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First therapy appointment tomorrow

Hi ladies

After much thought I’ve decided to see a therapist tomorrow..my oncologist and nurse advised me to do so but I’ve been very reluctant

However I’m just bursting into tears all the time and feel rubbish..the first thing I think of when I wake up is that I have terminal cancer and I’m inconsolable..and angry and full of hate for people who don’t have this disease..especially my husband who seems to have embarked on a keep fit regime since my diagnosis..joined a gym pilates goes running..almost as if he’s showing off how great he is and makes me feel that I’m a write off

I’m ranting here so do apologise

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

I think you are making the right decision. I hope that seeing a therapist will help you to regain some balance and feel better about things.

The first thing I think about when I wake up is the cancer too, however much I try not to make it the focal point of my life. I know what you mean about feeling resentful towards others who don't have cancer. I don't normally have a problem with it until someone makes an issue of it. For example, my dad was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure. I know it's serious, as my mum had it, and we did what we could to help improve her health while she was alive. But when he was going on about not being in "perfect" health anymore I reminded him that we all have to deal with health issues at some point in our lives. I just had a head start on him! It can feel like people are bragging about their good health which is insensitive, but I don't think they always stop to see how it affects us. It is hurtful when this happens. I suggest you talk to your husband and let him know how you are feeling. Perhaps he is trying to keep fit so as to be able to do more to help you. What do you think?

Take care,

Sophie x

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Hi Sophie

Thanks for your speedy reply!!

As you said..therapy may help..I’m just so independent and keep stuff to myself so it goes against the grain!!

I’ll let you know how I get on tomorrow

I liked the old Barb not this one

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

You're welcome! I've had my tea, so am now relaxing with my cat, Jack, sprawled across my lap! Let me know how it goes tomorrow. I hope you will have a sympathetic therapist to speak to.

Sophie x

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I hope so

Aww Jack sounds a sweetie..one of mine goes out hunting a lot and the other (obese!) one sleeps all the time

I’ve just been to a yoga class and it took my mind off stuff for a bit

Barb xx

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Thanks, Barb. Jack is wonderful! He is so caring and nurturing. One of his nicknames is "Dad" as he always acts so concerned if we are home later than usual, and he likes to treat us like his children! I'm glad he is not a hunter. When we lived in Norfolk our house backed onto some woods. The cat we had at the time would go out hunting and bring "presents" back for us. He would line the mice up on the patio and if we ignored him, he would push them towards us, proud as punch!

I've got my monthly massage tomorrow afternoon, which I am looking forward to. Then I am planning to raid the health food shop and pick up some essential oils. Would you believe my local health food shop doesn't carry them?! Other than bread, and a few homemade treats, they don't have much in there. But I will applaud them on "Meet-up Tuesdays" where they serve free tea and biscuits to customers who want to stop by for a cuppa.

Sophie x

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Hi Sophie

Marmaduke only catches an occasional mouse or bird but I still don’t trust him with my new bunny!!.. I think the temptation would be too great..the fat lazy cat just can’t be bothered to do anything aggressive so she’s ok with the rabbit

They are a comfort though aren’t they?

Love my furry friends

All the best

Barb xx

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Morning Barb!

Marmaduke sounds like quite a character! I wouldn't trust him around your rabbit either. You just never know.

Right, I need to finish my breakfast, go to work and then I'm off to have my massage later this afternoon.

I hope your therapy session goes well.

Take care,

Sophie ❤

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Morning Sophie mthanjs for your good wishes..enjoy your massage later

Marmaduke is ginger which explains a lot!!

Barb xx

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Hi Barb!

Thank you. My massage went well. Then I dashed off to a health food shop before it got dark. Then £22 later... I only went in for essential oils! I also picked up some kombucha and hemp seeds.

How did your first therapy session go?

Have a good evening!

Sophie x

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Hi Sophie

It was ok..wasn’t sure what to expect..I just talked for ages and cried a bit and I’m seeing her next week..the day before my oncologist appointment

I think I’ll need more than one session to see if it helps or not

I buy essential oils from amazon..they’re good

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

That sounds like a positive start. Hopefully you have a good "feel" about her and are able to really connect. I hope your appointment with your oncologist goes well for you.

