Getting ready for the Breast Cancer Care show


Ali in Woman and Home magazineIt’s funny isn’t it when you do something ahead of time and have to wait to see the finished results? Nowadays everything is so fast with the internet – my niece Emily had her wedding photographs on her phone the following day!!

But I didn’t get to see the photographs taken for Woman and Home magazine until the September issue was out, and I have to admit to being delighted with the result! 🙂

I was though a little nervous when I set off that morning for the photo shoot, as I thought I might have to undress in front of a number of strangers… Clothed – even in a bikini – I feel safe: uncovered I feel very vulnerable still, and different…

But my fears were foundless. The team couldn’t have been kinder, and having had a marvellous makeover, Laurence straightened my hair and made me look as I did all those years ago – I liked who was looking back at me from the mirror 🙂

Ali at the photoshootThe dress they chose was navy blue with a peplum at the waistline and fitted like a glove. I was able to keep my Ahh Bra on (phew!) and mercifully the hot flushes held off as I posed in the cashmere wrap I was given to drape around my shoulders.

I really love the article, and feel lucky that this experience is a kind of ‘dress rehearsal’ for the Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show on October 3rd this year, when it will be my turn to take to the catwalk as a model…


Makeup(2)Last October I made a speech, which you can watch at the bottom of this blog, and talked about my treatment and how the cancer had significantly tilted my world… This year, thanks to all your love and support I will be up there with 23 other models – all of us cracking on with our lives inspite of this disease 🙂

And I’m sure they would agree with me, that this wouldn’t have been possible if we hadn’t have had the support from our families, friends, and in my case, YOU!


If you were able to book a seat for the afternoon or evening show that would be fabulous and you can find out how to book a ticket in QGossip.

But I appreciate it’s a big ask, so could I point you in the direction of my JustGiving page?

Any donation would be put to good use by Breast Cancer Care, so that people like me need never feel isolated or alone.

Thank you so much, with my love, Ali xx



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  1. Babs lincsxxx August 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali You look a perfect MODEL,you must have felt on top of the world that day,all pampered and cared for.You deserve it.I would have crumbled going through all you have.Baggy knees, no way what next, you look beautiful from top to toe. How is the house hunting going? if you have’nt found one yet i hope you do soon.It would help if you found one and moved whilst the good weather is still here.Lots of love to you, Colin and all your family babs lincs xxxxxx

  2. Susan August 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm -  Reply

    Best wishes to everyone for the Breast Cancer Care Show. Your speech on video I have just seen was tremendous. x

  3. Rhona Fenton August 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison love your blog as alway’s:) sorry I have been out the picture for a while I will catch up with you by email soon to give you the heads up why! first can I say how beautiful colins neice looked on her wedding day, sorry I missed that blog, and there was another couple at that wedding that looked amazing, think you call them Alison & Colin:) back to this blog well miss Alison you look as alway beautiful:) and I saw you on air the other day, what is it with you and my colin with your amazing tans the pair off you just glow, which only makes my white even whiter:( you look amazing Alison just glowing:) and cant wait to see you on the catwalk WOW! and as always we will be with you all for QVC’s BCC event never miss it, and I loved it how last year QVC let you text in your donation really hope they plan to do that again this year:) I never seem to get a chance to buy anything as the phone lines go crazy and the sell outs come fast, but that doesn’t matter so much the important thing as everyone else will feel the same is being able to donate thats what the night is all about, and seeing QVC reach there target, and hopfully pass it eh? as always keep strong, have a fantastic weekend, love to you all Rhona xx

  4. Norma Smithson August 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Just watched your viseo again from last years BCC show, and as it did on the first time I saw it I had to reach for the tissues, I’m ok up to you mentioning Lucy and then that’s it. Youve come so far Ali, I am so proud of you and like the previous blog said you are looking radiant, I know you must still have concerns but on the screen your vitality and quest for life shines through. Looking forward to the show and see you strutting your stuff, by the way you really look good in the outfit they put you in. Of course we will be watching QVC and sending a donation for a very worthy cause. Much Love Norma xx

