26 Feb 2013

Party Time!

Hello, hello. Where to start? I have so much to tell you all.

I have been a very busy baldy the last few days. My little sister came to visit which was so nice. We had a lovely time together eating yummy food, including a chicken pie which she very kindly and expertly topped with pastry boobs and the Coppafeel! Logo. 

What can I say. My sister's a LEGEND
Credit has to go to Madre too for making the pie.

What a trouper! Our time together was cut slightly short by a Sunday night hospital trip (rubbish). It turned out I was okay, I didn’t have an infection (woop woop), but the toxic nasties had escaped my vein and done some damage to my arm muscle (ouchies).

Yesterday we had the big fundraiser for Coppafeel! at The Winking Prawn. My oh my what a night! It was everything I wished for and more. I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of people that showed up, the amount of money raised (nearly £5000) and the amount of love and support I received. I have to give some shout outs…

A MASSIVE thank you to Lucy, Jane, Christine, Mark and Lorenzo for organising it all.

To every member of staff that worked it (for free would you believe).

To anyone who donated raffle prizes, food, drink etc.

And finally to every single person that bought a ticket and showed up. I can’t believe how many of you there were. I’m sorry I didn’t get round to meeting and thanking you all personally. But I did try my best to circulate!!

Now I'm sure you are all desperate to know what I wore to this lovely event and how I accesorised my beautiful bald head. Well let me tell you..

I wore a PINK wig :) with a hairband, to disguise the fake parting and make it look more like real hair. Pink lipstick was an absolute must. (I wore MAC Candy Yum-Yum).

Me with said pink hair and lippie

I also wore some (*ahem) BEAUTIFUL SUPER AMAZING pink shoes :)

Photo courtesy of my friend Jess

Now for the fun part, THE PHOTOS. Below is a selection of my favourite snaps of the night to show those of you who couldn’t make it what you missed out on…

Me and the Lovely Lucy

Coppafeel!'s number one fans!

Coppin' a feel at the end of the night!

See I'm not the only one with a love for crazy headgear!
What a CUTE Coppafeel! fan

In beauty news I had a bit of a spree in MAC the other day so hopefully sometime over the next few days I will be posting a make up how to video/blog. For now I thought I would tell you all about my favourite new purchase. The Diorshow Art Pen. I’ve always liked liquid eyeliner, but sometimes struggled with applying it because the length of the brush handle in ones I’ve had before has been so short. My new lovely eyeliner has been a revelation. Not only is it super easy to apply, it is also highly pigmented (unlike others I’ve used before) and has GREAT staying power. It survived the few tears I shed last night with ease, yet was easy to remove once the partying was over. Well worth the pounds I spent. £££

To finish, here is a photo of me at the end of the night when the wig came off. (Notice all my make up, eyeliner included is still perfectly in place).

Bald is still beautiful
Love you long time. X

23 Feb 2013

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22 Feb 2013

I told you pigs can fly...

Good news... A mixture of new tablets and a new found love for water has definitely improved my chemo experience this time around! As you all know from my last few posts the second round of the toxic nasties got me real good. So naturally I was a little apprehensive about round 3. I had read before about the importance of drinking LOTS of water the day before, the day of and the day after chemo. So this time around I decided to up my game. Let me tell you every middle of the night toilet trip was worth it. Drinking loads of water really did help me. I felt way less nauseous this time and my arm has been less painful. Result! I can't pretend I have felt wonderful but there is a definite improvement in my rate of recovery from last time. 

I have been squished and squashed with love this week and I am NOT complaining. I am all about positivity, laughter and love. I do believe it makes such a difference, not only to my mood and how I am dealing with everything but also to how other people cope around me. Kindness, especially from strangers, has made my week and put many a smile on my face. I have been so well looked after by friends and family and I have even got the odd treat from strangers too! 

What have I been wearing this week whilst feeling poorly sick? I may feel rubbish but that does not mean I am living in 5 year old track suits from school and leggings with holes in (*yes alright Madre, well not everyday any way). Some days I do feel well enough to get out of my pyjamas...

In other news, feeling poorly and extreme boredom has given me time to address the main beauty issue I've had this week....

