Does anyone actually want to know about me, or read this? Who knows, but I’m going to plough on anyway because this is cancer (stage 2, breast cancer to be specific) its fucking scary and so far it’s been a rather lovely distraction to write this down, well that and it stops me from eating!

**edited October 2019
So, I thought it was about time to update this little bit about me.
I endured chemo, a mastectomy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and hormone treatment throughout 2018. I was told that I had a good response to treatment and my last scan showed ‘no evidence of disease’, I guess another way to describe it is ‘I’m in remission’.
I am continuing hormone treatment for the next 10 years. This involves shutting down my ovaries with a (giant) injection each month and a tablet each day.
I am living with the side effects of chemo, surgery, radiotherapy and hormone therapy each day. It’s far from easy but I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to take these drugs.
Cancer caused my family and I to rethink our lives and in February 2019, a month before my final immunotherapy treatment, we moved to our dream home on Exmoor. Which happens to be a farm! We now have an ever growing 4 legged family. This morning’s count is: our faithful and wonderful 2 Golden Retrievers, 3 horses, 8 sheep, 1 ram, 2 pigs, 3 chickens, 3 ducks, and 6 quail. Which doesn’t seem that much written down, but it’s a heck of a job to feed them all twice a day!
If you, or someone you know has been affected by cancer, please get in touch. I’ve learnt so much over the last (almost) 2 years and I’m always happy to chat about it and try to offer help if I can.
With love, Louise

** Written January 2017

I’m Louise, or Lou. I live in a small village in the Cotswolds in a wonderful, very old house with my annoying husband, Ally (who also happens to be my very best friend and my rock), my incredible 21 month old daughter, Ophelia, or Filly as she’s mostly known, 2 of the most beautiful Golden retriever dogs, Hartley (9) and Clarence (2), and an ever growing selection of chickens, ducks, and rats! And just down the road, living with Filly’s godmother and one of my closest friends is Blue, my crazy, hairy, muddy horse.
I’m currently still on maternity leave / re-training to be a Veterinary Physiotherapist, my family have a slightly different opinion and think that I’ve actually already retired! I used to work in the ‘wine business’ before Filly arrived but decided to give it up as I didn’t want to travel as much, especially as Ally often works away (he flies helicopters, which means, despite appearances, everyone thinks he is cooler than me.) While the travelling wasn’t always fun and there were a few days spent with my head stuck in Excel more than i’d like, in the main it was a blast, and made my love for fine food and fine wine even greater.
I’ve always loved food, and was lucky to have parents who, as well as loving food were great, adventurous cooks, so my wee brother and I grew up eating more frog’s legs than fish fingers. They are still huge foodies now and are really on board with my new way of eating. My dad has gone bonkers in the garden (despite it still being the depths of winter) to grow lots of organic fruit and veg ready for spring and summer and my mum is always finding delicious new recipes to try out.
My coping mechanism has always been to worry less about myself and more about others, so i’ve always hit the kitchen in times of crisis to cook up something tasty to keep everyone going. We were eating food i’d prepared for after Filly was born well after her 6 month birthday! So, now is no different and I’m still trying to keep everyone else going, as well as myself, which is why I’m concentrating on one meal at a time, much less daunting than one chemo cycle, one doctor’s appointment, one blood test, one scan….. Seriously the list could go on!!