I am Scarred, I am Here, This Is Me!

For the past year and a half I have been living with a Colostomy due to treatment for Bowel Cancer.

I have never been a very confident person and will often hide behind my children when it comes to being social.

I shy away from confrontation and hide my body behind clothes that are not figure hugging.

Learning to live with my stoma has been hard. Learning to accept how my body has become has been a journey. I am still not fully confident with myself, but I took the first big step a few days ago. That was, to share a picture of me in a bikini (not a high-waisted one) on a couple of my social media outlets.

I was worried that people would reject me and call me hideous but I needed to do it for myself.

Recently, the blogging community had been shocked with the sudden death of a highly respected blogger. Her main motto was to live for the day, her approach to life was honest and carefree. She was bold, caring and funny. I didn’t know the Kate but I had seen her at events that I had been to and followed her on Twitter, where I got to read about her dating exploits. This week, a huge following of bloggers shared photos of themselves, on social media, in their bikinis. Kate’s tips on getting your body bikini ready was to simply just wear one!

My facebook and Instagram feed quickly became full of beautiful ladies of all ages sharing their bikini bodies. I became inspired to share mine.

If everyone else could, then why couldn’t I?

I first shared the picture on the blogs facebook page and then on Instagram. I was worried about receiving negative comments, but in fact I received some lovely comments of support and encouragement.

You see, I see my body as hideous. Ugly. Gross. A monster hidden beneath the clothes.

I want to be accepted, even though I am different.

I want people to know but I don’t want to be ridiculed.

I don’t want people to stare at my tummy, scanning over my clothes looking for where my stoma is.

I am quite anxious talking about my stoma and letting new friends know about it. I don’t want to be treated differently.

But, I shouldn’t be feeling like this. I should be proud that I am still here. Still alive.

Beauty isn’t just about having a perfect body with no imperfections or having a pretty face. It’s about having a pretty soul, a good heart and a strong mind.

So with Kates ‘this is me- take it or leave it’ attitude I share with you all now how I look today

This is my F**K You Cancer Jump

Never stop believing in yourself!

 

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Damn, I’ve forgotten why I came in here! Chemo Brain

For the past couple of years,I have had problems with short term memory loss and finding it hard to concentrate. It has been particularly bad since I had treatment for Cancer.

Have you ever heard of chemo brain? Very similar to baby brain. It is a common term that is used by cancer survivors to describe thinking and memory problems. It’s not clear what causes the signs and symptoms of memory loss in cancer survivors, it could be the stress of the diagnosis or the effect of the chemicals in the treatment.

I was told that the side effects from the treatment would take up to 6 months to get out the bodies system, although it doesn’t seem to be the case with me.

I would like to think that I am not losing my memory and that I am just letting go of my past. But, it’s short term that I am struggling with. Those simple tasks that we take for granted.

I find myself walking into a room and forgetting what I went in there for. I can stand there for a while trying to remember what It is that I am meant to be doing, but it doesn’t help.

I find that words don’t flow from my mouth anymore and I get struck for the choice of words I am looking for. I get tongue-tied, I know what I want to say but it doesn’t come.

I write myself notes and set the calendar on my phone to remind myself of what I am doing. But it is mostly those moments where you decide to do something at that moment; those on the spur moments, that I forget. Like going upstairs to grab a top but coming back downstairs with nothing as I couldn’t remember what it was that I wanted. Or, whilst cooking the dinner, I may look in the cupboard for an ingredient and forget what it is I am looking for.

I sometimes find myself confused and feeling of mental fogginess. I used to love to read a book but I find it hard to concentrate on the words, they seem to be covered in a fog within my head and I forget what I have read.

Those moments do come back to me, But I have to trace back to the moment I thought of something for it to come back.

Last year, I started a college course and I am normally organised with work loads. But, I have been finding it hard to learn the new skills. I forget what I am writing half way through the sentence. The course is taking longer to get through but I am managing it, essays are taking double the time and I have to re-read every sentence a few time for it to make sense.

Maybe I am just getting old, maybe it has nothing to do with the treatment. I think I would like to think the latter.

