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

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. πŸ™ˆ 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 πŸ˜‚). Love you more than cheese my girl, and you know how much I love cheese πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

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Selfie stick, Chemo number 3 and PIC Line going in!Β 

Number 3 …. Half way there… Sort of! They have added an extra FEC cycle. Reason: I didn’t get enough of the Epirubicin, as it leaked into my hand In round 2 (sounds like a boxing match when I say it like that) and then what I had was counteracted by the antidote. 

So I just had a full round and then next time I am having a smaller FEC Cycle (full 100ml each time but 75ml instead ….I think… Don’t quote me). 

Today went well! Which is good I am now just lay in bed chilling, trying to rest and then fall asleep after I have written this knowing me! 

I caused mayhem again! As ever! You honestly wouldn’t believe me when I say the male nurse in  there has now told me and Cass He is booking my next FEC  treatment off! πŸ˜‚ 

I told Cass to make me a tea and herself a coffee as I did yesterday when I was in the waiting room to see my onchologist after my minor surgery – not sure I can really say it’s surgery but an insertion. No that sounds bad we will stick with surgery and I’ll explain that later! But anyway, I digress, she got told off, she’s not meant to touch it. And the man (really nice guy – they all are in there to be honest) said she cant touch that laughing and I was like I did yesterday, I’m not telling you who told me I could though πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). That is probably funnier in my head than in writing and reading. Any which way I got my cup of tea! 

This time instead of spending a small fortune on food and drinks we had the provided tea and coffee rather than Costa. And brought our own homemade chicken, avocado, salad (mine in a wrap… Cass no wrap… I know I was naughty having a wrap but it tasted so good!) 

So chemo went well, as ever I had a sneezing fit at Epirubicin, which is completely wrong… Everyone else sneezes (if they react) to a different drug of the 3 but not me! So my wee is now red already and my mouth tastes of iron and I’m just hoping all the anti sickness drugs work on the full dose of chemo I had as well as they did on the slightly less one last time! 

I tortured the ward with my selfie stick everyone laughing at me, but I tell you there were a few converts that want one now I reckon. I even used it as a devise to poke my anti-sickness drip to see what it was (I can’t remember, already!)   

  

Anyway, as you can see my chemo now goes through my upper arm and not my hand. I have a brightly coloured contraption sticking out me, but it is all wrapped up so no scaring any small children and I opted to wear a tube grip over it so its just not so unsitely, I know I talk all these selfies and post them on this blog and Facebook, Twitter,….. Ok and  Instagram πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚  but I’m quite a paranoid person so have real … ‘Are they staring at me?’ Issues! I like to be in control of what people see, I guess, who knows how my subconscious psyche works! 

So to have the pic line put in I had to have a local anthestic, I get laid on a bed and they guide a pic line to your heart by ultrasound then check it with an X-ray then push and pull it around a bit more and then off you pop all done. It is quite strange feeling all the pulling and pushing. But I had a really nicer radiographer who was chatting to me (distraction technique) about holidays. And as those close to me know I’m always happy to talk sunshine and tanning (and food). 

So it’s in, it’s gross and I dread it coming out, but true to the many people who said it to me… Chemo through that was easier. 

 

So that picture above is what is looks like inside me and this is what I have.  

My line without a dressing. But it’s like this for all of 2 minutes when it gets cleaned with alcohol. 

     That’s how it looked from out of the X-ray department. And then the chemo nurses bandaged it even further.  

Then below is how it looks after the chemo nurses bandage it up a bit further and I just Pop a bit of tube grip over it. Happy days. 

Well I’m off for a sleep now! 😴  

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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Officially a Baldylocks.Β 

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! πŸ˜©πŸ˜‚ 

Waking Up Is Hard To Do.Β 

i know I try to be Little Miss Positivity, but do I feel like it this rainy morning? … NO! 

I am sat with my hood whilst inside incase anyone sees me through the window, as I feel embarrassed about the state of my hair and the future state of my head! 

I tried to prepare myself for it, cutting my hair short,  but honestly, I feel pathetic. I know I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself, but I do! I don’t want to, but I really feel yuck about myself. I’ve gained weight, I have no hair and because I threw most of my make up away I don’t have much to play with and all my earrings make me feel like a drag queen! 

It doesn’t matter how many people say to me you knew this was going to happen… It doesn’t help! And how many people tell me beauty comes from within…. Does it? Tell that to the organic make up site I went on last night and spent Β£100 on to make my face look pretty! 

This thug look is just embarrassing I feel like I need to hide. I started driving to my hypnotherapy and yoga session this morning at the Haven,  but got stuck in so much traffic it wasn’t happening,  so I turned around and headed to Tesco to stock up on organic goodies.

Whilst on the way some men where walking and looking into the cars so I swiftly put my hood back up over my shaved head and hid, same in Tesco’s I kept my hood up and prayed I didn’t see anyone I know! Sad but true. It’s just so bizarre how my hair coming out and now waiting for it to progressively look worse and tufty then to a shiny bald head, has really knocked my confidence to even do the basic things … Like walk around the shops! 

Honestly, I just want to curl up today and hide. So first thing is first! I’m going to post a picture of my baldy head… Then it’s out there isn’t it… Everyone will have seen it and hopefully I will get some relief from ‘outing’ my head! 

… And then I will do what I know I do best …dust myself off and get on with it. So next order of the day is to dress myself up including my wig and go to lunch with Zoe, then I will take Cassie to the gym and put her through her paces, and although I can’t do much, I can do little bits here and there and just get used to being in the gym again. 

My question of the day is how do wigs react to rain? I don’t want to ruin it? Anyone know if I should avoid getting this wet? Well, I guess I’ll find out!  

full organic fridge!
 
my hunter gear hoody hiding my head, thanks for giving me this hoody Jack!
    
losing hair fast
 
on the move, with my shaved thug head
 

Well That Esculated Quickly.Β 

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 πŸ˜πŸ˜‚ 

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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