Low platelets – that's what my blood test showed yesterday, so I had the trial drug but not the scheduled chemo. Platelets are for clotting, but my low count isn't too severe, so I shouldn't have any problems as long as I avoid cuts and bruises. My neutrophils are also a little low again, but it's quite possible both components will be ok by next week. I'm told these results are not unexpected and there's nothing I can do except keep safe from wounds.

Last week I was fortunate to join in an ovarian cancer support group. It was a fantastic feeling to meet this interesting bunch of women with whom I have so much in common! Perhaps you can imagine the conversation ranging across topics such as oncologists, medications, laxatives, hospitals, adhesions and other bowel mischief, aphoresis, drug trials, coping, scans, hydration, chemo & side effects and so on.

Thanks everyone for your Christmas wishes, cards, presents, food parcels (mangos! Kay!), love and support!

Stresses and uncertainties have had me feeling quite scrambled and our plans have been very fluid (= completely liquid). Living in the moment is terrific for enjoying the day, but hopeless for getting organised. However, now Evan has arrived and Helen's here too, I'm very happy to report we're set for a wonderful family celebration all together here in Brisbane for Christmas, then at the Woodford Folk Festival as usual. Yes, we're going to Woodford despite everything, and I can't wait to catch up with many wonderful friends there! I'll be taking it easy and I'll have to miss 1 day (probably Thursday) to return to Brisbane for treatment. We will head back home some time in January, but not sure what date.

I have a reputation for strange Christmas presents and this year may be among the strangest. I had a go at preserving native hibiscus flowers in syrup. They actually look like horrible slugs in brown juice, but in theory each bud will open as a beautiful flower in your champagne or lemonade glass. However, I don't have many, and it’s not something I can send in the post, sorry. I don’t know if describing them will substitute for a gift – please imagine we are sharing a celebratory glass together – Cheers! As for sending cards, you’d think I’d be organised, but not so… sorry!

Season’s Greetings
and Best Wishes to all,

love from Alison & family xxx

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