Cancer F*&ked Me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Natural Remedies.Β 

Obviously, as you can see from my previous moans and groans… I am a wanna-be toxin free mind and body kind of girl. I try my best to be 100% but I’m sure even the most confident people in the world have a shake of mind and spirits and want to eat pizza! 

The toxin free, clean (mostly) eating in itself is a personal choice and I don’t force it upon anyone although I actually do recommend trying it. As for me I have found some great natural remedies along the way and been shocked by what I used to put on and into my body! Obviously I still have a flutter with ice cream, a drink, and have the odd pizza or other junk food! I am only human! 

But as I am on a crap load of unnatural, man-made drugs to rid me of any Cancer still left in this body, I try to not use all the medication they provide to stop the side effects. I do use the anti-nausea items because seriously I hate being sick and that would cause me so much stress to be throwing up after each chemo for hours. I made that choice and I will stick to it. 

But so, basically, when dealing with chemo and breast cancer surgery and etc etc you are told no deodorants. There is a lot of crap in those standard deodarants and well let’s be honest…. Do you still moan you smell at the end of the day girls? Yep, most girls I know do! But not me…. Little miss hippy over here makes her own and I don’t smell! …. I literally mix the amazing (sometimes it seems to good to be true) organic  coconut oil and bicarbonate of soda together! And I am smell free for the day….. Also you can use this same mixture as a toothpaste to remove stains … Forget expensive toxic bleaching and give the  80p bicarbonate of soda from the supermarket a go! 

  I also use bicarbonate mixed with alkalising salts to clear my bowels. I know gross! But seriously constipation is the worst from chemo and sickness medication, it hurts, it makes you feel 10 years older, you feel frumpy and just down right poo! (Pardon my pun). Now I used to use bicarbonate of soda as an alkalising buffer when I was a sprinter and personally stumbled upon the, then adverse effects of the 80p supermarket goody, when someone else mixed my drink for me and made it too strong and I subsequently ran to the toilet not around the running track fast! But should anyone want a performance aid that is natural and buffers lactic …then do some research as there is a proper measure to use…. From memory I believe I used to use….. 1g to every 10kg body weight 90mins pre track session and 30 mins pre track session… I didn’t do this for long as I had a few car accidents and then quit so never competed on it but double check its ok to race on and see how it works in training for all sports where ‘you hit the wall, get lactic, feel the burn’ … Or just use it as a good clear out for the intestines! πŸ˜±πŸ™ˆ but be careful of you have heart conditions I don’t recommend using too much if you are salt sensitive! 

  Organic Coconut oil…. My favourite thing…. Seriously stranded on a dessert island I would take this … Or I guess learn to crack open coconuts and make my own! … It can be used to pull the bacteria and toxins from the body by swilling it in the mouth for 15mins, it makes your teeth whiter, skin softer, apparently scars heal faster (I’ll let you all know on this … Bio oil never worked for me so I will see if this works!) and my hair grow faster, which my hair is now growing and I look like a fluff ball! 

On top of this… You can cook in it and eat it! And yes when on Keto diets and desperate for chocolate I have had the odd teaspoon of coconut oil straight from the jar as pudding! 

I literally have a jar in what feels like every room!  

And just as a bonus to this post here is a little positive meme from the ladies of young breast cancer forum who I chat with regularly on Facebook! 

 

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
 

Magic Milk and Super Soup.

So, over the weekend I read about ‘Golden Milk’ also known as ‘Magic Milk’ in my brain, which is a magical blend of ingredients that creates a golden coloured drink, and actually next time I think I will add extra chilli, and have it as a soup. It was ok, not amazing but drinkable and with the addition of chilli and reduction in coconut oil I think I will enjoy it even more. You just have to find the blend that works for your tastes.

Magic Milk Recipe:
2 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil (this is optional and I will reduce this next time I make it)
1 teaspoon organic ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ( I used a stick but will use ground next time as I just couldn’t taste the cinnamon)
1 teaspoon ground ginger or grated fresh ginger

So, you basically chuck everything into a pan, and boil until it is golden ( I think more florescent yellow tbh).

Tips: leave it to cool down, I burnt my tongue trying to drink it straight away. And it took forever to cool down. Then straight after drink water.

Super Soup:
1 large organic parsnip
3 small organic carrots
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon organic turmeric
5 x organic bitter apricot kernels
Sprinkle of ginger, chilli and black pepper

I blended the veggies, and apricot kernels into a smooth pulp with the water; and then put in a pan to heat and add all the spices. I added cheese, as I believe in a high fat diet so needed to get my fats in. It was tasty and good for me. And meant I had a delicious no meat day.

