What a long time since my last entry here, and that’s because my days are full and computer time is short!

First a hair report – this photo will show you my regrowth. Sometimes when the mirror shows me a skinhead thug, I still dress up in a wig or scarf.

My eyebrows and eyelashes came back first. It was very weird and quite funny to have a sort of “5 o’clock shadow” where my eyebrows used to be. That was over a month ago but I didn’t mention it then, purely out of vanity. I didn’t want you all to be staring at my face to see the strange phenomenon behind my artwork with the eyebrow pencil! I was drawing them on because my family pointed out to me that there are many facial expressions that just don’t work without eyebrows. Then again, it helps if they’re drawn at the right angle!

I’m enjoying the freedom now that I can just put on shoes and walk out of the door instead of having to stop and draw in eyebrows and pack an emergency kit (change of ileostomy bag, and so on).

Everything has been going really well and I’m feeling healthy and fit. I’ve started attending yoga classes again, timidly at first, but since there have been no bad effects, now I’m working more strongly and confidently. I’m playing my sax, riding my bike, walking and have been for a swim in the lake too. I still usually have a sleep after lunch but the rest of the time I’m full of energy and rejoicing!

Mostly I don’t look back – it feels a bit unreal, like a bad dream, with occasional waking moments. For example, when the mango pickle oozed out of the Thermomix orifice I flinched with unwelcome memories of acid bowel contents leaking from my stoma!

I am still sometimes moved to tears by the amazing kindness and love that has supported me. The other day I actually read my first few blogs – went right back to December and January for the first time – including the entries posted by the family to say how I got through the big operation. Gulp! (My reason for delving was to look for a date I needed, the start-up date on my portable internet account.)

I was reminded about that brilliant thing my family did, recording their voices reading aloud the written get-well messages sent to me by loved ones near and far. At first I was in and out of sleep while listening, and then I had these beautiful personal affirmations recorded on my mp3 player to listen to whenever I wanted. (I’m mentioning this hoping it will be something we can all remember as an idea to help someone who is stuck in hospital.) Those loving words were surely a very healing gift. No wonder I bounced back in health! Thankyou and thankyou again for writing to me (then and since).

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