Warts and All – On Location from Faulty Towers Ward 10 – Stoke Mandeville

Okay so I’ve been hiding away from you all but there is a very good reason and I will explain. Before I do all that I just need to explain what has happened today, meaning Friday 23rd October.

This post is going to be a long one so get your tea/coffee/wine nibbles etc ready. Kirsty don’t read this is the bath and all of you toilet readers please don’t read it there as your bum will get cold. Runners and commuters make sure your commute is long enough to be able to get through this epic post. Okay so are we all clear? Then I will begin, I will start with today’s events about the Abseil.

So the plan prior to getting septicemia was that Steve, Rebecca and I were going in the morning for the Church Service to mark the opening of this years Poppy Appeal. Now last year we didn’t go in to the service and both Steve and I regretted this. Steve had agreed to being there in the morning but he had to start work at midday so after the service he was going to return home. I didn’t know but I had won an Award and Peter Wakeman had written a beautiful address as part of the service and I’m honored. Rebecca accepted the award on my behalf and I know she would have been proud and sad. Had I of been there I would have cried like a baby. Thank you so much Peter.

Don’t forget that Daisy Den was due today also between 2 – 4.  So he needed to be there for that too. I was secretly hoping to be told that I could be going home today as Friday is kick out day prior the the weekend. As they operate on reduced staffing due to most departments not functioning like they do Monday – Friday with booked appointments etc etc over the weekend in all hospitals.

Snakey Jakey, Nathan and my new boss Jonathan
Is it just me or does Leanne look like she is looking for an escape route?
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The BHS Family, so proud of them all :-)
My favourite photo of Rebecca and Linda :-)
The platform from which they will launch themselves off!


All of this was fine apart from the fact that on Monday I was so ill and ended up not being with everyone but stuck in hospital with septicemia.  So the new plan is that throughout the day the photos and updates could come through to me here so I could feel part of the day. Leanne BFF had arranged to get Rebecca to the venue and we had a plan to get her home. This freed up Steve to come to have an hour’s breakfast with me prior to starting work. All plans so far going well and apart from the wrong post code being entered into Sat Nav which made Rebecca worry that she would be late everything else was going to plan. Rebecca was eventually delivered to Guildford Cathedral to join the BHS family members and do the Abseil. I just want to be at home watching Daisy Den going up with Steve and Richard working together on his labour of love for me. I want so much to be at home to be with my best mate, to watch him work with Richard having fun together doing man’s stuff together as I watch on with pride, making cups of tea, cold drinks lunch, looking after my men. So I’m dreaming of all of this secretly behind his back as I don’t want him or I to get too excited and then it all goes wrong. As it has with the Abseil, I wanted to be with them so much to see Linda, Rebecca, Janine and Emma do the Abseil and be there to cheer them on but I’ve already lost hope of that happening so now I just want to be at home watching Steve and Richard.

So Steve leaves me after our hour’s breakfast together where in parts it all went wrong I have spent the night planning to do out the loft so that we have a room with a fantastic view, just for us but I hadn’t told anyone before and I now regret even suggesting converting the loft too, as I can see in his eyes the upset, stress and worry that I have now caused him again, shit shit shit shit and bloody shit why didn’t I just leave it? I repeatedly said to him that the plan had never changed that the works over the next 4 weeks would be a little mad and disruption but for me that then ends and it’s all about calm peace bad planning for Christmas but he just looks at me and looks so sad, I can’t seem to reach him, I don’t think he believes me shit shit shit shit. I did all that work last night thinking he would go, wow what a fantastic idea and all just fell flat between my heavily laboured words as I struggle to talk for more than say 10 minutes.

Steve returns me to the ward and he leaves, I had visions of him driving home excited about phase 2 the final wow factor for in the new year a room with a view that we have always wanted but this mega room, a real wow, that contains a bedroom, bathroom,  kitchen area, disabled shower thing everything we would need all in the loft conversion, but Steve didn’t like the idea and I’ve made him sad.

So Steve returns me to the ward and leaves. The doctor approaches me and says that if he can get the antibiotics into tablet form I can go home today. I’m in floods of tears with gratitude tears flow as I can now see Richard and watch with pride as Steve builds his labour of love for me, my Daisy Den.

