Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Tell it how it is


I'm afraid that it took getting a breast cancer diagnosis to make me really, truly, tell it how it is.

To start telling people how I want to live my life.

I have been scuttling around, cultivating a beauty routine filled with lovely natural products, I've been eating well and living mindfully. I have been honest and true. To myself.

I had not however been too vocal about it outside of my own mind. Or outside of this blog, bar a few people who seemed interested and accepting.

It was time for a change!

So I wrote a firm but polite email to those close to me and explained, without no apologies, my current lifestyle choices. This read as follows:

Hello lovely people,

I just wanted to let you all know how I would like to continue lifestyle wise throughout treatment and beyond. I am writing this as an email so I don't have to explain my choices constantly and hopefully wont be seen ungrateful or difficult in the future.

As well as not eating any dairy products:

I will be giving up all processed red meat; ham, sausages, chorizo, corned beef, store brought burger patties etc. I will also not be eating any meat cuts from any dairy producing cattle- Cow, Goat, pig etc.  I can eat chicken, duck, turkey (in small quantities).

I will not be eating any processed snacks and sweets or white breads. Fruit and nuts are fine. Vegan (dairy free) and low sugar desserts are also fine.

I will not be drinking alcohol for the foreseeable future ( which is good anyway, as I get hung-over after one drink!)

For the past year and a half, I have been changing my hair, beauty, skincare, body care and perfume products to natural, organic and cruelty free items. It can be hard to navigate what is truly natural and cruelty free. So if you want to buy me such a gift for Christmas or birthday, I can tell you what I would like or you could buy me a voucher for a certain store etc.

I do not use synthetic scented candles and only buy candles made of natural waxes and dyes, again please ask before you buy me something, so I do not waste a thoughtful gift.

I hope you don't find this list bossy, I just wanted to let everyone know my current lifestyle choices. Please don't alter how you cook a dinner if I am a guest, I will just have an extra serving of vegetables etc and I can also bring an extra dish of food to share!

Thank You, See you all soon.

Lots of Love

Liz xx

The response has been good and a few people have even commended me for it. Well, at least to my face I have had no complaints. There has even been a few jokes. Especially from my Dad, "What about man-made-fibre-hessian-underpants...are these in or out?". Yeah, very funny Dad. However hessian pants would rub some what, so I replied  "rough pants out,  fair trade organic cotton pants are in!".
Anyway, please don't wait like I did to properly commit to who you are. Not just to yourself but in the way you present your self outward to others. Make sure people see and respect you for who you want to be. Who you are striving to be. I guarantee you that they will like what they see and may even surprise you, by not being that surprised about the new (to them) changes at all!

Because if you are being true to yourself, your authenticity will shine through. And, there is no arguing with that! 
 (and finally, if they do argue with you then perhaps it's best not to waste the energy! carry on with what makes you happy and leave them to their own devices!)



Wednesday, 17 June 2015

waiting

So perhaps I spoke too soon.

I had waited, but maybe not long enough to write about my diagnosis. Alas, I had more in store. The MRI picked up and confirmed that the cancer in the left breast seems to be contained and has not spread to my lymph nodes (yay).

However, the MRI also picked up a mass of what looks to be precancerous cells in my right breast. Funnily enough, in a similar area and size as the lump in my left one. So I guess at least I'm symmetrical (funny, only when I say it).

So I await more tests, I had to have 3 biopsies on my poor right boob and will find out soon if they think it is cancer or not. From there, I will have to decide what treatment to have, I will also have to wait for my genetic test results to make a full on, I've got all the facts I could have, decision.

I feel like I'm swimming up shit creek right now. With out a paddle, map, compass or boat! NICE!

I thought I had gotten over the not knowing part, I wanted to be past the feeling weak stage. Which is when I wrote about my diagnosis. I felt strong and defiant against the cancer in one of my breasts. Two breasts, really is twice the worry. For me at least.

I am still remaining as up beat as possible, I am still going to work, still seeing friends, still being me.

It just seems that during what was becoming the year of my self acceptance, in body and in mind. Has become a year that will be consumed by overcoming cancer and recovery.

I had so much planned for my 29th year and this was not it. But I am not letting it take over everything,

Mark my words.

I will have a plan! Whenever your direction changes. Whenever you feel like you have lost your path. It's time to re-acess things. You can still make it to your destination. You are just going to have to take another route!
    

Thursday, 11 June 2015

It is the best news in a crappy situation



When I got told that there was a very good chance that I had breast cancer, the first thought I had was, "but what else could it be?" and then

fuck. shit. wank.

I cried during the biopsy and I was told that I would have to wait a week to be given a definitive answer.

I had to pull myself together, I needed to go to work as I was only meant to have a half day off, I explained the situation and my boss immediately said go home and gather my thoughts.

I didn't,

Instead I hung out with my best friend, had a nice lunch and did some shopping (retail therapy equals skinny black jeans).

I then had to wait for my boyfriend to come home. I had already told him on the phone. So I made spag bol and waited.

A few tears were wiped away.

A MASSIVE HUG was equally need.

Dinner was served.

And we just ate, chatted about it, looked sadly at each other and then I decided that wanted (needed) to know as much as I could. Good or bad. Mastectomy or no mastectomy, traveling after cancer, turban tying, wig wearing, chemo, operations, everything.

As they say,

know thy enemy 

If I had to have chemo and my hair would fall out, I'd get that short hair I have always thought about and then donate the rest of my hair to charity.
If I have the faulty gene, BRCA1 or BRCA2 then I will not be having children. Harsh but true.
I would not have one mastectomy, I would have a double (bilateral).
I will get breast reconstruction and some kick ass tattoos to cover them.

