Down Days

I am in a dip. I found out a few weeks ago someone I once knew died of cancer. I am angry. Another child is motherless because of this awful disease. Another Husband goes to bed alone.

Cancer wins again. I am so angry.

I feel like I’m stuck in a box and I’m running out of air. I am trapped in a world of pain. I feel out of place in my own life. I don’t seem to fit anywhere. I lie awake at night my anxiety has me by the throat.

I am beginning to dislike myself. I do not like the dark transformation of my heart. I’m filling with bitterness and envy. I’m caught in the thought ‘it’s ok for them because……

Thats not me. Thats never been me. But I am angry and its consuming. I cant forgive cancer. I cant move on. I cant do anything but drown in my own anger. I am allowing myself to feel inadequate. I am choosing not to believe in myself. I am letting peoples choices effect my self worth.

When I started writing I was full of hope and inspiration. Now i’m conscious about sounding boring. How ridiculous is that. The Cancer community has really changed this pass year. All of a sudden my cancer isn’t good enough. I am not good enough. I cant beat this. My story doesn’t get a happy ending.

I’m just a Mum struggling with life like so many others. I don’t have the answers, I can’t run marathons I am not a spokes person for Breast Cancer. All I wanted was to leave enough of me so when I go my kids don’t forget me. I want Effy to feel like she knows me. I didn’t expect to feel like this.

I don’t want to be angry.

My Thoughts….

It truly is a dog eat world. At least it promotes ambition.

Its a truly unfair would. At least it promotes hope.

From where I sit I see justifications and sadness come from those with empathy in abundance. Hearts so filled.

Also from where I sit I see entitlement and inflated egos.

Social Media is a strange place.

King Midas is alive. No lesson learnt. Poor King Midas and his self proclaimed curse. Theres a good moral in that story.

Wanting more for your self is drive. Wanting more then others is greed.

Icarus got his flying shoes but was waned not to get to close to the sun. He thought he knew best. He didn’t listen. Poor old Icarus.

These stories have been around forever but people still do not take heed.

Money doesn’t equate respect or love.

Boundaries are essential.

Only Rocket Science is Rocket Science.

Children have infinite power and possibility.

Human nature is confused with a self inflated sense of human nurture.

Egotistical needs to be needed but not giving the tools to be independent.

Mothers love or Mothers control.

Ignorance confused for hatred, passion confused with anger. Everybody wants to be right but not listening to see if anyone actually is.

We have the right to speak but also the right not to listen.

Balance is the silence of one to hear the other.

Education is dangerous. Inquisitive minds are dangerous.

Trigger (un)Happy

Dictionary result for oestrogen

/ˈiːstrədʒ(ə)n,ˈɛstrədʒ(ə)n/noun

  1. any of a group of steroid hormones which promote the development and maintenance of female characteristics of the body.

Take that away and what am I?

Thats what I am struggling with. I cant have any hormone replacement treatments. My body is starved of the thing designed to keep it up and running. Like a binding agent, without it you just fall apart. There is no choice or options or time. After a year of treatment by body was shocked into a menopausal state. The menopause wasn’t designed for a Mum with young children.

The best way to describe how I feel is I have been given a destination but no directions to get there. I’m just floating in a big ocean waiting to see land. I cant die and I cant live. I’m just floating in an abyss. Im helpless and hopeless.

I believe in order to not have something means there is a choice to have it. If I can be hopeless then surely I can have hope?

Choices. I can choose to float waiting for land to hit me or I can choose to swim and find my own land. Its not the easy option, it will take time and it will be exhausting. I will be petrified. I can’t bring the oestrogen back. That is not a choice. I need to find another binding agent.

I feel so limited in what I can do. I can’t walk very far, this is becoming more and more of an issue. I have to be taken everywhere, we plan everything around 4 hour medicine blocks.

I am working on feeling limitless. I’m working on becoming independent again. I chose hope over hopeless. I want to be helpful not helpless. I have a life I love and friends I love (and miss). I have dog walks for them to push my wheelchair on.