Mom is due at midday for lunch. So I am watching the clock as I can’t wait to tell her I’m coming home, I haven’t texted Steve as I don’t want to get his hopes up as they have to get the tablets first, it all hangs on that. The doctor returns to me and says that he has passed it to another doctor as they have a fantastic relationship with the pharmacy lab and he would get the results that we need. So I’m playing the waiting game and I’m dreaming of being back at home with my loved ones and seeing Molly moo again, I miss my home so much.

All the  while this is going on I am thinking of the team, the abseil and how much I wanted to see Rebecca, Linda, Janine and Emma complete this abseil, I have dreams of pulling together videos for them to share with their loved ones and I cry that I can’t be with them for this day had been planned around me being there with them for the full week prior, all based around me being well enough after chemo on the Monday and yet again I had screwed it up, shit shit shit shit. what a fool I have been.

At around 11.30 the doctor came to me, he said that they can’t get the antibiotics into tablet form and that the infection in my blood is so serious that they need to get me straight away to the echo department for an emergency scan on my heart as if the infection is in my heart I will be dead within 3 weeks, there is a team waiting now and I have to go. Forget cancer and chemo this infection is too serious.

Mom is due any minute and so I ask for 10 minutes for my mom to arrive before we go, they agree. Mom is running late but arrives at about 12.10. I say hello and explain that we have to go now to the echo unit and that I will explain everything after the scan on my heart. Calls have been put in for a porter to take me but no one is coming as echo is a long way from where we are and it’s hard to find the ward sister is frantic to get me this porter. Mom must have been thinking what on earth is going on all this mega panic about getting a porter, everyone trying everything to find someone who knows where he is. We start asking around the ward and we find a nurse who knows where echo is, we have a member of staff who has the card to get us through all of the back areas as she knows a short cut through the hospital. So all ready we set off at break neck speed with my poor mom behind us trying to keep up with the speed of the team pushing me for about a good 5 -7 minutes to get to echo without a clue as to the panic and importance of this heart scan cos if it’s around my heart I won’t even be here to launch the calendars shit shit shit shit what a fool I have been.

We arrive and the team are waiting for me, It’s a special ultrasound scan just for the heart, I get on the bed and I’m covered in jelly, I have to just lie flat and still and let her do her stuff. I don’t dare look at the screen. She takes video footage of the heart too, measures it like they do with a baby if this scan is bad I’m dead within weeks and if it’s okay then we have hope again. After about 5 minutes of letting her do what she needs to do and as I have to ask, I explain that I know why I’m having the scan and how important it is. That I know that she can’t tell me as a full report has to be completed and verified etc etc but could she please tell me upon what she has seen so far are there any signs of abcesses around my heart?

She knows that I understand the importance of the emergency scan and how she can’t really comment, and I don’t want to look at the screen but she tells me that as far as she can see there is no signs of any abscesses forming around my heart.

Scan complete I then return to my mom and I have to tell her what the panic was and that it’s okay as the heart at this moment is fine but they have to get the drugs into me four times a day and we have to get back to the ward for a the agreed time. So we all as the emergency echo team have to return to the main hospital but you can go a really really super quick way across the road so we take this route with mom and we are sat at a table with two pieces of cake and a hot chocolate as planned within about 10 minutes. Mom than tells me how much I have upset Steve and how stressed out he was when he returned home hence mom being late I suppose.

Hospital life here is a real mixture and before I explain here are some photos for you

IMG_4879 (4)
Porters are fit with 16″ arms wow!
Prince Ali serving morning coffee, tea and toast
This is a Royal Marine I met who was scammed and it has left him wheelchair bound for life. He was in a comma for two weeks and nearly lost his life. We talked for about 1/2 hour and he his such a wonderful man.










So there are 6 beds in our bay on Ward 10

The beds are laid out in twos opposite each other. Now to understand my explanation of the people on the ward I have given them names from the classic sit com Faulty Towers and if you haven’t seen this sitcom then I’m sorry and you may not understand my logic.

