I finished active treatment. Β 

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! 

  

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It’s true, you probably aren’t meant to say it. I am good, I am a winner, I am strong… But I am! I know I’m not meant to, but I find myself tonight watching a film that made me cry, AGAIN, seriously how can every film seem to have cancer in it, seem to have family and friends and seem to make me cry. It’s not normal. Or maybe, just maybe it is.

I am scared of chemo 6. Tax 2. I admit tax 1 got me, it had me in bed for what felt like a week but was probably more like 5 days. Not straight away but as the oncologist said on Monday just gone, when the steroids wear off the pain starts, “can you do this?” Of course my answer is “YES”. My answer has always been yes to hard questions, I’ve had my fair share of pain in the past. And I’ve always gone at it, I’ve always dealt with it, quietly and appropriately.

God, I would loose a race (I used to run fast on the track) I’d spend the next two days in bed sobbing I hadn’t run to my potential and by Tuesday, my first track session, I would get up and arrive at the track for 6.30pm I would take the banter of the group (God how I miss them all!) and I would warm up and coach (Rog) would say to me “a technique session or a speed endurance session” the answer… Always….. A speed endurance session, I would train so hard I would be sick half way through, or have an asthma attack and have to be helped to breathe and I would stop being sick or regain my breathe and be back on that track. That’s me……. That’s melinda….. That is an athlete….. That is a fighter…. ( all athletes respond this way, well I’d say most, a tear shed, then a training session to make you feel pain so hard in your legs only an athlete can understand ….. Or so you think….. Chemo is a deeper pain, it hits your bones your muscles, teeth, cheeks, finger nails, but all my life I prepared myself for pain.

Running isn’t just it, I remember being told my sister was the pretty one, my sister was the clever one, I was the sporty one…. When probably she was all of them but God I tried, I studied I would be up until 3-4am studying to get my psychology degree, my masters in marketing, I then went on to do bikini competitions (blatantly to get some sort of recognition for being pretty) and never placed out the top 2 except once I came 5th and once I came second call out in nationals (with a home made bikini, and I knew no one p, I had no influence, I just worked my ass off) so I beat all the things people told me I wasn’t, with obviously my battles along the way!

What does this have to do with crying at movies and being scared about my next chemo and how much it hurts, well deep down I know. I know that I wouldn’t have it any other way, I’m the fighter, I can take the battle, and emotionally I couldn’t cope seeing someone I love, someone close to me go through it.

I applaud every single person that lets me tell them I’m having a crap day, that I’m in pain, stressed, upset, that lets me cry to them because 90% of people I know, don’t see the fear, or the pain, they don’t need to see it, because what do I gain from telling them, pity, yeah I do want it sometimes, attention, yeah i do want that sometimes too, but I wasn’t raised that way. And good old British working class values stick with you.

My good old British response to most people “I’m fine/ I’m good, thanks” some times I say “I’m a bit tired” but that’s as far as it gets to most, because I’m a fighter and a winner and winners and fighters don’t moan, they get on with it and in the words of Nike they ‘just do it’.

I have had so many battles in my life, not just on the running track, not just studying, but I am too much of a winner to give a blog all my pain, all my suffering and all my joy too, as let’s be honest probably if I’m lucky 12 people read it, that’s if I’m lucky read!

One day I’ll write a book, one day I’ll get 100 comments on a blog, or 1000 likes on my Facebook page and Instagram, who knows! Crazier things have happened! But while I write this, and I live through this, at least I know I’m the right girl for the job, scared …..f&Β£k yeah! A quitter….. NEVER!

So, Chemo 6 tomorrow, a steroid induced hot flush….. A dread in my belly, a tear in my eye, and a fight in my soul….. So here goes the next 7 days. To my rock – cassie, to my mom and dad, sister, bro -in -law, nephews , to my amazing friends – you know who you are…. I’ll make a list when it isn’t midnight and I need to sleep ( but needed to write this blog off my head, that’s been spinning inside for the last hour of the film) , to my chemo buddy, to my pink sisters, to my well wishers, to the good people of the world…. Let’s just keep fighting and winning our battles, doing the right thing, and being water (Taoism).

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Realisation.

So I woke up this morning, as you do πŸ˜‚ (funny aren’t I!πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚), and had a sort of realisation. This last week since having my new chemo last Friday called Docetaxel (tax for short!… It’s in all the forums and Facebook groups! I had to ask to be sure though πŸ™ˆ),I have felt awful, I mean it, every cell in my body has ached, I fell over on the weekend and that didn’t help as I cut my hands, bruised my ankle and cut my knee, but on top of that I have just honestly felt awful.

I’m not one for pain killers but I had to take them to just ease the pain to sleep. My head, throat, teeth, bones, muscles everything seriously everything hurt I actually cried with pain one night because I couldn’t feel it easing it just wouldn’t shift. But a lot of it has and although my long bones ( collar bones, back, thighs, rib cage ) and head still ache, mostly it has calmed down and is manageable! All those DOMS days from the gym have put me in good practise for this battle.

Anyway, back to my realisation, so I’m not painting a pretty picture of the last week really, but on top of this money became a big worry and is ongoing for me, so on top of the aches I was trying to help sort someone out, worry about my financial position and just deal with you know those random situation where you are involved and just help and do what you feel is the right thing.

So cryptic message complete πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ and Once again back to the realisation……this morning I woke with a smile and a thought and posted it on Facebook to more than a hundred likes (I was really happy about that! So thank you to my friends who liked it! As mostly what I say on my personal page is nonsense)….

…. Here it is…….. “I’m a pale, bald little chubster that aches like a granny…. But I have never been in such a good head space! I have such amazing people around me!”

It’s true, all of the above is true, I’m not happy with my weight or how I look but I seriously feel happy. I ache, I hurt but I’m happy and it’s weird and amazing to feel like it!

And following on from that I posted on a breast cancer forum………. ” I’m going to say this crazy thing that probably makes half of you want to punch me in the face but honestly apart from the pain, the aches, being bald, pale, chubbier than before, flat broke, I have come to realise how lucky I am. When the money stress and pains hit the background I stop and think how amazing the people I have around me are. And how amazing we all are. I honestly feel more comfortable just being me. Not trying to be a tanned blonde bikini model I once was. I just feel content that I am me and people like me. I don’t have to do anything to make them. I can be miserable and horrible somedays and people still want to be my friend. I am officially being real for the first time ever! Xxx love you all xxx big love for Saturday go treat yourself to a break with a brew and cake today xxxπŸ™ˆπŸ˜”

And again I got nearly 100 likes and lots of comments, lots of women agreeing with me and high fiving me rather than wanting to punch me.

Because it seems I’m not the only one to have the penny drop…… That life is for living, for the people we have in it ….. Not for trying to impress, trying to be a CEO and be a powerful workaholic it is for making memories. It is for laughing and smiling and making laughter lines around your eyes.

What this god awful disease has done for me, is give me perspective, I was near my break point when I got diagnosed, I had broken the year before and I was ready to break again, and cancer took the only thing I felt I had left…. My health and my body.

I will never look in a mirror and see the girl I once was, she has gone but I’m no shell of a girl crying in a corner, and I realise just how much I needed a reality check…. And I have got it from the highest order. I am finally real.

I am grateful to all the amazing people around me, to my family to my chosen family (friends), acquaintances that give support, other ladies battling on, to everyone that supports me and other people battling on and those that haven’t well I literally don’t care. I haven’t overanalysed why some people don’t like my posts on social media, why certain people don’t seem to bother to get in touch, I truly don’t care. Because the friends that do Are the ones I want. The people that care are who matter.

And I matter, I matter whether I am tanned, blonde bikini model and athlete who works a high powered job with a good salary …. Trying to make it to the top of the corporate world…and I matter as a bald, pale, chubbier, non-worker ( I’m on sick leave so one day I will be back at a desk, but not for a little while).
I am finally able to like myself more than ever, whether I have kids or I don’t ….. I know plenty of kids so if I don’t get my own I can screw up everyone else’s πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ my sister better watch out I’m blatantly going to be the bad aunty πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚)

Of course I have my dark days but they are fewer and farer between than ever, they go quicker than they did. And of course I stress but it takes more, and I do stress less. But I’m present, I watch a film and watch it, I eat food and enjoy it, I fully appreciate the trees, the blue skies the 5 minutes I got earlier to put a face mask on.

And although I am mostly sleepy, or useless I feel happier in myself and there is no amount of money in the world that could have bought me this feeling of pure, unadulterated blissful realism.

Sometimes you have to go through a whole load of crap, to appreciate what you have.

But if anyone can learn from my lessons….. Enjoy yourself, love yourself and be real to yourself. Take five minutes to be grateful for what you have today. Xxxx

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Baby Maker.

So first thing this morning, I visited the Women’s Hospital in Birmingham. I still can’t drive so had to get a lift with Cassie, who got up at the crack of dawn to come get me, I have to admit I feel like a proper burden at times!
So we park the car (Β£4.50 for hospital parking…seriously?!?) and walk out to be faced by the Cancer Centre, I see cancer more and more since my diagnosis, I see so many posters, adverts, I even watched a film that was meant to be a comedy about it … It wasn’t funny by the way, so Netflix need to sort that description out!

Anyway back to the point of my blog, I got probed and prodded, literally, scanned and more blood tests, they must have a whole blood bank from me now. And for the first time given lots of information without asking, and a projected time line.

Now I have to get my head in gear to decided if it is worth harvesting my eggs, In case chemotherapy takes away my fertility for the future and balancing this against the risk of increasing the spread of cancer. I could set of another tumour if I go ahead. My deadline is Wednesday 10am. My first injection will be that day if I choose this path and do I want another operation under general anaesthetic. Will it just happen if it is meant to be?

There are so many things to consider with this, my life is a whirlwind, in every which way, my head doesn’t switch off. And I can only imagine tonight will be another sleepless night for me, my head is in future mode which is weird as most people, including myself tend to look at the past more than future, so it’s a strange feeling to be future dominant.

Is it worth it??? Is a baby in the future worth the risk of setting off more cancer? And then the percentages are decreased for me potentially, as they aren’t allowed to wait for the right time in my cycle, due to my ‘circumstances.’ It’s a case of now has to be the right time.

So to help my decision I called my onchologist’s secretary today asking for my test results from my oncho test. They are in! Eeeekkkkkk. But she isn’t allowed to give me them. Booooo!
So I have asked to be called before Wednesday by my onchologist. I see my him Thursday to determine my treatment pathway, but knowing the results would really help with this decision.

How am I feeling? In one word: Sick. I have these nasty feeling butterflies in my stomach that won’t leave me alone. It’s like when I used to race, all through warming up, I would feel like I was going to be sick, I would be so nervous, it’s that but for longer than an hour!

So I’m waiting for a phone call now. Im not leaving my phones for even a second today. I ate my green soup for lunch, that was yummy and organic, I will post a recipe for it later this week.

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