Amy, Hayley, Lolsy, Mango, Brown, Tucks and me.
(yet to decide who will be chief Wheelchair pusher)

There are no over night solutions. No miracle cures. Just choices. If you can feel hopeless you can feel hope.

I cant replace the oestrogen, I cant stop the physical effects it brings. I have a good relationship with my Doctors and I am not afraid to ask for help.

The Gift…

Back in 2002 I stumbled across this book (I’d like to say in the corner of a dusty little bookshop off Carnaby Street) in my Mums kitchen. Clover were giving away books with their massive tubs.

I hadn’t read in a while. I had a baby and was off to the caravan with my family. Looking back I was just a scared little girl trying to be a gown up. I turned 21 a month after Mia was born. I was single and living at home with my parents. Although fully competent I didn’t feel enough of an adult to be a Mum. So I read a book.

The Gift by Danielle Steel. I had not read or have since read a Danielle Steel novel because I truly believe I was only meant to read that one. This isn’t a book report I am not telling you what the book was about just what I learned.

We are lent not given. We do not own each other and we do not own this planet. We are guests (albeit terrible ones) Life is our gift, but life cannot be without death. It’s a package deal but death seems to be the small print no one reads. For me excepting death as part of life changed me. I don’t know why my sister died but she did. More importantly tho, she lived. She was a gift.

Mama

Being a Mum with Cancer is not easy. Imagine being the Mum of a Mum with Cancer.

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Everything I hide from my kids. All the tears and fears. The Darkness. She gets it full throttle. As quickly as this happened to me it happened to her.

For a little while I felt guilty for putting her through this, I wanted to stop her hurting.

Something changed in me.

Why I am feeling guilt? I’ve done nothing wrong.

Wasted emotion.

So instead of letting this displaced guilt consume me I started talking to her. Open and honest sometimes really raw feelings.

What I saw was her strength grow.

Her Power grow.

All the while I felt guilty and didn’t want to burden her I was depriving her rights as my Mother. Denying her right to pick up pieces. In trying to protect my Mum I wasn’t allowing her to be my Mum.

Im grateful I learned this early on.

If you are reading this and you are carrying the guilt PLEASE speak out to the people who love you.

In the Words of Aquababie ‘let your momma love on you’

 

not a fashion blogger.

I have never strived to be fashionable, I hold comfort above style always.

Losing my hair was an eye opener into the fashion world, the Instagram fashion world at least.

I loved seeing dresses paired with trainers.

Finally I didn’t feel like Lilly Allen in her early days.

I got brave being bald.

I wore things I never had the courage to before.

With a history of feeling like I never quite got it right and feeling inadequate on nights out I finally found my confidence.

Surprisingly it wasn’t in my clothes.

It was with my smile.

I had so much going on in my life with treatment and baldness I was just happy to be dressed and out.

It truly doesn’t matter what you wear if you are not confident.

You could be head to toe latest Topshop full glam and blow dry and still not look as good as the confident women wearing old jeans and minimal make up.

Saying that I do own garments that enhance my confidence.

I feel that is the key.

Your confidence has to start within.

Self love and self care.

Once you’ve nailed that you can throw a kick arse outfit on without even thinking.

I don’t believe in having one style either.

Different moods call for different colours and textures.

Inspire

Watching Sunday Brunch the other week I watch an interview and preformance with a singer Chris of Christine and the Queens.

I think its important to let you know when I was younger I would get obsessed with a piece of music or song. I hear something and it makes me hungry. Drunk hungry. When your drunkness and hunger are about the same level. You don’t eat it or devour it you inhale it. Thats me and music.

I don’t listen to radio or watch music tv. I don’t know kiki or if she ever did love me.

Not because I’m so alternative. But i do know what I like. I have an album for every mood. Tried and tested. I’ve even evolved with songs. Like a relationship. Sinnerman by Nina Simone has meant so many things throughout my life but I think I finally get it.

As an avid watcher of Tim and Simon they actually have some random but interesting stuff.

