Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas Eve


Thursday 24th December

Christmas Eve. How exciting, it was nearly Christmas. And I had managed it. With no help (well apart from that the kids did do the hoovering) I had done all my Christmas shopping, I had wrapped my presents myself, tidied the house and all the extra jobs that come with getting ready for Christmas. I was completely exhausted but a teeny tiny bit pleased with myself!

So as I had been busy all day yesterday and all evening, it meant I had a bit of time for ‘me’ today 😃

In the morning I got ready to go down to the cemetery with Robyn and Leah. They had both bought some things for Christmas to go on their nanny’s grave. We all miss her desperately. Was upsetting 😢

After, they went off to have their nails done 💅🏻 as a treat to themselves and then they were off to see their dad. So I had arranged to go to Caffe Nero to have a crafty mug of tea with my sister. I also had a toasted sandwich as I hadn’t eaten anything yet today (but don’t tell Robyn!!) 

Then off I went back to Gary’s house to wrap the last few presents that I had left there for his family. 

We went over to Charlbury to pop in and see Gary’s mum and dad and to have a cup of tea with them. And later when the kids had come back we popped into my sister’s for a little visit.

I lit a candle for my donors and their families. I really do hope that they are doing as well as can be expected. I know that this is such a tough time of year.


Quite simply, if it wasn’t for their brave decision at a very tough time for them, I wouldn’t still be here right now to enjoy tomorrow with my family.

Ferrero Rocher making


Monday 21st to Wednesday 23rd December

So a final trip to Banbury today I hope. Today it was with Robyn and my sister Julie, as she had already finished work for Christmas. A couple of last minute things needed buying and then there was the joy of the food shopping to be done :/ We met my other sister for a bit as she was also in the town shopping, and we stopped for a cup of tea ☕️

Back to try and find a space for all that shopping and then more late night wrapping.

Up for work Tuesday morning. Not feeling particularly great due to my Shingles rash I think and I also have a cough. No cold or sore throat or anything to go with it, just a cough! 

Work was busy! This was my last shift before Christmas. Some of my poor colleagues only get actual Christmas Day off, as the shop reopens again on Boxing Day, but luckily for me it doesn’t fall on my day to work this year. I was glad when my shift was over. No time to rest at this time of year though. Many jobs were waiting for me when I got back home.

And this theme just continued on Wednesday.

Then when Leah got home from work she decided to have a go at making some sweets for Christmas. This recipe she found from Slimming World, which is the diet she is following (and doing brilliantly on 😀) Their version of Ferrero Rocher.





Friday 18th to Sunday 20th December

Off to work Friday morning. Then later the first of three evenings out on the town! A band called The Various Artists were playing in the pub tonight. So we went along to have a watch. A very late night.

Then on Saturday it was get up and off for another visit to the shops to try and finish off the dreaded Christmas shopping. Then back to get ready quick for tonight’s entertainment! Another band playing, this time called Chaser. Another late night.

Sunday was spent trying to do a lot of jobs to get a bit organised, but in a short space of time as going out again to watch another band, this time it was The Average Wyatt band. A much earlier finish tonight!

Christmas songs being sang, a bit of dancing, getting into the spirit of things.

But amongst all this I discovered that my Shingles rash had returned. This is something that I have suffered with over the years and used to flare up every now and then. Very painful for a few days and feeling a bit unwell. The last time I had this was back in January, not long after I had just been put on the transplant list. So I had to come back off the list for two weeks until I had fully recovered! It did quite annoy me that I had got this back now as I thought it might have been another side effect of my illness and I wouldn’t be suffering with it anymore, but obviously not. Looks like I’m still going to get it 😦

Anyway a busy three days spent rushing about, stressed and completely exhausted with a hurting body. I’m determined to keep going though … 

Christmas jobs


Monday 14th to Thursday 17th December

This week was all about getting ready for this old Christmas thing really.

Monday I went shopping (again!), Tuesday I went to work, Wednesday and Thursday were boring stay at home days with lots of jobs to be done. I did go for my walk in the evening though. That always does me good mentally but never does my body any good :/

And so also amongst all the day to day living there has been lots and lots of present wrapping going on, buying things offline and hoping they arrive on time, writing Christmas cards and delivering them, extra tidying of the house etc etc etc.

Oh and stressing …

Party bag


Saturday 12th to Sunday 13th December

A trip to Banbury this Saturday morning. As we were driving into the town i saw my sister waiting to cross the road. So I sent her a text! She was just going back to meet her husband John for a coffee in Marks & Spencer, so we decided to join them! This is normally unheard of as Gary doesn’t like to do the ‘coffee thing’. So we sat and had a natter while they SHARED their sausage and onion toastie 😂 A little bird told me that they normally share a pot of tea too, but this morning they had obviously pushed the boat out as one had a coffee and the other a tea, to themselves!!

