Ring that Bell!

I’m going a bit out of order on blog posts today but I have a bloody good reason!

Today my boob buddy J is going for her last chemo.

For those of you who have experienced chemo you will understand the emotions that J is going through, there is a reason they call this a roller coaster.  A lot of hospitals have a bell to ring but J tells me there isn’t one.

Well J here is your bell, it’s just for you my lovely lady.

Julie

You are a true inspiration to me and I know we are going to be boob buddies till we are old and grey 🙂

Good luck today and let me reassure you that Radiotherapy is a walk in the park!

You’ve got this!

Your forever boob bud

Gem xxx

 

Supergran

Today would have been my Grandma’s 99th birthday. Sadly she passed away 4 years ago, but today I am paying tribute to her.

She was a breast cancer survivor herself and went on to live another 30+ years, now there is a bit of positivity to start the day!

It got me thinking how things were so different then, breast cancer was seen as a death sentence and treatment options were minimal.

In fact my Grandma was probably in a minority in terms of being a breast cancer survivor.  One thing that has also changed over the years, is people’s attitude to “talking about “. In fact the sad thing is I never knew she had cancer until she was very old when my mum told me.

She never talked about it once with me.

Back in my grandma’s day they just didn’t talk about it.   In those days there was no reconstruction or support networks.

I often wonder now what she must have gone through every day of her life. Who did she talk to about this? Where did she turn on her dark days?

I remember she used to drink a glass of warm water with lemon religiously everyday. Same glass, every day.  It’s something I started doing the day after chemo.  I had heard the juice in the lemon helps to fight against cancer.  Then the penny dropped, had the doctor told my grandma to do this?

I feel like I am carrying on in her footsteps, “I will be the breast cancer survivor like you grandma”

That lady taught me so many things over the years, she gave me my passion for baking and made the best Yorkshire puddings in the world!

I used to be able to make really good Yorkshire puddings but then as soon as I met my “cock-er-ney” husband they seemed to turn into Yorkshire “flatties”, maybe I was being cursed for marrying a southerner 😉

She also was so bloody superstitious, so much so she has passed one of them onto me.  You will never catch anyone in this family cutting their nails on Fridays and Sundays, nope never, not an option – I know she’s looking down checking on me too!

gran

Thinking about my grandma actually fills me with tears. She died 4 years ago, I remember that day, it was the day Maggie thatcher died.  My grandma was a tough cookie like the Iron Lady herself.

I only wish we had talked.

She was so proud of her grandchildren, always sneaking us sweets behind my dads back and always sticking up for us.

“Leave them alone, Trevor” she would say when Dad was telling us off

I know she is looking down on me now still proud.  She would have been really proud of how open I am and what I did yesterday.  One thing I am so proud of myself for is being open from day one. We have always talked about it with family with friends.  I know it is helping them too, mum and I had a heart to heart the other day and I know my talking about is really helping her.

This journey isn’t just about me, it effects my family and friends, more than I can ever imagine

But that story is for another day, today is about my Grandma, my heroine, a true breast cancer survivor super Gran

Happy birthday Grandma 🙂

Brave the Shave

Omg it’s brave the shave day!

I’ve raised over £1,200 in the last 24 hours. It’s bloody amazing. In fact, it’s overwhelming.  I cannot get over how generous people have been, I really do feel so loved and it is going to make today so much easier to cope with.

Today I have promised the little man I will take him to school. His face lit up when he realised he could have breakfast at home!

It gives me a chance to explain to him that Mummy is going to get all her hair cut off today so that she can wear her wig. He doesn’t seem phased by it. He’s 4 and more interested as to whether he can watch the iPad if he gets dressed nicely!

He’s having breakfast when a message pops up from hubby. He’s not a man of many words, so when he does message it is usually something important…..

He’s saying he wishes he was there to hold my hand….

Suddenly I find my eyes are full of tears.

I hadn’t even thought about him coming with me today. Shit I hope he’s gonna be ok….

The fact is that my two lovely hairdressers are so much more than hairdressers to me.  I know they will take care of me and I don’t just mean cutting my hair.

I’ve decided that i am going “pink” to my brave the shave, oh yes and I mean pink everything. Bra, knickers, socks, top, hoodie, beanie! I need to look the part!

“Now do I take my wig to put on afterwards?” I think to myself. Sod it I, if I am braving the shave then today I am braving the look. Sod the people staring at me, today is about standing proud for each and every person who has lost their hair along this journey.

At 9am I walk in the hairdressers. I get a sense that something is wrong, normally my hairdressers is beaming with smiles across her beautiful face but there are no smiles today.

Then I realise she’s holding back tears and then it clicks why. She’s been through this journey with me right from the start, actually both the lovely hairdressers have. Over the weeks, they have cut my hair from shoulder length to bob to pixie and now to this.  They are two of the most wonderful people you will meet. In fact F is making me a wig. She is such a talented lady and absolutely full of personality.