 

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I Am Not a Survivor But I Am Thankful: Life after Cancer

It’s been two years since I received the news that I had Cancer. The past two years have been a roller-coaster journey with emotions and life.

The first year was hard, I didn’t know what the outcome of my treatment would be. I lived for the day, scared to make plans for my future. Scared for every appointment I had with my surgeon and oncologist.

It was hard to take it all at first, I had so many thoughts and feelings. Shock, anger, sadness, guilt, fear, anxiety and alone. My emotions caused confusion and mood swings. These emotions were all a part of me coming to terms with my illness and how I was going to cope. In that first week, I experienced every emotion possible that someone can go through.

You hear so many sad stories about Cancer that is it hard to stay positive. But I tried for the sake of my family and my own sanity.

Having Cancer can quickly take over your life and I didn’t want that the happen. There were days where I cried from morning to night, days where I didn’t talk and days where that’s all I wanted to do. I was afraid that I had not control over my body and what i wanted it to do. At first it was hard to talk about, I was ashamed of myself, my mind was trying to process what was happening and I just couldn’t get my head around it. My mind was telling me that I was going to die but my heart was saying something else. As the shock wore off it became easier and I became stronger with my emotions.

Everyday I woke to another day I was grateful and thankful.

For the first 6 months the treatment and illness quickly took over my life. I spent weeks having tests prior to 6 weeks of daily chemo/radiotherapy. The hospital became my second home. I was admitted three times into hospital, totalling 9 weeks in a hospital bed, one being a planned admission for surgery. I remember visiting a friend 2 months after I was discharged and bumping into a member of staff in the corridor. She gave me a friendly smile and said nice to see you back. I smiled back at her and she said ‘you used to work here didn’t you?’ I laughed.

As time has gone on it’s got easier to deal with but that doesn’t mean that I still have my moments. I still cry. I am still anxious about it returning. It is easier to talk about now, but I am still shameful. I still blame myself.

Anxiety is hard to deal with. Those moments are particularly harder when it comes to oncology appointments and scans. I receive 4 scans a year; 1 full body scan and 3 MRI. The week running up to the appointment is worrying and the weeks following the scan can be an anxious time. All you want to hear is that the Cancer has not returned. Sitting there in the patients chair in the oncologists room, looking, scanning over your oncologists face for any sign that you can read before the words come from their mouth. Looking into their eyes for sign of good news. And the emotion of a sudden relief when it comes back as positive news.

It was two years since my diagnosis last week and I received news from a recent scan that I am still in the clear of any return of tumours or any inflamed lymph nodes. RELIEF. I can suddenly breathe normally again and allow all those negative thoughts and feelings out into the air. Until next time…

Again I am grateful and thankful to be here surrounded by loved ones; family and friends.

I don’t see myself as a survivor as Cancer will remain with me for the rest fo my life, I have to live with the anxiety of it possibly returning. I have to live with the change that it has caused to my emotional well-being. I am constantly reminded of my Cancer journey with the disfigurement it has left on my body, with the aches and pains that the treatment has caused and with the scars that surgery has left behind. I have to live with having a permanent colostomy which has caused problems with my confidence. And I have to live with seeing the pain in my loved ones eyes when they remember what we have all been through. Cancer didn’t just affect me but to all those around me.

I am not a survivor but I am thankful.

 

 

 

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What a Difference A Year Makes

The past two years have been hard on the family,  I have had many hurdles to get over and many life changing decisions to make. The Year before was fighting emotional barriers, the past year have been trying to gain weight and muscle back from my nightmare hospital stay.

I lost a lot of weight during my hospital stay after the operations and was discharged on the 28th December 2016, weighing under 5 stone. My weight before I fell ill was always between 7 and a half to 8 stone.

A few days after my first operation
A few days after my first operation

During my time in hospital I had days where I didn’t eat or drink, I was told I was Nil by Mouth by a doctor over the weekend and then my doctor would come back on shift and tell me to eat. Eventually, eating and drinking became a chore and I struggled to even take sips of water. A dietician ordered for me to have a TPN fitted; a Total Parental Nutrition. It was administered into a PICC line, through a main vein, as a way of giving my body the essential nutrients needed to stay healthy.

