New Year, hospital trips and recuperation


Jo and Alison on New Year's EveI had a ghastly start to the day yesterday when I chewed the medication I should swallow, and swallowed the medication I am allowed to chew! Eeeuw! :/ So today, I am snuggled up in my dressing gown and slippers, have taken ALL my tablets correctly, and am looking forward to catching up with you :)

Well it's been a funny old fortnight since I last wrote, but I'm definitely on the mend now, and am very grateful to you for keeping in touch with me. It's always good to catch up, but particularly special when you're feeling a bit low. Great to hear all about your New Year celebrations, where you were, who you were with, and to know that you're all cracking on already with 2014!

Colin and I had originally planned to spend New Year together at home, as our Christmas week had been sooooo busy! We'd managed to squeeze in a visit to Lucy and Simon on Boxing Day, take Colin's mum to lunch the following day and then had friends for supper. On the 28th, lovely Mitch and Ali popped in for a cuppa and ended up staying the night, we called in on my friend Jo the next day for lunch, and Lucy, Simon and all the children came for lunch on the 29th!

As I'd had such a generous break over the festivities I was back at QVC for the 31st December and New Year's Day, but it was lovely to see all my friends and get back into the swing of things :)

Obviously working both sides of New Year meant we didn't want to make it a late one, but decided at the last minute to ask if Jo and Simon could join us, as they had last year. I had saved my Simple Simon (funny that!) Beef Wellington for a special occasion, so it was perfect, and as Jo's birthday is on New Year's Day, we made it a joint celebration.

I finished work at 6pm and so hurtled back in time to get the table laid and oven on before they arrived. Luckily I still had my make up on from work so just needed to change :) It was a lovely night with just enough Champagne, and the food – though I say it myself – was fab! What about the fireworks eh? We watched them oohing and ahhing as if they were going off in our own garden! Brilliant :) Jo had her presents just gone midnight, we danced to some old 45s on Colin's little Dansette, and then we headed to bed as I had to be at work for lunchtime.

Christmas treeAs you'll know I worked most days before my op on the 8th, but did have the somewhat depressing task of taking down the Christmas tree…Looking at this picture you'll see that it pretty much fell apart as soon as I started to 'undress' it, and we are STILL picking pine needles out of the carpet! :) My mum said her bag of presents was filled with needles too… :)

The following day I was home and sorting things in preparation for my short stay in hospital, when they called to say that I needn't come in until 4pm as I was the last on the list – smaller procedures first apparently :) It's a funny one isn't it, as part of you is glad for the lie in, but the other part wants just to get in and get it done!

This time it was a different hospital and a different consultant. I think you've probably gathered that I wasn't happy with the results from the last procedure, and as the proverbial 'arm around the shoulder' wasn't there for me, or realistic suggestions as to how to rectify the situation, I decided to search elsewhere. A personal recommendation led me to my new surgeon, who was incredibly kind and also asked me questions about my life, my relationship with Colin, and how I truly felt, in a way no-one has ever taken the time do before…

Paper pantsWe arrived at the hospital and went through the form filling, test taking, and felt tip pen drawings, before Jo arrived. She has been with me every time I've had surgery, and always makes me laugh. It was the paper knickers that caught her attention this time – I've always had net ones before! I looked like an indecent sumo wrestler in them! Even Colin admitted they weren't the prettiest :) What with those and the delightful gown that I STILL can't tie properly, I headed off to theatre to let the expert do his work.

Which he did, and brilliantly too, and all was well until I was in recovery and could feel pressure building up on the left side of my chest. Unfortunately I'd started to bleed internally, and as I was the last patient most of the staff had gone home! Mind you they rallied really swiftly, for which I was very grateful, as it's pretty uncomfortable and a bit scary.

It was all sorted and I got back to my room at around 1.30am, where Colin was waiting…I've never been so pleased to see him :) The night staff were incredibly kind and I had my drip, catheter, morphine dispenser, and two units of blood sorted in no time. Do you know it's the first night I've not had to get out of bed for a wee in over three years!!! :)

Five days later I was home, and I am delighted to say the surgeon has done a wonderful job. I finally have a cleavage again, am the same size both sides, and he has broken down the horrid hard ridges and smoothed my tummy.

I do admit to feeling pretty ropey though when first home, and very tired. However, we found out on Friday that this was due to anemia (I lost a litre and a half of blood) and a chest infection, but I'm being treated for both and, as I write this, I am feeling much better generally :)

Saturday 18th was three years to the day since I was diagnosed…Five major ops and three minor procedures, but I'm still here…looking forward to being able to buy bras again, and to looking 'more normal' :) Breast cancer is a real slap in the face of femininity, and possibly if I didn't do the job I do, I may have left things as they were…but that's not me.

Of course I would give anything to be able to turn the clock back, but I can't. I hope you won't mind me forwarding this link to you, but my Lucy is raising money for Cancer Research…I loved what she wrote, and although I know you have already given hugely, anything would be gratefully received, thank you :)

Kathy and Deb popped in to see me last week, Claire's hoping to make it round, Chloe also, and even Dale and Charlie are planning to visit next week, as well as my mum and Jenny who are coming to stay overnight and bringing supper - happy days! I should be back with you first week in February, but please do let me know how you all are, as I have plenty of time to read and write back to you :) Take care, stay warm in the chilly weather, and stay well!

With my love, Ali xx


  1. Vanessa January 21, 2014 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    I always read your blog but have never written until now. My Aunty had breast cancer which sadly returned and she died a year after I very sadly lost my dad from lung cancer. I know first hand how devastating the disease can be and when reading your blogs and watching you on QVC I am always amazed at how you are coping with such joy and happiness always being on display which at times must not truly be how you feel. My brother in law has terminal renal cancer and is still here three years on and is undergoing a drug trial which is keeping him relatively well. I write this not to make you feel miserable but to say that your lovely positive attitude is a true inspiration to us all whether unwell ourselves or indirectly being affected, and I wish you a very long and continued recovery and hope that you are finally cured. You are amazing and always look beautiful, I know you may feel different physically but you are a beautiful lady both inside and out.
    Take care of yourself and your loved one’s.
    With love Ness x x x

  2. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv January 21, 2014 at 6:12 pm -  Reply

    well i hope you are now on the road to recovery alison enjoy the rest of your time off

  3. beverley January 21, 2014 at 6:58 pm -  Reply

    So glad you are feeling better x
    Hopefully this was your last operation , and all is as it should be!
    You are such a beautiful and inspirational lady , your attitude and resilience must be such a comfort to people who find themselves walking the same path as yourself.
    Mega hugs (gentle ones!)
    Bev x

  4. Julie January 21, 2014 at 7:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    You did have a hectic Christmas and New Year but I guess that would have been the best way of dealing with the up and coming operation.Glad you are feeling better after your set backs. I have to agree about those gowns-I can still never work out how to put one on at the hairdressers!You really have been through it but I’m sure now you can put all that behind you and get on with your life as you really do deserve it.
    Have been busy shopping lately for reasons you know but it’s also my birthday and Rebecca’s so more retail therapy I think (any excuse!!)
    Take care as always. Will keep in touch of any good or bad news this end!!!!
    Speak soon
    Julie x Lily xxxxx

  5. Barbara Corbett January 21, 2014 at 7:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali good to hear you are slowly on the mend . I had a new nibble made from skin of my breast with no pain relief because I have no feeling on that side . The Doctor said if I felt any pain to let him know I thought I show will . It all looks good now . So just you keep getting better and come back on air Love Barbara x

  6. loraine plumb January 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm -  Reply

    What a inspiration you are I really enjoy your blogs and watching you on qvc my favourite presenter regards Lorraine

