Wednesday, 30 September 2015

My Cancer in Numbers

3 GP Appointments
1 Breast Unit Referral
2 week wait
1 Breast Cancer Care help line call
1 Breast Cancer diagnosis
2 ultrasounds
3 biopsies
1 mammogram
2 Mri's
I genetics test
10+ Surgeon appointments
2 hospital visits
1 surgery
1 over night stay
1 drain for 3 days
2 weeks off work
2 district nurse visits
7 assisted showers
1 burst wound
1 emergency hospital visit
1 manual drainage
3 dressings
1 scar
1/3 of a new boob
2 months of wearing a post surgery support bra
1 pathology result
6% reoccurrence rate
19 sessions of radiotherapy
2 oncology follow ups
5 years of hormone therapy (tamoxifen)
Countless cups of tea
Too many kind words to mention
Many lovely friends and family
Lots of phone chats and catch up texts.
Plenty of tears and cuddles.

Check ups planned for 2 months, then 6 months time.

It's time to take stock. Sit back and Relax.

It been a long 4 months, but that is not as long as what some people have to deal with.

I look forward to the next list I make.

lots of good things planned for the future!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Radiotherapy / The Final Countdown

On Wednesday the 30th of September 2015, at 5pm-ish, I will have finished my radiotherapy treatment. This will mark the end of my active treatment for Breast Cancer.

It's been a long month.

I chose to work throughout the month and have been having radiotherapy sessions after work. The long days combined with treatment, has led me to be extremely fatigued and having little time to really rest.

I didn't really think about the fact that I may have gone back to work very quickly. Two weeks after my operation, I was back at my desk and if I'm honest I felt quite lost. I was still recovering. Thankfully, I was allowed to take it slow and easy.

Because of that, I at least had a week and a half of just being back at work and getting back into the work routine until the daily trips to the hospital began. Except for the first session, where my mother held my hand so to speak. I have taken myself to each and every one of my radiotherapy sessions. It's been something that I have done for the most part, on my own. It has been the only part of this cancer treatment process where I have gone myself, been by myself and just was myself. Just a single figure waiting in the reception for their treatment.

Being on your own makes it blindingly obvious when people are looking at you. I stick out most days. I was on my own, in my work wear and at least 20 -30 years younger than anyone else in the waiting area. You could sometimes see the struggle on the strangers faces, whilst they try to work out why I'm there. until the answer is literally shouted out when the  Nurse calls my name.

Yes, ladies and gents, I'm having radiotherapy too.

It's not all bad.

Sometimes, you get a hello from a familiar face. Perhaps you get an all knowing smile thrown your way as you pass paths on your way to the radiotherapy room.

Because really, no matter what our age, gender or reason.

We have all been brought here for the same cause. We have all be fighting the same fight.

So I sit down and offer a smile to anyone who looks my way. I read my book and wait my turn.

I wait for my name to be called.

I'm waiting for my name to called for the last time.

It will be glorious.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Twelve Beauty Natural Skincare // Ideal Moisture Level Serum

I've have been using the Twelve Beauty Natural Skincare Ideal Moisture Level Serum since May, I brought it when A) I was in need a little luxury and B) my skin had been freaking out and had become very, very dry and red in places. I first tried the product when having a makeover by the make up artist at Content Beauty & Wellbeing, who applied it to my skin before applying any make up.

It is packed full of skin saving antioxidants like White Genepi and Butterfly Bush leaf Extract to offer protection from free radicals and UV damage. It also contains Mallow Flower Extract which can help soothe irritated skin, as well as gently boosting moisture levels.

The first thing I notice was how relieved my skin felt. And then how soft.

Twelve Beauty skincare is what I would call low high end, when comparing the companies price range with other high end natural brands. Which, is posh enough for me ( I can be cheap!). This slinky glass bottle set me back £45. I have made my way through over half of it, in four months and I don't feel guilty about it, it has been a treat to use. It's not gotten rid of all my dry patches, but I really think that is has prevented patches coming back and calming down the one that remains around my brows.

I love how  it applies to my skin and dries almost instantly. I use it before I apply my moisturiser, morning and night. It does not feel like I have multiple layers of product on my skin, and that's just how I like it. I don't like feeling like my face could slip and slide off because of all the creams or oils I've put on it. This serum is just right for adding a little bit extra something, something to your routine (in my humble opinion).

This serum is designed for very dry to mature skin. It can help to regulate the skin and leaves a protective barrier, locking in moisture to defend sensitive skin against, extreme weather conditions and central heating.

It is also meant to help with skin going through hormonal changes, so perhaps the serum is helping my skin cope with the introduction of the tamoxifen, because my skin has been a tiny bit spottier but not anything as crazy as I was expecting. But, I can only assume!

The serum itself is light in texture and delicate in scent, smelling ever so slightly slightly of florals and botanicals. Nothing to strong, the scent just fades into nothing as you carry on with the rest of your skin regime. Which again is perfect for me, I don't like feeling as if I have a bouquet stuck up my nose for half the day.

Here is what Twelve have to say about this delightful serum:

"Every TWELVE product contains a special blend of four powerful antioxidants and nutrients:

  • White Genepi extract – protects the skin with anti-oxidant and radical scavenging properties.
  • Imperatoria Leaf extract – has an astrigent action along side strong anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Mallow Flower extract – a soothing, anti-irritant with gentle moisturising properties.
  • Butterfly Bush leaf extract – offers anti-oxidant protection against UV."

The entire TWELVE collection is completely free from parabens, sulphates, silicones, petrochemicals and glycols. Formulas are plant based and meet stringent requirements on green chemistry. They are also naturally scented with floral extracts and traces of essentials oils and use only natural emulsifiers.

So, have you tried this serum? Or anything from Twelve for that matter?

Would you pay £45 for a serum? Or more?

Tell me what you think and leave me any of your light weight serum reccomendations!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

A Lighter Morning

Today was the first morning that I awoke and did not feel sad, worried or down.

Each morning before this one, I have opened my eyes and felt heavy.

The heaviness does lift intermittently but then forces its weight back down on me.

Some days it feels like a ton on my chest.

All my emotions cruppled up in my ribs, crushing my lungs.


Today I awoke, light.

I felt the ease of the morning.

Still sleepy, I dozily went about my morning routine. So blissfully unaware of the past few months.

I didn't associate taking my morning tamoxifen pill with cancer. After 29 days of taking it each morning, without fail, it has become habit. An essential, cancer preventing habit. But today I didn't feel the enormity of it.

I just gulped it down and got on with my morning.

I didn't even look as my scar when dressing.

I drove to work and thought about the day ahead. Not about what if cancer ruins it, what if it will return. Cancer will ruin everything if you let it.

But no more. At least not for this morning.

Today I really felt it.

I really could be / should be cancer free.

I have 11 more radiotherapy sessions to go. I'm half way through.

 It wont ever be over, not really.

But this morning was a hopeful glimpse of the future. Where cancer is not the my first thought of the day.

I really looking forward to it.