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. 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

Chemo 7: the last one!

The last chemo, done and dusted today and I don’t plan to sit in that comfy chair ever again!
I’m currently sat drinking water and feel maybe I should have some cocktails, champagne or prossecco but water is doing the trick! Maybe I will have a celebratory drink later on.
Thing is its not really over yet. I still have to deal with the injections (7 of them) which I hate, the tablets; not to mention the aches and pains and mouth and stomach trouble!
But it’s not all bad, they took out my picc line, after making my onchologist and the nurse laugh yesterday.

Nurse “Dr Price, melinda wanted her picc line out tomorrow After chemo, can we do this.”
Dr P ” not really melinda, what if you get an infection, or have to come back in so forth (I’m paraphrasing here!)”
Me giving a really good puppy eyes ” but I am going away for a couple of days in a couple of weeks, just in this country and there is a hot tub that I want to go in and I can’t with the picc line”
Nurse and Dr P look at each other, smiled and then started giggling at me!
Dr P ” well you haven’t had any infections throughout, so we’ll, since there’s a hot tub, I don’t see it being a problem taking it out, and if anything happens we can cannulate you anyway ”
Me “yeahhhh, thank you!”
Dr P then walks away chuckling at me. 🙈 whilst the nurses carries on tsking my bloods.

Honestly I’m a nightmare, me and my district nurse chatted so much in the morning about nothingness that we forgot the bloods and just flushed my picc line, so after my onchologist (Dr P) appointment I went to get them done from the chemo ward next door. And they did bless them.

All the nurses in the chemo suite are so nice, they always smile, joke with you, chat to you, give you tea and coffee and offer you sandwiches and biscuits. They are just really good people in there! So if any of the nurses or Dr P are reading this, so if you are thank you for being so kind and treating me like a human, a dippy, happy, smiley probably annoying human! 😘

And my biggest thanks and continued thanks goes to everyone around me that takes an interest, that reads my blog, my Facebook page and comments, it does actually mean a lot to me; my friends that call, message and visit me to come chat rubbish and just be themselves and don’t treat me any differently; to my family who make a long drive to come to see me every week, my mom who on top of this messages me everyday, to my sister who is now sending me more photos of the kids which I love seeing. But, most of all I am thankful for my rock, my guardian angel, my nurse, cleaner, house wife, driver, chef, everything and more…. There aren’t enough thank you’s in the world to cover the amount of help she has given me and the amount she changes her life around to make sure when I need her she is there! So basically she is an angel (mostly 😂). Love you more than cheese my girl, and you know how much I love cheese 😂😂😂.

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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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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 £88 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 🙈 ……my kitchen rules australia…. Seriously addicted to this and love island! And I don’t care who knows!

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Chemo 3, Day 5.

So I’m not honestly feeling my upbeat self, I appear to have no energy and just feel really low and if I am honest a bit depressed. I do think it is mainly in my head, the old black dog as they call it, rearing its ugly head.

Partly I think it is because I know I want to pick up a book and read, but the motivation to do it seems to elude me lately. I have these pains in my cheeks, jaw, shoulders and neck that just feel weird, it was like last night I could feel the chemo circling my upper parameters of my body, and I started half sleep, half wake dreaming of my grandad. It felt strange this morning to know I had dreamt of being a child stealing my grandad’s roll up cigarettes and hiding them, it was, I think, the only time I heard him tell me off and everyone panic 😂 but that memory soon changed to his last moments and so today I feel like I want to cry but can’t seem too.

I don’t really try to pretend I don’t have to deal with this situation, I don’t think of myself as sick. And truth be told I could tell you a dozen examples of people, including complete strangers that tell me or others that I don’t look sick. What I do find difficult is at the moment people seem to ask is the treatment working? And I know people ask questions (so are you getting better? Is it working? ) because they care. But the hospital don’t test you or tell you those sort of things, you just have to have blind faith that it is. And mostly I don’t think about it. But since this PIC line has gone in I have felt more like a patient and less like me. But maybe that is just the first few days of chemo 3 and adjusting to this thing in my arm.

I have seen a few Facebook posts about the new breast cancer now campaign and if I am honest I don’t like them. I suppose it is just to close to home, and real. They actually called me about doing it, but on requesting if I would show my scars I politely declined that and I am very glad I am not involved. Not because I don’t think it will benefit the future but for my own personal reason.

The fact that I keep seeing all the figures about death rates, secondary cancers and such at the moment is hard. And I don’t much enjoy that side of this whole process. I have and will continue to try to focus on the positives…. Like…… I don’t need to buy shampoo, or shave my arms etc. but some days, I just feel like curling up and not talking, not socialising, and not leaving my bed. For no other reason than CANCER SUCKS.

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Double Jab.

Thanks to my kickboxing nurse I got a double jab of my white blood cell booster injection (filgrastim) this afternoon. Oh apparently I moved and the needle came out and so she had to jab me twice in the stomach, whilst laughing at my pain! 😂 There is no need to the randomness of this girl!

But that is three days of white blood cell boosters out of seven done, and the end of some of my anti-nausea drugs today, which scares me. As I’m still struggling with food and feeling sick here and there. So I guess it is wait and see and then call the hospital if I need more help.

Haircut day tomorrow and I’m feeling nervous, the last time I had short brown hair I was 21 starting my first proper office job and trying to look sophisticated, needless to say it didn’t work, I cried all week until my hairdresser could put some blonde highlights throughout and I then I grew it for the next 5 years, and bleached it religiously!

I’m trying not to bleach my hair but I’m not sure I can do short and dark, but I have managed long and dark hair for the past month or so.

I think from my Facebook page pole ( Melinda Cooksey – Toxin Free Living) it is the frankie do that is the most popular! Although it is the most dramatic so I’m not sure I am brave enough to do it.

Why hair is so important to a girl I just don’t know! But it just feels so scary to think I might lose it all and be a baldilocks, what if I get a wig and it is windy and it blows off, or my kickboxing nurse pulls it off my head in the street! (She’d do that to me, and film it!).

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