I quickly became weak after my second operation and the weight began to drop
I quickly became weak after my second operation and the weight began to drop

I suffered quite significant changes to my physical and emotional health. I was inactive for over 2 months, just laying in a hospital bed and I could only manage a few trips around the ward. My strength was weak and I struggled to walk without help. Most of the time I used my drip stand for support, other times I was helped by a member of the family. I needed the nutrition to aid the recovery after surgery but also to gain strength. My muscles became weak and my joints stiff.

Christmas Day in hospital
Christmas Day in hospital

When family or friends visited, I covered myself up in my dressing gown to hide away how I looked.

It was hard to recover from my critical illness and 2 serious operations, the process was difficult and slow. Whilst I was in hospital I must have vomited every day. Family and staff believed I was doing it to myself, but it was hard to explain that my body was rejecting it. I could no longer swallow a glass of water, only managing a few sips every hour or so. Every time I ate; I was sick. I was given nutrition drinks called Fortisip but they were too sweet and they didn’t stay down too long before they was being brought back up. I lost my appetite, although I yearned to eat good food. I could no longer taste food.

My bones poked through my skin and hurt. This was just before Christmas day
My bones poked through my skin and hurt. This was just before Christmas day

Nutrition was the key to building back up my body strength and natural defences. I needed to build strength, boost my immune system, gain weight and restore my overall health and well-being. I was losing faith in myself and the doctors didn’t have the answers as to why my body was refusing food/drink. It was down to me. I couldn’t look in the mirror without crying, seeing a stranger looking back at me looking frail and withdrawn

My pain was being managed by 1/2 paracetamol four times a day. I wasn’t allowed anything stronger due to me weight.

A few days after Christmas my surgeon asked me if I wanted to go home. Of coarse I said yes. He signed my discharge papers and I was allowed home. He said that I needed to be home to recover.

Once at home my journey began.

I couldn’t walk up the stairs without being carried up. I had to sleep on the sofa downstairs as the bed was too hard for my skin. I slept on two soft filled toppers plus cushions.

With the help of my family being around me all day long, I began to take regular sips of water. Slowly my intake increased.

I had a choice of my own food, when i wanted it.

I ate every so often.

I wanted to gain weight but didn’t want to eat junk food to do it. I ate five/six small meals a day. Drank smoothies and weight gaining shakes. Ate yoghurt and snacked on fruit.

Gradually with the help of my family, I started to gain weight. It was weird as it was New Year and everyone else was dieting and I was trying my hardest to gain weight. My social media time lines were full of dieting and slimming clubs, where i was doing the opposite and eating high calorie foods to put the weight on. I downloaded an app that counted up the intake of my meals, it gave me a daily run down of calorie and protein.

22 days being home
22 days being home

Now my weight was slowly increasing I had to look at my  strength. I began to integrate exercise into my daily routines. My first was A short walk down the road, just a few hundred metres with the help of my son. It wasn’t long and I was taking longer walks. Even though I could walk, I needed help to sit down and stand up. My joints stiffened after a few seconds. I couldn’t bend down without being assisted. I began to see a physiotherapist who helped with building back my muscles. I was given  exercises to do and after 6 weeks was shown how to use gym equipment to help.

A year after the first operation
A year after the first operation

It has taken some time but I now feel like I am getting there. I still have work on the muscles in my legs, specifically around the knees but it’s a gradual process.

I now attend the gym a couple of times a year. Something I have never done before and I enjoy it. I don’t stand on the scales to weigh myself, It’s not needed. I only have to look at myself to know that my weight is fine.

I am happy with where I am today. I am proud of my development. But, I wouldn’t be where I am without the perseverance and help that I received from my family and friends.

Me now
Me now

The past year has been one hell of a journey.

I wonder what this year will bring?

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My Personal Experience of Radiotherapy

Back in 2016 I was diagnosed with a rare form of Bowel Cancer, there were only 2 cases of it at the hospital where I was under. My Oncologist explained all the details about the diagnosis but I think I found out more by doing my own research. As a part of my treatment I was offered chemo-radiation, this is a treatment that means I was to have radiotherapy alongside taking chemotherapy tablets.

