Colin & I outside Shakepeare's house

An incredibly successful night with enormous thanks to you all for your generosity, and our big Las Vegas Honora find!

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I couldn’t let another day pass without thanking you SO much for making last Monday’s Breast Cancer Care fundraiser such a phenomenal success!  The three hours flew by, and it was a joy to work with Craig, Miceal, Charlie and Will – plus of course all your favourite guests and kind folk who were manning the phones and the social media room. Weren’t the models from the Fashion Show wonderful? I had plenty of time to chat with them before we went live, and they are all delightful and hugely positive, in spite of their understandable fears…  I was really thrilled that you loved the I Hope ring as much as the pendant, and that the Forever pendant which Charlie and I had designed was equally popular.  I am very much hoping that all these pieces of jewellery will be re ordered before Christmas, just in case you missed them.  You may remember that we finished the night on £306,000, but I want you to know that the total raised climbed to a staggering £315,000!

New writing deskYour generosity is humbling, and I am so grateful to know that this money will provide the emotional and practical support that is needed by so many of us whose lives are touched by breast cancer. I would also like to add that I personally felt hugely supported and loved, thanks to all those of you who got in touch to wish me luck with my scan, and then congratulated me on the happy result :) The lumps were fibrous tissue and encapsulation around the implant – such a relief…. Seriously though, you are amazing….

Well it’s been a busy week, what with one thing and another, but I am delighted to tell you that not only do I now have a fabulous iMac, but Colin bought me a desk and chair so that I have a proper writing area too!  Hopefully now I can forge ahead with writing my book as I have been promising myself for several years now!

Lucy had her birthday last weekend, and we all went to Butterfly World. I made her a butterfly birthday cake in my KitchenAid - what do you think?  We had a lovely time together, and saw not just beautiful butterflies like these, but also some meerkats, which were hilarious!

Butterfly Butterfly cake Butterfly & orange Meerkats

I was then spoiled to a preview night at the theatre to see the brand new production of Made in Dagenham. Ros’s Chris makes curtains and dressings for all the London theatres, and so he had a few coveted tickets. Whoever bid for and won our BCC auction lot that included this musical will be thrilled! It is brilliant! Seriously, one of the funniest, slickest, most beautifully presented, and cleverly staged productions I have seen in a very long time. The entire cast are superb and I would highly recommend it! I am definitely planning to go and see it again :)

Ros & Chris Mitch & Ali

And then to round off the week, Colin and I drove to Stratford Upon Avon with Ros and Chris to meet Mitch and Ali for a special dinner dance.  We had a great time;all dressed up in our finery, ate and drank everything in sight, and danced ourselves dizzy until the wee small hours… I felt every one of my 54 years on Sunday morning though, and was amazed that Chris managed to motor his way through this scone only one hour after a cooked breakfast!! :)

The scone

A couple of things I must mention before I go, is that I won’t be with you for a week or so because of my final reconstructive surgery this week.  Hopefully if it all goes according to plan I will be back on the 28th October for a very special Honora Pearl show where I have something incredible to share with you – and no, not just Ralph! :)

Our jewellery buyers visited the JCK Jewellery Fair in Las Vegas last June, and found these unbelievable earrings.  HUGE 20mm Keshi pearls in 18ct gold with flat cut diamonds!  One pair in white pearl, and the other in rose (there were actually three pairs but Ralph’s wife Jenny got first dibs on the peach ones which is only fair!) To find Keshi pearls of this size, so well matched in colour and size, is remarkable. They are obviously free-formed pure nacre, and would have taken years to get to this size.  Even Ralph and Honora – who see literally millions upon millions of pearls – said these were a once in a lifetime find, and for us to have them for you as a private reserve next Tuesday is marvellous. Our previous ‘vault finds’ have always proved popular, but if you consider yourself a discerning jewellery buyer, and collector of rare and valuable things, you won’t want to miss them!

Honor Keshi Pearl earrings together

All that remains for me to do is to name the winner of my ‘Seasonal Sound’ competition!  Thanks again to so many of your for taking part, and I’m delighted to announce that…. Katherine Norris correctly guessed (along with hundreds of others) that the sound was indeed Colin and I playing conkers! I will make sure the Leighton Denny prize is posted out to you immediately.

I hope you have a great week, again so very many thanks to you for your incredible kindness and generosity – I feel very lucky indeed to have you all in my life!  Keep in touch, and I will look forward to reading all your news.

With my love,

Ali

134 Comments

  1. Marcia Douglas October 21, 2014 at 7:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I am so pleased to hear your wonderful news.You are truly an inspirational & brave lady. A real trooper. I have your beautiful pendant & necklace from last year’s Breast Cancer Care show. This time I was lucky to buy the rose gold ” forever” necklace. It is stunning and I am looking forward to wearing it soon. Congratulations to you & Charlie on such a beautiful design & it’s sentiment. May you continue to have better health and wishing you a speedy recovery with your pending surgery. Best wishes Marcia X

  2. Marcia Douglas October 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm -  Reply

    Ps, I love butterflies too, before they are as popular as they are now. I have them in my house and garden & I have two dresses with butterflies on them. One from Qvc,! , I have never visited Butterfly World, so may plan a visit there. I must say a your cake looks wonderful you did Lucy proud. Well done. M X

  3. Benda Winch October 21, 2014 at 8:24 pm -  Reply

    Thamku for your bravery in your cancer.i have been diagosed with breast cancer and heart failure all in 2 weeks.But remain very positive. So glad your lumps are fibrous tissue. Will keep you in my prayers. Have bought t, shirt will wear it for my admission to hospital.x

  4. Nancy Brant October 22, 2014 at 11:16 am -  Reply

    Alison, you have been on my mind since the wonderful cancer care evening and I have been praying that your scan would give you a good result. So-oo delighted for you. You really are an inspirational lady!!

  5. Jo October 22, 2014 at 11:49 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali Hope all goes well for your surgery and look forward to seeing you again with Ralph x

  6. janine (twinkle) October 22, 2014 at 11:57 am -  Reply

    Hi beautiful Ali
    I am still so immensely proud of you hon, you were amazing last Monday. Your amazing smile and dedication made the evening even more special.
    Your own personal news was simply amazing. Im over the moon for you abd yes there were tears of joy from little me :) you are so brave and inspiratonal. We are all so proud of you.
    Your butterfly cake is beautiful. I love butterflies.They are so pretty and are included in one of my favfavourite positive quotes. ‘Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly’
    love Meerkats too they are gorgeous.
    so glad u have had a fantastic week gorgeous.

    Sending love and hugs xxx

  7. Janet Jones October 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, so glad you had a good weekend after your most excellent news. I will be thinking of you as you go through your final(everything crossed) re constructive surgery. The it’s full steam ahead for your wedding next year, you have so much to look forward to. We had Alfie for a whole weekend he was full of cold and didn’t want to leave my side., as always he was an absolute joy, I wish we could see more of him but it’s geography. I now have a rotten cold but I was coming down with it when we had Alfie so I can’t blame him!!! I have had to cancel a couple of things, I think I am a bit run-down so I must start taking better of myself and not run around like a mad person all the time. My husband tells me I do too much so I should start listening to his advice. Take good care Ali and make sure you take care of yourself after your operation, and I know you will be cared for very well by the lovely Colin.Speak soon love Janet xx

  8. Elaine sallis October 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, loved the butterfly cake. However did Colin eat that scone. It phased me just looking at it. I loved the picture of you and Colin it was outside Shakespeare’s birthplace wasn’t it? Geoff and I have another night in stratford in December. I hope the reconstruction surgery goes well. Love Elaine

  9. loraine October 22, 2014 at 4:01 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison good luck with your operation and hope you have a nice few days of after the Initial soreness subsides . What a fantastic cake something I am no good at I’m afraid.When your book is finally finished I will definitely be buying it look forward to seeing you back on qvc love Loraine xxx

  10. Sue Radford October 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi, Ali,

    Hope all is well with your operation – I’m sure this will be your last op, and you can then get on and enjoy life. You have so much to look forward to haven’t you? Hope the wedding arrangements are going well. I love the cake you made for Lucy. I love butterflies there’s something very magical about them, and there was such an abundance of them this summer, must have been due to the lovely hot weather we had. Take care. Best wishes to everyone.

    Love Sue Radford xx

  11. Pat Owen October 22, 2014 at 6:36 pm -  Reply

    As with a previius comment you have been on my mind since the show. Im blubbing writing this now so happy to hear your good news and hope this will be your last surgery.
    God bless you and your family.

  12. Alpa October 22, 2014 at 10:44 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,

    I’ve just seen your tweet that you’re out of theatre. Only you my friend could make a joke that you can feel the room swaying but not hear the band playing! ;) I hope surgery has gone well.