So back to Chris. French born but fluent in English explained their writing process and how a song written in French can translate to a completely different mood. I was blown away with their sense of humour and complete grasp of two languages and the artistry that comes with both.

I haven’t inhaled someones music like that for a long time.

Learning from someones words and ideas isn’t that same as following someone. A teacher and a leader are not the same thing. Wanting to expand what is already there in conversation, to add to the conversation. We all bring so many qualities, unique to our own experiences but some people are so closed they blindly follow. Desperate to belong.

You’re saying be your self but you’re wearing a uniform.

Just fucking love yourself.

In my head…

I start blog posts all the time (in my head), I think oooooh I should write that down but sadly I am too bloody lazy!

I think of a million things that I could do before I sit down with the laptop. I am a realist so this isn’t a promise to write more just an acknowledgement that I should.

But right now Im here typing so lets see where we go.

Im sitting in bed with Effy (who by the way is moaning because she wants to play a game on my phone but doesn’t get how to play it so she makes me do it then moans even more because I am touching my own phone, vicious cycle) I have the fan on full even tho it isn’t warm and Im freezing but the moment I turn it off I set on fire, like every inch of my skin is burning. This is menopause on steroids as every medication I have to take has Hot flushes (ridiculous name, I prefer burning flesh of doom) as its side effect. But I tell myself its a small price to pay.

My only problem is all these little prices I am paying really are starting to add up. Like a trip to Primark, you see something and its £2 and your like omg £2 so you pick something else up, why wouldn’t you! It’s £2!! You get to till all proud of your self for being such a bargain hunter and you can’t wait to show your next doors neighbours cousins bestfriend the hilarious t-shirt you got her because it was £2 but then the harsh reality hits when the cashier says that’ll be £112 please. FUCK!

That is pretty much my life. I get slapped with £112 on the daily. Sometimes more then once. But I’m alive.

Did you know there was difference in being alive and being alive? That is not a typo. Being alive BC (before cancer not christ) being alive was awesome, life was an unwritten book. You live like everyday could be your last because you could be hit by a bus tomorrow. I am a big fan of that bus. I wish I could live like that bus might hit me. Not in a suicidal way. Metaphorically speaking. Its a good way to live. Like I said big fan of the bus.

Being alive after BC and being stage 4 (not curable) my bloody book has its ending and it doesn’t involve a fucking bus! It involves years (hopefully) of toxic poisons keeping the cancer from spreading anymore. My book is a black comedy of pain fear and more pain.

So you see all the while a metaphorical bus could make you meet your maker your ending isn’t written you are free to be a little reckless because you could get hit by a bus tomorrow.

Imagine the irony is a fucking bus kills me and not cancer!

 

My Wedding…

Kev and I were already engaged. He proposed Christmas eve 2012 but we never set a date. It was always something I wanted to do but never made it a priority. I did know how I wanted to do it. I wanted a church wedding with the reception in my Mum and Dads garden. I didn’t want a sit down meal just a really good buffet with a cheese and pineapple hedgehog and sea food galore. My Mum always called it the Darling Buds of May wedding as hay bails and mismatch tables chairs and glasses are my thing. I am not sleek chic or sophisticated in my taste. I like colour and clashing and wildflowers. But it was a pipe dream, something I thought we might get around to doing when Effy was older.

It wasn’t un till I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer did I realise just how much I wanted to marry Kevin.

One drunk night it was discussed with friends and the wedding planning started. When your in survival mode there is no waiting. I couldn’t save and plan and do it when I was better as I didn’t know if I would get better. My cancer had spread to my lymph nodes already and I knew in my heart I had to get married now. It soon became apparent that the wedding I wanted was not the wedding I would be getting. I was ok with that.

I brought my dress from ASOS in the sale for £57 and I felt beautiful when I tried it on. Even bald and puffy I felt special. I tried it on several times a day and just swished and swooshed in the mirror.