Radiotherapy is the use of controlled, high – energy radiation. It is offered alongside chemotherapy as it makes the cancerous cells more sensitive to the radiation.

I was told that I would have radiotherapy first to try to shrink the tumour before surgery, as this would make it easier for the surgeon to remove it. My tumor measured at 3 cms and was close to my rectum, sitting on the sphincter muscle – which controlled the movement of the bowel. The tumor was very close to the skin, so close that it could be felt from the outside.

From receiving my diagnosis til the first day of my radiotherapy it took two weeks. Those two weeks were the longest and slowest ever. Just think, You have been told that you have cancer and then you have to wait a few weeks until you can start you r treatment. All I kept thinking was, that it was more time for it to grow and worsen my diagnosis. Within that time I had a colonoscopy, an ultra sound on the local lymph and I had to be measured up to the radiotherapy machine.

Meeting Linac 

A Linear accelerator machine used to treat all parts of the body by delivering high energy beams/electrons to the region of the tumour. It has several built-in safety measures to ensure that it does not deliver a higher dose and is routinely checked by a medical physicist to ensure that it working properly. Everyone has their own personal treatment plan that has been decided by the doctors on how to deliver the prescribed dosage and calculated time that you will be under the machine.

Tattoo for life Before meeting LINAC I had to be measured up in a CT Scanner. This is when i received a tattoo, which was marked on my body by a small pen. This tattoo never fades and is a sign of what you have been through. A mark that will never let you forget. These marks were where the beams would be directed and used to take measurements for the plan of treatment. I was given three little dots on my skin; one above my pelvis, and one either side of my pelvis. The radiographer used red laser beams to measure them up. I laid down on a couch that had a scanner around it. This would be the position that I would be laying in for all of my treatments. I was under the machine for about 3o minutes. I didn’t feel anything, just heard the sound of the machine.

For my treatment I had to have 25 sessions of radiotherapy. That was every day, monday to friday, for five weeks. I had the weekends to rest up.

Before my first radiotherapy appointment I was able to sit down with someone from the radiographer team and discuss what time of the day would suit me for my daily treatments. I was given a leaflet which told me about the process, what to expect and what side effects I could get. I asked for early morning sessions as then it would be easier for me to get some rest before the children came home from school.

As my tumour was in a very sensitive area, I was told to expect some very severe soreness after week 3. A mould was made to place over the skin to protect it. This was made up for me.

I was given my time-table with all the dates and times printed on it and what LINAC I would be on. The hospital had a few.

I had to drink 750ml of water 45 minutes before going in the machine. I had to hold this in my bladder until the session had finished. This was so that I kept my body hydrated and so the scanner could create detailed images of inside my body. When I turned up to my appointment I was told when to drink by the radiographer. This I found easy for the first few weeks, it then started to become harder as the time went on. I was struggling to hold my bladder as the radiotherapy was burning away my insides.

My first session felt like it went on forever. I remember laying in the machine and counting how many times it went round me and guessing in what direction it would take next. I was in the machine for about 15-20 minutes, It took a while to make sure that I was in the correct position so the whole process could take up to 30 minutes.

My family decided between them that I wasn’t to attend my sessions alone, so there was always someone waiting for me outside in the waiting room. Ready to have a normal conversation with or just be there for me.

I remember talking to the machine as it went round me. Telling it how I just wanted more time with my family, how I hoped that It wouldn’t miss a cell and to make sure that they all went. As I laid there I began to think it was answering me back. Listening to me. I remember the sound of it going round and round. I could hear music in the background. I told the machine to be nice to me and I would sing to it. Silly eh! How can a machine listen to you. It felt like it was the only place I could talk about my feelings without being judged or told to stop being silly. I had to lay there as still as I could, which is hard when you have to think about it. You always get an itch somewhere or feel a twitch in your leg.

Everyone was so nice and welcoming. The staff was helpful and friendly and always smiling. The other patients in the waiting room made conversation, even if it was talking about what brand of coffee they were drinking, it was small talk and just what everyone wanted. There was a sense of calm in the oncology department, quiet at times when you needed it. I almost felt like I belonged in there. People around me who I could relate to, who could understand what I was going through. It was as if I could see them walking around with a big question mark hovering over their heads. We all had the same thoughts, thoughts that we didn’t share with close family and friends but what we transmitted through our eyes. Sadness and hope.

