A week for celebrating!


Alison and Colin on their anniversaryI thought I'd start this week's blog with some wonderful news, which is all thanks to YOU :) 

Apparently we have sold close to 1,000 of the 'I Hope' pendants before you even see it for real on screen next Wednesday! Incredible! I can't begin to tell you how much this means to me.

That's a lot of money raised already for Breast Cancer Care, and I hope that for all those of you who have placed your order, it will be a piece of jewellery that you can personalise to deliver your own message of hope…

Infact so successful has it been, that I believe QVC are considering ordering more stock! How heartwarming is that? :) Thank you, truly…

I have bought a beautiful evening dress for our special three hour show next Wednesday. Charlie and I had a good old chin wag (after our Diamonique finale) about the day itself, and how pleased we are to be working together along with many of our friends on the 16th :) 

In fact, it's been very much a week of celebration. Following on from QVC's 20th birthday I was invited up to Liverpool by the 'This Morning' programme, to help them celebrate 25 years!

Alison with Lesley Ebbets, and Liz and Andrew CollingeIt was 1994 that I first presented the show, and then me and my ex, Stephen, continued to cover for Richard and Judy over the following four years. More than 100 shows in total, and one that I presented entirely on my own! Nerve-racking or what?! πŸ™‚

The lovely Lesley Ebbetts (founder of our fashion range 'With Sleeves') was also invited, and so we travelled up together. 

She was involved in the show from day one, and as some of you may already know, she styled/dressed me for the entire time I presented for Granada TV. 

Alison with Keith LemonShe apparently was shown my original audition tape, and was told 'now you see why we need your help!'… a little uncharitable maybe, but in truth my outfit that day consisted of a bright red jumper, luridly patterned leggings and a pair of boots! EEEK!

Lesley, of course, worked her magic, and along with Mondi, Chanel, Armani and many other INCREDIBLY expensive labels I was dressed to impress… good times :) 

We both stayed overnight in Chester and were then driven to the dock where we were met by Dr.Chris Steele, Denise Roberts, Keith Lemon (where did he get HIS suit from?!!) Phil and Holly, and of course Richard and Judy. 


Alison with Richard and JudyI had in fact only ever met R & J twice before as we were always there when they were absent, so it was really good to have a decent amount of time to catch up. I thought you might like this photo for posterity :) 

For those of you who caught the end of the show, I was there waving along with the other guests, and a huge number of delightful Liverpudlians who had taken the time out to join us on the dock. 

We had actually been taken from the Green Room above the studio, down an incredibly steep staircase (I know as I had Marta Johnson's very high heels on!) and then randomly led out onto the dock through a fish and chip shop – only in Liverpool eh? πŸ™‚

It was great fun though and the highlight for me was very briefly meeting Gino D'Acampo. I think he is delightful, and have really been enjoying his Italian cookery show that is currently on BBC 1. 

I also spent some time with the charming hair stylist Andrew Collinge and his wife Liz. Many years before I ever presented 'This Morning', I won a makeover on the show.

They did a cracking job in transforming me from a very boringly attired radio presenter to a somewhat glammed up mother of three.

This Morning cakeSomething you won't have seen on screen though is this incredible cake which was made for the team on 'This Morning'! All of the presenters made out of icing! 

I have to be honest and admit that although it was a lovely day, it was for me tinged slightly with sadness. 

All those years ago I had been happily married, Jack was just a year old, Lucy and Sam were dear little souls, and I was working in a job I'd never believed I'd get…

Incredible how much can change over the ensuing years.  That said, I wouldn't go back, life is all about moving forwards, however difficult that may be at times. 

And of course, if things hadn't have changed I wouldn't have met Colin, and we had reason to celebrate at the weekend, in the picture at the top, because it's been seven years since we met! πŸ™‚

The hotelWe have, in the past, marked the occasion by staying away in a lovely hotel in Cobham, but this year Colin chose a fabulous place very near Dorking, Surrey, which, as you can see, was huge! The sun shone, and we made the most of it by taking a walk in the grounds, and then had a lovely meal in the evening.

The following day, he had booked a tour of the Denbie Vineyard – one of England's largest and most successful – and again the sun shone and gave us fabulous views over the endless stretches of vines….and yes we did buy a few bottles of the delicious wine – would have been rude not to! 

Vines at the hotelWe had lunch with my dear friend Jo on the way home, and then it was back to work for Diamonique Day! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did… Seriously some of the most beautiful pieces of jewellery, and I was dead chuffed with the watch I'd helped design.

Well, I have a few days off now, and intend to tidy up the garden before the weather changes. I very much enjoyed reading all your comments over the last week or so, although some have made me realise just how incredibly difficult life is for you at times.

I am so glad that this blog has grown sufficiently for us all to provide an element of support to each other, and hope that you will continue to write and keep me in touch with all that's happening. 

I also hope that you will free up your evening between 6pm and 9pm on the 16th October and join me at QVC for what is, I am certain, going to be the biggest and best ever Breast Cancer Care, Be Aware Show you Care show. 

It's wonderful that you can be a part of it all.

