The Many Hairstyles of Cancer! #worldcancerday

 

This is my video of some (not all) of my wigs, scarfs, hats, and looks through my cancer diagnosis and treatment for #worldcancerday. http://bit.ly/cancerhair

I have put this together to try to raise awareness for Cancer and treatment and how it affects you and how you can stay Positive throughout the battle!

I am currently raising money to create a website and App to help people after a cancer diagnosis and treatment get back to ‘normal life’, but I don’t want it to be normal, I want them all to feel better than ever! This website and app will focus on getting fitness back, a healthy cancer prevention diet (that will help with weight loss too), and mental strength and stress reduction. I will also give tips on beauty, and toxin free products that can help to reduce toxicity and illness!

Please support me by donating to my go fund me page https://www.gofundme.com/transformationapp

and like me on social media:
https://www.facebook.com/MelindaCookseyToxinFreeLiving/
twitter: @MelindaLou1
Insta: @ToxinFreeGirl
Blog: https://toxinfreeliving.org/
Song credits: Fight Song, Rachel Platten

Water, water everywhere and all of it I can drink! 


So, everyone knows I don’t like the Floride and chlorine in the tap water, and I don’t like all the packaging waste of bottled water daily! So what is a girl to do?

Well, get a Gentoo plus jug! It’s water for life, ok I have to replace filters but it is great.

Removes chlorine and Floride

Alkalises water to 8-8.5ph

BPA Free plastic

Removes harmful chemicals and bacteria.

Basically it’s a 6 stage filter. The water glistens, it’s healthy, alkaline, and is good for you, with minimal waste. So I am a happy Eco geek!

document.write(‘Ecobud‘);Ecobud


* purchased from eBay (also on Amazon)

Breast cancer transformation app! 

 
As many of my friends and family know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer on 6th Feb 2015.  Along the way I have met some truly inspirational people and have been supported by an amazing network of friends and family. 

I have never felt so loved and cared for. But I know from speaking with other women in the same situation this is not always the case. 

  I was going through a tough time with cancer treatment and also personal circumstances but I found and created my own unique lifestyle plan that kept me going throughout treatment and now that it is finished I am transitioning back to non-cancer life, and have created a plan to get fit, lose weight (whilst eating healthy), de-toxify my mind and body and keep stress to a minimum all whilst starting to work again. 

I have found, and many other women have related that there is a big gap of care for women who have undergone treatment and then want to make it back into ‘normal’ life.   Exercise is harder after 1,2,3 of the following: operations, chemo and radiotherapy. And it is suggested that it can take 12-24 months to fully get over the fatigue and side effects of chemo and radiation. 

Not to mention if like me, a lot of women are then placed on hormone effecting drugs like tamoxifen, which contain a whole heap of side effects including weight gain. It can feel like a never ending battle to get back into your jeans and your life. 
Along the way a high proportion of women gain weight, their hair falls out, eyebrows and eye lashes are a distant memory. Confidence takes a nose dive and you are not the person you started out in the journey as. 

What I want to create is an app and website with a plan for women to be the best version of themselves. To be better than they ever were and for them to feel truely happy, healthy and wonderful. 

I want to create an app with a 12 week reformation/ transformation. Making these women the fittest, healthiest, and most confident version of themselves. 

I will give stress and lifestyle tips. 

Make up and health care tips. 

Toxin reduction tips and plans. 

Supplementation tips (such as vitamin c). 

Exercise plans.

healthy eating plans concentrating on reducing the acidity of the diet to keep cancer away. 

Stress relief and self confidence boost plans. 

I want the plans and app to be free for women with cancer to use. 

Please tap this link Transformation app to donate. 

 

Pink Hair, do you care? 

 
Well, I have always wanted dusty pink long hair, and well I have always been too scared to go for it! Well since the whole cancer thing, I have been more conscious of my image, how I look, no more are the days of leaving the house with no make up on or earrings in! 

Well I went for it and my beautiful hairdresser / good friend Dionne dyed it pink…. Bloody hair didn’t take so she did it again and I have electric pink hair! And well I’m learning how to rock it. I tried the messy look… Wasn’t for me, so I’m going with this more sleek version…. And adding ear cuffs and hoops.

