Thursday, 20 February 2014

Mixing it with the stars

Its been a while since I blogged.  Life has felt a little more normal recently.  I’ve been feeling pretty well and consequently have been busier than I have in a long while.

The break in Lanzarote was great.   Only three days but it was long enough to chill out and catch our breath.  We’ve not done a package holiday before.  We felt we didn’t quite fit with the other holidaymakers.  But it didn’t matter.  The sun shone (a little) and we were away from it all.

Radiotherapy started the day after we got back and I now just have 1 more session to go.  I’ve been going every day for the last three weeks but to be honest, this part of my treatment has been easy and pretty painless.  The only real issue is the discomfort of lying in one position and not being able to move a muscle whilst they zap you. It’s harder than it sounds.  Sometimes this might be for just a couple of minutes and sometimes it can stretch closer to 10 mins, depending on whether they need to take x-rays too, which they do once a week. 

My poor ‘new’ boob is looking pretty red and angry now.  I feel sorry for it.  Since it was created back in August it really hasn’t been given much of an opportunity to settle in.  The chemo made it sore and now it is being fried with heavy duty rays.  Hopefully it will be left in peace very soon.

So the weird thing about coming to the end of treatment is the ‘what now’ feeling.  I’ve been warned by others that this can be one of the most difficult periods of all.   The surgery and chemo part was all about surviving and getting through it.  Now I’m feeling reasonably well and there is a certain assumption that life will go back to normal.  But my normal has forever been changed and it is going to take some adjustment I feel. 

To be honest, since the day I was diagnosed, I haven’t felt particularly scared, not for my life at any rate.  The doctors were positive about my prognosis and I clung onto this fiercely.  But as time goes on I am facing the reality that cancer will always be a part of my life.  It may be gone (I hope) but it will never be forgotten.  I am scared of it returning and scared of it spreading.  I think these fears will lessen as time goes on (that’s what I’m told anyway) and I’m looking forward to a time when my recent experiences are a distant memory.

Getting on to happier experiences, last week I had the honour of being part of Caroline’s Campaign Makeover and what a fantastic day that was.  Caroline Monk went through breast cancer treatment back in 2004 and has made it her mission ever since to give women in the same boat their femininity back.  She organises one or two of these events every year and does an amazing job. 

Before and after shots
There were six of us ladies involved, all at various stages of treatment.  We all met up at a Toni and Guy salon in Mayfair and were treated to an afternoon of pampering and generally being thoroughly spoilt.  New wigs were donated by Trendco and then styled by the staff at Toni & Guy.  We were all given new (tattooed) eyebrows by the lovely ladies at Nouveau Beauty.  Our nails and make up were done and then we changed into our outfits which were donated by Debenhams. I had spent a great afternoon at their Oxford St store with the personal stylist Alain in the week prior to the event.  He helped me choose my outfit for the occasion.  I wish I could permanently hire the lovely Alain.  He got me trying on things that I would never normally look at, and everything looked great.  It also did great things for my self confidence as I paraded each outfit and all the other staff members complimented me and told me how great I looked.  I know it’s their job and all, but it did feel good!

Once we had all been transformed from cancer patients to glamour pusses, we were picked up by a limo and taken to a club in soho where a party had been laid on for us.  A whole host of celebrities were there including Stephen Bowen from Blake who serenaded us and Next of Kin who entertained the crowd with a few songs.  Bobbie Davro stole the show though with his rendition of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’.

The paps seemed more interested in the celebs than us ladies which I thought was a bit rude.  Oh well, we certainly felt like the stars of the evening so I guess that’s what matters!  I can’t thank Caroline enough for what she did for us on that day.  She has an incredible energy and drive and has helped so many women get their mojo back.


  1. I'm glad you're treatmentis comingto an end. Maybe you guys could focus on another adventure to give you some focus in the future. It doesn't have to be a big one. You guys could visit me in south Africa!! Take care.

    1. Hey Danielle. You're right, an adventure is just the thing to re focus the mind. We're hoping to head off sometime soon on pushbikes through Europe. I need to stay relatively close to home as I still need to have Herceptin injections every three weeks until November. We are keen to do Africa though, so maybe next year! X