Friday, 2 March 2018

Well That's an Achievement

I haven't been near a swimming pool for years. After my 2015 and 3rd battle with breast cancer left me horribly scarred and disfigured, I have struggled with anything that might mean exposing my body.

Although my reconstruction last April was a success because of my 2015 experience they were not able to do a normal job. My plastic surgeon explained that i am a work in progress. I know that I have more surgeries ahead of me but I can't think that far ahead.

So... Following our house flood we are back at Llyndir Hall Hotel and it's got a pool.

Today, I ventured into the pool and had a little swim.

It was a shock to experience how weak my body has become but at least now I have made this first step back to my normality i can aim to get stronger and fitter at a slow pace.

Today, I feel accomplished.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

No One Ever Tells You....

No-one ever tells you how hard it is to let your children go. It's one of those taboo subjects that never gets talked about.

To see them leave home, fully independent hurts like nothing ever experienced before. It's like having your heart ripped out.

The fact that they don't need you anymore. The fact that once  you were the centre of their world and now you're not.

Oh the tears they flow and my heart it hurts.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Did That Really Happen?

I am struggling with life at the moment.

You would think that being cancer free and having had successful breast reconstruction that my life would be peachy..... but its not.

My way of dealing with bad things in life is to not think about it, just crack on with life and keep smiling but I guess its not the best way to deal with things especially if it puts you in the position I am in today.

This morning, my mind has been wandering and it suddenly hit me, just for a moment because thats all my mind allowed me, the enormity of what's happened to me.

It was like having a cold shower.

It was as though I was standing at a window looking at someone elses life.

Did that all really happen to me? Is this new body really mine?

The mind is a funny thing in the way it protects you.

I guess that now is the time for me to accept that what happened, actually did so that I can heal and put the past back in its place where it needs to be.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Wow Life Moves Fast

I am currently two and a half weeks post reconstructive surgery. Yeah! Didn't see that coming did ya? Neither did I!!

I had put the thoughts of reconstruction to the back of my mind, I hadn't decided what to do and was struggling with making a decision based on the horror and trauma I suffered at the hands of Chester hospital.

Two letters arrived ... and within a short space of time I had made my decision to accept the challenge and take the opportunity that had presented itself. Reconstruction.

I opted for a free flap diep procedure which basically means I got a tummy tuck and they made new boobs out of my tummy.

I was petrified when I went for my pre-op, even more so when I was told that my surgeon had been changed from Mr Graham to Ms Taghizadeh. However Mr Bennett who was part of the surgical team allayed my fears, he spent so much time with me explaining what would happen and reassuring me about the surgeon.

One thing that every plastic surgeon I have spoken too since Chester Hospital horror is that radiated tissue and implants do not work well together. That is the subject of another post though.

Ms Taghizadeh couldn't believe the state I had been left in, questioning the stitch mark scars and told me that I was a project. She reassured me that she would do her best for me and I believed her.

I was prepped for a 12 to 14 hour operation. The anaesthetist gave me the talk about all of the horrors one could experience after such a long operation but he needn't have bothered because Ms Taghizadeh broke her record and the hospital record by completing my op in 6 hours. I swear my mum had my back that day.

The pain was immense and being hooked up to four drains was a bit of a nightmare. The heated blanket post surgery was hell and I felt as though I was being cooked. The nurses monitored me relentlessly making sure that the grafts didn't fail.

So here I am, on the mend with new boobs.

I never ever could have believed that reconstruction would do so much to lift my spirits but I honestly feel as though I have my life back and that I can finally close the painful chapter that was my cancer.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Wisdom Comes with Age

I always wondered why my wonderful mother was so wise and had good advice to give me. I literally feel as though I have become my mother, although to my mind I will never be as wise as her.

My mum always had great advice at hand for dealing with my children and I think thats one of the things I miss the most now that she is gone. That and being able to talk to her and let off steam and her knowing exactly how I feel without me saying one word and despite the fact I have a false smile on my face.

Now I understand how she became so wise...... Life! Life is what made her wise. With each event in your life be it good or bad, you grow and you adapt and you become that much stronger.

Then all of a sudden, you hit a point when you realise that you are giving out advice to others and helping them with their problems. You are offering those wise little quotes to help another cope with something in their life.

One of my mums favourite sayings and one of mine too.... " You have to learn to bend in the wind..." Basically, a supple tree bends in the wind so that it doesn't snap, a rigid pole will break in two.

I have learnt to bend in the wind, I have weathered a fair few storms and hurricanes during my life and if I hadn't learnt to adapt and change I would have snapped in two long ago.

Life is good.

Life is precious.

We are blessed.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Welcome to the New Year

I hadn't realised that it was so long since my last blog post. Being without a computer doesn't help and while I enjoyed blogging on my smart phone, the fact that the software kept failing made it slightly annoying.

Its only February and already so much has happened in this year, far too much to talk about in one post and really, I don't know where to start!

So far, we have been blessed with a mild and dry winter which has been a blessing. Its meant that Cola has had winter turn out and that has made life a lot easier for me.

Storm Doris yesterday kept Cola was in for the day but he didn't seem to mind that as long as he had a continual supply of meadow hay.

As we approach spring I am filled with new hope for the future even though looking ahead fills me with fear these days. I have been signed off by the oncologist and for the first time in 8 years I really do feel that cancer is done with me. I only have to see the surgeons one more time at the end of the year and I will be written off as cured. I still don't understand why because my last cancer was 2 years ago but because that is considered a recurrence it isn't counted. In my book cancer is cancer but I am so fed up of hospitals and treatment and based on my own instincts and the fact I have no breasts left I am happy to wave bye bye to this part of my life.

I am considering NOT having reconstruction but accepting my life flat. I have joined a group called flat friends and they are giving me the confidence to be as I am now and not pretend to be as I was.

The reconstruction operation I would need would take up to 12 hours to perform and the outcome would be an A cup or at best a B..... Having been an FF I really don't see why I should put my body through such surgery and waste more of my life in recovery just for a tiny minuscule pair of boobs. Instead I am focusing on losing a stone in weight, toning my body up and that way I won't look too bad living flat.

I will try to blog a little more frequently from now on, its quite therapeutic writing my thoughts down and sharing them, my hope is that I can help someone along the way.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

If You Can Dream It.....

...... you can do it.

I wear a silver thumb ring with that inscription.

Today I was encouraged to look at myself... to think aboutmy biggest fears and to challenge them.

My biggest fear is failure.

Failure to be a good mum, daughter, wife, person...... everything really and the trouble with this is that I get to set the standards which are unbelievable high.

I then looked at my thumb ring and considered the inscription and realised that my fear was holding all of my dreams back.

I then thought of how I encourage youngsters to reach for their dreams because they can do it and realised that I was giving advice that I can't follow because of my fear.

So I am going to focus on overcoming my fear and start to reach for the stars with both hands.

So what is your fear? Are you going to challenge it too?