I feel fresh and cool… I blatantly don’t sound it when I write that! Lol! But I had the courage to go for it. I’d normally talk about hair colours and then always ask for blonde anyway. And I have discovered hair grows! And so does confidence any women going through treatment … When you finish … Wack a crazy hair colour in your hair! It’s so much fun! 

I want to make all women realise how confident and wonderful they can be after cancer. Life is an adventure and I want to help women brave the elements and transform themselves into the best version of themselves! Like I am doing! So if you do want to support me with my project I am raising money to help fund the development of a phone app to help women get fit, get healthy, eat good food, stress less, lead a less toxic life and enjoy life more. 

—————————–

My Makeup :

 eyebrow powder : lilo 

mascara: Inika

Eyeshadow: Inika 

Eye liner: Inika 

Jewelry: 

Hoops:  river island 

Ear cuff: miss selfridge 

 Hair products: no gel used, I used Fushi really good hair oil.

Long winter day! Cozy winter night! 

So it’s been a long winter Monday, not a bad day, a decent day but a long tiring one! Those sort of days. So when I came home to an empty warm home and full fridge, I was honestly like …. This is bliss! 

I jumped in the shower and used my new shampoo and conditioner, that I received for my birthday months ago from the lovely Fiona, but as my hair has been non-existent you don’t tend to use much shampoo so this year I have literally only got through one lot of shampoo and conditioner. 

My new one is very spa smelling!  It’s fushi’s  Arman and Amalaki herbal shampoo. Full of lots of amazing stuff like vitamin b5 argan oil and is lovely for my new baby hair!   

And since I’ve been using it everyone has commented how thick my hair is, so i reckon it’s working a treat for my hair! I also rub the Fushi’s really good hair oil  (also from Fiona) into my little locks after a shower! It’s meant to be put on the night before and you wash it out but I just use it all the time! Before bed when I wake up! 

 
All the fushi products I use are free from parabans and chemicals and full of good stuff! 
  
Look at all that hair, and yes I now have a grey patch! But that’s what hair dye is for! (Eventually) 

So, post shower I slipped on my new cozy slippers and painted my nails in my favourite sparkly little Ondine non- toxic nail varnish with a cup of pukka organic herbal tea and a copy of vogue! 

   
   

I’m in my little world of quiet winter cozy night happiness. 

 

Sunshine is coming. 

  
So, I’ve been really melancholy the past few days, and if I haven’t been ‘meh’ then I’ve been raging or if I haven’t been raging I’ve been sick. So this last week really had taken a turn for the worst as I start the 5 year journey on tamoxifen. 

Can I handle it? Well honestly I’m not sure. But I’ve only done 6-7 days so I’m giving it a chance. I’ve had the sickness and headaches that was so bad one day this week I didn’t get out of bed apart from to be sick. 

Poor old Cassie had to be my nurse again, running off to the chemist for migrane tablets to try to take the edge off the pain. It’s made me feel like I’m never going to be free from this disease and its side effects. 

I look at my finger nails and they are pulling away from the beds, my head and stomach have finally settled but I feel like I’m recovering from the flu, all fatigued and emotional, when at the start of the week I felt lovely. I mean I felt full of energy and its like its all drained away and all I feel capable of is to lie down and rest… Wrapped up as I’m freezing (but in layers so that when the hot flashes hit I can get cool!) 

I shouldn’t moan I’m a mere handful (large handful) of days away from a sunshine holiday and I honestly can’t wait to go. I can’t wait to be laying by the pool and chilling out. 2 weeks in the sunshine is definitely needed after this year! 

I’ve been 70/30 good / bad eating most of my 30 is the odd drink to be honest and pasta… Not that pasta is bad but it doesn’t fit with the keto diet I like to practice to reduce my chances of the dreaded C coming back plus it’s what makes me feel the best in myself. I practice a moderate keto diet so it’s probably more of what you would called a balanced diet that favours vegetables and fats rather than favouring protein or complex carbs. I think I should probably address it as a balanced diet from now on as sometimes when things are labelled people fear what you are doing is a fad diet or this or that but my current eating habits have come from the path of a former strict keto diet. 

