Give to charity without costing me a penny

Since the day my consultant told me I had to give up driving my online shopping has increased tenfold. I purchase my weekly grocery shop online. The Sainsbury’s van could drive its way to our cottage on its own I’m sure. I have to admit I purchase nearly everything online, and from everywhere. I was so happy when I found out I was able to shop and give to charity without costing me a penny.

As most of my regular blog readers know I regularly attend Net natter support meetings with The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust. (TAECT) Scotland’s Neuroendocrine Cancer Charity. They are an invaluable support network as well as offer information days and zoom meetings. I got an email from TAECT letting me know that they had registered with Amazon Smile and Give as You Live.

So me being me, an avid online shopper and a huge supporter of TAECT started going onto Amazon Smile rather than my regular Amazon. I shop on Amazon frequently. I am an Amazon Prime customer and purchase several items per week. So thought it best to support the Charity. All I do is make a purchase as normal, pay the price like usual. The charity gets 0.5% of the sales every time I shop at no cost to me.

I then decided to register for Give a you live, its so simple. Register for free, and then shop online to different retailers. The retailer donates a percentage of sales to the charity. Its that simple. Companies that participate include, John Lewis, B & Q, Dunelm, H & M, Argos, Marks & Spencers, Pets at Home, Screwfix, Ebay, plus many many more. In only one week, I have shopped in John Lewis, Dunelm and Boden. £7.71 has been donated to charity without costing me any extra money.

Both schemes are a wonderful way to donate money to charity, there are a great deal of charities to choose from and many on your doorstep. All without leaving your arm chair and only for the cost of. the goods. Its a win win situation.

You can have a look at smile Amazon here. And Give as you live here. I’m sure you will agree they are both fabulous ways to help the income of charities.

So the next time you are going on Amazon to shop, instead of the regular Amazon, go on Amazon Smile. Register a charity and donate 0.5% every time you shop. If you are buying a gift for someone, treating yourself to something, getting a much needed product for the house, go through give as you live and donate a percentage to charity. It really is that simple and no extra cost to you at all.

First Person with Net Cancer that made me smile :)

Over 6 years ago I went to an information day hosted by   Scotland’s Neuroendocrine Cancer Charity; The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust  I went on to go to support meetings every month.  There is a group of us that have became friends and a firm support to each other, which is lovely.  Some days its good to be able to talk to someone that you know really understands how you feel and you never feel patronised when talking to each other and at times you really need that ‘I know how you feel’ conversation’

The first person I saw at the information day was such a lovely chap and his wife.  He was  smiling from ear to ear and guiding all participants that were going into the conference.  Despite having never meeting the man before you couldn’t help smiling back, he had the kindest gentle smile.  He would stretch out his very long arms and direct  you into the room.   We have became friends very quickly and seen each other at most meetings.  There is a nice core number of us that try and get together and blether and spend time together.  I have had help organising the tea party and we all went out to the theatre, day out on the barge, a night in my local pub, singing songs and doing magic tricks and said friend getting up and helping out with rope trick – oh boy we  had so much fun.    Norman was twenty years older than me and called me the youngster.  I felt he looked out for me in a way when we sat together, it was his nature.  When I organised the tea party, and my goodness what a lot of work went into it, he said, now young lady before we open the doors to the public you get half an hours shut eye.  Sometimes he would quietly talk and other times he would stretch his long arms like a giant and bellow what he wanted his audience to hear.  Norman’s first words to me were always and how are you today my dear, is life treating you kindly?  He would have that big grin on his face and it would warm my heart.   Although Norman was his own man, him and his wife came as a pair and they were very much together.  One of those most beautiful relationships each partner knows when the other has had enough and needs to leave, when they are tired, hungry etc.  They have the best tales to tell from their travels on holiday.  They separate across the room and yet communicate with just a glance and before you know it they have made a decision and you are saying cheerio to both of them, see you next time.

This blasted life limiting illness  at times imprisons us in our houses, makes one feel so ill you can’t do a thing, medication, hospital appointments, etc become a way of life – however, meeting each other and sharing some of the good and the bad really helps me get on with my journey.

I found out sad news last week, my pal passed away.   Norman was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer 13 years ago.  I feel privileged to have known him and spent time with him and Margaret for the last 6 years.  I was diagnosed with carcinoid syndrome 10 years ago, whilst a sad occasion like this leaves one thinking about our own mortality, I count every day as a blessing and am happy with the treatment and care I’m getting from my consultants, doctors and nurses.