  5. mary morphy August 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm -  Reply

    WOW Alison you look stunning in the photo shoot and what a lovely blog for me to read on return from my daughter Chloe’s county cricket festival in Malvern…more on that later! I can’t believe I have missed two blogs whilst i have been have been so busy and you must feel incredibly pleased and proud of all that you have done and accomplished this year! Firstly the wedding looked splendid, and as ever so did you, it seems that it’s been a year for weddings with more than several between us. Secondly, the sporty thing. Well I am pleased to say that I think my kids inherited their sporting prowess from me. From a young age my twin and younger sister always had a bat and ball in hand as we spent our weekends watching my dad play cricket (he also played table tennis at county level when he was a young lad). I can remember being bundled up and chucked in the back of the car with my sisters, sporting equipment, food, anoraks, wellies and anything else my mum thought we would need for a typically british summer. My twin and I played any sport we could at school and both played county hockey for Kent U16’s and then in adultlife both took up golf which sadly we both gave up a few years ago..both of us have shoulder problems (opposite shoulder!) and to be honest I do not get the time now with the kids cricket matches being played summer and winter..oh yes, you can do cricket indoors too and thats not just in an appropriate indoor hall but at home,they practise bowling by running down the hall and bowling at the kitchen cupboard! I carried on playing golf during pregnancy too although at 8 months gone swinging the club and looking at the ball became virtually impossible. I do pilates now as I have my own machine at home but it’s a bit all or nothing at the mo, I need more time! I met my husband on the golf course, well to be exact it was in the club house; he got me drunk on a fiver (Gin and slimline only 50p) so he thought I was a cheap date. We have been married 16 years this month so serves him right!
    Chloes cricket tournament was extremely enjoyable, Malvern is lovely although we stayed with another set of parents in a Travelodge in the middle of Worcester right next to the Catherdral which is magnificant but very noisy when the bells are ringing out very loudly at 7 in the morning preceeded by sea gulls squawking at 4am even though we are nowhere near the sea. Anyhow, the rooms were only £20 a night but it was really just a case of having a bed for the night however, the pillows were very thin; I had three folded in half to try and make them a little more substantial but ended up burying my head in them as they kept springing open. In the end I bound them in a towell and had a comfortable, if not slightly unorthodox pillow. My friend picked up some lovely pillows in TK Maxx in town, she couldnt get on with my unique design!We shared the journey to Malvern each day with our friends and our Sat Nav announcer, Posh Daniel was very efficient on day one but as the week went on we came to doubt his navigational ability..we went to Malvern College 4 times and went a completely different way each time and then, when we went wrong he got very cross!! Posh Daniel was slammed into the glove compartment on a couple of occasions..maybe he needs an update or maybe I should download Mr T so that when my husband shouts at him he will shout back! We arrived home late today after a 6 hour drive back (should only be 4) with only one allocated toilet break for me..hubby not very considerate with my regular need and I was completely stuffed on the M25..on it for three hours and no services!
    A little dissappointingly though that my Olympic viewing was completely scuppered…no flat screen TV in my room but instead a very old fashioned TV with the big back and more devastatingly, no red button! I only managed to watch Gaby Logan’s highlights at 10.40pm each day provided we were back from the pub..supporting local industry and business you understand or watched a snippet on breakfast TV. I love the Olympics, was glued last week to the TV, even forsaking sitting in the sun and enjoyed everything from white water canoing to clay pigeon shooting but have sadly missed the synchronised swimming..amazingly clever.
    Anyway, must get the holiday washing done and put a load in before bed and begin the list of things to do for my son who is camping next week ( to clarify in a tent and not any other kind!) with his youth club. Have a fab week. Much love Mary xxx ps I have made a donation xxx

