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.ย 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

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‚.

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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.

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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.

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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 ๐Ÿ˜ and then to discuss the long term plan! But I am super excited to be coming to an end of daily treatment.

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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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!  

 

Officially a Baldylocks.ย 

So yesterday was my 31st birthday and I had my pre-chemo blood tests and all in all a nice day, it was pretty chilled but good. And I got spoilt by all! I’m definitely a lucky girl!

Today I went out in my scalf bought for me by Cass for my birthday to see Dionne to get it shaved from the grade 3 to a grade 1. 

   
 So it’s so much better but still a little tufty and sort of like Velcro! And when lay of on my side today when I had a sleep this afternoon, (I was exhausted today … God knows why it just hit me!) 

So this evening after my parents left and I had eaten lots of cake, handballs by my mom and nephews, Cassie shaved my head! Yep full on shaved it! I now have a totally smooth head! And no it wasn’t liberating…. But it is nice and smooth and so that is surprisingly pleasant! 

  Excuse the fact I have no make up on please. But you get the picture! I have a smooth bald white head! And yes I have a baldy tan line! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

Well That Esculated Quickly.ย 

So in my last blog on Thursday I said how my hair felt like it was starting to come out. A little too much was in the brush and my head / hair was starting to hurt! Well, it’s Sunday and I’m not going to lie… As I knew I was going out I didn’t wash my hair from then to now; in a shameful attempt to keep the hair on my head! 

Well I had a lovely weekend! Bought another wig! A brown one to accompany my blonde one I got Thursday (as well as two hats). 

I even road tested my blonde locks on Saturday night and felt amazing! It’s bizarre how much good or bad hair can make you feel! And when you are trying to keep your hair on your head and the wind and everything scares you, you don’t feel great about yourself! Well I didn’t anyway! I felt unsure, embarrassed and ugly to be honest! 

Wearing a wig on Saturday night made me feel me again, blonde long locks and it wasn’t too hard to wear… I think this is thanks to years of wearing clip in extensions; I have literally had hair and head training for cancer treatment! 

But the Sunday night wash was a turbulent affair! I brushed it first, and loads came out! And then I gave in and went for it and ran my hair under the shower barely rubbing it, but fatel mistake I tipped my head upside down! I do this sometimes when I’m a bit stressed … It makes me feel better! Which it did make me feel better, until doing this created the biggest knot in hair history amazing considering how much hair I have lost! 

So we (Cass and me) tried to condition it out, brush it out, rewash and deep condition it, comb it, blow dry and comb it and finally cut it out! Yes that happened! 

My head actually really hurts so i have begged Dionne round to shave my head this evening! So for my 31st birthday on Tuesday I will be bald! 

I am now a grade 3! WTF! I feel hideous and I look like a little thug! But at least it hurts a bit less! Thanks to Dionne for taking care of my head! 

It is all a bit emotionally to be honest and hard to deal with. No matter how you prep yourself for the fact it is only hair, it’s only hair but, it is your identity and being bald was never on my to do list of hair styles!  

And what I really want to know is why is the hair on my head falling out and the hair on my arms is just there … Strong and firmly in place! WTF!

Anyway, when I have a bit of make up on I will show my shaved head! I’m currently not up to showing off my head-style!   

All gone   

 

  Blonde in Blackpool 

Me, Cass and my wig ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ 

The C word.

Well yesterday I went for my first chemotherapy treatment, which I won’t lie I was nervous about the last few days, but I decided to go ahead due to several factors: I haven’t been able to research enough about how to keep cancer at bay and feel 100% confident with natural measures, and for my loved ones who have all had major stresses along the way of me saying I won’t have it, so I’m doing it for them and security and my peace of mind.

As I walked in the room everyone stared at me and Cassie, I suppose when you look half the age of everyone else having treatment, even in the treatment room people are intrigued and probably relieved it was the ‘slightly’ older one of the two of us going into the treatment chair! Also me and Cassie caused chaos moving from one chair to another and confusing the nurse.

It’s quite a long process, longer than I was expecting, it was about 30-40 minutes saline flush, then 30 mins anti sickness bag 1, then about 20 mins or so for anti sickness bag 2! Then it was about 1 hour for the 6 syringes of chemo to be pumped into me. The 6 syringes are made up of 2 syringes of each of the 3 types of chemo I have that make up FEC (fluorouracil also called 5FU,
epirubicin, cyclophosphamide). One of the three made my nose run and sneeze and as soon as I stopped having it pumped into me by the nurse I was fine. Then the third one into me burnt as it went in. I have three cycles of this and then three further cycles of T ( Docetaxel).

It felt like it took forever but Cass came to keep me company and all but two of the other people I could see in the room had people wit them.
I apparently looked a bit dopey when it was all finished and I was a little nauseous and had a terrible headache a couple of hours after eating but it went away as I laughed my head of at Googlebox. I so want to be on Googlebox!

After sleeping for an hour a wave of sickness came across me and I ran to the toilet with my hoody in hand so that I didn’t freeze, but I wasn’t sick and then the bowl was brought out and around 12.15 I was sick, I managed to give myself whiplash, reaching for the bowl so fast, cried and sobbed that I couldn’t do this to Cass, who had to convince me I wasn’t dying and I was just being sick! Then I had relief for around 30 minutes and then the pain kicked in again and sickness again and then my period started, great! So not only am sick when I’m not sick I have period pains. Not the best combination you could imagine!

I carry on on my hourly cycle of sickness until about 6 am in the morning when I eventually stop. And then I slept for an hour and took a cocktail of pills I had been given, and had a green smoothie with added vitamin c at lunch time.

I haven’t much fancied food, I feel sick most the time and have a what feels like a constant headache but as the day goes on and I am getting better.

I had my first injection today to boost my white blood cells, at least they said I was thin, haha, that was a nice compliment as I feel so fat at the moment, not that it is important what I weigh at the moment. For the rest of the week Cassie will do my injections for me, they showed her what to do, to save a district nurse coming out to me daily . I could do them myself but I’m really not great with the thought of injecting myself!

Anyway hopefully there is no sickness tonight, and on a plus I did use my Fushi organic carrot oil that Fiona brought me a couple of days ago, so although I am not allowed sunbeds ๐Ÿ˜ฉ I rubbed that on my face and looked nice and tanned. Plus you can eat it as well! It’s packed full of vitamins A, B, C, D & E as well as Beta Carotene. So all round it’s good for me, organic and made me look brown….slightly orange to start with ๐Ÿ˜‚ but it settled down.

So cross fingers for a better night! And no begging for it to be over. And apparently it gets bad day 4 -7 so I hope that isn’t the case for me!

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Little Pinkieย 

A mini post for the evening, after going for a bike ride! Yes I’m 6 weeks post op and trying to do a little bit of light exercise befor me chemo starts, and hopefully throughout, I looked at my Unchipped nails and thought this non- toxic nail varnish is amazing! 

I have Fluorescent pink non- toxic nails! It’s made from pure water and bees wax and is like a gel finish from a new company called little ondine. 

I tried a different minimised toxin nail varnish but honestly it wasn’t a patch on these that are completely toxic free. 

I now have 3 colours (silver glitter, fluorescent pink and green), I also have the secret base and top coat that adds shine and I reckon keeps them staying on for longer! 

I painted my nails Monday, it’s now Thursday and they are still perfect! 

I cannot recommend these nail polishes enough, they are Melinda proof which is a feat in itself and toxic free and an amazing range of colours!