So the magic ingredient in both my creations was Turmeric. Turmeric is said to inhibit several types of cancer cells ( oesophagus, mouth, intestines, stomach, breast & skin) and slows the growth and spread down. The active ingredient in Turmeric is curcumin, and is an antioxidant that can protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals and interferes with molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth and spread.
Human studies are in their early stages, and some research even suggests it protects against liver disease, as well as stimulating the gallbladder and circulatory system and can help ward off parasites and bacteria that can build toxins in the body.

So basically, eat & drink turmeric for your general health and to protect against and reduce the growth and spread of cancer. Eat for health, and add herbs and spices to create deliciously tasty meals that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Enjoy!

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The First Shower.

So I can shower now! Result. So I am sat here for the first time in 2 weeks feeling properly clean, thanks to my Dr Berry coconut shower gel and moisturiser.
I smell positively tropical, and in true girl style I contemplated MY world for half hour with the water beating over my head.
In short my shower, was where I contemplated life. What I want in life. A bit heavy for a Tuesday morning I know. But yesterday I was delivered the test results from my team: the surgeon, the breast care nurse and the consulting doctor.
In short it’s worse than expected. But, there are positives. It has been upped a grade, from 2 to 3, meaning it is more aggressive than was first thought. The main tumour is a whopping 40mm and there was no ‘safe zone’ so to speak. The tumour hits the chest wall. Which, I am making assumptions here, I’m no doctor, but I assume that probably means a higher risk of spread potential.
There is also something called lypho-vascular invasion. Which means that throughout the left breast the cancer has spread in every ‘block from medial to lateral and including beneath the nipple’. Basically it was summarised to me “wherever cancer could settle it has.”
The good news, yes there is some! It didn’t infiltrate my lymph nodes, which means it hasn’t spread through my lymphatic system which is one of the main risks of breast cancer, the lymph under the arm pit is so close it can spread fast into the system and then becomes harder to treat due to secondary tumours. The second bit of good news, there was no cancer in my right breast, which post MRI Scan there had been a scare that it was present.
So two bad, two good. So I guess we could say Im neutral, but it didn’t and still doesn’t feel like that. I know I am miss positivity and I truly believe a positive head will get me through this, but sometimes you have to ride the wave of emotion and just accept the inner sadness, anger and fear. And then come out fighting with a smile on your face.
Treatment: They are strongly recommending chemotherapy, radiotherapy and 5 years of hormones – tamoxifen. Quite a daunting prospect at 30. Especially when you haven’t been married or had children and have nothing behind you, due to appalling personal circumstances that I may well write about one day. But that won’t be today.
I continue to hold the belief that chemotherapy is not always the be all and end all of treatment, and is one of the ‘standard’ treatments that are dished out to all, without individual thought for a treatment plan as well as that your quality of life at the time and post treatment is reduced.
So the stresses are big and very real and keeping stress free is critical to reducing your acidity in the body. So meditation has become a must for me.
And, my non-traditional research continues, I am in the process of arranging to speak with a doctor in Malaysia who is an expert in cellular medicine used to treat cancer. As well as exploring vitamin c and micronutrients.
I will also explore the traditional methods, I’m not casting aside conventional medicine or what the benefits are, I just want all the information before I make decisions as to if I have chemotherapy or not; or if I combine chemotherapy with alternative treatments such as the vitamin C IV Drips.

I have always hated being pressured into doing things, and I do currently feel like I am being backed into a corner by the medical profession and now my parents, who once supported my choices and now seem to think I am doing things because people are telling me too. Which is not the case. I’m just not comfortable putting my life in peoples hands when I don’t know all the facts and figures, my late running coach, always used to say he had to explain everything to me more than others as I always wanted to understand the reason and the benefits to certain types of training sessions. Ultimately, it’s my body, my life and my future. It’s me it is happening to and responsibility of what course of treatment I go with is on me, I have to own it, believe it and know I’m doing the best for me!

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Goodbye Dracula’s Handbags.

Today, I had my drains removed! Aka Dracula’s handbags!

I was so excited going to the hospital. Since the operation I have only left home twice, each time to visit the hospital. And today was a good day as I felt a little better and knew I would come out feeling even better still.
Especially as my left drain had been leaking out onto the dressing and been sore for the past few days, plus I desperately wanted a shower.

Well, no one tells you how odd and uncomfortable having drains pulled out is. The weird little feeling when they clamp the tubes to pull the bottom off to stop the vacuum, is like a little sucking sensation, followed by a few tugs and then cutting the stitches with a blade followed by the deep breath and the sharp tug when you feel the drain come out from all the way round your boob. It is such a weird and somewhat painful sensation. The left side hurt far more than the right side.

So the bad news, I still can’t shower! But hopefully Monday I can, after they remove the dressings. Until then I am allowed to sit in the bath if I don’t get the dressings wet.

I set up a Facebook page today so please go and like it, it’s called Melinda Cooksey Toxin Free Living, so search me and like it please.

It’s world happiness day tomorrow. So make sure you stay positive all day, and smile at everyone you see!

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