With love,

Ali xx


  1. Karen Sanders October 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I have never posted before but wanted to let you know I am one of the 1000 who bought an ‘I Hope’ pendant – it looks beautiful and I can’t wait to wear it.
    I hope I will continue to remain cancer free, I know there are no certainties with this disease so everything is crossed.
    I enjoy reading your updates and am pleased you remain so well, you are an inspiration.
    Thank you for sharing and always being so honest..
    Many best wishes
    Karen x

  2. Julie October 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Wonderful news about the pendant and will definitely be watching next Wednesday.
    I actually saw you last week on This Morning. I was watching it with Lily. I said to her “that’s the lady I email”. To which she replied ” I know it’s the lady with the red dress on, is she coming to your house to see you?” I bumped into Richard Madeley a couple of years ago in Cornwall-literally! I was carrying an umbrella and nearly took his eye out with it!!
    I will message you this weekend to keep you updated.
    Happy Birthday to Lucy-I always remember it as it is our Wedding Anniversary too.
    Take care as always
    Julie xx Lily xxx

  3. Alpa October 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Just replied on your last blog yesterday. You have spoilt us with another blog and lovely photos πŸ™‚ I’m so chuffed about your pendant selling so well and raising money and thank you for designing something so beautiful.
    I did laugh at the description of your outfit in your original audition tape. I am sure your jumper was not that lurid and you looked fab all the same. I’m sorry your lovely ‘This Morning’ celebration was tinged slightly by sadness. It would be hard for it not to be I think. I’m glad that after all you have been through, you now have Colin with you, and a beautiful home for many happy memories together. I love the look of the hotel Colin chose and thank you for sharing the vineyard with us πŸ™‚
    I think you have many wonderful qualities. A few that come to mind are your unfailing kindness, love for your friends and family and your appreciation of life no matter what happens.
    Winter seems to have started today so I hope you are not too cold in your garden! Hope all goes well with results for the lung scan/capacity checks.
    Take care and as always, thank you.
    Lots of Love,
    Alpa xxx

  4. Mandy October 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I always, always read your blogs and as many others have said you are such a warm hearted lady who comes across as being every ones best friend. I have read all your blogs before, during and after your cancer treatment and it all touched me dearly. I have preordered your ‘I hope’ pendant, as the words mean a lot to me. Not because of breast cancer or illness, which I am forever grateful for, but for the fact that this past year I have been through separation and divorce, losing my home and having to start all over again after 26 years of marriage and during all that time I did ‘hope’ and thankfully I now have the most amazing life and gorgeous gorgeous man. I hope you keep your wonderful blogs coming as I look forward to reading them. You deserve high praise indeed for your courage and the hope you give to others with your words.
    Love Mandy xx

  5. Tricia Coulson-wood October 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm -  Reply

    hello Ali, As I am reading all the blogs hoping that every one has good news to report with regard to their health. I am giving strong vibes to my daughter Jan who is having her post chemo CT scan at this very moment. I can’t explain why reading your blogs gives me the feeling that the Ali’s army are giving each and every one of us strength in coming together this way.I wish everyone all the love I can muster, Tricia x

  6. susan October 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    That’s a really beautiful blog. Always is but this is even nicer. I don’t know where to start! It’s been a lovely time of it recently for you and I’m so pleased. So firstly your anniversary with Colin..lovely. You’re a lovely couple. And as you say yes life throws sad curveballs but you wouldn’t have met otherwise. I hope ‘the kids’ are doing ok btw? I bet the reunion at This Morning was fun..great bunch of people. Didn’t see anything as working but love the show when I do see it. Fabulous cake!!
    Keep well and yes be watching on BCC x

  7. Judith Lennon October 11, 2013 at 8:56 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Such a lovely blog from you again! What a lovely picture of you both – you look so happy. What a week of celebrating you had. It must have been really nice for you to catch up with the many people from your working life. I know the Albert Dock well as Liverpool is my birthplace although we haven’t lived there for over 30 years due to re-locatation with my husbands job to the North East. Liverpool has changed so much now since we last visited. My family have been celebrating also as our new grandchild is here!! She arrived in the world in a great rush to the surprise of her mummy and even more to her Daddy who delivered her at home whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive!!!!!! We are so proud of have another beautiful grand daughter. Everyone is well and beginning to cope with the hectic routine that babies seem to bring. Glad to hear you enjoyed your break away from the busy work life. I hope you managed to complete your task in the garden…. Mine has been battered by the wind and rain this week and doesn’t look anything like the beautiful garden we had in the summer. Never mind there’s always next year to look forward to. Look forward to next Wednesday and hope it raises tons of money for the charity. Take care and speak soon.
    Love and hugs Judith xx

  8. Sue Radford October 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Great news that the ‘I Hope’ pendant is doing so well!
    Didn’t see you on the THIS MORNING reunion, so thank you for posting the photographs. I remember you hosting THIS MORNING and always enjoyed your shows. I’m sorry you felt a tinge of sadness at the reunion, but after all you’ve gone through, so glad all has turned out well for you and you now have Colin to share happy times with. I get those ‘tinge of sadness’ feelings when I go on holiday to the places I spent time with my brother and parents – it’s a strange sort of feeling isn’t it? Life goes on regardless of what life throws at us, but thank goodness there are many good times to look back on too.
    Glad you enjoyed your lovely break with Colin – can’t believe you’ve been together 7 years – time flies!
    Best wishes as always to all of Ali’s Army.
    Take care,
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  9. Sue Radford October 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi again Ali, (forgot to mention this in my last message)
    Congratulations to you and your sister being able to play the flute.
    One of the things I regret most in life is not learning to play a musical instrument. I know that it’s never too late to learn, but I’m afraid for me it is as I just wouldn’t have the patience now! My pen pal has made a career of it, playing at weddings and special functions. It’s true when they say you’ll never be poor if you can play a musical instrument – it’s definitely true in the case of my pen pal anyway! Glad you enjoyed listening to her.
    Bye again,
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  10. Alison Keenan October 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    My dear Karen, I truly hope that is the case too, and a,m really glad that you, like I , will wear the pendant to enforce that hope :). Please do keep in touch, and stay well, love Ali x

  11. Alison Keenan October 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Julie, your Lily is bright as a button eh?! πŸ™‚ fancy her recognising me! Judy told me they have a house on Cornwall, but how funny to literally bump into Richard. I do hope that you and your husband have a wonderful wedding anniversary tomorrow night. Sadly I’m working so can’t see Lucy but its all planned for next week πŸ™‚ thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  12. Alison Keenan October 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm -  Reply

    Dear Tricia, I am keeping everything crossed, along with everyone else in The Amy that the chemo will have don it’s job and your Jan will be better. Please do keep us in touch, and sending you much love too πŸ™‚ Ali xx

