Not quite perfect, but in the end…

One thing I did after I’d got all my treatment appointments was to put them in my calendar on Google, as much so the others here who need to know, can always check them. Well…given that I have to be ready 2 hours before the actual treatment, as thats the earliest the transport vehicle should turn up, I planned to use that time as the start of the appointment period, so when I look at details, I know when I have to be ready by, and then add 2 hours for treatment time, until… Yes, you get the day when you forget to allow the 2 hours, and use the appointment time as the starting time, as I did today!

Therefore when, quite correctly, the transport vehicle turns up in the right period of time, someone isnt ready, because the time in her head is 2 hours out! Thankfully the driver got me to check the list, see I’d got it wrong, apologise, and get ready in about 3 minutes flat!

Then the irony kicks in. Because he arrived here about 20 minutes into the 2 hour period, and we left about 5 minutes later, I actually ended up arriving about an hour before my appointment time, such is life. Except that, about 15 minutes after that, I get called for my treatment, about 40 minutes early!

As is the way with such things, swings and roundabouts. Seems there had been an earlier accident on the motorway that would normally be used, which explained why my driver was sent off in another direction to get us (there was 1 other passenger) to the hospital. But yes, you’ve guessed it, a couple of accidents affected my journey home, so it took longer than planned. But such is life…?

Mind, the next few days, just a treatment doesnt seem to be the plan. Later today, a friend is bringing over the letter I can send off to work, to confirm I need medical retirement. Tomorrow, I get a phone call from the health people at work, so they can actually hear how busted my voice is, not much use for call centre work. Wednesday brings the first blood test to check on me, and Thursday, I get the results of that from nurses. Friday, as far as I know, just a treatment, lol! Mind, that is 8.30 in the morning, which means I have to be ready to leave here by 6.30, eek!

So yes, I might now generally be a redhead, but its clear I can still have blonde moments, lol.

Right, video time. Some might have worked out the video, though I’ve not been anywhere near a Fairground. But a live version, for variety

Witch way are you going?

So fine, its Halloween, and I’m going to do a blog. So what are you expecting, Boris not doing Brexit, oh seriously, no!!! In truth, I’ll be glad when thats all over, whatever happens from here, but anyway… No, lets stick with the obvious Halloween stuff, lol, witches, and the like.

Technically as someone of Gaelic ancestry, I wouldnt do Halloween, because Samhain is the Gaelic significance of the day, but besides that…OK, I live in the UK, and though we arent as big on Halloween as America, it does seem to be getting bigger over here, all the same. But when I was young, we pretty much ignored it, has to be said. And given I was never in Ireland at Samhain, well…

But fine, would I dress up now, in a wonderfully over the top Witch’s outfit, especially if matched with an actual flying broomstick, well… I know, latter is not going to happen, but a woman can dream! But an over the top outfit, well, maybe this?

https://www.yandy.com/Black-Magic-Sorceress-Costume.php

No, its fair to say its not going to arrive in time now, is it, lol? But would I wear it, given the chance? Well, possibly…Oh fine, I would.

As to the chance of finding an actual flying broomstick, think thats far less likely, lol.

But to all those enjoying Halloween, Samhain, or any other special day today, I hope you have a wonderful time. Just do your best not to imagine this 61 year old in that sexy Sorceress outfit, lol.

OK, video time. I very much doubt any UK readers will have heard of this song. Hey, given its 50 years old, I’m not sure how many of my North American ones will have done too. But fine, Terry Jacks, Seasons In The Sun, well maybe a few…? Apologies for poor quality of video, but best I can find

 

Have you seen her before?

Lets start by saying that unless you hear otherwise, everything is fine with me, and the radiotherapy sessions, and the chemo tablets, so that it doesnt become a regular start point here, OK?

One thing I very quickly have learnt is that the time of travel makes a lot of difference mind, as yesterdays ‘rush hour’ journey back from the hospital to home took 100 minutes to complete, today’s off peak one, just 35! Thankfully, as things stand, I only have one more rush hour journey home next Wednesday, so fingers crossed, not too much of an ongoing issue.

