Saturday, 9 May 2015

Facing Cancer in the Mirror

Author: Heather L

Facing Cancer in the Mirror

My body is a constellation of stars
Each one a different lifetime,
How things were, how they are, how they still might be
Burning white hot, but also blazing with the fire of existence
Sometimes I can’t breathe
Overwhelmed by the magnitude of the starry sky
But for today, and maybe tomorrow too
It is a map to find my way out of the darkness.

Not so fast!

Author: Christina B

So I'm three weeks post surgery and I'm at home alone for the first day in what seems like ages! My mum has gone back to her home and my son is in school! Yaaay I've got free reign!! I'm pain free and ready to roll!! Being the diva that I am I've already arranged to get my eyelashes extensions done so I can start at least looking a bit more bright eyed. In combination with my new swishy wig and long Miss Thing thigh boots I'm going to be feeling pretty good by the end of the day.

I get ready and have a banana for breakfast, true to style I've woke up early but give myself just enough time to get ready before the taxi comes. I can't get fully showered, teeth done and dressed with light make up in under 1/2 hour anymore. Dressing that tit adds on an easy extra 12-15 mins. I loved the satisfaction pre cancer of knowing that I could go from looking like urghh to full on drag/ wag like status in 30 mins, but alas these days getting ready is laborious. Firstly I can't move my arm as quickly as before and secondly I don't have the range of movement so this means I have to contort my body into weird positions to put on my 24hour healing sports bra followed by two sets of surgical dressings.

Anyway fast forward getting ready drama and I'm ready for the world, I jump into the taxi and off to the salon. Note I used the word jump very loosely there. On to the salon and an hour later I've got WAG lashes and am feeling sparkly bright eyed and good. I pay the salon and thank the beautician and I step outside and notice how fresh the air smells and how green the leaves look. Earth mother chick warms my soul and she decides we are going for a walk to feel nature and it's loins. I haven't "walked" for ages and it feels satisfyingly good I take deep breaths and really enjoy doing something I used to take for granted. As a child my parents used to take us walking to areas of national beauty regularly as we were members of the National Trust. I was always the moody one not wanting to get out the car or creating drama if the weather was typically British. Today though I'm embracing it all thinking how proud my dad would be to see me actively enjoying a walk and looking at trees really wondering whether they were deciduous or coniferous.

After 20 minutes walking I'm still feeling good but a bit peckish and I decide to stop at the pub to have a carvery. Albeit alone but things like that don't bother me one iota these days. 45 minutes and at least 1000 calories later I'm ready to resume my walk with full stomach determined to walk off a full roast dinner with trimmings followed by waffles, banana and ice cream.

I carry on walking but feel tired, so I walk a bit slower being frequently overtaken by pensioners or keen joggers. After another 20 minutes I approach a shopping park and decide that I'm knackered and need to call a taxi to take me home as I'm not sure a bus would be a good idea as I feel ridiculously exhausted. I go into Boots and sit down on the make up chair to catch my breath. I enjoyed getting out but I must have over done it, sensible chick pops up to scold me. What made me think I could do an hours walking today? I was unfit before all this cancer rubbish so just because I've had cancer removed does not mean they added some secret fit genes too. I'm going to have to work slowly and consistently at this fitness thing and today was a tad daft! Still, I enjoyed myself and it felt so refreshing to be outside as cabin fever was beginning to set in at home. Well at least I've got lungs full of good clean air and a fab pair of lashes. Not a bad day I just have to pace myself next time! Speed dial to taxi.....

Friends - like a spoonful of sugar

Author: Veronica P
I made it!

I had my first Chemo session and it seems that I am still in one piece! Better than that I'm doing great! :)

I still feel some obvious trepidation for the coming treatments. I know that harder days will come and it can't always be like this but... So far it's no party but I am surviving ok.
To date, the majority of advice given to me has been to grab the good days with both hands and enjoy them. Naturally, I don't normally need to be told twice to have fun ;)
This  weekend I travelled to meet uni friends as we had previously arranged and it felt bloody good just to be with friends, chatting nonsense in the sun. I had almost forgotten how rich friendship can feel. How it fills your heart with lightness and joy. I am lucky to have such wonderful and caring people in my lie. I am grateful for how many forms and expressions of friendship that there are between us.
I feel full of energy for the coming days, I have been topped up with happy! Take that fears and worries!