The M word

Why is it that every time I pick up a magazine, watch an advert, turn on a tv chat show, it’s always about the bloody M word, M as in Menopause?!

M Word

It’s a bit like when you buy a new car and you start noticing cars like yours everywhere!  Maybe they’ve always been there? but I guess at 39 I wasn’t always looking out for Menopausal articles, I thought I’d have another 15 years before I had to deal with all that crap!

I used to feel the cold so much, I know I know I am a bloody Northener, I should be used to the cold but I always felt like my thermostat was 10c below everyone else’s.  Now it’s more like 4 bloody seasons in a day, I’m worse than the british weather for my ups and downs in temperature!  One minute I’ll be in my jumper, coat, hat – the next I’m stripping off to my knickers!!! – thank goodness I work from home!!

Don’t get me wrong I am very thankful to have hormone therapy in order to help reduce the risk of Lenny or any of his mates returning but some days I just wish the hot flushes / night sweats would pi$$ right off!

Take this weekend, girlie spa day, all relaxed having my back massaged when guess who turns up, uninvited!!!!!!! Yep, Harry the fricking hot flush!!

Thankfully I had already explained to the therapist that Harry could make an appearance, she ended up spending half the massage taking off the blanket, back on, back off, back on!!!!

Oh well it didn’t spoil the weekend!

I’ve also had to change my wardrobe too, I know any excuse to shop but on a serious note, I have to really think about what I wear especially on an evening out when the hot flushes seem to go on overdrive.  Sleeveless is usually the option, just need to get rid of these bingo wings!!

Apparently there are 34 side effects of Menopause, Hot flushes and night sweats being top of the list.

Apart from the hot flushes, my side effects so far on the tamoxifen have been minimal.  I guess I was expecting my “mood” to be worse, I do find my mood can change but my magic oils seem to be really helping there, don’t know how I would cope without them!!

Oh and guess whose had their eyebrows waxed last week? yep that will be me! Another tick on the hair growth box!

The hair is also continuing to grow, had to order myself some more magic Rosemary oil and I am so excited that I’ve had to order some conditioner! I’ve not had to use conditioner for months!!!

It won’t be long and I will be having to get the cobwebs off the hairdryer! Although not quite sure how hot flushes and hairdryer will mix, I’ll probably need another bloody shower after drying it!

But It’s these little things that mean so much to us Cancer Survivors!






Short, back and sides

Well Friday was a big milestone… drum roll please….. I had my first haircut!!!

Yep short back and sides for Gemsy!

Well ok, not quite the first haircut of my life but my first one since that bloody poison robbed me of it!

The thought of losing my hair was the first thing that came into my head when I was told that Chemo was “recommended” as part of my treatment plan.

I remember that day well, I still remember the car journey home and asking hubby “will you still love me with no hair?”

“Braving the shave” definitely helped me to cope with the trauma of losing it by “taking control of the situation” and for anyone reading my blog who is about to start chemo I would definitely seriously consider shaving it off before the large clumps of hair come or in your hand.

On the plus side my wigs have been amazing and I’ve had a lot of fun with them but I am not going to lie, I’ve had my moments of grieving for my long locks back.

One thing I never really thought about though was the “growing back” bit.  Every week I’ve been taking a “Saturday selfie” of my hair growth since I finished chemo.   As each week has passed something “new” has happened to my hair, from a few sprouts to to looking like a little chick with my fuzzy stuck up hair.

It really is an amazing transformation when I look back at the selfies. There is a bit more grey than before but I’ll choose grey hair over being a baldy any day -sorry Dad 😉

The magic “Rosemary” oil I have been using has definitely helped!

Well only 3 more months and I can slap on some hair dye, apparently you shouldn’t dye your hair for 6 months.

I might have to celebrate with a gin, I definitely think first haircut is classed as a “special” occasion on my “only drinking” on special occasions!!hairgrowth


It is probably the longest I have gone between blog posts. If I’m honest I think I’ve had writers block!! My head has been a bit over the bloody place the last week or so.

Let’s start with the good stuff first….

Our spa stay was bloody amazing, I can’t tell you how good it felt to do “normal” stuff again like getting a massage! On the 2nd day of the break we even had the entire spa to ourselves, it was heaven!!

I think I did freak the hotel staff out with my constantly changing hairstyles and hair lengths! I decided to wear my wig for what I hope is the last time ever!!

They probably thought hubby had 2 wives, a day and night one!

I even treat myself to a couple of glasses of wine although I did pay for it in bloody night sweats! Apparently Prof reckons it’s due to the wine increasing your circulation!

Ok so life ain’t always rosy and the last few days have been mentally tough…….

So a couple of weeks ago I started with a “niggle” on my right hand side near my ribs.

One thing I have learnt recently from my sessions with my psychologist is about the “Superscanner”



So the theory is that when events happen in our life, they result in making us very sensitive to situations. I remember before I had my little man I could sleep through anything but as soon as I had him it was like a “super hearing” sensor had been switched on and any little noises at night would wake me up as I thought it was him crying.  I would always be the one who woke up first to his crying although on a few occasions I did pretend to be asleep and let hubby go deal with him 😉

Well the same principle applies when you have had the big C.

Your brain ends up being wired to “superscan” your body. So you end up noticing every single bast4rd thing wrong with you. Every single bloody ache, pain, niggle on that bloody body of yours especially in areas you are concerned about.

So for me that’s my boobs (obviously), liver, ovaries, bones and brain. They are my “sensitive” areas because they are usually the secondary areas for breast cancer.

Any niggle on these areas, my brain is “querying” has the cancer spread?, whether I like it or not!!!

Thankfully physiologist has given me some tools and tricks to deal with the “Superscanner”.

I won’t go into them now but I have been using them and so for the last couple of weeks I have been monitoring my “niggle” as opposed to freaking out on day 1.

It did coincide with me starting some core strength physio and running but despite cutting those ou,t the “niggle” was still there!

Then I started with abdominal discomforts and the “liver secondaries” dvd started to play on my bloody head!!  For a few days I thought the niggle had gone off but after the weekend it had returned!

Looking back I had been “preoccupied” at the weekend with fun at the gin festival but being alone working from home that fricking dvd was playing again and again and even the bloody mindfulness was not able to stop it being on auto play!!!! grrrrr

By Tuesday, I decided enough was enough and the only piece of mind I was going to get was to visit the Prof. He is the only person who completely puts my mind at ease!

So on Wednesday afternoon we took ourselves to the hospital, thank fu$k we have a 4 x 4 with the “beast from the east”!!!  He certainly hasn’t helped my anxiety this week!

I managed to bump into all my friends aka receptionists / nurses, I felt at home as soon as I walked in the door!!

I even saw Prof’s secretary, that lady is a legend, getting me in with 24 hours notice meant the  world to me!!

I was soooo relieved to see the Prof although I nearly died of embarrassment when I got undressed and realised I hadn’t shaved my pits, ffs third world problems in the consulting room!!! –

Prof put my mind at ease, I’ve torn a ligament in my abs, near the rib. Too localised to be anything related to the breast cancer.

The chemo is also to blame for the stomach discomfort. It can take a good year to get all that bloody poison out your body and Prof explained your body can feel for a long time like it isn’t your own!


Omg if it wasn’t for the snow I would have skipped out of the hospital car park!!

Normal service resumed! Life is all good again 🙂

Now pi$$ off playing “negative” dvds brain cos little miss “feel like gemsy” is back in town!!! and Superscanner you can go take a flying jump too!!