One of the most memorable weeks of my life!

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Ali and the gang on This MorningWell hellooooooo! Here we are, out the other side of one of the most memorable weeks of my life!! Thanks to so many of you for your best wishes, and kind comments – I did manage to read through quite a number of them before my first foray onto the catwalk, and they definitely helped allay my nerves :)

The last seven days have sort of melded into one, and I think I'm only just coming down to earth! :) Of course this day last week I was back at the This Morning studios, stepping out onto their mini catwalk to model a VERY pink dress!

Ali with fellow Breast Cancer Care modelMeeting Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby was great, and the whole experience was a pleasure because our Amica was there, and also Dee (one of the other BCC models). I then had to hurtle back to QVC for my afternoon shows, before racing to Marble Arch where I checked into a very lovely hotel. 

That evening a special meal had been arranged for myself and the other 23 models who I'd be spending Wednesday with, and I have to say we all got on famously. It wasn't a late night, as we had to be at The Grosvenor for 8.30am, but I was sharing a room with Selina – one of the youngest models – and we chatted on until at least midnight!


Preparing the stage at the Grosvenor House HotelI took this photo of the Great Room when we first arrived on Wednesday, because it was incredible to see them create the stage and set all the tables ready for the afternoon guests who were arriving at 1.30pm! While they were beavering away, we 'models' were having our hair and make-up done by the experts, before our one and only rehearsal, which was a hoot with us all herded on stage together!

We were then allocated a dresser – mine was called Billy, and he was a sweetheart – as with four costume changes I definitely needed the help! Joe McElderry sang his lungs out, and then it was our turn. Standing in the wings in my killer heels and fishnet tights waiting to go on, my legs felt like jelly, but the incredible roar from the crowd and deafening applause carried us all up and out there!

IMG_0922My lovely editor Bry, Debbie Flint and Will Gowing were in the audience, along with the lucky QVC viewers who'd won our competiton, but I couldn't see them, and so inspite of the overwhelming response from everyone in the room, it wasn't until the evening show that I was able to relax more and enjoy…

To be honest, spending so much time with the other models was quite emotional as we talked about our lives, diagnosis, treatment, and current situations. After the afternoon show, I had a tiny window of opportunity and so raced back to the hotel to see Colin for a much needed cuddle :)

He then brought me back to The Grosvenor where we caught up with Jack and Sam all dressed up and looking fabulous. Here they are with my Aunty Edna, who has been an incredible support to me over the last 18 months, and had travelled many miles for this very special night.

Sam, Jack and Auntie EdnaWhile they, Lucy and all my lovely friends and colleagues quaffed champagne and settled into the evening, we models had our own little dinner party (with a glass of champagne) and watched the proceedings from the balcony above The Great Room.

Geri Haliwell provided the entertainment and then Debbie Greenwood made an incredible and emotional speech which had me and several of the other girls in tears… luckily the make-up team were on hand with extra mascara and make-up and within minutes we were once again waiting in the wings for 'our moment'!

I was with one of our male models Doug and also Lily, and we were the last to 'strut our stuff', but this time I could see everyone I loved at the very bottom of the catwalk, and set off at quite a pace!!

Ali in her Biker Chic outfitThe Show featured seven different themes, and I was in four of them – the first being Biker Chic – hence the leather! :) The mini dress was a tad short, but I loved the jacket, and the boots were my own, so I found it easy to walk in them… 

My second outfit was a Stella McCartney dress in blue for our Jubilee event, and I had a pretty little hat and low heels. Third was an amazingly bright print hand-stitched dress for our African theme, and finally I was zipped into a rich red Biba evening dress for the Rainbow Finale… at which point I have to mention the dashingly handsome young male model I got to walk arm in arm with!! His name was Sam, and he told me I was beautiful… ahhhhh bless him :)

Ali receiving her flowersStanding in line with my compatriots while the audience stood and applauded us was quite simply unbelievable, but for me it was stepping out to receive my flowers and make that final trip down the catwalk when the enormity of the occasion hit me.

If not for the cancer I would never have experienced this, never have met such incredibly brave and wonderful people, or felt so loved… all those months when I had struggled with my treatment, and lived with the fear of losing the fight were behind me, and in front of me I could see some of the people I love most in the world… Colin, my children, my family and my dear friends.

Infact the only people 'physically' missing were you, although I knew as always, you were there holding my hand… there are moments we will remember all our lives, and this was one of them for me. Thank you so much for helping me get here…

With my love, Ali xxx

Ali in a Stella McCartney dress Ali and Colin

Lucy at the fashion show Ali strutting her stuff down the catwalk

Ali in her red Biba dress The fashion show models with Denise Lewis and Joe McElderry 

You can donate online at qvcuk.com/breastcancercare and you can also read an interview with me about the show in the Daily Mail  

Some images shown have been provided by Getty images 

80 Comments

  1. Norma Smithson October 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali What a week,I bet your feet never seemed to touch the ground, it all went terribly well, and like you after listening to Debbie’s speech the old tissues came out and the mascara ran. Can’t wait for next week and the special QVC show comes on, more money for a superb charity. Hope you passed on my love and thoughts to Annika and hoping you might be able to convince QVC to give her a blog so we can help to support her too. One thing I forgot to ask you Ali was on which Label is Colin’s DVD coming out, I would like to get a copy as Country and Western is Harold’s favorite type of music. Is everything going through with your new home, I hope so, I hate to think of moving we have now lived in the same home for fifty years, I wouldn’t know where to start to pack things up. Just watching you with Andria and Diamonique and looking at you I can’t believe you just had week like you have ( love the boots) Take care, keep safe and much love Norma xx

  2. Bear October 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    Kissing me like that made my Bow Tie spin ’round..! x