Right hand Side first

Bed 1 – Mrs Hall     Bed 2 – Raylene Miles       Bed 3 Cybil Fawlty

Left Hand Side

Bed 1 Miss Tibbs     Bed 2 – Mrs Richards         Bed 3 Me

Mrs Richards has questioned my entertainment license cos she is not sure that I am qualified for entertainment. This is whilst I was singing the Dad’s Army theme tune to Miss Tibbs on night. Mrs Richards, when speaking to medical staff always reminds me of the classic lines:

Mrs Richards: “When I pay for a view, I expect something more interesting than that.”
Basil: “But that is Torquay, madam.”
Mrs Richards: “Well it’s not good enough.”
Basil: “Well may I ask what you expected to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain…”
Mrs Richards: “Don’t be silly. I expect to be able to see the sea.”
Basil: “You can see the sea! It’s over there between the land and the sky!”
Mrs Richards: “I’d need a telescope to see that.”
Basil: “Well might I suggest you move to a hotel closer to the sea. Or preferably in it.”

Today – Saturday 24th October

Daisy Den – Steve’s labour of love. Built by Steve, Richard, Toon and Seward

Daisy Den arrives :-)
Foundations base down



a few hours later
wow almost there boys


Almost finished








Rebecca is having a fun day too shopping with her Aunty Nicky :-))))




So What’s happening here with my results

Echo results are still not available to read

Blood cultures take up to 5 days to grow and no results as yet.

Blood tests – inflammation markers were at 193 (high) now 27 and in a normal person it’s less than 5. So all the results so far are going in the right direction.

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 23.05.19

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 14.56.53 (1)

Talk about save the best for last, well sadly you all have my bum and the Christmas back drop from conference but for me this is my favourite. I wanted it on the front cover but Steve was the final editor so he has the final say.

This is the Big Man himself, Juddy and he now only agreed to do the shot for me he hired all the costumes and had the version of doing the YMCA dance which we did endlessly whilst we worked together at Gatwick Airport. I am so proud of him for doing this as we don’t have perfect bodies and that’s what this Calendar is all about ‘Real People, Real Bodies, Real Cheek!

SO it gives me great pleasure to give to you Mr November, my Juddy.

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 14.57.57

Final shot of December I’m sorry but you have me again, Mrs December





I don’t know a copy of the back page so I’ll put that up tomorrow for you all.

Come On Peter on Strictly, can’t wait to see you dance tonight :-)

And finally Rita prayers for tomorrow are for Karen, Frankie and all in Ward 10 here out on location and for all loved ones caring for people in hospital as I see the sorrow and sadness just in my little world so to think of that suffering up and down the country is hard to think of. For also all medical staf attending to everyone’s needs.

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Married to Steve, I have two children - Rebecca and Richard. Steve has two children, Lauren and Chris. Rebecca lives with us (nurse Rebecca) and my mom Judy also has become nurse and housekeeper but lives in the West Midlands. My son is in the Army and comes home when he can. I am 47, born in 1967 and I was told I had bowel cancer on 22nd Feb 2015 and this blog is my journey through it. I hope it helps you as you were the reason I started it.

26 thoughts on “Warts and All – On Location from Faulty Towers Ward 10 – Stoke Mandeville”

  1. Hope all the results will be ok,
    Don’t rush things everything will still be at home it’s not going anywhere,
    You just get well, thinking of you as always, love you, xxxxxxxx

  2. Sending you masses of love Wendy…we all think about you everyday and pray that you will soon be chilling in your daisy den ❤️

  3. Sending hugs and loads of get well soon wishes!!! That is scary stuff and very serious. Maybe some of those little hospital masks to pass out to visitors when they visit you? My poor mom wasn’t even allowed visitors when going through her chemotherapy during her bout with breast cancer. Friends did understand fortunately and simply sent over food, gifts and phone calls. So much crud going around this time of year not to mention the hospital germs. At any rate, you continue to get better and get home. xx

  4. Thanks for giving me an excuse for a late night glass of wine. Well I thought that was preferable to a cold bum on the loo! Let’s give LOADS of credit to Steve. He’s got you a hot tub and now Daisy Den and that’s just brilliant. Don’t even think about building work in your current state, it’d be madness. Dust and muck and therefore bugs everywhere. We’ve just had a quote to refit our ensuite bathroom with a showe and new units etc etc and they reckon at least 3 weeks work to do it. A loft conversion will take months and cost a pretty bomb. Steve is absolutely right to say no, but like Ian with me, he just wants to do things to make you happy, so give him a big big hug because he deserves it. Now think of little, non messy things such as a garden full of daisies. That we can all do between us. Lecture over ;-). Naughty Wendy!! Now we are all waiting for Fawlty Ward 10 Episode 2. Tons of love xxxxxx

