“Hot Flush, Mummy?”

Wow, is it really 9 days since I wrote my last blog, well they do say time flies when you are having fun!

Seriously, I can’t believe how fast last week went. It only seems to be 5 minutes ago I was setting off in the snow for my drive down to work.

Where has the time gone?

Last week was a brilliant week, shattering but a bloody good one and you know what… I had NO wobbles!!!! To be fair, I don’t think there was time to have one!!!

It was soooooo good to see everyone at work again, I don’t think I have ever had so many hugs!

Although work was intense, being around people and back to “normality” did me the world of good!  I even managed to fit in a run in the hotel gym, bit rude though as I had to queue for a bloody treadmill!!! Wtf – January “new gym” goers!!!

I was super proud of myself though as I managed to run for a whole 30 minutes and with just my Sinead O’Connor look! I think I have gone past caring at the stares!

The oils came with me into the office as did the fan! Thank fu$k for the fan! Those ba$tard hot flushes kept making an appearance, I’m so glad I’d warned everyone and also worn layers!

Jumper  on, jumper off, jumper on, jumper off was the theme of the day!

A few months back I would never have dreamt of wearing sleeveless tops and dresses in winter but not when “Harry” the hot flush can make a bloody appearance!

Anyways…..Saturday was another milestone for me,  I went along to little man’s swimming lesson.

Yep for the first time in months I also went along to the pool,  it’s somewhere I have avoided during chemo as we all know that those changing rooms are germ zones!

I was so excited about seeing the little man swim that I forgot to put the wig on!  Instead I had my pink woolly beanie on, which was fine outside in the freezing cold but I didn’t quite think through to the temperature in the changing rooms!

I got as far as the obligatory toilet stop before his lesson when I could feel the bloody furnace heating up in my chest.

Shit! Bollo$ks! I thought!

I needed to get the fricking hoody and beanie off …. fast!!!!

“What you doing, Mummy?”

“Mummy’s hot” I replied

“Hot flush, Mummy?”

hotflush

Jeeeeezzzzz for a split second I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!

Kids really don’t miss a trick do they???

Well there was no bloody way I was putting that hoody or woolly hat back on…. sod the “stares”…. I don’t give a shi£ that morning”, nothing was gonna get in my fun of watching my little nemo swim!

Now, where is a fridge to sit in when you need one????

 

Checklist

It’s Sunday morning and I have just finished writing my “check list” for today.  Later, I am travelling down to work for my first visit to the office in over 6 months!!

I admit I am full of mixed emotions, I am so excited to be seeing work colleagues again, I’ve not seen them since before Lenny and I am sure there is going to be a whole lot of hugging happening!

But at the same time I am apprehensive for a few reasons…..

  1. Forgetting the important things!

Yes, I am more anxious than normal about forgetting stuff, especially the stuff I can’t live without for the next few days!

I am not talking the laptop either although this is fairly high on the list!

I am talking about tamoxifen for a start! I am so paranoid about leaving it behind, it is the first thing on the list! There is no way I am missing one of those little pills and although I know missing a couple probably won’t cause issues, I am not taking risks in that department. In all the risk mitigation actions, this is the bloody important one!

Secondly my oils, OMG I need them in my life. With mixed emotions comes my  set of emotions oil! Oh yes I have one for bloody every emotional in life!

“Cheer” for positively, energy and potentially any wobble moments!

“Balance” to calm me down and reduce the anxiety and stress that 3 days of budgeting may bring!

“Motivate” for getting shit done

“Spearmint” for confidence and not taking any shit!

I am also taking about enough supplements to keep Holland and Barrett in business for about 3 years plus some magic “On Guard” to keep germs away!

I’ve been so lucky to not really get anything during chemo but the reality is my immune system is still low and I ain’t got time for being ill! I know how many germs are around that bloody office too, I don’t care if people think I have “OCD issues”, my boss will have issues if I end up off sick again!!

So that’s just a few things on the “list”!!

2. Being Alone

It’s also been a long time since I have been on my own and I mean without family and friends for months and months. Before Lenny I was frequently away with work and being on my own never bothered me. But I am conscious that for me being alone, especially at nigh,t can be when a wobble starts.

I am so glad that I have been seeing my psychologist though as already I feel like I have some “tools” in my little wobble suitcase for coping with the feelings.