Everything after that just fell into place. I contacted the Artisan Dried flower company and asked them if they could rush through a wild flower crown and I found some shoes I liked in Monsoon. My something borrowed was Mia’s bridesmaid dress. I got the most beautiful little dresses in Matalan that colour matched mine for Kevs little sisters and a pale pink one for Effy. Kev weirdly wanted to wear tweed but I ordered him the most amazing hot pink suit from Topman. Bertie already had his suit he just needed an occasion to wear it.

Being so ill in treatment left no time for procrastinating or indecisiveness. I also have the most incredible friend, Hayley Baker. She has helped me endlessly. Who has not stopped helping me in every way and on every level. She also commissioned the Florist from her own wedding, Red Lipstick Flowers to create my bouquet.

I wanted to incorporate my sister and Kevs Nan in a subtle way so the button holes were flowers dedicated to them. The men in my family wore my sisters rose and the men in his wore his Nans.

I think we pulled it off…

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Our Venue was Sutton Registry Office which limited us to 40 guests. The ladies there were so lovely and helpful. The Cancer Card can be handy sometimes. Due to my Chemo regime I never knew how I would feel so I was worried about planning and inviting more guests to an evening reception incase I had to go home. So I kept the wedding secret. I invited my some of my closest friends and family and made a conscious decision to let go of any guilt I felt for not having all the people I wanted there. We managed to convince the owner of our favourite restaurant to open for us and do a 3 course meal for our guests. With the help of my amazing friends Hayley Lauren and Danielle we transformed the restaurant with white Roses, Gypsophila the centre piece of dreams and borrowed wedding decorations! I even hung a canvas of me and Kev at a party in that same restaurant. It was so special and personal.

My Mum has always said ‘What is meant for you won’t pass you by’ and it has proven itself true over and over. I received a message from friend who is a make up artist saying that she would love to give me a little makeover she knew what I was going through and just wanted to make me smile. I replied with I’m having a secret wedding fancy doing my make up! Olivia Caley came on the morning of my wedding and made Mia and myself beautiful! My other make up artist friend Hannah did my Mums which was so important as my Mum shaved her head when I lost my hair so I wanted her to feel confident and beautiful.

My wedding was everything I didn’t know I wanted. Every part of it was filled with love and friendship and trust. Everything a good marriage should be. I was blessed and gifted and made to feel so complete when actually my life was crashing down around me. My reality was dark and painful but for one day with the help of my Husband and my family and my incredible friends it was bright light and comfort.

There is one other person who I could never thank enough, who I am in complete awe of. Katie Gingernut with a Camera. She captured the heart and the essence of the day.  I will never get bored of my wedding photos. It wasn’t a traditional wedding, we didn’t have a cake or a first dance. We didn’t have the grounds of a country estate or those big light up letters to take pictures by. But when you have someone so pure hearted and so talented take the time and care to capture every moment nothing else matters.

My wedding was planned in 4 weeks and was the best day of my life.

 

 

 

Who am I?

It’s been less then a year since this shit show started. In less then a year I’ve had to deal with my diagnosis, endure a pretty horrific chemo routine then I got burnt to a crisp in radiotherapy and before I could take a breath I was in a 9 and half hour operation which nearly finished me off as my body went septic. I live in pain which is how we found out it got to my bones.

I was always a cup half full kinda gal. I’m trying so hard to be like that again. I find myself constantly saying I’ve got the best of a bad situation and I’ve got this. What does that even mean? I have a got the bad of a bad situation. I play down my surgery scars to make it sound positive. Who wouldn’t want their Gunt removed and smaller pert boobs?? It’s the surgery of dreams right?  Who am I trying to protect? Myself? I’m not sure.

I’m not strong or brave I’m not even fighting. You cant fight something you cant win. I turn up for appointment I detach myself from reality to hide the fact I’m petrified. Blood tests, cannulas, injections, bad news it doesn’t stop. It will never stop.

I feel like I’m existing not living. I have responsibilities as a Mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend. I have to go on like nothing has changed.

I don’t know who I am. I have a different body a different face/hair a different mind. Why is no one trying to get to know the new me? Maybe they will if I stop pretending to be the old me.