Girlie pampering and sunny days!


The view from Primrose HillJudging by the weather over the past few days or more, it feels more like months since I last wrote!   We've been through virtually all the seasons here –  warm sun, lashing rain, hailstones, frost and even a smattering of snow!

I've had my thermals on and off more times than is practical, and where are the hot flushes when you need them?! :)  So many wardrobe irregularities too – balaclava or beret? Emus or Birkeys?!

That said Lucy and I had unbelievably blinding sunshine when we went for our top-to-toe pamper day at Champneys last week.

It's something we'd both been looking forward to, but because of work commitments we had to wait until the Easter holidays to book it. It was actually an incredibly generous gift from Michele Hope last year, who arranged it while I was having my chemotherapy – how kind eh? :) Well, Lucy and I had a ball! We swam, used the steam room to very sweaty effect, enjoyed the jacuzzi, and visited the gym!

Ali with Leighton DennyI haven't been back to my gym since last January, so it was a bit of a Mensa test for me, trying to work out how these highly technical pieces of equipment worked. There was one that simulated the movements you make when skiing… let me just say I'm glad it was just Lucy and I in there at that point – incredibly inelegant posturing from yours truly, while trying to stay balanced!

Feeling very noble and more than a little stretched (!) we decided to have our lunch, although Lucy took some convincing that it would be acceptable for us to eat in our dressing gowns! We weren't alone though, as most folk were wrapped in their robes, and as we headed back to our table, having chosen from dish after dish of fabulous food, I prayed that I'd tied mine tightly enough around the middle as I didn't have a great deal on underneath and other folk were eating!!

It was after that we decided to head outside into the warm sunshine to wallow in the steamy waters of the hot tub… bliss! After that, we were treated to a fantastic facial, followed by a massage and then as we both felt thoroughly worn out having done nothing we headed to the 'quiet room' where we snuggled down underneath warm duvets and dozed to the sounds of birds and running water – oh and snoring, from some relaxed soul in the bed next to me! :)

Our final treat was a pedicure and with the top coat still tacky, we headed off home – the perfect end to a perfect day…. Michele thank you!!!

Views over LondonThe other exciting event in the week was the 2012 Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show launch. Colin and I headed off to London to the venue, from which there were these amazing views!! The sun shone and we could see literally for miles. There were a great many people there and Leighton Denny joined us (see picture above) for a while which was lovely – watch out for his TSV next month! :)

The speech I gave was really about my experience of the Fashion Show over the years, how excited I am to be a model this year, and how I'd got through last year with the treatment and all…. I managed to hold it together until the end, when I was to be honest a tad overwhelmed.

I finished with the words inscribed on the bangles Lucy bought for me that I know I've shared with you before, but I think they summed up how I feel perfectly…

Ali giving her speech"Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all…."

I've washed and ironed all my pyjamas and things for hospital, and hope to avoid wearing those incredibly unflattering net knickers for any great length of time!! I will be having another sentinel node biopsy during the mastectomy just to make sure nothing's lurking within, but am staying positive that all is well.

I'm back in the same hospital I was last time and so I know the staff there and feel safe :) It'll be a month or more before I'm back at work, but I promise to keep in touch, and as always, thanks to ALL of you in  'Ali's Army' for your constant support and kindness. Look after yourselves, and remember, what you can't get done today, forget about!!!! :) 

With my love,

Ali xx


  1. angela white April 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm -  Reply

    hi ali just to let you know i will be thinking of you tomorrow and wish you a speedy recovery i hope everything goes well and you will be back fighting fit! take care my friend and sending lots of love to you and family and ali”s army x

  2. Linda Marshall April 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Just a little message to wish you good luck on the next stage of your journey.Keep your spirits up and all will be well.
    love Linda x

  3. Mrs Janet Jones April 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, so glad you had a lovely pampering day with Lucy before your operation, hopefully it helped to relax you a little bit!!
    Glad to hear the speech went well, and you looked absolutely fab hope we get to hear it.
    I know all will go well for you,your main treatment is nearly over after this operation, and you can hopefully get back to some form of ‘normality’ Take good care Ali, I have sent you a card to QVC so hopefully someone will collect it for you, and know I will be thinking of you and holding your hand . Love and hugs Janet xx

  4. Gail April 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali, I’ve been trying to post a comment on your last blog for days. A little circle just spins and spins in the left hand corner of the comment box (I’ve nearly been hypnotised a few times I can tell yer!!). Anyway, I’m downstairs on me big one that takes DAYS, nearly, to boot up so hope I can get through to you this time.
    I will be thinking of you tomorrow; hope all goes well and you make a speedy recovery. You’ll soon be home and then another step of your journey will be out of the way. I will write later when I know I can reach you. I came rushing in from shopping, dropped my bags where they fell and got straight on to the computer. Lots of love, will write later xx

  5. Adrian April 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm -  Reply

    Hope all goes well with the op Ali . It’s great to see you back on air

  6. Gail April 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, I’m back again and glad that I managed to post my previous comments. It does seem a long time since your last blog, but the fact that you blog at all and so regularly when you have such a busy life and much more important things going on makes your blogs even MORE special.
    How lovely of Colin to think of such a thoughtful gift. The hamper sounded just perfect.
    I know the ‘paper knicks’ you are speaking of well, having had many procedures. I’ve often wanted to make a comment but I’m sure the Doctors have heard it all before, a hundred times or more.
    I loved the photo of your ducks. Having breakfast with ducks every morning is definitely my cup of tea.
    Hope all goes well tomorrow. Take care and hope to hear from you soon.
    Gail xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. Gail April 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, it’s me again; talk about all or nothing. I forgot (how could I?) to say how lovely you looked in the photo taken at the Fashion Show. xx

  8. Susan April 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a wonderful present from Michele! How generous and how wonderful you and lovely Lucy got to spend that time together. I’m so glad you had a great time…and she had a great snooze!!! Beautiful photo of you giving your speech and my what an elegant dress. You really are a beauty. Where did you get it if it’s not too rude? I had an awards do to go to last month and that would have been lovely! I still love the words Lucy had put in your bangle by the way. Hope you have a rest while your off – you need it after all you socialising as per usual!!! I have a friend back to work after her op too and it was just about 3 wks – she has to take it easy…though she is like you so easier said than done lol.
    Much love,
    Susan x
    PS Adore your end saying…I should take note of it…must get the next 3wks out of the way and then I will lol

  9. Marg April 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, sorry its been a while, things are a lot busier than in the past, I will tell you all one day. I just couldnt let this moment pass without wishing you well on the next part of your journey,remember Ali, my hand is always there for you,come back soon to QVC you are looking lovely this afternoon,I am watching you as I write, good excuse for my sloppy grammer and spelling,
    God Bless Ali, Marg,
    Hello to all the Ali’s Army ladies, hope you are all well,
    A special hello to Alpha and Gail, keep well Ladies,think of you lots.