  7. Chris Page January 21, 2014 at 8:29 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Glad you’re healing well, despite the kerfuffle and the medication mix-up. Congrats on your new “frontage”. I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since this horrid journey began for you. I don’t use such words about myself, but I think you’ve been very brave going through it with such good humour. I doubt I’d have your strength in the same position.
    I have a date for my surgery (24th Feb), but I’m not happy that they’ve listed me as a day case. I’ve had the same problem before, and if they plan to do it ion the same way, there’s no way on this little blue planet that I’m going to be able to go home the same day and look after myself at home while I heal. I have a pre-op consult on the 14th, so I’ll raise my concerns then. I just want the discomfort to be over ASAP.
    Keep smiling, flower!
    Chris xx

  8. Mrs Janet Jones January 21, 2014 at 8:34 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali, you have been through it this past week. So glad you are pleased with the results and you found a much better surgeon. Sounds like you are being well looked after by Colin. You’ve had quite a lot of surgery so you must take it easy! As you say hopefully after this you will become less interesting to the medical profession. While you are recuperating you should plan a holiday for just you and Colin for when you are feeling much stronger.That will give you something to look forward to.
    Alfies results came yesterday , they spent most of yesterday at the hospital, with Alfie having various tests. The pressure is down on his left eye it is on the high side of normal. So any day now he will have the operation on his right eye. Unfortunately his eyesight is worse than when he was born, so he has been measured for glasses( a bit like swimming goggles so he can’t pull them off) and hopefully that might improve his sight slightly.I must admit to shedding a few tears for Alfie, he was sitting on my knee and I was showing him a book and he has to hold the book so close to his face, it breaks my heart. We won’t really know how his eyesight is until he is a bit older and he can tell us what he can see. I just feel so protective towards him and just want to hold him close and keep him safe.
    Liz I hope you now have better pain relief and can continue to enjoy your holidays. Jilly thank you as always for asking after Alfie, hope all is still well with Annie. Alpa I do hope your pneumonia has improved and with yours and Ali’s advice I think I will give pilates a try .
    I hope your chest infection has much improved Ali, and enjoy the lovely Colin taking very good care of you. Hope you got my card.
    Speak soon Ali love and gentle hugs Janet xx

  9. Judith Lennon January 21, 2014 at 8:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Well you don’t do things by half do you!! Glad you are now home from hospital and starting to feel better. I did laugh about the postman handling your new nipples – I hope he doesn’t read this blog or you may never receive them… It’s tough when surgery doesn’t always go the right way and hopefully you will feel more “a woman” again. There is some beautiful lingerie in the shops these days so have fun choosing and buying. To your friends seeing you on TV you look great anyway. Glad you had a good New Year with your friends. We celebrated with two very dear friends of ours – her cooking is amazing and we were well fed and dined. My husband and I had a lovely Sunday afternoon this week taking my granddaughter to see Aladin at our local theatre. It was magical seeing and hearing all the children getting involved with the cast. It was even more pleasurable to know that the person who wrote the panto was a neighbour of ours for some years and his then daughter of 3 years old was playing the part of Aladin in the panto – now has a partner and a one year old daughter of her own. Her mum was part of the chorus also so the whole family were very much involved. We were only able to speak to the writer but had a good chat and caught up with the news on both sides. Look forward to seeing you back on QVC but don’t rush yourself – it’s better to be fully recovered than go back to work too soon. As always take good care and enjoy better days ahead.
    Love and hugs
    Judith x

  10. Louise Shepherd January 21, 2014 at 10:05 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Happy New Year to you, welcome back, so lovely to hear from you. Knowing you were going back under the knife, you’ve been in my thoughts.
    It certainly sounds like you’ve been through the mill yet again. What a shame that you had to have this once more, because the last lot of surgery wasn’t a raging success.
    I totally get your determination not to let cancer rob you of your femininity, and not to put up with second-best in the surgery department! Let’s face it NOBODY is as invested in you as YOU, and if you have the energy and the support to push for what you need and not ‘settle’ it’s definitely the way to go!
    I’m amazed you have the get-up and go you have: so much major surgery and other treatment in a short space of time really takes it out of you. The fact that you manage to find the humour or a smile in grim circumstances, and continue to bounce back so positively is a fantastic example for all of us.
    I hope that your latest bout of surgery is the last you need, and you can then focus on healing, and making the most of life. I know you will do that, as you clearly are a “glass half full” kind of person. We all have our downtime, but it’s healthy to do that every once in a while. We can’t be continously cheerful and optimistic – that’s too much to ask.
    Looking forward to seeing you back on our screens.

  11. sarah godber January 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi alison you are such an insperation and love reading your blogs. My nan was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 years ago and is still here now. It makes you realise how precious life really is. So we must make every minute and every second count.
    I think you are truley amazing alison.
    hope you have a speedy recovery and get well looked after.
    Love Sarah

  12. lyn January 21, 2014 at 11:14 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    AS usual its great to read your blog, and now that you are out of hospital and on the road to recovery. you are such a brave girl. I haven’t written for some time as I have not been well I had a horrid Christmas and New Year. I had a bad flair up with my arthritis it was all in my neck, back and arms. I was not
    able to but my head on my pillows so could not sleep only catnap. I hope all your family are well. I will be waiting to see you back on Qvc. Keep yourself well and save God Bless.
    Lots of Love

  13. Freda Thomson January 21, 2014 at 11:25 pm -  Reply

    So pleased to hear that you are on the mend, missed not seeing you on qvc and looking forward to seeing you back on our screen again. You are a wonderful lady who has shown immense courage and I am sure that you have helped others who have been on the same journey.

  14. Lynne Searle January 21, 2014 at 11:41 pm -  Reply

    Glad to see you are getting there Ali. Take care of yourself. I look forwards to seeing you back on QVC.

  15. Jackie Taylor January 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm -  Reply

    Alison you are such an inspiration. I admire your courage and the way you have handled your condition. Wishing you well with your recovery and look forward to seeing you back on the screen in February. xxx

  16. shendy bean January 22, 2014 at 12:40 am -  Reply

    Ahh glad you are home and recovery.
    You are truly an inspiration Ali you really are.
    Rest up and look forward to seeing you back on qvc soon.
    Lots of love
    Shendy xxx♥♡♥

  17. Steven January 22, 2014 at 10:54 am -  Reply

    Looking forward to you returning Ali K. Glad you are feeling better. Hope 2014 is a fab year for you x
    Take care
    Steven xx

  18. Marie Beglan January 22, 2014 at 11:00 am -  Reply

    Glad to hear that you are on the mend again, hope it is finally over now.
    So very sad to hear about the theft of Jill’s beloved dog. I cannot imagine how they are coping.

  19. Gaynor Anne Gilbey January 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali,
    I read all your blogs but have never written to you. I think you are an incredibly brave woman and an inspiration to everyone. You have been through so much and always write in a very positive way. I wish you the very best of health and happiness, you deserve it.

  20. Alpa January 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    Just posted on your last blog and thought to write to you on your new blog :) I’m so sorry about the complications of your surgery. I am glad that you found a surgeon who you were happier with and you are pleased with the results. Happy Days :) I hope your chest infection is improving and the anaemia as well. It sounds exhausting to contend with and another stress on your body.
    Janet, thank you for thinking of me, especially with all you are going through. So sorry about baby Alfie and hope his operation goes well. I can only imagine how traumatic this is for your family. Pneumonia has not cleared up but hoping to get to my doctor over the next week or so. Sending you love and strength x
    Lots of Love to Jilly, Liz, Tricia and all in Ali’s Army. Thinking of our friends we haven’t heard from for a little while, especially my lovely Debz and Una x
    Ali, hope you received my card.
    Take care
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  21. chantel briody January 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison
    I am glad you are on the mend, I hate taking tablets even headache tablets, yucky, Hope you will beback at qvc very soon.
    God bless, look after yourself.
    Love Chantel xx

  22. Barbara Bowman January 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison I read your blogs but have never written before. I have followed your journey and I would just like to say you are so brave and an inspiration. There is not many families that have not been affected by cancer including my own. So pleased the operation went well I hope this is the last one you have to go through. Your family should be very proud of you. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Love and Best Wishes Barbara x

  23. lisa carter January 22, 2014 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    You truly are an inspiration and are such a brave, lovely person who is admired by so many. Wishing you a speedy recovery and looking forward to seeing you back on QVC very soon. Take care of yourself lots of love lisa xx

  24. Elaine sallis January 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali
    Glad you are home and feeling better. Not my normal self at moment as we have had some very sad news. Which I have been asked to keep private. 2014 has had a terrible start for my family.