Sophie x

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Thank you Sophie

Xx

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You're welcome, Barb. I am seeing my oncologist in February.

Sophie x

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It’s never going to stop..appts scans bloods..just horrid

Barb xx

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I know what you mean. But in a way I am glad. A friend of mine who was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is doing well right now. But when her chemotherapy ended she felt like she had been abandoned. I feel like we are receiving regular care and attention, so if something does come up it can be treated more quickly. If everything was taken away right now and I was told to "get on with my life" I don't know how easy it would be for me to adjust. I hope that makes sense! x

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I sort of know what you mean..can’t have it both ways!!

I’ve just been discussing a family holiday with my husband..we’ve done it the last 2 years with the girls and their chaps..I get the impression he’s not too keen ..that makes me feel like I’m a burden or something..just texted the girls and they’re up for it

He’ll have many many years with them whereas I probably won’t..I’m mixed up over this or maybe just too sensitive

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

Maybe it's worth taking two holidays: one with your daughters and a couple's break with your husband if he isn't keen for you all to go together. I'm sure you are not viewed as a burden. Apparently, Queen Victoria preferred spending time with Prince Albert than their children, so maybe that's how your husband feels (Just nicer! I would have hated having her as my mother!)

I am planning to be around for many more years yet, and you should too! I keep saying that I am too busy to give in to this disease.

I'm going to have an early night, as I have a very busy day ahead tomorrow.

Take care,

Sophie ❤

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We’ve booked a family holiday!!

Bay of Naples..not far from sorrento..I love Italy

Barb xx

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Good for you, Barb! That will give you something to look forward to.

Sophie ❤

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Yes Sophie..more holidays are needed!!

Hope yours was amazing

Barb xx

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This is my last day in Iceland, Barb. We are leaving tomorrow evening. I should get home at around 11:00pm. I have had a great time, but I can't wait to see my cat, Jack, my family and friends again.

Sophie ❤

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Yes there’s no place like home!

Barb xx

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Please see a good therapist - what's the point of keeping things to yourself? And if they suggest anti-depressants, go for it. l know people feel different about this, but I believe they will help you enjoy your life. They certainly helped me when my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (and later died). They will not make you a zombie, or remove all feelings. They can take the edge off. And by the way - I hope you learn to like the "new Barb" -- she may be around for a while!

Technical note - I think it's more correct to say you have a "disease with no cure right now." I think "terminal" is used when there is nothing more they can do for you. I'm not sure what your situation is, but thought I'd point that out,

Hugs.

Christine

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Hi Christine

You’re so correct in what you say and now I’ve taken the first step to having some therapy I think I’ll feel better..it’s just not me!!!

Thank you for your post

Barb xx

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Thank you for Note of “ a disease with no cure vs a terminal illness”

I will keep this in mind. 😺

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Just want to add Christine said "disease with no cure right now."

"no cure" takes a whole different meaning when you ADD "right now".

Being truly hopeful and "pro-active" for a cure generates the "life affirming" positive energy needed for a MBC cure for us and for future generations, don't you think?

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Yeah, I don’t know if I’m that hopeful.

Part of my brain buys into the Top Dogs don’t want a cure out there, just pharmaceuticals.

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I signed up to see a therapist shortly after my diagnosis. I knew I couldn’t unload with my husband, sister, etc in ways I need to be able to say out loud. Also take tincture of CBD oil each night before bed. When anxiety really spikes, I take 1/2 Xanax. Like you I try to exercise to clear my head. But we are not super women and we need to embrace all the healing tools we can find. God speed.

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Hi Barb. I also think you are making a great decision. I have certainly seen the sadness tone in your posts and it is a noticeably change from older posts. I know that the winter and holiday season can affect all of us. I also know you are nervous for your scan results that I believe you will get this week. Just talking through your thoughts with someone will be beneficial and it's best to seek help before things get worst. Don't worry the old Barb will return. Hugs to you.