Dry flaky nails, cuticles and hands. 

I am currently working my way through tubes and tubes of hand cream and nail oil.  At the moment, Vaseline healthy hands and nail cream has been my cream of choice. It absorbs quickly and is not too greasy but I do find my hands are still left a little dry. My smell and tastes change during chemo but luckily I like this smell ALOT (unlike some other hand creams) and it doesn't turn my stomach (BONUS). I'm also on the hunt for a good nail oil. In order to disguise my ugly nails I decided to go for full on bling just because can.  Why not? It also makes me happy every time I look at them. 

I have a very exciting few days ahead. My baby sister is coming to stay for the weekend (*cue happy dance) and on Monday there is a big fundraiser at The Winking Prawn to raise money for everyone running the Bath Half Marathon in aid of Coppafeel. I am beyond excited for this! Fingers crossed we raise LOADS of money!!! 

And finally proof pigs really can fly....

My necklace says so!

Love you long time. X

14 Feb 2013

The funny side of chemo...

Before the next round of the toxic nasties tomorrow, I thought I would share with you some funny moments from this week. Since chemo started I have had a number of side effects. Some of which are most unpleasant, however others as I have recently discovered, can provide much entertainment. One such symptom is my dodgy hip. Yes that's right, at 22 years old my left hip has started misbehaving. When I say misbehaving, what I actually mean is giving way without any prior warning. I was posing for a photo with friends at the weekend when suddenly my hip gave way and I fell forwards and gave myself and them a bit of a shock. 

On Tuesday I went to Plymouth for a CT head scan. I also went shopping for bits and pieces to decorate my room with. I was on my way from the car park to the shop when suddenly my hip misbehaved once more. However this time was worse. MUCH worse. You see this time I was already on the move and so when my hip played up I fell. I fell forwards. I fell forwards towards a lamp post. I tried to stand back up but my hip still wasn't working so I then twisted my ankle. So in order to avoid said lamp post I had to hop on my right foot whilst dragging my left leg behind me, arms flailing all over the place. By this stage I looked like a cross between a baby bird trying to take flight and something from The Matrix. My friend Lucy was walking behind me carrying her baby. She laughed so much she nearly dropped the baby. But everyone else in the car park kept walking. They carried on as if nothing was happening. If anything they gave Lucy dirty looks for laughing at me. Maybe this type of thing is normal in Plymouth? 

One morning this week I was getting ready to go out when the doorbell rang. I was half dressed so I threw on my dressing gown and plodded down the stairs to answer the door, presuming it was the postman. My dressing gown is bright pink and fleecy. I had half a face of make up. I also had bare bruised and cut legs (walking accident). I had also forgotten that I don't have any hair. I wasn't wearing a hat. Yes that's right, I opened the front door wearing a pink fluffy dressing gown, half a face of make up, bald head out, looking battered and bruised. Alas, it wasn't the postman. It was a guy from the electric company who needed to read my electric meter. His facial expression was unlike anything I have ever seen before. The poor man had the shock of his life. To say it was awkward when he then had to come upstairs to read the meter, is the understatement of the century! After he left I laughed uncontrollably to myself for a good five minutes. I think in future I need to keep a hat by the door!!

So the third chemo is tomorrow. This means I may not be writing again for a little while. The good thing is that I now have a TV in my bedroom so even if I am as poorly as I was last time at least I can now watch TV! I also have a new friend to keep me company...

In other news, as you all know I am all about raising awareness of breast cancer in younger ladies. I have recently been made an ambassador for the charity Coppafeel which aims to do just that! Please take the time to browse their website, they are spreading an important message! Tell all your friends too! THANK YOU. 

Love you long time. X

11 Feb 2013

Making bald beautiful and finding a use for a hairbrush when you have no hair...

Good news. I am feeling MUCH better!! I have had a very eventful week. On Tuesday I ended up in hospital with a temperature and chest pains. After an X-ray and some uber-fun blood tests I was given some antibiotics and pain killers and sent on my way. 