  13. Alison Keenan October 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm -  Reply

    Alpa your lovely comments have made me smile, and it is truly kind of you to take the time out to write them. The scan was ok altho left me seeing stars for a bit, and results will be in a week or so… Can’t think anything worse than needing an inhaler, so that’s good. Got the garden sorted but it’s now completely covered in leaves, so by autumnal here today. Take care, and do keep in touch and thank you for your constant support, with love, Ali xx

  14. edna munro October 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Yet another great blog.Years do pass very quickly and it is really nice to look back on happy times.Unfortunately we all go through hard and sad times too.Your photos are lovely and as you say about meeting Colin,I truly believe after sadness we are ‘placed’ either near to or with people who become special in our lives,or ‘placed’ in new surroundings to give us a chance at a fresh start in life.I hope the future is bright for you and all your family.Your positive
    and determined nature I am sure has helped you through so much.Birthday bash was great!I have been with QVC from day one and watched various people come and go but strangely recent changes have seemed enormous.So many people coming and going for all sorts of reasons.Some sad and some hopefully good.Looking forward to Cancer Care show.Good luck to all and hope much money is raised for this excellent cause.
    Love,Edna x

  15. Rhona Fenton October 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison and a big congratulations with your necklace that is amazing news about it and all the sales but I didn’t expect anything less and here’s to a lot more sales πŸ™‚ as for your watch wow! now you know me and my watches just ask suzi I have plenty off her’s πŸ™‚ loved the silver one but sadly I missed it!! my fault should have been faster should have known better on how fast things sell out πŸ™ really enjoyed your story and I remember you on this morning shows at that time with your ex, but as you say reason for everything as you now have your lovely colin πŸ™‚ so glad you both had a lovely time celebrating your 7 years together and here’s to many more!! I will be with you all on Wednesday as never miss it and here’s to a lot off money being raised!! can’t wait to see your dress, its so exciting like waiting to go over live to LA and the Red carpet see what everyone is wearing as you will be as beautiful as ever! love to you, colin and the family as always Rhona xx

  16. susan October 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, just had to say how funky and beautiful is suzi Adams!? I love her clothes. Just watching bit of northern nights so prompted me to say that. Hope you had a nice weekend. Oh PS I love keith’s jacket lol! X

  17. Cath October 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I tweeted you recently to say I had bought a pendant. You were kind enough to wish me good health – but ‘I hope’ that my dad will return to good health soon. He was diagnosed with myeloma (plasma blood cell cancer) at the end of August and is currently undergoing chemo.
    I didn’t want to tweet that as I hope you’ll understand.
    Much love and hope you are keeping well,
    Catherine x

  18. margaret hall October 14, 2013 at 8:29 am -  Reply

    Im not one for leaving comments but ive followed your story and I look at the picture of you and colin and it says it all ,totally in love ….makes me hope xx love M X

  19. Julie October 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    You’re not wrong about Lily being bright.We were watching tv last week advertising all the toys for Christmas. It was a case of her saying “I’m having this/that” or ” I want”. I said “who’s buying you all these toys” she replied- Nana! nobody’s buying them! Santa’s getting them for me he’s making them now-she’s nearly three!
    Hope you’re well.
    Have messaged you with things going on.
    Take care
    Julie x Lily xxx

  20. jacqui stephenson October 14, 2013 at 8:54 pm -  Reply

    hi ali
    i have ordered the lovely pendant too.
    the words i hope ,mean something for me after the past year .
    i hope the next year will be better than the last one .my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer ,which has been succesfully treated with a lumpectomy and radiotheraphy .then my wonderful pops passed away and now mum is recovering from a heart attack .so i hope ! the next year is so much better!.
    keep up the good work that you do .
    much love jacqui.

  21. Mary Morphy October 14, 2013 at 10:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, well here I am again re typing my blog so once again apologies if the lost one suddenly arrives..perhaps the ten hour power cut we had just after I had sent it stopped it in its tracks. What a busy time of celebration you have had and I am so glad you have been well enough to enjoy every moment..I tried to record This Morning but the Kids had already programmed their recordings and I dibbed out! A fantastic achievement for daytime tele.The QVC 20 year celebrations were great too. I remember being told by a friend of my husbands about a new shopping channel…it will never work, I said..how wrong was I and I have been shopping for almost 16 years and it’s the best department store ever!
    Congratulations to you and Colin for 7 Years together. You look incredibly happy and I am sure you won’t get the ‘itch’. The weekend retreat looked wonderful, it looks a bit like Hanbury Manor; my husband and I (how posh does that sound) stayed there for an all expences paid weekend two weeks before we got married as a destressing pre wedding break. It was a gift from one of John’s suppliers at work and we were thoroughly spoilt, the room was incredible and we played golf( had time then and no kids..we met at our local golf course in Westgate) with me driving a lovely new buggy around the course swigging whiskey Mac from a hip flask! Happy memories and a great time to have a mini break..totally distressed and ready for the wedding and had our 17th anniversary in August.
    Its been a month since dad died and finally we are all moving on as dad would want us to. All paperwork matters have been sorted..I have never written so many letters, and mum is doing amazingly well. She loves to meet people and we suggested she might like to go to our local Age Concern Club for a day or two in the week. Its a beautiful place built specifically by Age Concern as a social club. Mum loved the idea and now goes twice a week with my mum in law and they love it. Something different every day, lovely hot food, nail painting,hairdressers on site..fabulous. its got my mum in law out of the house to as she was widowed 18 years ago and they have booked Xmas events and New Years Eve…lucky them.
    Well cricket underway again with the indoor season. Jack at 16 is too old for junior cricket so plays men’s now and had his first indoor match last week. He is also playing golf so if he is not playing cricket he is on the golf course..he plays with my dads clubs which he gave him a few weeks before he died. He had bought new ones just before he had to stop so Jack is very proud to use them. Chloe had training at the weekend with her matches starting soon..She also has county trials for Kent again in December as she goes up to under 15.
    I also have a fab event to look forward too. When I was 16 I played hockey and played for my county as did my twin. Anyhow, our school team was phenomenal.. 7 players were county players..our PE teacher organised a hockey tour to the East Coast of America. 15 girls went and we played in Virginia, New Jersey and New York..incredible memories..went up the twin towers and Statue of Liberty.. with stone great people. Anyhow we have kept in contact with a few and have organised a Xmas reunion on Sat 7th Dec and we are all going..it will very amazing and most likely a very boozy night so John going to take Chloe to her county trials on the Sunday!! Needless to say I am going back on the Cambridge diet as drastic action needed..as some girls I haven’t seen for 30 years!
    I am also a bit cross.I won’t be able to watch the BCC event as we are at a sixth form open evening for Jack looking at options for him for next year..what a sacrifice I am making! Hope to be home by 8.30 pm ready for last knockings.
    Finally stopped raining..hurrah. beach walk Saturday was wet and windy!! Lots of love Mary.
    Hope my tsv emu boots arrive soon!