  10. edna munro April 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali.All the very best for your next visit to hospital.Sure the second op etc will all go well.Looking forward to seeing you on screen again in a month.Take care,love ,Edna

  11. Susan April 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Lots of special thoughts, prayers and love will continue to be with you until we are able to see you back safely on our screens and with us again. I am sure that your speech was wonderful and even more moving because of your own personal experiences. You looked stunning and so beautiful and you are such a brilliant role model. It is great to know that you are going to be a model for BCC. What a wonderful ambassador you are. I am sure that the medical staff will take great care of you and it must be so very reassuring to you that you will be with medical specialists you know. The pampering day with Lucy sounded lovely and you deserved it. What a thoughtful and generous gift. You will come through this Ali and there is so much love on its way to you. You have been so very strong and positive and I am sure will find the strength to carry on being so with all the loving support from your terrific family. Thinking of you and so much love and care wishes for tomorrow onwards. With love xxxx

  12. Christel Osmann April 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    So many other people have said it but you really are an inspiration.You look stunning and you inner beauty and strength shine through.My thoughts and prayers are with you and I cant wait to see you back on air.
    Much Love,

  13. Pam Hackett April 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm -  Reply

    Good luck Ali, you are an incredibly brave lady and an inspiration to all. I will miss your presence on QVC and look forward to your speedy return. My best wishes to you, Colin and your famly.
    Pam xx

  14. Jean Hickman April 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm -  Reply

    You are truly amazing.
    All will be well
    God bless you
    Love Jean in Birmingham

  15. Christine Nicol April 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, just been watching you on crafting and wondered why you said you will be away a while, i do hope everything goes well for you, i didnt realize you were having to have this op, thought your treatment was all done with, but keep your pecker up, and hope to see you soon
    lots of love chris xx

  16. Tina April 17, 2012 at 11:47 pm -  Reply

    Dear Brave Ali,
    You are truly an inspiration beyond words. You have brought a lump to my throat yet again on reading what you have to go through once again.
    I feel so ashamed about the things I moan about, such trifling things when I should indeed be counting my blessings every day. It is wonderful how you keep so happy and positive. No doubt there are times when this is may not always be the case. It is only human to be afraid but hang on in there. Just remember we are all routing for you and will be saying a prayer for you.
    Wishing every good wish possible.
    Regards, Tina (South Wales)

  17. Risa April 18, 2012 at 8:53 am -  Reply

    So glad you have a wonderful time at Champneys and know exactly what you mean re gym equipment – some of those things need an engineering degree to figure out how they work! Wishing you all the best for your surgery and that you have a speedy recovery {{{big hugs}}}

  18. valerie blake April 18, 2012 at 9:55 am -  Reply

    dear ali
    wishing you well for your next phase,my thoughts are with you you looked fab in stunning outfit
    here’s to you
    love valerie

  19. SUE RADFORD April 18, 2012 at 10:28 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I know I’ve already sent my good wishes, but I just had to write once more before your operation. You look so lovely Ali – your hair has grown at such an unbelievably super speed and looks lovlier and lovlier as it gets longer and longer! Glad you had a great pampering day with your daughter (as I know from experience it was important that your daughter had a lovely relaxing treat as she will be as anxious as you at this time). You’re on the last leg of this devastating journey now Ali and good things will happen each and every day for you from now on. The bumpy road has become much smoother and shorter, and the experiences you’ve shared along the way has helped so many people – you should be so proud of yourself!
    Bye for now my dear friend,
    With love from Sue Radford xx

  20. Eileen Archibald April 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, just sending a fingers crossed wish to you and hoping all goes well. I know if I could have one wish it would be for this awful thing to be gone for good. So many of my family have suffered with this and unfortunately we do not seem to be able to get rid in the same way as other illness. Never mind God is good and he will look after you. Enjoy your rest!!!! and look forward to your lovely giggle and smiles back on air soon.

  21. Pam Richardson April 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm -  Reply

    Sending you lots of love and best wishes for your surgery Ali.
    Will look forward to seeing you back in a month.
    Pam xx

  22. Louise Curtis April 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm -  Reply

    Good luck Ali, you are truly an inspiration. Look forward to seeing you back on QVC soon.
    Love Louise xx

  23. helen s April 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm -  Reply

    Good luck my lovely, thinking of you today!
    Take care
    Luve and gentle hugs
    Helen s xxx

  24. Patricia Kurton April 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, Just wanted to add to the dozens of other well wishers with my own wish for you. You will be in my thoughts and I know you will come out the other end fine. You have been so pampered over the last few weeks by all your loving Family and Friends. How lovely is that? Take care Ali and I am sure I can only echo everyone elses responses when I say – so looking forward to seeing you back again in a month or so.
    Keep your pecker up.
    Luv Anne x

  25. Joanna Downey April 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, I’m writing later than I had hoped to due to the laptop having several moments but I wanted to add my best wishes to all the others I know you’ll be getting. All will be well and you can tick this one off the list. Your day with Lucy sounded amazing; what a thoughtful and imaginative gift and just the thing before a stay in hospital. Take care of yourself when you return home, the “real” Spring weather will be with us then so you’ll be in the right place to enjoy it. Love from Jo x

  26. Gail April 19, 2012 at 9:29 am -  Reply

    Thinking of you. Hope you are comfortable xx

  27. Annette Roberts April 19, 2012 at 9:35 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Just want to wish you well, with yet another operation. It’s bad enough having to contemplate going throught that again, then having to do it…at least you’ll be in good hands, so to speak.
    I have the decision of going through another operation myself…that of having the metalwork taken out of my ankle. It’s a ‘b****y’ nuisance at the moment, the swelling has subsided and has left 2 of the screws very prominent and visible on the ankle bone, which when in bed, lying on your side, can and has been very sore, waking me up at night, so much to my disgust I wear one thick sock on that foot covering the offending protrusion, but offering some protection. However, it’s not a good look to be having in that department, if you get my drift LOL!
    Take care Ali and wishing you all the luck in the world with your op and speedy recovery!
    Annette x

  28. Alpa April 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    You are very much in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your surgery went well yesterday and send you lots of love during your recovery.
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  29. Alpa April 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Sorry not to have written to you yesterday, hence the belated message!
    Alpa xx

  30. izzie April 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    I have followed your blog closely over the last year as had a friend who went through the same thing at 42 – She has just pass
    ed her five year all clear milestone. I wish you all the very best for this operation and for a speedy recovery – you are an inspiration to all of us. I have two daughters who both suffer with mental illness and life does sometimes seem unfair – however – onwards and upwards – Love and prayers to you and your family as you recover and can’t wait to see you back on air very soon.
    Izzie xx

  31. Lorraine Leebetter April 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    Hope all goes well for you. Take care and I send you love and best wishes.

