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07/01/2016

January 2016 onwards

Monday April 11 - Sunday April 17, 2016
Our charity ride last week was a huge success and we have raised around £1,000 which is split automatically between Cure Leukaemia, Anthony Nolan and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. If you would like to donate to boost the total further, you can do via:

Click here to donate


Meanwhile, I've been to the hospital again this week. My blood tests are okay but I am suffering severe pain in my hip joint. I have been booked in for an MRI test. My thyroid tests also need repeating. 

Monday April 4 - Sunday April 10, 2016
This week we received the Mazda MX5 in preparation for the ride at the weekend. This also involved having photographs taken for the newspaper for some last-minute publicity.
The ride on Sunday, April 10, 2016 went exactly to plan and we estimate we had somewhere in the region of 110-130 bikers joining us from two different starting venues and heading to the National Brewery Centre. This year we had the added benefit of having a video/photographer riding with us who filmed the entire ride for us.






Video - Part one of two




Video - Part two of two




Monday March 28 - Sunday April 3, 2016
With just a week to go until our charity ride, we are now into the last minute plans. Meanwhile, this week I have been to Burton's Queen's Hospital for a blood test for my possible thyroid problem.

Monday March 21 - Sunday March 27, 2016
We have had no joy in securing a motorcycle for our charity ride and so we had to look elsewhere. Stephen knows many people in the motoring sector thanks to his years of carrying out motors reviews. He therefore contacted Mazda and they have agreed to loan us the use of an open-top MX5 for the ride. Although we will have to carry out the ride in a car, at least it will be in style.





Monday March 14 - Sunday March 20, 2016
Our charity banner has now been put up at the National Brewery Centre to help with publicity in the town. This coupled with publicity in the newspaper and a strong position on social media should hopefully result in a good event on April 10th. The biggest set-back is still the lack of any transport for our ride - we have yet to secure a motorcycle.





Monday March 7 - Sunday March 13, 2016
We met with students on the public services course at Burton and South Derbyshire College.The students will be helping with bucket collections on the day of the ride. As we have secured permission to collect in the Octagon Shopping Centre this year, we hope to increase the totals the students manage to achieve.
Their support will be publicised in the newspaper and so a photograph was taken for the story by the college photographer.




Monday February 29 - Sunday March 6, 2016
As our charity ride is now just a month away, things have started to get busy with the planning stages. We are in talks with all of the charities and hope to get help from students at Burton and South Derbyshire College.

Monday February 22, 2016 - Sunday February 28, 2016
I'm quite keen to get back to the doctors to have my thyroid function tested again but unfortunately I still have another couple of weeks to wait. Once I have the test, the results will then be sent to Birmingham for further analysis. If my thyroid is under/over active, then I will have another tablet to add to my daily collection of medication.

Monday February 15, 2016 - Sunday February 21, 2016
We collected the banner for our forthcoming charity ride this week. Local companies have once again kindly supported us with our ride as we raise money for blood cancer charities.




Monday February 8, 2016 - Sunday February 14, 2016
Plans are starting to come together for our BONE-shaker MARROW-thon charity motorcycle ride which this year takes place on Sunday April 10th. The ride will raise money as usual for Cure Leukaemia, Anthony Nolan and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.




Monday February 1, 2016 - Sunday February 7, 2016
If my thyroid levels prove to be out of balance, this explains many side-effects and symptoms I have been suffering with for months. Common problems associated with thyroid troubles can include fatigue and changes in body weight.

Monday January 25, 2016 - Sunday January 31, 2016
It was back to the doctors this week for another 'sick note' for my employer. Within days of this visit I received a letter from one of the consultants in Birmingham as they have detected some abnormalities in some of my test results. This relates to my thyroid function as two of the thyroid test areas are out of the normal range. A re-test is needed within the next few weeks to decide the next course of action.

Monday January 18, 2016 - Sunday January 24, 2016
This week I experienced a few days of stomach ache and I've got an annoying ache in my right-hand-side pelvis. The stomach ache I am putting down to something I have eaten (these things just affect me worse and for longer nowadays) while I am unsure about the pelvis pain. One of my tablets (Nilotinib) has a known side-effect of causing 'bone pain/aches' and therefore it could be this, it could also be a result of the many holes I have in my pelvis where they have extracted bone and bone marrow for testing.