Today’s amusing moment occurred after I’d had my treatment, had my breakfast (cant eat for 4 hours before session) in the cafe, and while I was waiting for my transport back home. A man came into the area where you wait for your vehicles a little while after me, saw me sat there, and took a second glance. To be fair, I took a second glance back at him too, as I think it was fair to say a glimpse of recognition hit both of us. Equally, given that if it was who I thought it was, the most recent time he would have seen me is nearly 5 years ago, I think we have fair claims for neither of us being certain, especially as I’m now a redhead, not the blonde he would have known, in a place he wouldnt have been expecting to see me. Anyway, after a few minutes, my transport home called for me, so I will never know.

But basically, I think he worked at William Hill head office when I did, though he was on a different team to me, which probably added to the fact that neither of us was sure the other person was who we wondered if they were? Just shows that even 5 years down the road, you never know who you ‘might’ meet when out at a hospital!

Video time. One from my teen years, but managed to find a live (well, mimed) version of it all the same. Well, in his case, had he seen someone he used to know?

December 12th, why all the fuss?

Alright, I’ll get to the blog title in time, but in the meantime, news about today (and tomorrow), I guess?

You know all this stuff about best laid plans, and not working out, well fine, today, but no, nothing to do with my actual treatment today, I might add.

Generally, even though officially I have to be ready for transporting to the hospital 2 hours before my appointment, its generally an hour, to an hour and a quarter before the appointment that the vehicle generally turns up. So confirming an appointment with a speech therapy person (because of my weak right side of my mouth) for 2 hours, and 10 minutes before that time should be fine, right? Well…? They only turned up about 15 minutes after planned time, which I still thought wouldnt be a problem, as it would only be a 20-30 minute meeting anyway. But of course, you guessed it, 5 minutes into our chat, my transport vehicle turned up, almost at the start of the 2 hour period. Anyway, they are meant to be rearranging, so…

As to the actual treatment, it was fine. I know, might catch up on me later, but at the time I was only surprised when they said we were done! So yes, officially 1 down, 29 to go, lol. The only sad news for those wanting me to do the full silver look for a session, I’m sorry, but the wig has to come off for the actual treatment, so cant be done. Could still do the silver bodysuit, but thats as good as it will get. Machine isnt really going to turn me into a robot anyway, but besides that… wearing that mask, hearing the machine doing its thing, its easy to let the mind wander into weird ideas, lol.

Tomorrow actually is my second latest treatment of the whole 6 weeks, due to be at 2.25 in the afternoon. Whether I can then beat the early rush hour to get home, by time transport is arranged, who knows? The latest is a week on Wednesday, at 4.05, so definitely going to have rush hour fun with that one, but anyway… Mind, I’ve got a number of early ones where I’ll hit the other rush hour, anyway, so swings and roundabouts I guess? Tomorrow also holds the wig appointment before treatment, after which I will be able to go blonde again, if so desired. I have no idea what I’m going to do most regularly, as I’m still to go with the redhead bob, but maybe tomorrow?

But looking ahead…December 12th?

Seems to currently be a lot of fuss about that date, according to the news. Well, yes, I know its the works Christmas dinner that night, but I didnt know it was that critical an event? Fine, its probably the last thing I will do with my work colleagues before medical retirement kicks in, but seriously?

Oh, whats that, possibly an election? No, I’m not making any comment on the politics of that, just the fact that someone wants an election on that date. Hopefully my postal vote will be sorted out by then, or I might have to try and get up the road to vote before heading to Bradford for the meal. As a good flapper, I probably should vote for a 20’s US presidential candidate, but…at least I wont need to get my hair done for the night, lol.

Its come to my notice that I have one more issue I need to get sorted out soon, after having dealt with the hair issue, but this one is a little bit more delicate. The other matter I’ve ignored with everything going on is the state of my ears. My hearing is a bit down, to put it mildly, but I cant blame the growth for that, its more they havent been cleared out in far too long, but I’m not actually in a good position to do it at present, ah well…I’m sure something can be done. At least I cant hear the politicians waffling (on all sides) clearly at present, but other conversations, not so good a position.

