Cancer…..

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.

! 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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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.Β 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

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! 

  

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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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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Chemo 2 day 2! And antidote 2.Β 

I’m back in hospital, no one panic! It’s planned. The chemo leak in my hand needs three treatments so I’m back and I have a bed, which is luxury compared to the normal chair. Although I say that but I quite like the recliner chairs! 

Cassie at my side as ever, i think she should have a career allowance at this rate. 

Cass has had to keep my arm warm while the medication goes in its so cold, so I asked for a heat pack like the chemo ward give me. So now it is more comfortable. The low temperature 2 degrees is too cold to bare without a hot pack on my arm. It creates a stinging cold arm that is just unbearable. 

Well a summary of chemo 2 … Apart from the leak it went really well! And the sleeping tablets and super strong anti-sickness have done the trick so far!

And I’m up and about and not been sick today! I am so pleased with Dr Price for sorting out my medication! Thank you is all I can say!  

I’ve had a green smoothie this morning made from celery, courgette, half lemon and spinach … All organic with some added vitamin c powder and it tasted lovely! Nice and fresh! 

I followed this with a multivitamin and prebiotic enzymes and digestive enzymes. So I’m feeling super health compared to the last lot. 

I’ve been for a lovely walk this morning through the woods with Fiona, Cassie, and locki the dog that was fun and not strenuous although I had a sit down after a little while. 

  
But I’m taking it easy as I have to have 3 antidotes in me which are almost like a form of chemo themselves says the nurse today. 

So I’m vowing to eat better this time round than last chemo all thanks to the new anti nausea/ sickness drugs and I’m going to get lots of fresh air this time straight away. 

I will feel healthier with this one! I refuse to be unhealthy and toxic, the only toxins going in me now will be chemo!

 

check out that beauty of a hat, made by the wonderful Sean O’connell!
 
On a super exciting positive note I got a new Micheal Korrs head scalf and Cass got me some new trainers for my birthday and to train her in the gym in πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ» 

Chemo 2. What a Long Day.

Omg! So I had a 9.30am appointment, and should have been away from the hospital at around 12 if not before….. Instead I left at 6.45pm! Without the full treatment.

They put the canulor into my right hand but near to the thumb vein and unfortunately after the anti-sickness and flush was put through, it must have moved some how, or was never in, I don’t know I’m not a nurse, but this meant that the first lot of chemo created the sneezes again but it also started to go really cold under my arm so they were getting me a heat pack to warm it up and puff out of no where it swelled up around the canulor.

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So due to this two doctors (one my oncologist) came to see me and a few nurses. And it was decided to cool it down for a while, take it out and transfer the other two chemo drugs to my left arm, even with my lymphs out in that arm, I was recited some research for that it should be ok and I trust my oncologist to do the right thing.

So I had another canulor put into my left arm this time, and off we go again, and sailed through the rest of chemo, then I had to wait an hour or so for the antidote to the stray chemo in my bodily tissue, as apparently the worst case scenario equals a skin graft so although my swelling went down by the time I was leaving they still need me to have 3 doses.

I had the first today and I have 1 Saturday and another Sunday.

Plus the White blood cell injections start tomorrow, and I have extra anti sickness and sleepers to help the first three days nausea. And some tablets for my mouth as it got so sore and full of ulcers! So all in all they are hoping to make chemo 2 easier than the first!

I am praying I am not sick tonight, and that the new regime for anti-sickness helps me and I just sleep through it so that I can eat well the first week.

Bonus is that whilst there from 9.30 -6.45pm I read my book and had a laugh playing the Keith Lemon hide your teeth game with Cass, we did America, and yes I won as she laughs to much!

I also spoke to some nice people around me. One lady even told me I looked like Jesse J with my scarf on, and the people next to me wanted to know where it was from for a friend starting treatment soon. So that’s all thanks to Cass as she bought it me for my birthday, and I’m rocking it! So now I want more scarfs! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜

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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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