Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Rehab.

Well I don't know about you, Winehouse, but I say yes, yes, yes. Step aside, Lohan. Out of the way, Moss. Your time is up, Williams. Search my bag and save me a room in The Priory; I'm on a one-way ticket to self-improvement.

Like I said last year, 2009 is the year of Sorting Shit Out. Seriously, check the Chinese zodiac. (Do you like how I said 'last year' back then? See, it's all just a bad memory.) This is the year when I'll be able to once again pick up a hairdryer, go bra shopping, have more sex, pay attention to my bikini line, get off my steroid-swelled arse and generally execute a Houdini-like escape from the evil grip of The Bullshit. Ta-dah!

Right now, I don't look great. Actually that's somewhat generous. I look like the long-lost sister of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. And it's time to do something about it. I appreciate that it'll take a fair bit of doing, which is why I've kicked off early, before the final whistle of my surgery and the end of my active treatment. I'm realistic about the timeframe, too – I know I'm not going to wake up from my op with the looks and figure of Selma Blair (Hair Muse #2). Hell, I've not just got hair to grow, but weight to shift, a left tit to transform, eyelashes to sprout and eyebrows to fill (though I guess if all else fails I could always go the Mutya Buena route – do you reckon they're included in her tally of 14 tattoos?). So the plan is this: screw my 20s, I'm writing them off. Instead, I'm going to make damn sure I look super-hot in preparation for my 30s, just in time to flaunt the New Me at My Super Sweet 30th. (Your Tit Needs You part 1: After hearing from an ex-boss that his wife did something similar, I'm shamelessly ripping off their idea and will be turning my SS30th into a charity fundraiser. So, eight months in advance of the bash, I'm already on the hunt for a London venue and some fan-fucking-tastic things to auction off. I'm talking big stuff, please – event tickets, backstage passes, signed memorabilia, once-in-a-lifetime prizes... you name it, I'm after it. Drop me an email if you can help, and I'll make sure there's an invite and some good karma in the post.) 

But back to Operation Elfin. The issue here is that cancer is forcing me into an image change. Just as bouncing back to the life I had pre-Bullshit is unrealistic, so is the thought that I'll have my long blonde locks back within six months. So image change it is. And, if you're interested in following me on my journey from cancer-patient George Dawes to picture-of-health Gwyneth Paltrow (circa Sliding Doors), I'm afraid there's something you're going to have to see. Hold tight, now.






Christ, have I really just done that? [Blink.] Yep, looks like it. Fuck. Right, well, that's me (and P in the background there). I'd love to be able to tell you that the girl in the photographs is someone else, but it ain't. It's me. That said, even I view those photos as though I'm looking at some other poor sod. When P and I downloaded them, I shook my head and said, 'Cor, that's sad, isn't it?' And yes, it is sad. But those photos were taken on 1 January and, believe me, they're far better better images than the ones I could have shown you on 1 December. Still, have a word with yourself if you think you're having a bad hair day, eh?

The purpose of that horror show isn't just to satisfy your curiosity about what I've been keeping under my hat (or headscarf) all this time, but instead to chart the progress of my regrowth in a monthly Barnet Bulletin. Right now, as you can see, the trouble is less length, more coverage. And since Wikipedia tells me that human hair grows at a rate of 0.4mm per day, I reckon the most I'm looking at is a Posh pixie crop by the time I hit Glastonbury (and in Posh's colour, too – for those of you who hadn't seen the Old Me, my hair was never this dark, even beneath the highlights). But of course, if I'm going to carry off hair like Rihanna/Selma/Gwyneth/Posh, I'm going to need the frame to suit it. So as well as the hair-spurt mission, I'm also on a shrink-down health-kick to shift the 16lbs (shock! horror!) that cancer so kindly gifted me (my fitness DVD will be in the shops next Christmas). I'm thinking of the unwanted bulk as a bit like baby weight, but without actually having had to squeeze one out. And, if you think about it, it's not all that far off, really: the nine months of suffering, the removal of a funny-shaped lump from my body, the sleepless nights, even the mothering – albeit kitten rather than baby. (And correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think five-month-old babies are generally known to scale the drapes and perch on top of the curtain rail, like mini daredevil recruits for Fathers 4 Justice.) Still, baby weight/cancer weight, potato/potahtoe (ooh, jacket potato...) – whatever you want to call it, it's on the way out. 

