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February Chemo Starters 2018

Katiebash
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

I've found the waiting almost unbearable ... it's amazing how chilled I have been knowing that treatment has started ... it sounds weird to say I'm looking forward to my second chemo next week ... then I'll be a third of the way through chemo ... x

Katiebash
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Wee Burd ... love your name 😂..... I'm the same as you 1 down only 5 to go😂... sorry to hear you're feeling a bit ropey today ..rest up and drink plenty of water .. I'm sure you'll feel better soon x

Wee Burd
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Katiebash looks like you have a lot ahead. I know exactly what you mean about the waiting. It was good just to get started and know it's under way.
Katiebash
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Bibi .. yes it looks like we are on the same chemo etc ... my 2nd chemo is a week today ... tbh it can't come quick enough .. I feel so much happier now that treatment has started .. hope we can help and support each other x

Katiebash
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks Sue .. I'm looking forward to making many friends on my journey 

Wee Burd
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi all, 1 down only 5 to go! Feeling a bit ropey today but had a reasonable night. Just taking things easy. Macneech I hope things go well today. I opted for the cold cap. Found it was okay. Looked like something out of Dr. Who! Hope everyone is doing okay x
Sue C
Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Ladies

How are we this morning?

Sue xx

Bibi
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Katie - you are on same journey as me -good luck and hope you stay well with few side effects. 

Sue C
Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Katie

And welcome to the thread. This is a good place to come for support and to share tips.

Glad you're managing well.

Please ask if you have any questions.

Sue xx

Katiebash
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

I was diagnosed with grade 2 invasive ductal Breast  cancer  on 13th December and had my first chemo on 1st February ..second due on the 22nd Feb. I am considering myself very lucky as so far the only side effects I have had is extreme tiredness. I'm scheduled for 6 sessions of chemo followed by surgery then 3 weeks radiotherapy. It's good to be able to speak to others in the same position 

Wee Burd
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Jude51 thanks - the appointment went well and I am all set to start at 2pm tomorrow. Our night out was excellent. Faces sore from laughing so just what we needed to take our minds off everything. Also decided to have the Valentine's meal tonight just in case I don't feel like it tomorrow night. Great way to relax before the treatment starts. Feeling positive.
jude51
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Wee Burd - hope your oncology appt went ok today and you are enjoying your night out. Good luck for tomorrow xx

Sue C
Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Chrissy

Sending a hug xx

If the meds that you have been given aren't effective, tell your chemo team and this can be changed. Please don't suffer in silence.

Sue xx

Bibi
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hope you feel better soon Chrissy , rest and let your body recover xxxx

jude51
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Good to hear from you Chrissy - take care and catch up when you feel up to it xx

Chrissy68
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hello everyone I didn’t want you worrying about me and thank you for your comments.

I won’t say much as I had a very sick night and I’m in bed all day today as feel rough. But I won’t say to much as the other girls are about to start chemo and remember everyone is different especially me !!

will write more when feeling better. Take care all of you xx

chrissy x

Flora29
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks Jude. The one I’ve got from waitrose is the Biotiful one, cherry flavour. I haven’t come across Riazhenka but will look out for it. Their Quark sounds intriguing too.

And you’re welcome, re: the donation. Good for you on taking control of the hair loss. I did that by cutting mine shorter a couple of weeks ago. I’m focusing on being ‘lucky’ I only have 4 cycles to get through, so it will start growing back before I know it. I don’t mind losing it, so much, but the regrowth last time takes a while and it came back curly for a good while. And this time it will be even more grey!!
jude51
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Wee Burd - you sound like you have everything in place, very organised ! I agree about the work situation. I worked right up to the day before surgery but also realised that my concentration was going - too much whizzing about in my brain. I have missed the routine of going to work but having been off work now for 2 months I think i have finally got used to this being at home and have enjoyed a lovely day gardening today.

