Sue’s Blogging About… Mouth Cancer Action Month

mouth cancer logo

November is Mouth Cancer Action Month so I thought I’d do some research into what it means to be mouth aware.

So, what is mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer can be cancer of the lips, tongue, checks and/or throat. Traditionally it was a cancer that mainly affected people over 40 and usually men, however in recent years this has changed and  younger people are getting diagnosed more regularly, including women. As with all cancer, early detection really can save lives, so it’s important to know what to look out for.

What are the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer?

As previously mentioned, it can be present in any part of your mouth, including in some cases your throat.

signs and symptoms of mouth cancer

Whilst a lot of these symptoms can be caused by other things, such a minor infections, if you are worried contact you GP as soon as possible. It is also important to have dental check ups at least once a year to keep on top of your oral hygiene but also to discuss any worries you may have with your dentist. I for one hate the dentists but it is reassuring that once a year my mouth is checked over by a medical professional.

www.mouthcancer.org has created this comprehensive info-graphic which I have found very helpful as I feel it highlights all the important information you need to know about mouth cancer in the first instance.

mouth cancer awareness inforgraphic

Advertisements

Sue’s Blogging About… World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Panc Cancer pic

November is pancreatic cancer awareness month and yesterday was #pancreaticawarenessday2017.

Pancreatic Cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the UK but awareness groups say that there is not enough knowledge about the disease. I for one am totally in the dark about pancreatic cancer so I’ve done some research which will hopefully be helpful for you too.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas – a large gland that’s part of the digestive system. Just going back to basics – the pancreas is located just above the intestines.

pancreas

www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/ has lots of information about pancreatic cancer. This information has been found on their website:

“Pancreatic cancers are divided into two main groups.

  • Exocrine cancers start in the exocrine cells. These cells make enzymes. About 95 out of 100 pancreatic cancers (95%) are exocrine tumours.
  • Endocrine cancers (also called neuroendocrine tumours or NETs) start in endocrine cells. These cells produce hormones. Less than 5 in 100 (5%) of all pancreatic cancers are neuroendocrine tumours….

Signs and symptoms.

Pancreatic cancer often doesn’t cause any signs or symptoms in the early stages. This can make it hard to diagnose early. But as the cancer grows, it may start to cause symptoms. These will depend on the type of pancreatic cancer and where it is in the pancreas. The symptoms and how bad they are can vary for each person.

It’s important to remember that symptoms described here can be caused by more common things, such as indigestion or heartburn. They can also be caused by conditions such as pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome, or hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). 

These symptoms don’t necessarily mean that someone has pancreatic cancer. But if you have any symptoms that you’re worried about it’s important that you see your GP….

Pancreatic cancer is often referred to as a “silent cancer” because it is thought that the early symptoms can be vague and unrecognised.  Pancreatic cancer symptoms however can present themselves early in many cases.  Here are some of the most common symptoms to look out for:”

symptoms-of-pancreatic-cancer

Pancreatic cancer is not common in younger people statistically but it still happens. Please be vigilant  and be aware of any of these symptoms. Please contact your GP in the first instance if you have any worries.

Sue’s Blogging About… Lung Cancer Awareness Month

lc awareness month bar

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The main aim is to encourage people displaying the common symptoms of lung cancer to visit their GP. As with all cancers, the earlier lung cancer is detected and treated, the better that chance of survival.

So, what are the symptoms?

You should see your doctor if you:

  • get out of breath doing the things you used to do without a problem
  • have any blood in your phlegm (sputum) or cough up blood
  • have a cough that is there most of the time or has changed
  • feel tired all the time
  • have lost your appetite or have weight loss
  • have pain in your chest or shoulder
  • have ongoing chest infections or a chest infection that doesn’t get better

Note – These symptoms may not be due to cancer but it is important to get checked by your GP.

resized_symptoms_manlungcancer

Or, use the acronym BREATHE:

2014_2x6_Bookmark_Front_No_Sponsor

What is lung cancer?

There are two main types of primary lung cancer – small cell and non-small cell.

Non- small cell lung cancer is the most common type. There are three main types:

  • Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer. It develops from mucus-producing cells that line the airways.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma develops in the cells that line the airways. It is usually caused by smoking.
  • Large cell carcinoma (sometimes called undifferentiated carcinoma) is named because of how the cancer cells look when examined under a microscope.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) also gets its name from how the cancer cells look when examined under a microscope. It’s usually caused by smoking, and very rarely develops in someone who has never smoked. SCLC usually grows quickly and can spread quickly.