    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  13. Jan October 22, 2014 at 11:55 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations to you and everyone at QVC on such an amazing fundraising effort. I’m so pleased you received good news with the scan results & I wish you well with your surgery. You are a very special person who deserves great respect for the way you have dealt with a very difficult journey. Look forward to seeing you back on QVC very soon.
    Love from Jan xxx

  14. Trish October 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I have been following your blog for 2 years and two months when my daughter was diagnosed with TN aged 37 . I was so worried for you last week when I heard you had more lumps and so delighted to hear your great news. My daughter Sarah also had a lump which turned out to be inflamation caused by RT. Her BRACA test and her 2nd year scan were also clear so I am now hopeful that she will reach her 40th birthday next April and her 5 year old daughter will still have her lovely Mum. Lots of love Trish x

  15. Carole cooper October 23, 2014 at 10:10 am -  Reply

    Dear Alison I haven’t posted to you before but I have to say you did a brilliant job on the breast cancer care night your dress was amazing and you looked great. I am so happy for you Carole cooper wigan

  16. Barbara Andrews October 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison, you haven’t heard from me before but I was so moved on Breast Cancer Care night and in tears. Have been praying hard for you ever since. As my computer was defunct and I’m only now up and running again, I’ve just caught up with the wonderful news! Always rush home from choir practice on a Thursday to catch your Diamonique show, so look forward to seeing you soon. You’re a lovely lady! Barbara, Portchester, Hampshire.

  17. Mrs Susan Huskisson October 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm -  Reply

    Fantastic news Ali. I was so upset when I heard that they had found lumps and you needed a scan. The news couldn’t be better. I wish you continued recovery and hope you receive only good news from now on. As Brucie says ” you’re my favourite”. Love from Sue H. xxxx

  18. Carol.S October 23, 2014 at 4:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi ya Alison. Loved your blog as per usual. Glad your op. is over now and hope you get back to normal very soon. Your desk and chair look lovely so let’s hope they inspire you to do some writing.love carol. X

  19. Cheryl October 23, 2014 at 8:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison I do hope that your surgery has gone well and that you are recovering well. Thank god for the good news I know from experience how hard the waiting for results can be! I purchased the ‘I Hope’ ring for myself and one for my daughter and we are so delighted with it, absolutely beautiful! We always watch the Breast Cancer Care show and you looked amazing as always but I also want to give a special mention to Craig Rowe as I thought what a kind caring man he is, full of compassion and sincerity. Your daughter Lucy had me and my own daughter in tears watching as my own daughter has watched me on my ‘journey’ and can fully relate to every word Lucy said and I think that it has helped her to deal with her her feelings. Love and best wishes to you and your family.

  20. Ian Patterson October 23, 2014 at 9:09 pm -  Reply

    i am overjoyed with your good news. You are such an inspiration Ali and I have been thinking and praying all week for good news. You have made my week now! Take care and lots of love and best wishes for continued good health and happiness ian xx

  21. rebecca walker October 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alli, So happy to read the news that everything went well at your scan. You are truly amazing. The way you kept everything together at the breast cancer care show, knowing at the end of it you were going to tell us that you were going back or another scan on the wednesday. Truly amazing, please take care you wonderful lady. Rebecca XXX

  22. jude clarkson October 24, 2014 at 1:01 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali Just caught up with your good news.I am thrilled all is well and long may that continue.You never cease to amaze me with your positive attitude, empathy and great sense of humour. I was proud and privledged to watch the BCAShow I bought the charm bracelet for my daughter…it’s lovely. Thanks again Ali, love and the very best of good wishes to you, your family and not forgetting the qvc family too xjude

  23. Ellen taylor October 24, 2014 at 8:12 am -  Reply

    Have admired your beauty and courage for some time but not written before. On breast cancer night I was worried for you and now I am so pleased to hear all is well. My step daughter is just beginning her fight and she is also showing great courage. Think of her please.
    Love to You.

  24. Denise Anstey October 24, 2014 at 9:14 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, I was so distraught at listening to you sharing your message on the Breast Cancer Care evening when you informed us of your lumps and the pending scan. I cannot comprehend the awfulness of the situation and the shear stress of it all its so life engulfing. All I know from my disability is that I use to live for the day and hope for a better future and for me I have been lucky to regain my mobility and had a chance to do that. Positivity in the light of everything and hope is a powerful combination. I am so glad to have read that the tissue is non malignant you have made my day feel brighter hearing this, I hope you continue to progress, you are a beautiful women inside and out and an inspiration and help to many other women. My mother had a lump two years ago and the doctor told her not to worry about it, she told me in the afternoon, I had her at a private consultants in the evening and she was told there and then it was cancer. She had it removed two days later and since then as it was caught early and so small there was no chemo and radiotherapy just an oestrogen reducing table she takes daily. If she had left it and listened to her doctor who knows the outcome, the solution to this is for women to know they should demand a second opinion, if you find a lump no matter how small get it check quickly, a normal breast shouldn’t have lumps and a scan will differentiate if it is a cyst or something more sinister. We have a second friend who has just been diagnosed 15 years after her first breast cancer again her GP said she didnt need to go for her regular check ups with her consultant, she went two weeks later for one and the second lump was found she is now on Chemo. Life is so fragile, but it is also so precious, I bought the hope pendant for my friend who is undergoing Chemo as I hope for her that each day she can smile to know she is one day closer to hopefully gaining the all clear again. I hope one day this dreadful disease can be eradicated so no one has to suffer as many so far have. xx

  25. Linda Marshall October 24, 2014 at 10:24 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, congratulations on the good news about your scan.
    You did a fantastic job on breast cancer care night, and your dress was amazing. Just to wish you good luck on your re-constructive
    surgery. I hope it is all you wish for.
    good luck again lots of love Linda xxx

  26. Christine Hastings October 24, 2014 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, so very pleased to hear your positive result :) Best of luck in writing your book – very posh desk and chair may I add. You appear to be a talented baker as well, good looking cake and I hope it tasted just as good xx

  27. Cindy October 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm -  Reply

    Dearest heart, so pleased to hear your good news. I had my 18 month post Endometrium cancer check up at Northampton last week and the news was equally good – Yay!

    Love Cindy xx

  28. Rhona Fenton October 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison Just to say that like all the rest off us is so happy to hear the results off your scan and that it was all good news yippee!! what a load off your mind happy days :) I have sent you an email hope you get it ok when you get a chance to :) also want to add that I hope all goes well with your surgery our thoughts and wishes are with you! loved reading your blog as always lovely to see you all have so much fun :) your cake looked amazing also, are you trying to do my Alison out off a job with your cakes wait till I tell her she has competition!! I will see you soon when your back on air but for now wishing you all the best and I hope your colin has his waiters uniform at the ready to look after you but I know he will :) take care keep strong all our love Rhona xx

  29. Joanne October 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm -  Reply

    Hello Alison,
    I have watched your for years on QVC, and have admired you so much as I have seen you “take on” the challenge of breast cancer. Your positive approach has been such an inspiration, that has often brightened my day. I know that sometimes your smiles and presentations can’t have come easy and you have gone through some real rough times. I was so upset when you mentioned that some lumps had been found, but so so pleased when they were found to be some pesky fibrous tissue and encapsulation. This is my first ever reply to a blog, but you certainly deserve some applause. You are a very special lady, so you keep on being who you are, and look forward to your wedding next year will be so special. xxxx

  30. Morag October 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm -  Reply

    Ali you have been in my thoughts so often over the last while, and I have just read about your great result from your scan. How relieved you and your loved ones must be, and i am so happy for you. Your courage, humour and thoughtfulness for others is truly inspiring. Wishing you continued health and all the happiness in the world. Love Morag xxxx

  31. Alpa October 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,

    So sorry your day case became a three day ordeal :( It sounds incredibly painful. I hope you are resting in bed and being very well looked after.