  6. alison keenan August 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Babs, and thanks for your kind and cheering message 🙂 Yes I DID feel on top of the world that day – a real treat to be pampered like that, especially when the end result turned out so well! The house hunting has been suspended as -fingers crossed – we have found one and had the offer accepted, so hopefully it will all go ahead. No chain which makes things less complicated, and if it’s straightforward then we could be in by the autumn 🙂 All very exciting. Can’t wait to show Sam when he’s home next week. Do hope all is good with you, and thanks as always, for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  7. alison keenan August 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    Susan I really appreciate you taking the time out to watch the speech. It should be a fabulous night, and I know we’re all working hard to raise as much as we can for this very worth while charity 🙂 Ali x

  8. alison keenan August 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm -  Reply

    Oh Rhona, I do hope all is OK with you and yours and will await your e mail. So glad to know that you’ll be with us on the night of the 13th for our special Show. It’s a shame you won’t be there for the Catwalk bit, but they are planning to film it and so we’ll all get a looksie!! I very much hope that the target set will be reached, but I know just how incredibly generous everyone has already been… but no doubt it’ll be pulled from somewhere – just like it was last year, and the year before, and so on…. Take care and love to you and your bronzed Colin! Ali xxxx

  9. Norma Smithson August 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Just got my copy of Woman & Home, and you look terrific, blue really suits you, can’t wait to see you strutting your stuff in October. Revisited your video from 2011 and again I had to get out the tissues, I’m alright until you mention Lucy and what she said to you and I crumple, keep what she said to you in your mind and just do it. To help you on way I can say that both Harold and I had cancer over 20 years and we have both been lucky, I was just your age and I will be 73 next week. I shall look forward to the QVC show for the cancer charity and of course I shall be sending a donation for such a worthwhile charity.Just getting ready to spend a few days with my daughter and family on holiday at Robin Hoods Bay so cross fingers for the good weather to continue. Much Love Norma x

  10. Lynn Hind August 12, 2012 at 2:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali as usual a super blog, i can fully appreciate your feeling of apprehension feeling ‘unsafe’ when clothing is/has to be removed,i have learnt through the love and support of my family,sweet husband and my friends that my appearance under my clothes isnt ugly or weird its just a part of….me! granted slightly different from the ‘me’ i was but never the less its still part of me, Ali, the road to acceptance of it isnt easy but as the old saying goes ‘beauty is only skin deep’ the true joy is knowing and believing we ARE beautiful no matter what we look like and my love YOU will always be beautiful to everyone who has the priviledge of knowing and loving you! i hope all the efforts you have made in this venture as a model raising awareness for others reeps its rewards….fear not you will never be alone or be allowed to fall,because we all the ali’s army will be here to pick you up if you do!! it aint gonna happen sister!!
    hugs and love as always
    Lynn xx

  11. Linda Marshall August 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, sorry i havn’t wrote to you in a while but life has been very difficult, as you know my husband has got pancreatic cancer and has been in the local hospice for a couple of weeks to give me a break. He is now back at home for a while but it is very hard work caring for him. you look amazing in your pitures, keep up the good work. I still watch you on qvc when i can.
    love Linda xx

