Friday, 23 September 2016

Air Training Corp and Me

I have decided to talk about other things happening in my life.

I don't know if I have mentioned it on my blog but I am a Civilian Instructor with the Air Training Corp. My squadron is based in Hawarden and we are lucky to have such great facilities there, lots of space, a dedicated team of staff and some really great cadets.

The thing I like most about our squadron is that it's like one big family. I am not the only one to feel this way, one of our cadets expressed this exact sentiment just the other day.

This month has been successful for us having won wing training day for the second year running and coming first in drill and banner drill.

This weekend our teams are off to the regionals so I am praying that we get success. However, even if we don't I know that our cadets have done their very best.

I will be part of the team of staff helping with swimming competitions this weekend.

I love doing what I do because I am surrounded by a great bunch of people and seeing cadets excel in what they do is the biggest reward anyone could wish for.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Sunny Days and Autumn Breeze

As I lie here contemplating my day, I am blessed with bird song and sun together with a crisp autumn breeze.

Life is a treasure.

I haven't posted for a while. The black dog has had me firmly in his grip. Anxiety levels have been extreme, self doubt, self hate and feeling unworthy.

It's a hard and constant fight.

Going out of the door in the morning is a struggle although nobody would guess it because they are greeted with a smile and merry chatter but gosh.... the pretence is exhausting so socialising in the evening is something that I avoid these days.

Some friends will understand this and quietly accept the stormy sea I am travelling with a watchful eye ready to cast out a life boat if necessary and every now and again, showing me their light to remind me of their presence.

Other friends don't understand why my journey is so difficult or why I haven't called into their port yet. They see the mighty waves I am battling as mere sea.... but they haven't encountered the devilish waves sent to scupper me.

This is my journey though and I must concentrate on my course and keeping my battered ship intact.

I appreciate my beacons for they offer hope. The impatient ports can wait for I am not sure that I will ever dock there even when I find more settled seas.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Bleedin Ears

A simple little tidy up for my number 3 dog Snowy.

All was going really well and she was enjoying the experience. Normally I have to hand scissor her head but today she let me clip it.

Ear one done....ear two... disaster, something moved, she darted her head around then there was blood..... lots of blood.

Quickly reached for the polyroll and applied pressure. Too much blood. Quickly got my first aid kit out, applied styptic powder then a bandage.

After an hour it was starting to heal but the little monkey got the bandage off and hey presto... lots of blood.

Trip to the vet. Saw an amazing vet who was lovely and praised my actions and my dressings.

Snowy is now sporting a camo bandage with a cone of shame.

He wants to stitch it but its a tiny nick, smaller than a grain of rice so I think it will be ok to heal on its own.

Poor Snowy.

I feel so awful about it but these things happen.



Wednesday, 8 June 2016

30 Days Wild

30 Days Wild is an invitation to everyone to enjoy nature in some way during the month of June. 

I enjoy this little challenge although I do feel a bit of a cheat because I love in a semi rural village and I have a horse and dogs so nature is part of my life.

Taking part in this challenge makes me aware of how lucky I am to live where I live and to say a prayer of gratitude for that fact along with my faculties to enjoy them.

I have fallen behind with my 30 day wild tweets so this is what I have done.

1. Signed up to the big bee count and logged sightings of any bees I have spotted in my garden.

2. While out on my Fell pony I stopped my mind and listened to the music of the countryside.... birds song and the wind in the trees.

3. I giggled when the baby Swallow popped it's bottom out of its next to have a poop then snuggled back in again.

4. Noticing just how many types of grasses there are. Their texture and size.

5. Walking bare foot in the garden and recognising the sensations of hot, cold, soft and hard.

6. Watching a male black bird sqawke around for hours trying to find his mate. He did this until he lost his voice and didn't care a jot about the resident cats.

7. I sat in my bedroom watching the trees through the window and made shapes up in my head.

8. I ran along a country lane appreciating the scents of nature.

Many lovely things to do and lots to be grateful for.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

It's a Bra Thing

No matter what surgeries I have had on my breasts, wearing a bra was/is painful. Not, Oh my God reach for the painkillers sort of painful but just annoyingly so.



The problem has become even more of an issue following my double mastectomy and failed reconstruction so I have opted for prosthetic free days. The problem with this is because I had failed reconstruction, I am left with holes... well... not actual holes but the surgeon described them as "dishes" and that's what they are like. This means that my tummy looks even fatter!