  25. Irene Taylor January 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Hope this year is going to be pain-free and stress-free for you as you have had quite a time of it over the three years.
    You have a lot of people who care for you and that must be a comfort to you.
    Take care and rest up. Look forward to your return on QVC, missing you.
    Irene xx

  26. Jilly January 22, 2014 at 11:52 pm -  Reply

    Lovely to have your new update Ali – you had such a busy time before the op and how you have been in the wars again but so very good to hear that first you were not just going to take things as they were and you found a surgeon who understands what you have gone through and what you need and then has sorted out the lumps and bumps for you. I am all for recommendations for surgeons. Years ago I needed a “woman op” and opted to go to a hospital in a rather run down area (rather than a new hospital) – my GP at the time said that he would never recommend that hospital but I said I am going and I had to see this certain surgeon or I would not see anyone – it was the best thing I could have done as he was perfect – yes the hospital was run down but I could not have been better looked after. How very frightening to feel so unwell after the surgery and then to know that you have to go back to theatre. Such a difficult time for you but you are coming out the other end and that is wonderful. Just that “one step at a time” for the moment.
    Colin must have been beside himself thinking he was coming to see you and then to hear you were going back to theatre. He has also been though it with the worry for you so big hugs to him too.
    Love the knickers – they are what I would call “granny knickers” or “passion killers” but needs must sometimes and better than none!!! Do hope the chest infection is clearing now. That alone is very draining on you.
    Janet I know how very heartbreaking this all is for your Alfie and how protective you feel – we just want to take the hurt away from our children and grandchildren. Please give him a special hug from me and just keep thinking his eyes will improve and he will be able to see well. It is a horrid time for you all. Do try pilates – Annie has a bad back and she found doing pilates helped her so much and while you are concentrating you cannot think of anything else – so a double bonus!
    Would you believe we are back to the chemo treatment again but NOT for Annie. You may remember her husband had pheumonia a little while ago – well it turned out to be lung cancer (no they don’t smoke) and he had the top lobe of his lung removed just before Christmas. He has to have three lots of chemo and had the first today – so we start again. We are still in shock but Annie is so strong and as when she needed it says “right come on lets get on with it and move on from here”. Once in a family is a shock but twice in one year is like something you read in the paper and don’t quite believe but we can only go onwards and upwards from here. Annie had some issues with the chemo ward when she was having treatment but word may have got back to them as they have been very good so far. I had wondered if she would want to go with her husband but she said without a doubt she did as she feels strong and will say something if she is not happy with how her husband is being treated. Hopefully she won’t need to.
    So lots going on in all our families but I am sending a big hug to all Ali’s army and especially Ali and look forward to hearing how you are doing.
    Oh and tonight I made a lovely rice pudding for son in law to eat tomorrow – I thought I would share that with you all :-)Love Jilly xx

  27. Alison Keenan January 23, 2014 at 12:12 am -  Reply

    My dear Ness I am very touched that you have taken the time to write to me, and I truly thank you for your kind words.. I think you must also have had to be very brave in coming to terms with the loss of your dear dad and Aunty to this awful disease… I will pray that the drug trial your brother in law is currently on will keep him safe and feeling stronger for as long as possible. It’s one thing going through the diagnosis, treatment and surgery when it’s you, because there is no choice…. And yes if I’m honest some days are harder than others…But to provide support for those of us with this disease, and to always put on a brave face, and stay strong is to me, inspirational :) Please do keep in touch, and thank you again for your honesty and generosity of spirit. Love Ali x

  28. Alison Keenan January 23, 2014 at 12:14 am -  Reply

    Martin thank you for writing, and I hope to catch up on my writing and also this blog while I’m home :)Do hope all is good with you, love Ali x

  29. Alison Keenan January 23, 2014 at 12:18 am -  Reply

    Dear Bev, how lovely to read your kind comment, which has cheered me no end :) I too hope this is the last of the big operations, and am far happier and more comfortable with the results this time than last. I guess everybody deals with things in different ways, but I know that through this blog I have received so much love and support that it would be marvellous to think that I’ve been able to give a little bit back to those who also need it :) take care, and thank you for writing, love Ali x

  30. Alison Keenan January 23, 2014 at 12:22 am -  Reply

    Julie, I’m much the same as you when it comes to gowns at the hairdressers, but at least there you have clothes on underneath! :). I do hope all will continue to go well for you and the family and I’d like the wish you and Rebecca every happiness on your birthdays, and that you will all be together to celebrate. Keep in touch, and love to you and Lily xx

  31. Alison Keenan January 23, 2014 at 12:28 am -  Reply

    Barbara, so good to hear from you that your procedure worked well, and you’re happy with the results. Like you I have no feeling either side so if I decide to go the same route as you hopefully the process can be carried out while I’m awake – no anaesthetic required – yay! Will let things settle and heal first tho before I even think about that. I hope you stay well and happy, and that you will keep in touch. I’ll be back with you on QVC as soon as possible. Love Ali x

  32. Tina S. January 23, 2014 at 12:40 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Hope you are feeling heaps better.I had to smile when you said about the catheter and it being the first night in 3 years you did’nt have to get up to go to the loo! I don’t know if there is a link, but as soon as I started the “change” I have hardly had a night when I have not had to get up. A lot of my friends being similar age are the same. But I have to say I would not fancy having a catheter, being a retired nurse I must say I put plenty in!! I’ve always said that men don’t have half the things we women have to put up with.
    I hope this will be the last of these procedures for you and you are truely on the mend. It is something that is always at the back of my mind as my mother also had breast cancer but sadly was not so fortunate as you. I often think, with the advances
    in medicine, she might have not had to suffer the way she did.
    Take care and keep on being positive. Sending you every good wish for your speedy recovery.
    From Tina (South Wales ) xx

  33. Gill. (Nottingham) January 23, 2014 at 1:42 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali. I was so upset when reading that you were feeling so unwell after the op. It’s such a relief now to know that you are feeling as though you are really on the mend. Looking forward to seeing you back on our screens, but…. please don’t rush it, you need some time to recover properly from all that you went through. Glad you found such a good and understanding surgeon. I can’t believe that it’s been 3 years. Thank goodness that’s behind you now and it’s definitely ONWARDS and UPWARDS, yay!!
    Love to you and your lovely family
    Gill xx

  34. Sue Radford January 23, 2014 at 11:19 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    So glad you are recovering after an awful time of it. I’m glad you took it on yourself to find a different surgeon. With two very ill parents who were in and out of hospital so many times I lost count! Sadly I experienced many unpleasant situations………. I have come to the conclusion that those who speak loudest are the only ones heard!! I’m glad you are now on the short road to recovery – there is NO longer a long and bumpy road – I’m sure of that.
    I hope you’ll book a lovely holiday as soon as you are well enough, as I know like me you love your holidays. We are about to book a special one shortly as my husband and I are both 60 this year aaaargh!!! The only other milestone birthday I ever dreaded was my 30th – oh what a fool I was lol!
    Take care and don’t rush things.
    Thinking of dear little Alfie, and all of Ali’s Army too.
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  35. pauline barney January 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    so so glad that you are on the road to recovery, you are such a wonderful lady and id love to see you back soon. miss your happy face, so hurry back to see us all. my very best wishes pauline in tamworth xx