    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  32. margo southgate October 24, 2014 at 9:07 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations Ali that everything is OK with you You are a diamond.You looked stunning at the breast cancer show.All the very best to you and your family xxxx

  33. Mary Morphy October 24, 2014 at 10:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, I hope that your surgery has gone well and that you are being well looked after by everyone. I look forward to catching you on screen again soon. What another great blog, the butterfly photo was incredible and well done for a fabulous cake creation..I’m green with envy as you have a kitchen aid…I have told my husband that in order to continue baking incredible cakes I NEED a red kitchen aid ..yes I know I also mentioned to him that I also need a Lulu bag but I just really need both. Anyway, I bake as you know and always bake something to take to our team meeting at work on Wednesday and they have convinced me to apply to go on Great British Bake Off. So, having thought about it and convincing myself that if Norman can get on it and drown a Tarte au Citron in icing sugar I must stand a reasonable chance plus, I have told hubby that If, and it’s a very big if, I get through, I will need a kitchen aid to practice with as they use them on the show. A great plan don’t you think?
    Did I mention my sister has a new puppy..he’s a naughty boy called Eric and is a red English bull terrier. He is now 6 months old and has so far eaten a Bose remote control, three CDs, two pairs of glasses, all four corners of a solid oak coffee table, a radiator thermostat, door mat, a plastic toy box and a brand new phone in the box!! Her other bull terrier Phoebe just has a permanent look of despair on her face and dog walking on the beach on Saturdays is very eventful but, he’s gorgeous and very handsome. The lady dogs love him!
    Your weekend with friends certainly was fun filled, and my gosh, that cream scone looked and probably tasted like a tower of deliciousness.
    I wasn’t able to watch the BCC three hour event but bought a t shirt and the pink Kipling bag prior to the show. What a fabulous amount of money. Well done to QVC, incredible!
    So, what’s beenn happening here? Half term next week so my diary is packed to the rafters with dentist app, sorting mum, taxi service, lunch with friends and an afternoon to be spent at the fracture clinic with my mum in law who fell out of her porch last Saturday tripping on the door frame. I hasten to add she hadn’t been on the sauce, if you know what I mean!. I was just about to put a marble cake in the oven when she called. Hubby and son on the golf course so me and daughter Chloe went straight round….her wrist and arm formed a zig zag shape and she had cuts on her arms and face and face plus a bruised eye. We went straight to A and E..she has broken her radius which needed manipulating back to the right position. Despite having a local anaesthetic she was in agony..I stayed with her and she was squuezing my hand very tightly during the procedure. Bless her she is 82 and has only been in hospital once and that was to have my husband. She only has a back plate plaster on at the more as the swelling is still severe but at clinic on Wednesday sage shoukd get plastered properly..I’m trying to convince her that a neon pink one would be good!
    Well my battery is flashing on my tablet so I will finish now before it all disappears! Hoping all is going well. Love Mary xx

  34. Antoinette P October 25, 2014 at 12:43 am -  Reply

    Hi good luck for your op and wonderful news about your tests. I had mastectomy as result of my breast cancer coming back and have just had my second op which completes my reconstruction i am now looking forward to feeling normal again. we both know what a lonley journey it is and how difficult it is to keep positive and get on with life. I made up my mind that I would make sure I did my makeup each morning and look as good as I could and dare to hope that I would be ok, don’t know where I got the strength from. Thank you for doing such a great job in helping to raise so much money and letting people know how much people like you, me and many other women dealing with breast cancer appreciate and benefit from it. Take care, all the very best for you op and god bless, Antoinette xx

  35. Sue Radford October 25, 2014 at 11:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,

    Great to know you are now home and recovering after your extended stay in hospital. Sorry to hear you had to go through so much. Take it easy.

    Love Sue Radford xx

  36. Judith Lennon October 26, 2014 at 11:01 am -  Reply

    hello Ali
    what a lovely blog again and wow such beautiful cakes. I love butterflies too. Many years ago my husband and I visited butterfly valley in Rhodes in Greece and there were thousands of all colours and varieties. Some were so obvious and others hid and blended themselves into the surroundings that you really had to look for them. It was quite amazing. I was really thrilled for you on your last scan results. It’s amazing news and now you can really look forward to your wedding. I was amazed at how many people on your last blog contacted you. It just goes to show how many people are helping you along in thoughts, wishes and prayers, I realise because of this that you can’t read and respond to all of them but I wanted you to know why I hadn’t been in touch for a while and it wasn’t that t I didn’t care. I’m writing to you whilst my youngest grand daughter is taking a nap. She had a sleep over last night and I have been awake since 6.30 so now I am also ready for a nap!! She is no bother and we love her to bits. As always lovely lady keep well and am sending you big hugs and lots of love. Judith xx

  37. Tina S. October 26, 2014 at 11:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I would just like to add to those who have already wished you well for your reconstructive surgery.Hopefully you will not have many more of these procedures to face and can enjoy planning your happy event!
    I loved the chair and desk Colin bought for you. My husband would be so envious as he has been looking for a new chair to go with his desk. We have been looking for something similar for a while.
    It was very kind of you to say in your last blog that we should visit the new studio in Chiswick (I said about when we visited the Chelsea Flower Show some years back and ended up outside the old QVC studio’s. It would be nice to visit London again as we have’nt been for quite a few years now. I have problems with my back so need to find somewhere pretty central as there is so much walking to do whenever we visit.
    Well time is flying by again – wishing you all the best again. We will be thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery.
    Love, Tina (S. Wales)

  38. Lynn Hind October 27, 2014 at 12:05 am -  Reply

    Hi was so pleased to hear the great news and hope you are recovering after the latest surgery to finish things, in reply to your cmment it was quite a year i lost my parents 25weeks apart and sadly found my beloved dad asleep in his home in his pj’s broke my heart but so grateful he didnt suffer just went to sleep, bit still awfully traumatic! Just waiting to go on a 25day carribean cruise we figured after the year we had and all that goes with it it was a good thing haha. Husband had both hips replaced in the midst of it all so i didnt have time to be sick! So hope your feeling better and hope to be posting more now things are settling down again take care love as always Lynn xx

  39. Tricia Coulson-wood October 27, 2014 at 8:38 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, I hope you are now well into recovery from your operation. It will be great to put all those years of surgery and treatments behind you for good. I hope you are managing to recharge your batteries by getting some good sleep and rest.
    We hope to see you again late October as planned.
    Just to say also that the G H article Xmas edition which has my daughter Jan in it comes out on the 31st of October (I hope)
    Take care everyone and we all wish we hadn’t time to be sick but at times we are taken ill by surprise . love to one and all,Tricia.

  40. Jilly October 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    Just a quickie to say thinking of you today Ali and hope that you are mighty pleased with your “new look body” – if you see what I mean – another step in the right direction and onwards and upwards – Love Jilly XX

  41. Alpa October 30, 2014 at 1:15 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,

    Just remembered that the plasters were off yesterday. I hope the outcome from surgery is all you hoped for.

    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  42. Janet Jones October 30, 2014 at 11:13 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, hope all well with you and surgery went well, Take it easy love Janet xx

  43. dorothy hollingsworth October 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali, hope all went well and I wish you a speedy recovery.love dorothy xx

  44. Alison Keenan October 31, 2014 at 6:21 am -  Reply

    Good. Morning! Rather early I know, but I just wanted to apologise to all those of you who’ve written to me here, as I haven’t been able to respond until now. Hopefully all your kind comments and messages have been answered on my previous blog, but unfortunately I find myself back in hospital following my operation last week… Unfortunately I’d had a large bleed after surgery, and one of the incisions refused to heal, and so my surgeon had to have me back In theatre to look inside to make sure all was well. We’re hoping that now having been re stitched, the problem will be solved. Fingers crossed I’ll be coming home maybe today and will then have to rest up for a while, but hopefully I will be more awake and on lesser meds so I can read through all these lovely comments and find out how you’ve been! Take are, love Ali xx

  45. Alison Keenan October 31, 2014 at 6:22 am -  Reply

    Good. Morning! Rather early I know, but I just wanted to apologise to all those of you who’ve written to me here, as I haven’t been able to respond until now. Hopefully all your kind comments and messages have been answered on my previous blog, but unfortunately I find myself back in hospital following my operation last week… I’d had a large bleed after surgery, and one of the incisions refused to heal, and so my surgeon had to have me back In theatre to look inside to make sure all was well. We’re hoping that now having been re stitched, the problem will be solved. Fingers crossed I’ll be coming home maybe today and will then have to rest up for a while, but hopefully I will be more awake and on lesser meds so I can read through all these lovely comments and find out how you’ve been! Take are, love Ali xx

  46. Jilly October 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm -  Reply

    Oh Ali just so sorry to hear that you have been back in again – I had wondered if all was ok as it seemed to go a little quiet!!. How frightening life can be sometimes. We are crossing not only fingers but everything else and wait to hear that you are now finally on the mend – such a pain for you but onwards and upwards and each day you will get better and better – biggest hugs Love Jill XX

  47. Judith Lennon October 31, 2014 at 1:17 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali

    So sorry that you’ve had to go back to hospital. You will feel much better when you are home and back in your own surroundings. Take lots of time to chill and relax and I’m sure Colin and your family will rally round with loads of care and attention. You are always in my thoughts. Much love and hugs
    Judith x

  48. Alpa October 31, 2014 at 1:55 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,

    You are kind to reply to us on your last blog and to update us today, bless you. I’m so sorry you’ve had to go back into hospital again :( I hope all goes well. Fingers crossed you are back home today and can take the time you need to rest and recover.

    Your latest tweets appear on your twitter which shows up on your blog page. I’m not on twitter myself but never say never ;) I will let you know if I ever find myself there. I do watch your Diamonique shows on a Thursday as they are not to be missed!