OK, the video. Well, going back to the non Christmas Dinner matter that might happen on December 12th?

 

 

In the mid night hours

OK, given I have no idea if I’m going to be up to blogs over the next few days, lets toss one out tonight. I suppose one for Halloween would be apt, but given thats Thursday, and I have a middle of the day session of radiotherapy that day, dont hold it against me if I dont.

I suppose the year when the difference between when Europe puts the clocks back, and when the US did it was 2015, when I technically never put my clocks/watch back, because I was in LA when Europe put the clocks back, and a week later, when the US did it, I was back in Europe. Of course, strictly I did, as it affected the arrival time of my flight back, but other than that…

So yes, at 2.00 in the morning today, we here in Europe put the clocks back by 1 hour, whereas (I believe?) the US doesnt do it until next weekend, leaving me 4 hours ahead of the East Coast, and 7 hours ahead of California for a week. So this week only, instead of the usual 6 pm, and 9 something pm kick off’s in the NFL , its 5 pm, and 8 something, lol. (1.00, and 4 something games for my US readers). It also means the remaining World Series baseball games will be starting just after midnight over here, instead of 1 in the morning, but thats of minor concern to me at present, or indeed ever!

There is also a slight cross over in Spring (US go forward 1-2 weeks before us) but because its NFL season on TV, I tend to notice this one more.

Not surprisingly, I woke up about an hour earlier this morning, but did manage to roll over, and get about 45 minutes extra sleep, even if my sleep clock is still about an hour earlier than standard, as still working on hospital wake up times at the moment. Going to get messed up this week anyway, as I have a 9.00 am radiotherapy session on Wednesday, so will have to be ready to leave here possibly by 7.00 am, though thats now the only really early one this week, as Thursday’s has now been moved back a couple of hours.

Tomorrow has a meeting with a speech therapy expert before leaving here, see if we can at least ease the mouth issue, but this is more of a meet each other thing, so it can be discussed than anything else. Tuesday sees the official wig fitting session, when I will go blonde again for a while, so will have a nice choice to make in look after that. Wednesday is the start time I’m not looking forward to, but I guess it gets it out of the way, but will mean going to Leeds in the rush hour, so…

It has been ‘suggested’ that I really ought to do a session wearing the silver Lycra bodysuit, and silver wig, and yes, I can definitely see that it would be great to do, but clearly not going to happen before Thursday at the earliest, but after that…Now if only I could get a metal full face mask for that, as opposed to the plastic one, lol…?

OK, lets get to the video now. Technically thats in the midnight hour, as opposed to the mid night hours, but close enough!

Just an old fashioned girl

As regular readers might know, I’m an old fashioned girl, into old fashioned dress styles, and old fashioned movies. I seem to cross the period between the end of the silents (the only Lillian Gish film I’ve seen is The Wind), and the early years of talkies, up to about 1939 or there about, though I do love my 50’s sci-fi, probably because of all those robots, lol. But a 20’s sci-fi, crossed with horror, crossed with an adorably cute lady, well…? Not that I suspect most of you will have heard of Gertrude Olmstead, but more might have heard of Lon Chaney, I hope?

Yes, they acted together in a film in 1925, named The Monster, when Lon planned to do wicked things to Gertrude, but beyond ‘very loosely’ restraining her, none of them came to be. Someone described this as horror-satire, and it certainly works as a genre, in the sense that Chaney overacts delightfully, dies in the end, and Gertrude gets to flutter doe eyed looks at a couple of guys (not Chaney) at regular intervals. I will provide a link at the end to the full movie, but its not great film quality (it is nearly 100 years old), it is silent (no musical accompaniment), but if you can take 95 minutes of that, feel free to watch it. If not, just start at about 75 minutes where the ‘horror’ begins, if you wish to see any of it?