  12. mary morphy August 13, 2012 at 8:02 am -  Reply

    Good morning Alison…this is third time lucky for this blog response, goodness knows what gremlins are in the system; I have typed and submitted my usual lengthy blog twice, seen it on screen and then the next day it has completely disappeared so a little frustrating.
    I have been in Malvern for a week for my daughters county cricket festival and can’t believe you have done two blogs and packed so much in. The wedding looked wonderful; we certainly have had our fair share of those between us this year and I thought your BBC outfit was looked fabulous; what a year it has been for you and your family and you must be very proud of what you have achieved and indeed overcome.
    As you know, sport is a significant part of our family life, actually it takes over completely especially from April to September but I wouldn’t have it any other way. As kids I remember going to what was then Honour Oak cricket club in Dulwich most summer weekends as my dad played cricket so we were thrown in the car with everything but the kithcen sink in oreoeration for typically emglish summer and my sisters always had a bat and ball in our hands and were running round (except for the time when we decided to brighten up the grass cutting machine and painted it white with the boundary paint and were dobbed in it by Alec Stewart who we used to play with and who went on to be an England wicket keeper…still not forgiven him we were in soo much trouble!).
    During secondary school my twin and me played hockey and both played for our County for three years as well as doing other sports like netball, tennis and swimming. I started playing golf in my middle 20’s which is where I met my husband; he got me drunk in the clubhouse one Sunday lunch for a fiver…gin and slimline only 50p so he thought I was probably a cheap date..we have been married 16 years on 24th August so I wasn’t that cheap!! I played golf through both pregnancies although at 8 months gone swinging the club and hitting the ball became virtually impossible but I have not played now for 6 years due to a shoulder injury but wouldn’t have time with all the cricket going on.
    Malvern was beautiful, we had lots of laughs with other parents and my husband had many arguements with posh Daniel, the voice of the sat nav…we stayed in Worcester in a travelodge next to the catherdral (woken by the loud peeling of bells at 6am each morning)and travelled to Malvern a different way each day which made hubby cross. Posh Daniel was chucked into the glove compartment on several occasions and needs to redeem himself soon or I will swap him for a new voice..I think the X Factor voiceover man would be great.
    Well must finish, need to order a new part for the strimmer which decided to break half way round the edges of the garden. I knew I shouldn’t have started but the grass resembled a paddock and hubby didnt have time so I thought I would help….hubby moaned and rolled his eyes when I declared that the strimmer would be fixed in 2 days thanks to Amazon but the three nails I broke would take weeks to grow…mind you, after cutting the grass I was standing on the cabin roof with my trusty ratchett loppers in hand to trim the trees when he got back from shopping…he knew best not to approach and went off down the pub!! Have a lovely week. Mary xxxx

  13. Susan August 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Linda,
    Just on my way out here but I felt I wanted to drop you a line to say I am thinking of you and your husband. We have been affected by pancreatic cancer also…an unbelievably cruel form. I admire you and hope you have someone also looking out for you as I know we all had to rally round. Any disease affects so many people so I hope you have a network…even a small one. Take care,
    Susan xx

  14. Lynn Hind August 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Linda i just wanted to post and wish you well and your hubby is comfortable, as a nurse i understand how incrediably difficult things can be and are with this form of cancer ..a tip..please make sure you get as much support and back-up as you can, contact your gp and district nurses and above all macmillian.. they are superb! i send warm hugs and wishes to you both xx

  15. Joanna Downey August 14, 2012 at 8:44 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali, I looked everywhere for the September issue of Woman & Home eventually finding it at the airport as we were going to Sicily (4am). I’m not at my best at that time in the morning and I don’t like flying so I was on the “happy” pills. Looking at your lovely smiling face and reading the few lines that summed up so much of what we know about the past 18 months, and what we DON’T know, set me off. I abandoned a confused husband and spent an emotional time in the loo where a number of kind ladies gave me their tips about how to overcome my fear of flying! I can only imagine your concerns about how vulnerable and different you feel following the illness and surgery and you are such a positive example to all of us whether we’ve been on the is same journey or not. As you know, because I write it in every reply, I love your news-filled blogs and my admiration for you and the sunny face you show to us is never-ending. Love to you and also to Linda whose life sounds very difficult at present. Jo xx

  16. mary morphy August 14, 2012 at 10:15 am -  Reply

    Oh blimey….apologies Alison, you have a double blog from me..not sure whats going on but read the first one and ignore the rest!!!! Mary

  17. Kerry August 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm -  Reply

    Well done Ali, and what an inspiration for all women and men who suffer from this dreadful disease. I shall look out for you in Woman and Home Magazine. I had no idea what you were going through until I caught you on QVC with Stacey and her make-up, which was a very emotional but uplifting show. You keep going and keep fighting and I live in hope that one day soon we will conquer Cancer and find a cure. All my love and best wishes to you, from Kerry xx