 

There is a common misconception that only people who smoke get lung cancer. This is not the case. As detailed in this video, “anyone with lungs can get lung cancer.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue’s Blogging about… Movember and testicular cancer

public-news-171688-The-Movember-Foundation--default--259

Happy 1st of Movember everyone! That’s right, it’s that time of year that the charity Movember take over and raise awareness about men’s health; specifically testicular cancer, prostate cancer and mental health issues. Since 2003, Movember has been committed to helping men live happier, longer and healthier lives.

Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. They fund projects all over the world to do just that. They have currently funded more than 1200 projects in 21 countries. These projects include research into testicular cancer reoccurrence and gathering the current research evidence and practical knowledge about the core elements of ‘what works for men and boys’ in mental health promotion, early intervention and stigma reduction in the UK.

For young men around the world, testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers for that age group.

Despite being the 2nd most common cancer in young men, testicular cancer is often a forgotten cancer due to early detection and treatment. Our projects look at underinvested areas such as improving access to healthcare services and treatment options for relapse” Paul Villanti, Executive Director, Programmes, Movember.

Early detection really does save lives, so get to know your nuts fellas!

Almost half the men diagnosed with testicular cancer in the UK are under 35. Get to know your bodies and have a good check, especially if you have a history of testicular cancer in your family.

For more information about Movember and how you can get involved please go to https://uk.movember.com/?home

Here is a handy guide to tell you how:

070056f312a447826af3f330f71f97bc

Just like breasts, it is suggested that you do monthly ball checks to make sure you stay up to date with whats going on with your body.

iitb_logo

A charity called It’s In The Bag also has lots of practical information about what to look for when checking yourself. There is lots of great resources on there too. Their website can be found here:

http://itsinthebag.org.uk/

 

dt38logo.pngAnother charity advocating more education and awareness about testicular cancer is dt38, a charity set up in memory of Dylan Tombides, who played for West Ham – 38 was his shirt number. They have set up a number of amazing school projects that involve people coming into primary and secondary schools to educate about testicular cancer, as Dylan himself found his lump when he was just 17. His story can be found on the charity website here:

https://dt38.co.uk/

So again, happy Movember everyone, let’s raise some awareness and make 2017 the year everyone checks their balls!

Sue’s Blogging About… Dear Cancer, Love Victoria and Festifeel

FullSizeRender (3)

Did I mention October is Breast Cancer Awareness month?! Well, there have been a few events I’ve been to recently to help raise awareness and share a little bit of boob love around.

On 8th October an excited group of us from Freddie’s Friends, YouCan‘s support group, hopped on a coach and travelled into London for a truly special evening.

 
One of YouCans lovely ambassadors, Victoria Derbyshire, launched her book Dear Cancer, Love Victoria and we had tickets to the event.

 
Our evening began with a delicious meal at Nandos. Nandos is one of the companies that supports YouCan and we were lucky enough to get a private area with plenty of space. And the food was delicious – Nandos is a personal fave’ of mine.

Pic below – Freddie’s Friends enjoying a lovely Nandos

FullSizeRender (1)

Once fed and watered we headed over the The Other Place Theatre, Westminster. Victoria had some time before the show to come and do a short meet and greet with us and the other theatre goers. It was lovely for me to get to meet her again (we first met at the opening of Hinton House, which I will talk about in another blog post) and I know all of our group really appreciated her taking the time to come out and chat to us.

Pic below – Victoria meeting us all before the show.

FullSizeRender (2)

So, Victoria has written a book. It is based on the personal diary she kept during the year of her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. She has written diaries since childhood and felt that this was one that would be useful to share.

In an interview, this is what she has said about the book:

Dear Cancer, Love Victoria is based on my diaries from the summer of 2015 to the summer of 2016, documented in real time as events unfolded. When I read the entries back for the first time I cried, because I’d forgotten or blanked out some of the details. Everything is in there – the impact of the diagnosis, how we told our children, how I coped with the sometimes gruelling treatment, the distressing hair loss, my regret at cancelling our life insurance months before – everything, including some swearing, and quite a bit of drinking rosé wine.

It’s daunting to have something so personal published; I worry about the reaction. But that’s outweighed by my desire to speak openly and boldly about cancer to anyone who will listen.  Although two and a half million people in the UK live with cancer, the experience is still too often talked about in hushed tones and awkward clichés. It’s in the hope that my story helps demystify the reality, that I’m sharing the diary of my diagnosis and treatment with you.”

dear cancer love victoria

The book launch was a mini talk about her book, a short interval and then an opportunity for Q&A. In the first section of the show she detailed how she came to write the diaries, a little about her diaries in her formative years and a little about her life before her breast cancer diagnosis. She then read a few excepts from Dear Cancer, Love Victoria. One that was particularly moving was how she and her partner told her children about her cancer.