I had lost hope in my body, I had lost my way in life. It was like the waiting room was my refuge. I needed to find strength from the people around me, the strangers in the waiting room and from within.

Hours quickly fell into days and the days into weeks. Not long and I had been going for a month. It seemed normal to get up and make my way to the hospital. The oncology department was at the back of the hospital, away from the busy part, almost a different building. It was like we were being hidden away from everyone. Kept to one side away from normality.

Side effects  The side effects were harsh. The last week I laid in bed crying and only got out for the appointments and to got to the toilet. I didn’t want to drink as it burned when i passed urine and walking became impossible with pain. My skin was so sore that it was blistering and peeling. I was given a cream to apply to the area, but that was only because a friend advised me on what to ask for. I was told that my skin would become red like it would do from sunburn, but I didn’t expect it to literally burn away. The only ease i got was when I let air to it and applied the cream. I gave up on wearing underwear and only wore loose clothing. I had to take imodium tablets as it was playing havoc on my bowels. I was so tired all of the time and some days slept for hours. I could be having a conversation one minute and then asleep the next. I welcomed the weekends as it came me respite from the treatment and by sunday evening I was becoming to feel normal again, only to go back to treatment the next morning.

I had to drink as much as I could in order to stay hydrated, I tried to drink at least 2 litres a day.

Long term effects  My bladder became weak and I could no longer hold in my urine, It felt full all of the time making leaving the house hard. I can no longer have children as my tubes have been burned away and I suffer from hot flushes. I have weaker bone structures and have had physio to build it back.

Two months after treatment finished I spent 10 days in hospital due to having an Abscess due to the effects of radiation. I lost all possible feeling to go to the toilet and was in severe pain. This resulted in my operation to remove the tumor forward by Two months.

It’s been 18 months since the last day of radiotherapy and I am now nearly back to full health. I know I can no longer produce eggs to have more children, but I already have three wonderful boys, so that’s not a problem for me. I still suffer from hot flushes but they say that I may be going through my menopause early due to radiotherapy.  I often get tired, but I just remember to take it easy and rest. I drink at least 2 litres of water a day and eat a healthy balanced diet (although I stay away from processed meats and pre prepared meals). It’s hard to look back and reflect. I need  to share my experience, not only for myself but for others too.

 Please feel free to contact me if you want support.
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Hospital Waiting Room – Scanxiety

As I sit here in the waiting room

Memories come flooding back

Tears sting my eyes, as they fall onto my cheek bones

I spent too many hours here

Moments of dread

Fear

Not knowing

I’m waiting for my yearly scan

Since having the tumour removed last November I must have a CT scan once a year

The last one I had, I can not recollect

Back then there were so many days that seemed to run into one

I spent 7 weeks in hospital, being prodded and poked every day

Being wheeled, in my bed, downstairs into the radiology department and left in the corridor waiting for my name to be called

I remember being in so much pain, that with every movement of the trolley it ripped through me

I remember crying and praying that the scans would be clear

After having the tumour removed, I ran into complications and had to have a further operation

But still, weeks after that operation the doctors had no answers as to why I was still in pain and why the bowel was refusing to work

Scan after scan, but still no answer

Today, I sit here and the memories of my time there came flooding back

Feeling the fear again, trying to control my breathing

Telling myself that all will be well

That this time is different

Entering this hospital, takes me back to diagnosis time

The day a black cloud entered my world

Having scans is an anxious time, especially for cancer patients

It’s a time when you hold your breath, awaiting the news that you’re in the clear or that the tumour has shrunk or that you’re stable

After, sitting in the waiting room for an hour, I eventually get called in

With this scan I have to drink 4 glasses of water prior to the scan. Then a canula is put into a vein ready for the iodine to be flushed through my blood stream

This is a horrible experience, as the iodine runs through the system, I can feel my body heating up. I almost feel like I have wet myself

It always makes me feel very sick as I get that copper taste in my mouth

Within a few minutes it is all over

The experience maybe, But not the anxiety

Now I await the results

I now need to focus on positive things

I will not allow the anxiety to take over

I tell myself that all is in the past and I have a bright future

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When your body doesn’t work like it used to before…

It has been 11 months since my last chemo/radiotherapy session and 6 months since I came out of hospital after having 2 major operations.