Monday January 11, 2016 - Sunday January 17, 2016
It's been a busy week as not only did we have the first snowfall of 2016, it was also my husband's birthday. Health-wise I have been okay this week and I'm pleased to say that the quinine tablets I take to improve the cramp in my toes is now making a difference. I cannot say that the cramp problem has been solved, but the quinine has helped.

Monday January 4, 2016 - Sunday January 10, 2016
We were back at the hospital again this week for another appointment. While last week was quiet, today was a nightmare with cars queuing for the car park, standing room only in the waiting room and an average delay of two hours. Thankfully we only had to wait an extra 40 minutes to see my consultant. There was a massive change compared to last week's visit - the entire experience was quite stressful.

Monday December 28, 2015 - Sunday January 3, 2016
Christmas we ahead as planned as my dad's nasty chest infection cleared just in time. The bad news is that my dad's infection has now returned - worse than before. Because of the infection risk, the only communication between us can now be via telephone. We returned to the hospital this week for a check-up and as most people are still on their festive break, both clinic and traffic were quiet.

03/05/2015

May 2015 onwards

Monday December 21 - Sunday December 27
Christmas went ahead as planned. My dad's nasty chest infection cleared up a day or two before Christmas and so everything went ahead smoothly in the end. The busy social schedule wiped out my energy but its only once a year.

Monday December 14 - Sunday December 20
I've managed to keep fit and well despite the amount of coughs and colds around. However, my dad is suffering with a very nasty chest infection which is beginning to threaten Christmas plans.

Monday December 7 - Sunday December 13
Life is a challenge at the moment. I am well - it is just that everybody else is coughing and sneezing everywhere and over everyone. I am trying my hardest to avoid catching any of these nasty infections which are spreading like wildfire as my symptoms will be much worse and prolonged than others - plus it could put me back in hospital. At this time of year with so many coughs and colds, it is a challenge to remain healthy.

Monday November 30 - Sunday December 6
It may be early for some people but our house is now a Christmas grotto. My Christmas in 2013 was troublesome as I was only a month or so post-transplant and last year was my first real Christmas being back to some kind of normality. Therefore I am hoping Christmas 2015 will be super special.

Monday November 23 - Sunday November 29
It was back to the hospital again this week for a lung function test. The test was booked a couple of weeks ago when I was experiencing bouts of breathlessness. This has since cleared somewhat but I still wanted the test to take place as a precaution. These tests are relatively easy and as I have had two or three before, the results enable doctors to clearly see if my breathing is improving or suffering.

Monday November 16 - Sunday November 22
I had my annual flu jab this week. This required a little more planning than most people as I have to have my appointment out-of-hours. After double checking that the virus was not of the 'live' variety, the injection went well with few side-effects except swelling of the injection site. We have to plan the injection so that my husband can have his soon afterwards and so we managed to get this done at the chemist the following morning. My husband suffered more side-effects than me with aching joints and a mild fever.

Monday November 9 - Sunday November 15
After a few weeks of having days feeling under the weather, I felt good enough this week to recommence with my exercise regime. The weather is now the biggest hurdle when it comes to me trying to regain some stamina.

Monday November 2 - Sunday November 8
This week I received a huge donation of stamps and foreign coins from the readers of the Ashbourne News Telegraph - two bin bags full. I will now get to work sorting and packaging these stamps so that in the weeks before Christmas I can make another donation to Leukaemia CARE. I am extremely grateful to all who donated.

Monday October 26 - Sunday November 1
I celebrated my second transplant anniversary this week (Thursday October 29th). This week for our family is extremely busy and poignant as it holds many anniversaries for key dates. Wednesday, October 28th marked four years since my sister-in-law Sharon lost her battle with cancer. While my transplant anniversary shares the date with what would be my late mum's birthday and my late brother-in-law's birthday. So while my transplant anniversary is a joyous occasion, there are plenty of other sad events too. My transplant anniversary was published in the newspaper to help raise awareness.





Monday October 19 - Sunday October 25, 2015
We were at the hospital this week on a Saturday - proving that the NHS is already a seven-day-a-week service. This appointment was for my eyes as I have suffered with a few bouts of dry eyes. At my last appointment six months ago I was given some eye drops to use when I needed. The doctor this time suggests using them more regular as a preventative measure as my eyes are showing some traces of Graft versus Host Disease. 

