Thank you for all your get well wishes. That flu bug knocked me for six but I’m happy to report that I’m definitely feeling better. There’s a bit of post-viral syndrome lingering, but all in all, it’s good to feel half-human again, with normal service resuming.
It’s easy for me to forget that I’m on chemo, albeit not intravenous, but still chemo nonetheless, and with it comes similar side effects and risks of the IV type. One of the risks is neutropenia, when the infection fighting white blood cells become dangerously low, leaving your body without its defences. By rights, I should have taken myself to hospital as soon as I felt a scratchy throat, but I guessed it might pass. The fact that I didn’t get myself to hospital when I had a fever for 48 hours was bad😳but knowing my body well, coupled with the thought of having a painful white blood cell stimulating injection made me stay put. Besides, I’d already gone to see my GP who’d prescribed me some penicillin. I started taking it as a precautionary measure, as soon as that temperature 🤒 rose.
It was a case of sitting tight, getting lots of TLC from family, and just waiting for it to pass, which it did. Good riddance, flu 🤧 and don’t show yer ugly face around here anytime soon! 📷:@breastcancernow
Thanks to @sammy_brick for giving me a voice in the @dailymail today, talking about the delights (not!) of the oestrogen blocker Tamoxifen, given to women with #breastcancer . I was on the drug for 5 years and amongst other horrible side effects, the daily brain fog and headaches were possibly the worst. I came off the tablet after 5 years which is the minimum recommended time even though my oncologist suggested I should take it for a further 5 years. I decided to give it up. I felt like a new woman in the ensuing 12 months; liberated from the shackles of cancer treatments and drugs. Sadly, I had a recurrence a year after I stopped taking it, but my oncologist had supported my decision from the outset and also felt that the recurrence was coincidental.
If you get to read the article, which is also online, you’ll also see some valid quotes from @oriordanliz - a consultant breast cancer surgeon with her own breast cancer story.
Yes, these drugs are life-prolonging, yet many women either refuse to take it at all or come off it early because the side effects are unbearable. Other women will just put up with the unpleasantries, because, at the end of the day, they’re thankful to be alive.
There’s still work to be done with these cancer-fighting drugs, more research is definitely required.
The chance of living, yes please, of course.... but... we’d also be grateful for a chance to enjoy that life✨
I wish this was me right now and that I had this much energy😔Instead I feel like a right pile of poo. Maybe I should have had that bloody flu jab after all and not underestimated the fact that I’m on chemo and that my immune system isn’t what it used to be. As well as all the other nasty symptoms, I’ve had a fever 🤒for 48 hours, so it needs to now do me the favour of jogging on. I can probably count on one hand the times I’ve had flu, and this one really is the mother! Chemo and flu just don’t mix 😣It’s pissing me right off that I’m missing out on a couple of anticipated parties, but hey ho, that’s how it is. I have no control over the situation. I just need to focus on getting better. 📷: @carlymichaelshoots .
“I’m too excited 😃 to soon tell you about something amazing happening in Spring 2019.
After an eventful and uneasy few weeks on the #breastcancer front, I now feel confident enough to see into my future and make plans. I know that anyone living with secondary cancer will relate to this. Yes, I’m by no means out of the woods and yes, I do have some active treatment coming up soon, but God willing, I’ll be back on track and all the secondaries will be under control once more.
I can’t express how content I am that I’m going to be achieving something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Something which many of you have asked about and which will be beneficial to your health and well-being.
All I can reveal right now, is that it’s a collaboration with this lovely lady Cathy, who is also a colleague and a special friend.
We took this pic this afternoon. Can you tell how happy we are? 🌟
Anyway, keep your ears to the ground and your eyes peeled for more information coming your way!”
Have you managed to get a copy? Cherubs is a brilliant parenting (for grandparents too!) magazine distributed in North London.