  32. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen April 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm -  Reply

    hope you are getting on well alsion

  33. Wendy April 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Its been said so many times what an inspiration you are, but you are more than that. Every now and then someone comes along who affects your sole and that’s you. God or any other superpower or being that you believe in does just now and then surprise us all by providing such great and modest role models. I know your family and all your friends that write their lovely blogs love you dearly and why shouldn’t they. You are selfless, beautiful and elegant. I do not need to tell you how much I wish you well and that I speak for many when I say if our positive thoughts help we are greateful. Keep shining your light.
    Wendy, Scotland

  34. Lisa Carter April 20, 2012 at 10:16 am -  Reply

    Thinking of you Ali and wishing you all the very best for your operation. Take care of yourself when you return home and look forward to seeing you back on the screen very soon. Sending you and your family my thoughts, prayers and love Lisa xx

  35. mary morphy April 20, 2012 at 11:59 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison…I am writing this on Friday so you will have had your op and hopefully feeling comfortable and looking forward to the future. My thoughts and best wishes are with you all the way. Its been a funny week in Westgate…the outdoor cricket season has started for the kids so as sure as ‘eggs is eggs’ the rain has been pouring down, training and matches canecelled and cricket whites covered in mud!
    We had a motivational speaker in at school on Tuesday and were all a little sceptic..normally they are a bit loud and OTT. However we had Richard McCann whose mum was the first victim of the Yorkshire Ripper. Peter Sutcliffe. He was 6 when she was murdered and he told us about the many ups and down of his life and how the two most powerful words in the English language are ‘I Can’. I was very moved by his story and was very glad I had my Mally bullet proof waterproof mascara on..he has made good and bad choices in his life and been at the lowest point of this life and then changed for the better. An incredible man. Anyway, I got home form school and was full of it! Jack was on the sofa watching sport – no homework just revision! Chloe was beavering away at the table with vast amounts of school work. I began to tell them about Richard with gusto and enthusiasm..Jack rolled his eyes then paused the telly, (mum’s lost the plot written all over his face) and Chloe carried on, head slightly cocked to one side to look like she was listening. I was getting very passionate about what he had said, bouncing around the lounge and then said to Jack.”What are the two most powerful words in the English language?” He though for a nano second and replied…….”BACON SANDWICH!”
    Mum went to Harley Street this week to finalise her cyberknife treatment in May..She said she had a lovely day and was treated like Royalty. All looking good for treatment so fingers crossed.
    Take care, have lots of rest. Much love Mary xx

  36. Kathryn Sheehan April 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm -  Reply

    Best wishes and warm hugs to you Alison. I am doing the Race for Life on 17th June in Bournemouth, will be thinking of you.
    Take Care.
    Love Kathy

  37. qvc April 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali-God be with you over the next month-I wish nothing but the best for you and look forward to when it’s all over and life can truly settle down for you. Your strength, bravery, humility and sense of humour will keep you going, and please know that you are respected and loved by all who know you, even though they have never met you in person. Big breath and off you go.See you soon.Love K.XXX

  38. Dorothy April 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Just want to say hope all goes well and you will be back to your full self in no time. Pleased you and lucy had good time you deserve it.Speak soon
    Take care Ali
    Love Dorothy xxxx

  39. Susan April 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Izzie, Ali and Annette,
    Ali I hope you are feeling ok 2 days on. Lovely Debbie G said she was visiting you yesterday so no doubt lovely to see her. Izzie I’m sorry to hear about your daughters – awful thing to suffer from. I’m glad Debbie F raised it on one of her blogs as it’s so often not talked about. Hard for all of you. And Annette I hope if you have your surgery it is a success – my friend’s boyfriend has a lot of metalwork and got some taken out in his ankle for same reason. Really gave him relief.
    Enjoy your weekends and take care
    Susan x

  40. Magda Chetty April 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    It is Saturday and from Debbie Greenwood blog, the op went well thank God, we were all praying and thinking of you. Hope you are feeling better and will be home soon. Just look at it this way, another step out of the way and you will be back to normal soon.
    We will miss you on QVC but, look after yourself and get back to us soon.
    I went to hospital yesterday and all the results came out ok, now another visit on June 06th, and nothing tell October, wow I can now book a break somewhere and not worry about hospitals.
    Love to the army, hope you are ok girls, Alpa, Helen, Susan, Una, Dez, Gail,and liz, keep well ladies and keep the love going round.
    Ali look forward to you writing to tell us that you are well.
    Much love.

  41. Margaret Platt April 21, 2012 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,my first time on here but been with QVC since the beginning,just wanted to tell you i am doing the Walk the Walk London Moonwalk on 12th May,17,000 women walking around London at midnight in their bra’s.
    When the going gets tough i will be thinking of you and Amica,my friend was supposed to be doing it with me and had to pull out as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in Feb,she has just had surgery and says watching you and seeing how great you look lifts her spirits.
    Maggie xx

  42. SUE RADFORD April 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just a short note to say I hope all went well for you, and you are recuperating. It’s great that you know most of the staff who are looking after you – I’m sure they must think you are an exceptional patient!
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  43. Annette Roberts April 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    So glad to hear that all went well with your op and you were up to visitors, namely one Debbie G, no doubt with chocolate in hand!
    Hope every coming day you feel better and better and will be back very soon.
    Annette x
    Hi Susan
    Won’t be having the op for a while yet…I’ve had a few head problems which I thought was related to the accident and have been on tablets for the pain, which turned me into a zombie and have had them changed a couple of weeks ago and am a lot brighter in myself…more me again! I’ve also had blood tests and MRI, which thankfully are all clear, but now have to have an x-ray on my neck, to see if that may be the problem, so until my head is clear, the op will have to wait a bit longer.
    Thank you for your kind words x

  44. Janette Galbraith April 24, 2012 at 12:50 am -  Reply

    Dear Alison, I’ve watched you over the years on TV, from This Morning to QVC, and you’ve always had a twinkle in your eye and a ready smile and easy manner with all you’ve came into contact with, and these are the qualities that will get you through the next few weeks and months. I had a mastectomy and reconstruction at age 39, 14 years ago now, and have never looked back. Every day will bring its own challenge, but the more you laugh at life’s absurdities and foibles, the easier you will heal, both inwardly and externally.
    Good luck with your operation and recovery, and I look forward to watching you on QVC in the near future looking even more beautiful and happy !
    Janette x

  45. Sue Jennings April 24, 2012 at 11:54 am -  Reply

    Firstly Ali you look beautiful in the Fashion Sow pic…and now i want to wish you the very very best of luck for your surgery..look forward to you being back in my living room soon Take Crae xxx
    Sue Jennings

