manages to achieve. I get the layout I want, and spaces and indentations where I want them, instead of submitting it correctly and having Kindle change it to their way of doing things.

I get rather frustrated when I read downloaded books and find so many large gaps between paragraphs and layouts that I’m pretty sure are not the fault of the author. Gone are the days when publishers edited our work before printing but since we can’t get them interested in the first place I guess we have to put up with second best. It’s a tough world!

Will visit you all as soon as I can.... you can bet on that. Hugs to you all.


  1. I wish you and your husband the best and hope that everything will be fine.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  2. You say 'Needless to say my blogging time is limited' yet you have found the time in this stressful period to post a comment on my weblog - thank you very much for your kindness. You deserve to have the best outcome for Joe's and your future.

  3. I wish you and Joe the best too, Val. That's a tough deal you're going through. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. Your book-making project is a terrific idea.

  4. ((((( Valerie )))))))
    Forgive me--I swore when I read this. I don't like cancer, but I doubt anyone does. I'm going to hope and pray it's the non-invasive kind and that it was caught early. I do know the advancements in treating cancers is phenomenal--so I have great hope there's a treatment that'll work for Joe.
    Give him our regards and let him know he's being thought about and prayed for.
    And you--(yes, I know it's a crazy time) just be sure to take care of you.
    How cool that you're printing books...and how cool that a video is an option! (Seriously, you know someone could hook him up live to watch the ceremony, yes? Not sure what program is used, but it's entirely possible.)

  5. " A video, professionally done, of the whole occasion, the wedding and the reception."

    Oh Valerie, what a perfectly beautiful wedding present to give your daughter. This way, she'll have the day captured on film and then so will you and Joe.

    Thank you for sharing the update about Joe. And just know that I am sharing MUCH love, prayers, light, and good energy with both Joe AND you. It sounds like the two of you are walking through this with a wonderful attitude - taking one day at a time.

    Glad to hear that you're using this time for getting your books published. That's AWESOME!

    You take care, dear lady. And know that you are LOVED and thought of a lot!

    (((((((( You )))))))

    X to you and Joe!

  6. Thank you so much, Mersad. We can only pray a lot and take things as they come. Eventually, if all goes well, Joe will be able to lead a reasonably normal life.

  7. Elliot, I found the time because I was between hospital visits and needed to keep my mind occupied.

  8. Thank you, Mona. I'm trying to keep the spirits up by doing something useful.

  9. Thank you, Mel. There is a treatment which guarantees a reasonably normal life afterwards, but it means cutting out some vital parts and wearing a colostomy bag for evermore. I told him today that our blogging friends are thinking about him.

    We thought of the webcam idea but Australia's day is the middle of our night so daughter discounted it. A video means we can watch and rewatch whenever we want to.

  10. Ron, I read the comments to Joe this afternoon. He was really moved by all the good wishes. I'm keeping some of them for myself. I'm glad his attitude is the way it is, it makes it so much easier for HIM as well as me. Thank you again for your care and concern and all those very welcome vibes xx

  11. Sending more hugs and healing thoughts your way. It must be so difficult what you are going through right now. But keep thinking positive, healing thoughts. The power of positive thinking is real and it works.

    If you are in need of some inspiration, may I suggest reading Norman Cousin's or Bernie Siegal's books. Bernie's in particular helped me so much when I was going through a difficult time years ago, due to stress. He even wrote me a letter in reply to mine, I was so touched.

    Take care, thinking good thoughts and sending them across the miles. :<)

  12. PS: Oh, sorry forgot to mention, the video idea is brilliant and best of luck with the book project, sounds great!

  13. keeping you both in our thoughts and prayers as you make this decision on how to move forward...hard stuff val...hang in there...


  14. Here's wishing Joe the best! We're sending you both good vibes from California. And please be sure to tell him that the slit in the hospital gown goes on the back, not the front. ;-)

  15. Geraldine, thank you so much for your kind thoughts and suggestions. How lovely that you received a letter from Bernie Siegal. At times like this I am thankful that I am quite a practical person. It helps to be that way.

  16. Oh Val, I'm so sorry to hear this. The Big C has affected one of my oldest friends this year and I'm all to familiar with the battles that await Joe. Sending positive thoughts your way and wishing you guys nothing but the best. Take care Val.

  17. Big hug from me with all the good thoughts and healing energies in the world heading your way.

  18. Dear Valerie, Just back from my mini-break to hear Joe's diagnosis. I am sending prayers up, that all will go well for him and you. Be strong and take care of yourself as well. Modern medicine can work wonders as well.

  19. alerie, I am sorry I missed this post when it first came out. I wish Joe all the very best for a quick and complete recovery. I know that in reality nobody can say much that is of enormous use but perhaps it helps to know that people out there really are rooting for him - and you. The book project is a great idea!

  20. I am so sorry to hear about Joe's health problems Valerie, please God the stent will work and if not I hope the surgery will. I have everything crossed for him and will remember him when I'm sending Reiki and positive thoughts. What a shame you and Jo can't go to the wedding but your gift of the video of the day is a fabulous idea! I love what you are doing with your writings, a few years ago I managed to publish my father's biography of his Mother on Lulu. and his delight on seeing it in print was worth it's weight in gold, I'm sure your family will appreciate your efforts. xx

  21. Aaw thank you, Pearl. I appreciate your kind words. It's not an easy time right now, but I am managing a post a week with updates on Joe's condition. I take it you've been on your travels again?

  22. Val, I'm so sorry to read the news of Joe's condition. Gosh, I really have been away too long, didn't realize you have been going through this.

    What a nice gift for your step daughter, and the next best thing to being there. I'm sure it will be a lovely video.
    Congrats on the published works!

  23. Mary, once the wedding is over I shall eagerly await the video. Yes, I was thrilled about the books.


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