#1 Chemo

So the second part of our journey begins. I say ‘our’ as it is truly effecting every single member of my family.

24th Feb I had a Picc line inserted into my left arm. To be honest I was dreading it, I thought of pain, anxiety and generally didn’t want to go there. But actually the nurses were so reassuring and it wasn’t as bad as first thought. They give you a little injection to numb the area and then move on with the procedure, a quick X-ray to see if it’s in place and done!

25th Feb was my fist chemo treatment. Most of you know I wanted to try the cold cap, it makes me feel sick just writing about it now as I was so determined to use it but just couldn’t. My whole morning was soaked up thinking about how successful I would be using a scalp cooler and I really got my hopes up. I’m not going to descriptively mention how I felt as I truly do not want to put anybody off using the cooler, let’s just say it wasn’t for me. So yes I will be loosing my hair ūüė¶

When the nurses started administering the first lot of chemo I expected to feel different. Like turn bright pink or something, maybe feel a bit sick? Maybe feel hot? I don’t know, but something. I didn’t. I felt totally normal. The only immediate side effect I had was the last chemo drug going through made my sinuses feel a bit blocked for a few minutes, but the nurses warned me about this before hand.

I finished the chemo and headed off to the car, after quite a walk I realized I left my phone on the unit, so back I go, luckily it’s still there. Then overnight I left my phone in full view of the car by the gear stick, this is not like me at all, hubby reckons chemo brain is setting in? Surely not within the hour?

So, the next couple of days I wait around to feel ill, I feel normal except I have this nagging feeling of like a jet lag type symptom or when you do night shifts and your on your last one and only have a few hours sleep in the morning because you want to sleep that night. I’m not tired, just feel a bit lagged. I’ve taken all the anti sickness and steroids (oh how they make you eat!) and touch wood so far I have only had a bit of nausea but nothing gut wrenching. Very very mild.

So I am now day 11 at time of writing. I have a really tough week. Day 4-7 was the worst for me, I was admitted to hospital as they thought I had a blood clot around pic line, luckily it wasn’t and just generally feeling completely bazoobooled (is that even a word?) with the chemo side effects. I would say day 8-9 I started feeling better, but then of course your neutropenic and so I didn’t want to go out in the crowds and potentially pick up an infection. I’ve had cabin fever bad. Then there’s Freddie, he’s had a really heavy cold, so he slept at my parents/sisters house for 3 nights, but to him it was like a fun sleepover every time so I didn’t feel too guilty, but it was tough going. My blog title really comes into fruition now. I am truly a woman interupted. Actually not just a woman, a mummy and a wife. It sucks it really does suck.

usually (and feedback suggests) I am a very positive, upbeat person, but this week really swiped me off my feet. I have never been jealous of people, more so that if someone does well for themselves or have become really lucky I am so thrilled for them, I never feel bitterness towards them or wishing I had what they have, But this week for the first time In my life I have felt jealous, silly things like women walking past my lounge window pushing their babies in their buggies. I mean I don’t know what their lives entail or if they are having it rough, but to me for a split second they looked like me last year, just carrying on with their everyday lives. Raising their children and getting on with life. I felt jealous that it wasn’t me anymore and wished I could be them. Horrible horrible feeling. Not nice at all. I keep thinking to myself that by June this will all be done with. Yes I will be broken and bald but it’s done with.

So it’s Mother’s Day today. I’ve had a wonderful day and been spoilt as usual by my kids and John. Most would like breakfast in bed and a roast dinner cooked for them, but for me it was the opposite. I’ve felt so well today that I got up and cooked scrambled eggs on toast and then went onto cook a roast lamb. It’s the simple things in life and today was one of them days as I managed it without a fuss and it felt good!

Next chemo is in 10 days, hopefully I will ping out a post in between times. Something a bit more upbeat!

