Sunday, 21 February 2016

My Favourite Things

To celebrate all the things that I now have or can do, please sing aloud, to whoever is with you, the following lyrics to the tune of "My Favourite Things" from "The Sound of Music"

My Favourite Things (Breast Cancer Version)

Lashes on eyelids and mascara to coat them
Eyebrows with arches and pencils to fill them
Eyes blue and sparkly in all colourings
These are a few of my favourite things

Soft hair that covers my head now it's growing
Shampoo with lather so frothy and flowing
Essence of vanilla it beautifully brings
These are a few of my favourite things

Perfume with amber or jasmine or roses
Sandalwood ylang-ylang it's all for our noses
Shower gels scented with spiced floral springs
These are a few of my favourite things

Restaurants with family and takeaways delivered 
Shopping with daughter and giggles unmeasured
Driving around with my own set of wings
These are a few of my favourite things 

When I look back, when my brain zings
When I'm feeling mad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Written with gratitude to the amazing healing properties of the human body xx


From 14/2/16

Weirdly this week I have found myself having to defend and explain why I get tired. Someone I had been talking to didn't mean any harm, but when I replied to their "how are you" question with "I get very tired very quickly", they said "well I get tired, everyone gets tired" and they kind of dismissed my response. It was odd. I went on to explain in more detail how I feel and why the treatments have caused my tiredness. But those words fell on deaf ears. I think I have hit the "well you look alright" scenario that people with an illness get. It felt so strange giving a justification for feeling the way I do. I am considering ditching the effort that I put in to making my face look presentable and instead going barefaced with a sign that says "having treatment for cancer"!!!! My beautiful sister in law who is on dialysis and waiting for a kidney transplant always makes herself look gorgeous and sophisticated, people look at her and say "but you look well". You stick your slap on your face, you smile and laugh, show everyone that life carries on, go home and collapse in a heap away from people's eyes. You don't want to shove your illness down people's throats all day everyday, so you put in the effort to look OK. But then because you look OK people think there is nothing wrong with you and you must be a hypochondriac if you mention any symptoms!! Conundrum or what?!!
My answer to all this is to keep my pride and keep my slap on, but I have deduced that the words "tired", "fatigued" and "exhausted" just don't cut it. They are too commonly used and don't explain the actual way poorly people feel. Breathless, dizzy and a bit sick, your plug gets pulled, your batteries run out, you need to lie down now, you can't move any part of you, talking is too hard. But you keep smiling and saying you're OK. This happens daily, repeatedly. So I have found a new word. I am going to use "Defessus" from now on. It is Latin for Tired, but I feel has much more depth about it. "How are you?" "I'm really suffering from Defessus right now", or "I'm doing well but Defessus has got the better of me"!! I'm sure that will evoke a better understanding, without it ending up sounding like a plea for symphathy.
Every person that has an illness please feel free to introduce Defessus into your vocabulary!!


From 7/2/16

Whilst with the Oncologist last week, we talked about the stiffness and pains in my joints which is either caused by the Herceptin injections (10 left) or by the Arimidex (tablets for 5 years), she said it should start to calm down a bit soon, so I'm hopeful about that. She also said that the Yoga I'm trying hard to do each day (but failing) is very good as it helps to keep the joints mobilised. I must try harder. I'm kind of used to hobbling out of bed in the mornings until everything warms up a bit!! Next the Oncologist mentioned I needed to have a blood test done, this was to search for markers, which will show if there has been any recurrence of cancer. I had a strange reaction to this. I felt back in Cancer Land again rather than being in Almost Normal Land, where I have been residing since Radiotherapy finished. I prefer not to know what they are testing for, but at the same time I really really want to know that the result is nice and clear. But we can't have it both ways can we?!! I guess there will be plenty of these tests to come and that's a really good thing, but I will need to deal with the worry factor, the "what if". A friend has just been through the awful wait for results after a biopsy, it has to be the longest wait in the world. Your brain goes all kinds of places. Why do we do that? Why do we worry so? Back when I was waiting for the results of my diagnosis I was actually relieved when they told me what I had, yes relieved! Because I knew we could crack on and fix me. The wait for results has you in a limbo land of nothingness. I'm not sure that I want to spend my time worrying about results so I'm going to decide not to, what will be will be, I'm going to crack on with cracking on!

Hair Growth

From 24/1/16  -    Hair Growth

7 Jan 2016 - 11 weeks after last chemo

15 Jan 2016 - 12 weeks after last chemo

24 Jan 2016 - 3 months after last chemo