Birthday, Wedding and Easter celebrations


Ali's birthday cakeHard to believe it's actually a month since we got back from Australia, and we're already in April! Thanks as always for your lovely comments and for keeping me in touch with your lives – you've been busier than me! :) Thanks too for the lovely birthday cards you sent me and for your good wishes.  

I had a lovely time, spread over several days in truth and felt thoroughly spoiled. My dear friend Jo made me a magnificent banana cake – the best anyone will EVER taste, seriously!! – covered with sparklers, and also gave me a whole heap of truly thoughtful presents, including an inivitation to spend a couple of days with her in this magical little beach house on the Isle of Wight! It's tiny and looks like a doll's house, but will be great fun, whatever the weather :)  

Ali's hamperColin met me after work on Thursday as we were booked into the hotel next door to QVC Towers. He had travelled all the way across London, on the tube and train then taxi, carrying the biggest wicker hamper I've ever seen!! It was so heavy and such a lovely surprise!

In it were all kinds of beautifully wrapped presents including hand-painted wine glasses, one of my favourite Thomas Hardy books and a gorgeous heart-shaped crystal bottle stopper. He also gave me a hair straightening brush – ever practical! :)

We spent my birthday in London and he treated me to a fabulous lunch in a restaurant called Schhhh! It had photographs of all kinds of celebrities on the wall with their finger to their lips making the sound! I was terribly impressed  - especially with the Frank Sinatra photo – until Colin pointed out that they had probably just googled famous names, put in the word Schhhh, and this is what they'd come up with! :) So easily led am I… :)

Mel on her Wedding DayThe celebrations continued when on Saturday we headed up the motorway for Mel's wedding. Mel is Lucy's best friend, and the woman for whom a very large teepee was erected in my back garden! No it wasn't for some strange tribal ritual, or inhabitated by folk with names like 'One duck roaming', it was instead filled with cushions and lanterns, and Sonia and Tracey who were ready to give us facials, manicures and pedicures!  

I'd just got back from an eight hour shift at QVC so was delighted, although I had to forgo a third glass of champagne as I was returning to work at nine the next morning! This excuse also meant I missed out on the belly dancing lesson which is probably just as well… I'd almost had the teepee in a heap when I caught my heel in a guy rope – can you imagine the chaos I would have caused gyrating on loose carpet?!

Although the morning of the wedding was very grey and cold, the whole event was illuminated with the eggyolk yellow colour of the bridesmaids' dresses and the choice of flowers – daffodils, sunflowers and orchids everywhere! As you can see Mel's dress was stunning, and the look on her husband Joe's face when she walked into the room, priceless…. The service was beautiful, the food fabulous, and before we knew it the tables had been cleared and the room opened up for the dancing!  

TeepeeLucy's Richard was playing drums with his band for the evening, but before they began, Mel and her Dad danced to one of the most moving songs I've heard – all about a father's love for his daughter – "I Loved Her First". My tears and mascara ran in equal measures and I think we were all relieved when Richard's band crashed in with Bon Jovi's 'Living On a Prayer'!

Having glided across the floor with the utmost elegance, Mel turned into a whirling dervish, and somehow managed to stay upright on her five inch heels that were sidestepping the train on her dress like a Lipizanner's hooves!!! She and Joe outdanced the rest of us, and Richard's drumming was awesome… such a talent :) We all stayed overnight at the venue, and I had the best night's sleep I've had in yonks!  I put it down to the dancing :)

I saw Ros a couple of days later and she had made a fabulous cream tea for me, but also baked my absolute favourites – cheese scones! Her recipe is taken from a garden centre tea room that she and I used to frequent many years ago… fabulous. She had also chosen a whole collection of really thoughtful presents, including a trug for the garden with my name on it and a bottle of her homemade limoncello, which is still to be sampled! 