  22. Lesley October 16, 2013 at 2:49 am -  Reply

    Congratulations on your anniversary…wishing you both much love, luck and happiness now and always.
    Life is a strange thing…we find and loose so much…I found your inspiring blog for one.
    I’ve just ordered the *I hope* pendant…with so many hopes attached…one being your continued recovery.
    Stay safe Ali…will tune in tonight to ser your new *frock*
    Les xXx

  23. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 11:25 am -  Reply

    My dear Mandy, I do remember you writing to me over three years ago, when things were tough for you, and I am sorry to hear that they got tougher before you turned the corner…Losing your home is devastating, I remember being in the same situation, but I am so glad that inspite of all the monumental change and upset you are now happier than ever, and have someone truly special in your life πŸ™‚ I’m also delighted that my pendant is something that will fit into your life now, as I am sure there were times when hope was all you had to get you through. Do take care, and stay happy πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  24. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 11:28 am -  Reply

    Hi Susan, and thank you for writing, and yes I feel very spoiled to have had so much to celebrate just recently πŸ™‚ The children are all grand thanks – Lucy was 28 last Friday and I managed to get up to see her on Sunday before work which was lovely. Jack is still working hard delivering pizzas, but he is looking for something else at the moment, and Sam is about to complete on a flat, which will make things easier for him. He’s spending this weekend with Lucy and he took her out to lunch on her birthday πŸ™‚ I hope your work is going well, and that you’re well. Love Ali xx

  25. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 11:32 am -  Reply

    Dear Judith, Lovely to hear from you and to learn of the somewhat speedy arrival of your grandaughter!! What a shock not to even get into the ambulance! Delighted that both mum and baby are doing well, and congratulations to Dad for adding another skill to his bow – delivering babies! πŸ™‚ Looking at your surname I was wondering if the Lennon family are originally from Liverpool anyway? Just a thought πŸ™‚ I have to be honest and say that although it’s only been 12 years since I was up there it has altered incredibly. I hope to the benefit of all those who live there. So glad you’ll be able to join us all tonight for the Big BCC Do! We’re hoping to smash our target from last year… feel a bit nervous, but sure it will all be ok πŸ™‚ Love to you, Ali xx

  26. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 11:35 am -  Reply

    Hi Sue, as always, lovely to hear from you, and yes very much a kindred spirit when it comes to looking back… good memories as you say, but somehow so separated from life now. Have you seen About Time, the new Richard Curtis film? It’s incredible and had both Colin and I in tears… Beautifully written and worth a watch – although do take a hankie πŸ™‚ I hope that life is good for you, and you are well. Take care and speak soon, love ALi xx

  27. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    ….Oh and Sue, I spoke to my sister Jenny yesterday and recommended that she listen out for your friend! You’re right it’s sad that you never learned a musical instrument, but just to enjoy listening to it is perfect πŸ™‚ My father never learned to play an instrument but loved his classical music… He could tell you where something was last played, and who composed it as well as conducted it! Amazing πŸ™‚ Keep in touch, love Ali xx

  28. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 11:41 am -  Reply

    Edna, I love to read your thoughts on why things happen in life, and how we are ‘placed’ in order to make the best of a bad situation. If I’m honest, I sometimes believe that this is the life I have chosen for myself, with everything in it, and I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t have believed I could cope with it all…I just often wish I could look ahead… take away the wondering and worrying… But as I can’t I try and make the best of each day πŸ™‚ Yes too many changes this year at QVC, but for some there will be more good times ahead. Thank you for your constant support and contact Edna, love Ali xx

  29. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm -  Reply

    Rhona as you definitely are a Watch officianado, I take as a huge compliment that you like my new Diamonique Watch! So sorry you missed the silver one, although I am sure there are still a few in stock maybe on advanced orders, but let me know if you’re still struggling! And as far as the pendant goes I am absolutely thrilled that it has been so well received… here’s hoping many more will be sold tonight – I’m first on! Nervous or what! πŸ™‚ I hope you like the dress… red is the colour, and lacy is the style. Love to you and yours as always, Ali xx

  30. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm -  Reply

    Susan, I so agree with you! Susie Adams will be with us tonight for the BCC evening, and so I will make certain that she sees your kind comment. I worked this weekend, but it was good to see all my pals as always, and I’m very much looking forward to tonight πŸ™‚ Love Ali x

  31. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm -  Reply

    Oh Catherine, I am so sorry to hear that your dear Dad is so poorly.. I know that any form of cancer is terrifying, but I hope very much that the chemo will do its work and make him better. Stay strong and positive, and lean on those around you who love you. Take care and please do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  32. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

    Julie, your little grandaughter really is a sweetheart! It must cheer you no end to spend so much time with her, and I am sure you will all have a wonderful Christmas together. Thanks for your mail, and I will reply as soon as I can πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  33. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm -  Reply