Health-wise I'm still a long way off jogging round the park (hell, even jogging to the loo). Radiotherapy continues to take its toll, and the exhaustion is reminding me of the time at uni when I had one too many late nights, snogged one too many smelly boys and ended up with glandular fever. It's utterly knackering – debilitating, even – and, in many ways, I'll be glad when it's over. But as much as it's kicking me up the arse when I'm not there, I don't half love having somewhere to go every day, and a brilliant bunch of people to see it through with. It's like going into the office – I chirp a cheery hello to the (still fit) boy on reception, say 'good morning' to the other 11 o'clock regulars in the waiting room, then enjoy a bit of banter with the radio staff. And, for the last couple of weeks, it's been my favourite lass and lad in the radio room (from Pepsi & Shirlie to Bucks Fizz, and now Dollar – what's next, UB40?). I love Dollar (seriously, this is getting daft) – they always let me in on the department in-jokes and the three of us have a right good giggle every morning (plus I think I've gained a few favouritism points after slipping them some golden gossip nuggets from my LA-reporter mate Ant). I've only got nine treatments left, and I'm going to miss the arses off those two when I finish. Do you think it's acceptable to befriend them on Facebook? Or is the cupcake-baking option a better display of gratitude? On second thoughts I'd better not, if they end up anything like the diet-friendly cake I baked last week. Citrus omelette, anyone?

- - -

Your Tit Needs You part 2

I was chatting with one half of Dollar today (heck, that makes him David Van Day, right?) about the hideousness of my chemo experience, and the comparative carnival that radiotherapy has been. Just as some people's treatment means that their reaction to chemo won't be half as bad as mine was, he was telling me that it works exactly the same for radiotherapy – some folk have a horribly torrid time of it, while others get off lightly like I have, with just the painful skin, swelling and tiredness. DVD was saying how sick he is of society's blanket approach to cancer, and that I'm a good example of how different it is for everyone affected by it. As he went on to say, there's no rhyme or reason to this disease. Without wanting to put the shits up you, it can strike whoever it wants, whenever it wants, with no symptoms or warning, and no way of knowing how it'll affect you – physically or mentally – until you're busy battling it. And, tricky as the subject matter may be, it was nice for me to hear someone who hasn't had cancer describe it like that, and to know that the 'blanket approach' pisses them off as much as it does me. DVD knows about my blog, and I got the sense that he wanted me to reiterate this point on his behalf. So here I am, doing it again, and asking you to help me do it some more.

This is where you come in. I'm working on something, in tandem with Alright Tit, that will hopefully open more people's eyes to the shitty, painful, heartbreaking and sometimes humorous reality of the c-word (no, Dad, not the rude one) – and not just from my perspective. I'm collecting quotes from anyone affected by cancer – whether you've had it yourself or know someone who has, whether you work in a hospital or at a charity, whether you cry at the Cancer Research ads on TV, whether you've Raced for Life, whether you're a Kylie fan, whether you've read this or other cancer books/blogs/whatever... or even whether you know nothing at all about it. I'm looking to gather quotes that are as honest and no-holds-barred as I hope this blog is. Quotes about diagnoses, people's responses to them, family and friends' reactions, angry moments, embarrassing side effects of treatment, hair loss, wigs, headscarves, doctors, relationships, marriages, sex, cancer-affected appearances, the missing tastebuds, the cravings, the tantrums, the helpful things people have done, the people who've gone MIA, the bravery you've witnessed, the recoveries, end-of-treatment celebrations, survival, death, the highs, the lows, the things that make you wince or smile or grit your teeth or want to tear out what's left of your hair in sheer bloody frustration. Everyone's got a story, whether they've had a cancer diagnosis – of any sort – or not. So whatever you've got to say, I'd love to hear it. As long as it's honest. I'll get the ball rolling, shall I?