  3. Joanna Downey October 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, What a wonderful experience and how you deserved it, as did all the other models. As with so many of your blogs over the past 21 months this one has reduced me to tears, only this time they are of happiness. I’m not going to ramble on – I replied to your last blog but it was one of the last replies. However, I just wanted you to know that even though I wasn’t at The Grosvenor I could sense your joy from all the things you had said, on air and in interviews, and that your grace and determination amazes me. Jo x

  4. Julie October 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I read this blog with tears in my eyes. How remarkable it was. You as always looked fab as did the other models. So glad it went well but I never doubted it wouldn’t-it was so different than last years for you. I think it’s a great event and raises awareness for this dreadful disease.
    Wish Lucy a Happy Birthday from us(She, Sam and Jack looked fab too!!)
    Take care and much love as always
    Speak soon
    Julie xx Lily xxxx

  5. Jill October 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    you look so amazing and I am delighted that the evening was such a success. I also want to thank you for your blog – my 40 year old daughter will be having mastectomy on Thursday and you can imagine our devastation. I have been reading your blogs since your first op and keeping up with how you have been doing and this has helped me so much in being able to say to my daughter “oh Alison has had that” or “oh yes, Alison had a couple of bags for her drips” etc. Your blogs will mean so much to so many women and I just wanted to say this huge thank you from all of us – you are an inspiration as well as looking fab!!. When I was telling my daughter some more about your treatment today she said why don’t I email to say what a help it has been – so here it is!
    Kind regards Jilly

  6. Lin Dezulian October 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, the photo’s are brilliant and everyone looks so happy I am looking forward to seeing the show what an inspiration for all of us. To see such stunning ladies and the gentleman looking fabulous too.
    Congratulations to all of ‘the super models’
    Lin

  7. Susan October 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a fabulous way to end the awful journey you have been on. It must feel like you come full circle. I know nothing in life is guaranteed but it is the same for any of us so just enjoy like you are! You all looked wonderful. Such a great family. And I do LOVE the comment by ‘bear’…wonder who that could be!? I do love how you share your relationship with us. It’s such a loving one and gives us all hope! You deserve it all. I just hope the same for all the other ladies and men…and of course Amica.
    Much love,
    Susan x

  8. edna munro October 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,Great photos and a superb week of emotions and experiences.You really are an inspiration and a treasure!Didn’t know I shared the same name as your aunt.A very uncommon name these days.So glad the whole day went so well and that you and the
    family enjoyed it.You ALL deserved to be part of the occasion and I hope from now on you can look forward to good times ahead.
    Love Edna x

  9. Liz in Morecambe October 9, 2012 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

    Ali – what an amazing time indeed! I had seen quite a few pics of the fashion show as my friend Mandy was in it with you and I know what a ball she’d had. Jealousy is a dreadful thing but I freely admit to it with something like this!!! I will apply to be a model for next year’s show and who knows??? Your boys look very handsome and your auntie looks glamorous too – bet they were all so proud of you and how you’ve dealt with everything flung at you. I saw a replay of the This Morning coverage and am sorry to hear Amica is back on chemo but she looks like she is going to deal with it with strength again. Please pass on my very best wishes to her and if she ever wants to get in touch personally, give her my details.
    I was laid low with norovirus last week. My Mum was away at a family funeral so I was keeping an eye on my Dad. He was ill so I was nursemaid for a day and a half. Came home and the following night I was sooooo ill. Anyway, I must be made of quite strong stuff as I was over it after a day in bed and another day of rest and am back to normal now. Good job as I’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead of me.
    I’m so glad you and Debbie got to see the Queen’s diamonds. Mum and I saw them at the start of the summer and loved them. The two of us are off to Edinburgh for the day on Saturday to see more Royal jewels and treasures at Holyrood and an exhibition of Russian splendour and then have posh afternoon tea before getting the train home.
    Next week I am down in London for a couple of days, primarily to attend a day’s course run by BCC and meet up with some other friends I have made through having breast cancer. Yes, it’s awful to deal with but it has brought the blessing of some wonderful new friends. The following week I am going to do the same thing in Liverpool where I will meet some friends who can’t make it to London. I am also helping to set up a website specially dedicated to secondary breast cancer. It’s early days at the moment and I’m not doing any of the technical things but I hope that one day it will be a useful source for those with the disease and become a sort of legacy. Makes me feel useful anyway!!!
    That’s enough from me – didn’t intend it to be this long a post. Sorry!!!
    Live to all the army,
    Liz x

  10. Heidi Barnett October 10, 2012 at 10:29 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, sso glad you had a wonderful night, have just watched the video…you looked amazing! Sadly my Auntie now has secondary breast cancer of the lung, like poor Amica. My Uncle (her husband0 has just come out the other side of stomach and throat cancer. I think everyone knows someone who has had or has it, its a wicked disease. Its fabulous that you have come out the other side as you are such a lovely lady. May you continue to have good health and enjoy life! ;)
    Love Heidi, Somerset xx

  11. Lynn October 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali .. what a star!! Thank you very much for your kind words about mum also to the kind comments from others here, things are moving along and peace is starting to return after a surreal few weeks,sadly,and gratefully time moves on and healing starts..which leads me on ….to you! the journey youve been on has not been easy and sometimes felt you wouldnt get there…but you did! the fashion show was the penupulate success of your journey you proved to yourself and others life can be good after cancer,i also believe that out of bad good can come, in the strangest ways situations and people come into our lives that nourish us and in my view make us better people,without it we are normal people who take so much for granted and miss the important things,i for one have learn that since been sick, i cherish my life more ..i see through new eyes!! my admiration for your achievements is awesome,youve used your ‘celebrity’ in such a positive way where others could not in the nicest of ways.
    my motto is ..if life gives you a bowl of lemons that are bitter, simply add sugar make lemonade and share with friends! well done ali and your colin and your children and close friends should be very proud of you ….just as we your ‘army’ are! now lady how are you going to top this lol lol. please continue to send hugs and thoughts to amica and be good to see her on your blog so we can ‘talk’ to her too!
    take care till next time sweetie
    Love as always
    Lynn x