Michelle X

Chemo must haves

Not really a thing you want to be doing in your lifetime,  shopping for chemotherapy side effects. Ever. But for some of us Chemotherapy will try and take over our lives for a short while. I have tried to make this journey as comfortable as possible and will try and preserve my hair as much as I can, so here is a breakdown of products that have already been tried and tested in a roundabout way and products that I will be trying throughout this journey and telling you all how I get on! I will start with hair bits and bobs first:-

Haircut Wether you are going to cold cap or not, I would suggest getting a haircut if your used to long hair. This is only if your chemotherapy will cause hair loss though. My hair is pass my shoulders, I will be getting it cut into a bob before the big day. I’ve been told by my consultant that the part at the back of your head that dips in (sorry don’t know proper word) is the part which is more than likely to shed hair, because the cold cap can’t quite reach the hair due to the dip. So keep your hair long at the back, like one length, don’t layer it up high.

Hair brushing  I Have been advised not to use a regular hair brush if cold capping, I have purchased a wide tooth comb from GHD, try not to tug on the roots of your hair when combing.

Hair washing/Styling Some people say wash your hair normally, I’m going to take advice from a lady that has successfully cold capped. She washed her hair every 10 days, sounds gross, but apparently the chemo drys out your hair, so I won’t be sporting the chip pan look (hopefully!) Never use any heat on your hair, just let it dry naturally. Use a loose scrunchie to keep it back (make sure your Bob is long enough to tie back) Use a shampoo and conditioner that is completely natural. Baby shampoo is a no go. It’s too alkaline. I have purchased A-KIN shampoo and conditioner, it’s quite pricey, But totally natural. I have tried this out already and have already found it quite drying. I will see how I get on, but may shop around for a paraben, silicone free shampoo, all singing and dancing.

Cold cap The nurses on the day unit will set all the cold cap machine up for you. You will have to spend longer having your chemo if using cold cap, this is to freeze the hair follicles prior to the infusion starting. I have been told that I will have the cap on 30 minutes before hand and 90 minutes after, successful stories say that make sure the cap is fitted well with a clearance gap of 2cm below the hairline on your forehead. If it starts to slip or you can’t feel the same amount of coldness around your scalp, then tell the nurse immediately. I will be using the Paxman scalp cooler¬†their website is fab and has loads of hints and tips! Apparently you will loose 30-50% off your hair using the cold cap but should be OK to carry on with hair as it hopefully won’t make too much of a difference. I have pretty thick hair anyway, so hopefully I will cope with it. I have purchased a spray water bottle, to use with 50% water and 50% conditioner, try and buy a nice smelling conditioner as an extra treat. This will need to be sprayed on before the cold cap goes on, it helps take the cap off easier after its all been administered. I have also purchased a plain black towel hat type thing, my daughter has one for after swimming lessons. You just pop it on and button up at the back. The last thing you want to be doing is walking around the hospital with wet hair. Luckily for us, there are doors leading out on to the side of the hospital we can use, so I will wait there while hubby gets the car, just so I don’t bump into anyone with my towel in situ!

Comforts¬† so using the cold cap, it’s going to be very cold. People suggest wearing layers of clothing, rather than just a thick jumper, even in the summer. I have purchased a lovely soft grey fleece blanket, it’s silky smooth, to wrap up in whilst having the chemo. Take any hot drinks being offered and try to wear warm footwear. I have also purchased a 100% silk pillow case from Amazon¬†for ¬£19.99. When cold capping you need to protect your hair and at night time when your dreaming away this can be difficult. A silk pillowcase can minimise the bed head look and hopefully the knotting in the morning. I opted for the cotton backed case so it doesn’t slip from the sheet.