Sandra

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Hi Sandra

Thank you so much

I have definitely become sad more recently and I think it’s partly to do with worrying about the scan and the fact that my situation has recently ‘hit’ me with the reality of it all..initially I maybe assumed the meds would work for a few years and then I’d start another etc and all would work out fine..now doubt has crept in

Barb xx

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Barbteeth, we are all knocked for a loop with this diagnosis. Sometimes a thing is bigger than we are. This qualifies on so many levels. Left to our own thoughts, we can get really stuck and swirl the drain. How does anyone deal with their mortality, a new lifestyle that centers around doctors, meds and scans, with symptoms that change how you feel and how you feel about yourself? I hope you are matched with a therapist you respect and trust. A therapist can bring a professional, 3rd party perspective, help you sort through your feelings, and vent. When I went to therapy eons ago, it took my 3 or 4 intakes to find one I loved. Hopefully that won't be your experience, but don't give up if you don't mesh with the first one. As far as meds go, give it some thought if one is suggested. Again, there are so many types of antidepressants, you may have to switch or adjust dosages until you find what is right for you. I love what BlueEyedC said that this new Barbteeth may be around for a long time, so get acquainted and find the qualities and strengths you still have and the new ones you may have developed out of this experience. I join the others in saying you are doing the right thing for your physical and emotional health. Please let us know how the visit goes.

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Thank you so much..you always give good advice..I feel so selfish moaning about myself when you ladies are also struggling with the same feelings or similar

Barb xx

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Please don’t apologize. None of us should apologize for being sad, feeling useless, hopeless, angry. We earned the right and it’s better if we get it out. That’s why we’re on this site. We have each other. And I for one feel better if something I write helps anyone. Something good has to come of this lousy diagnosis.

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So very true

Barb xx

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Good day, Barb-

Your MBC friends here so understand your feelings! And especially about liking our “old” selves better than this new version were trying to manage. Lack of previous independence and spontaneity is a biggy, and none of us wishes to get accustomed to limited capabilities. But sometimes we must.

The anger you spoke of will surface-it’s a beast! We all have to figure a way to let it out while doing as little damage to us or others as possible. So the therapist may be a great choice.

I realize that my anger surfaces in clipped speech and harsh comments-another not like “me” effect of this challenge. I have learned that to keep it at bay I must keep a “do and don’t do” schedule or I lash out — from being overtired and considerably uncomfortable, I guess. So, I schedule activities one day, then plan a quiet day the next, centering my thoughts on the positives yet in my life. Doing so helps me gear up for the active days. So far this has worked for me, but if need a different management “helper” I will find one!

Hoping you are able to make good use of the therapist- We’ll be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. k

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Hi there

I think I’ll try to plan a bit better like you seem to do..I think I do too much sometimes then become exhausted and horrible to people..mainly my hubby!!

I’m still trying to be the old me

Barb xx

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I like that plan !

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Hi Barb

I’m sorry you’re going through a rough patch. I know what you mean by people flaunting their healthiness 🤪. Just try to be the the best you can be and that’s good enough. I’m lucky enough to have a very supportive boyfriend/ hubby. Maybe he could attend a session with you. Hope you enjoy a massage and a day off 💐

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Hi laura

Thank you for your kind reply

I’ll let you ladies know how I get in

Barb XX

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Im so sorry to hear you are having such a time. My husband is 52 and picture perfect health. He uses his health to help me though and i appreciate it so much. I have been fighting bc for 20 years. Mbc for 6+. I am currently bald for the 2nd time since 1999 and we dont care. We have been married since 2011 and i became metastatic in 2013. I was thin, long hair and etc. Now im 30+ pounds heavier and bald!

We used to go for 1-2 mile walks, hand i hand, every day since we met. Now im lucky to make it around a small block with my arm hooked into his elbow he holds out. It was hard for him to slow down for me. He had never been around illness before. (He never had kids either). But after a few years, he has it down good! He knows i need to rest. He knows i need to stay hydrated. He is very thoughtful.

I hope this happens for you and your husband too. You just have to find your new normal.

I try not to think of other people and their blessings or their burdens we can't see. I do get upset when i see a smoker. Oh to be so carefree!!!! I have seen so many "healthy" people die in all these years and i am still here. So i dont go there. We all have struggles and burdens eventually.

Anyways, i hope you have better days ahead. God bless.