  18. Alison Keenan August 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

    My dear Linda I am so sorry I only just read your comment but see that already the girls are there before me to support you…. I can’t begin to imagine how incredibly difficult things are for you right now, and I very much hope that you have a loving network of friends and family who will pull together to make things as bearable as possible, I’ m sending you both my love and prayers … Try to stay strong xxxx Ali

  19. Joanna Downey August 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm -  Reply

    2nd reply as I just found your blog from last week. A few years ago John Inverdale was the presenter on the 5 Live drivetime show and I loved his voice, still do if I’m honest. Our girls would moan about having to listen to him when they were in the car and took it upon themselves to write to him explaining how I hung on his every word. He sent me a super letter, with some very pithy comments, and photo which I still have albeit in my odds and ends drawer. Col says I still go pink when I see him and I missed his emotional interview with the rowers because our hotel only showed Eurosport which didn’t feature much Team GB… Jo x

  20. VAL COWLEY August 15, 2012 at 7:23 am -  Reply

    hi ali, never done this before, but i always feel inspired when i see you on qvc. you look so well now. and i am sure you give everyone hope. love pics of you magazine shoot. oooh i wish i was as slim as you. take care ali, sorry about shortening your name, can’t remember how to spell it properly.
    all the best on being a “model” i typed that thinking of the series bread, when avaline used to say it. lol. take care. love to everyone.

  21. SUE RADFORD August 17, 2012 at 12:07 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    The magazine photos are really lovely! Looks like you had great fun. Good luck with the fundraising.
    Loved the Olympic closing ceremony – OH how I enjoyed listening to Ray Davis of the Kinks and all the rest of the great bands – brought back such fond memories. What a triumph it all turned out to be – I feel so very proud to be British.
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  22. SUE RADFORD August 17, 2012 at 9:34 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Shame on me for getting the spelling of Ray Davies wrong! Sorry Ray! LOL!! Waterloo Sunset is such a great song isn’t it Ali?
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  23. alison keenan August 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm -  Reply

    Dear Norma, thank you so much for your kind and caring words -I have to admit watching the speech back made me shed a few tears! It all seems such a long time ago now though, and hard to think that in about six weeks I’ll be there again, but this time with my own hair and all!! 🙂 It’ll be lovely to know you’re the other side of the camera when have our fundraising show too, and thank you so much for keeping in touch with me. I hope that you are enjoying the summer, love Ali xx

  24. alison keenan August 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm -  Reply

    Mary, bless you for the fabulous account of your family’s sporting prowess, and the hilarious experience with your Travelodge pillow! Where’s Northern Nights when you ’em eh?? I think your husband and I would have fallen out over the toilet break situation – either that or have damp seats! 🙂 I hope you got all your washing done and dried and that your son has enjoyed his camping holiday with the youth club. I have fabulous memories of all my girl guide camps from years back. Thank you very much for making a donation, and for keeping us all so well entertained with your messages. Take care and enjoy the rest of the summer, love Ali xx

  25. alison keenan August 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm -  Reply

    Norma you and your Harold are an absolute inspiration to me 🙂 How wonderful that having gone through the fear of possibly losing each other, twenty years down the line you’re both still here and sounding as though you’re very much enjoying life. I hope that your time with your daughter at Robin Hoods Bay was fun and that the sun shone for you all. Thank you very much for writing to me, and stay well, love Ali xx

  26. alison keenan August 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm -  Reply

    My dear Lynn, you are a sweetheart 🙂 Your words have definitely struck a chord with me, and your kindness and support have cheered me. Sending you love and hugs and continued good health… Ali xx

  27. alison keenan August 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm -  Reply

    Mary I’ve just found your second blog, but had to do a double take cos thought I was re reading the first! 🙂 50p for a gin and slimline – who’d have thought eh? Actually I was drinking gin and tonic at Catherine’s fab birthday bash on Wednesday but that was £4.50!! As for posh Daniel, I think he should definitely be swapped for someone else’s voice. But at least it keeps life interesting using a Sat Nav doesn’t it…. as you say, otherwise we’d never realise there were quite so many ways of reaching somewhere! I hope you got down safely from the shed roof, loppers intact (!) and that you have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  28. alison keenan August 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm -  Reply