With Madre in London it was Lucy and Caitin's turn to play nurse. And what a good job they did! With a bit of TLC I was feeling much better by Friday. I got to see Snoop Doggy Rob and Jane for lunch on Wednesday. He bought me a life time supply of peas and my eagerly awaited banana loaf (which by the way was DELICIOUS thank you Jane). I even managed a lovely walk with a friend on Thursday.

I have eaten some YUMMY healthy food this week...

I made the fruit salad. Unfortunately I cannot claim to have cooked the rest.!

As i'm sure you all know by now, I have no hair. Yes that's right I am a baldy. However to my great relief, I have now discovered that my greatest fear of looking like Dappy from N-Dubz was in fact just a fear and not a reality. (Phew *que happy dance). Now that I am feeling better, this weekend has been all about embracing my new look. As you can imagine it's quite difficult to know how to dress with no hair. It's weird not to have it hanging around my shoulders. My neck and head are surprisingly cold. But my biggest hurdle has been that having no hair makes me look more unwell. However, I don't want to look like a poorly person when I go out for lunch or to see friends! So I've been working on my chemo chic.

What do you think?

I added a scarf to keep me warm and a fun t-shirt to distract away from the obvious head with no hair covered by a hat look.  Also after much research, I have discovered when you wear shoes as great as the red boots, no one cares about the bald head. I went to M and S before my oncology appointment on Friday and to my great surprise, strangers rarely took notice of my head. The truth is, very few people even looked twice at it. One woman in the queue at the check out sort of smiled at me weirdly but that was it. In general people cared a whole lot less than I expected. 

As well as fashioning a new look I've also been working on my make up. How to disguise the extremes of face colour I seem to go through. I'm either bright red in the face from the steroids I'm taking, or deathly pale from my lack of immune system and now that I am feeling better, I have started to care a whole lot more about my appearance. I used my first real bout of energy giving myself a well needed facial. (Sad I know). So it became my mission this week to make the bald, look beautiful. This what I came up with. 

What do you think???

A couple of friends came down to see me this weekend. It was really nice to see them. They went out on Friday night and I went over and sat with them whilst they were getting ready. My immune system is at an all time low in its cycle so unfortunately I couldn't join them on their adventures (especially to the place they were going) but I did get asked to do their eye make up...

You likey??? I love doing other people's make up, so it was a treat. My weapons of choice...

Once they were all dressed up, they walked me home and then off they went. As I lay in bed that night I couldn't help but wish I was able to go with them. One of the not so good perks of Kenneth I guess. I think I am going to have to start getting used to this sort of thing really. When I heard the stories of their night the next day I think it was probably a good thing I didn't join them! The same thing happened the next night. We had a LOVELY meal out together (even though we went super early and sat in the corner away from the general public to minimise germ potential) but then I went home and they continued their night out. Again, the stories the next day suggested I didn't miss out on much! 

As well as pampering myself, I have also been hard at work reorganising and sorting out my bedroom. You see I spend huge amounts of time in there nowadays. So I woke up on Saturday morning (when I say morning I actually mean 11.59am, I haven't been sleeping well, which is how I justified this immense lie-in to Madre) and decided it was time for a change. 

When Lucy and baby Honor came over for a cup of tea in the afternoon she took one look at me (bald head out, dressed in the opposite of my sunday best, surrounded by piles of clothes, make up, teddies, weird duck ornaments I had collected over the years, old family photos etc with a frantic look on my face) and genuinely believed I was having some sort of mental break down. I wasn't, but I can understand why she might have thought this. Anyway it turns out sorting out my room took ALOT longer than I expected. After some hard work, numerous cups of tea, spontaneous singing and dance routines (you see a hair brush is still useful to me even without hair) and bags full of rubbish I finally have a room I am happy with (for now anyway). 

And tomorrow I am going on an exciting outing to the skip or tip, whatever it is called, I seem to get it wrong regularly, maybe I should just call it the dump. Anyway I am going to use my trip to the dump (wow I do lead such a glamorous lifestyle) as a sort of milestone. Throwing away the rubbish stuff (emotions and thoughts included) and embracing the new me. 

The all singing, all dancing, bald new me. 