Outside of all these social occasions, I've been trying to see as many plastic surgeons as possible so that I can make a decision as to my breast reconstruction. Having spent time with some charming men discussing the pros and cons of tissue harvest, lipofilling, free TRAM flaps, free TUG flaps, DIEP flaps, and latimuss dorsi transferal, I have to admit that my head was in a whirl, although the general consensus was that pretty much ALL these procedures weren't suitable for me as I don't have enough tissue or fat! I do however have a list of close family and friends who would be MORE than happy to donate theirs to make me a new bust :)  

I have finally decided that silicone implants are the best way forwards, although because of the damage caused by irradiation on the right side I will need the implant changing every two to three years. They think they can make a relatively 'normal' shape though… what's normal any more though eh?  

I so longed for a decent sized bust when I was a child, and had to wait until I was 15 to buy my first bra! I do though remember it vividly. From Marks and Spencer, it was a 32AA pale lilac affair with little pink rosebuds on it – I LOVED it…. along with my American Tan tights, that I used to repair any holes or runs in, with black thread… eeek! Do you remember them, and what about YOUR first bra??

Things did improve though, and after much praying and padding I acquired a chest that looked more like a couple of ogen melons – right up and under my chin too! :) Of course breast feeding three children took its toll, and although I couldn't quite tuck them in my knickers, gravity took over and underwiring became essential! All that said, I did like them, and found the look of myself after the mastecomy last year pretty difficult to cope with. Yet here I am facing a second mastectomy and quite looking forward to having this wretched expander removed and seeing the symmetry surgery will bring… funny how things change isn't it…?
I've been asked to make another speech for Breast Cancer Care on the 11th April to help them find sponsorship and support for the London Fashion Show 2012 – in which I'll be taking part! Yes!! I've been asked to be a model can you believe, so I'm very excited about that. The fundraising evening is being held at the top of the Post Office Tower – the revolving restaurant bit – and I'm wondering if I should take a couple of Qwells incase of motion sickness! I'll let you know how it goes, and maybe QVC will record it this time so it'll be my way of sharing it with you.

Ducks outside Ali's houseOh, final bit of news is that Mr and Mrs Duck have come back to my garden and are 'courting' on the front lawn same as last year! :) I think there was a little bit of speed dating going on intitally as you'll see from the photo, but it looks as though the best drake won..!

Have a wonderful week, a Happy Easter, and I'll look forward as always to hearing from you,

With my love, Ali xxxx


  1. Mrs Janet Jones April 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali. a belated Happy Birthday, glad you had a good time. I’m glad a decision has been made about the next stage in your treatment. I bet you can’t wait to get it over with and get back to some form of ‘normality'(as you say whatever that is !)
    I too hope QVC will record your speech so we can all hear it. You are becoming quite the expert! I did think about applying to be a model for Breast Cancer Care, I downloaded the form, but that’s as far as I got, lack of confidence and weight gain from my treatment(I certainly could have donated plenty of fat for your new breasts lol).Maybe next year. Although I am doing a 5K walk for Cancer Research) in a couple of months, as I am still volunteering every week in my local shop, though I am still looking for a paid job as well!
    My new patio is down (just had a patch of soggy grass before) and I am really pleased, just need some nice weather to sit out on it now!.
    I do hope Sam is in a better place and feeling much better in himself and enjoying being away.
    How lovely the ducks will be nesting in your garden again, I have noticed quite a few birds making their nests around us. Spring is most certainly the season of Hope.
    Thanks again Ali for sharing all your news, look after yourself, and speak soon Love and hugs Janet xx

  2. Mrs Janet Jones April 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali I forgot to wish you and your family a Happy Easter, have a lovely time whatever you do. Love Janet xx

  3. qvc April 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali-sorry I didn’t realise it was your Birthday-belated wishes. You seem troubled by the reconstruction etc that is to come—it never ends for you—-but be assured you have the most amazing figure and all anyone really cares about is that you are well and happy. Reduce the amount of worries for the future and if you end up flat as a pancake(as I was ’til about 50)there’s nowt wrong with that. I hope you reach the best complete and lasting decision soon.Hope I don’t sound condescending-the last thing I wish to be.God bless. K.XXX

  4. Susan April 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a WONDERFUL Spring blog! You are a gem. You just fill me with such happiness! I love how wonderful your friends are and your social life. I am so glad you are thoroughly spoiled and loved! I think the Isle of Wight hut sounds idyllic so enjoy! Mel looked gorgeous. That’s her and Lucy married within a year. How lovely. I hope you have a bit of a rest sometime soon…probably not lol. So glad you’re enjoying yourself though!
    Chat soon

