Last week we spent a few days down in Kent, staying just outside of Canterbury. One thing I always associate with Kent is beautiful historic buildings and castles surrounded by moats. There seem to be a lot of examples of such buildings in that county, Scotney and Leeds Castles spring to mind. I've always thought these places looked like the ideal settings for medieval tales of swash buckling and romance or for a fairy tale. As a child I collected postcards and I recall my dad giving me a card showing Bodiam Castle (also in Kent), I didn't know such places existed outside of films. Anyway whilst travelling to Canterbury we visited another moated Kent house, Ightham Mote. This is a stunning example of a beautiful and historic building, 700 years old in parts.
One of the more curious features at Ightham Mote is the dog kennel that you can see on the right of the courtyard below (just behind the two benches), apparently it's the only grade I listed dog kennel in the country. It dates from around 1890 and originally housed 'Dido', a female St. Bernard.
Having mentioned fairy tales, if anyone has a fairy godmother they could lend me that would be appreciated. Over the last week or so I've become increasingly sure that my current chemotherapy is no longer working and that the cancer is growing again. I've continued to have increased discomfort and some pain together with constipation, fluid retention, increased fatigue and a perception that the small tumours in my skin are growing. I have a scan scheduled for tomorrow with the results due on Thursday next week. If the scan confirms that the cyclophosphamide isn't working then I face a very difficult choice. The treatment options available to me now are extremely limited, none of them really offer much hope of working and most of them are likely to cause unpleasant and potentially serious side effects. A little bit of magic from a fairy godmother might be the best hope I have of a better option presenting itself in the next week or two!
Yesterday I had some minor surgery to remove three tumours from the right side of my scalp. It was done under local anaesthetic and was painless once I'd had the initial injections to freeze the area. The procedure has made quite a mess of my head, I look like I've come second in a drunken pub brawl. I've been told that I can't wash my hair for three days so I'll be making extensive use of a hat to avoid scaring children in the meantime! The stitches come out in two weeks time and my hair will have hopefully regrown enough to begin covering the area by then too.