I would like to say that recovery is going well although it has been slow. With a very active family It has been hard keeping up with them.

To think of where I was 6 months ago and to where I am now – I am very proud of myself. When I was discharged from hospital I couldn’t even walk up the stairs, I had to be carried and I couldn’t stand for longer than a minute without my legs giving up on me and collapsing. I thought I would never get to where I am now, but with the help and support of my family and friends I wasn’t allowed to give up.

I lost a lot of weight when I was in hospital and although I have managed to gained the weight back on, it has left me with many problems. Not just losing the weight but the treatment has too.

A few weeks ago I attended an appointment at my Doctors surgery as I was struggling with stiffness and weakness in my legs and pelvis area. I had been told previously from my Nurse that It was probably just my body getting used to being used again after so long resting in a bed. I was a little worried, understandably, after all what I had been through. So I thought that it would be best to get it checked out. A previous MRI showed no problem with the bones so I was referred to a physiotherapist.

Since gaining my strength and the weight back I have tried my best to be active. I am not strong enough to go out running but I have began to take gentle bike rides with the boys, jogging round the block and I walk everywhere. I believe that it was the walking that has helped me get me to where I am now.

I feel like I have got old before my time. I can no longer bend my knees and get down on the floor without having to spend a few minutes trying to get back up.

You take for granted how your body just does things, like bending down, walking up the stairs, sitting and kneeling down. All these things are now a struggle for me!

My body just doesn’t work like it used to and I have to work on these areas.

The physiotherapist has given me some exercises to do and is hopeful that I should gain some more strength back in my legs. The treatment and the operation has caused muscle loss in some areas and she believes that with a few gentle exercises and being taught how to use some gym equipment I should be on the right road to recovery.

I have two exercises to get on with; where I have to lift my pelvis up off of the floor and level it out and to stand up and sit down from a cushioned chair. I am also going to carry on with my walking as I do believe that in doing this type of exercise it has helped me gain muscle and strength in other areas.

Hopefully (fingers crossed) i will be stronger by the end of the year. I need to stay fighting fit!

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I may have Cancer but I’m still a Mum!

Being diagnosed with cancer was hard to deal with but what made it hard for me was that I still had to be there for my children.

No matter how much pain I was going through

or how tired I got

or how upset I felt

I was still a Mum, a person who my children depended on

I still had to smile every day for the sake of my children, even though all I felt like doing was crying. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t. I wanted to get angry but I couldn’t!

I was suffering but not in front of my boys. I cried on the inside. I tried hard to hide my feelings.

I was still the person they came to when they was upset or hurt

I was still the person who had to cook them dinner or read them their bedtime stories

Cancer didn’t take that from me. I was still a Mum

The one thing that went through my head was ‘Who is going to look after my children once I am gone?’ Who is going to wipe their tears from their eyes when they fall over and hurt themselves? Who is going to read to them at night? Who will be there for them when I can’t be?

Cancer treatment took all my energy, it left me tired and laid up in bed for days. There were days where I couldn’t move, days when all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and forget about everything. Pull the covers up over my head and lay there in the darkness of my own thoughts. But as a parent, you know that this is impossible. Children crave attention from their parents, they want to feel needed and loved.

My boys need for their Mum helped me find the fight that I needed to get through the toughest time of my life.

When my spirit was low, listening to my children play together lifted me up

I felt lonely, but I was not alone. I had the support of my family and friends, who constantly reminded me that I was going to fight this disease and come through the other end stronger than I entered it

Cancer has made us a stronger family unit.

I vowed that I would never be a victim but a survivor.

It was hard at first but with the help of my family I held onto my hopes and dreams and gathered the strength from around me to stay positive

I may have been diagnosed with Cancer, but I will not allow it to stop me from being a Mum

 

 

 

 

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Keeping Strong!

