Bless you for writing to me in your droves, and apologies for taking such an incredibly long time to respond. I had such good intentions when it came to keeping in touch here on the blog, but I hadn’t accounted for the fact it would take so long to be able to type comfortably. I did try dictating what I wanted to write, but some of the typo’s would have had me dismissed on the spot, so it’s been slowly slowly…!
I’m actually sitting here at the computer eating a sardine salad (not recommended when wearing glasses as they magnify the scales and bones – things I don’t normally see), but I’m not letting it distract me as I have some great news about my Diamonique ‘I Hope’ pendant, which I’ll tell you about in a moment.
But firstly I have to thank you so much for writing to me over the last few weeks. You’ve really kept my spirits up over what has felt like an inordinately long time already away from the Q. For those of you who follow me on Twitter (@alikqvc), you’ll know that the operation on my shoulder was a success, and all the calcification was removed. Once the surgeon was inside my shoulder, he also found a bony spur that had grown onto the bone, and a fair bit of calcification on the surface of the joint too. As you can see from these photos he had to split the tendon to get to it, cut off the bony spur and shave the surface of the ball joint. Not the kind of pictures I plan to have on my sideboard, but looking at them it’s easy to see why I’m still struggling to move comfortably!
The procedure was done using keyhole surgery, and I’m due to have the stitches out later today. I just had sticking plasters initially, but I kept bleeding mainly due to the lymphedema in that arm, but it was fine once a needle and thread were introduced!
I had a complete nerve block in that arm after the operation and it felt like I was carrying someone else’s limb around! Most odd. However I got the feeling back within a couple of days and have been doing my best since then to keep up with my exercise three times a day. I have to move my arm like a pendulum, try to pull my shoulder blades together and – the hardest one of all – lay down and use my left arm to lift my right arm up towards the ceiling. Ouch! I think I have a month with a physiotherapist still to come and I’m sure that will be a huge help. The bruising is pretty impressive, and having had my flu jab, I now have a stiff left arm too!
Colin’s been a star and done all the cooking since I’ve come home from the hospital, although he’s actually made a rod for his own back having made some truly spectacular dishes. I’m not sure I’m up to his standard anymore!
It’s made me realise how difficult it must be if you’re someone who struggles with arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome or shoulder and neck issues generally. I cannot blow dry my hair, as I can’t hold anything high enough in my right hand. I’m just having to rough dry it – think Doc from “Back to the Future”!
However, Lucy and Honey came to stay this weekend, and Lucy very kindly sorted my hair out for me so at least the consultant will allow me entry into his office this afternoon! As we weren’t planning to go out anywhere we decided to start Honey on her potty training during their stay, and she did really well. She got a sticker every time she made it to the potty in time, and started liberally handing stickers out to us too, bless her.
On top of Lucy taking over all the catering duties while she was here, we did have a bit of fun with the Kitchen Aid when she decided to make some playdough in it! Honey helped and the result was pretty perfect. It was so nice to see them both, and we had lots of ‘gentle’ hugs as I couldn’t pick Honey up properly. I’m sure I’ll be far more flexible when I see them next time.
I’ve seen Jo and Roz, my son Jack popped over with his girlfriend Jenny, and Colin’s daughter Vicky came to see me last week too. Sam’s been in Spain, but came home last night, and hopes to visit at the weekend, as I’m with my mum and my sister from tomorrow. I know how incredibly lucky I am to have a such a great support network, and it made me feel comforted yet sad to know that many of you are leaning on those you love as you go through bad times too.
In last week’s blog I received many comments from those of you who are living with cancer. Two brave women living with secondary breast cancer got in touch, another who has lost her friend and husband to cancer and whose best friend has also been diagnosed recently, as well as someone who has recently been recalled for a second mammogram.
So many of us are currently living with the legacy of this disease. I know that we’re two thirds of the way through October, but in case you didn’t know it’s Breast Cancer month. It’s also 25 years since our designated charity Breast Cancer Care adopted the pink ribbon design as their symbol of identity. You’ve probably seen their powerful advertising campaign promoting Strength Hope and Unity for all those who live with, through and beyond breast cancer.
We all know what the pink ribbon represents, but this little symbol has done an incredible job of making so many millions of us aware of how important it is to monitor any changes in our breasts, and I believe that to be incredibly empowering. It also highlights the unity that I so often see here on the blog; the incredible support network that has made it possible for us to share with each other how we are feeling, and to gain strength from one another. You’re well aware of my belief in hope and I think that maybe it would be nice to share Emily Dickinson’s words once more…
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
It has been my mantra from the day my daughter Lucy gave me my silver bangles with the words inscribed on them. That was six years ago, and I know how very lucky I am to still be here, living my life and loving those I share it with. Lucy also told me all that time ago that I had to get better forever, and I am still praying that one day they will find something that will make us all better forever.
COMPETITION NOW CLOSED
For a chance to win one of my new Diamonique ‘I Hope’ pendants, all you need to do is leave your name and maybe a message in the comments section on this post before noon on 5th November. I will then select two winners at random, who will be revealed on the 6th November!
Winners will receive one of my new Diamonique ‘I Hope’ pendants in either rose gold or silver (which would cost you £39 from our website).
It really is the least we can do after all you have done to support Breast Cancer Care. Thank you.
I think I’ve managed to reply to all those of you kind enough to write to me on the last blog, but please do keep in touch, as it’ll be a couple more weeks before I’m back at QVC UK.
Stay warm and well,
With my love,