“It’s ok I say” as I give her the biggest hug in the world.

“But it’s time for the hair to go, it’s falling out by the day and I am sick of being a dog moulting anyway!”

She puts on a brave smile.

“Can we just cut it shorter” she says

“Not today, I’ve got over 1000 in sponsorship money and I’m not letting people down” I reply

“Ok”, she says reluctantly “but I am going to cut it with scissors first”

“Alright, but you will need to get the clippers out soon”

There is a lady next to me and whilst F is sorting herself out we have a little chat, she is almost done so she won’t get to see my final look.

F returns. I can tell she has been crying again.  I feel so bad but I need to stay strong.

She makes a start.

Even sat here, I can see the donations keep flooding in. I’d initially set my target as £500 but at this rate I am going to triple it.I tell you, all you people out there are giving me so much bloody strength right now, more than you could very imagine.

Whilst F is “clippering” away,  an older man walks in the door.

“My wife was in having her hair done” he says.

Then he walks over to me and hands me a ten pound note!

“This is for your donation pot” he says….”I’ve been there myself.”

“Thank you so much I say”, my words couldn’t be anymore genuine. People continue to amaze me with their generosity and I can tell he himself is trying hard to hold it together.  It must bring back memories for him.  Bloody hell I’ve got goosebumps!


“Omg I love it” I say

I never ever thought I would say I loved having a shaved head!

“I’m just gonna finish putting on my face” I say.  In true brownie style I had been prepared and brought my makeup.!

I look in the mirror.  I feel so good and I feel so proud!

I take the obligatory selfie and then we take team photos!

Then my other hairdresser hands me some money. I know the girls don’t have much money and I know this will probably mean they have to forfeit going out this weekend.

“You really don’t need to do this” I say

“We really want to”

Now I am filling up!

This is going to be a day I will never forget.

Right, it’s time to get ready for lunch, my parents and my Aunty will be here soon.

As they come through the door I am still upstairs

“I’m just coming, but I’ve not got my wig on” I shout……

My mum’s face lights up.  She doesn’t need to say anything. I can tell she loves it and I can tell she is the proudest mum in the world 🙂

We go out for lunch and then we go pick up the little man.

I am so relieved when he is un-phased by the new look.

Later that night we are sat in the lounge when I comes over to me

“Mummy, I love your new hair so much, it is so soft”

They certainly now how to melt you and with that I grab him for a super big cuddle.

shave

 

Should it stay or should it go?

So after meeting the Prof yesterday, I met with my “boob buddy” J for lunch.  It was only our 2nd time meeting but I feel like I have known her for months.

I met her with a great big hug and smile – “I only need 4 cycles” I screamed!  God knows what everyone outside John Lewis thought of us! – crazy mad lady – well who cares?!

Why do we care so much about what other people think??

I did come out the house today with a Beanie in my bag, after Sunday’s notepad episode I didn’t want to get caught short with a bald patch so decided it was best to “be prepared” – can you tell I was a Brownie? 😉

I’ve said this before, but having someone to talk to who gets what you are going through means so much.

One thing I was keen to ask J was what do I use to wash my bald head? It might sound like a stupid question but I don’t think shampo for coloured hair is going to do my head any good? 😉

Apparently coconut oil is good – I have some of that in the kitchen cupboard 😉

J has also got my mind thinking about “brave the shave,”  she raised a lot of money doing this.  Maybe it is something I could do? I am so passionate about raising awareness and it is breast cancer awareness month after all.  I do love my thick hair but I need to take control of this! I don’t want Lenny thinking he can get another one over me!

I would need to talk to hubby first, not that I am the type of person who needs “approval” to make decisions but I am trying to involve hubby in decisions like this one, as hair has always made me who I am.

That evening I speak with hubby and he seems fine with it.  All I need to do now is decide when…….


So today I woke up and did hair check…

  1. Check pillow – no hair there 🙂
  2. Feel through hair – oh dear, I am moulting and it’s more than Sunday night.

I need to make a decision and I need to make it fast! Should it stay today or should it go!

stay or go

I get a shower and have a think – I find showers are good thinking places!  I don’t need to think as whilst  I am washing my hair, I can feel the loose hairs sticking to my hands.

I have to do this asap.

But first I need to set up a “Just giving page” and I need to do it right now.  It’s 7am and I really should be getting up the little man (he’s actually usually awake at 6am), maybe it’s a “sign” I need to do this today…….

OMG it’s all ready to go, after this there is no going back!

Done!

Best get my hairdressers called now! – they best have a bloody appointment!  – damn it’s only 7:20am – must remember to call them at 9!