 

Oh yes Flora - forgot to say i have kefir every day. I love the Bio-tiful range especially the Riazhenka  - slightly less ascidic than the original. It has loads of gut friendly bacteria and isnt loaded with sugar or sweeteners like Yakult etc. Will also ask about the Loraditine at my next appt  - could do with getting on top of that.

And thank you so much for the donation - very kind of you x

 

Chrissy - hope today went ok xx

Flora29
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Wee Bird, and welcome.

And Chrissy, I hope today went well for you xxx

 

Sue, my oncology team said that paracetamol is OK, but you need to take your temperature before you take it if you're concerned you might be unwell.   But they haven't said not to take it.   I took a combo of paracetamol & brufen for pretty much the whole of last week (carefully timed and counted), as I ached quite a lot. 

 

Like you all, I'm just trying to eat a healthy and varied diet.  I'm trying to reduce bread, potatoes, rice, pasta etc to lose a bit of weight anyway, so swapping out for healthier vegetables and bulgur wheat.   But I'm not a fan of a fad diet or 'miracle' cures.  Some people swear by manuka honey, but I think it has to be a high grade to be any use.   This article gives a bit more info: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/manuka-honey-medicinal-uses#2 

 

One thing I am trying is Kefir - too much listening to The Archers, and then Waitrose started stocking it!   It's a bit like those probiotic drinks, I think.  Tasty, anyway!! 

 

For round 2, I'm going to try having both kefir and loratadine (antihistamine) for the few days before, during and after, and see if that helps with side effects.  https://www.oncologynurseadvisor.com/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-bone-pain-loratadine-reduces-treatm... "The authors concluded, “[g]iven its tolerability, its ease of administration, and its potential benefit, treatment with loratadine should be considered to help prevent bone pain in patients receiving chemotherapy and pegfilgrastim.” "

Wee Burd
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Macneech thanks for the good vibes - hope all goes well for you too. Hopefully after the first one is done things won't be as scary ❤
Macneech
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Welcome Wee Bird.I start FEC thursday and like you am a bit bamboozled re cold cap.Shall I, shan't l. Was thinking taking paracetamol and Brufen before although have read not allowed first session as could mask a reaction.With my nurse head on l am thinking what (was it Sue) says it is probably the paracetamol thats the issue as masks a temperature rather than the Brufen - so Brufen, ginger in my water, heat pad at the ready with blanket then hopefully l will cope with it 😕😕Will be thinking of you ❤❤

Wee Burd
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks Bibi. As someone who generally enjoys eating pretty much everything (and drinking) I have just frightened myself by reading a website on nutrition during breast cancer treatment! However I do agree that nutrition is important and most of what was on the "Good" list is already in our regular diet. I am going to play it by ear to start with and listen to what my body wants. I am hoping that the anti sickness drugs will help. The oncologist says that they are pretty good at adjusting the dosage to be effective.
I have been doing lots of walking and hoping to keep that up as much as possible. We have a dog so it's easy to find a companion at any time! I used to do tai chi classes and have started trying to get back into chi gong exercises at home. There are tai chi sessions at the hospital which I would like to try but I will need to see whether I feel well enough to drive there once the chemo starts.
I have never tried yoga but thanks for the tip - that might be a good way to get started.
Bibi
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Afternoon everyone and Hi Wee Burd 👋- aah that waiting to start period is quite stressful but you sound like you have plenty of activity to enjoy and distract you. I did  the same - filled my freezer with homemade meals ready to cook and it’s been really useful.

I think nutrition is so important to keep healthy and fight this thing - I am trying to keep a varied diet as much as possible and home cooked everything, my hubby is learning new skills as he is not much of a cook but he is having a real go as I prefer everything cooked from scratch so I know what’s in it - doesn’t always happen don’t get me wrong but we try - he has made some excellent soup as I found that first week after chemo I craved it. 