    I’m so glad that you did something special last weekend. I’m afraid things are not easier at the moment but I am doing what I can. In the process of writing to you!

    Just wanted to say how lovely it is to hear from Joanna again x

    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  49. Elaine sallis October 31, 2014 at 2:18 pm -  Reply

    Ali so sorry to hear that you are back in hospital. Things are really not going well for you this time. I hope you feel better soon.
    Elaine

  50. Sue Radford October 31, 2014 at 4:59 pm -  Reply

    Oh Ali, I’m so sorry you had to be admitted to hospital again – it must have been awful for you. Hope you’ll soon feel much better.

    Love Sue Radford xx

  51. Janet Jones October 31, 2014 at 7:11 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali, I am so sorry to hear that things have not been straight forward for you for this ‘minor op’ Hopefully as I write this you will be safety tucked up in your own bed with the lovely Colin looking after you. I have not long got in from work and thought I would catch up with my emails and check in to see how you were doing. I do hope this will be the last of your operations now, and while you heal at home look through those wedding mags for shoe and other ideas and focus on the positive(which I know you will). Talking of positive our little Cancer Research shop raised £900.00 for Stand Up To Cancer on Friday, so we are all very pleased with our efforts. The shop will be closed for a week for repainting and I will be helping to set the shop out ready for reopening, naturally I will be concentrating on the jewellery lol, I have tried to save some nice pieces for this occasion.
    I still have a stinking cold so we won’t be visiting my son this weekend, might go to the garden centre I need a new small shrub for my garden.
    Well I think that’s it for now. Take very good care Ali, and make sure you don’t come back to work too soon , as you have a lot of healing to do. Sending you a gentle hug, speak soon love Janet xx

  52. loraine November 1, 2014 at 6:42 pm -  Reply

    Sorry to hear you had to go back in hospital again you poor thing hopefully you will be on the mend now rest and some tender loving care is what you need now I’m sure Colin will make sure you get it take care see you back on qvc very soon love Loraine xxx

  53. ann quinn November 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm -  Reply

    By Ali. Just wanted to pick you r brains a bit had a year of the dreaded cancer myeloma and after a stem cell transplant in August I look in the mirror and feel a bit jaded .How did you get your glow back ?I seem more lined than before maybe I’m just imagining it ha I’m using cleanser and decent moisturizer but ah help needed. I’m coping with the wigs but need a bit of a make over seem to have lost my confidence when it comes to make up what do you suggest? Thanks ann xx

  54. Pauline November 2, 2014 at 9:43 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, So sorry to hear you had to go back into hospital, lets hope they get It all sorted so you can get home and rest and be with your family. Take care and I wish you a speedy recovery.x

  55. Pauline November 2, 2014 at 11:11 pm -  Reply

    Oh Alison, sorry you’ve had a rotten time and hope you have a speedy recuperation. I’ve meant to write to you for ages. You’re my fav presenter and so many times you’ve had me laughing out loud with the things you say. You have a great sense of humour and a wonderfully kind spirit. Thank you for your good cheer!
    Love, Pauline x

  56. Alison Keenan November 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm -  Reply

    Dear Marcia, I am so sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to you but things didn’t go quite according to plan with the surgery, and I found myself back in hospital again last week for 3 days and have been in bed ever since. Feeling a little better each day tho, and thank you so much for Your kind words which have cheered me. I am so very glad, as will Charlie be, that you liked the Forever pendant and I hop it will have arrived by now so that you can wear it. Many thanks for writing and thank you for your patience. With love, Ali xx

  57. Alison Keenan November 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm -  Reply

    Oh and Marcia do try and visit Bitterfly World you will love it! Just make sure you wear layers as it’s pretty warm where the butterflies live! Ali xx

  58. Alison Keenan November 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm -  Reply

    Dear Benda, I was so terribly sorry to read of your diagnosis, and even sorrier that I have only now managed to reply to you. You may well be in hospital yourself, and if so I genuinely wish you the very best and hope that you are comfortable and being well looked after. I feel the only way to look at things is that this is the the beginning of your recovery .. Pleas do keep on touch – you must still be in shock after receiving such devastating news, but this blog is a very supportive network and I’m sure others will want to help,you too. Stay strong, love Ali xx

  59. Alison Keenan November 2, 2014 at 11:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Nancy how very kind you are, and thank you so much for your comforting words. I do hope all I sell in your world, and please keep in touch, with love, Ali xx

  60. Alison Keenan November 2, 2014 at 11:45 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jo I was very sorry not to have been with you and Ralph Rossini on Tuesday night, but the operation didn’t go quite as smoothly as planned and I found myself back I’m hospital for 3 days and have been in bed pretty much ever since. Getting a little bette each day, and hope to be be up and moving around in the next few days. Pleas do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  61. Alison Keenan November 2, 2014 at 11:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Janine and thank you for your lovely butterfly quote – truer words never spoken! I’m so glad you enjoyed the fundraiser, and thank you for being a part of it! Although it was pretty emotional I really enjoyed my role in it, and the team I was working with too. You take care, love Ali x

  62. Alison Keenan November 2, 2014 at 11:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Janet lovely to hear from you and I’m sure that you did enjoy your time with little Alfie and lovely that when he’s feeling low he comes to you for comfort. Sorry tho that you ended up with a cold and I hope you feel better soon. I think you should listen to your husband as you are probably a tad run down, and need to take it a little easier. I ended up back In Hospital a week after the op with a persistent bleed which has now been sorted but have twisted my back in tho rices so In bed for the last 4 days! Getting better each day tho. With love to you, Ali xx

  63. Alison Keenan November 3, 2014 at 12:03 am -  Reply

    Hi Elaine and good to hr from you. No it was actually Chris who ate that humongous science not Colin- we all felt quite Ill watching him! Yea the picture was outside Shakespeare’s home and eh we’re on,y two of thousands there that day taking photos. As you will probably gathered by reading my previous comments I am not quit on the mend yet, but determined to get there, so will keep in touch. Sending you my love, Ali xxx

  64. Jilly November 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali – you are home and that is such good news – you just need to rest and recover now. Awful that what should have been an “in and out” job turned into something longer – we are all sending big bear hugs and lots of love and waiting to hear that you are on the mend Love Jilly XX

  65. Kim November 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm -  Reply

    Ali, just to say how sorry I was to read that you had a blip in your road to recovery. Take it easy; you mean so much to an awful lot of people! Looking forward to seeing you on your return, love and hugs Kim

  66. Alpa November 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,

    I’m so sorry you found yourself back in hospital unexpectedly :( I hope you are resting, slowly recovering and being very well looked after by the lovely Colin.

    That’s a fantastic sum raised for BCC. It’s so good to know that it does make a difference to anyone who is affected with breast cancer. The models were indeed wonderful and inspirational. I’m glad you got your iMac. I’m sure it goes very well with the stylish and beautiful desk and chair Colin bought for you. How fabulous to have a proper writing area and to hear you are planning to forge ahead with writing your book. Happy times indeed :) Thank you for sharing Butterfly World with us. I think you are a cake maker extraordinaire, Ali. The butterfly cake looks as pretty as it does delicious. The meercats are priceless; they always make me smile and that picture is worth a thousand words. So pleased you enjoyed yourself at your dinner dance, after such a nerve wracking time. That is a mightily impressive scone :)

    It took the best part of a year but I eventually did hear from my consultant at the Autonomic Unit. I still don’t have my results from the tests in March and they have been chased up. The problem is that the tests are not conclusive. He thinks it’s best we meet to see what can be done. I am now chasing up an earlier appointment as my next appointment is June next year! He also believes one of the reasons I feel so ill all the time and have blackouts is as result of POTS which is dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. It’s also one of the symptoms of ME. Over the last year I found that any activity puts severe pressure on my heart, as one of the things POTS does affect is blood flow to the heart. There have also been other complications which has made the ME much worse than it is. I am on the case so we will see where that leads!

    I don’t know if you remember a few years ago when I wasn’t able to write for some time? When I did write I’m not sure if I told you I was housebound and bedbound with severe ME. Not long before, I was referred for CBT and graded exercise therapy. At the time, I had no idea government policy here dictates that ME is not to be treated as a physical illness. Funny enough, no one could explain to me how psychotherapy and exercise can be used to treat a neurological illness, probably because it can’t! Exercise intolerance is a big part of neurological ME and exercise is one of the worst things anyone can insist on. Patients with neurological symptoms are meant to be excluded from this ‘treatment’ Although I have always had distinct neurological symptoms, I was not excluded and subjected to the same appalling thing for a second time. When I found out how harmful it was, the damage had already been done. I simply never recovered from it.