After a short interval (for wine!) we were invited back for a Q&A. Victoria promised to answer our questions honestly as long as we gave her the same courtesy. As the mic was passed from question to question, Victoria was true to her word. A couple of people stuck in my mind; one was an inspirational lady who spoke about her secondary breast cancer diagnosis and how she deals with that in day to day life. I know that touched a nerve with a few of us in our group and a few tears were shed. Another fab lady called Hannah asked if she could read a poem, which I have permission from her to post below. It offered some light relief from an emotional couple of hours, and I know I appreciated it.

 

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I thought I wouldn’t miss it much
I thought I wouldn’t care
I’d always worn it short, you see
‘Til chemo took my hair

I’m trying to accept it
I know it has to be
But the bald woman in the mirror
Just really isn’t me

My hair was cropped before all this
A salt and pepper hue
More boy than girl and that’s a fact
They should have named me ‘Sue’

‘You have the right shaped head’
They said,’ it’ll suit you Han, it will’
I’m sorry but I don’t agree
And the baldness irks me still

I promise when it grows again
Right from the very start
I’ll never cut it – ever!
On that I cross my heart

To all you hairy buggers
With your curls and length and fringes
Be glad you’ve got your mop up there
Bed hair? Just stop those whinges!

By Hannah – https://myhannah.blog/about/

All in all it was an amazing, moving, inspirational evening and I can’t thank Victoria enough for writing truthfully and candidly about her experience. All the proceeds from the evening were donated to YouCan; just over £1000 – Thank you Victoria! That money will go towards supporting children, teenagers and young adults.

 

The other event I went to was Festifeel, hosted by the charity Coppafeel! The charity has been throwing the event for about 8 years and the past couple of years it’s taken place at The House of Vans, Waterloo. The event is curated by Fearne Cotton and there were some stellar performances from Will Heard, Pixie Lott, The Staves, Mystery Jets, Basement Jaxx and various other DJs.

Pic below – Coppafeel! co-found Kris and Fearne

IMG_2507

The highlights for me were definitely seeing Busted – My friend H has loved them forever and was ridiculously excited! – and meeting Alice-May Purkiss, who is an amazing blogger that I’ve mentioned before – she was so lovely! I also saw wonder woman Kris Hallenga, Coppafeel! co-founder and fellow cancer warrior. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet her – she looked very busy and important every time I saw her – but it was awesome to be in the presence of such an amazing lady who is an inspiration to many after setting up Coppafeel! after her terminal breast cancer diagnosis in her 20s. The whole event was very light, fun, sparkly but most importantly got you thinking about your boobs. Really enjoyed it and can’t wait for next years Festifeel – bring on the glitter!

Pic below – (l-r) Ali, H, my sister Laura and me sporting our tit-tees – thanks @girlstolelondon

IMG_2470

Coppafeel! have also just launched an advert to remind you to check your boobs. It’s the first time a female nipple has been used in an advert on UK tv and I met one of the ladies responsible of it at Festifeel. They are, quite rightly, very proud of it.  It can be found here:

https://vimeo.com/237435262

So, ladies and gents PLEASE get to know your body! Please CHECK your chebs! No one knows your body better than you do. If you notice anything I can’t hurt to get it checked out by your GP.

Sue’s Blogging About… The YouCan Run 2017!

FullSizeRender

It’s that time of year again… it was the second YouCan Run! After the success of last year YouCan decided to hold another run, this time on the 1st October. The leaves had just started to turn and there was a nip in the air but that didn’t stop over 300 runners from coming to Leeds Castle to attempt either the 5k or 10k.

Myself and a few friends – Sue’s Sprinters – had an excellent morning. It was my first ever 5k – heck my first ever run! – and Hannah’s first ever 10k so we had some goals to smash and new PBs to gain. My sister Laura just woke up, rolled out of bed, and with little to no training just casually ran the 10k – madness! All in the aid of raising money for YouCan.

Pic below – Sue’s Sprinters – (l-r) Hannah, Laura, Sarah and me before the race. Glittered up and ready to rock and roll!

