Food for Thought

When you usually see cancer, it is in adverts or leaflets. It is censored and made to look comfortable for its viewers. The article below is about a series of images that depict real people living with very real cancer. So are funny and some aren’t but this is the reality. I’ve even included one of my old photos to this post

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36461223

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Times are changing…

Some of you may notice a couple of little changes to my blog.

After a lot of thought (& a little status on Facebook), I’ve decided to change my blog. I haven’t been updating you all on the cancer stuff as, to be honest, there isn’t anything new to update you all on. The are positives and negatives to this. The positive being, I am fighting the cancer and there have been no developments or progression. The negative is that I haven’t been able to write on my blog.

It’s funny really, I started this blog with the local radio station & I was really nervous about writing as I thought I would be rubbish at it & wouldn’t know what to write. However, I love it!

Therefore, I will now be blogging about my life (it can seem pretty crazy at times). I’ll update you on things I have been up to, adventures, funny anecdotes (hopefully I’ll have some), a bit of cancer stuff & anything else I think you might like to hear about. This way I can write a bit more & share with you the everyday goings on of someone with cancer.

So here goes!

Hopefully you will all enjoy seeing where this goes

x

Told you I’d put up a fight!

So today Timehop had another reminder for me.

IMG_3359

It was such a blow for me that day, my idea that morning was to see the oncologist who would tell me everything was going to plan and that my chemo would rid me of my cancer. However, as usual for me, it didn’t quite go that way. I was sat down, the doctor gave a huge sigh and said that this was the part of the job she hated. My cancer had spread and was, therefore, incurable. She promised me it could be managed and although she has since left my hospital, her promise has been kept. At the time, my only wish was to see my little girls first day at school and enjoy life more as I had no idea how long I would last (sorry a bit depressing)

But here I am 2 years later, with no further spread, after my chemo kicked the s**t out of it and reduced the mass on my pelvis, spine and hip to just a small amount on my pelvis and hip.

So I guess I’d better make some aims for the next 2 years!

  1. My sisters wedding and subsequent hen do’s (one of which I am allowed to plan)
  2. My little boy’s first day of school
  3. A big family holiday (we are more in the habit of weekends away then proper holidays, but this ends now)
  4. Carry on enjoying life (this will include wacky weekends away, meeting celebs and some other weird and wonderful things that crop up along the way)

So, to end I thought I’d share a photo from our first adventure of the year, Alton Towers (and Cbeebies Land).

12 Cbeebies 2

Half way through the week

Well, Wednesday is drawing to a close. I’ve completed 4 of my 6 appointments for the week and my cold is finally starting to clear off.

So here is a round up of the week so far

Monday- Nurse- taking bloods ready for treatment on Wednesday

Breast Consultant- beginning to look at reconstruction or some sort of surgery                                                               but this is dependant on the oncologist

Tuesday- Day off

Wednesday- Oncology Nurse- Check up and arrange CT scan and Echocardiogram, she has                                                             also ok’d surgery but has to double check with the                                                                               oncologist and we discussed me taking Flaxseed (apparently                                                             it can help suppress cancer cells if you take 1-2tsp a day so                                                               I’ve ordered some to be delivered tomorrow)

Nurse- Herceptin and Perjeta- 3 weekly top up, this usually takes around 3                                                hours (including observation period)

Catch up

Can’t believe it’s been so long since I last posted an update.

So much has gone on since last time. My new drugs appear to be working and I am now showing some signs of the menopause (mainly hot flushes) and the cancer marker in my blood is reducing. I have had to give up my job due to being too tired (working as a cleaner probably wasn’t the best idea). Although I do still get tired, I am able to rest more and do some more things to help me relax, such as scrap-booking and some trips out.

This past weekend has also marked 2 years since my diagnosis!

Yes, you read that right 2 YEARS!!!!