On the day of my diagnosis but before I'd been told, I knew something was up when the nurse doing my mammogram didn't stop banging on about how fabulous my shoes were. They weren't. They were 12 quid in the Dorothy Perkins sale, the buckle was broken and I'd scuffed the hell out of them on tube escalators. I knew she was blowing smoke up my ass; I knew I had breast cancer. (I've since thrown away the shoes.)
Once I'd broken the news to my family and friends, there was a small, conceited, ego-driven part of me that – I'm not proud to admit – loved being the subject of gossip; loved the thought of being talked about over pints of bitter and G&Ts. I wanted to know exactly who was talking about me, who to, what they were saying, and what people's reactions were. A couple of years ago, when I heard that a friend of mine had been diagnosed with cancer, I cried. I wondered whether people were doing the same about me. I still do, if I'm totally honest. 

I'll never again eat cous cous. I had it for lunch before my first chemo, and it was all I could see in my first post-chemo puke. 

One of the experts I met on one of my many distressing wig-fitting appointments commented on my then-thinning hair and how, if I wore a thick headband, I could probably get away without wearing a wig for a couple of weeks yet. 'No I bloody can't,' I spat. 'I look like fucking Mo Mowlam.' Enforced wig wearing, I think you'll agree, did not make me a nice person. As it goes, I'd kill to have that thinning hair now. 

I'd tell you again about the time I broke down when trying on hospital-appropriate pyjamas in M&S or the day when my chemo-constipation got so bad that I screamed out from the loo in excruciated pain for P to bring me the olive oil, but I dare say those things were hard enough to read about the first time and, besides, I'm sure you've got the picture by now. So, in the words of the Manic Street Preachers: this is my truth, tell me yours. 

Send me an email, leave a comment, direct me to your blog (oh, and do let me know your name and location, and whether you're happy for them to be published) and please PLEASE pass on this link to anyone and everyone you know who may have their own quote to add. Sheesh, it's all favours on here today, isn't it? Well, fair's fair – I showed you my slaphead, now it's your turn...

27 comments:

65-roses said...

I don't know if you heard of Josie Grove, a girl who had cancer but unfortuntley died almost two years ago now. She was one of my closest friend's best friend (if that makes sense), everyone in our school year knew her. Except me. And I regret never getting the chance to even say hi to her. Although I personally think she was better off not knowing me - the risk of me making her ill with a chest infection would have been massive. Heres to Josie, and her dragonfly necklaces which raise money for her cancer charity.
I miss her and I never knew her. It may sound odd, but the second I heard about the news, I cried for ages. Its like I lost a friend I never had.

Thats a story i suppose, feel free to include it if you wish Xx

Lori's Lens said...

Hi Lisa,

I think you've read this before on my husband's blog, but d day was like this for me:

Thursday June 4th I had a meeting at 8.30. I was just about to start a new job the next week and was asked to come into the office to interview someone I would be working closely with. It was a beautiful sunny Wednesday morning and I rode my bike to the office (about a 20 minute ride). I was just locking up my bike when my husband called. He had gone to the doctor with a cough that wouldn't quit and wanted to do something before we left for a long weekend in Italy the next morning. He told me he was at the hospital getting an X-ray. I asked him if he wanted me to be there with him and he said- come after your meeting. I went to my meeting, then called him and he told me he was just getting a CT scan. That's when I started to panic. I was on my bike (stupid girl! should have driven!) and had to ride across town to the hospital. On the way there I started crying (very much unlike me, I don't do public emotions). I had a feeling that something was wrong and raced to the hospital. When I got there my husband, Maarten, was waiting to see the lung doctor. I saw him and started crying again. He said it would be ok and I said 'This is my worst nightmare'. The doctor came out to get him and my husband introduced me. The doctor said 'It's very good that you could come so quickly'. In my head I went Uh, oh. We sat down in h er office and she again said 'It's good that you're here. It's never nice to hear these things alone..and my head and heart screamed UH OH!!!!!!.
She showed us the CT scan in which you could see a tumor the size of two fists between his lungs. She told us that they didn't know what it was for sure, but based on what they thought it was, it could either be pretty bad, or very, very bad. He first needed a biopsy to confirm or change the diagnosis.

The first 10 days of not knowing were torturous, but we were lucky when they eventually diagnosed his cancer as a treatable one.