  46. Liz, Morecambe April 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali (and the rest of the army),
    I hope you are being a good patient Ali and not doing too much, too soon!! And eating chocolate for medicinal purposes of course.. I am hoping the op went as well as hoped and that you are healing well. My thoughts were with you on the day while I was walking round London.
    Am sorry I haven’t posted before now but I did try a couple of times and nothing happened so I gave up, I’m afraid! It has been a very stressful couple of weeks as my beloved friend, who was ill the last time I posted, tragically passed away very quickly. The only blessing is that she died at home, peacefully and pain-free and surrounded by her family and that was what she had wanted. She had no regrets or ‘unfinished’ business and I had the privilege of packing in 3 visits full of fun and laughter in the couple of weeks beforehand. I’m going to miss her so much, especially as she was my partner-in-crime for going out for lunches and afternoon teas. She was only 52 and leaves a hubby and 2 teenage children. Her humanist memorial service was held yesterday and it was just as she had instructed it to be. Another breast cancer friend came up from down south and the husband of my friend who died in March also came. It was nice to have support from a selfish point of view. And I wore my new boobs for the first time in my friend’s honour as we had lots of laughs over me getting them and trying different sizes!!!
    Last week I went to stay at my sister’s in London with my mum and dad. Had a couple of days in town (in the pouring rain whilst it was sunny for once back home!) and then the highlight of the trip. As a Xmas pressie, I had bought the rest of the family an overnight experience in what is known as a lookout lodge at Whipsnade Zoo and I went along as my trip was a Xmas pressie from them. It was just amazing and better than I could have ever hoped. We went to see the animals after the park had closed and got really close to them – the lions in particular were fab. We fed some of the animals too. Then we all had a bbq (lovely food and plenty of it!) before walking back through the park in the dark with torches! You could hear the lions roaring and the wolves were out too. Then we spent the night in our little cosy lodges before having a brill brekkie and going around the zoo again before it opened. Fed the chimps and bears. I have some great photos, though I say so myself. We all had a ball and the staff wer so good at their jobs.
    Sadly while I was there I had call telling me another of my breast cancer friends was very ill and in hospital. The family hope to bring her home and that she is able to make her daughter’s wedding this coming weekend…..
    Anyway, I’m off to send an email to Magda and hopefully see her next week for a good natter, preferably in the sun!!
    To all the other ladies on here who have their own or family issues, I am thinking of you and hope things go to plan.
    Ali – please take your recovery easy and I will look forward to seeing you back on screen before too long. Apologies for waffling on.
    Love and hugs as ever, Liz x

  47. Liz, Morecambe April 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Sorry, it’s me again! I meant to say how fab you looked on the BCC fashion pic – the most beautiful dress that suited you wonderfully. I applied to be a model this year but was rejected – boo-hoo!!! – probably too short and dumpy!!!!
    It was good to hear about your spa time with Lucy – a lovely thought from Michele – and how much it must have been appreciated by the two of you. An ideal pre-op treat! You can never have too many treats at any stage of breast cancer (well, that’s my excuse!!)
    Liz xx

  48. tracy king April 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, long time no write! I’m right in the middle of ‘Fronk’ mode so busy busy, just looked at your blog and realised I hadnt sent wishes prior to your op so sending them now as you recover. Hope all went well and you’ll be fighting fit in no time! as everyone else has said that is a beeeeeyooootiful pic of you in that one shouldered dress, luvin the hair as well suits you very well! My nephews wedding is only weeks away now I have my outfit – size smaller dress thanks to zumba! I keep trying it on 1-to see that it still fits and 2- coz its totally gorgeous!! I am not a dress person, I dont own a skirt (all stems from my Di telling me he had seen better legs hanging out of a nest!!)haha. anyhoo – my new figure has given me the oomph to wear it and I luv it!!
    once again I ramble!
    Take care of yourself and get well soon
    Luv n hugz n stuff
    Tracy aka Fronk and Cath by proxy

  49. Eileen P. April 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, sorry I’ve not written for a while, I’ve been having trouble with my hand/arm, and side effects of the medication, which caused me muscle pain for a few weeks but has now settled down again. I am due to go into hospital shortly for a bone graft on my wrist also shortened on one side. I will of course keep reading your blog but may not answer for a while. I am sure everything will go well for you and you will be back at your lovely cottage enjoying the late spring/early summer “sunshine”. (if we get any). Good luck , take good care of yourself when you get home. Lots of love. Eileen P. Manchester. xxx

  50. Jane Barber April 27, 2012 at 7:44 am -  Reply

    Dear Alison, I hope very much that the discomfort is easing following surgery and that your’re managing to get about again. I have been following your blogs since my own diagnosis and have been so impressed with your progress and the way you have coped. I had my mastectomy on Tuesday and if I start to feel sorry for myself I think ‘Alison Keenan wouldn’t be like this’ and pull myself together. It usually works! Anyway, just wanted to send my love and say thank you. All the best, Jane xxxxx

  51. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 10:54 am -  Reply

    Angela, lovely to hear from you, and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply, but after 9 days in hospital I’m finally home! Will be letting you know all about it in my next blog, but I do hope all is well with you and yours, love Ali x

  52. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 10:55 am -  Reply

    Dear Linda, thank you for my angel’s message :) It’s been a bit of a long haul, but I’m finally home and being very well looked after by Nurse Colin, so am planning to take it easy for a while now. Lovely to hear from you, love Ali xx

  53. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 10:59 am -  Reply

    Janet, great to hear from you, and thank you for your kind words – I hadn’t realised just how lop sided I was until I saw the photo of my speech night, but hopefully after this surgery things will eventually even up :) Thank you for your card. I am sure someone will be popping over to see me in th coming weeks and I will ask them to check my pigeon hole – as it were! Thanks too for holding my hand – things didn’t go exactly to plan – and I am very happy to be home finally from hospital. You take care, and I shall be writing my blog very soon to bring you up to speed, love Ali x

  54. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 11:01 am -  Reply

    Gail, thank you for perservering with the message, and I am honoured to have received this message via ‘The Big One’! :) I hope you didn’t break anything when you dropped your shopping and although my reply is more than a little tardy, I did indeed get your good wishes before I went into hospital. I hope all is good with you, and I’ll be writing again very soon, love Ali x

  55. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 11:02 am -  Reply

    Adrian thank you! It’s been lovely to be back, and I’m hoping it won’t be too long before I’m back again. Ali x

  56. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 11:05 am -  Reply

    Hello again Gail, and I’m glad that your computer is now behaving itself! My ‘knicks’ this time weren’t paper, but once more, those rather strange net affairs, that leave an imprint all over you when you take them off!! Mind you, I ended up in theatre twice more and wore my own, which were splashed with arnica, so I won’t grumble again :) It’s lovely to finally be home, and the ducks are very much in evidence – mainly because it’s perfect weather for them! Thinking of you, and thanks again for having posted to me, love Ali xx

  57. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 11:07 am -  Reply

    ……Gail, again thank you! Yes Colin helped me choose the dress, and although I hadn’t realised quite how lopsided I looked in it, it was a treat to be dressed up for the evening, and I had some very nice comments on the night :), love me xx

  58. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 11:11 am -  Reply

    Dear Susan, you’re right, it was an incredibly generous gift, and so nice to have a whole day with Lucy and to be pampered in that way. She loved it too! Thank you for your compliments about the dress – once again it was a Karen Millen creation – they do seem to fit me well, although I wasn’t as happy seeing the photos afterwards, but am hoping that in time (3 months the surgeon has said) I should be a tad more even looking. Unfortunately I ended up in theatre twice more after the initial op, so am taking it very easy (well trying!) at the moment, but will be back as soon as I’m able. So glad you like those beautiful words – the entire poem by Emily Dickinson is very poignant. Hope you’ll have had a wonderful weekend, love Ali xx

  59. Liz, Morecambe April 29, 2012 at 11:53 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Hope your recovery is going well and you are taking things easy and not trying to do too much too soon. Patience is a virtue!!!
    Looking forward to meeting up with Magda later this week and soaking up a bit of sunshine. The weather up here in the North today is horrid (again!). I do hope the nice week in MArch wasn’t our summer…..
    Yet again, I have sad news to report and my friend who was so ill passed away on Thurs so never saw her daughter married yesterday. So very sad and the family must have had so many mixed emotions…I am so hoping this is the end of such tragedies for the time being.
    Anyway, take care of yourself and I will look forward to catching up on your stories when I get back.
    Love and hugs, Liz x