Today was Norman’s funeral, unfortunately with the coronavirus the world has gone a little crazy.  We are on a lockdown situation and are living under certain restrictions.  Funeral services are allowed to go ahead, however are restricted to immediate family.  I was able to watch the service on a live podcast.  I sat in the comfort of my own home in front of the open fire and watched Norman’s funeral service.

Norman Boe was The First Person with Net Cancer that made me smile ūüôā  and I will miss him so very much.   Thank you for being my friend.

“Go my friend and enter into eternal joy and peace, dance with angels in eternal light and love”

Making The Most………

Wow its been a while since my fingers have tapped out a post.  To say I haven’t jotted down anything would not be true.  However, everything I have written recently has been very personal and Im not quite ready to share these thoughts.

It’s the beginning of July the last post was published in March.  Quite a lot has gone on in my life in the last 4 months.  The puppies have all grown, and gone to new homes.  They have left a footprint on my heart – they were jolly hard work but oh so lovely to have.  We kept one from the litter.  A stunning young lady.  We named her Bess.  And yes she is turning out to be just we hoped; a great combination of mum, Bella and dad, buddy.   Bess is already taking note to sit and wait when nurse Evelyn is attending to me.  She is intrigued in all the help that a grown up Labrador parent can be.  

We had the honour of attending and celebrating Sophie’s first Holy Communion in May.  What a wonderful day that was.  Alexandra and Grace were ever so happy to get into their dresses and drive through to Glasgow.   What a day to remember.  So happy, full of laughter and love.  Quite a memory.

Sophie trying to beat Stuart’s time completing the rubix cube. 

Sophie with Alexandra and Grace at her Holy Communion Celebration.

I felt far from my best in the last few months.  Seen my consultant, dietician, several hospital visits.  My wonderful nurses come to the house and cater to my needs.  I’ve lost weight which is a bit of a bummer.   My gastrostomy tube snapped which was slightly annoying- lovely staff from the hospital came out straight away with a new part.  Now that’s what I call service.   There has been a fault with the batch – there has been a run on broken tubes ūüėā 

On the 10th of each month I get the chance to meet up with net cancer patients.  Through the charity The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust.  We have a great time blethering away, sharing stories.  10th June my sister hazel drove me to haddington to meet up with the others for a coffee on a Saturday afternoon.  July 10th Steve and I went in style on steves BMW motorcycle to the evening meeting.  The meetings help me a great deal.  They give an opportunity to talk, share experience and most important be YOU.   Looking forward to the next one.  

Well I’ve Done It: I’m 50 :)

Well today its my birthday. ¬†I am half a century – the big 50. ¬†Many folk hide their age, dread being fifty and pretend their younger than they are. ¬†Me, I’m happy to be here. ¬†I feel privileged to say I have hit such a milestone. ¬†My fortieth decade was a mixed one. ¬†There was many happy events, lots of love and laughter which keeps me going. ¬†However, I ¬†also had to face a few difficult life challenging times which were so difficult.


Steve & Me

Happy to get up the castle



I had many occasions to have cause for celebration. ¬†Both my sons attended university in this decade furthered their education. ¬†Our delightful labradors, Buddy and Bella ¬†came into our lives; the unconditional love they give is amazing, I really can’t imagine my life without the hairy beasties. ¬†We delivered a litter of puppies from them, and have kept in touch with puppies and owners. ¬†Now made some lovely friends. ¬†Some wonderful children have been born in the last ten years who are really close to my heart. ¬†There have been a few very happy weddings. ¬†I have mad many new friends. ¬†Need I go on. ¬† Life is precious and for living, it is all too easy to get bogged down with our problems. ¬†On a personal level Steve and I are as much in love as we were when we were teenagers. ¬†I believe this is my weapon –¬†Love. ¬†

The one thing I am certain is in the last ten years I felt loved. ¬†The first five years were very difficult, I suddenly lost 3 stone in weight, felt very ill, and no-one seemed to know why was wrong with me. ¬†It took a while to get my health situation sorted out, but with the love of Steve, the boys and my parents I felt secure. ¬† I’ve had a few hairy moments been in hospital with septicaemia for 7 weeks, and boy was that scary. ¬†Now got my gastrostomy tube fitted. ¬†Life isn’t always easy with a stoma. ¬†Ive been admitted with several infections. ¬†However, its much better than it was, ¬†I have a fantastic medical team and nurses that come to the house which is fantastic. ¬†And I’m still here to tell the tale and thats whats important.