I wrote a little about his cancer on my blog, especially when we found his tumor: http://loris-head-space.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-06-13T20%3A03%3A00%2B02%3A00

You're welcome to use whatever you need and more if you need it.

Good Luck!

Lori

victoria said...

Can I just say you look gorgeous in your photos and i mean that with sincerety.

Alright Tit said...

T X H L O
A C E V
O L A
I z o

Victoria - I figured you were either far too kind or needed an eye test. xx

TH said...

You really do amaze me L. Just as I think I know what you’re up to, you up the game and shock the hell out of me. This is EXACTLY the right thing to do. I fear that I’ve done nothing but tell you how I feel ever since the Bullshit started, but just for the record…

You getting this is the biggest thing that ever happened. And every day I find myself thinking about what I can actually do to make it better... which of course is pointless because no one can make you not have it.

There are loads of things to say… about being someone standing on he sidelines, about silly fantasies I have of when it’s all alright, how I’ll never forget phoning you for the results, how now, if anyone asks, I have a new answer to ‘if you could have any supernatural power...’ (that’d be to evaporate cancer, obviously…) And loads of other tiny things that I am not brave enough to go on about, because the other thing is, when your mate has the Bullshit, you constantly worry that you are saying too much, or not enough, or mostly just the wrong thing.

But the thing that I know is that although nothing justifies what you’ve had to do, I have gained something from this – knowing you better and being thrilled and stunned to be friends with such a top, top individual.

Shine on. xxx

Anonymous said...

I don't want to say you're 'brave' as if you have something to be ashamed of (because you honestly don't)...but f*** me I don't know if I could've posted up pics of myself...not because you should be ashamed, but because that must be such a huge adjustment to get used to when you look in the mirror. I salute you, inspirational doesn't even cover it.

TH said...

Oh, and cous cous was always a waste of calories anyway. Imagine if it had put you off cake. Now that would be something to cry about. x

Anonymous said...

Alright Tit, you asked for any comments. I'm going to give you the darkest and the lightest hours of my wife's experience of breast cancer, here goes:

I thought I'd experienced the most traumatic day of my life when I awoke one Saturday morning to June gloom. June gloom is (apparently) an American term given to the sometime dull weather experienced in Los Angeles in said month. If only. This was gloom behind the eyes, dull, dark, searingly painful, thoroughly ubiquitous and frighteningly real. It had just sunk in that my wife actually has Breast Cancer. FUCK. TOTAL FEAR.

But it wasn't the most traumatic day ...

July 25th 2008
This was the most traumatic and harrowing day of my life. It was my wife's first course of chemotherapy.

The going-to-the-hospital, the being there, the intravenous course of chemo, the awful tea, god, it was just fucking horrendous.

But then it got worse. The chemo kicked in. Nothing prepares you for seeing the person you love and cherish more than anything else in the world suffer the insufferable; watching as the uncontolled rage of the chemo ravages her body in front of your very eyes; unable to pinpoint where the pain is because it's everywhere. Being utterly helpless. So pathetically helpless.

It is a testament to my wife's monumental strength that she managed to clamber out of bed the following day and eat Marmite on bread. I'll never forget those little round pieces of bread with Marmite on. That's the silly thing, I remember spreading the marmite so clearly, it could have been 5 minutes ago.

Fast forward 6 months and chemo is a painful (spot the understatement) and unwanted memory (so nice to be able to call it a memory though). Even better, I can now tell you about the lighter moments.

There are two competitors vying for the number one slot. The first one was when my wife got her tastebuds back and was able to taste food for the first time in 6 months (Chicken fajitas anyone?). The second one involved my wife dancing around a room like a lunatic at T & S's housewarming party at 3am. Her chemo had finished not long since.

Actually, the latter one is the clear winner for I remember looking at my wife (at 3am) and aside the love in my heart for her was total joy because I was looking at a glimpse of the past that had been horribly taken away from us. But most importantly, I was getting a first glimpse of our wonderful future.

That was priceless.

To my wife, I love you very much.

Anonymous said...