I had also heard Manuka honey is really good for fighting infections - some mixed reviews and research on its cancer fighting properties but I thought for fighting infections when body is low it was worth a go - I just take about 1/2 - 1 tsp in the morning with my breakfast so I don’t think the amount of sugar would be too much. 

When on the steroids I found I just wanted to eat everything in the house - having to curb my cake enthusiasm now 😅

What about exercise - are you all up to doing much? I am trying to get out for short walks with the dog 🐶 when the weather is not too cold/ windy/ rainy - which has been a challenge but being in the fresh air makes me feel good. I normally go to the gym to do yoga and swim but am avoiding as I don’t want to pick up germs there - but am doing yoga at home ( Yoga with Adriene on You tube - can recommend) when I have the energy and I find that good for stretching and always feel more energised afterwards. 

Have a good day everyone and good luck this week to those starting xx

 

Sue C
Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

No problem.......I think I got through it by keeping relaxed, and accepting that the first week, I wasn't going to do much. Xx

Wee Burd
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks Sue, I will keep that in mind for my shopping list!  Trying to emulate the ladies on these threards by keeping a positive frame of mind.

Sue C
Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Wee Burd ( great name!)

Welcome to the thread.

Hopefully you can all support each other along the way.

I had chemo in 2016, so please ask if you have any questions.

It sounds like you're very organized already! A couple of suggestions.......it generally is advised not to use paracetamol, but ibroprofen is OK. The reason being is that it can mask a high temperature, and the biggest worry during chemo is infection. Also, stock up on tablets for constipation /diarrhea, as that can sometimes be an issue.

Just be prepared to take it really easy for the first week. Take the anti sickness tablets regularly. And its a good idea to keep a diary, so you know what to expect next time.

Hope this helps and best wishes for Wednesday.

Sue xx

Wee Burd
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hello, I am due to start FEC-T treatment on Wednesday, assuming everything is ok when I see oncologist tomorrow.  I had my first ever routine mammogram at end September, was called back for additional mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy at end of October, cancer diagnosis confirmed in early November and had WLE and sentinel node biopsy on 20 Dec.  I am HER2+ and now to undergo the chemo and have herceptin. Also to have radiotherapy and hormone therapy after all of that.  It feels as if I've been waiting for ever to get started on the next phase of treatment but now that it's so close I'm getting a bit apprehensive. 

 

I haven't been at work since I had the surgery and feel like a complete fraud, as I've been physically well since mid-Jan. (It's quite a busy and stressful job, though and any time I've been in touch with my work colleagues it has made me realise that at the moment my head isn't in the right place for it.)  I have been trying to do as much fun stuff as possible before we start - have been away on holiday with my family (husband and 2 grown up boys, 21 and 18), husband and I also had a sneaky weekend away together with the dog, and have been to visit my parents who live 150 miles away. 

 

I've been to see the wig lady and am trying to decide whether to go for something the same length as my hair is now (ironically it's the longest it's been in 25 years!) or  a shorter style.

 

I've been told it's more or less certain that my hair will come out, even if I decide to go for the cold cap, and so am intending to get it cut short and donate my hair to the little princess charity - might as well put it to some good use rather than just moult all over the place.  Am still trying to decide whether to use the cold cap - the chemo nurse says it has had variable success with the patients she has seen.

 

We have tickets to see the comedian Jimeoin tomorrow night (booked before I had my first mammo), so am looking forward to having a few good belly laughs to take my mind off the impending first treatment.

 

I have just about filled my freezer with home made soup and as much other healthy food as I can think of, and have a Waitrose meal for 2 waiting for us for our Valentine's treat on Wednesday (although no idea if I will feel like eating or not).

 

At the moment I think the worst thing is the waiting and the fear of the unknown.  Any hints and tips would be gratefully received.  Reading through the thread I think I probably need to add paracetamol and ibuprofen to today's shopping list!

 

Look forward to hearing from you all!