Yes, Gertrude is my silent movie crush, guilty as charged. I have no idea what she was like as a person in real life, but given she married only the once, for 42 years, until her husband passed away, I would assume she couldnt have been that hard to live with? Joan Crawford didnt like her, but many would see that as a good thing, lol!

I have actually had this film saved on this free site for a while, but was saving it for the right moment, but thought this weekend was probably it. Yes, it was. If anyone can find, and wants to buy me another recommended Olmstead film, California Straight Ahead in a version that works in the UK (cant find it online, and only US Zone DVD), I’d be so grateful. (Thanks to @MoviesSilently on Twitter for that tip)

But yes, if I had got the chance to do naughty things to a young Gertrude Olmstead, I might not have said no, so…

Right, firstly the video. This is old fashioned in more senses than one, though it might be handy if I could find myself an old fashioned millionaire, lol

Secondly, for anyone who wants to see my secret silent movie crush (even if I’m 100% certain she had no lesbian inclinations)

Harem dancer girls with gin

Oh, fine, I’ll be amused to see how many people can work out the video song before they reach that point in their viewing? Seriously, there are enough hints in there, but anyway…

Well yes, we’ve reached that point in the ‘performance’ where we get to the main part of the show, the radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, main section. Yes, today was the last visit to the hospital in Leeds before the big event begins on Monday. No, I’m not going to bore you with the details, as beyond going through the details, and collecting all the additional pills, and when to take them, there really is nothing exciting to report from that, in truth. Well, except that in Week 1 (the only week I know times for at this time) I now only have one really early start, instead of two, which I’m not going to cry about, in truth. Does mean my first Speech Therapy visit at home has now got a new time on Monday, before I head to Leeds, but other than that.

Oh fine, I did fool someone who saw me in hospital, was looking for a blonde, then realised I was now a redhead, but other than that… As she got me to go upstairs to collect my new pills, I did think about changing to my silver wig, but given the lift was busy, it didnt happen, so I didnt fool her again! Oh, and she tipped off the next person who would be seeing me, under same circumstances, ah well… Oh, and for those who read the last blog, yes, I did wear the silver bodysuit under my clothes today!

The one thing I have been told I should have, for post treatments, is a series of achievable events that I can aim to look forward to, to keep me going. And yes, they mean before March, lol, principally from December, to about March, so strictly I can stick the Blackpool tram on the end, but before then…so…

As things stand at this moment, and already mentioned, the first is easy to go with, on December 12th, the works Christmas Dinner, in Bradford, probably the last work related event in my working career, in truth. Still, if you go with the formal leaving date, not the last working day, I’ve done 45 years, which for a woman, when I started work in 1974, would have been seen as quite an achievement, as women only worked until 60. Of course, I wasnt strictly a woman back then, but now…

After that, the next one that comes to mind is Christmas Day, when not for the first time, the dressing up suitably option is the one that comes to mind. I had original thought of a fairy outfit, but quickly discovered that fairies dont believe in covering their knees, let alone anywhere lower, and seriously, at 61, no! Thankfully I found a nice Mrs Christmas dress, of a more suitable length, which will now be the planned purchase.

In truth, January, beyond Ella’s birthday, which isnt strictly anything out of the ordinary, I’m drawing a bit of a blank, principally because of the likely questionable winter, so if anyone has any ideas, I’m happy to listen. The only thing I can think of as a possible is the photo shoot with Angie, who tells me there is a dress waiting for me for that, though from which decade I’m not quite sure, hence the hedge in the blog title, though I’m certain it will either be 20’s, or 30’s, rather than an actual harem girl look, lol.  But yes, that worked for the video, so…

February, all I can think of at this point is a couple of things I used to do, havent done for a while, but work as nice ‘possibles’ at least. One is to go back in the flotation tank again, which I loved doing, but I would need to be pretty well recovered, given the amount of salt needed to make you float. The other is a trip to Wakefield, and see if the charity shops have got as much ‘old fashioned’ clothing on sale at decent prices, though as that will take a bit of walking, my mobility might need to improve for that option, lol?