  5. Julie April 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    A lovely blog as usual. I’m sure whatever surgery you decide will be the best for you.
    Love the photo of the ducks-my Mum’s maiden name was Drake and nobody ever knew what she was saying or how to spell it she always had to say “as in Charlie”
    Hope you have a lovely Easter-we’ve a busy time ahead starting with an Easter bonnet parade tomorrow with Lily(snow allowing-how bizarre is the weather??)also went to a recording of a TV show last week-really enjoyable.
    Hope all’s well
    Speak soon
    Julie xx Lily xxxxx

  6. Sue Joynson April 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm -  Reply

    SUE x

  7. Linda Marshall April 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, sorry i havn’t blogged for a while but things have been a bit hectic with another CT scan for my husband and then an MRI scan. He is so very thin and frail looking at only 8 stone. Cancer of the pancreas is a horrible illness. I am so glad you had a lovely birthday and i wish you well for the next round of treatment.
    thinking of you
    love Linda xxx

  8. edna munro April 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi, Ali.Belated happy birthday.You sound as though you had a great time all round.You may not have enough fat for a reconstruction,but the figure is still very shapely.My first bra was a madonna look a like!Yuk.Cotton with concentric circles.I was also 15 before I needed one and was as flat as a pancake until I reached my 40’s!I now buy minimisers to keep them more in line with the rest of me!!!
    Hope all goes well with the reconstruction.BVeen great to see Amica on Gatineau a few times.Please pass on regards.
    All the best as usual

  9. Anne Hargreaves April 5, 2012 at 12:24 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali you delight me with your blogs you are such an inspiration to all of us over 50, I have lost so many friends and family through this horrible illness. I can remember the american tan tights vividly we thought we were the bee’s knees didnt we. My mum bought me my first bra’s from a local ladies underwear shop they were pink and white flowery ones by Berlei think I have spelt that correctly. So pleased to see you back on our screens you are a joy to watch and you look beautiful keep well love Anne in Castleford xx

  10. mary morphy April 5, 2012 at 6:55 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison and thankyou for another filled account of your week, so much going on I had to make notes in order to address everything! Anyway, a very belated happy birthday and your cake looked gorgeous; I have a problem with the cooked banana thing, can’t quite get my head or taste buds round it and like mine firm and just turned from green to yellow. I didnt have a birthday cake but me and my twin indulged in a piece of M&S Victoria sponge when we were out shopping on our birthday, it cannot be beaten and is truly divine.
    The wedding sounded like a hoot and the teepee was a great idea; how lovely for you to be pampered and spoilt. I hope that there was plenty of ‘dad dancing’ and it sounds like the more mature guests were leading the way in the dance stakes and rocking the night away. I love a good boogie however will suffer the next day from ‘disco hip’ but its so worth it!
    Your ‘flap’ predicament made me smile although I appreciate its a very seriuos matter, the only one not mentioned seemed to be that of the cat variety! I am sure that you will be guided by the wonderful team of experts around you and have what is right for you. For the record I would be more than happy to share what I have with you totally free of charge! Isn’t it wierd that we are never happy with our lot; my friends with small boobs want bigger ones and I crave being able to go to bed without having to make sure the ‘girls’ are tucked in nicely so that I can get comfy! My first bra was bought in BHS and was in a pack of two, one mint green and one white. I hated it. We were not measured, mum just had a guess and they were a little big on the cup..thats ok mum said you can grow into it….but I detested the way the bra puckered as it wasn’t filled properly. I now have regular measures to make sure mine fit properly and M&S and my daughter who has only just started wearing proper bras was also measured so I hope to get her into good habits. She has some really pretty bras, there is so much more choice now than when i her age..thank goodness!
    Spring sprung in Westgate last week but its cold, wet and windy today..Now April is here my dark nail polishes are tossed aside in favout for bright ones and I have Nails Inc Neon collection on today…blue on my hands (fingers will match soon as its cold!) and neon pink on my toes…maybe I have been a little to premature. I also ordered two gatineau TSV’s this week ( you looked fab and so did Amica, great to see her back). I stockpile as it makes incredible value. I bought three Xmas TSV’s so have a lot of stock to keep me going until this years Xmas TSV!
    Enjoy a lovely Easter love Mary xx