  36. susan January 23, 2014 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, very happy to hear you are feeling brighter and happier with results. I know your tv career must influence your decisions but I would love people to feel normal even when going through surgery. Maybe not possible but we all come in different shapes and sizes. Probably come out wrong but I’m just glad you feel happy again. You were always beautiful anyway. Hope you told debs g she is missed too and that you have a bit of a rest now. Quite a trauma to go through. Love Susan x

  37. Mary Morphy January 24, 2014 at 2:41 am -  Reply

    Oh blimey Ali…after second try of blog and rather a long one too my session expired and I have lost the lot again..first attempt lost after a surprise no warning sneeze forced me to hit my keyboard and wipe the lot just as I had finished…its 2.38 am and I must go to sleep. Will check in a couple of days to see if one has even posted. If not I will start again!! Love Mary

  38. TINA LEES January 24, 2014 at 2:48 pm -  Reply

    hi ali,so pleased to hear everythings gone well this time, as i myself have been through the journey with u, u r such a strong brave lady and u give me such insperation. can.t wait to see u back on qvc, but u must recover well before u come back, take care luv to yourself and your lovely

  39. Sue Jennings January 24, 2014 at 10:06 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali…..An amazing blog as per….I can’t believe its 3 years since your diagnosis ! What a journey you and your family have been on…but hey your here telling the tale as my Nan would say , good on ya girl you are truly amazing ……I’m so pleased your op has gone well and you are happy with the results… well I got over my flu that spoilt my Christmas in a way as I coughed from Christmas Eve until well into the New Year..all this horrible weather I’m sure is to blame :( I’ve been buying from QVC ( nothing new there then) I bought the Ninja processor which is fab and the Mally TSV…. One funny moment was on Monday this week I filled my car with petrol on my way to work at 6am and then it wouldn’t start ..not a soul about didn’t have a clue what was wrong (although the battery sprung to mind after I rang my husband who had just got home from a night shift :(:( …) it was the battery but all ended well ..Hubby felt sorry for me and paid the garage bill ..bless ..take very good care Ali
    Love always
    Sue Jennings

  40. Dorothy Young January 25, 2014 at 3:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I always read your blog and I am always amazed at your optimism. Your words are all the more poignant for me now as my sister has today been diagnosed with breast cancer and is having a mastectomy on 24th February. It was a shock for us all but my sister is ever the optimist and I am really trying to be positive for her and to support her. She suffers from MS and so really has an awful lot to contend with as it is but she never complains and I know she will continue to be like that. It is ironic really that only a few weeks ago I purchased your tear drop necklace, which is gorgeous by the way, and I have worn it daily since. I am now going to buy one for my sister and my 2 daughters (I hope they are in stock) who absolutely idolise their Aunt as she does them, she has never married and has no children of her own so my 2 girls and 2 boys are extra special to her and she to them. We will wear the tear drop and hold it for comfort on the day of her operation and hope and pray that the results after her op are good ones. Thank you Ali as I find your blog so uplifting and I wish you all the very best of health for 2014. I will keep in touch and let you know how things go for my very special sister.
    Lots of love Dorothy xxxx

  41. Mary Bolton January 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

    Omg!! You are sooooo amazing and such an inspiration to those of us that have had breast cancer!!! You have been through so much already, but I really wish you a VERY HEALTHY and Happy New Year – may 2014 be YOUR year…..Mary B xxxxxx

  42. mary lock January 26, 2014 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

    Well done Ali. You really are a star. Take things slowly and enjoy being off work for a short while. My thoughts are with you and your family. Lots of love Mary

  43. alison keenan January 26, 2014 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    Dear Lorraine, you are a sweetie :) Thank you and I’m delighted that you enjoy the blogs. Do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  44. alison keenan January 26, 2014 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Chris, I’m glad you’ve got your date for surgery, and also that you’ll get the chance to discuss your post operative care before that date. If it’s something you’ve had before, then of course you will know how it will make you feel, and the worst thing is to come home too early as you live alone. I am sure they will understand, and if it has been noted, then you don’t have to worry about it beforehand :) Thanks for your kind words – much appreciated. Do keep in touch, and let me know how you get on. I’ll keep everything crossed that it will be straightforward for you, love Ali xx

  45. alison keenan January 26, 2014 at 6:25 pm -  Reply

    My dear Janet, I was so sad to read about little Alfie, and can only imagine how terribly upsetting it is for you to know that he is struggling so much with his sight. I just pray that this next operation will help him, and that as he gets older, maybe things will change by themselves… miracles can happen. Funny you should mention a holiday, as Colin and I are thinking of going back to Morocco to the same hotel as it was so restful :) My chest infection is hanging on, but I’ve had more antibiotics, so that should shift it. Love and hugs to you Janet, and try not to worry about Alfie’s surgery – he is a tough little soul and has your love to keep him safe. Love Ali xx

  46. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 6:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Louise, and thank you for taking the time to write to me, and for your thoughtful words. I think the key to getting better is having things to look forward to. Whether it’s just driving my car, going shopping again or getting back to work :) it all helps! But yes, doing jolly all the time isn’t realistic, and I think hormones play a part in that too. Have had four more days anti biotics to fix the chest infection, so once that’s completely cleared I should start to feel more energised :). I hope that you’ve had as good weekend, and will enjoy your week. Stay healthy, and do keep in touch. Love Ali xx

  47. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:10 pm -  Reply

    My dear Elaine, know that I’m thinkjng of you at this difficult time, and am so sorry that you have had such a sad beginning to the year… Praying that it will get easier for you, love Ali xx

  48. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:15 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sarah that’s great news about your Nan – it must have been a worrying time for you and your family. I love your words, and try vey hard to live by them. Stay healthy and do keep in touch. Thank you for taking the time to write, love Ali x

  49. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:24 pm -  Reply

    Lyn you poor thing! How awful to have such pain and not be able to sleep. You have my complete sympathy, and I very much hope that you are well over the worst now and will continue to get stronger. I can’t sleep on my side at the moment and that makes sleeping more difficult too, but getting better each day. Thanks for your kind words – I think I got away lightly this time compared to you! Take care, love Ali xx

  50. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:32 pm -  Reply

    Freda you are very kind, and I have missed being at QVC too! Hopefully will be with you for our Jewellery Day at the beginning of February :) thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  51. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:34 pm -  Reply

    And Lynne I shall look forward to ‘seeing’ you again soon. Thanks for keeping in touch and for your kind words love Ali x

  52. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:36 pm -  Reply

    And Jackie that’s very sweet of you to take the time to write to me. Take care, love Ali x

  53. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Shendy, am doing plenty of resting and feeling less tired than I have been which is good :) hopefully this is the last of the big ops, so onwards and upwards rom now on :) thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  54. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:43 pm -  Reply

    Steven good to hear from you, and thank you for saying that :) will be back early February, and am already looking forward to it. Hope all good with you, love Ali xx

  55. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:46 pm -  Reply

    I hope so too Marie, it’s been a bit of a long haul, but I feel I’m almost there now :) I also noted your comment about Jill’s poor Scruncher…. Such a terrible time for her, yet we are still hoping he’ll be found. Love to you, Ali xx

  56. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:48 pm -  Reply

    Well Gaynor, I am really glad that you have decided to write, and that you enjoy the blogs. I love writing them, and over the last few years they have literally felt like a life line to me on occasions, with the huge amount of emotional support they have given me. Thank you for adding to that :) love Ali xx