IMG_2221

This year we had some amazing volunteers cheering us on all around the course. I’m sure it would have been pretty miserable in the spitting rain but all of them gave up their time and cheered us on with massive smiles as we sprinted (or in my case stumbled) past them. I can’t explain exactly how awesome it is to be cheered on when you feel like you just can’t run another step more. So thank you, all of you, you really helped me – and I’m sure a lot of others – get around the course. And of course you helped the charity too. Without you, the event literally could not happen, so thank you again.

Tescos were supporting the event and Andy and Stuart were there helping with gazebos and banners early in the morning. They also provided all the water around the course for the runners. I’m not gonna lie but one of the best things after running 5k was getting that bottle of water at the end – behind getting my medal of course.

We had a brilliant turn out of runners this year. From adults running their first ever races – like me – to professional runners, to children, we were a very diverse group! There were people from Beginners to Runners who did their first 5ks or 10ks. I was so impressed with their determination; when one of the ladies came over the finish line almost in tears I was welling up right along with her, what an amazing achievement! It was a huge challenge for a lot of people and it was lovely to see adults and kids alike sailing across the finish line with massive grins on their faces.

Some of the nurses – and Trevor –  from Charles Dickens ward in Maidstone Hospital came and ran the race. Some of these amazing women actually treated me a few months ago when I was having my chemotherapy and it was lovely to see them again. They always made me feel welcome in the ward, offering a sunny smile, some advice and compassion. This was particularly important to me towards the last few chemo sessions when I was really struggling. The Charles Dickens nurses are wonderful at their jobs and I feel really lucky to have had my treatment there because of them.  I’m sure a few of them wouldn’t mind me saying that they are not natural runners (like me!) and I know for them running this race was a massive personal challenge. They also did some fundraising and for that I am so incredibly grateful and proud. These nurses do lifesaving work every day and they used their free time to do the run – incredible! Basically, I just can’t thank them enough for everything.

Pic below – Some of the nurses from Maidstone Hospital that ran with Trevor and Ward Manager Keli Tomlin.

maidstone nurses

After my chat on the mic (embarrassing!) before the 10k set of it was so lovely to have fellow runners cheering me and others on as they went around. And it is a tough course, no doubt about it. Mainly on grass – though at some points just plain mud – with some really steep inclines throughout. Then the people who signed up to do the 10k, well they had to run the course twice! I did not envy them at all. At some point around the course I remember thinking “maybe I could have tackled the 10k” and then another hill came and I realised if I was doing the 10k I’d have to do it all again. Not a chance. So massive WELL DONE to everyone who did that.

I’m still waiting on the official total of everything raised by the run and I will update here as soon as I know. But I’m super proud to say Sue’s Sprinters smashed the team target of £800 by raising over £1700 for YouCan! So honoured to call the amazing ladies who ran with me my friends (and sister friend!) and they kept me going during training too.

Pic below – Sue’s Sprinters having just crossed the finish line – elation!

sue's sprinters

For me, the run was a milestone. A moment in my history that I could hang my hat on, so to speak. I’m done with active treatment and struggling to get my body back to where it was before cancer. I have never really run before, apart from racing to catch the last bus from a night out in my youth, so I knew this was going to be incredibly hard anyway. Without the support from YouCan – the personal training, boot camp and nutritional advice – I would have struggled to get that 5k medal and new PB (only PB?! 39 minutes thank you very much!) I would never have been able to run 5k before my diagnosis so this is just one of the ways YouCan is helping me get back on track.

So here’s to next years YouCan Race. I, for one, can’t wait – and I never thought I’d say that about running!!! Maybe next year I’ll do the 10k….?!

 

Sue’s Blogging about… Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Checking your chebs and YBCN

pink ribbon

So, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This time last year I was still reeling from the news of my diagnosis so all I could bring myself to do was retweet/share some useful awareness graphics. This year I’m gonna stick a whole pile of info on this blog!

Early detection of breast cancer really DOES save lives. I am living proof of that. But many people don’t know how to self check. Whilst I claim to be no expert, general guidelines are to take a flat hand and have a good feel of your chest area, including under your armpits and over your collar bone. Get to know your body, your ‘normal’, so if there are any changes you will know about them as soon as possible.

Breast Cancer Care has written this article to show you exactly how to check. Click away!

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/have-i-got-breast-cancer/checking-your-breasts

They have also produced this handy graphic to point you in the direction of what to look out for:

breast_cancer_care_signs_2016Ultimately, you should get up close and personal with your chesticle region as the above is just a guideline. Everybody is different. Any changes or worries, it really can’t hurt to contact your GP.