    Jo I’m so grateful to you for always saying the right thing, and taking time out to keep in touch 🙂 I do hope that despite your rather emotional start of your journey to Sicily, you enjoyed your time when you got there! I am so glad that my blogs bring you pleasure, as I do very much enjoy writing them, and it was quite emotional for me the other day watching my speech, and then scrolling back over a few of last year’s blogs… but time has moved on, and I feel so much better. You take good care, and as always, I’m sending you my love, Ali xx

  29. alison keenan August 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm -  Reply

    Kerry thank you for writing to me, and I too enjoyed the show with Stacey and hope that she will be back soon 🙂 I also pray along with you that one day they will find a cure for this wretched disease, and I can finally say I’m truly ‘better’ 🙂 My love and best wishes to you too, Ali xx

  30. alison keenan August 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm -  Reply

    Bless you Jo, I loved your John Inverdale story 🙂 He does have a lovely voice and what a nice thing to do, to write to you all those years ago. I have to say that Richard Burton’s voice always did it for me, and Anthony Hopkins also – both from lovely Wales which may be why 🙂 I’m sorry you missed his emotional interview with the rowers but I bet if you google it, you’ll find it. Enjoy your weekend, love me xx

  31. alison keenan August 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm -  Reply

    Val I am so touched that this is your first post to the blog site, and thank you for your kind and supportive words. I hope it won’t be the last time you write either! I am looking forward to being a model – albeit a bit nervous – but hopefully it’ll be ‘alright on the night’!! Take care and enjoy your weekend, love Ali xx

  32. alison keenan August 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Sue, completely in your camp when it came to the closing ceremony – I thought the John Lennon imagery was incredible too! A definite triumph and yes, very proud to be British 🙂 Have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  33. Debz & Ainzley August 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Ali
    First of all, thank you for my hug from your last blog. It was very much appreciated and made me cry but in a good way!
    Saw you on the launch of the Diamonique TSV and boy you looked fantastic. I said to Neal “Look at my girl!! Isn’t she beautiful!” He looked a bit confused as I only usually say stuff like that about Ainzley and he’s a boy!! Then he realised who I was talking about and the fog cleared!!
    Talking of Ainzley (don’t I always!!) he’s still going strong. Vet’s visit next month so I am hoping that all is well with his liver. Not looking forward to my confession to the vet about his food – Ainzley’s, not the vet’s!! Still, I think and hope that I’m doing the right thing. No complaints from Ainz so that’s something eh?
    Loved your spread in Woman And Home. Glad you liked who was looking back at you in the mirror as I know mirrors have been tricky things for you over the past year. Talking of mirrors, I cleaned my mirror in the bathroom the other day. It must have been really dusty as I now look in much sharper focus. Think the dust was giving me a soft focus look which to be honest I much preferred. I may never clean another mirror!!
    I hope all in Ali’s army are well and are soldiering on as best they can.
    Lots of love and licks
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  34. Susan August 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just got to send you a message and say how wonderful you look in your photo shoot! I haven’t got the magazine so lovely of you to post. Also, did you see the 999 Awards last night on the BBC!? Wonderful! It makes me proud to be a healthcare worker. It was nice of Nick Knowles to say it’s amazing there’s ALL these showbiz TV events and yet it’s taken so long to get even a small Awards ceremony for us NHS staff! Amazing. So to all you other NHS and non-NHS health prof’s well done on getting on in the often not so great surroundings! Hope you enjoyed the awards too.
    Susan x
    PS Is Sam home yet?

  35. Lin Dezulian August 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    what can I say apart from what an inspiration you are to people who have had cancer.