Macneech
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

I agree Jude /Chrissy there is so much conflicting information and very little confirmed evidence.The fasting sounds potentially viable but I know that if I am only slightly under the weather l have the potential to feint so I  think I will stick to the well balanced diet (Not too much sugar) and listen to my body.😕😕

Anyone by chance having their chemo in Portsmouth ?

jude51
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Ive read a bit about this subject Chrissy but there's so much out there it gets very confusing. I believe the link with sugar is not as simple as that but there is a definite link with breast cancer and being overweight (not saying you are but i am !) and my initial thought is that mollases and manuka honey contain a lot of sugar - they may be natural but still have the same effect in the body. I  am of the view that a healthy diet with lots of diverse and varied foods is the way forward. There is also a lot of new research on gut bacteria and the effect it has on our health. I have been doing intermittent fasting on and off for a few years but properly since last sept. Ive lost quite  bit of weight and feel so much better when i am doing it. There is quite a bit of research on this and the effect on cancer cells whilst having chemo - zaps cancer cells whilst protecting normal cells and can drastically reduce side effects. 

Its a minefield ! 

Chrissy68
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Yes I agree we are so lucky to have such a great service in our country. Thanks for your comments it made me laugh just what I need. Have to start chemo at 12 today. Thanks for your suppport.

 

I wanted to ask a question before I go someone has bought me molasses and expensive honey told me to have it twice a day and black olives. Now I have researched that cancer cells love sugary foods yes these are more natural sugars but does anyone know if is there any link to this theory?

Macneech
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Oh Chrissy68 maybe we won' t sue the Nhs for causing our cancers (maybe all the stress over the years ) as we are so grateful it is there for us now!! Thinking of you tommorow - sending lots of hugs x

jude51
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

NHS club it is then ! Good luck for tomorrow Chrissy x
Chrissy68
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Macneesh that’s funny as I’m a health visitor must be working for the nhs. I’ve found my colleagues great support . But people assume you know everything being a patient is so different to being a nurse x
Macneech
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Jude51, I am a palliative care nurse specialist but don't know if that makes it better or worse! I too have great support from my colleagues but it is so scary being on the other side xxx

Macneech
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Oh Chrissy68 - it must be difficult for you when the plan was clear but things have not been so straight forward ! You will be 4 days ahead of me so thinking of you and lots of good luck and hugs!!

Sue C
Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Macneesh and Chrissy

And welcome to the thread.

Please ask if you have any questions...... hopefully you can all support each other through this challenging time.

Best wishes for your first cycle.

Sue xx

Chrissy68
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hello girls well my last day today before I start chemo tomorrow .

 

Hello macneesh I am having 3 cycles of FEC followed by 3 T . I was diagnosed on 5th dec with triple neg and node involvement .i have had mast and implant reconstruction and sent. Node biopsy on 21st dec .

 

Initially there was no indication it had spread and that’s why I had implant . My plan is now chemo then rad followed by either wide node clearance or extra rad . Am very nervous about tomorrow.

 

Went to see mamma Mia last night which was very uplifting and today I feel like just forgetting it all and flying to Greece!!

 

 

 

y

jude51
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks Chaffinch - i had a feeling it was linked to that..horrible feeling. 

 

Flora - just search for Judith Fryer on just giving and thank you. Well done to your nephew - fantastic amount ! I can honestly say that it has been very liberating ! We had a lovely evening , no tears but loads of giggles...can highly recommend to anyone. I needed that last bit of control and so glad i did it. Im getting my wig on wed so be interesting to see how it feels with no hair now - i had a right egg head when i tried it on last week ! Hope you start to feel a bit better soon x

 

Bibi - feeling much better today thanks and shave was fab ! Will look into the Clarityn. 

 

Macneech - know exactly what you mean with the waiting...feels like forever. I actually work on the other side so to speak. Im a cancer pathway co-ordinator so part of my job is to ensure everyone gets their treatment on time ie withing the national guidelines. I've had fantastic support from work but knowing what should happen and in what timescale has been quite hard to deal with !

