Stormy weather...and sleepless night.

Outside the storm is raging. Living in a rural area, exposed on the edge of the Atlantic, (a few fields away from the sea to be exact) we get to experience the elements in all their glory. Over the weekend, rain, hail and sleet hammered against the window panes threatening to break them. The weather has worsened so much. My four cats have developed Velcro claws when this type of weather descends. It is simply impossible to prise these cats from the various places they languish, lazily, as cats do…backs of chairs, sofas, beds…Tonight however, three voluntarily went outdoors at bedtime. The fourth is a demon. An evil eyed, total black beauty. The bane of my life.

I took down my small Christmas tree today, along with the few bits and bobs of tartan, fairy lights and ornaments. It was a slow process and my to-ing and fro-ing to the box that they live in, left me exhausted. I use a three wheeled walker indoors which seemed to be particularly clumsy today. The demonic cat is petrified of it for some strange reason and kept darting around it, trying to keep clear, but almost causing me to trip over my own feet several times. Once I had everything boxed/bagged, hubby stored it all away in the spare room. I told myself for the umpteenth time, I’m NOT doing this palava next year. Why do I still bother? It surely isn’t worth the effort. Then I threw some left-overs on a couple of plates and called it dinner and collapsed in the armchair, acutely aware of a painful area on my side. I probably twisted awkwardly without realising it.

I retired to bed for the night around midnight. Weary and bad tempered, tearful and a little scared. Weary because I just was, and bad tempered because I hate this damn disease and resent what it has done to me. What it has stolen from me. I feel I am a shadow of my former self, and I hate it so much. Tearful and scared because I am waiting for a phone call this week with a date for surgery for (hopefully) next week.

A cancerous lump discovered in my breast two weeks before Christmas is to be removed. I am angry because I feel ppms is enough to have to deal with. Diagnosed just over two years ago, in the space of one weekend! Without any symptoms or warning. It has gathered speed since last Christmas really, and I notice the diminishing of my capabilities/abilities almost on a weekly basis. Is this not enough?! Now I will need day surgery, and six weeks after the procedure I will undergo five weeks of radiotherapy, for five days each week. This will take place at the “centre of excellence” in a city two hours drive from my home. Every day, there and back, for five weeks. My husband, my carer, will be doing the driving. He now does pretty much everything indoors where I can no longer do so. This is just another tiresome task he will have to endure without complaint. Our early retirement that we worked so hard for, was never meant to look like this. I am a very “young” 58 year old! I loved my solo travel, garden, drive, walk on the shingle beach on a stormy day… Am I feeling sorry for myself? Yes, I suppose I am.

Demon cat had no intention of settling down on the bed, as I tried to sleep. As the wind howled and raged, he jumped on and off the bed. Tormenting me as he walked along the length of my body, eventually wanting to go out. I got up and shuffled to the back door. As I slid it back gale force wind whipped in and demon cat ran back to the bedroom. I’m sure I heard him laughing at me. I was swearing like a trooper as I shuffled back, and chased him (visualise it!) back towards the open door and eventually outside.

So, I have rambled and ranted until it’s now almost 3am. I will return to bed and try to sleep once more. Good night, if anyone has read this far. Tonight it’s not just the wind that is raging.


Aw Poppy, you write so beautifully and yet you bring me to tears. Again. I am just so sorry for what bastard MS has done to you. It’s been so damn fast. At least I have had a long drawn out lead in. And was perfectly able bodied for the majority of my first 10 years. It’s been 6 years since the monster relapse which took the ability to walk from me. And a year before that when I started using mobility aids in the house. You’ve had a nightmare 2 years. And as for that bitch cancer, as if you haven’t given enough of yourself over? And your wonderful husband too. We should never forget that illness, disability and disease don’t just afflict us, they change the world for our husbands, wives, partners, children, parents, even our friends. And you should never forget Poppy, that we are here, not always awake at the same time as you (!) but always ready to share in your pain. And your righteous anger. Sue x

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Hi Poppy I hope you get your operation date asap. I have also had a very fast deterioration over the last two years and I know just how frustrating that can be. I saw my Neurologist recently who is organising a new series of scans to find out if this downhill slide is due to inflammatory or neurodegenerative action and then I have been given a couple of treatment options to consider but as I have progressive MS I am undecided about the way forward. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Sue

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sorry about the choice of name for current hurricane!

you are never far from my thoughts…


Hello Sue and Grandma.

