My busy week and how Ken Paves has helped me


Ali with friends in a hot tubI don't think my feet have touched the ground over the last week since I wrote to you – but thanks so much for all your lovely replies 🙂

I feel I know you all so much better these days and really value the way we share our lives and news. Thanks too for all the donations to my Just Giving page – I'm 25% of the way towards my target already – YAY! 🙂

What with work, promoting The Fashion Show, partying (there have been several) and getting ready for Sam's imminent return home, I've been a busy girl – but it's all good.

Actually, it's only just over a month before the The Fashion Show's big 'fitting' day, when I will get to see, and be measured for each of the four outfits I'm going to be modelling on the day… makes me nervous just writing it down!

Ali during treatmentThat said, I don't think I could ever be more nervous than I was just before I made my speech last year, inspite of the fabulous makeover and of course my lovely wig…

On an occasion like that you really need to feel TOTALLY confident, and it was still early days for me, with no hair, lashes or brows of my own… That said, the sight of all my lovely friends and family there did the trick and I felt safe, and looking back at the photos on the night, you wouldn't really have known…

My scarves are now in a box under my bed, and my wigs safely packed away, but I hope you won't mind me mentioning someone who also helped me enormously when I first came back to work, and that was Ken Paves.

Ali outside the Sydney Opera HouseFor those of you who may not know, Ken designs and creates wigs and hairpieces for QVC, and I had the joy of working with him within a few weeks of being back on air last year.

My hair had only just begun to grow and as I didn't want to wear a scarf on air, wigs were my only option.Y ou may remember the short red haired wig that Ken gave to me, because I virtually lived in it!

Although it's manmade, it felt like real hair, and unlike a couple of the other acrylic wigs I had, it didn't make my head itch.

Ali at the Kylie concertIt was lightweight too, and a doddle to wash, so happy days! I did own a fabulous real hair wig, which had been custom made to fit, and looked stunning on – I wore it when I went with Lulu to see Kylie Minogue in concert – but it was pretty difficult to look after…

A great deal of time and patience needed to keep it looking good, and honestly, when you're feeling fed up, and looking like a belisha beacon, you can't be faffed!!! (It was also VERY expensive, but a present to me from QVC which was lovely).

I did once brave a hair salon, and a wig shop at the Cancer Centre, but I just felt awkward and self conscious… so much nicer to have it arrive by post and then you can try it on in the privacy of your own home. Of course Ken's wigs work just as well when you have got hair, as you will know having seen the likes of Kathy, Ali Young, Claire, Julia et al literally TRANSFORMED when on air in them 🙂

Ali and Debbie GreenwoodI actually had my own hair cut for the second time last week, and felt truly glamorous as I set off with Debbie Greenwood to join Catherine Huntley for her 40th birthday Riverboat party – we had a ball!

I didn't get any pics of Catherine as she was being the 'hostess with the mostess' (and she looked amazing), but I hope you like this one of lovely Deb and I 🙂 Equally enjoyable, and involving water but in a different way, was my friend Sue's birthday.

My 'village' girlfriends and I all got together for some beauty treatments and then a spell in the hot tub (see picture at top) – good times!!! BUT, the best bit about this week is that my boy Sam has come home from South Africa…

I have missed him so much – we all have – and it's not been an easy time for him, but he looks so well now and is so happy to be home, that nothing else matters.

I should have some photos for you next week, and good news re the house hunting, so stay well, stay happy, and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.

With my love, Ali xxxx


  1. Julie August 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Thought I’d get in touch again(sent you another message)
    You look amazing these days. You can well and truly put your wigs and scarves away-for good!!Your photo’s are lovely as usual.
    Glad Sam’s home and well.
    Will keep this brief because of circumstances
    Take care
    Julie x Lily xxxxx

  2. Debz & Ainzley August 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Yet another fantastic blog. You look amazing in al your photo’s evn the one where yo are a bit wispy.Who could forget that red wig. My oh my did you look glamorous and just a bit racy!!
    You will enjoy the Fashion Show I’m sure once you get started. What a difference a year makes eh? We are all so very proud of you and will be willing you on down that cat walk when you strut your stuff!!
    I missed my mention on the Diamonique Launch. I watch the re-run in the mornings so I’m in and out. I have a ravenous cat to feed and “wrapped parcels” to remove from his litter tray – such a galm life I have!! Thank you anyway. Am feeling quite chuffed even though I missed it!!
    Ainzley has not enjoyed this heat at all and last weekend was looking a bit old and tired. His fur is moulting anyway but he just seemed to have loose fur every where. The fact that he won’t let me brush him makes matters worse. Anyway, Neal and I had a discussion about him and both admitted that maybe my boy was losing his fight with his heart and liver problems and that we must prepare ourselves for the fact that he may not be with us for too much longer. I cried and Neal had “something in his eye”
    Well, not sure if Ainzley has SatNav listening devices or what but the very next day he looked 5 years younger, his fur looked almost back to normal and his little eyes were shining. Plus, and this is how I knew he had rallied himself, he went for Neal’s legs as he had his shorts on. Can’t resist bare flesh my Ainzley!! He looked at me after Neal had gone to get the Savlon as if to say “I’m still in the game mom, don’t count me out yet!!” I honestly think he will last forever just to annoy Neal!! Another example of “never say never” He’s a little fighter and a biter!! God bless him!
    Have a good week Ali and thanks again for my mention and also my hug. Thank you for making me feel special. I do so appreciate it.
    Love to all in Ali’s Army especially my lovely Alpa. Thinking of you my lovely.
    Lots of love and rejuvenated licks