The second half of my forties were slightly more challenging than the first emotionally. ¬†Amongst other things: ¬†A very close uncle died, my youngest son had extensive brain surgery, my Mum died, my eldest son had meningitis, hubby had eye surgery for detached retina. ¬†But you know what we got through it all. ¬†The boys are doing well. ¬†Steve still has problems, and only had surgery last week again, but the brave bugger is dealing with it the only way he knows – full of courage – like a lion. ¬†It will be three years on the 9th August that Mum passed. ¬†I miss her every day. ¬†We had one of those relationships that we spoke or text every day. ¬†Mum wouldn’t want me moping around. ¬†She was a great character, a beautiful woman that I looked up to and admired.

One day in the consulting room at the hospital my professor handed me a card. ¬†It was for the NET Tumour Support Group that I now meet regularly with. ¬†. ¬†We have all became great friends. ¬†Sadly, one of the friends that I was very fond of passed away last year. ¬†However, I would rather have ¬†spent time with her, laughed, cried, etc, even for one year and then felt the pain of her loss than not have met her at all. ¬† we all meet regularly every month and have a great time. ¬†Its not doom and gloom, we meet at each others house or in the pub. ¬†Partners, friends, carers go too. ¬†You can have a look at the charity’s website to see what work they do: ¬† ¬†I’m looking forward to helping organise the tea party in Pencaitland in November for NET Cancer Day.

I’ve had cards delivered for my 50th birthday. ¬†Including cards from friends in the Net group which is lovely. ¬†One of my friends in the group, Barbara was very thoughtful, because my eating is restricted, she made me a flower birthday cake. ¬†I could have cried, its so beautiful.

Looking forward to spending my 50’s ¬†with Steve. ¬†Doing what I enjoy. ¬†Taking photos, ¬†writing, cuddling my labs, crafting, etc. ¬†My big aim is to get back into baking and cooking, just because I’m not eating as I did doesn’t mean I should stop what I love. ¬†I got a beautiful mixer last year and boy is it going to get its ass worked off now that I have got over that hurdle. ¬† ¬†Have a great weekend guys. ¬†After Ive finished my treatment today My hubby is taking me to The Edinburgh Festival tonight and tomorrow night. ¬†Tonight its Craig Hill, tomorrow its Nina Conti



Dying To Look Good

You look great – ¬†that’s the words we all long to hear. ¬†We all want to look our best. ¬†Whether we are nipping to the supermarket, having a lazy day, ¬†or going out for dinner. ¬†The last thing I want is folk to be surprised that I look normal”

So why is it that there are times when people say certain phrases to me that can set my tummy into turmoil and make me feel guilty for having an illness.  These words are usually said in such an innocent manner and no malice is ever meant.   Sometimes I can get upset by what has been said to me, regardless of how harmless the conversation is.  The person paying the compliment is usually always blameless.

The conversations and body language that are directed to me are intended to be kind and gentle. ¬†A gentle hand stroking my arm and the words that first come out how are you keeping? ¬†¬† One of the ladies in our support network group particularly doesn’t like this phrase. ¬†I have spoken to many people whilst I have been in hospital and yes they are affected by what’s said too. ¬†Certain words affect folks more than others, the word¬†keeping was one that some found hard to deal with. ¬† I’m not quite sure why, as I say it’s always said with such niavity. ¬†Perhaps it’s because the word keeping is associated with custody and criminal. ¬†Many people with with chronic illnesses have life changing situations after their diagnosis and can often feel like a prisoner in their own home and need the help of others. ¬†Maybe this is a possibility why keeping is not liked by this person. ¬†I can’t go out on my own, and I’m very grateful for the help I get, not feeling sorry for myself – promise ūüėė.

Most of the time words said don’t bother me too much at all. ¬†I can put them in a box and breathe. ¬†What really drives me crazy is the tone that the ¬†conversation is spoken to me in. ¬†The very pitch can affect my mood, and hence a knock on affect on my health. ¬†Most days I will banter and have fun, if something is said in a teasing manner I will take it like water off a ducks back. ¬†However if I’m having a difficult day the slightest thing will reduce me to tears.

So why do we want to look good? ¬†– why not? ¬†I personally want to look like my old self. ¬†I want to be my husband’s wife ūüíē. ¬† My wonderful staff at Ninewells hospital in Dundee have specially manufactured coloured cream for my skin to put on every day. ¬†The transformation is fantastic. ¬†It covers every blemish, wrinkle, gives me a lovely colour. ¬†And it looks so natural. Once it’s on properly you wouldn’t know I had cream on. ¬† For me it takes a lot of work to look “normal” – I smear my entire body in several creams three times a day. ¬†Steve’s cousin Anna commented on how much work it was and how good the transformation the Dundee cream made – this actually made me feel good that she was so open.

