When you are beyond grateful & you just have to say it.

So….a little under 5 years ago in September 2011, my life was changed forever. A diagnosis of breast cancer, I was terrified, I can’t describe to you the fear and the emotional turmoil, never mind all the treatment and physical scars along with the missing bits of my body. Through the moments I spent alone, in prayer and in thought, I asked God for a favour, I remember pleading with him, negotiating with him. I recall asking him to let me see my youngest sons 16th year so that I could at least see him through his final school years, I just wanted that. Of course I wanted much much more, I wanted to ask if I could live until I was in my 80’s and have lots of money and no further health issues, but when you are the underdog, you have to be humble and not too greedy. On Friday 17th June 2016, my youngest son officially left school, my prayer has been answered and I want to give Him thanks and let Him know I am so humbled by His grace.

So….do I now go back to the table and restart negotiations for the next milestone? No, I don’t think so, I am humbled and grateful, if tomorrow I have to leave, then so be it, it’s OK….well….no….it’s not OK, but its OK if you know what I mean.

The purpose of my post is to publicly honour Christ, in all my good and bad days, he has been my rock, even when I’m removed from him, he is never removed from me. To those of you who may be going through the bullshit of life, whether it be sickness, the loss of a loved one, debt, relationship woes, career decisions,depression, whatever….there are better days ahead….and remember…when you are at your lowest point, there is only one way to go, and that’s back up.

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Love, Light & Blessings

Lisa

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Yep…….I’m still here part 2

Its come to my attention that some of you who don’t know me through other walks of life may be thinking something happened to me. Well, something did happen to me….I moved on. Just a little move, not lots, but I just began living my life again, trying to put back the pieces of what was and clearly its been taking up my time to the point I haven’t been blogging in a year.

A friend of mine Julia has reminded me twice in as many months that the few words I occasionally pen have helped people cope with their own diagnosis and its time I penned something again, and she is right, sorry for leaving it so long, but honestly I was busy lol.

I moved house, I did quite a bit of renovating, I did a lot of decorating, I changed my hairstyle, I coloured my hair, I gained another 1 stone (Friggin Tamoxifen and Galaxy bars), I had another granddaughter, I started running again , I stopped running again, I joined a fitness class, I got fitter, but somehow fatter (that will be the galaxy bars I reckon) lol, I started making home made whipped body butters for people who no longer want to rub parabens, chemicals and poisons on their skin! OK, Im not exactly the next Jo Malone/Jo Loves but hey….a girl can dream can’t she? lol. I lost my toenails yet again, I have also lost the majority of my fingernails (treatment related), I had cellulitis in my hand/arm and was very ill with it, I had flu, I had toothache and then I had a tooth extraction.  But the point here is that there is some form of ‘normality’ going on.  Nothing above seems ground breaking does it? well…..maybe the amount of galaxies I eat. Its just an average stuff, the same average stuff that you are probably doing and Lord knows I’m so grateful for the average normal stuff as 3 years ago I just couldn’t see ‘normal’ ever being part of my daily schedule again.  OK, its never going to be the same for me, granted, its just a new normal, and I have accepted it for what it is, parked the bullshit of 2011-2013 and got the hell on with it.

In terms of my body, no I have not yet had a breast reconstruction, I’m still a one breasted freak (its how it feels for me). My body and mind haven’t quite got to grips with the whole reconstruction thing…but one day. One day I hope to remove my bra and see 2 boobies staring back at me, but for now, its just the one, but its mine, its real and its free of cancer, according to my last mammogram.

As I type this post my mind runs on 2 friends I have lost this year to secondary breast cancer, Paula & Lulu. Both young women who had their treatment the same time as me. My breast cancer support group is reduced by 2 and it damn well hurts….a stark reminder that this bastard disease continues to wreck lives so it is with my closing sentence I ask my readers to please, check your breasts…do it tonight…..or tomorrow….but please…..just check them.

Love, Light, Blessings & Galaxy Chocolate Bars 🙂

Lisa

xxx

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Tamoximoron

Gotta love Dougie. Bringing the awareness of breast cancer in men to the forefront.

One of 300 Men

I went to see the sick person’s friend at ATOS the other week. After a few days they contacted me by text, which I thought was a bit familiar. They told me that I am still not fit for work, as my GP had told them for ages.