  12. Amica Pavey October 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm -  Reply

    I just want to thank everyone for all the lovely kind thoughts for me in dealing with this crawl illness. As most of you know my cancer has now spread to both of my lungs and i will now be on medication for life. It’s a battle but one that i am determined to fight for the sake of my wonderful family. QVC have been fantastic and i am honoured that they still use me despite my illness.
    The kind thoughts from everyone really touch my heart, thank you all so much, Amica.x

  13. Elaine sallis October 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    You are costing me a fortune in tissues! What a fabulous week you had and how wonderful you looked at the fashion show. Your family must have been so proud of you. You are such a lovely lady. Hope all is going well with the house move.
    Love Elaine xxx

  14. alison keenan October 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jilly, I have just found your comment and wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and your lovely daughter, and that although the next few months or so are going to be tough, it will be alright I am certain. …. The way I coped was to look at it it as a relatively small part of all your lives, and so long as you stay strong and lean on each other you will get through it. It means so much to me to feel that I may have been able to help in some way, and if there is anything more I can do, then please contact me. My love to you all as a family, and please let me know all is well …. Tomorrow is the start of your daughter’s recovery…. that is the best way to look at it I truly feel :) Love Ali xxx

  15. helen s October 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm -  Reply

    Hia Ali, sorry I haven’t been in touch for a while, things here have been hectic. A few ‘ups’ and quite a few ‘downs’. Anyway, you looked fantastic and not meaning to sound envious but I soooo wish I had the strength to do the same as you, your life now sounds complete, thank goodness, and your energy is amazing, what is your secret? I would truly love to know. Your boys look handsome too. My mum is STILL waiting for her hysterectomy, its getting beyond a joke now, I have spend an age trying to get things sorted to no avail at the moment.
    I haven’t heard from Alpa in a while and I do hope the ‘original army’ as in Magda, Debz, Alpa etc are all well and good.
    I promise that I will write to you more often, I have rather neglected my ‘army’duty.
    Luv and hugs and will always be holding your hand my lovely.
    Helen s

  16. Denise October 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm -  Reply

    Hello Alison, Thanks for sharing your remarkeable experience at the BCC night. Like many before me I read it with tears in my eyes. You looked fabulous as always – you really are an inspirational and lovely,lovely lady. I’ve seen the clips on the website and love that Biker chic look. It’s one I’m always trying to find myself but never seem to manage it. My trouble is I like my comfy shoes and it doesn’t quite go with the look!
    Lots of love
    Denise x

  17. Elke Heier October 11, 2012 at 9:05 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali!
    How great you look and feel now!
    Congratulations and best wishes.
    Take care! xoxo Elke!

  18. Pam Richardson October 11, 2012 at 9:58 am -  Reply

    hi Alison just read your blog. You looked stunning on the cat walk. You thoroughly deserved your day in the spotlight as did all the models having gone through so much and come out the end.
    Thank god none of my family or close friends have suffered from breast cancer but there is always the fear that one day it could be me. Like everyone who has read your blogs over the last year if the worst ever happened then I would think of you and know that it is possible to get through it.
    Looking forward to seeing the show on breast cancer care night and to hearing Debbies speech.
    love
    Pam

  19. Gwen Tugwell October 11, 2012 at 10:26 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just wanted to leave a quick message to thank you so much for the lovely blog, as always so entertaining, reducing me to tears yet again, but happy ones for you and all of the other wonderful models. I have attended the Cancer Care occasions at the Grosvenor a couple of times and have to say the wonderfuly happy atmosphere makes a very marked impression.
    Love to you and Amica, stay well.
    Gwen.

  20. Mrs Janet Jones October 11, 2012 at 10:39 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, you looked fab-u-lous,as did all the other models.Looks like you thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience,helped by having all your children there and of course the lovely Colin. I like Liz might apply for next years show (unless I chicken out like last year!!!) As you know I volunteer for Cancer Research and they are having a special day on Friday 19th called ‘Stand up to Cancer’ and they are hoping to raise lots of money to try to find a cure for this wretched disease. As always I will be watching QVC’s Breast Cancer evening and look forward to ‘seeing you there’
    Hope all is going well with your house move with Colin and it was so lovely to see the pictures of you looking so happy and well. Long may it continue, take care Ali,speak soon love Janet xx

  21. alison keenan October 11, 2012 at 11:11 am -  Reply

    Norma, I did indeed pass on your good wishes and love to Amica, and she has read through all these and last weeks posts, and is planning to write to you all on this page. Yes Deb’s speech was incredible – I hadn’t heard it until the night, but would love to hear it again… she speaks straight from the heart, and it got me right there!! Colin’s DVD is out on the Goldstone Records label, and you can hear all the tracks on Sonnywalters.com, but we have yet to sort out distribution. If you would like an album, just drop your address to me here and my editor will pass it on to me. I hope both you and Harold will enjoy it. Everything a little slow on the house move front as the Lender muddled up the survey and it’s only just been completed!!! Still, we’re keeping everything crossed it will be beginning of November. That said, like you, the thought of packing my life up, even only after two years is more than a tad daunting… Enjoyed my hour with Andrea – would love to go on Loose Women!! Take care Norma, and have a great weekend, with love to you and Harold, Ali xxx

  22. alison keenan October 11, 2012 at 11:41 am -  Reply

    Dear Bear, it was my pleasure!!! :) x

  23. alison keenan October 11, 2012 at 11:50 am -  Reply

    Dear Jo, I did go back to my last blog, but seem to have missed your reply – forgive me! Thank you though for taking the time out to write this week, and for all your kind and caring comments. It was a day like no other at The Grosvenor, and has made me even more determined to stay positive and keep moving ahead. Do stay in touch, and I hope that you enjoy your weekend, love Ali xx