  11. Joanna Downey April 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, Super blog, full of energy and interesting stories as always. What a glorious wedding; I loved the teepee and that dance sounded so moving, I would also have looked like a panda. Your birthday celebrations also sounded wonderful and very you. I love cheese scones too, there is a fabulous garden centre about 5 miles from us and their scones are divine. I enjoy baking and often make a batch of cheese and chive or dried cherry and orange ones, having just been bought a Kitchenaid (from QVC) it’s now even easier and the work of moments. I had no idea a reconstruction could be so complicated, you sound extremely calm about it and even though the thought of further surgery must be daunting this one is positive for different reasons from the last one and I can imagine your wish for symmetry. My first bra was by Berlei it was lilac and white check, similar to gingham, very pretty and I was so proud to wear it. I was in M&S’s lingerie dept in their York store yesterday and there were 1000s of bras, I was like a child in a sweet shop and ended up getting a plain white T shirt option! Love the ducks and they obviously love you to have returned this year. Bex saw you on the Q when she was up last weekend and she said you looked better than ever and that, in her opinion, only really attractive women can wear shorter hair because they don’t need to hide behind drapes!! Happy Easter, love from Jo x

  12. Frances Chapman April 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,how are you? I hope you’re feeling as terrific as you look. Belated birthday greetings to you,hope you had a fabulous time. On the subject of looking terrific I wonder if you’d mind telling me where you got the sheer,cream,crinkle blouse you were wearing this afternoon in the 2 hour Liz Earle show. You looked absolutely beautiful in it. Please don’t tell me-as is usually the case when I admire something on someone else-that you ‘got it abroad’ or ‘have had it for a long time’-the only thing I want to hear is that it’s available on QVC because I’d love to have one. Wishing you continued and lasting good health,its wonderful to have you back on our screens,you brighten up the darkest day. Take care,with much love,Fran x

  13. Susan April 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali and K,
    I just read K’s comment and had to laugh!! I too don’t think there’s anything wrong with ‘flat as pancakes’! Lol me being one of them! You only have to look at the stunningly beautiful Snadra Bullock and Kate Hudson to realise boobs do NOT make you beautiful!! Except to maybe a few of ‘those’ men lol.
    All enjoy your Easter!
    Susan x

  14. Ann Booth April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, so nice to see you back at work, you look really well considering what you have been through. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and I consider myself to be very lucky as it was not the aggressive one and it was caught in the early stages. I am now doing very well and I often think of you. Hope everything goes well with your next operation and I will be thinking of you. Lots of love Ann

  15. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen April 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm -  Reply

    belated happy bday alison

  16. SUE RADFORD April 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I’ve just noticed that my response to this blog ended up on your last one! Don’t know what happened there LOL! I forgot to say have “A Very Happy Easter.
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  17. Tina April 9, 2012 at 10:58 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Greetings from a very wet Wales.We really needed the rain as it’s been quite dry for weeks. Contrary to popular belief it’s not always raining in Wales.
    So lovely to read your blog- happy belated birthday. You sound as if you had a really great time.I do hope everything goes o.k. with regards to your breast reconstructive surgery. It can’t be an easy prospect of having to endure more procedures but my thoughts are with you.
    I well remember my first bra. I was only 11 or 12 and had to nag my mother about getting one as I was quite developed for my age. It was a M & S bra, black with little pink flowers and size 34B!That day remains vivid in my mind because it was the day my mother told me she had to have her breast removed. It’s like it was yesterday. We were sitting in the kitchen when she tried to explain. It was so ironic as I was starting out with my first bra feeling so grown up and my mother having to face such a crisis in her life. She was such a brave lady in my eyes.
    On a happier note I am delighted to say we won the Grand Slam.
    I’ve never felt so proud to be Welsh!
    Have a great time over the Easter break.
    Greetings to my fellow Welsh comrades who will understand the Welsh / Ruby thing!!!
    Regards ,Tina(from South Wales)