Monday October 12 - Sunday October 18, 2015
My clinic appointment went well. In terms of my blood, I am still in complete molecular remission. To help solve the foot cramps, I have been prescribed quinine tablets - yes this is the stuff found in tonic water and commonly used to treat malaria. The cramps are a side-effect of my medication as the Nilotinib tablets strip certain chemicals and trace elements from your system. As for my breathing, I am being booked in for some more lung function tests.

Monday October 5 - Sunday October 11, 2015
I'm at the hospital again next week which I am strangely looking forward to as I have a couple of issues I need investigating. Firstly I keep suffering with severe foot cramps, secondly my breathing doesn't feel 100 per cent and thirdly, I am sure my spleen is slightly swollen. I will be glad to have a thorough check-up new week.

Monday September 28 - Sunday October 4, 2015
It's the Pride of Britain Awards this week. It's hard to believe that it's now more than 12 months since I was in the shortlist for an award. I've seen the nominations for this year and I don't recognise any names - this is in stark contrast to last year when I knew quite a few of those shortlisted for awards.

Monday September 21- Sunday September 27, 2015
The problems with my breathing appear to have cleared up - it's a good job really as the finger-tip oxygen meter I ordered still hasn't arrived as I'm being messed around by Amazon. On Thursday and Friday this week I was in London for a short visit - this was an opportunity to gain lots of exercise as anything in London appears to warrant lots of walking.

Monday September 14 - Sunday September 20, 2015
I had a few days this week where I suffered periods of breathlessness. The last time I had this it was the tell-tale signs of the start of pneumonia. I'm making sure I keep up to date with my daily doses of penicillin. I've also ordered myself a finger-tip oxygen meter from the internet so that I can measure my own blood oxygen levels. This will aid me in the future to determine as I can get medical advice quicker as the blood oxygen level is likely to fall before other symptoms develop.

Monday September 7 - Sunday September 13, 2015
As the children have returned to school, I've taken the opportunity to have a few days away without the added hustle and bustle of the peak season crowds.Our accommodation had no WiFi or phone signal and so I have been fairly quiet this week - but it's good in a way to take a break away from things for a few days every once in a while.

Monday August 31 - Sunday September 6, 2015
It's Blood Cancer Awareness Month and so I have been busy preparing an article for the start of the campaign on September 1. My husband Stephen is also liaising with a lady in Uttoxeter who is due to meet the recipient of her stem cells next week. The lady donated her cells to a German man five years ago and the pair are due to meet for the first time. We're helping to arrange some media coverage for the meeting to help highlight the importance of donors.




Monday August 24 - Sunday August 30, 2015
I had another of my vaccinations this week. I have been booking these injections during the out-of-hours slots at my GP surgery to prevent having to sit in a waiting room full of others, however, this didn't quite work to plan this week as the out-of-hours slot was as busy as the day time surgery with a waiting room full of coughing and sneezing patients.
Thankfully, I didn't suffer any ill side-effects from the injection or my wait in the doctors' surgery.
Next week is the start of Blood Cancer Awareness Month so please keep an eye out in the media for various events. I should be in the newspapers again next week.

Monday August 17 - Sunday August 23, 2015
The busy hospital period has started again as it was clinic again this week for my blood results. The summer holiday season resulted in a change in the number of patients and the number of staff at clinic. Thankfully everything blood-wise is doing well and so we stocked up on a few thousand pounds worth of tablets, creams and mouthwashes at the pharmacy.
My next medical appointment is next week when I have another injection. The last time I had this particular injection, I was ill the following day.

Finally, I can reveal that the Run4Katherine team will be taking on the London Marathon again in 2016. At present, it is just one of the trio who is signed up and registered to run again for Anthony Nolan - but you can sponsor our runner Verity here:

https://www.justgiving.com/Run4Katherine2016/






Monday August 10 - Sunday August 16, 2015
I've been increasing my levels of exercise this week - thanks in part to days out because of our (7th) wedding anniversary on August 9th and my birthday on August 13th.
Regular readers of my diary will remember that my birthday was a significant date because it was the day I was finally discharged from hospital after nearly eight weeks of treatment in 2013. This year marks two years since that milestone day.
I've also been back to the hospital this week for a routine follow-up appointment with one of the specialist doctors, unless some of my problems worsen beforehand, we will follow up this appointment with another visit in December.