  60. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm -  Reply

    Marg, how lovely to hear from you! Reading between the lines it sounds as though you’ve been having a bit of a time of it, so I hope that you’re coping :) Thank you for holding my hand – it was very welcome as things didn’t go exactly to plan – but I’m very glad to be home now (with my two drains!) and on the mend. God Bless you too Marg, love Ali xx

  61. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm -  Reply

    Dear Edna, Thanks for writing, and I’m pleased to say I’m on the mend now, and will do my level best to get fit enough for work sooner rather than later :) I hope all is well with you and yours, love Ali xx

  62. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm -  Reply

    Susan, you always write such lovely things, and thank you for your kind words about the speech – it was a lovely evening, and the beginning of what I know is going to be an exceptional year with Breast Cancer Care. The hospital staff were very kind, and although things weren’t all that straightforward, I am finally home, and being very well looked after by Colin, Lucy and my friends :) Your love and kind wishes are very welcome, and I send the same to you, Ali xx

  63. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm -  Reply

    Christel, how very kind :) I loved the dress but hadn’t realised quite how lop sided I was – still that will hopefully be rectified now, although it’s going to take some months before it all settles down. I do hope that all in your life is going well, and that you will have a good weekend – cosily tucked away somewhere rather than having to face this ghastly weather head on! With my love and thanks, Ali xx

  64. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm -  Reply

    Pam, I have to admit to feeling far from brave on the day itself, but as it turns out, it was absolutely the right decision to have the second mastectomy, and I am now home from hospital and starting to feel better :) My very best wishes to you and your family too, love Ali x

  65. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jean in Birmingham, thank you for writing…….I am humbled by your words and comforted at the same time, God bless you too, love Ali xx

  66. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Chris, yes the op was pushed forward a tad, but reconstruction was always on the cards :) Home from hospital now, and will be writing my blog as soon as I can. I hope all is well with you, love Ali xx

  67. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm -  Reply

    Oh Tina, such lovely words you write, and you know I feel that whatever it is we each go through in life, it’s relevant at the time to feel as we do. You’re right, I was scared just before the op, but inspite of my setbacks over the last 9 days, it most definitely was the right thing to do and I’m now home and getting better. Thank you too for your prayers – I very much hope all is well with you, and like me, you can continue to count your blessings :) love Ali xx

  68. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Risa – lovely name :) Definitely in your camp re the engineering degree – makes you wonder if the people who design this equipment ever use it??? :) Home and recovering now, but will write again soon, love ali x

  69. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    Valerie, thanks for taking the time out to write, and for your lovely compliment :) Sending my love, Ali x

  70. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm -  Reply

    Sue, my dear friend, your words have cheered me no end, and I did read them just after my operation which gave me a boost. I few hiccups along the way meant I was in hospital for 9 days in the end, but am home now and as you say, this is the last leg of what has on occasions been a devastating journey. I hope to be more ‘balanced’ in my appearance within a few months, and will look forward to ‘seeing’ you then :) With love from Ali xxx

  71. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm -  Reply

    Hello Eileen, I’m so sorry that you and your family have been struggling with this wretched for so long, and pray that one day soon a cure will be found… Keep believing, and as you say God is good and will look after you and us all :) Keep smiling too, and I will too, and will be back before you know it, love Ali xx

  72. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm -  Reply

    Louise, thanks for writing, and I’m glad to say I’m home now after a somewhat extended stay in hospital, but I was very well looked after there, as I am being now! I hope that all is well with you, love Ali x

  73. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm -  Reply

    Love and gentle hugs to you too Helen, and I very much hope that your recent visit to the doctor brought some conclusion and help for you. I hope your little one is well too, and that you’ve managed to stay warm and cosy this rather grotty cold and wet weekend :) With love, Ali x

  74. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm -  Reply

    Dear Anne, You’re right I’ve been spoiled rotten, and continue to be at home with Colin and by my friends and family – must have done something good in my life!! :) Home from hospital now and will keep in touch with you all while I’m away from work, love Ali xx

  75. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm -  Reply

    Jo, thank you for writing on the day itself, and as I took my Ipad into hospital I was able to read your good wishes after the operation :) It is good to be able to tick this off the list, and was most definitely the right decision to make…although hard at the time… Yes for Lucy and I, it was a terrific day out and perfect timing :) Having just got home all my tulips are flowering and the primroses are everywhere too – just a little too wet and windy for my liking, but the cottage is cosy, and I’m still in my pyjamas, so happy days :) Sending you my love, and do keep in touch, Ali xxx

  76. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm -  Reply

    Hello again Gail, yes pretty comfortable, but will be more so once I have the drains taken out – I managed to stand on them last night – BIG ouch :/ I just keep on taking the tablets :) Love to you, Ali xx

  77. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm -  Reply

    Annette that sounds mighty uncomfortable! Metalwork anywhere in the body I know to be extremely difficult, but right on the ankle bone – OUCH! Hopefully the removal of the screws would help you and alleviate your lack of sleep – and non romantic bedwear!! :) Good luck with whatever is decided and do let me know how you get on, with my love, Ali xxx

  78. alison keenan April 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    Alpa, how lovely to hear from you! Surgery went well, but unfortunately due to a bleed and then further complications I was in theatre twice more, but am home now, and being very well looked after. My love to you, Ali xxxx

  79. Mrs Janet Jones April 30, 2012 at 11:31 am -  Reply

    My Dear Ali, I am so sorry things did not go according to plan,but by the sound of it you are on the mend now.So good to hear that lovely man of yours is looking after you, and as you say you need to rest and look after yourself over the next few weeks.Enjoy being looked after and taking things easy and as you say count your blessings you have come out the other side,and it’s onwards and upwards now.
    I will be doing the Race for Life in 2 weeks, I will be walking it with my friend. I have never done anything like this before I know it will be an emotional day and my husband and son will be at the finishing line to meet me. It will be quite an achievement
    for me but I am determined to do it!
    I am thinking of you my friend as you recover from what is hopefully the last leg of your treatment and know that my hand is always there for you to hold. You should be so proud of yourself as you are doing so well and while you are recovering maybe you could plan a relaxing holiday for just you and Colin to relax in the sun!
    Speak soon Ali, take good care love Janet xx

  80. SUE RADFORD April 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I’m so glad you are now home and being looked after by a very special nurse! Well what can I say but an EXTRA BIG THANK YOU TO NURSE COLIN!! Take care my dear friend, even though the weather is dreadful I hope you can take pleasure from looking out at your lovely garden, and I hope the little ducklings will visit many times and bring a big smile to your face. Keep your chin up – guess what? – the road has suddenly become smoother all of a sudden and long may it continue to do so. Take care Ali and please take things easy for a while, as it will be worth it in the long term. (Don’t mean to sound bossy lol).
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  81. Jane Newcombe May 1, 2012 at 9:35 am -  Reply

    Dear Alison,
    This is the first time I have looked at the blogs on QVC, and realised that you and I are going through the same thing. T have just had my third chemo session for breast cancer, you are not alone. I don’t know what I would do without the support of my family and my lovely daughter in particular. I wish you well with your treatment – and it won’t be long before we are through all this and out the otherside – we can do this.