  3. Elaine sallis August 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Lovely blog as usual. Great that you have been partying you certainly deserve some fun. It must have been a strange time packing the wigs and scarves away a real feeling of moving on I should imagine. Have a lovely time with Sam it must have been hard having him so far away for so long. Two weeks until baby is due Jodie is doing well so far.
    Love Elaine

  4. Gwen Tugwell August 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali,
    Yet again another lovely and interesting blog, as I’ve said before you really are an inspiration, I have never corresponded with someone I don’t know, but I feel as if I really doknow you well, and look forward to all of your news, and I love it when you are on air, you do look really beautiful, keep up the good work and stay well.
    Lots of best wishes.

  5. Susan August 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a lovely blog. I think your village girlfriends and you look wonderful in the hot tub!!! And complete with a glass! Fabulous! And I LOVE the sound of Catherine’s 40th party! What a fab week. Be lovely to see a pic of her if you can borrow one?! I posted on her blog to say I love her hair. It’s gorgeous the way it is now. I am so glad Sam is home to see you – or stay again? Either way it’ll be lovely I’m sure. You can’t believe how long family and friends have lived away when you count up the years/decades sometimes! And the photo of you and Debs by the way is stunning. You have such wonderful friends. Hope you have a good weekend,
    Susan x
    PS I hate to say it but the SE is lucky again with the weather and the rest are not lol! Flipping nightmare!
    PPS Wondering how Debs hubbie is?

  6. Joanna Downey August 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, Your photos show just how far you’ve travelled these past twelve months. I loved your red haired wig and if I was brave that’s how I’d have mine styled but I’m a wimp and loyal to my ‘bob’. It’s been all lengths, with/without layers and most colours, now pepper & salt, and I know that if I had it chopped I’d miss it! The Fashion Show, and all the preparation beforehand, sounds really exciting and I’m delighted that you feel ready to do it this year. You’ll be stunning and I bet the emotions of all the models will be matched by the fun you’ll have. Your week sounds as though it was fantastic especially welcoming your Sam back home. Having had our best holiday ever in Sicily I’m back to my school holiday tasks list which will be interrupted this weekend as we going to Yorkshire where Col is doing two fell races. The weather doesn’t look good, I dread him running up the mountain and dread his descent even more – the dangerous part- and after a race his running shoes could be used to ward off vampires… Having said that I love the Dales and we’re close to Grassington which is a delight. Good news about your house-hunting so less time in the car? Love Jo x

  7. Babs lincsxxx August 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, You really are looking yourself now,everything good. Sam home, may i ask, why did he go to South Africa and is he home for good? Great that he is well,home just in time to help you move, all hands on deck.Blimey,every time i read your blogs it amazes me the things you do,hot tubs,going on a Riverboat party, what next is on the agenda? Photos lovely as always, looking forward to seeing some of Sam, would be lovely to see some of all your family.Lovely you will be living nearer your sister, family are so important and you have a lovely caring family, how are they all, is your mum well now. Take care,keep well.Love to you Colin and all your family. xxxxxx see you screen x Babs lincs x

  8. Norma Smithson August 23, 2012 at 6:14 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali what a busy week you had, love the pic of you and Debs,she’s lovely and at the moment not liking the idea that her daughter is going away to uni, just as your Sam has come and I am delighted you have him home and he is happy and well.Glad the wigs and scarfs have been put away, your hair looks so strong Ali, and it looks to have so much body in it. It’s getting near now to Harold’s operation on his back (Tues 28th )so hoping all goes well and we can get him back to full mobility. Wish we lived nearer to London so I could come and see the fashion show, but hope we will be able to see you on QVC. It sounds as if you and Colin have found the house you both want, can’t wait to hear about it. have a really good week. Norma x