    My dear Jacqui, when I read news like yours it makes me feel desperately sorry that you have to deal with so much at the one time… Loss, fear, stress, sadness, they have their place, but it cheers me to hear that you too are clinging onto Hope… I Personally hope that your mum is feeling much stronger now, and that next year will indeed be a better year…for us all. With my love, Ali xx

  34. alison keenan October 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Mary, and thank you for going to the trouble of retyping your lovely message. It’s hard to believe it’s a month since your Dad passed, but I am relieved to hear that you are all feeling a little more able to move on, and that your mum bless her, has started socialising rather than sitting in alone. It’s great that your mother in law is also in the same situation, and I’m sure they will become even firmer friends through their loss. You certainly are very modest Mary! Fancy having played hockey at that kind of level and never mentioned it! Not surprised that your children are also so gifted when it comes to sport – and I very much hope that the reunion that you’ve planned for the 7th is fun πŸ™‚ Take it easy with the dieting – it’s you they are looking forward to seeing, however much of you there is! Loved your memories of Hanbury Manor – Whiskey Mac eh? Girl after my own heart! πŸ™‚ Yes Colin and I had a lovely time, and are looking forward to the next seven years. I’m glad that your Jack is doing so well and has now added golf to his reportoire, and good luck with his options this evening… I’ll try and remember to give you a wave towards the end of the show. Take care and thanks as always for keeping us all in touch with your life, love Ali xx

  35. Cath Purple October 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I am awaiting delivery of the ‘hope’ pendant. It looks lovely and is so full of meaning in an understated way. I had breast cancer last year and ‘hope’ that it is gone for good, but no one can tell, so ‘hope’ is the most appropriate word. Thank you for designing it.

  36. Janet Hall October 16, 2013 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison
    You looked amazing Ali on the BCC show tonight and am so pleased to read your blog and to see that you are looking so well.
    I was lucky to be able to order your “I HOPE” pendant tonight and am really looking forward to wearing it and will wear it with pride. It is stunning just like you. I went for a Mammogram last week and am pleased to say that there have been no changes and have just got to keep an eye on the other side (op site). Must admit that I am a bit scared still but I suppose everyone feels like that and I am a born worrier. I have a new ginger kitten coming tomorrow to join Ollie and Solo so perhaps that will take my mind off things for a while.
    Keep up your good recovery, sorry I haven’t written for a while I’m not big on words but I do read your blogs.
    Take care lots of love Jan, Ollie and Solo xxxx

  37. Una October 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm -  Reply

    My dear Ali
    Been a while since I managed to get to a computer, thanks to my little monster “helping”. Me, by taking the laptop upstairs, and promptly dropping it!!
    Just sitting watching BCC show. You are looking STUNNING Mrs. I have ordered 5 I Hope pendants. One will be kept for Meli till her 16th birthday. I started to fill a special little box for her, which will be from her mummy. I
    I hope she knows how much she is loved, and I hope her mummy is watching us, and I hope she is happy with the way we are bringing her little girl up.
    For you Ali, I hope you are better forever, and for my Ali’s Army friends, I hope you are all well and staying strong. We will all fight whatever we have to, but Ali, through your blog, we all have each others love and support, none of us are alone.
    Alpha my lovely, I hope for you that you can find a medical person who will listen to what you are coping with. M E is such a horrid debilitating illness and so many people like yourself struggle to find the help they need. I wish I could do or say something to help you.
    My love to all of you.
    Now I have my new computer, you will probably be sick of the sight of me lol.
    Una xxxxxx

  38. Denise October 16, 2013 at 11:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Have been following you for the last few months and love reading your blogs. I was diagnosed with a similar Ca to yours in July and immediately thought of you and got onto your blog page which helped ALOT! I had Wide Local Excision on August 12th – my daughters 16th birthday! Timing eh! Then I read that your big op was on your son’s 18th so another similarity there. The tissue examined was multi focal (I call it ‘Bitty’ as it sounds less daunting and makes me laugh due to the Little Britain connotation!) So like you have been advised to have a Mastectomy – I’m going for bilateral too but all at once on Nov 4th. I decided I would not feel ‘symmetrical’ otherwise and also for the precaution issue. However, I have been advised to wait to have reconstruction (12 months plus). I was hoping for immediate or at least immediate-delayed with an expander like you. However I heard you say tonight on the BCC show that you had had problems with your reconstruction. I believe this is probably what my plastic surgeon was referring to when he mentioned ‘Complications with immediate recon after radiotherapy’. (It is still not decided whether I will have Chemo yet as it doesn’t give great benefit in ALL cases). I am taking his advice but not looking forward to a year of being a ‘flatty’. My one consolation is that I am only a 32B to begin with so perhaps won’t notice the difference as much as someone well endowed might. I will have Lattissimus Dorsi flap plus implants eventually! I have a journey ahead of me and hope to come out of it the other side like you, looking radiant! And your dress tonight was s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g!!! Where did it come from? I called QVC to see if I could order one but they simply said it was one of your own. I wonder if you’re allowed to say…. Meanwhile I am going to rewind the BCC show as I only saw the last 45 mins and hope to order some Christmas presents incl your lovely pendant. With Love from Denise x

  39. Susan Whitsitt October 17, 2013 at 6:45 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali. I have never posted to you before but have enjoyed reading your blog and love watching you on QVC. I just wanted to say I bought your “I Hope” pendant last night after your emotional presentation . You are an inspiration and I do hope you continue to keep well. I will wear my pendant with pride having lost immediate members of my family to cancer, having the BRCA 1 cancer gene and have had a double mastectomy, and my husband who has just been diagnosed for the second time. I do not normally wear necklaces but your pendant is rather special and when I am having a “moment” it will be lovely to have something to hold onto and think of all the good things to live for. Thank you again xx

  40. Lynn emmitt October 17, 2013 at 10:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison,First I want to say how beautiful you looked last night on the breast cancer show,your dress was stunning.you are an amazing and inspirational lady.I am a theatre nurse who works with a breast surgeon and feel proud of the work that we do(my mam had breast cancer).so I know from the other side so to speak,just what you have gone through,I love my job,and find it very rewarding,though can be quite sad at times.But you are looking fantastic Alison,and I wish you good health for many years to come.Keep smiling.Lynn xx

