24 Aug 2013

My doctors have got a RAD new idea...

Hello my lovely readers. How are you all? I hope you are enjoying the bank holiday weekend. I bet you are all wondering what I have been up to? Well let me fill you in…

My wounds have been healing nicely which is really great. I still have a couple of dressings on but it won’t be long until I am dressing free (*I hope) and finally able to have a bath. I also have a lot more energy that I have been putting to good use by going for some nice walks in the sunshine. I had a dose of Herceptin at the hospital that went fine and I have done the odd bit of writing. As you can see I haven’t really had a very eventful week, well I hadn’t until yesterday. Yesterday I had an appointment with my oncologists. This appointment lasted nearly and hour and a half. In this appointment I was told I would need radiotherapy. EURGH. This was not part of the plan. I thought I was going to avoid being zapped. It turns out the universe had other ideas.

As if this latest blow wasn’t enough to ruin my week I then got told that my course of radio would last for five weeks. Most people are treated for three weeks but I, being the special person I am, get to have an extra two weeks because guess what I AM SO YOUNG (*if one more doctor tells me this I think I might spontaneously combust). Seriously I do realise that I was pretty unlucky to get cancer at my age I don’t need doctors to remind me of this too. My bleedin' age has a lot to answer for you know, it often means I get the bum end of the deal. I was given the strongest chemo and the most radical surgery so I probably should have guessed radiotherapy would be no different. Silly me thinking I had gotten away without having any.

SO on hearing the action plan I made a deal with my Docs, I told them that they had to wait until after I had been to the Cosmo Blog Awards before they could start frying me. I reckon that is only fair don’t you? It means my wounds have a bit longer to fully heal and I get to have a good few more weeks of feeling normal and having some fun before my energy gets temporarily zapped away from me again. If I am honest the thing that is bumming me out the most about this news is the fact that I won’t be able to have a hot bath during and for a little while after the treatment. I still haven’t had a bath since the day before my surgery and I MISS THEM. It seems cruel that not long after I am finally able to have a bath they will once again be taken away from me. Having radio also means I get to have my first tattoo (*sorry Snoop Doggy Rob, but it is strictly for medical reasons only)! It will be a couple of tiny dots on my chest and under my arm but hey it’s a tattoo all the same!

You probably want to know why the hospital have changed their minds about giving me radiotherapy. There was a slight mix up in the beginning and I should never have been told that I wasn’t going to need it. Unfortunately my oncologist was away when I was deciding about surgery and so my surgeon consulted with other doctors and wires got crossed. I had been told radio could wreck my reconstruction results so when I was told that I wouldn’t need it I decided to have the big op, get it all done at once and reduce my scarring. After surgery I had an appointment with my actual oncologist and he started to talk to me about radio. I told him that I was told I wouldn’t need it and he wasn’t impressed. He said he would talk to some other specialists and then make a decision.

My oncology team have now decided that because my original tumour (Kenneth) was so ‘naughty’ (AKA aggressive) and chemo didn’t completely kill him, there may be a few naughty cells left. Therefore they want to be safe and give me strong treatment. They also never found out for sure that it hadn’t spread to my nodes so they want to zap them too! I am all for being safe and so although this is in no way the decision I wanted I understand the need for it. Like most cancer treatments there are some negatives to radio, these include the fact that it may very well ruin the great cosmetic result my surgeon worked so hard to achieve and it will probably make me very tired both during treatment and for a while afterwards.  BUT HEY I’ve been through worse so although this is a bit of a pain I’m hoping I’ll be able to handle it. I think that really my doctors just like me so much they want to see me more ;-).

So there you go, that’s what has been happening in my life recently. I didn’t want to have radio, I thought I was finished with the nasty bits of my treatment and I was looking forward to finally being able to escape from the hospital for a while. Now I have to spend a whole lot more time there but I would rather spend time there now than have to spend time there again later on in life! The two hours of driving everyday will be a pain and any holiday plans I had have to be put on hold for now BUT I still get to go to the Blog Awards AND I can hopefully have a lot of fun now whilst there is still (*fingers crossed) the odd bit of sunshine left in the UK.

I completely agree with Dolly Parton who once said "the way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain".

Love you long time. X

14 Aug 2013

A very nice surprise and a couple of wet eyes.