  9. mary morphy August 23, 2012 at 7:38 am -  Reply

    Good morning Ali, an early in the day blog from me again..7.20am as I start but been up since 5.30am making chocolate trifle and tomato and mozzarella salad for a family gathering today; out at Canterbury Cricket ground last night for a floodlit match as daughter Chloe involved in the guard of honour and she waqs on TV..fame at last!
    Another busy week for you and all good things to be busy with; Catherine’s party sounds like it was a blast; what a lovely idea to have it on a boat although I have vivid memories of a Thames boat but not for the right reason…when my sister was working on secondment in New Scotland yard many years ago (before I became a responsible mum) I went straight from work on the train to stay for the weekend. I arrived at New Scotland Yard at 6pm, just in time for drinks before going out. I was offered a G and T but declared I only needed a week one as I had not eaten since breakfast; to the them it meant a large tumble of gin with the tonic bottle barely making an appearance and the promise of food…..a nice meal I thought….however as I staggered out of the building I was told that the chiipy was closed and would a packet of crisps do! I found myself on the Tatersall Castle, moored up on the Thames..slightly worse for wear I was convinced the boat was going to sink and that we were actually sailing away down the river…..dont remember much after that but have a photo of me crawling up the gangplank at some unearthly hour in the morning with a very lovekly high heel black suade shoe in each hand!!! Needless to say, I didnt feel well the next day but I put that down to sea-sickness!
    So glad Sam is coming home, it will be fabulous for you to have him back in the fold but it sounds like this trip has been an amazing and valuable experience for him.
    Its been a tough week for us; my mum has deteriorated quite severely over the past few weeks; the feeling in her left side is badly compromised since a fall she had a few weeks ago and she is falling over a lot; her memory which has been affeceted by her surgery and teatment for her brain tumour is worseneing and she is now finding it difficult to manage everyday chores like showering and getting dressed, and she is falling over a lot. Its likely that she has developed dementia and may possibly have had a mini stroke but we are waiting for the specialist to see her and in the meantime, we are all pulling together to support her and my poor old dad who is struggling to manage by doing whatever we can but hope to get some help in for them as soon as possible. It seems that medication will not help mum with her illness because of the damage she has already incurred to the brain from surgery..very worrying for us all especfially as her dad and brother both suffered with dementia type illnesses but we try to remain positive.
    You must be so excited about the fashion show and it will be a real treat for you to be pampered and spoilt and to celebrate with your friends and family. I look forward to the pictures in forthcoming blogs. Have a good week love Mary x

  10. Mrs Janet Jones August 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, sorry I haven’t been in touch for a while, lots going on at home,but that’s probably for another blog!!! I had my mammogram and check up,but there is a mole under my arm on the side I had the breast cancer, which has gone black so in a few weeks I am going to have it removed and checked, so keeping everything crossed. My oncologist is also changing my medication from tamoxifen to exemestane, which will make joints ache even more!!!So am not looking forward to that, but I will have to wait and see how it goes!!
    Ali you are looking so well and am so glad to hear that Sam is back home, I know how much you have missed him. Also it sounds like you have found your new home with Colin,it feels like everything is coming together for you and for that I am glad.You will miss your little cottage, but as you say life is too short to spend so much time travelling to work!!
    I too remember putting away my wigs and scarves into a box in my wardrobe. A friend told me to throw them away, but I can’t as I feel I maybe tempting fate!! I know it sounds mad but it’s how I feel.
    Enjoy your time with your boy, and start de-cluttering for your move (lol).
    Keep well Ali, and speak soon love Janet xxx

  11. Mrs Janet Jones August 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm -  Reply

    p.s Ali meant to say your friend with glasses and blonde hair looks like Alison Young, in fact I though it was her when I saw the picture! Love Janet xx

  12. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen August 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm -  Reply

    hi alison you will be glad to have your son back home with you bet you have missed home

  13. Sue Jennings August 23, 2012 at 8:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali…what a journey you have been on you have been an inspiration to us all.. I often speak to my friends about you..and how pleasant you have stayed through the good days and bad..I know there must have been times when you didn’t feel like smiling but because of who you are you soldiered on..which brings me to the present time and your upcoming Breast Cancer Care event.. You will be amazing as you were last year..I often watch your speech and I cry every time with pride . I hope you reach your target as I’m sure you will and have a fab time on the day.
    Take very good care
    Love and best wishes
    Sue Jennings

  14. edna munro August 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,Sorry to have been out of touch for a few weeks but I am sorted nowwith an hour to spare. Great photos.What a long way you have come in the past 12 months.It must be amazing to look back on these photos and feel so good now,though it may not have felt like that then.Glad you have found a new home but hope you keep in touch with your village friends.Enjoy your time with Sam.Really looking forward to the BCC fashion show.Take care,
    Edna x

  15. Steven August 24, 2012 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. That is a great pic of you and Debbie and you both look gorgeous. Yoour story should give great hope to people battling breast cancer. You should be the inspiration for them. Enjoy your time with Sam and take care

  16. Margaret Brazier August 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, I really love to read your blogs,it’s really just like talking to you naturally, ( one sided , you know what I mean)
    You mentioned about the fashion show coming up, (It’s always easy for other to say). you said how nervous you are going to be, after watching your speech from last year again this week, how amazing you where.
    Go for it gel, go show em!
    After all the terrible things you have been through, this will be a doddle.
    I wish you all the best, take care of yourself, I look forward to seeing you stut your stuff. (If it’s telivised of course)
    Have a super time enjoy it!
    With love and admiration