Melissa

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Hi Melissa

You’re doing so well after 6 yrs mbc..hope I can do that as that would get me to 70

I was reading the Times this morning and it mentioned that the baby boomers generation (me) could expect now to live to be 90..haha I doubt that..I flung the paper on the floor in a temper

That’s the sort of thing that suddenly upsets me

Sounds like you and your hubby have a lovely relationship

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

Like the other ladies, I'm happy that you made the decision to see a therapist. I'm in this five years. Although I don't see a therapist now, I did for the first two years when, like you, I woke up every morning thinking...I have cancer, I have cancer. Couldn't stop thinking about it and crying constantly. Although I still struggle as each medication stops working, I have improved emotionally (to some degree).

I understand completely how you feel about your husband and his health. Same here. Mine just had his yearly physical. Told me all about his great health. Of course I want him to be disease free and live a long life (especially for my kids - 19, 23, and 25), but I find it so insensitive. He is just unable to empathize with my situation.

Hope your session goes well. I'm rooting for you.

Barbara

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Thank you for sharing this with us! I hope you will find a therapist that is a good match for you and that has experience working with people with advanced cancer or other life threatening conditions! I sure relate to your first thoughts in the morning -- that was true for me for months, seemed like forever--last thing at night, too. I was a clinical social worker (therapist) for 20 years. One of the things I learned is just how important it is for people to find a therapist that they are comfortable with and that understand the issues they are bringing to therapy. It can take more than one meeting to figure that out, but sometimes you just know right away intuitively. Another thing is that depression is often at least partly caused by a change in brain chemistry and a combination approach of anti-depressant medication and therapy is most likely to help. I don't know about anybody else, but there have been times in my life when I have been angry and felt as though I needed a physical release for the anger. I've hit pillows, used pillows to slam the bed or a sofa or chair and I've also torn up old newspapers and tossed them all over the place! Picking up the pieces then sort of helps me put myself, as well as the room, back together again, if that makes any sense! Both cancer and cancer treatment are challenging and can certainly change our brain chemistry as well as our world view. A friend with mets used to say it's like a huge roller coaster ride with a blindfold on! I hope you will be able to talk about the things that matter to you and get at least some peace of mind. Sending warm thoughts, prayers and good energy your way.......

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Hi Barb, I feel the same when I wake up in the morning. I say Omg I have terminal cancer. It takes me awhile to shake it. But I think you will find going to therapy one of the best decisions you will make dealing with this horrible situation. Like you I always kept things to myself but this is too over whelming. I thought I could handle everthing! Wrong! A therapist can listen and also give you tools to deal with everything! I pray you get a good therapist who can help you. I know for me getting a therapist was a Godsend I wish the same for you! Best wishes and hugs, Love, Marianne

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Barb, it is hard dealing with MBC . No one else totally understands our feelings. Good luck with the therapist. If you don't click with this one, try another one.

I wanted to ask you if the cement they put in your back helped? I fractured a vertebrae and if the brace doesn't work, that is what they are suggesting.

Hope all goes well with your appointment. Blessings, Hannah

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Hi Hannah

The cementing procedure wasn’t as good as I expected..I now have pain in a different area..instead of central over the vertebrae it’s now around the shoulder area..I fractured T5

The spine chap seemed to think massage would help so I’m trying that..I just take painkillers all the time..strength depends what I’m doing..sorry if that’s not what you wanted to hear..in hindsight I wish I’d never had it done but it may work better for you so don’t be put off by my experience

Barb xx

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Thanks Barb. The brace is helping. It is big and bulky but it does work. I wear it 2 or 3 hours a day. It wrinkles my clothes something terrible. Let us know how your appointment goes. Blessings, Hannah

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Hi hannah

I was never given a brace just given painkillers so I rode my horse on those!!!. I did have a radiotherapy session to start with as I was worried about the risks of the vertebraplasty and it helped slightly

I guess if your pain gets better then you need to have nothing done which would be brilliant so hope that happens for you

Barb xx

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So sorry you’re feeling this way. It’s good you are doing what you can control - therapy. For me, it’s good to remember that these feelings are temporary and will pass. In the moment, it can be hard to see it. I have a couple of friends who had good experiences w cognitive behavior therapy approach. It’s consciously retraining mind to put a stop sign on negative thoughts. Then retraining to make positive thoughts a “habit”.