The good thing about the chronic illness. ¬†It’s on the inside. ¬†We can cover it up. ¬†Put on the war paint and put on a smile ūüėÄūüėÄ ¬†it’s good to smile, it’s infectious. Smile and the world smiles with you. ¬†When you are all dressed and tried your hardest to look good, whether you are dressed to the nines or in a tracksuit, and have make up on or not. ¬†If I am happy I always look better. ¬†I know I am loved and this certainly makes me happy. ¬† ¬†It can be hard to look good for anyone at anytime but I will say my family and friends do make my life much better.

I love to buy and get treated to nice clothes and accessories. ¬†My favourites are Ragamuffin, Fatface, Michael kors, Pandora. ¬†My hubby, Steve is so good to me. ¬†Steve wants to treat me and make me feel good, he is the one that sees me feeling so rubbish at home. And puts up with my grumpy pants sulking moods ūüėāūüėā – for my sake just as well he loves me.


Our Support Group Has A New Website

When a patient with carcinoid syndrome, Ann Edgar and Endocrine Consultant, Professor Park Strachan,  got their heads together a very much needed charity was set up in Scotland:  The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust.

The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust (TAECT) is Scotland’s only dedicated charity to help and support those affected with neuroendocrine cancer and tumours and carcinoid syndrome. ¬†It’s other main aims are to educate and promote awareness.

The South east of Scotland already has a wonderful support network set up. ¬†We regularly meet on the 10th of each month. ¬†We try to have a variety of meetings to cater for all walks of life and age. ¬†Sometimes it’s lunch at Lauriston Farm, or a quiet drink at a bar in Edinburgh. ¬†We have all met at a fellow patients house for afternoon tea and enjoyed lovely sandwiches and cakes. ¬†June is a craft fair with home baking to which general public can attend, and July we are going to a garden party at Barbara and Alister’s house. ¬†Looking forward to the home baking and beautiful gardens as well as seeing the lovely friends I have made. ¬†It’s certainly not doom and gloom, the room is always filled with laughter.

Steve and I attend the meetings regularly and look forward to going to them. ¬†We have genuinely made some lovely friends. ¬†It’s good to be able to say you actually enjoy the company of the others, I have missed some due to being in hospital with this damn infection. ¬†I can honestly say there isn’t anyone that wallows in self pity or looks for sympathy. ¬†We are a mixed bunch with lots of stories to tell. ¬†There is always someone willing to offer some advice without being pretentious.

Yesterday 26 May 2016 a brand new website was launched.  And I think it looks pretty cool. All comments are welcome.
You can see the website at

Please have a surf, the site has useful information and I would love to know what you think of it.


Where Did The Month Go?

Already its the 26th of January.¬† Not many days left and it will be February.¬† For me January has mixed emotions.¬† The 24th of the month is my beloved Mother’s birthday.¬† She passed away in the August – the first birthday she wasn’t here for was her 80th.¬† She was so looking forward to turning 80.¬† My Mum loved life to the full and all of us¬†that surrounded her.¬† There is not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think about her.¬† We share many conversations about Mum and many a time we talk as if she is in the next room and is going to walk in at any time.¬† I guess I wish this¬†to be¬†true.

I have had Steve for company a few extra days this month.¬† I’ve had a visit from my friend Louise, visit from Jennifer & Scott.¬† Hazel has been down a couple of times.¬† Both our sons, Tony and Stuart¬†have visited and stayed for dinner.¬† These visitors¬†keep my spirits up, and turn my frown upside down, make me laugh and¬†share stories.¬† The clock hands appear to move even faster than normal when visitors come to Nisbet


Steve has taken me to visit my Dad on a few occasions this month.¬† A couple of times I’ve seen my brother Brian and his wife Margaret at Dads. ¬†I’ve also met up with my brother Albert and niece Chiara and my sister Helen & ¬†nephew Brandon, and on the last visit to see my Dad I saw Lindsay, Stephen, Sophie, Louis & Patrick.

We have managed a couple of social outings Рentertained by The Domestics at The Dalriada in Edinburgh and met up with Susan and Ian from Dumfies and Galloway for a couple of hours.  We also met up with folks affected with NETS.  The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust is a Scottish Charity Рit offers NET Natter Meetings once a month Рwhich has became fairly popular.  The meeting on 10th January was busy and a few members were keen on the idea of helping out at a craft fair, raising awareness of NETS and carcinoid syndrome and funds for the charity.  One of the members, Barbara,  brought along a peg doll she made, we have since called her Ziggy Zebra.  This inspired me to make a zebra fabric memory board.