After that, and the last that I see as short term of course, mid March, the anniversary (of sorts) weekend, and Blackpool, and then, well, who knows? Will all this happen, who knows? Some will, some might, others might be a step too far, but there is only one way to find out…?

So, have you worked out the video yet? If not, I’ll put you out of your misery, as its…

 

I was working as a call (centre) girl

OK, strictly, apart from 1 day, my first job (2005 – 2009) up here in West Yorkshire was as a guy, and the second one (2009 – 2015) was as a guy too, for the first year or so, before I officially made the transition formal, but of course the last one (2016 – 2019) has always been as a woman, but hey, who’s counting? Especially as my initial coming out as a woman was in 2003, you could equally make a case that my actual working career up here in Yorkshire has been as a call centre girl.

The interesting thing about my 3 company career up here in Yorkshire is that not once have I actually written a letter handing in my notice. Twice I’ve been made redundant, once of my choice, once by the companies choice, and of course, after today, the third, and last will now end in medical retirement. Yes, the letter has now been sent off (though strictly will be collected by postman in morning) to work from the hospital, confirming that due to the cancer issue, and all that, the voice is no longer up to, or likely to be up to call centre work again. Thats even ignoring the 6 more weeks I would need off for radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, and the 4 – 6 week recovery period after that before I could even consider it, even if up to it, so…

Oh fine, with no disrespect to my current job (for a matter of a short period of time), I’m glad its all finally settled, and I can get on with getting better. To be fair, given the time I’ve been off work for (over 7 months now) through everything, they’ve treated me fairly, and barring setbacks, I’m looking forward to seeing some of them at least again on December 12th, for the works Christmas Dinner in Bradford (for which they are paying my transport, and meal) before the final goodbye. Given its the first ‘rest week’ post treatments, it should be fine, but never assume…

But yes, my Occupational Therapist told me today that I need some positive targets for post treatment, even now, and that will be the first of them, so…

Also of benefit today, the Social worker working for hospital/McMillan has taken all the PIP paperwork out of my hands, will arrange the disabled bus pass, and the thing I need to get the disabled car pass, which is all a great help. So now, on to Thursday, the meet the team (and machine) get together, and then on Monday, we get down to the serious business, with the start of radiotherapy, and chemo tablets. Hard to gather now that 2 months ago I didnt even know I had a cancer tumour growth! And now, so far forward…

Hard to believe that tomorrow is the penultimate weekday entirely at home for the next almost 7 weeks, the other being Friday. No, I dont expect to want to see Leeds again for a while after all that, lol!

The other amusing fact from today refers to hair. Through my life as a woman, I dont think I’ve ever deliberately worn my hair lower than back of my neck. So yes, today, I wore the wig to the hospital that drops below my neck. And yes, its taken a bit of getting used to, but I’m just beginning to get there now, and quite like it. I admit that Thursday, I plan to either wear, or at least take with me the silver wig, just because it seems a fun thing to do on the last day at a hospital before the treatments begin, the serious stuff! Whether I wear the silver Lycra bodysuit under street clothes, well…?

OK, video time. A joking comment at the 2 companies that made me redundant, even if I dont really feel that hard (at this point) about their decisions.

 

I’m Tommy, don’t fly me any more

One of those matters I missed blogging on, because of all thats been going on with me, has been the demise of Thomas Cook, the travel agents, and airline over here in the UK recently. Originally started in 1841, strangely enough by a man called Thomas Cook, it decided it needed to expand its base in 2007, and combined with some of the choices made, and the fact that more people now make their own holiday plans online, rather than using travel agents in town centres, they began to run into trouble, and its all just fallen apart from there. I mean, I cant remember the last time I used a travel agent to book my holiday package, so suspect its the last century, in those good old pre internet days.

