Sunday, 29 June 2014

Russell the Amazing Cat - He can teach us all a lesson about life

Russell is an American Manx cat. His house was burnt down and although they thought he was dead, a badly burnt Russell managed to survive although burnt so badly he would need hospital care for months and many operations.

Despite the pain Russell is in, the changes in his body and the difficulties the burns present to him he remains loving, cheerful and happy. 

Russell has charmed so many peoples lives that donations for his surgeries and medical care have exceeded what is needed to make him better. The donations have come from all over the world.

His most recent surgery has been to his eyelids to allow them to close fully, he will be having more operations in a few weeks time.

I think that the message Russell is giving us all is that there is always HOPE, never ever give up on life because there is always hope for a future. 

He tells us that with enduring STRENGTH of character you CAN over come any adversity in your life.

With LOVE, life is full of possibilities

No matter how bad your life is at the moment, no matter how much pain you are going through - think of Russell Cat and he shows you that the situation is not permanent and there IS light at the end of the tunnel.

Russell may be "just" a cat but this cat is the most amazing soul I have ever had the privilege of knowing. His message is powerful and inspiring.

I will continue to watch Russell's progress and the team who are giving him so much love and care until one day I am confident that he will return to his home...... I was going to say that he would return home as a happy cat but how can he do that? No matter what pain and suffering he is in..... he remains a very happy cat.

You can follow Russell's progress on facebook.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Clippers and Claws

Back in January 2009, I was about to start to groom a dog when I discovered the lump in my breast. I carried on with my job as if nothing had happened but I must admit it was a dreadful time.

Once I was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks later, I had to make the heart breaking decision to close my business. I physically would not be able to work after surgery and chemotherapy and certainly could not risk the chance of infection.

The side effects of treatments and then a second breast cancer has left me with chronic back and joint pain for which I have to take pain killers. Funnily enough though, running is one thing which actually helps my pain.

I honestly didn't think I would ever be able to work again as a dog groomer and my heart was heavy. I felt completely robbed and even more so when I discovered a groomers had started up in my village.

After a lot of thought and consideration I have decided to relaunch my business again, except that this time I will be offering a mix of mobile dog grooming, on site dog grooming, dog walking and pet care to include small animals and horses.

My pain is under control as long as I manage it properly and take my medications regularly so I am hoping I can do this.

I was honoured to have been asked to organise and judge the dog show at the annual St Peters School fete which took place today. It was such fun and I got a real buzz out of talking "shop" with fellow dog owners.

I have already had quite a bit of interest shown in my company Clippers and Claws and I am hoping that within this year I will have a workshop and I can get my business going well again.

Its been scarey and I am still scared about getting back into grooming after such a long time. Although the truth is I have always groomed throughout - my dogs and those of my friends. Plus its something I love doing with all of my heart.

For a while after my cancer treatment finished I have been acting like a victim.... Well enough is enough because I am not a victim, cancer has not taken anything from me in fact it has given me so much more..... more strength and determination not to mention the wonderful friends I have met along the way.

So there you are.... Clippers and Claws is back!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Its Good To Be Alive Today

Its good to be alive today isn't it, yep life is a struggle and the news is full of gloom and despair but if you are reading this then you are alive and that in itself is something to celebrate.

Blessed be my friend x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Poem of Thanks to the NHS Staff

I got cancer in 2009
It was then I decided
To beat the swine!
I had it again in 2012
To my inner strength
I had to delve.
My care was at Wrexhams Shooting Star
The staff and doctors
Were the best by far.
Sister Wenna took special care of me
My veins were small
But so gentle she would be.
Smiling, encouraging, cheerful and nice
Always on hand with care
And advice.
5 and 2 the years I am clear
The NHS helped me fight cancer
Without fear
Amazing and selfless
Loyal and true
NHS staff
I am indebted to you!

My first cancer operation scar, I had a huge heamatoma so the scar is quite thick

When my hair was growing back I looked like a kiwi fruit

Cancer doesnt always make you thin, it makes you fat because of all the steroids and poisen pumped into yout body

fat and bald wasnt a great look

my oncologist said that I had a nice shaped head so I was lucky

I couldnt stop touching my head when my hair was growing back, you could actually feel the follicles bursting through

My veins took a battering and became hard and painful - approx 40 - 50 IVs over 2 years some only a couple of weeks apart

Almost there with the hair

This always helped more than anyone will ever know

A regular thing

The biopsy

First op scar

1st op under arm scar where they take the sample lymph nodes, I still have no feeling there

After a biopsy for my 2nd cancer

Op site after my 2nd cancer. The blue is the dye they inject into your nipple so that they can use a tracer to get the right sample lymph nodes. Without this I would have had to have the whole lot removed with devastating consequences

My Oophorectomy scar. Elected operation to remove my ovaries which made 80% of the hormones which fed both of my cancers. Its changed my life but I don't regret it.

