Sorry it has been so long since I lasted updated you all.
To be honest there isn’t much to say. I’m ticking along just nicely and have even applied for a couple of jobs.
I had my 3 weekly Herceptin and Perjeta yesterday and after a few problems with the calcium levels in blood, I’m having my demosumab (bone strenghtener) injection tomorrow. I am supposed to have it every 4 weeks but it has been 6 weeks since my last one.
In less then 2 weeks I will be taking part in my second Race for Life and unlike last year, I have been doing a little bit of training towards it. I am hoping to get a better time then I did last year (managed it in 45mins). Here is a link to my JustGiving page for anyone who would like to sponsor me https://www.justgiving.com/Kimberley-Unsworth3/
Well that’s me caught up for now and I promise not to leave it too long next time
It has been playing on my mind for quite some time and my recent trip to the Breast Care Clinic only confirmed it.
Can you believe it has been nearly a year since my diagnosis?
Looking back over the past year, so much has changed (both good & bad) and I have grown so much as a person. I have found out things about myself I would have never believed were true. I felt scared, determined and bewildered all at the same time. All because of one little word.
So as 20th February draws closer, it got me thinking how am I going to spend my “cancerversary”? Some people do nothing, some may even mourn the day while others choose to do something, which is what I plan to do. So I have booked a weekend away to Manchester for me, Tom & my babies so we can have some fun as a family. I have decided that am I going to celebrate each year I beat the little b*****d instead of letting it get me down.
Yesterday I had my 3 weekly dose of Herceptin & Pertuzumab. So I thought I’d share a couple of videos showing how each of the drugs work within my body. Pertuzumab is a relatively new drug & at the moment I am 1 of only 5 patients receiving it at my hospital. It works alongside the Herceptin (trastuzumab) to help stop the Cancer cells dividing & spreading.
I feel like bursting into a Celine Dion song today.
To my amazement, my hair, eyebrows & eyelashes are all growing back. I can even wear mascara again.
As I’m sure you will remember I was trying out FAST shampoo & conditioner to see if it would help my hair grow back a little quicker. Well it’s been 6 weeks since I started using it & 4 weeks since I posted some photos so I thought I’d show you how my hair looks now & I’ll let you be the judge 😃
After watching some of the interviews Lynda Bellingham has done recently and hearing some of her funny stories, it made me think about some of the funny things that have happened to me since my diagnosis. There have been so many situations that I have found myself in that just would not have been the case if I wasn’t ill. This has now prompted me to share some of these with you, both now and in the future. So here goes!
My first happened just the other month when my sister and I went to see Lee Evans at the NIA. I’m sure you are all aware of how profusely he sweats on stage, well it was hardly surprising, as the arena was so hot and there was no air conditioning. As it was a night out, I had decided to wear one of my wigs and by the interval I was a mess. Try as we might, we couldn’t get a drink from anywhere as there were so many people. When we finally found a shorter queue we were told that they were not letting anyone else in at that time but we could wait. By this point I was so hot and bothered I decided enough was enough, the wig had to come off (fortunately I had a head scarf in my bag). Well I’ve never seen the security move so fast “What sort of drink did you want?”. “Anything. Water, any soft drink. I don’t care” I replied. We were then rushed through to get our drinks and they apologised for making us wait. I couldn’t believe it and I tell you one thing, if I’d known that earlier I would have bloody played the cancer card then! The funniest thing was I only took my wig off because I was too hot, I had no intention of it drawing any attention, let alone get us some drinks. God only knows how anyone else around us reacted, would have been funny to see.
My second story is more of a conundrum. As I have said many times before, cancer is not glamorous and dignity is a distant memory. The other day as I preparing myself I was told that two male nurses would be preparing and positioning me ready for treatment. I was given the option of female nurses, however it might mean having to wait until one was available. I gave it some thought and it occurred to me, what is the point? My boob is swollen and bright red, my arms are held up like a puppet and I have a wonderful bit of yellow plastic holding my chin up. If anyone found that attractive, they had bigger problems than me! I ended up telling them to just get on with it so I could go home.
I had a discussion with a couple of the girls on the workshop yesterday about how being diagnosed is bittersweet.
On the one hand you are dealt with something you wouldn’t wish on even your worse enemy and on the other, it makes you take stock of your life and makes you want to make the most out of it.
If I had been told I would do even half the stuff I have done in the past 8 months, this time last year, I probably would have just laughed it off. However, since my diagnosis I have done so much,
- I met my favourite boyband
- I have made some incredible new friends and reconnected with others
- I shaved my hair off for charity
- I completed the Race for Life and even ran a little bit of it
- I have been able to manage running home, caring for my children, endured surgery, chemotherapy and the shock of having cancer and continued studying towards my degree
- I’ve held a Strawberry Tea for Breast Cancer Care
- This weekend I am going to be completing the Midnight Walk for Katharine House Hospice
- I went on a Look Good Feel Better workshop and to Hoar Cross Hall
- I went on my first study visit to Liverpool (something I was very nervous about doing)
- I am booked to go on another study visit to Brighton next month but this time I will be going for the whole weekend
- With my family I have been to Nottingham, Bath and London all in between my treatment
- and countless other things
But the best thing is, it’s only September so there are plenty other things I could do! If I’m honest, I have no idea what will happen before the end of the year but I’m excited to find out.
Like I said before, having cancer is bittersweet, it is only now that I am really enjoying life and having the guts to do all the things I want to. So my advise to all of you reading this is if there is something you want to do, just do it! Don’t be afraid, don’t think you are being selfish, just get on with it! The only person you are letting down is yourself and if like me, you’ll be excited about what it will lead to next.
So until next time, I’m off to plan another adventure x
Can’t believe how long it has been since I last updated you all.
I’ve spent today at Hoar Cross Hall, attending a Look Good, Feel Better workshop. This was provided the a charity of the same name which aims to provide practicial and free services to women and teenagers who suffer from the visable side effects from cancer treatments. They do this with a 12 step programme which they go through with you in the workshop and you are given a bag with all the products in to use and take home (I’ll just add here that they are all full sized products not just testers).
About 13 of us came to the workshop, all at various stages of treatment, and it was lovely to meet some new people with whom you have a lot in common with. From what we were told, this was the first one in the area and I honestly hope there are a lot more in the future. We were all able to have a giggle and learn something new. It was lovely to be able to get a bit glammed up and be able to do it at home too. As an extra treat Hoar Cross Hall also allowed us to have lunch and use of the facilities at a reduced rate.
I took full advantage and enjoyed the pool and various aqua spa facilities. There are times when you feel really low and have no confidence in the way you look (especially after putting on weight and being ill). This day really helped me to feel better about myself and made me realise that I can still pamper myself, ok maybe not in the same way I use to but this has shown me a new way.
I must admit, although I have to go through so much rubbish with my cancer, I am enjoying the perks too.
So here’s to looking good and feeling better!
My goody bag
12 Step programme