Monday August 3 - Sunday August 9, 2015
My popularity in Ashbourne continues to grow thanks to the story in the News Telegraph last week. As a result I've received many more batches of stamps - many accompanied with letters of support. I've also been contacted by Ashbourne Rotary Club who asked if I could speak at one of their monthly meetings. From next week we start with the hospital appointments again as I have various bookings over the next couple of weeks plus another injection to have at the GP surgery.


Monday July 27 - Sunday August 2, 2015
My stamp and coin collection has been promoted in the Ashbourne News Telegraph this week. My loyal band of Ashbourne readers are still actively donating and collecting stamps and foreign coins and a newspaper update helps to give the campaign a boost.
We've been to the hospital this week, but not for me, this time it was for my dad. It was strange as we had to pass some of the waiting rooms I used to visit when I was very first diagnosed at Burton's Queen's Hospital before my care was transferred to Birmingham.




First weekly entry - Monday July 20 - Sunday July 26, 2015
With the Burton Mail moving offices, I have cashed in the collection box money for Cure Leukaemia and Anthony Nolan. The collection total was £37.08 meaning that each charity is set to benefit from a cheque for £18.54 in the coming weeks. I'm really pleased that permission has been given for the new office to have just one collection box on the counter and they have indicated that it should be a box connected to my chosen charities.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
As my days are becoming more in-touch with normality, I'm going to switch my diary entries to weekly updates as more happens in a week overall than it does daily.

Monday, July 20, 2015
I'm thrilled with the continuing success of my used coin and stamp collection - this is probably my most successful campaign of them all as it started after I was diagnosed and is still going strong.

Sunday, July 19, 2015
I've been visiting family today and had lots of enjoyable exercise playing football with my nephew. Days like this help to build-up my energy levels while giving me some valuable fresh air.

Saturday, July 18, 2015
The Burton Mail is moving offices soon which means the collection boxes on the front counter have to counted and cashed-in before the move takes place. I'll update readers once I have paid-in the money.

Friday, July 17, 2015
I've been promoting the need to donate cord blood from umbilical cords as this can be used for transplants just as well as donated stem cells.At present, less than one per cent take up this option.

Thursday, July 16, 2015
I've been keeping a very close eye on the new television series based at the Royal Derby Hospital. Leukaemia wasn't a part of the series but it was good to see the hospital behind the scenes. Although it is only about 10 miles from my home, my care will always be in Birmingham because they are the World's blood cancer experts.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
The charities I support have been very busy this week and it's hard to keep track of progress. Anthony Nolan hosted a supporters' event in London and Cure Leukaemia has a team of cyclists taking on the Tour de France a day before the professional riders. I hope both of these events succeed in raising plenty of funds for the charities.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
My presence on social media is growing. I've always been kept very busy updating my diary and Twitter but I've recently started to use some new software to make the job quicker and easier - and my follower numbers are increasing daily.

Monday, July 13, 2015
Thankfully I am completely free of the sickly-feelings I experienced late last week. I'm making more of an effort to make sure I drink plenty as it must have been dehydration.

Sunday, July 12, 2015
Over the past few months I've become somewhat of a convert to internet shopping. Although I enjoy the shops, they are still a huge risk to me and I have to watch every cough, sneeze and wheeze. The shops appear much busier as people prepare for the summer so I have resorted to shopping from the safety of my sofa and having it delivered.

Saturday, July 11, 2015
I always like to try and analyse the situations which potentially made me ill on Wednesday. There is nothing which stands out so I am pinning it down on dehydration caused by the warm and sticky days and nights.

Friday, July 10, 2015
I didn't mention in my diary entry for Wednesday (July 8) that it was probably the worst I had felt for months. I woke up with a shocking headache and spent three-quarters of the day on the sofa trying to find a way to shift it. I took tablets and plenty of fluids but nothing worked. Thankfully I am recovered now.

Thursday, July 9, 2015
My stamp and coin collection is equally popular in Ashbourne. I will be planning a story for the Ashbourne paper in the coming weeks to encourage further donations to accompany the generous donations already received.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
I've shared the reply from MP Andrew Griffiths and they are pleased to have his support. I'm looking forward to see what response I receive from the Secretary of State as there is an urgent need to increase the number of donors on the register.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
I've returned home from holiday to find a response from MP Andrew Griffiths regarding the Anthony Nolan #Destination Cure campaign. Mr Griffiths is very supportive and is writing to the Secretary of State for Health on our behalf.