  41. helen October 17, 2013 at 11:24 am -  Reply

    My dear Ali
    Oh gosh you looked so beautiful last night that I cried. Seeing you there so open, honest and sometimes vulnerable made me once again think about my Mum and all she has been through. A dear family friend had just passed about with this wretched illness age 64, its just makes you want to try and value each day, regardless on how we feel. Not every day is easy, and today I have to resort to painkillers. My little lady is in a local theatre tonight with school doing Romeo and Juliet and my sweet pea is Juliet!!!!
    I wanted the Hope necklace but unfortunately funds are rather depleted at the moment, with madam going through a growth spurt like you wouldn’t believe, money has had to be spent getting her a winter wardrobe!!!! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    Again my dear Ali, you looked so magical and thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being such a sweet soul, bless you for that.
    love and hugs as always
    Helen s xxxx

  42. Colin October 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I haven’t posted before, but I felt I would like to show support for your cause. I was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue a year and a half ago and hope and faith along with remaining positive kept me going.
    I have met far too many amazing people (some my own family) all having to deal with the disease in it’s different forms and really can relate to the message that you are trying to get across with your beautiful jewellery. I have just ordered 3 on waitlist for just 3 of the special ladies in my life (my wife, sister and mum) so hopefully QVC will get more in stock as I am sure that 3 will not be enough :-).
    You are an amazing lady and as I know only too well it’s a roller coaster ride sometimes but a hopeful heart and a positive outlook certainly make a huge difference to us all. Colin x

  43. Una October 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi again Ali
    Meant to say, your photo with Colin. You know that song that starts, “the look, of love, is in your eyes” THAT. you are so lucly to have each other.
    I didn’t manage to watch the entire BCC show last night, bathtime, bedtime stories etc.(I was a pirate in last nights tale!) I think I read somewhere that Charlie mentioned Amika. So nice that he did so, as far as I know its the first reference on air. Not everyone has Facebook, twitter etc, so I’m sure many people didn’t know she had so sadly passed away. I for one had to tell my elderly neigjbour and my mother in law, neither use computers, so had no idea.
    I can’t wait for my pendants to arrive. One each for Meli and I, one for my sister, without her, I don’t think I would have managed to cope in the last 2 years, and one for my 2 friends who have been true friends since we were teenagers. A lifetime ago!
    Would you mind letting Debbie G know that our gorgeous Joe, has only gone and met a lovely lady and they will be welcoming a new little person around New Years. We are SO happy for him. If anyone deserves to be happy, its Joe.
    Thank you Ali, for your lovely words last night, you have been so open and honest from the start, we have laughed with you, cried with you, and held your hand when its gotten a bit scary, and always, we have known you would fight this hateful disease, and kick its butt, big time. I hope you continue to stay well Ali.
    My love and gentle hugs as always, to everyone.
    Una xxxxxx
    P.s. told you, you would be sick of the sight of me! Lol xxxxxxxx

  44. Jilly October 17, 2013 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

    A very late good evening Ali – I am feeling like a washed out blanket as I have had so many tears this evening – first when I saw you in your beautiful red dress – oh how stunning it is (and what joy you will get when you wear it again) and then throughout the evening – I look a mess now as my mascara is not waterproof!!! (my husband is used to me having tears at happy and sad events and just passes a tissue to me) I just had to come on this evening before bed to say what a wonderful few hours it has all been and although sad at times (more tears when seeing the beautiful Amica) there are some lovely stories which give everyone “hope”. Your pendant is on its way and I cannot wait to just touch it. How very sweet that you mentioned us but as Tricia said there is something about your blogging that gives strength to all of us – just as if we live next door and can pop in for a cuppa and chat to share good times as well as bad ones and that is wonderful.
    Like you we will all be wanting the news that Jan is doing very well so do let us know Tricia and a huge hug for her and you.
    Annie went to see the Onch on Monday and does not need to go back until April. She has had full bloods checked and all have come back very good so it is just a case of moving on and waiting for her date for the final part of the reconstruction.
    While I remember and before I leave to get in the shower (and cleanse my face!!) I have to say how much I love you and Charlie working together – you both bounce off each other and are so funny that it is a joy to watch you both.
    I bet you are all on a high now after such a successful evening and so very well done to all of you but more so to you dear Ali. Love Jilly xx

  45. Jilly October 17, 2013 at 7:02 pm -  Reply

    I am back again Ali – I had problems posting last night but sorting it out now (it was my fault not the computer!) – just wanted to say first how very sorry I am to read that Denise has also been having a horrid time. We are all here for you Denise and if you have read the blogs you will know that I could not have got through the last year when my daughter found her nasty lump without Ali’s blog and I don’t say that lightly. So we will be thinking of you and will look forward to hearing how you are doing.
    I also came on to say “Guess what arrived today”???? Yes!! the pendant and it is without doubt perfect. “I Hope” just says it all but when you hold the pendant you will know that there is magic there so well done Ali and Colin for a wonderful treasure.
    I have kept the recording from last night and will be dipping in and out again and no doubt crying once more. It was such an evening and as everyone has rightly commented your red dress was the best ever – I bet you cannot wait to wear it again. You looked wonderful. Love Jilly x