 

 

The magic number

Well let’s just say that Christmas has come early in the Davie household, guess who is having 4 chemo cycles? ……Yep that will be me!

four

“Happy” is an understatement!

The accountant in me has already worked out that this time next week I will be over half way through!

And fingers crossed I should be feeling pretty good for the Davie Birthdays!! – all 4 of us have Dec birthdays (11 days apart) starting with mine.  Something tells me we are gonna need a lot of bubbly on ice!

The Prof is also really pleased with how I am coping, he says I look brilliant and said I can even start running again!!! – just need the physio to sign me off now!

I literally skipped out of the room!

What a difference 24 hours makes!

 

I think it’s time….

It’s Sunday early evening and I’m getting organised ahead of my appointment with my Oncologist tomorrow.  Oh yes, you know I like to plan and the Prof would be disappointed in me if I didn’t have a  full set of questions – he knows I like to keep him on his toes!

I should get my Onco dx results tomorrow (I have already checked and they are back), the results will then determine whether I have 4 chemo cycles or 6.  Obviously I am really hoping for only 4 chemo cycles but I have set my expectations on it being 6.  It’s my way of coping with the news and 4 would be a bonus, it would also mean that chemo would hopefully be finished this year. However, I have also had a good chat with myself that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we go over into next year.

It was whilst writing my list, I noticed a few strands of dark brown hair on my note pad.  It took me a while to realise they were mine as I am not used to seeing short dark hair.  But given I live with two blondies, they could only be mine.

I decided to gently tug my hair and a few more came out 😦

“I think it’s time”…… I whispered to myself

I had been wondering when it would start to happen, this sounds really weird but at least I know the chemo is working – I will find a bloody positive in this!

I can’t help but feel a little sad, I would be lying if I said I was “ok”.

Throughout this journey I have always said I would be honest about my feelings, well here they are.

I do worry how my family will cope with me losing my hair.  We have joked that it will be the first time in my life I will have less hair than my dad….. I’ll still be better looking than you though Dad 😉

I also worry that my husband won’t find me attractive, I know I know he loves me for who I am but you can’t help but worry.

I am prepared though, I have 2 amazing wigs and 2 beanies and I have been trained to draw on eyebrows! That reminds me I need to order a beanie to go running (yes I am hoping to get “signed” off from the physio on Tuesday).

hair

I turn to the little man….

“I think my hair is falling out, I think it is time I will need to put my wig on”

“Ok Mummy” he replies without a care in the world

I have read the Mummy’s lump book enough times that he knows what lies ahead and he has always been part of the wig selection committee.

At bedtime I decide it’s time to have another read of Mummy’s lump.  This time he is very interested in the chemotherapy section.

“Mummy, what does your chemotherapy medicine taste like”

Oh shit, was not expecting this……..

“Strawberry” I reply…. …Shit why did I just tell a pork pie!!!!!!

“I like Strawberry, it must be red, is it red Mummy?

Double Shit – now I am in trouble!

“Er well yes sometimes it is red, but mine was white”

Technically it is red, well FEC is red if I end up having that next

“How long do you have to have your medicine”

“I think another 15 weeks”

“That is a long time Mummy”

“Not as long a 100 weeks”

“No Mummy, that would be a really long time”

We then move on to another story and I get the biggest kiss and cuddle in the world.  Love my boy to the moon and back.

P.S Dear Lord if you are reading this, I am sorry for saying Chemo tasted of Strawberries, I will be apologising in my prayers tonight.

 

Kicking Cancer’s Butt

Dear Cancer,

How does it feel to be having your butt kicked right now?

Yep, you may have stopped me going to my son’s harvest festival last week but I am sorry to tell you I managed to do the school run more than once this week!

Nothing can match that beautiful smile of my little boy’s when he saw me standing waiting for him!

I’ve also managed to do a bit of work each day, bet you weren’t expecting that were you?!

Oh yeah and I took the “oldies” out to our local tearooms – almost shocked myself when I ordered a “ginger tea” – get me drinking herbal teas! I must confess to sharing a white chocolate and raspberry loaf but I am sure the raspberries count as one of my 5 a day 😉

It’s been months since Mum and I went shopping, but yesterday we left Dad at my house whilst we did a bit of retail therapy – oh yeah it felt good! I even convinced my Dad to hang out the washing – drum roll please…… the first time Dad has EVER hung out the washing. My friend was right when she said the C Card is better than a group on voucher!

I even managed to cook a homemade Thai Curry and curl up with Hubby watching Cold Feet last night!

And last but by no means least…..for the last few days you haven’t been the first thing I woke up thinking about or the last thing at night! I know darker thoughts are bound to return and you will send me into a wobble but tonight your butt is well and truly kicked!

You have certainly picked the wrong person to mess with!

G.

 

kciking