You’re a brave, strong woman. ❤️

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Hi snowcone

Thank you for that..i don’t feel strong or brave at the moment but as you wisely said..these feelings will pass

I’ll see how I feel after another appointment with the therapist..and perhaps think about cbt..I’ve heard of it and maybe this therapist practice s it..I’ll ask next week

All the best to you

Barb xx

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Barb did you have your second therapy session yet? If so how did it go?

Sandra

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Hi Sandra

Well I think the first one must have helped as I haven’t been crying loads and I actually feel more positive

The second session was similar but I felt more at ease as I knew the surroundings and had met the therapist

I just talked ..even about stuff from years ago ..so I’m going again next week and see what I want to do after that

It can’t do me harm..except to my pocket!!!

Thanks for asking

Barb xx

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Wonderful to hear Barb. I think talking to someone that is totally subjective and is simply there to listen would be beneficial to anyone. Thanks for the update.

Now how about checking out that new vehicle? Just think how sharp you'd look driving to your appointments...lol.

Sandra

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Sandra you’re a bad influence!!!

Not had chance to look at cars..but will do soon..my birthdays next month..pressie to myself??

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

My worst time is first thing in the morning. It’s just hits me and I either cry or stare into space thinking all these horrible thoughts. I just feel defeated. I have to make it a point to take Ativan before I think. 😜

I just had my first therapy appointment on Monday. It felt good to be able to say and feel whatever I wanted without judgement or someone comparing their problems. My H says we don’t know who will die first. It could be him. I just hate when he says this and although it may be true it’s unlikely. So sthu! Oops did I just say that?

Maybe your H is exercising because it’s a release for him and he feels he needs to be strong for you. I wouldn’t want to be on either side of this.

I hope your appointment goes well and your therapist is a good fit. Sending you hugs. 🤗

Robin xo

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Hi

Yes my hubby has said the same when I was talking about making a will..still not done it yet!..saying he might die first..unlikely!!..anyway I know what you meant

I agree that waking up and remembering this predicament is the worst time and I often cry but then I say come on Barb get a shower and some lipstick on and get the painkillers down and stop feeling crap..difficult though some days!

Barb xx

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I know they are doing their best. My H cooks, does laundry and still will be up rubbing my back if I wake up in pain.

It’s hard to know what to say. 💕

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I guess they do what they’re able to do

Mine cooks a lot but tonight I’ve made lasagne..I only like my version..one of the few things I’m good at!!

Will indulge in a glass or two of red..why the hell not

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

What kind of lasagne is it? Can you share the recipe? I don't normally drink, but I am sipping a beer at the moment. My husband didn't like it, so I had a sip and decided to finish it!

Sophie x

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Good for you!!

My hubby is vegetarian so it’s made with quorn mince

Packet of quorn mince

1onion

Jar of passata

Tin of chopped tomatoes

Garlic basil black pepper

Glass of red wine

Fry garlic and onion in olive oil

Add quorn mince

Add passata tomatoes herbs wine and simmer for about 15 mins

Layer with lasagna sheets and cheese sauce in a baking dish

Top with grated Parmesan

Cook at 160 deg for 45mins

It’s really tasty and foolproof to make as I’m not much of a cook!!

Barb xx

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Thanks for the recipe, Barb! My husband is a die-hard carnivore, so he would want beef mince instead of quorn! I made an infusion of macaroni cheese chicken noodle soup yesterday and while he ate a bowl he said it would have been better with beef rather than chicken! I am sure you are a better cook than you think. I used to have a phobia of cookers (I'm not kidding. I was terrified) for most of my childhood and even into my 20s. I'll have to tell you about it sometime.

I'd better get to bed. I have a funeral to get to tomorrow morning,

Sophie x

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He used to be a carnivore but now he’s a holier than thou vegetarian..gets on my wick sometimes!!

Cooking doesn’t really interest me..think it stems from the days of rushing from work and doing kids meals etc..took the pleasure out of it

Cooker phobia??.. how intriguing!!