  46. Alpa October 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    Thank you for your kind words. I was in tears when I saw you looking so stunning in your red dress, when you spoke so honestly and when Charlie presented the beautiful tribute to Amica. As Charlie said, ‘there are no superlatives’ You are beautiful, brave and such an inspiration. I hope with all my heart that you are better for ever. It was so heart warming to see the friendship between you and Charlie.
    I don’t know what tomorrow may bring but I am so glad the last 10 days are over! I came close to asking your advice but I was not sure if you had the same email and did not want to trouble you. It was a horrible time! Just received a letter from the registrar following my last appointment with neurology. She said it’s very unlikely that the MRI scan, which I’m having next week will reveal the cause of further speech dysfunction. I hope that in spite of this, the scan may show something. Hope keeps me going that somewhere, there is someone to help and I just have to find them, as you said.
    Una, so lovely to hear from you. We can never hear enough from you, my friend! Thank you so much for thinking of me and understanding, it means so much. The hunt for a medical person who will listen continues…thanks for reminding me how important it is. It’s clear just how very much loved and adored your little monster is and I smiled at you being a pirate x
    Love to all in Ali’s Army x
    I have ordered your pendant Ali and can not wait for it to arrive.
    Lots of Love,
    Alpa xxxx

  47. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv October 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm -  Reply

    hi alison hope you andb your family are well iam nae bad

  48. susan October 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, just had to sayhow fab it is to hear from Una and how lovely it is ylto hear her news about Joe. I also adored your red dress. So elegant as always. And just had to say how lovely it is for lovely Anne to have a little baby girl in the family. So pleased for her! That family has also had a lot of sad times not that you would know from annie’s personality! Love her. Photo is gorgeous of her and baby on her blog! Hope you’re well this week x

  49. Alison Keenan October 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm -  Reply

    Dear Les, thank you so much for your kind words and wishes, I had meant to write sooner, but was away for the weekend. I wish you the very best is health to wear your pendant, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  50. Alison Keenan October 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm -  Reply

    Dear Cath, my thoughts exactly…. And like you all I can do is hope. Stay strong, and well, and do keep in touch. Thank you for buying the pendant and supporting BCC in all their magnificent work, love Ali xx

  51. alison keenan October 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Jan, and I and I was so pleased to read that your mammogram looked good, although I completely understand why you would still be scared… if i’m honest I am always worried when I have a scan of any sort. Keeping everything crossed that you remain well πŸ˜€ How is the little ginger kitten? What is it’s name? How are Ollie and Solo with it – my cat Crumble was terribly jealous of Beano all those years ago! Either way I am sure that the new member of the family is taking up your time and also giving you something else to think about which is good πŸ™‚ Thank you for writing to me, and for keeping in touch, with love, Ali xx

  52. alison keenan October 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    My dear Una, how wonderful that you have bought a pendant for Meli – it will say all those things her mummy would have said to her that no doubt you always do πŸ™‚ And I am certain that all those things you hope for she will know already….How lovely to have a new computer – I am close to getting a desk top myself as my trusty laptop has been a little cranky of late, and has come to the end of its life I feel. Bless you for all your lovely messages to the rest of the The Army, and no we will never tire of your messages or input – thank you for it. Take care, and stay well, love Ali xx

  53. alison keenan October 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm -  Reply

    My dear Denise I was so sorry to hear that you too are struggling with a cancer diagnosis and hope very much that your pending surgery will be effective and with no side effects. At least if your lymph nodes are clear you shouldn’t get lymphodeama, but as you’re having a bilateral, do make sure there will be someone at home to help you initially as your arms can feel pretty stiff and sore initially. Immediate reconstruction is sometimes OK, but if there is a chance you will have to have radiotherapy then it’s much better not to have an implant or expander otherwise it could capsulate as mine has. The year between surgery and reconstruction will also give you time to gather yourself emotionally and physically, and bless you, although you are a 32B I would think with a nice padded bra, you should look pretty good πŸ™‚ Thank you for the compliments re BCC night – the dress I was wearing was actually from Phase Eight – they do it in navy blue too. I was overwhelmed with the compliments I received, and it made me feel wonderful and far less self conscious. I do hope you managed to get the pendant – I think they have set up a wait list for it. Thank you for taking the time to write. Know that I and all of Ali’s Army will be thinking of you on the 4th November and wishing you a speedy recovery. Stay strong, love Ali xxx p.s. please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing πŸ™‚

  54. alison keenan October 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Susan thank you so much for writing to me, although I was so very sorry to hear that you have lost so many of your family to the BRCA 1 cancer, and that you have also had to have a double mastectomy…. I am praying that your husband will receive the treatment he needs and get better soon…and I hope that you have someone close to you who will be able to provide you with the support you will no doubt need. I had been so determined not to get upset but it was Charlie asking me about Ali’s Army that set me off – such a big difference everyone has made to me, and I found myself thinking of those long nights when I felt too ill to sleep, and would sit up writing to you all… I wish you the best of health to wear the pendant and ‘I Hope’ that it will remind you of all the good things to live for. Take care, with love, Ali xx

  55. alison keenan October 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Lynn, and thank you so much for your kind comments. I can imagine working as a breast nurse there must be a really big mix of emotions involved… May I just say that I know you will do a marvellous job, and all the breast nurses who have cared for me over the last two years have been exceptional. I wish you good health too, and thank you again for writing – it was lovely to dress up and feel beautiful πŸ™‚ Love Ali xcx

  56. alison keenan October 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm -  Reply

    Dear Helen you are a sweetie. So sorry to hear that your friend has just passed, and can completely understand that this reminds you of your dear mum…Definitely valuing each day is the only way, and you have so much to be glad of – how wonderful that your little girl is playing the lead in Romeo and Juliet! You must be so proud?! Do take care and stay well, and please keep in touch. It is always so good to hear from you. With love, Ali xx

  57. alison keenan October 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    My dear Colin what a sweet man you are, and brave too. I have never heard of cancer of the tongue, but can only begin to imagine how awful this must be and that the treatment was probably complicated. I very much hope that you are feel much better now, and I am certain that your wife, sister and mum will truly appreciate the pendant when it arrives. You’re right staying positive is the key, and never giving up hope πŸ™‚ Stay strong, love Ali xx

  58. alison keenan October 24, 2013 at 9:31 am -  Reply

    ….oh and Colin, please don’t make this the last time you post on the blog πŸ™‚ It would be good to keep in touch. Many thanks again, Ali x