  24. alison keenan October 11, 2012 at 11:54 am -  Reply

    Dear Julie and Lily,
    It certainly was a very different event for me this year, yet just as emotional. I so enjoyed being with the other models, and we are hoping to have a reunion before Christmas! I will pass on your birthday wishes to Lucy – well remembered – and glad you enjoyed the photos in this blog. Do hope that things are a little easier for you now, with love, Ali xx

  25. alison keenan October 11, 2012 at 11:55 am -  Reply

    Dear Lin, Thanks for writing, and I too was really pleased with the photos! We just missed out on one with Gary Barlow, as the bloomin’ camera didn’t take the shot, but so many great memories of an incredible week. I shall look forward to your company next Wednesday too, love Ali xx

  26. alison keenan October 11, 2012 at 11:58 am -  Reply

    Susan, I so hope the same for everyone in this position, but your words echo my gut feelings, and that is that nothing in life is guaranteed, so we MUST enjoy each day as it happens. I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by like minded and loving people, and this makes it all worthwhile. I hope that you are well, and that life is good for you, do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  27. alison keenan October 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm -  Reply

    Hello Edna – great name!! Yes, it was an amazing day and the memories of it will make me smile for many years to come. Sam filmed the entire catwalk show, and it was great to watch that back – especially the bit where I spotted how short my skirt looked from the back, and pulled it down!! Oh how we laughed :) Definitely looking forward to good times ahead, and I wish the same for you, love Ali xx

  28. alison keenan October 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm -  Reply

    My dear Liz, your comments are never too long, and it’s always good to hear from you. Your friend Mandy was an absolute delight, and told me you are inspirational to her – as you are to all of us in Ali’s Army. I will keep everything crossed that your application for the show next year will be a successful one, because I know you would LOVE the whole event and be brilliant in it :) I very much hope that you continue to feel well after your setback and that you Dad is now better too. Enjoy Edinburgh on Saturday and do let me know about the Royal Treasures and Russian Speldour! I hope also that the BCC Courses in London next week go well – I am certain that your postivity will help others with secondaries, and as you say, the silver lining is definitely the wonderful people you meet through this illness. The website sounds interesting – good luck with that too! Mandy said you are an incredibly busy lady – she’s right – stay well and happy Liz. Love, Ali xx

  29. Liz Y October 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I am so pleased to hear what a great time you had this last week, yet again I must say what an inspiration you are.
    I havw just caught up with the videos of the show on the QVC website and was so touched by the comment Debbie made about ‘Dolly’. As I currently have my own ‘Dolly’ to deal with, and have been finding her a little uncomfortable, to hear your very sage comments on the subject have really helped to put it into proportion. You are so right to look at it that way, and I am going to learn from those wise words.
    Keep on smiling, it is infectious.
    As I am now beginning to come up for air again after my second of four EC Chemos (Taxol still to think about) I am starting to feel more positive again, and you are part of what makes that possible.
    Here’s to a great 17 October.
    Liz x

  30. Pamela Andrews October 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm -  Reply

    You looked absolutely stunning on the catwalk

  31. Lisa October 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali – Like so many others I have never met you and yet I feel you are a friend – that is your great gift! And a gift to your QVC fans. It goes without saying you look wonderful, (the photos here speak for themselves), but what shines out is your humour, warmth, glamour and sense of fun. Seeing you on QVC always brightens my day. Thanks so much Ali, you’re very special. Warm regards, Lisa. X

  32. Sue Radford October 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    What a lovely, happy and uplifting blog. The excitement of it all really came through, and in one small sentence – The outfits chosen for you were fab and YOU LOOKED ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!! So did the rest of your family. I can imagine how proud and emotional they all were watching you. You have come through one of the most difficult situations anyone has had to deal with with such dignity. WE ARE ALL SO PROUD OF YOU ALI, WE REALLY ARE!
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  33. Kathleen Kape October 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison, Along with everyone else I thought you looked fantastic, especially the outfit with the blue hat. You always look so sophisticated in a hat, unlike me, I look like a walking mushroom!
    I wondered why you felt nervous then realised that, though we are all used to looking at you, you only see a camera and not your public en masse! Appears you needn’t have worried.
    Jenny and I were sad not to be with you, but hope that, amongst all those people who mean most to you, you also saw us, cos we were there for you, in spirit , always.
    Keep smiling and living, a day at a time.
    Lots of love,
    Mum :) xxx

  34. Babs lincsxxx October 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I read your blog the day it appeared and could not stop crying so could not write my blog. As i write this tears are rolling down my cheeks.You looked and are amazing, not only have you beat the BEAST you have coped (for a better word )with Sam’s acciddent, also your mum being poorly. Other happy times have helped you like your daughter’s wedding and finding love and happiness with Colin. I lost my lovely sister at the age of 50 to that horrible desease and have a very good idea what you have gone through. As i read your blog i could feel all your happiness and nerves and relief as if you were celebrating THE FINALE. That kiss to me said it all. I’ll raise my glass to your future,for many many happy years ahead, GOOD HEALTH and HAPPINESS. Hows the house move going? Take care, Keep smiling love to you Colin and your family xxxxxx babs

  35. Jill October 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Thank you so much for your message. The surgeon said today that the op went well. It was three hours as we understand the surgeon is very very precise and takes her time (how lucky we are to have her) The breast was removed and the start of an implant put in – the pig skin was not needed (do you know how much this is – £1,200 for half an A4 size!!) My darling daughter is showing one and all this new breast. How times have changed. We firmly believe in alternative remedies to work along side normal and my daughter had Arnica before and after the op – she was brilliant when we went to see her yesterday evening. She is sore today with the tubes in and was weepy a little – but that is more for being very tired and all the wait for this op being over. We have a high hill to climb but I feel the worst part is over with getting this op out of the way and now – like you – the road to recovery. Thank you so very much for sharing your steps it has certainly helped us. Each day I check to see what you are doing and how you have been – you look just amazing and are an insperation.
    Thank you for being there
    Love Jillyxxx