Monday, July 6, 2015
I received an update on the stamp and coin collections I recently sent to Leukaemia CARE.
The totals: 4.4kg of donated foreign currency returned £58.13. This is better than average as the average price is only £45-50 for a 6kg donation.
Also five envelopes of stamps weighing 2.88kg raised £57.60

Sunday, July 5, 2015
We had time for one third and final visit to the swimming pool again today. I'm hoping that we can start to visit our local pool more often now that I am medically allowed and now that my confidence has returned.

Saturday, July 4, 2015
We returned to the swimming pool again today and now that my confidence has returned, I was able to enjoy it more. We reminisced a lot in the pool about our holidays before my illness which included many of the top waterparks in Florida including Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon and Aquatica. Hopefully we can enjoy trips to the USA again soon.

Friday, July 3 2015
We went to the beach today and had great fun. To say that this week is still classed as out-of-season as children should (in theory) be at school, it is shocking to see how busy places are becoming and how many children have taken time off school to go on holiday.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Another milestone was reached today as I went swimming. Not swimming as in lengths because it is a family activity pool but swimming in the sense of entering chlorinated water for the first time since 2013. We consulted my doctor beforehand who advised that it would now be ok for me to go swimming.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
We went a really long walk along the seafront and the harbour today - smashing all previous walking targets I have achieved. In hindsight it was probably too far I my legs and feet were killing and I was zapped of energy. I was well in need of a good rest and sit down.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
I'm probably getting more exercise than ever before this week - I easily toppled the 10,000 (5km) steps-per-day target today. The sun is proving to be a little bit of a problem as it is so strong and I burn so easily.

Monday, June 29, 2015
I apologise to anyone who has been wondering why the diary was a little late being completed this week. The truth is that we have been away for the week which means limited internet access - plus I don't like to publicise my absence too much. I am writing all of the entries dated June 29 - July 5 in one session.

Sunday, June 28, 2015
My health is probably the best it has been now for the past few months. I have to be careful in the sun and I've noticed some reaction on my body to some specialist (and expensive) sun creams. I therefore resorted back to off the shelf sun products with a high factor 50 SPF rating. I'm a huge fan of hot weather and the sun but I have to be more careful nowadays. 

Saturday, June 27,2015
I'm keen to press ahead with the Anthony Nolan #DestinationCure campaign. I continue to help through social media but feel there is probably more that can be done.

Friday, June 26, 2015
I've sent my first two boxes of foreign coins off today to Leukaemia CARE - around 4.5kg worth of coins plus a few notes. In the past week I've also posted around five envelopes of stamps to the same charity.

Thursday, June 25, 2015
I'm continuing to try and help promote the Anthony Nolan 'Destination Cure' campaign. I'm still waiting to hear back from my MP so in the meantime I am continuing to help by promoting via social media.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
The Cure Leukaemia London to Paris cycling ride has been a success and will have raised thousands of pounds for the charity.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Leukaemia has been hitting the headlines in the past few days as a popular television newsreader is in urgent need of a stem cell donor. It's never pleasing to hear of these desperate appeals for appeals as they prove there is a still a lack of donors on the register.

Monday, June 22, 2015
The article on the Destination Cure campaign appeared in today's Burton Mail to help promote and boost the work being done by Anthony Nolan.



Sunday, June 21, 2015
I've had a sudden influx of used postage stamps for my collection for Leukaemia CARE. A new system of collecting and posting the stamps now means that the charity receives more money per kilo of stamps than previously.

Saturday, June 20, 2015
II'm hoping that progress is being made with Anthony Nolan's #DestinationCure campaign. I have written a detailed letter to my MP Andrew Griffiths and hope that he will back the campaign. A story line on Casualty tonight - a patient with leukaemia diagnosed with just weeks to live - shows that even in the world of television, leukaemia is an important issue.

Friday, June 19, 2015
The hospital certainly works very fast as I have my next follow-up appointment sorted and booked already. I have until December to wait for one appointment but this is just a progress check on my side-effects.