  57. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 10:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alpa I hope that by the time you read this you will be feeling somewhat better, and that your scan results will have come through, and thank you for your previous comment on the other blog. I did reply, and have asked my manager to forward your card onto me – you are kind :) you take care and thanks for keeping in touch with your kind words of support, love Ali xx

  58. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 11:03 pm -  Reply

    Dear Chantel, no I’m not too keen on taking they tabs either, but I didn’t help myself by chewing the ones I was meant to swallow the other day! Yuk! :) thank you for your kind words though and blessing, and for taking the time to write, with love, Ali xx

  59. Alison Keenan January 26, 2014 at 11:09 pm -  Reply

    My dear Barbara I am sorry that your life has also been touched by Cancer…the sooner they find something to cure this killer the better… And I know they’re working everyday towards it. It is very kind of you to write to me and send such a kind supportive message. I hope that you have a good week, and do keep in touch, love Ali x

  60. Alison Keenan January 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm -  Reply

    Dear Judith, lovely to hear from you, and t know that your New. Year was a success, and that you were wined and dined in style – that’s what friends are for! :) in the past Jo has cooked for me, and so it was good to return the favour. The panto sounded very much a family affair, and great for you not to just meet up again with your old neighbour, but to see his work performed by his daughter and wife! I’m sure your granddaughter loved being with you both and getting the chance to join in is always a bonus :) yes, I’m definitely taking it easy, and I think it’ll be a month or so before I can go lingerie shopping as still have a lot of sticking plaster holding things in place – great to look forward to though. I hope you have a good week, and sent struggling too Mich with the stormy weather. Love Ali xx

  61. Alison Keenan January 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm -  Reply

    My dear Dorothy, I have just found your message, and felt I needed to reply immediately…. So terribly sorry to hear of your sister’s diagnosis, and her pending surgery…I am sure it was a dreadful shock to you all, but as we have often said here before, this is the beginning of her recovery, and I am certain with the incredible love and support that you, your daughters and sons will give to her, it will help her to remain positive. It’s normal to feel frightened, for so many reasons, but the medical profession will do for her what they have done for me and countless other women – give her her best chance…. I am so pleased that the pendant I designed for this very reason is a comfort to you, and yes it is still available… I hope it will offer the same to your sister and daughters too. I will be thinking of you all on the 24th and praying that things go smoothly ..please do keep in touch, and know that the love and support your sister will receive from you, is the best healer of all. With my love, Ali xx

  62. mary morphy January 28, 2014 at 6:33 am -  Reply

    OK Ali here goes, third time luck and I’ve cranked up the old laptop hoping to have more success in completing and sending this than my last two attempts! Its pouring here and has been for most of the night; my heart goes out to those who are flooded, an awful time for them. Anyway, are the extra antibiotics working…sincerely hope you are on the mend and that your anaemia is well and truly on the way out. Sounds like you crammed as much into Xmas and new Year as possible and lovely to see it being spent with so many family and friends. Your tree surely had a sorry ending but I bet it was magnificent. My tree is artificial but I am still finding artificial needles now and the odd strand of stray gold lametta!!
    So Xmas has come and gone and only three weeks left until half term and I am hapy to say that so far I have been in school for all of it and see the COPD Respiratory specialist in Half Term but I do feel so much better, just very wheezy. Everyone came to me for Xmas Day, our first without Dad but we all had our own moments of sadness and tears and enjoyed a gathering of 10 around the table. My two sisters and I cooked and stirred and laughed in the kitchen singing to Xmas songs while my hubby kept both mums entertained and the kids did what kids do. A magnificent feast was prepared with more types of veg than you could shake a stick at to cover everyone’s taste and we sat down ready to tuck in but disaster…NO CRANBERRY SAUCE!!! I offered raspberry jam as an alternative but it was politely refused. Boxing day was at my sisters where we played table tennis in pairs skilfully avoiding the Xmas tree if you were at the door end;;much hilarity and careful bladder control on my part and cough was still very much prevalent and tenner ladies were still very much part of my life..thankfully they have been put away for now!!
    So its the end of January, just had first pay day since Xmas (thank goodness) and we have celebrated three family birthdays; my nephew was 18 on 2ns Jan and we gathered at a lovely café on the prom in West Bay ( between Westgate and Birchington, our usual joint has banned dogs so we go there now, much nicer and licensed from 10am)for a family breakfast and Bucks Fizz looking out to the wind farm at sea which looks stunning and Reculver ruins. It was lovely. My husband was 49 on 17th Feb and celebrating down the Ale House for the majority of the weekend and Chloe, our daughter was 14 on 26th Jan..I made her a four layer chocolate cake with a pug rice paper topper on time to create my own topper as my sister was away skiing last week and I had extra mum duties. It was fabulous and the animal print candles I got from Tesco finished it off beautifully. I am taking her to visit Choccywoccydoodah in London during half term as she loves the programme and will be staying with my aunt who lives in Dulwich. Looking forward to a lovely treat in the |Choccy café. Jack and Chloe both had indoor cricket matches on her Birthday so several hours were spent in the indoor cricket centre as matches were delayed and some over ran..however both matches were won so a good result.
    Finally we laid dad to rest last week. As we all were members of the Golf, my sister and my mum have all been Lady Captain, we thought dad would be happiest there so he his ashes were buried in the roots of a Red Robin tree we planted at the back of the 12th green. ( Easy access and doesn’t interfere with play should we take mum to visit plus you can see the tree from the road). He is now on the golf course 24/7…he will be very very happy. Mum now settles that we have given Dad a good home and she feels at peace now and we all said our final goodbyes and each planted some bulbs around the base of the tree. We all wrote a personal message on a label, laminated them, then hung them from the tree. Really lovely.
    My goodness, I have never heard rain like this outside its torrential. I hope its dry where you are and wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you on our QVC screens soon. Excuse any spelling errors but I am not going to check it all in case my session times out again!! Much love Mary.xx

  63. jackie mclean January 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

    Ali take care and I look forward to see you back on our screens soon x

  64. Annette Roberts January 28, 2014 at 2:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    My you’ve been through the mill again haven’t you.
    I’m so pleased that you have found yourself a new surgeon whom has excelled your expectations in comparison with your old one. A few kind words mean everything when you’re at your lowest, far too often we are left feeling lost and bewildered.
    The surgeon that operated on my leg 3yrs ago, left me feeling like a piece of meat, rather than a person…asked me how I’d done it, then completely ignored me, speaking to his theatre staff, then walking off! I was frightened to death and even the follow up appointments made me feel bewildered and exasperated to the point my GP wrote a letter voicing my concerns and the next visit was in a private room and not only did he show interest he was more human. I did, like yourself have a different surgeon to take my metal plate out, she was German and absolutely brilliant, we had a laugh and joke and she pinched my magazine and drew her stitching technique on the back of it. People like that are worth their weight in gold!
    May I just say knickers, what knickers? I didn’t get the choice and had to go commando both times…eeeuw!!
    Must have been a very scary moment not only for you, but poor Colin too, at least this chappy has made a good job and you are well on the road to recovery.
    Take care Ali and looking forward to seeing you back on air again soon.
    Annette x

  65. Alison Keenan January 28, 2014 at 11:03 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jilly just saw your message and was so sorry to hear that they another member if your family is going to have to undergo chemo…I am just relieved that it was discovered in time as he now has his best chance of recovering. I am so glad tho that as a family you offer such an incredible support network, and with Annie having coped so well she is the inspiration he will need….. Stay strong and try. It to worry… I am struggling at the moment with no broadband or landline and incredibly weak 3G…. My sessions keep timing out on the iPad but I hope this will get through. Still a bit wheezy and slow to heal but hoping antibiotics will eventually work their magic. Sending you ALL my love, Ali xx