  36. Suzanne Gulliford October 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Amica,
    I’ve never commented on any blogs before but when ever I catch the beauty shows and you are on,your the only person that comes over so down to earth,and so positive and even now when you are going through so much,you look just as positive.I don’t understand exactly what you are going through but I have suffered for many years with a genetic illness,I have had to fight illness for so long,and I know I always will,I have my dark moments but like you said you can’t let anything beat you.i can’t imagine how hard your life must be at the moment but how you have coped is a credit to you,sending you lots of love and a hug x

  37. Ann Simmonds October 13, 2012 at 10:41 am -  Reply

    Ali, you are a true inspiration! I have a friend who is in her early 40s and has breast cancer and has had one breast removed and is waiting to hear whether she will loose the second one. She is quietly “getting on” with life and her bravery is amazing like all others facing this terrible disease. This week, she not being a QVC viewer, I asked her to view your blog on QVCs web site as looking at you will be the inspiration she needs. She has finished for the time being her chemo sessions and is wearing her “bandana” with pride! I have read your blog over the last year and have shed many a tear but your bravery and fortitude must be one of the most heart warming stories I have read this year. Keep going Ali, and well done for “strutting your Stuff” on that catwalk. You looked simply sensational as you always do. God bless.

  38. LORRI October 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm -  Reply

    FANFARE , APPLAUSE, AJULATION,ADMIRATION,INSPIRATION … THATS WHAT YOU SHARE….BEEN THERE MYSELF AND HAVE BEEN WALKING QUIETLY ALONGSIDE YOU DURING YOUR JOURNEY, SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU LOOKING SO WELL AND TOTALLY GLAMOROUS,WE HAVE JUST WITNESSED THE BEAUTIFUL NORTHERN LIGHTS HERE AT THIS TIME OF YEAR AND YOU RADIATE THE SAME BRILLIANCE AND POSITIVE AURA
    WITH LOTS OF LOVE FROM THE GRANITE CITY.XXX

  39. Babs lincsxxx October 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali “Long Legs and blonde hair”, just been listening to Colin’s cd. FANTASTIC! I wish him every success with his music it really is the tops. No wonder you are proud of him, i would be.Please let me know where i can buy his cds. Much love babs xxx

  40. mary morphy October 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm -  Reply

    My oh my Alison, reading your blog has left me with tears streaming down my face although I do not have panda eyes because of the superb revitalsh waterproof mascara that I wear. What an amazing, exciting occasion and one to be proud of..what a joy for you to meet all those wonderful men and women. I am so pleased that you were able to finally enjoy the evening performance. I watched it on the link and thought it was fabulous. You looked stunning!
    I hope your week is a little quieter as it will give you time to re-charge your batteries although I have already seen you on tv today..a miserable rainy Saturday in Westgate but brightened up by three easy pay on QVC all weekend..I have bought a pair of Nina Leonard wide leg trousers. My bibi bijoux tsv came in the week and it has not left my wrist. I love it. I have started to compile my Christmas list for my husband..all QVC items I would like so have provided item numbers etc and have pushed my luck with a request for a Lulu Guiness bag…we shall see.
    We are moving my aunt to her new care home on Friday so have some organisation to do for that and packing up some of her stuff tomorrow after the kids have played their indoor cricket matches..one starts at 9.30am and the other follows so no Sunday lie in.
    The garden clearance last weekend at my mums was an overwhelming success. We filled a 12 yard skip in five hours and the front garden now has a paved corner which we never knew excisted. The bag garden looks three times the size although i may have over done the pruning. My garden shrubs quiver in fear when they see me approach with my ratchett loppers and I am afraid I got a bit carried away at mums. Most of the large trees and shrubs cut back to a little more than an inch of their lives but it got rid of all the dead wood and the goodness in the plants can now be concentrated on fresh new regrowth, They will all look magnificant in Sping. ( I hope!)My sister said that if that was light pruning (my original words) she was glad I wasn’t doing a severe cutback! Mum’s gardner couldn’t believe what we had done but not sure if he meant it in a good or bad way but mission was well and truly accomplished.
    Oh well, thats it from me. Have a good week Ali. Love Mary xx

  41. annie caine October 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm -  Reply

    I have just read the above and i am now in tears you have done so so well ali,my husband has just asked me why i am so upset and i have just shown him.i understand how you felt not knowing what you where going to have to face i had kidney cancer and it is horrible not knowing what will happen,but ali we all have done so well.x

  42. Debz & Ainzley October 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    The beautiful butterfly has emerged at last just like we all knew it would. You simply shone. How gorgeous did you look giving it you all on the catwalk? That’s my girl!!
    Maybe the catwalk was a symbol of that long dark tunnel with the the light of your family and friends at the end of it. You have come such a long way in just 12 months and have given us all a ray of light and a belief that we can all come through tough times with courage and the strength of those who love us.
    Is there a chance that Amica could have her own blog so we can give her our best wishes and support too? If not maybe we could add our messages to yours. She too is such a brave lady and dealing with this vile disease with such quiet grace. Please pass on my best wishes to her and maybe a hug too.
    All quiet with Ainzley at the moment. He is being very well behaved – I have a feeling he may be plotting something as he never stays trouble free for long!!
    Alpa, if you’re reading this I think of you often and I do hope that you are getting the medical help you need and will eventually be strong enough to drop us a line to let us know how you are. Ainzley sends his Auntie Alpa a special lick.
    Love to all the other courageous folk in Ali’s Army.
    Lots of love and licks
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  43. Liz in Morecambe October 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm -  Reply