    Debz, bless you for your message. I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling that great. I do hope that things get a little easier for you. Sending you my love and a special stroke for dear Ainzley (my favourite cat) from his Auntie Alpa x

    Jilly, you are kind to think of me. You made me giggle at your 30 year old Kenwood. Mum has had one for the same length of time. The Kitchen Aid is fab isn’t it I do like your choice of colour and hope you are able to acquire one at some point. I wish I could surround myself with kind people who understand and don’t drain my energy. It’s not as though my body can rest and recover and create more energy! Apart from my friends in Ali’s Army, there is almost no one else. When no one believes you, it makes things worse. Like you, I always remember to give thanks for every little good thing; it’s so important. Love to you and Annie x

    Trisha, so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I hope you will get the help you need. I am thrilled Jan will be in GH and look forward to it coming out. Please do take care and be kind to yourself x

    Julie, I am so glad you have had some better news. I hope you know we are all here for you on the good days and on the not so good days x

    Love to Una and Meli, Sue, Janet, Elaine and all in Ali’s Army x

    Take care, Ali

    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  67. alison keenan November 4, 2014 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Loraine, thank you for your good wishes – operation all done – although took a tad longer than I had anticipated. That said, think I’m on the mend now, and hope to be back at work in a week or so. I’m glad you liked the cake – I made a ladybird for Lucy when she was four years old, and I have the photos of it somewhere :) Now that I can sit down properly for the first time in 12 days, I hope to make a start on my book, and I hope it will be something you will want to read :) Thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  68. alison keenan November 4, 2014 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Sue, Gosh I so hope this is my last operation. Having had six days in hospital rather than an afternoon, I will be delighted to have my stitches out, and no longer be of interest to the medical profession :) I agree with you about butterflies – dragonflies too – and was delighted when I had the most beautiful tanzanite blue dragonfly sit on me in the sunshine last week – meant to be lucky so I’m told . Hope all good with you, love Ali xx

  69. alison keenan November 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm -  Reply

    Pat, I too have to admit to shedding a few tears of relief to hear that the lumps weren’t disease, and so I have a clear six months until my next check up. My first visit to hospital lasted a tad longer than I expected, and then I was back again a week later with complications, but hoping I’m over the worst, and have been up and out of bed for the first time in the last five days :) Love to you and your family too, Ali xx

  70. alison keenan November 4, 2014 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Alpa, clearly you and I share the same sense of humour. Surgery didn’t go quite according to plan, but after three days I went home, only to return a week later for another three days. Through the woods now, and thanks to my children, family and friends, i’m up and out of bed for the first time in five days. Hope to be back at work in a week or so. With love to you Alpa, Ali xx

  71. alison keenan November 4, 2014 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jan, Thanks so much for being a part of our fundraising day -it’s been down to people like you that the total has gone far higher than I mentioned at the beginning of the blog, and once confirmed I will let you know what it is. I was humbled by everyone’s generosity, and also by your kind words about me… I hope to be back on air within the next week or so. Fingers crossed that all will then be healed, and I will have at least a little of what was taken from me, recreated.. Take care, love Ali xx

  72. alison keenan November 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm -  Reply

    Dear Trish, I was so sorry to hear of your daughter’s diagnosis, and I have to be honest and say that I had to look into TN to see what it is… how dreadful for her and you. Thank heavens though for your daughter Sarah that her lump was benign… I will pray for all of you that she reaches and celebrates her 40th birthday. When we take on the role of being a mother, we have no idea how far it will stretch us, but I truly believe that we will never be given more than we can deal with… I send you love and strength, and thank you for writing to me. Please do stay in touch, Ali xx v

  73. alison keenan November 4, 2014 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

    Carole, bless you for your compliment. I too felt fabulous in the dress – it was beautiful, and to have my hair and make up done too made me feel every inch the lady :) I hope all is good with you, love Ali x

  74. alison keenan November 4, 2014 at 10:00 pm -  Reply

    Barbara I am so sorry to be missing you on my Thursday Diamonique show – things didn’t go quite according to plan and so I won’t be back at work for another week or so, but I hope you enjoy your choir practice, and thank you very much for keeping in touch, and for your prayers – they make all the difference :) Love Ali xx

  75. alison keenan November 4, 2014 at 10:02 pm -  Reply

    Susan, you are kind, and I thank you for your sweet comments following my news that things are stable and no new disease. Surgery a little more complicated than we first thought, and has required more surgery, but I will be back at QVC as soon as I am able. With love, Ali xx

  76. Susan November 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm -  Reply

    Wishing you a speedy recovery Ali. Hope to see you back on QVC soon!!!!!!! Sending you best wishes. Susan xxx

  77. Susan November 6, 2014 at 8:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alpa, just to let you know you aren’t alone in feeling the way you feel and it’s very sad how many people are so isolated. Keep going on! X

  78. Alpa November 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,

    I hope you are resting and your recovery is going well. So glad you are now up and out of bed, Look forward to seeing you back on QVC when the time is right for you.

    I wanted to let you know, the Christmas issue of GH is now out. I was so thrilled and proud to see the article with Jan in it.

    Tricia, what an incredible daughter you have. Love to you and Jan x

    Hi Susan, thanks for thinking of me. I may be isolated because I stand up for what is right for me but I am not alone x

    Take care Ali,

    Lots of Love Alpa xxx

  79. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 1:59 pm -  Reply

    Dear Loraine, lovely to hear from you, and if the beautiful hand made card was from you, I love it. Much appreciated. You may have gathered if you’ve read the blog recently that things didn’t go quite according to plan and on top of the surgery I managed to twist my back so badly I couldn’t stand or walk straight. Mainly because it was impossible to sit down for the first four days! That said, I am now balanced on a heap of cushions and memory foam and enjoying reading through all these lovely comments. Take care and I will try to make a start on my book before I head back to work. Love Ali xx

  80. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, It was definitely mean to be the last operation, and fingers crossed once healed there will be no need to ever visit an operating theatre again! Wedding arrangements are cracking on, and the next thing to organise are the flowers… type of bouquet as well as flowers for the reception. All very exciting! I have made a list of my favourite flowers and then Colin and I can go through them. Glad you liked the cake – Ros is making our wedding cake with Chris and I’m sure it will be fabulous :) Have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  81. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm -  Reply

    Dear Pat, thank you so very much for all your concern. I have to say it was definitely a relief to know that the lumps were just a return of the old fibrous tissue, and no new disease. Next check up in 5 months time – phew! God bless you too and I hope that life is good for you and your family. Love Ali xx

  82. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:04 pm -  Reply

    And Alpa you’re probably one of the very few who will have recognised the line from Hello Dolly! Sadly the room swayed again when I returned to the hospital for another stay last week, but am slowly feeling much more like myself again, and off the strongest of the pain killers. The surgery has gone well although one side compromised because of radiotherapy damage, but he did an incredible job considering. Do take care, love Ali xx

  83. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm -  Reply

    Dear Carol, I am sitting here at my new desk propped up with cushion and memory foam and really enjoying reading through all your comments. I hope you’re having a good weekend, and thanks for writing to me. Do keep in touch, love Ali x

  84. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm -  Reply

    Dear Cheryl, so good to know that you were able to join us for our special evening, and very glad that you managed to get the I Hope ring before it sold out! I’m glad too to know that having been where I once was, that you are now well, and that listening to my daughter Lucy explaining how it was for her will have helped your daughter.. :) It’s good too that you mentioned Craig, because I really couldn’t have got through the evening without his kindness, concern and compassion. He is an absolutely charming and gentle man, and a good friend, and I’m glad you felt the relationship worked well on screen too. Love and best wishes to you and your family too, Ali xx

  85. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm -  Reply

    Ian bless you for your prayers and good wishes – they worked! :) It’s always a worry waiting for scan results, but hopefully I won’t need to have anything else looked at until my next check up in five months time. Take care and enjoy your weekend, love Ali x

  86. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:15 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Jude, and thank you so very much for your lovely words and kind wishes. I’m delighted that you managed to get the charm bracelet for your daughter and I wish her the very best of health to wear it. I am missing being at work, after my somewhat extended stay in hospital and now recuperation, but back I will be, and definitely in time for Christmas! :) Thanks again for writing, and do keep in touch, love Ali x

  87. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:17 pm -  Reply

    Ellen I am sending you a big hug, and lots of positive thoughts and strength as they will help you support your stepdaughter, and she will get better far sooner because of them and your love. It is so much easier to be brave when you know there is someone right there to catch you if you fall… I was very lucky. Please keep in touch, and let me know how things are, and make sure you have someone to lean on too :) love Ali xx

  88. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    My dear Denise your story is a powerful message to us all, and compounds what I have always believed, and that is to get ANYTHING checked out, and if you are not happy with what you are told, then get a second opinion. The fact that your mother’s cancer was caught so early and meant she didn’t require chemo or radiotherapy is such a relief. I am sending your friend my love and feel so disappointed for her that 15 years on she is once again having to face this devastating news. I hope knowing what to expect this time around will make things easier. Had I have not been misdiagnosed, and the cancer not have spread as it did, the last three years would have been very different. But I completely agree with your comment about each day your friend is on chemo is a day closer to her getting better again, and like you I pray, that one day they will find a cure for this disease, and the suffering will stop. Your friend is lucky to have you, and ‘I Hope’ she likes her pendant. Take care, and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  89. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:27 pm -  Reply

