Salad days…


My taste in sunglasses has probably not improved, but one of the best bits of getting older is what I call, the in-between dawn.   Getting up on a sunny morning before the day begins, making a cup of tea and going back to bed with the laptop!

We’re totally sunshine,

Wall to wall,

The time of the dreadful,

Cleavage fall,

Tissue reconstruction,

No life guarantees,

It’s all now deflated,

A reinstall please?

#LifeWithCancer is still life, even when the air goes out of your boob job and you are left with something resembling a saggy sponge on your chest! To all of those of you who have tits, enjoy them!!

© Ailsa Tims 2017


A setback…


I’m rather good at setbacks, physically, emotionally, politically -they are part of what I see as getting along. Some small, like a bad hair day, some bigger, like breast cancer.

Who makes the dreams?

Who takes the dreams away?

Shut tight at night,

Still in fear I stray…

Who I was, calls me,

Some place I can’t go,

Or swaps up the decor,

Or kicks up a right show….

Ungrateful, as living

Should sure be enough,

Insatiable, wakeful,

The frills off the cuff

I caught it, I bought it,

The gab and the guff,

Comes down to a ticket

And seats on the bus…

Invested in heavily,

Grateful for tries,

Fulfilled undelivered,

Won’t go with my eyes,

The repairs have withered,

And now the surprise,

Unsustained personality

Change irrationalise…

It is in the quite moments, twelve years later, that I still feel the shock. A mastectomy swimsuits coves the outside, but it doesn’t fill the gap in?

When you have cancer, you are still you, with a life to lead, friends to see, family who need you and people to love. Because life with cancer is still life, and Macmillan can help you live it.

Is Still Life…

In a week when a friend tells funny stories about her first mammogram, and I add that when you turn up for the appointment with just one boob that gives the conversation a certain tone too. Let’s hope we are moving away for the question, “will I die?”… Life with cancer didn’t stop, I am still me, with a life to lead, friends to see, family who need me and people to love.

Is Still Life…

My spring may have past,

Passion, fashion, satisfaction,

Beyond gone, didn’t last,

In my heart, in my soul, my skin,

The time I feel myself begin…

It is summer in my heaven,

I am tanned, life is grand,

Warmer breeze frees this peasant,

Fresher air, legs’re bare,

With wet hair -debonare…

It is autumn in my town life,

Brisk walks, crucial talks,

Dressing up and down life,

By the river, I deliver,

Sunday lunches, getter, giver…

It was winter, I survived, unsurprised…

Some lost and won, some unbecome,

Undeserved, who’d decide?

Incomplete yet I’ve arrived,

Responsible, I’ve realised….

Life with cancer is still life. Macmillan can help you live it.

Post operative…


There is increasing recognition for post traumatic stress, which leaves even the strongest wills feeling like a failed superhero!!

Life changes in an instant and it isn’t until after the treatment ends that the work often begins? 

My advice is always to ask for the help you need and keep on asking until you feel that you can live the life you deserve. I am not a survivor, I am a post operative!


slide1Would you believe it, I did dry January? -yes me and wine, a conscious uncoupling and a sober time!

Now, I know that there are lots of links with breast cancer, women and alcohol -believe me, many an overweight, smoking, doctor has told me how to live my life! But this year, helped by the flu, I was determined…


I’m feeling sanctimonious,

With nothing I have done,

And who’d have thought abstention,

Would be a challenge won?

My motivate, contention,

It’s really been no fun…

And so despite the sober stats,

The bureaucrats,

And lifestyle facts;

With healthy inattention,

A February intervention,

Abandoned resolution,

From pious overrun…

I didn’t ask for sponsorship, because, let’s be honest, I didn’t think my track record was rock solid!! But come now, there must be a drink in it? I work for and campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support, so you can find out more and support our work here



Last week I got sick. I have essentially had bouts of this coughing since November and the doctor was very surprised at my poor lung function -it seem like the chemo will always bite back!

I heard from another friend who lost her father in law in December and Simon’s uncle is in hospital. We need to get this under control, if I’m going to reach 100 -and I have every intension! There must be some pleasure in middle age?


My peers all have parents who’re dropping like flies,

For my generation, impending demise,

And all of this happening before we got wise!