  17. SUE RADFORD August 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Another lovely blog. Glad you’ve had so many happy events yet again – what with hot tubs, a party and Sam’s homecoming and not forgetting your preparation for the fashion show – which I can assure you will be a great success, and you’ll look beautiful strutting the catwalk – that’s a cert!
    I must admit I had a tear in my eye after taking another look at your last year’s speech. You’ve come such a long way Ali – you look lovely, your attitude to life is second to none and to top it all you’ve done it all with such dignity – well done Ali!
    Hope all is running smoothly with the new house – so exciting!!!
    However, I bet the most exciting thing of all is having Sam home again – I’m right aren’t I?
    Take care Ali,
    Love from Sue Radford xx
    p.s. My best wishes to all of Ali’s army – especially to those who have had very challenging times recently – I think about you often.

  18. Eileen McCormack August 27, 2012 at 6:49 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I don’t get to watch QVC as much as I would like these days, so when I caught sight of you the other week I thought to myself ‘Is Alison wearing a new wig’ I like the style and it looks lovely and thick. You must be really pleased with how your hair has come back.
    Like other people I also thought you looked stunning in the red wig, and in the long blonde one too.
    You must have one of those faces that suits any style (lucky lady)
    I am so glad to hear your Sam is back safe and sound.
    All my children (4) and grandchildren (9) live within walking distance and I would hate for them to be any further away.
    Well that is it for now Alison take care and enjoy yourself.
    Love and Best Wishes
    from Eileen x

  19. Rhona Fenton August 27, 2012 at 9:42 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, what a lovely blog as always:) I always enjoy reading your blogs but this one really touched me, just re-living the past year with you and all you have gone through, the pictures off past and now seeing you glow, what a wonderful and amazing girl you are Alison:)and cant wait to see you in the fashion show:) I also enjoyed my read in your magazine WOW you looked Goooood!! loved the pictures above with your village girls that looked fun:) and you and Deb always look like you are having such a good time:) please pass on my Happy Birthdays to Catherine, and hope she had a lovely day? look forward to hearing how the House hunting is going? I did say to my Colin I wonder how Alison & Colin are getting on with the House and if they found something already:) so glad to hear Sam is back home and well, and I bet you are too? it’s alway’s good to hear they have had a great time and enjoyed themself, but it is alway’s a relief to have them home safe and sound:) no one ever tell’s you about the all worry that comes with when you sign up to become parents eh? Hope all the family are well? and I must get round to my email sorry things abit crazy here, will try and get it sent soon, Rebecca’s back to college tomorrow so might get a moment then:) love to you all, keep strong and as alway’s Alison you are looking so well and amazing:) lot’s of love Rhona xx

  20. Carole Densum August 28, 2012 at 11:51 am -  Reply

    Hi Aluson
    Enjoyed your latest blog. I have followed your progress as I was diagnosed with non- Hodgkins Lymphoma last August. I too had aggressive chemo and am in remission. I am ashamed to say one of my biggest traumas was losing my hair. It has finally started growing now and this week i went for a tiny trim to get rid of wispy ends. It was so great to go to the hairdressers again especially as they refused to charge me and showed me how to make the best of what I have with wax. I have also invested in Revitalash for lashes and for the brows which has really helped. Just watched you on This Morning – well done!

  21. Julie Ward August 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ally,
    Just a quick note from me to say that I’ve admired you for so long, with your dignity and determination to beat the terrible blow that fate dealt you, and how wonderfully you have coped throughout. I’ve just watched your interview on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ and thought you did so well – what a dignified and also positive interview you gave, and I admire you so much. You are such an inspirational person, and all those who moan and groan about the slightest thing in life should be looking at you, and realise how lucky they all are. I thank God every day that I have a house to live in, food on the table, hot water and warmth, and all my limbs (apart from hair falling out and teeth now following! lol). If I’m lucky, I may have a good day, but I never expect anything or take life for granted. I too have suffered different illnesses in my life, and live with one particular condition daily, but I still work full-time (from home) and just had to adapt my lifestyle to fit in. I’ve never claimed for anything in my life, and never ask for help unless I absolutely have to, which is extremely rare, so I try to persevere and enjoy my garden and seeing my parents whenever I can. I think we all perhaps take life for granted, and should take a big leaf out of your book and show how positive you can make your life, whatever it throws at you. I think of the Paralympians and feel blessed that I can walk, talk and do everything for myself normally, and where you are concerned, you have metaphorically ‘conquered Everest’ in the long and dreadful journey you’ve been on, but look at you now! Still as beautiful, still as graceful and modest, and still with a smile on your face. Wish you were my big sister, neighbour or friend, as I think you’re truly unique. I do hope your Breast Cancer evening goes well, and that you have lots of fun with the modelling – I’ll be watching the QVC shows avidly, as I have since the beginning, as it’s such a good way to be able to donate. Well, better do some work, but wanted to send you my love and admiration for all you have done, and all you are still doing for other people. What a lovely lady you are xx