Even seeing her for 3 weeks as really helped me to be more aware of my thoughts and how to deal with them. At some point I will fill you in more…..

3. Leaving the boys

I’m also nervous about leaving the boys. Again, never something that has bothered me. My “Rock” is an amazing dad and when I’m away I just leave him to it. I don’t like calling them lots as I don’t want him to think I am checking up on him and I think it is important for them to have “boy” time.

The nerves are more about worrying about the Rock, worrying about me.

This isn’t easy for partners, they try and hold back their feelings, being “strong” for us but they are human as well

My psychologist called it “adjustment disorder” . That’s the official term. The good thing is that me and the Rock are talking open and honestly about how this is affecting him too. It might have taken him a while to open up but he’s getting there.

The thing I am learning through all this is to have an “open mind”, I will try anything to get my family as “healthy” and as “happy” as we can be.

I’ve even given the Rock a lesson in applying little man’s daily oil. Oh yes little man is also oiled with”On Guard”, I don’t want any bloody germs coming back home in this house!!

4. Hot Flushes

Yep, they are happening several times a day and nightsweats are still a frequent occurrenceworkchecklist throughout the night.  I can deal with them at home but the thought of them happening in the middle of presenting a budget to the big cheeses does fill me with some anxiety!!!  Who’d have thought that in the middle of winter I’d be taking a fr$cking fan with me!!!

Oh well, best get back to the packing, oh and did I mention I have a new red work bag? – needs must!!!

Back to work

This week marked a big milestone, Monday was“officially” the day I returned back to work……..Eeeek

I say “officially” as I have done bits of work all the way through this but that was entirely my own doing and actually it’s helped….. ALOT!

It’s helped to keep my brain active and I know on the confidence o meter it’s made a huge difference!

People have made comments about me returning so soon after active treatment has finished and whether I should be taking more time off but honestly I feel ready.

I do work from home which means I don’t have to worry about sorting out my work clothes or making sure I don’t have any wig malfunction!, at least for a couple of weeks anyway when I’m due to visit the office.

In true “Gem” style I did get ultra organised before Monday. Last week I got rid of all the crap in my she shed / office.  For the last 6 months it’s been a dumping ground for anything and there was no way I was working in a shit tip!

The clutter has well and truly gone, as they say, clear room, clear mind!

I’ve also put my oil diffuser in there! Oil lady will be proud! Another advantage of being a home worker means I can have whatever I want on without someone commenting “wtf is that smell”!!!

oil

Everything was good to go and I must admit I was so excited!

Ask me again in a couple of weeks and I will probably be swearing my head off with “I’ve had enough of fu£$ing budgets!

My first meeting was with my new business partner at 9:30am.  I needed to make a good impression, that I knew my shit, and I really hoped chemo brain behaved otherwise I was going to look like a muppet!

I did put some risk mitigation in there by preparing for my “crucial conversation” beforehand and smothering myself in my “Motivate” oil also known as “getting shit done” oil as well as Spearmint also known by Gemma as “not taking any shit” oil!!

Well I can honestly say the bloody oils worked their magic as the meeting was a success and I got so much stuff done this week I was proper proud of myself!

What I didn’t tell you at the start was this week is normally the most stressful week of the quarter yet alone your first week back but with the help of my right hand lady, we did it!!!

Woohoo!

Not only that but I’ve also managed to increase my running from 2 minutes to 20 minutes!!! It’s a bloody massive achievement given what a killer that initial 2 mins was. Those muscles are still in those legs and I am seriously gonna be kicking butt at the 5k soon!!!

Right, it’s time to decide what to wear for our PTA Christmas party! Thinking some statement killer heels!!!

 

Happy New Year!

Well hello 2018, ok, ok,  I am a day late but yesterday was a well earned pj day in this house!

Hope you all had a good one, we actually had a quiet one at home with the little man and a very special visit from Rosie.

It was perfect though as I am still bloody shattered from chemo and the full on birthday and Christmas celebrations.

happynewyear

We had some posh nosh followed by a gorgeous Eton mess cheesecake homemade by Rosie-Mary Berry as I call her!

We still had loads left, in fact it is the main reason why my healthy eating plan starts today.   There is no bloody way I was throwing that left over cheesecake in the bin, I don’t care what the scales say at fat club later!

The last few days I have been working on my 2018 goals.  Yep it’s that time of year where I like to start my yearly planning!