I finally fell into a deep sleep after 3am, as I watched the storm clouds scudder past the magnificent moon and listened to the wind. I resurrected at 11 this morning, bleary eyed and stiff, but no longer angry…for now anyway. Three hungry, windswept felines were waiting at the glass sliding door, eyes wide in anticipation of being allowed back into the warmth and comfort that they are accustomed to. As they tucked into breakfast, there was no sign of the demon cat. I had visions of him having been blown along the lane, like tumble weed, and ending up in the fields surrounding us! He eventually turned up. Too tired even for breakfast, he is comatose on the chair beside me now.

I take it you too are a restless sleeper Grandma. We may have some “encounters” during the small hours in the future. :slight_smile:

Sue. Sue. I am glad you like my writing but don’t like to think of it making you sad or cry!

Indeed it has been a nightmare 2 years, and the speed of it all is just too much to take in sometimes. However, whether it’s progression over 2 years or 10, it is something all of us have to endure, and it is as upsetting and frustrating for everyone.

My husband is a wonderful man and I consider myself very lucky to have him to share my life with. Our 31 (almost 32) years have been mostly fun filled and happy, but with life’s tragedies and sadness, achievements and loss also. When I have raged and been indignant he has been my calm and reason. I express my feelings and emotions with ease. He sits quietly and lets things roll naturally. I am feisty and explosive, impulsive, adventurous, passionate about everything. He is like a trickling stream, calm, gentle, steady and sure. We arrive at the same place, together, just differently.

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Sue84. I have sent a letter to my Neuro today. I saw her in November and she was surprised at the speed of my loss of mobility in six months. Her intention was to organise some more scans after our next op appointment in March. However, as it seems unlikely I will be able to keep this appointment due to planned radiotherapy, I have suggested she organises scans now, and I postpone the March appointment. May I ask what are the treatments plans offered to you?

Eleanor…now that made me smile. Apology accepted!

Poppy I can’t help but feel for you. You don’t have to write much and I feel a tad emotional. It’s not a bad thing. Sometimes we need people to just let the feelings out. I hope that this next few months sees the back of that cancer and you come back in fighting form after your treatment. Take care of that valuable man of yours, we are very fortunate to have good ones, you and I. Sue

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Dear Poppy. You write so well. Could you find strength in writing a book? Much love Ali

Thanks for the very kind words people. Got a phone call today. Surgery next Wednesday. Now onwards and upwards, eh.

Poppy - a horrendous double-whammy m.s. and cancer. I know of someone who had m.s. and then developed cancer and she had radiotherapy. Found the radiotherapy utterly knackering but it didn’t make the m.s. worse -

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Hi Polly I am so pleased you have a date for your operation. Sorry I did not answer straight away but I managed to do a wonderful pirouette and land on my back facing the opposite direction to where I was heading! Luckily just a few sore muscles and stiffness.

My consultant has suggested he puts my name forward for a cladribine trial if the MRI shows new inflammatory action and a biotin trial if scans show neurodegeneration. However the more I read the more undecided I become perhaps I should just flip a coin! I am also waiting for foot surgery which has twice been put on hold. This cannot be done until after the MRI as my big toe is going to be plated and screwed. I received the date for my scan this morning which will be at the end of January.

I was diagnosed with TM in 2012 and told I would make a full recovery, this did not happen. In June 2015 I developed foot drop. In June 2016 I was diagnosed with Progressive MS. In the last few months I have had lots of sensory symptoms and my right leg does not want to lift from the hip. I also have numbness in my left foot. My right hand is becoming quite numb and I have difficulty with fine motor skills.

That’s the boring bit done! I did laugh at your description of your cats on a windy night. I am surprised they did not demolish your Christmas tree! The wind seems to make my animals even more scatty than the norm! Until two years ago we had three cats but sadly lost two of them (old age) but still have one who will be eighteen in June. We also have a rescue King Charles cavalier.

Take care and keep us all updated with your progress if you feel well enough. Sue

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Hi Poppy,i hope your op goes ok ,please keep us informed,we will be thinking of you. J x

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Thanks everyone for the well wishes. Can’t believe that’s how I’m spending time on my birthday!

I was browsing through the old posts of mine today. Boredom is a terrible thing! I came across some ramblings that I’d completely forgotten I’d written. However, I thought idI ressurect this one. A lot has happened in a year.