  22. Norah Barnard August 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali just seen you on this morning talking about your braest cancer, i had not reliesd as i havent seen you on screen for a while and now i no why. You look amazing,hope everthing goes well and that you keep safe and well. lots of love Norah xx

  23. Mrs Janet Jones August 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Liz, I am keeping everything crossed for you, for your scan results, keep well
    Janet xx

  24. Sue Cullum August 29, 2012 at 1:08 am -  Reply

    Lovely blog as always. I have just started out on the chemo route – last Friday – and am awaiting the imminant loss of hair. Wondered Ali – what you found easiest – scarves, hats or wig? Any advice or tips would be gratefully received from your good self or any of your friends on here. Would be nice to hear from others who have been through the same thing.
    Saw you on GMTV. You looked amazing! Xx

  25. Alison Keenan August 29, 2012 at 9:30 am -  Reply

    Dear Sue, I am so sorry that you have had to begin treatment, but remember all the side effects are pretty much temporary, losing your hair being one of them. I personally wore scarves most of the time, but I did enjoy wearing my wigs for special occasions. Do try the Ken Paves and maybe go for something completely different to the way you would normally have your hair, that worked best for me :). Please take care, try to eat well and sleep often and do keep in touch, with love, Ali xx

  26. Elaine sallis August 29, 2012 at 9:31 am -  Reply

    Hi ali
    Just wanted to say I thought you were lovely on this morning talked about your journey with such openness as you always have. You made me cry again!!!!!!

  27. Alison Keenan August 29, 2012 at 9:31 am -  Reply

    ……and Liz, along with Janet, I too have everything crossed for you, love Ali xxxx

  28. Alison Keenan August 29, 2012 at 9:33 am -  Reply

    Norah thank you for your lovely kind words. Yes I am feeling far better these days and much stronger, so long may it last 🙂 I hope that you are in good health and thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  29. Alison Keenan August 29, 2012 at 9:37 am -  Reply

    My dear Julie, although we’ve never met, I feel I have a pretty good insight into the kind of woman you are, and that you would be inspirational. It sounds as though life hasn’t been that kind to you and yet you’ve faced every challenge head on. To continue working when you’re feeling rough isn’t easy and I’m sure that your parents appreciate the time they can spend with you too. Please do consider me as a friend though Julie, and write whenever you can. It would be good to keep in touch. Look after yourself and stay well and happy, love Ali xx

  30. Alison Keenan August 29, 2012 at 9:40 am -  Reply

    Carole, well done you! Losing your hair is difficult. But I am so glad that yours is now growing back and you can once again visit the salon! I am sure that you – like I – will get great results from the Revitalash and it won’t be long before you recognise yourself again in the mirror :). Stay strong and positive and keep moving forward – it’s the only way.. With love, Ali xxx

  31. Alison Keenan August 29, 2012 at 9:47 am -  Reply

    Dear Rhona, lovely to hear from you and I do hope that Rebecca got back to UNI ok. And yes, you’re right it’s not easy being a parent!! Rewarding but not always easy :). It is lovely to have Sam back and he’s just getting settled and trying to plan ahead, but early days still. Yes, fingers crossed the house purchase seems to be going through ok – probably looking at end of October to move – when the fashion show and our great QVC evening will have been and gone! I hope life settles a little for you and colin now Rhona and I will look forward to hearing from you. Glad you liked the Woman and Home piece – I too was chuffed with the results :). Take care and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  32. SUE RADFORD August 29, 2012 at 9:51 am -  Reply

    Oh No Ali, I didn’t know you were doing an interview on the This Morning programme – drat! Will you be adding a clip of it to your next blog?
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  33. Alison Keenan August 29, 2012 at 9:51 am -  Reply

    Eileen how lovely for you to have all your family so close by. I have always lived a long way from my immediate family but have been blessed with many lovely friends. My children all have very busy lives, but altho where I’m moving to is a little further away from them, they all drive and it will hopefully mean they’ll stay over rather than just call in 🙂 yes, my hair has grown back amazingly thick and I now love it! It’s taken a bit of time getting used to taming it, but I would be really sorry if it straightened out in the future 🙂 All the years of perms and Demi waves eh?! Take care, love Ali xx

  34. Jane Barber August 29, 2012 at 10:45 am -  Reply

    Dear Alison
    I first wrote to you just after my mastectomy, following which I had a second operation. I had my final radiotherapy yesterday (I had chemo before my surgery) and have just seen your interview on This Morning. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for making people aware of how difficult it can be sometimes to spot and diagnose this disease.
    My story is so similar to yours. I too had false alarms with this illness and thought I would be given the all clear when I had it checked out again. I’m so grateful to you for being so honest in your interview and explaining that breast cancer doesn’t always have the classic syptoms that we are told to check for and isn’t always diagnosed straight away.
    Your blogs have been brilliant by the way. When I was first diagnosed and having chemotherapy I found them really helpful.
    It’s been brilliant seeing you back on QVC looking so well and happy. So thank you again!
    Sending all my love and best wishes
    Jane xxx