But before I get on to 2018, I wanted to say a few things about 2017.

It certainly wasn’t the year I had planned and yep, at times, Lenny did cause a lot of shit in our lives but you know what… so much came out of 2017 and looking back I achieved so much.

Let’s start with the achievements:

  1. Ran 5k in sub 30 mins – huge achievement for someone who is not a natural runner!
  2. Ran my first ever 10k and completed Race for Life!
  3. Got into all my old clothes that had been too small for years including my favourite dresses
  4. Raised over £3000 for “brave the shave”
  5. Became a Cancer Survivor!

Yes the old boobs went, well they were “somewhat drooped” and I got a revamped pair! Sure, the scars are still there, but let’s call them “war wounds” and, with my special skin balm, the main scars are starting to fade.

Don’t get me wrong the Lenny invaded boob is still so very sore, like I have been punched several times in it but the chemo doesn’t help that and the healing process takes time.  I am still thankful I have them though!

Our holiday plans had to change but we still had loads of family fun and we have already starting to plan camping fun for 2018!

Unfortunately I am not going to be able to help out so much with the “putting the tent up” duties.  That ba$tard Lenny has left me with what they think is mild lymphedema which means I can’t do heavy lifting or reach up high for things.  It’s probably one of the side effects that I have struggled to cope with the most as it has changed a lot in my day to day life, more than most people know, but on the plus side I can still cuddle my little man and the condition is “manageable” if I behave myself and don’t over do it!

Of course the big C has changed my life, I do worry about it returning but I know I have done everything I can to give me he best possible chance of it not coming back.

I now have to learn to manage that worry and since diagnosis I have always been open with my worries.  I was chatting to my Rock and Rosie about this on New Year’s Eve and we all agreed that I will just have to learn what “triggers” my worries and how I will deal with them when they do happen.

One thing I am going to do to help manage this is to keep an anxiety diary as recommended by the book I am reading.

But you know, the big C has changed and will continue to change me for the better.

I’m stronger mentally than I have ever been and I really don’t take any shit from anyone so watch out! Lol…

I’ve said it before but my priorities have changed. When people used to say your health comes first I never really appreciated it’s true meaning.

Nothing is going to get in my way of putting my health first in life   I come first and as my little man told me

“Mummy, you have to love yourself before you love others”

Wise words from a 4 (now 5) year old!

The little things just don’t bother me anymore and I apologise if I don’t emphathise with the rest of you at times but the truth is when you are faced with something that lies between you and your life, the little stuff just doesn’t matter.

Life is so precious and so god damn short and I intend on making everyday count.

If you are not happy about something in your life then do something about it! Nuff said!

So what’s in store for 2018?

Well firstly with health in mind I am gonna get myself “fit” again. Not being able to run for months has bothered me but 3 days ago I went out for my first run with my step daughter around our village.

It nearly killed me, my legs felt like lead weights after 2 minutes but I did it! We walked/ jogged almost 5k. I am so unfit at the moment but it won’t be for long. My first goal is to increase the running and reduce the walking so I can get to a full 5k then 10k and then wait for this… I have signed up for the Great North Run. Yep I’m running it for Breast Cancer Care!!.

I have 9 months to get trained up and I will bloody do it!!!

I am also gonna go back to weight watchers, it works and it is a lifestyle change. I have missed my “fat club” friends so much and still strongly believe if I hadn’t lost the weight I would not have found the lump.

2018 will be the year I get to goal and I have already said to my mum that her and me are going to be on all the covers of the magazines!

Being as fit as I was really did help me to recover and deal with this shit.  I may have gone up a dress size but I have to remember I am still 2 dress sizes smaller than what I was.

Carrying the extra weight has been messing with my head, things have got tighter over chrristmas especially from not running but I will be back on it in no time!

I am also really looking forward to getting back to work properly, I love my job and the people I work with, I know though I need to take it slow!

The next 2018 goals are to spend quality time with the people who really matter to me. This journey does really allow you to learn who the people in life that you can truly rely on and I’ve also made some amazing new friends through this as well as friends I didn’t know so well who I’ve really developed strong bonds with.

So here’s to a very healthy and happy 2018 and remember:

  1. Make your health a priority
  2. Live more, worry less
  3. Look forwards not backwards

And finally

  1. Don’t take any shit!!! – or send them my way!!!