Nails ¬†Acyrilics and Gel nails are a no go, this is because they already ruin your top layer of nails and chemo apparently does affect your nail bed. I have been advised to wear dark nail polish to minimise the sunlight going through to the nail. Heat doesn’t wear well when the nail beds are damaged. I have purchased some lovely nail polish in the O.P.I range called infinite shine 2. It looks like gels and goes on beautifully. I have also purchased some nail oil from beauty despite cancer. It’s a totally natural product and feels delicious.¬†

Deodorant/shower gel/soap Again, purchase things totally natural. You don’t want any scents in these products, nausea is a big issue when on chemo. I have purchased a roll on aloe Vera deodorant from green people.co.uk, it’s made without alcohol and pore clogging aluminium. It’s pretty expensive at nearly ¬£10 but it will last approx 2 months. I’ve been using this since the mastectomy and give it a huge thumbs up! It’s the type of thing you can buy your teenagers as they first start using deodorant, because it’s so natural you can trust it won’t harm their skin. Shower gel you can buy from any store, I opt for the sanex 0% one, been using this since operation too, love sanex products anyway, so this one will always be in our bathroom.

Skin¬†I used to always use any body butter or moisturising cream generally, but scent and natural products is key when having chemotherapy. Your skin will dry out and may become more sensitive. I have purchased My trusty sunflower cream from¬†My trusty. This cream is A-Mazing! It can be used on all ages including babies over 8 weeks. It is free from parabens. It was developed by Salisbury NHS trust for patients recovering from burns and plastic surgery. It contains 5% sunflower oil and comes in unscented or lavender. I have purchased the lavender, it is ¬£11.99 for a 250ml dispenser, it literally melts into your skin. You can use it on your face too! For my lips I have purchased a natural lip balm from¬†Beauty Despite Cancer¬†for ¬£5. It’s a must have for pre chemo and beyond….

Everything else ¬†Buy yourself Them shoes, or that bag. If it makes you feel better do it! I have purchased a wig from the NHS, I will splash out more on a wig if I do loose my hair, this is just an interim back up. I’m yet to purchase scarfs and hats as haven’t found any I particularly like and the fact I’m determined to keep my hair, so I may go down that road if needed. I would recommend some books or a kindle. I will certainly be taking mine.

For all those just starting out on the chemo train like me, good luck and Stay positive!

For those that have conquered that mission, if you have any more hints or tips please leave comment below.

**these items are not sponsored, all opinions are my own**

much love

Michelle X

 

 

Chemotherapy fears and worries

The time comes when you hear them words “Chemotherapy”. You usually think about it straight away after you’ve been told you have cancer and if like me, ask the question almost instantly after hearing them words ‘cancer’ “Will I need Chemo?”

For most patients with breast cancer, chemotherapy is part of the treatment process. I have been told my chemo is to mop up any stray cancer cells that have slipped through the net. Back in December I had a full body CT scan and thankfully for me this was normal, so my tumour has gone. It’s been cut out. But i have a high risk of it coming back, chemotherapy will hopefully minimize this risk. I am having 6 sessions of chemo, 1 every 3 weeks. My regime is FEC-T.

Most ladies (and men) I imagine think about hair loss mostly. I certainly did. At first I was like ‘I won’t wear a wig’ ‘I don’t really mind that my hair will fall out’ ‘I’m going to embrace the look’ you know the drift, but as the time is drawing near, I’m actually terrified about hair loss.

My daughter (9) has said she feels really anxious that her school friends will take the Micky out of my bald head and the fact that I will be wearing scarfs and wigs, this made me really sad as it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was in the same boat as her at school, I only left school in 2001, so I really know how she feels. With this in mind I have really looked into scalp cooling or cold capping to preserve my hair.

I know this doesn’t work for everyone and patients with hematology cancers aren’t allowed to try, but I am going to give it ago. If it fails it fails, but at least I tried.

You get given many leaflets from the oncology clinic and Macmillan about hair loss which is great, but I’ve also done my own research about cold capping and how effective it is. Some real success stories have been really inspiring to read, they have used products and techniques to try and minimize their own hair loss. I am writing another blog with all these products and a bit about them and eagerly waiting to try them out to see if it works!!

Ive been told I will know wether cold capping has been successful by the third treatment. Normal hair loss usually occurs at a very quick rate by about day 21, but again, everyone is different.