  82. Susan May 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I just read some of your replies to us and I cannot believe you weren’t happy with your photos of your speech! You’re a knockout!! A bit lopsided…not that any of us could tell…and I genuinely been that hand on heart. But hey aren’t we all a bit lopsided anyway?! Have I said too much lol? Seriously Ali I hope you’re a bit better than you were. You’ve been through the mill – yet again. I just have to send my love and thoughts to Liz as well…I know you won’t mind. What a dreadful time for all you mention Liz, including yourself.
    Love Susan
    PS Where’s the pic of gorgeous Colin in his nurse outfit?!

  83. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen May 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

    hope you are feeling 100 percent now alison

  84. Marg May 2, 2012 at 3:14 am -  Reply

    So good to see your back home Ali, I am sorry to read things didnt go as planned, but then they seldom do. Sometimes it makes us take more care than we might have done, we’ve always to tell ourselves things happen for a reason,I hope you are now heading towards recovery, its been quite a journey Ali, but you have helped so many to face their fears and find strengh from your example I dont think we will ever quite know how many. I remember you in my prayers and reach out to help, please remember that. I hope the next news will be of improvement, even small steps count,
    I send you all my best wishes and hope you find comfort from the friends and family who have been so true to you,
    Please keep your chin up and we’ll get to the end of this episode in your life, then we will have our Ali back making us laugh and smile as only you can,
    God Bless,

  85. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 10:03 am -  Reply

    Dear Izzie, Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me… I am pretty sure that your life is very busy working to fulfill your daughters’ particular needs. I’m sure you were also a great comfort and support to your friend when she went through what I am going through, and I’m sure she cherishes you. They do say we’re never given anything we couldn’t truly cope with, and I think you’re an inspiration to continue moving ‘onwards and upwards’ as you say :) Love and prayers to you and your family too Izzie, Ali xx

  86. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 10:04 am -  Reply

    Lorraine, thank you, I’m feeling a little stronger each day :) Love Ali xx

  87. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 10:10 am -  Reply

    Hello there Martin, thanks for writing. Yes I’m getting on fine thanks – will be glad when I don’t have to take SO many tablets, and hopefully my drains will be taken out today! Hope all good with you, love Ali xx

  88. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 10:52 am -  Reply

    Dear Wendy, your words have made me cry…. thank you SO much, and you have no idea of the difference you and all my ‘friends’ who write to me on this page, have made to my recovery. It is so much easier to pull oneself up by the boot straps when you have the very best reason to get better :) I will be forever grateful to you too for keeping in touch, and making me good about my life, my friends, and being so lucky to still be here. With my love, Ali xx

  89. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 10:55 am -  Reply

    Lisa thanks so much for your prayers and good wishes. I was able to read them while I was in hospital, and they cheered me :) Sending you and yours my love and prayers. Ali xx

  90. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 11:00 am -  Reply

    Mary, thanks so much for bringing me up to speed with all that’s been going on, and firstly can I just ask you to pass on my very b best to your mum for her impending surgery – I’m delighted she’s being treated like royalty – she’s a very brave lady! Gosh fancy having Richard McCann as your speaker…. I think I would have needed bulletproof mascara too! Years ago I wrote a drama series which was loosly based on the ripple effect that is created whenever a tradgedy occurs in a family… I Can most certainly are very powerful words :) You did make me laugh though when recounting your children’s reaction… I have SO been there myself! That said your Jack sounds like my Jack – bacon sandwiches a firm favourite every time :) Hoping to have my drains taken out (ouch!) this evening, and to blog tomorrow properly. With love to you and the family, Ali xx

  91. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 11:02 am -  Reply

    ….and I’ll be thinking of ou on the 17th June Kathy… thank you on behalf of ALL the women who have been or currently are where I am now. I had hoped to run the Milton Keynes Race for Life in May, but it will probably be St. Albans in July now. Good luck, love Ali xx

  92. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 11:04 am -  Reply

    Hi there K, and thank you SO much for your lovely words. Feeling a bit teary this morning reading through my blog and you have certainly struck a chord. Struggling a bit at the moment with the look of myself, and all the tabs and drains etc, but you have lifted me, and cheered me up. Thank you… I very much hope that all is good with you, love Ali xx

  93. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 11:06 am -  Reply

    Dorothy, so good to hear from you, and I hope that things have levelled off a little for you now too….. Take care, and speak soon, Love Ali xxx

  94. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 11:10 am -  Reply

    Susan, very kind of you to to think of us all, and yes I had a LOVELY time with Debbie when she came to see me ….. well she might argue that point, as I slept for most of her visit, but it was great to have her with me, and she always makes me laugh – a little painful at present – but nonetheless welcome :) I hope things are moving in the right direction for you too, love Ali xx

  95. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 11:13 am -  Reply

    Dear Magda, Soooo glad to hear that all your tests were OK and good luck for June. Yes my operation went well initially but a few hiccups followed. That said, I’m home now and taking it easy, and have had my friend Jo staying with me, Lucy and Ros have visited and Colin’s with me every night, so I am being very well looked after. My love too to all the Army – Una I think of you often – and thanks for writing Magda, Ali xxx

  96. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 11:19 am -  Reply

    Well Maggie, I am delighted that you’ve chosen to write for the first time on this blog page, but am so sorry to hear about your friend, and hope that she will be well on the way to recovery soon. I’m glad that reading the blog has helped her – it helps me!! May I thank you in advance for taking part in the London Moonwalk on May 12th. 17,000 women walking through London with their bra’s on show!! And such a long way! A mighty image indeed :) I won’t be in a bra for a while, and will need to buy smaller ones, but shopping for them will be fun :) Take care, and good luck with the training, love Ali xx

  97. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 11:22 am -  Reply

    Hello Sue, thanks for keeping in touch and yes it was lovely seeing the same staff – particularly overnight :) Not sure about being an exceptional patient though – different in so far as additional trips to theatre – but they’ve been kind throughout :) I hope you’re having a good week, love Ali xxx

  98. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 11:26 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette, yes it was great to see Debbie, and she brought flowers but NO chocolate!! Quelle horror!! (I think she’d eaten on the way to the hospital :) Kathy also came to see me, and Claire’s been since I came home – I feel very spoiled. I’m so sorry though to hear all that you’re going through, and hope that the X ray on your neck will prove conclusive and will put an end to your pain. Those strong tabs are awful aren’t they :{ Take care, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  99. alison keenan May 2, 2012 at 11:30 am -  Reply