Thursday, June 18, 2015
I'd like to wish all the riders taking part in the London to Paris cycle ride the very best of luck. This charity ride will help to raise vital funds for Cure Leukaemia. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
It was a very busy day at the hospital with two appointments and a visit to the pharmacy required. All of my results are still very good and as the weight I unexpectedly gained has started to fall off, everything is looking good. 
As Leukaemia CARE couldn't find the right candidate to please the This Morning producers, the charity didn't receive any televised coverage today.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
I was asked by Leukaemia CARE if I could help them a project they have planned for tomorrow. Part of this would include appearing on the This Morning show. Unfortunately, as I have two hospital appointments tomorrow, I cannot make it to London for 9am.

Monday, June 15, 2015
As the #DestinationCure campaign was officially launched today I dedicated a lot of time to helping to promote the project.- both on social media and by writing a detailed letter to my MP.

Sunday, June 14, 2015
A new report is due to be published tomorrow by the charity Anthony Nolan. The report is calling on the Government to take action and help improve blood cancer survival rates. The three key aims of the report are:
1. To urge the Government to invest in the UK stem cell donor register and cord blood programme.
2.  To urge the Government to provide the right infrastructure and support for innovative medical research.

3.  To urge the Government to guarantee every patient the long-term care and support they need.

Saturday, June 13, 2015
Some of the side-effects I have been suffering with on-and-off over the past couple of weeks are starting to ease and I'm feeling fit and healthy. I've managed to escape burning myself to a crisp in the recent mini heatwave and my energy levels are improving.

Friday, June 12, 2015
My foreign coin collection for Leukaemia CARE is starting to gather momentum - some readers have already filled their boxes and so I hope to be able to arrange a courier collection next week.

Thursday, June 11, 2015
My follow-up appointment as a result of my appointment on Tuesday has come through already. It's another Tuesday appointment which always creates a bit of a problem with Stephen trying to secure the time off work.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
It was nice to spend time out today on a day trip to get a little exercise and fresh air. As the weather has been very sunny over the past couple of days, I had to plaster myself in factor 50 sun cream.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
We've been to the hospital again today - an unusual Tuesday appointment which means Stephen had to take time off work. The appointment was to discuss some of the side-effects I have experienced over the past few months. I'm happy with the outcome of today's appointment.

Monday, June 8, 2015
The call for foreign coin collection boxes continues and Stephen has been out and about dropping them off to people who have requested them. Between us all, we should be able to generate quite a few coins for Leukaemia CARE. If you would like your own box, please get in touch. Stephen can be contacted at work on 01283 524868.

Sunday, June 7, 2015
The call for blood donors continues. It's good to see that the campaign is getting lots of national attention with newspaper stories and a high-profile Facebook and Twitter campaign.

Saturday, June 6, 2015
I'm in the newspaper again today calling for more people to come forward as blood donors but also calling for a rethink on how we can make the process easier. You should be able to give blood as easy as you can get your flu jab at the chemist or supermarket.
It's also a year today since I won the Touch FM Pride of Burton Award.



Friday, June 5, 2015
It's been revealed that there is a massive shortage of blood donors in the UK. I'm a big campaigner for blood donation and so have been speaking to the Burton Mail again today about a story they are planning for tomorrow on the issue.

Thursday, June 4, 2015
The good weather continues and so does my sensitivity to the sun. I've been forced to find the sun cream today - not because I am out on the lounger sun bathing, just because I cannot walk outside without being burned.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
I'm beginning to see how sensitive my skin now is when it comes to the sun. This spell of hot weather is glorious but I burn so easy. I only went to the washing line today and already my skin started to turn red. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy has caused my skin to become prone to burning.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Foreign coins and notes are starting to arrive at the Burton Mail for my latest collection for Leukaemia CARE. I've ordered some more collection boxes from the agency which is overseeing the project. If you would like your own collection box, please get in touch with me via Facebook, Twitter or email:
stephenkatherine45@gmail.com

Monday, June 1, 2015
I'm slowly recovering after another busy weekend. I've been on another walk today to try and further increase my energy levels.

Sunday, May 31, 2015
I'm absolutely shattered. Yesterday was a very long and tiring day as we had to be in Birmingham by around 9.30am and then was on the go continuously until around 4pm.
I think my daily walks have taken a toll on my energy and so when you add an event like yesterday to the mix, it's just exhausting.

Saturday, May 30, 2015
We've spent the day in Birmingham taking around 700 photographs of the Brindley Place Dragon Boat Races. The main charity partner this year is Cure Leukaemia who should raise around £100,000 from the event. We photographed the races as well as Cure Leukaemia patron Adrian Chiles addressing the audience. It's been a very long and tiring day.