 

 

 

Bibi
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Mcneech - yes I did use the cold cap and it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting- they put it on and then cooled it down rather than put it on cold - they said they can get a better fit and your head gradually cools down that way so think that is why it wasn’t so bad.will have to wait now and see if it works - going to do again next cycle. 

I was diagnosed on 27th Dec and started chemo 1 st Feb - seemed like the longest time and I was anxious the whole time but honestly feel so much better now it’s started - hang in there xxxx

Macneech
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thank you Bibi, be good to keep chatting to hold each other up.Did you use the cold cap ?xx

Macneech
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thank you Flora, I am 48 so hadn't had a mammogram.l had pain on the underside of right boob,before Xmas that would come and go.I didn't feel a lump ( my boobs are quite small - 34B).Thought there was a cyst or blocked duct behind or someting.Told 8cm mass - most of my boob 4th Jan. Had to have some tests repeated as not all conclusive.Journey feels like forever - especially when I am thinking things could be growing and spreading quickly!! Good to talk xxxx

Bibi
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Macneeth - yes I am on that same journey - 3 FEC 3T then surgery and radiotherapy. 

Had first round of FEC on 1st Feb - feeling really well now - have been lucky I have had few side effects just sicky feeling and heartburn for about 4 days. 

Had that same feeling of wanting to get started and not knowing what to expect , actually feel better now it has started so hope it all goes well for you too. X

Flora29
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Macneech.  I know what you mean about just wanting to get things started.  There are often various tests and checks they want to do to make sure the treatment is the right one for you, but it does sometimes feel it takes forever.   When were you first diagnosed?



I got a recall from my annual mammogram in October and that extra mammo, ultrasound & biopsy - on 25th Oct - pretty much confirmed things.  Since then, various scans to check for secondaries (none, thank goodness) and WLE on 13th December.  Recovery + Christmas + pathology + referral to oncologist meant chemo started in early Feb.  On the whole it isn't too bad, BUT when you're waiting for the next thing and just wanting it to start so that it can finish, it can feel a lot longer.

Good luck for Thursday. One step at a time. xxx
Aliand
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hello ladies, I'm from the January thread, 2 EC down 2 to go then onto T . I've got my 3rd this Wednesday and starting to feel the impending gloom for my crap upcoming 7-10 days, ah well. I've found my January girls such a support I'm sure you all will too. I'm certainly no expert but theres lots of advice here and if I need to ask anything I pop over to the other older threads usually dec or Oct to ask. Good luck, keep looking after one another and if I can help in any way just shout xxx
Macneech
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Just checking in.Due to have Picc line weds and 1st Fec Thursday.I was previously posting with fear and frustrations - why was treatment taking so long to get going? I need chemo,ghen Mastectomy then rads (going yo be a long journey).Now things are moving it is beginning to get real.Bit surreal feeling well now but anticipating the opposite😕.So grateful to this site for real tips and experiences.Hoping us Feb chemo starters can hold each other up.(Is there anyone doing the same plan as me ? - 3 Fec then 3 T)? xxx❤❤

Bibi
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Good luck with the head shave Jude . 

On one of the other monthly threads someone recommended taking Clarityn - or something similar which has Loratadine in - for the bone pain. I have finished with the injections now - fortunately didn’t get too much pain , took the Clarityn- I find ibuprofen upsets my stomach and as I was having indigestion didn’t want to make it worse. I also used paracetamol ( after checking temperature) and this seemed to work for me. 

Hope you get a good few days now . 

Flora29
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Jude. Could you share you just giving page link? I’d like to donate too. My nephew shaved all his hair off a couple of weeks ago and raised over £700 on his own. Bless him. I knitted him a hat!