In regards to the other side effects of treatment, I don’t want to scare people out there just starting on their journey. In a nutshell, it’s nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite and generally feeling very hungover (my own consultant used these words) however I have been told if you stick to your medication such as anti sickness meds, steroids etc, then you should be ok. I will blog about each chemo session I have and give an honest account of how I feel.

This is just a snippet of worries and fears of having chemo, with hair loss being my main one I thought I’d touch upon this the most, please check out my next post ‘Chemo Must haves’ where I will be exploring all the products I have been advised to have whilst on the chemo train.

My first session of chemotherapy is on the 25th of Feb, Picc line being inserted on the 24th Feb, it will soon be here?!?!

Much love,

Michelle x

 

Clinics, updates and Chemo planning

My diary has been jam packed this last two weeks with clinic appointments and appointments indirectly related to chemo planning. You will be surprised to hear that only ONE lunch date was booked in amongst all that raff, this one lunch date I was so looking forward to I had to cancel as I was struck down with a terrible chest infection. I’ve been in bed the best part of a week and to be honest it dampened my spirits of the whole positivity thing with chemo coming up. I think when your starting a new journey, good or bad, you read up, take advice and try to picture yourself going through the mill. I thought with me chemo side effects ¬†will be what they’ve said it will be , like a bad hangover. But if it is a smidgen like what I’ve felt this week then I am dreading it.

So it a nutshell, I have seen my lovely breast care nurses, more seroma drains, oncologist for official diagnosis, twice. Breast surgeon. Macmillan. Specialist bra fitter. Genetic consultant, Ear, Nose and throat specialists and Chemo nurses.

I’ve spoke about in previous blogs how I felt 4 weeks post Mastecomy and being under the knife, but kind of left out all the clinical stuff so I can relate it all to one post. Now, although I am nurse, I have never worked in breast services or oncology, or Head and neck, so my writing is purely on what I have been told. I’m not an expert in these areas so please bear with.

Seems like ages ago now, but on the 28th Jan I met again with my breast consultant to discuss how the operation went and the pathology of the breast tissue taken away. I had two tumours in my right breast, they call this multi focal. One was 4cm and one was 6cm. They removed 33 lymph nodes (huge amount, but went quite high up near collar bone) of these 33, 16 had cancer in. The highest one was marked and this was clear (phew!) Next up, they wanted to check my left breast with ultrasound to see if there were any tiny tiny tumours growing, this came back clear too! I then sat around waiting for the first time to meet my oncologist.

We met my oncologist, it was a scary time actually. The thing will oncology doctors is, although they are very compassionate, they aren’t the type to fluff things up. Everything they deal with is cancer related, it’s not the brightest subject. I know you can have better cancers and worse cancers, but it’s all cancer at the end ¬†of the day, so they have to be quite blunt.

My oncologist gave me my official diagnosis. It’s a bit like having a stamp on your forehead that you can’t wash off when you get in from the hospital. You kind of go to sleep knowing its there, forget about it for a while and then look in the mirror in the morning and the stamp is staring back at you in the face. I originally thought my cancer was ER+ which in my first post mentions about hormones called Oestregen basically feeding it, which is why I had my contraceptive implant removed to try and slow any hormone involvement down. This was all from a biopsy though. The actual diagnosis is a bit different.

She told me I have a breast cancer that is called ‘triple negative’. This means that it’s not caused or helped along by Oestregen, progesterone or HER2 which I think is a protein. What it could be caused by though is a genetic mutation called BRCa 1 or BRCa 2, but with no family history of breast cancer, they are still not sure. I was staged at stage 3 T3 N3 M0. T- meaning tumour status, N- meaning node involvement and M- meaning metastatic spread, it ranges from 0-3. I was told that I am a high risk of this cancer returning, and that chemo would be used to mop up any cells hanging around and radiotherapy for that final blast. We all came out of that consultation completely flat, energy drained from every cell and felt like shit.

