Cancer F*&ked Me.

I said to myself a few weeks ago I wasn’t going to keep writing about cancer and feelings and being one of those emotional bloggers.

I was going to become one of those popular bloggers that write reviews about the multitude of products they use, and how to apply make up to look like a Kardashian. But here I am again, writing about cancer.

Cancer has F*&ked me! I know I shouldn’t say that,and sorry Mom if you are reading this but we both no I only don’t swear in front of you, and the rest of the time I do! And I suppose I am not giving much hope to all those out there about to embark on the journey, that it is doable (please note it is doable and I am just having a ‘fear’ day, and that any lady reading this who has survived, or is going through treatment will know is normal).

I spent my day yesterday, my mother’s birthday (whom I did not tell)in hospital waiting to be seen by a doctor, a man who effectively poisoned me and radiated me with beams of light to rid me of a disease that could of killed me. I waited 2 hours, due to him running late, to be told I need bone scans.

No, don’t worry or I’m sure it isn’t anything, or no it isn’t the bone the GP has it wrong. A chat, another appointment with him in 6 weeks, blood tests and a bone scan request. Since chemo and radiotherapy have finished I have already had my first ever filling, chronic pain in my left breast and numb finger tips (further investigation pending – it’s either carpel tunnel – common apparently after chemo or nerve damage again thanks to chemo!)

Best case scenario from this bone scan is I have weak bones due to radiotherapy, worst case scenario secondary cancer, and somewhere in between lies the potential that I have a broken rib due to weakness from a treatment for a disease that invaded my body and wont seem to fully leave me alone!

To be told this, whilst you see all the leap year Meme’s on facebook, stating use your extra day wisely, get engaged, blah blah blah, and knowing that if you hadn’t been in the hospital you would have visited your mom on her 60th Birthday, well F*&ked me right off.

This time last year, I got diagnosed with cancer, I didnt really beleive the concerns, I was too fit, to healthy, but the day I got diagnosed (my sister’s birthday) whilst i was in the waiting room, I felt that wind blow across my body, you know the one you see in the films, that means something is about to happen. I felt that all knowing feeling and knew before they even told me, that I had cancer. In my lifetime I never want to feel that again!

yesterday, and today I have felt scared. What if I am designing a help system for women out of recovery and I have it again? I feel sick at the thought of how to tell my mom. I honestly can’t cope with the emotions it makes others feel around me.

Will I live to see my 40th Birthday? Will I be here? what am i going to be remembered as if I die? Do I want to die? Am I ok with it? Have I achieved enough? Why am I not getting up earlier, and making the most of each day? why haven’t I created a bucket list? Why am I not doing all the things I say I will do and want to do… why am I coasting at the moment?

Am, I going to have to go through this every year? every time there is a check up, or something doesn’t feel right? Am I going to type a yearly blog of how scared I am? Or how I am underachieving?

What if it isn’t cancer, and I have weak bones… am I mean’t to be thankful for that? because I don’t think I will be! I don’t want to forever more be in pain when I lie on my left side. I don’t want to be fragile. I don’t want to feel like I could break a bone through sneezing.

I am not a fragile person. I am robust. I have survived car crashes that should have killed me, repaired my body after countless running injuries,been thrown across rooms and not even so much as got a bruise. I just survive. I always have, and now I have this niggle in the back of my head thinking, what if….what if I don’t, what if i used up my 7 lives?

I am writing this, thinking I don’t even want to publish it, as my mom will get upset, and worry and i honestly can’t even cope with the burden of her feelings, but i know I need to vent and get this of my chest because otherwise I am probably going to cry. And F*&K if I am giving cancer anymore tears!

This disease is crap, the treatment is traumatic and the after care is well non-existent. My doctors, my breast care nurse and everyone have said no mental health support for me, as breast cancer isn’t allowed to have it. So i write, I write about how f*&king scared I am that 1) I could get breast cancer again, 2) I could get secondary cancer, that is basically un-treatable, 3) that i get ovarian cancer – from the pills i take to keep breast cancer away 4) that my life feels a total mess right now. And that I am not in control.

Not quite the blog of a positive young woman, striving to be calm and have toxin free thoughts.

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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. 

 

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! 

  

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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&£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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The C Personality.

All day I have been contemplating what it takes for someone to be mean, are they born with it or did they grow up into it. At some point surely someone had to have just been born like it…… And then they created other people’s environments. So it is both?

This then led me to contemplate……Is it true that we all have cancer in us? I’ve heard many people say everyone does! and it is the unlucky minority that unfortunately provide the cancer cells the environment to grow.

So why does cancer thrive in some people and not others? Is it random? Is it a certain type of person?
I read a book sometime ago and it cited ‘the type C Personality’, the five characteristics are:

– Always putting others first
– low self -esteem
– bottling up emotions
– living in fear
– harbouring resentment

Interesting, I can relate! Can other cancer patients?

Always putting others first….. I’m easy going and a people pleaser….. It’s a fatal combination that means you do what others want, you eat where they want even when you have a craving for Indian you’ll end up at a Chinese because you just don’t speak up, as you just do what they want…… watch what they want, and just go along with it. You do their paper work before your own, do their jobs before your own, sort what they need and want first.

Bottling emotions. Tick. You’ll drive yourself crazy doing it though. I did.

Living in fear … Yep, I did that for a time.

Harbouring resentment. Here’s a little story. A woman who was previously a friend, was a bit sly I won’t go into details but her closing statement to me in a message was “well they will just cut it out of you and it will all be over.” I haven’t seen this woman since this message, and I’m not entirely sure if I would say anything but I would love to as that comment was bitter and the fact is they never just cut it out of you and it’s over. I bet there are no women or men alive that haven’t been affected by the diagnosis. It changes you! Plus I’m currently bald from chemo so clearly that didn’t happen for me!

The C Personality is ME. Wait, was ME.

I have twice in the past month requested where I eat, because I wanted to enjoy and fulfil my craving. (This might seem small but literally I just never do this!)

Emotionally….. Well I’m more of an open book than I have ever been and I hope it continues. I don’t pretend to be super happy all day every day anymore. I’m not, fact, and that has absolutely diddly squat to do with chemotherapy, that is me, I’m not super happy, I get sad, I get angry, I get silly, I get happy….. I’m all the emotions….. But I will always smile and be polite, even if I’m now telling you I’m miserable with it!

Fear? No I don’t fear cancer, i don’t fear death, i do think about death, I do think about a lot of things but I don’t have any major fears. I am not scared of any one person, disease or place. Spiders are a whole separate issue though!

Resentment. Now this one, this one I find tricky, I don’t resent anyone person or situation intensively that it consumes me. I do probably, if I am honest resent certain things from my past. And like my little story above, I don’t resent her…. But I haven’t forgotten what she said. And I do think there is a difference.

I believe I am stronger now than ever before. Because cancer opened my eyes to myself.

What I’m saying in a round about way is that maybe just maybe cancer is in us all, like they say, and some people, like me with the C personality nurture the cancer and give it an environment to grow.

But you can change the environment you live in, and you can change the environment your cells live in, and we are just a mass of millions of cells. So, if I improve my esteem, open up more, forget my fears, let go of past wrongs and just accept myself and my needs as important then maybe, just maybe I will be cancer free for the rest of my time in this world.

A toxin free environment isn’t just about the foods, products and chemicals we are in contact with daily ( although I advise anyone to take a Look on their bathroom shelf and sort what they eating out) …… It’s our brains as well. And when you start to believe you are a good person and a nice person and a friendly person and a worthwhile person then I think you are half way there to being cancer free for life. And to be honest just better off.

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