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
So yesterday was a fairly busy day.
Firstly I had a hair appointment, which I was very excited about as I could actually choose the style (what I had been going for before or a bob cut). It is lovely to be able to have the option, usually I just have it styled to help grow it out so I opted for a bob cut. It’s still a little short in place but as soon as the hairdresser put in the fringe, it looked perfect and I am so happy with it. I also captured some photos to show you all.
Secondly, I completed my 3rd Race for Life with my friend Kate and her daughter Megan. To say I was nervous, was an understatement, I was petrified! My idea to train and prepare myself went out of the window so I was really unprepared. However, we managed to get round in 49 minutes (Megan in 35 mins) and 24 hours later, I’m still here. My legs are really aching though and I was so tired I had to have a nap. So here is a photo of us just before we started (there is a photo as we crossed the finish line but it is not glamorous)
Well, that’s all to update at the moment. I’m off to get my 5th assignment ready to send off (hopefully this evening)
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
Today was kind of a day off the treatment as the machine was having a service so I thought I’d plan a catch up lunch with a friend and a few other bits and bobs.
To start the day off I thought I’d wear a new dress I’d been looking forward to wearing. All was going well until I looked in the window and saw I looked like Sinead O’Connor (I’ve got nothing against her but I don’t think the look suits me). That was a little upsetting, I just wish I had my long hair back. It doesn’t help either when you are feeling exhausted and poorly.
I dropped my children off at nursery and headed home to spend some time with my dog before heading into town to buy Lynda Bellingham’s new book and have lunch. When I met my friend, as usual it took us ages to look at the menu as we were too busy talking. I had my usual a nice healthy salad with a lemon meringue to balance it out (hehe). We had some brilliant conversations and giggles, most of it was the kind of “had to be there” to get it but I had a great time. It was nice to be able to forget everything I’m feeling at the moment and just let loose. The only problem was it never seems long enough.
After that it was back to it, sadly being a mum as well as a cancer patient means life never stops. You never have time to wallow in self-pity or sleep for hours on end. But I guess it has helped me to stay so positive, watching my two children (even though they can be little tinkers at times) makes me want to fight so I can carry on watching them for as long as I can. Nothing can brighten your day like your child giving you a cuddle or telling you they love you. Things have been difficult for both of them, my little girl especially, as they are both too young to understand what is happening to Mummy.
Well this evening my plan is to do a little bit of coursework, settle down with some chocolate and start my new book.
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!