But anyway! That was January, moving forward I have so much more to tell you!!

In the meantime, I’ve seen the breast care nurses every week to have this Seroma drained, they are still taking off huge amounts of fluid, which has now unfortunately delayed my chemo by another week. I have been to a session held at the local hospital called ‘demystifying chemotherapy’ and it’s put on for patients who are about to start chemo and what to expect, to eliminate myths and see the day unit where we will be having it done. It was really interesting, well worth going to, by the end of it though I was so exhausted from information overload and I think that was the start of this chest infection developing. We got given a little goody bag, there is a Macmillan organizer in there and a cd called ‘a ball of light’.

On Monday this week I had to have the pneumonia jab. I arrived at the doctors surgery and was told I was a week early! The look on my face must of been a picture as before I even opened my mouth the receptionists said “but il see if they can see you now”. So I had that done, it wasn’t painful at the time, but boy was it the next day. I couldn’t move my arm for two days and 5 days on its only starting to settle down, I’ve had a raised red rash on the site of injection – by far the worse jab yet.

On Tuesday this week we were back at the local hospital for more clinic appointments. This time to see the head and neck specialists to rule out cancer of my parotid glands. These were enlarged on my whole body CT scan before, I was very relieved to find out these were not cancerous. I had an ultrasound of my face and neck to check on these beauties. It wasn’t a good look mind you when you sit up off the couch with clear jelly all over your face, in your ears and on your neck. I then met my oncology consultant in the afternoon and briefly discussed chemo planning. My picc line was due to be put in next week with chemo starting on the 22nd feb, but because I keep developing these seromas they’ve put it back another week ūüėę.

Friday this week I had the pleasure to experience a bra fitting service for ladies who have had surgery, it’s called Nicola Jane, their shops are not based on the high street for obvious reasons. I visited the Chichester shop with my sister. You walk into this little delightful shop and are greeted with your lady to assist you, I was very nervous as didn’t really know what to expect. We were there for about an hour, choosing different ¬†underwear, swim wear (massive no go though whilst on chemo!!) and talking about prothesis’s on the market and all things breast! I’m so pleased I went to this company, I felt I could trust my bra fitter Louise the minute I met her. I have my prothesis fitting next week at the hospital, I can’t wait! Bye bye softie….

And lastly, (oh I’m so glad it’s the weekend!) I had my first genetics appointment yesterday. I met the consultant who had a family tree already typed up of my family, from information already given to the team. Because there is no family history of breast cancer, I have about a 10% chance of carrying this gene called BRCa 1 or BRCa 2, but she was saying that most of my aunties and uncles and both parents are relitively quite young still, so we can’t really rule out the ‘no family history’ part yet. I hope it stays that way though, with no family history and I’m just a one off. If I have the gene, then that gives us a cause of my breast cancer, if I don’t have the gene (90% chance) then it’s just bad luck. I find out the results of this at the end of April, if I have the gene, then my two children have a 50% chance of having it, but won’t be tested unless they want to as a young adult. Also this means that my brother and sister have a 50% chance of having it and that one of my patents must have it. Which ever parent it is, their siblings will be tested if they want to and then if they are positive, their children and the list goes on. We will play that game when the results are back, there’s no point worrying over something that we don’t know yet, I’m very low risk so we will just wait.

So apart from all these clinic appointments and chemo planning and having the heaviest of chests, it’s all been ok so far. I am organizing a holistic approach to chemo planning shortly, I’ve been buying natural products to help with skin, hair and nails but more to come on that!

Have a good weekend everyone,

much love,

Michelle xx

 

Our special day – The Willow Foundation

image
“We smiled the whole way there, all the time we were there and all the way home”

 

The Willow Foundation is a charity that provide special days to young adults under the age of 40 with a serious illness.