    To dear Amica,
    How lovely of you to post on here. My breast cancer is in my bones – mostly the spine but a bit in one of my hip – and I’ve had it since my primary diagnosis in July ’07. There have been one or two blips along the way and I no longer work but for the most part I am fine and having a great time going on holidays and going out for lunch with friends old and new. Ultimately, I know the spread will get worse but I try to be optimistic about things and take them in my stride. Hard at times but it’s my way of dealing with it all. I know it sounds very odd but I am grateful the disease has given me this opportunity to spend time with family and friends I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.
    I have met some lovely friends via the BCC forum and some of us are meeting up in London this week and Liverpool next week. That will be lovely and there will be a lot of laughter and a few tears for those we have lost this year. If you ever fancy popping on to say hello, please do.
    Wishing you lots of strength through the chemo, keeping looking as well as you do at the moment and cherish the time with family and friends.
    Liz x

  44. Susan October 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    So looking forward to Wednesday night and seeing you and Debs on screen. Hope Amica will be there. What an awful fight to have to continue with like she has to. No words can help. We are also having a few things to cope with like everyone else but as you say enjoy each day as much as you can. I take in the small pleasures…like a rest and a cuppa. It all helps!
    Enjoy Wednesday night! Another nice frock no doubt!
    Susan xx

  45. Sue Jennings October 15, 2012 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi “Amazing Ali”
    I was on holiday when you strut your stuff in the fashion show so I’ve just watched the vt and Debbie’s wonderful speech..good job my mascara is waterproof !! You looked amazingly happy on the catwalk it was a joy to watch…you truly have come a long way in the last year and as I’ve said before I speak of you often telling my friends how determined and strong you are …I am proud to be one of “Ali’s Army” …take care xx
    Sue Jennings
    Warrington

  46. Jill Foster October 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Just to let you know my daughter had her op on Thursday and all went well. She came home today and although tired feels very good – in fact she said she feels a number 9 (we measure how good/bad we feel by 10 good and 1 bad). The new breast looks wonderful and the wonderful breast surgeon was able to use her own skin rather than the pig skin. We have a long journey up that hill but just thank goodness the op is over – Thursday morning was the longest ever – it was quite a dreadful time waiting to hear that she was all right and she was back in the ward. The drains are still in but at least through your blog I knew about them and then we both knew what to expect – so once again I thank you so much for sharing all your progress with us all. I will update as soon as I have more news.
    Love and thanks Jillyxx

  47. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm -  Reply

    My dear Heidi, I am so sorry to hear about your Auntie, but hope so very much that she, like Amica, will find a drug to help her live with this wretched disease. Amica tells me she feels really well, and so I hope that your aunt will also not be in pain. Dreadful too that her husband has been struggling at the same time – I pray that they will both have some good news soon. Thank you for your kind and positive words, with my love, Ali xxx

  48. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm -  Reply

    Lynn I am loving your philosophy – simply add sugar to bitter lemons and we have lemonade to share with friends! :) You are so right that through difficult situations we learn more about ourselves and often find hidden strengths…I am sorry that you are poorly but hope that the positive way in which you write means that you too have turned this negative around, and will continue to find strength and hope from those you spend time with. I am sending you love and hugs and Amica will now be reading the blog, so will see your good wishes too… you take care too sweetheart, and thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  49. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:06 pm -  Reply

    Dear Amica, thanks for writing to all these lovely souls – I am looking forward very much to spending more time with you during our special show today between 6 and 9pm. Much love, Ali xx

  50. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm -  Reply

    Oh Elaine, you are such a lovely soul! Yes it was a fabulous night, and for those who weren’t there I have bored them rigid with the details!! :) They are promising to show a fair bit of the catwalk film during our three hour show tonight, so I hope you will be able to watch! Sending you much love, Ali xxx

  51. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Liz you’re a brave girl :D Yes Dolly is a bloomin’ nuisance, and pretty uncomfortable, but a means to an end, and saves having to patch things up afterwards! Two down and only two more of the EC to go (I had FEC – so think you may be one chemical less which has to be a good thing!! :) Don’t even give a thought to Taxol yet… it will be what it will be, and this time next year you won’t even remember it. Do call in today I would love to speak to you during our three hour show. And thanks again for writing – thinking of you, and wishing you only the VERY best, Ali xx

  52. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    Bless you Pamela…. a little secret – they covered the catwalk with plastic, and I got the heel of my boot caught in it on the rehearsal!! It was a day to remember always, Love Ali xx

  53. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm -  Reply

    Lisa you’ve reduced me to tears! Such lovely warm and kind words…. thank you so much! Working on QVC brightens my day too, and knowing that you are the other side of the camera makes it even better :) I hope you will be able to join me tonight for our BCC fundraiser, love Ali xx

  54. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm -  Reply

    Bless you Sue :) I always look out for your responses, and they always make me smile, and sometimes (like this time) make me cry….. So much I could say but essentially it’s thankyou…. for always being there, and for always saying the right thing…. THANK YOU! I am so proud of ‘MY’ army :) Big love, Ali xxx

  55. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm -  Reply

    Oh my dear Babs, you are such a sweetie. I am so sorry that you lost your dear sister, how devastating for you… It makes me realise how lucky I have been so far…You are right though, life sends us challenges – like Sam’s accident – and you wonder how you will ever get through them… to watch my child struggle and suffer was far worse than anything I have been through, but now I am just so relieved that he is still here and making a life for himself…Babs I will raise a glass to you tonight (Wednesday) and all those who live with the devastation caused by cancer…. Pray God one day they will find a cure for us all. Love Ali xx