But this style of eating has meant that even though I’m on medication and I can’t train how I used to, I have still lost 7ibs in 4 weeks and am safely under the 11stone milestone I wanted to be. Now for a couple more weeks I want to tip the balance back to 80/20% so 80% good rather than 70 and see if I can loose another couple of pounds. The new medication I’m on, tamoxifen, can cause weight gain but I’m hoping that won’t happen to me. I’m pretty sure it will be holiday weight gain not medication! 🙈

Right I’m going to move my butt cheeks and start digging out the summer clothes! A summer holiday in winter… This is going to be weird!  

   
Training face from earlier in the week! 
  
Nails from a couple of weeks ago… They look even worse now 🙈 but hopefully they will sort themselves out. 

I finished active treatment.  

So it’s approaching Halloween and last week I finished active treatment. And nothing feels any different apart from I don’t have to go to hospital. It’s one of those things you wait for and think the world is going to be amazing the day I finish treatment but it isn’t. The world hasn’t changed but over 2015 I have. 

A magic grey cloud has not been lifted from me and I wonder if my body’s functionality (weight is a totally seperate issue) will ever actually return. My brain is useless my aches and pains from simple things are ridiculous, my fingernails appear to be starting to fall off! (Yes fall off now 7-8 weeks after my last chemo!) and well will my periods and womanhood ever return who knows. 

On a day to day basis I’m generally happy, but I have to admit since I finished treatment I have flat out ugly cried twice (that’s in the space of a week). It’s a funny old time where I sort of want recognition for battling on, for smiling, for getting through it and you want to recognise and give thanks to those who were there but you don’t have the words or the ideas (as your brain doesn’t work) and on top of that you know you have to start picking the pieces up of life and move forward but there is a fear that you can’t. Or I suppose there is the lack of motivation to want too. 

I am very grateful for all my flowers, cards  and well wishes I have received!  

 
It may only take 10 seconds to post a well done/ hooray on Facebook but it is a great boost and I appreciate it. I even had a surprise meal organised for me by Cassie which was lovely and a total surprise! And the food and company was lovely! And I’ve never had a surprise meal or a party before! I know 31 and no big parties but I was always worried no one would come if I had one so best to avoid the disappointment! So a meal for me, with balloons (I love balloons) was brilliant! Thank you Cass. 

  
So now it is time to stop the little random moments of upset that creep up on me. 

Next step… Appointment for hormone pills ( can’t wait for that one!) 

I’m definitely in a mehhh state for breast cancer awareness month (October) and wonder if I will be like this every October when people are throwing tea parties and walking with pink tutus on, especially after reading an article today from a lady with similar thoughts. 

But on the other hand I know my life through my cancer-year has been a happy one emotionally, I barely got upset, I relaxed more than I normally would even when I was aching my mind wasn’t stressed, and I had amazing people around me so why  am I feeling a bit off now I have finished? 

Oh well, by this afternoon I probably won’t even remember I felt like this (chemo brain) ! And as soon as this red patch from the radiotherapy is finished I’m going on a sunbed to get warm to my bones! 

  

Radioactive Secret Agent

So I’ve been quiet lately, only because I’ve been in hospital everyday (Monday to Friday) and just chilling out.

I’m feeling more like myself at the moment, singing along in the car to my old favourite tunes and just being me … A complete geek! I do unfortunately now have an abscess that can’t be treated until radiotherapy is finished and they assess my ability to heal so until then I get to have a face that is a bit swollen. But I am on antibiotics which is helping to take down the swelling.

I’m also nearly done with radiotherapy now! Two more sessions to go (I’ve had 13) it’s really nice in the Worcester oncology centre, the receptionists are two lovely ladies who are really friendly and check me in each day before I even get to the desk and the radiology team are brilliant.