    Linda thank you so much for the compliment! I too loved the dress which QVC bought for me to wear on the night, and it made me feel fabulous to be so sparkly and elegant :) Reconstruction is healing slowly, and I think it may be a while before the full benefits are visible. That said, inspite of all the setbacks, I’m glad I decided to give it a go – cancer takes a lot of things, but not my determination to get a little bit of my old self back :) I hope you have a good weekend, love Ali xx

  90. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:30 pm -  Reply

    Yes Christine I agree it is a very posh desk and chair too. Colin found them both online for me, and the desk used to belong to a GP! I am also loving my new IMac which has a very clear screen and easy keyboard… the book is beginning to take shape. Glad you liked the cake – next one is a Christmas cake! Hope all is well in your world, love Ali xx

  91. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:31 pm -  Reply

    Cindy, thrilled to hear your good news, and delighted to hear that everything is as it should be! Take care, love Ali xx

  92. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Rhona, as you’ve probably gathered by reading through the other comments, surgery yet again has been a rather protracted affair, and although I’m on the mend, it’s taking a lot longer than I would like. As my stitches from the grafts made it awkward for me to sit down, I twisted my back, and so have been in bed literally for five days or more, but am now up and far more mobile thanks to excellent physio. Colin has had his pinny on and as always my lovely friends and family have been here to help with everything so I consider myself very lucky. Will be back with you as soon as I am well again, love Ali xx

  93. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:36 pm -  Reply

    Joanne I am truly honoured that you have chosen to reply to this blog for the very first time, and your insightful comments have meant a lot to me. I guess like everyone some days are better than others, and scares and scans do put years on you, but I have so much to be thankful for, that it outweighs the bad bits – and as you say the wedding to look forward to next year too :) I hope that all is good in your life, and please don’t make this the only comment you ever post – it was lovely to hear from you. With love, Ali xx

  94. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:41 pm -  Reply

    Morag, there was definitely more than just a sigh of relief when my oncologist rang with the results, and although I always tell myself it will be nothing, there’s always an element of fear… So glad you enjoy the shows, and nice to know you’re there just the other side of the camera. Hope to be back soon once fully healed from recent reconstruction surgery. Love Ali xx

  95. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Alpa, had to go back in for another three days to sort out the bleeding, but on the mend now, and am hoping that things are easier for you too. Take care, with love, Ali xx

  96. alison keenan November 8, 2014 at 2:42 pm -  Reply

    Margo, that is very kind of you to say, and I certainly felt fabulous in what was nicknamed my ‘mermaid’ dress. The colour was gorgeous :) All my very best to you and your family, love Ali xx

  97. julie November 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm -  Reply

    Hey Alison, i hope you are starting to feel better after your last surgery and thanks so much for replying to me again on your previous blog. The way you talk about Colin makes me think of my Dennis who has been a true rock to me lately, and has also progressed to cooking and cleaning the bathroom whilst i have been having my treatment – think i will need to keep that going when I’m better don’t you!!!

    so i have had my last chemo of six yesterday, and all went well i also had my Hickman pic line removed which is also fab – a few more days and ill be able to have a good soak in the bath – something i have really missed. i have another set of scans on Tuesday but even though i only had chemo yesterday i feel good today. i saw my oncologist on Wed and he is still positive and really pleased with my progress and we discussed my treatment for next year – where he will be able to make a more positive decision once i have had my scan results in a couple of weeks. it sound like i will have a couple of pills per day, an implant in my tummy and a monthly lot of a drug i was having with my chemo called Zometa which is for my bones – all seems fine to me, what ever it takes. So now I’m really looking forward to my future and my family, friends, work colleagues were bombarding me with mails and texted yesterday knowing i had finished my chemo – i spent about an our in tears!!! reading all the lovely things.

    anyway you take care of yourself with your recover from your op and i hope to see you looking fab as usual soon

    love and hugs Julie

  98. TINA S November 10, 2014 at 12:08 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    I am so sorry to hear about the complications following your latest surgery. I hope that you are on the mend now and that it will be the last you have to go through. It is no joke when you have back problems as I speak from experience. I had to retire from nursing due to degenerative disc disease. I find acupuncture is the only thing that helps. I saw a marvellous physiotherapist the last time my back was playing up. She showed me various exercises to do before I get out of bed each morning. I think people do not understand how debilitating it is when you injure your back . Afterall it is the main support for our body. Anyway, get plenty of rest and look after yourself.
    All the best, Tina S (S. Wales)

  99. Alpa November 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,

    Thanks for your reply. I did write to you a week ago, I think. I’m afraid things are not easier for me. It’s just how it is.

    I’m sorry you injured your back and hope physio has helped.

    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  100. Jilly November 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm -  Reply

    Good jolly morning Ali – or looking it is the afternoon now!! delighted to hear that you are feeling more like your old self – just remember though it is “one step at a time ” which will get you there and make the most of your wonderful new desk and chair. Looks fab in your room. It just seems an age since we saw you but knowing you are feeling a lot better is so good.
    Loved the butterfly cake – I made one for my husband’s birthday with buttons on – made in my old Kenwood but think I may be getting a red Kitchenaid for my birthday which is coming up soon. Yippeee!
    Tricia I have the GH mag and loved reading about Jan – felt as proud as if she was my Annie so thank you for letting us know she would be there. Lovely article and actually enjoyed the mag so will be getting it again.
    Alpa we are here so never forget and when you have a down day we are still here for you and just wish we could help more.
    Just seen the time so must dash – work for me until next week when we are away in the Lakes for a few days.
    Take care and really looking forward to your next bloggy Ali – also love the picture of the last rose – how special is that – a rose for a rose! Love JillyXX

  101. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm -  Reply

    My dear Mary, I can only apologise for not having written earlier in answer to your fabulous newsy post! Firstly how excited I am I to know that you have been entered for the Great British Bake Off!!!! Imagine how many of us will be rooting for you, and if your husband doesn’t manage to get you a Kitchen Aid in advance of what I know will be a definite entry, you can borrow mine :) I was so sorry to read about your mum in law and her awful fall. She sounds like one very brave lady to me, and quite frankly I think it would have been better for her if she had have been on the sauce!!! I hope that however large the plaster cast is it doest have to stay on for too long :) It’s lovely though that as a family you all pull together when there’s a crisis. My dear friends Jo Ros and Deb have all run me backwards and forwards and cared for me when I was first home from hospital. Kathy and Julia have both popped in for a visit, but poor Colin signed up for a course in the City a few months back and it started last Monday, so we have really had to pull in some favours. My mum and Jenny also came, and all the girls have stayed with me and cooked and cared for me when I couldn’t easily get out of bed. kindness makes the world a much better place to be. Certainly a lot less stressy than life with Eric sounds! Great name for a dog though :) You take care and remember that when you get your name on the list of those for the GBBO – you will HAVE to have a Lulu Guiness handbag to take into the tent with you! :) Lots of love Ali xx

  102. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 9:21 pm -  Reply

    My dear Antoinette your words have truly touched me, and I’m delighted to know that you have been through and come out the other side of this difficult time. To receive this kind of news once is incredibly challenging but to have the disease return is something I dread.. I am delighted that your reconstruction has gone well, and admire you hugely for always putting on a brave and made up face to the world. I’m ashamed to admit that for the last six weeks of my treatment I didn’t venture out at all. I think my poor old body has had enough operations and this one may have been a bridge too far, but I am keeping everything crossed in time the plastic surgeon’s work will heal and I will not only feel but look more like my old self. I admire your bravery and am delighted that you also feel we did a good job on BCC night – it’s a great charity to support. Take good care of yourself, and please do keep in touch,love Ali xx

  103. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 9:23 pm -  Reply

    Sue, that’s very sweet of you – I’m getting a little better each day, and what I should have mentioned in my previous post was that it wasn’t just my sister and mum who came to see me, but also my lovely boys who have cooked and carried for me, and cheered me up no end. Poor Lucy would have loved to come too, but her work schedule is crippling so she sent me some beautiful flowers and a teddy bear which was great ! You take care, love Ali xx

  104. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 9:47 pm -  Reply

    Dear Judith, thank you for taking time to write to me, after all you’ve been through … I’m sure each waking moment is a struggle for you, so I truly appreciate it. so glad you liked my cake – wasn’t sure whether to make an actual butterfly shape or just cover it with butterflies – but time took over so this was slightly quicker! Of course now it feels I have all the time in the world but no energy to do anything!!! Sadly in spite of all the Greek Islands I’ve visited butterflies are something I’ve only seen a few of – sounds amazing. I too was very humbled by the response to my scan results – free from worry for another five months till next check up, and then hopefully things will have remained stable :) Good times. :) I’m glad that you have had chance to be with your granddaughter… these are special times and I hope they comfort you. Take care Judith, love Ali xx