Former Arsenal goal keeper and his wife Bob and Meg Wilson, set up this charity in 1999 in a legacy to their daughter Anna who died of Cancer aged 31. She had been battling the disease for 5 years, but it was these 5 years that her and her family made the most memorable days, she self named them ‘special days’ .

image

My lovely breast care nurse Ellie, applied for a special day for us at Willow, I originally found out about this charity from a Facebook group of ladies living with breast cancer under the age of 40, Ellie said she had supported other patients applications in the past and so the ball began rolling to provide us with a special day. The application was submitted and a lovely lady called Romaine contacted me from Willow to discuss what would make our day special.

To us, having a special day meant fun. Originally I wanted to take the kids to legoland and involve them in the day, but in March 2015 John swept me away to London to watch The Lion King and stay in a swanky hotel. Those memories of just the two of us are so great, we often reminisce about that weekend, so we decided to drop the kids off at my parents and go and see another show.

We wanted to plan the trip either before I start chemotherapy or at the very end of my treatment. I expected Romaine to say it’s better for at the end of treatment, but she said if you want to go before we can organise that, with just two weeks before the date arriving we had already sorted out which show to watch and the hotel was being booked.

We got an information pack through the post from Willow, it had everything you could ask for, they even pre booked taxis for after the show! I love being organized and this was exactly my cup of tea!

image

We went on a Saturday and checked in early, we visited the London Eye and upgraded to the champagne experience. I kind of think the London eye is a one off experience, it’s not something you would probably do again, so why not pay that extra and upgrade?

We then went back to the hotel, got changed and headed off to the theatre, we tried a Mexican restaurant which was delicious and then headed off to see the show. Anyone who hasn’t seen Billy Elliot at the west end should. It’s absolutely fantastic, saying that though, their last show is April 9th 2016 then they are going on tour.

image

On the Sunday, we walked down the embankment and visited the London Dungeons, this wouldn’t usually be my cup of tea, however it was fab! I would say my 9 year old would have liked it but Freddie my 5 year old would have been too scared.

We had a marvelous time, lots of love and laughter and memories that will last forever, we are both so grateful to Willow to give us this opportunity. I can’t wait until I’m fit and well again to start fundraising for the smaller charities that rely on our help.

Have you had a special day with Willow? I would love to hear your stories….

Much love

Michelle x

 

 

 

 

 

4 weeks post masectomy and screaming kids

 

It seems to be a regular occurrence, me laying in bed, writing my next blog. But today is different, the sun is shining and there is a hint of spring in the air! Although I’m full up with a stinking cold, all in all I feel very well.

When I was told I would be having a masectomy and allixary node clearance I would frantically search the web for real life stories of what to expect. Most would say the same, but I never come across any that would juggle the real life into post op recovery with two screaming kids and a hubby that has to go back to work. So I’m going to try and wittle it down into sub categories so you can scroll through the boring bits, well to be fair there’s nothing ‘exciting’ Anyway…

so, I had my operation on the 12th Jan, I’ve already done a post about being under the knife and life a day or so after, but now I am nearly 4 weeks on (Tuesday 9th is the milestone) and things have been on the whole very good.

Pain¬†This was my biggest worry, not because I don’t like pain, I mean we all don’t like pain, but I think I can handle it pretty well, I had visions of me coming home with a whole new pharmacy, full up with opiate based medication, trying to juggle nausea, dizziness and the two kids. I was wrong. I was sent home with good old paracetamol and ibruprofen. For the first few days, you would know that you were due the medication soon, you could feel the niggles. By day 10 I was completely pain killer tablets free!