They call me the ‘secret agent’, as I have a different look everyday and today was no different I rocked up in my new wig that I got yesterday, thanks to my mom and dad! Stourbridge now has a wig shop! And when we we’re walking to get a Sunday lunch I darted in and tried on a few wigs and got this baby! Excuse the terrible photo it was taken in the hospital changing room early this morning! But 26inches of gingery / brown / golden hair let’s call it strawberry ash-blonde/ brown 😂.

IMG_1613

So, anyway radiotherapy is going well, I was a little sore from the position my arms have to be in for the beams to zap me. But I’ve been using twice daily pure Aloe Vera gel which is totally natural and organic. And for me has kept the red and soreness at bay which is a common side effect of radiotherapy.

IMG_1620

The new building at Worcester hospital is amazing and the radioactive room as I call it, is friendly, I know friendly is a weird thing to say, but all the staff are friendly and the lights have clouds over them and music is playing for you the whole time the beeps go off and you get zapped.

IMG_1615

IMG_1614

That round bit on the top moves to a few different positions and zaps you for around 15 seconds or 7 seconds at a time 6 times in total it’s about 60 seconds of radiotherapy.

And I keep my wigs on each time! And smile, and stare at the clouds! And get zapped!

2 days time I will have finished active treatment 😁 and then to discuss the long term plan! But I am super excited to be coming to an end of daily treatment.

Pizza, Yummy Pizza! 


We all love Pizza and would do anything for it 🙈😂 and being on a low carb diet means Pizza is the sacrifice ….. But wait it doesn’t have to be! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 no I’m not joking!

Basically I got 2 low carb Pizza recipes combined them, then changed it all really! 😂 so here is my version…. Pizza base:

Cauliflower (medium approx 500g)

2 medium free range eggs

Mozerella about 180-190g

Grate the cauliflower. I used my ninja blender to do the hard work for me:

  
Then I added this to some boiling water  on the stove and heated on low / medium for about 5 minutes until it looked like it would boil over, then I took it off the heat, drained it and added in the 2 beaten eggs the 180g mozerella and a grind or 2 of black pepper. (I didn’t wait for the cauliflower to cool but I think it would be best to as I had to get rid of some excess water when I mixed this all together!

I then greased a baking tray with butter. Added the mixture and flattened it out.


Then I cooked it for about 20 minutes on gas mark 7. And it looked like this:


I could have probably cooked this a bit longer and made it more crispy, but I’m impatient when it comes to food!

For the topping:

I smothered it in tomato purée and put all my toppings on which were:

Half a beef tomato sliced

Handful of spinach

Black olives

Red sweet pepper

Mozerrella (around 50-60g) sliced
Mushrooms (3 medium) sliced

Sweet chilli peppers (sliced – out jar)

Palma ham

Turkey breast

Cheddar (25-30g) you can add more if you like.


Then, I popped it back in the oven for around 10-15 mins until the cheese melted and I couldn’t wait any longer!  

And I served it with some pea sprouts. 

I had two servings! I love pizza!

(I lost 3ibs last week on my diet! 🎉 so guess what tasteless diet meals … You can stay out of my kitchen!)

Hair. &. Tired. 

My hair grew back. Then fell out again 🙈 not all of it! Just parts of it. Including my eyebrows and eye lashes. Typically my under arm hair is coming back and my leg hair never stopped growing! 

  
I wish my hair wasn’t on the pillow again! I suppose you feel better when it isn’t falling out. And having the marker of the ‘last chemo’ did make me feel like I was getting somewhere that the hardcore treatment was over. But I suppose you forget it isn’t over I still have the side effects, the medication to elliviate the side effects, the injections for bloods. And I’m tired! I mean really tired! 

I’ve been for a walk the last 3 days and now I’m lay down on the sofa just tired and not wanting to move. 

When can I eat rare steak again? Pate, soft cheese, seafood? All the foods I wasn’t allowed to on chemo? I guess it is a while yet? When my bloods are back to normal? But how do I know when that will be as they don’t test you after chemo, when you have already had your operation.. So it’s a guessing game… Am I cured, will I worry forever more, will my hair ever stop falling out! 😂😂😂 

Will I feel full of life ever again?