 

Coppafeel1

Coppafeel! is an amazing breast cancer charity which is committed to helping people detect breast cancer early. Ultimately, in most cases, the earlier it is found the more likely it can be treated effectively.

Here is a little video they have made showing you how to check your boobs:

You’ll notice that Greg James is in this video. That’s because men can get breast cancer too! So please, fellas, you should be checking your chebs monthly as well.

Coppafeel! also provide free text alerts once a month to remind you to have a check. You can sign up for those here:

https://coppafeel.org/remind-me/

They can also send you out this super helpful free sticker to pop in your shower – or wherever you have a check:

coppafeel stickers

Another fabulous resource and support to me through treatment was YBCN – Young Breast Cancer Network on Facebook. It is a private group on Facebook of younger women with a breast cancer diagnosis who share worries, hints, tips and stories. Obviously, they are not there to advise in a medical capacity but it is a good first port of call for some situations and a good place to throw ideas around that you perhaps wouldn’t chat to your oncologist in the first instance, ie. How to wash your wig or where to pick up some sweet head scarves. YBCN has different subgroups for its members – a group for those with a secondary diagnosis, a moving on group once you have finished treatment and many more. I am a member of the London and South East regional group and have met up with YBCNers from time to time, which is hugely beneficial, especially if you just want to meet up and chat about all things breast.

If you are under 45 and have a breast cancer diagnosis to join the private group send a message on their public page. Or alternatively you can just use their public page without being a member of their group.

https://m.facebook.com/YoungerBreastCancerNetwork?ref=bookmarks

This month YBCN have compiled a group of stories from their members calling them #breastcancerrealities to help raise awareness. This page can be found here, please have a look and share!

https://www.facebook.com/YBCNs-Breast-Cancer-Realities-296547927483135/ 

 

logoYBCN

 

So now you’ve read – and seen – how to check DO IT! Check you chebs, boobs, lady lumps, tits, jubblies, bangers, whammers, fun bags, knockers, bosom,  whatever you call them, weather you are male or female, just check!

Young Persons Blog – Patricia

Kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a blog from one of the young adults supported by YouCan, Patricia. She recently completed her chemotherapy, an amazing milestone, and has detailed her cancer story in a blog – http://www.myjourneyat30.co.uk/

Here is an except from one of her blog posts earlier on in her diagnosis:

patricia blog

“April 2017 – The Diagnose, Day 0

 
Today was a heartbreaking long day.

MRI in the morning. Not as bad as I thought it would be, I was put in a gown, nurse placed cod liver oil tablets on my nipples (apparently is to mark the nipple otherwise they might think it’s something else) and faced down the entire time. Like in a massage table but a little less comfortable.
Just a little. (Not). 

I was listening to music the entire time and they communicated with me the the length of each scan and I’ve noticed the noise change. I was quite amazed with the power of the MRI machine, but not quite impressed with the numbness in my arm. Felt like if I needed to press the bell for help my arm wouldn’t respond to my commands. 

The appointment with the consultant didn’t come quick enough, but then the wait in that waiting area was a bit painful. I wasn’t sure if I wanted it to be done quick or if I just didn’t want to face it.

It’s Cancer.

The most frightening diagnose has finally come out. I read it on the piece of paper that was upside down in front of me. I saw it. The word carcinoma popped in front of my eyes for that split second before she said it. bu I needed to hear it. Then I broke down. stayed strong next to me, held my hand and the whole room turned into silence while the sound of my tears echoed around.
Doctor made a plan and I’m so glad she wrote it down, the rest of that conversation is a complete blur.

Sent again to the ultrasound room for a re-biopsy of the axilla that came inconclusive last time.
Oh the joys of being poked again where I’ve already got a bruise! – Not

The Lilac room again, was the place for grieve. I’m really starting to have a love-hate relationship with that room.

I’m so grateful of all the family and friends support that we’ve got and all the people that had their thoughts and presence with us that day. It was very important to feel the support coming out of all directions.

M held himself up so well, but I know his little heart is so broken. same as mine. All he keeps saying to me is “I wish it was me. I wish we could swap places” – Don’t be silly

I know, and I truly believe that things like this only happen to the ones that are strong enough to deal with it.

M you were made to be my rock not to be the one carrying hell.

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

P.x”

Patricia chemo
To read more of Patricia’s heartfelt, honest and moving blog, click here – http://www.myjourneyat30.co.uk
If you are a young person impacted by any cancer please contact YouCan via email or telephone to see how we can help support you. 
Email : hello@you-can.org.uk         Telephone : 01732 844874 

Young Persons Blog – Hannah

Hannah

28

Cervical cancer – glassy cell

hannah

September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness month so I wanted to introduce you to Hannah. Here is the first blog she wrote about her diagnosis with a rare form of cervical cancer.