Hello L,
I started reading your blog as i'm a theatre nursing student and a few months ago I was at home, in tears, crying about a girl who's surgery I had been in, who had a double mastectomy at the age of 22, to stop her developing the breast cancer that her mum, grandma and aunt had all gone through.
I couldn't belive how hard it must be at the same age as me, to have to go through the pain and emotional stress of having both your breasts removed or face the 80% chance of developing breast cancer.
I'd seen your article in glamour and decided to check out your blog in an attempt to figure out what it must be like to be in a similar situation, hoping to help myself do my job better and say something productive to people in this situation - not go off and have a little sob in the toilets as I did previously - no help to anybody really and panda eyes are not a good look at work!
I've been throughly inspired, amused and enlightened by your blog, reading it is a very enjoyable form of "work"! For one thing, I owe you thanks because now I dont half tell myself to shut the bleep up and be happy for what I've got when I think my thighs look too fat and my ankles to thin or something similarly ridiculous.
I think your idea to build a collection of quotes/ stories is fantastic.

One quote I thought that might be good was the 22 year old girl, on the topic of what size she would like her breasts reconstructed too:

"Just make sure you tell the surgeon when they're operating, if they're deciding between two sizes of implants to go for the bigger one"

While her boyfriend stood by her side grinning.

Anonymous said...

L ....Not sure if you'd be interested in the thoughts of parents who are full of pride & admiration for their daughter who is fighting the Bullshit.
The day of diagnosis has to be the most terrifying time. As parents, you want to make everything right for your 'children' - the sense of panic and helplessness at that time was overwhelming.
I'm sure that most mothers would feel the same and wonder why the Bullshit had chosen their perfect daughter rather than themself.
However, after months of witnessing the toll that surgery, chemo and radiotherapy have taken on our daughter (both physically & emotionally)it is clear that there is a definite need for information to help future unfortunate sufferers of this dreadful disease realise that others have felt the same and have eventually come through smiling.
We'd therefore encourage readers of this inspiring & beautifully written blog to urge everyone they know to contribute their quotes/ experiences of this disease.
We are and always will be in awe of our daughter for the positivity & bravery she has shown throughout this awful time.
L.... we love you xxxx

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I am not a cancer sufferer and my only experience of cancer has been Grandparents that was before I was introduced to alright tit.
Apart from being inspired by your strength of spirit and obviously enjoying your engaging writing style I have learned an important lesson. Cancer is not a disease for middle aged people. I've lived in a bubble where I don't think it will happen to me, and what I know now is that it could. I'm not saying that I've turned into a Paltrowesque health freak but I do check my breasts everytime I shower and encourage my friends to do the same.
Keep fighting the fight - you're doing a great job x

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I am not a cancer sufferer and my only experience of cancer has been Grandparents that was before I was introduced to alright tit.
Apart from being inspired by your strength of spirit and obviously enjoying your engaging writing style I have learned an important lesson. Cancer is not a disease for middle aged people. I've lived in a bubble where I don't think it will happen to me, and what I know now is that it could. I'm not saying that I've turned into a Paltrowesque health freak but I do check my breasts everytime I shower and encourage my friends to do the same.
Keep fighting the fight - you're doing a great job x

Shimacat said...

I have (luckily for me) no experience of cancer at all. I have sat with a friend while they went through chemo for a non-cancerous illness though, and the thing that hit home was this high-tech medicine, this poison, was administered in a scruffy little room with flowered curtains, chairs with brown tape holding them together, and nurses wandering about with cups of tea. The contrast between the treatment and the surroundings was one I'll never forget.

I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog with a great deal of amazement, not a little horror, and a lot of admiration. I'm not sure I could be so eloquently furious.

So, yes, all strength to you for a full and fabulous recovery. Also, your twenties are actually a rubbish age and you're right to write them off. Your thirties now - they are truly wonderful.

The Style PA said...

I consider myself to be lucky when it comes to health and happiness. However, that did not stop the feeling of helplessness when those around me were being touched my breast cancer.

A colleague of mine gave me her 'Breakthrough Breast Cancer' magazine and I decided I was going to walk 27 miles for the charity. I roped in a friend and together we trained and raised over £1200 sponsorship money.

I will never forget that morning we set off from Richmond park. Those in pale pink hats were survivors, other women had T-Shirts dedicated to the memory of someone special and the significance of what we were doing, and the sheer number of people who have to go through hell and back to get through the disease, really hit home.