I got my wig yesterday - a nice chin length bob in a red colour, with a fringe. I’m bizarrely looking forward to wearing it! I also bought a hat from accessorize as I will probably only wear the wig for work, and hats for other occasions.

This first week has been far more up and down for me than my first time around. I’m having a good day, then a rougher one. Headaches, tiredness and a sore/bloody nose mostly now.
Chaffinch17
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

The empty feeling I think is the steroids, I found eating little and often helped leaving it too long lead to nausea. A handful of almonds was good to take the edge off or bland carbs like toast or cereal or fruit bread.
jude51
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Bloody internet...just wrote a long post and its completely disappeared..ggrrrr.....

Just checking in after having a few naff days. Trying to make some sense of the symptoms but not very successful ! Got come buscopan (anti spasmodic) from the GP as stomach etc was just going into overdrive, burping loads and finding it hard to eat. Took a few doses which settled things but gives you a very dry mouth so stopped taking them. Asked about Lansoprazole but didnt think it was necessary as no indigestion/heartburn. Just felt so empty like after having a tummy bug. All started soon after finishing dexamathasone which ive read can cause a nose dive so not sure if linked. Felt very shaky and really not with it so dozed alot. Managed to get out for lunch with friends yesterday and actually ate loads which felt good. Maybe i just need to eat more but theres the flip side that i dont want to feel really bloated. 

Last injection last night - awake at 1pm instead of the usual 4am jolt with a god awful back ache. Brufen usually does the job but took quite a while plus a heatpack - really good but wish the microwave was in the bedroom ! Seems to radiate up to a headache which is irritating. Any other tips for this pain ? 

Making notes to discuss with oncologist in another 10 days. Its all rather irritating stuff - i can still function, i just like to know whats going on and why ! Really not keen on popping loads of pills so as its the first cycle just going with the flow. 

Got a busy afternoon/evening as have decided to take control and get rid of the hair. My friends husband is doing it too which is so lovely of him. Its a bit daunting but trying to keep in mind i am doing this for charity and not because its going to fall out anyway. Have set up a Just Giving page for Breast cancer Care and currently at £1130 - its blown me away ! There will be 18 of us (all vetted to ensure no colds etc !) and also my 89 yr old mum who was also diagnosed last august - doing really well just on Letrozole. 

Hope everyone ok and having a lovely if not very chilly weekend 

Jude xx

jude51
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Morning all - had a few days of feeling off so just been trying to make sense of it all. I'm not used to taking any medication so trying to work out whats going on and why...not much success so far ! I got some buscopan (anti spasmodic) from my GP because my stomach etc was just working overtime, burping loads and making it hard to eat. That settled it but it gives you a very dry mouth so only took a few doses. I mentioned Lansoprazole but he felt it wasnt necessary as no indigestion/heartburn. Just felt very empty like you feel after a tummy bug. That coincided with the days after finishing the dexamethasone which i've read can be when you can take a nosedive. Felt quite shaky and really not with it so dozed quite a bit. Managed to go out for lunch yesterday and ate the most i had done this week which was lovely ! Last injection last night and blimey the pain kicked in at 1am which was worse than the usual 4am jolt - brufen normally does the trick but it took a fair while. Any other tips for the pain ? Its lower back for me but seems to work its way up to a headache as well. I use a heat pack as well  - just wish the microwave was in the bedroom ! 

Today my back is still giving me jip but manageable - just wondered if the pain subsides now they are finished ?

Got an eventful afternoon/evening .....decided to take control and shave the hair off ! My friends husband is doing it as well which is so lovely of him. Its a bit daunting but just trying to keep in mind this is for charity and not because im going to lose it anyway. Have set up a Just Giving page for Breast Cancer Care and currently at £1130 which has blown me away. There will be 18 of us (all vetted to ensure no colds present !) plus my 89 yr old mother who was also diagnosed with breast cancer last Aug - doing really well with just Letrozole. 

Hope everyone else is doing ok and enjoying the weekend ,

Jude xx