  35. Jane Barber August 29, 2012 at 11:11 am -  Reply

    Hi Sue
    I was so sorry to hear you are going through this too.
    I wore a lot of hats when I was having chemo and in the months after. I have to admit that although I found woolly hats ok, some of the summer ones weren’t my cup of tea. I went for a wig fitting as a back up plan but never went back for the wig. In hindsite, maybe I should have given it a try.
    I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say this, but I bought most of my hats from a website called ‘hats for heads’. The lightweight knitted ones are good with sparkly sequins- they were my favourite ones.
    I hope you start to feel better soon following your chemo. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know. I can show you my collection of hats if you like! As for bras, don’t get me started. I’ve bought dozens of them and ended up with just three that I like. I’d better not put the details on here but if you’d like the website address let me know and I’m sure we can sort something out.
    All the best
    get lots of rest and don’t read those scarey websites!
    Lots of love
    Jane xxx

  36. Norma Smithson August 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Just had to tell you that Harold had is operation yesterday and everything went well, his surgeon was very pleased and when he recovers from the op it’s down to hard work and regaining the strength in his legs. We are absolutely delighted and so grateful to Professor Marks who operated on Harold. Much Love Norma xx

  37. Liz, Morecambe August 30, 2012 at 9:34 am -  Reply

    Janet – thanks for your good wishes, scan was yesterday so now wait a week….always the worst part! I’m sorry to hear you have this new worry but at least it’s being looked at and hopefully will prove to be absolutely nothing.
    Liz x

  38. Liz, Morecambe August 30, 2012 at 9:38 am -  Reply

    Ali – thanks for your good wishes too. Crossing fingers here! I saw the interview on playback as I was busy painting the outside wall when it was on. The weather was sunny for a change and as I’d done half of it, I needed to finish it so the 2 bits matched! It was a great interview, succinctly expressed and dignified. Hope you are enjoying having Sam back (sure you are!!). Liz x

  39. Una August 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi to Ali and all my lovely Alis army friends.
    Im so sorry for being AWOL for so long. As you know, its been such a difficult time for us. Still finding it hard most days, but trying very hard to get s new routine going, that will give us some sort of normality. More of a new normal I suppose, as nothing is really normal any more.
    On a positive note. We are now proud owners of a very loud, very busy, newly turned four year old!!!! (where do they get the energy from!!!!??)
    We thought all the legal stuff would take much longer, but we had a lovely judge dealing with the case, and under the circumstances, he didnt want to prolong everything. Its just such a relief that we know its all legal, and she is now ours.
    She is getting more like her Mummy every day, and its such a comfort to me.
    I hope you are all well, I know many of you were struggling too, but hope its maybe just even a little bit better.
    I have thought of you, constantly, but sometimes, feel like I have lost the power of communication!, just cant find words some days.
    My love as always to all
    Una xxx

  40. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:12 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Julie and Lily and thanks as always for the message and your kind words 🙂 I hope the circumstances that you allude to are sorting themselves now?! You take care too, love Ali xx

  41. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:14 pm -  Reply

    Debz and Ainzley – you little tiger you!! – so glad to hear that all is well (although I’m sorry about Neal’s legs… thank heavens for Savlon eh?) Ainzley is a definitely a fighter, and love often works better than any other form of medication 🙂 And I know you give him plenty of that. Thinking of you my lovely, and glad to know that things are a little less stressed these day. With my love, Ali xx

  42. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Elaine! Baby only a week away – how exciting! Was thrilled to hear our Carmel’s news too – been a long time since we’ve had a QVC baby 🙂 I’ll be honest and say I’ve haven’t seen a great deal of Sam since his return as he’s been caught up with his mates, but things are settling and yes it’s great to have him back – I don’t do separation that well…. 🙂 Love to you, and please keep me in the loop re the new baby! Ali xx

  43. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:19 pm -  Reply

    Gwen, I am thrilled you took that leap of faith and wrote to me on the blog – it was great to hear from you, and thanks for your kind words 🙂 I hope very much that all is well with you, and that you have enjoyed the summer. With love, Ali xx

  44. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Susan – yup the hot tub was definitely a success and Catherine’s party too! She looks great with her new hair colour doesn’t she?!And you’re right, I am VERY spoiled with the number of incredibly caring friends I have – Deb Greenwood being one of the closest 🙂 Oh, and last time I saw her husband he was tanned, fit and in good form! I think Sam’s home for good, but then, being a mum, I never say never… Love to you and yours, Ali xx