  59. alison keenan October 24, 2013 at 9:42 am -  Reply

    Una, I am definitely going to take a leaf out of your book and buy a new computer! The bloomin’ thing froze on me last night when I was replying to you all which is so frustrating. It was lovely to hear who you’ve bought the pendants for, and I know that these are people who have supported you through what must have seemed like an interminable journey at times… Like you, these folk mean everything, and I too have bought pendants for many of my friends – some I’ve known all my life, others only since I worked at QVC πŸ™‚ I will of course let Deb know about Joe πŸ™‚ I am glad you got your mention on the BCC night… Charlie knew how important you have all been, and continue to be to me, and as he knew I was welling up, he didn’t want me to forget! His words for Amica were beautiful, and he delivered them without faltering – which was hard as I know how much she meant to him, and to all of us… It’s been a long year, and we have lost three of the four of us who were diagnosed at much the same time… I pray next year will be easier. Give Meli a hug for me, one for yourself, and know that you have been quite remarkable… your daughter would be so proud. Sending you my love, Ali xx

  60. alison keenan October 24, 2013 at 9:49 am -  Reply

    My dear Jilly, I am so glad that you managed to stay with us throughout the three hour event, and know how emotional an evening it is – particularly when you have been through all that you have this last year…Bless you for your kind words about my dress – it felt lovely to dress up and look feminine, and everyone was very sweet about it πŸ™‚ Yes, the montage of Amica was incredibly hard to watch, but I think Charlie did an incredible job with his introduction – as you saw I wasn’t quite as strong with mine.. I love working with him, and as I mentioned he really was an incredible friend to me during my treatment and has continued to be ever since… If my recovery hadn’t have taken so long this summer, I would have been hosting with him, but maybe next year eh? So glad you ordered the pendant and I wish you/Annie the best of health to wear it. How funny that Annie and I are due to see our oncologist the same month next year πŸ™‚ So glad you heard your mention, and I hope that next year will be an easier one for all of us. With love, Ali xxx

  61. alison keenan October 24, 2013 at 9:53 am -  Reply

    Jilly I really should read through the comments before replying as just found this one saying you have received your pendant! Sooo glad that you can finally hold and wear it πŸ™‚ All 10 of mine arrived together and I have been giving them to those friends I have seen, and waiting until I see the others when I return to work this Sunday. Colin was delighted it sold so well, and that so much money was raised. Thanks again for your compliments about the dress – I hope to get the chance to wear it again soon πŸ™‚ Enjoy your weekend Jilly, With love, Ali xx

  62. alison keenan October 24, 2013 at 9:59 am -  Reply

    My dear Alpa, your comment this week embodies everything I wished for with the pendant, and ‘I hope’ it will signify a change in your circumstances, and bring about some good news. Fingers crossed for the MRI – they can tell a lot with these scans, and the more they know hopefully the better equipped they will be to help you. I’m off to have one today – they think my implant may have ruptured! :/ I am so glad that like Jilly and so many others, you too were part of our BCC night. I love working with Charlie, and for all that he said about me, it is true of him. A genuinely lovely, kind and caring man… he was very brave with his introduction to our film about Amica… her passing affected him deeply. Take good care and please keep in touch, love Ali xx

  63. alison keenan October 24, 2013 at 10:00 am -  Reply

    Martin that’s grand to hear that you are ‘nae bad’! πŸ™‚ We are all good too. Colin’s daughter Vicky has her birthday this Sunday, so there will be a family lunch before I come into work that evening. Enjoy your weekend, love Ali x

  64. alison keenan October 24, 2013 at 10:05 am -  Reply

    Susan, thank you for the compliment, and for taking the time to write. You’re right, it is wonderful news about Anne’s new arrival – just checked out the photos on her blog, and the baby is beautiful πŸ™‚ I hope you’ve had a good week, and have been enjoying this stunning Autumn sunshine.. the trees around here look amazing. Love Ali xx

  65. Una October 24, 2013 at 11:08 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, and THE army
    I just received my pendants. Absolutely beautiful. They are more weighty than I thought, and for the price, great value too. For SUCH a great cause.
    Meli was there when I opened them. She asked what the words were, so, I told her. ‘I hope”
    Her reply, “well, I HOPE Santa gets me one cos they’re very pretty” wee madam!
    Had a conversation with her at the weekend.
    Meli. You look sad are you okay.
    Me.. yes, I’m okay don’t worry. I just miss some people who used to be in my life and we went fun places and did fun stuff.
    Meli. Where are the people?
    Me, well, sometimes when you’re at rock bottom, people can’t cope with you and they leave.
    Meli. That’s not very nice. Anyway, why do you want your old life back if I wasn’t in it?
    Me, (thinking she’s so wise) that’s very true meli,
    Meli (2 minutes later) was your bottom cold?
    Meli.. when you sat on the rock, was your bottom cold?
    Yep, that’s ma girl lol!! Wise for a second!!!
    I was in stitches, sadness gone, again.
    Your dress for the BCC show was just beautiful Ali, it really suited you, you looked STUNNING.
    Alpha. Hoping you are feeling a bit more positive. My cousin was diagnosed with M E in the early 90s and it took her years to find a GP who helped her. I don’t know exactly what treatment she had, but I do know it was a GP who was involved in a study into holistic therapy when used for M E sufferers. Im not in contact with my cousin these days unfortunately, but I know that her symptoms were greatly improved after she started the holistic treatments. Might be worth googling. I just wish people around you were more understanding and supportive of you. I think its down to the fact that when M E was first spoken off, it was nicknamed the yuppie disease, and wasn’t taken seriously.
    I must dash, nursery is nearly over, and my ears will be well and truly bashed very shortly!
    My love as always to all of you.
    Take care Ali, my good wishes to your lovely family.
    Una xxx

  66. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv October 24, 2013 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    hi alison hope you and family are well iasm not bad done my xmas shopping in 1o mionutes 1week past saturday always organised no rush

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