I couldn't walk for 2 days after our 44k trek... I really am no athlete. Blisters the size of 50 pence pieces, a torn ligament and alas I lost a toe nail too. But these things are minute in comparison to the brave battle that breast cancer sufferers endure.

When I got back to work (limping) two colleagues had printed a picture from the Breakthrough website of my friend and I stuffing our faces with a bacon sarnie before the walk began. On it they had written 'Our Heroes'. That one moment made the 27 miles, minor injuries and 4 months of fund raising 100% worthwhile.

I promote the charity over on my blog - http://www.thestylepa.com/2008/04/charity-breakthrough-breast-cancer.html Get in touch if you want any other images and feel free to use my comments.

BR said...

It takes strength and courage to not only face what is happening to you Right Now but to think about what you are going to do with The Rest Of Your Life When This Shit Is Over.

I was born with a crippling brittle bone disease and it caused me to go mostly deaf at 32. I soldier on, being deaf and breaking bones, because what else am I going to do, really? But if I'm honest, I want people to think I am strong and capable... it's like Tinkerbell. If people believe that I Can Overcome, then I feel like truly I can.

The power of love and support of others, even anonymous people from across the vast sea of the Internet, can never be overestimated. I believe in you and your ability to go on with your life as you want to live it, cancer be damned. Now go do it!

Donna said...

Hi. I'm a survivor, pretty long term now. ovarian stage 3. couple of things

first, when your hair comes back - it might be a different texture- my pre cancer hair was slitely wavey at most; post chemo I got a head of curls-- I thought of it as a chemo perk, like getting a free perm- funny thing tho, my pubes came back straight and stayed that way. head hair went back to normal after 6 months or so.

I have seen some very cool head tattoos- would have done it had I thought of it when needed. try a temp one maybe if your hair due to return soon- way more dramatic than the head scarf routine; btw- you'll probably never wear those kind of scarves again so get ones that you really like to wear now.

thanks for the blog. Donna.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, sometimes it's difficult to read your blog. I laugh, I cry, I wince... but mostly I applaud your courage in speaking the ugly truths of the c-word.

The Bullshit hit me when I was 24 years old; no risk factors, no warning. I felt frozen in the chair at my doctor's office. My "loving" boyfriend's reaction at hearing the news was to break up with me (in the very same conversation, no less). I told only my closest friends, and I dealt with the Bullshit by being as stubborn as humanly possible. I refused to put grad school on hold. I refused to give up my life as I knew it. The Bullshit is a selfish bastard and I wasn't about to give it one inch. I found myself focused so intently on things that didn't really matter, maybe as a way of reaffirming that life would someday return to a state where my biggest problem was a work deadline. I hated the new and different way people looked at me; head slightly cocked to one side with that sympathetic half smile. Friends would stop mid-sentence when they caught themselves complaining about little things. They meant well, of course, but I wanted normalcy more than anything! I wanted to hear about their latest love interests, or how they had nothing to wear for Friday night, or how their new boss was clueless, and hear them joking around and teasing me. That was the toughest part for me to handle--that change in the way people treat you and react to you.

I've been "Bullshit Free" for nearly three years now, and it took awhile after remission before I stopped thinking about it on a daily basis. I still dread my check-ups, but I know I'm healing inside and out. I'm at the point now where I'm grateful for some of the ways it has changed me, and cliche as it may be, I don't waste a single day.

Thank you for taking the time to post your experiences. I hope you have a quick and complete recovery!

Evamaria said...

When my mom got breast cancer, I was too young to properly understand (maybe 10). Our parents told me and my brother what was going on, that mom had to get chemo and was buying wigs because it'd make her lose her hair, but that she'd be okay because they caught the cancer very early. I had vague ideas of chemo, that is meant mom being showered with something like acid - but I still thought it was something like the flu, something that made my mom tired a lot, not terribly serious.

That is until the day my dad shooed me and my brother out of the way and closed the bedroom door on us when my mom came home from the hospital. I could hear them talking, quietly, urgently, and when my dad came out, his face grave, I could see that mom had been crying. She didn't look at us and my dad closed the door, telling us to leave her in peace for a bit.