  18. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Janet, as always great to hear from you, and I’m glad that your patio is down, I just hope you don’t have too long to wait before you can sit out and enjoy it! I’m sorry that you didn’t feel able to continue with your application to be a model at the BCC Fashion Show on the 3rd October…. we could have been up there on the catwalk together!! :) I think it’s great though that you’re doing the 5k walk and still working in the local shop, and I just hope that as we move into the summer months you will feel better about yourself – I KNOW you’re gorgeous! I’ve seen the photo :) My surgery has been pulled forwards and so I will be in hospital from next Wednesday – I will be back at the hospital where I was last year and feel happier that I know the surgeons and the staff. I’ll write again before I go in – and as you say, Spring is the season of Hope :) Thank you for asking, Sam is doing well, and has decided to stay on until at least September… We talk and text regularly and I know he is happier than he has been for some time. You take care, and keep in touch, and I’ll let you know how the speech goes! Lots of love, Ali xx

  19. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm -  Reply

    Oh, and Janet,I hope you had a happy Easter too!! Hope too that your son came to visit. A xx

  20. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm -  Reply

    K, you say the nicest things :) Surgery’s been brought forward so this time next week it’ll all be behind me, which will be a relief. You’re right, there’s nowt wrong in being flat as a pancake, I guess it just takes a bit of getting used to (well mum says it does!). You don’t sound in the least bit condescending, and I’m glad that you are fit and well and now reconstructed!! :) Love Ali xx

  21. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm -  Reply

    Susan, thanks so much for your lovely comments – you made me smile :) I hope that you too have been suitably spoiled over the Easter break, and spent it with people who care about you. Yes Mel did look gorgeous, and as far as me resting is concerned… plenty of that coming up with operation scheduled for next Wednesday. Will be keeping in touch though through the blog, so look forward to hearing from you again, love Ali xx

  22. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 10:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Julie and Lily :) Glad you liked the photo of the ducks – my ‘mr and mrs’ are forever waddling about and examining the garden for suitable nesting places. I was weeding last week and mrs duck (Dilys) spent the two hours with me – I did go in and get some bread for her which she thoroughly appreciated – eating for two, or maybe 13 again!! Great name Drake – always sounds rather regal to me!! (apart from Charlie Drake :) Hope all’s good with you, love Ali xx

  23. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Sue, yes having spent some time thinking about all the options have decided on a way forwards with reconstruction and am having op next Wednesday. I do hope all good with you too, love Ali xx

  24. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm -  Reply

    My dear Linda, I am so sorry to hear that you and your husband are going through such difficult times, and hope very much that he is not in too much discomfort…. I hope too that you are able to get some respite and have people around you to lean on… Thank you for taking the time out to write to me, and please look after yourself. love to you and your husband, Ali xx

  25. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 10:55 pm -  Reply

    Wow Edna! A Madonna like bra as your first foray into the world of uplifting underwear! Sounds horribly uncomfortable. :) Funny how we change shape isn’t it – have to say the Ahh Bras have been a very comfortable alternative for me. Either that or removing the underwiring on the right hand side. I’ll be shopping for something completely different soon though! I agree it was lovely to see Amica last week, and I thought she looked wonderful. I will of course pass on your regards, love Ali xx

  26. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm -  Reply

    My dear Anne, I am sorry to hear that you’ve lost so many friends through this wretched illness, but am glad to know that you are in good health. Funny you remember the American tan tights too, and your bra sounds very similar to mine!! You keep well too, love Ali x

  27. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Mary, and apologies straight away for having completely misled you with regards to my birthday cake! I showed Jo the blog and as she gently said “You daft mare, it’s a carrot cake!!!” And it is seriously the best you’ll ever taste – i promise I’ll get the recipe :) I agree with you and the whole banana thing – can’t bear them once they start to blacken! Glad you and your twin have found a favourite spoiley in the cake department – I think outside of jo’s carrot cake ‘eccles cakes’ are mine! Disco hip is not something I suffer with altho ‘twisters knee’ is – Chubby Checker has a lot to answer for! Loved your bra story, and glad that you’ve set up a proper routine for your daughter having struggled yourself. I can’t imagine the guys having these issues with underpants!!! LOL So glad you got the Gatineau TSV – well worth it – and that you saw Amica looking so well. It was great to have a catch up. I hope you had a Happy Easter, love Ali xx