  66. Alpa January 30, 2014 at 2:44 am -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    Bless you for your kind words and reply on your last blog. So sorry that you are on extra antibiotics and still a bit wheezy. That’s not good and I hope that the penicillin is helping. Glad to hear that the lovely Colin is taking such good care of you and that you are thinking of going back to Morocco :)
    I have been on go slow here and able to do less than usual. I’ve now had pneumonia for three months and it has not cleared up! It has exacerbated the ME which was expected. ME is not fatigue and at least if I were tired, rest would help. If I don’t rest I feel much worse, but it has been impossible to rest with trying to keep up with things. I will have to go to the doctor and am not looking forward to dealing with him! Thank you for reminding me to contact Invest in ME. It is on my to do list which I must look at again. For the last few years, I have found it impossible to keep up with things and do them as they need to be done. Every day brings yet more things to do.
    It will be impossible to find a specialist here to help me but I shall certainly try. In all the legislation as to how ME is to be treated, e.g. The Medical Research Council, NHS, NICE Guidelines and everyone else you can think involved in the treatment of a disease, states that ‘ME is to be treated as a mental illness’ Governments are not compelled to implement the WHO classification of a disease, which has classified ME as a neurological disease. Nothing is done when countries fail to keep in line with what WHO states. Severe ME is as serious as late stage AIDS and congestive heart failure, except every day of your life is like that and there is no end in sight. Two nights ago, it did get to me. Living with an incurable illness is one thing. Knowing that I am getting more sick every day and have no access to treatment, due to money and politics is intolerable. I have no chance here. The few doctors here who have tried to help ME patients have all been disciplined or lost their careers. Any challenge to how ME is treated here is not tolerated and I have seen that for myself. Despite that, I do agree with Sue that those who speak loudest are the only one’s heard!
    The hospital have until Friday to get my results to me. I was informed that it is very unlikely the MRI scan will show anything. They will not do the specific brain scans that I need to have done here. So, no further forward with that. I also have to chase up the other follow up letters from another department. I gave them a month to get back to me and it has now been another month on top of that!
    I’m afraid that taking a break from people did not go well, as they have absolutely no respect for me. Recently, I have decided not to have contact with anyone who makes an intolerable situation even worse. The constant abuse, cruelty and apathy is never going to stop. I just want to be left in peace and that is not too much to ask for.
    Lots of love to all in Ali’s Army x
    Jilly, so very sorry about your son in law. Please know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers x
    Elaine, so sorry that you have had a terrible start to this year. Thinking of you and sending my love x
    Ali, thank you for your unfailing kindness. Without you and the girls in Ali’s Army, life would be so much more difficult! Bless you all x
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  67. julie bradley January 30, 2014 at 8:56 am -  Reply

    hello Alison, i haven’t written before but have followed your progress with your blog and comments you have made on air from time to time. My name is Julie and i too am a breast cancer patient. Its about 5 years ago now that i have my first mastectomy as 32 and then one more recently around 2 years ago followed by a bunch of chemo and radiotherapy both times, then reconstructive surgery and now a bunch of medication. I can relate to you when you say ”looking normal”. I also felt it was a slap in the face and being so young no one could believe it, and after spending time wondering why me? what i had done wrong? i wasn’t a bad person? I then decided to slap it right back!! and i did. I am now all back together and don’t mind looking at my self. Sometimes i can forget all about it and sometimes when I feel and bit low it creeps back but not for long. you strike me as a very strong woman and i really do hope Ali that this may be the end for you – you know when you feel from a selfish point of view that you have had enough – enough now and let me have a ”normal” life .
    i think sometimes its difficult for others to understand that ”normal” for me will be my ”normal and living with it” which i am very pleased to say now that I do and i am very very fortunate to be here so i am thankful for that.
    i wish you all the best.
    kindest regards julie

  68. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm -  Reply

    Dear Mary thank you so much for giving it a second go, and getting back to me! I’ve had that session timing out thing happen too, but did manage to save what I’d typed by copying and pasting on the iPad.. It may work for you too :) I’m am being driven to distraction too with no landline and no broadband, and only one bar of signal in the iPad so it’s taking so much longer to reply to all you lovelies – not so good with the touch screen either so apologies for any typos! :) Firstly I wish you the best of luck with you COPD and the respiratory specialist… It’s dreadful that you have been struggling with this for so long now! Fingers crossed all will be ok from now on. I do enjoy reading about your fab family get togethers, and your Xmas sounds perfect. Also good to be able to celebrate family birthdays together too – we have Jack’s 21st on Sunday which to me is just astonishing… I remember bringing him home from the maternity home so clearly :) It seems to me as though you finally found the perfect resting place for your dear dad, and I think the laminated messages to hang from the tree are a very special thing…. That way other people will learn about him, and how special he was to you… Well I will sign off now before I get timed out too :) with love, Ali xxx

  69. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 12:23 pm -  Reply

    Dear Lisa, what lovely things you write, which have cheered me no end on this rather grey and cold day… Feeling rather old and impatient as it’s taking so much longer to feel stronger than I thought it would :) back with you ASAP, love Ali xx

  70. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 12:35 pm -  Reply

    Irene thank you for writing to me, and you are right, I am very fortunate to have so many kind and caring friends – you and all those in Ali’s Army – who have carried me through the toughest of times, and helped me to stay positive. Hoping to be back with you next week, and I hope that you have a great weekend, love Ali x

  71. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 12:42 pm -  Reply

    Hello Tina, and thank you for taking the time to write to me. I am sorry to learn that you lost your mum to breast cancer, and think you are probably right in saying that with the advances in medicine now have made things better… Early diagnosis for one thing and targeted treatment too… You must miss her… I hope that you are well, and regularly checked to stay safe :) Your comment about the catheter made me smile – I don’t remember having it out in, but it was a student nurse who took it out! She was excellent tho :) I hope you are enjoying your retirement after all those years of caring for others, and do keep in touch, love Ali x

  72. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Gill, and thanks for your lovely comment which was good this morning :) I am trying not to rush around too much, and the I think my body is stopping me from doing too much either, but I am very much looking forward to feeling less tired and being fit enough to come back to work. Kathy is dropping in this afternoon so I can catch up with her and I have been watching QVC now and then just to see my friends! :) I can’t quite believe it’s been 3 while years since diagnosis , but then it’s my youngest son’s 21st birthday in Sunday, and that is an even bigger stretch of the memory! You take care, and thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  73. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 12:53 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, I didn’t realise that you and your husband would both be celebrating special birthdays this year! You made me smile saying you dreaded your 30th birthday…. I think I felt a great deal older after that , but the rest have just sort of crept up on me! :) Reading about your parents hospitalisation makes me realise how tiring it is for those who have to visit us, and I know poor Colin was far from well himself with a bad chest, yet still came to see me every day :) Any ideas how you might celebrate your birthdays – joint celebration? Holiday maybe? I’ll look forward to hearing about it nearer the time, with love, Ali xx

  74. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm -  Reply

    Pauline you are a sweetheart :) so kind and thoughtful, and I will try and remember to give you a wave when I’m back ‘with you’ end of next week. Enjoy your weekend and thanks for thinkjng of me, love Ali xx

  75. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 1:07 pm -  Reply

    Dear Susan, I really appreciate your thoughtful comment, and no, it didn’t come out wrong :) I know exactly what you mean, and you’re correct, we are all different shapes and sizes, and it would be good for people to feel normal even when going through surgery like this. I know having talked to lots of women In the same situation that we all vary, which is a good thing, and perhaps my goal is to look sufficiently ‘normal’ so as not to have a constant reminder of it all, if that makes sense? :) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I am getting better at believing that :) I saw Debbie G just the other day and she is just the same, and doing well. I will pass your kind message on to her. Take care Susan, and thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  76. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 1:10 pm -  Reply