“6th December 2015- 15th January 2017

I made notes of my feelings and appointments and here is the Catch up on my journey so far:

6th December – after biopsy was diagnosed with cervical cancer! 

Upset but little was I to know quite the full length and how scary and shit this really felt for few more days as it just didn’t sink in. 

After eventually being seen by doctor and many appointments all bringing us to this biopsy, I had already worked out what I could have and that I  may have early stage of cancer but I really did think i got it early enough that I would have hysterectomy and then be fine after recovery from that 

But a 5cm tumor and the area it affects puts me at stage 2b and means a hysterectomy isn’t any option at this stage: 

7th -8th telling family and your close friends – feeling more real- flowers / cards / appointment letters coming in …

9th – martyn my rock who has held it together for the last 3 days , crumbled and had moment in bathroom, didn’t want him to be sorry as he has been amazing.. feels human.. wanted someone to cry with after everyone being so clinical and factual. When actually it is shit awful news and let’s cry because I could die!!

 10th December – feeling very very low whilst working through the xmas orders, can’t wait to get work out the way for a week or 2 to get it in a better place in my mind.

Had like a dull tummy pain for hours then found another clot (first clot since diagnosed)

Can’t relate it to anything like you do with general day to day problems .

Trying to think “positive” when there seems so little to hold on to.

Feeling alone.

Running club Xmas dinner party. Only going to face the world. Didn’t start off great. Freaked out when walked into the room where everyone was going to be. It’s hard to explain but just facing life was hard. This was all still very Fresh and new to me, Held it togther and was able to talk a about it later in the night. Stayed till mid night actually!! felt bit bad about Mum and Dad baby sitting so late, after saying  unlikely to stay late 😬

Julia making me laugh as always. Didn’t expect to laugh again ( although trust me it was not the same )

The world looks such a different place now, evil , scary, unpredictable

Don’t want to watch the news again as just can’t cope with actually how much crap there is going on in this country and this world.

11th December .. so that brings us to now Sunday 11th December, day after xmas party, had a Very unsettled night sleep and Eden came in saying there’s a monster. Cuddled up with me and it was actually really sweet and we fell asleep together..woke up with his feet pushing me off bed!😩

Soooooooo blessed to have Daisy and Eden when I did, absolutely over the idea of wanting more children and I know naturally that’s not going to happen now and of course all I want to know is that I’m going to survive this and be there for them.

The future looks uncertain right now and the doctors have scans and treatment plans to organise.

I am an appreciative person and don’t take things for granted. So from that point of view. I have no regrets and have had a great life so far. I’m just not ready to leave anytime soon, Daisy and Eden  are only 3 and 5 and I want to see them grow into adults and enjoy all these great years we should have ahead.

Desperate to have scan and get results if the cancer has spread anywhere else. As it was only a pelvic MRI I had previously few weeks before my biopsy.

I know it’s at least stage 2b which isn’t great it’s got to this stage but could be worse.

I’ll either survive or die because of it.

11.12.17

Afternoon- Not coping, can’t stop the tears.

Eden just asked why is my face like that , I turned and he said “why are you turning away” 😢 I’m trying so hard not to cry or loose it in front of them but sometimes they bring the tears on because the fear I have of loosing them.

12.12 PET-ct scan day!

I’m not scared of the treatment or being in pain. I’m purely scared I’m going to die and leave my family.

Just keep going over and over in my head. My children, my husband , my family and my friends are all being so strong and I am so thankful for there help.. But I just feel so lonely. I can not get it off my mind. I feel now , today, that I have fallen to a dark place of depression. I want to think positive but I just can’t. I’m trying sooo hard to think of happy things but I’m just not seeing it.

I just want the treatment to start and to know I’ve beat it. Want to wake up in 6 months time and this living nightmare all be over.

Drove to Canterbury to find out PET/Ct scan cancelled as an old man had pissed himself after having the radioactive injection so radioactive stuff everywhere meant my scan was cancelled, so anoyed, I’m desperate to know exactly what where dealing with, it’s anywhere else in my body😡😡

13.12 feeling massively bless to have support from my close friends and family . ..But feel like my life is on hold, I’ve never been depressed before and through no fault of my own, I’ve now fallen into this really dark place.