  28. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jo, as always lovely to hear from you, and think that there must be a ‘chain’ recipe thing going on with regards the scones!! I love the sound of your cherry and orange ones though :) Berlei sound to have made a killing in the 70s and your bra sounds very pretty – clearly a lilac lover like myself :) I have to be honest and say that since surgery last year I rarely if ever spend time in lingerie departments but am hoping that following surgery next Wednesday all that will change :) Bless your Bex for her very generous comments – quite liking the hair now I know how to control it! Also Debbie G bought me some mini hair straighteners which are fab!! :) Love to you and yours, Ali xx

  29. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm -  Reply

    Frances, thank you for taking the time out to write to me, and I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but….. I did buy the top you admired some years back, and no it’s not one that’s available from QVC! It’s a size 12 if you’d like it – I will be into smaller sizes after next week, and it’d be great if you’d find a use for it – seriously! Your kind words made me smile today when I have to admit to feeling a tad twitched about next week – thank you. Let me know re the top! Love Ali xx

  30. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm -  Reply

    Susan, you are of course correct – it takes all sorts to make a world, and in the words of the much missed Spike Milligan – “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…. get it out with Optrex”! Always made me smile :) You’ve also named two of my favourite actresses so I’m in your camp on that one. Have a good week, love Ali xx

  31. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm -  Reply

    Ann, that’s such good news, and I’m delighted to hear that you are doing well. I will be happier once the mastectomy is performed next week cos then I can get better and be ready for the big ‘move’ to Chiswick with QVC! Thank you for taking the time out to write, and I wish you continued good health. With love, Ali xx

  32. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 11:29 pm -  Reply

    Dear Martin, Thank you for your birthday wishes. I hope that you had a Happy Easter. Ali xx

  33. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm -  Reply

    Sue you are a star!! And so meticulous. Struggling with my third hot flush in an hour, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going so you have my total sympathy :) Dreading the rubber sheets next week in hospital when my tropical moments strike! Do hope all is good with you though, love Ali xx

  34. alison keenan April 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Tina, thank you for taking the time to share your memories… I had no idea about your mum… that must have been dreadful for you both, and you so young too… She sounds very brave in my eyes too. I love your sense of national pride – you remind me of my dear friend ‘Me Julie’ who hails from your part of the world and has a brother who is a commentator for the Welsh rugby on TV and radio! I hope you had a very happy Easter, with love, Ali xx

  35. Susan April 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Lol glad I made you chuckle. You have a wonderful way with words and such a sense of humour…I am glad we share our love of Sandra Bullock and Kate Hudson too! I remember we talked about loving the Blind Side film – fabulous. I hope you have a restful time in hospital and it is a success for you. You did make me laugh about the Optrex by the way! I go for my eye test tomorrow so suitable timing! Glad Sam is happy too at the moment. My he deserves it too. Take care
    Susan x

  36. Magda Chetty April 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Good luck on Wednesday I”ll be thinking of you and hope all goes well, we are all behind you and praying for you. Glad you had a great Easter, next year by this time all the operation and staff will be in the past and hope that we will both be healthy and happy. Next Friday I have an appointment in the hospital to get the results of all the tests I had.
    LIZ ; QVC sent me your e mail address, but when I tried to e mail you, it kept coming back as address not correct. Try to call me and we will wrok it out.
    All the best Ali.