  56. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

    Jilly this is such good news!! I am delighted for your daughter! I am ashamed to say that I couldn’t even look at my right side for at least four days after the operation… I think they were despairing of me! Wonderful that your daughter used her arnica and is feeling so positive. This way she will be able to charge her batteries and be ready for her treatment… Please keep in touch with me and let me know how she does. Sending you and the family much love Ali xx

  57. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm -  Reply

    My dear Anne, thank you for writing to me and I’m so very sorry to hear of your friend’s battle with this disease… to be honest, getting your head down and getting on with it is the only way, and I am sending her my love – through you – and wishing her well. I watched an incredibly sad film starring Kate Hudson called A little Piece of Heaven, and at the end of it as the lead character sits beside the lake in Central Park, her best friend asks her “Are you afraid of dying”…. her answer, “No”…. to which her friend replies “well I am afraid of you dying…” Very few us of look at the toll this takes on our friends and family, but I am glad for your friend that she has you. Stay strong and positive, it’s the best gift you can give her….. With my love, Ali xx

  58. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm -  Reply

    Lorri, you are an angel :) Thank you so much for your strong and affirmative message, and for walking alongside me during this difficult 18 months… I am praying that you are well, and through the worst, and hope that you will keep in touch with me. Sending you my love, Ali xxx

  59. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Babs I promise I will put a link up to Colin’s album in my next blog, but if you’d like to write with your address and request for the album I will make certain you get one! We used to laugh and sing “Long legs, No Hair” last year :) I am hugely proud of him and the album is a winner. Sending you my love, Ali xx

  60. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:55 pm -  Reply

    Helen how lovely to hear from you!! It has been quite a while, and you reminded me that Alpa, Debbie and Una have also been absent for quite a time – do hope all is OK!! I am sorry that your mum is still waiting for her operation, and fingers crossed it will be soon. I hope that your ‘few downs’ will soon become ‘ups!’ Yes I have been feeling pretty well, but as I head into my 6 days on out of 7 I am not so sure I will be quite so enthusiastic at the end of that stint! That said, our BCC fundraiser will be a blast – can’t wait – have had my dress dry cleaned in readiness :) You take care and do keep in touch, with my love Alixx

  61. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm -  Reply

    Yes Denise, I think high heels are pretty much sacrosanct when it comes to a biker chic look! Although in all honesty, it would have been far easier to walk down that catwalk in flatS!!!! More film of the event to be broadcast tonight (Wednesday) between 6 and 9pm. With my love, Ali xx

  62. alison keenan October 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm -  Reply

    Indeed Elke! thank you :) Very much hope you will be able to join us for our three hour fundraiser between 6 and 9pm. With love, Ali xx

  63. Shauna Britton October 17, 2012 at 11:32 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali,
    One again apologiese for not being around much lately, but things have been quite hectic here. School runs, homework (you wouldn’t beleive how much a four year old gets, well lots of bits and pieces) etc. Having said that the boys seem to have settle really well, although I know it is early days, but at five (tomorrow) and eight they seem to be coping really well.
    I have as usual been following everything you have been up to and like many am so so proud of you. With luck I will try and catch some of the show tonight. Unfortunatly hubby and son are away, so Grandma is in charge and I think tonight and tomorrow will be like Kings Cross Station with everyone wanting to see the birthday boy, particularly this year.
    I too am hoping all is well with quite a few of the original Alis army who haven’t been in touch for a while like me and hope all is well with them especially Una, Alpa, Magda, Debs& Ainzley, Helen and Susan, sending them much love and prayers.
    Enjoy your second wonderful Wednesday night Ali and of course Amica as well.
    Much love
    Shauna x

  64. Margaret Mcvea October 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Pleased to see you looking so well and back on QVC you always look lovely I hope you continue to keep well,also could you please pass my good wishes to Amica and tell her I am thinking of her.
    love Margaret xx

  65. Janet Hall October 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    Have read lots of your blogs over time but I haven’t got the knack of replying so hope you get this one. You are an inspiration to everyone and you look wonderful tonight on QVC. You have been on a terrible journey and have come out on the other side. Sadly I now have to face this journey and I won’t lie I am absolutely terrified of everything. I really hate hospitals and am normally housebound. I have just been told today that it hasn’t spread to my lymphnodes which I am obviously pleased about but like you have to get on with whatever is ahead. Seeing you gives me hope and certainly hope that everything is well with you. Amica looks wonderful as well and I will remember you as I go through my treatment. Thanks for your wonderful blogs. All the best Ali xx Lots of Love Janet x

  66. Janice Hill October 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison and Amica,
    I have recently returned to QVC and have been watching some of the BCC show this evening. I have’nt posted on a blog but I have been reading through the comments. I did’nt know that your model Amica was suffering from cancer, you do not realise when you see someone on tv looking glamorous but quite obviously suffering inside. I did’nt know that you yourself had cancer at the time when you were no longer presenting. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have suffered from and be suffering from such a terrible cruel illness. I would like to send you both my very best wishes.
    Janice Hillx
    Falkirk

  67. tracey weeds October 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm -  Reply

    hello alison just to say the year is TWENTY 11 TWENTY 12, battle of hastings TEN 66, you were born in NINETEEN something and will hopefully be around for alot of TWENTY something.thank you

  68. Liz Yuille October 18, 2012 at 10:49 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Thank you for your reply. I am sorry I did not call in last night, happily I am feeling so well at the moment that I was out singing with one of the choirs I am a member of. Keeping up my singing is one of the things that keeps me sane at the moment.
    Keep well.
    Liz x

  69. Mrs Janet Jones October 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, you looked fab-u-lous,as did all the other models.Looks like you thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience,helped by having all your children there and of course the lovely Colin. I like Liz might apply for next years show (unless I chicken out like last year!!!) As you know I volunteer for Cancer Research and they are having a special day on Friday 19th called ‘Stand up to Cancer’ and they are hoping to raise lots of money to try to find a cure for this wretched disease. As always I will be watching QVC’s Breast Cancer evening and look forward to ‘seeing you there’
    Hope all is going well with your house move with Colin and it was so lovely to see the pictures of you looking so happy and well. Long may it continue, take care Ali,speak soon love Janet xx