    My dear Tina, I am so sorry that you too have been going through the same thing as me, over the the last few years, but I am very glad to know that you have enjoyed the blogs, and that they’ve helped you feel less alone. This a great network, and if ever you need to ‘talk’ to someone, we’re all here for you :) Stay well, and thank you so much for writing to me, love Ali xx

  77. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 1:16 pm -  Reply

    My dear Sue so glad to hear that you are finally over that awful flu which spoiled your Christmas ! It seemed very to be the lingering kind of virus! Glad you made a few useful purchases from QVC while you were off – I too have the Ninja and it’s brilliant. I make pesto and salsa in it, and it’s been brilliant at chopping veg for soup! Don’t miss our TSV tomorrow – soup maker – I’ve got to get 3 for various members of the family! :) so glad you got your car problems sorted – 6am is not a good time to be stuck with a broken down car.. Bless your husband for footing the bill too :). Keep in touch, and speak to you soon, love Ali xx

  78. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm -  Reply

    Dear Mary B you kind comment has made me smile, and I am so glad that you too are recovering well! Lots hope 2014 is YOUR year too :) keep in touch, love Ali xx

  79. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

    Gosh so many Marys this week – great to hear from you all, but to Mary Lock, thank you for your kind concern :) I’m having to take things pretty slowly as my body is taking its time to heal, but I have been catching up on my reading, and become a little bit of TV quiz fan! That, and Escape to the Country :) I’ll be back with you as a soon as I can, but do keep in touch, love Ali xxx

  80. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

    Jackie thanks for writing, and for your good wishes…. Will be back ASAP love Ali xx :)

  81. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm -  Reply

    Annette you’ve had me laughing out loud with your commando comment…. Suffice to say, the paper knickers were nowhere to be seen once I got back to my room! :) I’m sorry that you too had a somewhat circuitous route to finding the right surgeon, but am glad that at the end of your treatment you were well looked after… As you say, kindness goes a long way, as does a bit of understanding. … By the way you’re right about Colin… He admitted afterwards that waiting for that length of time, not knowing what had happened was the worst moment in the last three years… We were both in tears when I got back to the room. I know I’m vey lucky to have his love :) you take care, and do stay well and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  82. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 2:50 pm -  Reply

    My dear Alpa I so wish there was something I could do, say or suggest that would make things easier for you, but I am genuinely at a loss. I understand your feeling of being overwhelmed, and each day having more than you can deal with…perhaps contacting the Invest in ME should become a priority for you now though? I completely respect your belief that you will have to travel abroad to be treated, but that may take a while to arrange, so perhaps this group could help you here in the meantime? Spending your days chasing people and searching for answers would make someone in good health exhausted, and I know you are very much compromised…. All I can do is send you a hug, and hope that things start to happen for you.. Thank you so much for taking the time out in the middle of all of this to send me a card – it was forwarded and I got it today :) bless you… With love, Ali x

  83. Alison Keenan January 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm -  Reply

    My dear Julie, thank you so much for having decided to write to me… Your story certainly puts mine into perspective, and I am so terribly sorry to hear that you have walked the same road as me, but are 20 years younger… Of course I completely understand all that you write – your anger and upset – but think you are incredibly strong and inspirational to have turned the whole thing on its head and fought back :) My breast nurse used to talk about a ‘new kind of normal’ which I felt was very apt…. My daughter who is currently raising money for Cancer Research said she understood I was ‘trying to get back a little of what cancer had taken from me’… You and I both know it will never be the same, but your final sentence is my absolute mantra – I also know how fortunate I am to be here, and will be ever grateful for each day. Please take good care if yourself, and do keep in touch. Thanks again Julie, love Ali x

  84. dorothy hollingsworth January 30, 2014 at 11:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, so pleased you are home and feeling better,you say you have a cleavage now but you looked gorgeous before,as you are my fave presenter,I do like the others but your special.My mum who passedcaway eight years ago the year loved to watch qvx,she loved her diamonique,and was always ready to watch you whatever you were presenting to us.Any way you keep well,and I look forward to seeing you on screen soon.
    Love dorothy.x

  85. Pauline January 31, 2014 at 1:44 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali,
    Lovely blog again you do make me laugh with the things you write. Glad your feeling a lot better and being well looked after and it’s lovely when family and friends come round it lifts your spirits. I nursed my sister at home when she was going through the cancer journey and it was the love of family and friends who visited that made her days happier.We laughed and cried at childhood memories which I will hold in my heart forever. I lost her fifteen months ago but I am so pleased to have been able to nurse her at home with the help of the wonderful nurses.
    I hope Lucy is raising lots of money well done to her and everybody who contributes to help.
    Take care and stay strong.
    love Pauline.x

  86. Margaret January 31, 2014 at 7:49 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    I am glad you are feeling better and happier with the results of your recent surgery. I was diagnosed 18 months ago and have just had my first surveillance mammogram. Hoping for a letter soon with good news. I had a lumpectomy followed by chemo and radiotherapy. I had a few problems with inflamed veins etc but found your blogs a source of encouragement. I hope this will be the start of a great new period in your life with the last 3 years fading in to memory for you. I wish you a healthy happy future.

  87. Denise Copley February 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison this is only the second time I have posted on your blog but I do read it regularly, and has been said soooo many times before but is still true, you are a very brave and positive lady. I don’t think many families have not been touched by this horrible disease, my father died from lung cancer, and brother in law too. I bought two of your tear drop necklaces…one for my sister in law and one for my daughter (our grandson passed away with Edwards Syndrome when he was a month old) she wears it everyday. Thanks again for your inspirational blogs.

  88. Karen J February 2, 2014 at 11:28 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison. I realised I hadn’t seen you on air for a little while and decided to check your blog to see where you are. I’m sorry to hear that you have had to have more surgery but pleased that you are happy with the results. I hope you feel better soon and look forward to seeing you again on air. Can I just say Alison, that you always look fantastic and those that don’t know what you have been through would never have guessed, and it’s great that you are able to wear low cut designs with ease and no detection of the terrible illness that cruelly descended upon you. You are a great inspiration to everyone with your sunny positive outlook and I wish you the very best for a long a happy future. Xxxx

  89. Jilly February 2, 2014 at 10:17 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali – It really is one step at a time isn’t it – and never more has your word “hope” meant so much – so I “hope” that your weekend was a good one and “hope” that you are feeling somewhat better than you have been doing. I can quite imagine how worried Colin must have been with you taking so long during the op. Very frightening for you both but “hope”fully that is behind you now and you can go from day to day getting stronger and stronger.
    Thank you and Alpa for your kind words about the family and this next lot of chemo. Annie’s husband was feeling “pants” today but you are right in how lucky it was spotted when it was as before the pneumonia there were so signs of anything nasty going on. Annie is being very strong and I am so proud of her. Her reconstruction is on hold for a little while as we can only deal with one thing at a time. But at least for her hubby one lot of chemo is now over and only two more to go!!
    I was so horrified to hear about Jill Frank’s and her dog. What a terrible time it all is for her. We have a Springer Spaniel called Bertie and I really don’t know what I would do if he was lost or stolen.
    Alpa I am sending lots of big hugs to you and hope that soon you will get sorted and be heard about how you are feeling.
    Ali do take care and keep watching “Escape to the Country” – I love it for easy watching – and at the moment my husband’s mountain bike is on the turbo trainer in our morning room and with the seat lowered I can have a work out watching tv and not getting blown over or wet or fall off! – I have not been on my bike in years as I prefer walking up the hills but this is fun (I think!!) especially as the weather is so awful at the moment and it is too dark to go hill walking on an evening. Love Jilly XX