Today for the first time in a very long while, I cried with happiness. Not a big cry, just a few little tear drops escaped my eyes. I quickly wiped them away and replaced them with the world’s biggest smile because today something happened that made all of this nastiness worth it. Something positive has come from the biggest negative in my life. But before I tell you all my exciting news, let me just fill you in on the last couple of days.

I saw my plastic surgeon on Monday. When he looked at his handiwork the words “DING DONG” actually came out of his mouth *cue blushes. I mean that has got to be good news right? I still need to have a couple of other operations to finish things off but I must say that I am also pretty happy with the result so far. Once I am all healed the only unsual thing about me will be my scars. Scars that I will learn to be proud of because they will remind me of my strength. They are my battle scars. A battle that I am planning on winning. I’m trying to focus on the positives, not dwell on the negatives. I’m no psychologist but I reckon if we all did that we would be much happier.

I have also been working on how to rock the whole very short hair look. It is pretty difficult to feel feminine with hair this short. I actually turned a little diva-ish the other day and rocked it out with some pretty mega accessories…

I have also been busy thanking the Universe muchly for Beyonce, Rhianna, Jessie J and their new short hair do’s. Maybe people will now just think I’m bang on trend with my hairstyle and did it through choice. That’s what I’m hoping anyway. For once in my life maybe I’ll be one of the cool kids?! *cough cough.

I have been writing this blog for nearly eight months. I have heard from and made friends with other women unfortunate enough to meet Kenneths of their own. Some of them also named their lumps and that I see that as a big compliment. This blog has also allowed me to meet some younger people diagnosed with other forms of cancer or serious illnesses. To hear from them that reading about my experience helps them in some way is amazing. Actually, I can’t believe how many people have now read my little old blog, the majority of these people do not even have cancer themselves but read anyway and that also amazes me. I never thought so many of you would be interested in my little life. Strangers that I do not even know are rooting for me and willing me to get better and not just from this country, people from all over the world have been in touch. When I started writing I didn’t expect anyone to actually read the blog let alone like it!

Some of you lovely people must have nominated me for a pretty big award in the blogging community because today I found out that my blog is one of ten to have been shortlisted *hence the happy tears* in the best newcomer category. I got a pretty big shock to discover a comment left on one of my posts today from someone telling me they had voted for me to win and loved the blog. I didn’t even know I was shortlisted and I reread the comment about 20 times. I couldn’t believe it, it was the best surprise ever. I cried in the Tesco car park surrounded by far too many people (I'm blaming Tamoxifen for messing with my emotions). It was right up there in my top ten embarrassing moments (along with Gangnam styling on the table tops of my local bar the day after my diagnosis but the less said about that the better). I feel very honoured to be in a category with so many other great blogs.

Really what I want to say is thank you to all of you because you make my life so much better and if I have helped any of you in anyway then all my struggles have been worth it! Raising awareness and helping others was what I set out to do. I wanted people to realise life with the big C doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. I did my best to make you smile as well as talking about difficult things. By writing about my life and experiences to you all I discovered so much about myself and wrote things that I struggled to say aloud. I fell in love with writing, I met friends and I had my faith in the world restored. Hopefully one day no blogs like mine will be needed because someone will find a cure for this naughty disease, but for now I will keep writing so please help me to continue to raise awareness. Share the blog, continue to support Coppafeel! and most importantly keep checking those boobies.

Love you long time. X

11 Aug 2013

Nice nails, mocktails and a possible UFO...

Hello hello, it’s me again! 
I am getting better everyday which is really super nice! I hit a little bump last week and managed to get an infection in one of my wounds but other than that it has just been a slow slog on the road to recovery.

Since I last wrote to you all the wonderful cyclists completed their bike ride and managed to raise a whopping £6200! How amazing are they? I am so proud of them all. 

My hair and eyelashes are growing back which is SO nice and I am really enjoying putting make up back on…

I even painted my nails…

I’ve been catching up with friends…

(That is a mocktail by the way)

Going on walks…

And watching fireworks...

Firework or UFO?

In other news I have been attempting to work on the book, although it is proving more difficult than I thought it would be. I saw my oncologist a couple of weeks ago and found out that I may have to have radiotherapy too which was a slight blow. I find out in two weeks what his decision is. I trust him one hundred percent and will respect whatever decision he makes even if it isn’t the one that I want. Other than that I don't really have any more news. I’m having a check up with my plastic surgeon tomorrow so I will let you know how that goes. Seriously though I am sorry that I don’t have anything more exciting to tell you.  

I will leave you all to get back to your Sunday.

Love you long time. X