The next day she was smiling again, but I never forgot that moment when I realized that cancer was serious, that it might take my mom away from our family. Thank God it didn't - and I only wish us kids had been older when it struck, so my mom didn't feel the need to hide her struggles at home.

I don't know if that's the kind of quote you're looking for, but for what it's worth, this is mine. (Btw, I'm 28 now and my mom still gets check-ups and mammograms every year - so in a couple of years we can go together...)

Anonymous said...

http://www.gillynew.blogspot.com/

My friend Gill went through the Bullshit during 2008. Feel free to take a look at her blog if you get the time.

Victoria said...

A friend directed me to your blog via Facebook. I've always had a very straightforward attitude to the 'Big C' - scary so won't think about it at all. Ever.

Thank you for opening my eyes in an entertaining way. You've helped me to face up to a big fear.

I shall follow your journey and support you quietly from behind the screen of my lap top.

Can I add you as a link through my blog?

Melissa said...

Thinking back to two years ago, the first vivid memory that pop into my head is the time the vomiting got so bad I had to go to the emergency room. After about an hour of the dry heaves, black stuff and green stuff and blood started coming up. Needless to say, the retching noise was pretty bad.

Some arsehole doctor came in from the next cubicle and snapped, "Could you try to keep it down? There are kids in here."

I tried to say, "What?" But it came out more like "BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?!?" But I could hear my sister tearing him a new one as I drifted back off.

Melissa said...

I meant to add - I refused to let myself be photographed with my head uncovered, and seeing your pictures makes me wish I hadn't! Of course, I can't wait to see the neo-Gwyneth you, but in the meantime you look absolutely beautiful.

Alright Tit said...

Crikey, you guys. Talking about the c-word (ooh, I nearly said it) isn't easy at the best of times and yet here you are, sharing your experiences. I feel like we ought to be group-hugging or something.

Melissa – love the 'blaaaaaaaa'. I'd be interested to watch Dr Dickhead try to get through the chemo-pukes silently.

Ciorstaidh said...

Hey :-)
I can't pick out quotes/phrases, but honestly, about anything you can read on Sepha's blog would fit your bill. She's a 32yo north Londoner - like you, breast cancer diagnosed at 27. She had a radical mastectomy on one side. Well. 18 months ago, it was confirmed she has metastases. She's...incredible and inspirational...and one of my dearest friends, whom I hope is around for several years yet.
Another one here courtesy of Mr. Stephen Fry...

~Kirsty xx

snott_raggs said...

this is a fantastic blog an made me cry with laughter. I was DX in october 08 aged 29 and started Chemo on my 30th birthday week - what a gift that was. Hubby loves Detol now due to the amount of sick on the living room carpet and not from any kind of alcoholic intervention!!!
I am only 3 cycles into chemo so brain has gone and my kids are learning to fend for themselves- never too early I think!!! haha my two year old can empty the dishwasher and washing machine - just needs to learn to cook and I never have to worry again!!
good luck with your new venture!!

inbuilt-guilt said...

Not only are you the brightest, top banana in the fruit-bowl, but also a bloody mesmerizing writer.

Superb! Good on you!
Besos, vaca peluda. x

Sallie said...

I have only just discovered your blog, and I find it truly inspirational.
I have directed friends to your words of wisdom, and even though I don't know you I actually feel like I do.

Our family went through the Big C when my sister Julie got Leukaemia, she was 28. She fought for 4 months in hospital with tiny odds of ever coming out, came home for 3 months before going to London UCLH for a bone marrow transplant. The whole time we tried to laugh our way through it - and it was bloody impossible time - she got a fungal infection on her lungs and died a month after the transplant had taken.
That was 10 years ago...

She was totally mad - and believe it or not we had some great times during her last few months (not that we ever knew her life would be so short) - but one quote that has always stuck in my mind, was one she said when supplied with a wheel chair, so she could go out - she was like the Little Britain character - hated being pushed round in it -

Any way she called it being at 'Fag and Fart' height!

I still smile when I think of that... how true!

Feel free to use it - just quote Julie as having said it! I think it would make a great title for something!!

Thank you for the inspiration

Sallie x