It annoyed me that the person that was seeing me had giving up nursing for the NHS to work for these evil gits.
nurse-ratched

I am still getting a load of negative effects from my treatment, including fatigue, dizziness, mood swings, memory problems and losing concentration. Never great at multi tasking, I am finding it impossible at the moment. I find it really difficult to walk upstairs especially when carrying anything. I also have problems with my memory (I know, it was a given).

I have always thought that these problems were Chemo related , indeed the symptoms arrived around the same time…

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Yep…..still here

Boy its been a while….I’ve been a busy busy bee….getting on with my life.  I put things I thought I would never again do back on to my list…and I’m working through them, one by one, day by day. I’ve sold 2 houses, bought a new house, moved 2 houses, moved my mother in (God help me), changed cars, done structural and building work, decorating, planning, etc etc.

I had to let go of cancer for a good while – I had to stop blogging about it, I had to stop suffering its call…..it has the ability to take control of your life, it sits in every corner waiting to remind you that it was there. You just can’t escape it….shit…even if you have never had cancer you can’t escape it because you will know someone who just got diagnosed with it, or someone who is going through treatment for it….or someone who died from it….and if none of the above….I guarantee you will know someone who doesn’t even yet know they have it! Damn!

Anyway – I still don’t look anything like I did in September 2011. I’m a changed woman. I have to ask myself am I changed for the better?  Probably not…..I am still carrying so much emotional baggage on me from that episode in my life….you wont know it unless you choose to sit down and have an open and honest conversation with me….which an old friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in quite some time did just a couple of weeks back. When I gave him my usual “I’m good” response to his “How are you?” – He then replied “that’s nice….but how are you REALLY”? It kind of threw me a little…”ummmmm….well….you know” I answered. He said “ummmmm…no…I don’t”. Well frigg me….who told him to ask! I started reeling off a long ass list of all the issues, challenges, pains, problems, emotions, concerns, worries, heartaches, loss, fear etc etc…….(this list is not exhaustive by the way lol). But good as he is – he opened his ears and listened to every one of my worries and woes….God Bless him. It was learning for him also – because he admitted half the things I mentioned he didnt ever think they would be of concern to someone recovering from cancer. He was in ore of some of the “things” Id put in place as a precaution in case the bitch (thats the cancer) ever returned and finished me off.  I know my family and friends never want to hear me talking that way but my reality is I think differently from someone whose life has never been altered or threatened.

Only someone who has survived or is currently surviving an illness which could return understands the level at which we think and plan. I’m not saying that I’m going anywhere soon – heck I’m praying there is a few years left in the old bird yet!….but what if there isn’t?  The old saying “tomorrow is not promised to anyone”…..actually…..for your information…..the next hour isn’t promised either! Heck I could go outside to put the bins out, trip on a loose brick, fall over, hit my head and its all over.

In the last few months, from my breast cancer support group, 4 of the women have died. It’s so upsetting I can’t begin to tell you. All of them have left young families, children growing up without their mothers, husbands widowed at such a young age, parents distraught because they’ve had to bury their children, siblings lost without their loving sister….the list of people it affects goes on and on. Yet I’m sitting here moaning about my issues!

There is an empty seat at the dinner table, a wardrobe full of mums clothes to sort, trinket boxes of personal possessions, pictures of times past, the smell of mums perfume on her scarves, her car sitting out on the drive…undriven, her keys hanging on the key rack, her mobile phone in the draw, her voice mail never deleted so you can still hear her voice, her favourite cup sits in the cupboard, her nail varnish on the bathroom shelf, the invitation to the wedding in July that Mum won’t be going to, the pile of letters on the table from people who don’t know she isn’t here anymore, the mound of jumpers and special clothes in the wash basket because no-one knows what temperature to wash them on, the plants shriveled or dead because only Mum cared for them, the “how are you coping” sympathy stares from the neighbours.

Oh..My..GOD!  What those families must be going through right now. Its truly humbling.

So for all those little things that you are moaning and groaning about right now…..just let it go, even if just for a day or two – rid your mind of them…..take a deep breath and just thank God you are still alive. Look around you and just realize…yes…YOU are Blessed.