14.12 could this get much worse 😩😭

Had appointment with consultant who did my biopsy , found out I really am special and have an extremely rare form of cancer called glassy cell cervical cancer. Sitting in front of a cancer specialist and being told he or the other specialist I am due to meet next week, have never seen this. I do not feel special, I feel even more scared and think I’m going to I’m going to die. He said they will be talking to the top doctors at marsden hospital  in London  but that I can forget everything I’ve been told so far about possibly radiotherapy and chemotherapy as that won’t work on this aggressive cancer. I don’t know how to cope with this feeling. Screaming in the car whilst Martyn drives us safety home. The hardest day of my life by far!! 

15.12

Ct scan done and out the way.

And the PET/ct scan rebooked for tomorrow morning.

Has the chance to watch Daisy at school in Christmas play, Absolutely feel so lucky to watch my little girl in her school play (dress rehearsal preview as I couldn’t face going to the play with all the parents next week) she was red robin number 1 , it’s was so cute! She was so confident on that stage. She said her words loud and clear  and I couldn’t be prouder!! She has only been at school a couple of months and has grown into such a confident girl. I felt like the proudest mummy in the world and could help but smile 💜💜

 This afternoon Edens been extra cute and cuddly (think he has picked up on something being wrong) and I’ve enjoyed spending the evening with them both.

Eden and I had lots and lots of kisses when he cheekily got back out of bed to give me his empty cup. Special moments like these I treasure.💜

16.12 back from PET scan. I had to sit in the lonely small white room for an hour while the radioactive stuff goes through my body. I Felt most lonely. Was radioactive for 6-8 hours so couldn’t go near children so missed out on another Christmas school craft thing they where doing and had to hide in the bedroom till later that  evening. 

I wish there was something they could give me, to not feel this sad, the thought of leaving my little ones and Martyn terrifys me. I love them all soooo sooooo sooooo much!!!!! 💜
Positives – I have no regrets!!! everything I’ve done in my life has made me who I am today. I know part of me will live through the children if I’m here or not, there old enough I can already see there just so lovely as can be 💜

20.12- so had a much better week than I could of expect! Finishing off as much work as I could.

What a lovely evening,  Mud masks with Martyn, Shaun (brother)  and my lovely mum last night was so much fun. I think I almost took my mind off it for the first time.

21.12  start of accepting-went out for dinner with martyn and Eden when Daisy was at school(.which is a massive thing as facing people feels so hard as my life is now so different. I just feel slightly better in my mind that if someone I didn’t know was to ask “excited for christmas” that I could smile and just say yes. Without breaking down like I think I would of done last week. )

Oncologist appointment tomorrow where I will find out (fingers crossed) full body scan results and treatment plan.

Part or me is dreading tomorrow and part of me just got everything crossed in hope they will tell me something like ‘you will defiantly be cured’ . So that I can enjoy Christmas properly with my family and have everyone round Boxing Day as planned.

I don’t feel like any of my friends or close family (as thankfully they haven’t had to go through it) can really understand the strange place that this disease has put my mind in. I’ve not been here before.

I think if this wasnt happening to me I could only begin to understand how bad it must feel, if I was watching someone else go through it. The truth is it’s probably 1000x worse than you could think, I still waiting passing the days as I don’t know yet what they going to do and it’s so rare they’re prob isn’t much facts or evidence to go on, so my future looks uncertain and I hate this.  This is defiantly the most scariest thing I’ve ever had to face.
22.12 made it through to this date Thursday 22nd December, been holding onto this date where I am going to find out a lot more and meet the oncologist Dr nathen for the first time.

Well that went better than I could expect, there is no visible cancer anywhere else. A big positive! And a girl in Maidstone 6 years ago had this type of cancer and dr nathen has been speaking to the doctor who treated her and we are going with exactly the same treatment  that she Had done which turns out to be chemo and radiotherapy (how normal cervical cancer at my stage is quite often treated) as she is now “cured” after 5 years. He said he thinks 70-80% chance this is going to work for me too! Feeling massively more positive after this positive meeting and step forward! They have a plan!
27.12 had a lovely Christmas just us 4💜

Boxing Day had all the family round which was also a lovely day❤️

03.01 massively changed my diet to get ready for chemo and radio soon and needed lifestyle  change. Eating very clean and anti cancer / cancer fighting / anti oxidant type foods.