  36. Liz, Morecambe August 18, 2012 at 10:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali and the rest of your army,
    Saw you on the James Lakeland show this morning in that lovely dress – it was just gorgeous and I would have loved it but am far too short to wear one that length without heels and I don’t do heels any more!! I did get a shorter dress and some tops in the sale at Phase Eight last week which will be great for autumn/winter – they are in purple and deep pink shades. Can wear them with long, flat boots.
    I have been busy watching the Olympics and found myself glued to the TV when I should have been doing other things but hey, they’re a once in a lifetime event! Needless to say, I loved the cycling…..talking of which, my other half and I have just put new batteries on our electric bikes and they are now up and running and we can fly along the prom even against the wind (rather a common feature here!). My partner has just been stopped from driving for 3 weeks as he had a mini-stroke so that means I am now chauffeur. Any sarky remarks and he’ll be turfed out of the car, I can tell you.
    Last week I met a friend who had come on a coach trip to stay at a hotel in town. I’d ‘met’ her via the Breast Cancer Care forums but never actually seen her. We got on like a house on fire and on Thursday I took her to see a bench put up in memory of one of our friends who died from breast cancer in April. It was in a wooded area near her house (about 25 miles from where I live) and I hadn’t seen it either, so thought we could go together and sit on it, take a picture to email to the rest of our little group and remember her that way. While we were going to it, I met her husband and dog who were out for a walk so we caught up on news and saw how they were all coping and went back to his house for a cup of tea. It was warm enough to sit out on the patio with views across the bay – very nice. My late friend’s parents also appeared and I hadn’t seen them since the funeral so it was nice to see them again too.
    I’m still waiting for one of my scans to be done and am dreading them finding some more spread. It isn’t going to be done for another couple of weeks and I then get the results the following week so anxious times!! Last week I also went to see a neurosurgeon about the spread in my spine. He had seen one scan and sent for me urgently intending to put some cement in one area of the spine. However, after seeing an x-ray and older scans, he said my bones weren’t as bad as thought but the tumour is pressing into the spinal canal and on a nerve so the op wouldn’t need doing as it wouldn’t solve anything. He’s leaving it to my oncologist to probably do a quick radiotherapy blast and tweek my drugs. So good in one way!
    I hope you were ‘pleased’ with your check-up results and can now relax a bit (til the next one at any rate!!). How’s the new house hunting progressing – any success you can report on yet??
    Well, must sign off now.
    Take care and love to all the girls here,
    Liz x

  37. angela white August 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

    hi ali! you alright!? glad to hear your appointment went well you look amazing i”ve watched a few of your shows-looking good girl! hope your looking for a house is progressing and you find what you want well its 10 weeks since steve stopped smoking and its his birthday friday so he is taking me,my friend and hubby for a meal on saturday-bless him! he fitted new sink in kitchen last week the language!!!!!!!!!!! was even worse when he put work surface then blind up! hope all of ali”s army are well and sending love to you all,take care xx

  38. alison keenan August 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm -  Reply

    My dear Debz (and Ainzley!)So good to hear from you, and I hope that things are much easier for you now, and you are happier in yourself. So glad you enjoyed the Diamonique Show and hope you heard your mention?! Thanks for your kind words about the Woman and Home photos – you’re right about the mirrors – I think keeping them dusty is definitely the answer!! LOL Do give Ainzley a stroke for me, and don’t be ‘afeared’ about your visit to the vet. As you said previously, he wasn’t eating before and was unhappy; surely your way is the best way – well that’s how I’d sell it to the vet!! Sending you another hug my love, and wishing you well and happy, love Ali xx

  39. alison keenan August 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm -  Reply

    Hello again Susan, and thanks for flagging the 999 Awards. I didn’t see them (altho I have a soft spot for Mr Nick Knowles), but agree completely that it’s wonderful to see all those hardworking NHS staff recognised for all that they do. You should be proud to be a healthcare worker – heaven knows where the rest of us would be without you 🙂 With love, Ali xx

  40. alison keenan August 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm -  Reply

    Lin, can I just thank you for taking the time out to say those kind words to me – they mean a lot…. Have a great week, Love Ali xx

  41. alison keenan August 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm -  Reply