All the best

Barb xx

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Morning Barb!

My husband is from Montana in America, and he grew up hunting, so eating a lot of meat was ingrained in his culture. I respect that, as he has always hunted just for food, not sport. I wouldn't be able to tolerate hunting for sport. I don't like the judgements that come from some people who are vegan or vegetarian. They have made a choice, and that is up to them. I wouldn't like it if people judged me for what I eat either (not a lot of meat, and lots of fruit and vegetables).

My cooker phobia started when I was about 9 or so. My mum had just finished frying some potatoes for us and put the pan on top of the cooker so that it would be out of our way. Then my dad came into the kitchen (he's always been clumsy) and knocked the pan over, pouring hot oil over us. My brother got the worst of it. He lost all the skin on his hand. I just lost a little skin on my hand, chest and foot. Thankfully, we both healed, although you can still see some discoloured skin on my brother's hand. So from that time forward, I had a really hard time being around cookers, hot oil or anything like that. I would get flashbacks. Even now, I will not cook with oil. The idea of it splattering and burning me still scares me.

I'd better finish getting ready. I need to pop to the shops to buy some Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the funeral.

Have a good weekend,

Sophie x

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No wonder you have a phobia

Same thing happened to my auntie..hot fat went on her head and the hair never grew back on that part

How can you tell if someone’s a vegan?

Don’t worry they’ll let you know!!

Haha

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

Thank you! I am able to handle the phobia a lot better these days as long as I am not cooking with hot oil. I suppose in a way it's a good thing, as it means I have never cooked with it, so have eaten a healthier diet. I'm sorry to hear about your aunt. It is so traumatic when you have been burned with hot oil. You never really get over it. I can still remember crying and hearing my poor brother screaming in pain. But I am glad I can also remember what came afterwards when he returned from the hospital with his hand bandaged and how he gradually healed. My burns were more superficial, so I didn't need any hospital treatment.

I'm so glad the funeral went well. I haven't laughed so much at a funeral in ages. I don't look forward to funerals, but at least it was good to reflect on my friend's life and the good impact he had on others around him.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sophie

P.S. I liked the vegan joke! I like a lot of vegan and vegetarian food, but I know what you mean. You do get some people who judge those of us who don't share their views.

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I am seeing the oncology psychiatrist on Friday. My family doctor recommended it as we have tried so many different antidepressants. I have been taking one that works but it isn’t working so well lately. I am nervous to see him but I’m told everybody loves him.

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Hi Stacie

Just give it a go and see what you think

My sadness and mood swings are totally unpredictable..one minute I’m fine then I can just start blubbing

All the best..let us know how you get on

Barb xx

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They cancelled my appointment and rescheduled for February. Left me high and dry 😞

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Hi

That’s so annoying..bet you’re cross!

I don’t see an oncology therapist as such but she was recommended by the oncology clinic so I just went to her otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue who to see...I have to pay and insurance doesn’t cover it but don’t care about that..

Maybe they could recommend someone else?..

February isn’t too far away but when you’re geared up to see someone and it’s not happening then you must be very disappointed

All the best

Barb xx

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It was quicker to see the oncology psychiatrist and it is free. He works with cancer patients so has a better understanding. I have been really struggling the past couple of months and was counting on him to help. I just have to try and keep myself up enough to make it to the appointment.

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How many weeks till appointment?

Barb xx

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How are you doing Barb? I hope you are feeling better with thoughts and emotions. It can be very difficult at times. Just wanted you to know someone is thinking of you and sending you good vibes!

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Hi there

Thanks for your kind post

Yes I’ve seen my therapist 4 times now..I’m not crying so much and not obsessing about my situation all the time

I had a cry this morning as it’s my birthday next week and my hubby was asking what I wanted to do for it..I just said I wasn’t interested..rather churlish of me but I feel there’s not much to celebrate at the moment

Barb xx

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I see a psychologist nurse practitioner with my husband about once a month. We are going today and I look forward to our chats. I am on anxiety and anti depressants. And today I have a bad cold.

I suggest you see someone and if they don’t help you, try another person. You need to feel comfortable with them. Best to you.

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