Friday, May 29, 2015
I'm continuing to support Delete Blood Cancer by speaking about my experiences and by talking about the importance of people signing up to the stem cell register. I've supplied the charity with some words and photos in preparation for a piece on their website.




Thursday, May 28, 2015
Today is World Blood Cancer Awareness day and therefore I am helping as much as I can to spread the message about the signs and symptoms of leukeamia and the importance of becoming a stem cell donor. I've been in talks today with the Delete Blood Cancer charity and they are looking at running a piece about me. I appear in the Burton Mail again today to promote the awareness-raising day.








Wednesday, May 27, 2015
My foreign coin collection scheme appears in today's Ashbourne News Telegraph as I try and spread the word further. As coins start to arrive at the Burton Mail offices, we have sent 12 boxes out to friends in the Birmingham area who are helping us to collect.




Tuesday, May 26, 2015
In an effort to increase my stamina and get me out and about, I'm starting to do daily walks. I have a pedometer style app on my phone which helps track my progress each day. With a canal nearby and various routes in mind, I have various routes of differing lengths depending on how I feel and depending on the weather.

Monday, May 25, 2015
This week promises to be a busy week as my coin collection has now been officially launched - plus it's World Blood Cancer Awareness Day on Thursday. And then at the weekend it's the dragon boat races along the canal in Birmingham - for which Cure Leukaemia is the leading charity this year.

Sunday, May 24, 2015
My foreign currency collection scheme for Leukaemia CARE is already proving popular - we've already got eight boxes being sent to the Birmingham-area thanks to friends on the motorcycling community. 
If anyone wants a box to start their own collection, please contact me:
Click here to email me.

Read the Burton Mail story on the campaign here:





Saturday, May 23, 2015
My foreign currency fund-raising scheme was officially launched today in the Burton Mail with a publicity article. I can now start to promote the scheme on social media.
I'm after any spare foreign currency you have and if you have a lot, I can even arrange for the agency to send a box directly to you. These boxes contain everything you need to collect - bubble wrap, money bags and sticky tape. They are delivered and collected free - all you have to do is fill it with foreign coins and notes.






Friday, May 22, 2015
Next Thursday it is World Blood Cancer Day. I am in the process now of trying to determine what I can do to help promote and support the event. The main theme of the event is to raise awareness of 'togetherness' and so the symbol chosen to represent the day is the ampersand symbol (the fancy 'and' sign) = &




Thursday, May 21, 2015
The latest box of stamps was posted today to Leukaemia CARE. The Ashbourne News Telegraph is planning an update on me next week to help further promote the new foreign coin scheme so I am hoping for a good response.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
My latest fund-raising initiative gets underway today as we've prepared a story and images to promote my foreign coin collection scheme. The idea is simple - if you have been on holiday recently you will no doubt have a pocket full of small change. This cannot be exchanged at the travel agent back to British pounds and so you are left with a handful of useless coins. It's this foreign currency I want as I can turn it into cash for Leukaemia CARE.






Tuesday, May 19, 2015
I've been busy sorting and packaging the latest collection of stamps in preparation for sending them to Leukaemia CARE. I estimate this latest batch is around 3kg but includes some very old stamps which will significantly increase the overall value.

Monday, May 18, 2015
Today I received a huge batch of stamps from the Ashbourne News Telegraph offices - their readers have been eagerly collecting on my behalf. Within one of the envelopes I discovered a loom band featuring the name 'Katie' which I can only presume was a gift for myself. Many thanks for your thoughts.




Sunday, May 17, 2015
It was the third annual Stephen Sutton charity motorcycle ride today and so we were on photograph duties. The ride left Lichfield Rugby Club before heading out towards Alrewas and back around to Burntwood. We took hundreds of pictures as usual - hopefully the event raised a lot of money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.




Saturday, May 16, 2015
Following my usual pattern, a day out yesterday means I am feeling tired today. We did however manage to get out and about a little and I caught the sun - which isn't good news. My tablets and treatment mean I now burn so much easier and despite my precautions, the sun caught me.

Friday, May 15, 2015
In what is a rare day out for us, we went to Trentham Monkey Forest to mark our 12th anniversary of meeting. It was 12 years ago today that Stephen and I first met in Lichfield and so we decided to mark the occasion while tourist attractions such as the monkey forest are pretty much empty.