  37. SUE RADFORD April 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Good luck with your surgery. Will be thinking of you with very positive thoughts. All will be very worth it in the end, and then you can put it all behind you and carry on enjoying life as you’ve been doing these past months – how wonderful!
    Take care Ali,
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  38. mary morphy April 12, 2012 at 9:40 am -  Reply

    Just a quickie Alison,Ha Ha the banana cake that was in fact a carrot cake make me giggle. Ironically I have just made a banana, apricot and pecan nut loaf for my brood who love it!! Good luck for Wednesday..we have had some great news today re my mum’s brain tumour. We have finally got the go ahead for cyber knife radiotherapy after 2 years; surgery no longer an option as she could bleeed to death re some dodgy cells. She will have it in Harley Street at the beginning of May. Thinking of you and I am sure all will be good. Love Mary x

  39. Pamela Steohens April 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali..I havent written before but watch you often on Qvc and you are always a joy to watch I wish you well for the future even if you stay as flat as a pancake you will look beautiful///Take Care and Keep Smiling…Love Oam xx

  40. Liz, Morecambe April 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Ooooh, how exciting – next Weds will soon be over and done with. I’m glad you’ve come to a decision and are getting it done so quickly. It will be such a weight off your mind….Talking of weight, I expected to weigh less after my surgery but when I got on the scales a week later, I weighed the same. Possibly due to the cakes and chocolate I’d eaten during recuperation???? Would have been rude not to eat the things my friends brought me.
    I’m delighted to read your blog and see all the fantastic things you’ve been doing – they all look just wonderful and your enjoyment shines through. Keep it that way!
    I’ve been for my 3 month checkup at oncology today and all was well, back in 3 months. The oncologist was on hols so I saw her registrar who was lovely. She couldn’t believe how well I looked after my surgery and thought my scar looked fantastic. Another one to add to my surgeon’s ever growing fan club. It was good to have some better news today as within the last 10 days I’ve known 3 people who have died of cancer and most upsetting of all, one of my best breast cancer friends has been told there is no more treatment available for her. She has no regrets and just wants to see all her family and friends and enjoy their company and laugh a lot. It’s so unfair as she has such a love of life and is so vibrant and sparkling. This comes only a month after my other friend passed away from this cruel disease.
    On a happier note, I’ve spoken to Magda today!!!! It was lovely to speak to her and we are now in touch and plan to meet up when I am in Mallorca very soon. It’s exciting. Will ensure a photo is taken and sent to you to add to your rogue’s gallery….I’ve ordered the sunshine too.
    Well, wishing you lots of luck for a smooth and pain-free operation, not to mention a speedy recovery.
    Lots of love and hugs, Liz x

  41. helen s April 14, 2012 at 10:26 am -  Reply

    Hia Ali, oh i didnt realise that you are having surgery next week. All will go well im sure, i’m going in on the 23rd for the hystoscopy, im dreading it as i havent been feeling too good. I’m hoping to come out the same day as I have no real back up for childcare as, as I mentioned before, my Mum is waiting to have a hysterectomy as her CA125 ovarian cancer blood test came back raised. She is due anonther scan on monday, more blood tests then back to the gynie.
    I have to have bloods done next friday before the procedure, just feel horrid.
    Anyway, enough of me moaning, I saw you on tv last week and although you were looking fab as usual, if you done mind me saying you looked a bit tired. Please dont go over doing things, you have done so much latelty and what with Sam not up to the mark by the sounds of things, it must be a worrying time for you. Take it easy now. If my little one was older I feel as though I could cope with feeling awful, but having to look after and see to her with no help, except my other half, causing me to worry more.
    Im in touch with Alpa, which is lovely but I do hope that debz and una are both ok as we havent heared from them in a while.
    Take care now lovely and chat soon
    Luv and hugs
    Helen s xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  42. alison keenan April 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm -  Reply

    Magda, as always thank you for your kind wishes, and I too will be thinking of you on Friday when you go for your test results. By this day next week I should be home and it’ll all be done! I hope you and Liz manage to get in contact as soon as possible. Have a great week, love Ali xx

  43. alison keenan April 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm -  Reply

    Sue, your very positive thoughts are, as always, fully appreciated :) I will take my Ipad into the hospital with me, so look forward to keeping in touch once I’m no longer rigged up to drips etc! Have a great week, Love Ali x

  44. alison keenan April 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm -  Reply

    Mary I will be sending my prayers to you all as a family for your mum’s operation. I do believe I saw a documentary just the other day on this particular form of radiotherapy, and it looks extremely effective. I am loving the sound of your banana, apricot and pecan loaf – I bet it didn’t last long! Take care and have a good week, love Ali xx