  90. Gillian Merrill February 2, 2014 at 11:59 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali , you are a very brave lady just wanted you to know I am thinking of you as you recuperate , you are a breath of fresh air on QVC, and you are very much missed when not on x
    Please take good care , you need to rest and look after yourself x
    With love and best wishes to you and yours
    Gillian Merrill x

  91. Jill Rycroft February 3, 2014 at 8:54 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali I’ve missed you presenting and now reading your latest blog I’ve found out you’ve been going through the mill again, hopefully this will be the last time, always enjoy your shows. Take life a little more slowly just now and don’t rush back, not until you’re ready.Love to Colin as well,he must be going through it all with you, we always seem to forget about the carers.
    Love Jillx

  92. Alison Keenan February 3, 2014 at 11:15 pm -  Reply

    Dear Dorothy how lovely to know that your mum when she was with us, shared a passion with me, and it’s lovely to know that you and she shared time together watching the shows.. I shall think of her next time I present a Diamonique hour :). Your words are very kind and mean a lot, and I thank you for keeping in touch with me, you take care, love Ali xxx

  93. Alison Keenan February 3, 2014 at 11:25 pm -  Reply

    Pauline I am so sorry to hear that you lost your sister but how lovely that you made the very best of the times you had together, and I am certain that she, like I, will have felt so much better for having all your love and support. How wonderful that you were able to nurse her at home too with the help of the nurses… It must surely be the best place to be, and I hope although sometimes difficult, those memories will keep you strong when you miss her most…. Thank you for reminding me to thank ALL those if you who weed kind enough to contribute to Lucy’s Dryathalon for Cancer Research… It is incredibly kind of you. Thanks for writing to me, With love, Ali xx

  94. Alison Keenan February 3, 2014 at 11:30 pm -  Reply

    Margaret I will keep everything crossed that your good news letter arrives soon. So glad that the blog has been of interest to you, and I am really pleased that you’ve taken the time out to write to me. Please do keep in touch, and let me know that you are ok? Many thanks, love Ali x

  95. Alison Keenan February 3, 2014 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

    Dear Denise I am really touched that you’ve posted again, and am just sorry that you too have lost those you love to various cancers over the years… You words are very kind and mean a lot, but I am sure it takes a huge amount of courage to care for someone you love when they are struggling . Sometimes it’s easier to just get on with the treatment because you have no choice and you are physically doing something to make things better,, so much harder when there is very little you can do other than watch and pray… I am so pleased though to know that the pendant is doing all I hoped it would for you and your girls… Thank you again for writing, take care, love Ali xx

  96. Alison Keenan February 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm -  Reply

    Dear Karen, how lovely to read your kind words, and to know that you enjoy the blog :) it’s the combination of everyone’s stories that I find so encouraging and interesting, and am delighted with the way Ali’s Army has grown over the years. I still have a fair bit of sticking plaster, but am healing, so hopefully the new underwear and slightly lower necklines aren’t a million miles away :) I had my hair cut and coloured yesterday and was worried that I may have lost the curl, but have been lucky and it’s still there are the ends – silver linings eh? Thank you for taking the time to write, and your words have made me smile – I hope that you and everyone else who has written over the years appreciate how much of a help you have been in getting me to this point – bless you, love Ali xx

  97. Alison Keenan February 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm -  Reply

    How funny Jilly to know that you also have one of those static bicycle stands! Colin has rigged up the small tv in the back bedroom which is where mine is set, and I too watch tv whilst cycling! Darling buds of May on DVD is my current favourite. I’m so relieved that Annie and her husband are coping, yet sorry he’s feeling lousy at the moment. Thank heavens he only has two more to go… Must be hard for Annie… Revisiting this so soon, but she is strong like her mum so I know all will be well :) Yes, it’s been a bit of a march this last month but I’ve just started a course of phytonutrients and vitamins from The Organic Pharmacy to gee me up :). I’m really looking forward to coming back on Friday for Jewellery Day and will have a very special prize on my new blog prior to that, Colin also told me yesterday that he has a special treat organised for Valentine’s Day, so it’s all very exciting :) love to you Annie et al, and I look forward to hearing from you soon, Ali xx

  98. Alison Keenan February 4, 2014 at 2:16 pm -  Reply

    Gillian, your kind thoughts and sweet words are much appreciated, and I will look forward to ‘seeing you at 3pm on Friday… It’s been a long month! I hope all is well with you, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  99. Alison Keenan February 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jill, your words have definitely struck a chord with me, and tie in with a previous comment I responded to.. You are so right about the carers, those who never give up on us, and are never let on they are worried… It’s takes courage sometimes to keep smiling, and I feel incredibly lucky to have been surrounded by all those lovely folk, who have done just that for me. Do hope you’ll continue to read the blogs, and make sure you don’t miss the next one as I’ve got a corking prize to tie in with Jewellery Day – one of our top selling ranges too! :) have a great week, love Ali x

  100. Tricia Coulson- Wood February 4, 2014 at 3:32 pm -  Reply

    hello Alison, thank goodness you are on the mend. I often wonder why some of us develop secondary complications following surgery. You would think we were going through enough of an ordeal without such awful things happening to us?. I hope you are now feeling much,much better.
    I was very upset and shocked to hear that Jillys daughters hubby is now going through chemotherapy treatment. It doesn’t seem fair that the family should be traumatised again so soon after celebrating Annie’s success following her own ordeals.I send all my love and best wishes to both family’s.
    When my eldest daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, besides all of your support to us her sister (my youngest daughter) fiancé is in 18 yr recovery post Hodgkin’s lymphoma,. he had lots of chemotherapy at the time and now apart from having the cancer markers blood test yearly he is a fine example of a good result.Its always good to read of the success stories..
    I wish everyone all the love and best wishes. Tricia x

  101. Beth February 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I’m delighted to hear that you are really pleased with the results of the surgery. Your comments about having a cleavage, being able to wear a bra, until that’s gone it’s something that can be taken for granted. I wore a prosthesis for 16 months and I hated it – one day I’d arrived at work and then realised I’d forgotten to put it on and I ended up stuffing toilet paper in my bra! I can almost find it amusing now but at the time of course it was horrible.
    You’ve shown great tenacity and determination in getting to this point – I remember after I’d had my implant removed (I then had a DIEP 16 months later which has been fine) a well-meaning cousin said to me that not having a breast was like losing an arm, i.e. you can just adapt. I don’t think so! Everyone’s situation is different and of course not everyone chooses to have reconstruction but I am so pleased that this surgery has gone well for you and that you can say goodbye to hospitals for a long while yet!
    Beth XXX.

  102. julie bradley February 11, 2014 at 9:30 pm -  Reply

    hello alison,
    thank you so much of replying to my mail. I have just watched you on air for the first time recently with your fab at 40 and beyond show and you look so very well. Your mail to me has touched me that you took the time to respond. I am now very well thank you and will continue to take each day with gratefulness (if thats a real word!!). I am strong and stronger as a woman than I used to be and i don’t think that until something like this happens to you you fully appreciate how strong you can actually be when you need to – that I think is your life spirit kicking in and that “thing” deep inside you that you don’t know you have (maybe) and you have this too. I do wish you all the best Alison and hope that this is coming to an end for you too :-) x keep taking the pills as they say!! but carry on being a woman who is a hope, strength and future for others who have and are hearing those words that no one ever thinks will be said to them – I understand that ladies (&men) can think hearing those words ringing in your ears as they do!! that that is that – but woman like you show that this is not nessesarily the case and you don’t need to let it be. I can see from reading some of the other posts to you and your responses that you give hope and a future after cancer to others and sometimes although friends and family can be supportive to hear things direct from another woman with similar if not the same experiences is sometimes what woman need to here.
    Please take good care of your self and keep well
    king regards Julie xx

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