Then me and Gary split and went off to do more of our own Christmas shopping. Easier that way!

Later, while I did a bit of Christmas wrapping, Gary made me a spaghetti bolognese. Had my favourite green beans in it. It was very tasty!


On Sunday I did my ‘weekend’ jobs so all the bins were ready and could go out!! Even did a bit of dusting ready for Robyn to put the Christmas tree up. We have a tiny living room now so all we have room for is Robyn’s little pink Christmas tree that she used to put up in her bedroom at our old house!

This year on one of my many shopping trips I have bought some little fairy lights and a big Father Christmas face, so we could decorate our window too. Something we’ve often wanted to do! We weren’t overlooked in our old house so it was no point putting things up like that as no one would see them unless they came right up to our front door. This window is right next to quite a busy road so this was our chance!
After all that excitement it was time for me to get ready for my Co-op Christmas meal. It was in an old pub in the town called The Fox which has just been completely renovated and opened again a couple of months ago. It’s completely different to how it was, very posh! Well it was all a bit of a disaster really. As the Co-op has been made much much bigger and also been completely renovated and taken on lots of new staff too while I have been off ill, and because I have only been back to work for a month, I don’t know a lot of the younger people that work there. Thank goodness I went with my friend Jackie so at least we could have a nice time together! Unfortunately the food didn’t make the evening any better either, it was awful. I only had a few mouthfuls of each course. And it wasn’t just me being fussy, a lot of the others didn’t like it either. At the end of the evening we did all get a party bag though with some kids chewy sweets in and a box of maltesers each! 😋

Great cupcake


Wednesday 9th to Friday 11th December

On Wednesday morning I still didn’t feel too great but I felt a little better as the day went on. I made myself be good and prepared myself some rice and chopped some salad bits and chicken to go in it and then at teatime I would be able to take it along to the salon with me as Robyn was going to be doing my hair (This means I get a bit of a treat of a lovely hair wash and head massage too 💆) Organised Robyn takes her food with her to work in the morning as well and then we have a little picnic as we’re waiting for the colour to take!

Later I was then lucky enough to be able to eat this cake which Leah had brought home from her work today. For those of you that don’t know she works in the local dentists.


Good isn’t it? 😋

Thursday morning was a visit to Dr Ellis, my original consultant that first diagnosed me. I think he just likes to stay in touch and see how I’m getting on as he can’t really do much while I’m seeing the Birmingham doctors. He always has a look at my scar and has a feel of my tummy though. The doctors don’t do that in my clinic appointments there. My scar has healed really well. When I have a bit more time I will put some photos on here of the progression of my scar! I do have a couple of little lumps though in places which he assures me is just the way the tissues and muscles have gone back together. I’m hoping they will still go down a bit yet but we’ll have to see :/

When I was finished I decided to call in to Cafe Nero before going back home ☕️ Then later in the evening I went for my walk and a gossip 🙂

Friday, work, and I had a terrible morning. It was busy and with extra people at the ends of the tills trying to raise money for charity by bag packing, I found it a bit more difficult to concentrate. I didn’t feel my best either so that didn’t help. A couple of my customers told me, completely separately, that I looked pale today and that I needed to be careful. I know I was tired. The trouble is I know the weekend is going to be busy too so I’m not going to get much of a rest then either.

Ham, egg and chips!


Tuesday 8th December

After yesterday’s clinic visit I got to thinking that it was somewhere around this time a year ago that I went to Birmingham for an extra clinic appointment that had been arranged and I was told that I needed a transplant. They would get in touch with the liver ward and the co-ordinators and arrange a time for me to go into hospital there to stay for my week long assessment to see if I would be accepted. I can remember us all thinking, oh no their going to call me in over Christmas, but as we know now, that didn’t happen. I went in for the first week of January this year.

After living with PBC for all these years, and being quite poorly for probably the last two of them, even though I knew it was coming one day, I can remember it still being a bit of a shock realising that it was now going to the next stage.

At least we all now know what happened next dont we?!!! What a year :/

Anyway back to now. I was so tired when I woke up this morning, my eyes were sore, I had a bit of a headache and I had to go to work 😦 I really didn’t feel like it at all and I probably shouldn’t have gone, but that’s what I’m like. It was a tough morning to get through. When I got back in the afternoon I even had a tiny sleep 😲 And I haven’t done that since my early weeks of being out of hospital.

Typically I was due to be going out tonight for Christmas with some of the Co-op ladies. I couldn’t make my mind up whether it would be a good idea for me to go or not! In the end, right at the last minute, I decided to go. I thought it might make me feel a bit better to get out. There was no Christmas meals on the menu tonight though, I think this time I had ham, egg and chips! Something that I wouldn’t normally choose, but it was quite nice.