This Brownie Guide hadn’t prepared…

My face has an aura of well past run in,

The boob job’s deflated (that’s really done in),

And January’s dry, so no chance of a gin!

This Brownie Guide hadn’t prepared… 

However we’re here and the morale uncracked,

Reinvented, eccentric and dispensed with tact,

And who would be loved as a pin up in fact?

This Brownie Guide hadn’t prepared…

I am now on the antibiotics and a little change, I am waiting for the clouds to pass, they will…. I must never forget the value of health, it is the most important thing in life and when it fails it effects everything! I hope your start to 2017 has looked more fun!

I work for and campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support, you can support us at,

Now it is autumn…

slide1It has been a sad week as my dear French neighbour, Marie, died.  She had Parkinson’s disease and had been a light in my life for 20 years.  What do I regret?  Not buying her a top from M&S -I meant to, it would have made her smile!  I regret not phoning more when we were in England and not liking her sausage and cheese cake (a family joke).  I reckon she’d laugh to be on my Facebook feed!

Also my friends Amanda and Anne had birthdays, but they are no longer with us either -cancer, the big au revoir!!!

I’ve never felt it was a fight, a struggle perhaps?

Now it is autumn….

I’ve gone all November,

All wet leaves and fog,

I’m trying to remember,

The point of the blog?

I strip off the fabric,

To expose a mess,

They cut out the passion,

I had to undress…

The atmosphere over,

A tunnel of hush,

Where once with a tambourine

Clattering I’d rush…

The things that I told you,

Whilst shouting out loud,

Have floated off silent,

Like rain in the cloud…

Sticky notes…

national-poetry-day-2016-asking-all-the-naughty-cellsYesterday was national poetry day, for which the theme was messages and I wrote some Tweetable (is that Twitable?) work…

  1. The medics well meant,

But I don’t hear the message,

I give my consent,

For the cure and the wreckage…

  1. Message in a drip bag,

Communicates in vein,

Asking all the naughty cells,

Not to come again!

  1. How does the chemo,

Message my hair?

To self destruct totally,

And should I care?

  1. Message strings give you,

Support opportunity,

Always there with you,

Macmillan Community…


Working 9-5….

A crisp cold October,

A short skirt, boot throb,

A polo neck over,

The boob and the blob,

As leaves start to fall,

As clothes cover all,

We’re sparkly, un-sober,

And still on the job!


slide1As the autumn turns and school and collage starts another year, I am always reminded of the gap between what we are taught and what we learn?

How do we ever learn the knack,

Of greeting disappointment?

Of picking out, of bouncing back,

The fly out of the ointment?

Success says that we need a plan,

A long life span (a handy man?)

Yet health and wealth need more than stealth,

Post cancer news appointment…


The bloods are in, the boobs are out,

A snap decision, a quick incision,

You cry (although you ought to shout)

The bare front long division…

Why did I learn my ABC,

But not the art of being me?

The thrills and skills of swallowing pills,

When life’s course is collision?


Macmillan Cancer Support is holding its world’s biggest coffee morning this week. I can’t be there but want you to be aware that fundraising is hugely important to Macmillan. Without people doing events, running marathons, climbing mountains, and donating in all the other ways that you can, Macmillan wouldn’t be there to support those affected by cancer. Please support my fundraising on


(with apologies to this class, Halstead CP, 1973)


Photo on 24-07-2016 at 09.06 #2

Sitting at the hairdressers I see an ocean of people with huge robes over scant clothes, it is a contradiction and as they leave they all look so perfect, with cared hair and plunging necklines! I do wish retail would realise that some of us can’t wear t-shirts any more, according to the NHS, “in 2012-13, just under 23,200 mastectomies were carried out in England.” (Sorry I couldn’t find whole UK figures!!)


A sea of knees,

A field of necks,

The summer breeze

Couture forgets…


My hair’s okay,

My legs quite good,

My front a surg-

-eon never should…


Have added bobs,

And shaped in bits,

And cut my tummy,

To make up tits.


So spare a care,

My boobs don’t cleave,

Tops to the nape,

Could you conceive?


Come on, who can help? Take a photo of yourself in a favourite high neck summer top and post it with the hashtag #highnecksummer

Why not also make a donation to the work of Macmillan Cancer Support -the price of a cocktail could help someone facing a difficult time to feel more in control again

Thank you!