    My dear Liz, as always good to hear your news, and I have everything crossed for you that the scans won’t show any spread of disease, but will be exactly as they were last time. I can completely understand how worried you must be, but I know your positivity will shine through, as it always does – you are an inspiration to me 🙂 I was sorry also to hear about your partner – do hope he’ll be back behind the wheel and feeling better very soon. Your electric bikes sound quite swish! Trying to traverse the prom in a head wind would be pretty well impossible if not I feel 🙂 How lovely for you to meet up with someone you’d met online at the BCC forum, and that you got on so well… It seems that the choice of place to sit was meant to be, especially as so many other lovelies gravitated to it as well… It’s good to share happy memories, and helps when the times are difficult. Yes, my check up results were OK, and if the bone pain doesn’t lessen then I will have a scan in a couple of months – they think it’s damage from the radiotherapy so nothing to worry about hopefully 🙂 House hunting is a success, and best of all Sam came home to us today – YAY!! I’ll fill you in on all of that in the next week, but in the meantime, stay strong, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  42. alison keenan August 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm -  Reply

    Angela I’m laughing out loud at the thought of your Steve swearing like a trooper while fitting the sink, work tops and blind in your kitchen! 🙂 But I have to take my hat off to him for coping without a cigarette for the last 10 weeks – that’s just the kind of situation when you feel the need to reach for one! Thanks for the compliments, and yes I’m feeling good – house hunting is a success too, and I’ll let you know about that once the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed – don’t want to get caught out like last time! Love to you and have a wonderful night out on Friday, Ali xx

  43. Dorothy August 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, sorry its been a while, but have read your blogs. You look gorgeous pleased you enjoyed make over and hope all goes well on the night, I will be watching, if anything like last year you will be fine, you have come a long way and may it continue. Hope the house goes through ok and you will be happy.Just listened to speech again, and yes had ro reach for tissues.
    Ali take care, keep making us laugh, and yes sometimes tears.
    Love best wishes
    Dorothy xxxx

  44. Susan August 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali! Thanks for the lovely compliment to all us health workers. It means a lot when you have a bad week with lots of cheek, sad things and things not going right! I see Sam is home so I can’t wait to hear all. Hope he is well,
    Susan x

  45. Ann O’Donovan August 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

    A very moving speech. Well done to you for being able to talk so openly about your illness and treatment.I am sure this will help others that have been, or will be, in this position. You are looking amazing and so p[leased that you are now able to return to presenting (just watched you on Q).
    Long may the treatment be successful for you and others.

  46. Alison Keenan August 29, 2012 at 9:15 am -  Reply

    Dear Dorothy, thank you for writing to me and for your lovely positive comments. I do hope all is well with you and that life isn’t too stressful? I can’t believe it’s almost a year since I made the speech and am looking forward more now to the fashion show – albeit a little apprehensively!! Love to you and Davy xxxx

  47. Alison Keenan August 29, 2012 at 9:18 am -  Reply

    Susan it sounds as though you have to put up with a great deal in your job, and I know that people like me and so many others would be lost without you :). Keep smiling and rising above it – easier said than done sometimes I’m sure! Yes it’s lovely to have Sam home and we’re just trying to get him settled and somewhere permanent for him to live. Keep in touch, and thanks for writing as always xxx love Ali

  48. Alison Keenan August 29, 2012 at 9:20 am -  Reply

    Ann, I very much hope so too. Sharing experiences and taking away some of the fear that surrounds cancer and it’s treatment is really important to me. Positive feelings are so much better for the body and spirit :). I do hope you are well and thank you for writing to me love Ali xx

  49. Ann Mee September 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I have not written before but I wanted to say what an inspiration to me you are. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last November and like you have had two operations, 6 chemotherapy sessions and 15 sessions of radiotherapy. I have just looked at your video from last year and it was as if you were talking about me. It felt weird but also comforting at the same time.
    There is one thing I would like to ask you. Whilst you were waiting for your eyelashes to grow back what did you do. I so miss not being able to put mascara on.
    When I look at you now it gives me hope that in the not too distant future I will be able to look more like my old self.
    Much love to you and all your family.

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