Recently this has been revealed at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth to thank organ donors and their families.

img_2241     img_2240
I think its great.

“The good omen that underpins this inauguration is the news that October 2015, when we were finalising our plans, was a record month for organ donations and organ transplants in the NHS. This means that a record number of lives were saved by transplantation and that a record number of lives were transformed”

Some good news 😀 

Sending best wishes to all those people that had their various transplants in October. I hope their all doing well.



Monday 7th December

Up early for a trip to Birmingham. 

For a start what I really had to remember was to not take my medication this morning as I would be having my blood taken at clinic later and they would want accurate readings today, as for my last appointment I forgot and took my tablets as I normally would :/

Gary had a day off today so he was taking me and Robyn for a change. So we decided we would pay a visit to the Bullring shopping centre before my clinic visit in the afternoon.

It is nice there but sometimes I think it is too big. You just can’t get round it all. The Christmas market was there too but we didn’t even have chance to walk around there. That may have been a good thing as my back was killing me and I needed to sit down really.

It soon came round to clinic time. I had been called back a week early as my kidney blood results were a bit higher than what they should have been so they wanted to check what was going on. This may be as a result of my medication, don’t know. So I had my blood taken as always and depending what my results are, they may reduce my tacrolimus again. Will just wait and see on that front.

As you will have read I’m still getting my pains after just an hour of walking around. Is this just an age thing? I would have thought I should still be able to walk around for more than an hour at the age of 48? It didn’t seem to be my Vitamin D deficiency in the end which they first thought it might be, and from reducing my tacrolimus last month that hasn’t made it better either. So Prof Newberger decided to do an X-ray today on my lower back to see if that shows anything up and he was also sending some of my blood to be tested to see if it showed up any inflammation markers.

I was upset later at home. The doctor had asked me if I had anything planned to look forward to, like a trip to India he said! and I said no I hadn’t, just a holiday in Cornwall but that’s not until next Summer! I thought I had been doing reasonably well in getting on with things and going places and going back to work (even though it’s only a few hours) but this made me feel a bit like maybe I’m not really doing all the things I should be doing now :/ But I have always kept in my mind what the lovely Kate Jakes said to me when she first visited me back when I was in Critical Care. She told me to take my time, not to rush things, listen to my body. And at that time she had undergone 3 liver transplants so I think she was talking from experience. 

On quite a few days I still don’t feel 100%, and on top of that there’s my poor body to consider. Sometimes I feel like I could just lay on the sofa and watch daytime tv all day. But I don’t, I always make myself get up and get on with something, whatever it may be. So how on earth am I supposed to go trekking in India! Then I got to thinking that maybe I haven’t recovered as well as I should have done 😰 

Leah came and spoke to me and told me that I WAS doing very well and not to listen to anyone else! She said to remember that the doctors had told us all right from the start that it would take me a long time to recover. She also text me later and said that she was very proud of what I had done and she knew that Robyn was to. My lovely daughters 😃

Flying fortune cookie 😂


Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th December

We caught the Park & Ride bus into Oxford on Saturday. I think I annoyed Gary by taking too long in some of the shops. I did manage to get a few more bits for Christmas though.

We went to Noodle Nation for some lunch. I had a lovely bowl of noodles with char siu pork and I asked for them to add some cashew nuts too. I couldn’t eat them all as always but they were very delicious 😋

Four young teenage girls were sat next to us. Just in case any of you haven’t been there before you sit on long tables and benches so you are right next to the other people. During the meal I was smiling to myself because they were taking lots of selfies, one of them was discreetly trying to work out how to use the chopsticks, one was explaining the menu to the others, they were just fun to watch! At the end of our meal the most funniest thing happened. I was trying to get my fortune cookie out of its foil wrapper and it was really hard to open. All of a sudden it came flying out, actually up into the air and just missing the girl sitting next to me’s bowl of rice, landed on the floor by them all. It happened so quickly she didn’t even see it coming and wondered what had happened! It was SO funny 😂 The highlight of my day I think.

We visited a couple more shops then back to Gary’s for the evening I went. Watched the X Factor. Semi finals already. Don’t know if any of you are fans? I like Reggie N Bollie as their a bit different but I can’t see them actually winning. Guess we’ll soon find out next week!

On Sunday afternoon we went to visit Gary’s mum and dad in Charlbury with Emma. I haven’t actually been over there for a while so it was nice to see them. Then I went back to Julie and Hannah’s house for a visit. Robyn and Leah were also there. We collected our bags of Christmas decorations etc to take back with us as we keep them in the loft there! Robyn was her usual kind thoughtful self and had bought us all a gingerbread man Christmas decoration, which we were all to hang up somewhere in memory of my mum/the kids’ nan.

This is where I have decided to hang mine.


This photo frame sits on the shelf above the fireplace for everyone to see 😀 My lovely mum and dad. I miss them loads.