I haven’t been feeling too grand the blasted peg is still leaking, and when I say leaking it’s a tad more than a dripping tap that’s for sure. ¬†It started to get bad nearly two weeks ago and get really painful again, my tummy is swollen like a football and the discharge a putrid offensive smell, resembling our septic tank.¬† My nurse took one look at it and said get the doctor to look at this young lady.¬† The GP saw me that day.¬† She took a swab of the discharge and blood tests.¬† It was a Friday – I felt awful.¬† I had a quiet weekend at home.¬† Monday morning at approximately 1130am the telephone rang, it was the GP, I have had the lab on the phone.¬† She said.¬† Both your swab and blood tests have shown you have an infection.¬† I will write you a prescription for antibiotics and get it to the chemist for you for today.¬† We had a discussion on the phone how I was feeling, etc.

One week later and the discharge is not any better.¬† Infact¬†I will go so far to say it looks worse and the pain at times is far more than sore or uncomfortable its aching and sometimes almost unbearable ūüė¶¬† My nurse is in regularly to change my dressings and see how I am.¬† How long the nurse is in to see me varies.¬† It depends how I am both physically and mentally.¬† All the nurses are always very thorough and look after you very well.¬† On some days the nurse gives you the lift you need.¬† This particular day she advised me to go back to the GP. Back down to the surgery for another appointment.¬† Doctor agrees it looks worse that the last time she saw it.¬† She thinks the best plan of action is another week of antibiotics in the hope it will lift the infection.¬† Fingers crossed it does.¬† If there is still smelly discharge once the antibiotics are finished – go down to the surgery and get it swabbed.¬† I started the second week on Tuesday, today is Friday – I have had 2 of 4 doses today.¬† No difference yet.¬† Really hope it clears up over the weekend.

It was lanreotide week second week of January so on one of my nurse visits she gave me my lanreotide injection.¬†¬†¬† This helps stop me shitting myself and cuts down the flushing on my face and neck.¬† My next injection is due this coming Wednesday and the nurse I like doing the injection best is off on annual leave.¬† I know I will be in very capable hands – but I cant help wondering who I will get.¬† I can see it now¬†– ¬†On that day –¬† my treatment injection will be laid out ready for the nurse to administer.¬† Bella will hear the car, think she knows who it is, wag her tail, run to the door, when she sees its someone else, she will run with her tail between her legs up the hall and onto my bed….

Despite this nasty recurrent infection its not all doom and gloom for the first month of 2016.  Steve and I have booked a week in Ibiza in June,  when my community dietican was here at the house for my 4 weekly home visit a few days ago we discussed how she can help with giving me a letter for the airline/travel company explaining the need for my pump, syringes, feed, etc.  I will also get it translated into Spanish. She is easy to get on with, very friendly and makes me laugh.

We also have Lindsay and Stephens wedding to look forward to.  This is a festival wedding Рit is in June.  The week after we come back from Ibiza.

Steve and I will¬†both will be celebrating our 50th birthdays:¬† Steve in June, Me in August. ¬† We are having a party for Steve.¬† I like to go to a party¬† -just don’t like to have a party for me.¬† Its our 30th wedding anniversary in August.

Before all these wonderful things in the summer.¬† I’ve got to rid this infection, hopefully the hole will close up round the peg site.¬† I would love to get some more energy if possible.¬† I have a hospital admission in March in Ninewells, Dundee for 5 days for my photosensitivity.¬† Dundee is the only hospital in Scotland with a photobiology unit.¬† I am also scheduled to see Professor Martyn Caplin at The Neuroendocrine Tumour Clinic at The Royal Free Hospital, London. in April.

This week coming is busy enough: nurse coming in to do my dressings on Monday, Wednesday nurse is coming do my dressings and administer my lantreotide injection.  Steve has the eye pavilion hospital for a check up after his retina eye surgery.  Thursday РI have an appointment with my endocrinologist, Professor Mark Strachan.  Think I will have a rest on Friday.

Its been a mixed month.¬†¬† At times I have been feeling really rotten and no matter where I have been I could lie down on the floor and lie in the foetal position.¬† There is nothing too much I can do about how I feel physically.¬† All I can do is take it easy, rest up when my body tell me to.¬† Mentally I try and keep myself upbeat and on top of things.¬† What’s the best remedy if¬†you feel low mentally?? For Me¬† Keeping busy helps.¬† Going to Nets Scotland AECT Net Natter Meeting and talking to others.¬†Having a warm bath. My biggest love of all – taking photographs.¬† Writing.¬† Baking.¬† I’m very fortunate, I find it easy enough to talk and say how I feel.¬† Its natural for everyone to feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders at¬†some time, ¬†its how we deal with that weight that matters.