Thursday, May 14, 2015
Everything is starting to fall into place with regards to the foreign coin collection scheme I am starting with Leukaemia CARE. A story will be published in the coming days and we have some collection boxes coming from the agency who deals with turning the coins into cash for charity.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
It's the Cure Leukaemia dragon boat race in Birmingham in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping to help in someway on the day as we helped them secure the bid for the event just before Christmas.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
I'm trying to keep as active as possible and have downloaded a couple of step-counting apps for my smartphone. They have obvious disadvantages in that you have to keep your phone with you all of the time to get accurate readings but they help to give you a general idea as to your activity levels.

Monday May 11, 2015
My unusual stomach pains have just about disappeared. I now notice that any ailment I have, always stays with me for seven days and I am now getting to the end of seven days of discomfort.

Sunday, May 10, 2015
For the past seven to 10 days, I have been experiencing bouts of lower abdominal pain. This pain is intermittent making it hard to pin-point the exact pain or cause. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015
With all of the politics now out of the way, I can get back to campaigning about food hygiene scores. The delay some months ago was that there was an election looming. Now, hopefully, there isn't any excusable delay.

Friday, May 8, 2015
My recycling scheme looks set to extend to foreign coins in the next few weeks. Each time you come off a foreign holiday you accumulate a handful of foreign coins which are too small to change back to British pounds. This new recycling campaign will give you an outlet to give these foreign coins to charity.

Thursday, May 7, 2015
With the election now almost out of the way, it's back to work on various campaigns. We've been in talks today with the charity Leukaemia CARE regarding our stamp collection as we dispatched another 2.5kg worth today from the Burton Mail offices and have another couple of kilos due to arrive from the Ashbourne News Telegraph offices. We may now be able to extend the recycling campaign beyond stamps - keep your eyes peeled.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Many of the charities have been publishing their election wish-lists. Without turning too political, all of the charities are slightly worried as a new or changed Government could mean changes to the NHS or cancer treatment. Nobody knows what will happen - it's just a slight fear of what may or may not happen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
I've been dealing with the consumer watchdog Which? again regarding food hygiene scores. Progress at the moment has been slow because of the election - which appears to have taken over events for the past six months.

Monday, May 4, 2015
I'm pleased to see that the C Word has made such a huge impact. All press and media reviews are raving about the drama - while at the same time it has helped to raise awareness of cancer, its treatment, the impact cancer has on the family, and its deadly consequences.





Sunday, May 3, 2015
Today  is dominated by a television drama - The C Word.
Here's the post my husband published on Facebook following the 90 minute drama:


Just watched the best television drama we have seen in years. . . . The C Word.
It ranks as being the most accurate portrayal of cancer and its horrendous treatment ever publicised. It’s impossible to put into words the impact of this drama – but this isn’t television, this is real life.
As a couple, Katherine and myself where able to relate to every single one of the trials and tribulations of Lisa Lynch’s (Sheridan Smith’s) treatment.
We’ve suffered the life-shattering side-effects, we picked handfuls of hair from the plughole and used a sticky-roller to try and keep up with the constant battle with hair loss.
I’ve sat in the manager’s office arranging time off work, we’re cancelled pre-booked holidays and have been quoted eye-watering amounts for travel insurance since.
We’ve been stopped in the street by random strangers because they recognise Katherine’s photograph in the newspaper and read her daily diary.
We’ve also done a wedding with a wig.
And unfortunately, we’ve also learned of the deaths of some friends and followers you inevitably gain on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul Nicholls (playing Pete Lynch) and Sheridan Smith have just played out the past few years of our lives.

And within minutes of The C Word finishing, the BBC 10 O’clock News starts with more of the endless political back-slapping and back-stabbing which has dominated our televisions for months.

The C Word puts life into perspective.

As a bonus, Sheridan Smith now follows me on Twitter. What an amazing actress.

Saturday, May 2, 2015
For the first time in weeks I have started to feel relatively normal. It has been so busy over the past couple of months with a trip to London, our charity motorcycle ride and the marathon runners completing their fund-raising, it has been an epic everyday challenge.

Friday, May 1, 2015
As our marathon runners are keen to continue with the 'Run4Katherine' name and team, we've been in touch with the Anthony Nolan charity to discover what other events the team may be able to enter. With London under their belts, next time it could be Berlin or New York.