Of course, I had not seen the doctors yet, I didn't know the diagnosis or their plan.

I didn't want to spend a week not knowing anything and I couldn't keep thinking that it was nothing. So I looked at different scenarios and it comforted me.

I had ups and downs, I hoped it was nothing, I wondered if I would have a mastectomy. Maybe they wouldn't let me. Maybe I should have a lumpectomy and radiation because that has very similar results.

What if, what if?!

You can't keep doing that, it will drain you of all your energy.

Have a plan
 

Even if it is not the plan that you end up using. Have one. See what feels right.

Then, I had to wait.

A week later I was sat at the breast cancer clinic waiting for my diagnosis with my lovely boyfriend, we distracted ourselves by looking through home magazines, looking for inspiration for a our new home.

Then, I get my diagnosis;

Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

SHIT

At 29 years old, a month after completing the London Marathon for Cancer Research, I was being told that I have cancer. A tiny bit of me has started to malfunction, 1.6cms to be exact. I have caught it early and my prognosis at the moment is very positive.

       It's the best news in a crappy situation

I need more tests to ascertain what is going on and if it is actually worse then they originally thought, but preliminary result seem to suggest that it has not spread to my lymph nodes . At the moment the consultant doesn't think I will need chemotherapy. As some of you may remember, my dear Grandma died from cancer when I was 12. This past week I have learned that she had gone through a lot during her last ten years on this planet. She was always so strong, at least, that is how I remember her.

I had already had two doctor appointments before the marathon, I had found a small hard lump in my left breast and it had started to give me a lot of pain. A few days after the marathon, I booked my third doctors appointment and got my referral to the breast care clinic. That was a two week wait. I was told that it was likely to be a cyst, that I was too young.

I have chosen to share this on wellmeaningbeing, because this will forever be part of my life now and I still intend to live well throughout it.
I will still be writing about other topics, but inevitably there are going to be posts about whats going on. My apologies if this has upset anyone or perhaps brought back sad memories. You can choose not to read my posts, if you so wish.

So, for now, I am half way through knowing exactly what is going on. The unknown is still out there in front of me.

It's time to make another plan.


If you need about help or advice dealing with breast cancer you can contact :
 http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/

To make sure that you touch yourself up on the regular check out :
@coppafeelpeople

To read up on how you can support cancer research you can here :
http://www.cancerresearchuk.org





Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Live or Die

Disclaimer: May cause triggers

What would you do if you thought you would die.
Would you let feelings of impending doom set in? Would you avoid it? Deny it?
 
Maybe, it's a natural instinct.
 
But would you let those feelings consume you, until there is nothing of you left?

I hope not.
What would you do if you were going to die?
 
I hope,

You would Live.

Live it up to the max.


Whether that means raving in Ibiza, going on that long lusted after retreat in Bali, becoming a master baker or just making sure you see more of your friends and family. Go forward with new "live it to the max" intentions.

It sounds morbid. There is no avoiding it.
We are all going to die.
Pop our clogs.
See those pearly gates (if you are that way inclined)
or (and I like this one best) be pushing daisies.
 
None of us are going to like the idea, but at some point, our own timeline will end.

I know these words may trigger bad memories and worry, I just hope you don't find them insensitive.

I hope you take something out of the stoic thought;
 
"what would you do today, if you died tomorrow?"
 
and think, life is definitely short. We are very unlikely to live to 100, so there's already a "life limit". Make the most of it today. Tomorrow is still unknown! Some of us may live to 90, 80, 70.
Some of us in this world will die young.

But those years, how ever many is a whole life. No matter how many or few, those years will still form a persons whole life. Obviously, you may become unwell in later years, old age does that and it will limit what you can do, maybe do that sky drive now and not on your 70th birthday!. But what if you could truly live until you die? It doesn't have to be amazingly adventurous, just really, truly live by your own rules.

Because if you don't, it may as well be as simple as,
live or die.
If you aren't trying to live then you are just waiting to die. Blunt but true.

Take YOUR life in your hands and craft it into exactly what you want. Don't delay.
Don't give a shit about what others think. Remember that you are here to live life your way. However you want to live it (without being a criminal or a bully, please. We like good morals round these parts) just bloody well make sure you enjoy life.

Have that cake
Wear that funky jacket no one else likes
Dye your hair if you have been wanting to for ages
Sky drive or just get well into gardening, whatever.
Change jobs if you have been thinking about for 3 years and it's driving you insane.
Do it already!

Your life is precious because you will only have it once. It is exquisitely rare because you are so completely unique. We will all share similar experiences but essentially your life will never be lived again. No one will ever be able to replicate how you experience your situations, how you deal with your emotions and how you think your own thoughts. They can copy you, but their experience will be theirs and be entirely different.

If you have been letting the days pass by, if you have been sitting under that duvet and not even watching Netflix while doing it, then you are wasting your time! At least, AT LEAST go get some popcorn and get a TV series up on that screen! Veg out and enjoy some time with your self, read a book, listen to music.

But if you are avoiding, then please stop. Believe me, I know it's hard but you have to push yourself. Ask one true friend for help, if you are lonely see if they want to hang out, go for a walk. Invest your time in yourself and loved ones around you.

I used to take A LOT of long naps because I seriously couldn't be arsed and my excuse was this: I wont be able to nap if I ever have children, so I may as well nap now and relish it. I was just kidding myself, I was actually feeling fed up and needed an excuse to avoid my life. I snapped out of it.
 
That was totally stupid and unkind to my 29 years on this planet.  I have a good life. So know I own it and treat it like a precious gem. I take a step back and look in awe at all of it's wonder.

I now only nap when I need to. A little power nap. I still and always will love my duvet.

Don't avoid life. You will never get those hours back.