    Janette how lovely to know you are well and healthy 14 years on, and inspire me to feel more positive in these early days :) You’re right though, laughter is definitely the best medicine – although was a little difficult to raise a titter when I stood on my drains the other night! Ouch! Thank you for writing and lovely to know you’ve been with me since the early days – so much has happened since those days on The Dock in Liverpool… all part of life’s rich pageant. You take care, and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  100. Gail May 2, 2012 at 11:33 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, so sorry things didn’t quite go as planned but, hey, it’s all over with now and so onwards and upwards as they say. Glad you’re at home in your cosy cottage being pampered by Nurse Colin. I have a Nurse Paul at home; what would we do without them? You have been through such a lot, mentally as well as physically; it’s draining I know. Lots of love to you xx If the truth be known, I have been struggling a bit in the past few months. This disease is crippling, literally, and wears you down mentally as well as physically. I’ve just about got my head above water; but another steroid injection has given me, yet again, temporary relief. Trying to keep positive, although it can be hard at times. I had very bad pneumonia when you were in Australia, then my much loved dog (whom I’d had for 17 years) died on Valentines Day, then I had a flare up of Arthritis. I was about as low as I ever wanna be; but trying to practice what I’m always shouting – I MAY BE DOWN, BUT I’M NEVER OUT. Is it working? Sometimes, but it’s getting harder. One day at a time for us all, no more, no less.
    Enough, definitely enough about me Ali. You keep strong and positive my friend xx I’m surprised you didn’t find your ducks swimming around on a pond in your back garden we’ve had so much rain. Where’s the sun? Perhaps a bit of sun on our bones will cheer us up eh?
    Hello Magda and girls. Love what Magda said, “Keep the love going round.” Hello Marg, lovely to hear from you. Hope you are okay my friend xx
    Ali, hope Sam is doing okay, I often think of him.
    I don’t know if you remember that I was having a bit of bother with my little Netbook. Well, I was chuffed with myself for figuring out the problem. I right clicked and then pressed refresh – BINGO, VOILA. I am now able to send comments again. It may be a simple thing for those technically minded but for me who isn’t, I was quite impressed that I sorted it out all by myself. If only we had a Refresh button, hee hee.
    Take care, keep warm and love to everyone.
    Gail xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  101. Pam May 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just reading your latest responses and saw you were feeling teary today , oh Ali, I’m sending a hug right now! It’s horrid feeling like that, pull that duvet round and have a bit of choccy! Tomorrow is new day, lets hope it’s bright and sunny so you’ll feel more positive.You really have been brave and inspirational
    so far and I’m sure that you’ll feel better once the drains are out.
    I posted my last message at the end of your previous blog by mistake!Numpty.Love that word! lol.
    Another hug and lots of love,
    Pam xx

  102. Debz May 3, 2012 at 10:24 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I am so very sorry that I’ve not been in touch but I haven’t been able to post on here for some reason. Just kept getting a spinning circle – story of my life!!
    You were and are in my thoughts every day and I have been so upset that you have been going thorough it again and that things didn’t go to plan. You must feel that your life has been plunged back into darkness again but like I’ve said before there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of one small candle.
    Hold on Ali and before you know it you will look in that mirror of yours and you will see that beautiful butterfly that we already see.
    I am holding your hands oh so tightly and shining that light for you to follow. Am so glad you have Nurse Colin and that people are spoiling you, it’s nothing less than you deserve.
    Take care my lovely and take things one day at a time.
    Love to all in Ali’s Army. I am sending you all my love and strength to those of you going through a tough time at the moment.
    Lots and lots of love and licks

  103. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 10:48 am -  Reply

    Dear Sue, thank you for all your good wishes and the compliment too – think that plum coloured dress was a winner!! I shall be back in your living room as soon as I possibly can. You take care too, love Ali xxx

  104. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 10:54 am -  Reply

    My dear Liz, as always your message brings an equal amount of sadness and joy… I am so sorry to hear of your friends passing, and can only begin to imagine how much you will miss her… So sad for all your other friends who are in the same boat, or whose families have also lost a mum or wife….I very much hope that the call you had at the weekend will be just a blip and that your friend will most definitely make her daughter’s wedding and be there for many other shared occasions too.
    On a happier note, your trip to London with your mum and dad sounds great and I was delighted to hear of the Whipsnade Zoo experience! I am literally within spitting distance of the zoo, and infact from my old family home could see the chalk lion on the hill from Sam’s bedroom window! I wasn’t aware they did a special lookout Lodge night, and may well decide to do this for Lucy and Richard once I’m better :) I am very glad to hear that you’re still well and positive, and hope that the rest of your family are too. You take care and do keep in touch, with love Ali xxx

  105. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 10:58 am -  Reply

    Liz, I’m glad you commented again cos I meant to say how incredibly brave I think you are, and that your spirit most definitely lifts me when I’m feeling low. Stay strong and keep fighting, and if I had been on the team choosing models for the BCC Fashion Show I would have DEFINITELY chosen you! :) I hope you’ll have a few more treats lined up – mine is that I’m still in bed and it’s five to 11 in the morning!! Lazy mare! :) Big hug, Ali xx

  106. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 11:03 am -  Reply

    Tracy (aka Fronk)you do make me laugh :) You can’t just tell me that you have the most beautiful dress in the world, in the right size, that is so gorgeous you have to keep trying it on, and NOT describe it!! And as for your Di telling you he’d seen better legs hanging out of a nest, he’s lucky you have a forgiving spirit…. I can think of a retort if you need! I’m delighted you’re doing so well with the Zumba – I had just started to get into it before I went to Australia, but what with the op it’s sort of on the back burner.. plan to leap up and get at it as soon as I can (she says from deep within her duvet :) I hope you have a fabulous time at your nephew’s wedding – it may well be the same weekend as my neice’s on the 26th! Let me know how it goes won’t you. Take care, keep dancing and smiling, love to Cath by Proxy too, ali xx

  107. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 11:05 am -  Reply

    oooh Eileen that sounds very sore, poor you :( I will be thinking of you when you have to go in for the bone graft and hope very much that you will be well looked after. I hope too that any problems with your medication will be sorted out at that time too. Stay strong, sending you my love and prayers, Ali xx

  108. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 11:11 am -  Reply

    My dear Jane, I am so very sorry that you too have fallen foul of this wretched disease, but am incredibly proud to hear you talk in such a postive way :) It’s only human to feel sorry for yourself – you have every right – but trying to find the positive and aiming to look ahead have ALWAYS helped me. It can just be a text from Lucy, or a call from one of my friends, or a card from mum that cheers me up, and makes me realise as I know you will in time too, how lucky we are to be here. You’re a week behind me in recovery and I hope that you’re feeling a lot less sore now. If you managed to avoid having the lymph nodes taken you hopefully won’t be suffering with nerve pain – that would definitely be a plus! Please look after yourself, cry when you need to, but lean on those who love you and get better soon. Sending you my love and support, and thank you for writing to me, it means a lot, Ali xxx

  109. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 11:14 am -  Reply

    Oh my dear Liz, having just read such a positive comment and I am so very sorry to hear that you have lost yet another friend, and that her daughter missed having her mum at her wedding… such a tragedy as you say….I think it will do you good to spend some time in the sun with Magda, and am so pleased to think that it’s through this blog that you two have become friends. I’ll look forward to hearing all about it once you’re home. Stay positive – easier to say I’m sure than do – but I’m thinking of you…Love and hugs, Ali xxx