  45. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm -  Reply

    Jo, thanks so much for your kind and compassionate words… I remember the photo of you and actually think the red wig style would suit you perfectly. Don’t get your hair cut though, just order and try the wig!!! Then you’ll KNOW if you like it :)So glad your holiday in Scicily was a winner, and I very much hope that the weekend will be inspirational rather than nerve wracking. Please do give Col my very best and ask him to dispose of the running shoes once he’s completed the weekend’s running!! 🙂 Take care pet, love Ali xx

  46. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm -  Reply

    Babs, I agree! When I read my blogs back I can’t believe I’ve packed all that in either 🙂 One day I will write and explain why Sam was in Africa, but all that matters now is that he is home and well 🙂 I am glad that you enjoyed the photographs and yes you’re right, it will be good to be closer to my family. I barely saw them last year while I was in treatment, so it will be good to make up for lost time 🙂 My mum is doing really well, and sounds very chipper 🙂 She is as always very positive about everything, and continues to stay strong. I hope that all is well with you Babs – keep in touch, love Ali xxx

  47. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Norma, and thanks for your message. How is Harold? I do hope the operation was a success and that you can get him back to full mobility. I have spent some time with Debs recently and can completely empathise with her feelings of loss as her eldest daughter heads off to university..All will be well though, as I keep telling her – it’s just a case of getting used to it 🙂 I would LOVE it if you could come to the Fashion Show, and could I wave a magic wand I’d have every member of my Army there 🙂 QVC will be broadcasting the event though on the 16th October, so you can watch me then – fingers crossed I don’t fall off the end of the catwalk! I’ll keep you in touch with the house situation – but yes if it all goes through, I think it will be great. I hope you have had a good week too Norma, love Ali xx

  48. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Mary, and as always, many thanks for your totally engaging account of your family life – but even more interestingly your memories of the Thames Boat trip…. the visual picture of you crawling up the gangplank with a shoe in each hand made me laugh out loud 🙂 On a serious note, I am so very sorry to know that your mum has been struggling, which in turn has caused you all great concern… I am praying that they will be able to find something to help and that with yours and your family’s support she will be feeling more comfortable – your Dad too. I am excited about the fashion show, and this year Sam and Jack will be able to make it, which is great 🙂 Take care Mary, and keep in touch, love Ali xxx

  49. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm -  Reply

    My dear Janet, I am so sorry that I am rather tardy in my reply, and am hoping that your change in medication won’t cause you too much discomfort and that the mole that is to be removed won’t be a cause for concern. It does seem as though things are coming together at present, and it is lovely to have Sam home. I will definitely miss this little cottage when I move out, but Colin’s and my home is going to be an exciting venture and it’ll be lovely to be together that much more 🙂 I agree with you re the scarves and wigs – I won’t be throwing mine away either….Take care Janet, love Ali xx

  50. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    ……….Thank you Janet! I will let my Deb know that’s what you thought – not so sure myself, but then I know both girls very well! xxx

  51. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Martin, do hope all is well with you. Yes it is lovely to have Sam home, to know where he is, and to be able to spend time with him. Love Ali x

  52. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sue, and thank you for your lovely comments 🙂 It is good to be able to look back over the last year, and to feel so much better now. I find it hard to believe that it’s almost a year since I made my speech at the Fashion Show, feeling and looking as I did then, and yet this year I’ll be up there, in the spotlight!!! I so hope I don’t trip over my shoes or twirl off the end of the catwalk!:) Your kind words are very supportive, and I am adamant that it will be a night to remember for all the right reasons 😀 You take care, and thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  53. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm -  Reply

    Edna, hello there, and I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. You’re right, a lot has changed in the last 12 months, and all for the better. Hopefully we will be moving into our new home after the fashion show, and will then have room for all the children to come and stay 🙂 Loving my time with Sam, and thank you for writing. Enjoy your weekend, love Ali xx

  54. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven, and thank you for the compliment – I will make sure I pass that on to Debbie! And it’s also very kind of you to be so supportive too… bless you, love Ali xx

  55. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Margaret, the good news is that the Fashion Show is to be televised and hopefully you’ll be able to see me in all my ‘glory’ (eeek!) on the 16th October when QVC broadcast it. So glad that you enjoy reading the blogs – I very much enjoy writing them. With love Ali xx

  56. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Sue, and thank you as always for your kind and thoughful words. It has been a long 12 months, but a period in which I have seen most of what I lost return, and returning to work has given me that chance to ‘go back’ to where I was before the diagnosis – that in itself is a great bonus. You take care and enjoy the weekend, love Ali xx

  57. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm -  Reply

    Bless you Elaine – you sound as emotional as me! Thanks for watching This Morning, love Ali xx

  58. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Sue I am so sorry you missed the piece on This Morning, and I don’t think we would be able to tag it here, but if you look on YouTube – just put in the date and my name plus This Morning it should bring it up. Have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  59. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 9:15 pm -  Reply