  105. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 9:57 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Tina, and lovely to hear from you. Yes I too am very proud of my lovely chair and desk. Have to be honest though, cos of recent surgery I’ve had to swap it for a slightly more padded seat with loads of cushions, but it won’t be long before I’m back there again. Colin found it on e bay, so perhaps have a peruse prior to Christmas?! Seems like for ages since I was at work, and am doing all I can to get back with you in time for our fabulous Christmas shows :) Crikey didn’t expect this last bit to be such a convoluted process, but hey, I’m on the mend, and even if it doesn’t work out quite as I’d hoped, I’ve given it my best shot. :) You take care, and thanks , Love Ali xx

  106. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm -  Reply

    My dear Lynn I hope you get this reply before you head off across the waters on a trip which hopefully help you to come to terms with such terrible life changes and losses. The only comfort you can sometimes find is when people who love each other pass within a short time, is that at least their suffering is over.. I lost my dad and both his parents within three years, and know that they would all be happier for being together… Of course for those us here, every day is eternity to start with, but it does get easier…. I promise. You take care, have some special time with your husband on your holiday. Thinking of you too, and ‘see’ you when you are back.

  107. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:13 pm -  Reply

    Lynn and of course I send you my love xxx

  108. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:15 pm -  Reply

    Tricia Kathy very kindly bought me the November issue of GH when she popped in, but I will make sure I treat myself to the Christmas edition so that I can put a face to your dear Jan after all this time. You must be very proud. Healing taking a lot longer than I’d thought, but my poor old body has been through it the last three years and I’m sure the cancer and treatment have had an effect. I’ve been very lucky though as always to have lots of help and support from my friends and family, so all is well and I will be back with you as soon as I am physically able. With love, Ali xx

  109. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

    My dear Jilly as you may have gathered from my previous comments things haven’t worked out exactly as we had hoped, and the graft sites have been a devil to heal. Radiotherapy also has compromised the blood supply on the right side, so things may not graft properly. I have another three weeks before I can take the dressings off and leave them off! But I am ever hopeful that my surgeon’s undoubted skill will given me some of my old self back :) Love to you and Annie, Ali xx

  110. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alpa, thanks for writing, but it’s going to be a few more weeks yet before my plasters come off! Lots or iodine and big plasters, but hopefully all will heal :) Am hoping that things are better for you than they have been recently, love Ali xx

  111. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Janet, I’m listening to Tony Bennet while I sit at my new desk (on lots of cushions! :) writing to you, and although things took a tad longer than I had thought, I am definitely on the mend. I do hope you are OK and that your cough didn’t get any worse. Give Alfie a hug for me :) Love Ali xx

  112. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:23 pm -  Reply

    Dorothy you’re very kind to think of me. Onwards and upwards :) Hope all good with you, love Ali xx

  113. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jilly – so sorry reading these e mails back to front and hadn’t realised you’d seen my post! Physio’s pretty much sorted my back so I can walk upright again which is a huge relief – amazing how grubby my carpets look from that angle!!! :) Thanks as always for your kindness and concern – means a lot to to be so supported by the Army, love Ali xx

  114. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:30 pm -  Reply

    Dear Judith, thanks I am definitely feeling much better and as Colin set me a little TV up in our bedroom I’ve been tuning in to QVC every now and then to keep in touch with my lovely friends which has been great :) You’re in my thoughts too.. stay strong, love Ali xx

  115. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm -  Reply

    Alpa it’s always a treat to read through all these lovely comments and to feel close to you all. I agree it was lovely to hear from Joanna again, and to know that things are well in her life. And bless you for saying you enjoy my Thursday Diamonique shows. This time next week I will be gearing up to bring you the best there is in the range, and I can’t wait to get my make up on, diamonique and a lovely dress. Onesies are great, but not terribly fetching… :) You take care too, Love Ali xx

  116. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:38 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Elaine, it wasn’t the best of times but it’s behind me now, and I’ve been lucky enough to see my friends and my family including Sam and Jack who I don’t get the chance to often. Sam even made me a chicken pie – pastry and all ! :) I’ll be back with you as soon as I can. Do hope all well with you, love Ali xx

  117. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:46 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, I think I can truthfully say I have had better days, but once they sorted the problem then I was able to come home, and am definitely on the mend :) My consultant is pleased with me, and I now just have to wait and hope it was all worth it!! :)I hope all is well with you, love me XX

  118. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:49 pm -  Reply

    Janet WELL DONE YOU! £900 is an amazing amount to raise for Cancer Research, and I’m sure you had a huge amount to do with the success of your campaign. I know how hard you work there :) I’m sorry its taken me so long to reply to you, and am hoping that by the time you read this, your awful cough will have gone so you can see your son and little Alfie again this weekend. Colin and I have venue all booked and sorted, and we are to be married in church which is wonderful, so I will give you details of that in my next blog… Didn’t know if it would be possible as we have both been married before, but the Reverend was delightful .. Soooo excited. Love to you too, Ali xx

  119. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 10:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Loraine, yes it was a bit unexpected, but the staff there are wonderful, and Colin drove me prone on several pillows in his car! He’s been brilliant, but has just started a course in The City, and so is away five days a week. That said, I’ve not been lonely as I’ve been very lucky to have folk driving me here and there, cooking and caring for me which has been wonderful. I consider myself very blessed. Love Ali xx

  120. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 11:10 pm -  Reply

    My dear Ann, I am so sorry to hear that you have had to go through all of that and a stem cell transplant too. Not surprising you feel jaded, or are lacking in confidence bless you.. That’s something this wretched illness does is to rob us of all we took for granted, and pretty much all that makes us a woman. Try and hang onto the positive and remember this part is only temporary :) Your skin does take a battering with the treatment, and to be honest I found that initially Elemis and Decleor were the best brands for my skin. Neroli or Iris Oil, and Pro Collagen or Excellence De L’Age.. If you tweet either Keely or Fiona they will help, or Ali Young of course. The only make up I could use initially was Bare Minerals foundation which I then added a little Laura Geller Balance and Bronze too. Mally has a fabulous crayon trio too which had blusher, Highlighter and refiner too. Very simple to use and gives that gentle glow which looks natural and feminine. Try scarves every now and then, as they can be tied in all kinds of exotic ways and I think look great! They’re a tad warmer than wigs too! :) I do hope this helps…. and remember this is only a tiny part of your life, and like me, in a few years you’ll be able to look back and know it’s behind you. Do take care and thank you for writing to me. Think of one thing each day that makes you happy, and please do keep in touch. With my love, Ali xxxx

  121. Patricia Coulsonwood November 10, 2014 at 11:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, isn’t it always the case, that when you are not as active,as in your case post op complications, the next thing to happen is muscle weakness which in turn leaves you much more susceptible to hurting your back. I’ve seen this (experienced this) so many times… Hope you are managing to start some gentle back exercises…it’s a nightmare..I bet your having to focus more on your wedding prep to try to distract yourself from the pain.
    I would like to thank Alpa for her lovely comments about my daughter Janette who appeared in GH Xmas edition. It was a good article albeit hers was cut down to half size..they must have run out of space. I am so proud of her and her ability to be so helpful to others.She shows outstanding courage and determination. Just as many of you are courageous and indefatigable so she is.
    She had her medical board yesterday and they have passed her fit .enough to stay in the Royal navy until a further assessment in two years..
    Just a snippet .. I ordered two dresses to chose between from qvc.
    I shall wear the 60s style Lesley Ebbets red shift dress with 3/4 sleeves to wear on Christmas Day. It reminded me of one I wore in the late sixties. I must say it looks absolutely fine my hubby says it looks lovely!!. Which rather took me back a bit..
    I send you all healing vibes .
    Love to all and take good care. Tricia x

  122. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 11:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pauline, back from hospital and have been spoiled rotten. Taking a bit longer to heal than I would like, but all good, and hopefully it will all have been worth it in the end :) Do hope all good with you, and bless you for your kindness – it means a lot – Ali xx

  123. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 11:26 pm -  Reply

    Two girls called Pauline posting one after the other – good job I’ve only had one Guiness!! :) You are a sweetie, and I know how busy life can be, so I really appreciate the fact that you’ve taken time out to write to me, and it really chuffs me to know that I make you laugh – I think you’d have a chuckle if you could see me know in my onesie, balanced on a pile of cushions with no make up and half a can of ‘One more Day’ in my hair!!! Getting there slowly but surely, and will be back with you just as soon as I’m able. Love to you Pauline, and thanks again, Ali xxxx