  110. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 11:24 am -  Reply

    Dear Janet, as always good to hear from you and I think it’s wonderful that you’re doing The Race for Life this year with your friend. I remember only too well crossing the finishing line last year with Debbie Greenwood, Lucy, and so many of my friends and how it made me feel… quite emotional sitting here now actually! It’s lovely too that your husband and son will be there on the day, and I hope that you can all celebrate together afterwards. I very much hope this is the last leg of the treatment, although there will be final tweaking once I’m fully healed, but the idea of a holiday is VERY appealing and one that Colin mentioned just yesterday! Thank you for always being there and keeping in touch, stay well and happy and we’ll speak again soon, love Ali xx

  111. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 11:54 am -  Reply

    I will definitely pass on the extra big thank you to Nurse Colin! I hae to thank my dear friend Jo who stayed over while I was in hospital, and then again for two nights this week – I’d be lost without them both! The view from my window is very green which is probably because of the rain, and I did manage a very short walk in the sunshine yesterday which was lovely. Mr and Mrs Duck have yet to produce offspring, but I have been scouring the garde in the hope of finding the nest! I am taking it easy at the mo – the tabs and drains stop me from doing much else to be honest – and no you don’t sound bossy at all :) I hope that you’re having a good week inspite of the dreadful weather, love Ali xx

  112. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 11:56 am -  Reply

    Jane, we most definitely CAN do this, and I am so glad that you have the love and support you need. May your chemo sessions be short, and your recovery fast, and then as you say, you’ll be up and out the other side before you know it. Take good care and don’t over do it. So glad that you, like I, have a caring daughter to look after you, love Ali xx

  113. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm -  Reply

    Susan, that’s two photos I owe you of Colin – one in a pinny and the other a nurses outfit – make of that what you will!!! :) Yes, I’m definitely feeling better than I was and look a lot less putty like in colour. Today is very much a duvet day and I’m loving reading through all your comments and replying. I’m going to try and get a blog written if not today, definitely tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the week, and I’ll be in touch soon, love Ali xx

  114. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

    Martin, I’m definitely heading that way and a lot closer to 100% than I was this time last week! I hope all is well with you, love Ali xx

  115. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm -  Reply

    My dear Marg, your kind words have made me feel quite teary, and I so very much appreciate you taking the time to write them… I am definitely improving, and feeling a little stronger each day. I’ve had a funny tummy with the tablets, but only have to take them for another week, and not so many strong painkillers now either. Hearing from you and all my other friends in ‘Ali’s Army’ helps me to keep my chin up, and I’ll be back at the new QVC Towers before you know it :) Very much hope all is well in your world too. With love and thanks, Ali xx

  116. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm -  Reply

    My dear Gail, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been going through so much recently, what with the pneumonia and then the loss of your beloved dog… it all seems to come at once doesn’t it?! I know from my mum that Arthiritis can be very painful, and I’m just glad that your Nurse Paul is as kind as caring as he is – I don’t know how others manage on their own. You’re right though, take one day at a time, and never worry if you don’t get everything done. I am VERY impressed that you sorted your Netbook – I wouldn’t have known to do that – I couldn’t send comments once because I hadn’t filled in the information boxes below!!! DOH! Yes, I too wish I had a refresh button – happy days :) Stay strong and keep warm, and my love to you too, Ali xx

  117. alison keenan May 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm -  Reply

    Pam thank you for your hug – just got it! :) I am having that duvet day, and have loved reading through all the responses from you all. I feel VERY lucky to have you all in my ‘Army’ and your constant love and support is by far the best medicine. One drain out last night, and hopefully the last one tomorrow – then I will feel a whole heap better I’m sure. I’ll check at the end of the last blog for your comment, and thanks for taking the time to write to me Pam. With lots of love, Ali xx

  118. Mrs Janet Jones May 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,I’m not surprised you’re feeling a bit teary after everything you’ve been through these last few days. Good to hear you’re having a duvet day and resting and you can look out of your cottage window and enjoy the view and maybe some baby ducklings soon!Hope you get the final drain out tomorrow and as you say that will hopefully ease things for you.Glad to hear Colin was thinking about a lovely relaxing holiday for you both, great minds eh!I’m so glad that as one of the members of your ‘army’ that we are able to help you and that we genuinely care about you and wish you a quick recovery.. I hope you don’t mind but I used the Emily Dickinson quote you often use on my Race for life page, as it has come to mean so much to me Have a look if you feel like it how did they know I was 38(lol!)
    Take it easy Ali and have a look through some holiday brochures to plan your relaxing and very well earned holiday. Know I am thinking of you my friend, and my hand is always there for you to hold.Love and hugs Janet xx,
    p.s hope you received my card.

  119. elaine sallis May 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Have been trying for days to post on your blog but computer says NO hope I will be able to get this one through.
    Was so sorry to hear you had such a rough time after the operation. Now you need to look after yourself and let Colin and your lovely friends and family look after you.
    We just spent three days in Disneyland Paris with Poppy and Cali, their faces were a picture and I feel so lucky that I had the opportunity to share these special moments with them.
    My daughters baby is due on August 6th and the time is going so quickly. Am trying to rein myself in and not buy too many baby clothes but it is very difficult.
    I hope you feel better today and a bit happier.
    Lots of love Elaine

  120. Mrs Janet Jones May 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali, I am so sorry things did not go according to plan,but by the sound of it you are on the mend now.So good to hear that lovely man of yours is looking after you, and as you say you need to rest and look after yourself over the next few weeks.Enjoy being looked after and taking things easy and as you say count your blessings you have come out the other side,and it’s onwards and upwards now.
    I will be doing the Race for Life in 2 weeks, I will be walking it with my friend. I have never done anything like this before I know it will be an emotional day and my husband and son will be at the finishing line to meet me. It will be quite an achievement
    for me but I am determined to do it!
    I am thinking of you my friend as you recover from what is hopefully the last leg of your treatment and know that my hand is always there for you to hold. You should be so proud of yourself as you are doing so well and while you are recovering maybe you could plan a relaxing holiday for just you and Colin to relax in the sun!
    Speak soon Ali, take good care love Janet xx

  121. Mrs Janet Jones May 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,I’m not surprised you’re feeling a bit teary after everything you’ve been through these last few days. Good to hear you’re having a duvet day and resting and you can look out of your cottage window and enjoy the view and maybe some baby ducklings soon!Hope you get the final drain out tomorrow and as you say that will hopefully ease things for you.Glad to hear Colin was thinking about a lovely relaxing holiday for you both, great minds eh!I’m so glad that as one of the members of your ‘army’ that we are able to help you and that we genuinely care about you and wish you a quick recovery.. I hope you don’t mind but I used the Emily Dickinson quote you often use on my Race for life page, as it has come to mean so much to me Have a look if you feel like it how did they know I was 38(lol!)
    Take it easy Ali and have a look through some holiday brochures to plan your relaxing and very well earned holiday. Know I am thinking of you my friend, and my hand is always there for you to hold.Love and hugs Janet xx,
    p.s hope you received my card.

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