This is what I have due to many riding accidents in my youth but the chemo and cancer drugs attack the bones and any weaknesses in them

Is what I feel every day of my life

Is how I feel every single day when I wake up and I am alive

Me now 5 years on

Monday, 23 June 2014

Good Things are All Around Us

So..... following on from yesterdays post which really was a "re" starting point for me let me tell you about the positives of live with / after cancer...

What the experience teaches you is what exactly IS important in life. Why rush around and get stressed when you can get to your destination calmly and happily for a fraction longer.

It teaches you to appreciate the little things in life.... the beautiful butterfly which visited your garden today, the joyful greeting off your horse, the unconditional love from your dog, the sound of the wind in the trees, the sun on your bare skin.... the list is endless.

Life isn't easy for anybody no matter how smooth their journey through it may seem.

Everyone has their own cross to bear, some crosses are light and others are heavy, it doesn't matter really - its THEIR cross and THEIR life.

Certainly I do appreciate things on a deeper level these days. I like nothing better than to stop my racing mind and concentrate on the here and now. I challenge you to do this.... stop what you are doing... take a deep breath and as you exhale concentrate on the breath and how you feel, dismiss any other thoughts and listen to whats happening in this particular moment. I know that when I do this, the colours seem more vibrant and I feel more alive.

I take things at a slower pace these days too and although I do get angry and frustrated I have learnt my limits and how to cope.

I am kinder to myself.

Are you kind to yourself?
Do you put unnecessary pressures on yourself?
Do you expect too much of yourself?

Well DONT!!!

You as a human being are unique and amazing. 

Do you know what happened to my body when it detected a cancer mass forming? My body sent out a substance and calcified the cancer lump. In doing so, it encrusted the mass in a shell which stopped it from spreading. I swear to this day that given its size and grade my body actually saved me. How amazing is that!!!

So today, all I ask of you is to;

1. Be kind to yourself


2. Try every day for a moment to actually LIVE in the moment

Sunday, 22 June 2014

False Starts and Falls

I had a go at changing to a new blog but it didn't really feel "right". Why? well because the new blog was all about starting again, a "new" me but the reality is, there IS no "new" me......

I am me and I am STILL dealing with the aftermath of cancer and what its done to me. 

I am struggling with how chemotherapy, surgery and drugs have changed me,  what I have lost and the guilt around feeling like this. I have had my life saved! I am alive! I should be grateful, not angry and frustrated!!!

I have been referred to the Parabl service because the mental health units are full to bursting and the waiting list is extensive so its quicker to use this charity service.

I have only had one session so far and its great, its good but I am not sure its what I need. I think I need something deeper to help me deal with the conflicts going on in my mind and the bereavement and loss I am feeling for what cancer stole off me. I have only had one session though so lets see what the rest brings.

You see.... when you are diagnosed with cancer especially at my age and the sort I had, everyone is full on trying to help you, treat you, make sure that you are cancer free but once they are happy that you are ok and cancer free everything stops...... Its like being cared for and loved in a comfortable palace then finding yourself homeless and hungry.

You are left with mental and physical scars which will never leave and you are left to deal with them on your own.

Chronic pain, depression, age and loss - thats what I am left with.

To top it all there is then "Survivors Guilt". Yep you feel guilty for actually beating cancer especially when you hear about the fallen..... especially when you find out that somebody you know who was diagnosed and treated at the same time as you has lost the fight. I feel like crap basically. I feel like a spoilt child complaining about things I shouldn't complain about. All this time, people are looking at you thinking how lucky you are to be alive and I am thinking about all of the things I have lost!!!! Its a head f*&k !

I am not all gloom and doom though.

Please don't think that I sit at home crying and wallowing because I don't.

I am one of the most positive people around and I grab life with both hands BUT you have to see the war thats raging in my head to fully understand why I am the way I am.

I have decided to come back to blogging because when I was in the midst of a full on battle blogging was my therapy, it was my way of dealing with the shit I had been given. 

I am going to be brutally honest about how I feel and I am holding nothing back.