  124. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 11:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jilly – you are a sweetie to keep in touch – yes home and with a TV set up in my bedroom and plenty of cushions on my chair I can either lay in bed and watch TV or sit here and write to you..which of course I prefer! :) I’m coming to terms with the fact that things might not have turned out quite the way wanted, and that’s OK. As soon as I can get back to work and normality all will be well. I think I was closest to being my old self just before this so I have to admit to feeling somewhat frustrated and upset at times, but I’m on the mend, and Christmas is coming and then the wedding, so there is always something to look forward to :) Do hope you and Annie and the family are well, my thoughts are with you, love Ali xx

  125. Alison keenan November 10, 2014 at 11:43 pm -  Reply

    My dear Alpa, I am sure I am not the only to have read your response, and to have felt sad that yet again you feel so badly let down by everyone…. Please never think it’s too late… while we are here and have time, there is always hope. I know all of Ali’s Army wish you well and hope that life will become easier for you. You are so caring and considerate of all of us that you deserve the support I believe is out there somewhere for you. Getting late so must take my meds and head to bed. For all those you think of and care for, we send our love back to you, Ali xx

  126. Alison keenan November 11, 2014 at 12:01 am -  Reply

    Julie, how good to hear from you again so soon and to know that you’ve had your pic line removed and had the last of your chemo… I to am in tears of relief for you… I had 7 months in total and it felt never ending at times, but you sound as though your are facing your imminent scan results with positive strength and that is wonderful. So glad you have your Dennis with you as I have had Colin, and I am SO delighted to hear that you are surrounded by those who love you and want you better as I do. Please take good care of yourself, and hope you have found some support and understanding from this blog. Thanks so much for being brave enough to share you story with us. Big hug and much love, Ali xx

  127. Alison keenan November 11, 2014 at 12:06 am -  Reply

    My dear Tina on the mend, and hoping to have a new blog and some pics for you at the end of this week – bigger hope is that I’ll be back at work the week after… watch this space! Your advice has also helped, as I was bent double for almost a week until I saw a physio who performed her magic and made it possible for me to walk relatively pain free again. I am so desperately sorry for those who have to live with pain like that permanently… I don’t think I’m that strong… :) Again take care, and I very much hope that your back is behaving itself and that you are well and happy. Thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  128. Mary Morphy November 11, 2014 at 9:01 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison..I hope you managed to read my blog abd from reading your responses to the other ladies I am delighted that despite what sounds like horrendous uncomfortable surgery with added complications you are finally up and about taking things slowly. Colin in his pinny is a thought that would cheer all us ladies up! I hope each day finds you a little better than the last and we see you on screen soon. much love Mary x

  129. Alpa November 11, 2014 at 5:08 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,

    Bless you for your kind words. As you know, the support I need does not exist here. Living with an untreated illness means it is getting progressively worse. The only difference is that it is happening more quickly now than before. It is impossible to explain what it is like to not have the option of medical treatment, as other illnesses have. Despite that, I will try my best to hold onto what you say.

    I’m so glad you have been very well taken of by your family and friends. Thrilled to hear that you and Colin have your venue all booked and sorted and are to be married in church :)

    Jilly, thank you for thinking of me. I hope all is as well as can be with you. Love to you and Annie x

    Tricia, you are sweet. Jan does indeed show outstanding courage and determination. We are all so very proud of her. So pleased all went well with her medical board. The dress you chose sounds lovely. With love to you and Jan x

    Mary, so exciting you have been entered for the Great British Bake Off! A red Kitchen Aid is definitely in order :) x

    Take care, Ali

    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  130. Mary Morphy November 12, 2014 at 9:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi all..I hate to srem the GBBO excitement but I have sent in an application form…won’t hear if I’ve been successful until the end of January..I’m sorry if my blog indicated I’d been accepted! However, that said, if Norman can make it I’m sure I can but we shall see. Thank you for your encouragement and excitement.. will let you know asap if successful and if I get my kitchen aid!! Love Mary

  131. Alison Keenan November 13, 2014 at 10:55 pm -  Reply

    ALISON KEENAN
    November 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm – Reply
    My dear Mary, I dont think you can have seen this reply, but even if you’ve not heard yet whether you’ve been accepted, i know we are are all hugely excited for you! “Can only apologise for not having written earlier in answer to your fabulous newsy post! Firstly how excited I am I to know that you have been entered for the Great British Bake Off!!!! Imagine how many of us will be rooting for you, and if your husband doesn’t manage to get you a Kitchen Aid in advance of what I know will be a definite entry, you can borrow mine I was so sorry to read about your mum in law and her awful fall. She sounds like one very brave lady to me, and quite frankly I think it would have been better for her if she had have been on the sauce!!! I hope that however large the plaster cast is it doest have to stay on for too long It’s lovely though that as a family you all pull together when there’s a crisis. My dear friends Jo Ros and Deb have all run me backwards and forwards and cared for me when I was first home from hospital. Kathy and Julia have both popped in for a visit, but poor Colin signed up for a course in the City a few months back and it started last Monday, so we have really had to pull in some favours. My mum and Jenny also came, and all the girls have stayed with me and cooked and cared for me when I couldn’t easily get out of bed. kindness makes the world a much better place to be. Certainly a lot less stressy than life with Eric sounds! Great name for a dog though You take care and remember that when you get your name on the list of those for the GBBO – you will HAVE to have a Lulu Guiness handbag to take into the tent with you! Lots of love Ali xx

    Ps Tricia will be buying GH this weekend! :) xxx nice I get a lift to the shops! Xx

  132. Jilly November 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi dear Ali – It’s the weekend and I hope that today you are feeling a lot better – awful that you have really been through so much once again and perhaps the final you is not quite as you would want but you know you look ultra fab outside and are ultra fab inside so it does not matter – what matters is that you are an amazing person. It is really at times like this that we can count on our family and friends (or not sometimes!!) but don’t forget you would be there in the front if they needed your help. I thought I would share this with you and everyone else and make you all feel slightly better and glad you don’t live in my house – we have caught three mice in our kitchen – in humane traps so my husband has had to put on wellies, head torch (caught late at night) and head to the hills to release the darn things!!!! He is going to mark the next to make sure it is not the same one returning!!! but of course it means the kitchen has never been so clean as all areas have had to be scrubbed down again and again and again!!!!!
    Janet I hope that you cold is coming to an end. There seems to be a lot of this going about and very hard to shift and Alpa today it a lovely fresh day and I hope it is with you and everyone else.
    On Monday we go to the Lakes and Yorkshire for a few days and I need to think about what to take – that is besides walking boots!! Hopefully by the time I am back you will be feeling so much more like your old self Ali. You really are missed from our living rooms I can tell you. Love Jilly XX

  133. Alison keenan November 17, 2014 at 5:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi there dear Jilly and apologies for not replying to this prior to you heading off to the Lakes and Yorkshire. I’m praying that the weather will be kinder to you than it has been here – we have our own lakes in Berkshire!! :) As always you cheer me with your stories and positive words and thanks as always for the compliments… My back is so much better and the graft sites are healing well, with just a dressing up top to be continually changed. I still seem rather lacking in energy, but am seeing the nurse tomorrow and hope very much to be given the go ahead for Thursday. We too had mice in our kitchen, although I was pretty sure it was the same one each time! He found a hole in the back of my pull out pantry thingy, and so we’ve now blocked it… they were in the loft though and chewed thru some cable there which resulted in a few choice words from my Colin! :) Am hoping to write new blog tomorrow with some pics, and will look forward to hearing how you got on in Yorkshire. Hope too that Annie and her husband are both strong. Take care, love Ali xx

  134. Tricia Coulson wood November 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi, Ali, sooo happy that you are improving at last.. I hope you will now take time out to recuperate from your traumatic time.
    Well my youngest daughter Liz who is sister to jan had genetic counselling a coupe of months back and last Friday had a radical hysterectomy, ovaries etc removed. The family history of breast & ovarian cancer steared her to make the descision and we supported her wholly. She did very well as st James hospital Leeds they are using keyhole surgery for radical hysterectomies.
    (Previously it did not include tubes & ovaries).
    Don’t mind saying it stressed me bringing back memories of her sisters surgery 18 months ago. Do you know Liz had less time to wait for surgery than jan who with a nasty looking ct scan which looked like tumours she waited 10 weeks for her surgery !,.that singularly stressed her, her hubby & me so much.
    Hope jilly & family enjoy the lakes and all her beloved family are improving lots .(.thanx for your lovely compliments about my daughter..)it’s my favourite place, ullswater, Pooley bridge, fabulous walk from Howtown over the tops alongside the lake. Love the hotel nestled within is so oldy worldly a bit like our cottage, I have stayed and recommend. It to everyone.
    Well may I send my best wishes to everyone and have a speedy recovery , love , Tricia xxx
    Thank y

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