There was another storm last week. I slept soundly through it. Living on the south west of Ireland, and on a very exposed plot, the winds that come in from the Atlantic ocean make us realise the full power and wonder of the elements. I miss my walks along the nearby shingle beach. I was often found to be stomping along in my sturdy hiking boots, whatever the weather. In fact, the wilder and windier the more exhillerating I found it. It doesn’t have the same effect viewing the scene from the warmth of the passenger seat of the car.

Still, moving on, having had my treatment this time last year and having a clear mammogram in November, life carries on. Now, the demon cat is still demonic but this week, we have discovered a reason for his physcotic behavior. He is constantly meowing. Loudly. I mean screaming, actually. Wide eyed and constantly looking for food, stealing anything remotely edible. Trying to snatch fruit cake from my hand and growling when i moved it away! Going crazy and screaming when he could smell the cheese, as Mr Poppy made a sandwich in the kitchen. Totally hyperactive, as in, wanting to go outside, then going straight to the window and shouting to come back in.

Deciding we probably couldn’t afford to get a psychiatric assessment carried out on him, (is there such a thing?) we took him to the vet instead last week. His heart beat was racing so fast, the vet couldn’t count the beats. Even allowing for the stress, the heart rate would normally be between 60 and 70. His was over 200 beats per minute! Left untreated he would have a heart attack.

Blood test shows he has hyperthyroidism. An over active thyroid. This accounted for his erratic behavior and is the equivalent of a human being on Speed apparently. So tomorrow he begins a daily tablet for the rest of his life. My beautiful black boy, aged 12 , will be calmer now and happier. I hope!

Oh and since last year, we said goodbye to two of the cats. Beautiful fat Alfie had oral cancer and the adorable orange Christy developed kidney failure. A few months later the new boy turned up. Benji. The usual routine is, the stray cats wander down the lane to the cottage, sit and watch the comings and goings and the other cats. Once thry decide nothing bad happens here and there is food on offer, I suspect they look through the window. Seeing our cats either draped over the back of the sofa or in a basket of their own, the temptation is too much, and they allow a hand to stroke them and move in.

Your poor boy. Hyperthyroidism is horrible. Having the feeling like your heart is going to explode (and you don’t know why) is really scary. I ate so much chocolate when I had an overactive thyroid I got fat. Immediately after my thyroid was removed I went straight back to size 10. I was 22. OMG that’s 30 years ago. Now I have completely different reasons for being fat!

I’m so glad your scan was clear Poppy, and that you are still here to tell us about your wild weather.

Sue x

He is actually a bag of bones Sue. His metabolism is so fast!

I’m kind of glad I’m still here too. Except on the feeling really down days… X

Most people with overactive thyroid lose weight. I was the exception. Probably because I sat about reading all the time, eating chocolate.

Your poor cats, they move in and you lose little bits of your heart to them. They’re down days.


Well forgive me for re posting this old thread, but as I opened the New Thread box, this appeared. It’s actually quite a coincidence. I have another appointment at the breast cancer unit in Cork city next week. Hopefully all will be well again this year.

I can’t help noticing the names of the people who posted on here don’t seem to be active on the forum these days. Say hello if you are still on board!

Happy to add, I still have Arnie the demon cat, as well as Dolly darling and daddy’s boy Benji.

Hi poppy, I’m a new reader onur thread u have such way with words. Thanks for sharing with an insomniac like me. You made me smile with all the car tails, I used to have a black cat called demon named in muted age goth years. Now have a daft cat who is so cheeky Me do.etimes more like a dog and will eat anything, has saved many loaves of bread left unguarded, even learned how to open bread bin with o e of those roll top lids. Maybe I should be getting get to look at him but it’s such a train to vetme there, let alone get a Sikh cat into a box that that’s not going to happen. I was an adventurer too, independent and travelling all over the place, actually still am and sure he too just the adventures have become mundane to anyone else, how to get to end of road a mere 50m away without falling flat on face or needing the lo and still have energy to get on bus. Sorry if I’m waiting nonsense as optics and double vision. Pl aging up so can hardly read this. Do hope all goes well with your appointment just not fair to have to cope with cancer and ms, my heart goes out to u. All the best, froo

Hello Froo and welcome aboard. There are some great people on here and a mine of information available. Stick around.

No worries about deciphering some of the muddle. My head seems to adjust to this quite easily. :slight_smile: