I finished active treatment. ย 

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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Realisation.

So I woke up this morning, as you do ๐Ÿ˜‚ (funny aren’t I!๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜‚), 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 ๐Ÿ™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 ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 xxx๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜”

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ my sister better watch out I’m blatantly going to be the bad aunty ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜‚)

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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Tears and tantrums, turned away from a spa, and a heat wave.

So i haven’t written for a while as I had a bit of a wobble last week, I went running and just poured with tears and returned home to cry some more, Cass the ever compassionate girl she is told me I’m not pretty when I cry and to stop it! She then went on to sit on the phone to help me try to sort some funding streams as statutory sick pay of ยฃ88 a week is pretty hard to live on to be honest! So hopefully some of the phone calls will have paid off and if they have ill treat her to BBQ!

Two days after this breakdown me and Cass headed to Stratford manor spa for a relaxing break, and I filled out my forms, ticked all the boxes, and got changed then walked to my massage like five minutes after changing into my swimsuit ( I haven’t owned a swimsuit since I was about 16 … Always bikinis! )

So I rocked up to the treatment room to be told I couldn’t be massaged, apparently they will spread the cancer, when I pointed out the guardian had just this week had an article saying this to be untrue and that Mcmillian offer massage as part of treatment, I was still told no and subsequently sobbed like a child, because on top of this the therapist couldn’t give me a facial or any other treatment, I felt like a social outcast that is contagious. You won’t catch cancer from me and even offering to call my doctors wasn’t good enough they wanted written clarification, which they don’t state on their website and don’t mention on the phone when you book. I’m not saying they should say do you have cancer or anything like that but maybe a simple… Do you have any medical or physical conditions currently being treated by medical professionals or physiotherapists etc.then the spa could look into it and call you back before you drive all the way to your destination. I was so ashamed, and poor Cass had driven us all the way there and refused to stay for her treatment because I couldn’t have one. I suppose walking out to her with tears in my eyes might not have helped. We even had to argue to get a refund! I mean first of all they said they would give me a goodie bag, and never did then I had to argue to get a full refund and not just a part refund. They just made the whole event so shameful and I will never go back there! Or any of the q hotels. They shamed me so now I will shun them!

So after this, we went to see a newly married friend instead and then went out, and yes I had a few drinks because I had been traumatised that day! 2 days later I had a day and a half migraine and didn’t get out of bed for a day!

So now a few days on and a meet up with a good friend, a comedy show (dapper laughs) and the purchase of a really tall fan later I’m feeling better. Headache is gone, and im melting in the heatwave but managed to sit outside and catch a little tan with my factor 30 on!

Now to count down the days to blood tests on Thursday and chemo Friday, I think Friday I’m going to ask about my hand again as it’s still sore and something is definitely not right with it!

Oh and in excitingly positive news my hair seems to be growing back, I look like a fluffy baby duck, but it’s exciting! What isn’t exciting is hearing that chemo – t that I start in 3-4 weeks is the one that makes you loose your eyebrows and eyelashes and makes you ache! So I have one more FEC (my extra one) and then the t starts.

Off I go now! I need to watch my programme ๐Ÿ™ˆ ……my kitchen rules australia…. Seriously addicted to this and love island! And I don’t care who knows!

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Blog Post.ย 

I started writing a blog yesterday about my day! I didn’t get past the first paragraph as life got in the way, and the interruptions of it. You know what, I wouldn’t change the interruptions for anything! 

But basically yesterday I got Late   drafted on to a look good feel better workshop, it’s 2 hours and you get to sit in a room with other women undergoing treatment and get taught to put make-up on to feel better. And if I wasn’t all toxin free I would be super excited by the vast quantity of makeup and products you get! Seriously it is amazing! My only issue is it isn’t paraban free or toxin free but I am going to check them through my think dirty app and see how they all rate. It is a lovely gesture that all these companies: Lancรดme, rimmel, Bobby brown, No7 etc. give make up, removers, moisturisers even perfume is given! Into the bags! I do wonder if they do it as a corporate item to offset the bad feelings from all the toxins and carcinogenic chemicals they put in it? And I wonder if in a few years time it will be stopped as it could be hindering women’s recovery? I’m definitely overthinking this I know! But I do honestly find it interesting to think it on a personal and corporate level! 

But the main thing other than the makeup tips and goodies I got was meeting other ladies that are all undergoing treatment. 

It was nice to talk and hear other women on the same journey talking and I think It is something I need to do more! Talk in person with other women undergoing treatment, as I love my friends and family but it’s so easy to talk to others facing the same treatment, how they are doing, feeling lucky I can taste my food and they cant and other such comparisons! 

I would have felt even more normal if it hadn’t been pointed out by one lovely lady that even in this circle it is odd to see such a young lady with ‘IT.’

Side notes: 

I can’t stop eating. 

I’m getting fatter.

This PIC line is ugly, annoying and makes me feel like a patient. 

I’m scared my hair will grow back fuzzy, weird and grey.

I need to focus. 

I repeat I need to stop eating!  

 

Monday = Game Face.

Soooooo….. This weekend I went a bit AWOL (absent without leave), the plans I made I chickened out from, so I didn’t drive to London to see all the GALAXY GIRLS pull cars, sprint and then strut their stuff on stage. I desperately wanted to go but was also scared stiff to stray to far from home by myself and drive for that long. I think this first time round I am questioning myself all the time as to what I can and can’t do. I feel like I let friends down and I’m really sorry about that.

It’s all a bit of a testing ground. My second round will definitely be easier to judge as I will have done it once. So I’m trying to let myself off for not going and supporting all the girls as I know I will be there next time and it was just too soon for me.

So I was a bit upset with myself all weekend and was a grump but agreed to go out for a bite to eat Saturday night with Cassie to cheer me up and ended up staying out until sunrise! Seriously I haven’t done that since before Christmas.

And I know, I know I’m on treatment and I shouldn’t party! But actually why not? I drank, I danced, I laughed, I had a good time. And the nurses say you can have a drink just most people don’t want to due to the metallic taste, but I don’t have that this time round so I drank while I can!! It was great to let my hair down and meet new people and chat old athletics stories to a fellow former athlete!

So Sunday was spent recovering and eating a disgraceful veggie pizza, but Monday morning I woke up, early, and headed to Hereford to the Haven, an amazing charity who offer support to women with Breast Cancer. I had a hypnotherapy session followed by yoga.

The hypnotherapy isn’t someone making me do a chicken dance it is a lovely lady called Laura, who talks to me about what I want to achieve from the session, and makes me realise I have all the skills to tackle everything but I just need to apply them. She was talking to me whilst I visualised today about snakes and ladders. And you know what, it stuck with me, life is just like snakes and ladders you get an opportunity and you climb up and feel totally in control, and sometimes a set back comes along and you feel out of control on the slippery snake then you balance, plod along and another ladder is set out I front of you. It was a great analogy for life.

And in Yoga I have really progressed.,I actually managed to touch my hands at my back today and did downward dog, which I haven’t done since my operation. It’s hard when you go from being super fit to super crap at everything but I felt like I made progress and that is great for me.

So today I have game face on, I’ve got back in the kitchen since my first chemo and cooked some simple food, done yoga, worked on my head, and I feel great for it! It really is the simple things that keep you happy and just well …. YOU! I am post chemo day 10 and feeling good. I might have thought at times I couldn’t do this but today I feel like I can!

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