Funnily enough, in recent times, I’ve only tended to use 3 airlines for my flights (though last flight was actually with Jet 2, to Portugal) to the US, Delta, American, and Thomas Cook, though I have actually flown with Virgin American, and Alaska, on connecting flights for 2 of the above, but all bookings made through those 3.

Though I would never have called Thomas Cook a luxury airline, the premium economy section was fine, all the same. I couldnt say more, because the staff were clearly not that attentive, as my most ‘ironic’ flying memory is flying that way from New York to Manchester. Firstly, despite having booked a seat (and paid extra to do so), they moved me,with no reason given, from a window seat in one row, to a middle seat in the row in front of where I should have been. As far as I could tell, a couple had wanted seats together, despite not booking them, instead of sitting across the row from each other, and what did other passengers who had booked seats, at a cost, matter?

The thing is (strictly not their action, but?) the guy I was now sat next to, was politely asked to switch off his mobile phone for take off, as he should have done, an action he just ignored, continuing to talk to someone on his phone regardless. In fact, he only stopped when presumably we’d reached a height where he lost his connection! Nothing done by plane staff at all, despite him not even hiding the fact he was still on his phone all that time!

To be fair, I had any number of good, and pleasant flights with them too, but given all the safety talks you get, it did make me wonder just how vital they really were at the time? All the same, I will miss Thomas Cook Airlines, they did tend to be the cheapest way to travel to the US, which when you’re on a budget, was always handy. So who I fly with next time, who knows? But Thomas Cook, no more.

OK, video time. For those of you old enough to remember 10CC, I’d call this line up 2, with half of the original group, plus a few others. I’m sure I must have flown with a few Mandy’s in my time, though thankfully none under the sad circumstances of this song

 

Has anybody seen my sweet silver girl?

OK, fine, this one doesnt fit in with the general blog sequence, but given it relates to a picture taken of me today, and is something a bit silly, and fun, and its posted everywhere else but the blogs, I thought I’d throw it up quickly here.

As mentioned yesterday, I decided not to bother with waiting for the hair to fall out, I decided to get rid of most of it yesterday, as the silver bob wig had arrived, and roll with that while at home for weekend. I also have a very old (nearly 15 years old) silver Lycra bodysuit, which I can report I can still get into, though the zip no longer functions, hardly a great surprise. But anyway, put the two together, along with a silver top, to help keep me warm, and…arrange to get a photo taken, this one in fact,

robot me

Now the wig isnt amazing, but given it cost about £7 ($10). thats hardly the biggest shock in the whole world, but it will do for this. The ‘bulge’ is actually the connection point for the zip on the back brace, in case anyone thought it might be another trans girl issue, lol. No, believe me, that is miniscule nowadays!

The amusing moment from all this is that the 2 better quality redhead wigs were marked to be delivered on Monday, so wearing this all day (given picture wasnt being taken until teatime) wasnt going to be a problem, as no one would be calling until then, and Linda knew the plan anyway. So yes, the doorbell goes about noon, its the delivery man with the parcel with the wigs in it. Not that I really cared, answered the door, got the parcel, and…he didnt say anything, but didnt hang around more than a few seconds either!

I must admit the silver lycra bodysuit with ‘extras’ had its advantages to wear, and its disadvantages too. The big advantage, extra support for my spine, which was heaven in truth, could do with at least a dozen (15?) with a working zip (sponsorship deal?), both for support, and for the fact that the table set up for treatment isnt designed to support a damaged spine, and they would help. Why so many? Well simply, 5 days a week, with 15-20 miles of travel in each direction for radiotherapy plus waiting for transport home afterwards, I’m not going to have time for matters like laundry and the like for the 6 weeks of radiotherapy. Oh, and lets face it, if you think I wont want to do more with a silver wig, and silver bodysuits, well… Email me at stephmajor8@hotmail.com if you want to help with that matter. Need to get suits in UK for delivery here soon, thats all, as treatment starts on 28th.

(Note for those getting both blogs, though not identical, close enough for most)

Fine, video. Not Dawn’s greatest hit, by any stretch of the imagination, but the title tweak works, OK?