You see having no hair has its perks... I use a hairbrush for Karaoke, when I have a bath I can have bubbles EVERY TIME, getting ready in the morning I can just throw a hat on and I have loads of free time to do pretty Valentine's day style manicures....

Love you long time. X

Ps. To all of my secret admirers that are planning on sending me Valentines day gifts. I really like red roses, hand written poems and love songs, diamonds, shoes, designer handbags and chocolates!! And if all else fails you could always just send me some frozen peas. (See previous blog post).

4 Feb 2013

Give me PEAS!!!

For some reason this session of the toxic nasties was way worse for me than the last. Without bigging myself up too much, I thought I handled the first round pretty well. I mean, I felt really rubbish for about 5 days but I still managed a few walks, had a few visitors and I had gradually returned to a fairly normal state by the end of week 2, which then gave me almost a whole week of feeling 'ok'. This time however has been different. I didn't know what feeling rubbish truly meant until Tuesday night. I won't bore you all with descriptions of my varying symptoms but last time seems like a walk in the park in comparison. 

I am trying really hard not to be disappointed in how my body is coping after batch 2, but it really is letting me down. I haven't been on one walk. I've barely paid attention to one movie and I haven't even put make up on once (which means things really must be bad). Madre has had to hold me down whilst she slathers my face and hands in moisturiser because I am feeling too rubbish to care but she can see my skin flaking away before her very eyes. I have also had delirious moments where I have seen an imaginary visitor sitting on my bed (I even asked Madre to move out of their way). I then had the actual nerve to actively refuse any normal visitors because I couldn't even be bothered to talk (yes Daddy this is astonishing, I know). It's been a real weird week...

I have had all manner of food cravings, most of them I am convinced are because my body needed a nutrient that was in them. For example I have craved tomatoes, avocado, salmon and broccoli. To top it all I haven't gone one day without peas since last Tuesday. I honestly cannot have dinner without them. Worrying I know. My favourite moment so far was when I truly believed I couldn't survive on Sunday night if I didn't have pear crumble. All I wanted was hot pears and I didn't let Madre forget it! Don't worry she delivered and it was delicious. I have since learnt that you could feed me a meal of peas, broccoli and potatoes and I would be happy for life. 

Apart from Madre and her magical nursing skills there is one other thing that has made a massive difference to this otherwise pretty rubbish week... A WHOLE BUNCH OF WONDERFUL PRESENTS AND CARDS. Honestly, I have been flabbergasted by everyones continued kindness and generosity. Almost everyday this week Madre has trotted into my bedroom brandishing a card or parcel for me to open. Each and everyone of them has made my facial expression turn from a painful grimace into a smile (albeit if only for a moment) and also I think provided Madre with a glimmer of hope that I am still human and have not in fact evolved into a chemobot (chemo induced robot). I got an amazing personalised onesie (photo to follow), a beautiful bobble hat, a jumper, some flowers and this AMAZING photo book of memories and well wishes (which almost made me shed a tear, I say almost because for those of you who know me well, this is a feat in itself as I am no big crier). Honestly, I am not expecting to be treated like this after every cycle but by golly does it do wonders to help lift a girl's spirit! So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! 

I am going to do a full post about my advice for chemo once I have finished all my rounds and I know I cannot claim to be an expert but this is my advice so far...

Listen to your body and if you won't do that then at least listen to your mummy (or other nominated carer). 
You may not want to drink water, or eat an oat cake at 7am because you need to take a tablet with food but you have to nonetheless. Your skin may be flaking away and you may not care but it will love you a whole bunch if you moisturise it! Even better if you can convince someone else to do it for you. Note to self, Madre does a mean hand massage! Sometimes mother really does know best! 

Have a fun event planned each week to look forward to
For example I am REALLY looking forward to going out for lunch with Snoop Doggy Rob on Wednesday! (Mainly because I think we are going somewhere I can eat mushy peas and also I have been promised a healthy homemade banana loaf from Jane!).

Don't forget to smile. 
It's hard to smile all the time I know and trust me I haven't been all smiles this week by any means, however, when I did manage a smile it helped both me and whoever was around me to cope just a little better. Even if I was only smiling because Madre bribed me with promise of some peas for tea and a cuddle before bed!

Love you long time. X