I honestly never believed that I would still be here 2 years later and feeling quite well for it. Last week in the lead up it was tough, but I have tried my best to stay positive, thinking about how far I’ve come and how well I am considering all of this. I am still very much alive and kicking (cancer’s butt). You will also be happy to hear that I (well my hubby and mother in law) are still using the “C” card. The most significant one was at the weekend when my hubby had arranged a shopping trip with a personal shopper, I got a free makeover, my nails done and an arm massage for free. My mum in law and me had an amazing time, am already saving up to do it again!

Only real complaint I have at the moment is this cold weather we are having. I know, I sound like an old woman but I really do feel the cold and it really makes my joints ache, especially my hip. But every morning when I leave the house, I am reminded that spring is on it’s way with the lovely daffodils and hopefully some tulips soon.

Well that’s enough of my ramblings, I promise to keep you up to date more often.

x

 

 

 

Letting go

The past few weeks have been difficult to say the least. Following my flu jab, I was ill for 2 weeks which ended up becoming a chest infection and requiring anti-biotics. I have also been suffering with fatigue which has seen me, quite often, falling asleep on the sofa either mid afternoon or in the evening. It has also meant that I’ve been a little short with my babies.

From this, I have started to think about the future and how much I am putting on myself. 

With this I have had to make some difficult decisions. The first being to reduce my shifts at work from 4 to 3 a week and secondly, to only work towards a diploma as opposed to a degree. My degree has been the most difficult decision to make as I enjoy it and really wanted to get a degree, however I am finding myself falling further and further behind which, in turn, pushes my finishing date back (and to be honest I don’t want to spend the rest of my life working towards it). I love learning and discovering new things about photography and art but it is getting to the point where I’m too busy to even take photos and very free minute I have is spent doing coursework. 

I still have plenty of years in me but I would rather spend them with my family and friends. A degree would be great and so would more money but the effect it is having on my health is too great and it really isn’t worth it. 

Having made these decisions, I found that last night I slept a lot better last night and feel a lot more confident. It has been difficult to “let go” of these things but I think it is the best decision in the long run. 

Support Networks

I have seen this article floating around Facebook today and it really made me think

http://www.babble.com/parenting/to-the-mom-without-a-village/

It talks about how it takes a ‘village’ to raise a child i.e. the support networks we have around us to help us bring up our children. These networks can be family, friends, education providers, healthcare etc. These networks also provide a variety of support from guiding children to providing support for the parents.

However this can easily be transferred to illness and in my case, cancer.

Over the past year or so, support networks have been a big thing for me, from my family helping out with my little monkeys (& in the case of my dad, providing us all with more meals than I can remember) to my newly found friends (both old friends who have become closer than ever to all the women on the cancer support groups on Facebook) & my wonderful hubby, who in the nearly 5 years we have been married has had to deal with more than some people who have been married for 20 years. There are also the goodness knows how many nurses, volunteers, doctors and Macmillan workers (to name but a few) who have had to listen to me pour my heart out when all they have really asked was how I am.

People often ask how I am able to cope? How am I able to stay up beat and keep on fighting? The truth is, without these people, I really don’t know.

Having cancer at 31 is an incredibly hard thing to get your head around. I assumed when I turned 30, my biggest problem would be how to cope with a hangover now I’m that tiny bit older and the best way to cover up a mum tum. Sounds silly I know but some days it would be nice to have just these problems.

The other week, some friends arranged a trip out with our children but I had to decline as I was having treatment (& after some messing around from the hospital I ended up having to postpone it until the next day). I felt really rubbish about it because nowadays I have to plan my life around my illness, it’s not like re-arranging a hair appointment. If I miss treatment it’s…. well it’s not possible. I wish I could have more time for friends but it isn’t always easy. With so much going on in my life, it is easy to forget to get in touch with people and make arrangements to see people. The reason I am so close to my best friend is because we constantly text, message and meet up. I can be feeling really crappy as I’ve had a bad day but just one message, even if it is something completely random, can make me feel so much better.

I know I’ve probably rambled on but the point in this post is really to thank everyone in my support network and try to show you all how much you all mean to me.

x