  45. alison keenan April 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm -  Reply

    Pam – thank you for your comment – your letter ‘O’ seems to be on strike!! LOL I’m expecting to be pretty swollen at first so won’t know my true size for a month or so, but it will be a huge relief to know everything is OK. You take care, love Ali xx

  46. alison keenan April 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm -  Reply

    Dear Liz you are such a positive person, and an inspiration to me. I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your friends to this wretched disease, and would like to pass on my very best to your friend who is having to cope with her most recent diagnosis…. I’m just very glad she has you and her family around her. I am very happy though to hear that you are healing so well, and hope that what you can see on the outside is also mended on the inside – if you know what I mean :) I’ve been for my bloods and ECG today, and am almost ready to pack… probably a week in hospital they reckon, so i’m going to take my Ipad and some books too – if i can stay awake to read them!! So glad that you’ve been able to link up with Magda and I would LOVE a photo of the two of you! Safe journey, and I really hope you have a fabulous time out there, love Ali xx

  47. alison keenan April 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm -  Reply

    Helen you will be very much in my thoughts as will Magda and Liz and your mum and her mum and I am sure that worry can often make you feel more ‘poorly’- rather than it being something sinister…I have everything crossed for you. I too will be having the sentinel node and lymph nodes checked on the left just to be sure nothing is lurking, so I too will be mightily relieved once I get to Thursday and know it’s all OK. You stay well for your little one – the best incentive in the world I know she is to you, and do keep in touch. I’m hoping to post a quick blog tomorrow and then stay in touch while I’m away. Look after yourself and your family and I know they will look after you. Love Ali xx

  48. Alpa April 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Thank you for the spring blog and the fantastic photos, which really do capture the moment :) I will be thinking of you on Wednesday and hope all goes well with your surgery. I hope you are not trying to do too much and are trying to take it easy when you can.
    I had a repeat of the tremors and headshock over easter and have been feeling horrible since then. I also hate that I go through these things on my own! I had my blood test results last week as well. I saw the locum earlier today and he advised me how to decrease one of the tablets I am on and see my doctor when he comes back. I have to see my neurologist about the pain medication. That appointment is not being brought forward and as his secretary said, if he wanted me to come in before the appointment he would have said so! It means waiting another month.
    Hope Sam is feeling a little better and Lucy and Jack are well. Home for me is Zimbabwe, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before.
    Thank you for putting me in touch with Helen. I also hope Debz and Una are ok.
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  49. Susan April 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Good luck for Wednesday. Thinking about you. You should check out your mate Kathy’s blog btw! Stunning Cornwall photos and of her and Barney too! She’s looking amazing isn’t she.
    Take it easy,
    Susn x

  50. helen s April 17, 2012 at 10:47 am -  Reply

    Bless you Ali, you are such a lovely lady. Take care now and all the very best wishes and love for tomorrow. Yes, its the unknown and ‘what ifs’ that often make things worse, but I long just to be told that its one thing or another, then I can just get on with it and deal with things a little better. I’ve had so many conflicting diagnoses’s that I dont know whether I’m coming or going. The last GP said that it couldn’t be perimenopause as my FSH levels aren’t high enough. Mum said that there weren’t such blood tests years ago and women just knew their bodies and when things were starting to go wrong.
    Anyway, take care, look after yourself and keep us posted and again if Una and Debz are checking in, please let us know how you are doing to, lets keep the ‘army’ together.
    Luv and hugs and always
    Helen sxx

  51. Pam April 19, 2012 at 12:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just a quick line to wish you well with the op etc.Only read your blog today so only just found out it was all systems go! By the time you read this you are probably sat recovering feeling a bit yucky but with that positive energy from your “Army” you’re over the final hurdle and that winning line is ever closer!
    I loved the Oz blogs , what a wonderful holiday.
    Your BCC speech picture is lovely too ,you look so bonnie it,s hard to believe what you’ve been through.
    Enjoy the rest, you’ll be back on screen in no time.
    Take care
    Pam xx

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