Love, Light & Blessings 🙂

Dedicated to my breast cancer angels: Kym Bowles, Gail Young, Michelle Collins & Sue Willis

Inspired by: http://blackgirlinherts.wordpress.com/

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Anxiety Never Ends

Its been a while since I last blogged. Its not that I have little or nothing to say, i’ve just tried to get on with my life, tried to put the last couple of years behind me in some way and move on, but, I’ve found out that moving on is really difficult. No matter what I attempt to distract my mind with, I just can’t move away from cancer. Everywhere I go its there, pink shit, cancer adverts, people dying, TV soaps with cancer stories, news bulletins on the next best cancer treatment but STILL no cure! I know its just daily life but jheez sometimes I wish it would just GO AWAY ALREADY!

Right now, I’m sitting in the cafe at City Hospital having just had a radioactive injection in preparation for a bone scan. Over the last few weeks I’ve had the strangest pains in my back and chest and I keep getting pins and needles in my feet. So of course, with my recent history, all I can do is assume the beast is back, in its worse form of secondary cancer and I’m trying really hard to ignore the gremlins in my head but the bastards wont leave me alone. So finally after 2 months of rising anxiety, aches, pains and weird sensations I called my oncologist, he told me to come in. Of course my oncologist told me he doubts there is anything to worry about, but they always flippin tell you that thinking that you wont worry…..let me tell you, the worry NEVER ends.

So many of my family and friends have moved on from “my cancer” because they can. They have other life issues to concern themselves with – work, money, family matters, price of food, getting the car through its MOT, home projects and a host of other life events. I have those exact same other issues too but tagged on the end of my worry list is cancer. No matter how many other life events i try to divert my mind to, I always end back up here, in this place, with the gremlins and the demons filling my sub conscious mind with crap and negativity……I pray it off, and it comes back…I pray it off again, but it sneaks back in, in many forms, pain, aches, sleeplessness, palpitations, anxiety, worry, headaches, lack of concentration….my list is endless I tell you.

So here I am, trying to get some answers. I had to stop burying my head in the sand. The only way to stop the worry is to prove there is nothing to worry about and only a barrage of scans and tests can do that. I think worrying about what “might” be going on is in many ways worse than finding out what “is” going on. As if they do find the little bastards setting up camp elsewhere at least I will know what that burning pain in my back and shoulder is, or whether those pins and needles in my feet are related to cancer or just my ever increasing BMI or my chest pain is an after effect of radiotherapy or do I have lung mets?

Tomorrow morning I return here yet again for more tests. A CT Scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis and then the 2 week wait for the results…….that is going to be an awful time for me, the wait….i wish they would tell us straight away cause i can tell you now I’m not going to be myself for the next fortnight (pre warning to my family right there…don’t ask mummy for stupid shit cause you will get the stinky eye stare!) lol

As i sit here in the costa cafe by oncology waiting for the radioactive injection to be absorbed by my bones, I see so many women coming in and out of oncology with headscarves of all fashions and I know they are going through exactly what I’m going through and my heart hurts for them too, its called “Canceritis”, and excuse my french but I’m fucking sick and tired of it!

Love, Light & Abundant Blessings

Lisa xxx

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Lisa gets the GB Observer Inspiration of the Year 2012 Accolade

Theres not a time in the past 43 years of my life where I would have ever imagined I would be awarded the accolade of Inspiration of the Year.  I can think of so many people more deserving than I, if we each took the time to open our eyes to the suffering around us in our very own neighbourhoods, we’d witness heartbreaking situations on every street corner.

I’m truly humbled that I’m considered an inspiration – but it shouldn’t just be me, Ive said it before and I will say it again, 125 women per day in the UK alone will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer, a staggering 12,000 of us will die each year because of it.

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I pass this accolade on to each and every one of them, those who lost the fight, those who won the fight and those who continue to fight.  It’s for us all.

Love, Light & Blessings 🙂

Lisa

 

 

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Spread the Word… and ONLY the Word

Spreading the Message!

One Big Exhale

Hey guys! January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.  If you have a cervix or not, please be an extension of my voice this month.  Please have the conversations that are uncomfortable to have with the men, women, and young adults in your lives.  The highlight reel would be:

  • Ladies, get your pap smear regularly (and for the love of all that is good, get the follow up if it’s necessary!). Check with your doctor to find out how often you should get a pap.
  • Parents, get your kids vaccinated against HPV!
  • Condoms are not fool proof here.  HPV, which causes cervical cancer (and 5 other cancers), is a contact disease. So unless you’re wearing a full body condom from start to finish when you’re revving up for, doing, and snuggling up after the dibbity, you are at risk of contracting HPV if your partner is infected.
  • HPV has no symptoms

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