09.01. Martyn’s cousin offered to do me reiki each week which I started today, I used to think this was a type of massage it’s completely not but made me feel relaxed and I did sleep well after it
12.01 Had a meeting at the chemo ward today giving me chance to see the ward ahead of Monday  and have my bloods done and a talk with one of the nurses.  Had to watch a DVD all about the side effects of some chemo therapy which I found left mere terrified than I was. 

14.01 trained in TRE! Oh my goodness ! It’s like nothing I can explain. But it’s a natural tremor process we all have within us and it was amazing! May even help with some of my back pain. Feeling positive 🌞
15.01. Eek day before I start chemo and radiotherapy!! Put on facebook about my TRE experience and everyone seems to remember my treatment starts tomorrow and wish me luck and saying how brave I am being? The support in amazing and is really helping. I personally don’t feel like I’m being brave tho, I didn’t ask for this and have been to hell and back to “accept” this tumor this horrible disease, I don’t blame people because there isn’t any right or wrong thing you can say that’s actually going to change what I’ve got but I do think some people just see my posts and don’t think of what I’ve gone through in order to be at this positive state of mind. I realised  there was a great chance of this being cancer mid to late November and after finding out on the 6th December I didn’t make this public until Xmas eve.  I was in such a dark horrible place I knew I was not ready to tell the world (facebook) and I am so pleased I waited. Had I of done, my posts would have been very negative and depressing nature.

Weighed my self today and I’ve lost 6lb this week! All because my lifestyle change💦🥗🍏🥒🥕🥝🥗💦

Overall really positive considering I start treatment tomorrow!

..But bit Nervous for the possible side effects for the menapause to start soon!!😢”

 

Hannah is one of the young people that YouCan support. To read more of her blog you can find it here:

https://hannahbinghamsite.wordpress.com/blog/ 

Sue’s Blogging About… Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Blood Cancer Awareness pic

As blood cancer awareness month comes to a close, I’ve learnt a lot. Which is the point isn’t it, raising awareness. So I thought I’d share a little here…

Blood cancers are cancers of the blood, bone marrow or lymph nodes that affect normal blood cell production or function. Leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma are the three main types of blood cancer and there are different subgroups of each one. There are also more obscure blood cancers. All these cancers can be quite difficult to diagnose, particularly in young people, when symptoms are often misdiagnosed as partying too much at university or just general changes in your body as you move into adulthood.

As mentioned in the above pictorial, there are a few signs to look out for. These include:

  • Bruising easily
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Repeated infections
  • Continued fatigue
  • Fever
  • Unexplained bleeding

Leukaemiacare say “You should seek prompt medical care if you are experiencing unexpected weight loss, persistent and frequent infections, night sweats, fatigue, bone pain, or enlarged lymph nodes.

But it is important to remember that many of the symptoms can occur in other, much more common and less serious illnesses as well. Whilst these symptoms do not always indicate a blood cancer, as with most cancers, early diagnosis is fundamental for better treatment outcomes so it’s always best to get your symptoms checked if you’re worried.”

YouCan supports young adults who have been impacted by blood cancer. So I’d like to introduce you to Tom and Harry, two of these young adults. Both of their stories are on the YouCan website and you can find the links to them below.

tom blood cancer blog

TOM

AGE 24

STAGE 2B HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA

‘YouCan have provided me with great support in my post-treatment recovery, providing complementary therapies and other activities to help me come to terms with my new life. This kind of support may seem so simple, but to me it was absolutely invaluable.’

 YouCan read the rest of Tom’s story here:

http://www.you-can.org.uk/toms-story/

harry blood cancer post

HARRY

AGE 21

STAGE 4B HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA

‘If it wasn’t for YouCan and their amazing staff I really don’t know where I would be right now if I’m honest. This post just goes to show that charities like YouCan cancer support are invaluable for people like me during remission!’

YouCan read the rest of Harry’s story here:

http://www.you-can.org.uk/harrys-story/

 

If your life is impacted by blood cancer you can also find support in the below areas:

Bloodwise campaigns to improve the lives of everyone affected by blood cancer. They raise money primarily for research but they are also creating a network of support via their website, Blood Cancer Connect and their Ambassadors programme.

https://bloodwise.org.uk/

 

Leukaemiacare have a plethora of information on their website. They also have a CARE Line, which is available 24/7 on 08088 010 444 for if you need to talk to someone impartial about your blood cancer.

http://www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/

 

The Lymphoma Association offers easy access to support on their website by means of forums, personal stories, live chat, the Lymphoma Matters Magazine and various events and conferences all over the country. They also have a Freephone telephone number available Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm which is 0808 808 5555.

https://www.lymphomas.org.uk/