  5. Hi Wendy you must be so worried all these tests take so long to get the results. I really admire you as you still have your sense of humour I loved faulty towers.I am sure you are keeping the ward entertained. Well done to everyone who did the abseiling. So Daisies Den is here how exciting. Steve, Richard and friends must have worked really hard and the weather was awful. Now you can think about doing the interior putting all your lovely daisy things together. I am really looking forward to getting the calendars I have already told some of our regular customer about it. I hope you manage to get some sleep. I am thinking of you and sending you and your family my love and also sending you all hugs. XXXXXXXX

  6. Hey there cutie
    Just hold on tight and weather the storm xxx
    Honestly kiddo you wouldn’t believe the half of it if it wasn’t true.
    The stress your all under beggars belief, it is all so real & frightening. My heart is with you and your beautiful family always.

    So Daisy Den has been built, just fantastic, your strong brave men have been working hard to bring it to life. <3
    I know you will be so proud of them & the girls too of course x

    Steve is a trooper bless his heart, the load he Carries is heavy he would give you the earth, moon & stars if he could, but actually he does with the love & tenderness of his heart.
    He will be fine my sweet fear not X just concentrate on getting that infection gone and getting home to your beautiful family Then start get your Christmas Planner on the go :-)

    I've got my prayer & candle list for tomorrow night X THANK YOU X. I'll be on it directly after work tomorrow xxx

    Love Always xxxxxxx

  7. Oh don’t be too hard on yourself Wendy – the timing might have been a bit pants as Steve hadn’t built Daisy Den before you were discussing the next project tee hee – but it’s good to plan and it’s good to dream.

    One minute the Doctors think you can go home and the next they are telling you your life is on the line and you’d better hoof it down the corridor. Talk about not knowing whether you are coming or going.

    I hope the tests come back positive and they let you go home soon. You get by on very little sleep as it is so goodness knows how you are managing on a ward.

    G’Night Wendy xxx

  8. Hello bum chum thank you for making me part of this it’s not all about being on the front cover its about raising lots of money for your charity see you soon love and hugs big juddy and the village people xxxx

  9. Sorry your still stuck in hospital but it is probably the best place for you right now, even though your desperate to get back to your wonderful family and to see the new daisy den. Congratulations to Rebecca and the BHS family on the absail. The Juddy calendar picture is my favourite as I love the sense of humour in that picture. Zoe and I were planning on visiting you on Tuesday to deliver your bunting but as your still hospitalised you will have to message me your address so I can post them to you. Shame. Hope your feeling better soon. Xxx

  10. Hope all tests are ok Wendy keeping my fingers crossed…daisy den coming along nicely cant wait to see it well done Steve and Richard….thinking of you all and you Auntie Judy you must be out of your mind with worry…well done Rebecca and all who did the abseil….lots of love xxxxxx

  11. Wow you certainly don’t do things by half, fingers crossed your test come back all clear. Trust you to think of Faulty Towers at a time like this, but I guess it’s your humour that gets you through all this shit!
    Wendy all Steve wants is to see you well and happy but I’m guessing sometimes when looking at the future it just hurts to much, be patient with him he loves you so much.
    Daisy den is looking fabulous, well done guys. Look forward to putting all your daisy collection in it Wendy that will help you get through this hospital stay.
    Abseilers did good.
    Take care, get better soon. X

  12. After catching up on your posts, I’m so sorry to read that you’ve been through the wringer again Wendy.
    I realise how devastated you are to have missed out on being with your loved ones at recent events; the abseil, the mounting of Daisy Den, the award acceptance etc. It’s awful to be hospital bound, fingers crossed for your test results and hopefully these meds will sort you out quickly so you can be home again.

    Daisy Den looks fab by the way – the guys have done a wonderful job. Well done to the abseilers!…. and not forgetting your mum too. I can certainly see where you get your strength from.

    …. and as for being surrounded by the “Fawlty Towers ladies”, I ask myself: Could you BE more strategically placed?!! Next to Mrs. Richards and opposite Cybil – FFS! … ask Cybil about her ingrowing toe nail, and tell her she better get out of there – asap, before Basil bets her life’s savings on the horses and burns the hotel down!! x

    Much love and hugs to you my Lovely.

    Thinking of you. Xxx

  13. In case you read this far, as of Tuesday 27th, Wendy’s husband, Steve, reports that Wendy is getting better and hopes to be allowed home soon.

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