  70. Suzanne Gulliford October 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alision
    Sorry I left a comment for Amica but forgot to put your name on the comment too,so sorry for that.You looked amazing last night.Im so glad you are well again and you can start to live your life now.It must of changed your life in so many ways but must of made you so much stronger too.Sending you my best wishes
    Suzannex

  71. Alison Keenan October 21, 2012 at 10:21 am -  Reply

    Suzanne please don’t apologise, altho it was very kind of you to add your kind message to me too! And you’re right, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – and I’m getting to be a tough old bird :) xx

  72. Alison Keenan October 21, 2012 at 10:28 am -  Reply

    Yay Janet, thank you. I have to say I loved the outfits I wore on the night – they seemed far more glamorous once I was made up and had my hair done! I started to watch the Stand up To Cancer programme and found the film of the 14 year old terribly upsetting…. I know they raised a huge sum that night as we did on the Wednesday, and it’s wonderful to know that people are so prepared to give towards the eventual elimination of this disease. I do hope you’re well and that your son’s girlfriend and your grandchild are both healthy – when’s the baby due? Sadly the house purchase is really dragging still altho the full survey was finally carried out and so I am waiting for the report. The sheep a back in the field opposite and the leaves are all turning… I shall miss this place :) xxx love to you Janet

  73. Alison Keenan October 21, 2012 at 10:29 am -  Reply

    Los that’s got to be one of the best reasons for not staying in! I am delighted to hear you’re feeling so well and am sure the choir is better for having you with them. I hope all else eases so that life is less stressful. With love, Ali xxxx

  74. Alison Keenan October 21, 2012 at 10:32 am -  Reply

    Tracey, Mathis has neve been my strong point but I’m liking your calculations – here’s to both of us being around for the majority of the 20s! With love, Ali xx

  75. Alison Keenan October 21, 2012 at 10:34 am -  Reply

    Oops Tracey that should have said Maths not Mathis! Altho I loved some of his music!! :) xx

  76. Alison Keenan October 21, 2012 at 10:40 am -  Reply

    Janice I am delighted that you are back with us as a channel and really touched that you have taken the time to write to me as your first blog comment. Yes, Amica does look fabulous and is coping really well with her treatment and she will read this page so will know that you are thinking of her :) I try and live by the theory that you project out of your life what you wish to have in it ….. Smiles and happiness always help :) I hope all is good with you love me xx

  77. Alison Keenan October 21, 2012 at 11:09 am -  Reply

    My dear Janet, firstly I am so sorry to hear that you too are now facing treatment but am very relieved to hear that it is not in your lymohnodes. I completely understand you being frightened – I was too – but remember there is always someone there to talk to either at your hospital or by calling Breast Cancer Care or MacMillan Cancer Support. If you do have a problem with getting out of the house then transport can be provided for you and sometimes treatment actually give to you in your own home, which may make things easier. I am very glad tho that having documented my last year or so in this blog, that you are finding comfort from seeing that it is just a few months out of your life, and you will come out the other side stronger, and feeling better I am sure! :) Please keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing, love Ali xxx

  78. Alison Keenan October 21, 2012 at 11:11 am -  Reply

    Margaret, consider it done. Amica now reads this page so will see your kind wishes, and thank you from me too for your supportive and generous comments :) I hope all is good for you, love Ali xx

  79. Alison Keenan October 21, 2012 at 11:18 am -  Reply

    Dear Shauna, you have nothing to apologise for, I remember only too well how hectic life is with small children and it’s very much appreciated that you do find time to write, I hope your son’s birthday went well and that you enjoyed having your mum with you. I had a wonderful time at the fashion show and then last week at our fundraiser… Hard to believe this time last year I’d been away from work for offer 8 months! I too often think of the girls in our original army and hope that Una, Alpa, Susan and all are well. Debz has just written and Helen S too so it was good to catch up. It’s love to you and yours and do keep in touch when you can, love Ali xx

  80. Janet Hall October 28, 2012 at 10:48 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, thankyou so much for your reply, I have obviously got the knack now on how to post on here now, better late than never.
    Wednesday is the day that I learn as to what treatment I am to be given, I have also been told that it may not be possible for me to have Chemo before the Mastectomy because of my other problems and it scares me to think that I may have to have the operation first. I know it is not a pleasant experience for anyone facing this awful disease but it is the biggest hurdle that I have had to face in life and you do hear of some really awful things. I suppose I should just close my ears to it all really but it is hard. My poor Dad who is 85 thinks that when I have had the Mastectomy it will be all over and I dare not tell him any different and although my Mum is very quiet about it all know that she is beside herself with worry, which for me makes it all a harder as she is not well herself. I try not to give them too much information so that they don’t grieve about it but it is hard. Luckily I have already been given a McMillan nurse because of my being alone and she has been very good to me so far and she says I can ring her when I want to. I also have a Breast Cancer nurse at the hospital who attends my appointment’s with me so I am very grateful for that. I am not good at sharing things face to face though I go into a trance when anyone speaks to me about it, good job I have the nurse there because she can always answer my questions afterwards.
    You look really well now and would never know other than hearing about it on the Q and reading your blogs that you had ever had this awful alien (thats what I call it) inside your body. Just hope that I can be as strong as you. I have 2 young cat’s one 5 months and one just over a year and they need me and that is what I am going to use as a tool for this journey. Well that’s all for now and thanks again for taking the time to write to me it is really much appreciated and I will keep in touch with you. Take care Ali and keep up the good fight. Lots of Love Janet xx P.S. sorry if I rambled a bit lol xxxxx

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