I’m so chuffed to be a regular contributor and editor for the health and fitness side of things. I’m also proud to be working along side a team of dedicated local businesses who really do work hard to bring you all sorts of useful information, ranging from styling and beauty tips to overseas travel information and everything else in between! Check out the tags to see who’s involved and if you haven’t yet got your hands on the winter edition of the magazine, give me a shout - it will be worth it! 😉
So happy that after a stressful few days in the run up to my oncology appointment, I managed to get out last night. What a great evening it turned out to be, catching up with the @cherubsmagazine team and just hanging as we raised a glass to the success of the publication. By the way, the winter edition is out now! It’s jam packed with great parenting information. I have a stash, so let me know if you want one, otherwise pop into @tinkertailoronlineshop in #bushhillpark to pick one up.
Here are the ladies in question, the backbone of the magazine:
Thanks for the company and the laughs girls - here’s to the next time! .
*My breast cancer update*
I’m not out of the woods just yet. ▪️
I have a few more hurdles to jump but I am somewhat relieved, if I’m honest. ▪️
The good news is that there’s no new activity and most of the affected areas are under control. The not so good news is that the lesions on the liver and sacrum have decided to re-activate, lit up like Christmas lights on the PET scan .
Going forward? For now, I carry on taking the oral chemo and the other meds. In the meantime, my oncologist will be discussing my case at his next *MDT meeting in a couple of weeks’ time. ▪️
*A MDT or Multidisciplinary Team Meeting is a meeting of a group of oncologists, who together make decisions regarding recommended treatment for individual patients. ▪️
As well as continuing with my current treatment, my oncologist is also thinking Cyberknife for the sacrum and RFA for the liver. He’s hoping that the other oncologists will agree with his plan. ▪️
Thought you might like the details of said procedures. ▪️
“CyberKnife® uses an advanced, lightweight linear accelerator (LINAC), mounted on a robotic arm, to deliver an intense focused dose of radiation to the targeted tumor. With the manoeuvrability of the robotic arm, surgeons can administer multiple radiation beams from up to 1,200 different targeting positions and angles.”
“RFA or Radiofrequency Ablation uses high-energy radio waves for treatment. The surgeon inserts a thin, needle-like probe into the liver tumour. A high-frequency current is then passed through the tip of the probe, which heats the tumor and destroys the cancer cells.” ▪️
Amazing stuff, eh? So amazing that hopefully it will stop the cancer cells in their tracks. ▪️
Hope has never been a bigger word. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers and keep sending me those super positive vibes. You lot are working wonders for me and I can’t thank you enough ❤️
Love these photos of last night’s ‘Beaver Moon’ taken by @ellierosehuckle with her camera. They’re stunning and so humbling to see the moon close up in its glory - our universe really is quite magnificent ✨
According to the @evening.standard
in the northern hemisphere, November’s full moon is called the “Beaver Moon” because it falls around the time hunters used to set traps before waters froze over to ensure a supply of warm furs for winter 🥶 🌒
The full moon takes place because the Sun and the Moon are directly facing each other while the Earth sits between them. Fascinating! 💫
#takemebacktuesday to this sunny day when there was no rain and the sun was warm enough to enjoy a spot of #gardening 🍃🌾🌿🌱
Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t enjoy gardening in any weather. I can never understand why anyone wouldn’t want to maintain and enjoy their garden. After all, it’s another room of the house🏡
Being outdoors in any weather has countless hidden benefits, but gardening in particular is associated with the reduction of stress, increased mental clarity and feelings of reward.
Gardening can be as physical as you want to make it, to the extent of working most of the muscles in your body. Bending, stretching, reaching, kneeling and squatting are all required movements in a good gardening session.
Just 2.5 hours each week can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, cancer and premature death.
There is even evidence to suggest that a ten percent increase of activity in a green space is found to decrease a person’s health complaints in an amount equivalent to a five year reduction in that person’s age. Wow! You can’t beat that for a reason to turn your fingers green!
Something else... a well maintained garden will increase the value of a property 😎😉
📷: @breastcancernow .