Wound we’ve probably all seen the soaps in the past were the woman has her breast removed, there’s the whole scene of her looking in the mirror and seeing her wound for the first time. I can imagine for most women, this must be very difficult, looking at your wound for the first time and taking in what’s happened. I didn’t want that to happen to me, I mean it might of done, who knows when you first look? But if I was scared and upset, my kids would be too. We are quite an open family in our home, I walk from the bedroom to the bathroom naked, no one blinks an eye, the kids have a poo on the loo with the door open, shouting down the stairs ‘what’s for tea?’ We just have that kind of thing going on in our house. I didn’t want to hide my scar, but I didn’t want to scare them either. I would say when I had the drain in for the first 5 days that was the worse, as my then 4 year old (he had a birthday 2nd feb) wouldn’t go near me with the drain, especially if he could see the tube and the blood stained fluid. So I used the canvas bag they give you in the hospital to cover the majority, then wore cardigans to cover the tube. I always looked down at the wound everyday, you can’t see much when the white op site dressing is on. My dressing was removed day 6, my wound had healed nicely and drains were out. The only trouble I am having with the area it self is I keep getting a Seroma forming, this is because 33 of my lymph nodes were removed and my body needs to learn to deal with the fluid by not relying on the usual route of lymph drainage. I’ve had to have it drained 4 times in 4 weeks, the last volume to come out was a whopping 800mls!! It’s being drained again tomorrow, I’ve got a little B cup going on at the moment!!

Image¬†half of your chest is big, the other half is flat. If I was at slimming world I probably would have got slimmer of the week! I wonder how much a D cup breast weighs? It is weird having one boob and the other side flat, it almost looks like he other one should be off. My daughter said I look like half a child, half a woman! You get given a softie from the hospital, my wonderful breast care nurse gave me all mine before the op, I could then have a play with it and take out the stuffing from the inside to mirror my real breast size, you just pin it to your bra and no one will ever know! I just purchased T Shirt bras from Asda for ¬£4 each, they are nice and comfy and excellent value for money while your still recovering. You usually get a prothesis fitting 6 weeks post op, I’m going bra shopping on Wednesday to buy my pretty little numbers. I will be having a reconstruction but not until the Autumn/winter time. As the weeks go on, you do get used to wearing the softie, I promise it does get easier!!

Excercise Ok so this is a double wammy, there is the usual excercising, you know walking, running, gym and there’s the prescribed physio excercises you get given to do post op. I would 100% recommended you do these, by week 4 I have almost got my arm movements back to what they were before, this would not have happened if I didn’t do my excercises from the physio 4 times a day. You gradually move up from very simple ones to bigger ones, depending on wether you have the drain in. In regards to normal excercising, I would say take it slow for the first 3 weeks, I found walking to the school which Is less than a mile a way ok, I wouldn’t recommend going back to your usual fitness regime until you’ve cleared it with your breast care nurse. Saying that, don’t lay in bed either or stay in the house, It does your mind really good to get some air in your lungs and a slow brisk walk if that’s all you can manage, will do you wonders.

Socializing ¬†I’ve blogged before about all the lunch dates Ive been going on. They are lovely, but know your limits. If one day perhaps you think I don’t fancy wearing a bra today, then don’t. Your friends and family will understand. I must admit for me I do like to get out, even if I am feeling tired, I just compensate by going to bed early that night. The first two weeks I was in bed by 8pm. Things like washing your hair and trying to do the laundry really tired me out, but it does get easier, by week 3, John and I went to London. The picture at the top is me week 3 sipping a Mocktail in a restaurant. We went to see the show Billy Elliot, the Willow foundation payed for us to go to London and stay in a swanky hotel, watch the show and our travel there and back. I will do another blog post on this as the willow foundation deserve so much more than a few lines in the socializing category.

The screaming kids bit, their life still goes on, my son still has his night terrors, my daughter still throws her tantrums and my husband is only human. I can’t expect him to get in from work, do all the things I can’t do (hoovering, ironing) and still sort the kids out. Don’t push yourself….

And lastly but no means least is stop saying ‘No’ or ‘I’m fine’. I’ve had everyone rally round me offering to do housework, watch kids, etc etc. Most of the time I said no thank you and when asked how I was, always said “I’m fine”. Most of the time I was fine, but looking back over the last 4 weeks I probably should had taken everyone’s help when offered. It’s just a pride/mum/30something thing!!

Thanks for reading

Michelle x