It’s been a year now since I received the news of my Cancer diagnosis. I entered the consultants room in the hospital knowing deep down that something wasn’t right with my health. I didn’t have the symptoms that you read about, I didn’t lose weight or have bleeding but I did feel tired a lot and fought with fatigue. I just knew that the lump that I was feeling wasn’t right. I knew deep down that it was bad. I didn’t want my family to come with me to hear the words but I couldn’t stop them from being with me.

I came out of the diagnostics room a different person. Hearing the consultant tell me that I had Cancer changed my life and my family’s life. After going through every emotion possible, which took a good few months, and crying for what seemed like eternity I became stronger. I became to realise that I could allow this disease to beat me or I could stand up and fight it with every little piece of energy that I have.

Keeping strong is the only way to carry on with this disease.

I only have one focus in life now and that it to be around for as long as I can for the sake of my children.

It’s easy to keep strong with the support of my family and friends.

I am no longer Angela. I am now Angela who has Cancer. I am now Angela who is stronger.

I need now to not look back on the what ifs but to look forward and to stay positive. To keep my head clear of any negative thoughts.

I may have had the diagnosis that we all dread to hear but I am still here, I am still a Mum to 3 wonderful children. Cancer doesn’t stop that and will never take it away from me. No matter what I will always be a Mum. Being a Mum is what has made me strong, It is what made me fight for my life.

Having Cancer has made me realise that we need to enjoy life, enjoy each others company, stay focused for here and now.  I make more plans than I did before, I don’t hold back on doing something. I need to look after myself more, not only keeping my body strong but my mind too.

There are times when it all becomes a little too much. When I think back to my time in hospital I used to thank god that every morning I woke up. I thought that it was my time. I never thought that I could pull through, But I did. Slowly I became stronger. I tell myself now that I am still here and I am still Angela, I am still a Mum and I am still someones daughter, sister, cousin, aunty, friend or colleague.

I would like to thank everyone for the support that you have all given me, either through social media or personally. Without you all I wouldn’t be able to stay focused and learn to look after myself.

I will keep my head clear of any negative thoughts, I will keep a smile on my face and I will keep on being strong.

 

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Dear Cancer I’m not ready to Die

I hate writing this. But this is how I am feeling at the moment.

With tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart.

I think about who I would leave behind

I dread the thought of being told that I am going to die.

I have always feared death. Always cried about dying. Having children made it all become a little bit more real.

Having Cancer has made it all the more real for me. It has made me think more and more of death.

Right or wrong. Positive or not. You can not allow your brain to not think of it.

I have three beautiful children who I adore so much. I have so much to give them. So many more memories. So many more cuddles and kisses.

I want to be able to see them grow into handsome young men.

I want to see them graduate from University

I want to hold their hands through the good and the bad.

I want to watch them fall in love and enjoy life

I want to watch them walk down the aisle and I want to hold my grandchild in my arms

I am not ready to die.

I am not ready to leave my family behind to cope with me not being around.

I have so many more bumps and bruises to kiss better

So many more bedtime stories to read.

So many more experiences to enjoy with my boys

Death is a horrible thing and I know we all will die eventually. This has always scared me. I’ve always been upset about leaving my children, young or old, behind.

Coping with having Cancer has made it all real.

I am not ready for my body to give up. I am not ready to leave my boys without a Mummy.

Why am I writing this? I don’t know. Its how I am feeling. It’s what I am thinking.

It’s in my thoughts all the time. I don’t want it to be there. I want to enjoy the time I have with my family.

So many people tell me to enjoy my life, but It’s so hard. Cancer takes over.

I want to take control of my thoughts and body. I do not want it to win.

Am I feeling down? Am I depressed? YES

I want to be healthy and I want to live a long and good life

I want my children to enjoy growing up with their Mum around to guide them and teach them right from wrong. What Mum wouldn’t?

They need a strong Mum and a happy one.

I will carry on fighting with every inch of my body for the sake of my boys. I will try to keep strong and not allow them to see the weak me, the depressed me, the unhappy me. I will not let this defeat me without giving everything I have.

 

 

 

 

 

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