In desperation I decided to give Nicola Jane a go and ordered a couple of everyday TShirt bras. Well... what a difference! They are the most comfortable bras I have ever worn AND they make my prosthetics look nice. (Although I do miss the look of my F boobs).



It's come to something when I no longer shout "where's my glasses" instead I shout "where's my boobs". I'm ready for reconstruction now.







I saw the plastic surgeon in Liverpool last August. I haven't heard from them since so a quick phone call confirmed that I haven't been lost, I am still on the list!




I want to put cancer behind me and I can't do that with the hideous deformity I have been left with. The amputation scars are brutal and horrid.

I know that I will never have proper boobs again, they will never look normal but they will be a lot more normal than the battle ground I have been left with.

The plan is to have tattoo designs across my chest. Why would I go for a 3D nipple tattoo because that would be me pretending that these boobs are real and are what I was meant to be. I want to have something pretty to hide the inevitable scars and signify my journey and the strength life has given me.





If anyone has any ideas please feel free to comment.


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Fab at Fifty??? I am an Old Crone

Gosh, it only seems like yesterday that I was looking forward to being "Fab at Forty".... I must say that my forties have been completely and utterly horrid. That said, I don't want to hit fifty in December but I its a fact that its going to happen (thank goodness because that means I am still alive) so I might as well do it and be fab!

At this point in my life I feel as though I have got to where I am meant to be. I still don't have all of the answers and I still take each step as it comes but now I can do so with new found confidence and wisdom.

There are three phases to a woman.... The girl or "maiden", the mother and the crone. I have been catapaulted into the crone phase with my cancer treatmens and it sounds horrid doesn't it?

"you crone"

"you old crone"

What do you envisage when you hear or say the word crone?

Is it......


Or.....


Well you are wrong..... A crone is this......

A crone is this......



Life has been a rollercoaster with a lot of ups and even more downs but the ride has made me stronger and wiser.

Hell I am not perfect and I never will be because I am a human being but at least now I can see how wrong I was to compare myself to others, to try to be like other people, to do what other people do, to hide my true self because of fear of rejection.....l

Yeah...... I am a crone. At first the thought scared the hell out of me, now I am happy with it. I am older and wiser but will anyone listen to me.

Ah well, at the end of this year I am going to be flippin fab at 50.... I have said goodbye to cancer and now I am going to get back to where I was before it rudely interrupted.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Struggling

I have been struggling of late.

Thankfully I have been getting support from my GP and a counsellor at Nightingale House. I am trying to sort through my feelings and put them into some sort of order.

I think that when I had my surgery last year I was in rush mode.. I didn't have time to think things through I just followed the advice I was given and made decisions in some sort of shocked zombie mode.

Had I had the luxury of time I am not sure that I would have made the same decisions.

However that is in the past now and its the future I must look to.

Losing my mum was a huge blow. I honestly still can't believe she has gone and when the realisation hits me I feel physically sick to the core.

I am wearing my prosthetics less and less now. They are not me, they are not part of me and for goodness sake they don't even look like my old boobs did!

I am starting to err towards not having reconstructive surgery. I have had too many operations and radical treatments in a shortish space of time, I am not sure how much more either my body or my mind can take. 

Other people have worse scars than me and have to have them on show, they have no choice. People look at me and think I am just a woman with a small chest.

The thought of more major surgery and wasting more of my life on recovery just for aesthetic purposes doesn't float my boat at the moment. The scars are fading and I am getting used to them now. 

I just want to focus on getting fit and healthy again and to be perfectly honest with you the fact that I have no boobs is actually quite nice. I no longer have to strap myself into a sports bra in order to run or ride my horse. I can do exercises without the whoppers getting in the way which they did quite alot and my back is less painful now the weight has gone from my chest.

I am enjoying life most of the time. 

Last week I came down from an incredible high to a low.... The lowest point was last Thursday when the black thoughts crept back into my mind.

I kind of know when I am slipping because when I look in the mirror I see ugliness, an ugly face, I hate what I see. The mind is a weird thing isn't it.

One thing that I am coming to terms with, is the enormity of what I have been fighting. I have spent the last 7 years fighting for my life and in my head I have switched that notion off. Its as though I couldn't acknowledge just how serious a situation my health was in.

I am getting there slowly.... baby steps, always baby steps towards the greater goal.