    Jane, firstly let me congratulate you on getting through your treatment and I am SO glad that the blogs in some way helped you to deal with all you had to cope with … My chance to get onto This Morning was great for BCC and also for me, as it highlighted just how difficult it could be to spot a problem when the symptoms aren’t always that classic. I wish you a speedy recovery and return to ‘normality’ – life without treatment 🙂 Take care, love Ali xx

  60. alison keenan August 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm -  Reply

    Yay Norma!! That is SUCH good news 🙂 Please give Harold a hug for me, and well done Professor Marks. I am sure you will be really looking forward to having him home with you now, but do make sure you have some back up to help you when you’re tired! Love to you both, Ali xx

  61. Debz & Ainzley August 31, 2012 at 9:52 am -  Reply

    Una, our lovely Una!
    How wonderful it was to hear from you. I cannot begin to imagine what you’ve had to endure and continue to endure. Maybe your new edition will help to go some way to heal your wounds. Having a four year old about the place will bring it’s own rewards and happiness.
    We all understand that you cannot keep in touch as often but you are always in our thoughts and prayers. I wish you courage and strength and am sending you the biggest hug that I can.
    Stay strong lovely lady.
    Lots and lots of love and licks

  62. alison keenan August 31, 2012 at 10:55 am -  Reply

    Una, I am SO pleased that you’ve felt strong enough to write to us all this morning, and let everyone know about your wonderful addition to the family 🙂 As you say, such a comfort for you to have a young soul in your home and life who has so much of your daughter about her… Do keep in touch whenever you can. Thinking of you, with love, Ali xx

  63. Susan August 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I am sooo pleased to hear Carmel’s news!! Via you!! I didn’t know that she was pregnant!! How exciting. I hope all goes well for her. Will you pass on my love and congrats please? I am glad Sam is home ‘for good’ lol as you say you never know. I am also glad Paul G is much receovered!
    Be in touch,
    Susan x

  64. SUE RADFORD August 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm -  Reply

    Dear Una,
    It was lovely to read your blog. I’m sure your little granddaughter will bring you so much joy and happiness. It’s lovely to hear she is so much like her mum, and you are gaining so much comfort from that. Along with everyone else, I think about you often Una.
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  65. Chris Page September 1, 2012 at 10:25 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Great to see you back on the This Morning sofa – bet it brought back a few memories of your past TV life, eh? And I hope you and Ruth ganged-up on that cheeky Eamonn Holmes after his comment about watching you when he came home from school.

  66. angela white September 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm -  Reply

    hi ali! you alright! another fab blog glad you have sam back lots of catching up to do!saw you on this morning loved the comment by eamonn at the end! cheeky! we had a lovely time for steves birthaday had a lovely meal with our friends then back to ours for drinks and chat was great!its 3months now he stopped smokking he keeps a note on how much he saves each week and so far its £1,200!!! can i say to the ladies on blog who have recently been diagnosed with bc stay positive you will get through it,do as the doctors say and dont be afraid to ask for help from family and friends 4years on and im still here!!! i have some he said to me/i said to him jokes to make you smile! he said,i dont know why you wear a bra,you”ve nothing to put in it. i said,you wear pants dont you? he said shall we try swapping positions tonight? i said thats a good idea,you stand by the stove and sink while i sit on the sofa and do nothing but fart! he said what have you been doing with all the grocery money i give you? i said, turn sideways and look in the mirror. he said how many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper? i said, i dont know it has never happened! he said, what do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night? i said, a widow! he said why are married women heavier than single women? i said, single women come home,see whats in the fridge and go to bed, married women come home see whats in bed and go to the fridge!love to you ali and family and ali”s army xx

  67. alison keenan September 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm -  Reply

    Angela you are a hoot!!!! I am laughing out loud literally 🙂 My editor gave me a heads up about your comment, and I am trying to memorise all that you’ve written so I can appear witty and interesting at my next social engagement 🙂 On a serious note, thanks too for your positivity…. I’m just three years behind you, and long for the five years when I can be in remission…. It sound like you and your other half have a great relationship, and with all that money he’s saving perhaps you could have another one of you fab night’s out – they sound great fun 🙂 Take care, and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xxx

  68. alison keenan September 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm -  Reply

    Chris, it was LOVELY to be back in the studios and on the sofa, and Eamonn was actually quite charming so no ganging up required 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for commenting, love Ali xx

  69. alison keenan September 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm -  Reply

    Sue, I will definitely pass on your best wishes to Carmel – isn’t it exciting! Today I worked with both Emma and Sally – two of our models – and they are expecting Christmas babies just days apart! Soooo exciting. Take care and hope to hear from you again soon, Love Ali xx

  70. angela white September 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm -  Reply

    hi ali,just a quickie! glad you enjoyed jokes my friend sends them to me and i pass them on! got a good one about a parrot but its far to rude to print! i will have to print it off and send it to you! i have donated on your just giving page and can i encourage ali”s army to donate to a worthy cause. the pack that they give you at hospital when diagnosed i found invaluable at least you know what to expect when you have treatment. thank you x

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